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Is There Anyone Back There?

By on July 17, 2017

Branding as you or branding as an entity plays a large role in how a customer wants to interact with you.

Let’s say you’re strolling through a lovely neighborhood of small shops. You walk into one shop, and after browsing around, you have some questions, but there’s no one that seems to work there. Then you notice a kiosk where you can place an order or submit a question. The store seems attractive, well stocked and professional – but you’re turned off that “no one’s home”. The lack of staff seems almost disrespectful, uncaring, unwelcoming.

You walk into the next shop, and the owner greets you, let’s you wander freely, and offers to answer any questions you may have. Where would you prefer to shop?

Clearly the one with the human.

If you’re a business owner, you may be tempted to try to impress your audience and customers with creating a sense of “a fancy” or “a bigger” company. You don’t want them to think it’s just you or you and your partner running things. You feel that if your customer is aware of the small team of resources, that they’ll opt for a bigger company instead.

20  years ago, that may have been true. But not today.

The advantages of marketing in today’s world revolves around PERSONAL and EMOTIONAL. If you can inject real life stories, if you can make the customer feel taken care of, that they can develop a real relationship with real people, then you can more easily grow your customer base. Think about which store you’ll return to the next time you’re in the area: store #1 or store #2.

Even if you’re a service provider, this holds true – so what should you look out for and change?

Email address – if you’re using the info@companyname.com email address you set up in 1995, please change it. “info@” FEELS as though there’s a robot behind the counter – there’s no one to talk to and no one is actually there minding the store.

What to use?

If the business is run by you and your partner – John-and-Mary@Funcompany.com. If you’re on your own – susana@RightclickAdvantage.com (😊)

Along these lines, if you’re on your own, or clearly the principle of the company, and you’re the one providing the service and answering the phone, should you use “We” or “I” in your website and brochure content? People feel that using “we” implies that you’re bigger than you actually are. But is being big the real advantage? Not even close.

Think about whether you want to build the brand independently (someday there will be employees to interact with) or whether it feels right for the brand to be YOU– the customer will only ever need to speak with you, even if you have a team working in the background. So if I grow my business to include an office manager and a campaign designer, I would create an email address with their name or at the least their title. For example, OfficeMgr@… However, Iwould prefer to say, “Email our office manager, Sherry, at Sherry@rightclickadvantage.com.

Is all this really important?

If you want to your audience to stop in once and shop once, then it’s not critical. But if you want to develop a loyal following and long term buying relationship, then Small-and-Warm will win over Big-and-Cold every time. Give people a sense of making a real connection. Bring them into a relationship.

While I can’t predict which marketing trends will be popular in the year 2050, I do know that this advice holds true in 2017 and in the near future.

Marketing Strategy is the difference between inconsistent, occasional sales -and- steady, repeat business. if you suspect your strategic plan needs a makeover (or perhaps never existed), I welcome you to take the first step by scheduling a free Discovery Call with ME. Not President, not CEO – Me. It’s entirely possible that just a few tweaks can make a huge difference. Email ME – Susana@Rightclickadvantage.com.

The Post-Seminar Blues

By on April 18, 2017

I’ve spoken at a seminar. Now what?Lead generation speaking

You’ve ended your talk and the room erupts in applause! They loved you, they loved your material.

Speaking is one of the most powerful lead generators in the world of marketing. But if you don’t have an after-talk process or plan in mind, it can get you nowhere. I’ve been nowhere, it’s not fun.

You go home and wait for the bookings to come. But they don’t. What’s missing?

During your talk:

By all means, share wonderful, actionable information. Your attendees should walk away with at least 3 actions they could put into play immediately. However, you want to refer to bigger solutions without actually giving away all the details they would have learned if they paid for your service. Build the gap (between what they walk away with for free and what they need to pay you for) by using phrases like, “I tackle challenges like this in detail when I work with my clients…”  Let them understand that what you’re giving away is just motivating them to get started on a solution but they will need you for the full value.

lead generation speakingAt the end of your talk and after:

  • Your last slide should include your call to action. What’s an easy and free step they can take after your talk? Usually, it’s setting up a free 30 minute phone consult. But they won’t know that until you make it clear that you invite them to call, email, or visit your office or website to book the free consult.
  • Create a feedback form. Collect their contact information and their honest opinion. Enter the contacts into your email marketing tool so that you can continue to engage them. On the form, as what did they like, what was their biggest take-away, what can be improved? Then ask on the form if they would like to be contacted to schedule the free consult. Let them check a box with the understanding you will be calling them.
  • Send a thank you email within 24 hours to all attendees. Perhaps send them a pdf of your slides or a cheat sheet or any little bonus. Thank them for coming and once again state your call to action, inviting them to book a free phone consult. Use a scheduling tool so that you can put the link on your email for them to click and set their own appointment.
  • Call them anyway. Even if they didn’t request a consult, find a reason to quickly phone each person to simply say thanks, find out if they received your free bonus via the email, and engage them in conversation to find out more about their challenge and if they are a good fit to work with you. You’ll know by the end of the 10 minute call if you want to lead them to a 30 minute consult or if they are clearly not interested/not a fit.

For some people, working with you is something they know immediately. For others, they need to think about it for a day or two. Put them in your monthly marketing funnel to remind them of how you can help them.

How To Keep Your “Not Now” Prospects Engaged

By on April 16, 2017

increase prospect salesWe’ve all been there. We met a great new prospect. We had a productive first strategy meeting. They loved our services and were excited to get started. But not now. They have issues to get through first. Totally understandable. They have resource issues, both in the human and financial variety. Can’t blame them, it’s all part of running a business.

They’ve asked us to circle back in 2, 5, even 9 months. Oh boy. Pretty sure they’ll forget about us, right? Not so fast.

The law of reciprocity says that when someone does something nice for you, you will have a deep-rooted psychological urge to do something nice in return. You may even reciprocate with an action far more generous than the action. Ever notice that when you enter a dealership, looking at the new cars, a salesperson asks if he can get you something to drink?

increase prospect salesIf you do it from a real desire to help them grow their business, and you care about nurturing a win-win relationship, it will flow with positive and dynamic energy.

So what are some ways you can give and share in the true spirit of wanting their business to succeed?

Look up some interesting articles regarding new trends or findings in their industry. Maybe they already know this stuff, but the point is that you’re demonstrating a willingness to learn about their world. A simple email with, “just ran across this article and found it worth noting that [refer to something you actually read beyond the headline]”. If you have a minute, I’d like to know your thoughts.” That’s it – a simple sharing and asking for their opinion. No mention of your outstanding offer.

Ask for their opinion in something you’re working on. Perhaps you’re designing a new presentation or course or even a new blog post or page on your website. A simple message: “I’m working on this new [page, blog, etc] which is geared toward businesses like yours, and would really appreciate your opinion. Can you take 2 minutes to give me your honest feedback, so that I can be sure I’m on the right track?” You’re showing them that you respect their professional opinion and welcome their input.

Invite them to a great business event, even if you’re not paying for them. “I’m attending this awesome dinner meeting and the keynote speaker sounds amazing. I think the topic would really help grow your business. Would this be something you’re interested in attending?”

These are just 3 ways you can let your prospect know that they are on your mind, so that you keep your services on their minds.

An easy ingredient to this reciprocity recipe is monthly email campaigns. Create a separate list for prospects, and use it to send brief and very informative emails, sharing great tips about your services and industry. Track if they’re opening and clicking on your link. Make sure to give them a reason to click on your website, social, blog, etc, so that you can track it!

That’s it – sharing and giving are a much more positive approach then, “hey we spoke 2 months ago, are you ready to buy yet??” Yuck!

The response you get from them will let you know loud and clear whether they appreciate you and the chances of using your services are still very good, or they have lost interest and have moved schedule a free discovery callon. And if they are moving on, you should too!

If your business is simply not making the revenue you need to thrive, I invite you to set up a free Discovery Call with me. It’s an easy 30 minute phone call where we explore your goals and challenges, and see if we’re the right fit for each other. That’s it! Click here to schedule.

Working Without a Net

By on April 7, 2017

Making the Revenue While You Build Your Business

People start a business as a result of a wide variety of circumstances – some were laid off their corporate job, some simply wanted control over their schedules (yea, right), some had desires to “do it better” than the company they worked for: the list goes on.

In 2000, I was suddenly widowed and in 2003 I was laid off of my corporate job. I had 2 children to support and the in the year I was laid off, absolutely no one was hiring. There was no other new job to slide into. So I created my own business as a computer tutor.

Many entrepreneurs will start out on their new venture by having a “side gig” to fill in the missing revenue. This part-time job is not their dream, glamour job, but it’s a safety net, while the revenue in their new company slowly builds. I chose to skip the safety net.

While having the security of a part-time job “while you’re getting started”, may appear to be sound advice, it can also lead to failure.

It looks like this…

The Downward Spiral

You work on your business 85% of the time and pull in about $12,00  revenue the 1st year. You work your side gig 15% of the time to add up your revenue to try to make a “normal” salary.

You now have reduced amount of time and energy to work your brilliant business, so the revenue really doesn’t climb too high. Next year you make a whopping $14,000. You not only keep your side gig, you increase your hours. Business now gets 80%, the side job 20%. Hey you need the money, right?

You get disappointed that sales on your offerings are low. You feel it’s because your prices are too high. You run sales events, discounts, specials. Your lower prices are sure to attract more customers.

But the revenue does not climb very high at all and income might even get worse. You increase your hours on your side gig. 75% business, 25% side job.

And now you’ve pulled in $13,000 your 3rd year, and you have less hours to work on developing your business.

Focusing On Success

As a new business owner and single mom, I knew that if I had a safety net, I feared that instead of being a full-time business owner who also works weekends at Target, I would wind up being a full-time Target employee who works her business on the weekends. That would provide a consistent revenue but loads of unhappiness, diminishing self-worth and lack of self-fulfillment.

While fear may attract you to grab the part time gig, I’m going to be blunt – your side job will wind up putting you out of business.

The solution is to work without the safety net. Practice and fall down and get braver and fall down and get more skilled until you stop falling down.

Getting to Success

Work your business for real success: the number one ingredient in making that happen is to hire a coach, a mentor, some kind of professional who will devote time and expertise into helping you chisel your business into a revenue producing machine that will support you, with no need for a side gig.

It’s seems counter-intuitive – spending money on a coaching program when you’re not even making money yet. You’re right, it feels scary as hell! I’ve been there. I’ve spent money into flexing my business muscles and regretted not a penny of it.

Are you working with a net? How much of your time is spent on the “side” gig? Isn’t it really your full time job, with your business becoming your side hobby because you just can’t seem to make it work?

I dare you to take away your net. Work 100% on your business. Find a mentor or coaching program. Do what it takes to build your results to a point that’s much higher than what you would have made as a  part-time teacher, or store clerk, or office assistant. Place 100% of your courage, your energy, and your faith into developing that business you’ve dreamed of. Kick away the net and make it a reality.

Spending your time wisely

By on April 6, 2017

Right Click Advantage Email Marketing Services Small Business

Working on a client’s email campaign today, I decided that the same template we were using for years was getting old and tired, so I went back to her website to make sure I had all the most up to date colors. I changed up some of the colors on her template, while still keeping to her brand. I sent myself a preview.

I found a tiny typo and fixed that. Then I noticed that her closing statement, included on the footer, was a bit wordy and I edited it for brevity while still retaining all her sentiments.  I sent myself a preview.

Then I noticed the navigation bar at the header really didn’t need one of the links, so removed it and fixed the spacing. And I also saw that her logo was looking “stretched out” when I viewed it on mobile so I adjusted the size a bit. I sent myself a preview.

I fussed with the 2 “read more” buttons at the ends of her starter articles to make sure the alignment was the same, and the size was the same. I also made sure the height was the same on both the images and that they each had the correct link to the appropriate article. I sent myself a preview.

I didn’t think the subject line I had chosen grabbed attention enough, so I changed it. Then I changed it again. Then I referenced her 2nd article in the preheader text. I sent myself a preview.

I tested on mobile to make sure the phone number and email address changing to blue on the phone still looked great against the new background color I used on that block. I reduced the size of the video image and changed the caption underneath. I sent myself a preview.

It looks great to me, and NOW it’s ready to send to her for review. There’s no way that all of this back and forth with sizing, wording, image placement, and font sizes would be sent to her and interrupt her while she’s working. I sent the preview when my own persnickety taste was appeased.

I know for a fact that she’s grateful, because she always says, “this looks great!” and “I never would have been able to make it look this good”. It’s satisfying to me to offload this work from her desk to that she can focus on making her customers happy.

The adjusting the testing the re-writing and designing… is it a good use of your time? Is it something you love doing? If so, then that’s awesome. But if you feel frustrated that your time is being spent doing operational work when you should be focused on your client work, then perhaps we should chat about getting your email marketing work off your desk and onto mine.

Please feel free to schedule a free Discovery Call with me.

The #1 Mistake Service Businesses Make

By on March 17, 2017

Service based businesses are crucial because they provide consumers and other businesses with expertise and professional experience in areas we simply can’t handle ourselves. Yet when it comes to pricing their services, there is a huge challenge! How do you put a price tag on your talent and skills?

Many entrepreneurs make this common mistake – they charge by the hour. Seems to make sense – why is it wrong?

  1. you place full control over the revenue you make into your customers’ hands. “I’ll only need 1 hour of your time”
  2. it downgrades the talent, skill, experience, and expertise of the business own to merely units of time spent with the customer.
  3. it does not reflect the true value of what the customer received – their problem solved, their challenge overcome, their obstacle surmounted.

Watch my video on Facebook on this topic.

https://www.facebook.com/RightClickAdvantage/videos/1443461022331621/