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Do People Trust Your Business?

Fifteen Ways to Build Trust Using Your Blog

Fifteen Ways to Build Trust Using Your Blog

Are you looking for more prospective clients, to build a relationship with prospects and converting prospects into clients, increased trust among current clients, to gain referrals, build your brand or gain awareness for you firm? Then get a blog.

Wow, can a blog really do all of that? Yes it can and so much more. It can help position you as an expert in your industry, help build an audience, gain attention, and grow your business.

Some of the Reasons Businesses are not Blogging:

  • Lack of time
  • Lack of blogging knowledge
  • Difficult
  • Nothing to say
  • No one in my industry blogs
  • My clients do not read blogs
  • Don’t see how it will help my business
  • It will take too long to see results
  • It is a waste of my valuable time
  • Trying to keep up will drive me crazy

The realities are many fear blogging and misunderstand how blogging can help their business.

Read the rest of this page »

11 Tips to Help You Increase Your Repeat Business

11 Tips to Help You Increase Your Repeat Business

It takes a lot of time to find new prospects and turn them into customers. It is much more cost-effective to turn existing customers into repeat customers.

I am not saying that you should stop going after new customers, just don’t neglect your current customers in your hunt for new ones.

Your current customers are already familiar with your work, how you work and the rates that you charge. You have already built a relationship with them and there is a level of trust between you.

11 Tips for Increasing your Repeat Business:

 

  1. Ask: Many times all you have to do is ask for more business. You should be talking to your customers about their business, learning to understand their business. Through conversations, you can learn of areas that you make be able to help you current clients.
  2. Do Your Best: Do the best work possible for your clients. Let your work and customer service speak for itself. Make sure that you return calls and emails quickly as possible. Address all concerns and complaints. Give them a reason to keep coming back to your business and turn to your competitors.
  3. Keep in Touch: Remain in contact with your customers even when you are not working on a project for them. Send keeping in touch cards, birthday cards, thank you cards, small gifts, surveys and just general conversation with you clients. Call them and ask how things are going and you make find ways that you can help them.
  4. Make them Aware: Make them aware of all the services that you offer. Sometimes customers are just unaware that you can help them with their other problems. They turned to you for a specific need and are unaware of all that you offer. Tell them in your newsletters, emails, telephone conversations and send out post cards. If you have a monthly newsletter, every month you can spotlight a service that you offer your clients.
  5. Offer Incentives: Offer special incentives only to current customers, maybe a discount on their next project. Try promoting other services to current customers by offering a discount or package deal. Think of ways that you can bundle services together or offer ongoing consultation services as part of a package or as a stand-alone service.
  6. Create a membership site or loyalty club: Create a membership site or loyalty club that is available to current customers for a limited time where they can receive special offers, coupons, reports, white papers, ask one another questions, ask your business questions, free podcasts, webinars and more. Once the limited membership has ended you can offer them the opportunity to remain members for a low monthly fee. If the membership benefits are worthwhile, many will sign up to remain members.
  7. Contact past clients: Create a list of past clients and contact them with a special offer to gain additional business with them. Call them to find out why they stopped using your services, to find out what is going on with their  them and how you can help. Then offer them a service that can help solve their current problem.
  8. Offer exclusive services: Offer exclusive services to only your best customers. Customers that have been doing business with you a long time or who often refer business to you.  Maybe there is a service that you are thinking about offering but want to test the waters before adding it to your list of services. Try offering the service as an exclusive offer to your best customers at a great rate and let them know that you are only offering it to your best customers.
  9. Create Promotions: Create promotions for your businesses anniversary, holidays or anything worth celebrating and offer your clients a special offer. Maybe a discount on a service, a free e-book that will go on sale when the promotion ends, a contest to when something of value and help spread the word about your business.
  10. Appreciation: Show them that you appreciate them doing business with your business. Send a thank you for being a customer card, small gift, magazine subscriptions, tickets or promotional items.
  11. Refer: If you clients are in business for themselves, refer customers to their business and have the person let the client know that you referred them.

 

If you want clients to give you repeat business you have to make them feel special. Let them know that you are happy to have them as clients and value their business.

Your Turn:

What methods do you use to keep customers coming back for more?

 

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Marketing and PR for the Professional Services Firms

Blogging for Business Growth

How Inbound Marketing and Content can Draw Prospects to Your Business

How Inbound Marketing and Content can Draw Prospects to Your Business

Hubspot surveyed 3339 marketing professionals in 128 countries about the current state of inbound marketing.

Why is this Important to You?

It is important to you as a small business owner because it gives you insight into what is working and where marketing trends are heading.

With the increasing use of the internet and businesses competing in the global marketplace, many businesses are replacing traditional marketing with inbound marketing. The common consensus is that to reach the global marketplace focus on using inbound marketing tactics and to pull prospects with content that is relevant to them.

The benefits of Inbound Marketing are:

  • Inbound marketing costs are 61% lower per lead
  • 41% of marketers say inbound marketing produced measurable ROI in 2013
  • 43% of marketers generated a customer via their blog
  • 82% of marketers who blog daily acquired a customer using their blog, as opposed to 57% of marketers who blog monthly — which, by itself, is still an impressive result
  • 79% of companies that have a blog report a positive ROI for inbound marketing this year
  • Just 20% of companies without a blog reported ROI from inbound marketing in 2013

How can Inbound and Content Marketing Help your Business?

  • Reach a targeted audience receptive to your message
  • Improve the ranking if your website or blog
  • Improve conversion rates of online sales
  • Establish you and your company as experts in your industry
  • Attract better qualified prospects to your website or blog
  • Repeat visitation to your website or blog from prospects and clients
  • Keep in touch with current clients and promoting referrals
  • Help to establish likeability, trust and credibility

What are the Different Types of Content Available for use by Your Business?

Blogs – Educate, entertain and inform readers about your topics, encourage return visits to your blogs with frequent updating, engages readers to share comments and share the information with others.

Social Media – Twitter, Facebook, , LinkedIn and other social media sites help promote your business, showcase talents, engage prospects and help spread the word about your business.

Presentations - Presentations provides readers with information that is appealing, informative, short and straight to the point.

ENewsletters – Inform, educate and entertain readers on a consistent and timely basis, helps promote your business, are shared with others, increases reputation, recognition, trust and loyalty among readers, and increases sales.

White Papers – Showcases your industry knowledge, provides the opportunity to be a thought leader, informs and educates the readers and can be shared with others.

Articles – Educate, entertain and inform readers about your topics, showcase your knowledge and lead readers to action.

Case Studies – Educates readers on your businesses pass success and tell how your business will help them achieve the same success.

Video – Educate, entertain, informs watchers, helps increase your likeability, trust, recognition and reputation among watchers.

eBooks – Establishes you and your business as experts in your industry, increases reputation, recognition and draws traffic to your website or blog.

Podcasts – Educates listeners, helps increase your likeability, trust and reputation.

Online Courses – Educate participants, showcases your knowledge, increases reputation and sales.

Workbooks – Educates readers, helps readers solve problems, increases reputation, trust and loyalty from readers.

Seminars – Webinars and teleseminars help educate participants, showcase your knowledge, increase reputation and recognition.

Businesses use a combination of the above inbound and content marketing tactics to create a online marketing strategy. While this is list is not comprehensive it is a good starting point to begin thinking about using content marketing in your business and what tactics are available. Inbound and content marketing allows small businesses and solopreneurs to level the playing field when competing against larger businesses.

Your Turn

How are you currently using inbound marketing and content to draw prospects to your business?

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Marketing and PR for the Professional Services Firms

Blogging for Business Growth

 

15 Things that I have Learned about Blogging

15 Things that I have Learned about Blogging

Whether you are already blogging or thinking about starting a blog for your small business. I would like to share with you some things that I have learned about blogging along the way.

  • Have a plan, goal and a way to measure the outcome to make sure that you are reaching your goal.

 

  • Don’t beat yourself up and measure yourself against others who have been in the game longer than you and you do not have to try everything, choose the things that work for you and stick with them.

 

  • You don’t have to be involved in every social media activity, is better to choose a few and be actively involved then to choose many and have no involvement.

 

  • Make sure to set up analytics for your blog and review them, many people will read and not leave comments, don’t let that discourage you.

 

  • Know what you want from your blog, who your target audience is, what they want to from you and how you will reach them.

Connect with your readers

  Katherine Pangaro via Compfight

  • Have a way to connect and develop a relationship with your readers on an individual level.

 

  • Understand that blogging takes time and be willing to put in the necessary time and keeping going even when you feel like giving up. Many times we give up too soon just before we see the benefits.
  • Create a way to gather emails early on if you are planning to use email as part of your business, create an easy way for people to sign up and promote, promote, promote.

 

  • Have fun. Blogging is time-consuming and takes time to see results. When you are having fun you will hang in there even when you are not seeing the results you want.

 

  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. While you don’t have to do everything don’t be afraid to try something new sometimes.

 

  • Don’t be afraid to be personal and write off topic. Sometimes the post that is personal and not all business will get the most traffic and response. It also helps readers get to know you better.

 

  • What works for others won’t necessarily work for your business. Don’t let that discourage you, just keep going.

 

  • Have a follow-up plan. If you are generating leads with you blog, have a plan for what you will do with the leads once you receive them.

 

  • While blogging and social media is very inexpensive, don’t forget to fact the time you spend. How valuable is your? Outsource the things you don’t like to do, don’t know how to do or is not cost-effective.

 

  • Learn as much as you can, even if you don’t do it yourself, be knowledgeable about what you need so that you can hire the best person for your business and understand what they are talking about.

 

Blogging is not hard but not easy either. It takes commitment and persistence and many give up before seeing the payoff. I tell people to treat it like any other part of business, have a plan, work the plan and follow-up on the plan to make sure you are on track. I also think that people should blog for business but also as enjoyment. Enjoy helping people, enjoy talking to readers, enjoy getting word out about your business, even if you only have one reader, enjoy yourself and other readers will come.

 Your Turn:

What have you learned about blogging that you would like to share with others?

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Marketing and PR for the Professional Services Firms

Blogging for Business Growth

Are You Trying to Keep Up with the Marketing Joneses?

Are You Trying to Keep Up with the Marketing Joneses?

Focus Your Marketing Activities so they Don’t Overwhelm You

I see it all the time when I talk to small business owners. When I ask them about how they are marketing their businesses, their eyes roll and they act as if I blasphemed or something. Marketing seems to be the last things want to talk, think or do when it comes to their business.

Many prefer to hope that business will come, that each customer will tell a thousand other people about their great business and they will be able to live happily ever after.

Well good luck with that.

The reality is that if you want to stay in business or grow your business you are going to market your business.

The thing that most people don’t understand is that marketing does not have to be hard or unpleasant. You can successful market your business focusing on the marketing activities that you enjoy doing.

You don’t have to do everything.

If you enjoy writing then concentrate on writing that your audience will enjoy. You can:

  • Create articles for you blog
  • Create articles for other people’s blog
  • Create articles for consumer or trade magazines and their websites
  • Post your articles on LinkedIn
  • Create articles for article directories for others to share with their readers
  • Tweet your articles to your Twitter account
  • Create white papers or special reports
  • Create eBooks and Books

If you enjoy speaking then concentrate on speaking engagements. You can:

  • Offer speaking engagement to local community centers and churches
  • Create podcasts
  • Create video’s, post them to YouTube and your website or blog
  • Create webinars that people just watch or participate
  • Become a guest lecturer at your local community college
  • Create seminars or workshops for local community centers, community colleges, churches, and other educational learning centers

If you enjoy creating presentation and/or graphic then concentrate on presentation and/or graphics. You can:

  • Create Slideshare presentations
  • Create webinars whether live or on demand
  • Create infographics
  • Create interactive comic books, games and apps
  • Give workshops on how to create great presentations
  • Give classes on developing basic graphic design skills

Whatever marketing activities you choose, choose those that you enjoy and will not feel overwhelmed by forcing yourself to use what is hot. There is a variety of ways to create marketing opportunities utilizing a limited amount of tactics.

If you do not have time to spend on social media or do not enjoy social media then do not utilize those tactics, and if you do, then limit the amount of time that you spend doing those activities.

Take some time to think about what you truly enjoy doing, than choose the marketing activities that you will look forward to working on, on a daily basis. Find a few activities that you enjoy and put your full energy into those activities. Monitor their effectiveness and make adjustments as needed.

Your Turn:

What Marketing Activities do You Most and Least Enjoy?

 

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Marketing and PR for the Professional Services Firms

Blogging for Business Growth

 

The Secret to Turning out Massive Amounts of Content

The Secret to Turning out Massive Amounts of Content

Have you ever wondered how one blogger is able to turn out massive amount of content without hiring others to write for them or accepting guest posts?

I did.

Wondering how they did it, lead me to this secret…

Repurposed Content

What Is Repurposed Content?

Repurposing content eliminates creating content from scratch  Repurposed content is taking existing content or research, creating new content and extending the life of your existing content.

What do I mean by extending the life of your content?

Let me give you an example. Let’s say that you are a Insurance Agent that insures small businesses and have just given a presentation on “How to Sure You are Adequately Covered for any Business Disaster” to your local chamber of commerce.  

Here are 21 Ways to repurpose your presentation:

  1. Article: Rewrite the presentation by adding expert interviews and comments and submitting the article for publication into trade magazines and blogs.
  2. Podcast: Record the presentation as an podcast and add to podcast directories and upload to your site.
  3. Presentation: Turn your presentation into a Slideshare presentation and add to your site, Linkedin account, Facebook page and Slideshare.
  4. On-Demand Webinar: Record your presentation and turn it into an on-demand presentation for people to watch at their convenience. Turn the article into a webinar that your readers can view or a live webinar where members and participate and ask questions.
  5. Live Webinar: Turn the presentation into a live webinar, invite attendees and hold a Q&A afterwards.
  6. Transcripts: Have your podcasts and webinars transcribed and offer the transcriptions to your readers, attendees and newsletter subscribers.
  7. Buzz Piece: You can rewrite some of the content and turn the piece into a freebie for people who sign up for your newsletter.
  8. Series: Create a series of posts expanding on the ideas covered in your presentation.
  9. eBook: Group related blog posts and turn the posts into a free or paid eBook. If you choose a paid eBook, add some articles that you are new to the eBook.
  10. Kit: Combine eBook, podcasts, presentation, transcription, workbook, video and create a downloadable kit
  11. Workbook: Turn the information of the presentation into a workbook with actions tasks for your readers to complete.
  12. Press Release: create a press release letting the media know about your available presentation whether on demand or live, submit it to press release distribution sites, targeted media sites and add the press release to your blog/website media page.
  13. Infographic: Infographics are very popular right now. Create a great looking informative infographic with key information from your presentation and add it to your blog.
  14. PDF: Turn your presentation slides into a PDF for readers to download.
  15. Video: Turn your presentation into short video tutorials with screencast where viewers can watch and listen to you present the information.
  16. FAQ: Create a frequently asked question list and link to your presentation for the answers or created short videos answering questions obtained during your presentation.
  17. Contest: Run a contest offering a reward for the commenter who provides the best comment on the presentation.
  18. Case Studies: Turn examples from your presentation into case studies
  19. White Papers: Turn the presentation into a thought leadership white paper
  20. Comic Books: Create a comic book using the information in the presentation to create a hero villain and damsel in distress. Create a character for your business and make your business the hero of the comic book.
  21. Teach: Offer to teach a short course to non-profit groups, community colleges associations, trade groups and businesses

When working in a defined niche it can become difficult coming up with new information to provide to readers. When creating material try thinking of three ways that you can repurpose the material from the very beginning. This way you are always thinking about and planning for extending the life of your content. 

Your Turn:

What do you think of these ideas? Have you tried any of these ideas? Do you know of any other ways to repurpose content?

I would love to hear from you.

 

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Marketing and PR for the Professional Services Firms

Blogging for Business Growth 

 

9 Tips to Help You Increase Your Repeat Business

9 Tips to Help You Increase Your Repeat Business

Its Cheaper to Keep em…Tips on Getting Repeat Business

It takes a lot of time to find new prospects and turn them into customers. It is much more cost-effective to turn existing customers into repeat customers.

Your current customers are already familiar with your work, how you work and the rates that you charge. You have already built a relationship with them and there is a level of trust between you.

9 Tips for Increasing your Repeat Business:

  1. Ask: Many times all you have to do is asked for more business. You should be talking to your customers about their business, learning to understand their business. Through conversations, you can learn of areas that you make be able to help you current clients.
  2. Do Your Best: Do the best work possible for your clients. Let your work and customer service speak for itself. Make sure that you return calls and emails quickly as possible. Address all concerns and complaints. Give them a reason to keep coming back to your business and turn to your competitors.
  3. Keep in Touch: Remain in contact with your customers even when you are not working on a project for them. Send keeping in touch cards, birthday cards, thank you cards, small gifts, surveys and just general conversation with you clients. Call them and ask how things are going and you make find ways that you can help them.
  4. Make them Aware: Make them aware of all the services that you offer. Sometimes customers are just unaware that you can help them with their other problems. They turned to you for a specific need and are unaware of all that you offer. Tell them in your newsletters, emails, telephone conversations and send out post cards. If you have a monthly newsletter, every month you can spotlight a service that you offer your clients.
  5. Offer Incentives: Offer special incentives only to current customers, maybe a discount on their next project. Try promoting other services to current customers by offering a discount or package deal. Think of ways that you can bundle services together or offer ongoing consultation services as part of a package or as a stand-alone service.
  6. Create a membership site or loyalty club: Create a membership site or loyalty club that is available to current customers for a limited time where they can receive special offers, coupons, reports, white papers, ask one another questions, ask your business questions, free podcasts, webinars and more. Once the limited membership has ended you can offer them the opportunity to remain members for a low monthly fee. If the membership benefits are worthwhile, many will sign up to remain members.
  7. Contact past clients: Create a list of past clients and contact them with a special offer to gain additional business with them. Call them to find out why they stopped using your services, to find out what is going on with their  them and how you can help. Then offer them a service that can help solve their current problem.
  8. Offer exclusive services: Offer exclusive services to only your best customers. Customers that have been doing business with you a long time or who often refer business to you.  Maybe there is a service that you are thinking about offering but want to test the waters before adding it to your list of services. Try offering the service as an exclusive offer to your best customers at a great rate and let them know that you are only offering it to your best customers.
  9. Create Promotions: Create promotions for your businesses anniversary, holidays or anything worth celebrating and offer your clients a special offer. Maybe a discount on a service, a free e-book that will go on sale when the promotion ends, a contest to when something of value and help spread the word about your business.

If you want clients to give you repeat business you have to make them feel special. Let them know that you are happy to have them as clients and value their business.

Your Turn:

What methods do you use to keep customers coming back for more?