It’s Friday! We hope the Memorial Day holiday this past week brought in some extra customers and foot traffic to your local businesses! Make sure you always have a calendar handy so you know when the next big holiday is coming up. That way you are able to send your customers reminders about any holiday specials or events you may be offering.
However, in order for you to really connect with your customers, on the kind of level that they consider you the “go-to” person for their specific need or problem, you have to establish yourself as a leader or expert in your customers’ mind.
Lean, Mean Marketing Machine
Via NFIB MyBusiness Magazine: Small businesses face their fair share of challenges. But they also enjoy certain advantages over big companies. Your customers rely on you because they know you. You’re not an inaccessible brand or a strange voice at the end of the phone line. You’re a trusted expert, a pillar of your community and maybe even a friend or adviser. You may not think of yourself as an expert, but your clients probably do.
Try providing customers with valuable news and information [based on your current customers related interests], such as low-cost recipes… or the latest in building materials… Sharing this information positions you as an industry leader in your community, and shows customers you’re willing to help them when they need it, not just when you’re trying to sell something. Read more…
You started your small business because you made the most delicious and unique cupcakes or had a knack for creating beautiful flower arrangements. With the knowledge, talent, and expertise, you built your business. But in order to stay top of mind with your customers when they need help or have a problem that you can solve, you need to communicate to them your expertise outside of just selling your product or services. But where do you start? An easy way to become a thought leader is with an insightful blog.
Via MomeoMagazine.com: Today, it’s arguable that your blog is more important than your business card for promoting your business. Where a business card lets you market to people one-by-one, a small business blog harness the power of one-to-many marketing.
Thanks to social media, blogging lets brands build relationships with their target audience, serve and support existing customers and create a community of loyal fans. Before you put fingers to keyboard and start writing whatever pops into your brain, here are a few ways to use your business blog to generate sales:
- Write With Authority — Pick topics that you consider yourself an expert in and write with authority! It’s not enough to call yourself an expert, you need to act the part and convince others to call you one!
- Offer Up Sage Advice — Share helpful tips and tricks that benefit your readers. Sometimes that means giving a little away for free in order to generate the goodwill needed to convert readers into buyers.
- Put Yourself in Their Shoes — Ask yourself what your target audience is interested in learning more about and expand your content focus to include related articles. For example, a fitness blog may want to include low-calorie recipes in addition to how-to exercise guides. Read more…
In order to affectively communicate to your customers advice and tips related to your business, you need to really understand your customers so you can become a reliable source to them with blog posts or newsletters that they would enjoy.
Even though they are a larger brand, Anthropologie does just this really well and we can apply these lessons to a small business just like yours.
Anthropologie: Small Business Branding Lessons From a Major Brand
Via Business2Community.com: Anthropologie, a clothing and home goods retailer, uses many business-branding techniques that can work for small businesses. Anthropologie understands its target demographic so well, that they don’t have to chase down customers and pull them in the doors. The fan base is practically lining up to get in. By carefully honing in on a specific customer, you could save yourself thousands in advertising later on down the road.
Former Anthropologie CEO, Glen Senk, told Fast Company, “In my experience, retailers spend most of their time looking at things from the company’s perspective… They talk about trends and brand but rarely about the customer in a meaningful way.
We’re customer experts. Our focus is on always doing what’s right for a specific customer we know very well.” Read more…
What ways are you (and your business) currently positioning yourself as the experts that your customers can turn to? Let us know in the comments!