Being Open and Available

There are people who are on the fringe of your business, people who are acquaintances, those who are prospective clients, clients and associates, and if you think of these categorically as concentric circles of, at the center are your lifelong clients and friends. The goal would be to continually invite people into the next level of your business relationship.

To do this you must be available. Create a method of communication which may be accessed anytime your prospective client might need to get ahold of you. This is fairly easy to manage in this digital age, and/or with a virtual assistant.

You don’t necessarily have to be available 24/7 but your communication method does need to be available, so at least they can send you an email, text, or leave a voicemail.

In order for this to have any hope or working, you do need to reply as soon as possible. The highest success rates for converting prospects to clients comes from live interaction in the moment of contact. If this is not part of your marketing paradigm then make sure your people know that if they leave a message you will get back to them as soon as you can and do it, remembering that the longer it takes you to return the call, the more likely that your prospect will go elsewhere.

Before you meet with a prospective client, acquaint yourself with his or her business, and personality, so that you can have some idea about how to best communicate, relate, and help them. Fortunately, this is much easier in this day and age due to most everyone having a web presence and social media activity.

When you meet with a prospective client be sure to show them your best stuff. Leave them with something of value, a tip, secret, tool, technique, something that builds their confidence in your ability to be their go-to man or woman. You have skills, skills that they need. Make it easy for him or her to think of you in their hour of need.

Adjust your business model to not be a one-shot deal with your clients, building long-term business relationships over time, with regular consistency reduces your marketing expenses and increases your profitability over time. Make your business model all about repeat business, ‘ere the importance of keeping the door open over time.

Let them know that you will be contacting them in the future and make sure that you follow up. Remain in your prospect’s conscious awareness. People are different and prefer to be contacted in different ways. Try to reach out live and in person. If your potential client is unresponsive, find better ways to keep the lines of communication open, such as texts, emails, message chats, etc.

Out of sight, equates to out of mind, and if you’re not reaching out to your clients, they are unlikely to reach out to you in their hour of need,

Once you’ve met with your client or prospective client, you want to leave the meeting in such a way to be open and inviting to avail yourself to continue to do business or build a relationship with your people.

Following your meeting, recap what you have discussed. This lets them know you’ve been attentive and care about their needs or concerns, and this review can also achieve a greater degree of clarity, as they refine their assertions, or clear up any misunderstanding you may have had during the meeting.

A follow-up email is an excellent way to document the meeting and create a hard copy of the meeting which can easily be accessed by either of you in the future.

7 Steps How to Put Yourself Out There Online

If you have a business, an online presence and campaign can benefit (and may be mandatory for) your continued financial growth and outlook into the future.

1. Get Your Domain(s)

When I’m working with a client, I usually make sure they have several domains in their quiver. If possible, and in order of importance, they are:

The Top 4 Dot Coms You Should Own

  1. Your name dot com
  2. The name of your business dot com, dot net and dot org
  3. What you do dot com
  4. The name of your leading product or service dot com

These are the top 4 dot coms you should own at the very least. First and foremost, your domain collection is about protecting you, your brand, who you are and what you do. There are thieves hiding amongst the landscape of the Internet looking for people and businesses, like yours, who will target domains associated with you and your business, by them and hold them hostage for a premium. And sometimes, it’s worth paying a premium for a dot com that clearly defines your product or service.

2. Post a Basic Site Presence

Let’s say you’ve covered the basics and have your domains safely tucked away in your GoDaddy account, what next? Start by minimally setting up small websites for each dot com. No need to panic here, you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money investing in a web team to get the job done. I walk my clients through a simple 7 to 10 minute process to quickly and easily get this done through their existing GoDaddy account. No need to fret over it, this is a simple DIY web presence. No need to hire it our when you can do it yourself.

3. Who You Are, What Your Do and Where

Of course, this is only the start. Next up, you must know and define what you do and decide where you will position yourself in the marketplace. This is the real work of preparing to launch an effective online presence. Depending on how confident you are and where you are in your business’ life span, this may create a bit of frustration or friction, but trust me, it’s worth it. The information and data gleaned from this process is invaluable and will keep you focused on your business goals.

After you’ve collected all the data from your research and documentation, there comes the moment when you want to integrate this information on your web site. This is where you say, “goodbye,” to your basic web site. Now, it’s time for an upgrade.

4. Upgrade Your Web Site

You may need to upgrade your hosting account with GoDaddy, who has an excellent reputation for call-in phone support (avoid any unnecessary upsells. Their support team can be very aggressive in attempting to sell you products and services that you don’t really need). So, give them a call and tell them you want to upgrade your hosting account and use a user-friendly web platform, like WordPress, for your web presence. WordPress is not only easy, but is extremely powerful and there are many pre-designed templates (themes) and plugins that you can use to make your life online easier; and the price is right: Free.

It doesn’t take long for me to bring my novice clients up to speed and soon they are rocking the Internet like a web superstar. I would say, try it yourself; if it seems too overwhelming, consider hiring it out. If you outsource your web development, be prepared to learn enough about what is going on behind the scenes to make certain that you’re not being taken advantage of and be prepared to take an active role as you build your web presence.

5. Add Content Regularly

As you continue to build your web presence the basic rule of thumb is, “Content is King.” That is to say, posting valuable content about you, your business and what you do on a regular basis will serve you well in the data-infested murk and mire of the Internet. It’s all about being able to be ferreted out in the swamp. Your content will help people find you.

6. Internet Marketing

You will also need to do some online marketing, minimally some Google Adwords, and have some social media representation, such as Facebook presence.

You hear a lot about Search Engine Optimization (some good, some bad), nonetheless, it is necessary to have an understanding of SEO and take advantage of it when and where you can. Effective marketing online campaigns should be your best marketing tool dollar-for-dollar, if done right.

7. Keep On Keeping On

Like anything else in life, don’t think of your online presence as a one-shot deal. Nothing will deteriorate your online presence more than stagnation.

Everything on the Internet is changing every minute of every day. What worked like gangbusters yesterday, could be a worthless strategy tomorrow.

It takes a village to run a successful village and your web team is a priceless asset. Yes, you can start small and do it yourself, but as you grow be thinking about ways you can expand your web marketing to catapult your business to the next level.