The Internet has really proven to be a great resource for local business owners, and many of them are just now discovering exactly how many customers it can send in their direction. One of the reasons why this is the case, is because people are now searching online for local businesses by name, or by what they have to offer. Along with that, many of them use social media networks regularly on their cell phones, and you can also use this to drive insane amounts of new and repeat business to your location.
One of the best ways for you to be able to do this is to simply ask your existing customers to follow you on one of the social networks, such as twitter or Facebook. Whenever they do this, it gives you the opportunity to market to them and to send them a message or update about your business. This can be a very powerful tool, and if used properly you can really fill your location with customers very quickly.
Something that you may want to consider, is running specials from time to time and contacting your customers through these social media networks. For example, if you run a small restaurant, you may want to have a special evening that is themed in some way or another in order to attract customers. By sending out a message on the social media networks about this special event, you will not only get visitors that will be attending it, you will also remind people to come by and visit you at any time.
Make sure that you are active on these social media networks, even when you're not sending out information that is specific to your business. This gives people the opportunity to form a bond with you, and a certain level of trust is also going to be achieved. When this takes place, people will feel as if you are talking to them directly, even if you have hundreds or perhaps thousands of followers.
Finally, try to get people interested and adding into the conversation whenever you are posting messages on Facebook. This helps to build your local network, as their friends who are also part of their network will see what they have to say. This is an excellent promotional tool, and it is one that should not be overlooked by any local business that would like to achieve higher numbers and to get more customers to come in their door regularly.
1.) Blogs – it seems that everybody is blogging nowadays, and not only does it help you to have a voice on the Internet, it is also an excellent way for you to be found. Many blogs are interlinked together through what is called RSS, and this can help people to hop from a related blogs over to yours. Simply by posting things that are related to your business, you can have inbound traffic.
2.) E-books – E-books have been around for quite some time, and that they are an excellent way for you to pull people into your website. One thing that you may want to do, is try putting out a free e-book that will be passed around. This form of viral marketing pulls people into your website, and once it gets started, it seems to take on a life of its own.
3.) Videos – The most popular type of websites that are online now are video websites. It seems that online video is here to stay, and you can grab a part of this with your own inbound marketing campaigns. Posting videos that are related to your niche on high-traffic video websites, such as YouTube will naturally pull people that are interested in what you have to say.
4.) Search Engine Optimization – This is the mother of all inbound marketing techniques online. By optimizing for keywords and keyword phrases that are related to your target audience, you can pull free traffic off of the search engines directly to your website. The people that tend to come from the search engines visit as a result of some very specific searches. This means that you have a hot audience from the start.
5.) Webinars – Holding an online seminar is also an excellent way to promote your service or product through inbound marketing. People love webinars, and even if they don’t make it to the actual event, you can post it on your website in recorded form and it will act as a form of inbound marketing for many years to come.
6.) RSS Feeds – You can use RSS feeds in order to pull traffic into your website, as they generally get posted throughout the Internet on related websites. Not only that, it many times acts as a form of inbound link which helps to boost your SEO and get you more free traffic from the search engines.
Even with all the technological advances that have come about in the past few decades, the business card is still a powerful way to communicate and network.
Elements of Good Business Card Design
The main thing you want to accomplish with your business card design is to stand out. If one attends many networking events they know just how many business cards people acquire.
Because a business card is a reminder of who one is, they will want to stand out among all the rest. One way to stand out is to change the shape of the card. There is no law that says that
business cards have to be 3" x 2." with the corners at sharp right angles. By simply rounding the corners it will make quite a difference. Another way to stand out are the elements that you put on the card. A humorous picture goes a long ways to eliciting a smile and reaction from those that receive the card. A funny tagline always makes a business card memorable.
Even changing your professional title can help. Small business owners and entrepreneurs should use something other than president or CEO. Be creative, even self-deprecating. Consider Yahoo, a large billion-dollar company and the founders refer to themselves as Chief Yahoo. Still, there are professions where comical or whimsical business cards are not well-suited. In cases like lawyers or morticians, the best tip for good business card design is to go minimal. Use plain text and offer as little as possible. Some business professionals could get away with just a name and phone number. For more information place only the name and title on the front, then put additional information on the back. This is a good way to get an initial impression from a minimal design, while still offering plenty of information about one's business.
Always Leave Room For Notes
A person should have plenty of room on their card to personalize it. Good networkers know to always personalize a business card with a note of some sort, like providing their cellphone
number. Handwriting something turns a business card into a personal note which has a higher value. Again the personalized business card will stand out among any others a person may
Of course, if a person is not using the back of their business card it is all the room they will need. On the other hand should someone decide to use the front and back, there should be
plenty of room somewhere to write a note. Just make sure that the note space has a white or very light background to contrast against the ink of the pen for maximum readability.
How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Design
Before shipping off business cards design to the printer you want to make sure and check just how effective the design of your card is. The best way to measure effectiveness is to print them out on your home or office printer. Then show the design to friends, colleagues, and family to get an opinion. However, what you really want to look for is for their initial reaction. If they do not react to your card you probably want to go back and re-work your design. After all, with the people that you meet you want to get their attention and remember you, the business card should be helping you do that.
The primary benefit of a sales customer relationship management (CRM) solution is that it makes a business more money. It makes the business more money by making the sales force more efficient in its efforts and by developing stronger relationships with clients and prospects. The following are a few ways how sales CRM software makes all of that happen.
Sales CRM Software Categorizes Clients
A quality sales CRM software permits one to categorize their clients. This is important because what a business sends out to different clients will not always be the same. The more that business can zero in on the target's needs and interests the better the chances for a sale. A very basic categorization would be customers and prospects. One would never send a past customer letter to a prospect or vice versa. However, a sales CRM software can do categorization that is even more specific and customized. It may even turn out that a message is only sent to a single client, and that would be fine because that message would be crafted for just that individual.
Sales CRM Software Provides Multiple Ways to Contact
Having multiple ways to contact clients helps keep contact efforts fresh and new. Imagine if the only way a business contacted their clients was via e-mail, after a while clients would become immune to those efforts. However, some sales systems like Ace of Sales.com provide alternative means to make contact. Alternative ways like sending a card with a custom message or even a custom photograph can really make a difference. Sending a customized postcard can be a quick way to make contact and an impact. And then there is the telephone contact information for a person-to-person phone call. All of these different ways to contact clients or prospects are just more tools available to the sales person (or small business owner).
Manage Client Notes in your Sales CRM Software
Sales is about developing relationships and the more a person knows about their customers the better their sales efforts will be. Harvey Mackay of "Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive" fame required of his sales force to eventually find out 66 different pieces of information for each client. They were to find out things like education, family, military service, business background, and much more. It is upon this kind of information that relationships can be built. However, that is a lot of information to manage.
That is where sales CRM software benefits the user, it keep tracks of all the client information and details. Imagine without having a sales software keeping track of 66 different pieces of information. Just having 10 clients would make that 660 different pieces of information to manage. That's not to mention the meeting notes and call notes after every contact is made. Sales software makes it all easy to manage and to use.
Ultimately, it is those businesses that make the investment in a sales system software to build customer relationships and manage client information that will be around for a long time.
How effective are you with managing your time in Networking Groups?
Every small business owner has the challenge of getting his or her business name known. And the array of opportunities to market a business is vast but marketing is typically expensive for the small business owner. Where large corporations can wage multimillion dollar ad campaigns, the entrepreneur has to be more selective in its battles. However, networking groups can be a very cost-effective way for one to spend their time rather than their money. Still, there are some tips that can help a small business person to maximize that time spent in their networking groups.
The first tip is to go into a networking event with a plan. The larger the group the more important is the plan. The plan should contain a goal of how many new people you are going to see. The number of new people that you can introduce yourself to is a lot easier in an open event like a MainStreetChamber Commerce mixer, rather than a smaller membership based group we you are likely to know everyone already. Another element the plan should contain is who you are going to see. Even with the membership group where you see everybody weekly, plan to sit next to and get to know one of the members you don't know that well. Always increasing your circle.
The second tip is for membership type groups where everybody knows you and provides you leads. The tip is to understand that your purpose for attending each event is to educate. Not only do you need to educate everybody about what you do, it is more important that you concisely and precisely educate everybody about who is a good prospect for you. If you tell people that everybody is good prospect for you, that tells them nothing. But what you want to do is trigger in their mind specifics about people that can open the floodgates of leads for you. Regardless of your business, your core clientele can be segmented into different groups. For example, if you find that your customers often wear blue shirts and you tell your networking group people who wear blue shirts are good prospects for you. That will immediately trigger memories people that they have seen wearing blue shirts that they know.
The third tip is to prepare your leads early or provide them via e-mail before your weekly (or regularly scheduled meeting). This will save you a lot of time in the meeting so you can be concentrating on tips one and two above. You can always provide leads during the week when you may have more time and simply claim credit later with whatever formal procedure your networking group uses. Do not spend a lot of time in your networking groups clarifying leads that can be done via e-mail or telephone before or after the meetings.
Hopefully, by planning what you want to achieve your networking group meeting, then ready to educate your group, and prepare your leads early your time will be well spent.
I've been connected with Loral's Live Out Loud community since 2006 and was ecstatic to here about her new book "Yes! Energy: The Equation to Do Less, Make More." and the Yes! Energy Summit that is coming in September because of the strength I've received to say Yes! to the right people at the right time because of what I've learned from her and the people in the community.
The Yes! Energy Summit is going to be different than your traditional "energy healers" as she offers you the tools to support you when you start saying YES! and gaining new clients. Never fear, Loral is here. Join me and learn from the Yes! Energy Master.
"What is a Yes! Energy Master? A Yes! Energy Master is a true world leader, a person who has harnessed their Yes! Energy and used it to achieve paramount success." – Loral Langemeier
Just say YES! and take action by getting your hands on her new book and get on the email list for the Yes! Energy Newsletter too.
The biggest difference between those who create the life they want, versus those who simply live the life they have, comes down to one simple word:
Why Yes! Energy?
According to Loral Langemeier "Regardless of your current situation, where you are in the world, or whatever challenges you might be facing, the path to a life of abundance (in all areas of your life) is found by unlocking your “Yes! Energy.”
That’s why Loral Langemeier created a step-by-step approach to show you how to tap into the inspiration, motivation, and passion in your life — every day. Through this book, Loral demonstrates how her “Energy Equation” has helped enhance thousands of lives with no more than a few simple shifts in their daily activity.
I'll let her tell you more about her new book and the summit at her website. It really is a gift from me to you to be able to introduce Loral Langemeier to you and your new found success.
Just say Yes!