Category Archives: Marketing & Branding

Information on target markets, increasing visibility, building rapport & credibility, and social media.

Credibility: How Can You Get Your Customers To Trust You?

When it comes to sales, vour credibility is critical. Trust is as important in your relationships with your customers as your it is in your personal relationships. As a business owner, you need mustunderstand that:

  1. All sales are emotional. Whether you own a convenience store in a small town or an internationally-known software company worth millions of dollars, you ultimately appeal to emotion, not logic, to make your sale.
  2. Gaining credibility, or a customer’s trust that you know what you’re talking about and that you’ll do what you say what you will, is one of the 3 Tenets of a Sale.

Credibility and Sensitive Trust

The trust that you must develop with customers, who are likely people with whom there isn’t a long and complex personal history, is called sensitive trust. Senstive trust is different than the sensible trust that develops between people in long-term relationships (family, old friends, and significant others), and must develop much more quickly in order to establish the credibility needed to close the sale.

Let’s examine the 3 Tenets of a Sale, or the Sales Funnel, to see how you how you develop that sensitive trust?

The 3 Tenets of a Sale

The 3 Tenets of a Sale, or the Sales Funnel, theory is based on the idea that as people buy from you when they:

  1. Know you
  2. Trust you
  3. Like you.

Marketing is a great way to build sensitive trust and keep people buying from you.

You can use Small Business Solver’s Marketing Solver tool to find a whole list of simple-to-implement marketing strategies that can increase your credibility in a flash:

  1. Get business cards
  2. Record a professional voice mail message
  3. Develop a web presence (not necessarily a web site!)
  4. Ask for referrals/testimonials
  5. Use branded contracts/invoices
  6. Rent a post office box
  7. Get a 1-800 number
  8. Look for media cover opportunities (press releases, articles, etc. – not paid ads)
  9. Encourage customers to leave online ratings on sites like Google and Yelp
  10. Do presentations (keynotes, panels, webinars)
  11. Hire a virtual assistant or use a calling service to look bigger than you are
  12. Make brochures to hand out to clients interested in larger or B2B sales
  13. List your products in established online stores (Etsy, Yahoo, Alibaba) for better SEO rankings and streamlined customer experience
  14. Respond to blogs, letters to the editor, related forums to raise awareness of your company
  15. List awards your company has won – even small ones
  16. Develop an online portfolio
  17. Go to networking events

Which marketing strategies are you currently using? Which ones could you easily start using?

Building credibility is hard work, and it’s easy to be very hard on yourself if you inadvertently let a customer down. However, if you do, don’t throw up your hands – the situation is salvageable! Plus it is important to know how to rebuild trust in this situation. Remember, nobody’s perfect – you are not the first to do this, you won’t be the last. Handle it gracefully, to the best of your ability, and forgive yourself.

Learn More about Credibility

All the strategies in this 20-minute video are low-cost, can be implemented quickly, and do wonders for your credibility. Watch the webinar for details on how to implement each one, pick one or two to try this month, and let us know your results! We’d love to hear from you!

Was this helpful? Watch more webinars on our YouTube Channel!

How To Write An Awesome Email!

Email isn’t going anywhere! Take your email from “average” to “awesome” with Small Business Solver Marketing Manager Sarah Levis. In this webinar you’ll learn about:

  •  Whether An Email is Necessary
  • Deciding What Kind of Email is Necessary
  • The Importance of Tone
  • The Power of Good Editing
  • A Clear Call to Action
  • Tools of the Trade
  • Checking Your Work
  • Subjects – Write, Test, Revise
  • Before You Send – Writing Your Greeting, Pause Before You CC, Know the Laws

Links to check out to make your writing even better!

Writing a Business Plan to Get What You Want!

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail – that’s why writing a solid business plan is the best first step you can take toward making your dream of owning a successful small business a reality.

In this recording of our “Writing a Business Plan to Get What You Want!” webinar you’ll learn about a Business Plan and its sections, including:

  1. The importance of deciding who the plan is for
  2. The Business Overview – Talking about The Opportunity and why what you offer is The Solution; defining the target market; describing the unique aspects of a business that give it a competitive advantage and how the business owner intends to keep that advantage
  3. Vision – Where the owner sees their company in 3 – 5 years, the ultimate goal for the business, and a description of the exit strategy
  4. What to include in the Marketing Research section – Industry trends, consumer trends, wider general trends (government, economic, technology) that may impact a product; a business’ main competitors and their potential impact.
  5. Sales Projections – How to calculate reasonable sales projections to include in a business plan
  6. Management Team – Why is the owner the best person to launch this business, given their support team and contacts?
  7. Marketing and Sales Strategy – The plan to get the word out about products given factors like prices, location, size of area to be covered, marketing budget, and projected sales
  8. Operations – Discussion of operational issues like processes and delivery; how processes will be tracked to ensure completion; who handles human resources issues like hiring, scheduling, etc., and how they will be handled. 
  9. Action Steps – The importance of showing the company’s goals for today, as well as its Short Term and Long Term goals.
  10. Financial Projections – Demonstration that the business is financially viable and sustainable over the long-term.
  11. Executive Summary – Written last, but first thing reader sees. Must entice reader to keep reading.

Cheap & Cheerful Marketing

At just 11 minutes in length, it’ll be one of our shorter webinars in the series, but it’s chock full of information for anyone who wants to master the art of marketing a small business effectively on a low budget.

The easiest marketing tool to adopt? A smile. Just smile, folks – even over the phone. Your customers can tell. The marketing tool you might not have thought of? Call Display. (You’ll have to watch to find out!)

Learn about Small Business Solver’s Marketing Solver Tool, which uses your responses to questions about your small business to make suggestions about which of the 300 marketing tools currently out there will work best for you. Each suggestion comes with an information sheet that you can view to learn about how to use the tool.

SEO 2015 and Beyond

Search Engine Optimization keeps changing! Small business owners need to keep on top of this to make sure that their small business is found online.

There are some significant changes that happened in early 2015 that you should take note of right now!

Watch this less than 20 minute video to learn everything that you need to know now.

Contact the Expert
Allan Pollett
allanp73@gmail.com
www.allanpollett.com

SEO Now!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is always changing. Your website is ranked based on staying up to date on these changes.

Learn the ins and outs of what is changing in SEO and how this could impact whether or not people find your small business online. If you don’t know these tips and what changes your rankings could drop!

On the flip side, there are things that haven’t changed and may never change. What this means for your small business is that if you focus on these best practices, your small business website will be protected and maintain its high rank regardless of SEO changes.

Keep up to date on all of the Search Engine Optimization changes for small business as we run online seminar like this every 6 months.


 
Contact The Expert
 
Allan Pollett
allanp73@gmail.com
 
 

Build a Local Small Business Marketing Plan

Small businesses have a competitive advantage versus the larger businesses in the local market. So why wouldn’t you take advantage of this?

Walk through the best practices of a marketing plan and then have it fine tuned in order to reach out to the local, regional market. Then learn to use and implement the local marketing tools.

The overview of the video is:

Step 1: Marketing Goal
Step 2: Marketing Budget
Step 3: Target Market
Step 4: Your Message
Step 5: Your Local Marketing Tools

Contact Your Expert

Carla Langhorst
carla@smallbusinesssolver.com

Like the slides? Download slides

Latest & Greatest Social Media 2014

Social media is always changing!! It is important as a small business owner to stay social mediaon top of these changes and how this will impact your business online.

This 30 minute video talks about how social media is changing and where it is headed. Specific new tools are reviewed and any way that you can use them in small business is discussed.

After the webinar, a few questions were asked.

1. What other goals can you have for your social media?
– you can do market research, marketing testing, and find out how your customers actually feel about your business.

2. How do you decide where to spend your time?
– start with the basic ones, LinkedIn and Twitter are more stable to invest time into. Explore the new social media platforms when you have ‘free time’.

3. How can you think out of the box and become viral in your social media marketing?
– social media isn’t as viral as we all think it is. It is all about reaching a certain threshold where your video or post is highly ranked in its search. To get there, promote to your network and friends. Once you hit the threshold this becomes easier and easier.

Contact The Expert
Allan Pollett
allanp73@gmail.com

 

Resources

http://www.snapchat.com/
https://vine.co/
http://www.houzz.com/
http://www.impossible.com/
http://www.mobli.com/
http://www.yioop.com/
http://www.linkedin.com
http://www.twitter.com
http://www.facebook.com

Marketing Automation for Small Business

When we think marketing we often think advertising. But with business becoming more of a science, there are now marketing software out there that can help grow your business.
 
Obviously technology is more than just social media and your computer, and this is your opportunity to understand what some of those tools are that could help your business.
 
Marketing automation is one of the newest techniques out there. And it is becoming increasingly important as by 2020 it is estimated that 85% of a company’s customer interactions will be automated and through technology. This means that these marketing automation best practices are only going to become more important.
 
The 10 Commandments of Marketing Automation
 
1. Be 100% customer focused. What are your customers pain points?
2. Be pressure free. Gone are the days of the pushy sales person.
3. Support the internal sale. Remember that you are working with more than the decider when you are selling. There are influencers and other stakeholders you need to communicate with.
4. Marketing automation is part of your integrated inbound marketing strategy.
5. Drive repeat purchases. Keep them engaged!
6. Content driven. Have relevant new content to keep them interested.
7. It must be multi channel. Not everyone uses one communication channels. There are many and they are growing!
8. Reflect interest, not just action. Interest is important too!
9. Accessible no matter how someone is accessing the information.
10. Cross platform. The new normal is using different devices.
 
Find out more and what software is available through the video!
 

 
Contact the Expert
 
Andrea Orozco
andrea@think-kik.com
 

Public Relations for Small Business

 
Public relations (PR) is one of the most effective forms of marketing. Why? It is instantly credible and it often gets your business into mediums that you might not be able to access otherwise.
 
Think about when you read a newspaper, instantly any business that is mentioned or quoted is considered more credible or a leader in the field. The same applies if you hear someone presenting, on the radio, or even mentioned on a blog. Taking advantage of this low cost and effective marketing tool becomes critical.
 
Some of the top things to remember about PR is this;
1. Know your public.
2. Target communication.
3. Be consistent.
4. Know the tools and resources available to you.
5. Plan ahead.
 
To learn all of the details and tricks from a PR consultant, check out the video.
 

 
Contact the Expert
 
Sandra Gabriel
sandra@gabrielpr.ca
 
Like the PowerPoint presentation? PR 101
 

Additional Resources

 
Press News Release Outlets
Briefing Wire http://www.briefingwire.com/
PR Log http://www.prlog.org/
News Box http://newsbox.com/
Press Release Point http://pressreleasepoint.com/
My PR Genie http://www.myprgenie.com/
Pamper Me Network http://www.youdeservetobepampered.com
PR Link (Toronto) http://prlink.insidetoronto.com/
 
News & Articles
68 Articles http://68articles.com/
Article Alley http://www.articlealley.com
Article Base http://www.articlesbase.com/
Article Click http://www.articleclick.com/
E-Zine Articles http://ezinearticles.com/
Ezine Mark http://ezinemark.com/
Go Articles http://goarticles.com/
Scribd http://www.scribd.com
gabrielpr.ca http://www.gabrielpr.ca/wp-admin
Women’s Post http://www.womenspost.ca
Biz Sugar http://www.bizsugar.com
 
Extended Distribution List
www.betanews.com
www.highwire.stanford.edu
www.newslink.org
www.marketwire.com
www.editorandpublisher.com
www.prnewswire.com
www.internetworldstats.com
www.newswire.ca
www.prweb.com
www.businesswire.com
www.programmersheaven.com
www.emediawire.com
www.MYPRGENIE.com
www.threadwatch.org
www.pr-inside.com
www.24-7pressrelease.com
www.pr.com
www.mediapost.com
www.tmcnet.com
www.newswiretoday.com
www.our-hometown.com
www.prlog.org
www.pressreleasenetwork.com
www.betanews.com
www.earthvision.net
www.promotionworld.com
www.downloadjunction.com
www.press-world.com
www.majon.com
www.clickpress.com
www.bookcatcher.com
www.businessportal24.com
www.webnewswire.com
www.przoom.com
www.urlwire.com
www.billhartzer.com
www.groupweb.com
www.newspad.com
www.1888pressrelease.com
www.expertclick.com
www.gebbieinc.com
www.newsforce.com
www.imediafax.com
www.eworldwire.com
www.ereleases.com
www.press-release-writing.com
www.searchwarp.com
www.dbusiness.com
www.eceurope.com
www.devarchive.com
www.emailwire.com
www.softwaremarketingresource.com
www.seo-pr.com
www.powerhomebiz.com
www.readmedia.com
www.send2press.com
www.openpr.com
www.store.1choice4ystore.com
www.prleap.com
www.pressbox.co.uk
www.usprwire.com
www.free-press-release.com
www.ukprwire.com
www.theopenpress.com
www.prurgent.com
www.upload.it
www.storebuilder.co.uk
www.free-press-release-center.info
www.malebits.com
www.softpressrelease.com
www.promaxum.com
www.epressreleases.org
www.dime-co.com
www.softwarewire.com
www.ecommwire.com
www.lunareclipse.net
www.sbwire.com
www.pressflash.com
www.pressrelease365.com
www.ukprwire.com
www.pressreleasepivot.com
www.pressexposure.com
www.prfree.com
www.ideasiteforbusiness.com
www.thepublish.com
www.press-base.com
www.targetwire.com
www.express-press-release.com
www.profnet.org
www.thehostingnews.com
www.newsblaster.com
www.myfreepr.com
www.ideamarketers.com
www.afreego.com
www.addpr.com
www.symbcity.com
www.mediasyndicate.com
www.news.baou.com
www.eboomwebsolutions.com
www.internetwriters.com
www.webwire.com
www.mediapeak.com
www.epicinnovations.com
www.prwindow.com
www.exchangenet.com
www.onlinepressreleases.com
www.prudentpressagency.com
www.freepressrelease.org
www.pressabout.com
www.afly.com
www.pressreleasecirculation.com
www.opportunityupdate.com
www.prbuzz.com
www.africanewswire.net
www.publicrelations.uk.com
www.fastprnews.com
www.hungarynewswire.com
www.prnuke.com
www.press.xtvworld.com
www.e-syndicate.net
www.emeapr.com
www.hotmicrocap.com
www.learn-more.org
www.sanepr.com
www.baygo.com
www.XpressPress.com
www.internetnewsbureau.com
www.businessopportunity.biz
www.exactrelease.com
www.bizeurope.com
www.devpress.com
www.i-newswire.com
www.bignews.biz/
http://pressexposure.com/
http://newsreleaser.com/
www.healthprspider.com/
www.freepressrelease.com
http://freepressindex.com/
www.ideamarketers.com
www.yourfreepressrelease.net
www.pressreleasepublic.com
www.release-news.com
www.booshplr.com
www.press-release-articles.com
www.imnewswatch.com
www.prfriend.com
www.pressreleasepad.com
www.postafreepressrelease.com/
www.pressreleasehome.com/
www.pressreleaseroom.com
www.fastpressreleaser.com
www.pressreleasestudio.com
www.qualitypressreleaser.com
www.anyrelease.com