With a little planning and effort, you can create a marketing strategy that will help you reach your ideal customer. Here are 9 tips that you can use to maximize repeat business and earn your next loyal customer:
Create a Referral System: Your current customers have a broad network of friends, neighbors, and co-workers who they can funnel to your business. Provide them with the right incentive by building a formal referral system to solicit and incentivize customers.
Dual Discounts: Everyone loves a good deal. Create multi-person promotions that will encourage current customers to bring in a friend or coworker. Offer enticing incentives like a discount code, BOGO deals or other offers.
Focus on Customer Service: Emphasize customer satisfaction to turn your customers into your salespeople. Make the in-store shopping experience clean, enjoyable, and stress-free.
Communicate with Current Customers: Keep in contact with current and past customers so they can stay up to date with new products and promotions. Ask for their feedback so they feel valued and heard.
Research Your Current Customers: Analyze your current customer base to identify trends that will help your business tap into future leads.
Reconnect with Old Customers: Offer a discount or promotion to incentivize old customers to return. Survey them to determine why they stopped visiting.
Research Your Competitors: Research customers and competitors to understand your community’s demands and how your competitors are attempting to meet those needs.
Define Your Target Market: Identify gatekeepers, influencers, and decision-makers in each market. Establish your product or service’s messages, benefits, and features that will resonate with each market and which players.
Create an Advertising Plan: Develop a marketing plan that includes inbound marketing, video marketing, social media marketing, and search engine marketing. Ask yourself where your customers spend their time and use those channels.
By following these tips, you can attract more customers to your small business and create a loyal customer base. Remember that marketing is an ongoing process, and you will need to continuously adjust and refine your strategy to keep up with changing market trends and customer preferences. With patience, persistence, and a little creativity, you can succeed in growing your small business.
Create a Referral System:
Are you tired of constantly trying to attract new customers to your business? What if I told you that there was a way to tap into the existing network of your current customers and exponentially increase your reach? That’s right, with a referral system in place, you can turn your satisfied customers into powerful marketing tools for your business.
I have seen countless businesses struggle to grow their customer base through traditional marketing methods. However, the businesses that have implemented a referral system have seen their growth skyrocket. Why? Because referrals are the most powerful form of marketing out there. People trust their friends, family, and colleagues more than any advertisement or sales pitch. When your customers refer their friends to your business, they are essentially vouching for you, which means that their friends are more likely to become loyal customers.
So how do you build a referral system? It’s simple, really. Start by incentivizing your current customers to refer their friends to your business. Offer them a reward, such as a discount, free product, or service, or even cash, for every new customer they bring in. Not only does this encourage your current customers to refer their friends, but it also shows them that you value their business and are willing to reward them for their loyalty.
But don’t just stop at offering incentives. Make it easy for your customers to refer their friends. Provide them with referral cards or codes that they can give to their friends. Create a landing page on your website where their friends can easily sign up and receive their reward. Use social media and email marketing to remind your customers to refer their friends and to make it as easy as possible for them to do so.
Another important aspect of building a referral system is tracking your results. You need to know which customers are referring the most new customers and which incentives are working the best. Use a CRM system to track your referrals and their rewards. This will help you identify your top referrers and reward them accordingly. It will also help you tweak your referral system over time to make it more effective.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a way to take your business to the next level, a referral system is the way to go. By tapping into your current customers’ networks and incentivizing them to refer their friends, you can exponentially increase your reach and customer base. Remember to make it easy for your customers to refer their friends and to track your results so that you can continually improve your referral system. With a little effort, you’ll be amazed at the growth that a referral system can bring to your business.
Ah, the power of a good deal! As a savvy marketer, you know that offering discounts and promotions can be a great way to drive traffic and boost sales. But what if I told you there’s a way to take that strategy to the next level?
Enter dual discounts. This brilliant marketing tactic involves creating promotions that incentivize your current customers to bring in a friend or coworker. By offering enticing deals like discount codes, BOGO offers, or other discounts, you’re not only rewarding your loyal customers but also attracting new ones.
Think about it – when you offer a dual discount, you’re not just getting one customer, you’re potentially getting two. And those new customers are coming in with a recommendation from someone they trust, which means they’re more likely to stick around and become loyal customers themselves.
But don’t just take my word for it. Let me give you a real-life example. Imagine you own a boutique clothing store. You could create a promotion where current customers receive 20% off their next purchase if they bring in a friend who also spends $50 or more. Not only do you get the initial sale from the new customer, but you also incentivize your existing customer to make another purchase. It’s a win-win!
But it’s not just about the financial benefits of dual discounts. You’re also building relationships and fostering a sense of community among your customers. When you create promotions that encourage people to bring in friends, you’re creating a sense of excitement and buzz around your business. People will feel like they’re part of something special and exclusive, and that kind of loyalty is priceless.
And the best part? Dual discounts are incredibly easy to implement. With the rise of digital marketing, you can easily create a custom discount code that your customers can share with their friends. Or, if you prefer the old-school route, you could print out physical coupons to hand out.
So, what are you waiting for? If you’re looking for a way to drive traffic, boost sales, and build customer loyalty, dual discounts are the way to go. Start thinking about what kind of promotions would appeal to your customers and get creative! With a little effort and a lot of charm, you’ll have people lining up to take advantage of your amazing deals in no time.
Focus on Customer Service:
Customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal, and every strategy is geared towards achieving this goal. I have seen countless businesses rise and fall, and I can confidently tell you that the key to success lies in creating an exceptional customer experience.
One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by focusing on customer service. Your customers are your most valuable asset, and they can make or break your business. If they are satisfied, they will not only return but also refer others to your business. On the other hand, if they are dissatisfied, they will not only stop buying from you but also discourage others from doing so.
To turn your customers into your salespeople, you need to create a shopping experience that is clean, enjoyable, and stress-free. This means paying attention to every aspect of the customer journey, from the moment they enter your store to the moment they leave.
Start by ensuring that your store is clean and organized. This may seem like a small detail, but it can have a significant impact on the customer experience. A clean store creates a positive impression and makes customers feel welcome. On the other hand, a dirty and disorganized store can turn customers away.
Next, create a welcoming atmosphere by training your staff to be friendly and helpful. Greet customers with a smile and offer assistance if they need it. Make them feel valued and appreciated, and they will be more likely to return.
In addition, ensure that your store is well-stocked and that products are easy to find. Customers should be able to navigate your store without feeling overwhelmed or confused. Use clear signage and displays to guide them, and make sure that products are properly labeled.
Another way to improve the customer experience is by offering convenient payment options. Ensure that your payment systems are reliable and easy to use. Consider offering multiple payment options, such as credit cards, debit cards, and mobile payments, to cater to different customer preferences.
Finally, follow up with customers after their purchase to ensure that they are satisfied with their experience. Send a thank-you email or a survey to get feedback on what you did well and what you can improve on. This not only shows that you care about their satisfaction but also provides valuable insights to help you improve your business.
In conclusion, customer service is an essential part of any marketing strategy. By focusing on creating an exceptional customer experience, you can turn your customers into your salespeople, driving growth and success for your business. Remember, happy customers are loyal customers, and loyal customers are your best ambassadors.
Communicate with Current Customers:
Communication is the key to keeping your current customers engaged and happy. It’s important to keep them in the loop about new products and promotions, but it’s also important to ask for their feedback and make them feel valued.
One of the best ways to communicate with your current customers is through email marketing. This allows you to send personalized messages to each customer, based on their preferences and past purchases. You can also use email to send out newsletters with information about new products, upcoming promotions, and industry news.
Another effective way to stay in touch with your customers is through social media. By regularly posting on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you can keep your customers informed and engaged. You can also use social media to run contests and promotions, which can help to build buzz around your brand and increase customer loyalty.
In addition to email and social media, it’s also a good idea to reach out to your customers through surveys and feedback forms. This shows that you value their opinions and want to improve their shopping experience. You can use this feedback to make changes to your products and services, which will help to keep your customers happy and coming back for more.
When it comes to communication, it’s important to keep your messages consistent and on-brand. This means using the same tone and voice across all your channels, and making sure your messaging aligns with your brand values and mission. By doing this, you’ll build a strong brand identity and make it easier for customers to recognize and connect with your brand.
Remember, the key to effective communication is to make it a two-way street. Don’t just talk at your customers, listen to them as well. When you ask for feedback and respond to their concerns, you show that you care about their needs and are committed to providing the best possible shopping experience.
In conclusion, if you want to keep your customers engaged and happy, you need to communicate with them regularly and effectively. By using a mix of email, social media, surveys, and feedback forms, you can keep your customers in the loop and make them feel valued. And by making communication a two-way street, you can build strong relationships with your customers that will keep them coming back for more.
Reconnect with Old Customers:
Knowing your customers is the cornerstone of any successful marketing strategy. Understanding their needs, preferences, and behaviors can help you develop targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with them and drive sales. In today’s highly competitive business landscape, companies must go beyond just collecting basic demographic data and delve deeper into their customers’ psychographic characteristics.
One way to accomplish this is through market research. By analyzing your current customer base, you can identify trends and patterns that can help you better understand their buying habits and preferences. This information can then be used to create highly targeted marketing campaigns that speak directly to your customers’ needs and interests.
There are several ways to conduct market research on your current customers. One approach is to use customer surveys or focus groups to gather feedback and opinions about your products and services. You can also analyze customer data from your sales records, website analytics, and social media channels to gain insights into their behavior and preferences.
Another useful technique is to segment your customer base based on common characteristics such as age, gender, location, or interests. By grouping customers into specific categories, you can create targeted marketing campaigns that speak directly to their needs and interests. For example, if you own a sporting goods store, you might create different campaigns for customers who are interested in running, cycling, or golf.
Analyzing your customer base can also help you identify potential areas for growth. For example, if you notice that a particular demographic is underrepresented in your customer base, you may want to develop marketing campaigns that specifically target that group. Or, if you notice that a certain product or service is particularly popular among your customers, you may want to expand your offerings in that area to drive additional sales.
Ultimately, the key to successful market research is to listen to your customers and use their feedback to inform your marketing strategy. By staying in touch with your customers, you can learn what they like and dislike about your products and services, and use that information to make improvements and drive growth.
In conclusion, conducting market research on your current customer base is a critical component of any successful marketing strategy. By analyzing your customers’ needs, preferences, and behavior, you can create targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with them and drive sales. Remember to keep an open mind and listen to your customers’ feedback – it may just lead you to your next big idea.
Research Your Competitors:
As a business owner, you can’t afford to ignore your competition. In order to stay ahead of the game, you need to keep an eye on your competitors and understand what they’re doing to attract customers. Conducting research on your competitors can help you identify their strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities for your business to stand out in the marketplace.
One of the best ways to research your competitors is by analyzing their marketing strategies. Look at their social media presence, website, and any other marketing materials they may have. Pay attention to the messaging they use and the types of promotions they offer. This can give you a good sense of what they’re doing to reach their target audience and what works for them.
You should also look at their customer reviews and feedback. This will give you an idea of what customers like and dislike about their business. Analyze these reviews to see if there are any common themes or issues that customers have experienced. This information can be used to improve your own business and differentiate yourself from the competition.
In addition to researching your competitors, it’s also important to understand your community’s demands. Conduct market research to gain insights into your target audience’s needs and preferences. This will help you tailor your products and services to meet their expectations.
One effective way to conduct market research is by creating surveys and focus groups. This allows you to gather feedback from your current customers, as well as potential customers. By understanding their needs, you can identify new opportunities to attract and retain customers.
Another way to research your community is by attending local events and networking with other business owners. This can help you understand the challenges and opportunities facing your community, as well as connect with potential customers and partners.
Ultimately, conducting research on your competitors and community can help you identify new opportunities and stay ahead of the competition. By understanding what works for your competitors and what your community wants, you can develop a marketing strategy that resonates with your target audience and sets your business apart.
Define Your Target Market:
Defining your target market is one of the most critical steps in developing a successful marketing campaign. I can confidently say that identifying your target market is essential for ensuring that your marketing message reaches the right people and drives sales.
The first step in defining your target market is to identify the gatekeepers, influencers, and decision-makers in each market. Gatekeepers are individuals or groups that control access to your target market, such as trade associations or regulatory bodies. Influencers are people or organizations that can sway your target market’s opinions, such as bloggers, journalists, or social media influencers. Decision-makers are the individuals who ultimately determine whether or not to purchase your product or service.
Once you’ve identified these players, it’s important to establish your product or service’s messages, benefits, and features that will resonate with each market and which players. For example, if you’re selling a luxury product, your messaging may focus on exclusivity, quality, and prestige. If you’re selling a budget product, your messaging may focus on affordability, value, and practicality.
Next, you’ll need to conduct market research to better understand your target market’s needs, preferences, and buying habits. This research can include customer surveys, focus groups, online analytics, and competitive analysis. By understanding your target market’s pain points, desires, and behaviors, you can tailor your marketing message and strategy to effectively reach and engage them.
It’s also important to consider the demographic and psychographic factors that define your target market. Demographic factors include age, gender, income, and education level, while psychographic factors include personality traits, interests, and lifestyle habits. By understanding these factors, you can craft a message and strategy that will resonate with your target market and drive conversions.
Finally, it’s essential to continually monitor and evaluate your target market to ensure that your marketing message and strategy are still effective. As consumer behavior and preferences change over time, it’s important to adapt your marketing tactics to stay relevant and effective.
In conclusion, defining your target market is a critical component of any successful marketing campaign. By identifying gatekeepers, influencers, and decision-makers, establishing your product or service’s messages, benefits, and features, conducting market research, considering demographic and psychographic factors, and continually monitoring and evaluating your target market, you can craft a marketing strategy that resonates with your audience and drives sales.
Create an Advertising Plan:
Creating an advertising plan is essential to the success of any business. Without it, you risk losing out on potential customers and leaving your existing ones uninformed. An advertising plan should be comprehensive and cover all the relevant marketing channels for your business. It should include inbound marketing, video marketing, social media marketing, and search engine marketing. These channels are essential in today’s digital age and will help you to reach your target audience effectively.
When creating an advertising plan, you need to first ask yourself where your customers spend their time. This is critical because it will help you to choose the right channels for your advertising. For example, if your customers spend more time on social media, you should focus on social media marketing. On the other hand, if your customers prefer search engines, you should focus on search engine marketing.
Inbound marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on creating valuable content that attracts potential customers to your business. This can be in the form of blog posts, e-books, whitepapers, or other types of content that educate and inform your customers about your product or service. By providing value to your customers, you will build trust and credibility with them, which will lead to more sales.
Video marketing is another important marketing channel that you should consider. Video marketing allows you to create engaging and interactive content that can be shared across multiple platforms. Videos are more engaging than text, and they have a higher chance of going viral, which can lead to more exposure for your business.
Social media marketing is also an essential marketing channel that you should not ignore. Social media allows you to connect with your customers on a personal level, which can help you to build relationships with them. You can use social media to share your content, promote your products or services, and interact with your customers. Social media can also help you to gain insights into your customers’ preferences, which can help you to tailor your advertising to their needs.
Finally, search engine marketing is an essential channel that you should not ignore. Search engine marketing involves using paid advertisements to appear at the top of search engine results pages for specific keywords. This can be an effective way to drive targeted traffic to your website and increase sales.
In conclusion, creating an advertising plan is critical to the success of your business. You need to consider all the relevant marketing channels and choose the ones that are most effective for your business. This will help you to reach your target audience effectively and increase sales. Remember, it is important to keep track of your results and adjust your advertising plan accordingly to maximize your return on investment.
The creator economy is booming, and social media is at the forefront of this shift. Discover how creators are monetizing their content and building their brands.
The Future of the Creator Economy: Opportunities and Challenges.
Introduction: Welcome to the exciting world of the creator economy, where passion, creativity, and entrepreneurship collide. The rise of social media platforms has revolutionized the way we consume and produce content, and creators are at the forefront of this paradigm shift.
Gone are the days where content creation was only limited to large production companies with deep pockets. Today, anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection can become a creator, and social media platforms provide the perfect stage to showcase their talents to a global audience.
The democratization of media production and distribution has given rise to a new era of entrepreneurship, where creators are not only able to monetize their content but also build their own brand. The possibilities are endless, and we have only scratched the surface of what is possible.
In this article, we will explore the creator economy, how social media platforms are driving this trend, and how creators are monetizing their content to build their own brands. We will also delve into the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for creators, and how they can navigate this ever-changing landscape.
The creator economy is not just a passing trend; it is here to stay, and the potential for growth is enormous. I have witnessed firsthand the power of social media and how it has transformed the way we do business. The creator economy is the next step in this evolution, and the potential for creators to build a successful business is immense.
But with great potential comes great challenges. Creators must navigate the constantly changing landscape of social media algorithms, copyright infringement, and platform regulation. They must also learn to adapt to emerging technologies such as virtual reality and blockchain, which provide new opportunities for monetization but also come with their own set of challenges.
In this article, we will provide insights into how creators can succeed in the creator economy, including tips on content creation, audience engagement, and diversifying income streams. We will also discuss the importance of building a strong brand and community, and how creators can leverage social media to reach a wider audience.
The creator economy is a game-changer, and we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of its potential. Whether you are a creator, marketer, or simply interested in the future of content creation, this article is for you. So, join me as we dive into the world of the creator economy, and discover how social media is changing the game.
The Creator Economy and Social Media: The democratization of media production and distribution has opened up a world of opportunities for creators of all kinds. No longer are large production companies with deep pockets the only ones capable of creating and distributing content. Today, anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection can become a creator and reach a global audience.
Social media platforms have provided the perfect stage for creators to showcase their talents and build their own brand. The possibilities are endless, and we have only just begun to scratch the surface of what is possible in the creator economy.
One of the most significant advantages of the creator economy is the ability for creators to monetize their content. From sponsored content to merchandise and subscription services, creators have a variety of revenue streams at their disposal. Social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok provide monetization options such as ads, affiliate marketing, and brand sponsorships.
But the creator economy is more than just a way for creators to make money. It is also an opportunity for them to build their own brand and become entrepreneurs in their own right. Social media has given creators a direct line of communication to their audience, allowing them to build a loyal following and community around their brand.
Building a strong brand is essential for creators in the creator economy. It is what sets them apart from the millions of other creators out there and helps them to stand out in a crowded marketplace. To build a strong brand, creators must have a clear vision of what they stand for and what they want to achieve. They must also be authentic and engage with their audience on a personal level.
However, the creator economy also presents challenges for creators. One of the most significant challenges is navigating the constantly changing landscape of social media algorithms. Creators must stay up to date with the latest changes and adapt their content to ensure it reaches their audience.
Another challenge is copyright infringement. Creators must be careful not to use copyrighted material without permission, or risk facing legal action.
Finally, the creator economy is also subject to platform regulations. Social media platforms have guidelines and rules that creators must follow, and any violations can result in a suspension or termination of their account.
Despite the challenges, the creator economy is here to stay, and the potential for growth is enormous. Creators must learn to adapt and evolve with the changing landscape, embracing new technologies and revenue streams as they emerge.
Opportunities and Challenges:
While the creator economy offers endless opportunities for growth and success, it is not without its challenges. Creators must stay on top of the constantly evolving landscape of social media algorithms and platform regulations. They must also protect their intellectual property and navigate the murky waters of copyright infringement.
In addition to these challenges, creators must also be willing to adapt to emerging technologies and new platforms. Virtual reality and blockchain, for example, offer exciting opportunities for monetization, but creators must be willing to invest time and resources into learning these new technologies.
To succeed in the creator economy, creators must also focus on building a strong brand and community. With so many creators vying for attention on social media platforms, it is crucial to have a unique and identifiable brand that resonates with your audience. Building a community around your brand is also important, as it can help you to grow your following and increase engagement.
One of the most important factors in succeeding in the creator economy is diversifying your income streams. Relying solely on one platform or revenue source can be risky, as platforms can change their algorithms or shut down unexpectedly. By diversifying your income streams, you can ensure that you have multiple sources of revenue and are not reliant on any one platform.
When it comes to content creation, quality is key. Creating high-quality content that resonates with your audience is essential for building a following and increasing engagement. It is also important to be consistent in your content creation, as this helps to build trust with your audience and keep them engaged.
Finally, creators must be willing to engage with their audience and build relationships with their followers. Responding to comments, hosting Q&A sessions, and providing value to your audience can help to build trust and loyalty.
Success in the Creator Economy:
In the creator economy, success requires a unique combination of creativity and entrepreneurship. Creators must be able to generate content that resonates with their audience while also finding ways to monetize their work. The democratization of media production and distribution has made it possible for anyone to become a creator, but the challenge lies in standing out in a crowded space.
One way creators can succeed in the creator economy is by diversifying their income streams. Relying solely on one platform or revenue source can be risky, especially since social media algorithms are constantly changing. Creators should explore different monetization models, such as sponsored content, merchandise sales, or creating exclusive content for fans. This not only helps to ensure a steady stream of income but also allows creators to build a sustainable business.
Building a strong brand and community is also crucial for success in the creator economy. Creators should focus on creating a cohesive brand that reflects their values, personality, and unique style. This helps to establish them as authorities in their field and differentiate themselves from competitors. A strong brand also makes it easier for fans to connect with the creator and feel a sense of loyalty towards them.
In addition to building a brand, creators should also focus on creating a strong community. Social media provides an excellent opportunity for creators to engage with their audience on a more personal level. This can include responding to comments and messages, hosting live streams, or creating exclusive content for fans. By building a community, creators can create a loyal following that not only supports their work but also helps to promote it to a wider audience.
Finally, creators should leverage social media to reach a wider audience. With billions of active users, social media platforms provide an unprecedented opportunity for creators to showcase their work to a global audience. However, with so much content being uploaded every day, it can be challenging to stand out. Creators should focus on creating high-quality content that resonates with their target audience, using hashtags and other strategies to reach new viewers, and engaging with fans on a regular basis.
In conclusion, the creator economy is not just a passing trend; it is a new era of entrepreneurship that is here to stay. Social media platforms have democratized media production and distribution, providing creators with the opportunity to monetize their content and build their own brands. The potential for growth is enormous, and we have only just scratched the surface of what is possible.
However, creators must navigate the constantly changing landscape of social media algorithms, copyright infringement, and platform regulation. They must also adapt to emerging technologies such as virtual reality and blockchain, which provide new opportunities for monetization but also come with their own set of challenges. By understanding these challenges and opportunities, creators can position themselves for success and establish themselves as authorities in their field.
To succeed in the creator economy, creators must be both creative and entrepreneurial. They must create content that resonates with their audience while also finding ways to monetize their work. Diversifying income streams is crucial, as relying solely on one platform or revenue source can be risky. Building a strong brand and community can also help creators establish themselves as authorities in their field and create a loyal following. Social media provides an excellent opportunity for creators to reach a wider audience and engage with their fans on a more personal level.
The creator economy is the next step in the evolution of the way business is conducted, and the potential for creators to build a successful business is immense. By staying up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies, and by being both creative and entrepreneurial, creators can position themselves for success in this exciting and ever-changing landscape.
Whether you are a creator, marketer, or simply interested in the future of content creation, understanding the creator economy is essential. The opportunities are endless, and the potential for growth is enormous. So, join us as we dive into the world of the creator economy and discover how social media is changing the game. By understanding the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, creators can succeed in this new era of entrepreneurship and build successful businesses that resonate with their audience.
Here are ten potential strategies and ideas for improving a business, along with relevant statistics to support their effectiveness:
Conduct market research to identify customer needs and preferences and use that information to develop and improve products or services. According to a survey by the National Science Foundation, businesses that use market research to make decisions have higher sales and are more likely to survive than those that do not.
Implement a robust and effective marketing campaign to promote the business and attract new customers. Studies have shown that companies that invest more in marketing tend to have higher sales and profitability than those that do not.
Focus on building strong, long-term relationships with customers to encourage loyalty and repeat business. Research has shown that it is more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one, and that loyal customers are more likely to make larger purchases and refer others to the business.
Invest in the ongoing training and development of employees to improve their skills and knowledge. Companies that provide regular training and development opportunities for their employees tend to have higher levels of employee engagement and productivity, leading to improved performance and profitability.
Use technology and data-driven decision making to improve efficiency, productivity, and accuracy. According to a survey by Accenture, businesses that use data and analytics to make decisions are more likely to be successful than those that do not.
Develop a clear and compelling vision and mission for the business and communicate it to employees to help guide decision making and drive success. Research has shown that companies with a clear vision and mission are more likely to achieve their goals and be successful than those without one.
Streamline operations and eliminate waste to reduce costs and improve profitability. By identifying and eliminating waste, businesses can reduce their expenses and improve their bottom line.
Offer excellent customer service to differentiate the business from competitors and build a positive reputation. A survey by NewVoiceMedia found that poor customer service is the main reason for customer churn, with 66% of customers switching to a competitor after a bad experience.
Collaborate with other businesses or organizations to expand the reach and impact of the business. By partnering with other companies, businesses can access new markets, customers, and resources, leading to increased success and growth.
Be open to new ideas and willing to take calculated risks to drive innovation and growth. Companies that are willing to try new things and take risks are more likely to discover new opportunities and drive innovation, leading to increased success and competitiveness.
The news in the past year didn’t help anyone’s sanity or goal setting. Alt-politics, extreme weather, and virus frenzy swirled together like a tornado. We landed like Dorothy in bizarre alternate reality raging against whatever form of media happened to catch our attention.
Making sense of “The Year of Missing Out”
Despite online appearances, almost everyone experienced the Year of Missing Out. Social media is our window to the world. We see people prioritizing fun over safety and worry about being left out.
Some virtual friends were living their best life, curating an intoxicating feed of travel pics and partying on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Meanwhile, you haven’t posted anything in a while. Friends in your feed ignored rules and enjoyed life, damn the consequences. How is that fair?
I mean, who really needs to see that your hydroponic plants grew an eighth of an inch? (Ask me about my plant babies – they are adorable and growing like crazy.)
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You followed the rules, stayed home and grew a home garden even though you desperately craved connection, fun and normalcy. You are also stuck in your own head, mulling options, and afraid to make your next move.
We are all dealing with something difficult, and it’s a lot
In social media, photos and captions show off the “Best of” moments. In reality, this year impacted everyone in a profound way.
Human beings are wired for connection. When will we ever be able to gather and hug again? Anxiety, depression and stress are at all time altitudes (I recommend the Mooditude App).
Technology created pandemic-proof ways of working from home, innovating and pivoting under disastrous circumstances. It has also led to burnout, endless hours on video, and both physical and digital divides.
Parents and children continue to fight for bandwidth, printers and screens and everyone is left precious little time for any social life. Mothers (and some fathers) made particularly devastating choices that will set them back in their career and wealth goals for decades to come.
Teachers adapted to intimidating technology (on the bright side, both teachers and students are learning necessary 21st century skills).
College students wondered when to go back to dorm life, while facing an unknowable job future, no internships and toxic levels of debt.
Everyone without a steady form of income teeters on the razor thin edge of economic uncertainty, including entrepreneurs, restaurant owners, hair stylists, gig workers, musicians and entertainers.
So many faced the intensity of lost loved ones, illness and long recoveries. Can we all please give a special shout out to our healthcare and front line workers?
When you are unsure about what the future holds, it is natural to be afraid to take a bold next step.
So how can you approach goal setting your world is unsettling?
Playing it safe is not working. Waiting for opportunities is a losing strategy.
Have you noticed that some people really have been able to surf through this storm? What do these people do that others don’t do?
Successful people practice the art of making sound decisions and acting on them consistently, even in the eye of a storm.
Decisive people have risen to the challenges of the moment. They constantly scan for opportunities and act rapidly. I speak to entrepreneurs every day who embrace digital transformation and create unique solutions to timely challenges.
Sounds interesting…so how do they actually do that?
They identify and tackle the best next step with weekly goal setting and action. Then their weekly results start stacking for massive results. I’ll explain.
In my book, Decide Like a Boss, I break it down into powerful steps that are easy to understand and accomplish.
The Steamwork System featured in the book is a simple approach to achieve results in any area of your life. It will help with:
Defining your essential personal goals in four main areas
Sifting through your weekly “stuff” to identify your most important actions for the week
Making commitments and finding the resources to get these actions done
When this process is performed regularly, the spectacular results start to add up. Before you know it, you are further than you could have imagined.
Why does the Steamwork System work?
The Steamwork System is effective because it takes many aspects of the human experience into account:
Considers both thoughts and feelings
Builds belief in better outcomes
Improves communication to yourself and others
Strengthens negotiations because you know what you want
Consider what the other parties want and need
Most powerfully, a regular discipline of decision making and action taking leads to better results each week. These results will compound over time, like compound interest in the bank or, even better, returns in the stock market.
Crank Up Your Goal Setting and Become a Momentum Machine
This process creates a flywheel of micro-successes that generate momentum for larger and larger successes. It doesn’t matter where you start, it just matters that you keep going.
Imagine your life without access to the Internet, especially if you are not able to leave your home. How would you access information and basic needs like food, clothing, financial services and entertainment? About 20% of the population experiences challenges accessing the internet because of one or more of a variety of disabilities and the lack of website accessibility.
We have all heard about businesses with physical locations needing to make adjustments to accommodate disabled patrons, but what about online destinations? As our economy shifts to conducting business online, it is more important than ever to make websites accessible. Business owners face the risk of unnecessary lawsuits, fines and penalties, which can be avoided quite easily with minor modifications to websites. Making your website accessible will help you reach and serve more clients, generate higher satisfaction, community goodwill and business growth.
So who is filing ADA compliance lawsuits?
Associations and organizations for people with disabilities and law firms are teaming up to form class action lawsuits against large organizations and companies, like Harvard, Netflix, Uber, Chipotle, Domino’s and even musicians like Beyonce. These lawsuits generally cite Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. They are targeting companies with online accessibility barriers to make it easier for disabled people to access the internet. As more companies are conducting business online, the pace is accelerating – one federal-funded accessibility lawsuit is filed per hour! (UsableNet’s 2019 ADA Website and App Accessibility Lawsuit Report)
What types of changes are necessary to achieve Web Accessibility for disabled customers?
Getting and staying compliant can keep your business running smoothly, attracting new, valuable, grateful customers. It can also keep you out of the courtroom, avoiding fines, penalties and legal fees! The landscape and standards for website accessibility are constantly changing, and require a deep understanding of a wide range of disabilities and technologies. They include but are not limited to:
Alternative text for every image so that screen reader software can navigate a site with or without a keyboard
Providing high contrast between the site background and text for easy readability
Providing a way to enlarge text
Making sure forms can be navigated and completed by people using screen readers
Closed captions or transcripts for video and audio content so that the hard of hearing can interact with your content
However, these accommodations don’t have to be expensive or time consuming for a business owner. We work with tools that can streamline this process to automate the accommodations using the latest standards and certify compliance with no impact to the design or functionality of your current website.
What Industries Are Most at Risk?
While every industry could be targeted, some of the most prone to lawsuits are:
Education – Current and potential students must be able to apply for admission, pay tuition and fees, find and register for classes, attend and access materials from virtual classes, submit work, connect with educators and support resources.
Restaurants & Hospitality – Current and potential clients must be able to research your offerings, reserve, book and pay for meals and accommodations.
Healthcare – Current and prospective clients must be able to research your offerings, book appointments and view medical test results and notes securely.
Sports & Entertainment – current and potential clients must be able to research your offerings, reserve, book and pay for tickets, streaming services and more.
Being proactive about website accessibility is more important than ever for businesses of all sizes. You’ve worked so hard to create a great business and website. Now more than ever, it is important both ethically and financially to protect your business from Web Accessibility lawsuits.
Is your website is ADA compliant? We can do a quick check for you and help you make some simple, affordable changes to correct any issues.
We put together this handy guide for getting Zoom Ready because we’ve received so many questions about using Zoom effectively for meetings, book clubs, family gatherings and more! Whether you are new to world of remote work, or used to working from home, you have probably encountered Zoom, a communication tool for video conferencing and meetings. Zoom is free for meetings up to 40 minutes in length, and very affordable plans are available if your needs exceed the free plans.
Here are our best tips for getting Zoom Ready:
Know your goals for the meeting
Prepare slides if needed
Have supporting documents, forms, slides, websites or resources set up and ready to show
Close other tabs on your browsers to avoid sharing things you don’t want to
Set clear expectations about when you will be able to answer questions and how you would like people to interact during the meeting
Document decisions and action items just like any other meeting
Be on time or early (especially if you are the host)
Stay connected to the conversation emotionally
Make time for small talk, create rapport
Showing your hands and using gestures builds trust (TEDx Talk)
Speak naturally and enthusiastically as if you are in person with your audience
Make eye contact with the camera, not your image on the screen
Set the Scene
Set up your camera angle to shoot you from slightly above your eye level
Set up an attractive, high contrast background
If you have dark hair and clothing, choose a light background and vice versa
Clean up clutter and mess!
Avoid windows, mirrors or glass behind you which show unintentional glare or reflections
Set Up Flattering Lighting
A window or LED light in front of you work best
Overhead light can create dark shadows under your chin
Backlight from lamps, windows or other sources can outshine your face
Don’t take your phone to the bathroom and other faux pas!
Don’t shout at anyone while your microphone and video are on
Try not to get up and walk around while you are on video
Set up in a room with a door and possibly a lock to avoid interruptions from children, spouses and pets
Prepare Your Gadgets
Strong internet connection to avoid delay or interruption (kick other people off streaming services while you are taking an important meeting)
Test that your audio is good
Use your computer’s microphone and speakers – or –
Get a USB microphone and/or speakers for your computer
Get ready for a bold statement – every company that plans to survive to 2030 and beyond must come to terms that they ARE a technology company. Those who run tech companies already, I’m sure you already know this. But those of you who fear they aren’t tech-savvy or who downright resist improvement through technology are doomed unless you read on and take this message to heart.
Technology isn’t just an industry sector, it is a foundation for every industry. Just as you need other supporting functions of your business like finance, sales, marketing, human resources, etc., you must invest in technology that helps you gain efficiency in your business processes. It is your systems for getting things done that most likely need to be turned into software to speed up, standardize and distribute the core functions of your business so that they can be automated or streamlined when they are done by your team, vendors or customers.
Have you noticed that many companies are making their customers fill out forms online to create accounts? Most customer service is accessible online. Your account questions get answered on a website, app or automated phone system. Getting software to perform these routine tasks is allowing these companies to grow rapidly at a higher profit margin, so they will have more cash to grow. These companies have already discovered and acted on the bold statement that they are tech companies and have outsourced customer care functions to you! Most of the products and services you purchased to run your company in the past few years were probably sold to you online with limited human contact.
If you aren’t already automating, delegating and distributing your work through technology, your competitors are. Your customers expect an increase in the ease and speed of interacting with companies. The costs of doing business with them are having a great user experience, usually delivered through thoughtfully designed software.
Start your technology company revolution by identifying the functions of your business that take the most time and therefore cost the most. If you can invest in software projects that streamline those functions, you can cut costs and increase your profits.
Laura Berens is Founder & CEO of Love and Fit, creator and host of the Time To Be You podcast, and a business consultant for women entrepreneurs.
With over 10 years of corporate experience, Laura has learned the true value of hard work. During her career in business development and sales, Laura became an expert in the fields of media and corporate wellness. The completion of her first NPC bodybuilding competition in 2012 marked the start of Laura’s passionate dive into the professional fitness world.
After becoming a mother, Laura discovered an untapped market which perfectly merged her expertise in fitness, business and love of helping women. Unsatisfied with the nursing sports bra options available on the market, she founded her own company, Love and Fit. Its mission: to provide functional and fashionable activewear options to help all women feel empowered, strong and fit.
Facebook chatbots are quickly becoming the hottest and most effective marketing tool on Facebook today! Not only are they hosted on the worlds most popular messaging app, Facebook Messenger which boasts over 1 Billion active users, but they are excellent for growing your business, your brand, your email list and cutting through the noise and the lousy Facebook algorithm. In this information-packed session, Kelly Noble Mirabella will teach you the basics of Chatbots. What are they? Why should you care? How can they help grow your business? Plus where to start TODAY when creating your first chatbot experience. All will be revealed and so much more!
With more than 11 years of social media marketing experience—and more than a few wacky costumes—Kelly brings tricky social media concepts to life through her fun, clear and memorable social media training videos and classes. Long before social media savvy was status quo, Kelly recognized how social media can take brand recognition, customer engagement and marketing efforts to a radical new level. What’s more, Kelly has spent the past two years learning to build Facebook messenger bots (aka “chatbots”), and now teaches others how to build them with simple, entertaining and,
sometimes, 80s-themed tutorials. Today, she teaches entrepreneurs, small business owners and working professionals how to use social media to improve their businesses and achieve their goals.
Kelly is known for her enthusiasm, creativity and passion for demystifying social media—not to mention her playful costumes and thematic presentations. Whether trying out Facebook Live or building your own chatbot, you can count on Kelly to guide you with skill and flair for totally stellar results.
If you are shoving cards in people’s hands and talking all about yourself, you are doing networking all wrong. Here’s some gentle reminders that will change everything for you!
You are inconsistent with networking
You show up to events occasionally, appear aloof, take only a shallow interest in getting to know others, and are more interested in collecting cards than connecting.
You don’t follow up after a networking event
I’d venture a guess that there is a huge pile of cards sitting on your desk that you haven’t even touched. If this is true, you are missing a huge opportunity and wasting a ton of time attending networking events.
Sending a quick note to everyone you meet with an invitation to connect on LinkedIn or Facebook will keep you top of mind. This is not an opportunity to send over the full sales pitch…you are just starting a relationship.
You request and expect referrals right away
Business people with integrity who have spent years building up trust with clients and contacts will be wary if you ask them for referrals right away. You could be most valuable resource in the world, but building trust is still a process. Dedicate yourself to caring about the people you meet, offer to get to know them, find out how you can help and take action on that. When you give first (#givefirst), you are setting yourself up to receive abundantly.
You aren’t clear about what you do and what value you can add
Express what you do in a way that offers specific ways you can help a specific target client. This approach takes the pressure off the conversation and makes it clear what type of client would be a good fit for you. The person you are talking to may not fit that profile, but when you are clear, you paint a vivid picture of who you need to meet very quickly. You never know who might pop to mind!
You can get better at networking!
Ask yourself, “How can I get to know the community first so that referrals flow in more easily?” Get involved with a community organization and share your talents freely. Work on becoming more visible as a leader who cares about connecting and helping others and you will be appreciated and noticed.