All posts by SLevis

Twitter Mastery, Small Business-Style!

Cartoon blue bird sitting on rope, singing - "Tweet" comes out of its mouth in a bubble. Keyword: Twitter

Twitter – love it or hate it, you can’t get away from it. So why not learn how to use it? We asked Allan Pollett, social media consultant and the “SEO Guru”, to talk to us about stragegies for entrepreneurs to make Twitter work as hard for their small businesses as they do…and he didn’t disappoint!

Beginning with the Twitter Basics

Twitter is great, Pollett explains, because it lets us communicate with anyone in the world at any moment – no phones, no wait times for mail delivery, no need for even formal introductions. Twitter has a billion accounts, and you can send out messages, or tweets, to each of them from your Twitter account, with no charge per tweet.

You can put links, images, gif files, and videos in a tweet.

You can Like and Retweet tweets that other Twitter users have made.

You can track views of your tweets, engagement with them, and other analytic information.

Hashtag #Madness!

When you send a tweet, it shows up on the timeline of each person that follows you. You won’t have any followers when you join Twitter, and most people don’t have followers (although some do!) However, you can increase the potential audience for a tween by using hashtags. A hashtag looks likes this: #. When you add it to a word or phrase (like #ThursdayThoughts), then anyone who searches the #ThursdayThoughts hashtag, even if they don’t know you, will see your tweet and maybe interact with it. You’ve expanded your reach and joined the conversation about Thursday Thoughts!

Hashtags are a great tool for businesses, and Alan talks about a few great ways to leverage their power.

The 60-40 Rule

Because Allan is such a Twitter rockstar, he actually figured out that Twitter works best for businesses when 60% of their tweets are business-related (tweets about products, offers, sales) and 40% are other information that your customers might find useful – articles, resources, relevant humour. Great tip: People really like quotations by famous people, and tend to share them with others.

Growing Your Twitter Following

Call a tweet to someone’s attention by tagging it with @ and their twitter handle:

Hey @businesssolver! Love your webinar series!

(I guarantee that if we saw this, we would like it, retweet it, and follow you! Just saying.)

When you tag someone in this way, you leverage not only your audience, but theirs too. If their audience is very big, that could be very good for you!

Alan has a technique for finding and growing an audience that’s truly interested in you and what you have to say. Check out the webinar to see what it is! (Here’s a hint: Follow your competitors’ followers!)

Final Things to Consider…

  1. Keep your tweets engaging.
  2. Use hashtags that reach a large audience (3 or 4 per Tweet)
  3. Jump right in and make yourself part of the conversation! It’s not that scary…really!

Thanks so much to Allan Pollett for helping us out today! You can learn more about Allan and the services he offers at his website.

This is our last webinar for 2019! We’re busy getting the line-up for 2020 together, so please let us know if there’s a topic you’d like covered. Happy Holidays!

Sales Funnel Optimization

Your sales funnel drives sales. Can it get easier than that? Make sure you set it up properly so that it creates as many sales as possible for you.

In this webinar you’ll learn about:

  1. The importance of your sales funnel
  2. The purpose of a sales funnel
  3. The parts of a sales funnel
  4. How to optimize a sales funnel

Let’s get started!

The Importance of Your Sales Funnel

When you understand sales funnels, you’re best equipped to observe your sales process and see what areas need improvement. You can identify bottlenecks, or areas in the funnel through which customers are moving slowly compared to the rest of the funnel.

Once you know what’s wrong, you can fix it. You can examine the bottleneck areas, develop and implement strategies to move customers through them more smoothly and quickly. Optimizing your sales funnel in this way ensures that you can move more customers through, with a shorter sales cycle.

That’s good for business!

Purpose

A sales funnel is a numbers game.

Every potential customer enters your sales funnel unaware that your business exists. Your job is to move them through the funnel, converting them from potential customers to people who have bought from you.

A large number or potential customers start a sales journey with you, and people fall away at each stage, for a variety of reasons. Usually it’s a small percentage that move through all the stages of the funnel to become customers. This is where the funnel shape comes from

Parts

A sales funnel has four basic parts:

  1. Gain their Awareness – Use marketing to let people know you exist
  2. Gain their Interest – Get people interested enough in your offering to want to find out more about you
  3. Make them Ready – Convince people of benefits and address doubts and concerns so that potential customers can become paying customers.
  4. Close – Close the sale

Some sales funnels break these basic parts into many more, but the funnel shape holds across all of them: A lot of potential customers start the first stage, some drop away at each stage, and a few finish as actual customers.

When you know at what part of your sales funnel bottlenecks are happening, you can start to optimize your sales funnel.

How to Optimize Your Sales Funnel

In order to identify bottlenecks in your sales funnel, you need to:

  1. Know the stages in your sales funnel
  2. Know the conversion rates between each stage – the goal is 10% or higher.
  3. Make note of whether each of those rates is 10% or higher.
  4. Know the lowest of the these conversion rates – even if the lowest rate is over 10%, this is a bottleneck.
  5. Figure out why this area is a bottleneck
  6. Develop and implement a plan to resolve the bottleneck.

Small Business Solver has a tool to help you figure out where your bottlenecks are and what you need to do to resolve them, but here are some general strategies, linked to Small Business Solver modules to help you learn more:

  1. Finding Prospects – Make sure that you understand your customer, that your customers are qualified, that you’re using a lead list, and that you’re making use of referrals and seeking channel partners.
  2. Improving AwarenessIntegrate your marketing campaigns so that you’re presenting the same message everywhere. Prioritize this work – it’s important!
  3. Improving InterestControl your message by representing your brand wellhone your presentation skills and always leave a great impression! Learn how to address common objections to doing business with you.
  4. Improving the Close – Learn how to gauge interest so you’re not misreading whether people are ready to close. Reduce risk so that people are more inclined to close. Make sure that your closing tactics actually work for you and not against you!
  5. Improving Follow-UpCreate a follow-up plan for customers, so that you can improve retention and create opportunities for upselling.
  6. Improving Delivery – Continue to get to know your customers and build relationships so that you consistently provide a positive experience for them. Set expectations wisely by underpromising and overdelivering.

Small Business Solver can help you do all these things. Sign up today for a pay-what-you-can account to view any of the modules in the above list.

We hope that the the webinar was useful for you! Visit our YouTube channel to view more of our webinars.

Small Business Marketing Tools to Boost your Likeability

People buy from people they like, so remember to congratulate yourself once you’ve made the sale! You connected with the customer and appealed to them on the emotional level at which people ultimately decide to buy. You now need to make this transactional customer who’s made one purchase a lifetime customer. Using small business marketing tools that boost your likeability can help with that. In this webinar you’ll learn about:

  1. The Value of a Customer
  2. Likeability as one of the 3 Tenets of a Sale
  3. How Brand affects Likeability
  4. Marketing Tools that Boost Likeability

The Value of a Customer

Getting existing customers to spend more money on your products is less expensive than spending money on the marketing and onboarding required to continually bring on new customers. You’ll also generate more revenue over a customer’s lifetime. Build personal relationships with your customers, increasing your likeability, and revenue from a given customer will increase as:

  1. Average size and frequency of a sale increases
  2. Purchases become more routine
  3. You become the business that the customer always shops with
  4. The customer not only does business exclusively with you, but refers you to other people.

The sales cycle for a referral is much shorter than for a customer you bring in fresh off the street!

Likeability as One of the 3 Tenets of a Sale

Need a reminder about the 3 Tenets of a Sale? Here they are:

  1. People Must Know You (Visibility)
  2. People Must Trust You (Credibility)
  3. People Must Like You (Likeability)

We are (obviously) examining Likeability’s role in the 3 Tenets of Sale today, and how boosting it through small business marketing and building personal relationships wih customers increases your sales. We’ve examined previously how boosting credibility boosts your sales and also how boosting visibility boosts your sales, so be sure to check out those webinars as well! Small business marketing works!

How Brand Affects Likeability

Your Brand Promise lets customers know who you are and what they can expect from you. Branding choices give your customers information about your business that they use to evaluate your Brand Promise, and all ties into likeability.

Consider how these aspects of your branding will be perceived by your target market:

  1. Your business’ name
  2. Your business’ voice
  3. Visuals
  4. Values
  5. Personality
  6. Characteristics that make it unique from other companies will be perceived by your target market.

Remember that in small business your personal brand as the business owner is part of the business brand. Be both authentic in both!

Small Business Marketing Tools That Boost Likeability

You can use Small Business Solver’s Marketing Solver Tool to learn about a whole bunch of marketing tools that help with the “Like You” part of the 3 Tenets of a Sale. Here are a few the webinar talks about:

  1. Volunteering –> You and/or a staff team
  2. Sponsorships –> Community events or local sports teams
  3. Rebates and Coupons —> For existing customers, not just new ones
  4. Lunch & Learns –> For potential and existing customers
  5. Online Service Tie-In –> Use an online platform to provide value to your offering (such as access to an information website or web community)
  6. Pick Up the Phone –> Call customers instead of emailing them
  7. Employees –> Stay engaged, let them express their personality
  8. Mentors —> Leverage the power of your champions!
  9. Food –> Face-to-face over food can build powerful relationships
  10. Be Helpful –> Share articles, news, events
  11. Birthday Cards –> Note customer details that are potential touchpoints in your CRM
  12. Online Portfolio –> Showcase your business and your brand promise
  13. Networking –> Really listen to peoples’ stories and offer help without expectation of return
  14. Smile! —> People can tell, even if they can’t see you.

The numbers show that you really only need one hundred loyal customers to flourish, bottom line. They will keep coming back to you, over and over. They will refer new customers to you. One hundred loyal customers changes the nature of your business.

Something to think about, right?

Was this useful? Watch our other webinars on our YouTube Channel!