Have you ever felt that you are creating amazing content that everyone should read, engage with and share?. The real result you want is increased sales but that isn’t happening either.
If you’re like so many other businesses you’re not alone. There is a frustration out there that the promise of the internet is working the way it was billed. Sales are virtually non-existent from your online presence and that’s the real reason you’re online isn’t it?
You have taken the time and spent money to build your website, blog at least a few times per month, create your social media pages and maybe even create a few videos.
Maybe you even hired an online marketing company.
The bottom line is that the results are not what you were expecting or hoping for and the cost doesn’t seem worth it.
That’s exactly what happened to Julie.
She has a fantastic storefront in Annapolis, MD and while sales are good her online efforts are struggling. Most of her marketing is street side thanks to tourist traffic and the uniqueness of her appealing storefront.
She estimates that nearly 75% of her income is made between Memorial Day to Labor Day and once the summer is over so is her business for a lack of a better expression.
Julie has an outgoing and fun personality. People absolutely love her when they meet her but that is not at all how her online presence comes across.
It’s boring, bland, unappealing and like the majority of us she is stuck in a mass marketing mindset that is limiting her ability to grow her business through online marketing and sales.
Her website, social media and email just screams buy me; yet people don’t want to be sold they want to be given the freedom to buy.
Let’s talk briefly about a few ideas that Julie can implement to help her business online.
#1 – Julie Could Take Her Customers Online
A marketing technique I see very few businesses employing is to take your offline relationships online. There are so many ways you can do this and in my opinion too many businesses are trying to be cute.
What do I mean by that?
How many times does a business try to bait you and say something like this:
“If you “Like” our Facebook page you get 20% off your next purchase.”
Or something like that…
That in no way incentives a relationship… it’s a mass marketing idea that incentivizes a transaction and while that is okay it in no way encourages repeat business; and repeat business is where you will ultimately find your profits.
Profits come when the cost of customer acquisition goes down and the more someone buys from you the less you spend on reaching them. The initial customer acquisition is always the most expensive part.
Why not try a different tactic.
When Julie has a person who is having fun with her in the store why not offer to take a picture with her side-by-side with the customer or a staff member who connected with the customer?
Then post it on Facebook and ask the customer if you can email the link to the Facebook page with the picture of them together. If the customer shares it with their friends, neighbors, family… anyone and they come in and tell you that they came from Julie then you will give them and the customer some type of discount or benefit the next time they are in the store. The best way to verify is when they comment or share on the picture it’s documented for you.
That makes verifying easy.
Or, you can just trust them. That’s what I would do because if they said the customer was the one who introduced them they did the marketing for you anyway so just go ahead and reward them!
This is a great way to give your customers a reason to market for you and in doing so you lower the cost of your marketing expense, meet a lot of new people, acquire new customers and long-time patrons.
#2 – Use Pictures Throughout Your Website of Customers Having Fun and Engaging in the Store
Everyone wants to have a fun and unique experience these days. It’s boring going to big box retailers who sell everything you can ever want in an efficient yet stale environment.
The advantage the small business owner has is in what makes them unique in the experience.
So, takes pictures when the store is busy, take pictures with customers and the staff who are offering up lots of smiles and excitement.
I was talking with one of my new coaching clients and I always like to ask what they saw that drew her attention to me and said “I have to buy Don’s service.”
She said throughout my site the one thing that stood out over and over again were the pictures of me with people. It’s not all about me. It’s about the people I work with, help and serve.
When someone sees a picture of you with others and everyone is happy, having fun and smiling it triggers a positive emotion in the brain and people will want that experience themselves.
If you choose to employee this strategy then you better be prepared to deliver.
#3 – Video Testimonials with Long-Time Customers
Julie has been in business for four years and she does have a very loyal customer base. It’s small but it’s vocal and Julie ought to take advantage of that.
Why not create several videos that allow others to share their experiences in their own voices.
Maybe consider a customer give a tour of the store and introduce the staff or give a behind the scenes glance of makes the store work.
Strategies Only Work When You Have This One Thing in Place
I love strategies and helping businesses attract and connect with their audiences. But by themselves strategies can be very meaningless and can even backfire.
Because, you have to understand “what business you are “really” in!”
Knowing what business you are “really” in is a function of clarity in the formula “Clarity + Focus = Execution.”
Clarity + Focus = Execution
Most of us are not clear and it’s okay to be honest with that. We may even think we are until a set of questions are asked and we realize that we are not.
Julie is far from clear.
She knows what she sells and she knows how to present it but she is not clear enough to communicate it.
Why would someone buy from her?
What problem is she solving for them?
What tangible value are they experiencing through her business?
Why would they remember her business?
Who are her customers?
Like the majority of us when directly asked she doesn’t know. Again, it’s okay because this is a developed skill and it’s not a natural one. We are trapped by our mass marketing mindsets that prohibit us from being able to think differently about the answers to these questions.
When I work with someone like Julie over 4 -6 weeks there is a process that happens.
First, I send them a homework assignment and one week later we meet for a pre-scheduled regular time to discuss the answers and offer alternative ideas and suggestions over 60 to 90 minutes.
Each week there is a new revelation about:
- Themselves as a person and business owner
- About their business
- How customers experience their business
- How customers feel about their business
- What the difference was in the lives of their customers
- Who the prospects and customers specifically are – believe me when I say you are missing who many of them are.
When you can tie all these things to together your message will suddenly start to appear and when you have this foundation it makes all the difference in marketing.
Clarity of message is the foundation of each and every business and the clearer you are the easier it is to personalize your marketing above and beyond what I shared above. Remember, it’s the first step. Afterwards you can focus on strategies instead of going to straight to them and wasting time, resources and money.
If done well, you will suddenly find yourself creating content that is personal through stories, pictures and videos that tip the scale and give people to consume, share and engage with your content as well as buy from you.
Online marketing is no longer about just putting “information” out there.
It’s about engaging and making it personal!
In no other time could marketing be so personal and give your audience a reason to help you with your marketing.
If they do it, reward them for it!!!!
It’s not only less expensive but it’s also much more fun and rewarding all the way around for your business.
If you want to learn more about how clarity can help you I want to encourage you to attend an upcoming webinar to learn more.
One attendee recently said:
“I’d HIGHLY recommend checking it Don’s webinar! Just from attending his webinar and putting his technique in place, we increased our opt-ins on our first blog post afterwards by 5 times! Seriously amazing results from one key takeaway of his presentation! I just want to thank Don for that and let everyone know that they should hear what he has to say.” ~ Andrea Hewett
To learn more about the webinar click here or on the image below. I hope to see you there!
If you have a thought, idea or comment you would like to share please leave it below and let’s talk. I hope to hear from you!!!!