From Michelle Cady-Cook, Cady Reporting Services, Cleveland, OH
The old saying goes, “you are either growing for you’re dying.” One of the only ways to grow your Cleveland court reporter business is to focus on your marketing strategy. In this economy, it’s imperative that your business gets noticed.
There is no one way to do things when it comes to marketing, and the only wrong way is to do nothing at all. Some have large budgets and others work on a shoestring. Regardless of what type of business you have, you can tap into and apply some very practical strategies that will work for your business. Here are three areas that can make a big difference:
- Increased visibility in your community
- Online presence
- Great customer service and contact to build deep customer relationships
When you are looking to grow your business, make friends! Connecting with people in a positive way shows them “you” and from there they are able to understand what your business is driven by. So join local organizations where you can network with people and build relationships. From here, you can tap valuable resources and become a resource yourself. Interview others when you find that they have information helpful to you. People are honored when you ask about their opinions and experiences. Tape the interview, give them a copy and post it on your various sites. When you in turn become a resource to others, it lets people know that you’re an expert in your field. This makes you a trusted and valuable resource. Your network will increase in quality and quantity.
Analyze your internet presence. The internet is the place most people look for information about businesses. How is your website placed on sites like Google and Bing? Are you actively using social media sites? Being active on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ is important, and will only get more so as time goes on.
Many people do not see the immediate benefits or ROI of social media and then choose not to participate. However, there are many reasons to do so. Social media makes it more possible to connect with customers. Logging onto these sites has become daily routine for most people. Be visible where the people are. You can be in front of your existing and potential customers every day for free!
When you post interesting, informative and helpful content you grow respect and form better connections with customers. You may not always be able to see the exact like-to-loyal-customer trail on sites like Facebook, but not having a social media presence may cause customers (and especially potential customers) to question why you don’t have one. Lack of presence may cause people to ask questions or have thoughts such as, “are they trying to hide something?” or “they must not be very cutting edge.”
Social media sites help your company to be transparent, and therefore likeable. Not only can you market your company, but you can also see what makes your competition tick. What are they posting? What is getting them likes? Keeping track of competitors, and also your clients’ activities is very valuable. Of course, as with everything, as an owner you must establish common-sense rules for yourself and employees using social networking and discussion sites, and always be positive and helpful on them.
Once you follow your plan and achieve your goals of more customers, keeping them is important. Building deep relationships with customers will keep them coming back. They should be made to feel important and appreciated. Always treat customers as individuals by using their name and sincerely caring about their needs because people value that in a company. Ask yourself, “How can I make my customers feel good about doing business here?” Thank your customers every chance you get. Hand-written notes tell people that you took time to sit down and think about them for a few minutes out of your day. If one of your customers has a need that your company does not normally fulfill, remember the power of the word, “yes”. When you can go a little bit out of your way to help them, doing business with you becomes easy, and people always want to return to people who are easy to work with.
One of the most important points is to not let yourself be your own obstacle to great marketing. The future of the company lies in your hands. There is never a good reason to not do at least some of these things. It is like brushing your teeth, or exercising. We make time for these things because they are essential for the health of our bodies. Marketing activities are essential for the health of our companies. Keep focused on your marketing strategies and work toward your goals a little bit at a time, and you will watch your business grow.