Posts tagged On-line Marketing
In case you havenʼt heard about Twitter or donʼt know much about it yet, Twitter is a microblogging site that allows you to send short messages of 140 characters to less out to everyone who follows you.
On Twitter, you follow people of interest to you and they follow you. If you are going to use Twitter to gain business, I suggest you follow people in your area — start with clients but then move on from there to other local businesses.
Think of Twitter as a party. You donʼt show up at a party and only talk about yourself or your business, right? No, you engage in conversation. Ask leading questions to find out what people are doing. You also give information – a book your read or are reading, an article, a blog post your wrote or read, etc. that can help the person you are talking to with their problem. Same thing with Twitter.
Then mixed in with that line of conversation, you promote your business: post last minute cancelations, promotions/specials, blog posts, classes, etc.
Just to give you an example on how I have used Twitter — one week, I had several openings, so on Monday morning I posted this: “Openings this week: Tues at 5, Wed at 2 & Thurs at 10, need a massage call 703-851-6922, email or DM me.” I did all that in 103 characters and I was completely booked by the end of Monday.
So get tweetinʼ! If you havenʼt started a Twitter account yet, this video walks you through the steps.
The first step in creating video is having a place to put it – and the king remains YouTube. Even if you don’t have your own videos to upload yet, it’s nice to have a YouTube account that you can use to comment on, favorite, or otherwise interact with videos.
Your first step is to go to http://www.youtube.com and click “Create Account” in the top right corner. Remember that you’ll be stuck with your username and it will be visible to everyone – so make it some variation of your name or your business name. Next, YouTube will ask you to create or link to an existing Google account. (This is a change since Google purchased YouTube.)
After you’ve finished creating your account, start playing around with your settings. I often get asked the difference between a regular account and a channel – every account has a channel built right in. You can modify yours by going to “Account” in the drop-down that appears under your username in the top right corner, then “edit channel”. That’s it for now, we’ll be improving upon your videos soon!
Last week we talking about going local by getting a Google Places. This week we want to continue our on-line presence by adding your business to Yelp.com
Almost everyone is heading online to solve their problems these days, whether they need a massage therapist or a florist! Making your business stand out in local search results can have an instant impact on your bottom line, especially if your competitors are not reading this blog post!
One popular website for business reviews is yelp.com. Adding your business (or updating an existing listing) to yelp is easy and free. Just go to https://biz.yelp.com/support/unlocking and follow their step-by-step process to get started. The more information you can add about your business the better!
After your business is listed its time to get reviews – contact a few happy clients who you have a great personal relationship with and ask if they might consider writing you a review. One review is often enough to get the ball rolling and lead to many more.
You might want to take proactive approach about this one and add your business. Anyone can add any business and write a review on them. You will want to monitor it too for comments especially if they are not positive.
Those listings are a part of a free service called Google Places (formerly Google Local). Your Google places listing allows customer reviews, videos, and even a place for you to post updated special offers!
Start by going here to list your business. You will need to create a Google account for this process if you don’t have one already.
Google will take you through some forms to fill out about your business: such as store hours, parking, types of services, credit cards, etc.
Here’s my Google Places listing that you can check out as an example. The more information the better, so fill out every field and add some pictures and videos. Don’t forget to solicit reviews from your customers to juice up your places page!
If you want to build a successful massage practice in today’s economy, you must have a powerful online presence. In 2010, Pew Research Foundation reported 62% of Americans search for health information online. People are online looking for support and information. If you are not present where people are hanging out, looking for you, it makes it that much harder for your practice to grow.
I know some of us havenʼt reached the digital age and are uncomfortable with the idea that we must be online to build our practices. Online is where people are and all business, commerce and marketing is moving in that direction (this is why newspapers, traditional TV and radio are struggling to survive). Here is my short list of what you need to develop an effective online presence.
1. A blog. Blogs are a wonderful way to post helpful information for your current and prospective clients. A blog that you can edit and update independent of a designer allows you to optimize your marketing and multiple income streams. I suggest a WordPress.org blog that you host independently. You can use a free template or paid theme (for a paid theme, I suggest Headway, check the Resource section of my website for more info.)
2. Active profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great place to network with like minded colleagues. Think of it as an online, never ending networking event.
3. Get a Facebook Business Page. With over 500 million users on Facebook, some of them are bound to be looking for YOU! Be active. Provide value! Check out this blog post for a video tutorial.
4. Twitter. I canʼt tell you how much I love Twitter as a marketing tool! Used effectively, Twitter allows you to communicate your ideas to thousands of people many times per day. At first glance, Twitter may not seem relevant or make much sense to you. Iʼm planning on pulling together a class teaching the ins and outs of Twitter for helping professionals. In the meantime, hereʼs a short video tutorial to get you started. Follow people who tweet ideas that speak to your interests. Many will follow you back. When you feel comfortable, start sending your own tweets. Donʼt worry, itʼs free and you canʼt break it!
A big mistake I see my clients (heck, other businesses for that matter!) make is thinking that social media marketing (SMM) is not as important as other parts of your business. I say you canʼt afford not to make SM a priority. SM is an extremely powerful tool and itʼs FREE to boot! So youʼll want to take advantage of it. If you donʼt embrace SM, your competition will. If you are resisting it, believe me your competition is right there using social media to connect with their clients…and possibly yours. Youʼre likely not making SM a part of your business because youʼre resisting it. Anything you resists become bigger, but you probably already know that. If you think of social media as if “I have to” vs. “I get to” youʼll never embrace it.
When you resist something, youʼre probably not going to get great results. So hereʼs the deal, just as you put lots of passion into giving massage, put that much passion and energy into your SMM (into the times youʼre on any of the SM platforms and engaging with your clients).
Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? The belief that success is 80% mindset and 20% mechanics. The power is how you think about a situation (mindset), not how you solve it (mechanics). Itʼs one thing to know the latest and greatest tips for SMM (and I will be teaching those in the future), but itʼs an entirely different experience when you have values that are aligned with your SM strategy. Those who embrace SMM as an extension of their personality and as a way to penetrate the thoughts, feelings and desires of their audience, theyʼre the successes because theyʼve embraced SM, not resisted it.
This week, let go of the guilt of what you “should” be doing but youʼre not and stop resisting integrating SMM into your business model. Youʼll free up a lot of mental space which allows you to embrace SMM in a new way. How can you turn your SM experience into something you enjoy and embrace? Once you answer this, you will definitely be able to up your game and spend less effort and enjoy the process.