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Kirsty Traill

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    I’d start by working on charge out rates and budget as your first priority. Try this free downloadable business budget to get started: https://blog.capterra.com/free-small-business-budget-template/

    In terms of charge out rates, there are several ways to approach this.
    The first is “cost plus” pricing. Here you look at what you need to pay your team, and add on a margin (a quick google search for your industry tells me that your typical margins are between 25%-40%). So if your contractor costs $50/hour, then you would charge out between $50 x 1.25= $62.50 and $50 x 1.4 = $70/hour

    It’s also important to benchmark what your competitors are charging, to ensure that you’re not significantly over or under-charging. I’d create a spreadsheet which contains a list of the services you provide, and then pick 3-4 competitors, and look at their websites, or get someone to give them a call and see what there prices are for the same services.

    The other way to price this, is to understand what customers will pay for your services and work backwards. Here you’d want to look at where your customers are located, and potentially see if there is any market research/data on your services and what the market rates are. Or you could try finding and calling/contacting target customers and asking them a few questions around what they’d expect to pay for various services you offer. Either way, you’d still likely want to benchmark vs. competitors. If you offer a significantly higher quality and/or other key advantages then you can likely charge a premium for your services.

    In terms of marketing, from my perspective it starts with understanding your target customer, and then you can work on a content strategy and marketing mix around this.

    If you look at your existing customer base today, what does it tell you? Where are most of your customers from (which cities, neighborhoods)? What are the common characteristics they share? Are they more affluent or cost conscious, more male or female, do you have any insight on how they discovered you, where they found information about your services?

    During this time, you might also think about target customer segments based on your persona, and set up customer interviews, perhaps even spending a small amount of funding to ask your ideal customers a number of questions (or you could even call some of your former customers for their insight). Maybe offering grocery or coffee vouchers for 45 minutes of their time would help.

    I’d ask questions such as
    – how did they find out about your business
    – what about it did they love most
    – where do they spend their time on social media (FB, IG, TikTok etc)
    – what are their favorite websites
    – what are their favorite magazines/newspapers etc
    – what are ten words they would use to describe your business etc

    You can then use this to start forming a persona, on which you can start to dive deeper into the motivations of your customers and craft a marketing mix around this. Ideally this is what should form the basis of your marketing activity, so that you’re spending your marketing dollars where you know it will have the most impact, with the right messaging, at the right time.

    I’d also ensure you’ve search optimized your website with the right keywords so that you show up when your customers search for the services you provide. Asking customers what they search, and where they search, and which other companies they considered (or would consider) will help inform your content marketing and SEO strategy.

    I hope this helps~

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    I suggest you use a template like the Lean Canvas to help you get started and validate any assumptions you may have.

    I’m linking to a website that has information on this below, from which you can download the lean canvas template.

    https://leanstack.com/lean-canvas

    There is also a great book called The Lean Startup by Eric Reis, which gives a good overview on starting a company in an efficient and effective way. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004J4XGN6/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

    I hope that helps, good luck!

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    Do you have a multi-year business plan? Perhaps you can define your business goals and outline your strategic plan for the next 5 years, including the funding you need to get there, how you will spend it and the return (impact) you expect it to have.

    You can then approach different organizations such as government organizations, corporate philanthropy programs with focus in/on the area and demographic you serve, as well as family foundations and ask them how much they are willing to invest in order to help you get there.

    I hope that helps~
    Kirsty

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    hi there,

    The first and most important thing on social media is to really understand your audience, so you can target effectively and optimize your spend. Where do your customers live, what do they do for work, where do they spend their personal time, which magazines do they read, what age groups are they, etc.

    I’d also recommend that you draw up a 2×2 matrix to define your unique selling proposition (USP) relative to your competitors. What do you do that is different to everyone else in the market – what is your secret sauce? If you plot this on a two by two matrix based on how your customers view your market segment, you’ll be able to find your position and differentiate yourselves from everyone else. By way of an example price and value as axes is a really easy 2×2 matrix, but in your market, there is likely something more specific to your services that you can substitute – eg your service quality, breadth of offering etc.

    Use this USP to shape your brand strategy, and from there create a content strategy that is aligned to your audience needs (which you defined in step 1 above). You can then translate this into your social media strategy across the different social networks on which your clients are most active.

    Defining/Understanding your USP:
    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225659
    https://www.americanexpress.com/en-us/business/trends-and-insights/articles/5-steps-to-determine-your-unique-selling-point/

    Brand Strategy resources:
    https://hbr.org/2015/06/a-better-way-to-map-brand-strategy
    https://hingemarketing.com/blog/story/a_10_step_brand_development_strategy_for_your_professional_services_firm
    https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/31739/7-components-that-comprise-a-comprehensive-brand-strategy.aspx

    Here are some social resources:

    How to Create a Social Media Posting Schedule (Free Template and Tools)

    How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar: Tips and Templates

    Facebook Marketing Tips

    The Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Analytics

    How to Use Google My Business to Get More Customers

    I hope this helps~

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    I used to work for Hootsuite (a social media platform) and they have a ton of free resource around building a content strategy and posting on social media. Here are a few links to get you started:

    How to Create a Social Media Posting Schedule (Free Template and Tools)

    How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar: Tips and Templates

    Facebook Marketing Tips

    The Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Analytics

    How to Use Google My Business to Get More Customers

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    The key is to understand your audience, then you can work on a content strategy and marketing mix around this.

    What are the characteristics of your Maori and indigenous market target buyer? Are they male/female, into which age bracket do they fall, where are they based in NZ (overseas?), what are their emotional attributes that make them want to purchase your product/service?

    The best way to get this information is find people who you think fit your ideal customer profile, and set up and conduct customer persona interviews. You should be able to conduct 5-10 of these interviews using a series of questions to help you better understand your target customer persona.

    I’d ask questions such as
    – where do they find information about products & services?
    (magazines, WOM, internet, social media, networks etc)
    – what about it would cause them to buy?
    – where do they spend their time on social media (FB, IG, TikTok etc)?
    – what are their favorite websites?
    – what are their favorite magazines/newspapers etc?
    – what are ten words they would use to describe your business etc

    You can then use this to start forming a persona, on which you can start to dive deeper into the motivations of your customers and craft a marketing mix around this. Ideally this is what should form the basis of your marketing activity, so that you’re spending your marketing dollars where you know it will have the most impact, with the right messaging, at the right time. This allows you to spend your marketing budget targeting these customers specifically which means you get a much higher ROI on your marketing spend.

    You can find more information here: https://www.newbreedmarketing.com/blog/what-is-an-ideal-customer-profile.

    I hope this helps~

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    From my perspective it starts with understanding your target audience, and then you can work on a content strategy and marketing mix around this.

    Who is the target buyer that you think is the best fit for your product? Are they male/female, into which age bracket do they fall, where are they based in NZ (overseas?), what are their emotional attributes that make them want to purchase these gifts?

    The best way to get this information is to look into your existing customer base, understand common characteristics between them, and then set up and conduct customer persona interviews. You should be able to conduct 5-10 of these interviews using a series of questions to help you better understand your target customer persona.

    I’d ask questions such as
    – how did they find out about your product/service?
    – what about it did they love most?
    – where do they spend their time on social media (FB, IG, TikTok etc)?
    – what are their favorite websites?
    – what are their favorite magazines/newspapers etc?
    – what are ten words they would use to describe your business etc

    You can then use this to start forming a persona, on which you can start to dive deeper into the motivations of your customers and craft a marketing mix around this. Ideally this is what should form the basis of your marketing activity, so that you’re spending your marketing dollars where you know it will have the most impact, with the right messaging, at the right time. This allows you to spend your marketing budget targeting these customers specifically which means you get a much higher ROI on your marketing spend.

    I’d also ensure you’ve search optimized your website with the right keywords so that you show up when your customers search for travel ideas. Asking customers what they search, and where they search, and which other companies they considered (or would consider) will help inform your content marketing and SEO strategy.

    I hope this helps~

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    I used to work for Hootsuite (a social media platform) and they have a ton of free resource around building a content strategy and posting on social media. Here are a few links to get you started:
    https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-posting-schedule/
    https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-create-a-social-media-content-calendar/
    https://blog.hootsuite.com/facebook-marketing-tips/
    https://blog.hootsuite.com/facebook-analytics-insights-beginners-guide/
    https://blog.hootsuite.com/google-my-business/

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    I think you want to define your Brand Strategy, based on the below:

    What you do:
    – Your Purpose
    – Your Brand Promise

    Why you do it:
    – Your Stakeholders (employees, customers, shareholders etc)
    – Your Point of View

    How you do it:
    – Your Brand Experience
    – Your Brand Personality
    – Your Values

    To build onto James’ perspective, I found this CMO’s guide to generating an emotional response to your brand (Forrester August 2017)

    Pick three target emotions that you want to associate with your brand.
    (Using Outside-In thinking) This requires a combination of outside-in and inside-out thinking. Start on the outside by measuring the emotions your customers currently associate with the brand, like we do with Forrester’s brand energy framework. Then look inside, analyzing which emotions best predict overall emotional intensity and which drive strategic outcomes that the brand values — likelihood to recommend or willingness to pay a premium, for example. Pick the top three emotions that your customers feel intensely and that drive outcomes the brand cares about.

    Promise customers and prospects emotional satisfaction.
    With target emotions in hand, your ad messages — in today’s traditional channels and in tomorrow’s nontraditional channels like augmented reality — must signal to consumers that your brand can provide emotional outcomes. The creative can be moving and subtle, but the message must be obvious. State clearly which specific emotions your experience will deliver along with the rational features and benefits you want to promote. Tie those emotions to specific people, places, things, and actions in ways that align with the emotional systems in your customers’ minds.

    Deliver on the emotional promise.
    Upon receiving an emotional promise, the customer’s emotional prediction engine starts to predict whether that emotion will be fulfilled. It seeks evidence to support or reject the promise throughout the journey. When your retail outlet, mobile app, product unboxing, or customer support experience fails to deliver the emotional value promised in the ad, the brain logs that failure to deliver in long-term memory. Emotion-ready marketers will check that each customer touchpoint delivers the target emotions, asking how each moment explicitly fulfills the customer’s emotional prediction.

    Measure the emotional outcome.
    Remember, even though you chose target emotions, you can’t force the customer to experience precisely those emotions in exactly the way you imagined. Respect their emotional context and recognize that whatever emotions result can still be positive for your brand. If you chose to emphasize a feeling of confidence yet a segment of your customers instead experienced calm, explore what that means for you. Is their calm the result of your confidence? Or are they isolating aspects of your product experience that you didn’t realize were as compelling as they are? Let your customers’ emotions lead your next iteration of campaign, experience, and product design

    I have a number of graphics around developing brand strategy from Forrester and Sirius Decisions, that for some reason I can’t link in this forum. If you connect with me on LinkedIn I’d be happy to share them with you.

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    Try https://www.puttiapps.com/

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    I used to work for Hootsuite (a social media platform) and they have a ton of free resource around building a content strategy and posting on social media. Here are a few links to get you started:
    https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-posting-schedule/
    https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-create-a-social-media-content-calendar/
    https://blog.hootsuite.com/facebook-marketing-tips/
    https://blog.hootsuite.com/facebook-analytics-insights-beginners-guide/
    https://blog.hootsuite.com/google-my-business/

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    I would personally start with the customer to ensure you have a market for your product. Get really clear on who you are selling to and why they would buy your product vs. other products on the market. Once you’re clear on this, you can work on bringing your product to market and building your marketing strategy around this.

    It will likely be helpful to conduct interviews with prospective customers or people who fit your ideal customer profile, and ask them a series of questions to understand where they find information, who they turn to for advice and recommendations, and what type of magazines, social media and other marketing materials they consume and in what frequency. I’d also ask questions about why they’d buy your product or consider it vs others. Together this information will then help guide your content strategy, marketing mix and messaging.

    I hope this helps~

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    There is a great book called “Leading the Life you Want” by Stewart Friedman which is a fantastic book with a really practical framework of how to balance and integrate the demands of life and work.

    There is also the Personal Efficiency Program, which is both a book and a course that I recommend to help you get organized/efficient with your time.

    Personal Efficiency Program

    I hope this helps~