Tag Archives: Business

Why Use Instagram for Business

Almost all of the people nowadays depends on their mobile phone to do everything. From having apps to wake up in the morning, to finding a job and even doing a seven-minute workout. That is why, almost all of the business also set up their websites into a mobile-friendly outlook. This is the reason why it is a great way to use Instagram in your business.

Instagram is a free mobile photo-sharing app with millions of users. It was acquired by Facebook in April 2012 and launched a redesign on iOS. It is clear that Instagram is one of the most photo-focused social media that businesses should not ignore.     instagram-for-business

Why Instagram?

There are so many reasons why business owners should use Instagram for social media marketing. And here are seven of them that you should check out:

  1. Reach a Wider Audience -One of the obvious reasons on why business should use Instagram in their business is because it reaches a wider audience. It has a lot of users that you can target in promoting your products and business. It already has a web presence too, which means people on the internet can also see photos from this platform.
  1. Create Relationship with Users -You can create engagement with other users by liking and commenting on photos. You can always say ‘thank you’ to your followers who likes your photos so that you can establish a good relationship with them. Instagram can help you maintain your current clients and can also help you gain new customers.
  1. Get More Interest -By sharing photos of your products and services, you will be able to get new followers, that means getting more interested people about your business. Getting more interested people about your products can bring you more customers and can lead to a higher profit for your business.
  1. Promote Products/Services -It is one of the best ways to promote your products because Instagram has million of users worldwide that can see your photos online. Your followers can like and comment on your photos and they can also regram it to share on their own account. You can also connect your Instagram to your other social media accounts so whatever you post on your Instagram can also appear in Facebook, Twitter, etc. It is like hitting three birds with one stone.
  1. Exposure to Other Brands -It can also widen your exposure to other brands related to your business. You can just simply find, follow and do a research about them on Instagram. Examine if they are successful in using Instagram and try to use their strategy on your products too. You can learn from following them to know if you can still do something to improve your business.

Come back next week to learn How to Use Instagram in your Business

Author Bio:

This was written by a college student named Dawn Atkins. She is a techie person using her smartphone when she’s working in as part-time writer for bestessays.com.au . Dawn is also into traveling and playing soccer.

Image Source: http://mediafunnel.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/instagram-for-business.jpg

Why Back to School Sales are Great for Direct Sellers

Depending on the supplies that you use for your direct sales business, back to school sales can be great for your business pocketbook.  You can get great deals on those products that you need year round.

Typically at this time of year I will pick up the following for my business:

Pens – A few boxes will go a long way, depending on how many people steal your pens

Paper – I try to use as little paper as possible, but sometimes it’s just easier

Stapler and staples – You probably don’t need this every year

Pencils – These always come in handy if your pens won’t work.  Can be particularly useful if you live in a colder climate where pens can freeze (great for using with mileage books)

Pencil Cases – When you buy pens and pencils, you need places to store them in.  This is especially true when doing parties where you are likely taking at least a dozen with you.  Also convenient for holding other items like business cards and calculators.

Notebooks – I keep one in my car for mileage and usually one in my party bag for notes to myself or to make notes for customers

Page protectors – These are great to put copies of specials in.

Duotangs – Folders with prongs in them.  If you like to give customers information to look at, this can be a great way to organize it.  Page protectors work great in here as the paper does not need to be replaced as often.

Flash drives – These have many names but they plug into your computer.  These are a great method for backing up data which you should be doing on a regular basis anyways.

Organizers – Back to school is a prime time to buy organizers and planners.  Students use them to track homework assignments and due dates but you can easily adapt them to your business needs.

Storage items – As back to school also means going off to school, you can find all sorts of storage solutions on sale.  This is a great way to get paperwork or inventory off the floor and into a system where you can find it later.

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Using Social Media to Promote your Direct Sales Business

Everyone is using some form of social media these days whether it is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or some other forum.  Google has launched their own version and there are likely to be other competitors to join in the fun.  Like anything else, to keep your business growing and moving forward, you need to embrace these trends as well.

Social Media Outposts

Social Media Outposts (Photo credit: the tartanpodcast)

Facebook

There is a wide variety of things that you can do on here.  You can create a business page (which is preferred) or you can create a personal page for your business.  You can use your own personal page with occasional blurbs about your business if you do not want multiple accounts; just make sure it’s a good mix of information.  Facebook allows you to share pictures, links and pretty much anything else you want.

Twitter

This site tends to be more about conversation, as it is like constant status updates.  You have 140 characters to post a comment, observation, etc and people reply back.  You can get some pretty good conversations going on and I have seen some interesting debates happen – it’s amazing what you can say in 140 characters when you want to.    It is still possible to share pictures, links and other information but it is harder to find historical items, like what Jane said yesterday AM if she posts a lot of information.

LinkedIn

Personally, I am not on this site so I cannot tell you much about it.  From what I hear, it is more about networking sites and there are more professionals on it.  I have heard of people making good contacts and it being a good option for them, so it does not hurt to try it out.

Google Plus

Google Plus has been around for a while now and many people have embraced it.  Some people prefer this site to sites such as Facebook as it is a bit more user friendly.  That said, I have not done a lot with this site so I cannot tell you much about it.  If you have a Gmail account, it easily integrates with it which saves you a lot of time and effort in setup.

There are many different social media sites out there that are nowhere near the size of these sites so you do not hear of them.  These tend to be more specialized but those that spend their time there tend to stay longer due to more common interests.  If you try searching for your industry and social network, you may find some of them.

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Shopping With You Versus the Mall: Customer Service

Why should someone shop with you instead of at their local mall or big box store as chances are they can buy a similar product for less money there?

The reason is customer service!  How often do you go to the store and the clerks are doing nothing and they ignore you?  Do you really want to shop there and keep them in business?  Probably not.  But if you found a store that was really helpful, brought you the products you wanted to see, suggested items they thought you might like and then contacted you later to see how they were working out, you would be impressed and likely would shop there again.

This is where you can excel in your direct sales business.  Treat your customers how you want to be treated.  If you have a favourite store, think about what they do and emulate it in your business.  If you do not have a favourite store, think about how you would like to be treated and implement that into your business.

The biggest challenge is actually following through with good customer service once the person leaves your party.  We have good intentions but life can get in the way and the follow up is neglected.   By not following up, chances are you are leaving money on the table and your business will not grow and flourish.

Give your customers a quick call after they have received their product with a few questions.  I always recommend writing them down or having a check list, as it is easy to get off track or forget what you wanted to talk about.

“Hi Sue, Its Sharon from XYZ Company.  Do you have a minute or two to talk?”

“I was wondering if had gotten your order from Jane yet?  You have?  Great!  Have you had a chance to try it out?  Wonderful!  What do you think of it?  That is a product we just came out with and I’m trying to get feedback from people.   Do you have any questions in regards to it? “

From there, you could end the call or you could try to get a booking, depending on her responses.  If she starts raving about how great everything is, she likely would be receptive to hosting.  If she seems rather lackluster, then you likely won’t have much luck and you will want to move on.

“Sue, I’m going to let you go in a second, but did you know that Product A is our hostess special next month and with a party you would get it for Free?  Does that interest you?”

It is amazing how much business you can get with only a 2 minute follow up call.  You could end up a sale, booking or even a new team member!

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Directory Advertising

New Dmoz ?

New Dmoz ? (Photo credit: Cmic Blog)

Everyone is looking for ways to get their name out there and expand their business.  One such way is to get listed in Internet directories.  Just like everything else out there, there are advantages and disadvantages to this type of advertising which we will look at below.  If the advertising is free, it is not such a risk as if you are paying for the listing.

Advantages

One stop shop – easy to find you or a consultant in their local area

Organization – tend to be categorized by area or company so easier to locate a consultant

The more people that get listed on the site, the better resource the site is and therefore, more people will use it.

Most sites tend to have more information than just consultant listings so people stay on the site longer and are more likely to find your listing.

Better advertising – as many sites are paid, they want to get traffic in order to get advertisers and be able to charge more for advertising spots.

Depending on the site, you have the opportunity to say something about your business and list various contact information including your website.

Disadvantage

One stop shop – easy to contact several people at once – same company or competitor and people will likely book with the first one to reply.

There is a cost – monthly/yearly to be listed (usually)

For the money you invest, you may not get any results

The site may only allow a limited amount of vendors for an area (can be an advantage too)

There are a lot of directories out there and it can be expensive if you start getting listed at multiple ones

Only you can decide if directory advertising is the right method for you to advertise your business.  Depending on the investment involved, it is a good idea to do some research on the site itself.  See how easily you can find it in the search engines and ask friends what terms they would use to search and see where the site ranks.

You should be able to email the administrator of the site and ask for the various statistics before you commit to the advertisement.  If they are not willing to share the information, then you likely don’t want to advertise there.

 

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Boost Your Sales By Optimizing Your Social Media Networks

What is Social Media Optimization (SMO)? According to Wikipedia “Social media optimization is the use of a number of social media websites and communities to help generate publicity to help create awareness for a brand, company, product or event”. Social media optimization has been gaining a lot of momentum since search engines like Google and Bing have included social signals in ranking a particular web page in their search engine results page. Search engines have included social signals as part of their algorithm and that is why it is important for business owners, website administrators and marketing professionals to learn more about social media optimization to help boost their sales and revenues.

Here are some essential tips that they can use to help you boost your sales by optimizing your social media networks:

1. Be an Expert That People Will Go To

One of best ways to build a long term social media optimization strategy is to be an expert that people can go to for help. You have to learn to be the expert in in your field and not just a follower. You have to be an innovator in a sense that people will look to you when they need something or if they need the latest news in your field or industry. Being an expert is not only about knowing things but more importantly, it is about being able to offer help to your audience. It takes a lot of time and energy to be an expert especially in sales and marketing but it is important to invest in your own skills and experience so that people will see you as an expert.

2. Make Your Content Stand Out   
Writing good content is very important in social media optimization because if your content is similar to what other people in your own niche is doing; your readers and audience will not be able to differentiate you from the rest. You have to be able to create content that is interesting and engaging. This will help you captivate your target market and help improve your sales.

3. Incite an Emotion

When you are writing your social media content, it is important to tap on the emotions of your readers and viewers. You have to be in tune with their feelings and be able to capitalize on that to make your content relatable. By doing this, it can help you create a viral content that can create some awareness for your brand, product and even a sales event.

Social media optimization is important for any business owner, website designers and sales professionals to learn because of how crucial it is in helping you grow your brand or company. It is also a good way to get direct feedback from your customers and understand their wants and needs. By applying those tips, you can improve your social media optimization skills and help you reach your customers better.

About the Author:

Francesca Westi is passionate about helping people like small business ownersreach their sales goals. She is an experienced dissertation writer and online business consultant where she provides useful tips and advice to help people out.

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Loving a Product is Important in Choosing a Direct Sales Business

When it comes to direct sales, or truly, any business, picking your product is going to be one of the most important decisions you make.  Some people know immediately what product they love and they sign up to sell it without a second thought, but for others, it is a bit more difficult.

Love ? I love love love you.

Love ? I love love love you. (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

The first company I signed up with, I really did like the product and I knew that it would sell well.  But after a year, and a variety of reasons, I decided it was time to leave the company.  Before I left, I did some research as to what I wanted to sell.  There were a lot of products out there but nothing that really jumped out at me and said “Sell Me!”.  But I did find a few that intrigued me enough to look into them further and once I did that I found a company that I could sell for.  But due to me not being “in love” with them when I started, I have struggled more than others have in selling the product.

Why do I tell you this story?   To show you the importance of really loving the product that you sell.  Now when I present at a party, I am able to highlight the products that I have come to know and love (products that came out shortly after I started) and as a result, I get sales.

Believability – When you believe in and love the product, the excitement comes through in your voice and people want it.  People can tell when you are honest and when you are not.  Point out the negatives – people will thank you for it and it will help increase your believability factor.

Excitement – If you love the product, you want to share the product with everyone you can which will increase your bookings and potentially your recruits.  They will want that excitement in their lives as well.

Personal Use – The best way to sell a product is to use it yourself.  This way you can easily promote it to others and give examples of how to use it.  If people ask you how it works for you and you have to tell them you don’t use it yourself, it looks bad.  There are valid reasons such as a nut allergy when selling food products but for the most part, you should give it at try.

Loving a product and having that come through is one of the best ways to make sales.  It is possible to sell products that you do not love but it will likely be more difficult and more of an uphill battle.

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7 Simple (and Cost-Effective) Ways to Show Customer Appreciation

The best way to ensure repeat customers is to make sure the customers know you appreciate them. However, finding out whether the customers know this or not can be difficult. Sometimes they’ll let you know, sometimes they won’t.   cust apprec

Customer review sites make this easy; for instance, you can read real customer reviews on OpenTell.com, but even then there might not be enough information for you to gauge how they feel. Here are seven easy, and most importantly, cost effective ways of showing customer appreciation.

1. Personalize your service to them.

If you can, show a bit of personalization in the service you provide them. Leave a few kind words, or use their name on something. It doesn’t take much, and a little personalization goes a long way.

2. Check in with new customers. 

Send customers a report of your service, or give them a call after they buy a product and ask how it’s working. It doesn’t take long – you could even assign the task to a subordinate – but the simple gesture lets the customers know they are respected.

3. Create a ‘wall of honor’ of your best customers.

Many restaurants do this. Including photographs of your regulars on the walls makes the place feel more personable, and goes a long way towards building loyalty.

4. Give special treatment to long time customers.

Maybe on their birthday or on a special occasion, give your best customers a one-time deal or discount of some sort. Make sure it’s understood to be a single deal, but this will help build a relationship with your customers.

5. Remember their names.

This goes a long way. You see hundreds if not thousands of people each day, but by remembering the names of as many people as you can, you inspire fierce brand loyalty. Names hold power.

6. Ask for feedback.

Ask your customers how their experience was, and ask if there is any way you can improve it for next time. Most of the time the customers will be too surprised to answer, but this can be a great way of getting first-hand feedback.

7. Go out of your way to provide amazing customer service.

Don’t let rules and policies stop you. Bend them just a tad if the situation calls for it, and make sure you provide absolutely legendary service for a customer if they need it.

Following these seven simple steps will inspire customer loyalty and show your appreciation for them in ways they’ve never before experienced.

 

 

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Making Sure Customers Can Find You

Once you have a customer, you want to make sure that you continue to get their orders in the future.   There are a variety of different methods you can employ to ensure that your customer will always have your contact information handy.

business card

business card (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Reorder Labels

The first thing I recommend is that you have re-order labels that you put on your product.  Depending on what you sell, this may not always be possible, but try to locate a place where you can put your name and contact information on your products.  I recently was looking for a consultant I had ordered from in the past, but as she didn’t use re-order labels on her product, I couldn’t find her.  I even went through my emails but there was nothing.

Catalogues

A catalogue is an obvious location to put your information but people may not always keep them.  But due to the small cost of the label, make sure you put one on every catalogue that you hand out.  I have had people contact me a year later with their catalogue and wanting to place an order.

Business Cards

Another no brainer is to give out business cards to everyone you meet.  I always put three business cards in every order I deliver.  It does not matter if it is the person’s first order with me or their tenth, they still get cards.  You never know when they are going to want to contact you for something or a friend will want your contact information.  Women tend to hold onto cards for a very long time, so you should be giving these out to everyone.

Invoices

I suggest that you place your contact information on your invoices.  Whether you use a stamp or a sticker is your choice.  Not only does that allow them to contact you if they need to make a change with their order but chances are they will keep that invoice around and will have your information for the future.

Magnets

Magnets are a great option as your customer can put it up on their fridge and they will likely never lose it.  I do not know about you, but the magnets on my fridge have been there for years.  They are useful for holding things in place even if they are not places I have patronized for a long time.  But if I need to contact those places, the information is right there.

Regardless, it is important that you customers have a way to contact you whether it is a week since they last saw you or a year.  Make it easier for them by giving them your information multiple times and hopefully they will hold onto one to use later.

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Using Email for Outreach in a Business Sales Environment

The world of business has become increasingly challenging over recent years, and this means that in order to compete effectively businesses have had to utilise technology and business tools as effectively as possible. Working in a business sales environment in particular can be very difficult in the current economic and financial climate, with businesses now having to look at as many options as possible when it comes to marketing their goods and services in order to enjoy success.

English: Screenshot of Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5...

English: Screenshot of Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5.10 under Ubuntu Linux 6.10, self-made. Category:Screenshots of Linux software (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While there are some methods of promotion and marketing that are pretty obvious and used by many small and larger businesses, there are others that can often be overlooked even though they are both simple and effective solutions when it comes to effective outreach in a business environment. One of these is the use of email for outreach in a business sales environment.

How this can work

In a business sales environment, huge numbers of emails are typically sent out each day to other agencies, businesses, partners, and clients. However, many businesses miss out on the opportunity to really use these emails to their advantage, as they simply send out plain emails that say little to nothing about the business or its goods and services.

By using email stationery effectively, businesses can use emails to their advantage by turning them into marketing tools that can promote and raise awareness of their services and products. Email stationery can transform every email sent into a marketing tool and is something that is extremely easy and convenient to implement.

When you use email stationery you will be able to efficiently and very easily market the goods or services you sell to everyone you send out emails to. This means that you can make the most of each email you send out, which could potentially generate increased website traffic and sales for your company. The fact that email stationery also makes your emails more eye-catching means that even more people may actually read and take notice of them – in fact, you may even get more people forwarding them on to others, which expands your marketing even further.

The key thing with business email signatures is that you can transform your emails to really reflect your business and what it is all about. This gives each recipient far more information than just a standard plain email with nothing more than a name and job title on it.

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