Marketing your business is hard work. You have to convince a potential customer that your product or service will solve their problems, be there when they are ready to buy, and deliver a great product to keep them coming back. Don’t let things fall apart along the way. Any number of things can derail a project or sale at a pivotal moment. My advice – Make it easy. That seems obvious, right? But there are several common hurdles that small business owners may create for their customers. Here is my breakdown:
Marketing - Make it easy for potential customers to consume your content. Spread your message across multiple networks so it’s easier to find. We always employ this approach when it comes to social media campaigns by spreading messages across multiple networks. This makes your company easier to find, follow and engage with.
Make it easy for potential customers to relate by delivering your message directly to your ideal client. (This references back to some of our previous articles about Ideal Clients and Target Markets). When you are speaking directly to a client it is easier to convey your message.
Make it easy to sign up for more content. Social media campaigns have this built in. Potential clients can “follow” or “like” your pages. If you are using an email or newsletter campaigns, make sign-up as easy and non-invasive as possible.
Purchase - This is a common hurdle in the the buying experience with small businesses – payment. Customers will walk away from deals if you don’t accept their preferred form of payment. I’ve seen it happen . . . to me. Stay current on payment types. It’s common place for even the smallest of business to accept credit cards and PayPal. The fees take a bite out of your profit margin, but these are the payment norms. If you have to adjust your pricing to make them viable, so be it. At Nickel City Graphics, we use PayPal for credit card processing. It is integrated into our invoicing software - FreshBooks. I find their system to be ideal. It allows you to accept cash, check, credit card or PayPal, in addition to a lot of other cool features – like automated payment reminders, customer stats and recurring invoicing setups.
Communication - A business relationship is much like any other. Early on, flaws are magnified and can leave a lasting impression. Interactions that clients have with your business, from phone calls to emails, meetings to project/product proposals, need to be professional, clear and easy to understand. I find that the more information we put in writing in initial proposals and emails, the smoother the process goes. You don’t want to leave a gray area for you or your client to make assumptions about responsibilities or goals. When in doubt, put it in writing.
Takeaway – Avoid roadblocks in the customer experience. Make it as easy as possible to work with all phases of your business.
5 Minutes to Better Marketing is a twice-monthly series of direct email articles aimed at improving your marketing efforts and overall success of the small business community, specifically in the Buffalo, NY region. These articles are universal. They can help many small businesses. If you know of anyone that may benefit from communications like this one, please share this article.