May 12, 2016
When it comes to clients, we have all figured out the best ways to communicate and behave with them. What’s not always so clear is how to stay in contact with the people who have decided that now is not the best time to work with you. When running your business it’s important that you always keep yourself in the back of these customers minds, so that when it is time for them to commit you will be in the forefront. It’s important to keep track of these people or companies, and strategize how to best market yourself to them. Here are 5 tips to help foster better relationships with your potential clients.
- Social Media Engagement. A great way to stay in contact with your potential clients is through social media. In a business relationship you should connect with them on LinkedIn. To encourage a more personal relationship, feel free to add them or promote yourself using other outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Here’s a video on how connect through Facebook.
- Utilize Newsletters, Articles, and Blogs. Similar to social media, it’s important to show potential clients the type of work you do, what your expertise is in, and how your business is doing. A convenient and efficient way to do this is through the use of weekly or monthly newsletters or regular blog posts.
- Invite Them to Events. If you are hosting a business, social, or personal event for your clients, be sure to invite your prospective clients as well. This not only gives you an opportunity to talk with your prospective clients on a more personal level, but it also allows them to see the type of service and relationships you maintain with your clients.
- Make an Introduction. A great way to make a lasting impression is to think about who you may know that would be beneficial for the potential client to know as well. Maybe you had a conversation about how they wanted to expand an area of their business and you have a connect in that field. Introduce them! It will show them that you are already invested in their success.
- Check In and Be Responsive. Send them a small gift if you recently had a meeting, a holiday card if it’s that time of year, or a birthday card if you know it’s their birthday. Even simpler than that is making sure you are keeping up on your email and social media. Make sure to respond to comments, calls, or emails quickly, whether they be positive or negative.
The key to great client relationships is great communication. Keep these tips in the back of your mind as you foster your new relationships, and work to maintain old.
What are your tips for potential client relationships?
March 31, 2016
We’ve all had trouble with this. It can be really hard to explain to clients and other people you meet what it is you do at work. You haven’t figured out a way to make an impact when you tell people, or even accurately get the point across! (You may want to look at our blog post about elevator pitches too.) It can be difficult to explain what you do because you’re so invested in it, nothing can do it justice. Well look no further, because here are 6 tips for explaining what you do.
- Its not about you. When you explain what you do, you shouldn’t make it about you. This sounds counterproductive, they just asked about you! But here’s the trick, explain what you do for others. This makes your job more relatable and interesting. Its much more interesting to “improve people’s businesses by communicating their message” than to be a “marketer”. The first example gets at what you do for someone, not just a label.
- Make them feel. People may not remember what you said, but they’ll remember how you made them feel. Make sure when you’re explaining your job you make it positive. Try a few different explanations out on your friends. See which ones make them smile. You want to leave a positive impression, even if they don’t remember anything else.
- Don’t be bashful. This is not the time to be humble. If you’re the best at what you do, tell them! You deserve the credit. Mention that award you won or your 100% satisfied clients. Just make sure you don’t sound too braggy. Make people impressed, not annoyed.
It can be difficult to explain to people exactly what you do, especially in a short amount of time. Just remember to talk about your accomplishments, in relation to your customers, and make them feel something. If you do all three you’ll have no problem getting people to understand your business!
March 3, 2016
Everyone knows that you can use holidays to switch up your marketing and make it stand out. You see businesses change their marketing for winter holidays, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and even Valentine’s Day. But what about the holidays you don’t hear about as often? You don’t want to miss the opportunity to turn heads with specific tactics to market on these offbeat holidays!
- Groundhog Day. February 2nd is a weird holiday known as Groundhog Day. It is the day that the Groundhog comes out of his hole after a long winter sleep to look for his shadow. If he sees it, he regards it as an omen of six more weeks of bad weather and returns to his hole. If the day is cloudy and, hence, shadowless, he takes it as a sign of spring and stays above ground. Maybe play a game with your customers about the groundhog seeing his shadow.
- Leap Day. This one only comes around every 4 years, so don’t miss it! Even though leap day just happened this February 29th, it’s never too early to start planning for 2020. Think about adding something extra to an existing offer, since every leap year adds an extra day.
- Award Shows. Every year we America tunes in to see which movies, actors, singers, and performers win awards. Instead of just watching, be a part of the action. Have your own award show or write a blog comparing movies or songs to your business. You can find lists of award show dates online.
- April Fools Day. April Fools Day is a fun holiday, but don’t take it too far! April Fools’ Day is celebrated every year on April 1st by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes. If you play a joke on someone, make sure its playful, not hurtful. Some newspapers, magazines, and other published media report fake stories, which are usually explained the next day or below the news section in small letters.
- Earth Day. There are plenty of ways to get involved for Earth Day. Getting your employees together to plant a tree or pick up trash on April 22nd is great content for social media!
- Friday the 13th. This year, May 13 is a Friday. Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in Western superstition. It occurs when the 13th day of the month in the Gregorian calendar falls on a Friday. Plan your posts to be spooky and fun, unless you have paraskevidekatriaphobia!
There are plenty of holidays that you can get creative with! Use them to switch up your marketing tactics and have a little fun!
What holidays do you use to market your business?
January 21, 2016
You have a LinkedIn profile. Maybe because you read about it online or someone wanted to connect so you created a page. But do you know how to get the best our of it? LinkedIn is a great way to meet new people, connect with old colleagues, and get a job. Here are 5 tips to help you with LinkedIn. If you want more tips, you can find them here.
- Edit your URL. This is the link to your profile page. http://www.linkedin.com/whatever-you-want-it-to-say. You can make it your name, your business, or anything you want. It looks cleaner than random letters and numbers and way easier to remember. For instructions on how to change your URL, click here.
- Professional Headline. This is the sentence that is displayed below your name. The default is your current job title, but it’s not the requirement. This can say anything you want, so get creative! Instead of writing you job, write what you do. Do you solve problems? Do you help people? Do you create something? This gives you more personality and shows what your job means. For instructions for changing your professional headline, click here.
- Sending a Connection Request. When you ask someone to connect, especially someone you don’t know very well, customize your message. LinkedIn allows you to change the message from the default “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” This is boring and impersonal. Remind them how you know them and why you want to connect. Here are 6 more approaches to sending an interesting invite.
- Notify your Network. When you change something on your LinkedIn profile, your connections see it in their feed. This can be annoying, especially if you’re making minor changes. You can turn this feature off, so you can make changes in private. Don’t forget to turn it back on, however, when you make a major change like changing jobs or adding a certification. To turn this on and off, check out the instructions here.
- LinkedIn Blog. Keep up to date on LinkedIn tips and tricks on the LinkedIn blog. They frequently post about techniques and other professional advise. Check the blog every so often to stay recent on new developments on the site.
LinkedIn is a great way to connect professionally and easily. Take advantage of these tips and share any tips you have with us!
September 17, 2015
Creating a website is an intricate task. There are many elements to attend to and some might get lost in the shuffle. An important aspect to stay focused on is your homepage. This is where your clients will see how you choose to represent yourself and it may be their first impression of your business. Make it count. Here are some tips to make your homepage more successful.
- Simple Headline. The first thing clients will read when they get to your homepage is the headline. Make it strait to the point so they know they’re in the right place and you can offer them what they need.
- Don’t Get Lost. Make sure the homepage is easy to navigate and clearly allows customers to go to other parts of your site. If they can’t figure out how to get the information they need, they’ll move on to another website.
- A Picture’s Worth 1000 Words. Make sure your homepage has a picture that supports your business. Real images of you and your company are ideal. Try to avoid boring stock photos. Videos are a great way to introduce yourself to a potential client, so try creating a short video to post on your page.
- Offer Something More. Have a link to your newest blog post or a free download of your ebook. This gives people incentive to stay on your site and learn more about your expertise. Providing content gives you credibility and proves to client you know your stuff.
- Brag a Little. Your homepage is where you want to show off! Make a good impression by listing awards and recognitions your business has received. Impress your future clients immediately by putting these on your homepage.
Your website is important, but your homepage is your first impression. Make it a good one by employing these tips. You never know what a good homepage will get you.
How did you make your homepage successful?
September 3, 2015
We get 500 emails a day, but it feels more like 5,000. So why should we open your email? Well, first, you should have some relevant content. Make sure you’re not sending too many emails with nothing to offer. Once you have some content, here is how you should subject your emails:
- Leave ’em wanting more. Creating some mystery in your email subject can improve open rate. Don’t reveal too much in the subject, but make sure to give them a hint! Be too vague and you’ll be ignored.
- Short and sweet. If your subject line is too long, people won’t bother to read them. Make your subject line relatively short, but impactful. Choose action words or interesting phrases to catch attentions.
- Interrupt. Using numbers (like “4” instead of “four”) interrupt readers normal skimming and slightly catch their attentions. Try using other symbols or punctuation to get your point across.
- Make it URGENT. Displaying a sense of urgency or curiosity invites people to open emails. Try starting with a question or time limit. This increases open rate because no one don’t want to miss out.
- Emotional appeal. Try to make your subject line emotional in some way. Connect the reader to your email by personalization or localization. People are more likely to open specific emails rather than general ones.
Email marketing can be tough. When less than half of your email base ever even opens your emails, you may feel like giving up. Don’t! Just change up your email subject lines to encourage open rates!
How do you create email subject lines?
August 20, 2015
Why blend in when you can stand out? To set yourself apart from your competitors, it’s important to advertise your differences and benefits. Your customers won’t know how innovative and successful your business is if you don’t tell them. So don’t be afraid to show it off! Here are 5 ways to standout from the crowd.
- Become a thought leader. Your industry could use one more thought leader, so make sure it’s you! Publish your content on a blog and create a newsletter to get your name out there. Meaningful and relevant content go a long way.
- Raise the bar. Do some research and one-up your competition. Make your business the standard in your industry and leave the competition playing catch up. Position yourself as cutting edge.
- Go above and beyond. Going the extra mile for a client can make all the difference. Show them you care about them as an individual. They’ll take notice and recommend you to their connections.
- Focus on the experience. From the first time the client looks at your website or social media sites, to the follow up survey they take after you have done your job, it’s important to make sure the customer is having a good experience. Every time the client comes in contact with your business it affects their overall perception of you. Make sure it’s a good one.
- Make them look. Be creative with your marketing. Think outside the box when it comes to email newsletters and traditional mailers. Think about what will get their attention and put your business in their head first.
Don’t get lost in the crowd of businesses, standout! Your clients will thank you, your employees will thank you, and your industry will thank you.
How do you standout from the crowd?
August 6, 2015
You do this everyday, all the time. You’re always talking to people; when you order your coffee and when you see the mailman. You talk when you call your sister and you thank your babysitter. But most of all you talk when you’re at work. I know what you’re thinking: practice makes perfect so I’m all set. That’s not always the case. Plus there’s always room for improvement! Here are some ways to master the art of conversation.
- Start small. Don’t rush into a conversation with serious, heavy topics. Stick with the weather or another non-threatening topic. But don’t make it too obvious, small talk can be annoying.
- The customer is always right. When you’re talking to someone, try not to correct them. Even if you mean it in the best way, they’ll think you’re rude. It’s best to let it go.
- Ask questions. Most people enjoy talking about themselves, so ask questions! People love to talk about themselves, so let them! They’ll walk away feeling like they had a great conversation with you.
- Pay attention. Actually listen to what the other person is saying. This may sound obvious, but if you get caught not listening you look bad. Put your phone away and really concentrate.
- Make a connection. Relate to the other person by sharing an experience or feeling. This makes the conversation meaningful and you more likable. Find some common ground to bring you together.
- What you’re not saying. Be aware of your body language. Looking away or at your watch makes people feel like you’re not really listening. Use your hands when you talk to show enthusiasm instead of crossing your arms. You look more friendly this way.
- Know when it’s over. Listen for cues (or use them yourself!) to know when the conversation is coming to an end. Phrases like “I should let you go” or “It was great to see you” signal it’s time to get out of there. Say your goodbyes and get on your way.
With all the technology we’re used to, it can be hard to remember how to have a good conversation. Hopefully these tips will help you on your way to mastering the art of conversation!
What are your tips for mastering the art of conversation?
July 23, 2015
Are you looking to grow your business? Well you’re in the right place. It can be hard to get out of your routine and try to expand your talents. So to help, we’ve put together 4 easy ways to grow your business.
- Do your research. If you’re reading this blog, then you’ve already started #1. Research how other people are growing their businesses; there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. If you can come up with some ideas, great. But remember there are a lot of people out there with great ideas they are willing to share.
- Target new markets. A great way to build your business is exploring different markets for your business. Think about opportunities to reach out to a different group of people. You never know who’s out there with a need for your product.
- Develop your website. We can’t emphasize this enough. Having a professional, updated website is crucial for growing your business. This is how many new clients will discover your business. You want your first impression to blow them away.
- Set goals. Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Having SMART goals will keep you on track for building up your business. Without set goals, it can be hard to accomplish what you want.
Your business is fine, but you want it to be great. Use these tips to build your business and grow into whatever you set your mind to.
How did you grow your business?
July 9, 2015
First things first: what is a webinar? You’ve probably heard the term, but you may be wondering what it means. According to Dictionary.com, a webinar is “a seminar or other presentation that takes place on the Internet, allowing participants in different locations to see and hear thepresenter, ask questions, and sometimes answer polls.” You can use webinars to connect with potential clients and market yourself while proving your knowledge and expertise at the same time. Here are some tips to make a successful webinar.
- Start with the topic. Try to make the event as exciting as possible. This is where you might need to get creative. Not everyone thinks the best way to spend an hour is to listen to a seminar about financial planning. So jazz it up a little. Think of an interesting title and bring a lot of energy.
- Keep them involved. Consider allowing the audience to ask questions during the webinar instead of after. Include a poll to keep the audience involved and paying attention.
- Give them homework. Make sure you end your webinar with an action that the audience should take. This will keep them involved after the session. Make sure to provide contact information for your business and the speaker.
- Promote the heck out of it. Putting on a good show is only half the battle. You don’t want to create a great webinar and have no audience. Make sure you think about how people will find out about your session. Share it on social media and email blasts along with other types of promotion.
Use these tips when creating your webinar to get the most out of your time and energy!
What are your tips for creating a webinar?