Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Building Your Business - Tips, Tricks and Talent

Repeat Customers are Profitable!
Q. How Can I Get and Retain Clients? 
A: Establish yourself as an expert

1.  Are you the expert?  Prove it.  Write blog posts, articles for trade organizations, journals, and linkedin articles.  This is "meat," not 140 characters of a tweet, but a real look into what you know and how you approach your client's problems. This is when you can write about your new proven solution, your epiphany on training methods, etc.  Yes, this is where you shine in 600 - 2000 words. Prove you have the research to back your work. Need more about blogging and word length? Read 4 Statistics Every Blogger Should Know About Content Word Count.

2.  Are you up-to-date? Brag (if just a little). Oh...you can never stop proving that you are the expert and up-to-date on trending patterns or that you are a trend-setter in your field. But, the key is to let others know what you have been doing.  This is great for tweets and facebook posts.  What conference/training did you attend?  Where did you do extensive research recently? What fascinating topic was covered?  And with enthusiasm, let your readers know why you love the topic.  Just remember that you are a life long learner, that has earned your "Expert" Title. 

3.  Are you marketing to retain clients? Build relationships. 

Trick: Have a conversation with a real estate agent. Newsflash: do you know how much time they spend on retaining clients and building relationships?  Well, talk to a successful real estate agent and they will quickly tell you the key to being successful and getting repeat business from former clients is building a relationship
  • Newsletters - find that sweet spot between being a pest and making it easy for your client to remember you name for that next referral or next purchase. Newsletters should be focused on solving clients' problems - give them what they need. 
  • Surveys - get the feedback you need, Encourage written answers from your clients.  Even if there was something less desirable, turn that to better your service, and to prove your expertise.  Here's a great way to come up with blog topics that reminds all that you truly are the expert and in constant learning mode.  
  • Cards - if you have a relationship with your clients, you know something about them - the pet's name, anniversaries, favorite sports team.  Drop them a card. I even drop post-cards if appropriate.  But remember, they are YOUR clients.  
  • Social Media - encourage your clients to connect with you via a Business Facebook Page, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.  Make it fun, religious, political and controversial free - unless that's part of your business. 
Time to review your marketing plan.  Add your strategy to retaining clients to your marketing plan.
(Yes, your marketing plan should be a stand-alone document that supports your business plan).  

Kathleen Brandt