Welcome Tracey Leak 'How to Get More Customers'

This Forum invites a number of experts to be a guest for one week and control discussions on specific topics. The public can gain a great deal of free information from reading the posts, but only members may write posts, add to discussions and ask and answer questions. I hope that everyone enjoys the forums and topics that will be featured.
Barbara Gabogrecan
President

Choose your social media

Postby Tracey Leak » Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:32 pm

Hi Everyone,

Firstly, let me apologise for the delay in my post. I had a small family emergency (all ok), but meant I was away from the office (aka home!) but back now and ready to share my 5th post in this series of 7. (I'll also do post 6 and 7 today too!).

So let's talk social media.

I am not a social media expert so I'm not talking to you today about specifics of how to attract more customers via social media, I want to talk to you about having a social media plan.

When I speak with business owners - not just home-based, but all business owners - they are 'doing' social media because they have the feeling that they need to do it or have heard that social media is a great way to get new clients. Both of these things are true, but at the same time you can't just get yourself a facebook account and start posting with the 'hope' of getting new clients.

The first thing I suggest you do is to work out which social media channel will be the most appropriate or the one your 'ideal client' likes to use the most. Some businesses will find facebook is more successful for them whilst others will tell you that Twitter is the way to go. Don't forget that social media does not just include Facebook and Twitter. YouTube is a form of social media and so are blogs and for those looking for professional contacts, LinkedIn is the way to go. You may find that your ideal clients would prefer to find you at YouTube and like the medium of video over 140 characters or less of Twitter.

Now at the same time as I say that you should work out which social media is best for you and your ideal customers, you should be using all of the mediums, but without a plan you are wasting your time. The funny thing with social media is that you can 'think' you are working when really you aren't. I have spoken to business owners that tell me they are on Facebook everyday for an hour and it still isn't producing clients. My question is not whether or not they are on Facebook, but is this the best use of their time? So although you do need to be doing social media, you need to use your time wisely and find the best ways of using social media to attract your ideal customer.

My suggestion to you - if you know you should be doing social media, but you are wasting a stack of time, then think about finding someone to help you. This does not necessarily mean a social media marketing expert, you can find VA's (virtual assistants) that do social media for business owners just like you and they will have a wealth of knowledge on what works and what doesn't.

Good luck!

Tracey
Tracey Leak

http://www.theartofhomebasedbusiness.com

Come get your copy of our FREE e-magazine designed to help home-based business owners gain greater success in their business.
Tracey Leak
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:15 pm

Strategic Alliances are great for attracting new customers

Postby Tracey Leak » Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:10 pm

Hi Everyone,

In the earlier posts we spoke about listing out everything about your ideal customer. I want to you to back and look at that list now and think to yourself, who else would service that same customer, but they are not in competition with me. As an example, a hairdresser, a beauty therapist and even maybe a personal trainer would have the same or very similar ideal client, yet none of these businesses are in competition with each other.

What does this tell us? These are the best businesses to approach to do a strategic alliance with.

The ideal situation is if the other business sends an offer to their database for your products or services. Before you go rushing off to get them to do this, remember to first of all ask, what is in it for them? They are not in business to just promote you and your business.

I always think that if you can make it that they (the other business) are the hero, then you will always do far better. As in they have organised an awesome deal for their clients for your products/services. Maybe it is only an offer for their customers. Also think about how you can make it easier for them to do. You may draft up the mail out/email out and then they can check it and add their logo. If it is a mail out, then offer to pay the postage. Maybe give them (the other business owner) a free service or product to trial before they offer to their database. Remember too that you may return the favour and send something to your database as well.

If you go in with some considered thought on how to make the other business be the hero to their clients and make the logistics easier for them, they are more likely to do the campaign with you. Remember also that if the first business says no, that doesn't mean it isn't a good idea. You may need to approach a couple of businesses to find one that is willing to do this with you.

Now it isn't just thinking in terms of another business promoting you to their database. You may come up with an idea to do a marketing campaign together to offer something even better/more to your ideal customers. You could go networking together and cross promote at the function. (As a side note, some of my best networking has been when I've gone with a group of my clients. I am talking to people and when they mention they need something of one of my clients, I take them over and introduce them. In turn, my clients then talk about me. Four of us went out to a function together and all walked away with new business and none of us spoke to anyone about our business until we were introduced to someone by our little 'networking gang'....)

You may do a trade show together to halve the costs. You could do a mail out, but a list, find a third strategic alliance partner to work with you.

As with a customer, the more trust you build with a strategic alliance partner, the better the results. Building a strategic alliance can take time, but it will be worth it.

So stop now and write down a list of businesses that could possibly have the same ideal client as you, but they are not in competition with you. Then find out which businesses are in your local area of those industries. I do find that location can play a big part. Not all the time, but it is easier if they are close by to you.

Good luck and I hope you find some awesome strategic alliance partners....

Tracey
Tracey Leak

http://www.theartofhomebasedbusiness.com

Come get your copy of our FREE e-magazine designed to help home-based business owners gain greater success in their business.
Tracey Leak
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:15 pm

The Art of asking for a referral

Postby Tracey Leak » Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:23 pm

Wow - number 7 in our series of 7. I certainly haven't covered every possible way of attracting new customers to your business and there is another whole conversation about how to keep those customers coming back again and again and again to buy from you, but what I have wanted to do was firstly cover some of the theory before marketing and then some of the best ways to attract new customers.

What I want to talk to you about now is referrals. We all know that word of mouth business or referral business is the best marketing you can do. Why? One is that it isn't you doing it so that saves time, but generally a referral prospect is a much easier prospect to work with and a lot easier to convert into a customer because they have come to you via a third party endorsement.

With all business transactions a prospect must first know who you are, then they must like you and then final trust you to do business with them. Depending on what you are selling, the trust level will differ. To buy a coffee from someone doesn't take a lot of trust the first time they buy - in fact they don't even have to like you because it is only a couple of dollars. If you are selling something, especially a service where there is no physical, tangible product that you can touch and feel, then this know, like and trust comes in at a far greater level.

Unless someone trusts you, they will not refer to you. Pretty common sense right? If they refer to you and you do something wrong, bad, etc then the person who was referred doesn't come to you to complain, they go to their friend who referred them to you. So the first step of getting more referrals in your business is to build greater trust with you existing customers.

What I usually find that business owners do very poorly is asking for referrals. It isn't that they don't ask in the right way, it is that they ask at the wrong time. My key to referrals is when you ask for the referral.

So when is that time you ask? It is at the highest point of emotion.

Let me give you a really practical scenario. A lady is at the hairdresser and has just had a total new hair-do done. The hairdresser is all done and showing her the back of the clients hair with the mirror. The clients says something along the lines of 'Oh I love it! It is so good. I can't believe how much lighter it is'. This is the time to ask for a referral. The customer is at her highest point of emotion - good emotion of course. All you need say is 'Wow, so glad you love. So who do you know that needs a makeover like you?' Simple hey? Just ask 'Who do you know who .......?'

Now at that point, the customer might not know anyone off the top of their head and if they say this, then I'd say something like 'Oh that's ok. I didn't mean right now. I just mean you might come across someone in the next week and I'd love to help them'. I take the pressure off them, but I have now put the thought into their head so that when they do come across someone they don't just forget all about me, it clicks in their head to refer me instead.

So to get more referrals, look after your existing customers, gain trust and create moments of wow! That is moments when their emotion is at a high point. Then all you need do is ask 'Who do you know who . . . . ?'

Simple.

I certainly hope you have not only enjoyed this series of posts, but that you have also learnt something that you can implement into your business. I think knowledge is great, but knowledge that is then used and implemented is absolutely better.

I wish you the very best in your business and hope that these posts have added value to you.

Tracey
Tracey Leak

http://www.theartofhomebasedbusiness.com

Come get your copy of our FREE e-magazine designed to help home-based business owners gain greater success in their business.
Tracey Leak
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:15 pm

Re: Welcome Tracey Leak 'How to Get More Customers'

Postby Barbara Gabogrecan » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:08 am

What a marvelous job you have done Trecey! Unfortunately I ended up in hospital and wasn't able to check your posts each day, but am now doing so.
Thanks so much for you input - I think you may still get some people writing in during this week (our members are often a bit salow and tend to want to read everything before commenting!
Cheers
Barb
Barbara Gabogrecan assists HBB's to market their business online
http://www.HomeBasedBusinessAustralia.org

Barbara is an artist specialising in silk painting; her video is on page one of You Tube http://youtu.be/1ZA9HObN_Go
http://www.SilkPaintingByGabogrecan.com/

Having survived a stroke and a brain tumour, Barbara wrote a book titled 'Thank God I Had a Stroke' to motivate and inspire others suffering from similar afflictions.
http://GabogrecanStrokeRecovery.com/
Barbara Gabogrecan
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 12:57 pm

Re: Welcome Tracey Leak 'How to Get More Customers'

Postby Tracey Leak » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:25 am

I'll keep checking in if anyone has questions or comments!

Tracey
Tracey Leak

http://www.theartofhomebasedbusiness.com

Come get your copy of our FREE e-magazine designed to help home-based business owners gain greater success in their business.
Tracey Leak
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:15 pm

Re: Welcome Tracey Leak 'How to Get More Customers'

Postby Peter O'Connor » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:28 am

Hi Tracey

I must agree with Geoff when he says 'money isn't everything'. I think we get an inner feeling of good when we can help others and that, to me, is far more valuable than money at my stage in life. I must admit, that 20 years ago, I would not have thought exactly along those lines, but I always found, throughout my career, that job satisfaction was far more important to me than salary.

Tracey, you have hit a raw nerve in me when you talk about networking. I know it is a vitally inportant part of my business, but it literally scares me. When you talk about knowing your lines, I fail miserably. I go into a total mental vacuum when someone asks me about what I do. I start talking to them and I'm sure I confuse the issue more than clarify it. Can you give me any suggestions on how to overcome this fear?

Cheers for now.

Peter
Peter O'Connor, is a retired accountant and is involved with teaching home based businesses how to build and manage their own websites.
http://www.HomeBasedBusinessAustralia.org
Peter O'Connor
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 10:12 am

Previous

Return to Guest Experts

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron