Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How Do You Treat Your Best Customers?

Seth Godin says, "Your best customers are worth far more then your average customers." Why is that? Your best customers are more likely not only to purchase more product or more often, they are also more likely to refer you to others.

So instead of trying constantly to get new customers, why not focus your marketing strategies on your existing best customers? Most of my new business comes from word of mouth referrals from existing clients. So that's where I focus my energies. Make it easy for them to refer you and give them a nice thank you.

How do you treat your best customers?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Partner with Your Customers

Another 'Walk the Talk' tidbit: "Build partnerships with your customers by under-promising, over-delivering, and following-up to ensure they are satisfied. Solicit their input on how your products and services can be improved."

You'll find that as you put this into practice, your clients will voluntarily refer you to others. By soliciting their opinions, they feel important. Of course it's necessary to implement suggestions if appropriate. If you never apply any suggestions you receive, your customers will feel unappreciated and look somewhere else to take their business.

How do you follow up with your customers?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Watch the Horizon

As the new year approaches, watch the horizon. What I mean is look ahead to where you want to be and plan how you are going to get there. Don't get so wrapped up in the now that you don't plan ahead.

Too often we work in the now, putting out fires so to speak. If we just take a little time to plan, to look ahead to the horizon, we won't have so many fires to put out.

It's important to look ahead in order to successfully grow your business. Reach out for something more this year.

What's on your horizon?

Friday, December 26, 2008

My Journey in 2009

I'm looking forward to my journey this coming year. As I look back on 2008 I see my journey has taken me from a very good starting point to running the race full speed ahead. The journey in 2009 will be to continue to run that race and gain even more speed.

In order to speed my journey along, planning is needed. Taking time to write down the year's goals and action plans to achieve those goals is vital. My plan includes taking time each month to review what's working and what's not working so I can focus my energies in areas that will continue my journey down the right path.

What are you doing to speed up your journey in 2009?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Walk the Talk Tidbits

The mission at is to provide you and your organization with high-impact resources for your personal and professional success.

I have a booklet called "144 Ways to Walk the Talk" and I'll be sharing tidbits from it now and then. On page five of the booklet, item #19 is "Deliver what the customer actually wants rather than what you think they ought to have. If you're not sure what they want, ask!"

One way to find out what your customers want is to use a simple survey to find out. A great online survey tool can be found at Survey Monkey.

What do your customers want?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Making Promises and Keeping Them

Next up on Seth Godin's list of What Every Good Marketer Knows is "Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build a brand."

What does that mean to you. To me it means keeping my word no matter what - even if I lose. Of course it's best not to promise what you can't deliver. It's even better to under promise and over deliver. This builds a trusting relationship with your customers and you'll find that your customers refer you more often.

Monday, December 22, 2008

What Do You Tweet About?

What do you use Twitter for? Here are a few things people Tweet about:

Interesting observations about life
A good book you just read
New blog posts
Something funny
Personal news
Inspiring thoughts
Professional news
Work day details
Business challenges or solutions
Family life

There's also great resources to be found at the Duct Tape Marketing blog regarding Twitter.

What do you Tweet about?

You can follow me on Twitter.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Just For Fun

Friday, December 19, 2008

What Every Good Marketer Knows

Seth Godin has a "What Every Good Marketer Knows List". I'd like to share something from that list here every once in a while.

First up: "Anticipated, personal and relevant advertising always does better than unsolicited junk."

I'm sure you realize how true this is when you think about how much junk mail and spam you receive every day. Usually we just throw that stuff out or delete it without a second thought. But if you are expecting some information from a business and it relates to you and your needs, you are much more likely to pat attention.

What can you do to make your advertising personal and relevant?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Marketing Your Business with Video

Video online is gaining in popularity. You can use video to market your business. Use a video to let your prospects know what you do. Short videos may capture a prospect's attention better than the written word. You can also use videos to show how your processes work.

Video Sharing Websites

* Google Video
* MSN Video
* Ovi Share
* Yahoo Video

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day

Today is National Chocolate Covered Anything Day.

As a chocolate lover I just had to promote this. Too bad tonight I'm already making pumpkin pies. I wonder how they would taste with chocolate drizzled on top?

What will you put chocolate on today?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Build Your Business in Any Economy

The economic pendulum swings: first one way, then the other. When it settles to an acceptable spot, everyone heaves a sigh of relief. What can you do to ride out these swings so that your business can operate successfully? Three simple steps are:

1) Target your consistent buyers.

Your business has clients who need what you offer - no matter what the economy is like. Target your marketing efforts to them specifically to increase buying frequency. Then target prospects who need what you offer.

2) Educate your prospects and clients.

All your marketing materials should educate your prospects and clients. Give them valuable information they can use, whether or not they can use your services. Who do you think they'll call when they are ready: the person they found in the yellow pages, or you - the person who gave them all that free, valuable information?

3) Offer solutions to help ease their pain.

Once you identify your market's 'pain', offer solutions that provide relief. Then position your marketing to attract those people. Try to be very specific and focus on one particular issue and the solution you provide. When your service can provide a real solution to a pressing problem, you'll have no problem attracting business.

There are other things you can do to recession-proof your business. A great resource is Guerrilla Marketing. (

What steps have you taken to build your business in this economy?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Asking for a Testimonial

Have your clients said great things about you, perhaps in an email? Why not gather a quote from an email and ask your client if you can post it as a testimonial on your website and in your marketing materials?

Sometimes solopreneurs hesitate to do this thinking they are asking a favor or being pushy. Yet the testimonial is already written and you are only asking for permission to post what your client has already said.

Many of the testimonials I have on my website and in my marketing materials are direct quotes from client emails. I've never yet had a client refuse my request to use their quoted email as a testimonial.

How do you get testimonials?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Basic Do and Don't of Facebook

Facebook can be a great tool for networking and marketing yourself. Here are a few simple things to do and not do.

1. Complete an accurate profile, including a professional looking photo.
2. Be polite.
3. Be authentic.
4. Share quality content.

1. Share anything you wouldn’t want your future client, partner or employer to see.
2. Send out meaningless messages to people you don't know.
3. Do anything you wouldn’t do in real life.
4. Never break the rules of etiquette.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Promoting an Event

One of my tasks as a virtual assistant is to help promote events for businesses. One event I'm promoting now is Indie Seminars. This seminar will help writers and musicians move from hobby to business, without losing their artistic edge.

There are many ways to promote events online at little or no cost. They include:
Regular blog posts
Press Releases
Online newspaper notifications
Article submissions
Social Networking Sites

Another tool is Event Brite, an online event registration service.

What do you do to promote your events?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Where Guerrillas Market for Free

My Guerrilla Marketing Weekly Intelligence Tip included the following from Jay Conrad Levinson.

They post signs in places where there is high visibility and no cost:

In front of their own business
In front of neighboring businesses
Subway stations
School offices
Senior recreational facilities and retirement homes
College dormitories -- in the community area, hallways and bathrooms)
Fraternities and Sororities
Other local community clubs and organizations
Apartment buildings -- in laundry rooms)
Community activity centers
Grocery stores
Shopping malls
Car washes
Condominium complex party centers
Hotel and motel lobbies
Utility poles
Military cafeterias and recreation centers
Counters of public places
Meeting convention centers and rooms
Construction walls
Union halls
Chambers of commerce
Medical or professional offices
Roller rinks and bowling alleys
Waiting rooms at auto repair and tire shops
Liquor and convenience stores
Company bulletin boards of friends and family
Tourist information centers
Highway rest stops
Their cars -- featuring a compelling sign, parked in a conspicuous place
On the fences outside a construction site

That's where guerrillas market for free. Where they market close to free?

College and high school newspapers and yearbooks
Classified services on the World Wide Web -- many are free
Classified services on commercial online services -- many are free
Local entertainment and tourist magazines
Community group and association newsletters
Small, local newspapers
Chamber of Commerce publications
Radio talk shows -- by appearing as a guest or calling in
A lingerie store owner stenciled small messages onto the sidewalks of New York, with provocative sayings like, "From here it looks like you could use some new underwear."
Projected at night onto the side of a building.
On your voice-mail message, but please keep it brief

Where have you marketed for free?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How Do You Show Appreciation to Your Clients?

Showing genuine appreciation for your clients contributes to word-of-mouth referrals. There are many different ways people show appreciation for their clients. They may send a card on a special day, a small gift, a gift card, or some other incentive.

I like to send a handwritten note of appreciation to my clients tailored to them individually. I try to keep cards handy so I can jot a note and send it off whenever the mood hits me. Recently a friend of mine started creating unique note cards from pictures she's taken and then adjusted in Photoshop. I used these to send a note of appreciation to my clients.

How do you show appreciation to your clients?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Using Facebook to Market Yourself

Using Facebook to market your business is becoming more popular. It's not just for your kids any more. Here are some statistics regarding Facebook from Hubspot:

• Over 120 million active users
• Adding 250,000 new users each day since Jan 07
• 4th most trafficked website
• Most trafficked social media site
• Top Social Search Engine
• More than 55,000 networks
• More than half are outside of college & the fastest growing demographic is 25 years or older

Learn more about how you can use Facebook at