Do Customers Love You? 5 Questions to Ask

Your customers may ‘like’ your Facebook page but do they actually LOVE you? That’s such an overused word but I don’t mind. I use it for everything because like any consumer, I’m passionate about the products and services I spend my life with. How about you? Answer these questions to see if your customers are feeling the love too.

1. Does your company generate organic buzz?

What makes people want to share the word about your company?

2. Do you provide your consumers with a simple, compelling marketing message?

Make it easy to share your message by giving your customers the language to put to the experience.

3. How do you reward your customers?

Consumers want to feel special and valued.

4. Do you really, really know your target customer and where to reach them?

Where do your customers hang out online (and in person)? National organizations, community groups, high-profile blogs and online communities are important to your campaign.

5. Are you giving your customers a reason to keep coming back?

Your audience will naturally generate buzz if you give them a reason to talk about you, offer them a good laugh with a fun video, or touch their hearts through a program that gives back.

via Do Customers Love You? 5 Questions to Ask.

As a small business marketing consultant, I ask these questions of my clients every day. If you’re a small biz owner and you don’t know the answer, then it’s high time you started to hang out with your target peeps and get into their world to understand their perception of you and your competitors.

The real tell, of course is whether your business is growing or not. I still say ask the questions because no matter what, you should always know if somebody loves you.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

Marketing Strategies for the Future

As a brand marketing coach for small businesses, my number one job is to drag my clients out of the past perception of what marketing was into the future. I’m even writing a book about it called “Gentle Marketing”. It’s all about attraction, gratitude and giving without expecting anything in return.

Here are some other tips to market for the future:

Don’t get crowdsmashed
Attune your business to consumer interests by addressing these three questions:

  • What do customers love about your business and what one change could make them love it even more? Example: Disney is replacing its popular decade-old FastPass, which allows visitors to skip long lines, with an RFID-encoded MagicBand bracelet that unlocks the resort experience with a flick of the wrist.
  • What aspects of your customers’ experience cause annoyance and what one change could eliminate that point of irritation? Example: Starbucks addressed public pressure to reduce trash by rolling out $1 reusable plastic cups, along with the incentive of a 10 percent discount each time the cups get used.
  • What attributes or values make customers choose your business over others and what one change could deepen or reward their commitment?Example: Nearly a million small businesses have started using Square card readers, enabling them to complete purchases on the spot while also responding to customers’ preference

via Marketing Strategies for the Future.

Whether in the shower, on vacation or in bed, I am ALWAYS thinking about marketing. I’m thinking about my clients’ marketing, about my own and about everyone else’s. Marketing is simply the only way to tell people in pain how you can help them. And I want to help a lot of people. So if you’re like me, get on board with the marketing strategies of the future and help more people.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

Turn Customers Into Your Best Salespeople: 4 Tips

As a small business coach, I dream of the day when I no longer will have to lift even my pinky finger to market myself because my clients and customers will be doing it for me. Here are some brilliant ways to tap into your best kept sales and marketing weapons–your current fans, according to Bill Lee, author of The Hidden Wealth of Customers.

1. Create an excellent product or service that customers truly appreciate.

If you skip this step, the rest of the steps won’t work.

2. Select one or more potential rock star customers.

Look for loyal customers who have a good story to tell about how your product or service helped them, and who are eager to tell it.

3. Turn your customers into stars by giving them what they want.

(Have) them write guest posts for your blog or creating case studies with them. Not only will that highlight the benefits of your product or service, but it also highlights your customer as an expert voice.

4. Whatever you do, don’t give them financial incentives.

It’s likely to backfire, leaving both customers and prospects feeling uneasy about what seem like bribes.

via Turn Customers Into Your Best Salespeople: 4 Tips.

If you think marketing and selling are hard or unpleasant, just look around you and see a sea of fans who are already working with you and who might turn out to be your best marketing strategy to get more clients.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

How to Build Customer Loyalty in 2013

Isn’t it the ultimate goal of every small business owner to make customers become slaves to their fashion. To have their clients tatoo their names? To become lifelong raving fans? Yes yes and yes. I really loved this very simple and short and kinda funny article about how to make that very thing happen.

1. Be more than just a vendor.

When building your strategies, start with the needs of your customers’ customers and work backwards to discover how you can be the most helpful.

2. Be more than just a vendor.

Provide such incredible service that your customers feel like they’d be crazy to even consider buying from anyone else.

3. Be more than just a vendor.

Find customers for your customers so that they can build their own business and thus give more business to you!

4. Be more than just a vendor.

Whenever possible, meet your customers in social situations rather than purely business ones.

5. Be more than just a vendor.

I think you get the point. Have a great 2013, everyone!

via How to Build Customer Loyalty in 2013.

Couldn’t have said it better myself!

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

No. 1 Marketing Mistake You’re Making

Bet you didn’t even know that when you’re measuring your success by the number of likes and follows and clickthroughs, that you may only be achieving short term success. The following article claims that the number one mistake small business owners are making is to stop developing meaningful and emotional relationships. See what else they say below, it really resonated with me:

Because the CEOs are competitive-minded, they try to solve their marketing problem with quantity (hits, clicks, likes, impressions, followers) instead of quality (emotion, inspiration, connection, identity, affiliation). They develop metric-lust, and pursue tactics that fit nicely into a spreadsheet, but aren’t really acknowledging the reality of the customer’s conscious and sub-conscious behavior.

The result, unfortunately, is an experience that fails to keep the customer around. She sees it, shrugs, and quickly forgets. The short-term marketing tactics get her into the net, but she slips right through the big hole in the bottom. You have to create an emotional experience that’s so sticky, so engaging, so compelling that they don’t want to leave. To compete in a tough market, you have to make your customers feel something.

You’ll have to get out of your comfort zone to do it, though. You can’t solve this problem sitting at your desk staring at a spreadsheet, trying to find the logical answer. Go talk to your customers. Figure out what’s frustrating them. Learn what gets them excited. And work with your team to brainstorm ways to add layers of real emotion to your business.

via No. 1 Marketing Mistake You’re Making.

So get out behind your computer, get out there to network with the right crowd and make relationships like they did in the old days when people took clients golfing and become friends.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

5 Ways to Set a New Company Up for Success

Success - P'tit Bazar 2007 (02)

Success – P’tit Bazar 2007 (02) (Photo credit: alter1fo)

It was only last August one year ago that I left my big corporate job to become an entrepreneur. I really could’ve used this advice back then and actually did implement some of these suggestions to success. If you’re a small business owner who wants to grow, see if any of the below can help you:

1. Set low expectations.  By starting with a conservative approach, a modest success will be noticed and you will be perceived as even smarter than you are.

2. Start local. By developing and testing your idea or product in a local environment, your most powerful network — that is, people you know — will be engaged, and you can do any polishing you need to do before spending big bucks on an untried process in a larger market.

3. Grab low-hanging fruit. Pretty much every product or service has at least one super-strong potential buying group. Focus your efforts on that group with everything you’ve got.

4. Start with a single, likely client. Research their customer base and determine which customers would be the most interested and why.

5. Partner with another successful firm. Suppose a complementary and not competing company has the visibility and attention you want for your company. It may be a wash for you in terms of revenue, but you’ve gotten your product in front of real customers.

via 5 Ways to Set a New Company Up for Success.

Collaboration, conservative optimism and using your networks is what it’s really all about when a business is starting up. Telling your loved ones about what you’re doing (here’s my warm letter from last year) and setting up wonderful ways of working with others who serve the same audience as you (see my Coach’s Buffet that I’m doing at the Toronto Women’s Expo free of charge!) are surefire ways to soar to success.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!