Archive for August, 2013

What are you focusing on to get NEW business? Leads v. Referrals

Posted on August 12, 2013. Filed under: Business, Business Development, Business Planning, Marketing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

picmonkey_imageWhen it comes to GROWING your business, getting NEW business is very important.  As business owners we look for various ways to get leads or referrals, but leads and referrals are not the same, and should be treated very differently.  Here is the difference between the two, and which one you should be focusing on:

Leads

According to dictionary.com, a lead is a suggestion or piece of information that helps to direct or guide.  A business lead is a suggestion that this person or business may be a good potential for new business for you.  A lead does not come with a recommendation it is merely a suggestion that this company or person may have the services or products you are interested in.  Therefore, before a lead will turn into new business, he or she will need additional proof or a sense of trust to feel comfortable with giving the business to you.  A lead provided by  a third party usually includes the person/company’s name, number or e-mail address for someone who is possibly in the market for your service or product.

Referrals

According to dictionary.com, a referral is a person recommended to someone or something.  A referral results in more business than a lead because it is a recommendation.  When someone is interested in a product or service, they like to know if it is recommended, so if you come highly recommended by someone, you have a higher chance of getting that business.  A referral goes something like this, “Jane I would like you to meet John, John has a business with the services that you are in need of, I wanted to connect the two of you because I know that John does good work and I knew it would be a good connection for guys to meet”

The difference between a lead and a referral is really whether an introduction was made, and if the person was recommended.  If an introduction was not made and the person/company was not recommended, that is considered a lead.  If an introduction was made and the person was recommended, that is a referral.  Businesses close more business from referrals than leads, so what are you focused on getting?  Leads or Referrals?

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Top 7 Reasons Why Your Social Media Marketing Efforts Don’t Work

Posted on August 5, 2013. Filed under: Business, Marketing, Networking, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Are you seeing the results you want from your social media marketing efforts?  Many companies have reported that they have not seen significant results from their social media efforts, so I put together a list of the top 7 reasons your social media marketing efforts may not be working for you:

  1. You don’t know your target market.  In order to be effective on any medium online or offline, you have to know your target audience.  By knowing who you are talking to, you can cater your content to the needs of your target market.  Take an in depth look into your target market including demographics (gender, age, income level, etc.) and psychographics (interests, likes, dislikes, etc.) and base your social media marketing on the needs of your target market.
  2. You don’t have a plan.  Many companies randomly post on social media sites without having a social media strategy or plan.  Your goal should be to have a plan.  Your plan should include a written strategy on what you would like to accomplish on that particular social network, a content calendar that shows what you will be promoting each month, and key indicators that you will use to judge the success of your social media marketing efforts.
  3. You don’t post good content.  Once you know your target market and you have a plan, you should be posting good content that your target audience will find entertaining, educating, and informative.  Only a small percentage of what you post on social media should be a direct promotion of your product or service.
  4. You don’t post consistently.  Whether you decide to post daily or weekly depending on your strategy and the platform you are on, you have to be consistent about posting.  There are many social media tools that can help you by enabling you to schedule your posts ahead of time.  One of the most popular, and my favorite is HootSuite.  This FREE tool can help you organize your posts and schedule when you want your posts to go out along with other features that they offer to manage your social networks.
  5. You don’t have a strong call to action.  When you do post about your product or service, make sure you have a strong call to action, tell your followers, fans, or friends exactly what you want them to do so that you can directly see the results of that promotion.  It could be, “bring this coupon in for X”, or “register to attend this event”, or “download this eBook”, etc.
  6. You’re not having conversations.  Much of what happens on social media is conversational, so your posts should be conversational topics.  You should also be responding to any comments to your posts to keep the conversation going.
  7. You’re not participating in social listening.  Social listening can be just as important, if not more important, than the social content that you post.  Using tools like Google Alert will help you to be aware of what people are saying about your products and services, your industry, your competitors, etc.  You can learn a lot by just listening to what people are saying and either responding directly or using that information to help create the content that your target market would find useful

What techniques do you use to make sure you are getting the best results from your social media marketing efforts?

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