Tag Archives: Strategy

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Small Business Marketing Strategy: The 7 Steps to More Referrals

Qualified referrals are something that most small business owners can easily agree the more there are the merrier. The key is simple – you and your small business need to become more referable! In my over two decades of working with successful business owners, I’ve come upon “The Seven Small Business Marketing Strategies” that will virtually guarantee your small business will soon have a steady stream of qualified referrals.

Becoming referable doesn’t usually happen overnight, but you can make it happen if you create a process in your small business marketing plan. Start with two of the small business marketing strategies listed below and scrutinize the results. Take to heart the strategies that work best for you and prolong adding strategies up to the point where you are able to gain more referrals than you ever thought feasible!

Small Business Marketing Strategy 1: What can I do for you?

When focused on providing for others and doing everything in your power for your business marketing strategy, you’ll be incredulous at the number of referrals you will soon receive in response. This strategy has you view all your relationships with perspective; ask yourself, “What can I do for you?”

Small Business Marketing Strategy 2: Show you care

The cornerstone of an effective small business marketing and referral-building strategy is comprised of the motto, “clients don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. When clients grasp that you sincerely care about them, they feel duty-bound to spread the word about you and your business; everything is about building those tight bonds. Take the time to make that one extra phone call, set up a lunch or coffee date, or even send a birthday card; by going the extra mile and perceiving what your clients are passionate about you will have an army of referral sources. Maybe one of your affluent clients loves golf; take this person to the annual tournament that comes to town. If another loves roses, you could take this client to the annual rose exhibit. Clients and prospects suffer from a starvation for affection and consideration, and to achieve actual results on the number of referrals you receive, even a few diminutive gestures can have an impressive effect.

Small Business Marketing Strategy 3: Ask for referrals upfront

Small Business Marketing Strategy 3: Get your clients and prospects into the “referability zone”

Small Business Marketing Strategy 4: Get your clients and prospects into the referability zone

A portion of any small business marketing plan should be inclusive of a plan that encourages referrals. Anyone who has ever been a serious athlete can empathize on what it feels like to be focused and “in the zone.” Analogous to these athletes, you have got to get your clients and colleagues into a “referability zone”. You’ll know this strategy is working when a client calls and tells you something like, “You need to call Jerry because he needs help marketing his business.” With the intention of achievement, you need to make sure your clients immediately link you with the key words of your message. For example, if your small business provides marketing and consulting to entrepreneurs you will want people to think of you – and refer you – every time they take notice of someone using the words “small business marketing,” “business opportunity,” “small business marketing consulting” or any other word or phrase that portrays a small business or entrepreneur who can use your services. You need to send memorable messages – with both pictures and words – to your clients, prospects and colleagues on a regular basis if you truly want to make this happen.

Small Business Marketing Strategy 4: Ask for referrals upfront

I have two stories to share where the moral comes out to be to always do the right thing, even when you don’t suppose anyone is watching… Because chances are, they really are looking and they will be telling others.

Small Business Marketing Strategy 5: Get your clients and prospects into the “referability zone”

There was another instance concerning an associate of mine who serves on the board of a homeowners’ association, who I had thought to be a very knowledgeable service provider and the proprietor of a small business. I had brought up his name one day to a friend, and another of our friends unexpectedly declared that she “would never use him.” She then advanced in telling us of how unprincipled, discourteous and outright uncouth he had been to others in his subdivision. My friend peered at me then and stated that she wanted someone who was more conventional. In less than five minutes, this small business owner lost an approximate $ 10,000 worth of potential business because he hadn’t been acting professional.

Small Business Marketing Strategy 6: Create reciprocal referral relationships

Small Business Marketing Strategy 7: Create reciprocal referral relationships

Small Business Marketing Strategy 7: Under-promise then over-deliver

Becoming referable doesn’t usually happen overnight, but you can make it happen if you create a process in your small business marketing plan. Start with two of the small business marketing strategies listed above and monitor the results. Keep the ones that work best for you and continue to add strategies until you gain more referrals than you can even handle!

The Marketing Guide for Affluent Women: How to Create a Thriving Advisory Practice Working with Affluent Women, Marketing to Women.

Small Business Administration Awards Luncheon
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Image by MDGovpics
Small Business Administration Awards Luncheon. by Jay Baker at Baltimore, Maryland

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Small Business Strategy: Four Crucial Keys For Success

The cornerstone of your small business strategy is effective marketing.

If I was able to give you only a single tip it’d be this: concentrate at least as much on your marketing as you do on your “real” business.

If thriving in business is important to you, then there is no alternative but to take small business marketing very seriously indeed, and to educate yourself to become very, very good at it. Frankly, the level of marketing expertise I see from most small business owners is embarrassing.

The furthest most of them go is to have some fuzzy notion about the need for more business, and then to leave the rest to chance, hoping, wishing and even praying for punters to walk through the door or hit their website and buy something from them. But hope is an atrocious strategy for success.

But, as I say often: marketing is the most important thing you can do in your business. Because no marketing means no clients; no clients means no profit … and no money coming in means you rapidly have no business left!

In this artice I want to banish the myths about your marketing. You must understand these ARE myths if you want to make your marketing highly profitable.

Small business strategy idea # 1: Marketing makes money

Most small businesses work with a marketing budget. That’s mistake No. 1, and a very dangerous small business strategy. Yes, you read that correctly: I am saying you should be willing (and even eager) to put in an unlimited sum of money in your marketing.

Here’s why: marketing is designed to make money. If it doesn’t, you shouldn’t be doing it. So, if it makes money, then from that it follows for every pound you put in, you get more than a pound back, right?

That’s your return on investment. Most small business strategy is restricted by an unscientific “marketing budget”. But why? If you’re marketing properly, then you should be getting an expected positive ROI from everything you do. So … why would you limit your marketing according to some number a bean counter has pulled out of his butt? Bottom line: when your marketing is making money like this, and it’s measurable, trackable and predictable, be prepared to plough back as much as you have into it.

Small business strategy tip # 2: Print your own money!

OK, now let’s imagine you have this amazing marketing system and you know from experience there’s a 90 % probability every time you run it you’re going to make a handsome profit. A nice place to be, right?

Right. (it’s eminently practical for your business, too).

My question is this, and it refers back to the point earlier: given you have a system reliably and regularly pumping out more money than you’re putting into it, why on Earth would you want to limit your commitment to an unscientific budget? Undoubtedly, you wouldn’t.

Nope. If you had any sense at all you ‘d keep pushing that button like a rat with an electrode in its head pumping in the shots of “happy juice”

This is exactly what comes about when you have a legitimate small business strategy and a tried, tested, and proven marketing system.

Appears to good to be true, but I swear to you by all that’s good and holy, it is true.

Small business strategy idea # 3: Dip your toes in first

There is one thing to be wary of: never invest more than you can stand to lose. Once in a while — it happens — external events conspire to obliterate your campaign with no forewarning. That’s why you limit your liability per run of your campaign.

The safe thing to do is decide your evil “budget” as a fraction of profits, so the more you bring in, the more money you can plough back into your marketing.

I have had supposedly intelligent business owners tell me they couldn’t afford to re-run a productive marketing campaign that was making them money … because their “budget” was all out.

Chaos – a small business strategy destined to failure.

Small business strategy tip # 4: How to make it pay

So how do you know when your marketing is working?

When it’s making money.

How do you know that?

By relentlessly and consistently tracking and measuring everything you do.

And this is where the difficulties stem from for small businesses in their marketing: their marketing isn’t measurable. They copy the big-business marketing and waste their money on useless “image” ads which don’t bring in any business.

So the trick is to devise your small business strategy so you can tell where every sale you make came from. In this way, you know what’s working and what’s not working.

Jon McCulloch is Ireland’s leading direct response marketer. Visit his website now and take just three of his 52 FREE small business marketing ideas he’s giving away today, and actually put them to work in your business and you’ll be amazed by the results.

They’ve all produced substantially better results for small businesses like yours in the past two years.

Siquijor port of entry (free to download)
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Image by FotoGrazio
One of two small ports on the tiny Philippines Island of Siquijor taken from an approaching ferry. Siquijor is an island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region. Its capital is the municipality also named Siquijor. Filipinos believe Siquijor is an island of witchcraft and superstition.

This photographic image and many others on my FLICKR page are FREE to DOWNLOAD under the Attributions-NonCommercial-NoDerivs copyright. My images can be used for personal use in both print and digital forms. You may crop, edit, change, manipulate, and composite all or parts of my imagery only for personal use. You may not use these images to generate income, profit, or for any personal, business, or non-profit financial gains. I do sign printed forms of my imagery. Email me for more information.

PAYPAL IT FORWARD – fotograzio@gmail.com. It is always nice to get something for nothing. It’s even better to give something back in return. I appreciate the generous thank you messages from everyone who has used my imagery in the past. If you feel it in your heart to help me through a small donation so that I may continue to provide new and creative imagery for free, please do so through PAYPAL – fotograzio@gmail.com. Whether it’s $.10 or .00 or more, your help will be most welcomed, much appreciated, and forever blessed. If you chose not to, then please pay it forward in some other way that you feel is good for your soul.

My earlier imagery will be made available for free downloading in the future as I re-post them without watermarks, frames and borders. If you need one for use now, email me and I’ll try to re-post it right away with the changes.

Thanks for following me, always, Wayne S. Grazio aka fotograzio

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Small Business Advice – Donald Trump Dispenses 24 Great Business Tips For Entrepreneurs

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