5 Goals to Achieve This Year

If y0u’re up for it — I am going to push the envelope a little today and actually give you five goals to try to achieve by the end of the year.

Remember you are never going to know if you are capable of something if you don’t take that first step.

1. Go small

This may be a big one to start with but here goes-Downsize.  Look at all aspects of your business whether that includes employees, vendors or service providers.  If you find that there is a way for ONE provider to handle multiple jobs than cut back.  This may sound strange but sometimes less is more when it comes to project management as well as financial costs.

2. Take Time to Invest Fully

Make this the year that you completely focus on not only getting to know your customers but also their specific needs.  Once you make this commitment, find the best way to communicate.  Whether that is through a blog, social media, QR codes, or even a weekly newsletter; find out which option works for them.  There is no use in spending quality time and content on an area your customers do not even use.

3. Refresh your website

Take the time and really go through your website.  Analyze and make notes as you look over what you have currently.  Then, go on the Internet and find your biggest competitor.  Look at their website and make notes on what things stand out the most.  Once you do that, write a plan on what to change and a timeline to get it done.

4. Real Life Social Networking

Put some effort into networking by signing up for an industry conference or seeking out a local meet-up group. These are invaluable ways to develop relationships and share advice with fellow entrepreneurs and small business owners.

5. Put time for you on the calendar

It’s up to you to keep yourself motivated and inspired.  Be sure to reward yourself for specific milestones like a big client win, meeting a tough deadline, or working “overtime” for multiple nights on end.

Sticking to all of these 5 goals is a lofty for anyone. Follow the tips that ring true for your situation, and adjust as needed. Do you have other goals for your business this year?

 

Creativity + Testimonials = Results

In a fast pace world of marketing, one of the best ways to stay ahead of your competition revolves around one word: CREATIVITY.  So today I am going to show you how combining a little bit of creativity with your testimonials yields great results.

No matter where you are using your customer testimonials, you want to present them in a way that pops out to the reader.  Be honest – how many of you have visited a website selling a product and you find at the bottom of the page a BUNCH of writing and small pictures?  Now be honest again – because it is in a format that seems like “a lot to read”, you skip over it, right?

You do not want your potential customers to skip over a wealth of information that sings your praises.  To help you out, I have created a list of creative ways to use your testimonials:

1. Put a Name with a Face
• By putting a picture beside a testimonial, it allows the potential customer to be able to relate especially if they are the same gender, race, age, etc.

2. Hearing is Believing
• Adding an audio clip or video gives the testimonial an additional level of believability.  It allows the potential client to hear or see the exact emotion from the testimonial.  Think about it – when you read something, it is hard to see how excited or disappointed a person is.  This takes out all the guesswork and delivers a message with real emotion.

3. Visually Creative
• The best way to set up testimonials on a page is by putting them in a gray or yellow box.   By taking the time to create a page that is visually appealing will bring in more clients and ultimately better results.

The most important thing to remember is to put your testimonials in a positive and appealing position on the website.  You want to make sure the potential client is not just scrolling past them.  Instead, they pop out and draw the potential client in to wanting to read what others have to say about you.
Tune in next week to discover how potential clients respond to testimonials.

Whose Shoes Are You Walking In?

Your customers, (this includes those that have not bought anything from you but who have read your blog and subscribed to your newsletter or visited your website) look to you for help, motivation, advice, entertainment, and valuable information.

To really do this effectively you have to walk in your customers shoes.

Everyday I encounter businesses that really miss the mark on this.

One way to really get this is to BE your customer.  Go to your website, cruise it like a potential customer, sign up for your optins. Even better, get your friends, colleagues, and those that work for you to do the same.  Have them document what they see and how they feel during the experience.  There’s a lot to be said about doing this. In fact there’s a huge business that focuses just on that and it’s called “mystery shoppers,” having someone pose as a potential customer and they document their experience. This works well in bricks and mortar places like dentist offices or doctor’s offices.  By doing this, you will be very surprised by the results.  In fact, you could take it one step further and create a short survey for anyone to answer who you ask to go to your website, your newsletter, etc., and get them to document their experience on your survey. For more information about surveys and how to use them to make more money in your business— www.CreateAmazingSurveys.com

What I would recommend is that you start paying closer attention to your own everyday encounters with other businesses, colleagues, bosses, or clients that are either less than satisfactory or extremely pleasant. Really be aware of your own thoughts and reactions when you are annoyed or frustrated or if you find yourself very impressed.

Anytime you encounter something that starts to make the little hairs on the back of your head stand-up, stop and think about why.  What is causing your reaction?  It could be something that seems to be very small but is in actuality significant.

Maybe you are trying to download a free report and you are being asked to fill out a lengthy form to get it.

Or you sent and email to someone and they only responded back with one or two words because they are on their mobile device.

Or you get asked for your zip code at a particular store every time you buy something, even a pack of gum.

Or you visit a website for the first time and immediately get a popup asking you to rate your experience before you even have a chance to look at the site.

Now think about what the other party could have done to make the encounter better for you and really make you eager to return or do business with them again.

Could they have given you just a bit more information that would have been helpful?  Could they have answered your question themselves rather than just pointing you to a document
or FAQ?

Could they have listened to you more carefully to better understand your situation?  Could they use less jargon on their web page to make it easier to understand?

Now go back to your own business and look at every place you interact with your customers, colleagues, bosses, employees, and others.  Really pay attention to how you present
yourself, your information, and advice.  Are you really providing the best possible experience?  Are you really avoiding the mistakes and behavior that annoy you when you are the customer?

Don’t make yourself difficult to do business with.

Let’s face it.  Standards seem to be dropping everywhere you go.  The real key to creating a successful business is paying close attention to what your customer’s experience is with your business…  This is a real opportunity for you to shine and create an amazing experience for your customers.  That is the best way to stand out from your competition and create a much more successful business.