New Year New Marketing

January 1, 2015

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It’s 2015! Time to start the year with some brand new marketing techniques and strategies! Make this year about trying something different that just might get you noticed. The new year is all about setting goals for yourself and your business. Make sure you’re setting the right marketing goals to start 2015 on a good note! Here are 6 ways to change up your marketing for the new year.

  1. Keep that Contact. The only way to know how a client feels about you is to ask. Reach out to current clients to find out what they like and dislike about your service. This is a great resource for your business and an easy way to see how your clients see you.
  2. Make it Easy on Yourself. You want to be informed about your clients opinions, so make them come to you. Send out attention-grabbing emails or monthly postcards inviting them to take a survey, join you in celebration of an award, or click a link for something interesting. Having a “Call to Action” will get your clients involved.
  3. Enter a Competition. Make sure one of your goals for 2015 is to enter your business into a competition. This is a great way to get your business out there. Plus, you might even win! Then, you can contact your clients with the good news! Make sure to write a press release and include the win on your website.
  4. Consistency is Key. Make sure all of your marketing materials have your logo and information on it. Having your logo on business cards, letterhead, and your website makes you look official and legitimate. It’s important to build your brand, and the best way to do that it share your logo and company name on everything.
  5. Use your Community. This is a great starting point for your marketing. Make it a goal in 2015 to sponsor a local charity or sports team. This is a great way to show you contribute to the community while you gain exposure. Ask your clients where they are involved and start there.
  6. Stand Out. The most important thing to do in 2015 is to be unique. Without getting too crazy, you want to differentiate yourself and your business from the crowd. What makes you different (and better) than the competition? Find out your strengths and make sure people remember them with an interesting angle.

The new year is a perfect time to set goals for yourself and your business. Make sure you plan out your marketing goals early and make time to accomplish them. Whether you start small or go big this year, these marketing tips can make 2015 a great year.

 

What are your marketing goals for 2015?


Word on the street is…

July 10, 2014

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What people say about you and your business is important. You want people talking about you (and how great you are) to all their friends, families, and coworkers. These people are your potential clients, and before you even connect with them, you want to come off in a positive light. This is where word of mouth marketing comes into play.

People trust their friends (and even strangers with the ability to write a review) to help them choose where they take their business. You want your company to be the first on their mind when they are giving suggestions to their friends. Word of mouth marketing can be tricky, mostly because it’s hard to control. There are ways, however, that you can help decide what people say about you and your business to their networks.

  • Make your current customers feel special. If you want people to come back with their friends, make people feel good about using your business. Make them feel like they are apart of something that everyone should be included in.
  • Social Media is your friend. Posting about your business on the countless social media sites available is a great way to get people talking about your business. Make posts sharable so that more potential clients can see what you’re all about.
  • Be someone they can trust. Current customers won’t feel comfortable recommending your business if you aren’t honest. Great customer service and a great product or service can get you far.

Word of mouth marketing can be a great way to market your business, if what people are saying about you is positive. Make sure clients have a good experience with you and your business so they spread the word about your business in a positive way!

 

What have you done to change what people say about your business?


Social glue: It holds your business together

May 29, 2014

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We’ve told you before, but we’ll say it again: Relationships matter! Many of us think professionalism means keeping our personal and social feelings aside, but that is becoming a practice of the past.

Clients (and prospective clients) will often meet plenty of professionals who they know are good at what they do. But they won’t use all of them; when it comes down to it, people choose someone they simply like. Our personal relationships bind together our business relationships like social glue.

From the social perspective — your current personal relationships are good for earning new business connections.

  • Friends and family already trust you, so they will use you when they need the services you provide
  • These same people are also going to refer their friends and familyto your business

From the business perspective — developing current business in a social aspect is good for retaining and building your network.

  • Referrals increase exponentially through professional introductions
  • Clients will return if they didn’t dread working with you before
  • They also come to you for even more services when you’ve earned their trust you

Not everyone you know personally will always come to you for business, and not all clients will become your new best friend right away. These changes will happen over time one client, one friend at a time. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get started now!

How do you make friends and clients part of your social glue?

Three Point Marketing offers marketing support for professional service providers such as financial planners, attorneys, and accountants.


To niche or not to niche? That is the question

May 15, 2014

Our answer: niche! Keep reading to find out why.

You may think finding a niche audience for your clientele is just going to slim down business opportunities and make it harder to find clients. But in reality, it will make marketing practices easier, bring in more referrals and strengthen the services you offer.

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Why do you need a niche audience?

If you know exactly who you’re trying to market to, you can spend less time and money on widespread marketing efforts. When members of a target audience have similar interests and needs, you’re able to send one clear, central message to all of them.

Most people tend to associate — professionally and personally — with other people like them, which makes it easier for you to expand a niche client base. If each of your clients has at least one similar friend, family member or coworker you can contact, then you’ve already doubled your numbers.

With a niche audience, you also have the opportunity to develop newer and better ideas to serve this clientele. If you know all of their basic needs on the same general level, you’re able to focus more on the approach each client specifically requires.

How do you find your niche audience?

Start by evaluating your current clients and what they have in common. If all your clients don’t seem to have similarities, try to narrow in on your top clients — the ones who give you the most business or who you get along with best. Some things to consider when analyzing your client list: age, occupation/profession, income, location or even simply the services they need. Ideally, your niche audience should have all these things in common.

So you’ve already looked at your clients, and of course they’re important, but now you might need to focus on yourself. What do you bring to the table? Think about the services you offer or specialties you offer within your industry. If you know what sets you apart, you can use that expertise to serve clients who need that specific kind of service.

Once you’ve come up with a tentative audience to be your niche, you can start reaching out to them.

How else have you found your niche?

Three Point Marketing offers marketing support for professional service providers such as financial planners, attorneys, and accountants.

 


A Little Surprise for Later …

May 8, 2014

This past weekend my husband and I had a little escape to Napa and Sonoma. It’s always nice to sneak away and unwind for a few days. Tasting fabulous wine isn’t too bad either ….

Twice in Sonoma we experienced great examples of “surprise and delight” marketing. What exactly is Surprise and Delight Marketing? It’s as easy as it sounds. Find a way to cut through the regular every day normal and go above and beyond, therefore surprising and delighting your client.

1.  Saturday we experienced a lovely Estate Tour & Tasting at Jordan Winery. We spent three hours touring their beautiful property while enjoying the chef’s amazing food pairings all while sipping their Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. The views, food (prepared on site by Estate Executive Chef Todd Knoll) and wine were to be remembered on their own, but it was unexpected, surprise for later, take home gift that sealed the deal for me. When we were leaving, our host, Claire, handed us each a departure gift:

Jordan surprise and delight gift

 

I certainly wasn’t expecting this token … but it did what it was supposed to do: surprise and delight.

 

2.  Saturday evening we decided to go all out and indulge in Chef’s Louis Maldonao’s Tasting Menu at Spoonbar. I may dream about the scallop noodles, spring peas and fermented chili dish for years to come. Our server, Josh, was charming and informative and answered any of the zillion food and wine questions I asked. Everything – from the food to the wine – was outstanding. And then, when we were leaving, Josh handed us a surprise for later gift … a serving of house made granola to enjoy the next morning:

spoonbar photo surprise and delight

 

 

Have these “little surprises left for later” worked? Let’s see … I have already passed along the information to both Jordan and Spoonbar to my friends (also known as: referrals to new customers). Without question, when we return to Healdsburg, we will visit them both the vineyard and the restaurant again (also known as: custom loyalty). So yes, Surprise and Delight marketing does work.

 

How are you surprising and delighting your clients by leaving little gifts for later?

 

 

 

Don’t believe me? Check out this article from the Harvard Business Review: http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/05/surprise-is-still-the-most-powerful/


Mom was right… You need to say thank you

March 27, 2014

The holidays may be over, but that’s no reason to stop being thankful. Giving thanks shows those surrounding your business how much you really value them. You should make it a habit to thank the people who contribute to your success – employees, clients, businesses that help you along the way and more.

We’re often too busy trying to get on with the next big thing to think about sending out thanks, but you may only need to spare an hour, half an hour, sometimes even just 10 minutes of you time. Thank you goes a long way when it comes to doing business.

These are some times when you should be giving thanks:

  • Business with new (and returning) clients
  • An associate has been particularly creative, prompt, helpful, etc.
  • Project milestones or completion
  • Referral from a friend, family member or another business
  • Any business opportunity – whether you get the deal or not

It doesn’t have to be a grand expression; a simple thank you will usually do the trick. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put any effort into it. Small, thoughtful actions are more than enough to show people your appreciation.

Here are some ideas of showing gratitude to those around you:

  • Mail or drop off a handwritten card
  • Stop by with a small gesture like coffee or tea
  • Reward employees with gift cards or other small gifts
  • Hold fun team gatherings outside the office
  • Sometimes a phone call or an email is OK if you truly don’t have the time to do more – be sure to make these come across particularly intentional and personal

If regular thank you’s aren’t part of your business practice, they should be. The quality of your work is important, but ultimately it comes down to the way you do business that will bring in (or turn away) clients.

Thank You in cut out magazine letters

How do you say thank you?

Three Point Marketing offers marketing support for professional service providers such as financial planners, attorneys, and accountants.


Social Media: More Than Just a Website

February 4, 2014

Company sites have been all the rage in online marketing throughout the 2000s.  They can provide sufficient details on services, mission statements, FAQs, contact information and more with the simple search of a company name.  While these websites still readily host all of this content, new platforms have recently taken the front seat in marketing strategies of business firms and organizations.Business-Social-Media

Companies are devoting more time, people and resources to having a social media presence through blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.  The interactive nature of these sites and applications allows businesses to connect with existing, and prospective, clients on a deeper level to create a tighter relationship.

Focusing too much on your website?

We’re not saying your company site isn’t important.  Clients still want to have all your information available to them in one, easy to use location.  But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be able to interact with you as well.

So, why not just give clients a call or send out traditional snail mail? 

Professionals born into this digital generation have no hesitation utilizing social media in business practice, but not everyone sees the benefits.  In order to keep a traditional organization afloat in an increasingly technological world, companies need to be wherever their clients are.

Think your clients aren’t using social media?

It may seem that companies you connect with still aren’t on social sites, however these online databases are the quickest growing channels of communication. Read the following statistics on the use of social media and its impact on business practices.

  • 76 percent of companies are using social networking for business objectives.
  • 55 percent of Americans aged 45-54 now have profiles with one or more social networking sites.
  • Every second, two new members join LinkedIn.
  • 53 percent of Twitter users recommend services or products through their account.
  • Close to 50 percent of legal firms reported that blogging and social networking helped produce leads for new clients in 2012.

The direction in which today’s business world is heading suggests that companies need to set an online presence.  Social media can be one of the simplest, quickest, most economical ways to promote your services – and to get others to do it for you.  If you want to dive in, but aren’t sure exactly what you’re doing, a good place to start might be finding out which social media sites your clients, competition, and similar or partner organizations use.

Have you joined in on today’s social media marketing? If not, are you ready to get started?

Three Point Marketing offers marketing support for professional service providers such as financial planners, attorneys, and accountants.