Not a Celebrity in your Community?

Jan 24th, 2011 by 

Make Yourself Known and Grow Your Business with Marketing Strategy

Why settle for anything less than being the star of your show?

You and your business can be. Yes, right in your local community, you can be a celebrity.  It just requires a focus towards tactics that build a local Internet dominance combined with your other successful actions.

A website is your electronic business card and your online brochure.  You want to be found easily by Google.  If you are not, you are missing out on the many new customers who use this as their primary search for services and purchases.

How do we make you the star in your community for your business type? It all starts with what is referred to as “content”.  Content is information you provide about your business or industry. Write, write, write – at least once a month, but weekly is far better. These postings or articles should be relevant to your business, your target audience, your products and services.  If your website is a blog-driven (meaning a web log), then these new postings are very easily accomplished by you, or one of your staff, or even someone hired for this purpose.

Additionally, for Google to index (meaning recognize it is there) your new content, your sitemap (which is a layout of the content) of your website should be updated as well. This is how you get Google to rate you above your competition. It is as simple as providing a steady stream of new content on your website, which then gets indexed by what is referred to as a search engine. Then with consistency and commitment, you and your business will be ranked higher and higher.

New customers are looking for you, as the number of daily searches by Google is staggering.  You and your business just need to rise to the top of those searches and then provide relevant information that a new customer would want to know.

Some ideas of what to write about:

Restaurant – new menus, new eating habits of your customers, relevant dietary information regarding what you serve, recipes you are willing to share, current special events or offerings.  Even another restaurant you have tried recently and enjoyed.

Realtors – new trends in the market, new developments you have listed, any pertinent new homeowner data, staging suggestions for sellers.

Hair Salons – before and after photos, newest trends in color, if your offer organic hair color or special treatments, new style trends for the season.

Regardless of the type of business, the idea of the articles is to provide education relative to your business. And make yourself memorable.

That is the real key. As you write, show your personality, make you and your business stand out from your competition and give your reader something to remember you and your business.  People love to have something to relate to you about.  Report on what you learned at a conference you just attended that would be useful or tie in something you discovered on your vacation.

The tactics are a little different from traditional marketing methods, but they are not difficult. Doing them sometimes becomes the biggest barrier. If you need help with creating new content and making yourself a celebrity, just let us know with a mouse click.

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Good Marketing Strategy Brings More Customers

Getting yourself and your business known in your local region isn’t easy. You see the rave successes of companies like Dell and Starbucks, and wonder how do I make myself known and my business known so I can experience more growth? How do I stand out as the superior tree in the forest of competition?

Even a small business, sole proprietor or sole practitioner can develop personal brand recognition and build a large customer base.

Here are some tips to attract more customers.

#1 : Have a website.

Do you know that half of small businesses do not have a website? These days, your business is checked out online before a phone call is made. You move ahead with a credible presence online.  Yes, you can still be found in online directories and on Google maps, but without a company website, you are missing an opportunity to separate your business from the crowd.

#2 :  Offer Value to your Customers.

Make sure your website and your Google business listing contain all the information your customer needs to find your business and provide a clear idea of what products or services your business offers. In today’s market, buyers want immediate access to maximum information.

Clearly define what you are offering your potential customers in return for their time and attention, whether this is a promotion, discounts or special offers such as a buy one, get one free.

#3 : Be Competitive.

Pay attention to what your competition is doing. What tactics are they using? What seems to be productive and what is not?

Then be persistent, as it takes time to fully get a robust presence.

Having a basic marketing strategy isn’t a difficult feat. There are some proven steps, if taken, and done consistently, will easily bring dominance in your local market.  If you need help with this, assistance is a mouse click away.

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Expanding Your Business — Are you steering the right course to get you there?

The fear of all business owners in this economy is how to weather it, continue to keep the doors open and come out on the other side as one of the ones that make it.

It is a daunting thought that plagues all business owners.  The answer is to develop a local marketing strategy.

It means making your marketing message more personal and reaching out to the customers at your neighborhood level. While you may be doing this to some extent, as in talking to local vendors and potential customers in your community, it is necessary to have a concerted marketing strategy.

Here are some steps that you may want to consider:

  • Identify and locate your target market
  • Identify the problems you are solving for that target market
  • Identify the benefits you are bringing to that market
  • Consider potential avenues for the message of your product or service to get to the target market.  Your message can go through:
1.       General public

2.       Local businesses3.       Key opinion leaders in your community4.       Events, fairs and any community groups

  • Set up a feedback system to gain additional information about the various people that buy from you

How to Reach your Target Market

Community Groups and events.

  • Promote your business though all the channels you can – church, schools, hospitals, markets, business groups.
  • Offer help to these groups. A partner program with established local businesses, create a giveaway or conduct a class on a subject of interest.
  • Participate in major events, know when they are happening, and offer some level of help or contribution.

Your online presence.

  • Make sure your website and blogs are ranking high in the local search engines.
  • Create or claim your Google business listing, optimized with pictures and reviews.
  • Blog on your website – keep the content fresh with the latest news of your business.
  • Get external links to your site from other sources.
  • Set up a Facebook and/or Twitter account and post valuable info to all your contacts.
  • Make sure your website/blog and email address is on all your marketing materials and your physical address is on every page of your website.

Marketing materials.

  • Create email newsletters and keep your customer database file current.
  • Create a press release whenever you are participating in an event.  It helps build immediate credibility in your local market, helps build your customer base and strengthens your word of mouth referrals.

Having a local marketing strategy can help avoid the pitfall of shrinkage and loss of business in this economy. Plus, it takes a proactive, offensive position to secure your business and its future viability.  Sound like wishful thinking when you are burning the candle at both ends to run the business.  Outsource most of the implementation to a marketing pro.  Many are available for small businesses at very reasonable rates.

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Your Customer Database File – Ride this Magic Carpet to Expansion!

customer database is THE most significant asset in your whole business.  Customers who have already done business with you or expressed some interest are the very best source of your next income.  This file contains everything about your customers or, let’s say, it should.

The kinds of information that you want to store in your customer database (or customer file) varies depending on what kind of business you actually have.

Minimally, it should contain full contact information, with all phone numbers and in today’s work most especially email addresses.

Other information could be any of the following:

  • Goods or services they are interested in
  • Information about what they expect from you
  • What advertisement sent them to you
  • What their predicted long term value is
  • Any special deals you have done
  • Notes regarding what was discussed, if applicable.

Why repeat business?

In today’s challenging economy and competitive business environment, maintaining a customer database or customer file is critical.  Giving your customers a reason to stay should be your focus or your competitors will give them a reason to leave you.  All business owners should strive for customer satisfaction and customer retention at all costs, because it is the single factor that drives profits.

It costs far less to cultivate your existing customer than to seek new, single-transaction customers. Most surveys across industries show that keepting one existing customer is five to seven times more profitable than attracting one new one.

Having a computerized customer database file where you record your customers so that you may promote to them is the first step to keeping them. When you are not contacting them, then the old cliché, out-of-sight, out-of-mind becomes the result. With just a little strategy, software and the value clearly in your mind, it is easy to keep you and your business on their radar screen.

Then your purpose for having your business becomes a reality  — create and keep a customer for life.

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