Category Archives for Marketing Tips

Are You Struggling to Generate High Quality Leads for Your Business?

Marketing struggle dINqsvLead Generation can be a struggle for business owners.

In the Nineties we didn’t have a choice.

 
We had to make cold calls and go out looking for our next customer. It was push marketing.

Push marketing is history because it takes time, heaps of energy, is expensive and can be very demoralising.

 
The Internet and Content Marketing has changed all of that!
 
Content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content to acquire and retain customers.
 
The type of content businesses share is closely related to what they sell. Wikipedia – Content Marketing

Content Marketing – the new SEO?

The beauty of SEO is that, instead of pushing a marketing message onto folks who don’t want to hear what you have to say, you can … create the right content for it, and appear before them at exactly the moment they are looking for it. It’s pull vs. push. Reference

Content Marketing – doing away with tyre kickers

This way of generating quality leads is also known as Content Marketing. The idea is for your content to reach your target market at the time they are looking for your service. They are ready to buy. Content Marketing achieves this by using long-tail-keywords.

long-tail-keyword phrases

By using long-tail-keyword phrases Google (and the other search engines) have a much better idea of what your blog post is about. If your content has one topic with keyword phrases appearing naturally throughout the content then web surfers  potential customers searching for your product or service your content is more likely to be found.

It works like magic because you are giving Google what they want. High quality educational content which means that your customers come to you. Content Marketing or Inbound marketing!

The white lies of SEO

Let’s begin this process by telling a lie.

Queens crown ysbxdt“Content is king.”

Bull hockey. The king doesn’t rule jack squat. A truer statement is this: If content is king, then the user is queen, and she rules the universe. Let’s say that again, because this is important.   “The user is queen, and she rules the universe.”

Google do not care about you or your business!

Google’s customers are the Queens – the people who use their service to find quality answers to queries. 

Google only cares about your content inasmuch as it answers the user’s search query. Search results are not a collection of “good” content; they are a ranked list of content that best satisfies what the user is looking for.  Reference

With this in mind it’s important to know your target market’s pain points.

Create content closely related to your business

Why are they looking for your service?

What problem do you solve for them?

What information do they need to know about your industry?

How can you educate them about your niche?

Lead Generation 8EZL8kThe answers to these questions provide you with the topics your potential customers want to know about. The idea is to create content that gives them the information they need. If the information you provide is real relevant and educational then the viewer with begin to develop trust in your service. 

Your content demonstrates that you know your business and potential customers are more likely to respond to your call to action whatever that maybe. 

What do Google want?

Google state very clearly that they will reward high quality, educational content that is relevant to the person using their service searching for answers to their query. It isn’t just what Google want – it’s what they demand! 

SEO tricks of the trade will not survive. Good relevant content will survive because everyone wins!

A win, win, win situation.

Win win L8yt94Google win because their customer is happy. Their customer wins because they have found the answer to their issue. You win because the web surfer has found your product or service.

Content marketing is essential for anyone who is looking to take his or her business to the next level.

What you likely already know is that an image can say more than 1000 words of text. Visual content are gaining increasing popularity across almost every major social network, including Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. via Source:   

The most powerful combination  

Content Marketing, still images and video — the ultimate marketing and lead generating combination in history.

Content with relevant images receive 94% more views than content that’s just a few lines of text. 

Post with feature images enjoy a 94% better Still images are included in the post important to include as a feature image and within the content.  We discuss more about this in a coming post.

To learn how we can use this powerful combination to help you generate high quality leads Email or call Alan +61 (0) 414 288 050

Alan-Cox-Presentation-details_

 P.S. With over 40 years owning and operating our business in the film, television and corporate video industry we have the experience to help you create relevant content and to blast it out to a massive audience creating qualified leads for your business. 

 

 

Image Attributions

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

Is the customer always right? 3 reasons why this saying is not valid! (And should be removed from your business philosophy)

 The phrase “The customer is always right” was originally coined in 1909 by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in London, and is typically used by businesses to convince customers that they will get good service at this company and convince employees to give customers good service.

However, I think businesses should abandon this phrase once and for all — ironically because it leads to worse customer service. Source  

Mutual respect is a must

For any relationship to work there must be mutual respect. The relationship between customer and service provider is like a marriage. If it is to survive mutual respect must be at its core. This mutual respect covers their time, knowledge and the contribution they make to your companies success.

A famous story about a complaining customer

One woman who frequently flew on Southwest was constantly disappointed with every aspect of the company’s operation. In fact, she became known as the “Pen Pal” because after every flight she wrote in with a complaint.
She didn’t like the fact that the company didn’t assign seats; she didn’t like the absence of a first-class section; she didn’t like not having a meal in flight; she didn’t like Southwest’s boarding procedure; she didn’t like the flight attendants’ sporty uniforms and the casual atmosphere.
Her last letter, reciting a litany of complaints, momentarily stumped Southwest’s customer relations people. They bumped it up to Herb’s [Kelleher, CEO of Southwest at the time] desk, with a note: ‘This one’s yours.’
In sixty seconds, Kelleher wrote back and said, ‘Dear Mrs. Crabapple, We will miss you. Love, Herb.'” Source 

Jayson DeMers, a contributor to Forbes / Entrepreneurs, gives 3 reasons why this is so.

NO, the customer is NOT always right!

are_customers_alway_rightHow many times have you had to grit your teeth, take a deep breath and silently repeat to yourself, “The customer is always right”? This is a motto that’s drilled into every young retail or hospitality worker and has somehow made its way into the psyches of established business owners.

The problem is, the customer isn’t always right, and always thinking otherwise can result in a serious disservice to you, your employees, and your customers. Here’s why.

1.    Unreasonable customers eat away at your finite resources.
You only have limited resources available to you; don’t allocate a disproportionate amount of them to customers who repeatedly cause problems. You only have so much time, money and energy to dedicate to customer service, or to your business, and an unreasonable customer or client can quickly eat away at the majority of it.

Do your best to address customers concerns

If you’ve tried your best to address a complaint and the customer still isn’t happy, it’s time to move on from that customer. Use your limited resources to address the concerns of customers who are willing to engage in reasonable dialogue with you. When you focus on meeting the needs of your reasonable customers, you build loyal brand ambassadors…and I’d rather have a bunch of these than throw all my resources at customers who are impossible to please.

Focus on customers who matter most

In his book Customer Centricity, Peter Fader encourages business owners to focus on the customers who matter most: “Not all customers deserve your company’s best efforts. And despite what the adage says, the customer is most definitely not always right. Because, in the world of customer centricity, there are good customers…and then there is everybody else.”

Allocate the majority of your valuable resources to your good customers

In Tim Ferriss’ wildly popular and successful book, The 4 Hour Workweek, Ferriss recounts a personal story early in the book that details how he nearly hit his mental breaking point because he was trying to please every customer.

He soon discovered that a few customers were taking the majority of his bandwidth and causing the majority of his stress though they contributed only a relatively small percentage of the company’s total revenue.

His solution? He gave the clients an ultimatum: if they couldn’t do business his way, he didn’t want to do business with them at all. The result? Some of the clients changed to accommodate Ferriss’ requests.

Others refused to change, so he fired them. Ferriss’ mental overhead drastically decreased, and his business soared as he only accepted clients that fit his ideal customer model from that point onward.

The lesson here is to allocate the majority of your valuable resources to your good customers, and stop trying to please everyone all the time.

The customer can become the enemy

2.    This mindset positions employees against customers and management.
If you’re lucky enough to have found employees who you trust and respect, don’t risk losing them by siding with the customer by default. When you tell your employees “the customer is always right,” you immediately position them against the customer – and the customer always wins. Source  

What does Richard Branson say?

If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.  Source 

Respect your employees

If you want to keep your employees happy and effective, back them up. Prove to them that you respect their judgment and opinions, and when faced with siding with your employee or an unreasonable customer, always choose your employee.

According to Alexander Kjerulf, author of Happy Hour is 9 to 5, happy employees lead to the best possible customer service: “Believing the customer is always right is a subconscious way of favouring the customer over the employee that can lead to resentment among employees. When managers put the employees first, the employees will then put the customers first. Put employees first and they will be happy at work”.  

If you’re the owner of the business and the one supplying the service or product treat yourself as an employee. Look after yourself, your health and well-being and your family.

Don’t be afraid to cut ties

05e35ec037e24eac9fb831a184bc6501_ah8xKP3.    Money isn’t everything. Not even close.

We’ve all had customers or clients who have unrealistic expectations of what we can or should do to keep them happy. They demand – whether explicitly or implicitly – more of our time, energy, and resources than our other clients.
Don’t be afraid to cut ties with customers or clients who repeatedly make unrealistic demands or who consistently cause stress or friction. Rather than continually sacrificing your time, dignity and emotional health, focus your efforts on actively pursuing new customers or clients who respect your time and boundaries.  Source

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. Bill Gates

Learn from your unhappy customers and make improvements to your systems and clarify expectations. Let you customers know what you’re experiencing from the relationship and, if possible, alter your processors to accommodate them.

Do your best to resolve the conflict but if it isn’t possible then spend your time and energy finding a new client who will value you and your service.

Modern Testimonials – A Sure-Fire Way to Build Trust to Catapult Your Success

Thank youLets begin with change

We all live in a world where the constant and dramatic change is almost overwhelming. This is very apparent in the marketing and online digital environment.

However, there is one business tool that hasn’t really moved with the times — the testimonial.

Sean Dezousa from 5000bc.com describes it like this. “If I put 6 spoons of sugar in a coffee and asked you to drink it would you? If you did it would be sickly sweet.”

But it doesn’t need to be like that? There is a better way to get great testimonials from your customers.

But lets start with the power and value of even sickly sweet traditional testimonails.

Why WordPress Testimonials Can Generate More Selling Power Than the Best Sales Copy

Consumers are more savvy than ever these days, so simply claiming you are “the best” is not enough. With testimonials, though, you don’t need to work to convince your audience you are awesome – because other people can do it for you.

Testimonials offer an independent indication that you have done a great job. They can also help reassure new or nervous customers, as well as distinguish you from your competitors. Using reviews and comments from your satisfied customers can transform your sales pitch into a credible, unbiased recommendation for your product or service.

If that’s not enough to convince you of the value of testimonials, adding them to your site is simple to do, and adding even just one good review of your product or service can generate more selling power than some of the best sales copy out there.

Building your audience or customer base all begins with building trust in your brand, and once a few people trust and enjoy your brand it’s only natural for them to spread the word – and conveniently create testimonials for you.

via: Why WordPress Testimonials Can Generate More Selling Power Than the Best Sales Copy

A Guide to Customer Testimonials: Your Business’s (Not-So) Secret Weapon

When Billy Joel sang that, “It’s a matter of trust,” he wasn’t talking about marketing. Nevertheless, marketers can definitely learn a thing or two from The Piano Man, especially when it comes to the importance of building relationships with prospective customers.

Customer testimonials are one of the most powerful trust signals you can use on your website and in your marketing campaigns, including landing pages, product and pricing pages, and even your AdWords ads. Persuasive testimonials from satisfied customers can sway even the most hesitant prospect, making them a potent weapon in your marketing arsenal.

via: A Guide to Customer Testimonials: Your Business’s (Not-So) Secret Weapon

But how do we get testimonials that inspire trust?


Traditional Testimonials are like resumés

Have you ever read or written a resume that highlighted weaknesses and past mistakes?

I doubt it because we all know that resumes are written to impress the reader. Testimonials are the same — sickly sweet and no spice.

But, testimonials, even sugary ones, are important for business. So how can we get a more mature testimonial? How can we give them new life?

When you read the next 6 simple questions you will know how.

Introducing a Testimonial with a difference — the Lighthouse TestimonialTestimonial lighthouse

So what is a Lighthouse testimonial?

You know that every buyer experiences doubt prior to purchasing a product or service. There’s always an objection lurking like the Grim Reaper in the buyer’s mind.

People are skeptical. It’s a fact of life.

The purpose of a lighthouse is to be visible; To shine; To stand out. And that’s what a Lighthouse Testimonial does. It stands head and shoulders above every other testimonial out there.

How do we do that?

They shine because they are not all sugar and no spice. We actually include objections your customers face when they are making the decision to buy your product or service. And then the Lighthouse Testimonial will diffuse common objections to your product or service.

6 simple questions to powerful testimonials

Get in front of your client or at talk with them on the phone and ask them these six simple questions: (Make sure you get their permission and record the conversation.)

  1. What would have prevented you from hiring my product/service?
  2. What did you find as a result of buying this product/service?
  3. What specific feature did you like most about this product/service?
  4. What would be three other benefits about this product/service?
  5. Would you recommend this product/service? If so why?
  6. Is there anything you’d like to add?

How to obtain your Lighthouse Testimonial

If you simply ask for a testimonial, your customers will always promise to send it to you but they hardly ever land in your inbox. And even if they do send one it’s bound to be the same as all the others.

So the best way to obtain a Lighthouse Testimonial from your clients is to meet with them or give them a call. Face-to-face meetings are best because you are able to ask questions prompting them to expand on their statements. What you end up with is a testimonial story.

The next option best option is a phone call. Make sure you ask your clients permission and record the call.

Why they work so welltick of approval

Lighthouse testimonials are strong because they identify a problem; When the problem is named the buyer identifies with it and then your previous client diffuses the objection for you with their testimonial. That’s why they work so well.

They’re believable because they are not all sugary. Traditional testimonials are sickly sweet and they’re like drinking a cup of coffee that has 10 spoons of sugar in it.

Lighthouse testimonials are a new, refreshing and innovative approach to a proven and vital business tool.

When you ask the simple 6 questions you get a story from your clients that packs a punch; A punch that will help your business to soar.

Here are a few example of testimonials that are on a sugar free diet

Example 1. Heatley Industrial & Safety

“The main hesitation we had was the fact that you didn’t seem to have a finished product to show as an example that was similar to ours.(Objection.)
However, we found that you are very professional and easy to work with.” (Objection defused.)
The best feature of the video is the personal touch of the video. It wasn’t too corporatised. (The feature)

The client then described the benefits of having a video.
The video has assisted us to give our customers and new employees a better understanding of our business and has improved our corporate image.
Our opposition have been around for so long and are so well marketed that many customers didn’t know a half of what we did.
Once we go the corporate video it was different. The biggest hurdle was just them knowing if we could handle their business or not. Whether we could be competitive and handle their business.
The video does that for us. It’s great.
Additional benefits have included supplier presentations and the ability to post the video on the internet.
I would strongly recommend your service to others. You provided Quality, Value, and Professional service.
I would also like to thank you for your patience with the amount of changes and updates we did.”

David Grigg – Sales & Marketing Manager Heatley Industrial & Safety

Example 2 Jarrod Hodge – Manager – Heatley Industrial & Safety

Knowing the extent of your experience I was confident about your ability to give us the video we needed. The confidence proved to be well founded and the video has worked very well for us.
I have used the video in formal presentations to some of my larger contracts and instead of having to verbally explain our company, where we come from and what we do to the customer, it’s easier to plug the flash drive in and show them through the video what our company does.

It’s cut down a good 20 to 30 minutes of the presentation time. These formal appointments we have are an hour at the most. Any longer and we’re wasting their time. So the more time we’ve got to talk about the benefits of our business more than what our business is about the better.

These large corporate organisations appreciate the speedy presentation so we can get down to business faster. The video enables them to absorb a lot more of our specialty information rather than just the general information.
Having the video enable us to make a more professional presentation. Our other senior managers have all found the same. The video saves a good 15 to 20 minutes each presentation.

I helps us with the bottom line – we get more sales because we can spend more time pointing out the benefits of working with our company.
It allows us to sell our point of difference to the customer. The time we save with the video gives us more time to talk about the benefits of Heatleys and our point of difference.

The video with visuals, voice over and music enables them to absorb more information than listening to me speak for 30 minutes selling my company. It’s done in just a few minutes.
We want them to communicate what they expect from us. And this is where the extra time is a real bonus.

We have more time to listen. We get a very good idea of what issues they face which leads nicely into what we can do for them. How we can help them.
The larger corporations appreciate the concise professional presentation.

Jarrod Hodge Manager Heatley Industrial & Safety

Example 3 – The Shire of east Pilbara

Question: What would have prevented you from hiring my product/service?
Answer: Because your quote was so much lower than the others we didn’t think you could do the job properly I guess.
However, when we saw the examples of what you had previously done, they indicated that you could produce the sort of video we were after. It gave us an appreciation of what you could do.
Question: What did you find as a result of buying my product/service?
Answer: The video gives a quick overview of the Shire. It shows new employees and businesses thinking of coming to Newman a look a Newman and what the area has to offer.

Question: What specific feature did you like most about this product/service?
Answer: The visuals and the sound. The combination of the vision and the sound is a good package.
Question: What would be three other benefits about this product/service?
I forgot to ask this question. So keep list of questions handy to remind yourself.
Question: Would you recommend my product/service? If so why?
Answer: I certainly would. I think you did a pretty good job for the time we had, the budget we had and we’re very happy with the result. You delivered on what was asked.
Question: Is there anything you’d like to add?
Answer: You were very easy to work with. You were efficient and got the job done – we’re very happy.
Gaby Pieraccini Manager Sustainability Shire of east Pilbara

We have since updated the video and for a further testimonial please contact Allen Cooper CEO Shire of East Pilbara.

Turn a good small business tool into a great business winning tool.

How To Reach Your Target Market – A Secret You Wish You Knew One Year Ago

How To Reach Your  Target Market – A Secret You Wish You Knew One Year Ago

The best way to your target market is with personas. Or is it?

The words you write aren’t for everyone, but they’re for someone. There is someone out there who is relentlessly surfing the internet, looking for your products and services. You know this because you did your research first.

If you can communicate with this person, you have a guaranteed sale.

There’s no hard-selling or strong-arming; just a little persuasive copy. Copy that’s cool, that attracts the best customers.

Before you can write for this person, you need to know who they are. Copywriters spend a great deal of time researching their audience. You need to do this too, trust me it’s time well spent and it works, because I’ve written this for you and you’re here reading it.

One way to think about this person is that they’re your “best customer.” They’re not your only customer. But if you aim at the best customer, or the one who most needs what you’re offering, you’ll get attract in others just like her.

It’s estimated that for most businesses, 20% of their customers generate 80% of their sales. It’s your job at the research stage to discover exactly who those 20% are.

What You Need to Know

You need to create a demographic profile of your customers. The demographic profile includes quantifiable data about your best customer, like their age, gender, ethnicity, location, income level, etc. This data will be in your business plan and your marketing plan, if you’ve done them.

You also need to take into account psychographic, the stuff that’s not quantifiable. This includes things like attitudes, fears, likes/dislikes, interests, motivations, and so on. This data should include how the person feels about the purchases they make, the companies they buy from, your industry, etc.

I know, your ideal customer might be like you, but she’s not you. She doesn’t get excited when Glee comes on the TV, she does love the X Factor though. That might not seem like a difference, but is it?

Creating a Customer Avatar

From all of this very specific research data, you can create an avatar of your best customer. You’re going to actually create a human being to market your products and services too because when you write for a real person your writing is a whole lot better. It will be an imaginary human being, but an important person nonetheless because she’s going to keep your copy, your words, inspired.
Via: http://www.sarkemedia.com/words-will-attract-the-best-customers/

However, while all of the above is true it can be improved!

Because a persona that has been created from numerous character traits is still a figment of your imagination, and as such the person lives inside your head.

Try this for on for size.

Find an existing customer or prospect who fits the persona you have created. Yes, a real person and sit down and interview them.

We call this the Target Profile and we choose a real person who fits the persona.

Persona’s Vs Target Profiles

Everyone talks about personas but even though they’re based on a number of real people they are still fictional.

They are created by surveying your customer base creating a fictional profile that encompasses the key elements of your targeted consumer.

And that is the problem. A persona create from a cross section of your Target Market remains a  fictional person and can only exist inside your oun head!

You’re still inside your head and tapping (or tying to) tap into how your fictional ideal customers are thinking and feeling. It is almost impossible to separate self from your persona.

You keep your fiction character in mind as you write and it sort of works. But does it work as well as it could?

There’s an American Indian saying that goes something like this; “You can’t judge another person until you have walked two moons in their moccasins”. In other words you have no idea as to what goes on in any one else’s mind. You can try but you are still inside your own head!

But what if you created a persona based on a real person say, called Nigel. Nigel is a person you can talk to. You can see him and how he responds to your questions.

When you talk with Nigel you are tapping into Nigel’s emotions, his frustrations, fears, overwhelm and uncertainty? You see how these issues are effecting him. You can get a feel for the extent of the problems he is facing. You do not need to create your perfect customers persona in your imagination. Yes it is created based of research but that is still only data.

A Target Profile is an accurate record of how a real living breathing human being is suffering from the problems that your product or service can solve for him.

And because Nigels is typical of your target market every person in Nigel’s situation will ‘get it’. They will connect, relate to your message at an emotional level because it contains real emotions.

What have you got to lose?

Find a ‘Nigel’ or a ‘Jane’ in your existing customers or someone who fits the fictional persona you have created and talk to them. And then create a Target Profile.

I struggled for years creating personas but failed. As soon as I create target profiles based on people in my target market and interviewed them it all came together.

My business has three target markets and I have created three target profiles for each area.

Argh – Interview!@*%# I hate doing interviews and what do I ask.

Well there are three simple questions that can get you started and keep you on track.

Get them to list their all of their problems – (when they pause ask them if there are any other issues that cause them difficulty?)

Hitting the TargetWhat is your main problem?

Why is it a problem?

What will happen if the problem remains unresolved?

Repeat this process until you have address all of the problems.

Hit your Target Market with your Target Profile and cusotmers in a personal way.

Contact Alan for more information

How to get more leads

Are you stuck?Have you wondered about using social media and video to promote your business but get stuck?

With the arrival of the Internet, the world changed forever. And for small and medium enterprises this is wonderful news because it is now easier than ever to promote their products and service far more effectively and economically than ever before!

But you’re still stuck, right?

You want to use modern methods to get more leads and customers but it’s quite confusing and you simply don’t have the expertise or, more importantly, the time to learn how.

Marketing can be a time-consuming business. However, help has arrived.

Our logo is a relaxed man sitting on a beach enjoying a sunset. Why? because we take the stress out of your social media marketing and do it for you.

We have a 5 step strategy that takes away all of the drudgery and time-consuming tasks of constantly updating your social media channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn etc.. After 3 weeks you sit there and wonder what to write about today.

We solve this problem for you with our 7 step strategy.

  1. We research and locate current topics relevant to your industry
  2. Spend 3 hours per month with us and then we create the content for you.
  3. The content is optimised to get as many visitors as possible to your blog.
  4. When you have approved the content we have created we schedule the post to appear on a specified day of the week.
  5. Once published we promote the post on your social media channels attracting visitors to your website and/or blog