You’re a smart business owner. You know that you need to do marketing to get customers in the door. Marketing will make or break the success of your small business.
How can you get more customers, clients or patients without breaking the bank?
EZ! You’re already sitting on the pot of gold!
The customers, client and patients you already have. Stop chasing more “new, new, new”, focus on the ones you already have. When you do these customers, clients or patients become your marketing arm and will happily bring you referrals. This means getting your current customers to do the marketing for you without even having to ask.
6 Days, 6 Simple Steps
Small Business Marketing Transformation Mini Course
I'm "Small Business Stacey" and I'm going to give you the 6 simple steps that can double - even triple - your sales. Are you ready to get your marketing into ACTION? Sign up below.
"Before working with Stacey I was a struggling realtor. Today I am the #1 producing agent in my area. I could not have done that without Stacey's marketing brilliance."
Think about a brand you’re passionate about. Maybe Apple, North Face, or Starbucks. What these companies are great at is creating brand advocates.
This means that every customer and team member is proud to be associated with the company. Off the clock they live the Apple lifestyle, they proudly display their North Face logos, and they post their #psl photos on Instagram to prove that they participate in the pumpkin spice latter fever.
This advocacy and participation comes from a sense of pride and social worth that comes from associating with popular brands, aka the bandwagon effect. But this psychological phenomenon is not limited to companies with a household name. Small companies can replicate the big dogs’ success by focusing on their most valuable resource – positive relationships with customers.
In my coffee and smoothie business, clients love the experience we provide for them (bringing in a tiki bar and serving their guests all-natural fresh fruit smoothies topped off with a Hawaiian parasol). It makes them look like the “hostess with the mostess” and everyone wants to take their picture in front of the bar. Guess what they do with that picture? They post it on social media and brag to their friends and family about. Those friends and family then say “That’s so cool. Where did you get that?” And guess what? The phone rings from a referral saying “My friend had the cool tiki bar setup. I want that too. Tell me about your services…..”
How do you build this passion towards your brand? An ongoing relationship with customers is one of the best ways to increase your retention and referrals. This is due, in part, to the fact that happy customers are much more likely to talk about a business with their friends. This kind of word of mouth (WOM) is one of the most powerful forms of marketing. An article by Kimberly Whiler of Forbes.com recently reported that the best way to harness the power of WOM is to create experiences worth talking about. Your job, then, is to create a “wow experience” that gives them something to talk about. This means going the extra mile, and utilizing the “three E’s” of customer service: Engage, Equip, and Empower.
First engage with customers by really listening to them and becoming a presence in their lives. Then, equip them with the information that you want them to share about your company and a reason to share it. This is where it becomes critically important that you go above and beyond in your interactions, and stay top-of-mind with customers. Empower customers with different ways to advocate for you. This means providing them with the tools to talk and the place to do so.
The importance of these brand advocates cannot be overstated. According to Nielson, a global information and measurement company, 92 percent of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising.
Another recent study by the American Marketing Association found that 64 percent of marketing executives believe that WOM is the most effective form of marketing, but only 6 percent said that they had mastered it. That means that you have the opportunity to get a leg up on your competition by empowering your customers and team members to advertise for you, the brand that they love and live by.
What are you doing to create WOM in your business and get more referrals?
Stacey Riska, aka "Small Business Stacey" is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about saving small - and not so small - businesses one marketing plan at a time. She helps business owners become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz by teaching them marketing strategies that get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients/patients, MORE sales, and MORE profit. Stacey's in-demand "Small Biz Marketing Success Coaching and Mastermind Program" is transforming the businesses - and lives - of those who want wealth, freedom, and market domination. Her highly acclaimed book "Small Business Marketing Made EZ" lays out the 6-simple-step plan to get your marketing into ACTION - literally and figuratively. Stacey is also the creator of Cups To Gallons, the place where independent coffee, smoothie, juice bar, ice cream, dessert and snack shop owners go to learn how get into lucrative catering so they stop selling by the cup and start selling by the gallon. In this program she teaches from experience, as it was the key strategy that transformed her coffee and smoothie business from being $500K in debt to a 7-figure profitable business. When not saving the small business world, she enjoys sipping red wine, eating chocolate (who doesn't!) and spending time with her amazing husband.
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