Why Your Business Should be Constantly Evolving – Lorraine Ball
Marketing has become a critical part of any business. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a solopreneur, or a small business, online marketing is the best way to build a strong brand presence. Our guest today has many practical tips to share on marketing and entrepreneurship.
Lorraine Ball is a Marketing Strategist, Podcast Host, Marketing Educator. After spending many years working in Corporate America, she decided to dive into the entrepreneurial sea and start her own agency. A year ago, Lorraine sold her business but managed to keep the nearest and dearest part of it to herself. She currently works as a digital strategist building smart marketing strategies for businesses who want to use internet marketing tools to grow.
Even though the online world is ever-evolving, Lorraine believes that the foundations of good marketing still work to this day. As you’ll hear for yourself in this episode, she has a lot of useful business and marketing tips to share.
So in today’s episode of the Think Business With Tyler podcast, we talk about how to build a business that can run without you, the key factors to consider before selling your business, how to use user-generated content to increase engagement, and finally, why there’s no one-size-fits-all for digital marketing.
If you want to hear some creative marketing ideas and get first-hand business tips, tune into this episode to hear what Lorraine has to say.
💡 Name: Lorraine Ball
💡 What she does: She’s a Marketing Strategist, Podcast Host, Marketing Educator.
💡 Noteworthy: After spending years in Corporate America, Lorraine decided to start her own business and pursue entrepreneurship. Today, she works at Roundpeg, a digital agency in Carmel, Indiana.
💡 Key Quote: “At that moment, I knew that I wasn’t knocking it out of the park yet. I wasn’t making a lot of money, but I was having fun. And I liked who I was every day. I liked the impact I was having and some of those early customers, It’s like family. My business was like was definitely like family.”
💡 Where to find Lorraine: LinkedIn
Build a business that can run without you. Almost all business owners dream of selling their business one day but they’re not sure what to do about it. The key is to start building your exit strategy from day one. But what does a strong business exit strategy entail? For starters, it requires systematization and procedures.
Lorraine explains, “If you’re the glue that holds the business together, and it doesn’t exist without you, nobody is going to want to buy it. And so I would suggest almost from day one, start building standard processes, standard procedures, even if you’re a solopreneur and you’re the only one doing it, create those processes so that as you bring people on and as you get ready for sale, you’ve got those processes that operate without you.”
What should you consider before selling your business? For most business owners, there comes a time when they start considering selling out. But this decision is not simple; there are a lot of key factors to consider before you sell your business. According to Lorraine, these are the three most crucial steps: find somebody who’s not attached to your business, get a good lawyer who will know how to communicate your desires, and know what you want.
She explains, “Before you sell, step number one, get your processes, figure out what your business is really worth. And then really important, what do you want? Because if you don’t know that, you’re gonna end up taking something that later down the road, you’re gonna be like, ‘Well, damn, I shouldn’t have done that.’”
User-generated content is one of the best ways to increase engagement. With social media getting more saturated by the minute, small businesses are struggling to stand out. That’s why it’s important to think outside of the box when creating your digital marketing strategy. User-generated content has proven to be much more effective than typical branded content in the last few years.
Lorraine explains how UGC can help get more user engagement. “If you want to grow your business, one of the best ways to grow your business is with other people’s money, right? You get a loan, you get an investment, you use that to grow. Same thing with your digital marketing if you use other people’s content. Now I’m not talking about scraping stuff off the internet, very bad form. But if you can get other people to talk about you, to talk with you, to share, you’re going to have content that you would never have thought of yourself. You’re going to have much more engagement.”
There’s no one-size-fits-all for digital marketing. Digital marketing encompasses many different strategies and channels for promoting a brand online. But there’s no universal approach to digital marketing. Every business is unique; what works for your competitor won’t necessarily bring results for your business. That’s why you need to be creative, do a lot of tests and trials, and have a varied marketing approach.
Lorraine explains, ‘Some of this is knowing your customers, knowing your market, and understanding that different people are going to want to engage and interact in different ways. And your marketing has to be varied enough to reach each of those different personas or be okay that you’re not going to reach that market.”
“What you have to ask yourself in that moment is. ‘It’s not how you would do it but is it wrong?’ And very often, it’s not how I would do it, I would never have done that. However, it’s not wrong and it worked and so it’s okay. The other thing that’s really important and I believe this in my bones, you have to be okay with failure. You have to be okay with your own personal failure. And you have to be okay with the failure of your team.”
“If you as a business owner are spending all of your time, ‘How did this happen? And why did you do that?’ You’re never going to move past it. And what you’re going to do is build a culture where people will be unwilling to try things.”
“Some of it I think, is a little bit how I’m wired. A lot of it is just seeing how it plays out when you don’t do it that way. But also, right from the beginning, I sat down and thought about what I wanted my business to be about, not what was the product. And it boiled down to three phrases, creativity, collaboration, and positive energy. I wanted my employees to feel that way. I wanted my customers to feel that way. “
“I do think you should be prepared before you start a business or you should have a little extra money put aside. You should have some idea of what you’re going to sell and how you’re going to sell it and then you just have to believe. Some of it is you just have to believe and make a lot of friends.”
“That [inner child] part of who we are, very often and I have this whole 30-minute presentation on it, but that part of who we are is the creative. It’s the brave. It’s the part of us that is willing to try new things and ask questions and there are a series of experiences that you have over your life that sort of tamper that down.”
“People don’t die from lack of marketing. And what I really mean by that is we ain’t saving lives. And so at the end of the day, no matter how urgent you think your business is, take a step back and recognize that it is important, but it is not the most important thing. It’s not the most important thing to you, it may not be the most important thing to your customers, and kind of keep that in perspective.”
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