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I can already hear you saying “where did that year go to?”
Time flies, as we all know, and the end of 2017 is fast approaching. Everyone is frantically working to meet those Christmas and end of year deadlines in time.
Just pause and take a moment to think back to January this year. After your Christmas break I bet you returned to the office full of vitality and fresh ideas of how to make 2017 the year that you made the big break through and really built your business. You had a strategy for the next twelve months with plenty of innovative marketing ideas to push your business to the fore and leave your competitors standing still.
All you needed was some time to get the plan straight in your head and explain your ideas to your team.
Before I get started, just have a think about the businesses you deal with that you feel you have the best relationship with and feel most loyal to. I bet they will have at least one of these traits:
• They take good care of you
• They go that extra mile for you
• They seem to always understand you
• They appear to genuinely appreciate you
In other words, you value them because they have empathy with you.
The trouble with too much marketing today is that it is cold and impersonal. It is about what the business wants to sell to you, not about what you want as a customer. It comprises a series of sales pitches, gimmicks and special offers.
I expect you all know the answer to that one – curiosity! But how can curiosity help you improve your marketing?
Just think for a minute about why customers or clients contact you or visit your website. It is because they are curious.
They want to know something so their curiosity leads them to you. But once you have got them on the phone or viewing your website, how do you keep them and convert them into a sale or client?
It is all down to how you answer their questions and whether you can create more curiosity.
Every website owner that collects emails via opt-ins or contact forms needs to be aware that Google are making significant changes to their Chrome 62 web browser with effect from this month.
If your site is not HTTPS then Chrome will show a ‘NOT SECURE’ warning from now on. This may well put off any potential clients whilst viewing your website.
Networking can be a powerful way of building up your business. However, too many people approach it with the wrong attitude and consequently think it does not work for them.
Here are five common mistakes people make when networking, together with simple strategies to overcome them.
1. You always expect everyone at networking events to be a client. You should rather be focussing on making contacts. Networking is about building business relationships, not necessarily sales.
Now, you may be wondering why I have suddenly started making public service announcements but please bear with me.
Our new twelve sided £1 coin came into circulation on 28th March 2017 as a replacement for our old ‘round pound’. The reason for introducing it is to cut down on counterfeiting. In addition, it’s distinctive twelve sides make it easier to detect by touch alone and it is considerably lighter than the old coin.
The old pound coin ceases to be legal tender on 15th October, just a few weeks away. Banks are expected to exchange coins for notes after that date, providing they are in bags of twenty. You will probably still be able to exchange them at the bank or Post Office if you hold an account there.
So why am I going on about this change in our monetary system? What can it possibly have to do with marketing, I hear you ask.
If, like me, you check how many visits people make to your site, you may be frustrated by the number who view but don’t decide to buy from you or take up your service.
“Timewasters!” you shout at the screen.
Here’s how you can make those same timewasters work for you.
If we turn the question around you will see that the feedback shows that your website is attracting the wrong type of customer. So why is that?
• Your marketing message is wrong
• You are aiming your marketing at the wrong people
Rather than dismissing the timewasters, try and engage with them. If you have a phone number, call them or if you have an email address drop them a quick line. “What made you visit our website today?”
Marketing isn’t rocket science. In many cases the aim is simply to make you stand out from the competition.
This can be down to a simple matter of getting the wording right so that you promote your business in the best possible positive light. Here are some handy words and phrases that can help lift your marketing copy above the crowd.
Networking – some people are naturals at it, others need to work hard. Whatever your views you should remember that it is one of the most cost effective ways for small businesses to grow new business and get repeat work.
It is estimated that networking and word of mouth advertising are jointly likely to bring in seven times as much business as any other form of advertising. And generally it is free.