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Episode 4 ~ Budget Friendly Business Building

Illuminate Together Radio - Michelle Spalding Fairy Godmother

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Marketing, Advertising, and Sales – OH MY!!  Today’s Soulful Businesses are growing and thriving because they are committed to building authentic and lasting relationships with their clients, colleagues and friends.  In today’s episode we’ll be chatting about budget friendly business building ideas that you can easily implement to help you stay connected with those that know and love you as well as bring attention to those seeking your services.

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On your mark! Get set! Shine!

Welcome to Illuminate Together Radio, the place where inspiration, creativity, passion and adventure connect on the airwave to help you create the life and business of your dream.  Here is your host and fairy godmother, Michelle Spalding.

Good afternoon beautiful people! Thank you so much for joining me this afternoon.  Today we’ll be talking about Budget Funds Business Building.  I think this is also a great time of year where it’s wonderful for us to be reminded of some of the things that work in business, in building a business, in building a soulful business.

Again, there’s so many people and so many products and so forth that are out there distracting us people that might be potential clients, that anything that we can do that is totally in alignment with our spirituality, our belief, etc. is exactly the kind of thing that I want to talk to you about.  So, welcome, welcome.

Can you believe, 14 days until Christmas, 2 weeks from today, we have to have all of our shopping done, all of our festivity, planning and everything, all together.  So, I’m not ready, and I’m working on it, but I don’t know.

Anyways, speaking of Christmas, who else finds that elf on the shelf seem a little creepy? I’ve been seeing him on Facebook.  I’ve been seeing him at Macy’s.  I saw you could buy the elf on the shelf and if anybody knows where that came from or what that was, what that is all about, I’d love it if you would ping me and let me know.  You can connect with me at MichelleSpalding over on Facebook.  That’s my Facebook page.

Now, as a soulful business coach, one of the number one challenges that many of the people that I work with, myself even, is growing a business without being salesy, without being smarmy, sleazy or even without breaking the bank.

So today, we’re going to dive in to how our soulful businesses can grow and how we can use things that we would use maybe outside of our business lives to convey the message that we want to convey to people.

Authenticity is extremely important when you are growing a business especially to my soulful heart-centered business people.  Being authentic means being yourself in each and every place that you present yourself, whether it’s presenting yourself in a magazine, whether it’s  presenting yourself online, through email, Facebook, any other place that your message is being conveyed, authenticity is extremely important.

And this is where if you do decide to hire someone to help you with some of this, you have to have the final say and you have to run it past your own authenticity meter to make sure that you are remaining true to yourself.

Genuine Connections.  Part of building a business is building a rapport with clients, with colleagues, with people that are potential for your business, potential customers or potential clients.  Developing a rapport, it’s not – you don’t just walk-in and go to a meeting, go to an event and expect everyone in the room to get what you do and sign up and buy it.

Well, that could happen.  You may have the rock star product or service that everybody in that room happens to need at that time.  Chances of that are honestly pretty slim.  And of course, when you go to an event, it’s all about building  rapport with people.

This morning or this afternoon, I actually spoke at lunch, in a women’s lunch in a room, the East side of Orlando.  And many of those people went around, exchanged business cards and connected with one another.

And what I saw there was not just running around, exchanging business cards.  What I saw was people stopping, meeting one another, chatting with one another, really starting a conversation that I hope many of them will take outside of that meeting, connect with on a deeper level, on a more personal level and see if there can business that each of them could do with one another or that they could drive to each others’ particular business.

And of course, we want to drive referrals to our business and repeat business.  So, how do we do that? Where do we start and what actually is going to be working for you.  Whatever you do, what’s going to  work for you? What’s going to be easy for you to implement? What’s going to be something that’s going to make you stand out when your clients or leads or customers receive something from you?

Now, I want to back up and just tell you a story.  I had a client I was recently coaching and we were talking about business planning and business planning for 2014.  And part of this business planning that we were doing was kind of mapping out not only the goals that he had for 2014, but some things that he was going to do to achieve these goals with respect to marketing and respect to advertising and his sales as well.

And one of the goals that he had for his business was to grow his business, increase the sales, increase the number of people that utilized the services that he provided.  So, one of the questions I asked him about was a list.  “Now, tell me about the people that you have that you routinely connect with and what are you doing with that list of people?”

And it was funny.  He hammed and huhed and stammered and then finally confessed that he didn’t have a list.  He didn’t have a place that he could go to, to connect with people that he had done business with.  He didn’t have a list of people that were possibly interested in his services that he should send a marketing piece to on a regular basis to let them know about some sort of a special or new service he was offering.

He was looking to me to give him some advice on growing his business.  And the irony of it was he knew this was something that he had overlooked and something that he neglected.  He was looking for something new, a sort of bright, shiny object if you will, a magic pill that would  make it so that he didn’t have to really get back and do some of the core things that he knew he needed to do.

Well, I reminded him that a list was essential in any business, soulful, heart-centered, spiritual.  Everyone needs to have a list.  And like I said, his was a mess.  He was paralyzed.  He was looking for something else and it wasn’t going to work.  So, what I advised him to do and what I hoped you will be able to do is with some of the planning that I gave him was to just start.

If you don’t have a list, if you don’t have a database of people that you routinely connect with, then today is the day to start.  And I’m going to give you six things that you can start doing to start connecting with those people, to start building that list and start utilizing those in your sphere of influence.

Here is something I want to say on that. People who have already purchased from you, people who have already met you, done business with you, they need to know that they’re appreciated. They need to know that you care about them.  They need to know that there is something that you – They need to be reminded on a regular basis of what it is that you do and how it can help them.   Yes, it’s sales.  Yes, it’s advertising.   Yes, it’s marketing, but yes, it’s also part of the business.

So, we’re going to get into some of the details on how that happens.  First, like I said, start a list.  Take the last maybe ten to twenty people that you’ve done business with if you don’t have a list, or the last ten to twenty people that you have personally met.  You probably got a stack of business cards or some emails in your office that you can access and start putting them in to a simple system that will allow you to utilize it.

Now, you may go with something free like Gmail.  Gmail will allow you to create categories or groups, I should say and you could put clients in one group and label that group and mass email to that group.  You could put same as leads or contacts.

Obviously, once your list grows, you’re going to outgrow the capabilities of Gmail, but in just getting started, there is something you could do that you could utilize for free.

Of course, there’s Aweber and a Mail Chimp.  Those are all email-driven.  The great thing about a Gmail account would be the ability to make notes, the ability to set reminders using your Gmail calendars so that you could remember to connect with people and the ability to put not just an email address, but a phone number and a snail mail address, birthdays, etcetera.

So, get a list, start a list, build a list.  This is where you will be able to let people know when you’re offering something new or doing something different or have a sale.

The next thing that is on my list of things to share  with you about your list is every new client that you worked with should immediately get a letter or a note in the mail from you, something personal, something hand-written that says, “Thank you very much for trusting me to help you with,” and whatever it is that you particularly do.

There is nothing like a power of a note.  This is sent to someone that when they get that note, they can feel that you took some time out of your day to put something on paper, to lick a stamp and send that off to them, and it will take you to new places, and your level of respect, the level of respect that the person that gets that has for you.  Anybody who refers to you, should also get a card from you.

Again, something very inexpensive, but something extremely powerful. When someone takes the time to refer others to your business, you owe it to them, even if that person did not do business with you, to send a thank you card and let them know that you appreciate the value that they have for you and the trust that they have for you as well.

Those referrals are kind of a life blood of most businesses.  Once someone has done business with you,  once someone  loved you and what you’d have to offer, they will share it with others, especially when they feel that you’re valuing them.

Now, holiday cards.  With Christmas right around the corner, I’m sure that one is the one that comes to most people’s minds, but I like to shake it up.  I like to send cards at other times during the year, just to let people know that I’m thinking about them.  Halloween is a great time.  It’s a fun time to send a card.  Valentine’s day, it’s not just about sending it to your “the love of your life”, it’s also about sending it to other people and showing them some love as well.  Saint Patrick’s day? Feeling lucky? Send someone a card and make their day as well.

Now, birthdays are another one that I love to send cards out to because again, with Facebook, we get notified that someone’s birthday is coming up because most people share their birthdays on Facebook.  And that’s nice and everything, but one more place for just a few dollars, you could send a birthday card to someone to let them know that they matter to you, you care about them.

Birthdays if you don’t have them from the records that you have, Facebook is a great place to go and get those.  If you’ve been doing business with somebody and you don’t know their birthday, find it on Facebook.  And if not, don’t be afraid to ask.  Let them know, “I would love to celebrate your special day with you.  Do you mind sharing with me your birthday?” And you will light up their day when you send them a birthday card a few days before their birthday.

The next one is articles, things that are helpful to someone, something that will support them, even if it backs up what you do.  I had a client one time that was a massage therapist and we were talking about this.  And there were some industry magazines that she subscribed to that talks about the benefits of massage.  And I encouraged her to send some of those out to her clients and let them know, “Hey! Thinking of you. One more benefit to you coming to see me.”

And in that article, it will explain why the massage services were so valuable even beyond what the customer already said.  If there was a particular industry that you are in and you have direct contact with some of your clients or customers that has a interest outside of that industry, you might want to consider looking for articles and some magazines that you could tear out from time to time and send to them.

In the business that I’m in, I, from time to time have an opportunity to send to some of my clients, who I know love to cook, some recipes from some books that I found, from a magazine that I subscribed to.  A little thing that comes in the mail, that just lets someone know, “I was thinking about you today.” And  I took a little bit of effort to make sure that you got this.

Now, I’ve mentioned this, and I’ve mentioned and I’m going to mention it again.  There is nothing like the power of snail mail.  Postage is forty-something cents.  So, it’s very inexpensive for you to walk out to your mailbox, put something in it and for it to arrive in someone else’s house.

There’s nothing like the energy and the connection that moves from you to the individual that is receiving it and again just a whole new level of respect.

In building your network when you meet new connections, when you go to events and then spend some personal some time with those people, again, send notes, connect with them, follow up with them.  Don’t just make it a, “I’m going to this meeting.  I’m going to gather as many business cards.  I’m going to call those people until they buy or die and I’m going to annoy – you know what out of them.” That’s not what I’m talking about in building your network.

Go out.  Meet some new people.  I went out and did that today and I actually had a blast.  It was really funny and great for me too.  You never know what’s going to happen or what’s going to come from those.  One of the women that I met there, we have a connection because we both lived in Louisiana at one point.  She has a particular service that is of interest to some of the individuals that will be at another event that I host.  So, not only is she going to come to that event, she mentioned that she would also tell some others and bring them.

On top of that, she has a beautiful conference room in her office that she loves to share with other people.  One of those things is the connection there.  I didn’t know when I walked in to that meeting that I was going to meet someone that was going to come to one of my events, that was going to offer up some space for future events, but that was just one of the surprises that came.

Building that network, working on developing rapport and relationships with those people, that’s what’s going to bring even more business and even more opportunities your way.  Like I said, spend some personal time with those people, meeting them outside of those events.  Get to know them, make it personal.  If you go out to coffee with someone, find their address and mail them a thank you card.  “Thank you for spending time with me.”

It doesn’t take very much time even if their business address is not in their business card and you forget to ask for it, you can find it.  There’s tons of ways to find people’s information.  There’s the official records in most cities.  There’s the tax or a property appraiser’s office in most cities.

If they have a corporation, their corporation is likely registered with the state, you could find their address there.  There’s ways to get that and I think that surprising them with sending these to them when they didn’t have their information right there top of my – right there readily accessible is another way to show them that that you do care.  It’s all old school.

I understand and in our modern technology, it’s all old school.  It’s something – email and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and LinkedIn,  people got away from it, but I will tell you it’s inexpensive, but the returns are extremely high.  It’s all extremely easy to do.  And it’s all very soulful.

When you have a soulful business, when you have a heart-centered business, you want to connect with those people on a social level, on a heart to heart level.

And when you send one, a note to someone, when you reach out to someone and let them know that you cared in a – with a note card, I mentioned it earlier, there’s a transference of energy, there is a connection there.  And while they might not buy  from you that day, they’ll know that you care.

And when the time is right for them, they will absolutely remember you.  And of course, by staying in front of those people that you have done business with on a regular basis with cards or perhaps with articles, with just ‘thinking of you’ postcards, it’s a way for you to show someone that you aren’t just talking the talk about having a soulful, heart-centered business, you’re actually walking the walk.

One thing that I did several years ago was when I was on vacation in Thailand.  I sent everybody who was on my list on that time a postcard from Thailand.  And the funny part about it, is that it was cheaper to mail the postcard from Thailand to the states than it was to mail a postcard within the States, so go figure that one, international.

But with the exchange rate and our dollar being so strong at that time, that was the reason.  So, I sent each and every one of them a postcard, and there were quite a few.  Before I left to go on vacation, I took my list with me, I printed the labels, so that I would have them available.

And then, over the time that I was there, I spent a little bit of time each and every day and wrote a note to everyone to let them know I was thinking of them.  I have to tell you, I had so many phone calls, so many emails and so many messages on Facebook of people that were so impressed that I thought of them and thought of them enough to spend the time that it took and the resources to send them a postcard from abroad.

That, my friends is just one example of how huge of an impact that’s going to have on your business, and how simple it is, and again just how soulful it is, how easy it is to do that.  So, here’s what I recommend, pick one.  Pick one person on your list, one person who – when I mentioned “Pick one” whose name comes to mind, and send them something today.  Maybe it’s a note, maybe it’s a birthday card, maybe it’s a Christmas card, maybe it’s an article from a magazine that’s sitting on your desk.  Send someone something today.  Remind them of how special they are to you and make someone’s day.

I have a friend that lives up in the Northeast who I just have a huge connection with.  I love her dearly and I send her note cards from time to time to let her know that.  It’s not because I’m looking for business from her.  She knows what I do.  She knows who I am.  She knows how I can help her and I have in the years past, but it’s to let her know that I’m thinking of her, to let her know that she came to mind today and that I wanted her to know that.

So, I send her these cards from time to time and like I said, magazines and Christmas cards and Saint Patrick’s Day cards and fairy cards when I can find them.  She sends me messages or calls me, tells me, “You have no idea, how much that meant to me today.”

When people are having tough times, when people are experiencing some troubles, or things aren’t going their way, we may not know that, but by acting and sending out cards to the person whose name comes to mind, it’ll get to the person that needs it the most at the time that they need it the most.  I totally, absolutely believe that.

So, I’m just going to recap here as we wind things down this afternoon.  First, get your list.  Get your list started.  Don’t put it off any longer.  Get a list together.  Number 2, make a vow that anybody knew who does business with you, who comes to any of your events, who buys something from you gets a card.  Anybody who refers someone gets a card.  And make sure they’re genuine, heart-felt, thank yous that you’re sending.

Birthdays, send out cards.

Remember, go to Facebook.  Don’t do what everybody else does on Facebook and just wish some Happy Birthdays there, mail them a card, spend some time figuring out your birthdays, the birthdays of the people that you do business with and make sure that they get a card from you. Holiday card, again Christmas cards, but also Halloween, Saint Patrick’s day, the Valentine’s day etcetera.

And then articles, articles that people that do business with you that you know might be of interest to them, like I gave you my example of sending people cooking recipes.  I don’t cook.  I like to eat, I sent them recipes because I know they like to cook, they have a passion for that.  You also could send cards to people when you’re on vacation.  Again, once more letting them know that you were thinking about them and thinking that this might be something to brighten their day.

Next week, we’re going to talk about soulful masterminding.  Masterminding is something that can help your business grow.  It’s about bringing people together, connecting with one another, focusing on an individual business and implementing or applying ideas on how to help them solve a problem, how to help them grow it.  It’s one of those amazing groups where people are – there’s just nothing more powerful to me than a room full of people, five, six, ten people sitting down and focusing on helping you accomplish whatever it is that you are trying to accomplish.  So, that’s what we’re going to talk about soulful masterminding.

Tomorrow, if you are in Central Florida, please join me for Illuminate Together.  It’s going to be over in Maitland.  You can find all the details on my website MichelleSpalding.com/Illuminate.  And that will be the kick off to an event which I hope to take global one day soon.

This is Michelle Spalding, your fairy godmother, signing off for now.  Until next week.  Make it a magical day.  Spread some joy.  And remember, follow your dreams.  Tah tah for now.

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