Identify prospects for your business (Map vector designed by Alvaro_cabrera - Freepik.com)

How can I identify prospects for my business?

Client acquisition. I need to IDENTIFY the most likely prospects for my agency. How do I do that? 

Good question and spot on…. you are in exactly the same situation as us here at Creative Agency Secrets.
My advice to you would be
  1. Focus on Local marketing…. set up SEO/SEM to be found in the metropolitan areas where you ALREADY have clients
  2. Testimonials – work these hard on Google My Business and any other relevant marketplaces
  3. Write blog posts to appeal to industry segments who could be clients e.g. I wrote this blog Top Tips for Marketing Tradesmen and got an enquiry from Vancouver, CA.
So that’s a direct answer to your question which you should be able to execute yourselves.
If you would like to buy coaching advice with more ideas for you to run as tactical marketing, we charge by the hour. I recommend having a conference call for 30 minutes every 2 weeks.

Further reading on Local Marketing tactics

testimonials table example

Rocking Testimonials for your brand profile 

Testimonials are self-evidently a great way to win new clients and grow your business profile.  If you want to consider adding them to your tactical marketing armoury, there are some prior considerations to resolve.

  1. Does your business get testimonials spontaneously?
  2. Have you got any existing testimonials?

If you aren’t a long-established business, then it will be more difficult to encourage spontaneous outpourings of delight and joy. 

Never fear, we’ve got a plan for you.

What’s already in the can?

Start with any existing documented positive feedback that you or your client can find. And plan

a page on your domain where you can drop in all the quotes from clients.

Make it easy to find e.g. www.yourdomain.co.nz/testimonials

Make the most of the page so the viewer finds it a helpful resource, not a chore.  Lay out the page so the most recent testimonial is at the top and the reader scrolls down to see others.  If there are obvious different services or products which have received reviews, clearly separate them too.  A series of embedded tabs can be a neat solution here.

testimonials table example

Tabbed testimonials example

Starting from zero

A different opportunity exists for businesses without any rave reviews.  You may feel it’s hard to ask for favours, to ask for sales or to ask for testimonials.  Let us help you make it easy.

Business “workflows” are a trendy catchphrase that is a way of describing ‘how-we-do-things-round-here’. Any marketing activity which you do more than once deserves a workflow process.  The reason is that it becomes part of normal business life and is easier to reproduce if you do it frequently.

Think about how you are going to set up the business process to get new testimonials regularly from clients and customers.

Here’s ours. 

Our marketing meeting has “Testimonials” as an agenda item.  We review a list of recent clients and pick a couple to approach.  The lead person who works on the client phones up and asks (using a pre-agreed script) if we can have a testimonial.  Further, we ask for it in three places – spoken, on LinkedIn and on Google.  The spoken one we write down as we chat and then send back to the client for approval. 

What’s so easy about this is that the client doesn’t have to actually write anything – they just talk.  Most people find that easier. 

Then we upload the testimonial or ask the client to do it on social pages.  We also link back to the client’s website (like we do on the Creative Agency Secrets Testimonials page).  It’s nice to give them back some strong SEO link juice.

Task completed! 

Testimonials add to your SEO

Ask for testimonials on your Google My Business page.  Note, you have to have a gmail address in order to create these so it can be a challenge for some clients if they have to create an account.  The great output from this is that your testimonials are visible in public search (alongside the search map) and when you have over 5 published, you get a star rating too.  That makes you stand out even more from competitors.

Get more mileage from each testimonial

Remember I suggested you get clients to ‘just talk’ and you write the testimonial?  Well that chatting will almost certainly contain a lot of information.  Take all your testimonials and copywrite a long and a short “sound bite” version of each.  Put the short version on the website testimonials page.  Copy the long version of each to a blog post – and link to it from the short version on the testimonials page.  Creating on-site links is good (reduces bounce rate) and also helps show an expanded authentic “customer voice” to each one.

Gamification of testimonials

Inspired by Gabriel McIntyre’s “Getting Paid Faster with the Invoice Challenge”, we set about adapting it to suit our need for client testimonials.  [Seriously, watch the video – it’s genius.]

Here’s the case study of the campaign we ran to get testimonials and support a good cause.

Now, where else can you get and share testimonials? We know they’re on Linked In, Facebook, Neighbourly (NZ local media), Yelp, Finda, Localist….. There are heaps of places – but don’t try to game the system.  Just pick the site(s) you know your clients and prospects use. 

Over to you to share your favourites.

This article was first written for publication in Marketing Online Magazine 

Getting the best from Facebook updates for business

before

Before starting – cramped text and hyperlink not embedded

A quick tutorial showing good practice to encourage click throughs.

We start with a quick look at the “before” scenario.  The text is continuous and the url (hidden in the image) is not embedding correctly.  The post gets no clicks or click throughs to the website.

  1. Before starting – cramped text and hyperlink not embedded
  2. Type the URL first and then Facebook allows you to select the image you want
  3. Inserting blank lines in the text spaces it out and forces the “See More” link to appear
  4. Corrected hyperlinks to See more and Hyperlink to your website or blog.

 

correct image upload

Type the URL first and then Facebook allows you to select the image you want.

Separate lines

Inserting blank lines in the text spaces it out & forces the See More link to appear

Moving forward to some of the resolutions – each one is explained in the caption.

Facebook business post errors

Corrected hyperlinks to See More and site link.

 

 

local marketing strategies for your business

10 marketing strategies for a local business

What are some breakthrough marketing strategies to grow and scale a local business?

Local teeth whitening business, already doing FB ads, Instagram ads, Adwords, little bit of content marketing on YouTube and will be “scaling” those channels over the coming weeks/months, but wanted to know about offline strategies or where else online I can get the best value for my marketing spend.

Great question – local marketing is absolutely essential nowadays.  Especially as few people are navigating social media looking for tooth whitening services, these will become more profitable than online over time.

Here’s a quick list of tools I suggest using to bolster your current work. 

  1. Set up a Google My Business account and get it address-verified (they mail you a code)
  2. Keywords – ensure city/ town / suburb / state or county are all included in metadata
  3. Directory listings – Get yourself listed on free and paid sites.  If you can afford a small spend www.brightlocal.com is worthwhile
  4. Use Facebook local targeting for advertising / brand building
  5. Set up Google Alerts for key phrases in the news that could allow you to comment / contact / build a mailing list
  6. Join the local Business Associations and contact all the relevant local business members
  7. Go to Networking events (BNI, Chamber of Commerce, Meetup.com, Eventbrite)
  8. Get happy customers to write Testimonials on Google My Business.  Also, reproduce them on your website
  9. Use media relations to get articles in local newspaper, local radio, local newsletters, (check out Yahoo Groups for local lists)
  10. Ask for Referrals – by sending two business cards with your invoice
  11. Make specific requests for social sharing via your accounts
  12. Surprise and delight the customer – e.g. pay it forward – you pay to have your teeth whitened, and I give a free treatment each month to a deserving individual and use that for publicity.

I hope that gives you a load of great ideas to be getting on with. 

But if you’d like specific coaching on what to do for this client – get in touch.  

How to Get Leads from your Business Website

This speech was given to the Grey Lynn Business Association on 10th June 2016.  It includes tips on testing how your website is working, 12 ways to make local marketing work including inbound and outbound marketing tactics.

marketing manufacturer zero to hero

Case Study: zero to local hero for manufacturer

Auckland manufacturing firm, Cabjaks makes kitchen cabinets.  They worked with Creative Agency Secrets for 3 months to improve their keyword natural search results, SEM and on-site keyword SEO.

Cabjaks Manufacturing kitchen cabinets

Cabjaks Manufacturing kitchen cabinets

Summary of outcomes: Adwords results

In January when we started they sold a small amount of goods based on clicks from Adwords.
By March the revenues from Adwords clicks were up by 413%.
April is performing even better.

Cabjaks is becoming a strong brand on Google properties too

  • There have been 6 Five Star reviews in March (the previous one was September 2015).
  • We are now on page 6 of local search (up from 20+) and importantly a competitor is falling off the second page.
  • The YouTube optimisation has gained a 13% increase in views.
  • And Analytics confirms a 12% increase in website visitors over the past 30 days.

A “zero to hero” response in just three months demonstrates the success of our work with this manufacturing brand.

Learn How to Growth Hack your Website in May

Learn How to Growth Hack your Website in May

What it means to Growth Hack.

Growth Hacking is a new phrase meaning to aggressively make a step-change in business success.  It’s not just a cute phrase, there are specific techniques which can make significant improvements to website success.

You define success and we’ll teach you how to make it happen.

What is your #1 marketing and sales problem?

Get the answers about how you can growth hack your web success with USA experts Dan Morris and Rachel Martin during May 2016.

Face to face consult or small group workshops.

Email [email protected] with your #1 marketing and sales problem.

Rachel Martin website GrowthHacking expert

Rachel Martin website GrowthHacking expert

 

 

Natural Search Listing on Google

Google my business. Do you know how to test your website is working correctly?

There are only five things that you want a business website to do.

  1. get found natural search
  2. answer questions
  3. bring in enquiries
  4. get prospects to reveal their identity
  5. showcase expertise

What this means is that an effective website should be shortcutting the amount of time it takes to get a new customer. 

Three tests to do now

So how can you tell if your current website is performing? Here are 3 tests you can run which are free and will take you around five minutes to do.

Hubspot Grader – Hubspot has a website grader tool which can easily appraise your current website using publicly available information. This is not perfect but it gives you a score out of 100 and then explains where your website could be improved. Remember this is a marketing tool designed to sell the Hubspot service. https://website.grader.com/

WooRank  This is a Chrome Browser extension which does a similar job to Hubspot and can be used to double check your own website in a similar manner. I find it very useful.  https://www.woorank.com/en/p/developers

Google Page Analytics. If you have Google analytics installed on your website and you are logged into the service you can open up your own website and using the Page Analytics chrome extension appraise exactly the % of people who have clicked on each hyperlink. I like to start with the homepage and to see which links are performing well.

This was what told me that many home page sliders are not working well for our clients.  And has led me to recommend discontinuing using them.  Go check yours out.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/page-analytics-by-google/

What about Search?

Now let us have a look at how are your website displays in natural search on Google.

Firstly Google looks at four aspects of your site: Words, Pictures, Video and Maps. Of course having all of these is the best way to be – but if you only have one, you should plan to add others.

Search for your business by name in your local Google. You should see a listing on the left hand side of the page and a map and logo listing on the right hand side which includes a Google Streetview if you have an address listed. Here is an example of one of them.

Natural Search Listing on Google

Natural Search Listing on Google

If the information is incorrect. It is urgent that you correct it.

I was searching for a Real Estate agent recently and got given the wrong office phone number from my search. You can imagine how annoying that must be!

Change how your business displays in Search

You can edit the display listings on Google search by registering your website in Google My Business. https://www.google.co.nz/business/  You must get verified before you can do the edits but it is very simple.

In the tool you can link your Google analytics account, maps, YouTube account, reviews and G+. This means that Google has an accurate, integrated record of everything your business adds. You can see how important this is as Google dominates search in New Zealand.

Tips for editing your business description

The first 3 lines are the most important part and so you must put both a short description of your organisation, one line about your services or products, and how to contact you. This last should be a hyperlink so you can send visitors to the correct page on your website.

Getting Search to give you insights

Google analytics is your friend because once you have an Analytics account you also get a Search Console account. This was formerly called Google Webmaster Tools. By associating the two accounts you can then help your analytics to display additional useful information. It’s very important to have a sitemap and then you can display insights inside your analytics account for your marketing team.

In the old days Google allowed you to see what search terms were being used that brought visitors to your website. They stopped doing this because it cut into their advertising revenue. Now you can see search phrases and the number of times your website has been displayed for each phrase. It is less specific then before but it still gives you a good general idea. In our e-book how to Get My Website Working For Me we explain how to edit the six pages that Google displays underneath your business name.

You should consider which of these six pages is the most important and the order in which you want to display them. You can “Demote” a page so that Google displays an alternative.  For example you should have your contact us page on the listing but you may choose not to have a list of clients.

Setting the page priority levels is done using your site map this determines the hierarchy of pages. However you may have several pages at the same level on the ‘family tree’. You can switch these around inside Google Search Console based on your needs as I explained above.

So how did your business website perform in your tests?

These simple tools will give you the means to demonstrate to budget holders the importance of prioritising your website improvements and how it displays in search.   

Improving your local SEO is an important part of your business marketing.  It’s all part of Getting your website working hard for your business [there’s a free ebook telling you how].

Read more blog posts about Profile Raising by clicking the icon below. It’s one of the steps in our 8 Step Methodology 

4 Profile

Know your audience better with Audience Industries Circles

Know your audience better with Audience Industries Circles

How well do you really know your audience?

Do you know what their interests are, what they want and need? Sure, we’d like to think it’s all about us and our brand. But there are strategies to reach your audience in a way that will get them engaged in you and your brand that goes beyond the surface of what you think they want from you. There are tried and true ways for you to know your audience better.

What’s your common denominator?

Find out what you have in common with your audience so you can be the brand that they trust. Engage them to keep them coming back to you. If you’re a marketing communication manager, in public relations, an agency marketer or have done the Audience Industries Sequoia curriculum, you should understand what to do, how and when you need to to make sure your audience comes back to you… every time.

Get to know your audience better with Audience Industries Circles

Audience Industries is coming to a town near you in May and are bringing Circles with them. Really good news for you. The course is broken up into 7 modules that will help you to really get to know your audience. Audience Industries wants to show you how to bring your audience to you, over and over again. Keep them coming back by speaking their language, learning their paths and optimize your ads to deliver maximum value for your site. Because we know, it’s all about the money.

Here’s what’s in store for you if you sign up for Circles:

  • Module 1: Learn what your audience has in common with you
  • Module 2: Be the brand/business that your audience trusts
  • Module 3: Find out what your audience wants and needs
  • Module 4: Break down the elements of compelling stories and apply them to YOUR story
  • Module 5: Understand what makes your audience take actions on your site and use the information for good
  • Module 6: Get the strategies that create likes, clicks, shares… real engagement on your social media channels
  • Module 7: What you should know before you optimize your ads

Sound like something your business needs?

We thought it might. That’s why founders Dan Morris and Rachel Martin are bringing Audience Industries to New Zealand for the second time. The Circles curriculum is coming to these big NZ cities this May, so book your tickets now while there’s still time:

It’s not just the Circles curriculum that’s coming to town.

If you think the Circles curriculum is good… you’re right! But Audience Industries has 3 other curricula that we think you should take a look at, too, to help you grow your business in an online world. Read more about the Audience Industries NZ Tour from Creative Agency Secrets to see just what else you can learn from Dan and Rachel. Don’t waste any more time wondering how to grow you business revenue online! Book your tickets for a city near you now.