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5 Ways to Get The Most Out of Your Social Media Marketing This Year

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing, and today’s guest post is from our newest team member – Alex Boyer– Enjoy!

photo credit: shutterstock

You have always been told your business needs a presence on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, but you have yet to see tangible results. Don’t give up! Here are five simple steps to kick-start your social media this year.

Set a Goal

You should set a basic goal for your social media activities for the year. This can be something simple like “increase participation in specials or sales,” “interact with existing customers and strengthen brand loyalty,” or something more complex like “Create a personality for your brand.” Every social media post for the year should in some way help you achieve that goal.

For example, take two popular restaurants in the Kansas City area: Grunauer (@grunauerKC) and Blanc Burgers and Bottles (@BlancBurgers). Blanc uses social media to remind their customers of daily and nightly specials, and release photos of new burger creations. Gurnauer forgoes the daily specials and instead uses their Twitter account to create personality for the restaurant, cheering for local sports teams and commenting on news stories. Both restaurants have significant social media following and every post from both fulfill their respective goals.

Draft a plan

Now that you have a goal to achieve, it is time to draft a plan for your social media year. You should start by creating an editorial calendar. Use your calendar to list your yearly sales events, local events (such as high-profile concerts or local festivals) and holidays. Keep an eye out for obscure holidays like “Talk like a pirate day” or “National Cheeseburger day,” as these are very popular on social media. You can even pre-draft social media posts for each of these events for use later.  If you ever reach a point in the year where you don’t know what to post, use this calendar for ideas.

You can even use the editorial calendar to plan “messages of the week,” content themes that you can use for a week or month at a time. For example, you can have your blog posts for a month focus on sales strategy. That way, you have a uniform starting point for each of your posts.

Social Specials

Give your customers a reason to interact with your social media by giving them “Social Specials”. These can include giveaways or discounts in store. Ask your fans to “Like this post for 10% off this week” or “Retweet for a chance to win.” In the case of discounts, you can even ask customers who come into your storefront if they have social media, and then tell them they can get a discount if they like your page. This will not only expand your social media following, but also engage users that are already customers. Plus, posting promotions on social media is cheaper than printing coupons in the newspaper.

Create a Dialogue

Social media platforms shouldn’t be used simply to distribute your messages, they should be a 2-way street between you and your customers. Use Twitter, Facebook, and your blog as a customer service tool as well. Allow your customers to come to you with their complaints, and address them promptly. Also, thank supporters for their kind words and share their positive reviews.  This gives your customers reason to interact with your social media pages, and creates a sense of community around your company.

Never Stop Creating Content

Finally, the most important step to getting the most out of your social media is to create content. You need to continue to create engaging, exciting content to draw new fans and keep your current fans’ attention.  You cannot forget about social media and must post regularly. The steps above should help you keep a steady flow of content for your supporters, but it is ultimately up to you and your team to keep executing. Your social media following cannot grow without content.

Social media marketing should be an important part of your marketing plan. Follow these five simple steps, and your social media presence is sure to grow over the next year.


Alex-Boyer-Photo-150x150-e1420769709443Alex Boyer is Community Manager and Content Ninja for Duct Tape Marketing. It is his job to create and scour the internet for the best content for small businesses. In addition, he will continue to grow the Duct Tape Marketing community through interaction with clients and consultants in the Duct Tape Consultant Network on our website and through Social Media. Alex has a background in political marketing, where in-depth opposition and messaging research is critical to a successful campaign. He is focused on taking those tactics and using them to help your small business grow and reach more potential customers.

The Secret to Working Less Without Making Less

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing, and today’s guest post is from Jenna Dalton– Enjoy!

Work Less

photo credit: kroszk@

You want a life. You want a successful business. But is it possible to have both?

Yes it is. You just need to know the secret to working less without making less. The key is to be constantly asking this one critical question…

“Am I being productive, or am I just keeping busy?”

The truth is, there are very few things that you need to do to grow your business. But a lot of us fall into the trap of thinking that we’re making smart moves when we’re actually just doing busy work.

Spending 3 hours changing our Facebook page cover photo is not a good use of our time.

Spending 3 hours crafting a great guest blog post that’ll drive more traffic to our website is a good use of our time.

The secret is to know what you should focus your attention on, and what you should either hire someone else to do, or just forget about.

If you want to work less without making less you need to learn how to properly prioritize. And it all comes back to your goals.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that your goals probably look something like this… Get more clients or customers. Make more money. Right?

And you’re going to be able to do that by focusing on three key things:

  1. Doing lots of smart networking
  2. Generating more referrals
  3. Getting more email subscribers

This means that – when you’re trying to decide what you should work on each day – if it doesn’t fit any of those categories, you should question whether it’s worth your time.

I’m not saying it will never be worth your time to do something outside those categories. But, if you want to not work so much and still grow your business, these three things should be a priority for you. These 3 things are what will help you grow your business as quickly and easily as possible.

Networking

Maintaining relationships you already have, and actively pursuing relationships you want to have is smart marketing.

Try reaching out to at least 1 person per day. Send them a relevant, useful article. Mail them a birthday card. Or let them know that you enjoyed their latest blog post.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s simply about keeping in touch and being generous on a regular basis.

Referrals

According to research by Nielsen, 92% of people say they trust word-of-mouth marketing and recommendations by friends and family more than any other form of marketing.

That means that the best source of new business is to make your current clients happy, and then ask them to send other people your way.

So make sure you have a strong referral system in place.

Subscribers

The only reason someone would become a client or buy something you’ve created is because they know, like and trust you.

And one of the best ways to get people to know, like and trust you is through your email list.

Spending time attracting more subscribers, and then giving your subscribers a good reason to stay on your email list – by sharing helpful tips, tools and resources – should definitely be a priority.

Where are your priorities?

If you want to grow your business without working yourself to the bone, it’s time to start paying attention to how you’re actually spending your time.

Prioritize. Delegate. Focus.

Recognize that there are some things that are necessary to grow your business, and other things you can let go (or hire someone else to do).

Focus on what will help you grow your business – networking, referrals, and subscribers – instead of just doing work, for work’s sake.

Having a balanced life – where work isn’t trickling into social time, and social time isn’t trickling into work time – can be tough.

But you can make it easier for yourself by noticing whether you’re productive, or just doing something for the sake of doing it.

So, where are your priorities? How can you shift them so you can work less and still grow your business?

DTMHeadshotJenna Dalton is an Elite Level Book Yourself Solid® Certified Coach. She helps coaches use smart blogging strategies to get more clients. Grab her free toolkit How to Write The Perfect Blog Post. And make sure to come say hi to her on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Stop Undervaluing Yourself and Get Paid What You’re Worth

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Stephanie O’Brien – Enjoy! 

As your skills as a marketer or businessperson grow, one of the best ways to increase your revenue is to raise your rates.

Because you’re getting better at what you do, you can give more value for the same amount of time and effort, and your pay should rise accordingly.

But sometimes, that’s easier said than done. Not because your clients won’t pay what you’re worth, but because YOU won’t ask for it.

You’re used to valuing yourself at a certain level, and when you think about asking for more, uncertainty floods in. “What if they say no? What if I can’t give them enough value to be worth that? What if they’re disappointed, or they take their business elsewhere?”

All too often, people will allow those fears to make them underquote, so even though they’re attracting clients, they’re still losing a lot of potential revenue because they’re being underpaid.

In this blog post, I’ll help you to make a shift that will allow you to not only make the income you deserve, but also to serve your clients more effectively, so they WILL be happy to pay you what you’re worth.

It’s all about the questions you ask.

Right now, you’re probably asking yourself two questions when you set your prices. They are,

“What are my clients willing to pay?” and “What is my competition charging?”

While it’s true that these questions may come into play when your client is considering your offer, you can’t rely on them when you’re setting your rates. If you do, they will limit your income, and keep you from seeing and showing your own true value.

It also places imaginary limitations on your clients’ buying power, when in reality those limitations might well exist only in your mind.

What can you ask instead, that will give you more income and your clients better service?

The next time you’re about to set a rate, start by asking yourself, “How much money would make this job worth my time?”

This can be uncomfortable, especially if you feel it would be unfair to your clients, or are afraid of scaring them off. But it has to be done – in fact, I’d like you to do it right now, before you continue reading.

Once you’ve done that exercise, if you feel like this figure is too high, DON’T lower it.

Instead, ask yourself: “How much value am I giving?”

How much time will you save your clients? How much money will you MAKE for them?

How much will their health, mindset, lifestyle or relationships improve?

How much happier will they be after they work with you?

Remember, it isn’t just about the effort you put into the job. It’s about the benefit that your work gives to your clients.

What if the value you’re offering seems like less than the price you want to charge?

Once again, do NOT drop your rates. Instead, raise your value.

For example, I was recently hired to help one of my clients rewrite her ‘about’ page. I wanted the page to reflect her real story and the source of her passion, instead of reading like an encyclopedia.

To do this, we needed to have a conversation via Skype, and I wanted to be paid $75 for the time we were going to spend on that. But simply getting her to tell her story didn’t feel like it was enough; I wanted to give her real value for the money I was charging.

So I made her an offer: while I was getting the story for her page, I would also teach her how to tell her story in a way that drew her clients in, so she’d be able to use that skill any time she needed to.

She agreed, and was happy to pay me $75 for the call.

Are you charging as much as you want to be?

If not, when are you going to raise your prices?

If you don’t feel like your services warrant a price increase, how will you raise their value so they WILL be worth it?

I look forward to reading your opinions, insights and commitments in the comments.

Pic of me for DuctTapeStephanie O’Brien is a copywriter, marketing coach, entrepreneur, novelist, and self-growth addict. She uses her twelve years of fiction-writing experience to make her copywriting fun and inspirational as well as effective, and her lifelong exploration of the human mind helps her to get inside her clients’ heads, pick out the words they’re trying to find, and put them onto paper.

To learn more about Stephanie, and to get more tips to help you connect with your readers in a unique and authentic way, visit her website at www.captivatingcopywriter.com.

 

From Zero to Thousands: 5 Steps to Get Your Social Media Up and Running

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Rachel Wisuri – Enjoy!

Social Media

photo credit:pixabay

Maybe you’re a new business, or maybe you’re an older business who recently decided to get active on social media. Regardless, you face the same problem: how do you build a successful presence on social media when no one on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram knows who you are?

Below, I’ve outlined 5 steps to get your social media channels up and running.

1. Choose the channels that work best for YOU

Not every social media channel will works for your business. As the Community Manager for a test-prep company, I’ve experienced that firsthand. Pinterest for test prep? Not the most efficient use of my time. (Have you ever heard your friends say, “Oh I saw the most amazing pin about math formulas today”? No? Didn’t think so.) So first, choose the channels that are right for your company.

How? Figure out where your customers already hang out. Set up a Mention or a Google Alert for your company’s name, and find out where conversations about you are already happening. (Or, simply ask your customers what their favorite platforms are!) You can also consider the demographic information for each channel and try to match that up with the demographics of your customer base.

2. Define your goals

As marketers, we know it’s much better to be able to track and define your success with hard numbers. Once you’ve chosen some channels, it’s time to set up your metrics for success. That will help you see if your hard work is paying off and help you decide if you should continue to invest in a channel that is not working as well as you’d like.

Some things to consider when setting up your metrics goals (a.k.a. how will you define success?):

  • Is getting a lot of followers your main goal?
  • Do you want to increase mentions of your brand online?
  • How important are likes, re-tweets, comments, and engagement to you?
  • What is your goal for response time to customers’ questions and comments?
  • Are you trying to increase clicks and drive traffic to your website?

3. Tell everyone you know.

Great, now you’re set up on the best channels for you and have started making your profiles look awesome. But you still have the same problem: no one is following you. :(

How to fix it: start an online conversation with your current customers to get the ball rolling. Move your existing customer base to your social media channels. Email them, put your account names on your business cards, and scream it from the rooftops. By driving their focus to your social media accounts, you’ll start to build a quality follower base that already likes you and what you have to say.

4. Think like a human being, not a social media robot.

Don’t just promote and talk about yourself. Don’t allow your conversations and posts to be one sided. When you act like a human being via social media and use it to interact with other human beings, you’ll be able to reach new potential customers and people who are genuinely interested in what you’re selling.

Engage in conversations like you would with your own friends — “like” relevant comments and statuses, and start conversations with interesting people and companies.

5. Provide useful information to your community.

Now, I’m not saying you should never talk about yourself, but do so in a way that will benefit your community. What are their main concerns? What do they need help with? This comes back to knowing your customers.

Now that you have these 5 steps under your belt, it’s up to you to upkeep your brand new follower relationships and make them last far into the future!

Bonus Tip: people love contests and free stuff, and your followers are no exception. Engage your new social media community by promoting fun competitions. Got some company pens or t-shirts to give away? Create a contest for your followers and promise the winners swag! They might even brag about it to their friends, which just equals more and more mentions for you!

Good luck and happy Tweeting!

My author photoRachel Wisuri is the Community Manager at Magoosh, an online test-prep company in the Bay Area. There, she spends her time making sure the Magoosh community is happy, healthy, and growing. In her free time she can be found eating peanut butter, listening to the Beatles, and lounging in the park.

 

9 Ways to Connect With Your Community

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Roger Connors and Tom Smith – Enjoy!

biz-community

photo credit: 123rf

Feeling out of touch with your business community? No connection, wrangling tough relationships, regularly brokering messy disagreements? Just how does a business owner or manager get back in touch and move the needle on even the most stubborn issues?

With consistent, well-practiced feedback.

Feedback is a principle that, if practiced, is the key to overcoming blind spots and achieving improved results in all aspects of your life—both personal and professional. Individually, with teams, and even entire communities and organizations.

The key: You just have to ask for it.

 

But before you gather your team or blindly ask what others think of you (highly risky without a bit of practice, by the way), consider these 9 proven tips that will help you get your head right—so you can solicit, respond to, and use feedback to succeed in business.

  1. Go after it. Feedback doesn’t just magically happen with the wave of a wand. You have to be proactive and make it happen. Stay connected with customers or prospects by seeking feedback even when you believe things are going great—sometimes what you think isn’t what is actually happening.
  2. Have courage. Seeking constructive feedback can be scary. Remember, whoever you’re asking feedback from is already thinking about your performance; you’re just hearing what they already believe.
  3. Welcome awkwardness. Remember that almost everyone fears offering feedback about as much as they fear asking for it. People worry it will backfire, and they value their job or relationship over saying anything—which is why momentum stalls in the first place. Revel in the discomfort and seek feedback anyway.
  4. Be convincing. Assure your audience, customers, even your employees that you really do want to know what they think. They need to know there won’t be any blowback from you if they honestly tell you how they see it.
  5. Get positive. Though it might be hard to believe, it’s easier for people to offer positive rather than negative feedback. You have to ask for constructive feedback. Try “What can we do better?” instead of “What are we doing wrong?”
  6. Listen. After asking for feedback, you need to do the hard part—listen. Listening can be difficult, but it is one of the most meaningful steps of exchanging feedback, and it is important that you listen to everything. Then act on what you hear that makes sense.
  7. Be grateful. Don’t let constructive feedback, no matter how unpleasant, skew your view of the person who’s giving valuable input as to how you can improve your processes. Remember: their insight could help improve performance or efficiency. Express sincere gratitude for their willingness to share in the first place (see tip #2, courage).
  8. Make it a habit. Make getting feedback a habit, not a one-time thing. Ask if it’s okay to follow up, even suggesting you meet again for a reality check just to keep yourself in line.
  9. Be nice. Finally, be nice to yourself and others. You can’t make any important changes overnight.

Right out of the gate you might want to select someone you’re comfortable with, then get started by simply asking, “What feedback do you have for me?” You might need to tag it with some context; like “How do you think we could have improved this product?” or “What improvements would you like to see in your campaign?” Once you’ve listened, don’t impulsively respond with a long defensive response. Graciously and professionally say, “Thanks for the feedback. We really appreciate it, and want to do anything we can to make your experience with our company better.” Your gratitude will signal you aren’t defensive (even if you really are) and that you are happy they took the time to share their opinion.

RogerTom_150x150Roger Connors and Tom Smith are co-authors of a new book, The Wisdom of Oz: Using Personal Accountability to Succeed in Everything You Do (September 2014, www.thewisdomofozbook.com). They are multiple New York Times Bestselling authors and innovators of the most extensive body of knowledge on workplace accountability ever written. Their firm, Partners In Leadership (www.partnersinleadership.com), helps management teams facilitate large-scale cultural transition through proven methodologies, and has helped clients produce billions of dollars in improved profitability and shareholder value.

How to Use Your Expert Knowledge to Build Authority Online

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Daniel Glickman – Enjoy! 

photo credit: 123rf

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent. – John Donne

The internet is a living continent that depends on community contribution to thrive. Without input from participating members, the internet would cease to be relevant. However, the biggest strength of the internet is also its biggest weakness: with almost three billion users, the internet is an enormous global stage, and as participants, we are all competing for a bit of spotlight. However, in our fight to get a moment of glory, too many generate content that is useless and irrelevant. So how do you create important content? Use your expert knowledge to benefit the online community.

First, realize that the online community doesn’t care about you.

Like any other consumers, online audiences are seeking to consume relevant, valuable knowledge. Luckily, you have the power to give them exactly what they want. But first, you need to stop contributing only to benefit yourself. Creating content simply for your own marketing benefits will never get you the same results as contributing genuinely for the benefit of the community.

Ask not what the online community can do for you, but what you can do for the online community.

If you are consistently putting the audience’s needs above your own, you will benefit. The key to being a valuable participant is knowing what you have to offer, why it sets you apart, and how to get it out properly. The most important input you can give to the existing online community is expert knowledge that only you have by contributing content that is unique to your specialty to genuinely help others.

Give fresh perspectives.

A core necessity of any content is that it is valuable and high-quality. However, even the best content can easily be overlooked. A constant challenge is creating fresh and interesting content that offers value to visitors. It’s easy for a great post or infographic to become buried under other online content, so how do you catch the attention of an ever-distracted online audience? Know how the element of surprise can attract attention. A moving graphic, interesting color scheme, or dash of humor in a forum post are all real ways to keep audiences on their toes and interested in what you have to say.

Choose appropriate methods for delivering knowledge.

There are as many topics to contribute about as there are ways to get your insights out there. Informative online presentations, guest blogging, webinars, and active participation in online forums are just a few of the many ways to help the community at large and, if done correctly, can drive long-lasting community engagement. Identify why each method would benefit you, and ask yourself if it’s relevant to your niche. The owner of a medical technology company is probably better suited to contribute knowledge to forums than webinars, but either method works if the owner understands his strengths. A great writer but bad public speaker is probably not suited for a live presentation and should choose an online slideshow with great taglines instead. Know how to play up your strengths and invest in the appropriate methods to benefit the most.

Strive to start conversation.

Putting out content that doesn’t generate audience feedback is like delivering a presentation with zero engagement. Before any post or comment, ask yourself if you are just adding your two-cents or actually participating and driving a conversation. One of the best ways to see this in action is by rephrasing your comments as questions. See how much more participation you get from asking your audience their opinion?

There you have it – to be an authority on your niche, deliver genuine content for the purpose of contributing, not benefitting. The most engaging content – that great TED talk, memorable article, or viral website – was created because of a passion of to share, not benefit. If you can do this successfully, you will not only establish yourself as an authority in your field, but will also draw an engaged audience to you naturally.

08c4341Daniel Glickman is the CMO of emaze. He loves analyzing marketing data and building strategic and tactical plans.

 

7 Networking Tips for Shy People

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Ethan Robinson – Enjoy! 

networking 5

Photo credit: istock photo

Networking is a challenge for shy people. If only they possessed that self-confidence to impress a crowd or charm people at “hello.” Whether you call yourself “shy,” “introverted,” or merely “quiet,” it is still possible for you to master the art of networking. Networking is not based on being outgoing: it’s about building sincere relationships based on trust, sincerity, and generosity. If you’re struggling to meet new people, here’s a few things you could try to improve your network.

1. Don’t sweat the meet and greet

If there’s someone you want to meet for the first time, try to find a common connection and request an introduction. If you’re in a networking event, approach the host or an event organizer to help you with the introduction. Getting introduced will make it easier for you to make a new contact than having to approach someone from out of the blue. Can’t find anyone to introduce you? Take a few deep breaths and take a leap of faith.  It’s always better to try than miss that chance altogether.

2. Write down your questions

It’s a two-way street so you can’t let the other person carry the conversation for you. If you’re not confident about your spontaneity, then try writing down a few questions like:

“What does your typical day look like?”

“What got you into this career path?”

“What hobbies are you into?”

“What do you wish you had more time to do?”

Cliché, overused conversation starters may seem like a drag. But they can be a good way to start a conversation.

3. Your listening skills are your assets

Introverts are often empathic listeners. Being a better listener than most people may not make you stand out in the crowd. But it does leave strong, lasting impressions on people once you engage them in a conversation. Listening attentively and asking a few thoughtful questions can help fast-track your way into a meaningful relationship.

4. Throw in some compliments

From small compliments to sheer flattery, entrepreneurs are always keen to hear something good about themselves. Just be sure to be earnest about your compliments and not to dish out too many flatteries in a conversation. Think about it and if you don’t feel like saying it, don’t.

5. Don’t give unsolicited advice

You can talk about many things but avoid unsolicited advice as much as possible. Giving unsolicited advice like:

“You shouldn’t work too much”

“You should be on TV”

“If I were you, I would…”

This kind of advice is often easier said than done. You’re just starting a relationship, you don’t need to be on their board of directors just yet.

6. Tag a buddy along

A huge business networking event or even a small dinner can be less intimidating if you have a buddy. That way, you’ll have someone to sit with or introduce you to others. If you have to go alone, reach out and make at least one solid connection. It’s always much easier to have a partner than to be lost in a crowd of complete strangers.

7. Remember you’re not the only “shy” guy or girl in the conference

You are more than likely not the only introvert at your table. The guy next to you or the girl from across the table may just be as nervous. Instead of sitting around being scared to death, go ahead and start the conversation. You may be ignored or it may not end up as planned, but it might also lead to a great conversation you would otherwise miss if you remained silent.

If none of these tips has encouraged you to open up to other people, you might want to see a professional business coach or attend a marketing lecture. When you have someone to discuss and explain your specific business challenges, you will find them much easier to overcome with new solutions.

 

IMG_1311Ethan Robinson is an Australia-based digital marketer who splits his time between Sydney and New York. He currently leads the digital marketing team for NY-based The Small Business Expo, US’ largest business trade show.

Why Online Reviews Are Almost As Good As Actual Referrals

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Jason Keeler – Enjoy!

image 2 online business reviewsAs a business owner, there isn’t much better than a good referral. It shows that you’re doing something right, and that your customers think highly enough of you as a partner to tell other people in their circle about their great experience. Referral leads have a tremendously high closing percentage as well versus other cultivated leads. The implied trust factor allows you to skip a lot of the relationship building and get right down to business. Unfortunately, even your most vocal brand advocates will likely only influence a handful of prospective customers at most, and more than likely just one or two. But what if your happy customers were able to influence hundreds or even thousands of prospects?

The Power Of Faceless People

In the absence of a trusted business contact steering a prospect to your door, an online review can be almost as powerful. Never mind that there’s no connection between the reviewer and the prospect reading their review. According to Forrester data from a 2012 study, nearly one third of online consumers trust a stranger as opposed to a brand. That data speaks specifically to consumers buying an online product, but the sentiment holds true for prospects researching brick and mortar businesses on the web. A 20123 study by Bright Local showed that nearly 85% of customers read online reviews before trying a new restaurant, hiring a local contractor or making a major in-home purchase. The impact of positive reviews from total strangers is incredibly powerful, even if their testimonial fails to put a face with a name.

The Impact On Local Search

The value of search engine optimization to any specific business varies, but local SEO – impacting where your business falls in Google’s local search returns – can be a huge driver for both foot traffic and online visits. The online reviews of your business are a big driver for where (or if) your business appears in the pecking order. There are quite a few other factors as well, but total reviews, quality/length of reviews, having variety in the sites where you are reviewed and of course the sentiment of your reviews will play a big role in determining your place. Aside from helping you manipulate local search results, reviews on popular portals like Yelp! can be a source of referral traffic to your website as well.

Ask And You Shall Receive

As is often the case, some things can be acquired simply by asking. Ensuring that your company actively seeks both referrals and reviews will most certainly pay dividends. And for those who need more than a simple ask? There’s certainly nothing wrong with establishing a review reward similar to a referral bonus, as a consideration for their time. Smart companies may even tie it in to a discount on a future order, not only ensuring a good review but also improving the chance that there’s a repeat order from a current customer. Another unique way to improve your review rate is to use surveys. The bonus here is that you can also find out a few interesting things about your business – areas that you’re surprisingly weak or strong in – and either reward those responsible or start making improvements.

As previously noted, referrals are like gold…but good online reviews are at least like silver, or a high-grade copper. There’s real value there. Make sure you spend time focusing on reviews as well as referrals, and you’ll put more prospects in your funnel with relative ease.

Jason Keeler imageJason Keeler is the Director of Digital Marketing at EAG Advertising & Marketing, Kansas City’s small business ad agency. He’s an avid Royals fan and a lover of all things related to internet marketing.