Archive for January, 2009
Yesterday, we dropped in with a few ideas to use to help you increase your business. Here are a few more for you to consider.
The plot thickens
One way to take away some of the angst associated with all the things you must do in a day is to create a “to do” list or a calendar that lists all the things you want to do and within a specified time-frame.
Putting all your information together ahead of time will help to alleviate some of the last-minute issues that happen from time to time. You can include such things like your ezine, articles, press releases, blog posts. Even setting aside time for creating and marketing will be a valuable asset.
Push buttons more
Since there’s always something to be done, whether it’s business-related or home-related and sometimes the day is gone faster than your tasks, to free up some of your time consider automating as much as you can.
Autoresponders are an ideal way to communicate with potential customers and current and past clients. Consider setting aside regular time slots to gather your thoughts and to write a series of blog posts. You can also schedule them that way, too.
Go around the block again
You’ve written some killer articles, but that was a year or so ago. So, recycle! Take those articles and turn them into ebooks or reports. You can take your blog posts and lengthen them so they become articles. Got articles? Rewrite them from a different perspective, and submit them around again. Get out your audio equipment and read your articles to create an audio file.
Jewels of Life: Dream, Tips and Tricks, Working with a VA
If you’re looking for ways to increase your business, here are a few suggestions that might help you achieve your goals. Or at least they’ll give you a starting off point.
Who is this masked man?
Make sure prospects and clients can find you. Get involved with networking, particularly at sites (or local groups) where those who use your services or products hang out. Write, write, write—articles, articles, articles.
Post your articles everywhere you can think of that caters to your target market. Create teleseminars/webinars for your target market or host them for your colleagues.
Show them how you can benefit them in their business. Submit press releases on a regular basis to pr directories. If you’re marketing locally, you can also send them to your local newspaper.
Social Networking 411
Social networking is the “new” buzz phrase of the 21st century; everyone, including all the gurus and the “not gurus”, recognize social networking as one of the best ways these days to connect with a target market, customers, possible partners with whom you can ally and movers and shakers in the industry.
While you’re at it, consider tapping those you’ve worked with before. As well considering ways to be somewhat adventurous by seeking out those with whom you are in competition.
Forget about resting on your laurels
As part of your focus to become more successful this year, spend some time interacting more with your social networking friends.
Involve yourself in forums by responding to posts. Initiate conversations with people you meet at these sites. Especially, continue to actively seek ways to reach those improve your business.
Play nice, and be transparent
If a prospect is considering you as someone they want to work with, they’ll have a need to feel they can develop a relationship with you. So when you freely provide little bits of personal information about yourself or the way you do business, they’ll begin to know, like and trust you.
Come back Saturday because we’ve got a few more ideas to share with you.
Jewels of Life: Dream, Tips and Tricks, Working with a VA
If you want to be seen and accepted as an expert, show respect for your readers and write well.
And, if you want to be trusted as an authority when writing copy, make sure you take care to show good grammatical and spelling skills.
Nothing spells trouble or destroys an authoritative position, or a chance at something extremely monumental more than the bad use of language.
It speaks of carelessness and a lack of knowledge.
Case in point, recall if you will, the repeat ad nauseum of Caroline Kennedy’s recent interview with Nicholas Confessore and David M. Halbfinger, journalists with The New York Times. In that interview, Caroline used the phrase, “you know”, 142 times; 12 times in under a minute.
Many of the television news commentators and journalists. unfortunately. tore her apart because to them she came across as being a less than well-educated person.
Jewels of Life: Believe, Tips and Tricks, Virtual Assistant
Aim for the stars; build a top-notch service organization
“Everybody’s” doing it it seems, which makes it harder for one company to stand out from another. While customers reveal less loyalty for a product or service than ever before. Thus, it’s paramount for those wanting to rise above the sameness to produce superior support to sustain a competitive edge.
Tapping into some of today’s customer service software, companies can now:
Improve Service Delivery
With amazingly high expectations today, it’s important to utilize fast and efficient delivery of service to keep happy customers. The ease with which customers are able to conduct transactions and receive service will keep them lining up at your door for whatever you have to offer.
Identify and Resolve Problems
Today’s world is fast-paced and customers have little patience for shoddy or slow service delivery. This is so prevalent that one small misstep in how you interact with your customers and you can count the seconds before the customer hurries out the door. When a wronged customer leaves under those terms, in all likelihood he does not look back. Ever!
You can’t have one without the other; if you know what’s wrong with your customer service, you better know how to fix it. If you pay attention to your employees and customers, ideas will present themselves that you can use to resolve any issues that pop-up.
Take a lesson from the cereal and cold drink makers. Check out the boxes of cereal; how often do you see “new” and “improved” printed on the box of your favorite cereal? Work to improve your products and services to keep your customers interested. Such innovations will keep your current customers and attract new ones.
With changes, though, it’s important to keep your customers aware of them. It’s quite frustrating to go into a store to get your favorite cookies to find the shelf items were rotated. So you either have to wander around the store looking for the item, look for help, choose another item or just leave empty-handed. And upset.
One of the quickest ways to grab your customer’s attention is to create a buzz with a bargain. Better quality and lower costs draw people. So have a sale.
Gather Customer Opinions
While we may sometimes prefer to not know our efforts are criticized, it is important to get feedback from our visitors. Because this way you can know how to improve products and services.
Jewels of Life: Dream, Tips and Tricks, Working with a VA
1001 Advertising Tips, by Luc Dupont, at Amazon is a reference guide full of expert advice on how to advertise effectively.
It explains what works and what doesn’t in advertising, is written in how-to terms and is a step-by-step guide to create advertising that sells. The ideas in the book are organized in points, supported by examples from past advertising campaigns and are illustrated throughout with actual ads. All these visual examples make the ideas clear and memorable.
In 1001 Advertising Tips you will read about marketing strategies and be offered insight, tools, and techniques that you need to market any product or service.
In this book you will learn:
• The types of words that persuade
• The images that grab consumers’ attention
• What to think about sponsorship and product placement
• The kinds of slogans are the most effective
• The number of repetitions needed to sell your product
• The colors that optimize your message
• The power of corporate and brand logos
• The choice of a product name
The Tips on Advertising in this book make the book an ideal stimulator. Each chapter is a well-researched mix of scientific knowledge and concrete examples. No matter what type of advertising you use (print, billboard, television or radio advertising) this book offers proven strategies. It outlines everything you need to know to create advertisements that will make your sales soar, regardless of your budget.
If advertising is a part of your marketing plan, you need some guidance and support to take your advertising efforts to the next level.
Jewels of Life: Tips and Tricks
2009 finally sailed in and it seems now “everyone” is up to their ears in resolutions, goals, getting organized, trying new things and just more or less turning over a new leaf. Relatively speaking, they’ve got the right idea.
In fact, author Basil S. Walth once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, how can you expect to get there?” That’s a mouthful! Because no matter what you’re doing in life, whether it’s work or play, you need a little bit of guidance or motivation.
Goals are also a foundation upon which to build your self-confidence.
Goal setting isn’t just for us. In fact, in his quest for a Gold medal this summer, Michael Phelps told how he started writing his goals down when he was rather small. Other athletes and successful business people have also done pretty much the same.
So while most of us won’t have an eye on eight gold medals, it’s not too late to get out the pen and paper and plan for our business and personal lifestyle best.
Key to Setting Goals
1. Write Goals Down
It’s extremely empowering to see your goals in front of you. In fact, they fall into place in your mind and help you cement that commitment to carry them out.
As witness this interesting bit of fact: A popular
2. Make Goals Short, Attainable, & Measurable
Short and sweet, it’s that simple. In fact, you’ll have the best luck setting your goals if you don’t sit for hours and try to write a large number of goals, or pages and pages in book format. However, you will want to write your goals so they can be easily measured.
For instance, goals like the following are attainable and challenging enough to keep you motivated:
Whatever you do, though, make your goals so you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, so they are attainable and so you won’t get discouraged. If your plan is to lose a huge number of pounds in two weeks or if you want to generate $500 a day in 10 days, you’re on a train that’s headed for a wreck.
On the other hand, don’t set wimpy goals simply because you’re afraid to fail. Talane Miedaner, author of Coach Yourself to Success (McGraw-Hill/Contemporary Books, 2002) notes: “People sometimes give themselves ‘weeny’ goals–they play it safe so they don’t fail…But the bigger the goal, the more likely you are to achieve it.”
3. Create Deadlines
It’s really important to set deadlines because without them, your goals are just dreams or wishes. While you’re at it, make sure you have deadlines for both your short-term and long-term goals. Keep in mind, too, that sometimes life gets in the way. This means that although you have specific deadlines there may be instances when they, or even your goals, have to be adjusted. It’s important to be open to change if it becomes necessary and to not be afraid to make adjustments accordingly. Just keep on moving on.
4. Look at your goals every day!
Do you recall when you were small how you learned your numbers or how to write your cursive? How about when you learned how to read?
Same concept here:
There was an inspirational article in Shape magazine to which you might relate. The author mentioned that before Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of the bestselling book and Oprah Pick “Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy (Warner Books, 1995), became a bestselling author, she pasted her name on the #1 spot of the New York Times bestseller list and posted it on her computer.
5. Make Goal Setting a Routine
Set aside time each day, preferably each morning, to make a “To do” list. Not only will this help you organize your time better but those goals will stick out like a sore thumb. And, if you’ve still got some unattended item on your list at the end of the day, just move it to tomorrow’s list.
The main thing is to not become inactive or stagnant; you’ll keep your eye on the prize by having your goals always front and forward in your mind.
In the words of Cecil B. De Mille: “The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.”
Then come next year at this time you’ll look back on 2009 as your best year ever!
Jewels of Life: Believe, Dream, Tips and Tricks
A couple weeks ago, we launched a new blog,As Long As You’re Here; its focus is toward Internet Marketing.
Soon, well in a week or so, I’ll “go-live” with Clicking for Change
Additional plans for this new year include a second “go-live” Internet marketing hang-out, an Internet Marketing Boutique, A Bee In Your Bonnet.
Jewels of Life: Dream, Resources
It seems “everyone’s” doing it these days.
Doing business online, that is.
If you’re paying attention to today’s trends, you can really see business owners electing to step away from the confines of a “brick and mortar” to secure a place in line on the Internet.
The costs associated with the start-up of an online business are really fairly minimal and it’s rather easy to get started. Securing a spot for your business on the Internet minimizes expenses. For instance, you can rule out the need for a building and its many related operating costs.
Once you’ve got your Web site up and running, its maintenance is kept to a minimum. In addition, the Internet is an extremely easy, fast and suitable way to market your products and services. Further, the continued influx of people on the Internet widens the numbers to whom you can market.
But into each Internet life, a little rain must sometimes fall.
This is especially noticeable as businesses make the transition from “meeting and greeting” customers one-on-one as they come through the “physical” door to becoming “just another “blip” online. Unfortunately, personal connection and trust can become lost when online anonymity takes the reins.
We’ve all seen how online spamming and scamming can influence the way we do business. In some instances, some companies may seem less credible and less trustworthy than others in their E-commerce practices.
What are you doing to maintain and gain customer trust? How are you communicating your customer-service to your online customers?
It’s not just 9 to 5 any more
The online world is so fluid, once your business is up and running, it never stops! What if a customer stops by your site on weekends or holidays? How can they get their questions answered?
1. It’s Just the FAQs, Ma’am!
Offer a “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) page and provide product support information online.This is a great way to answer basic questions. The FAQ page can also help to diminish the amount of email to your support desk. For instance, check out the FAQ pages at Microsoft or Hewlett-Packard. Common topics and issues that are asked over and over are included in their FAQ documentation.
2. Click here for support
Add an email link to a support desk on your Web site for issues that can’t be resolved by your Web support. Then make it a rule of thumb to try to answer customer questions within a specified amount of time—a good turn around response is within one business day, although many times questions can be responded to within an hour of the time you receive the email. Being proactive and taking the extra step or going an extra mile to meet a customer’s needs will gain many loyal and satisfied customers.
3. Now what did I just say?
Provide a message board or forum for customers to voice their opinions, add comments, and interact with each other. People like to “mingle’ and to talk with others. After all, we have a social bent, as well as a liking to be heard. Message boards and forums help to build up a community of users, and it gives them a say in the products and services you provide.
4. How are you today?
Assure that they don’t fall through the cracks, write a personal email to each customer. Where did they go after they left your Web site? How happy are they with your products and services? Do they come back? Will they pass your information on to someone?
Help them remember you by following up with them after their purchase of your goods or services. Their feedback can provide you with valuable information on how to improve your offerings. And it can also help you to build trust and long-term relationships with your customers.
So reach out and “touch” with an email 3 to 4 weeks after the first purchase. And then periodically after that.
All it takes is a little time and effort, that “TLC” don’t you know?–to communicate with your customers
It will set you above the rest, and it will pay off big time! In ways you may not imagine. While your company will rise and fall, it won’t be because of the customers you gain. Instead, it will be because of the customers that stick with you. They’ll be the ones willing to provide you with the best testimonials. Your name will be the one that’s quickly on their tongue. And they’ll be the ones to go to bat for you with word-of-mouth marketing.
A happy customer is a testament to your company’s success.
2008 Karen McGreevey @ Konceptuality
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR ON YOUR WEB SITE? Please do, but do so and include this complete byline with it: Need help with editing, proofreading and general admin support services, contact Karen McGreevey, Konceptuality, Virtual Assistant and Expert Author, at email@example.com.
Jewels of Life: Tips and Tricks, Working with a VA, Believe