Social Media Marketing for Small Business – A Lucrative Option

Social Media Marketing is fast growing with its exponential global users; small business can now leverage this form of marketing to get their products noticed in the international arena.

To achieve Success in today’s business, we need to focus on the three basic components namely, Growth, Profits and Implementation. These components define the prosperity of any organization. Here are a few ideas on how Social Media Marketing could be a lucrative option in Popularizing the organizations’ products and services.

Relationship Marketing in today’s business

In today’s competitive business-Relationship Management is the key component. It is here that social media marketing and online marketing as a whole come in place. It shifts your mindset from using online marketing just to generate leads to creating deeper relationships with customers and prospects and improve your “findability”.

A PAT Model best describes the strategies employed in Social Media Marketing through Strong Positioning, Attracting Attention from right market and Getting Traction with your users selling more number of times sets a vital record. We need to create business choreography to keep and attract clients. Small business marketing efforts will work only if these things are in place.

1. Funneling Down On Target:

In small business, its important to connect with people in the same geographic area, especially if you are dealing with products of inelastic demand (essential products).Targeting your social media with specific area or keywords, ensures that you are interacting only with viable leads.

There are hundreds of thousands of status updates getting published every minute, so cutting through the clutter has to be a top priority. Start small. Starting out to familiarize yourself with tools like search.twitter.com, and you can eventually move on to using a more business-specific tool like CoTweet or Hootsuite.

2. Proactive is the key

Going after the prospective leads and interacting with them is the key to turn into successful closure of business deals. Waiting and tweeting in unrelated arena may not give you the desired results.

You need to find out people of your interest by Joining Facebook groups, Linked-In groups, check out PeerIndex.net lists on your genre, and look at a person’s Twitter Grader score. These are so many tools online to target your exact customer, so make use of them wisely.

3. Recognition of Bad Automation

When you’re having a conversation with potential clients, you need to be real. Spam is sure to turn people off instantly. Starting a conversation with qualified leads and growing the conversation organically from 5 to 10 qualified leads adds to the bottom line

Streamlining the process online is possible through simple automation process for example scheduling updates, pulling in from your RSS feed, these are all great time savers. Ready made templates prove useful in replying to queries when you see people tweeting or posting on Facebook but never automate replies as the result could be embarrassing. While a Casual visitor may be replied with a quotation of products may prove irrelevant to the situation.

4. Don’t Miss the Giant Gorilla

As a Small Business Owner, you need take on several roles. When your of Social media for a little while, leave your followers with some helpful posts to read, while you’re busy doing your important work. Social media is a great way to field in lot of customer queries, requests, support and even research.

Setting up searches for keywords related to your brand and creating time to handle request daily, will ensure that the Giant Gorilla (Prospective Lead) never escapes your notice. By promptly answering requests many problems could be solved in its initial stage.

5. Give others Credit

There are various opportunities in Social media like Retweeting is a great way to show your followers you have your finger on the pulse of your industry, but a big mistake is just posting a load of unattributed feeds as your own. Crediting the original author shows your credibility. First it shows your users, that you are monitoring your field and curating some great content for fans and followers. Secondly it may be a great opportunity to drive home your ideas through the words of the author. You can start a lot of strategic partnerships with just simple Retweeting.

Social media sites are exploding with users. Though the ultimate goal is to maximize the value of the content, savvy businesses today are focusing and concentrate on creating interactions that will help turn the social media users into traffic which converts into business. For a business without a lot of time or a very large marketing budget, social media is a great place for a targeted interaction to become a viable lead.

Small Business Coaching on Why Leads May Not Be Converting

For a lot of small business owners, leads may not be a problem. They may be receiving lots of leads. It’s the conversion of those leads that may be the problem. So in this article, let’s explore 4 reasons your leads may not be converting and what you can do about it.

1. Lead or Prospect Mismatch

Some people believe you have to get LOADS of random leads then some may shake out to be your ideal customer or target market. That’s a laborious process and it also produces false leads – people who were never really interested in what you have in the first place.

Leads may not be converting because they truly aren’t your ideal customer and they never were. If that’s the case, evaluate who those leads are, and check that they match the profile of your target market. If they’re not an ideal prospect, don’t waste time following up. Instead focus on generating more qualified leads that truly reflect your target market who is hungry for what you offer.

2. Follow-Up Fortunes

One of the things I discuss with clients is setting up a follow-up process for their business. There’s a fortune in the follow up, and honestly, there may be people out there just waiting to whip out their credit cards if only you’d pick up the phone and follow up with them.

When we’re pondering how to sell services, it’s important to create great follow-up systems that produce sales. A clear set of steps you take to follow up with someone who expressed interest in what you have to offer but hasn’t made a buying decision yet. The thing to remember is that customers buy not when we want them to buy; they buy when they are ready to buy. And this is why it’s important to have a follow-up system where you continue to provide value and you also remind them of how you can help.

My weekly Ezine is a good example of a follow-up system. It shows up every week with valuable information in response to subscriber questions, and it’s also a reminder of how I can help further if you’re interested in going deeper on any of the topics I discuss.

3. The Sting Rejection

Sometimes when we follow up, we essentially get a “No thanks, I’m not interested.” Ouch. But is it really an ouch? To me, sales is all about genuinely finding out the customer’s need is first, and listening very well to see if I truly have a solution to those problems/challenges. If I do have a solution that can help, then I’ll share what options exist. And I do so by giving the prospect all the information they need to make a decision.

Sometimes we are not converting leads because we’re very afraid to follow up. Afraid of rejection. Afraid of bothering or pestering people. I’d invite you to embrace that the sale is not about us (as small business owners). It’s about the prospect or client. Avoid getting emotionally attached to the outcome of following up.

If you know you can help someone eliminate a challenge or frustration by what you offer, then why not follow up to let them know. Sometimes that requires that you shift your thinking from someone trying to “get a sale” to becoming a provider of solutions. And if that follow-up leads into having a sales conversation where you’re sharing specifics about your offerings, sure, they may say “no.” Their decision is simply a choice and not a rejection of you. All that said, however, you do need an effective sales conversion process… which brings me to my next point.

4. Sales Conversion Process

Prospects convert to paying clients more easily when you have a clear sales process through which you can take them. If you don’t have a clear, step-by-step method to take a prospect from interest to purchase, this may be why you’re not converting them. Sometimes we get stuck because we’re staring the list of prospects but we really don’t know what we would say if we did follow up with them. So we procrastinate and we don’t take action.

Starting a Small Business? Do You Know the Top 7 Reasons Why You Should Get a Website?

It used to be that the first thing a starting small business did for their advertising was to get a yellow pages ad (very expensive these days). While that is still a good thing most often new business owners overlook the power of the Internet, the power and the low cost of having a website. So how can a website help you? Here are just a few ways:

1. It gives your business more credibility. When a business has a website it shows the prospective customer that you are serious about your business and take the time and pride to show off what your business is about.

2. It allows you to show off the benefits and features of your new business. You have a chance to explain what your business is about. All the benefits your business has to offer, what will the customer get out of using your services or products, what will it do for them. Then you can get into the actual features on what exactly your business is offering, the specifics and technical stuff if you like.

3. Your prospective customers get to know you, your expertise and history in the About Us page. Getting to know you, and your company gives you a humane face. It helps your starting small business by giving confidence to your prospects simply by building a more personal rapport with them and ultimately helping them with the decision to use your services or products.

4. It’s up and operational 24/7 so anybody can look at it and learn about your small business any time. This is self-explanatory but important. People use the Internet at all hours of the day. You cannot be at your desk answering the phone 24/7, nor should you.

5. If you have an interactive website, and you should, customers can place orders or send in a request for quote any time. Wouldn’t it be nice to get to work in the morning only to find a couple of leads or even sales ready for you to process?

6. Use it as a simple way for people to find your physical location. This cuts down on you wasting your time explaining where the exact address is and how to get there. Have a Google map on your Contact Us page.

7. Best of all it creates many avenues for your starting small business to get much needed leads on a continuous basis with little maintenance. From my experience as a small business owner, I know we all want, need, and wish to get more leads. There are many ways to get leads but some of them are really expensive, others are extremely time consuming and some are both.

So when you start up your business, no matter how small, think about the Internet, people in your own community use it all the time so why not let them know right away that you are open for business by showing off your website.

Cold Calling As A Small Business Marketing Tool

Does cold calling to generate leads and make sales send a chill through your body and freezes your soul?

The answer is most definitely yes, and the reason why is that cold calling has a bad reputation as a marketing tool, as it has been used poorly and wrongly by telemarketers over time. Typically you would have had second thoughts about cold calling to generate new leads, follow up existing clients and make sales and the excuses that you would use are.

1. Few people are naturally good or successful at cold calling,

2. Cold calling has a poor reputation, as people find it intrusive and obnoxious,

3. Conversion rates from cold calling are dismal with conversion rates around 2% compared to 20 to 50% for referrals.

4. I am afraid of rejection, ( after all we all want to be liked, right?)

Four strikes and the excuses and reasons not to cold call are still rolling in question is why?

The reason why cold calling has little flavor is that it is done wrong and the errors keep compounding.

So should you cross this marketing strategy off your list once and for all? Hell NO!

Before you give up or if you never started using the phone to generate leads, follow up customers and make sales, ask your self this question, “Is it cold calling that annoys people or the way that it is done?”

As a business owner I know full well the power of the telephone in generating leads and subsequent conversion to sales. Sales are the life blood of small business and with out sales your business will be out of business very quickly.

Now knowing this, one would imagine that all sales professionals and small business owners would use the phone in a targeted manner to generate leads and sales, unfortunately the opposite is true, most business owners fear the phone when it comes to using it as a lead generation tool, this piece of equipment suddenly appears to weigh a tonne and your arms become heavy and uncooperative, your mind comes up with a million reasons why you should be doing something different, and so the excuses flow. Have you had this or a similar experience when it comes to using the telephone to generate leads, follow up existing clients, customers, or make sales?

You know deep down that this marketing strategy is extremely effective when done correctly as illustrated by Will Smith in the movie “IN THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS” a movie based on a true story, where Will Smith’s character uses the phone to become very successful in his chosen business field.

Stumped? Want to get over the jitters and become a master in the art of cold calling? If you answer yes then prepare your self to become a master by following this straight forward commonsense strategy.

1. Partner with your prospect when making the call,

2. State your name and ask your prospect for permission before proceeding,

3. Listen, if they are busy and it is not a good time reschedule and get their permission to call back at a more favorable time, then ensure you call them back and be punctual, 3pm is not 3.05pm,

4. Tell them you will be brief give them a powerful reason to want to listen to what you are offering,

5. Ask them if you can ask them a couple of questions and get their permission before proceeding,

6. Summarize what they have told you about their needs and wants and

7. Then ask them if you could solve their problems would they consider making an appointment to meet with you to discover how you can assist them in solving their problem and satisfying their needs.

8. Schedule a face to face meeting with them.

Picking up the telephone surpasses advertising, web sites, news letters and all other forms of marketing to get immediate responses.

Use the above steps and start enjoying making sales, generating leads and making money.