There’s a need as a business to be connected with your customers more now than ever before. With so much competition to look out for, a customer could change their minds and go with a different supplier or company without even batting an eyelid. So with that in mind, here are some tips for connecting with your customers online.
Use Social Media With social media, there’s a lot that you can be doing to interact with your customers. Most people now have a digital presence, and most of those people with a digital footprint will also have at least one social media platform. Every social media platform performs differently, and therefore, you want to find out where most of your customers are. You can tell this by how much interaction it might already be getting on those social feeds, regardless of whether you are currently on those platforms or not. When creating your social media profiles, make sure the brand logo is being shown off so that your customers know that it’s you. You can use social media to have a more in-depth and personal interaction than you usually would with more traditional formats of communication like e-mailing, or phoning. So find out what social media platform is most popular for your company and then work on improving that platform to get more followers and more interest in your brand. Welcome every person that follows you and provides a mixture of professional and more relaxed content. Be consistent, and always respond to your followers.
Know Your Audience With Data There are plenty of software platforms available nowadays where you can find out information about your audience. Like user research software, this way of finding your audience data can be extremely beneficial. Audience data is like a gold mine for any business because what can be done with it has the potential to help tailor content and products or services that the business creates. By knowing exactly what your audience likes and doesn’t like will help you, in theory, to sell more of what you’re selling. There are plenty of ways that you can access this data, but be wary that you’ll need to have the right disclaimers in place to ensure that the customer is happy for their data to be used. Data is a powerful thing, so if you can understand it, this will help you become more familiar with your audience, and it can help build relationships. That’s something you really want to achieve when it comes to connecting with your customers online. You want to be able to build relationships so that customers become loyal not just to the business but to the products or services that they’re buying. If you have the perfect product, then why waste your time going anywhere else?
Respond To Concerns Directly When a customer complains, a business may have ignored some complaints, but now that the online world is here, that’s not possible anymore. Why? Well, because if a customer is going to complain and they’ve not heard back from you over email or phone, then they’re going to express their dislike for your company in the public domain of social media. It’s a space where you can speak freely, and it’s not something that others can delete unless it’s going against the rules of the social media platform. When you do receive complaints or a clear message directed to your company, respond to them directly. Not only does this show to others that’s your responsive, but it also tells the customer what the protocol is when it comes to a complaint. A lot of people like to complain for the sake of it, and this approach might whittle down those who are just doing it to try and get something to those who have been genuinely messed around.
The more you can do for your customers, the better. It’s important to go that extra mile for them when you can and have the ability to do so. It shows commitment to your customers and that you care for them which will be seen by everyone else who’s watching it via the public nature of social media.
Make Your Interactions Less Scripted It’s important that when you’re interacting with customers online, you’re doing it in a more conversational manner, rather than something that’s scripted. No one likes talking to an automated robot, and the same goes for those who are clearly working from a rehearsed script. So with that in mind, when you’re responding to people via social media or you’re commenting on things that are said about a product or a company, be personable in your response. Make it more about having fun with the conversation, rather than it having to be too professional.
Throw out the script and bring in something more loose and fluid. Obviously you want that professional manner of what needs including, but in regards to what is said exactly, this can be down to the individual who is responding on behalf of the business.
Have Plenty Of Communication Options Available No customers will like the fact that you only have an email to get in touch with or just the one avenue of communication. It puts out the feeling that you’re not a company that likes communicating with customers or has any decent customer service. That’s probably not the case but you’re not doing yourself any favors by being unapproachable. So provide as many communication options as possible. From email to phone, postal to online webchat. There are many ways you can offer customer service, so use as many of the above as you possibly can. Don’t forget direct messages on your social media handles too!
Connecting with your customers online is what’s going to make them stick around and to spread the word about your company, hopefully. So create those social media profiles, work on customer communication options, and don’t forget to be personable in your approach to talking to customers online.
We all want (and need!) to reach our audience in such a compelling way that they engage with us in return.
There are few things as discouraging and detrimental to you and your business as putting yourself out there, expelling a ton of effort, implementing painstaking strategies, only to hear crickets chirping in response to your hard work. Am I right?
A decrease in audience engagement is a sign that something is malfunctioning. Whether there’s an issue with the products or services you’re offering, the marketing strategy you’re implementing, or the particular audience you’ve targeted, consider these tips for getting over the hump that’s keeping your audience engagement from growing.
4 Tips for Increasing Audience Engagement
Learn Your Audience! Why would you expect someone to engage with you if you haven’t spent some time to engage with them first…in the way they respond to well? It’s possible that you’re not seeing a lot of audience engagement because the particular audience you’re attempting to sell to isn’t overly interested in what you’re marketing or the way you’re attempting to market it. You need to learn who your audience is, what they like, and what makes them more inclined to engage. This might mean narrowing your audience substantially from “everyone” to a more specific group. Once you’ve done this, you’re better equipped to create and market specially for them in order to increase engagement.
Now, it might sound counter-intuitive to narrow your audience in order to increase engagement, but keep in mind that “everyone” will not be interested in what you’re offering, no matter how perfect your product or service. You must identify your audience, dedicate time to learning what they like, and then engage with them in order to grow your engagement!
Examine Your Product/Service. It’s perfectly normal to love your business and believe everyone should want what you’re offering. To an extent, if you didn’t believe this about your business, then you might want to be in a different business altogether! However, often times we think our products or services are perfect and irresistible when, in fact, they could use some improvement. Don’t hesitate to examine your products or services for defects, mistakes, or weak points. Look for places to improve and then do so. You want people to engage with your business because it’s valuable, you’re worth it, and your product or service is actually good.
Consider Your Marketing Strategy. Understanding your audience and your product or service is key to developing a stellar marketing strategy. For instance, if your product is meant to help elderly people, then you might not want to expend a ton of effort in creating Facebook ads (since the majority of your audience might not use Facebook). In the same way, if your target is business owners, then your Facebook ads need to be targeted in such a way to identify people owning a business rather than any and every Facebook user.
For online marketing, keep in mind that the day of the week and time of day also have an effect on your engagement!. Different industries tend to be “online” at different times. For instance, desk-job employees tend to be more active on the internet during business hours (between 9am and 5pm) on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and social media accounts tend to be more active in the afternoons and evenings. For a different industry, these “popular” times might be different, so learning what’s accurate for your particular audience is valuable for increasing audience engagement online.
Look at Yourself and Be Genuine! It will be easier for people to relate and engage with you if you’re as true as you can possibly be to yourself and your brand. Don’t try to be someone else (people will see through it and consequently not engage)! Now, genuineness can be hard to manage sometimes, especially through website content where we want to remain professional, social media posts we want to keep catchy, or webinars where we’re trying to educate others. Nevertheless, it’s so important that you remain true to yourself and your brand so that people who will click with you can do so easily.
Remember that not everyone will like you and your business, but that’s fine! You just want the engagement from your desired audience.
As a small business owner, turning a profit is paramount to keeping your business above ground and feeling comfortable and satisfied as an entrepreneur. If profits drop, it leads to stress, overtime, and a depleting savings account.
Today I’ve pulled some tips together for you on how to make your small business more money! It’s not about what you bring in, but what you keep. Take a look these strategies for increasing your profit without increasing your effort.
#1 Connect With Inactive Customers
Your inactive customer base is a goldmine. They already know your product, many of them like your product, and they are familiar with your brand. It is much easier (and cheaper!!) to sell to an inactive client than a completely new client. Find creative ways to connect with your inactive customers. Send them a message letting them know you noticed they’ve been absent, and you would love to see them again. Send them a special, rockin’ discount. Shoot them a newsletter detailing new products/services you are now offering that they might not know about.
You’ll likely find several people who need your service/product but needed a nudge or reminder that you’re there. You’ll find others who thought you might have gone out of business because they haven’t heard from you. Get connected with your list!
#2 Organize & Know Your Numbers
For some business owners, numbers are scary or overwhelming. But it is important to have an organized spreadsheet of your company budget, income, and expenses. You should be updating this monthly or even weekly. You want to budgetSMARTandEFFECTIVELYso that you are not losing profit. Every employee, expense, contractor, etc. should fit nicely into the budget OR be cut loose. Know your profit!!
#3 Have A Referral Program
Referrals are one of the absolute best ways to grow your business. Referrals save you hundreds or even thousands on marketing efforts. Don’t be shy to approach your loyal customers about referrals. Make it a win-win for them by offering a nice discount or something for free if they refer a paying customer to you. Put reminders at the ends of emails or in product packaging encouraging buyers to share with their friends. It’s important that they also know you want them to be 100% happy with your service/product and have an open line for anyone who is dissatisfied. An unhappy customer who is heard, validated, and accommodated can become your greatest advocate and long-term buyer.
#4 Be An Active Learner/Evolver
One of my favorite books about turning a long-term profit as a small business owner is calledProfit First by Mike Michalowicz. If you’ve never read it, I highly recommend it. He teaches you a fantastic method for ensuring your business is always profitable and stable while also making your customers/clients/employees happy.
They say millionaires are reading all the time. Having a book on audible or kindle every month/week is a great way to expand your knowledge, learn new skills, see what other people are doing and just become a more well-rounded business owner. If you make this a habit, you’ll likely come across new ideas or skills that seriously improve your profits!
#5 Surround Yourself With Smart People
It’s hard to admit but sometimes, you don’t know everything! Running a business is hard work and it’s important to surround yourself with smart, skilled people. Find mentors, employees or contractors who have strengths in areas you are weak. Network and make friends with entrepreneurs with whom you can share ideas and brainstorm. Don’t be afraid to outsource projects to someone who can do them better than you or find a mentor to help you learn to do them. Be humble enough to ask for help.
A key element to your long-term success as an entrepreneur and business owner is effectivePLANNING! We are almost at the end of 2018…did you reach your goals? Did you stick to a consistent plan? Are you pumping your fists in the air or wiping away tears??
It’s not too late to set up your next year for success. Using my 12 month marketing plan, you can create a personalized short and long-term business plan to keep you focused, increase profitability and build your business the way you want!
I know how important planning is and I want to make this very accessible for you. For the price of a fancy dinner, you can get my complete 12 Month Marketing Plan!!
Think about all the emails and sales pages you’ve seen in the last week, offering a new class, product, or service. Often some marketers will highlight the features and benefits of their latest creation but then fall short because they didn’t include a story.
The art of storytelling in business can be crucial to your success. It can mean the difference between having a sales funnel full of leads or barely making ends meet because you’re connecting with the wrong audience. People will spend their money with you only after they know, like, and trust you. What better way to build that relationship than with your storytelling skills.
Connect with the Right People
Of course, your storytelling skills are wasted unless you identify your ideal clients and where to find them. Think too broadly and you’ll attract freebie seekers or others who will want a price reduction. Or maybe you’ll find those who can afford your price point but who don’t want to do the work. Narrow your sights on your ideal client and create a storyboard with their demographics. Where do they live? Are they married? Do they have a family? How old are they? What are their pain points? How can you help them?
By stating these specifics, you will paint a clear picture of who you want to help, who you want to attract into your funnel, and where you can find them to start interacting. Focus on building relationships instead of selling products. Not everyone you meet will be ready to buy or maybe they are just on the fringes of your ideal market and not the right fit. Keep growing your network and you will find your tribe who will appreciate what you are offering and trust your judgment enough to make purchases.
Make Your Connections Personal with Stories
Your audience wants to connect with YOU, not with your product. What more personal way to make a connection than with a story, or two. Your customers or clients want to know your history, why did you start your business, and how can you help them. How are you different from all the other coaches out there? What is your inspiration? What personal struggles have you overcome?
Yes, at some point they will want to know about the features of your product and how it can help them but start off by allowing your audience to know you. You can show your human side by telling your stories on video. They don’t have to be as polished or as lengthy as a TED talk but you’ll be surprised how many people prefer video over reading outrageously long pages.
Show your human side; don’t edit out all your flubs. What better way to portray yourself as human than to show some bloopers. Showcase your expertise but show your tribe that you’re accessible by answering questions and asking them directly what kind of help they need.
When you decide to connect on a human level instead of always pushing a sale, people will naturally be attracted to you and will want to learn more about you and your business. Be patient; relationship building takes time but the sales will follow.
Have an awesome week!
PS: Are you looking for support for your online business? Having the right support is crucial and it will make all the difference for your bottom line. Click Here and Let’s Chat.
Today I have a little tip for you about how to improve your relationship marketing.
This SINGLE tool can take a mediocre marketing strategy and make it wildly successful.
First, it’s important to understand what relationship marketing is.
“Relationship marketing is a marketing strategy in which a company seeks to build long-term relationships with its customers by providing consistent satisfaction.”
When you use relationship marketing you are aiming to form a real, loyal, long-term relationship with a customer.
So what is the ONE tool that can turn a mediocre strategy into one that will literally make you money for weeks, months and even years to come?
It’s this: emotion.
Try something with me. Think of a memory from your childhood. Something you remember vividly. Whatever memory comes up, what emotion comes with it? What were you feeling during this memory?
When you are able to remember something from many years ago, it’s because the memory is attached to a powerful emotion.
It’s true, isn’t it? Your most vivid memories are from your most emotional moments. Both negative and positive emotions have the ability to lock something in our memory for decades.
How can we leverage this in our relationship marketing strategy?
Unless you pull your potential customers emotions to the surface (hopefully positive ones) your message just become noise in their life.
To create brilliant marketing strategies that create positive emotions in your audience, I suggest the following:
Know your target audience.Who are you trying to reach with your advertising, and what do they care about? What problems are they likely facing? What trends does their demographic gravitate towards? What will SPEAK to them deeply? Make them sit up and take notice?
Tell their story.This could radically affect the success of your business if done well! Your message should tell the story of your audience. It shouldn’t be about you 90% of the time. And when it is about you, it should be in a way that resonates and relates powerfully with your audience. Talk about them. Represent them. Tell THEIR story.
Speak into their dreams.Tap into the dreams of your target audience. Show them how your product or service can help them live the life they’ve always wanted. Make sure you are genuine and authentic.
Connecting to your readers through creating real emotion (and memories!) has the potential to dramatically impact the success of your business.
Remember, it is imperative to be authentic and genuine when doing so. If you aren’t, people can feel it, and they won’t trust you.
In 2 weeks I will be launching a new, comprehensive workshop on relationship marketing. I will walk you through everything you need to know to get started with your own relationship marketing strategy, so you can build genuine connections and learn how it can be used to transform your business.
Keep an eye on your inbox!
Have a great week.
P.S. If you don’t want to wait two weeks, you can sign up for a complimentary one-on-one call with me to discuss your business goals and strategies. Let’s dive deep and figure out what will take you to the next level. Sign up here.
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