You’re in business to make a profit and (hopefully) to serve your ideal customers.

One of the best ways to accomplish both is to stay in touch with your clients on a regular basis. However, many businesses are so focused on acquiring new customers that they neglect folks who’ve already bought.

If they purchased once, they’ll purchase again… all you have to do is build a relationship. Emails and newsletters are a simple yet effective way to not only educate your clients but also build that bond and sell to them.

When you stay in contact with your clients, they’ll return to you to buy again and again. We help you create and nurture a relationship with your customers and turn them into repeat buyers.

Keep reading this blog for ideas, and take a look at the services we offer.

 

 

Social media is a crucial marketing strategy, and every company needs a social media expert. For most companies, hiring an outside social media (SM) manager is a wise choice with many benefits to the company, its employees, and its clients.

Everyone can do what they do best.
When you hire an expert to manage your social media, the employee who was running those accounts is freed to do the tasks that he or she does well, which are potentially more profitable for you. If you managed the accounts, you’ll gain time to spend as you wish.

You benefit from the latest trends.
If you choose your social media manager wisely, he or she will be committed to staying abreast of the best practices and latest trends to maximize your social media presence.  You and your employees probably won’t know how to do this unless you spend valuable time to learn. The social media manager is the expert you need to spread your message to the world.

You also receive a bonus: a built-in reputation manager.
Good social media managers are quick to alert you of any negative PR or feedback about your company floating around. He or she will be proactive about contacting the critics or sending you their information.

Hiring the right social media expert should be simple, but it’s not. Too many have entered the field because it sounds fun and glamorous. To hire a good SM manager, you have to be a bit of a detective. At minimum, each candidate should have an account with Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. These accounts should appear professional; if they don’t, move on.

Candidates for your social media manager position should be able to explain what they do, how they do it, and how they measure their results. Be sure to ask for references, and call them. Look at those businesses’ social media profiles and note how much activity and attention they receive. If you like what you see, ask for a short-term contract of no more than three months to test the waters, and then jump in!

So many people worry themselves silly over keyword density and stuffing enough keywords into their copy.

Here’s a novel idea: write what you need to say first, and then worry about your keywords.

You’re writing your website, blog, or articles for humans and for the search engines. We all know that. But if your writing sucks because you’ve shoved in too many keywords, no one will read what you have to say. You won’t be able to establish yourself as the expert you are, and your website will end up being nothing more than a waste of virtual real estate.

Tell them what you need to tell them and make sure it reads well. Then naturally weave in your keywords. Don’t put the same keyword or two in every single paragraph. You did good keyword research, right? Use a couple of variations on your main keywords to keep your writing fresh.

Try it, you’ll like it.

The big tip in SEO copywriting to avoid keyword stuffing

Is your business marketing on Facebook, and are you squeezing all you can out of it?

Or are you ignoring the giant, hoping it will go away?

Most businesses would benefit from having a Facebook page, and chances are that yours is one of them. Yes, setting up a page and working it daily does take time, and if you prefer, you can hire an expert social media manager. Marketing on Facebook is worth the effort, and here are a couple of tips to help you make the most of your time.

Ask for feedback, opinions, and ideas. 
Marketing with Facebook is about interacting with an audience and developing relationships. Ask your followers questions that help you get to know them. For example, if you run a pet business, ask about their pets and encourage conversation. Ask for advice about what they use to bathe their dogs or which cat toys are the best. Start a conversation at least three times a week, and pay attention to what they say. This is market research at its simplest.

Share what they’re interested in. 
Here’s a neat trick: you can like other business pages as your page, which will then show up on your pages feed. Be sure to like pages that your clients are interested in. Using the example above, like pages for local veterinarians, groomers, pet food stores, and dog day cares. Share their stories, pictures, jokes, etc. on your page and use them as conversation starters.

An additional tip that will help you get more likes from marketing with Facebook: participate on the pages you’ve liked. Congratulate that pet adoption agency on the three placements it made over the weekend. Tell the vet how much your dog loves Jessie the nurse. Build those relationships–you never know what might result from them. As people see your posts, they’ll be curious about you and go to your page. More followers!

Offer exclusive specials for Facebook fans only.  
Reward your followers for liking your page with the occasional special deal just for them. Write a note offering a 10% off coupon, or ask them to come in and tell you they’re Facebook fans for a free sample. Be creative. Ask them to share your page with their friends and offer a freebie for those who report they’ve done so.

After you’ve done this for a while, you’ll be surprised at how fun it can be and how little time it takes. When you engage your peeps, you attract even more and encourage them to buy. Don’t be afraid of marketing with Facebook; in fact, try something new every week and test, test, test.

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One of the biggest mistakes I see on company websites is what I call The “We’re So Special” Factor.

You’ve seen it: copy that talks (or brags) about the company itself . . .

“We do X better than anyone, and we do Y and Z faster than anyone.”
(With no details, of course.)

“We’ve been in business longer than dirt.”

“We’ve received the Golden Doodad Award from this company and the Bronze Doohickey Award from that company.”

Grrr. It makes me want to click to their contact page and post just five words . . .

“Your prospects really don’t care.”

People who visit your site are tuned into WII-FM, or What’s In It For Me. All they want to know is whether you can solve their problem or relieve their pain – and if so, how you’ll do it better, faster, or cheaper than your competitors. That’s it.

They want a reason to buy.
Give it to them. Straight.

And put the “We’re So Special” crap on your About page, if you must keep it.

Do you lie in your marketing materials?
Have you ever thought about that?

How many times have you seen a sales letter that made a big promise but the product didn’t deliver? Or how about a blog post whose title said one thing but the post itself said another?

How did you feel when you were done reading? Like you just wasted 5 minutes you’ll never get back.

Make sure you don’t do that. If necessary, have someone else read your marketing materials.

Always test your emails. Send them to yourself and click on the links, reread for clarity, and check the formatting. If your emails look sloppy, you’re going to lose subscribers.

And above all – if you say you’re going to tell your readers how to do something, follow through! And don’t take 50 paragraphs to do it.

Back in February of 2009, I wrote this post about a mobile phone marketing company called 2du Media that I thought had a unique, interesting service for businesses and consumers.  I used keywords where I could and added links to 2du within the post. I thought it might help them get some publicity for a week or so and that would be it.

Was I wrong.

Today, over 10 months later, I’m still getting hits on that post almost every day. In fact, I’ve had 13 hits so far today. Why?

I’d like to say it was my wonderful writing, but mobile phone marketing (also known as SMS marketing) is big. More companies are getting into it, so people want to know more. A few of these info seekers run across my post.

If you want a post that keeps getting hits long after you write it, mention names, research your keywords and use them judiciously, and link to relevant websites. If you can write about a new or hot trend, all the better. People will be looking for more information and you’ll look like an expert.

If you take the time to read the post, do you see anything else that might be helping it get so many hits?

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and here’s to a happy 2010!

I was reading a post on Clayton Makepeace’s site and one of the comments jumped out at me. Loren Woirhaye  mentioned Googling your name and offered ways to get more exposure and make your name “Google-able”. I Googled myself and while there are others out there with my name, I should have been on the first page somewhere because of this site.

Nope. My Twitter was there, but nothing about Grab More Customers.

Know one reason why?

Because until this moment, my blog posts all showed “Melody” as the author. Not “Melody Brooks”. That’s been changed and we’ll see what happens in the next few weeks.

If you want more credibility, make sure you show up on Google. Read Loren’s comment here (go to bottom) for more ideas to make your name “Googleable”.

 

Which One Wins?

On in Miscellaneous, by Melody Wilhelm

This one has been around a long time, but it’s one of those stories we should all read several times a year. I wanted to share this since it’s almost time to put 2009 to bed and jump into 2010.

One evening a man told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.”

“One is Evil – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

“The other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”

The man simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Do you know which one you feed?

Thanks to Kneale Mann at http://onemann.blogspot.com/2009/12/two-wolves.html.

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Clients need your help in getting more customers, especially online. Most of them have no idea where to start – and not only will they pay you handsomely, but they will love you for taking this chore off their hands. These are just a few ideas meant to inspire you to come up with plans personalized for your clients.  

1. ASK your clients what they need . . . just because your other beauty shop clients needed help with Craigslist ads, that doesn’t mean this one will too.  

2. Closely related to #1 is Don’t assume anything. Your client may have a solid marketing background and just needs to know how to start a WordPress blog. To waltz in and assume he needs your services from A-Z is not only condescending and rude, but you’re going to lose business . . . to people who ASK.  

3. What kind of list does the client have now? It may be mailing addresses only, in which case you can start a postcard campaign. It takes time to get this together and see results, so the process should be started right away and running in the background along with #4.  

4. Gather contact information consistently, especially email addresses. You can use Aweber or Constant Contact to create a monthly newsletter with coupons and specials. Make sure that newsletter delivers quality content.   

5. Create a blog or website. If nothing else, a Blogger site will do. The client may want to update the blog or website in-house but want you to train the staff who will be doing it. Or he may want you to take it over.   

6. Don’t forget old clients. You may need to send them a “sorry we haven’t touched base” letter or postcard, but reactivating old clients can pay great dividends.

7. JV, JV, JV. Joint ventures are a big piece of the corporate money pie, but most small businesses have never heard of them. In a joint venture, two or more businesses leverage each other’s resources. 

For example, a jewelry store that specializes in high-end diamond jewelry might work with a boutique in an upscale part of town. The boutique could send out a letter to its clients recommending the jewelry store, with an introductory special of 20% off for anyone who brings in the letter. The boutique gets 35% of the profit from the campaign.  

All it cost the boutique was a little time mailing the letters, and the actual costs to put together the campaign could be taken off the top of the proceeds. The jewelry store has new customers they wouldn’t have had otherwise, and the customers got a great deal on jewelry.  

A win-win-win situation for everyone.   

Most business owners are so busy running their businesses (especially in this economy) that they don’t have time to learn how to market, much less to do it. Anything you can help them with will be much appreciated . . . remember, they are already used to paying for marketing and advertising.

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