All posts by Maze

customer experience

How to Survive Against the Biggest Competitors

My parents had an old-fashioned, inner-city hardware store in Philadelphia. My mom worked there almost every day. It was the kind of place where customers would walk in sometimes, even if they didn’t need anything, just to say hi. Why would anybody do that?

Yesterday, I clicked onto Facebook and an acquaintance of mine, Jeff Giagnocavo was doing a Facebook Live video on a topic which is near and dear to my heart. Jeff is a customer experience fanatic…and he’s good at it. 

Experience a Customer Experience

This is Jeff. He’s all about creating a memorable customer experience. Even his company website delivers an exceptional experience. CLICK HERE to see what I mean.

Deliver a Great Customer Experience and You’ll Win the Best Kind of Customer

Jeff owns a mattress store- Gardner’s Mattress & More in Lancaster, PA. and he also teaches other mattress retailers how to compete in their marketplace.

He was talking about his experience with a local hobby shop and how, after going there at least 8 times within 10 days and spending about $1200 in that period of time, the guy who attended to him prior didn’t even acknowledge him the next time he walked back into the store…all within a 2-week period. I find this just as ridiculous,pathetic and stupid as Jeff.

The Best Kind of Customer is the one who comes back because they like you, they feel a friendship, a kinship. It transcends price almost every time. 

I’ve written on this subject many times in my One Good Idea Newsletter. Growing up in the hardware store and watching how my mom, dad and older brother were on a first-name basis with probably HUNDREDS of customers, it has just come naturally to me to be friendly and enjoy interacting with my customers. The customer experience I’ve always delivered has really just been for me. Not out of obligation and not because I want to separate my customers from their money, but it’s my joy to serve people and be friendly. The byproduct is a better business, almost impervious to competition.

Jeff has made a commitment to get his boys into a specific hobby. I’m sure he’s on the lookout for an alternative source for supplies by now.

Treat People as You Want to be Treated

In 1986, at age 21 I opened up a wholesale company which supplied hardware stores, discount stores and $1 stores. I have always noticed, in the most successful stores, the owner or the owner’s spouse ran the cash register…just like my family’s hardware store.

“Got everything you need? Do you want a key chain for those key’s you just got copied? Nice to see you again. THANK YOU.” It’s not a sales pitch. It’s not rude. It’s friendly and it’s helpful. I would like to think this would be the default human mindset. The storekeepers I’ve experienced and served who manned their cash register and approached life, business and their customers with genuine gratitude always seemed to be happier, have a stronger bond with their customers and have a stronger business.

Elevating the Customer Experience

My friend Jeff sells mattresses and related sleep-related products. It’s a very competitive industry. He and his partner are hard workers and forever students of marketing strategies. The customer experience is an area in which no chain store can compete and Jeff is vigilant to this end.

Why would anyone want to walk into a hardware store just to say hello? Because they felt like a friend. THIS is the #1 easiest, cheapest, most honest and natural marketing strategy a local business can apply. You don’t need to study it. You don’t need to pay a consultant to teach it.

Take Action Now to Build a Herd of Loyal Customers

Each one of the following suggestions will make your business better starting today.

  • Lead from the front-greet customers with a smile and make eye contact.
  • Work the room (or the cash register) as often as possible. Be where the customers are. That’s where the money (and the future) is.
  • Be the model for your employees. Don’t ever bitch about customers in front of employees. SHOW them how to behave with customers by making eye contact, smiling, recognizing and acknowledging them if they are repeaters.
  • Say PLEASE and THANK YOU, especially when they give you money. If you’re not the cashier, make sure your cashier says thank you…every single time.
  • Say, “Nice to see you again” when you know you have served this person before…and even if you’re not sure…it can’t hurt!
  • Be nice. It makes life and business better and more enjoyable. It doesn’t cost a thing but if you’re not nice, it’ll cost you everything.

It’s SO easy to stand out these days just by following the Golden Rule: Do Unto Others As You Would Have Others Do Unto You. So simple. So obvious and yet, so rare. Do THIS and differentiate yourself and your business from the pack.

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how often should I blog

How Often Should I Post a Blog On My Website?

Today, on the Small Business University Business Owners Mastermind Facebook Group one of our members asked the question how often should I post a blog on my website for good SEO?   It’s a great question. I’ve been using website content, including the blog to improve search engine optimization results for my own websites and my clients’ sites for years. It’s always good when people find and click on YOUR website in the organic search results when they’re looking for information, a business, a product, or service like yours.

Blogging For Search Engine Optimization

how often should I blog for good SEO?

Schedule a couple of hours once weekly to grow your website. After a year, your site will be bigger than 80% of others in your field.

Although SEO isn’t the only reason to add blog posts to your website, any time you can get new visitors to your site because they happen to be searching online for the subject you’re writing about is a good thing. The chances of this happening will increase by continually adding content. I always tell my clients, prospects or audience: Google loves a website in motion.  A website which continues to grow with informational content is more likely to be picked up and put on display by the search engines than a website which is stagnant.

The more your website imitates real-world media, the better. 

Think of a website as a magazine. A magazines typically come out periodically (that’s why they’re called “periodicals”). Unlike a book which gets put on a shelf after you read it (most likely never to be read again), a new edition of a magazine comes out regularly with new and fresh content. The web is all about information. The more information your website delivers and makes available to your audience, the better. It’s the search engines’ job to deliver the best, most relevant search results on the screen for each search query. (Google is the best at it. That’s why it’s far and away the #1 most used search engine.)

The More Content You Have On Your Website, the Greater Chance Your Content Matches What People are Searching For

Each blog post you put on your website is equivalent to adding a page to it. So, if you add one post to your blog every week, your website will be 52 pages bigger by the end of the year. Most websites are built with 6-10 pages. After a year, yours will be 60-70 pages. Presumably, your website will be rich with useful and relevant content. Think this will make a difference in your website traffic? You bet!

How Often Should You Add a Blog Post to Your Site?

As often as reasonably possible. If you have plans to make your website a lead-generation tool, a revenue stream, an asset to your business, you should look at it in the same light you do any other for of prospecting and customer acquisition activities and investments. Building out your website is a long-term play and it usually pays dividends. It’s not easy. Nothing worthwhile is.

The Value of Content Relevance, Quality, and Usefulness in SEO

Blog content matters. Google algorithms understand the different between blatant keyword stuffing and natural, useful communication. When you write a blog post, it’s vital to be writing for the purpose of being useful to your audience and prospective customer. Blog posts, just for the sake of forcing out content isn’t going to help you. Think about the magazine example again. If the magazine articles suck because they were written just for the sake of getting the material out to the news stands, the magazine would quickly fail. You don’t need to be a prolific writer, but you DO need to focus on adding value, keeping in mind the questions your audience and prospects have going on in their mind. (Hence, the reason I’m writing THIS article.)

Google interprets the value of your content largely by the amount of time people spend consuming it. This is the main reason for making your content relevant and not just dumping a whole bunch of jargon on your blog. You want to post good quality and relevant posts you’re proud to share. Pasting your posts onto your social media is a great way to drive people to your blog. This helps your website’s SEO by virtue of people visiting your blog and spending the time reading it. The more this happens, the more Google will be inclined to show your post in the search results for the same or similar searches.

More SEO Tactics From Blogging

There are numerous ways to make your blog ever more SEO-friendly. Some of them are happening on this very post. THIS post is about blog post frequency and content relevance. You’ll have to wait until next time to learn some of the other on-page and behind-the-scenes SEO secrets.

Small Business U provides marketing consulting and services. See our Menu of Services-CLICK HERE


  • Blog consistently. Set aside a chunk of time every week. Commit to a content strategy. It’s an investment.
  • Be relevant. Answer the questions going on in people’s minds. This is what they’re searching for online.
  • Write as if you’re talking to a potential customer, client or patient…not the search engines. Be natural. It makes the best content and SEO.

Let me know if you liked this post. I would appreciate your comments and questions.

small business marketing newlsletter

One Good Idea Newsletter January 2017 -Promotion Ideas

small business marketing newlsletter

Get ideas for your Social Media Posts, Emails, In-Store Promotions and other tips specifically for small business owners. CLICK HERE

One good idea is all it takes to make a big impact on your business and your life. This is the theme and theory behind The One Good Idea Newsletter.

The January 2017 edition contains over 50 idea-starting topics for a full month’s worth of Facebook Posts, Twitter Posts, Emails, Print Ads, Direct Mail and In-Store Promotions.

You want your audience to READ, LIKE, and SHARE your marketing messages. Pluck some of these Fun-Provoking topics and bolster engagement and interaction.

To view and download this edition of THE ONE GOOD IDEA NEWSLETTER, CLICK HERE

Please share this with a friend in business!

Effective use of images on a website

Add More Images to Your Website

The popular idiom, “a picture is worth 1000 words” expresses the significance of images in written communication. If a picture is worth 1000 words, it’s a great advantage to use more of them on your website. In this post, I’m going to share my advice and opinion about using images on a small business website. I will use examples with a few different types of businesses so you can hopefully imagine your business type within one of them.

Website Marketing Advice: Use More Photos to Sell Your Products or Services

Photos on a website are more important now than ever. Why? Because as the speed of life and information continue to increase, the human attention span decreases. Images are the preferred source of introduction to your

use images on your website to increase engagement

Tips for improving website performance-Find out how to smartly use more images! Need some help? We’re here for you. CLICK HERE

message. Want people to learn more about your product or service? Include some compelling images. If the image(s) pass the test, people will stick around on your website a little longer to absorb more of the content (and maybe even read a few words!).

Storytelling is Powerful Marketing. Showing Off Your Products or Services With Photos Tells an Honest, Believable Story

Can you imagine a home remodeling company who doesn’t have photos of the finished basement or new kitchen project they just completed for a client? What’s going to work better, a bullet-point list of your services or actual photos of your completed jobs? It’s a no-brainer, yet most websites have few images displaying their masterful work.

Can you imagine  custom cabinet maker who doesn’t have pages and pages on his website showcasing his imagination and craftsmanship? I see it all the time. What is the purpose of your website if not to show off your product? Talking about your “pride in workmanship”, or “dedication to excellence”  is mundane and empty. The proof is in the pictures!

Ever visit a restaurant website and the website is 80% words and 20% photos (usually of their empty dining room)? Silly, don’t you think? How are restaurants advertised on TV? With images of hot, steamy food, and often in the process of being served to wide-eyed, smiling people.

Picture Testimonials

Want to really stand out? People are skeptical of testimonials typed out on a website. Picture testimonials pack a punch unlike anything else you can deliver (besides video testimonials which I’ll cover another time). Picture testimonials, just like other images will capture attention but the marketing message they deliver is more powerful than just about anything you can say about your company, your product or your service. If you get the chance, ALWAYS capture a picture testimonial.

Website Content Should Have a Well-Planned Purpose

The content on your website should communicate with your potential customers AND the search engines. If you want your business discovered by people who don’t already know you exists, the written content on your website plays a big role. The search engines DO read your website. Strategically-written web copy plays a very important role in search engine optimization, BUT let’s not get caught up with concern about this right now. For now, let’s stay focused on images because THEY are the website content focus of this post.

Although people have very little patience for reading, they will read if the  images and headlines first catch there attention. Think about a magazine article. The first thing to catch your attention is the featured image, THEN it’s the headline. If you’re not captured by the image and headlines initially, you’re likely to turn the page pretty quickly…just as you’re likely to do when you visit a website with small type and few uninteresting images.

Optimizing Images On a Website

In the previous paragraph, I mentioned how the featured image and the headline of a magazine article largely determine the chances you will read the article. These are the first and most widely consumed pieces of content on a magazine page or a web page. The next most consumed (or read) piece of content is the picture caption: the small type describing the picture or the purpose of the picture on the page.

When uploading an image onto a website, depending upon the website builder platform, there’s usually a way to add a description of the picture, a caption, and an Alt-tag. They’re all marketing opportunities. I just described the importance of the caption. The Alt-Tag and the description fields actually communicate the purpose and the content of the image to the search engines. This is a further reason and benefit to plow on the images.

You Have The Tools to Build a Great, Image-Rich Website!

If you have a smartphone, you have all the tools you need to capture images and video to use to make a better, more marketing-oriented website. If you could never see yourself taking care of uploading the images onto your website and making the modifications which will make your website into the marketing machine is can and should be, let me help you. Call Andrew Mazer at Small Business U: 866-799-2825


Website design and marketing professionals in Philadelphia South Jersey

How to Choose a Website Designer

“A website should be considered and treated as a valuable employee who shows up every day and delivers more value to your business than the wage you pay.”

“How much do you charge for a website?” That’s the first question all business owners ask when shopping for a new website. It’s a fair question. However it’s not the right question.

A better question is “Can you make me a website to help me build my business?” Or, can you build a website to generate leads (make sales, make my phone ring, show up on Google searches [you get the idea]) for my business?”                      Want to talk about some website strategy? CLICK HERE

Creating a Working Website

A lot of thought, planning, marketing skill and experience is required to make a website work.  A good website is a customer-acquisition revenue-generating marketing machine.

What you don’t know about marketing your business online could be (and probably IS) costing you a fortune. Investing in a “cheap” website just for the sake of having a website WILL cost you a fortune in missed opportunities to get new customers and grow your business. There’s no doubt about it. Investing in a marketing website which enhances your business, works together with your other marketing efforts (online and offline), serves your customers and potential customers, and rises to the top of the search engines so people find your business online, will pay for itself many times over.

Cheap Websites

A “cheap” website will cost you a fortune. Yes. It will cost you a fortune in missed opportunities to land new customers. It’s really not possible to build a good, productive website on the cheap. It requires too much time in planning, research and development (not to mention skill).   Want to talk about some website strategy? CLICK HERE

Moments ago, I watched a commercial by, a do-it-yourself website building platform. The ad demonstrates in high-speed how a small business website can be created quickly and easily and for as low as $14/month. What you DON’T see in the ad is the time it takes to understand how to use the program, upload your images, developing the contents and typing it all in and choosing the design and layouts of the pages. They also don’t tell you how to optimize the website and its individual pages so the search engines (like Google, Yahoo & Bing) show it when people are looking for a business, product or service like yours.

In short, your cheap website will take a lot longer and than you thought, it’ll be more difficult that you think, and will likely come up short in becoming a marketing asset.

Good Websites

A good website is not an expense. It’s among your most valuable business assets. When choosing a website designer for your new website you want to look for someone who has experience in marketing. You want someone who either knows your business and the industry in which you work or knows how to ask you the right questions about them. They also need to ask you your goals.

Most business owners don’t understand what’s possible…what a website can really DO for their business. Therefore their goals, if they have any website goals at all, are vague at best. Most website developers are NOT marketing professionals and that’s okay…ask long as there’s a marketing professional on the team.

Decide to Get a Good Website

Your website is worth more than your car. With a good website, you’ll be able to buy cars. A good website will bring you new customers, clients, or patients. A good website can make your business 2x-10x more valuable. A cheap website will cost you a fortune. A good website can make you a fortune. Don’t be cheap on your way to success. Want to talk about some website strategy? CLICK HERE

Promotional ideas for December

Promotion Ideas for December 2016

Don’t be like all the Big-Dumb companies. Be unique with your marketing!

Here’s a list of not-so-common topics you can use to spice up your marketing and STAND OUT!

December 2016 Marketing Calendar

Themed promotions grab attention and create a bond between you and people passionate about a cause or subject.

 Marketing Idea Starters

12/1 is National Pie Day
12/2 is National Fritters Day & National Mutt Day
12/3 is National Roof Over Your Head Day
12/4 is National Cookie Day
12/5 is Bathtub Party Day and National Blue Jeans Day
12/6 is Saint Nicholas Day and National Gazpacho Day
12/7 is Pearl Harbor Day and National Cotton Candy Day
12/8 is National Brownie Day
12/9 is National Pastry Day
12/10 is Human Rights Day
12/11 is UNICEF Birthday
12/12 is Gingerbread House Day and Poinsettia Day
12/13 is National Cocoa Day
12/14 is National Bouillabaisse Day
12/15 is National Cupcake Day and Bill Of Rights Day
12/16 is National Chocolate Covered Anything Day
12/17 is Maple Syrup Day
12/18 is Answer the Phone Like Buddy The Elf Day
12/19 is National Hard Candy Day
12/20 is National Sangria Day
12/21 National Flashlight Day and Winter Solstice
12/22 The first gorilla (named Colo) was born in captivity in 1956
12/23 is Festivus (for the rest of us)
12/24 is Eggnog Day and Chanukah begins
12/25 is Christmas Day and National Pumpkin Pie Day
12/26 is National Candy Cane Day and National Whiner’s Day
12/27 is National Fruitcake Day
12/28 is National Chocolate Candy Day & Natl. Card Playing Day
12/29 is National Pepper Pot Day (the soup that won the war)

12/30 is Bacon Day

12/31 Some Celebrate a Universal Hour of Peace

December is
AIDS Awareness Month
Human Rights Month
Root Vegetables and Exotic Fruits Month
National Gratitude Month
National Georgia Pecan Month
National Tie Month


Blueberry pie near me

Blueberry Pie Our Specialty

Do you have a really special product or service you’re really good at, love to do and make good money at it? This is really common in most businesses. In fact, a lot of businesses started with one single item or service which was the seed, the foundation, from which the business grew. This article is a demonstration on how to get your business and your website to become visible for specific items or services you provide.

where to get the best blueberry pie in south jersey

Looking for the best blueberry pie in South Jersey?

You may have a number of items or services you’ve become excellent at delivering. I’m suggesting you start with one and periodically, systematically and consistently add one more. Start with the ones you’re passionate about, the ones which are profitable and the ones for which you have a great reputation. We don’t make nor sell blueberry pie, but I’m going to demonstrate how to become visible for the item. This blog post will be dated and I will watch to see how long it takes for Small Business U to show up in search results for a dessert treat which many people may, at any given time, type into a search:

The Best Blue Berry Pie Near Me

If you’re in the mood for a delicious slice of blueberry pie, you have found it here at SBU in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. You may think Cherry Pie would be the pie of choice here in Cherry Hill, (and believe it…we make a darn good cherry pie too), but it’s really just a matter of taste!

Did you know that Hammonton, New Jersey is the Blueberry Capital of the World? It’s true. Right here in South Jersey we’re blessed with an abundance of plump, sweet, delicious blueberries and all the pies we make all year ’round are made with blueberries grown right nearby.

Stop by for a slice of blueberry pie. Would you like a scoop of ice cream with that? How about a fresh, hot cup of coffee?

Blueberry Pies in South Jersey

Whole blueberry pies are also available right here in our Cherry Hill location. We’re just minutes away from Philadelphia, Marlton, Haddonfield, Voorhees, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel.

Blueberry Pies Come With a Selection of Crusts

blueberry pie in South Jersey Cherry Hill

The best blueberry pie is right here in South Jersey. It’s worth the trip!

It’s always worth the trip to our Cherry Hill store in Southern New Jersey because you’re almost always going to experience a new twist on blueberry pie. Depending on the season we may have up to 6 different crusts on our freshly baked pies. The Almond Crumble is a favorite in late summer and fall. We make the lattice-crust blueberry pie every day sprinkled with course-ground raw sugar crystals.

Blueberry pie lovers, come and enjoy this South Jersey treat in our one and only location in Cherry Hill, NJ

Although we have the best blueberry pie recipes, this one is pretty good too:

Who Has The Best Blueberry Pie?

Well, for now it right here at SBU but it could be YOU.

This is an example of what’s called Organic Search Engine optimization. By the merit that this post will probably ra-nk highly for likely searches for blueberry pie in areas around South Jersey, -Philadelphia, and other towns in the area, it is evidence my systems and processes are effective. The sales you will make by having a presence on the search engines will far outweigh the cost, time and effort to optimize a post or page on your website for a specific product or service you’re passionate about and profitable.

For more great tips about marketing your business online check out

If you want to learn the intricacies of making almost any item or service you want to sell become visible online, call 888-275-3490.




3 Facebook Strategies

Ideas for  Reaching a Bigger & Better Audience on Facebook

In the past couple of years, news feed visibility of Facebook Fanpage posts has declined by over 90%. In other words, if you have 500 Facebook Fans on your business page, less than 50, on average (probably far fewer), are actually seeing your post in their news feed. If you feel it’s becoming difficult to justify the time and expense, here are some ideas to boost results.

Organic & Paid Social Media Posting

Definition: Organic posts are free. This is when you or your social media marketing administrator makes a post on your account. Visibility of organic posts are somewhat random. They can reach less than 1% or your total fan base (followers) to 10%, sometimes more if there’s a good response to the post. Sponsored posts are posts which are guaranteed to reach a certain number of people within a selection of demographic criteria. You pay for this.

Even before Facebook created the paid advertising model, it was unusual for businesses to see a positive return on their social media marketing investment. Now, as the organic numbers have diminished so drastically, it’s even more rare.

Strategy #1: Sponsored Facebook Posts

Now, for $5-$7, you can Boost a post or create an ad which is certain to reach between 400-1200 people.

For this small amount of money, you can create a target audience based upon a range of their ages, (33-62, for example), income, marital status, education level and any number of interests such as types of food they like, activities and hobbies they enjoy PLUS a distance radius around your location or service area. You can reach people around the country, the world or just 10 miles around your zip code.

Whether you do you social media posts in-house or you have a service provider, the average posts is costing you about $6.00-$8.00 in time. This begs the question:

Is it better to pay $7.00 for an add to reach 500-1000 people who are strong prospects or to spend $6.00 to reach 50-100 people who already know you?

My feeling is that it’s better to spend $7.00 to reach 500-1000 people who may be good prospects. After all, if you land just ONE new customer and it only cost you $7, that’s a big win. Don’t you agree?

Who ARE Your Facebook Fans Anyway?

A substantial number of your Facebook fans are likely to be your personal friends (OR friends of the people who are doing your marketing for you). They have Liked or Followed your page because you’ve asked them to. They’re usually not genuine fans and probably not your customers either. They were most likely just being polite and thought they were doing you a favor.

New fans you acquire with sponsored posts are more genuine. They gave you a Like  because they liked what they saw. These are the people you want as fans. Now, by acquiring new and more genuine fans, and with the targeting abilities available with sponsored posts, you have the ability to pay for posts which reach ONLY your fans. You can also elect to reach your existing audience and THEIR friends.

There are times you will want to use paid ads to reach your existing audience only:

For example, there’s an event I like to go to every year…the Crab-A-Palooza at Pinsetter Bar & Bowl in Pennsauken, NJ. There’s good food, entertainment, I’m friendly with the owner and it’s good family fun. I missed it this year because I didn’t see any of the announcements. The marketing team posted the event about 12 times on their Facebook page BUT I didn’t see it because none of the organic posts never showed up on my news feed. If they had spent a few bucks on a boosted post, the great majority of their Facebook Fans would have seen the announcement. They would have made the money back on just ONE extra customer, ME, and they probably would have landed a bunch more customers like me who would have showed up too.  Use boosted posts when you have an important announcement for all your fans.

Strategy #2

Get your customers to do the work for you!

When customers visit your location, give them an incentive to Check-In on their Facebook app. When they check in, lots of their Facebook friends will see this in their news feed. This is delivers your business name, location AND Social Proof which is like your customer’s testimonial about your place. This method works better when a photo is included with the post. A small bribe such as a Free Dessert or a $10 Gift Certificate is well worth the promotional value you get from this kind of exposure.

Strategy #3

I’ve created a video which demonstrates this idea which is embedded at the end of this post.

This  strategy can be used in all kinds of businesses, online as well as traditional brick and mortar businesses and service businesses.

Make it easy for your customers to help you. Create a dedicated page on your website which has one image on it (could be your logo or  an image depicting your service in action for example). Add wording to the page such as: “I recently {visited, purchased, used services of} ABC Business. I was very pleased with the {name the product or service} so I thought I would share this with my friends.”


Give your customers a pre-printed card or send an email with the website address (URL) for this page with the instructions to copy and paste it as a Facebook post. The very act of someone electing to cooperate is a powerful testimonial. The reach and impact could be significant. The setup isn’t very difficult and it can be used over and over.

See video instruction on this strategy- go to



Marketing Automation-How and Why It Works

What is Marketing Automation? First, let’s define automation:

Automation is the process by which meaningful tasks are efficiently accomplished by a system or process by machinery or technology, which reduces the need for human involvement.

The result of automation is consistency, efficiency, predictability, higher productivity, speed, reduced cost, thus greater profitability.

Marketing Automation is Possible for Your Small Business

Online marketing for small business

More people buy later. Most people aren’t ready to buy the first time your message crosses their consciousness.

Consistent, predictable, efficient, productive, cheap and profitable results from your marketing efforts and investments can be yours.

Marketing automation means acquiring customers and keeping them coming back for more.

What Automation Means to Your Business

Marketing Automation means gently keeping in touch with your existing customers. Never forget, it’s not your customer’s job to think about you and remember you. It’s YOUR job to think about and remember them. Automation will do this for you.

Marketing Automation also also means gently keeping in touch with prospective customers who have shown interest in your business, product or service. Prospective customers have visited your website. A website with a purpose is more than just a brochure. It’s a sales representative and an ambassador. Done well, it can initiate a relationship, deliver information and gently invite your new prospect to come do business with you…AUTOMATICALLY.

Fueling Your Marketing Machine

You already have all (or most) of the component parts of a marketing automation machine. These components exist in almost every piece of printed material, social media activity, your website, print ads, coupon ads, table-top signage, business card, your 30-second elevator speech,and even your Little League team sponsorship. Each of these are examples of marketing.

Question: What Do People Respond To?

Answer: An Offer or a Deal.

As a small business, your best marketing investments are made with direct-response marketing. Direct-response is how to get customers now and how to get customers to raise their hands and say, “Yes. I’m interested.” This is accomplished with an offer. An offer come in many forms. An offer could be a coupon, a gift, an information piece, a book, a how-to guide, or anything of value an interested prospect would accept from you in exchange for their contact information. This is how you fuel your Automated Marketing Machine. 

The late Chet Holmes, a marketing genius and author and consultant to major companies and entrepreneurs gave speeches and seminars. Over time, polled audiences by the thousands during his live events. He asked for a show of hands if people where “in the market” for such things as tires, cars, home remodeling, carpeting, technology, etc. What he found was, across the boards, only 3% of any market is in the “buying mode” now.

Observe the diagram on the right hand side of this page. It doesn’t say only 3% of all people are prospective customers. It says 3% are buying now. 7% are prospects.




Social media marketing ideas

Get Your Customers to Post on Facebook For You #2-The Check-In

In yesterday’s post, I demonstrated how any business can make it easy for their customers to announce their satisfaction to their Facebook friends.

The Facebook Check-In is Strong Social Proof and Can Reach a Huge Audience

In case you’re not up to speed on what the “Check-In” on Facebook is, it’s an application within the mobile version of Facebook. There’s a button in the upper right hand corner of the Facebook screen named “Check-In”. When touched, this button activates a GPS scan on the user’s proximity to nearby businesses and displays them on your screen. They choose the one they’re at and a Facebook post screen opens which includes the name of your business, directions to your place and a link to YOUR Facebook Fan Page. The user can post a photo and as much text as they’d like to, just as in any typical post.

Social media marketing ideas

Get serious about marketing. Try the Facebook Check-In to get your own customers to promote your business.

As you can imagine, when people do this Check-In when they’re in your place, many, many people see it. Could be dozens, could be 100’s. Not only is this FREE ADVERTISING, it’s very powerful because it shows this person has given your place his or her “Seal of Approval”-social proof.

Some people will check-in to a place just because it’s an excuse to whip out their cell phone and get back into the chatter on Facebook.

Incentivize Check-Ins

A small sign in a clear table tent (like a picture frame) with a modest incentive could have people checking in and posting about your business every day. “Check-In on Facebook, Show Your Server, Get a FREE Dessert!”

The average Facebook post costs a business over $6.00. Whether you’re paying someone to do your social media posting for you or you do it in-house, there’s still the expense of time and effort. To give away a dessert probably costs a lot less and is probably a great deal more impactful.

Get Creative With Facebook Check-Ins

When your customer checks in and includes a photo of his or her food (or whatever the product is), it will get even more visibility and reaction. “Show this post to your server within 7 days and get $5.00 off your purchase!”…now your customer has initialized a call-to action which makes your new Facebook Check-In Campaign measurable.

Have you ever tried the Facebook Check-In in your business? Share your experience in the comments area below.

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