You know it when you see it. A bad profile picture…
Although increasingly LinkedIn seems to be becoming less professional, using it for business successfully means adhering to a few simple do’s and don’ts.
DON’T #1 Do Not Half Crop Someone Out Of Your Profile Picture
If you want to use that flattering picture from the Calgary Stampede, you can, as long as you have a professional Photoshop your photo.
Photoshopping can remove your ex out, his or her arm and the Stampede background and make it look like you were posing on a dark blue background screen like you did at picture day in elementary school.
Pose like it’s picture day. A plain background shot from your shoulders up should do the trick.
I recommend a professional photographer, but if that’s not in your budget you can just use a selfie stick.
With these three options for profile picture editing and capturing, there is no reason why you can’t have a professional, uncluttered photo for business use on social media.
DON’T #2: Show too much skin
This applies to the ladies more than the men.
I don’t often see men with their chests nearly bare in their profile pictures, but it does happen.
I am speaking specifically about the images where the choice of top does not leave a lot to the imagination.
That’s not exactly conducive to creating a professional business image online, unless of course you’re a professional bikini model, in which case disregard this tip.
Remember that you’re being judged by your prospective client or boss.
Whether you think a ton of cleavage is fine is not the point. Put the ladies away for best results.
DON’T #3: Have A Ridiculously Outdated Profile Picture
The internet is all well and good, social media’s fun, but how do I translate that into dollar bill, into sales and brand new customers?
I’m going to show you some easy things you can do to implement in your business right away that will increase your sales results.
Create a Call To Action
One of the simplest ways to get more sales is to actually ask for them.
Just like in person, online it’s really, really important to ask for people to take the next step in the sales process.
Not necessarily buy now, but at least “contact me” or “request a quote” or “download a free trial”.
Language along those lines makes it really clear what the next step is for a prospect to move along in the sales funnel and how to get ahold of you. I want you to implement a call to action like the ones above on your social media properties, on your website, on your email signature, and even on your voice mail; that is a really underutilized place where you can put your website address and invite people to go on your site.
Prequalify Your Leads
Another way to alleviate a huge amount of leads that are not quite right for your business, wasting your time and tire-kicking, is to pre-qualify your leads.
Prequalifying your leads is the process of letting people know what types of folks that you work with, what your price point and your timeline is.
A lot of people ask me “how do I make sure people that don’;t actually have the budget for my services aren’t contacting me.
It’s as simple as changing the contact form on your website, to add a drop-down asking people what they’re planning on spending on your services and display the minimum price, or something that is close to your minimum price.
Right away, folks that aren’t prepared to spend the minimum amount will leave your website and save you a whole bunch of time.
Optimize Your Sales Funnel
The third way you can get more sales is to optimize your closing process.
The close is the part of the sale where you get the person to agree to buy from you.
This is also known as “converting” people from interested, qualified prospects to folks that are ready spend happily.
Think back to all those times that you successfully closed a sale.
What questions did your potential customer need to have answered to their satisfaction before they were able to buy?
Whatever that process looks like, I want you to write it all down and see if you can automate that on your website.
Some folks like to look at your reviews.
Some people need to check their budget.
Some people want to look at similar case studies or find out information about return on investment.
Whatever those questions are, make sure that you’ve got the answers to them at the ready next time you are in the process of closing a sale, and it will go a lot smoother if you are using the tactics that worked last time.
For best results, systematize your entire sales process or sales funnel and look for areas to optimize it.
I never think about dusting – unless I notice it hasn’t been done.
Just like unsightly cobwebs and dust bunnies can compromise the feeling of comfort in your home, outdated online profiles can mar an otherwise flawless experience with your business online.
If you’re anything like me, you don’t exactly look forward to spring cleaning, but you will get some satisfaction once it’s been done.
Now, I am certainly not perfect. I get emails at least once a week letting me know a link is broken. But that’s just being human.
Let’s get to it.
Here are the 3 web assets you’re going to want to spring clean.
Social Media sites like Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Vine, YouTube/G+
Directory Sites (Yelp, etc.) To get a full list, Google your name or your company name.
Here is the 6 item web asset spring cleaning checklist:
1.Your profile pic.
The wise Mari Smith says, if you’ve gained or lost a bunch of hair or weight, you need to update your profile pic on social media or blogs ( I use Gravatar for my image on wordpress).
I had coffee with Vince Fowler he other day and we had an amusing conversation about ridiculously outdated profile pictures.
I know, aging is hard, but you need to be recognizable from your profile picture. It should not be from 5+ years ago…
Another profile picture item to consider…
Keep it professional.
Your ex cropped out of a pic taken after a few too many at the Calgary Stampede or showing a lot of skin both send a message about who you are, and it may not be the message you’re looking for as a professional. #justsayin
2. Your “about” section.
If you’re a solo or micro entrepreneur, your business may have trouble keeping up with you.
As you evolve, your business will naturally as well.
Chances are the “about” or “profile” section on your social media and directory websites could use an update to better articulate who you serve and the problem you solve.
The tabs section on Facebook – where you can integrate your facebook page with your email list or other promotions, may not be working.
In fact, more often than not, this section is broken.
This brings me to …
3. Your Banner/Timeline Image:
The dimensions if these images on social media especially tend to change fairly frequently.
Check to make sure the banner or timeline image that you uploaded in the past, still fits within the recommended dimensions.
For extra points, update this image if you haven’t in some time.
Keep it fresh and keep your community interested with the most up to date version of your business.
4. Broken Links
Tending to broken links could very well be a full time job.
Necessary? Heck Yes.
Go through your social properties and your website and click on all the links and make sure they still work.
Update all the ones that don’t.
This is a good activity for the afternoon after lunch slump
5. Call to action
Are you using a call to action yet?
A call to action is a very clear request to perform the next step to convert your viewer to a customer.
Whether you’re offering a free demo, consult or want to invite people to call you, make sure you’re have a clear call to action.
You can’t get a yes if you don’t ask!
There’s a new(ish) button for Facebook pages to create a “call to action”, like Learn More, Call Now, or Watch the Video..
Which brings me to multimedia…
6. Use of Video.
As my friends Sue Ferraira and Trisch Lorren will not hesitate to tell you… Video is the most powerful way to tell your story in today’s marketplace.
It’s a virtually instant credibility boost, improves brand memory, connection and trust.
For a do it yourself option, use the built in video capabilities of your smartphone to film a quick intro video and post it everywhere.
If you want to get sales from your social media efforts, then you are certainly not alone!
The time and money you’re investing in your social media efforts can and should be profitable.
If you’re not quite there yet, I am going to share with you 3 of the non-negotiable pre-requisites for successfully selling on social media.
These may just be the missing pieces to your social selling strategy.
(This material was taken from the talk I gave May 7th 2016 at Social Media Camp, entitled Socializing Your Sales Funnel: Converting Fans and Followers to Paying Customers. Get your copy of the entire presentation here. )
Build Trust: People buy from those that they know, like and trust.
You need to build trust online in order for people to even consider purchasing from you.
How do you do that?
Be consistent in how often you’re posting, what you’re posting and what all your social profiles and website look and feel like. You’ve got to create a consistent feel to alleviate the subconscious niggle consumers get when things just don’t feel right.
You also need to have what’s called social proof, which are things like positive reviews and testimonials, media mentions, and any designations you’ve earned. For more details on Social Proof, check out my interview on CNN on Social Proof
If you’re part of any associations add those logos to your website as well. They will act as an implicit endorsement of your services.
Building social proof using the above mentioned tactics are one of the most powerful ways to help build trust, and can often be the factor that tips a prospect over into a customer.
Build Community: Get exposure, generate credibility, trust.
Every single time someone likes, shares or comments on your posts on social media, they’re implicitly endorsing you.
In plain language, this means they’re telling their network “this guy isn’t so bad”.
What’s also happening with each share, retweet, plus one or comment is that interaction becomes part of the news feed. And now your name is now getting additional exposure to the network of the person who interacted with your share.
For these reasons, it’s a great idea to build community by “giving to get”. Sharing other’s posts, commenting on other’s posts and actively promoting other people with invoke the law of reciprocity and incentivize the people you’re interacting with to interact with you back.
Once you have an engaged community, you can then promote yourself.
Ask People To Act: With A Call To Action
You need to have a call to action in order to get people to, you know, act.
Whether you want people to sign up for a free trial, contact you for a consult, sign up for your newsletter, go to your website or watch more videos – whatever it is you need to ask people to take that action.
It’s an old saying in sales – you can’t get a yes if you don’t ask.
What’s important to remember though, is you will likely need to ask people to take a few actions before they’re ready to buy, so start small.
Ask for the action and as long as you’ve built trust and community, you will get it.
Thanks so much for watching.
If you like this video please like it and consider sharing with your network.
Increase your sales by 20% with these 5 easy steps
Fact: It’s easier, faster and more cost effective for you to sell more to less people.
The least expensive sales for you to acquire are those from your existing customers.
According to Hubspot, it’s estimated you will lose 14% of your clients every year.
Imagine if you could not only increase your client retention rate, but get them to spend more with you?
You can generate up to 20% more in sales, just by increasing your repeat, add-on and follow up sales.
Follow this 5 step process in your business and watch your bottom line bloom!
Step One: Avoid Buyer’s Remorse
Did you know the moment after purchase is one of the most emotional for your customers?
When someone buys something from you, they’re going to either experience buyer’s remorse or they’re going to be super happy that they just purchased something.
The way to make sure that they’re super happy don’t have remorse is to give them something right away. This is especially important if what they purchase is a service or something that is going to take a while for you to deliver.
Something as simple as a client handbook or even a little gift can go a long way to making sure your customers feel happy through the entire process of interacting with you.
Step Two: Express Your Appreciation
The second thing I always recommend that you do is send out a thank you card.
Appreciation goes a long way.
You might even want to tuck a little coffee card in there or a gift certificate for dinner and a movie for two.
Giving a little bit of appreciation for their business will certainly make them feel good about doing business with you.
It’s simple, it’s easy, it doesn’t cost anything and it goes a really long way to keeping your current customers happy with you.
Step Three: Overdeliver!
Now during the process of them interacting with, you whether it is a product or a service that they are purchasing, I want you to make sure that you are doing something to over deliver.
Under promise and over deliver.
Give them something free.
Give them a free upgrade, anything that they are not expecting that is of value to them.
(This is a technique employed by Zappo’s employees to delight, surprise and wow their customers. They almost always upgrade their customer’s to a faster shipping method, at no extra cost, and without being asked. )
And this will boost their satisfaction through the process of doing business with you.
Step Four: Follow up & Gather Feedback
Once the process is over and then they have purchased something and you have delivered, what I want you to do is follow up a couple of weeks later.
Once they have time to use what you have given them, send out a customer survey.
You want to make sure that you are asking questions that will help you improve and let them know that you value their opinion.
Step Five: Ask for the sale, again.
Now the fifth step is the most important.
Assuming you have done steps one through four properly and appropriately, step five will absolutely boost the lifetime value of your existing customer base because they are going to keep on buying from you.
What I want you to do is take a look at a lifetime of your customer and take a look at three or four instances per year when it’s going to be appropriate for you to contact them back and ask for new business.
So for example, it’s a jewelry business and you just sold them a custom engagement ring.
After how long is it appropriate to ask them to come back and get that ring cleaned or repaired?
It’s the same thing with providing a website or with landscaping, or even gardening.
There is going to be intervals through the year where it’s going to be appropriate for you to touch base and ask them if you can help out depending on what is going on, on your business and in their lives.
Determining the appropriate times to contact them, and the best services to offer, comes back to knowing your customer, knowing the cycles of your business and making sure that you have add-ons that you can offer throughout the year.
Make a note in your calendar to follow up with this people whether it be over email or phone and ask them if you can continue to help them.
That is how you generate more business from your existing customers!
An estimated 70% consumers say online reviews influence their purchasing decisions.
If you cringe just thinking about a customer comparing your reviews to your competitors – than pay attention.
I’m going to show you how to implement a system that helps you get a glowing review, from every customer.
Imagine, your online reputation will soar, your sales prospects will be more plentiful and you’ll sell more often, all by just implementing these easy four steps…
Four Steps To Getting Glowing Online Reviews:
1. Prepare your customers and let them that you are that you are going to ask them for a review.
Somewhere in the sale process I usually say something like, “I want the results that I get for you to be so great you are going to give me 5 star reviews on all my social media and refer me to all your friends.”
I’ve planted the seed in their minds and I have let my client know I will be asking for a review – and a referral – later.
2. The second way to get great reviews—and this may be obvious—is to provide awesome service.
You want to over deliver.
Give your clients more than they expect for the dollar that they are spending with you.
Great service is the key to getting great reviews!
3. Ask the customer for their testimonial.
Again, this seems obvious, but if you want something you will have to ask for it.
Send your client an email and say,
“Hello Client, As per our initial conversation, I want to follow up with you and ask you if you would be comfortable providing an online review of the service you received with me.”
Here is where you want to make make it really easy for them.
Make sure you have your links to all your social media properties. Below I have provided a template you can copy and paste over and over again. (Don’t forget to replace the links with your own).
Don’t expect your customer to go and find you on social and do that extra legwork.
Make it super easy by providing links right there in your email.
4. Offer an incentive.
The last way to get amazing reviews for your business consistently is to offer an ethical bribe or an incentive.
I’ll often offer my clients a small discount on their next product or service or sometimes I’ll also do a contest, like, everybody who reviews me this month will be entered to win a prize.
Giving somebody an incentive over and above doing good deeds is a great way to get something to do something.
I hope you found this tip valuable, if you did, please like it and consider sharing with your network.
Thanks for watching!
Your Cut & Paste Templated email to request an online review from your client.
Good afternoon Client name,
Thank you again for your business!
It was a pleasure working with you on your INSERT SERVICE HERE these past few days.
As mentioned, if you’d be comfortable providing a review of your experience with me, I’d be happy to offer 25% off your next consulting purchase.
As soon as someone gives you their email address, they get the freebie in their email newsletter box automatically.
(HINT: Ding what you said you would is a great way to build trust with folks that you are trying to sell to. )
So, the heading above your signup form should be worded something like:
Get Your Free Copy Of the Report Instantly (title of the report) when you subscribe to our newsletter.
Spend some time on this heading, so as to make your freebie IRRESISTIBLE
Please note: If you’re based in Canada, this practice will also cover your bases with the Canadian Anti Spam Act, as the prospect has actively given you permission to market to them via email.
That’s it! Those are your 3 easy steps to growing your email list ethically!
Bonus Tip: The Follow Up Sequence.
To be effective in converting your list members to customers, you need to have a follow-up sequence.
Be sure to send out emails to your list of qualified prospects on a regular basis.
But remember, you want to provide value and not spam your list.
The general rule of thumb is for every ten or eight emails you send, one can be selling.
If you found this video helpful, please like it and consider sharing with your network.
Over the past few years Facebook has gradually reduced the organic reach on business pages to what some insiders believe to be less than 1%. This means that less than 1% of your followers are likely to see your post unless it has rare viral qualities. The main reason Facebook has made these changes is because they are trying to encourage more business owners to try Facebook ads. If you haven’t created a Facebook ad or are considering whether or not you should advertise on Facebook, keep reading. In this article I will explain how to create effective Facebook ads that will achieve big results for your money.
The first thing you must decide, what is the objective of your ad? Here are the different types of ad objectives you can create:
Boost your posts: Use the Page post engagement objective to boost your post.
Promote your page: Use the Page likes objective to promote your Facebook page.
Send people to your website: Use the clicks to website objective to send people to your website.
Increase conversions on your website: Use the website conversions objective to promote conversions on your website.
Get installs to your app: Use the app installs objective to get people to install your app.
Increase engagement in your app:Use the app engagement objective to increase engagement in your app.
Reach people near your business: Use the local awareness objective to reach people near your business.
Raise attendance at your event: Use this objective to get more people to see and respond to your event.
Get people to claim your offer: Use the offers claim objective to promote your offer.
Get video views: Use the video views objective to get people to watch your video.
The three types of ads that have been most effective for me are Boost your posts, Reach people near your business, and Get video views.
Boosting new blog articles, sales/promotions, and product videos will generate strong results. Measure the effectiveness of your boost on the amount of shares and comments you receive, especially when someone tags a friend in the comments section.
Use the reach people near your business objective to instantly get the word out in your local area. My favourite call to action button for these ads is the “get directions” button. That way you are able to know exactly how many people got directions to your business.
Get video views is perfect for short commercial spots, new product videos, educational videos and interviews. Try and keep your videos short and remember that Facebook counts a “view” as 3 seconds so you’ll need to capture your viewers attention within that time frame to keep them watching the whole video.
There are a few things to keep in mind when designing the creative elements for your ads. Always go as highly visual as you can. Every ad should have a clear image and remember that you must keep the text to 20% or less. Use this tool to determine if you are using too much text in your ad. For videos, make sure they are HD and avoid using popular music for more than 30 seconds. If you overuse popular music Facebook may permanently mute your ad or disapprove it. Finally, double check the sizing parameters of the ad to ensure your image will look great. Here is an example image:
The audience can truly make or break your ad. You don’t want to be too broad or you risk showing your ad to individuals who won’t engage. First determine the city or cities you want to target and the distance around that city. Choose your age demographic and gender. Next you can target users by interest. It’s critical that you think about what your customers are interested in. Interests are determined by Facebook analyzing a users interests, activities, the Pages they have liked, and closely related topics. Here are some examples:
If you are newer to Facebook advertising I would recommend starting with a smaller budget of $10 per day for 7 days in order to determine how effective the ad is and whether or not it’s worth increasing that budget or simply pausing the ad early. You can pause an ad at any time if you feel that it’s not working or you don’t want it to run during certain hours or days. Continue adapting your ads over time until you start to achieve higher levels of success. Then you’re ready to increase your budget and drive specific numbers for your business.
Facebook ads are a proven way to reach new and existing customers for your business. When done correctly, Facebook ads often see much higher click through rates than Google ads as well as a lower cost of acquisition (meaning you pay less to reach more people on Facebook).
If you have had success with Facebook ads, tell us in the comments section below and if you have any questions about how to create a successful Facebook ad, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Build it and they will come….Said no-one ever about your website.
The more you know about your website visitors, the better you can serve them, and keep them coming back.
The most underutilized tool to help you improve your website’s performance is Google Analytics.
It’s a free tool that you can embed in your website to get a gold mine of information you can use to make better business decisions.
And in today’s video, we are going to focus on the audience section of Google Analytics and some of the reports available there and what they can do and what kind of intelligence they can provide you with.
This post will show you what metrics to look for to increase engagement and conversions from casual website browsers to actual sales.
I’ll also cover where to find important demographic and user details that might surprise you(I have website visitors from Kazakhstan? Cool! )
How is my website doing? A Snapshot of Your Audience Behavior.
The very first thing that they can provide you with is a snapshot of how your website’s doing.
So, click on Audience Overview and here it will tell you what your bounce rate is, your pages per session, and your time per session.
These are some metrics to focus on improving:
Ideally, you want your bounce rate to be as low as possible.
Typically, it will hover up at least around 30% depending on your industry If it gets any higher than, let’s say 70, then you’re doing something that you want to change, because people are coming to your site and then they are leaving right away.
Pages Per Visit.
Pages per visit ideally should be at least 4.
So, again, you want people to come to your website and be engaged and find what they’re looking for and look at multiple pages.
Time on Site.
The same rule of thumb applies for Time on Site. More is better.
You want your website visitors to spend a lot of time on your website.
I always compare last month’s results to this month’s, so I can see if the results are turning upwards or downwards.
Who are my website visitors? Your Audience Demographics:
And then there’s a whole bunch of other information that’s just fantastic under the Audience section.
One is demographic information.
This section is where you can see what is the approximate age and gender of the majority of people that visited your site.
You can also find out geographic information – what countries are people coming from and how engaged are they per country.
You can also find out what website browsers they’re using as well as mobile devices <—This is a great way to test your website and make sure that it’s used and performs properly in the browsers and on the devices that your customers or future customers are using.
Just because you use Internet Explorer, for example, doesn’t mean that your website visitors do. Make sure your website performs well on the browsers and devices your audience uses.
Are my website visitors engaged? New versus Returning.
Under the Audience section again, you want to take a look at Behavior.
Under behaviour you will see the percentage of new visitors vs returning visitors. You’ll also see how often people return to your site, and how long new vs returning visitors are spending on your site.
Hint- You want to have a healthy percentage of returning visitors to your website.
How could this information help you make better website marketing decisions?
Tell me in the comments below!
This post is the second in a series of 3 posts on how to master Google Analytics – complete with handy videos
The holiday season is the perfect time to market your business. Shopping for gifts is top of mind for many consumers and you don’t want to miss out. If you’ve built up a strong social media or newsletter presence, then you’re already off to a great start! Now it’s time to leverage those existing communities and try and engage a larger audience. Before you begin to brainstorm ideas, try and determine what type of metric you want to measure or increase, for example; online sales, engagement or in-store traffic. Then tailor your campaign to impact that specific metric. To get you off to a strong start, here are five holiday marketing ideas that you can use for your business!
1. Have an Instagram Hashtag Contest
Photo and video contests not only help you engage with your audience, they also help you reach a larger audience of individuals who are friends of your fans. Over the years, we have found that Instagram requires the lowest barrier of entry for fans and is the most effective way to generate a lot of participation. When creating the contest, try and make the hashtag resonate with your audience or align with the theme of your business. Try and make it short and sweet, instead of long and complicated. Search the hashtag on Instagram in order to see whether it is already a popular hashtag. Once you’ve found a unique hashtag, create your promo materials and begin your campaign. Make sure to set an end date to the contest, in order to encourage fans to participate before it’s too late. For the winner of the contest, again try and align the prize with your business or simply give the winner a gift card to your business.
2. Create Your Own Gift Guide
Whether you’re trying to show off products or services, a holiday gift guide can provide your business with a number of opportunities. They’re perfect for brick and mortar as well as online stores to showcase specific products or departments. They can also be created with a very limited budget and you can include important information such as your store address, directions and holiday hours. The easiest way to create a gift guide is within Powerpoint, then export as a PDF. Consider creating a unique landing page for the gift guide, using Unbounce or a similar service then create a unique Adwords campaign to drive downloads.
3. Design High Quality Facebook Boosted Posts
Creating high quality, shareable Facebook boosted posts is a sure fire way to engage are large targeted audience in a short amount of time. You could be promoting products, services, wins for the year, office antics, christmas recipes, local charities or anything else that is relevant to your business. Make sure the post has a clear message so fans know exactly what you’re posting and why. Challenge your team by trying to organically reach more people than who follow your page.
4. Have a 12 Days of Giveaways Contest
Everyone loves free stuff and 12 days of giveaways is the perfect method for generating new signups for your email newsletter list. Make sure each day of prizes are unique and relevant to your audience. Consider creating local prizes, that partner with other local businesses or simply give away the products or services that your business sells. Again, using Unbounce, create a simple landing page that collects first name, and email. Make sure people are clear that they are signing up for your newsletter and that they can unsubscribe at any time. If you promote the giveaways on social media, you will likely receive a high number of entrants.
5. Create Holiday Themed Display Ads
Display advertising is an effective way to reach a targeted audience that is already engaged with similar webpages to your own. By targeting the sites that your potential customers are looking at daily, effective display ads can drive high quality leads that convert. Make sure your ads are clickable, by creating a fake button or way for users to interact with the ads and test out a number of variations on the same ad (different colors, background image, button style).
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