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Is the election affecting business?

Hey are you noticing an impact on your business since the election? Customers seem more on edge and... read more

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Libby Shaw at 30 Darlo PR and Marketing
Philippe FlattOwner at Image Technique
Yes indeed I had a sharp decline in customer enquiries for my photo studio as soon as there were rumblings about a possible election. A friend who sells luxury goods online also has experienced the same thing.
Interesting question! I have had a lot of enquiries and bookings on Monday.I think that is due to school holidays starting in Perth.Interested to see how things go when the final results come in.
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Questions

Which email marketing service is the best?

For example, Constant Contact, GetResponse, ExactTarget, iContact, Mailchimp, VerticalResponse, or... read more

There are so many options, ‘the best’ depends on whether you have a large database to mail to or multiple yet smaller ones as pricing (and freebies) vary usually on this criteria. Most offer very similar services and facilities so define exactly what you want, then prioritise those features rather than guessing what might best suite your objectives.If you have a reasonable Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform then pick one that supports it with workable bridges, or pick a CRM with an inbuilt email campaign management facility.These technical considerations are however less important (by far) than your communication’s substance, timing, relevance and persuasive powers. Therefore seek out genuine advice on how to structure and run an influential email campaign designed to achieve your primary marketing objectives. Get that right then the carrier (and its cost) you select as the best is less of an issue!
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Aside from the above recommendations, I would encourage you to check out Email Octopus. Their pricing is pretty great (I'm considering switching from Mailchimp).
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Questions

How do I increase my facebook page likes?

I run a tutoring business and I fear my business won't receive more bookings if I don't have enough... read more

Lauren ClemettDirector at Ultimate Business Propellor
Totally agree with the advice so far.Likes are great for building your ego, but if you want to build brand awareness and position your business, your focus should be on give to get.Aimlessly liking pages in the hopes of like-for-like, just fills your feed with nonsense.Best to decide exactly who your audience is, join groups and have a social media content strategy to post valuable insight, tips, tools, advice etc to generate trust in your brand.Also remember to tell not sell. Share stories, insight etc and leave the selling until someone asks you for more.
Jason UptonOwner at Resilient Digital
Are you looking to increase your Facebook likes to show credibility and social proof? If so then you need to provide valuable content across multiple social platforms, and at the end simply ask your audience to like, share and visit your profile to follow. It will take time. Since you have a tutoring business, perhaps your best platform for building your credibility is Youtube. Create a bunch of videos that provide insights, case studies and teaser lessons that will entice people to follow you. They don't need to be the best quality, as long as you are providing value. Make sure to ask people to visit your Facebook page by placing a link within the video.
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What are your favourite marketing success stories?

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Market trend

Three times Apple CEO Tim Cook failed to predict the iPhone slowdown

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Teen retail as we know it is dying

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Questions

How important is client feedback and follow up for small to medium businesses?

Asked by:
Mary Mai Business Intelligence Analyst at Savvysme
Steven FreemanOwner at Evolved Sound
Customers won't go out of their way to give feedback when things are running smoothly, but often there is still a lot of room for improvement and feedback to be received.Ongoing and regular communications both ways reminds your customers that you care and provides that window to continue the flow or feedback and constant improvement.
We try to gather feedback where ever possible. This is the only way that we can grow and improve. I don't like the idea of a customer having a bad experience and telling everyone else rather than letting us rectify the problem. Also, on the rare occasions when there has been an issue that we've resolved, the customer has been so happy that we went to the trouble to make them happy. They then go and tell others how good we are. To me this is so important because retainer hard won customers is better than trying to find new ones.
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Market trend

Why Your Marketing Team Should Not Be the Only One Promoting Your Brand

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NSW and Vic economies charge ahead

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Aust dollar slumps amid US60c warning

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Questions

What technology do you find most exciting in relation to your business industry?

What technology excites you the most about your business industry? Why? I'm interested in hearing... read more

Asked by:
Jef Lippiatt Owner at Startup Chucktown
Phil SealyOwner at Pro Leaders Academy
As a business strategist and mentor I have found that the introductionof Periscope has become my number 1 technology tool to get access to a larger audience than I would have had before.With the introduction of being able to scope (broadcasting) I am now able to provide live and instant information to everyone who wants to connect around topics that are happening right now. The technology allows you to provide value to everywhere in the world without the cost of getting people together in a physical location.After the Scope has been completed anyone still has the chance to watch your content for the next 24 hours so you have the potential to connect and touch a lot of people and this is important as a business strategist and mentor as connecting with people is what my industry is all about.
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Questions

How can you create trust with customers?

I wonder, what is the right way to create customers trust and make them believe in your products,... read more

Asked by:
Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
Ananda, as Lisa sys, it may be semantics, but the problem lies in the way the question is framed.No-one can "create" trust. You can't "make people believe in your products." Depending on the value of the product or service, people will only buy from vendors who are trustworthy. Low value, less trust required. High value, greater trust level needed.Trust is earned, not bought.I'm curious as to what kind of resistance you are finding amongst customers (or prospects) that is causing you to question your sales techniques?
George Grimekis CPAAccountant at Giannakos & Co Pty Ltd
Trust happens when you teach others about your character and competence.To teach others about your character:- do what you will say you do- treat everyone fairly- go the extra mile for people- be reliableThere are many more things i could mention here but you get the general idea.To teach others about your competence:- Show that you have earned the proper credentials- teach and mentor others- write publications/blog- be happy to discuss your procedure and processes with clientsAgain the list is endless. You know yourself better than anyone. See how you can do some of the things i mentioned.
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Questions

Is offline UX getting more attention from corporations?

Asked by:
Yee Trinh Co-founder at SavvySME
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
By offline do you mean in retail or physical stores? If you do, the answer is probably yes although I feel that online User Experience is catching up. I would label offline UX as IUE (Immersive User Experience) because you can control and adapt to a customers many senses to create a good environment for catalyzing the sale. Online I would a new acronym is probably more descriptive than UX and that would be CUX (Customer User Experience) I see this as a blending of customer service and user experience.More companies are starting to higher people to guide and improve their User Experience for customers, however, many establish companies are adopting it at a slower pace than startups and small businesses. This is puzzling because many established companies need a lot more help because they have a much larger backlog of things that need improved and resolved.One reason I believe UX is not being adopted more quickly at companies is they don't truly understand the value that these professionals add. Many can do front-end development work as well as design and usability work. Also, UX practitioners can help make improvements based on customer feedback and professional best practices to reduce or eliminate issues before they are ever developed or delivered to production. It is between 10 to 100 times more costly (when you consider all the effort and hours) to fix things after they have been released. So, by working with UX designers you can save money up front by not having more issues to resolve later.I have experienced first hand many times that once a developer, business analyst or project manager see the results firsthand they are much more willing to work with UX professional in the future.
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Market trend

What Consumers Want -- and Don't Want -- From the Internet of Things (Infographic)

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Market trend

The State of Social Business in Australia

Earlier this year, Sensis released their annual Yellow Social Media Report, analysing the state of... read more

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Andrew Hutchinson Writer/Consultant at www.andrewhutchinson.com.au
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Andrew HutchinsonWriter/Consultant at www.andrewhutchinson.com.au
I think you're 100% correct, Phil - much of the resistance or lack of interest is due to the learning curve of social, and because of that additional learning, many are not seeing ROI when they do try it out, because they're not generating necessary engagement with their content or ads. While most people are pretty well-versed in social for personal use, there's a whole range of new complexities when you're trying to generate business, and it does take time and effort to get a handle of - so I understand the sentiment that it's not for the time-poor. Results drive engagement - if businesses see results, they'll investigate more and spend more time utilising the platforms, relative to returns, and those results are becoming more apparent, it's really a matter of getting a clear understanding of what's possible, what you can expect, and building from there. I think as businesses get a better understanding of what's possible, and as more consumers grow to expect brands to have a social presence, we'll see more of a shift.
Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
Great summary; really good read. I agree the trend is growing but I reckon the reasons for those avoiding it like a plague is very real. A few small business owners I caught with 1:1 last week who shared the same view that social media isn't necessarily designed for time-poor business owners. I also get the sense when they say "it's not suited to my industry", that they aren't actually seeing the returns for their investment of time and money on ads. A couple of them simply don't know what to post on their FB page in order to engage with their customers effectively. Have you heard of similar sentiments? I think if businesses see social media and online presence as more than just a necessary evil, but a useful marketing tool, there might be significantly more uptake.
Market trend

When your marketing freeway.. becomes a carpark

Not so long ago Yellow Pages was the place for small businesses to advertise. Remember those... read more

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Thanks for your feedback. Much appreciated.
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Spot on every time Warren! People forget that even social media can become cluttered even though in terms of marketing channel it's still seen as a fairly "new" channel. I really enjoyed reading this :)
Market trend

20 Non-Tech Stars Of The 2013 Best Small Companies List

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Insight, Co-Creation, De-commoditization

Let’s face it!  When we wash away all the hyperbole, so many of our products, services and...read more

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Proven Low Cost Ideas For Small Business Marketing

Marketing a small business can become expensive, and the lack of funds can hinder a business from... read more

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Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Interested to also know how much time you dedicate to networking every week?
Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
Thanks for sharing Brenda, I like how your article covers both online and offline marketing tips. Networking in the local areas is particularly important for local businesses. It takes a can-do attitude and positive mindset, not necessarily a big budget, to want to get out there and spread the word. :)
Market trend

Does having a higher purpose exclude commercial outcomes?

Does having a higher purpose exclude commercial outcomes? And vice versa? If you are driven to... read more

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