Category Archives: Sales & Marketing Tips

The Two Best Ways to Market Online: Guest Post

All the Buzz is pleased to offer this guest post by William Skuba, Director of Marketing at Enable, a web design firm offering affordable web design, graphic design and marketing for small businesses.

The Two Best Ways to Market Online

online-marketing-graphicI hate the word “marketing.”

Whenever I use it in conversation, I immediately see the person I’m talking to lose interest. His or her eyes glaze over, he gives a canned response like “Oh cool,” and I know he isn’t listening anymore.

And I don’t blame him.

What does the word “marketing” even mean? I hardly even know what it means, and I do it for a living.

The fact of the matter is, the term “marketing” has become a vague, meaningless term from decades of overuse. You see self-styled gurus on Facebook offering reports on: “Top 7 Secrets of Marketing,” or “The Content Marketing Hacks That Made Me My First Million.” And you see YouTube ads trying to sell training courses and webinars about how you too can make millions from home simply by starting a digital marketing agency.

But none of us really even knows what they mean by marketing.

So let’s not use the words “marketing,” “awareness,” or “engagement,” or any other buzzword. Let’s just be honest about what we all need for our businesses.

We need more customers.

Marketing revolves around these two questions:

  1. Who do you want to reach with your service or product?
  2. What do you want them to do?

We need to find people that want our service or product, and then tell them about our business in a way that appeals to them.

Here are the two best, most universal, ways to appeal online to ALL clients in ALL industries via ALL media:

Testimonials and Video

Online Testimonials

When you think about it, how do most people bond with each other?

Answer: By complaining.

97% of people who have a bad experience with your product or service will tell their family and friends, and 57% of them will tell their coworkers. On the other hand, only 87% share good experiences with family and 40% with coworkers.

People write about the experience they have with you on FaceBook and review sites, and these reviews can be either good or bad.

What you want are more GOOD testimonials that provide a clear trust indicator for leads and prospects, showing others like them have how they have used your service or product to solve their problems. These testimonials actually target your leads and prospects.

Where do you get online testimonials, and what do you do with them?

  1. authoritative-reviews-link-google-my-businessAuthoritative Reviews
    Has an industry expert mentioned your business in a positive light, or has a local newspaper spoken positively of your business? Reach out to them and ask if they will post their review on your Google My Business review page.
  2. Post-old-reviews-Grade-usOld Reviews
    Connect with old customers. Using us, you can create a custom link that opens the review box for your Google My Business profile. You can even create a custom link with a 5-star rating already listed, just awaiting their confirmation click. Click the link here to get a feel for it.
  3. Prominent Reviews
    Post your reviews prominently on your website to show your visitors what your clients think of you, because 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust friends and family members.

video-shootOnline Video

Producing a professional video can help your business. Statistics show that 88% of website viewers spend more time on a website with video than without, and one-third of all online activity is watching a video.

In fact, site visitors are four times more likely to watch a product video than read a product description, and 74% of those who watch a product video go on to buy the product. Video produces results.

  1. Professional Video
    When reading website copy or viewing products online, you may be inclined to take their descriptions with some skepticism. After all, if the business owner is telling you how great his business is, you may not be apt to believe it since he is too invested in the outcome.However, if you have a conversation with the owner and he goes through his work process, showing you results and explaining why and how he does what he does, you are more likely to believe him.Video adds a level of professionalism, trust, and a personal touch to an otherwise impersonal situation (reading someone’s website). In one study, 57% of consumers say that watching a video makes them more confident in online purchases.You might think videos are too expensive to consider, however, while dropping two to five grand on professionally-shot and edited video production might be out of your budget, you can create FaceBook Live videos and video messages for little or no monetary outlay.
  1. Amateur and Live Video
    In addition to a professionally-produced video, you can also continually release FaceBook live streams of yourself working on a jobsite or giving business tips to your followers.  Most cameras have a video capacity, and purchasing a computer camera is also not a huge investment.Likes and shares grow by 20% on live video streams, according to MediaKix.com. Additionally, live videos are watched 3x longer than non-live videos.Giving your followers a glimpse of you at work or a quick look at you in person (not in polished, published form) is great for building trust with you clients.

Search Engine Benefits of Posting Online Video

Finally, Google also loves video. For example, if you have a video produced on a certain topic as well as a blog post, Google is going to give preference to the video in organic search rankings. In fact, 70% of the top 100 search listings on Google are video.

So with all the positive benefits that viewers and consumers are showing about video, why aren’t more businesses using it?

The answer is unfamiliarity. People are afraid to use what they are unfamiliar with. While video is not a new technology, it might be a new online marketing tactic that more business owners need to employ. The payoff for online visibility and credibility is worth the effort.

Will-Skuba-EnableWilliam Skuba is Director of Marketing at Enable Web Design. He is passionate about sales and marketing, and is always looking for more efficient ways to do both. When he’s not creating new content for Enable, you can find him spending time with his family and friends.

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Do You Have Passion For Your Business? Take This Quick Quiz.

Do_it_with_passionIf you don’t love your business, you probably dread going to work every day. It’s a bad feeling. And unfortunately, it is not only you who feels that way, your customers pick up on it as well.

They say that those who are passionate about what they do never feel as if they are working. Their passion is what drives them, and what makes them successful.

Wonder if you’re still passionate about your business? Take this quick quiz to find out:

The Passion Quiz

  1. Do you have a strong curiosity about what you do, and a desire to keep learning more about it in order to get better?
  2. Do you have a sense of excitement and energy when you are working?
  3. Do you want to seek out others who share your interests so you can talk about it?
  4. Do you literally dream or daydream about it?
  5. Do you secretly fantasize about being on the top of your profession, or envision taking it to a new level never before reached by anyone?
  6. Do you feel a sense of loss or like something is missing when you’re not doing it?

How Did You Do?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, you’re on the right track. If you answered, “no” then your business is probably passionate-less as well.  You may want to re-look at the business you are in, and perhaps make some changes.

The good news is that if you have lost your sense of passion, you can get it back. Step back from your business and return to the “why” you chose this profession in the first place. There was some reason that has somehow gotten buried along the way.

Entrepreneur Richard Branson advises, “Go back to that ‘aha!’ moment and try to understand what motivated you to think in that direction in the first place — the passion behind your idea might lead you to the business or industry you truly care about.”

Translate that Passion into Sales

Once you have rediscovered your passion, use this information to translate it into sales materials, website copy, and interactions with your customers. There is nothing more appealing than someone who is truly passionate about and sincerely believes that what they do can make a difference.

As Branson puts it, “When you believe in something, the force of your convictions will spark other people’s interest and motivate them to help you achieve your goals. This is essential to success.”

Think about the last time you interacted with a customer. Were you merely going through the motions, or was there a spark in your voice and a twinkle in your eye as you described your product or services. Your passion can make all the different between a sale and a so-so experience.

–Passion Quiz excerpted from “Protecting Your Passion,” by Robin Todd, Motivated Magazine.

 

Washington Post Reports Writing Skills Rising on the List of Job Requirements But Failing in Candidates

Washington_Post_logoThe Washington Post published an article on Sunday, August 13, 2017 titled “Writing skills are rising on the list of job requirements–and falling in candidates,” by Jeffrey K. Selingo.

Selingo continues to reports hearing an interviewer from government contracting firm, looking to hire proposal writers for federal agencies, complain about “how difficult it is to find good writers these days.”

“According to national surveys, employers want to hire college graduates who can write coherently, think creatively and analyze quantitative data. But the Conference Board has found in its surveys of corporate hiring leaders that skillful writing is one of the biggest shortfalls in workplace readiness,” Selingo said.

“That’s why so many employers now explicitly ask for writing and communications skills in their job advertisements. Experience in writing and communications are the most requested job requirements across nearly every industry, even in fields such as information technology and engineering.”

Need a Good Writer–or Writing Training? Contact All The Buzz

The most successful businesses realize that how they communicate with their customers can either make–or break–their sales, so they don’t leave the marketing copywriting up to their staff. They bring in an expert to write their website, sales materials, brochures, direct mail, proposals, and other important marketing collateral.

All the Buzz has conducted corporate training classes in how to be a better business writer, and worked with executives to assist with their writing skills. If you need writing training, or desire a great (and award-winning) business copywriter, contact All the Buzz.

–excerpted from washingtonpost.com/news/gradepoint

What is it You’re Truly Selling?

raising-hand-in-a-crowdI was listening to a TED Talk today that offered to teach people how to find their true calling in just five minutes. In it, the speaker, Adam Leipzig, asked the audience five questions:

  1. What is your name?
  2. What do you do?
  3. Who do you do it for?
  4. What do those people want and need?
  5. How do they change as a result?

When he asked the first question, of course everyone in the audience knew the answer, however, as he progressed down the short list, the responses became fewer and fewer. Although most people knew what they did, they knew not why they did it.

The last question, #5, is the most important, he said. Knowing how you make a difference in someone’s life or work is how you should answer the question, “What do you do.”

In other words, instead of saying, “I do bookkeeping,” you could answer, “I keep people’s monthly accounting up to date so they know exactly how their business is doing at any time.”

Look for the real reason people rely on you and your service, and engage and intrigue your audience with the benefit.

All the Buzz Can Uncover Your Real Value

If you have difficulty defining what it is you really do in terms of its benefit, that’s where we come in. Let a professional writer, like us, look at your website copy and your marketing materials. We’ll uncover the real benefits of doing business with you and help you share them with the world with more compelling sales messages that get results. Contact us today.

Want More Sales? Writing in Active Voice Gets Others Excited

eliminate-passive-voice-in-writingEven as a professional writer, I have to review everything I write to make sure I am writing in “active voice.” I review for it in my professional writing as well as my everyday correspondences via email or letters, and believe it or not, I usually find at least one place where I can make my writing stronger.

What is Active Voice?

When using active voice, the subject of the sentence performs the action expressed in the verb: The girl brushed the dog. An example of this same sentence in passive voice would be: The dog was brushed by the girl. One tip for identifying a passive sentence is to look for the word “by.”

Why is Active Voice Important?

Active voice sentences are preferable in writing because Continue reading →

Does Your Marketing Copy Tell Your Story?

what's-your-storyAre you using plain, nondescriptive words on your website and marketing materials? Words that everyone else is using? If so, you might be falling into the copy dead zone.

I learned a technique as a magazine writer. As an exercise, we wrote a sentence or paragraph using ordinary words, as in this example:

  • John went to the store to buy bananas.

Then we had to replace the ordinary words and phrases with more descriptive ones, as in this example:

  • John lumbered into the small neighborhood grocery on his quest for the most perfectly ripe bananas to please his perfectionist mother.

The first sentence merely says what he does, the second sentence tells a whole story.

By simply expanding your vocabulary you can wake up your copy, make it inviting and exciting, and attract customers. After all, we don’t buy the product itself, we actually buy if for what it does for us or how it makes us feel.

Does Your Copy Just Say What You Do, or Does it Tell a Story?

How can you use an expanded vocabulary to better describe your business in a way that tells your story? Continue reading →

How to Give the Perfect Pitch

elevator-speechIf you have ever been to a networking group, you were probably asked to stand and give your “elevator pitch” to the group. Members are trained in how to present who they are, what they do, and the benefits of their product or service in 30 seconds or less, or the time it would take to travel in an elevator from floor to floor (which is why it’s called an elevator pitch).

Even if you don’t network, you will constantly be asked, “So, what do you do?”  It will happen at family gatherings, parties, social events…pretty much anyplace people gather.

Therefore, you need to be prepared with an elevator speech. It doesn’t have to be canned, but it does need to outline the basics that not only tell what you do, but inspire the listener to ask more. Here are some simply steps to developing your perfect pitch. Continue reading →

Running a Home Based Business? Keep Doing It!

woman-working-from-homeMany an entrepreneur has started a business from home. You might recognize some of the more famous names: Jeff Bezos (Amazon.com), Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Apple), Sergey Brin and Larry Page (Google), and Walt Disney (Disney). These men all started their companies from their garages.

In 2013, Small Business Trends reported that 69% of startup and 59% of established businesses were home-based. Even more interesting, the 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report stated that more than half of U.S. entrepreneurs continued to operate their businesses from home long after they had been established.

There is no stigma in stating that your business is run from home. In fact, there are many smart reasons to continue doing it Continue reading →

Your Website is Sooooo Out of Date

website-audit-image-All-the-Buzz

It’s time for a website audit.

I can’t believe how many websites I see that are just plain awful.

  • Their copy is out of date.
  • They have only bulleted lists on each page.
  • They haven’t used keywords or internal links.
  • They have typos or bad grammar.
  • Their pages only have pictures, without even having captions.
  • They are even lacking copy altogether.
  • Worst of all, they have the dreaded “Under Construction” on their pages or their entire site.

Egads! Are people turning away from your site because they get a bad impression from it?

When’s the last time you changed or updated your copy?  One year?  Two years?  Ten years? Continue reading →

“The Art of Closing the Sale” Teleseminar

On Thursday, April 16, 2015 Linda Barrett led a teleseminar on “The Art of Closing the Sale,” for the members of the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI).

Tips and Techniques to Closing the Sale

Keep-calm-and-sell-onIn the seminar, Linda gave tips and techniques to closing the sale, covering topics including:

  • What to bring with you and how to present your offer
  • Why listening is more important than talking
  • How to tell when the prospect is ready to buy
  • Why you should never discount
  • How to upsell and create packages
  • Major mistakes salespeople make and how to avoid them
  • Overcoming fear of rejection
  • How to get your prospect to practically talk themselves into the sale

One-on-One Sales Coaching

Linda Barrett offers one-on-one and group sales coaching designed to help business owners and salespeople overcome their fears of selling or rejection, set systems into place, increase their sale price, and close more business. Contact All the Buzz for more information or for a copy of our tips sheet titled, “The Art of Closing the Sale: 22 Big Mistakes Salespeople Make.”