Tag Archives: marketing ideas

Speak Pipe – Free Voicemail From Your Website!

A few days ago I found out about a service that allows you to receive voicemails directly from your website; Speak Pipe.

I’m not really a phone person, however not everyone is like me, so I thought I’d try Speak Pipe on my website to give people another way to reach me that may be more suited to them.  I installed and tested this just a few minutes ago.

Here’s how it looks on the page. You just click on the black bar at the right hand side and tSpeak Pipe Reviewhis window pops up. Then you can record your message and click to send it. You can listen to it before you send it and start over if you don’t like what you’ve recorded. Super easy!

When you receive a message you just click to listen to it, and you have the option to record a message and send it to the person who left you the message. (or contact them via email…..)

At first I hadn’t configured the settings so people didn’t have to enter their name/email, but I changed that – I kind of need to know people’s name/ email in order to get back to them! Changing settings on this tool is very easy, and there are lots of options to customize it, which I like so you can customize it more to the look and feel of your website.

You can also add Speak Pipe to your Facebook page with just a few clicks and no technical knowledge. Check out my Facebook page to see how it looks.

In terms of cost, the free version allows you 20 messages per month and after that plans start at $5 per month.

Overall I think this is a fun option but I’m not convinced people will use this feature  (If you want to prove me wrong, or try it out? Just leave me a message.)
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25 Social Media Content Ideas

Social media post idea

25. Caption This!

Do you find you get stuck with when trying to come up with content for Social Media? I have a confession – I sometimes do too. So I’ve come up with this list, both for myself, and for you, so we can both refer back to it if we get stuck. If I’ve missed a good one please add it in the comments!

  1. Answer questions asked by customers
  2. Share unique uses for your service – ie. a different way someone’s used it
  3. Solve a problem that’s common to your clients (ie. mine often wonder where to start their Marketing)
  4. Curate content – add your own analysis to it
  5. Share a review of your service (with a link to the person who wrote it if possible)
  6. Upcoming community events (ie. Green Living Expo for Wellness Company)
  7. Share company updates
  8. Use Survey Monkey to survey your customers
  9. Infographics – for those of us who are visual people!
  10. Try Twitter’s Vine application and share a 6 second video of one of your daily activities
  11. Share bio’s of your staff — and fun little-known facts
  12. Interesting industry facts
  13. Put together a how-to tutorial
  14. Twitter conversations – ie. Abbotsford Police tweets of bad driving excuses (use screenshots)
  15. Have a contest – promote it on Social Media, share photo of winner on Social Media
  16. Skill testing questions (ie. name that poop, what animal is this? for Safari company)
  17. Photos of clients (tag them, of course)
  18. Ask for feedback on a new service or feature you’re considering
  19. Questions – ie. what are you reading this weekend?
  20. Book reviews (relevant books) ie. My recent book review of “Ctrl, Alt, Delete”
  21. Quotes (check out Brainy Quote for ideas)
  22. Jokes (appropriate ones!)
  23. Check out LinkedIn, Twitter or Reddit for news in your category – may spark an idea!
  24. Pick out key points of longer posts and share, with link to longer article
  25. Caption this! (photo)
  26. Got another?? Please add it below and we can all benefit!

Please note: what you say in your posts really depends on your objectives, what interests your ideal clients, and where you are posting it (ie. Your Twitter posts will be very condensed compared to LinkedIn).

And one tip — Check out HootSuite – it’s a free content management system (allows you to post to many different social media and schedule posts)

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Are You Ready for the Digital Future?

Ctrl Alt Delete book reviewI recently finished reading “Ctrl Alt Delete” by Mitch Joel, as well as listening to a podcast interview of him by Social Media Examiner.

In his book Mitch Joel provides *excellent* advice for businesses looking to move forward and survive and I thought it’d be valuable for me to share some of the parts that I found most relevant and useful for wellness and service businesses.

From Me to You – Instead of thinking that you love your customer, think about what they are doing and how you can help them. ie. think from your customer’s point of view not your own. 
I’d suggest thinking about what they want or what their problems are and how you can help them. Maybe it’s hosting a very low cost session packed with advice on one of their problems. Or offering free 10 minute sessions once in a while. (trials only….don’t give away everything!!) I think this also makes good business sense – someone can try your service before they buy. But you have to be okay with not getting paid.

The “new consumers” are not linear – they are scattered, connected and social.
If you think about the process you go through when purchasing something this makes sense. You’ll look for online reviews, ask friends what they think via social media, look at a few stores…..etc. etc. This is why I think just having a website is not enough marketing for most businesses. Maybe add on online reviews, plus a strong referral/loyalty program and that’d be enough….but not just a website.

iPhoneThe one-screen world- We no longer use one screen for watching tv, one screen as a computer and one screen for a phone…..everything is converging, and quickly. And if you think your customers are not online now, well, they will be very soon. Be ready! Joel suggests that to survive entrepreneurs need to adopt a digital-first posture. I’d say at a minimum have a mobile-friendly website.

Joel also talks about the importance of data – tracking results. In my opinion you can’t get anywhere if you don’t know where you are, so I wholeheartedly agree!

And a useful reminder….

“When you’re on a media, look around and ask yourself — Why are people here? What are they doing here? What is their experiential intent when they come here and how would I – as a brand or a company – be able to better connect without disrupting their experience? Can I provide a truly additive dose of value?”

One final note: I found the book so jam packed with good ideas that I’d suggest reading the book in chunks rather than all at once.

Are there any business books you’d recommend? Please share below!

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5 Ways to Engage With Social Media

Engage CustomersWant to connect with more potential clients, get to know them, and help many more people? Social media is an excellent tool to reach people, and these days it can can partially replace (or boost) your in-person client-finding efforts.

Here are 5 tips to help you engage your current or potential clients.

1. Know your audience. Most importantly, what do they want, and how you can help them? ie. Most of my social media followers are small business owners (with limited time!) who are directly responsible for their Marketing, so I share short, actionable tips on social media and general marketing. Keep your posts relevant to your audience, avoid too many personal topics, and always be professional and positive.

2. Vary your posts to keep people from falling asleep. ie. photos, a contest, quotes, facts & statistics, links to relevant articles/blogs, offers, videos, maybe even a joke or two. This will keep it interesting!

3. Start a dialogue. How? Ask questions! Send a short survey! Don’t you like when someone asks what YOU think? Me too! For example, you could use the poll function on your Facebook page, or send a survey to people on your email list. (which can also give you really important information about your audience too!) Warning – if it looks like “work” most people won’t take the time. (sorry, but it’s true)

4. Don’t carry on about your business. Most of what you share should be helping others with just a small percentage about you.

5. Track your results. Which of your Twitter posts was re-tweeted or commented on the most? Post more like that! What newsletter subject got the most opens? Your audience would like more like that!

These 5 tips are just the beginning, but they’re a great start. For an analysis of your social media or other Marketing just contact me. I’d be happy to help you succeed!

Social Media: It’ll Cure What Ails You!

Do you remember what you heard a few months after Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook or FourSquare or YouTube or blogs or pretty much any new Social Media came into existence?

Each of these Social Media was going to change the way we communicate, change the world……..and be the answer to businesses prayers. Businesses could stop any other marketing ideas they had and simply use social media. People would come in droves!

Social Media has definitely changed the way we communicate, and shaped our world. For example, in a crisis we get most up-to-the-minute information via Twitter, and if we’re shopping many of us will purchase through Ebay or look at Craigslist.

Now the disappointing part……I think we all know that Social Media has not been the miracle cure we small business owners would have loved.

Many small business owners are not sure how effectively use Social Media, so sign up for lots of them, spread themselves too thin and use all poorly. They sign up for ones because they think they *should*; ones they really don’t like using. This ends up being a waste of time, and frustrating.

Some wellness professionals also haven’t figured out which Social Media are best for their business.

When all is said and done, the biggest benefit to Social Media, one that is sometimes forgotten, is that Social Media allows businesses to connect with potential clients and develop relationships. In our modern world everything is done online, which has resulted in people coming together and connecting online. People still feel a need to connect to people and want to know, like and trust those they do business with. This is especially true for wellness professionals, who are often offering help and advice rather than a tangible product.

Although Social Media is useful, businesses still need a solid online media strategy (ie. to know who they want to talk to, what kind of Social Media these people use, and what their problems are). If this is an area in which you struggle, a Marketing professional like me can help sort things out and get you on the path to using the right media in the right way. Then it might seem like Social Media really IS the answer to your business prayers!

ps. If you’re so inclined, check out my Facbook page. On it I post various short marketing tips as well as other thoughts, tidbits and inspiration. Plus, if you “like” me I’ll “like” you back, and we’ll both feel loved.

Back to Marketing Basics: Part II

Create a very specific marketing message about who you help and their challenges

I created this “Back to Marketing Basics” series to help give you greater clarity with your marketing (and business in general). Please read Part I before you read Part II. It’ll just make more sense that way. 🙂

I can’t stress how important creating messages about how you help potential clients is. I’ve seen many professionals and companies talk about themselves, what they can do, their education, etc. but forget that it’s really all about their client.

Your client wants to know what you can do for them. In order to help your potential client, you need to talk to them about what’s bothering them, what’s holding them back, what they want, where their pain is (literally or figuratively). ie. when I first meet with potential clients, I often start off by asking them what their biggest problem is. (in business, that is!) Then we discuss how I can help solve that problem.

When doing this, the format should always be “problem – solution”.

Your assignment this month is to answer these questions:

1. What are your potential clients’ biggest problems?
2. How can you help them? (or what can you do to solve these problems)

For an example of how to use your answers to these questions look at my homepage. You’ll see I’ve put my client’s problems right up front and centre, and just below that are my solutions. This is just one way you could do it; there are many more.

Rona’s Olympic Advertising

After watching the 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, I felt the need to send a shout out to an Olympic advertiser: Rona.

This Canadian company’s same-store sales have been falling in 2012 while one of it’s competitors, The Home Depot, has been enjoying a steady increase.

In a bid to win back customers Rona has played it’s ultimate card in it’s 2012 Olympic ad; the “Canadian” card. This is Rona’s biggest point of differentiation in the marketplace, and they’re using it well!

Rona’s Olympic ad is clever, inclusive of Canada’s regions and sports, funny enough to keep you watching (and guessing), and shows the pride many Canadians have in their country (and according to Rona, their home improvement projects!).

Next step for Rona should be taking a look at it’s pricing; I don’t think Canadian pride is enough to get most people paying more for products.

Note: You may have noticed this blog post is different than my usual tips/advice for wellness practitioners/small businesses. I’m a huge Olympics fan and somehow while watching the 2012 Opening Ceremony I couldn’t take off my “Marketing Hat”!

Back to Marketing Basics: Part I – Be Clear on your Niche

Not sure where to start your marketing? Or, have you started but are feeling a bit lost? Since it’s summer and you may have a bit more time on your hands I have some homework for you. Doing it will give you greater clarity on your business and who you want to work with. Stay tuned for Part II, but let’s get started now!

Get out your note-taking technology of choice and answer the following questions:

1. Who are you?
Every professional is different, even within the same field. Write down what makes you different – why someone should come to see you (or come to your clinic) instead of someone else. ie. “I’m a Massage Therapist who specializes in pregnancy massage” OR “At our clinic you’ll not just receive high quality treatment – you’ll also have fun!” Competition with others in your field is not usually an issue because no two practitioners are the same!

2. Who do you want to serve (or work with)?
Yes, you do need to narrow down who you want to work with, because if you try to talk to everyone no-one will listen. If you’re struggling with this, think about who you’ve worked with in the past (even in practicums) and who you most enjoyed working with. Think about who you can help the most. Also think about who can afford your services (sorry healers out there — but you do need to make money to survive! 🙂 Choose potential clients you love to help – your enthusiasm will come through and people will respond to it.

So that should be enough to get you started. If you want to talk this through, or have any questions specifically about your business, just email me. I’m happy to help.