One of the most discouraging things when either starting your business or dealing with a stagnant business in terms of sales is not seeing any growth or change in what you’re doing. Maybe you’re not as busy as you would like or you don’t have the brand presence you wish you did. Trust me, I know the anxiety this can cause when you start thinking about where your next sales will come from if you happen to lose a customer.
If you’ve read my post, “Digital Marketing Tasks for Small Businesses”, then you’ve most likely developed a habit for daily marketing activities. But sometimes basic marketing habits won’t kick start your business. Sometimes you have to throw in a couple curve balls to sidestep what can become a monotony.
Here are 3 tricks that will kick start you business!
Answer Your Customers’ Questions!
Honestly, this is the number one way I earn new business without spending ANY money in advertising. Your customers are looking for information and knowledge on products and services you sell.
I’ll give you an example:
I sell SEO, SEM, Social Media, and Website Development primarily to landscaping and lawn care businesses. A lot of these business owners are looking for information on how to market their business digitally. They’re asking their peers, researching online how to set up Google AdWords, or even how to rank on the first page of Google.
So the number one thing you can do, is simply find where your customers are asking these questions and simply answer them. You will appear as the expert in your industry and the go-to person/business.
For instance, when I’m writing blogs posts for my lawn care clients, I always suggest an informative article like how to deal with yellow spots in your yard. But the biggest push back I always get is, “but I don’t want them to do it themselves, I want them to pay me to take care of it.”
But the reality of the situation is that anyone who really wants to perform the service themselves is going to anyways. They’re going to learn how to deal with their problem whether they get the information from you or not. So you might as well make it you who they learn from. Making you appear as the expert in the industry.
However, although most people want to know how to take care of something, they often don’t have the time and ultimately end up paying someone for to perform the service.
So Where Do I Go to Answer My Customers’ Questions?
Your customers are asking questions in all sorts of places and in different forms. And a lot of the times they’re not even asking a direct question, you just have to monitor their behavior as creepy as that sounds.
Forum sites are one of the best places to find customers asking questions you can answer with your business expertise. Since my digital marketing agency works primarily with landscaping and lawn care business owners, one forum site I visit a lot is LawnSite.com. This is a website dedicated to bringing landscaping and lawn care service providers together and talk business.
Fortunately for me, this forum site has a specific thread regarding digital marketing that I follow. I will go in there and literally just answer any question I possibly can without soliciting my services. Then I watch my email as the natural leads start flowing in.
But be careful, some sites have rules against soliciting so make sure you understand what your limitations are.
This is one I just dove pretty deep into lately. There are tons of groups dedicated to specific industries and even product types. Our group, Marketing Solved, on Facebook brings all kinds of business owners together. It makes it easy to connect with people who might be in need of accounting services, marketing services, or any other software or products.
Again, my example again is me being a part of numerous lawn care groups for business owners. I simply interact as a user and NOT as a business. I answer questions and give my input as Jake Hundley, not as EverGrow Marketing.
Additionally Facebook groups are where you’ll want to be with Facebook’s new algorithm update.
Whenever I’m stuck with what kind of content to create for the coming month, the first thing I do is turn to what keywords I am or am not showing up for. The goal here is to see what your market is searching for whenever you show up on Google, whether you’re on the first page or the tenth page. Find the keywords you have an opportunity for and formulate a blog post around that.
But before you do, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What were they thinking when they searched for that? What question were they asking themselves?
Check out this post I wrote a little bit ago if you want to learn how to create an effective blog post: 12 Things To Do To Every Blog Post Before and After You Hit Publish
I’m sure your customers you interact with during the sales process ask questions. And I’m also sure there are a lot of recurring questions. It will definitely do you some good to create some content around these topics and post them on your website in written form as a blog post as well as a YouTube video!
When you consider that 71% of all customers begin their buying journey using search engines, then it’s clear to see that having that content on your site around their search or question is definitely going to help you get some of that traffic.
So what about YouTube?
Well it’s predicted that 80% of all consumed media online will be through video. Since this is the number 1 video platform and the number 2 social media platform, it’s obvious you’re going to want to be on here sharing your wealth of information in the form of vlogs.
Plus you’ll have tons of video content you can share on social media and your site!
Do a Social Media Giveaway!
You’ll be shocked at the power giveaways have on social media, especially when bundled with social media advertising and pay-per-click (PPC).
If you’ve tried giveaways in the past but never got much luck with them, then try it with Facebook’s Ads Manager interface. I’m not talking about “boosting” posts. Don’t ever boost posts.
If you run Ads Manager correctly you can get crazy advanced targeting features interest categories and even be able to select where your ads are placed versus having Facebook decide for you.
If you’re not familiar with Ads Manager don’t worry! We offer an affordable social media advertising class right here which even covers how to optimize your Facebook ad targeting!
Partner with a another local business
There’s nothing more satisfying than sitting on your butt and getting a call or email from someone telling you they have a potential customer for you.
I can’t iterate enough how important it is to network with your local peers. Even if they’re not local and you can manage to network with other business owners outside of your area you’ll definitely be able to benefit each other immensely.
You’re going to want to find other businesses that can work in tandem with your own. Obviously don’t find other businesses that might be competitors with you.
For example, my company offers digital marketing services. So what I do is find other businesses out there that offer similar but non-competitive products and services, like a marketing agency that deals specifically in direct mail advertising, or lawn signs, or even a small company that offers small business coaching.
All of our goals are the same, to help a business grow whether it’s in digital marketing, traditional print media, or growth coaching. This creates multiple arms throughout your network for referral business.
But don’t worry, I wasn’t just going to leave you here guessing where you could find these other business owners at and connect with them…
Ripple is like Tinder… only not for dating or casual hookups. It’s a social app designed to link professionals together and create networks. Just swipe right if you think you can make a meaningful business connection or swipe left if it’s not worth your time.
First, if you don’t have a LinkedIn, get one, ASAP. This is THE professional social media networking app for professionals. LinkedIn is designed for professionals to link up and network with each other to help each other out. Unfortunately people are using LinkedIn wrong and using it as a sales platform when they request a connection and slide into those DMs.
When you make a connection, don’t make a sales pitch, you shouldn’t be looking to connect with customers, you should be looking to connect with people who will supply you with customers and vice versa.
Facebook Groups and Forums
I already mentioned the benefits of this earlier, but remember you’re not the only solicitor in these groups. There are other businesses selling to your industry whether they’re competitors or not. Find who they are and send them a message,. Ask to partner up and talk about referring leads to each other.
Your Local Library
This one actually surprised me. I was at a large digital marketing convention here in Kansas City called Digital Summit. I got to talking with someone at one of my tables during a masterclass and he mentioned he was representing the local library. When I probed a bit more I learned that it turns out the library offers a lot more than books! Who would have thought?!
The library is also offers resources that are less than tangible, such as entrepreneurial conferences, teachings, and seminars. As it turns out, the library is a fantastic place for local entrepreneurs and professionals to meet and network! Just get in contact with your local, public library and see what kind of resources like this they offer that may benefit you.
We all get to that point of monotony, day-in and day-out tasks, but sometimes you just need a little kick start to change things up a bit and increase your work flow or brand awareness.
Hopefully you haven’t already thought of this and this blog post has provided you some value! But just to recap, three tips to help kick start your marketing are:
1) Answer your customers’ questions
2) Run a social media giveaway using advertising to maximize your target audience reach
3) Partner and network with other local businesses!
However, if you’re still looking for an extra boost let us help you each month with your monthly marketing schedule and content creation with our Monthly Marketing Solved program. We’ll create high quality content and images for your social media, schedule your posts, and even set and track achievable goals for your social strategy.