05 Aug

3 Simple Ways To Secure Word-Of-Mouth Promotion

Posted in Small Business Advertising, Social Media on 05.08.15 by John Meloche

word of mouth memo illustration design over a white backgroundSynergy Marketing has been providing Canadian small business owners with wonderful promotional products to advertise their companies for many years now. They’ve all realized that handing out free gifts to customers, colleagues and co-workers can do quite a lot to boost brand recognition. At the top of the list of benefits is the fact that promo gifts inspire brand loyalty. And brand loyalty leads to a lot of word-of-mouth promotion.

It’s hard to beat the power of word-of-mouth. It’s the type of advertising that you’ve earned based on your rapport with actual supporters of your business. It’s not of the paid-an-arm-and-a-leg-for-it variety. So arguably, word-of-mouth promotion is seen as having a lot more legitimacy. As you can imagine, promo gifts are joined by many other methods of securing word-of-mouth promotion.

Here are three simple ways that can help:

1. Straight up asking for it. Who ever said that asking for help was a bad thing to do? When it comes to word-of-mouth promotion, it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask your happy customers to spread the word about your business. What have you got to lose? If you know that you’ve greatly satisfied a customer – especially one who offers kind feedback – feel free to kindly ask him or her to pass the good news along to friends.

On TechnologyTherapy.com, Jennifer Shaheen writes that with the advent of social media, asking for word-of-mouth promotion can go a really long way. “The idea of discussing your brand on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest might have never occurred to (your customers),” she writes, “but if you explain that it will help your company out, people are often happy to share a post or two.”

2. Give them a reason to. Sounds like a bit of the obvious, doesn’t it? If you want people to talk about your business, you have to make them want to. And, as you may have guessed, it all comes down to providing exceptional service. “Going all out to deliver exceptional services can get your customers talking about your business to family and friends,” says Ajaero Tony Martins on MyTopBusinessIdeas.com.

He also notes that making your business interesting and unique will get people talking about it. “The first step to promoting your business with word of mouth marketing is by generating something to be talked about,” says Martins, “Call it a buzz and you won’t be wrong but it must be worth sharing with others. If your business offers nothing exciting or puzzling to be talked about; then you can never harness the power of word of mouth.”

3. Create a “selfie” station. In today’s world, it’s totally not uncommon to see people posing with their smartphones in hand, taking pictures of themselves. Yes, the “selfie” is an all-too-popular practice these days. So why not take advantage of it? Shaheen is a big proponent for using social media to get people to spread the word about your company. Creating a “selfie station” in your store just might do the trick!

She provides some tips on how to get one going. “All you need is a convenient place for people to stand, perhaps with a sign with your store’s logo and a #IWish hashtag,” suggests Shaheen, “A great idea for jewelry stores is the hopeful bride-to-be posing with a stunning engagement ring on her hand with the hashtag #HintHint. There’s no harm in letting your customers do your selling for you!”

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10 Feb

5 More Ways To Secure A Booming Home-Based Business

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 10.02.15 by John Meloche

Real Estate Concept. House with calculator and Piggy BankAs any business owner will tell you, running a business is no small feat. But that’s especially true for the entrepreneur running a business from home. In yesterday’s blog, we delivered a number of great tips to help home-based business owners find some new ways to grow their independently-run entities. There’s really no limit to what a home-based business owner can accomplish. Many have gone on to achieve massive success!

“Apple computers, Hershey’s, Mary Kay cosmetics, and Ford Motor Company all started out as home-based businesses,” Howcast.com reminds us. So just think of the possibilities! Arguably, running a business from home can be the most lucrative way to run a company. To begin with, you would have very little in terms of overhead and start up costs. Not having to rent a space will save you a lot of money, for starters.

Dummies.com also offers up some great encouragement. “Although no one can guarantee that your home-based business will bring you the fame and fortune you hope it will, if you work hard, price your products and services right, and keep your customers satisfied, you stand a good chance of doing just that,” reads the website. It goes on to provide some excellent suggestions for how to make your home-based business succeed. Here are five.

1. Do what you love. No job is easy to do if you don’t enjoy it. And when you’re the owner of a company, chances are that you made the decision to go into business yourself because you love what you do. This is an important step in being able to make sure you go somewhere with your brand. What could motivate you more to succeed than the enjoyment of working every day? “Doing what you love also sometimes requires that you ignore what other people want you to do for a living,” Dummies.com reminds us.

2. Set aside a real home office. It’s really important to treat your business like a business, the website insists. Even though you are working from home, your working environment should be conducive to working. Make a space that is exclusively for your business. Naturally, this will require such necessities as a desk, a chair, a computer, writing materials – you get the picture. Try not to visit this space outside of designated time to work. It will help to keep you focused.

3. Become an expert. Working from home should say something about the prowess you possess within your chosen field. It should not connote that you have a lazy nature that prevents you from wanting to go to work. It’s the opposite! You specialize in what you do. Dummies.com strongly suggests that you promote that about yourself. “People respect those who know more than they do,” says the site, “It makes good business sense for your clients to hire an expert instead of someone less experienced.”

4. Charge what you’re worth. One of the best (but also potentially hardest) aspects of running your business from home is that what you charge goes predominantly into your own pocket. So short-changing yourself isn’t exactly the best of ideas. It may be difficult to set prices that you think may be frowned upon, but it’s important to prove that you’re worth it. Dummies.com insists that “an instant going-out-of-business plan” includes charging your clients less than what you’re worth.

5. Ask for referrals. We’ve often blogged about the fact that there’s no better way to promote your brand than through word-of-mouth. And, in your case, it’s practically mandatory. If you’ve done your due diligence to make your current customers happy, ask them to pass along the word about your great work. “Word-of-mouth referrals are probably the least expensive and the most effective way of getting new business,” reads Dummies.com.

The promotional products offered by Synergy Marketing have long been known to encourage referrals. Learn more about how they can help to boost your home-based business by calling us at 1-877-748-9884 today!

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06 Feb

Small Businesses Should Focus On Customer Retention

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 06.02.15 by John Meloche

Excited group of business people-isolatedThe fallout from last weekend’s widely-watched Super Bowl continues. And while people may still be talking, around the water coolers, about the various commercials that were aired during the broadcast, a question lingers in the air. Did the advertisements work? And we don’t just mean that they worked in the way that it got people talking about them. Have the advertisements earned their advertisers more money?

As Dave Lavinksy of Forbes.com puts it, “while the American public may rave about a funny Budweiser commercial…the Board of Directors isn’t even going to giggle until they see a healthy return on investment.” He goes on to note that small business owners need to take on a very different approach to growing their companies. While big-named brands spend millions of dollars on trying to get new customers, Lavinsky insists that small business owners do the opposite.

Focus on your current customers, he says. “The fact is that most businesses spend way too much money advertising to get new customers,” he writes, “And once they get them, they don’t fully leverage them. Rather, by advertising to your customers, they will buy from you more often, buy higher priced items, tell their friends about you and so on. The fact is that your customers already have a track record of buying from you. They know you and typically trust you.”

So what are the best ways to advertise to your current customers? Lavinsky again suggests that thinking the opposite of a large corporation is the key. In other words, don’t focus on television commercials, radio spots or newspaper ads. Instead, it’s important to go the route of direct mail, newsletters, email and social media. The bottom line, he asserts, is that it’s all about customer retention over customer attraction for the small business owner.

“Clever business owners figure out how to sell to their existing customer base by ensuring they have high value adjacent products or services,” says Lavinsky. For example, do you sell products that your business can also service if they are in need of repair? “Almost all car dealerships have a service centre that is typically more lucrative that the sale of the car,” he states. Perhaps, you can also offer seminars at your place of business that teach the value of your products and services.

As well, it’s important to focus on the referral process. One of the best ways to attain new customers is to encourage your current ones to tell others about you. It has often been said that there is no better way to advertise your brand than to have its loyal customers spread the news by word-of-mouth. It’s arguably the best possible way to promote your business. It works for many professionals, as Lavinsky points out.

“Did you know that some businesses do not advertise at all?” he asks, “Everyone has heard of doctors or lawyers whose services are so desirable you have to wait months for an appointment. Successful family doctors stop accepting new patients. How do they do this? By treating each customer exceptionally well and providing the very best products and services. Treat your customers like gold and not only will they remain your customer, they will become your personal marketers.”

Earlier, we mentioned the need for small business owners to make use of social media. This can’t be reiterated enough. In today’s world, there’s likely no better way for word-of-mouth promotion to spread. “Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have given word of mouth immense power,” Lavinsky writes. So don’t worry about not being able to afford a Super Bowl commercial. Focus your efforts on the customer base you have in order to help it grow!

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31 Jul

Reviewing Great Ways To Market Your Brand

Posted in Promotional Products, Synergy Suggestions on 31.07.13 by John Meloche

two 3d humans look at human with megaphoneIt’s time for a refresher. Every so often, the Synergy Marketing Blog likes to put in some research online and locate different ideas on how businesses should be marketed. Sure, we find a lot of information that is similar. But it’s always important to draw from those patterns to determine what the best marketing practices are. On Yahoo.com, Jennifer Mullins lists several great ways to market your business.

In our next two blogs, we will be analyzing this list in an effort to get business owners to branch out from their norms and try new ideas. You may have heard of some of these ideas before. But have you tried them? Sometimes the most simple of ideas are the ones that are the most effective. Keeping in mind your need to work within a budget, this list may help you find that marketing your company doesn’t have to be so hard at all.

Free Merchandise. The first tip Mullins provides is to give away some of your merchandise. Of course you want it to sell. But sometimes free samples are the best commercials for those very products. This is the same concept as giving away promo items. It provides your clients with the ability to try something new without having to pay for it. This gives them a sense of value that they will appreciate.

She notes that post it notes make great promotional tools. At Synergy, we can do you one better by offering the 4-in-1 Tape Measure that comes with a note pad and a pen. Extremely handy and useful, such a promo gift is one that will stay with its recipient for a good amount of time. This will make sure that he or she keeps your company in mind for the long haul.

Pens are another great piece of merchandise that will end up being passed around,” writes Mullins. Naturally, we completely agree. Arguably the most useful and common of all promotional gifts, pens are used frequently. Each time your client goes to write something down, if they do so with a pen bearing your company name and logo, you’re bound to be visited again soon. It’s constant marketing.

Word of mouth. This type of promotion is often heralded as the best kind around. What could be better than having a customer recommend your business to another person? That’s as good a sales pitch as you can get. Achieving referrals is as simple as offering the greatest form of customer service imaginable, indicates Mullins. The word about your efforts is sure to be passed on.

Referral programs. Then again, perhaps the best way to get referrals is to start a referral program. Mullins suggests that you even make the request on your business cards. Simply have “REFERRED BY” followed by a space for a name printed on the back of the cards that you hand out. When someone comes into your store with one of those cards, offer an award to the person who referred you. Your client base is bound to grow.

Rewards programs. Referrals aren’t the only reasons to give out rewards. The more your customers shop with you, the more benefits they should receive. Consider using a special “punch or signature” system on a shopping card that can help your clients earn their way towards free merchandise or other prizes. After all, people love getting things for free. At Synergy Marketing, we should know!

Call us at 1-877-748-9884 to order your promo gifts today. And be sure to check out tomorrow’s blog for more great tips on how to market your business.

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