Standing out from the Competition: How Your Business Can Get the Attention of Potential Customers

Maintaining a solid customer base is vital to the survival of your business. In addition to conventional marketing strategies, there are some innovative ways to attract more potential customers and keep your profits growing. Here are a few ideas to help your business get the attention of potential customers.

Offer Freebies

Even though this may seem counterproductive, offering free products or services can actually help your business earn more money. By offering free product samples, people may be more inclined to try them since they won’t have to make a commitment to purchase. You can have your employees hand out samples to people passing by on the street or send them out in the mail to potential leads. You can also try offering free services for a limited time.

Display Unique Signage

Using standard signage for your business will likely attract less attention from the masses. If you want to stand out, you should have some innovative signs created. Certain companies can create business signs that feature eye-catching texts and graphics. You can order signage that includes attractive colors and even features the logo of your business. Displaying this signage on the outside of your building near the entrance will help your business get noticed as people walk or drive by your location.

Utilize SEO Marketing

SEO, which stands for “search engine optimization,” is an important tool for marketing businesses online. This type of marketing involves the use of written content that contains certain keywords and phrases that people commonly search for while online. The right SEO campaign can help your company’s website rank higher on the top search engines. Forbes.com notes that it’s also important to have content that’s original and enables your business to stay more relevant.

Do Some Charity Work

Giving back to your community will help your company earn a more positive reputation. Your business can sponsor a food, clothing or blood drive as a way to market your brand and help others who are in need. Local media outlets will likely cover your event, which can get you some free press. You can also try donating some of your proceeds to charitable organizations. If you support a good cause, you’re sure to see an influx of new customers.

By putting in the necessary efforts to expand your clientele, you’ll likely find yourself reaping the rewards in no time. Consistently growing your customer base will help you stay in business and stand out from your competitors.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

Top Tips for Creating Your Own Brand & Getting It to Grow

More people are realizing the benefits of entrepreneurship. As a result, many people are building their own brands to achieve professional dreams. If you’d like to do the same, understand that it’s a process. There are a few things you’ll want to practice and implement in order to achieve success. To lay the foundation, start with these four tips.

Create a Website, a Business Bank Account and Business Cards

If you put the necessary systems in place, you won’t have to scramble later on to get things done. Start by purchasing a domain name. Create a simple website. Even if you don’t have technical skills, you can easily use a template and create a professional-looking site. Register your business as an LLC. Get a tax ID number and a business bank account. When you’re operating with money, you don’t want to mix up personal finances with business finances. Also, once you’ve solidified your contact details, you can put all of the information on your business cards. Details like your website, email address and telephone number should be on the business card.

Create Offline and Online Marketing Strategies

Don’t make the mistake of solely focusing on online marketing strategies. Create a mix of offline and online strategies so that you can build through multiple portals. If you’re selling an incredible hair product, reserve tables at hair shows. Do your best to promote your product at different events and allow your presence to serve as an offline marketing strategy. Some online strategies include building a social media presence, developing an email list and maintaining a consistent blog.

Be a Walking Billboard for Your Brand

If your company is a clothing retailer like Capsule Corp Clothing, for example, make sure that you wear the clothes that you sell. If your latest line includes fabulous Dragon Ball tank tops, wear new pieces from the line every day. You should serve as a walking billboard for your brand. When people look at you, they should know that you are proud of your business and that you represent your business. The same goes for your employees. If you represent it well, more people are likely to buy into whatever you’re selling.

Develop Habits of Professionalism

Always be professional, timely and considerate. Be responsive to various inquiries that people have. Be reliable and operate within integrity. When people see that they can trust you, they’ll do business with you. Make sure you do this with every single interaction because each interaction speaks volumes.

Look at entrepreneurship as a marathon. Most people operate as though entrepreneurship and brand-building are sprint races. When you develop a mindset that understands that you want to build a brand that lasts more than 20 years, you’ll be able to pace yourself and create a sustainable business.

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

6 Common Reasons Your Marketing Plan Isn’t Generating Leads

Marketing has never been easier according to the experts. Today, an entrepreneur with zero experience and an internet connection can learn the tricks of the trade. All of the info is available online at the click of a button. As a result, businesses and blog and the platform of your choice can compete. Forget about the size as it doesn’t matter. Whether big, small or medium, there is nothing you can’t achieve concerning marketing.

So, if this is the case, why are you struggling to generate leads? It isn’t as if you don’t use modern techniques such as search engine optimization. And, you also invest in paid marketing such as pay-per-click. Still, the amount of leads coming back to you is poor, and you can’t figure out the problem. It’s a head-scratcher.

Without a steady flow of leads, it’s challenging to make conversions and increase sales. Sadly, failure is always an option in business so it’s essential to fix the issue as soon as possible. Without knowing the details, it can be very tricky. The good news is that there are six common reasons for lack of leads underneath. Hopefully, these will be able to help you reverse your fortunes.

Your Aim Is Off

Regardless of the plan, it isn’t going to work if it is aiming at the wrong people. There is no point throwing darts in the dark because it’s a waste of time and energy. Oh, and don’t forget the money either. The key is to optimize every feature to give it the best chance of succeeding. The first step then is to find a base of people who are going to be interested. That way, there is more of a chance that it will grab their attention and make them curious.

You may have an idea of the base, but there’s also a chance that you don’t fully understand the demographic. Are women or men more likely to buy the product or land on the site? What age range? Why do your services seem to resonate with this group? Delving into the specifics should help you find your perfect customer/visitor. Once that person is in your sights, aiming at him or her, and millions more like them is straightforward.

A buying persona should keep you on the right track. For those that don’t have one, visit Lead Forensics now and check out the post for more info.

And So Are Your Methods

The people aren’t the only thing to consider; there’s the method too. Every individual has a preferred contact setting depending on their tastes. For example, the older generations are advocates of speaking on the phone. Some hate cold-calling because it’s annoying, yet they like the directness of talking to a human advisor. Your job is to figure out which people like which platform and then use the info to target them.

Although it sounds like mind-numbingly long work, it’s not too tricky. Use age as a factor to break the base down into groups. The baby boomers have already gotten a mention, so now focus on the other subsections. Young customers are easy because they love to interact via social media. To optimize their experience, try and figure out which account is their favorite: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. The trickiest people are the inbetweeners. Middle-aged men and women are retro and modern at the same time, which makes them awkward. An excellent tip is to use their personal info. For instance, entrepreneurs and business-oriented people will respond to email blasts. A housewife or husband may prefer an app because it suits their lifestyle.

Whichever one you choose, be sure to engage and interact when possible. Adding value often sticks in a person’s mind and encourages them to follow up.

The Tone Is Wrong

It’s essential to speak to people politely and respectfully. Still, there is no need to be boring. Boredom turns people off and makes them want to run a mile. So, finding a balance is a must to ensure there is value in the interaction. There is nothing worse than picking up the phone to listen to a sales rep babble on without pausing. When the other party can’t speak or ask questions, there is bound to be frustration which will result in them bouncing. This is one sales error to watch out for, but you can visit ej4 today for lots more.

Tailor the experience to the platform. Calls should have a consistent tone and shouldn’t be out of the blue. Cold calling is a sure-fire way to get them to hang up without a word. Emails are less formal and can use a chatty, colloquial voice. Also, there’s lots of room for multimedia such as photos, videos and gifs, so don’t be scared to get creative.

Social media is where the most informal interactions take place. When people log-in to their accounts, they don’t want to see forced, pointed, corporate tweets and posts. The most successful marketing plans center on organic conversations full of witty banter.

You’re Jumping The Gun

From the beginning, the end goal is in your sights. If the strategy can get them to convert or make a purchase, then everything will be hunky-dory. It’s important to keep the result in mind but it shouldn’t be at the forefront of the plan. Otherwise, you run the risk of jumping the gun and peaking too soon. Users hate this because it feels as if they are being forced into doing something rather than making the decision naturally.

Focus on providing the right info at the right time. To do this, analyze the process and where everyone stands on the spectrum. Are they at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end? The answer is essential because what you offer should be totally different for all three. At the start, an interested party wants as much info as possible so that they can compare and contrast. The middlemen and women love to hear about solutions to their problems. And, the guys and girls at the end want a sweetener to seal the deal.

By all means, get in front of them early to catch their eye but don’t be pushy. Everyone knows being clingy is a huge turn-off.

Patience Isn’t Your Strong Point

There is lots of activities available and not enough time to get through every single one. As a result, it’s tempting to discard the ones which don’t seem to work. After all, what’s the point in wasting time and money? Although changes can be positive, they can also be a hindrance. In this scenario, a lack of patience may cause you to throw away a feature which will work in the future. There is no way to tell if it is a failure until enough time has passed.

With that in mind, don’t get anxious when something appears not to work. Instead, let it grow and prosper until you are sure. Otherwise, there may be a lot of money left on the table. Take content marketing as an example. It takes a while to build up a reputable portfolio. Some of the market leaders have been doing it for decades and are still learning.

So, the aim isn’t to throw out as much content as possible and hope for the best. Instead, you need to focus on quality over quantity and build a core brand to get results. However, don’t assume they’ll appear out of thin air overnight because it takes hard work and endurance.

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You’re Not Number-Driven

Some people don’t believe in stats and they have a good reason. If you are unable to speak the language, then a lot of info can get lost in translation. Lots of businesses have developed strategies they thought would work yet they tanked. Why? It’s because they read the numbers wrong and didn’t understand the nuances. Still, marketing is a numbers game.

The reason is analytic software. Today, it’s easy to see who is doing what and why without basic math skills. The program does it all for you and prints the info in easy-to-understand chunks. More importantly, it shows you where there are flaws and what needs fixing. It’s incredible the number of strategies that have glaring flaws yet continue regardless. To put it into simple terms, it’s because the people in charge don’t use the analytic software.

Reverse engineer the data to locate the solutions. For example, go back and see where the leads came from in the first place. Then, compare the different sources to the success rate. Are there some which provide better conversions than others? Use this to figure out what gets you the best quality results, which in turn should reveal the best quality leads. Although it’s easy for analytic software to take a backseat, you need to keep on top of it on a regular basis.

Do any of the above seem like mistakes you are making currently? Could they be the reason lead generation is suffering?

The Expert Seamstress: How to Run a Successful Fashion Business

If you are an expert seamstress, then it may be very easy to turn your abilities into a money-earning career. There are some steps, however, that you will need to take along the way. Here are some points you may want to consider to turn your fashion ideas into a money-making proposition.

Create a Business Plan

You will want to consider the type of sewing that you want to do for the public. Making a list can be a great place to start. Then, think about the supplies that you will need to carry out each one of those activities like an embroidery machine, a regular sewing machine, thread, fabric, tape measures and manikins. Make a list of the cost of each of your expenses and figure out what you need to charge your customers to make money from your sewing passion.

Choose a Location

Many seamstresses work from their home while others choose to open a storefront. Others choose to meet with their clients at a location of the client’s choosing. Decide on which choice is right for you, but remember that you will need a place to work on projects for clients. Often times, businesses find tax advantages or grants that make one location more favorable over others.

Decide on Marketing

You may be a great seamstress, but unless others know about your skills, then you cannot make money using those skills. Therefore, you will need to advertise. Consider creating a website showcasing projects that you have completed. Spread the word using social media. See if you can write guests blogs on other people’s sites to introduce them to your services. Make sure to claim your Google My Business account and your spot on Google Maps.

Network

Make sure that others in related businesses know about your services. Consider letting bridal boutiques who do not have their own seamstresses know about your services. Join community groups so that you get to know others in the community who might need your services such as putting logos on company shirts. Attend area trade shows where you can interact with local people to tell them about you and your business. Take advantage of these opportunities by practicing your elevator speech beforehand.

If you have the skills of a seamstress, then you can make money using those skills. Use these ideas and your own ingenuity to go into business for yourself.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

Digital Togetherness Is The Only Factor Of Success

There is no denying that the Internet revolution has brought us together. People from all over the world can get in touch quickly and in real time, while in the pre-Internet days, letters and long-distance phone calls where the only ways to maintain contact – and these were not effective, as they were either time-demanding or too expensive to maintain. But today, people from all over the world can interact online in a variety of ways, through transactions, messaging and video conferencing. Additionally, the digital world has enabled individuals to combine their skills and voices to deliver a product, or even create a viral reaction. The TV show Lucifer that has been canceled by Fox in May was saved by Netflix as a result of fans coming together on social media to discuss their favorite show. Without the social media buzz, it’s fair to say that the show might not have been saved. Ultimately, digital togetherness creates success. But from a business perspective, the art of digital together is more complex than it seems.

Step 1: Spread your online presence

It might sound counterproductive at first, but to build a strong digital front, you need to scatter your presence via a variety of platforms. Indeed, a website is not enough. Customers, however, tend to interact positively with blog posts that answer their queries. In other words, you need not only to establish a blog but to ensure that this blog is regularly updated with relevant and useful information to your potential users. Self-promotional articles simply don’t work anymore. Social media platforms are, naturally, the other essential factor of your online presence. Target platforms that are meaningful to your audience, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The more you spread your presence online, the easier you will be to find. A partnership with a business that shares the same or a similar audience can also give you a presence boost.

Step 2: Bring it together

With each digital platform, you gain a detailed data collection report that informs you about the performance of platform-related interactions. However, to achieve a unique overview, you need to partner with an ETL solution that can extract, correct, transform and load all your data together. Instead of working with multiple tools to gain an overview of your whole digital presence, you can use a solution that combines the information for you. It’s not only easier to read, but it also saves you a lot of time in the long term.

Step 3: Make sense out of it

Finally, when all data are together, the most crucial step for your business is to determine which informations are relevant. Indeed, relevant data support business decisions based on facts. You can react to changes in the market or the audience, if you know which KPI to monitor, for instance. For small businesses, where a professional analyst does not run the analysis of data, it can be challenging to differentiate meaningful data from the rest. As a result, data-based strategies can appear weak.

In conclusion, going digital doesn’t mean your business will thrive. The art of building togetherness through your digital presence and data is what paves your way to success.

 

 

 

 

No Business Can Afford to Ignore Mobile Phone Users

Mobile phone users are no longer a market segment you can afford to ignore.

As of 2018, 52.2% of all web traffic was attributed to smartphone users. Compared to the 0.7% of all traffic in 2009, that is a dramatic increase that has been on an upward trend year to year.

Some of this success can be attributed to the fact that smartphones have become more accessible and a lot more useful. The rise in functionality has led us to a stage where our smartphone’s ability to make or receive call is a minor function and no longer the main purpose of the phone.

For businesses, this opens a whole range of marketing possibilities.

Mobile marketing is a cost-effective way of getting your message across. You can choose to use a simple SMS campaign to promote your business or rely instead on a well-designed app to lead your clients to the actual point of buying.

How to Run An Effective Mobile Marketing Campaign

Know Your Market

It is marketing 101, you need to know who you are trying to reach with your marketing message.

What type of campaign would be the most effective?

If you have a target market full of tech-savvy users, a great app, for example, could be the way to go.

On the other hand, if your targeted audience still uses simple mobile phones to make calls, choosing a higher tech option would be the ideal way to scare them off.

What Does Your Market Want?

The best way to find out the answer to this question is to ask them. What are they looking for when it comes to communication from your company? What do they want to read, and what would they ignore?

The key to getting this kind of marketing right is to understand the needs of your consumers and to find out what they actually want. The better targeted your campaigns are, the more effective they are as well.

But enough theory. Let the numbers speak for themselves.

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Link to the infographic https://appgeeks.org/blog/mobile-marketing-infographic/

 

7 Reasons Why Branding Matters

Despite what you might think, branding isn’t reserved just for Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and and it’s not just your logo or mission statement. Branding is important for your company. It defines who you are and what do you do; how you see yourself and how do you want to be seen; where do you want to be and how will you get there; and what makes your business unique out of all the others. Branding requires your attention since it can also increase the value of your company, help you grow, make it easier to connect with customers and determine your success. If you’re still unconvinced, here are seven reasons why branding matters in business.

1. Makes Companies Relatable

When people first heard Apple’s “Think Different” ads they were immediately able to identify themselves with the brand because they shared that vision. Even if most people at the time didn’t own an iMac, or didn’t want one for that matter, they could still relate to the brand message. Since a company is something artificial and distant, branding brings it closer to people, shapes their opinion and how they perceive it.

2. Delivers a United Message

Branding connects all aspects of a company. For example, a creative professionals from Studio X achieve this by developing brand strategies that combine physical features (interior and graphic design) with virtual architecture (web design and development). This consistent presence delivers a united message across all channels of communication. Everyone involved with your company, from clients to partners, will have a clear understanding of what your business represents.

3. Supports Marketing Efforts

Marketing plays an important role in building your brand. It allows you to gain visibility with key demographics and creates brand awareness. As your brand awareness grows, marketing can rely on that recognition to support its own efforts. This mutual dependency between branding and marketing will allow your business to grow. Once you start dominating one specific market, the reputation of your brand will make it easier to market yourself to target a completely different audience.

4. Drives a Premium Price Point

Brand awareness can increase the value of the products or services you sell. As people start associating your brand with quality and it starts trending, what you sell becomes more desirable to your audience. This allows you to increase the price of your products. Quality brands are able to put a price on their brand name because people are willing to pay extra to be associated with it. That’s one of the main reasons why Starbucks coffee is more expensive than regular java at your local coffee shop.

5. Encourages Employee Endorsement

A company can improve the extent of its reach if it encourages employee endorsement. Branding helps with this since employees will tend to be more productive and promote the company when speaking to others. By feeling the value of your brand, they associate themselves with its message. This makes them more likely to endorse a positive experience about your brand, and can even turn employees into brand ambassadors that regularly share the company message at their own free will.

6. Creates Trust Among Customers

A strong brand is centered around its customers. When you have your customers (and their desires) in mind first, and profit second, it creates trust among them and marks you as a professional. As customers perceive a company’s intentions as sincere, authentic and transparent, they will transfer those feelings to the products or services you offer. They will believe that what you offer has enough power to improve their lives, and that justifies their decision to buy from you, instead of the competition.

7. Builds a Loyal Customer Base

Branding can inspire loyalty among your customers. After they convert from prospects, customers will ultimately shape their future feeling towards your brand through their experience. If you do introduce the feelings of trust, they are far more likely to make a purchase again.

Not only that, but great branding values customer loyalty and will look to reward it. In turn, your loyal customers will want to repay for your care by promoting your brand. They will become brand ambassadors and will spread a good word about your company, even remaining loyal during bad times.

Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls, passionate about traveling, marketing and everything tech related. Her motto is: “Live the life you love; love the life you live.”