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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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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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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

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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?

 

Creating Brand Awareness for Your Small Business

25 Ways to Create Brand Awareness for Your Small Business

25 Ways to Create Brand Awareness for Your Business

How do you want prospects and clients to remember your company? Do you want them to think of your company as a leader in your industry? Innovative? Cheap? or Customer Focused?

Branding is how you present your company’s image to prospects and clients, every time they encounter your business and how you gain their trust by proving that you are exactly what you say that you are. Branding is the proof that turns prospects and customers into believers, it is creating the message that you want them to remember about your business.

What core values do you want prospects to take away with them when they first encounter your business? What do you want customers to tell their friends when they talk about your business? This is where branding comes into play. It is more than your logo or business card; it is how prospects and customers perceive your business.

I work with clients to create marketing plans that focusing on using blogging as the foundation of their internet marketing to grow their business.  When I work with my clients to create a marketing plan, my goal is the help them create a plan that they easily implement, create processes that allow them to efficiently execute the program at a cost that is affordable for them and with ways that they can use their time efficiently. It is not about delving into the latest marketing activity, but choosing activities that work well with their business, personality and time commitment.

Before you can generate leads or close sales you have to let the world know that your company exists and what services or products you have to offer. When you begin the branding process, you want to decide what you want your company core values. Is your company the fastest, easiest, cheapest, innovative, thought leader? For instance, my branding mantra is helping clients use blogging as the foundation for their internet marketing activities to help grow their business.

Once you have decided what your will company stand for, your core competencies, you can then embark on the adventure of letting the world know that you exist. Making sure that you are consistent with your message and your message is clear.

Here are 25 ways that you can use to spread the word about your business and build brand awareness.

  • Press Releases
  • Blogging
  • Articles
  • Publicity Stunts
  • Direct Marketing
  • Internet Marketing
  • Customer Referrals
  • Word of Mouth Marketing
  • Contests
  • Free reports 
  • Tips sheets
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • eNewsletters
  • White Papers
  • Case Studies
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Email Signatures
  • Promotions
  • Tagline
  • Facebook Fan Pages
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • EBooks
  • Slideshare

This is just a tip of the iceberg when coming up with ways to get the word out about your business. The goal is to be creative, yet choose marketing activities that work well for your business and not because other people are doing it. Just because twitter is popular, if you don’t have time to constantly send twitter updates, then don’t get involved with twitter. Choose the activities that you enjoy doing and are willing to do for the long-term. Have a goal, create a plan, work the plan and measure your outcome.

Creating brand awareness is about spreading the word about your business in as many ways possible to people in your target market. Yes it takes time and work, but it is well worth the effort.

Your Turn:

How are you creating brand awareness for your business?

Join My Groups Linked Groups:

Marketing and PR for the Professional Services Firms

Blogging for Business Growth