Did you know that your customers are much more likely to tell their friends bad stuff that you do than good stuff – unless the good stuff is extraordinary? They already expect to see fast-loading shopping websites, secure shopping experiences, and one-click ordering. It’s what they don’t expect that matters most when it comes to using online experiences to boost your business.
* Send a Card – When a customer makes a large purchase from you, consider collecting snail mail addresses in addition to email addresses. This way you can send them a card in the mail thanking them for the purchase along with a little coupon. You can use a service like SendOutCards, or even an online service like Tiny Prints.
Send Out Cards – https://www.sendoutcards.com/
Tiny Prints – https://www.tinyprints.com/
* Talk to Them on the Phone – Another way to impress your customers is to pick up the phone to tell them thank you, ask them how it’s going, and whether or not you can do anything for them. Most of the time you’ll end up leaving a message on voice mail, but sometimes you’ll get to have a great conversation with someone who is about to become a customer for life.
* Send a Survey – When you’re not sure what to do in order to improve your users’ online experiences, ask them. You can use survey software like SnapSurveys or the function on Facebook in Groups, or ask a one-question survey via email.
Link – http://www.snapsurveys.com/
* Personalize Packaging – If you send items to your customers in the mail that they order online, the packaging can make a huge difference. While this isn’t exactly an “online experience” by itself, it will improve your reorder rate exponentially.
* Free Is Fun – When you give your audience a lot of free information that they can really count on and use, they end up reporting a much better online experience than without it. If you’re not sure about free, another fun way is to let them pay what they want for digital reports. You can do this easy with Gumroad.
Link – http://www.gumroad.com/
* Send Fewer Emails – This might seem counterproductive but the truth is, people get sick of too many emails. However, you do want to reach out a few times a week so they don’t forget about you. In order to accomplish this, only send out email when you have a reason and purpose for doing so – this will make your audience trust you even more.
* Keep Your Blog Updated – Nothing is worse for your customer than having a few minutes of time to read what you have to say, only to find out that they’re all caught up. While you don’t want to post just to post, you do want to put up new content a few times a week that has a point and that your audience will love.
* Engage in Social Media – Social media is supposed to be an interactive experience but so many times it’s not. Try to spend a little time each day updating social media, answering questions, responding to comments, and posting something new.
Finally, ensure that whenever your audience needs to visit (online or offline), you offer the best experience for them that you can. Fast speeds and an easy-to-read website matches the importance of a comfortable store front for boutique shoppers. Leave no stone unturned to improve your users’ online experiences to boost your business.
Why is it important to develop a Social Media Profile?
Social media is an important part of internet connectivity with your audience. Without a profile, people do not know who your are or why they should trust you.
- First Impressions Matter.
- Think about who you are and what you represent.
- Show your qualifications and credentials.
- This is the only place where you can “toot your horn.”
- The profile is very much like a resume.
- Communicate benefits you offer to your audience.
Here is a good book on Social Media that explains how to develop a good profile.
Key Resource: “Social Media: Master Social Media Marketing on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and more, by Grant Kennedy. Click here for the book.
Five Tips on Making Money With Your Blog
“The only point in making money is, you can tell some big shot where to go.” –Humphrey Bogart
I like Bogie’s remark in the above quote. We are retired now and don’t have to concern ourselves with other people who think they can tell us what to do. We are the bosses of our own home-based business and we decide what we will do today and tomorrow.
Blogging is one way to make money online, but it is not as easy or simple to do in reality. Like all businesses, you have to work at it to succeed. It took me four tries before I developed this blog. I came up with these ideas to monetize a blog by doing research on Amazon. Here is a link of books available on Amazon.
Here are five more great ways to make money from your blog:
- EBooks and Info Products:
If you’re into blogging, chances are you love writing. This is the perfect path to creating your own information products and eBooks. You can sell them on your website, through Kindle, Smashwords and more. If your blog readers love your content, they’ll love to get even more when they can add them to their mobile device and take it wherever they go.
- Contextual Advertising:
You’ve probably heard of Google AdSense and Chitika. These are advertising networks that display content on your pages. The ads displayed are related to the topics of your specific blog posts…thus, the term “contextual”.
Working with an ad network means you don’t have to find your own advertisers and you don’t have to deal with client service either. It’s all taken care of by the ad network and you get a percentage of the profits. Or you can maximize your revenue by displaying contextual ads and accepting advertisers on your blog as well.
I decided against using this type of advertising for this blog due to the chance a fraudulent ad might appear. Working from home is a swindler’s dream of bilking you out of your money. However, I am going to use Google AdSense for my upcoming blog, Overcoming Hearing Loss with Bill Hall.com. I have been testing the contextual ads for hearing products and they appear to be legitimate ads.
- Blogging for Pay:
One of the simplest ways to start earning money from blogging right away is to simply be a blogger for hire. It’s a guaranteed way to get paid for your work. This method means you only get paid when you blog and most jobs don’t pay incredibly well. Still, it’s a great place to get started and start earning money almost right away. I use Guru.com and Outsource.com job boards as my referral source for paid assignments.
- Feeding Traffic to a Mailing List:
You may have heard the term, “the money is in the list” and it’s absolutely true. Growing your own email subscribers list ensures that you have a growing audience of people that you can keep in touch with over and over again.
Many bloggers keep their focus on content on their blog and simply funnel people into the mailing list, so they can make offers and sell products via email. Email marketing is an important topic, so we’ll definitely be talking about it in a later post.
While many bloggers prefer to communicate with their fingertips to the keyboard, many also have a very commanding presence and enjoy speaking to audiences. Your blog proves to your readers that you are an authority on your subject.
Speaking to your audience is a good way to cultivate an audience, as it can be very profitable. Whether you run your own webinars, podcasts, or speak at various live events, having an active blog following can help you bring more people to your speaking events and increase your income.
You might just use one idea to start with, but most successful bloggers use a combination of a few or more monetization opportunities. The key is to start exploring ideas, testing them out and further developing those methods that work for you.
What do you think? Do you have questions? Write a comment below and start a discussion.
“ I alone cannot change the world,
but I can cast a stone across the waters
to create many ripples.”
Retirees Can Market Their Business
With an Online Community
One of the best ways to use social media to build your business is to build an online community. You can do that with a lot of different software like Ning.com, DelphiForums.com and, very popular right now, Facebook. There are a lot of benefits to building online communities that you need to know about.
Online Community Defined:
An online community is a place where you can speak to others about issues affecting like-minded people. It can be a community of customers (current and future), of your peers, or even leaders and innovators. A community of influencers and visionaries is great too. The type of community you build will depend on your goals.
Why Use Facebook?
The popularity of Facebook is enormous. Google reports that 40% of all referrals come from Facebook communities. That is a lot of referrals. Also, retirees have grandchildren and are using Facebook and other Social Media platforms to keep in touch with them. Therefore, don’t assume that the over 50 crowd is not on Facebook. They are also there looking for solutions to their problems.
Define the Goals of Your Community:
You, as a retired home-based business owner, can build a community around the services or products you are offering to your customers. That can include all age groups or specialize in one issue. Devote the time to build a community to make a difference in your marketing efforts.
Set Your Goals
In order to build the right type of community, it’s important to consider the following questions:
- Is It Easy to Maintain?
The type of group you build needs to be simple to maintain and practically run itself. When you choose the platform that you want for your community, be sure that you understand it. If you don’t, be sure you can get help with it.
- Who Will You Invite?
If you want to build your business, start a community for potential, current and future customers. That way you can have a good mixture of satisfied customers. You will also attract those who still have questions that you and your community members can answer. When you do this you’ll discover enormous benefits from your community.
- You’ll Connect with Your Audience Faster:
Building a community is the very best word-of-mouth marketing that you can get involved with today. Within just a few short months you can have a thriving community.
- Get Insight into Your Audience:
Having a community consisting of your audience gives insight that you’d never get any other way. You’ll be able to know their problems and solve them like never before.
- You’ll Have Lower Customer Acquisition Costs:
Once you build the community, you’ll be able to turn people into customers a lot easier, which means less cost for advertising and marketing.
- You’ll Build Your Business Faster:
When people get to know, like and trust you, they’ll be a lot more likely to want to work with you. This will help you build your business faster than ever.
- You Will Become a Known Expert:
As you expertly answer questions, people are observing and growing in trust regarding your knowledge about your niche. This will help you attract more targeted customers, who will likely utilize your expertise to solve their problems.
- Beat Out Your Competition:
If you can build a more vibrant community than your competition, you’ll win the most customers.
Here’s a recent book on building an online community in simple steps:
Key Resource: Click here for The Online Community Blueprint: A 9-Step Guide to Planning an Online Community for Your Customers, Members, or Partners, by Katie Bapple.
A Community of Like Minded People Supporting Each Other and You
When you have a true online community, people who are in your target audience will discuss with each other issues surrounding the niche, and give you an opportunity to participate and be a fly on the wall. It’s an excellent way to build a better business.
Mother Teresa was right, when you cast a stone in the water, ripples will travel far and wide. Cast that stone now and watch how you can help to change the world.