Are you one of the group of sceptics who thinks that social media is a waste of time and that it has no place in business?
If so, you are going to get left behind. Using social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook can help you find new customers in a low cost way and new customers means more money.
(Note I don’t suggest it is free as there is of course a time consideration but using the tools that are out there mean that your time expense is minimised)
In my role as The IT Fairy I’ve written two articles that illustrate how two quite different businesses used Twitter to find new clients.
One is an UK based insurance company and the other is tourist attraction in the US.
And if you’d like to take your social media to the next level, then let us know as it’s something we use a lot and we’d love to teach you how you can too.
Bridget Greenwood is not just our fabulous Norwich BWN coorindator, she is also a Go To Girl and with years of experiences in the financial industry as an IFA has created a tailor made course for IFA’s to benefit from social media, here Bridget explains why IFA’s need something extra special….
“As of 2012, we are amidst the baby stages of a similar social media age – parallel to the initial birth of the Internet, a revolutionary shift in how we communicate, seek, and obtain clients in the business world.
Social media is no longer an option. If you want to be competitive in your industry—it’s a “must”.
Don’t let compliance and regulatory issues stop you from jumping on the social media bandwagon: According to many studies and surveys, compliance issues are the primary chains holding back the use of social media in the financial industry.
Given the monumental impact of social media, Go To Girls have designed this webinar to take you through the compliance issues and show you the strategies that you can use in your business as a financial adviser and start attracting more clients today.
The webinar is limited in space, to register now to ensure your spot Click here.
To learn more about Bridget Click here.
As the title asked, seriously are you in love with your website?
Unfortunately the question is not if you are in love with your website but are your customers?
And more importantly, your potential customers.
Many of you already know that it takes about 3 seconds to work out if the website you are on is going to be useful so what are you doing to ensure visitors fall in love at first site?
Is it interactive? (Blogs, ideas, newsletter sign up, questionaires, reports, eBooks – can people easily learn more without having to talk directly to you – remember people want to buy when they are ready.)
Is it automatically interactive? (You need to be off earning the money, and that can’t happen if you are constantly replying to people – autoresponders will be a godsend.)
Can they get free stuff from you? (Getting known as the thought leader in your field is an ideal way of ensuring that when people are ready to buy its you they buy from.)
Are your contact details easily found? (You will be surprised by how lazy we all can be, and how easily we get turned off of the idea of picking up the phone or getting in touch.)
Is your social media links easy to access? (And tempting enough.)
Is your website too wordy? (Something that is too wordy will numb the pants off of your audience – sorry I never did go to subtle school, but short punchy relevant sentences are key – think inside your favourite customers head, what were they saying to you before you saved the day? They are the words you need to be using.)
If you have products and services are they even best served by words – many bypass Google altogether to get their answers, heading straight to YouTube and as fabulously corporate as it is to have a £1000 professional video, capturing your passion, energy and talent on film is a great way to bring you into someones office or home. Remember when surfing the net not everyone wants to read a ton of words – images and video are key.
And lastly if you don’t know the answer to these – ask your potential customers – What do you think of my website? Remember if you don’t ask you don’t get, so asking what people think is the key to knowledge and the key to finding out what & how people will fall in love with your website……and that leads to falling in love with you and all that you do and that leads to sales – Love it!
(This blog came out of my thoughts after 2 coaching sessions with clients this week and as I prepare for The Marketing Business Clinic this morning – hope you find it useful – for more ideas feel free to get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org 07989935556 – because I just love hearing from you!)
You see an effective marketing strategy WILL deliver leads, and if you are getting quality leads then guess what that leads to?
You guessed it, more customers.
But I do appreciate it can be tricky to factor in time to market your wares as well as to make and deliver them. So what can you do to make life easier?
Before you even think of aiming to make marketing easier to manage. Do you know what works?
If you don’t know this STOP right now. You see, you need to know what is working to deliver great leads and enquiries so that you can replicate that. So first of all concentrate on researching and analysing what works.
WHEN you know this information you can then use tools such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to schedule your social media. Taking into account when your ideal clients have the time to read your offerings, comment, reply, etc.
Next look at the real world marketing that works for you. Picking up the phone, public speaking networking, meetings, etc. What have the biggest impact and concentrate on making them deliver MORE to you.
For instance networking can only be effective if you dedicate to it. Know what you want beforehand. Attend regularly to build relationships so that people want to do business with you and most importantly follow up after EVERY event.
This approach needs to be applied to all areas of marketing that you have and constantly consider this…
What are you doing so that people are automatically keeping up to date with you and your business?
How can other people support your marketing strategy?
Affiliations, discounts, special offers for loyalty etc.
A VA could be a great resource for you too. What areas of your marketing could you outsource to someone else to do?
At The BWN we have a number of great VA’s that attend our events that would happily produce your newsletter, look after your social media and pick up the phone for you. (You can check them out here – https://www.thebusinesswomansnetwork.co.uk/the-business-women-of-the-bwn/)
Unless you are a larger company with a lovely thing called a “marketing budget” this is going to come down to you and if you don’t find a way to create a marketing strategy that fits into your busy life you will always have dips and troughs of customers. Now wouldn’t it be nicer to just have that steady flow of new customers heading to your door?
(This blog came out of a number of conversations with business women this week and has sparked this blog so thank you for sharing. And it has also sparked the next BWN Business Clinic with me – to learn more.)
Okay so I’m no copywriter (although I did once gain a client out of a copywriter who noticed grammatical errors on my website and emailed me!) But I do know, writing great blogs and fabulous web content is pretty pointless unless you are directing people to it.
Recently I was running a BWN workshop on Blogging For Business and this topic came up. “I am writing a blog, but no one is reading it, what do I do?”
Well here’s the thing, unless you find an effective way to market your blog, you might as well go and talk to the tree at the end of your garden. The tree will apparently feel good (he enjoys your carbon dioxide) but doubtful it’s liable to buy anything from you – if it does now THAT one would be easy to market!
You see you need to interact to the right people.
In the right way.
At the right time of day.
Saying the right kind of things that hook people in to wanting to know more.
That is useful and relevant.
And most importantly make it easy for them to find it again, and again, and again.
It could sound daunting but if you get it right, you will have people interacting with you, visiting your website regularly, appreciating you as an expert in your field and starting to love you and all that you do.
And pretty soon amazing things can happen thanks to blogging.
I personally include, new customers, speakers engagements and press opportunities but my personal fave to date, is having @StephenFry say “Great Blog” and when I DM’d him and asked if I could quote him, he said “go ahead.”
Sigh world’s best Tweeter thinks I’m great – Love it!
What could it do for you?
I am now running Business Clinics once a month at HSBC Business Banking Centre in Colchester through The Business Womans Network, for your chance to be one of just 10 business women at that table – get in touch.
The next one in October is be social media and a second one on Marketing- Creating & Actioning Your Plan. (24th October).
I suppose if someone had asked me a few months ago, what networking does for your business I would have listed the obvious;
I would have said it connects me with my ideal clients, it finds me solutions to my business, it basically ensures that I have what I need to succeed in business through a vast network of contacts and business associates.
I know that for some it still proves to be a struggle to make networking effective (ie, it helps you sustain and grow your business.) and the problem for many is they tackle networking in the wrong way.
It is about getting to know other people. For years sales and marketing gurus have been talking about getting to know, like and trust people and this is imperative in every format of your marketing strategy that truly ensure that this is being allowed to happen. So networking is not your opportunity to run around a room selling at people, it is about the basic essential knowledge that every sales person needs to know and that you are probably already aware of that people buy from people. I know it is often banded around, but stop for a moment and think about this statement.
The last time you were networking (and here you can now add social networking too) what was your approach? Was it how can I help you? Was it “here are some free connections/ideas/solutions for you and your business? Or was it top heavy with we are brilliant, and we do this and we do that?
From day one of a networking relationship it needs to be about the other person and their business needs. Think about this, if you are seriously doing this, then in every situation everyone would be doing their best for everyone else and thus everyone would get the results they were looking for. Great right?
But a word of caution.
It is an investment of your time and your money, as with any area of your marketing strategy so invest wisely. Test and measure the impact of your networking. Do you need to network in more than one place? With a different group of people? Or do you need to reconsider your networking style?
So you know what networking can do for your business success right, but here is a thought from someone who is considered a super connector. (Not my words I hasten to add)
I have always gone out of my way at every opportunity to answer the question for you “What can I do to help you?” in doing this I know that I am now considered a valuable person to network with and know, which means that when someone is ready to buy the first person they will think of is me. Remember you cannot dictate when someone is ready to buy however you can determine who they remember first when they are ready to buy. But just as importantly I recently learnt another power that networking has.
After experiencing a year of continual illness I’m glad I have a powerful marketing strategy because something that was not listed on my marketing production line (ask me about it sometime) was other people networking.
You see despite being unable to “get out there” my business didn’t suffer, new customers continued to contact me and business has steadily continued to grow. Because?
Because I have been a tireless campaigner for other people’s business success guess what happened when the chips were down and I needed help?
You guessed it.
I was inundated with offers of help and support.
So effective networking will not only provide you with contacts, potential customers and the answers to your business success. It also becomes a powerful ally to your marketing strategy.
So today ask yourself is your networking powering your success?
If not what do you need to do?
And if I can help feel free to give me a call – 07989935556 or see you at an Essex BWN event soon.
Best wishes and Happy Business
This week 1 business woman told me that I helped her get her biggest contract of 2011, another I got on ITN news and another told me where she was close to quitting she now has 3 employees – knowing me is dangerous!