Category Archives: Marketing

Back To Basics—What Is a List?

One of the reasons I offer business coaching as part of my services is that I have observed a lot of small business owners are missing some of the basics. In addition, when new developments like social media are added to the mix, it is easy to lose sight of those basics even when they are present.

There is a saying, “the money is in the list,” that I believe dates back to when traveling salesmen were commonplace. They understood that if they kept a list of all of their contacts, whether they were people met in coffee shops, new prospects referred by people they knew, current or past customers—any and all—and then cultivated them over time, that would be where their best and most reliable customers would be. It is difficult to emphasize this enough—the importance of taking the time to build relationships, giving others time and opportunities to know, like and trust us, because it is human nature to prefer to do business with those we already know.

When a client pushes back and tells me they don’t think they need a list it is generally because they have current clients and are taking the short view. They are missing the point that consistent business success is often dependent upon things like their list, permitting them to prosper during times when money is tight.

To your business success!

Why Twitter?

When you think about Twitter, do you throw up your hands in overwhelm? Most business owners I speak with tend to echo this, saying that they just don’t understand it, discounting it as fluff. I felt the same way until I attended a presentation by Laura Fitton ‘@pistachio’ at Webvisions in Portland, Oregon in 2012. Her “Whither Twitter” talk was a revelation for me. I recommend taking a look at the slides viewable here: http://www.slideshare.net/pistachio/whither-twitter-12989237

I suspect that the 140 character limit contributes to the thought that Tweets are too short to be anything important, and that they must all be in the category of trivial announcements like “I am having cereal for breakfast.”

To the contrary, each little Tweet has the potential to spread farther and wider than larger posts, spreading like little seeds in the wind. Each tweet is essentially a miniature website with it’s own url, it lasts forever, and because they are short, the likelihood of them being read is good. They can also contain links to other pages with larger content. Their size encourages immediacy, thus lending themselves to events, emergencies and political actions—as well as little nuggets of helpful tips and tricks that encourage others to “follow” the writer. When you offer good content it gets passed along, building your traffic and growing your tribe vente en france viagra. It is also considered good etiquette to follow those who follow you, increasing the likelihood that they will remain in your tribe. Tweets can be written in advance and scheduled for posting, relieving concerns about the potential for distraction. Consider the mighty Tweet!

To your business success!

Social Media 101: Why Is This Important, Anyway?

The majority of small business owners I speak with are struggling to incorporate social media into their marketing. The general attitude is one of overwhelm, saying that they can’t imagine how to fit it in. You might be able to relate to the solopreneur who told me that if I could explain to her why it is so important, then she would give it a try. Here is my take on this.

Referrals have always been the best source of new business. My eye doctor runs a third generation practice and knows this avis pfizer viagra. He proudly declares that “all of their business is through referrals and that they will never advertise online.” He is missing an important point. Social Media is the new face of referrals. “Word of mouth” now has the ability to spread farther and faster through online networks of friends. Likes, shares, tweets… the click of a button can bring your business to the attention of hundreds or more, an exponential increase over what a coffee meeting or lunch can do, and in a fraction of the time. This is free advertising that will be available online forever. —Can anything else you are doing beat this?

Once someone knows your business exists, you can go about the process of helping them to get to know, like and trust you. This is your recipe for creating a client or customer.

To your business success!

Networking and Your Business

The other night one of the networking groups I attend turned out to be unusually intimate and we had an opportunity to have a very good discussion about networking groups, how they differ, and networking in general.

Networking is considered to be one of the most essential ways to generate new business. In spite of this I often hear people say they don’t like to go to networking events, even saying they are afraid to because it means talking to a lot of strangers. (This brings up an important thing to ask your self— If you aren’t comfortable meeting new people, then how are you going to bring in new clients?)

Something that might help with this is to look at the different ways they are set up. The ones I attend range from one called “The Schmooze” which I describe as “a cocktail party on networking steroids.” It is so massive that many first-timers are immediately overwhelmed, but once you figure out a strategy it can become fun (best to arrive early before the alcohol kicks in too much though!). On the other end of the spectrum are small groups that meet for lunch once a month to talk and build up relationships. Some are set up as leads groups you have to pay to join and are expected to supply a quota of referrals to other group members. Different times of day, philosophies, industry focus, personalities – you just need to take a little time to find the right fit.

Think of it this way—a stranger is a friend you just haven’t gotten to know yet, and they might turn out to be your best client!

Where did your Google Places page go?

(and why Local = Social now)
If you have a business with a local consumer base you are probably already concerned with local search—and if you’re not, then you should be! Up until the last few months Google Places business pages were one of the “must haves” for local search. The Google started to quietly phase them out and the familiar reviews with the yellow stars started getting harder to find.

Enter Google+ business Local pages.

Now a business concerned with local search must:
1. Have a Gmail account
2. Get a Google+ account
3. Build a Google+ business Page (like Facebook)
4. Then you can get back to the business of generating good reviews—but they will look different.

Last fall Google bought Zagat, the restaurant review company viagra en vente libre. They have decided to use Zagat’s 30-point rating system for all businesses. In addition to restaurants they are now phasing in ratings for everything from car mechanics to gyms, detests to hair stylists.

In other words, local search now requires businesses to get social!

To your business success!