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9 ways Social Media can help grow your small business

Social media has become a must-do activity for all businesses, but it’s especially important if you want to stay competitive. What’s the first thing you do if you want to know about an organisation? YOU GOOGLE IT- or you search for the business name on Social Media. Once you’ve got your website ranking well on Google, setting up and posting on Social Media is the most important thing you can do to raise the profile of your business.

Here’s 9 ways Social Media can help build your business:

  1. Build relationships – add value to your customer’s lives, share interesting and informative stories, share your news, make them feel part of the organisation, like they belong on the team.
  2. Engage with your customers – Social media is a great way to keep in touch with your customers in between visits. Ask them for comments, ratings and reviews – and be sure to reply when they do send you a comment.
  3. Build client loyalty – the more you entertain and engage customers, the more likely they are to use your service or purchase your products in the future. You might want to consider having a Client of the Week or Month, where you acknowledge a customer and perhaps offer them a small prize.
  4. Attract more customers – if you share good stuff, your customers will share it with their followers and friends, attracting more likers to your page and ensuring more people know about your business.
  5. Direct marketing – Your social media following provides you with a database which can be used for marketing your products or services. BUT, a word of warning – continually posting BUY FROM ME messages quickly turns your customers off and many will stop following your posts – or ignore them. Best practice recommends the 80/20 rule – 80 percent information about how your products help customers, photos, case studies, quotes, jokes and general happy stuff, and 20% sales offers.
  6. Offer incentives – Social media can be ideal to offer an incentive to your customers. For example – you could post a special offer to Facebook likers or Pinterest pinners, or other types of discounts, gift with purchase or even promote your storewide sale.
  7. Build authority – Social media provides an opportunity share your knowledge, build your authority and establish a profile as a leader in your industry.
  8. Boosting your SEO and Google ranking – Generating activity on social media helps and linking back to your website can help to boost your Search Engine Optimisation and your Google ranking for keywords includes in your posts.
  9. Generate leads and sales – Naturally, the ultimate outcome of using social media is to generate sales. If you nurture your readers and use social media in the right way, the sales will follow.

 

In recent years, many successful marketing industry professionals have been utilising the power of Social Media to improve SEO, and as part of a cost-effective marketing strategy. A recent Problogger article discusses this tactic in more detail.

 

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How to make your Company Profile stand out

Once you’ve made the decision to prepare a Company Profile, or update your old one, you need to take some time to think about the content. Yes, there are standard formats you can follow, which provide details of your company, what you do and how you do it.

Can I suggest you take a slight different approach?

Sure, you need to include information about your company – that’s what the document is for. But it’s also important to consider why the potential client is reading your Company Profile. What does he or she want to know?  It goes without saying that they want to know who you are and what you do, but what they REALLY want to know is … WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM!

One big mistake many small businesses make when putting together their Company Profile is that they rehash the Company History, throw in something about products or services, then tack the contact details on the end. OK, this may not be your approach, but we’ve all seen this type of profile, and it’s missing the opportunity to connect with the potential client.

If you want your Company Profile to stand out, you need to build rapport with the reader and clearly demonstrate how you solve their problem or address their needs. This will help your profile to capture the reader’s attention much more readily and will complement the standard information on your company.

Here’s an example …

Let’s say you’re a builder. OK, we know you construct homes, but it’s more than that – you help clients bring their dream home to reality.

So let’s talk about their needs. But what are they?

Listen to what your clients ask for –

  • Do they want minimal contact or regular communication?
  • Premium quality, value for money or the cheapest price?
  • Is working to a timeline or schedule important?
  • Are qualifications and industry standards important?

One of the best ways to demonstrate how you meet your customer’s needs is to use the Mission Statement section of your Company Profile. You Mission Statement can portray the values of your organisation and reinforce exactly how you go about meeting the needs of your clients.

One important point – don’t say you do something if you have no intention of following through. At least some of your values must be a genuine match with the values of the client if you’re going to successfully do business together.

Other ways to set your profile apart include:

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Sample Company Profile Cover page

  • Use graphics or a striking image on the cover – not just your company logo. If your budget allows, use a graphic designer to produce a quality front page for your profile.
  • Use colour – most Company Profiles are just black and white, colour adds life and attracts the reader’s eye.
  • Use images to illustrate your products, show off your work and introduce your team – Connect with your potential customers and build rapport by using photos of your team, your premises and perhaps add photos of your clients next to their testimonials (this adds credibility to their comments). If you’re using photos of your staff, be sure to add a caption with their name underneath. This is a good way to help people “put a face to the name”, especially if you’re not dealing with them face-to-face. Images also help to add interest to the page and break up the text.
  • Include a Contents page, headlines and sub-headings – Make it easy for your reader to find the information they’re looking for my using a Table of Contents to direct them, plus headlines and sub-headings which separate content and make it easy to read.

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    Social network icons and stickers vector set

  • Include and DOUBLE CHECK your Contact Details – this may seem obvious, but please make sure you include ALL your contact details. Double check the phone number and email address are correct – this is VITAL. How do your clients contact you now? If you’re active on social media, you may want to include links to these pages, but only if you check your page or feed regularly and will respond to the client via this medium. If you’re not currently active, just use your phone number and email address.

If you’d more about Company Profile tips – check out the article: How to write a Company Profile that wins more business on this blog.

Do you have any Company Profile tips which have worked for you or your company? Please feel free to share via the comment box below.

 

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I have a strong background in small business management and actually enjoy writing Company Profiles (as crazy as that sounds!).

I love to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers, and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all round Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.

Power of thank you to grow real estate business

How to harness the power of THANK YOU to grow your Real Estate business

As you’re probably aware, building a strong relationship with your clients is key in establishing and growing a sizeable and profitable client base within your Real Estate business. However, some real estate agents are unsure of the best way to go about this.

One of the easiest, most cost-effective strategies is to harness the power of saying “Thank You” to those who help your business to grow. Now, this might sound basic, but just think for a moment – when was the last time you were sincerely thanked? I don’t mean a “yeah thanks” comment made in passing – I mean a really sincere, heartfelt THANK YOU. How did that make you feel? Good, right?

Did you know that the number 1 reason clients jump ship to a competitor is they feel you’re indifferent, or that you don’t care whether they stay or go? This is easily addressed by thanking them.

Would you prefer that your clients feel that you truly appreciate their business and that you value them, or that you’re indifferent towards them?

A sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU has the power to:

  • Show your absolute appreciation
  • Make clients feel valued
  • Build rapport and enhance your relationships with clients
  • Cement your relationship with your client, following a positive sales experience
  • Facilitate more future referrals to come your way
  • Help you to build a strong and profitable client base

One vital component of the THANK YOU is that you MUST be authentic and sincere about it. People can spot a fake from miles away. Say it because you mean it, or don’t say it at all.

One of the reasons that giving thanks is so effective in business today is that the act of saying THANK YOU to clients has diminished.

Top tips for a powerful THANK YOU

  • Be specific and say what it means to you – e.g. Thank You for choosing me as your Real Estate agent – I know there are others you could have chosen, but you chose me, so thank you very much for that. You placed your trust in me during one of the most important transactions of your lives. It has been a great pleasure working with you to achieve the best outcome in the sale of your property. I trust you’re more than happy with the service you received and hope you’re willing to tell your family and friends about the great service you received. Best wishes…
  • Don’t just thank your vendors, thank:
    • the buyers
    • past clients who give you referrals
    • conjunction agents
    • solicitors and conveyancers and
    • perhaps the pest and building inspectors. All these people have the potential to refer future clients your way and to help you build your business, so be sure to thank them.
  • It doesn’t have to cost a bomb – a simple thank you note or a small token can be just as effective as sending expensive gifts. However, if you’ve just sold a property for a client, it is customary to gift flowers, a hamper, wine or similar items as a token of your appreciation at settlement time. A handwritten note should always accompany the gift.

 When to use Social Media

When contracts are exchanged, or you sell a property at auction, this is a good time to harness the power of social media by posting a picture of you in front of the SOLD sign or something similar. Happy vendors are usually willing to pose for a photo with you – if not the vendors, then use the opportunity to congratulate the buyers. Share this with your social media networks – it demonstrates your success and indicates you have happy clients.

While this is a fabulous marketing tool, it doesn’t replace a personal thank you note or gift which you share only with your clients at settlement time.

This is the key

DO NOT use email, text, Facebook, Twitter or any form of social media to express your personal thanks at the end of the transaction. It means too little when transmitted this way.

Pick up your pen and hand write a personal THANK YOU message and mail or hand deliver it. This means SO much more than the electronic version and will leave a lasting impression on the receiver.

Why? How many emails, texts and social media posts do you read each day? How many hand-written notes to you receive? Which one stands out more?

This is a simple, quick and cost-effective way to follow up your positive sales experience by putting a smile on your client’s face, while ensuring they talk about you in a positive light.

May you received a constant flow of referrals from your many happy clients!

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How to write a Company Profile that wins business

An engaging Company Profile is a great way to truly connect with prospective customers – and get them to buy from you. It can also help you to portray a professional image, help to establish rapport, build trust and reinforce your brand.

While it’s tempting to produce a document which looks bright and shiny, it’s more important to ensure you get the content right first. Most people will see straight through a Company Profile which is full of glossy photos and little wording – unless you’re promoting your services as a photographer or printer!

Who’s reading your Company Profile?

Think about the reader first – your Company Profile needs to make a connection with them.

  • Who is our intended reader?
  • How much time will they have to read our Company Profile?

Think about what they want to know and adjust your content accordingly

A lot of businesses simply prepare their Company Profile based on standard guidelines, without thinking about the needs of the reader. The contents are often based on assumptions about what prospective clients want to know, rather than facts. Before you go ahead with preparing your document, you need to ascertain exactly, “What do our prospective clients truly want to know about us?”

First timers

If you don’t already have a Company Profile, talk to your current clients, friends and/or family. Ask them what questions they have about your products or services, and what barriers they have, if any, to buying from you. This will help you decide what needs to be included in your Company Profile. Once you’ve drafted the document, give it to those people to read, then ask whether they feel they would be in a position to make a purchasing decision after reading it. Use this information to add to or edit your Company Profile.

Updating your current profile

If you already have a Company Profile, ask a few trusted clients for their honest feedback on the current document, paying attention to the feedback and questions you get when people read it. Also, think about the questions you are most frequently asked by prospective customers.  These questions point to issues you’ll need to address when you update your document.

For example, if you are a company which supplies products or services to busy small business owners, who are very often extremely time-poor, your Company Profile will need to be concise and get straight to the point. You may need to consider using more bullet points and shorter, more concise paragraphs. Whereas a Company Profile for a business who supplies products or services to government or the corporate sector may need to contain much more detailed information. However, both types of documents still require a great deal of care in their preparation.

Use images

A lot of companies don’t use images in their Company Profile, and this is really a missed opportunity. If you’re profiling the business owner and/or key staff members, include a small photo of the person next to their profile. That way, the client can put a face to the name, which helps to build rapport.

You may also consider including a photo of your business premises, if appropriate.

Photos of your leading products or your recent work can also be included. The inclusion of good quality photos can help differentiate your business from your competitors.

Reinforce your brand

There’s no better place to reinforce your brand than in your Company Profile. Your Mission and Core Values Statements can be used to outline and reinforce what your business is about and confirm what you stand for.

Don’t forget to use your logo and company colours. This will ensure that all your branding is uniform and help to portray a more professional image.

The bottom line

While your Company Profile will contain a great deal of information about your organisation, if you want to win more business, it needs to be written with the reader in mind. The document must answer the questions of the reader in order to establish rapport, build trust and compel them to buy from you. A well-written Company Profile, which contains all the relevant information your potential client needs to make an informed decision will greatly assist you in winning more business.

For more Company Profile tips, check out: How to make your Company Profile stand out and 7 top tips for a winning Company Profile – from a professional on this blog.

 

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I have a strong background in small business management and actually enjoy writing Company Profiles (as crazy as that sounds!).

I love to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers, and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all round Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.