2020 is now halfway done. I don’t even remember what it was like in Jan and Feb and I also know that things will never be the same again. My company like everyone else’s had to adjust and change with these crazy times. These unpredictable and ever changing times.
Experts? What are those? I don’t know if anyone can even call themselves an expert in anymore due to how fast everything is changing. I do know that the people that are adapting and adjusting daily are the ones that will make it through this.
I talk to business owners daily. I am hearing their pain points. I know places have shuttered for good and some are struggling to survive. I also know businesses that are thriving because they have completely shifted their business model. I mean completely. From a clothing boutique to a virtual fashion blog overnight. This shift happens weekly, daily, hourly, and by the minute. We all watch the news and then we all adjust our sails and move forward. We know the destination, we are still figuring out how to get there with the least amount of battle scars.
Will we all survive this? No. Not all of us. Why? Because some of us will have to leave our old ways of doing business behind and reinvent ourselves. Will will have to evolve and move forward and leave the past behind.
We will never be the same again and we have to embrace that and move forward.
So what can we do to promote our business and keep going?
1. Increase Visibility
We shift ALL of our business online. We make sure we are more visible than ever. We make sure everyone and I mean everyone knows what we are selling.
You bake cakes? Great! It better be on every social media channel you can think of. You need to be telling everyone what you are doing. You need to showcase your work. You need to make everyone in your town want to buy from you. They need to be bombarded with pictures of your gorgeous creations. They need to watch videos of you making the cakes. They need to salivate. They should want to reach into their phone and want to take a bite. You should be eating your creations. You should also be sharing content of others enjoying your creations.
Cake! Cake! Who doesn’t like cake!
2. Increase Comfort
Everyone is really uncomfortable right now. They don’t want to be. They want to eat, drink, and relax, and forget about what is going on outside of their homes. They want to have a little staycation and not do one more damn dish!
So back to you selling cakes. You think to yourself, “well, why can’t they make them?” Because we don’t want to. We don’t want to attempt the baking and then screw it all up, and then have to clean it up too. We want your perfect creations in our bellies without any effort at all.
So how do you increase comfort for your audience? You offer easy pickup and/or delivery. You sign up with a service that can deliver your creations OR you do it yourself. Within 5 miles, it’s free, after that you charge to deliver. You get out there and you put all those beautiful cakes in your car and you deliver them.
You can use this for any business. Have a shoe store? Offer free delivery. Offer them a free try on session at home and let them have 5 pairs to try and keep if they choose. There are endless possibilities and endless ways you can add more money to your bank account!
3. Update Google
You know how people find anything lately? They google it! If your online presence is not strong on search engines, you are invisible! Social media helps with google! Why? The more content you churn out, the easier it is for people to find you. So make sure your google business information is up to date and correct.
Make sure you are sharing amazing pictures and videos on your business account. Make sure your hours are updated and you have really great videos and blogs on your website. Have people leave you stellar reviews. Reward them after they review you. Offer them a discount code for reviews. The better the reviews the better your business look.
Google loves active business owners. They want to know you enjoy running your business and are super involved in it. Google wants to help you success but you need to make sure you are doing everything on your end to set yourself up for success.
So do it right now, google your business and see what comes up! Make sure you verify it and take a few minutes to make it look as amazing as it really is.
Final note, please please respond to all reviews, whether negative or positive! I promise you this will help you immensely and increase sales over time.
4. Write Blogs
Okay so you have this fantastic restaurant or dry cleaners. You need to drum up more business and don’t want to pay for advertising. What can you do? You write a bunch of blogs. The longer the better. Why? It helps you rank on google and you become an expert in your field.
Someone reads your posts and says “Hey, these people know a lot about dry cleaning, I should go to them.”
Ranking on top of google, does not have to cost a fortune. You can compete with the big guys by churning out more content than them. Dedicating yourself to writing about your business, even if it is once a week will help you be seen as an expert in your field.
You will not only be THE resource for all things dry cleaning in your area, you will definitely rank higher on google and drum up more business.
Blogs can be anything from a few words to thousands of words. At my agency we recommend blog posts or at least 2,000 words to rank higher on google. Why? Because the more content you have, the more important google thinks your website is. Google wants you to educate your clients and visitors and it will send more traffic to websites that do just that.
5. Be Consistent
Okay, you are doing all of the above for a week or so and then… you stop. No! You must remain consistent and build up the content over time. The more consistent you are, the more sales you make. Do not let the content stop flowing. Even if you have to put a quote up, write two words for your blog post. Do it! Do it every single day and watch what happens! Make cute little videos. Show your clients your home life. Working out? Great, post it. Eating yummy food? Great, post it! Bought a new pair of shoes? Great, post it.
People want an insider look into your business and want to know how they can relate to you. It does not always have to be butterflies and rainbows. You can show your struggles. You can show your wins. You can highlight your accomplishments. You can also show your recipes after they have failed. Did the cake you made fall on the floor? Great! Show everyone. The more relatable and down to earth you are, the more people want to buy from you.
People want to spend their money on things that provoke some sort of emotion. They want to feel good about what they purchase. Make them feel good. Make yourself relatable and open to compliments and criticism.
Content marketing is no longer a strange term that no one understands. Content is so important to all businesses in these times. Marketing does not have to be hard and tiresome. It can be fun and create joy for yourself and others around you.
Marketing is anything that helps to sell your product of service. Whether that be videos, pictures, blogs, reviews, a fun website, the list goes on. There is no limit to the amount of content you can put on. Gone are the days of posting once a day. Now you need to post on all social media channels several times a day. Don’t worry about flooding someones feed or making them “sick” of your content. All social media channels are not chronological anymore. You don’t post and someone sees it right away. With the new algorithms in place across all social media channels, someone might see your post in the morning and not the one at night. The more content you push out, the more people engage, the more people see it. Someone that has never seen any of your posts before, even though they follow you will not start seeing them because you simply post more.
Also, the more content you push out, the more likely people are to share it and spread the words. This builds brand authority and visibility. A brand that churns out tons of content, is always seen by more people. A brand that posts once a week? Not as much. Gone are the days someone can just walk by your shop and discover you. People are living online in 2020 and are only discovering the brands that are churning out more content that ever.
I know this seems super overwhelming. This is where my agency comes in. We make content. We churn out content all day long for your clients. We write blog posts, we post content on social media, we make videos, we write ad copy. If it involves making content, we do it. The one pain point I was having in my life was churning out enough content for my company. That is where I shifted my business and decided that we need to help other brands churn out content. I have to tell you, we have been super successful with this shift.
My agency not only works with big companies that already have in house marketing departments, we also work with small businesses that need one or two items a month. This menu of services we offer, helps everyone come out on top.
Now do you have to hire an agency to handle this for you? No! Of course not! You can do this all yourself. If you get started and realize you need help or don’t want to hire someone full time to handle it, that is where an agency comes in. You pick and choose what you want. This not only saves you a ton of time in the long run but ensures consistency. You can make sure someone is posting and writing and making content even while you're on vacation.
Life happens. People do go on vacation. They get sick. They have a wedding. Hiring someone to handle it for you ensures the work is done. It ensures your business is always churning out relevant content no matter what is going on in your life.
So my friends, I leave you with some more wisdom. You must start shifting your business to live online. Yes, you have a location and you are a restaurant. Great! I know and I feel your pain. But you are among thousands of other places in your town. How do you stand out? You become the authority in your town. You have the best recipes online, the best virtual or in person events, the best pictures and videos. You are a content making machine and you make sure everyone knows of your presence. When people think of a place to eat, they think of your place because they see it so often. That is marketing my friends. Being in someone’s face constantly. You are always on their feed. You are always at the top when they google “best fried chicken” Your recipe is the one they made for their last party. You are the best place to go because you made sure you drilled it into their heads daily.
Now go out there and make some content. Put your business out there and watch what happens. If you need help, we’re here for you. We make content that can sell anything.
Founder of FLP Group