Entries Tagged 'Building a business' ↓

How to Generate More Leads & Gain More Customers

That is what every business owner wants, right? Generating more leads and referrals

Customers are what keep your business afloat, so you constantly need to be out there drumming up new business.

But what’s the best and most effective way of doing that?

Sure, you’ve got your website, email marketing, brochures and other online marketing strategies, but are they the most effective?

Frankly, no.

The most powerful tool you have in your marketing armoury is a happy customer because they’ll head off and tell their friends and colleagues about you – and that’s the cheapest and most effective form of marketing I know of.

So how can you generate more referrals? Well, the best way is to give your customers something to shout about and that comes down to good old-fashioned customer service and going that extra mile.

Education, education, education

Educating your customers is one of the best ways to make yourself stand out from your competitors. I’m not just talking about blogging and article writing here, which as we all know helps cement your reputation as an expert in your field.

Education should also become part of your company’s culture – whenever you have a new customer (or a returning one for that matter), teach them about your product, show them how to get the most of it and make sure they know you’re there for any questions they may have.

Keep talking

You’ve already shown them your door is always open; so now make sure you keep them informed about every stage of their order – when it will be received, if there’s a delay tell them what the hold up is and when they’ll get it. Keep them informed about what’s happening in your business, if you’re bringing out a new model or a new product, tell them about it.

A regular newsletter is great for this, but make sure it’s personalised and the content is relevant to that customer.

Go the extra mile

We all love surprises, so make sure you surprise your customers. It can be an unexpected gift, a little something extra in their order (it doesn’t have to be much, Wiggle.com always send out a small bag of Haribo with all orders), perhaps a free sample of a new product you’re introducing. Whatever it is, it will bring a smile to your customers face and give them something to tell their friends about.

Make sure you know what’s happening

Too many companies grab orders, send them out and then forget about them.

Be different – follow up every order to make sure your customer is happy. If they are get a testimonial, if they’re not find out what went wrong, put it right and send them a ‘thanks for letting us know and we’ve now put it right’ gift.

Even a simple hand written ‘Thank you’ card with your order makes an impact.

None of these ideas have to cost the earth and by making it part of your company’s culture, it will become second nature.

The result will be very happy customers who come back time and time again with their friends in tow. So if you want a never-ending referral machine, start using these techniques and make your company stand out as a champion.

Sally Ormond – Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd


The Community Connection: Build Your Business & Help the Community

The following guest post was written by Lucy Harper. The author’s views are entirely her own and may not reflect the views of FreelanceCopywritersBlog.com. If you are interested in producing a Guest Post for this blog, please get in touch with your ideas.

Many small business owners, especially those whose businesses are primarily online, can find themselves existing in a bubble, far removed from the community around them. While your focus may be in reaching out through social media marketing to expand your global reach, don’t forget the consumers in your immediate surroundings. By tipping the scales a bit so they balance community and global focus, you can build your small business while benefiting your community. As you endeavour to do both, you’ll enjoy the opportunity to gain loyal customers and followers around the world and in your own backyard.

  • Incorporate Traditional Marketing Techniques. Although you can reach consumers in your community with social media marketing, traditional marketing methods can help you target those in the surrounding area. Leave no stone unturned by incorporating methods such as flyers, radio commercials on local stations, advertisements in your local newspapers and word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Participate in Community Exhibitions. Throughout the year, communities host all kinds of exhibitions, from those promoting small local businesses to theme-based expos, such as health and education exhibitions. Most of these are planned a year in advance, which allows you to plan your participation in advance, too. Bring marketing information to pass out to attendees, and spend the day meeting and talking with those present, as well as other vendors.
  • Attend Neighbourhood Festivals. Small neighbourhood festivals and gatherings can be a great place to promote your business if it fits the theme of the festival. Check with small town commerce centres and home-owner associations to see if your participation might be mutually beneficial. Rather than merely showing up to the festival and standing there the entire day, plan some activities or give demonstrations the community members would be interested in.
  • Become Involved in Community-Based Networking. Networking is essential for small businesses, but most owners limit their networking efforts to the Internet. Get to know other small-business owners in your community and find out how they extend their local reach by attending regular networking meetings. Research networking groups available, and see if you can attend a meeting to ensure the group is right for you.
  • Give Back to Your Community. As your business grows, it’s important to give back to the community. Choose a local organization or charity to be the recipient of your gifts, and then find out how you can best donate. Some organizations might prefer a donation of your time, whereas others will benefit from products, services or cash donations.

As you reach out to the community around you, you’ll find that your investment comes back to you in the form of loyal customers. In today’s technology-based world, small-business owners are often so focused on obtaining the global reach enjoyed by other businesses that they neglect to see the value in establishing a community connection. Balance your efforts to achieve both and benefit consumers in your surroundings. The efforts you put forth in reaching out can help you grow your business in ways you wouldn’t have been able to solely through Internet marketing.

Guest post contributed by Lucy Harper from TouchPointDigital.co.uk


Self-promotion the Subtle Way

When you run a business you have to self-promote in one way or another. All your marketing, networking and social media activity is aimed at boosting your profile. But how you go about that self-promotion will have a huge impact on how you are perceived by others.

My business is fantastic

If you go around telling people at networking events and through your online content (website copy, articles, blogs and social media) how amazing you are, you’ll come across as big headed and disingenuous.

No one is going to want to know you or do business with you (probably) because they have no reason to believe your claims.

But if you leave it to others to praise you through testimonials, online reviews etc., your company will be seen in a different light because third party praise is seen as being authentic and believable.

Our products are great

Really? Do you think people are going to believe that your products are the best on the planet just because you say so?

If your website copy bangs on about how amazing your products or services are, how they are the best on the market and how everyone thinks they’re the best thing since sliced bread, it will be taken with a pinch of salt.

Have an independent writer, company or researcher review your products and services and you’re on to something.

Or, how about asking one of your clients to be the focus of a case study? By giving a real life illustration of how your company helped someone, you’ll be adding extra kudos to your marketing.

I’m almost embarrassed by how great I am

We’ve all met them, haven’t we? At a networking event there’s always one person who swans around as though they were the bee’s knees. They’ve done everything, achieved everything and succeeded at everything – leaving you wondering why they then feel it necessary to attend the networking event.

People like that have a tendency of getting the backs up of others. They’ll be seen as being very up themselves and instantly disliked and possibly mistrusted.

But if someone else recommends you to someone because they’ve done business with you, then you’ll be seen as someone to know, someone who’s passionate about what they do and who cares about their customers.

So the main thing to remember about self-promotion is that third party testimonials, reviews and case studies are worth their weight in gold. Yes, you need to let people know how good you, your products and your services are, but in such a way that it’s believable, genuine and trustworthy.

Content Writing for Sole Traders

Promoting your business online needs a lot of content.writing content for sole traders

Your website copy, blogs or articles must be relevant, interesting and useful to your readers otherwise they will be no more that just a collection of words.

When you’re a sole trader it’s very easy to fall into the trap of writing about yourself.

Hang on a moment…

Oh, hi Joe (Joe’s a self employed plumber), how’s it going?

What? Yeah, fine. What do you mean trap? Of course I’m gonna write about myself, I am my business and people want to know about me.

Are you sure about that Joe?

Are you taking the p…

Hang on, there’s no need to be like that. Look at it from your customer’s prospective for a moment.

Yeah, they want to know about me, who I am and what I do, obviously.

No, they don’t. They want to know what you can do for them.

Same thing.

No it’s not. Look, the fact that you’ve been in business for 10 years, you drive a blue van and your favourite pizza topping is ham and pineapple is of no interest to your customers. They want to know how quickly you can get to them, and the type of work that you do.


Yes, really. If they’re searching online for a plumber it’s generally because they have a leak, need a new bathroom installing or something else along those lines. In other words, they have a problem to which they need to find a solution – you. That’s why your web copy, articles and blogs all have to be focused on what you can do for them.

OK, you may have a point.

There’s no maybe about it Joe. If you want your content to be read and you want people to come to your site and think ‘hey, Joe’s the guy for me, he offers the service I need and can come out to me quickly’ then you have to write it for them. If you just fill it with loads of information about you and only you, you’re not giving them what they want.

Joe…hey Joe, where’ve gone?

Just looking at my web copy again…don’t suppose you want to write it for me?

Writing for your readers

Separating yourself from you business and writing about it as though you were a customer is difficult.

You have to place yourself in the shoes of your readers and think about what’s important to them.

These are the basis of the benefits of your product or service – the things that add value to your customers. Keeping them at the heart of everything you write will keep you on track.

One final word – to make sure you don’t deviate, make sure you use ‘you’ instead of ‘we’ on your website, even on your About Us page.

Here are 3 takeways to remember when writing your content:

  1. Always write for your reader not yourself
  2. Use a lot of ‘you’
  3. Write conversationally to boost engagement


How to Boost Referrals For Your Business

Most marketing strategies concentrate on email, direct mail, social media, print marketing and web marketing.Referrals worth their weight in gold

That’s good news for us professional copywriters as it means there’s plenty of work to be had.

But there is one other stream of customers that’s not been mentioned – referrals.

Referrals (or word of mouth marketing) are worth their weight in gold. After all, people are coming to you as a direct result of someone else recommending your products and services.

As a result, they already know about the quality of your work, your level of customer service and what makes you stand out from other providers – so most of the hard work has already been done for you.

So how to you get more of them?

Sowing the referral seeds

Put simply, there are no short cuts to generating referrals.

If you want people to talk about you favourably to others, you’ve got to provide them with good reason.

1. Above and beyond

Every contact you have with a customer before, during and after making a sale has to be perfect.

You must constantly exceed their expectations and make them feel valued.

That’s easier said than done, especially when faced with one of ‘those’ customers, but it will be worth it in the end.

2. Staying in touch

Once you’ve completed a sale and your customer’s gone away happy, it’s very tempting to move onto the next person. But what about the relationship you’ve just spent weeks (months or even years) developing with the person that’s just walked out the door?

The relationship is far too valuable to let slide, so make sure you keep in touch with regular newsletters, offers and great information.

How about offering an incentive for referrals – perhaps a discount on future purchases for every person they introduce to you?

How ever you decide to approach it, keeping the relationship going is vital  – after all, if they’ve bought from you once, the chances are they will again.

3. Engage

Marketers band around the term ‘Engaging with your audience’ quite frequently. So what exactly do they mean?

Well, if you want someone to buy from you and develop a long lasting relationship with your company, there has to be something in it for them. You could argue that the product/service they buy is enough, but today’s customers are far cannier than that and expect much more.

Offering them useful, relevant and interesting content will help you engage with them. They see it as getting something for nothing; you see, it as a way of maintaining contact and keeping your company’s name firmly lodged in their mind.

But more than that, if your content is really useful to them, you will be opening up the opportunity of it being shared with their friends and colleagues. Facebook ‘Likes’, re-tweets and other social media sharing tools will help spread the word about your company – and that can’t be bad.

So you see, if you want to boost and encourage referrals, you must engage with your customers and go above and beyond what they would expect.

Take some time out to review your current procedures; what efforts do you make to retain customers and stay in touch? How many referrals do you receive?

Perhaps it’s time to give some of these suggestions a try.