January 2nd, 2012
There is an endless array of “social” networking sites you can use to stay in front of your current customers. Facebook is the best of the bunch because it sells you their customer’s data for advertising. The other great thing is that people are literally glued to it. It holds a lot of sentimental value to people because it’s the story of their family, and that’s the perfect place to put an ad.
On your “fan page”, you can advertise as much as you want for free by making “posts”. However, first you need “fans”, and you basically get them by asking people “to like you”. Sophomoric as it sounds, you literally need to be the most popular kid in school to rule your industry.
Once you have some “fans”, it’s time to start making some posts. You can make “updates” about mundane events, such as “Stirring soup!”, or important events such as a “Going out of business because I didn’t use Facebook sooner”. Your advertisement then enters into the subscriber’s feed, which is pretty much a giant news story about their life. They see your photos and events every so often and end up forgetting they are actually looking at advertisements.
After awhile, your page starts to grow on its own. People post photos, comments, and “check in” at your business therefore telling their 5000 “friends” that they are at your business. It’s word-of-mouth on steroids!
If you’re not overwhelmed by that introduction, don’t forget about these other great social networking sites. They are free and totally awesome!
January 2nd, 2012
1. Your Customer Address Book
Building an e-mail list is the easy way to stay in front of your current customers online. You can send out monthly newsletters, weekly coupons, Christmas cards, you name it! You get the e-mails by sign-up sheets, verbally asking them or a business card drop for a raffle. You can purchase a list but you can’t guarantee the quality and it’s generally expensive. If you’re desperate, there is always Groupon. They have the largest inventory of e-mails in the universe, but the catch is that you have to discount your services 75%, and you don’t actually get to keep the e-mail list. It can take some time, but it’s definitely worth it to slowly build your own e-mail list from your current customers.
2. Sending the E-mail
E-mail marketing is made easy with online bulk e-mail clients such as www.mailchimp.com. You import the list, create your e-mail from a template builder, and send it out all at once. On MailChimp, there is a cap of 2,000 subscribers for the free version, but there is a paid account that allows you to add more if it’s really working for you. If you really want to be fancy, have a graphic designer create a template for you. You can reuse it over and over again.
That’s it. Two easy steps. What are you waiting for? Start collecting those e-mails today!
November 5th, 2011
See the movie if you haven’t.
The storyline is totally unrelated to marketing your business. However, it is about a fundamental idea that every good business owner should practice; “paying it forward”. In the movie, someone does something really great for you, and you have to “pay the favor forward” to three completely different strangers. What does this have to do with marketing your business? At the end of every sale, ask your customer to pay it forward. Or you can simply ask them to tell their friends and family about your business. It’s a hands on approach to the most organic way of marketing; word of mouth.
If you’re business is worth the buzz, chances are you won’t have to ask your customers to do this. However, if business is hurting and you’re looking to try some free marketing, it’s definitely worth a shot. It worked for Kevin Spacey and it just might work for you.