Tip 1: Create an awesome cover image for Facebook and Twitter
This is one I do for my clients all the time. Your cover image is the first thing potential customers see when they land on your Facebook page or Twitter profile. It’s advertising real estate gold so make it super memorable. This is an especially good way to draw attention to a promotion or special offer. Facebook and Twitter allow you to change your cover image as often as you like so keep it fresh and use the space to your advantage!
I use Canva to create mine and my clients fabulous Facebook covers. The free version provides all the tools, templates and images you need and if you get stuck, check out Vicki Nicholson’s FREE Beginners Masterclass in Canva.
Tip 2: Join a networking group
I used to view networking groups with a wary eye and admittedly I’d still rather pluck the hairs from Mr B’s bum than sign up to one of those networking groups where you ‘have’ to introduce a certain number of people each year and pass on a certain amount of business. Ick! However, friendly, local networking groups – Like Serena Fordhams fabulous group Her Business Brew here in Norwich – can be a great way to get out there and meet some lovely new entrepreneurial pals. Take a deep breath and get out there girls!
Tip 3: Sign up as an Amazon Associate
Fancy a bit of extra income? If there’s a product that your customers would love, chances are it’s sold on Amazon. Review books on your blog, create ‘best of’ or ‘best for’ shopping or gift posts and link to the products you’re talking about using your Amazon Associates account. If a customer clicks through your link and buys, you’ll get a cut of the cash!
You can sign up for a free Amazon Associates account here.
Tip 4: Create a gift guide on your blog
Visual gift guides are a great way to display lots of products and services without a pushy sales message in sight! Think inspirational and informative and let the images do the rest! Create a guide as a blog and keep the url simple and date free. E.G. www.mysite.com/christmasgiftguide (no year please) this way you can simply update it and re-publish it year after year and the URL gets stronger each time.
Tip 5: Get specific on social media
Do you sell the perfect stocking filler? Do you have a ‘must have’ product for a party? Can your service save someone time, money or stress? Say so! And use storytelling language to help your customer picture that perfect result in their mind.
‘Your children’s eyes will light up when they see…’
‘… takes your look from desk to dancefloor in an instant’
Tip 6: Swap social media mentions with other businesses
Expand the reach of your content on social media by tracking down other businesses in your local area or industry who have a similar audience but sell different products or services to your own. Drop them a line to introduce yourself and ask if they fancy giving your latest blog post a shout out on their social media in return for the same on yours. You’ll be surprised how many people say yes!
E.G. If you are a skincare specialist you might seek out a nutritionist or if you’re a copywriter you might track down a graphic designer.
Tip 7: Ask for testimonials and use them EVERYWHERE
When it comes to convincing potential customers that you are all sorts of awesome, nothing makes a bigger impression than testimonials. Ask for them and use them. Got a great Facebook Page, LinkedIn or Google My Business review? Use it on your website, make memes and share them on all your social media channels.
Tip 8: Don’t do a disappearing act on your customers
Regular content makes your customers feel safe, secure and connected with your business and whilst life may sometimes get in the way (and family always comes first) try to maintain regular contact with your customers. If you’re taking time off, pop a post on your Facebook page that says so, turn your out of office on and use scheduling tools like Hootsuite, Later or PostPlanner to post for you whilst you’re away.
Tip 9: Set your social alarm for customer-o’clock!
Do you know what time your customers are online? Is it early morning or… right now? Take a look at your Facebook Page Insights and schedule your posts when your stats are highest!
Tip 10: Add links to your website and social media profiles in your email signature
It sounds so simple doesn’t it? But you’d be amazed at the number of people who don’t bother adding a signature block to the end of their e-mails. C’mon ladies! You want potential customers to connect and communicate with you? Tell them how to find you! Be sure to include your social media links!
Tip 11: Get yourself and/or your products in the press
Getting coverage in local and national media can get more eyes on your products, which means more potential money in your biz! Got an awesome Christmas product? Send a quick press release and images to journalists, news desks and bloggers ASAP. Got some great ideas for Valentines? Start targeting publications NOW.
Take 5 minutes daily to check out the feeds for the following hashtags on Twitter:
or use them in your tweets to showcase your products and see if anyone would like to use them for forthcoming gift guides.
Tip 12: Run a Black Friday deal
Have you started planning for the biggest shopping day of the year yet? Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just a few weeks away and these super shopping days as important for small businesses as they are for big! If you’re going to take part then start thinking about what you could offer now and begin generating interest via social media and your newsletter NOW.
Tip 13: Plan ahead
And whilst we’re thinking ahead, have you started giving any thought to your Christmas sales and offers yet? If not, you need to get moving as many people are already starting to think about this years Christmas lists. If you need a few pointers to help you create an awesome sales campaign this Christmas, check out this blog: 7 steps to the perfect content-driven sales campaign
My three golden rules for a successful sales campaign: Plan. Prepare. Execute.
Thinking beyond 2017, what seasonal or industry events are coming up over the next three months that you use to boost your sales?
Tip 14: Offer exclusive subscriber discounts
Make your loyal customers and subscribers feel super duper special by offering an exclusive discount to your list. Send out an email shot specifically about your offer (focus = action) and make it crystal clear that you’re only offering this special discount to them as valued members of your community. Set a deadline to encourage swift buying action!
Tip 15: Believe in yourself
In a competitive marketplace packed with products and services the quickest and best way to stand out is to be totally, utterly yourself. Embrace your quirks, tell your story, write like you speak… People buy from people, always be yourself.
Bonus Tip: Don’t give up!
When sales are slow it can be easy to feel down in the dumps about your business. Stay focussed on the positive and keep on marketing yourself consistently, it will pay off.