|Earlier this year, I offered “6 tips for the perfect blog post“. However, there will be times when – despite the hints of lay out and content given in this post – you won’t know what to write. Everyone goes through it, despite your best efforts, the dreaded ‘writer’s block’ hits you and you can’t think of a single topic for your business blog. Here’s a list of ideas to fall back on.
Customer success stories.
Has someone told you how your good or service has made a positive impact on them or their life? Write about it to help others.
You are part of an industry, so what have you discovered lately about that industry. Search for already printed bulletins from larger suppliers, or economic circles, and describe how it could affect your future. Don’t forget to thank the original writer and give them a link.
Are you planning an upgrade, or a new product? Tell everyone about it as a ‘sneak preview’.
Upcoming small business events.
Even if it’s just a Sale, write about it. In fact, if someone else is reaching out, share the news and look like a supporter to your community.
You can generate real customer comments about the industry in general. It could be useful for your prospects, and makes you look as if you care about customers and their observations to others.
Educate Your Customers.
Do your prospects truly understand how your product should be used or enjoyed? Take the opportunity to educate them, without selling them. This kind of free instruction places you as an expert, and someone that goes the extra mile for your prospects.
Is the World of prospects going to change because of something that is happening in your industry? Perhaps you can see the ‘Big Picture’, and help them to look ahead?
Spread the word about the world at large as it is affected by your product. Business tools, for instance, can relate to automation in the office, or freeing up employees’ time. Stepping away from your own product occasionally to look at the world at large reminds your prospects to do the same.
What are the nuts and bolts of your business, your product, why you are here? Explain in detail how it comes together, and where it is from. The logic behind your businesses’ process will show what you do from a different angle.
Even with all of the writing you are doing on an ongoing basis, we all face a blank wall sometimes. Use one or more of these ideas to enliven your Businesses’ story, and get the word out to your prospects from a different angle.
Try them out and let me know your Successes !
|It’s not only young, urban, early adopters that appear to live their lives through their mobile devices. Just like any other aspect of the knowledge-based lifestyle, the way to access mobile, and make your personal communications device easier to use, grows exponentially year over year. Moore’s Law, indeed! Even as a small business, you should ensure that your online marketing includes mobile ads, notifications, and analytics: Very soon, if not already, even if a prospect is standing outside your business, and they can see you through the window, they won’t recognize you until they see you on their mobile device. It is getting to the point (Amazingly quickly), that a mobile website and accompanying social media campaign is the only truly important advertising channel foe any business.
Liken it to an ad in a very specific magazine or newspaper that everyone in your market carries around with them. Perhaps these are tourists new to the area, or those that are downtown on this specific Saturday to see the Arts Festival that is happening around your business, or even the specialist pet-owner’s periodical that include cut-price tickets to their big event this weekend By ensuring that you are doing your bit in mobile, you are advertising to all of these groups, simply by the geographic area you are in.
Start with Google+ Local. Your business should be here, optimised to ensure your geographic location stands out, and linked to your You Tube and G-Mail accounts. As Google’s ongoing efforts to dwarf every other provider of services on the planet continues, they give more ‘juice’ to their own products being linked. Google+ is simply their attack on FaceBook, but when linked to your business, and – perhaps- You Tube, where you can graphically show your business, your business website, and it’s Google+ Local account, Google will love you even more. Those links don’t just add, they multiply in Google’s algorithmic-eyes.
One central Business account in this area is now the hub of your mobile advertising campaign, and links directly to the page of your website that gives prospects the information that will draw them in. of course, you should continue with your Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Yelp accounts as well, to ensure that your ongoing messages are being received by as many people as possible. Any person standing around your store is a member of Local search, whether they are visiting or residents. That makes almost half of all the world’s businesses local ones, so the size of the market is about to explode. Be one of the first to leverage this power.
Every visit to your advertising channels (Likes, Plus 1’s, Re-tweets, etc.) and your website should be recorded, too. Every visit means: “I am interested in what you do. Send me more information.”, and it happens automatically. It is an invisible Visitors Book, that people sign voluntarily, grows over time, and allows you to advertise directly to prospects that already like you, and could well evangelize on your behalf to others. So, how do we achieve this?
Firstly, get a pro in (if you haven’t already. And you should: This is your businesses’ advertising after all.). Ensure that your website and social media paths are ‘mobile friendly’. This is simply a coding exercise, with the resizing of various views required to make sure they are not only easily seen, and that your emotions come over to the prospect. Ensure that the sites and pages are more easily navigable by a left-hand thumb only! Intellectually, the easier it is to see something in the prospect’s current view, the easier it is to decide to visit, or buy.
The companies that fit the needs of their mobile prospects have reported huge growth in sales in these areas, sometimes over a 50% rise, so this is vital. The strategy you use to ensure the overall marketing campaign works to its utmost is just as important. Using the keywords you already have should work, especially if they are repeated on your site’s landing page. Ensure that local references are there, of course: “Conveniently located in…” as a second line to follow up your [City] then [Service] keyword combination means that people walking close to you, with their smartphone on, realise you are within steps of them, you have a great cyber-store window full of what they are interested in, are open, and welcoming them. This is very powerful –something that advertisers could only rely on billboards for up to now: Imagine a huge floating blimp over your neighborhood that is shaped like a downturned fist with a finger saying: “Your (Insert Your Town Name Here) Mover is here…” That is what mobile is, except it is in your prospect’s hand.
Finally, once you have them in the store, what can they use their phone for? You can ensure that QR technology allows you to give them a special that they can purchase with their device. You are seeing this technology all over, now. Using the phone as a coupon holder only for them, you can simply ask them to buy through it, and make that decision, easier for them to do.
This is not a fad, nor simply another advertising gimmick – this is big and growing, and now you can use world-wide, trusted search capabilities to make any business a local one.
|Are you in a crowded marketplace? Do you offer a ‘Commodity’ Product – a good or service that customers can get anywhere else? These two questions often go together, and create an ongoing problem for many businesses: How do you stand out from your competitors. Especially when you are the ‘Newbie’ on the block? The one that has just started and the history of your prospects’ community have a head start on you?
Firstly, you must differentiate yourself from everyone else, which takes some research. Type in a Google search for your future competition, find out where they are, how long they have been in business, and what they offer. This will take you some time if you are in a busy industry, but for all of the research you do, you will discover not only why these businesses are successful, but in which areas they overlap and offer the same service as everyone else.
Mostly, they will all be the same, which means you have an avenue to investigate: What don’t they offer? Which part of the marketplace do they ignore, or not serve at all. if you can’t make your business different, then make your clientele stand out. Find new ways to do your business. If everyone in a marketplace is the same, then their fees are the only differentiating factor, which can drive the overall prices down.
Find a way of adding something to your services that no-one else does. This means that you have the opportunity to charge more, but you are offering more, so the price and the value of what you offer do not get confused into the same thing – which they aren’t.
It is important to know about your clientele: Who they are, what they do, what they want, everything. When you find an overall pattern in whom you are serving, you will find another way that you can offer something that they need – you add to your value set, and continually spread your expertise over similar business interests that will appeal to your Ideal Customer.
Use the lessons you have learned, for instance, in marketing and online engagement to put your clientele in touch with each other: Become the centre of a hub of activity, rather than someone that offers a service when it is required. Make sure that your specialty is part of your client’s lives. Ensure that your clients bring you new business. They know people just like them, and as they are being served by you, their friends will like it to. Now, you are not only being unique, and filling your funnel with perfect prospects, they are evangelizing for you, and bringing you more and more business based on what you do so well.
It takes commitment to work this way. Commit to your research, your additional professional education, and your social engagement skills. Often you will wonder if anyone else goes to these lengths. They probably don’t, which is why they are part of the pack, and not a business that stands out in your marketplace. Look for your inspiration outside of your regular industry sources, to what market leaders in other industries do. Find out which of your competitors are reaching the end of their current practices: Moving, retiring, getting out of a certain line of business. What can you pick up from others? Can you start another business stream with this information?
We started discussing how to stand out, and next we will look at how to expand your business. It maybe scary, but you will stand out.