Category Archives for Branding

Building An Online Business Is Like Driving A Car

[youtube]http://youtu.be/DqeBrfxdOuE [/youtube]

Once you begin your journey into building an online business you very quickly realize there are so many moving parts that go into to creating a profitable online business.  There is all the technical stuff; hosting, widgets, sidebars, footers.  And then there are things like list building, creating a product, joint ventures, autoresponders, affiliate commissions and so much more.  It’s easy to see why so many people give up and never get to realize their dreams.

Can you imagine if you had never learned to drive a car?  Imagine all the places you would never have seen.  All the things you could never have done if you didn’t have a way to drive yourself around?

I want you to think back to when you were learning to drive a car.  Come on, let’s face it – it was hard!  There were so many different things that demanded your attention; which peddles to push and when, gear sticks to move at the right time, mirrors to constantly check in.    These things didn’t stop you from now being able to drive easily and effortlessly though did they?  starting an online business is like learning to drive a car

The same will happen when you persist with all those little things that seem so demanding of your attention while you build your online business.  There will never be a time when you completely stop learning and being outside of your comfort zone, but there will be a time when all those things that seem difficult to you now, will be part of a well oiled system and happen easily and effortlessly.

You can  release yourself from your 9-5 job.  You can create a different future for yourself and your family.  No one said building an online business would be easy – but it is simple and  it can be done!

I’m here to support and help you all the way.

Think – Believe – Create!

LEAVE A COMMENT AND TELL ME WHAT PARTS OF YOUR ONLINE JOURNEY HAVE BEEN THE MOST DIFFICULT

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Care For Your Customers

Care For Your Customers

I’m sure I’m like most people, I hate to be sold to, but if I getter better service from you than I do from the fellow down the street, I’m going to keep coming back t see you again and again. I don’t even mind if your prices are higher than  other peoples’ because you make me feel important and valued as a customer.
 
Here’s an example.   A few months back we wanted to upgrade all our televisions to meet the new digital signals.  Neither Murray or I are electronically minded at all – in fact dealing with electronics scares us to death!  On the morning we set off to do our shopping there was not even any discussion on where we would go to buy. 
 
We went right back to a local distributor who treats us like a long-time friend.  He welcomes us and from past purchases, knows exactly what our set up is.  He completely understands our fear of digital gadgetry, without making us feel inadequate. He knows he can recommend exactly what we will need to meet our needs.  We don’t question his recommendations; he’s proven himself right time and time again already.  Thrown into the deal he will come around to hour home and completely install and set up and stay to explain how everything works and we are completely happy.  
 
We never feel pressured and he has us as a lifetime customer.

Want the same relationship with your customers? Here are six ways to go about it.

 
Smile when you’re on the phone

You can hear a smile through the phone!  Anyone in your business who spends time speaking with your customers must have a happy attitude.  No ‘bad days’ allowed!  .

 
Ask your clients what they want

It like pushing a wheelbarrow up hill if you only ever give your customers what you  think they need, rather than asking them what they want.   When they tell you what they want, then as much as you can, give it to them. Follow this rule and you will always know you are doing the right thing. I often hear people ask me “Do you think I should do x?”  My answer is – ask your customer!  You can survey customers via your email marketing, hold competitions and learn to be a really good listener whenever your customers speak. 

 
Don’t be stubborn on refunds

“The customer is always right” is a good rule to follow.  If you deal with a complaint or refund pleasantly, and then also go overboard on anything else you can do for the customer to make things right you will build great loyalty.  In fact, people don’t even mind if they are disappointed with a product, if the way their disappointment is dealt with is pleasant.  It’s not difficult to turn unhappy customers into loyal followers who will come back again and again.

 
Reward customer loyalty

It bugs me when I see businesses offering incentives to attract new clients, yet forget to reward those clients that have been loyal for months on end.  It’s easy to give bonuses, inexpensive rewards and do unexpected “nice” things. In today’s digital world, if you can add some kind of personalization to a purchase, you will increase customer loyalty ten fold.  People are skeptical and appreciate knowing they are doing business with a ‘real’ person.

 
People love to belong!

One of human natures fundamental needs to feel like we ‘belong’.  Create a community with your customers and make them feel as if they are part of a very special group.  Be aware of ways you can keep them involved in your business.  This can be through social functions, with email messages, cards or special announcements that simply say “we appreciate you.”

 
Prioritize customer support

One of the quickest ways to develop a long term relationship and show how much you care for your customers is with super customer service support.  This is especially relevant in the online world.  You may have experienced a time when you sent in a ‘support ticket’ only to still be left hanging around for a response days or weeks later without ever having heard a word back.  This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in any business.  Treat your customers’ queries with the highest priority and your customers will stay happy.

Be there to truly serve and care for your customers with these small tips and it will make a big difference.

 

Here’s to your success!

Fay McLean

 

P.S.  Master your email marketing and you’ll never feel like you are ‘selling’ ever again.

This online workshop just might be the best investment you’ll ever make! Limited places.

3 Tips To Building Customer Loyalty

3 Tips To Building Customer Loyalty

Building customer loyalty is not only a cost effective and profitable strategy, but in today’s business world it’s necessary. This is especially true when you remember that 80% of your income will come from 20% of your customers.  If you think about these statistics it’s very surprising that so few people focus their marketing,sales or follow up on building customer loyalty and engagement.

I see it all the time in places like hairdressing salons. They will offer a great discount or incentive for new clients but if you are a current customer you have the privilege of paying full price.  I’d really like someone to explain to me how this is building customer loyalty!

I can remember when I was a little girl and each week my parents would give me my pocket money.  I’ve always been a lover of lollies (and I’m no different now!). So, as soon as I got my pocket money I would be off up the street to the little shop ran by a man called Mr Flick.

There were lots of shops in the street that I could have bought my lollies from, but I always went to Mr Flick’s shop.  Why?  Well for a start, he was friendly. He was always interested in what I was doing. And, a BIG reason I kept going to his shop was that he always put a few extra lollies into my bag more than what I had actually paid for.

He would always ask me “Is that all for you today?”  Most of the time I just bought my lollies, but sometimes I might also buy something else for my mum or dad too.

Perhaps it’s time to rethink the strategies you use with your customers.  After all, many experts will tell you that it’s five times more profitable to spend marketing and advertising dollars on customer retention than it is to acquire new customers.

Building Customer Loyalty In Your Small Business

Here are a few simple strategies you can use to improve customer retention and continue building customer loyalty.

1.  Add Massive Value

Reward your customers for their loyalty.  Make them feel special by giving them incentives, discounts or added bonuses every now and then.  The type of things you can offer to increase the value you deliver are:

  • Throw a Customer Appreciation Night. Recently I held a “Lets Leave The Aging To The Wine and Cheese” night for all my local customers and team members.  We focussed on sharing customer testimonials, highlighted new products and did some fun drawings.  And of course, we mentioned the opportunity and shared our business success stories!  This was a fun networking type event that everyone enjoyed and we had great results!
  • Use your webcam or even mobile phone to quickly make a video with a special message or a demonstration on how they can use products or services more effectively.
  • Share useful resources, especially ones you find that are free that your customers would find useful

2.  Inspire and Share Your Story

Even though you and I might be very comfortable with trying new products or buying products online, there are still lots of people who are very sceptical about passing over money or doing business on the internet.  It’s especially important to do everything you can to share your personal experiences with your prospects and customers. This helps to build a personal connection and create that know, like and trust factor people are looking for when making their buying decisions.  It’s common when you start your small business to resist mixing your personal life with your business life. Once you finally agree to share some of the more personal experiences in your life, suddenly your prospects will become much more responsive and you’ll notice your income increase.

When people know a little more about you as a person, it makes it easy for you to build rapport and connect at a deeper level with those who can resonate with your circumstances and experiences.  As an example just take a look back to earlier in this email where I share a story of my childhood with you. Can you relate to that experience of mine? Does it help to build a deeper connection between us?

3.  Create More Offers For Your Customers

Building customer loyalty is much easier when you have great products to offer. These could be the products from a company you are partnered with, or it could be products or training you have created yourself.

Once someone has bought something from you that they find great value in, they’ll be looking to buy whatever else it is you have to offer. It’s important to create a sales sequence and follow up that allows you continue to make offers for more products or services.

If you continually provide good value, service and information then your customers will be fine if you come along and make an offer to them for something else you endorse as being necessary or useful to their health, wellbeing or success.

Looking back now, I can see that it Mr Flick used all three of these strategies too, even all those years back.  He gave me great value (an extra few lollies to a kid is awesome value!), he built a personal rapport with me and offered me more of what he had to offer to satisfy my needs.  The thought of shopping anywhere else for my lollies would never have crossed my mind!

Take a few minutes today to consider what you are doing in your business to ensure you are building customer loyalty.  No matter what you are currently doing, there is always room to ‘step it up a notch’.  Try it and see what your results are – you could be very pleasantly surprised.

Here’s to your success!

Fay McLean

ARE YOU BUILDING CUSTOMER LOYALTY?
TELL ME WHAT YOU’RE DOING?   LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW.

P.S.  Oh, and one last tip – is to tell your customers you appreciate them, just like….

I appreciate YOU!

Product Creation – The #1 Skill That Will INSTANTLY Boost Your Business

Product Creation – Yes You Can!

What goes through your mind when you think about creating your own products to sell online?…

Excitement or anxiousness, total overwhelm or ‘let’s go for it”?

Do you avoid product creation  like the plague like so many other marketers?

I thought it would be a difficult process when my very first mentor said to me “Fay, you should think about creating your own products.”

I knew it was a foundation skill that I would need to learn at some point so I could be in control of being able to generate cash at any time.

Now, although I could see the huge potential to boost my business with this skill, I just felt completely overwhelmed and had no idea where to start.  What would I create? How much would I charge? How would I get people to buy my products ……

I didn’t think I had enough experience to venture into my own product creation. “I’m not a guru, why would anyone buy my products!”, I wondered.

And, I started watching closely as other people (not gurus), in my niche were creating products, getting more visibility and exposure, building their reputation and brand as well as enjoying some healthy cash flow.

Without Any Product Creation In My Business, I Suddenly Felt I Was Missing Out On:

1. Becoming  A Leader

The moment you have your name to a product of any type whether it’s a book, a course or a workshop, your reputation and credibility will skyrocket!  Suddenly, you’re seen as a leader and expert in your field.

New opportunities will present themselves to you as people want you to help them more and more.  Every successful business leader in our industry has created their own products.  This is not a time to go against the grain. Copy the leaders – and start creating your own products!

2. Increased Visibility

The more you create and market your own products, the more opportunities people have of finding you. You will attract more prospects and new clients to your business.

3. Lead Generation and List Building

As you attract people who are interested in what you have to offer, you will continue to grow a responsive list. This list will gain trust in your and your ability to lead them. They will continue to buy other products you offer as you  help them to improve their life or business.

4. Consistent Cashflow

If you have never  made money online before, chances are it could be because you don’t have your own product to offer.  Product Creation does not have to be a long drawn out process.  In just a very short amount of time you can have your very first product created and be experiencing the thrill and excitement of consistent cashflow.  When you have your own product, you get to earn 100% of the commissions.

5. Creating Passive Income

Income from your own products is not completely ‘passive’.  However, once you have put in the effort to create the product initially, then it is possible to experience regular income for very little extra effort on your part.  You can wake up to see money that has gone into your bank account overnight. You are able to spread your message further afield than if you are trying to help people on an individual basis.

I know that so many marketers still fail to muster up the courage to get started creating their own products.  I can’t stand the fact that this means so many people are missing all these great benefits.

I ended up having three incredibly successful products in my first twelve months.  And do you know what they best part is?

They really take such a short time to create.

I could hold back any more, so I’m putting together a brand new series that will take you through the exact same product creation process I use. I’m so excited about this – it’s going to be amazingly valuable!

I expect to have the free intro videos ready in the next week or so

QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? YOUR EXPERIENCES…
DO YOU HAVE YOUR OWN PRODUCT YET?

P.S. Also leave a comment is you want to receive early notification of when these free videos will be available!

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Write Blog Posts Without Getting ‘Writer’s Block’

 

When people come to me as a small business coach, the thing they want most is to get more clients. It makes sense; without a flow of clients you can’t make the money you need for your lifestyle.  One of the tools for business that most folks get in place pretty quickly is their blog. And from that point on your business can sometimes feel like really hard work.

It might sound crazy coming from a room full of high achieving entrepreneurs, but one of the conversations we had over dinner with our Mastermind group recently was that over half of these solopreneurs still found themselves staring at a blank screen when it comes time to write their blog posts!  I bet that makes you feel a bit better doesn’t it now?  Don’t worry – it hits all of us at one stage or another – what I’m talking about is ‘Writer’s Block”.

Why is this one client attraction tool so difficult when there is no doubt about the depth of knowledge you have on your area of expertise? I’m going to recommend some ways to help you create a list as long as your arm. So long that you will never wonder what to write about again!

It’s easy for you as a small business owner to dismiss the power of your blog.  Instead you should understand that you can actually blog your way to the bank. Your blog is a key driver for traffic to your website.  Google loves fresh and relevant content. So by writing several new blog posts each week, you can easily see an improvement in your organic search rankings. You can check this out by tracking your site with www.Alexa.com . Your blog is the ‘hub’ of your small business. In fact, to get more clients and make more money, as my mentor says,  “all roads should lead to your blog”.  By this I mean that any published posts, links, articles etc should all include a link to your blog where you also have the ability to capture visitors’ details.

To help you to attract more readers your blog posts can be informative, inspirational or humourous.  If you include a little of each of these, you will touch all of the different personality types. Places to draw inspiration on what to write about is easier than you think. Here’s three of the best:

  • Listen to your clients!! This is so obvious that most business owners overlook it.  Read the comments your clients leave you on Facebook, read the emails they send in with questions, read carefully what they are saying in any comments they leave on your current blog posts. What questions do you always get asked when you are at networking events?  All of these places offer an opportunity for you to expand or clarify topics in your niche.
  • Check out sites such as www.yahoo.answers.com and industry forums to see what questions are being asked by your target audience and then write a blog post to answer them from your perspective.  Search www.ezinearticles.com for articles in your niche and look for those with the highest searches. This shows that the topic is popular, so you can write your own post about it.
  • Personal experiences provide you with a perfect opportunity to attract clients through your own compelling message. Write about the things that you are passionate about and relate that to your topic and your readers will devour your posts like irresistible hot bread.

After your content is decided, the next thing is to make sure you maximize it for the search engines.

Be sure to include several of your keywords or phrases throughout your blog post. ‘Stacking’ keywords will get you in trouble so be sure the keywords you use are relevant and used in context.

There is ONE more simple strategy I want to tell you about that will boost your organic rankings by effectively using your blog post. Rather than tell you about it, I want to show you an example…..

I want you to scan up through this blog post and notice there are at least four keywords that have been hyperlinked to other blog posts on my site. This is often referred to as internal linking. This strategy encourages readers to click on these hyperlinks and browse further into your site. By readers staying on your site for longer, Google will give you a ‘thumbs up’ for relevancy and this will boost your organic rankings.

Client Building Action Steps:

  • Set aside a regular time that you commit to writing at least 2 blog posts per week
  • Follow the blogs of leaders in your field and contribute to the comments
  • Research using the strategies above to make a list of 30 new blog post titles to have ready to go

You can now easily add your comment below and tell me if you found any of these tips helpful…

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Let us know your thoughts on today’s issue.
Post your comments below.

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Did you know people are talking about you….?

 

Did you know people are talking about you……?

A big key to getting more clients is to have everyone talking about you.

I’m sure there has been a time in your life when you would not have wanted to be the hot topic of conversation for everyone you met. To hear someone say “Oh, I know all about you…..” would have left you wishing a hole would open up in the floor and swallow you in.  Going back to school days, I was not what you would call a ‘centre of influence” and was more than happy to go about quietly and simply being me, and flying a little under the radar.

That was then…and this is now.  I still go about being ‘me’.  The difference now is that it is music to my ears when people say “Oh, I know all about you!”.

The more people are talking about you, the more your business will grow and grow. Of course I am assuming here that you provide a product or service that is well delivered and gets great results.

Testimonials from past clients are one of the powerful strategies that will increase your credibility.  It is amazing how often I find that small business owners and solepreneurs are afraid to ask for a testimonial from their clients.  You must overcome this fear because it’s an important step in your marketing strategies for getting more clients. Once you reach the point of having many clients who have experienced the brilliant results you can get for them, it’s very easy to find clients who will happily give you a great testimonial.

The biggest problem you might have is the ‘chicken or the egg’ syndrome.  It’s hard for you to get more clients without the testimonials, and yet you can’t get great testimonials until you get some more clients.

Here are some tips to get you off the ground and get great testimonials even if you are just starting up in business.

  • Ask someone that you know well, either personally or professionally, to give a testimonial based on your character, values and knowledge base. This means your prospects can decide if your area of expertise and values align with theirs.  These are often the core reasons why someone will want to work with you.

Let me give you an example.  There was one time when I invested high 5 figures into a mentoring program only to discover    that the core values of the Company didn’t match mine at all.  It was the biggest and most expensive learning curve I have ever had.  But needless to say, values and alignment are the things I check out right at the start when I’m thinking about working with someone either as a client, coach or mentor.

  • Carefully select a couple of ideal clients to experience your service on a scholarship arrangement (you don’t charge them) with the agreement that all you ask in return is for them to provide a testimonial. This is a win-win situation for everyone.
  • Capture comments that get left on your Facebook wall or emails sent to you and use them in your marketing material.  These comments are great because they are completely unrehearsed and truly come from the heart with no ‘staging’ at all.

This form of social proof will be far more valuable to you than the $000’s of dollars you might spend trying to attract new business through paid advertising.  Your testimonials should become a prominent feature on your website, sales pages, You Tube, brochures, flyers, and even on your business cards.   As you implement your strategic marketing plan and this material continues to be circulated, before you know it you will be the hot topic in town!

People will talk about you, so why not capture it and use it to increase your credibility and grow your business?

What should a great testimonial include?

  • What was your clients’ biggest challenge before working with you?
  • How do they see their future now that they have worked with you?
  • What were the three things they most liked about working with you?
  • Do they have any advice for others looking at solving the same problem?

Design Your Profits Action Plan:

  1. Capture some testimonials on video and load them up to You Tube for increased visibility
  2. Save all the emails you get from satisfied clients and use them in your marketing
  3. Check that you have testimonials on every piece of marketing material you have


What Did You Think?

Let us know your thoughts on today’s issue.
Post your comments below.

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