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Small business tips and social media insights to help you and your business get ahead.



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4 Ways To Create A Customer For Life

Posted on March 11, 2014 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)




Finding customers can be just as hard as keeping them.

And making sure they become repeat customers is a job in and of itself.

Here's four fantastic tips to keep your customers coming back for more.


1. Know Your Product

Whatever it is you're selling, know it and know it well.

When potential customers are in the market to hire someone to help them, they want someone who knows what they're doing and knows how their product will be able to help them become better at whatever it is they're looking to do.

And if you don't know your brand, you're never going to convince someone else of its importance and value.


2. Provide Incredible Customer Service

In my line of work, I'm not always face-to-face with my clients, we do lots of work via email - but that doesn't mean they don't expect the very best.

Your customers expect you to be flawless in delivering your product and that's an expectation you should always strive to embody if you wish them to be repeat customers.


3. Anticipate Their Needs

If you have a new customer that you aren't that familiar with then anticipating their needs may be somewheat of a challenge, but that doesn't mean it can't be done.

Being proactive when it comes to dealing with your clients lets them know you're in it for the long haul and you want them to walk away from working with you happy, content, satisfied, and comfortable that you gave it your all and then some.

Remember that your reputation will always proceed you so make sure it's a good one.


4. Be Concerned With Your Customer, Not Your Bottom Line

If you're concerned with how much money you're going to make off of them, you can be sure that your approach won't come across as genuine (and, yes, they'll notice).

Being appreciative and transparent to your clientel will not only keep them coming back but you'll also create a wonderful circle of clients that will hold you and your business in high regards - and that's a wonderful compliment for any business owner to receive.



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About the author: Danielle is a freelance blogger, article writer, and virtual assitant specializing in the parenting, family, health, lifestyle, social media, and small business areas. Visit her on the web at www.PenPointEditorial.com



8 Ways To Advertise Your Business For Free

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)




Don't think you've got what it takes to be your own PR manager?


Think again. Getting the word out on your business couldn't be easier in the age of the Internet.


Free resources are all around you - let's look at eight of them now.



1. Facebook


Start a page for your business and add it to the signature line in your email.


This makes it easier for people to not only know that your business has a Facebook presence but that it's easily accessible for them to find.



2. Twitter


If you don't have a Twitter account for your business, get one.


Even though you only have 140 characters to express yourself, Twitter has been growing steadily in the last couple of years and new potential customers are just waiting to read your company's tweets.



3. YouTube


People love getting to know who they may be working with and YouTube is a fantastic resource for you to record some informational videos to help draw in new clients and let them meet you 'face to face'.



4. Add A Blog To Your Website


Blogs are awesome free tools to not only create brand awareness for your company and its product, but to draw in new readers and potential clientele as well.


By keeping your blog current with relevant and interesting information as it pertains to the area in which your product lies, you'll be creating free advertising just by having people visit your site to read your blog.


Blogs also give your readers a chance to share your content on their social media sites as well to help bring in new customers.



5. Use LinkedIn To Your Advantage


Social media is, after all, all supposed to be used to your advantage. That's really why it's here in the first place.


LinkedIn has a fantastic Q&A portion of its site where members post questions that anyone can answer.


Think of it as your time to shine - but don't be to overly pushy in advertising your business. 


You'll want to find a happy medium where you become an expert in your field without sounding like you're only answering the question to insert a plug for your product.



6. Start An e-Newsletter


On your website you can easily put the option for visitors to sign up for your company's newsletter in the sidebar of your site.


There's numerous free services you can utilize for creating newsletters to send out to anyone who opts to receive one.



7. Network Constantly


It's obvious that your close friends and family will be in the know about your business, but when you meet new people let them know what it is you do and what products you offer.


Be sure to have buisness cards on you at all times to hand out, you never know when you'll run in to your next client.



8. Utilitize MeetUp


Meetup is a great free resource to find groups that share your interests and then you all meet up together to have a friendly and fun time doing what it is you enjoy most.


There's everything from 'lunch buches' to 'fencing fanatics' and even 'newbie writers' groups on the site just waiting for you to join and tell them what it is you do.




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About the author: Danielle is a freelance blogger, article writer, and virtual assistant specializing in the social media, parenting, pregnancy, family, health, and entreprenuerial areas. Visit her on the web at www.PenPointEditorial.com



5 Ways to Find New Customers

Posted on February 4, 2014 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (5)

Every business, be it virtual or not, needs new and existing customers in order to not only advance their bottom line, but also to keep growing and getting better. It can be intimidating for some to find new and innovative ways of bringing in new clients. Don’t fear - I’ve compiled five easy ways to grab the attention of new customers and help make them repeat ones.

 

1. Referrals: New clientele are virtually right in your own backyard. Examine the clients that you presently have and seek out whom they think would be in need of the services or products that you offer. Your current customers are your most loyal and, chances are, their friends and colleagues will be just as steadfast to see how you and your business can help them reach farther towards their goals.

 

2. Networking: If going to trade shows and events isn’t presently on your agenda, it needs to be. These types of gatherings are crucial to rubbing elbows with like-minded people in your business’s genre and introducing yourself to potential clientele. Networking affords you and your empire the chance to hand out business cards, put a face to names, and generate new leads and ideas for your business to continually grow.

 

3. Website Visitors: Every visitor to your company’s website should be looked at as a new potential customer and lead. If your website is dull, boring, and lacks easy navigation then you run the risk of those everyday lookers to go elsewhere to meet their needs. Contrive a site that on-lookers want to stay and explore, have a clearly defined contact form so that when it comes time to turn those visitors into customers, they’ll know right where to go to get more information on what you and your business can offer them.

 

4. Cold Calling: This area isn’t dead by any means. Cold calling is still alive and a fantastic way for you to bring in new clients. The trick with cold calling new leads is to devise an enticing script so to hold the caller’s attention and get them to ask questions and participate in the conversation about what it is you’re offering and how it can help advance their business’s needs. You can compile your cold calling lists by simply browsing websites, scanning the phone book, using your social media resources, and calling those you met at networking events.

 

5. Scope Out Your Competitors: Track their whereabouts and pay close attention to where they’re advertising, what events they’re attending or speaking at, and in what areas they are pulling in the most clients. Don't copy them, per se, but instead learn from them. Figure out how they’re gaining their clientele and utilize similar strategies for your business.

 

● Your main focus when it comes to generating leads of new clients is to remain positive and confident in your business and its product. New customers are everywhere and its part of your repertoire as a business owner to seek those like-minded people out and get them turned on to how you and your business can help them.


 

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4 Ways to Cut Business Costs

Posted on January 26, 2014 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (3)



When you run a small business, even a virtual business, it’s important that you save money.

 

Most of us that start out opening our own business don’t necessarily have an unlimited supply of money that we can toss around.

 

Here are four easy areas in which you can cut costs to help bank some bucks.

 

Go green

 

If you’re still printing a lot and traveling to meet clients, then perhaps it’s time to reassess your current business’s situation and see if you can be more green in certain areas.

 

Not only will you be helping the environment by reducing your carbon footprint, but you’ll also be easily saving yourself money that can add up to a decent chunk at the end of the year.

 

➜ Reduce your printing, it’s easy to read things online.

 

➜ Use an online payment system such as PayPal to bill clients as well as send and receive money.

 

➜ Instead of traveling to hold meetings with coworkers and clients, use an online conferencing system. You have many options here - some are free and others charge a fee to use. Try the free ones first, if they meet your needs, then you’re good to go.

 

➜ Reduce your mailing costs by using an online faxing service to send and receive faxes and documents. If you do a lot of faxing, then look into a paid service like eFax. If you’re a ‘sometimes faxer’ then there are plenty of free options that you can use to send faxes online.

 

➜ Services like Google offer their users numerous free word processing options that are very similar to Word’s services. You can also share documents with others for free and edit them for zip as well.


Use social media to market your business


Social media is yours for the taking so why not use it to your advantage and market your business and its products virtually rather than paying to do so.

 

There are new social media avenues popping up all the time, and with an hour or so of your time a day, can reap monetary rewards for your business’s bottom line.

 

If you aren’t social media savvy, then considering hiring a social media manager who can help you with the process.


Cut energy costs


If you work from home, then you’re already saving yourself lots of money in traveling and office costs. But have you looked at what your electric bill is lately?

 

If you don’t work from home, but are responsible for paying your electric bill, then it’s prudent that you check where your money is going when it comes to your energy.

 

Small things like shutting off lights when you’re not in the room, unplugging appliances and gadgets that you aren’t using at the moment can really add up at the end of the year.

 

And if you are among the few that haven’t totally switched their lights over to energy saving bulbs, then now is the time.

 

Fluorescent lights have come a long way in the past few years. What once started out as over-sized and disproportionate bulbs have evolved into smaller, more flexible sizes and wattages.

 

Your initial investment in energy saving bulbs may seem a little steep, but your end result of saving money will make it all worth it.


Know where your money is going


It’s so easy to swipe a card to pay for things, be it for business related expenses or not, but the question remains -- do you really know where your money is going?

 

If you can’t account for your own spending then it’s time to take control and find out where your money is going.

 

Keep all of your receipts and enter your expenditures into a spread sheet. At the end of every month, analyze this spread sheet so that you can see exactly where your money is going and in what areas you can cut back.

 

Did you really need to buy a latte a day or could you have simply brewed your own pot of coffee at home?

 

Sometimes the small things can add up to really big money wasters for you and your business.

 

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Need a blogger, article writer, virtual assistant, social media manager, or website content manager for your website or business? I'm available, contact me today.


4 Ways to Manage Your Time More Effectively

Posted on January 10, 2014 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (1)

   If you work from home, then there’s almost nothing that’s more important than managing your time in the most productive way possible. There’s so many distractions and other callings around the house that are fighting for your attention that the trick is trying to create a way to make sure you stay on task when it comes to completing your work.

 

Here are four ways to help you manage your time more effectively.

 

1. Break Down Tasks: When you have numerous things on your to-do list or editorial calendar, it can seem totally overwhelming and can be hard to find a starting point. If you were to take all of your tasks for each day and break them down into smaller, more manageable jobs you won’t feel so overwhelmed and engulfed in copious amounts of undertakings. You’ll have less chances of procrastinating on the bigger tasks if you see them as easier and more manageable doings.

 

2. Look at Your Work Habits: Do you tend to take lots of mini breaks throughout the day? Perhaps you work first thing in the morning and then bail midday to do errands and such? Reevaluate your work-from-home schedule into short bursts of productive time. If you absolutely need to handle two tasks right away, schedule them into your day at the beginning , or whenever you are at your most valuable, so that you’re fresh and willing to accomplish them in the most efficacious way.

 

3. Learn to Say No: Some of us have gotten ourselves into the habit of agreeing to do too much and help with everything, leaving little time for work to be produced constructively. Learn and evaluate what needs your attention all the time, and hold off or get rid of those dealings that can wait. Keep a calendar that holds nothing but your work opportunities laid out right on your desk and become a habitual time manager. When you know how long each task or assignment will take you, you will better manage your time to adhere to each duty in an effective manner.

 

4. Get Rid of Time Wasters: These distracting things can be anything from checking your email every five minutes to stopping to pet your cat hourly. Know that when you start to feel jittery from the work, it’s absolutely okay to get up and stretch for five minutes or take the dog for a quick ten minute walk. These short breaks will not only have you coming back refreshed but will also help you to gain new ideas for other duties that need your attention.

 

The key to managing your time effectively while working from home is to have a firm grasp on what works best for you. Some people are at their best when working before the sun comes up, while others are night owls. Regardless of when you feel most productive, the key is in how you handle your workload so that it doesn’t become too overwhelming. Scheduling your time authoritatively will allow maximum control over yourself and your tasks so that they become fulfilled securely.



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Did you enjoy this blog post? Then please feel free to share it among your social media sites. 

Need a blogger, article writer, social media manager, or website content manager for your website or business? I'm available, contact me today. 

 

4 Key Strategies to Running Your Business Successfully

Posted on January 2, 2014 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

A solid business plan takes time and dedication to make it run smoothly. Some people dive right into a virtual start-up because it appears easy-peasy on the outside.


 

Truth is, any business (virtual or not) needs solid ground to stand on - without a rock-hard core, it’s nothing. Your creative mindset has got to be healthy and vital or ideas on where to take your newly formed business will lay dormant before they’ve ever had their chance to thrive.


 

Here are four areas that are key for any type of business to succeed in today’s market.


 

A Great Idea: Before anything else gets started, fleshing out your original idea in all its glory is step #1. Now is the time to ditch your computer and sit down with good ole-fashion pen and paper - make a pros and cons list, work out the kinks, and set a path of financial stability to get your small business of the ground.


 

A Business Plan: Without this, you might as well throw your good idea right out the window. Your business’s plan is its life-line. You need this plan just as much as your company does. You both need to know where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and where the money is coming from that will take you there. The answer to all these vital questions lies in your professional business plan. If you aren’t knowledgeable in putting one together yourself, then find one who is. Your business plan is not a ‘cut corners and put it together as you go’ kind of a thing. Having a solid business plan from the get-go ensures an idyllic financial ride for the future.


 

Marketing Skills: If no one knows that your business exists then no one will shop with you. Getting the word out on your business is super important and shouldn’t be done at the last minute. If marketing isn’t your forte, then hire someone who specializes in it. Marketing encompasses everything from forming friendships with like-minded consumers to showing up at trade shows to emphasize your brand. You must be ready and able to weather the competitive storm when it comes to seducing clients.


 

Customer Service & Customer Appreciation: It’s one thing to rope in the clients, but it’s another thing entirely to be able to handle your customers’ concern and show them that you are genuinely appreciative of their business. You should be actively finding ways to engage your clientele in specials and exclusive offers that, by extension, thank them for their continued support of your product. A happy customer will bring you business by their free word-of-mouth advertising without even intending on doing so. They’ll naturally emphasize your respectful business tactics by speaking highly of you and your business’s ideology. The goal with your distinctive customer service approach should be to make new and old clients become your allies in your quest for new consumers.

 

 

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Need a blogger, article writer, virtual assistant, social media manager, or website content manager for your website or business? I'm available, contact me today.



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