eBusiness Blog

How Great Customer Service Gets You Business Referrals

Have you ever been frustrated by the lack of customer service from another company and vowed to never do business with them again? And most certainly never told anyone else about them?

This is why customer service is so vital to business success as I explain in this eTip episode on why it’s the primary reason we have such a high referral rate.

We get a lot of new customers based on the quality of our customer service.

Our referral rate is around the 90-95% range so I wanted to share our secrets for good customer service.

For us that means things like answering our phone, responding to emails quickly, and making sure our customer’s needs are taken care of.

Obviously you can’t do that 24/7 but having a solid response time is good business practice and your customers will appreciate you for it.

Respond to them in a timely manner and appreciate that their brand may be affected by what service they need you for.

People want to get information fast so making them wait is not good customer service.

If you don’t respond in a timely manner you risk pushing them towards your competition.

By providing a high level of customer service you demonstrate to the potential client that they can expect good work out of you if they commit to your business.

Sometimes your needs might need to be set aside while you put the customer first.

Dealing with difficult clients and mistakes wisely

No matter how much someone upsets you always make your best attempt at being professional and polite.

Even if you’re having a bad day consider they may be as well and the additional stress of bad customer service can really put them off your business.

If you do make a mistake own up to it and make it right. Mistakes happen and if you take responsibility for the error and solve the issue then your client will appreciate you more.

Let them know what steps you’ve taken to ensure those mistakes don’t happen ever again.

People don’t get mad about mistakes.

Your customers won’t get mad if you make a mistake. They will get mad if you don’t acknowledge the mistake or don’t take steps to address the mistake and prevent it from happening again.

Don’t lay blame with somebody else and by taking responsibility you show the customer you respect them, which will go a long way when they start looking for who to refer their friends to.

If one of your team members makes a mistake it’s still a reflection on you and your business.

Let them know you’re tackling the mistake and you’ll find they respond well to your professionalism.

When you’re in business you are in the people to people business so the more respect you pay to them the better. Treat your customers with respect and they will in turn refer their friends to you because they’ll know their friends will experience the same high level of customer service that you’ve provided to them.

If you have your own stories about how providing great customer service has helped you or has gained you a great new lead that turned into a client then please share them in the comments below.

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

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About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Is Jealousy the Biggest Culprit in Thwarting Your Business Growth?

Why Gratitude is One of the Biggest Keys to Success

Jealously the Biggest Culprit in Thwarting Your Business Growth

No magic pill, wand or formula was applied in creating this success story.

While Social Media can have many benefits to business growth, there’s an underlying, negative-based energy many people experience that could very well be contributing to the lack of their business growth.

And that energy is jealousy…

For us on the West Coast of Canada, we only get to enjoy a few months of summer warmth and sun each year. This is the time we make plans to get out and enjoy the weather as much as possible.

So it stands to reason many of the posts shared on Social Media are fun-related. After all, who wants to share posts about the hours they spend behind their computer working 15 hours a day?

Relaxing at Kingfisher SpaWhile away on holidays recently, it occurred to me there may be some who would look upon my holiday-infused Facebook posts thinking this is my life – doing nothing but having fun and going on holidays.

And when I thought about it, I’ve given them no reason to think otherwise. If a new Facebook business-owner “friend” only saw holiday-related posts, then that’s the impression they would have of me – I never seem to work!

For those that know me, this assumption is far from the truth but nonetheless, for those that don’t, I can see how they would come to that conclusion.

And the interesting thing is, that kind of conclusion has a far-reaching result that could very well be affecting their business success.

That’s because instead of being happy for me, they are feeling a twinge of jealousy.

Jealous they can’t take holidays…
Jealous they can’t go for spa treatments…
Jealous they can’t relax poolside at a resort…

And so on.

Jealousy is a very insidious thing that can sneak up and snare the most unsuspecting person.

Jealousy is a very insidious thing that can sneak up and snare the most unsuspecting personClick To Tweet

How many times have you looked at someone’s success or witnessed all of the wonderful travels they’ve been on and secretly wished it were you instead of them?

When this happens we nosedive into a lack and scarcity mindset. Our ego kicks into high gear and we get into competition mode. Comparing what WE DON’T have to what THEY DO have.

And when that happens, we’re not in an expansive, abundant state of mind. Instead, we’re stifling all energies needed for growth, which can ultimately result in a lack of success.

I did it too. I would see people like Mari Smith travel the world doing keynote speeches or private consulting gigs and think how lucky she is to live such a magical life!

But then I realized magic has absolutely nothing to do with it!

When we see people like Mari, or me for that matter, reaping the rewards of our labour, we fail to realize the labour part of that equation.

The ability to take time off, travel, go to spa appointments or relax at resorts is a product of hard work. It didn’t all happen magically, or effortlessly for that matter.

What does gratitude have to do with success?

I’ve talked before about my keys to success and aside from working long hours, having a team and building a business wisely, the biggest key to my success is gratitude.

I’m thankful every single day even if a client is upset with me.  Gratitude can still be found in the lessons learned to avoid that incident from happening again.

I’m thankful for the hard-working, integral employee giving their notice.  Gratitude can still be found because I was able to have them on my team as long as I did and look forward to how that person’s replacement will make a positive impact on my business.

I’m thankful for the deadbeat, non-paying client.  Gratitude can still be found knowing what kind of client to turn down in the future, seeing the signs ahead of time they will be a challenge to collect from.

This is what I do every day where it’s well documented in my gratitude journal I write in every night.

Success is what you want it to be. You are in control.

Despite the one-sided impression Social Media provides, there is no magic program, product or formula that will create success for you.

But with having an attitude of gratitude, a strong commitment to success and not letting jealously prevent you from thinking you can have that too, you can be successful.

I’ll let you in on a little secret…. many don’t know that not long ago Daniel and I were quite destitute. We were on the verge of losing our home and had a $24,000 credit card debt (due to identity theft but that’s another story). So I know what it feels like to be on the other side of the pasture thinking everything was so green over there and completely unattainable.

However, what got us through to the other side is we never gave in to victimhood. We believed things will get better, focused on being grateful for what we had, and worked towards what we did want.

Law of attraction expert Dana Smithers has a great solution to when things are not going perfect and that’s to ask yourself, “what do I really want?” (Watch this quick video where she explains how this works.)

So the next time you feel a pang of jealousy when you see someone post about their wonderful cruise, their world-wide adventure or their spa treatment, remember there was no magic involved in that person’s success.

Only hard work, commitment and a whole lot of gratitude for hills and valleys that was overcome along the way to that success.

Take a moment now and no matter how shitty of a day you’re having, what can you be grateful for? Ask yourself what is it that you really want? Share below, let’s all celebrate with you.

Are you willing to make a commitment to celebrate everyone’s success? Take responsibility for your actions and do what it takes so you can reap similar rewards of success?

Don’t let jealousy be the biggest culprit in the lack of your business growth. Show it who’s boss instead!

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Is Jealously the Biggest Culprit in Thwarting Your Business Growth?Click To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Team Building Tips to Help Grow Your Business

We’ve talked a lot about things this summer like video marketing and using Twitter to grow your business. Today I’m going to talk about the importance of using a team to build your business.

 

Build your business right by hiring the right people

Many years ago I was a one woman operation. I did it all.

The designing, the programming, the marketing; I was taking everything on myself.

At a certain moment I realized in order to build my company while providing my clients with what they needed, I would need to expand and start adding on some team members.

There are many different kinds of employees you can hire. Some may be temporary or freelance talent, some could be outsourced, or you can even hire on student interns from local schools to help. It doesn’t always have to be a full-time salaried employee.

The important thing is to focus on what you excel at and hire on people to help offset your weaknesses.

Hire an Expert

My biggest weakness was my understanding of how web technology had evolved. It had changed so quickly that my own skills had become a little dated even though they were only a few years old!

My first hire was a programming ace from a local university and he and I got to work. Once I saw his talents, I started delegating more and more of the tech work to him.

I let him work and I listened and learned. Together we really took eVision Media to the next level.

So hire yourself an expert even if it’s one in something you feel you’ve mastered. You might be surprised at how much else there is for you to learn.

Hire a Money Maker

You also want to hire someone who is profitable for you. Hire someone who makes you money!

Yes it’s nice to have help with your own tasks in the same way it’s nice to have a cleaning lady but look for people whose skills and background will make you money so you can pay their wages.

This is especially good advice if you’re struggling to stay ahead. Hire a sales rep, a product engineer, or some other type of employee where the financial return is immediate.

The more money-makers you have the better your business is going to be.

And make sure you are comfortable delegating the responsibilities too!

Lead by Example and Learn from the Feedback

Set standards for the employees to adhere to when delegating the work. You know how you prefer it done so write that out clearly and because the employees will bring their own knowledge to the project you may find, as I have, they often exceed those standards.

I myself have a team of designers, programmers, SEO experts, and more and I have to trust their expertise when assigning duties. Hiring experts is great and when you are comfortable they know what they’ve claimed to know you’ll be in a position to trust their expertise more, which takes pressure off of you.

Don’t Try to be an Expert in all Things

You can’t possibly hope to know everything about running a business – whether it the legal work, the bookkeeping, or any of the other many essential elements of running a business, and know everything about your internal roles and industry as well.

Take for example marketing. You can spend tens of thousands of dollars on marketing courses trying to being an expert in marketing yourself but while you’re doing that you aren’t focusing on all the other elements of your business.

Using the same money to pay someone to market your business while you focus on other aspects of it like cultivating leads or working with clients to make sure they’re happy makes much more sense and will help you grow your business instead of just your personal skill set.

It’s far too difficult to grow your business without building a team.Click To Tweet

I wouldn’t start self-funding multiple courses on contract law if I needed a lawyer so why would you attempt to become a marketing expert when you need marketing?

This rings true for bookkeeping as well. My time is simply better spent running my business than trying to become an expert in all areas of the business. Hiring a bookkeeper makes more sense financially and professionally since I then have someone with experience in the role as well.

It’s far too difficult to grow your business without building a team. When you plan your business (and you should) and invest in your business include what you need experts for and budget for hiring professionals to help you grow.

If your business is really a supplemental income and you’re not full time then this may not be your approach but if you’re serious about growing your business into a solid company then you will need a team to help you.

Hire My Team

The take away is of course that you need to hire the right people to help you grow. If your business requires website development, branding, logo design, online marketing, social media management, or something else related to digital marketing and the online presence of your business then get in touch.

My team that I have cultivated myself are great so feel free to get in touch if you find yourself overwhelmed and need help with any of the services we provide. I don’t work with just anyone since experience has taught me to consider who I hire carefully. My team deliver and we do it with smiles on our faces that translate into smiles from our clients.

Check out our website at www.evisionmedia.ca for more and by all means if you have questions or comments post them to any of our social media channels or contact us directly via our website!

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

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About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

How to Protect Your Business from Cyber Crime

How to Protect Your Business from Cyber Crime

Is your business secure? It may not be. Many unscrupulous individuals are operating online looking for new ways to exploit honest people.

I was recently pulled into a scam enacted by someone yet to be identified via a freelance work website. Because of how personally this affected me and my brand reputation,  I’ve decided to write today’s blog post about securing your business online.

My personal experience involved Upwork.com, which is a website boasting about the value of freelance talent.

As the old saying goes: there is nothing more expensive than cheap labour.

There is nothing more expensive than cheap labourClick To Tweet

Someone posing as me purporting to be a writer/editor from NYC took a job writing a book for a client and the results were bad. 3 chapters completely plagiarized bad.

Even worse – the fraudulent work got blamed on me! This person’s profile had my name and my photo and her client found me (the real me) through a Google search that matched my profile photo. You can imagine the shock I felt of being falsely accused of ripping someone off!

After realizing this was a clear case of identity theft, I immediately contacted UpWork to have the fake profile taken down. This person’s client did the same; we hope they were able to get a full refund of the monies spent on the useless book written for them.

Scary stuff. But compared to what others have encountered it’s small potatoes.

While hiring and supporting local talent has always been my thing, if you have to outsource (overseas or via those freelance sites), then a great idea to protect yourself is to insist on seeing a scan of government issued ID. Take your identification proof one step further and insist on a video conference before making any commitment.

Fraud is on the rise

2016 saw a significant increase in fraud over 2015. While the numbers show the amount stolen went slightly down the volume of theft went up. A lot.

While those figures relate more to consumer fraud if you’re the seller, you can be out of pocket money if the claim means sending the now used product back to you.

The point to take home is fraud is up so you need to take action to prevent yourself and your customers from becoming victims.

How to prevent and report cyber crime

According to The National Cyber Security Alliance there are several steps you should take to protect your business and customers:

  • Evaluate Risks

    Identify what types of fraud or crime you may be most susceptible to. Do you work with medical information? Financial information?
     
    Even if the purpose of your business is simply B2C there are steps to be taken to protect yourself.
     
    Users who purchase through your website are trusting you to keep their financial information safe so take steps to do so such as having SSL installed for any e-commerce or sensitive information and it’s wise not to store it.

  • Monitor Threats

    This can be as simple as making sure no spam messages are opened or any emails with attachments are scanned with some sort of antivirus software. While the software is not 100% effective it will stop the better circulated scams.
     
    Click here to read more about potential threats.

  • Report Attacks

    If you are the victim of a cyber attack you are going to get frustrated and with good cause.
     
    Currently Canada is really vulnerable when it comes to cyber crime and your best hope is just to call the police. While promises have been made to address this, very little has been done and international criminals are impossible to go after.
     
    If you are a victim of cyber crime contact local law enforcement and cross your fingers. But the bad news is you are likely to get no resolution. This is something to consider if you’ve been hiring anyone overseas.
     
    In the US reporting cyber crime is much easier. You contact the FBI via this website.  They have the capacity to address international criminals and recently America has cracked down on international crime operating within its borders.
     
    For those reading from any other country I encourage you to do your own due diligence regarding protocol for reporting cyber crime so you’re prepared should you ever need to be.

  • Execute a Security Plan

    For this the recommendation is to work with your ISP on a cyber security plan. While your ISP may be worth talking to you should really speak with your website’s hosting company first and foremost.
     
    The security of your customer’s info and your business is delicate so make sure your host knows to have things such as routine backups of all information made and stored on another server.
     
    Most of the majors stay on top of things but it’s always worth calling them for a quick review especially if you have pertinent info for them that may help.
     
    If you have been a victim already let your host know what happened. The information may help others down the road.

  • Safeguard Your Clients

    The suggestion found in this article of scanning all USB drives routinely is a good one. Sometimes the information can be air tight behind the most advanced firewall but it still gets out.
     
    One of the easiest ways to exploit technology is social engineering. Many times the information isn’t so much stolen as leaked by someone internally.
     
    Have a privacy policy in place and make sure your employees know that any time they connect anything to your computer network it will be scanned.
     
    Make sure all software is updated and that all computers connected to your network are running the most updated version of their operating system.

  • Educate Your Team

    This is an easy one.
     
    Have protocol in place that ensures your employees follow all steps noted above.
     
    All computers must be scanned when attached to a network and all USB drives as well.
     
    Most people are accustomed to this now so don’t worry about implementing it suddenly.

Stay Safe

By taking measures to protect yourself you’re ahead of the game should something occur. Scrambling after you’ve been a victim only helps the people who have stolen from you by giving them time to disappear.

Online business is only likely to grow even more and along with it fraud. The complexity of the scams will evolve and hopefully so do the solutions. In the interim I hope you enjoyed these tips and that you never become the victim of cyber crime.

If you have been a cyber-crime victim, share your story in the comments section below.

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. Instead of risking your business by hiring an unknown freelancer from a freelance website or one located overseas, turn to the experts with a proven track record for your graphic design, website, SEO and online marketing needs. eVision Media is an “all under one roof” boutique firm who bases their success on your success
>> CLICK HERE FOR SOLUTIONS YOU SEEK

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

How to Protect Your Business from Cyber CrimeClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Time Management Tips for the Busy Business Owner

Earlier this year, I had a quick conversation with friend and client Yvonne Hogenes while at the WOW (women of worth) Conference in Vernon.

Yvonne is a very busy business owner who provided some great tips on time management.

 

Yvonne wears many hats and wasting time is not an option for her.

20 years ago Yvonne opened Malarys Fashion Networking Cloverdale.

She’s thoroughly enjoyed evolving her business as the industry grew.

For 15 years now she has designed custom fitted bras she then has manufactured and distributed all throughout Canada and the US!

Then 7 years ago she began her journey in making smart, shape tech/apparel with Firma Energywear.

This product is sold in Canada and all over the US.

So how does she do it?

Not alone.

She has an amazing family business with her husband and two sons supporting her.

Get over thinking no one can do the work as good as you can.Click To Tweet

Her team is important and then comes delegation.

Yvonne has learned to offer autonomy and trusts those she delegates to.

She has learned the hard way that balance is important since she has burnt out multiple times. Some quick tips she shared were:

  • Learn to say no!
  • Learn to filter out what is important from what isn’t.
  • Hire your weaknesses to offset what you’re good at with what you’re not.
  • When in control mode you’re not doing anyone any service.
  • Get over thinking that no one can do it as good as you can.

Yvonne agrees the key to balance is to let go at times and trust.

I want to really thank Yvonne for sharing her insights with me (and you) and if you’re looking to get a hold of Yvonne the easiest way to find her is at Malarys.com

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Our “All Under One Roof” boutique web development and digital marketing firm can help you make your vision a reality.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Time Management Tips for the Busy Business OwnerClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Customer Service Strategies in a Digital World

Customer Service and PR in the Digital World

How to get your social media presence set up right so you can deal with customer complaints like a Pro

With social media being so prevalent, users often take to their favourite channel with their complaints.

75% of users surveyed said they include social media when evaluating a purchase.

32% want a response within 30 minutes and 42% expect a response in under an hour!

When you set up your social media keep that in mind.

How to use social media for customer service

Using social media to manage customer complaints may seem like a burden but the payoff is repeat business and happy customers.

Users often take to the majors like Twitter and Facebook.  Don’t shy away from either even if you’ve received some nasty feedback in the past.

When you initially set up your accounts you entered an email to register and you’ve probably noticed unless you changed the settings you get an email every time someone is active on your page/profile.

If you find this bothersome try creating an email like customerservice@example.com that forwards to your own account or the account of an employee whose job it is to monitor your online presence.

If it’s directed to your own email create a folder or label specifically for customer service or PR that these emails automatically go to. Don’t let it get lost in your emails though or you’ll miss alerts.

*Depending on your email setup this will vary in execution*

These alerts will let you know when you have a new comment or message on your profile.

When you get one have a response protocol ready. You don’t want to jump on a complaint and then have to wait 2 days for a decision-maker to draft their response.

One single meeting with your team on customer service/PR protocol on social platforms can save you a lot of headaches.

Have canned responses ready

Use Social Media to make your customers happy. Learn how to use social for customer serviceClick To Tweet

Canned responses refer to an automatically generated response that is prompted by the user contacting you. You may have seen these in the past and wondered how they get set up; now you get to set them up for yourself:

Twitter

Twitter rolled out some great tools last year for users who operate their business online:

https://business.twitter.com/i/settings/support

That link allows you to upgrade your account with messages that will automatically send to anyone who messages you directly and will show users that you provide this option.

You account will show your support hours and users will see that you take their feedback seriously.

This is a great signal to Google too – that you’re serious about your business and helping customers.

If you want more help using Twitter try our section dedicated to using Twitter for business.

Facebook

Facebook also allows you to set up your account to help communicate with customers via instant messaging. To turn on instant replies to any instant message to your business’s page follow these instructions:

To turn on Instant Replies for your Page:

  1. Click Settings at the top of your Page
  2. Click Messaging in the left column
  3. Below Response Assistant, click to select Yes next to Send Instant Replies to anyone who messages your Page
  4. To change your instant reply message, click Change, update the message and click Save

To turn off Instant Replies:

  1. Click Settings at the top of your Page
  2. Click Messaging in the left column
  3. Below Response Assistant, click to select No next to Send Instant Replies to anyone who messages your Page

You can direct users in both instances towards a contact email or simply let them know you’ll review their message within the next 24 hours and respond.

Once you have these set up, how you use them is entirely up to you. Each were only available within the last 2 years so not all businesses have adapted yet but those that have done it have set user’s expectations.

For more tips on using Facebook look at our section all about using Facebook to grow your business.

Monitor your reviews

Whether it’s Yelp (who’s results are now actually trending in SERPs) Google reviews, or Facebook reviews (if you have them turned on) it’s very important to stay on top of your reviews. There could be even more players in your niche so be on the lookout for sites dedicated to reviewing your products or services.

If you get a bad one you don’t want to remove it. That would defeat the purposes of the reviews.

Instead use the platform’s response option to address the reviewer’s concerns.

By demonstrating to users you take their feedback and complaints seriously you show them they can trust they’ll be treated with the same respect should things go wrong between you and them.

The point of PR and customer feedback should not be to defend yourself outright.

While some users may be serial complainers or even thieves always assume the best in the customer.

Use their complaint or question as an opportunity to possibly address something within your business you should have paid attention to a long time ago.

Often you’ll find the customer has either made an error or there’s a genuine issue you need to address with your business.

Whatever the case, keep in mind what you post will be what users see when reading up on your company. Not only that but Google looks for signals of a bad business in online engagement and reviews as well.

Position yourself as a responsible business owner who will address their concerns, so whenever someone reads about your business they get the right impression.

Just because a lot of customer service has moved online doesn’t change the fact that your business needs to give a good impression to potential users/customers. Put a smile on people’s faces as much as possible and your social media can really help you grow.

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Customer Service in the Digital WorldClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

The True Costs of Not Having a Customer Loyalty Plan

Customer Loyalty Plan

The ABC’s of Business Basics Series – L is for Loyalty

As the old expression states, “people come and people go.” In your personal life, it can be easy to shrug off a person and move on. However, when it’s your business, this can be a very costly attitude to adopt.

The creation and implementation of a customer loyalty plan is necessary for all small businesses.

Look at the costs of customer acquisition vs. customer retention. While sources vary, they do agree that it costs between 4 and 10 times more to find new customers than it does to keep the old ones happy.

First, let’s look at the cost of acquiring new customers.

Do you know how much your company spends on attracting new customers and getting them to buy? It’s called the ‘Cost of Acquisition.’

There are varying ways to flush out this important number. You can look at what it costs to send out an email, an advertisement, purchase Google Ad words, or arrange a visit from a sales person.

However, you also need to look at other costs such as training, agency costs (if you use one), or internal costs for marketing. Once this number is added up, owners are usually surprised at how high the initial costs of acquiring a new customer can be.

How about the customers you attract through the door or by getting them to click online and shop?

Here’s the reality for you. It can take several transactions with that customer before they become loyal (Source: www.refresher.com/the-real-costs-of-losing-customers/).

How much is it costing your company every time you attempt to draw them back?

If you are unsure of what to review, look at performance indicators like marketing and advertising costs, employee costs, cost-of-goods, the hard costs of keeping your business open such as rent, hydro etc.

Customer retention is the name of the business game. Here’s a statistic that should give you incentive: “A 5% increase in retention yields profit increases of 25% to 95%” (Source: Bain & Co. 1990).

So, in the big game of business and profit, it’s all about loyalty.

About the Author, Pamela Chatry

Pamela Chatry

Do you work too hard? Is your business in chaos? If you are struggling with business issues, contact Pamela Chatry for a complimentary assessment. Pamela has been a trusted and highly respected Business Consultant, Mentor for Women in Business, Self-Employment Advocate, Trainer and Keynote Speaker for over 25 years.

Visit www.pamelachatry.com or call her at 778-856-8970 for help in getting your business to its fullest potential.


How to Incorporate Content Marketing into Twitter

Today we’re going to look at how to use content marketing to drive traffic to your website from Twitter.

 

Make Sure You Have the Right Content

The first thing to cover is that when doing content marketing be sure to have unique content that is applicable to your target market.

Make sure you take into account demographic information when creating your content so you make and share the right information for your desired audience.

Using Twitter to Promote Your Content

This video is about driving traffic to your blog with a focus on using Twitter for content marketing.

Post about your blog/content on Twitter often because it drives users towards your content.

Try 10 – 15 Tweets per day about your content spread throughout the day.

Don’t worry about how recent the content has been produced ad instead focus on its relevance to your users. If it’s still relevant then keep sharing!

Even if its 2- 3 years old you can keep sharing it. Users may have forgotten they saw it the first time or it may not have been relevant to them before but is now.

Share other user’s content as well if it is useful to your users and compatible with your content and brand.

Get yourself a tool like Hootsuite that allows you to schedule your tweets throughout the day.

Schedule your tweets so they appear when you know your followers are going to be online.

Hootsuite has a great auto-schedule tool you can use for this.

When you have a new article on your blog you can share that 2 -3 times per day right up until you post your next new blog post.

Try varying the title/tweets though so it’s not repetitious.

Add hashtags that are relevant to the content you’re sharing. For my video eTips I use #eTip.

You can even ask for a retweet. Try Please RT and sometimes people will share it!

Try the paid reach options. It will help get your content and brand out to many more people.

The more who see it the more chances you have of someone signing up or purchasing from you or signing up for your newsletter.

Sign up for our newsletter to receive weekly tips on marketing online for entrepreneurs!

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

Social Blast for Entrepreneurs

What If You Could Learn Social Media and Online Marketing Each Month With Ease?

If you are new to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing, my monthly group coaching program, Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs is a perfect way for you to incrementally learn the best strategies and tactics to help you grow your business online.

  • Uncover what it takes to execute a successful, revenue-driving social media strategy
  • Learn how to build relationships, trust, and brand awareness with your ideal customer
  • Discover actionable strategies to engage followers online
  • Master creating compelling content that’s always on target
  • Discern how to authentically differentiate your brand in a crowded marketplace
  • Find out the best times to post for higher readership
  • Stay abreast with the latest prospecting techniques to grow your list, groups and more…
  • Learn ways to engage through social media monitoring and listening

It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.

› CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Why Twitter Ads Boost Business & How to Create Them

How to create Twitter ads

An Insider’s Guide to Increasing followers, gaining website traffic, and much more with Twitter advertising

Last week we showed you all the basic elements of setting up and using Twitter.

Now that we’ve looked at how you can market locally with hashtags and how to set up your profile and start tweeting, we’re going to review how you make use of the paid side of Twitter to help grow your business online.

Why use Twitter Advertising?

Twitter ads are a great way to really expand your business reach and get your content in front of your ideal target market.

Twitter has enticed business owners into taking the plunge by making their platform one of the best of the majors when it comes to targeting the right users.

There was a time when Twitter offered much better organic reach as most social media giants have.

They did this to gain market advantage; however, once their user base was established, they monetised their platform by restricting the organic reach, forcing users to make use of their paid option.

So by selected the right interests, key phrases, and demographics you have a very low-cost per click method of reaching qualified leads.

How to Set Up Twitter Advertising

Let’s run through the steps in setting up an ad on Twitter.

First post and schedule your regular tweets and then begin your campaign creation after since your tweets are what you’ll be using in the promotional campaign.

After logging in Twitter click on your profile photo and:

  1. Select Twitter Ads
  2. This will open a new tab that looks like this:
     
    how to use twitter ads
  3. At the top right you can see where it says Create Campaign
  4. Select Create Campaign
  5. Now you can pick which kind of paid campaign you’d like to try.
     
    how to use twitter for business
  6. If you’re building up your Twitter account try the Followers campaign type.
     
    If you’re looking to drive people towards your site and you have the content to reflect that then select Website clicks or conversions.
  7. There are other options for more advanced users such as video promotion and app promotion but we’re going to stick with the most used options noted above.
  8. Once you’ve made your selection, you’ll see your campaign budget information.
  9. Pay close attention to this. Twitter (like most social giants) tends to assume we all have money to burn and will have some big numbers pre-filled. I believe the current pre-filled number is a daily budget of $127.50.
     
    Set yours to something much lower while you test Twitter Ads out. I suggest $5 a day and a total budget of $25 for a one work week campaign.
  10. Next select your Date Range. Twitter tends to auto-populate this with about a month timeline. For your first trial let’s stick with a 5-day work week as noted above.
  11. After you click through you’ll get to select your “creatives”. These are the tweets you’ve posted that will be used for your campaign.
  12. Select the tweets you posted with the intent of either driving users towards content or your website.
  13. Now you’ll get to start targeting.
  14. When targeting get as specific as you can with what you want in your preferred audience. As stated in point 12, you should select targeting parameters that align with the original intention of your tweet.
  15. Pick locations where you know your content will resonate with users. If you deal locally then promote locally.
  16. Pick the gender of the preferred audience for your campaign.
  17. In the bottom field, you want to spend most of your time.
     
    Pick interests and key phrases that best identify your preferred audience.
     
    If your business sells doorknobs then type in doorknobs to start your search. Find interests related to doors. Select any key phrase you know to be relevant to your content on Twitter regarding the sale of doorknobs.
  18. You want to align your audience target with your actual target for the content. If your tweets direct back to your site then be general about your business. Ads targeting a blog or video should be targeted at users who have expressed interest in that precise niche.
     
    To continue with our established analogy this could mean targeting users interested in brass door handles because you have content you’re promoting that is specifically about brass door handles.
  19. Now click next and you’ll be taken to your ad group bid. If running a lot of ad groups with separate purposes you can set new ad group budget totals here. For now you can leave this as is.
     
    The second option for target bid vs. automatic bid is more advanced and doesn’t really factor into the success much. Leaving it as Automatic bid is fine.
  20. Now click next and you’re ready to launch!

Use Your Twitter Advertising Metrics for Future Campaigns

Once the campaign has completed its run you can review the performance in this same Twitter ads section.

Look at Impressions but more so Clicks and your Cost Per Click. With Twitter it’s normally very low compared to other services.

If you want to peak at the performance even further please get in touch with us as we can analyse the data and make suggestions to help future campaigns perform better for you.

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Why Twitter Ads Boost Business & How to Create ThemClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

How Is Your ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ Working For You?

Gratitude

Why Expressing Gratitude Is Key to Your Success

The Law of Attraction is all about vibrations and its job description is to ‘match vibrations’. So, it stands to reason if you are grumbling about this and that in your life then… you will attract more things to grumble about.

On the other hand, if you are always expressing thanks and appreciation, your feeling positive will continue to attract the things that allow you to feel good. Your expression of gratitude might be towards people, circumstances, situations or things.

Your ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ Level

If you really want to know how well your own ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ is working for you look at your life.

How are your relationships with loved ones?
What state are your finances in?
Business always growing with fabulous clients who can’t get enough of you?
Is your health good you’re always 100% present and engaged with your clients?

Vibrational energies, i.e. frequency levels of energy, have been scientifically measured on a scale of 0 – 1000. ‘Gratitude’ resides just above ‘Joy’. Whatever emotion or vibration you are giving off it will be matched by the law of attraction giving you more of the same emotion.

The person most well known for measuring frequency levels of different emotions is Dr. David Hawkins. This is his ‘Map of Consciousness’ from his book ‘Power vs Force’ which indicates where certain emotions reside on a scale from 0 – 1000. Enlightened people like the Dali Lama would resonate closer to the 1000 frequency.

Power vs Force Chart

If you are resonating below 200 then you are giving off negative vibrations.

Any feelings you have of pride (false pride), anger, desire, fear, grief, apathy, guilt or shame keep you locked in a whirlpool of negative emotions. You pay an emotional price for hanging on to these emotions and not letting them go or be cleared from you body.

Eventually these negative emotions will show up as dis-ease in your body somewhere. Your mind and body are going to be their healthiest and happiest when your emotions rise above the 200 level.

Where Does ‘Gratitude’ Reside on Dr. Hawkins Chart?

According to one article* that stood out in my research:

“Gratitude resides just above Joy. In order to feel grateful, you need to feel contentment which is a joyful state of being. Contentment is regarded by Dalai Lama as the key ingredient for inner happiness. Gratitude is one of the main ingredients for happiness.

Gratitude includes appreciation. You can bring the energy of gratitude in your body by writing a list of things that you are grateful for, that you appreciate for every aspect of your life, especially for the bad ones (the parts that feel heavy, with problems and lacks).

Higher emotions, higher thoughts, therefore, higher vibrations (thoughts are vibrations as Abraham Hick told us) are lighter. The truth is light. Lower emotions, lower thoughts, therefore, lower vibrations are heavy. Lies are heavy.”

Why Would You Express Gratitude For Bad Things In Your Life?

The reason you want to express Gratitude for everything that comes into your life is because there is always something positive to learn from any situation – good or bad. And, from the Law of Attraction perspective focus on the ‘bad’ briefly so that you are not wallowing in your own misery or poor-me state for very long.

Find a different way to look at the situation that makes you feel more positive. It may not come right away but give it time and then raise your lower vibration to that higher state of Gratitude. You’ll feel better for making that choice!

And if you need help releasing your negative trapped emotions consider having an Emotion Code session with me!

* www.CentreofLightTulsa.org

About the Author, Dana J. Smithers

dana-smithers-ewb

Dana J. Smithers is on a mission to inspire and empower women entrepreneurs around the world. At 50 she left a high-paying corporate job and over the years launched 3 businesses earning a 6-figure income.

As a Certified Law of Attraction Trainer she you how to use LOA tools to build a business by working on your limiting beliefs. As a Certified Sacred Gifts Guide she helps you discover what makes you feel on purpose and fulfilled. As an Emotion Code practitioner Dana knows how to release your trapped negative emotions that have built up over the years and are now holding you back from moving forward. She invites you to sign up for her enewsletter for tips, insights and inspiration and her FREE ebook 'The POWER of your WORDS' at Empowered Women in Business. She looks forward to making a real connection with you on www.FB.com/coachdanasmithers. Her NEW Law of Attraction Gratitude Journal is available on www.amazon.com.