Business Lessons Learned From Climbing

Business Lessons Learned From Climbing

When I started climbing, business was the last thing on my mind. I was going to live the dirtbag climber’s life and travel the world existing only to climb peaks and rocks. I did for a while, and that was incredible. As time wore on, though, I started to crave some stability and grew tired of the financial stress of a jobless, van life existence. When I entered the business world, I quickly realized that climbing had given me a unique perspective to navigate. Here are a few crossover ideas that climbing brought to me for the business world.

Business Lessons Learned From Climbing

The risk is inherent, and foolish risk will end you

The risk is ever present in climbing. Being successful means accepting the risk and moving forward in spite of it. To leave it here would be an oversimplification of the process. A large part of the draw to climbing is learning to mitigate much of the risk while seeking the most rewarding climbs. If you climb something for the sake of taking the risk, you will get bitten and usually sooner rather than later.

Risk taking in business should be the same way. Too many flash-in-the-pan CEOs have written books and given talks espousing huge risk without discussing their efforts to mitigate that risk. You need to have your market research dialed, your business plan polished, and (most importantly concerning today’s marketplace) your marketing campaign together to get the word out about your product or service. I have seen too many businesses approach new concepts or markets with an “if you build it, they will come” attitude toward their marketing.

The willingness to venture beyond the norm is rewarded

The roadside attractions in climbing seem to have a siren call. The crowds flock to them, and the experience becomes diluted with competition to get on the route and find space on the way up. I have never found venturing out into the backcountry for a climb to be less rewarding than staying by the road. Yes, it is a lot more work to get there and in the beginning, you will ask yourself why you did not just do something easier. Once you settle into the task, you begin to notice the benefits… better views, a feeling of belonging, ownership of the area you are in.

Falling into the trap of providing product or service that is on par with the rest of your industry is understandable but unacceptable. Going beyond the norm for the quality of service and product will differentiate you from the rest. The extra effort will pay off quickly.

Technology will never replace knowledge

Climbing equipment has come a long way from the days of soft iron pitons and hobnailed boots. Modern equipment allows rank beginners to ascend pitches of rock that were unimaginable in the 50’s or 60’s. However, no matter how much the technology improves, if a climber does not know his way around the mountains, and the basics of ropework, his career is going to be a short one.

Technology has fundamentally changed every aspect of the business world. No one can deny that. What it has not done is replace the need for knowledge. Knowing your market, your product, your competition, and your customer will not ever be replaced.

Moreover, technology has not replaced the need for human interaction. People still buy from people even in the age of technology. No matter how fantastic your digital advertising campaign is, people are going to attach themselves to brands that have a unique mission and are represented by solid people.

The view from the top is amazing, but you cannot stay forever

The summit is a major motivator in climbing. Rightfully so. It is a symbol of accomplishment, and for some, it is a symbol of conquest. Stand on top, breathe in the thin air, simultaneously feel powerful and small all at the same time. It is a time to reflect on the path that was taken and take in the view of the surrounding summits. The feeling is fleeting, though, and the inevitability that you must come back down gnaws at the back of your mind. The longer you stay put on top, the more danger you face. Storms, frostbite, exhaustion, darkness, all of these await those who try to linger.

You seek to be at the top of our game in business as well. To stand at the top and see your competitors. Stagnation is a fatal flaw in business as well. Success in business depends on understanding that once you have gained the top in one area, it is time to look toward your next goal, start training, set milestones, and take the first step.

You seek to be at the top of our game in business as well. To stand at the top and see your competitors. Stagnation is a fatal flaw in business as well. Success in business depends on understanding that once you have gained the top in one area, it is time to look toward your next goal, start training, set milestones, and take the first step.


what is inbound marketing and why it's essential in your marketing strategy

Inbound Marketing & Why It’s Essential In Your Strategy

Wouldn’t you agree that it is better to attract qualified, ideal prospects to your sales funnel rather than attempt to promote your business to everyone, creating “hit and miss” results? Alternatively, that it is advantageous to embrace an inbound marketing strategy that connects with, engages your audience, and builds long-term customer relationships versus just focusing on getting the sale?

Absolutely! You see, there is an entire methodology that not only brings potential customers to you but keeps them coming back for more! This approach has resolved multiple issues for businesses like time wasted on unqualified leads, little website traffic, and low lead conversions. The more efficient way to promoting your business is through inbound marketing!

This strategy has shown to be the best way to do business online. 3 out of 4 marketers across the globe prioritize an inbound approach to marketing (Source: Hubspot). Studies consistently reveal that inbound marketing successfully increases traffic, lead generation, sales and repeat business for brands who leverage this tactic.

What Exactly is Inbound Marketing?

The inbound marketing concept centers around creating and sharing valuable content that solves problems and answers questions for your ideal customer (or buyer persona). It naturally draws prospects in through education. Because of this noninvasive, selfless approach, prospects are instantly attracted to your brand and see you as the expert in your niche.

There are four key components to a powerful inbound marketing strategy. It includes:

  • Attract: Driving quality traffic to your content via blog posts, social media, SEO strategies, video marketing, etc.
  • Convert: Turning website visitors into leads through your lead offers; you giving visitors something valuable in exchange for their contact information
  • Close: Transforming leads into customers by using closing tools like email marketing and marketing automation to help seal the deal
  • Delight: Creating happy customers and loyal, raving fans of your brand, converting into repeat business. The major benefit to inbound marketing is the process of nurturing a “stranger” into an eventual promoter of your business.

Why It is Essential in Your Marketing Strategy

Inbound marketing, when done right, positions your business for long-term success. Consumers are fed up with overwhelming advertisements, yet they are always online seeking solutions to their problems. Search is the #1 source for content traffic generation, and it is the preferred choice for looking up information. Inbound marketing positions you to be found by your target audience when they are searching for you, making it essential for your business in 2016!

If your business is ready to start leveraging inbound marketing tactics to begin attracting qualified prospects into your sales funnel, contact us to request a free consultation. We are certified to help!

3 steps to creating great marketing content


7 Tips for a Snapchat Video Marketing Campaign

Snapchat is a hot social media platform that can be used for more than just sending pictures to your friends and playing with different filters. Snapchat is an extra feature in your video campaign that will bring it to success. Here’s how:

Reply to stories to increase user engagement

With new features like swiping up to reply to a story, marketers can receive feedback from their consumers. This is a way to measure how your campaign is progressing. It’s also a way to get feedback on your campaign. New companies use Snapchat already to conduct informal contests and host polls through the Story Reply feature.

A new Snapchat tip would be to utilize the Story Reply feature to host Q&A sessions to receive audience questions and feedback. Consider common questions, recommendations, and satisfaction level mostly.

Create customized on-demand Geofilters

You can now create and publish a Geofilter for your business or private events. Can you imagine how much exposure your business would get with a customized Geofilter? Here’s how it works:

  • Design – To create a filter, go through Photoshop or Illustrator to create compatible filters.
  • Map – Pick a location where your filter will appear, then choose time and dates when you want your Geofilter to appear.
  • Buy – You have to submit your Geofilter for approval to Snapchat, and then you buy it.

Offer exclusive discounts

Providing coupons and discounts through Snapchat is highly successful. This makes it an exclusive offer because it can only be found on your businesses Snapchat. This also gives an opportunity for one-day only promotions, since Snapchat stories last for 24 hours.

Target content to select followers.

If there is a social influencer who you want to promote your business or product, you can give that person promotional codes through Snapchat. This was, that social influence can inform the pubic about the product and let them know about the promotional code as an incentive to buy the product. If have avid users of your product, you can also offer them special codes as a thank you for using the product or giving business frequently.

 Activate Snapchat stories

Create Snapchat stories so your audience can see what their favorite brand is doing. This allows your audience to see what you’re doing every day.

Build up to a special event or moment

Snapchat is an excellent platform to spread the word about an upcoming event and get people buzzing about it. Make people excited about your upcoming events, moments and launches!

Back your marketing campaign with special ads

Jump on board by making Snapchat ads. This helps you to reach the demographic who has moved from Facebook to newer social media platforms. Plus, our ad is less likely to get lost in a Snapchat feed.


anatomy-of-landing-page

The Anatomy of a Landing Page

Traffic acquisition is only half of the marketing equation.  In addition to bringing visitors to your website, you need to keep them there. Not only that, you need to transform them from interested prospects into customers. Your marketing needs to move that relationship forward at each touch point.  Conversion optimization is the process of transforming new website visitors into paying customers — and first-time customers into repeat buyers. A landing page is a single web page that appears after a user clicks on an advertisement. These can be used to capture leads, communicate information, or generate website sign-ups.

Here are 9 aspects of the anatomy of a landing page:

landing_page_anatomy

  • A consistent message between ad headline and landing page headline. For example, if someone searched for “Marketing Tools,” your landing page has a far better chance of converting if the headline mentions “Marketing Tools.”
  • The secondary headline leads to the content. This section needs to compel the user to continue reading. Short, sweet and to-the-point, it should give a clear reason that speaks to the user’s pain point.
  • Perfect grammar. This goes without saying.
  • Trust signals. Testimonials, security seals and other badges that show that the user will have a secure, satisfactory shopping experience
  • Strong call-to-action. Download, Free, Get, Create and other options have been shown to perform better than weaker words like “Try.” Stronger language and active verbs compel people to take action
  • Buttons that stand out. The button needs to be able to catch the user’s eye, so make it distinctively different than the rest of the color scheme on your page.
  • A lack of links. Keeping users on the landing page and moving them through to the call-to-action should be your primary goal. Linking out to other sites or other pages of your own site that aren’t tied into the landing page can distract the user from taking the action you want them to take.
  • Images and video that relate to the content. Adding images and video that give customers a quick understanding of the product/service or explain the basics can all bolster the message.
  • Fit the message within the first third of the page. This is known as “above the fold” and greatly increases the chance that visitors will take action since they don’t have to scroll.

Clear, concise information drives users to take action is the take-home message here.  A single call-to-action on landing pages allow you to gather information or generate conversions with the highest impact across all of you digital outlets.


ig Cottonwood Canyon Salt Lake City

A climbing guide to the Summer Outdoor Retailer Show

Heading to the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market this August? Whether you are a first timer who is new to the show or a veteran who has heard too many clever names for the color blue delivered by a guy in a short-sleeved, plaid shirt, you already know that there is a lot more to the OR show than just wandering the floor. There is also an incredible combination of beauty, access, and quality that makes Salt Lake City one of the best cities for climbing in the U.S.

Crags for cool climbing in little cottonwood salt lake city, Utah while at Outdoor Retailer Trade ShowGetting the most out of your trip while at OR takes some strategizing. If you don’t know where to go, and when, you’ll be missing your 10 am show meetings and still not get any climbing done. Here is our approach and the information that you need to know to get a few pitches in each day, while still having a productive experience on the show floor.

BEFORE THE SHOW

If you can, come in a day or even two early. Giving yourself the time to unwind with some climbing while pre-planning for show meetings can pay off. Showing up at the Salt Palace relaxed and in a good state of mind because you got some time in the vertical is an excellent way to do this. It will also allow you to experience some areas that would be much harder to get to once the show starts. Our suggestion; Cecret Lake at Alta to beat the heat and have a unique alpine cragging experience.

DURING THE SHOW

This is your opportunity to embrace something unique to Salt Lake City, the Dawn Patrol. The idea is often credited to the late Alex Lowe and is deeply ingrained in the fabric of the local outdoor culture. You’ll have to give up a few of the post-show cocktails the night before, and get a 4:30 am start to the day. For the willing, it can be the most rewarding of outdoor experiences. It will feel like cheating when you show up to your 9 am meeting at the show, on time, and having already put away a classic line. Our suggestion; a quick, multi-pitch outing on Steort’s Ridge, or Outside Corner in Big Cottonwood Canyon for a morning you won’t forget.

AFTER THE SHOW

Digesting everything you’ve seen and talked about at OR is going to take a bit. Scheduling yourself a free day after the show helps you organize your thoughts before heading back to a bustling storefront, and an email account bursting at the seams. Leave the show on the last day, jump in the rental car, and drive 2-3 hours to sample some truly unique climbing areas. Our suggestions; City of Rocks National Preserve in Idaho or Maple Canyon, Utah both offer unique climbing experiences in extraordinary settings.


outdoor retailer video marketing

Outdoor Retailer: Video Marketing

You don’t have to look very hard these days to find marketing professionals and academics puzzling over the millennial consumer market. According to Outside magazine, outdoor retailers are especially struggling to get a foothold on the millennial money mountain. As Outside and most current wisdom suggest inbound and video marketing is the way to go when it comes to reaching prospective outdoor recreation customers, under the age of 35.Read more


email_marketing_inbound

Is Email Marketing Still Relevant?

The rapid growth of technology, especially in the digital world, might make it seem like email is on its way out. So, let’s make sure one thing is clear: email is still an essential part of marketing. First, let's address some of the misconceptions people have about email marketing. Many people believe that Email marketing means SPAM. True! The majority of all emails sent are marked as spam, with some sent from marketers like you and me. This happens because some marketers purchases lists and send endless email blasts to people who don't want to hear from them.

People also believe that email marketing is old school. Well, email has been around forever, and people have started to wonder if an email marketing campaign is still effective. Is email like banner ads? Haven’t people learned to tune email out? Let's address the first concern that comes to mind: Is email still effective? Yes! Here are 6 reasons why:

  1. More than 4.3 billion email accounts are active today. That’s a significant number of people using email on a daily basis, and no other marketing channel has been adopted as universally as email did.
  2.  An overwhelming 95% of online consumers use email. 91% of them report that they check their email at least once a day; Which indicates that email is still a viable channel. Since emails stay in your inbox unless you delete them, it has a longer lifespan than other marketing channels like social media.
  3. Email is a channel that you OWN. Google and Facebook often change the way they index search results and display content, but you’ll always have a 1:1 relationship with the people that open your emails.
  4. 77% of consumers prefer email for marketing communications. Contact people where they want to be reached.
  5. Email is personalized. You can create a highly targeted, contextual message that’s unique to the individual who receives it.

We will still use email because it has an ROI of 4300%. For every $1 you spend, you get $43 of returns. It doesn't better than that! According to the Direct Marketing Association, 76% of marketers say they use email more than they did three years ago. SO how can email marketing help you grow your business? The best part about email is its flexibility. When considering the inbound methodology, email is primarily used to close leads into clients; it can also be used to delight your customers as well and continue the post-purchase customer service. The primary purpose of email marketing is to nurture your leads into clients. Nurturing is all about sending the right content to the right audience at the right time and using the right channel. Send your leads content that will help them do their job better, and they’ll be more willing to speaking to your sales team down the road.

Providing your leads with helpful, relevant content helps you build a relationship. It allows you to position yourself as an expert, ready to help them with their challenges. Inbound is all about the mixture of context and content. If you do it well, your leads will be more likely to interact with you.

TIP: Businesses that implement an inbound strategy recognize that the point of purchase is only the beginning of their relationship with a customer. They use emails to delight people who have already bought their product or service on an ongoing basis. It can be as simple as the occasional check in, or perhaps sending helpful resources and special customer-only content. Attention and care are keys to delight because a happy customer will be your biggest advocate!

Email marketing is also a cost-effective way to nurture the relationship with your customers or prospects. You can strengthen the relationships by upselling new products, or send relevant information ( for example: how to care for your new tool). Customers are less likely to stop using your goods or services if you disappear from their minds.


Email Marketing Redifined

Why Inbound Marketing

This blog will walk you through you to the culture of inbound, and provide you with a big picture view of everything you need for a successful inbound strategy. So what of the first question that you may be asking yourself is why INBOUND?

To put things into perspective let’s look at traditional marketing and what it offers for a business:

In traditional marketing, companies focus on finding customers: Generally, they use techniques that are interruptive. These techniques could be anything from cold-calling, print advertising, TV commercials, and junk mail.

Technology is making these techniques less effective, impossible to track conversion,  and more expensive. Caller ID blocks cold calls, DVR makes TV advertising less effective, and spam filters block mass emails. It's still possible to get a message out using these channels, but it costs a lot more. So, Traditional marketing is interruptive and marketer-centric. The traditional way of doing things is convenient for the marketer because they can push content in people’s faces whenever they want, and even when those potential customers don’t want it. But it’s not an ideal experience for the user – the potential customer. Inbound marketing is the mirror version that. How? Keep on reading.

Traditional vs Inbound

Inbound is a fundamental shift in the way we do marketing. An inbound methodology is not an interruption- based message where the marketer or salesperson had all the control, instead it’s about EMPOWERING potential customers.  

The way it works:

  • Instead of interrupting people day with television ads, they might create videos that potential customers want to see.  Remember that one time you were looking for a quick solution to a problem like how to remove a stain from a brand new silk shirt? Or how to replace the battery in your mac yourself? Well, the inbound strategy will help you get placed on top search based on those queries.
  • Instead of buying display ads in print publications, they could create a business blog that people would look forward to reading.
  • instead of cold calling, they create useful content so that prospects can contact them when they want more information.

Inbound marketing focuses on placing you as the expert in your field, where the customer can find you when they need advice or information.  It’s like having an expert by your side and you call them when you need them.


Don't Lose Touch! How to Follow Up With Convention and Trade Show Leads

7 Tips To Follow Up With Convention and Trade Show Leads

So you and your team committed the time and financial resources to prepare and attend a convention or tradeshow. You met many interesting prospects that are a perfect fit for your product or service.  If you have done this before, then you know how important it is to remember every detail of that conversation to personalize your follow-up.  Unfortunately, this is something that many salespeople ignore or put off until the details have faded from memory. It is those details that allow a salesperson to personalize the subsequent exchanges following the show. Don’t you just hate those cold post-event emails with no personalized context? Read on for a few tips on how to follow up with leads.

Don't Lose Touch! How to Follow Up With Convention and Trade Show Leads

BE ORGANIZED

Gathering business cards is better than nothing, but it may not be enough of a trigger to remind you of who a future customer is and why you want to follow up with them. Before the trade show, create a Twitter list for the event, and add all of your new contacts to the list by following their Twitter account. Search for hashtags related to the show and follow people you may not have met, but would like to. Also, take pictures of the people you meet at the show (with their permission, of course) when the opportunity allows. Later, you can add the photo to your CRM, and it will help you remember who they are and what you talked about.  

FOLLOW-UP

Prepare your new contacts for future connection by telling them that you’ll follow up.  Give them a date and a time of when they can expect a call or an email from you. It could be something as simple as “When I get back to the office, I’ll make sure and get that information to you.” This will make you accountable!

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is a great low-pressure platform to nurture your new business relationships slowly. Say you met someone that you would like to stay connected to, but during the conversation you didn’t get a chance to set a time for follow up.  Social media is the most natural medium to keep up with that contact and continue the conversation. Going back to the Twitter list. Hopefully, you’ve already added your contacts. Send out a message saying, “It was so nice meeting you; I can’t wait to continue our conversation on XYZ!” Now they are expecting your follow-up.  

Another good low-pressure platform is LinkedIn. Invite them to connect on LinkedIn, and making sure to send a personalized invitation that includes a reminder of how you met. Also, make sure to interact with their activity on LinkedIn, Twitter and elsewhere. Share their company’s content when possible, and tag them to make them aware (and appreciative).

Facebook, on the other hand, is a bit more personal.  If you are not able to find a contact on LinkedIn or Twitter, send them an email and invite them to connect with you through your personal Facebook profile.  If they have a Facebook business page (most companies do), follow them and engage with their content on there.  Instagram is also a perfect place to nurture a relationship.  Before the event, search for applicable hashtags targeting the show or the industries as well as the businesses that will be at the event.  Follow their account, and make sure to also comment and like their content shared on the platform.  

EMAIL

Send an email a day or two after the conference.  You don’t want to wait too long.  During these events, you meet a lot of people in a short period.  So you want to make sure that your name and company are not forgotten after the show. Remind your contact how you met and mention a key highlight or two from your conversation. If you can think of anything that might help them (a tool, app, blog post, ebook, or even an article on a 3rd party periodical), make sure to pass that along.  You can even ask them about that trip they mentioned or about that school event their child was attending. The more personal you get, the closer the relationship feels. People appreciate it when you show them that you care by remembering details of your conversation.  

CALL

If a contact gave you their phone number, and you mentioned that you would be following up with a call then do it.  They are expecting you to.  If you catch them at a busy time, make sure to schedule another call before you hang up.  Also, don’t follow up first thing on Monday, give you contact some room to breathe after the show.  

IN-PERSON

If you’re in the same geographic area, and your contact is aware that you will be stopping by, visit them and drop off additional information and maybe an invitation for coffee or lunch for another day. Respect their busy schedules, but show some initiative and take advantage of your proximity if you want to connect. They will not forget that you stopped by the office.

FOLLOW-UP SOME MORE

If you tried all the above and you were not able to get a hold of someone, don’t give up that easily.  There are two possibilities:  They are uninterested in continuing the conversation at this time because of a lack of a current need for your product or service, or they are busy and could not find a chance to talk.  Make sure to create a monthly, rhythmic follow up with these contacts and remind them of you and your business.  Eventually, your business will be on their mind whenever they need your services or product.  At this point, your name and your contact info will be easy to reach, and they will turn into a customer when the time is right.