What’s your story?

January 22, 2020 Daily

You know how and why you got into business, but do your customers? More and more, customers want to know about the people and companies they do business with. Telling your story in a clear and compelling way can win trust, build your brand and help you develop loyal, enthusiastic customers. Your story can be shared through just about every part of your business. Below are four easy ways to share your how and your why with the world:

Social Media- Social’s casual, easy to use format makes it easy to share brief, anecdotal stories about how you got your start. Add early versions of logos and old photos if you can. Keep building your story into the present, showing how you’re growing, introducing industry partners. If your company has a charity they like to support, tell customers why you chose it. Share how your business today is or is not the business you set out to build. Be authentic.

Graphic design- Your logo and creative materials can serve as a visual representation. Have you ever noticed the forward arrow hidden in the FedEx logo, or the fact that Baskin-Robbins’ logo has the number 31 (for 31 flavors) drawn in? If you’re due for a logo refresh, or are just starting to develop a logo for a new business, see if you can build a message in.

Website- your website represents valuable sales territory. Rather than just stick your story under an ‘about us’ section that may or may not get read, sprinkle the most interesting bits throughout the site, on the relevant pages. Customers will learn about you, and not just your product or service.

Partnerships- remember when your Mom told you that people would judge you by your friends? Same is true when you’re a business owner. Building strategic partnerships can strengthen both brands, elevating trust and presence in the marketplace.

Five Customer Service Practices Everyone In Your Company Should Follow

December 10, 2019 Daily

Customer Service can make or break a business, and studies consistently show that far more people will pass on negative reviews than positive ones. Here are five everyday customer service ideas to share with your team:

Greet every customer, every time. This sounds basic, but think of how many times you enter a store without being acknowledged. Coach your employees that even if they’re swamped, a quick shout out to everyone who enters is an absolute must.

Customer service expectations can vary by generation. What employees think constitutes good customer service isn’t nearly as important as what the actual customer thinks. And yes, that means that you may treat some customers differently than others. Their goal as employees should be to understand what their shoppers expect, and work to exceed it.

It’s not just the merchandise that’s on display. Even if you’ve greeted a customer and left them to browse, you need to appear ready to work. If you’re on your phone, or staring out the window, people will notice. Stay engaged.

Know your product. Is there a new product on the shelf? Have prices changed? Has a popular item changed in some way or become unavailable? Your team should be on top of these changes and be ready to share information or suggest alternatives with customers.

Make connections. Your employees should be up to date on your social and digital platforms so they can suggest them to customers. What kinds of information are available to a customer who opts-in to an email list, or likes a Facebook page? Does the business sell customer data? Are there special discounts or promotions available to subscribers? Each member of your team should be able to answer these questions if asked.

It’s way easier to keep a customer than to earn a new one. Great customer service will help you to do both.

Are My Customers Paying Attention to TV Ads?

November 13, 2019 Advertising Questions

Is TV advertising still a good investment? In a world where the average American sees as many as 5,000 ads every day, being memorable can seem like an impossible task. The DVR’s ability to allow viewers to skip commercials altogether adds another layer of concern for some businesses who are beginning to consider other platforms.

Whether or not TV advertising is still a good idea depends on your audience. On the one hand, studies show that 95.9% of all U.S. homes have a TV. But not all members of a household are regular viewers. Adults over 18 watch 4.5 hours a day, on average. Adults 65 and older watch an estimated 7 hours a day.

The fact that ads for cars, mobile phones/cable TV and insurance dominate the airwaves prove that companies have this figured out. TV advertising is a successful medium for products purchased mainly by adults. Advertisers know who’s paying the bills for those purchases and where they’re viewing, even if the end user may include the younger generation.

Younger Americans watch significantly less TV overall, and spend an incredible amount of time on their phones instead. Pew research reports that 95% of teens have a smartphone, and that 50% of teenage girls and 39% of teenage boys are classified as near constant users. Companies like Apple, Google and Hulu know this, and advertise heavily on platforms like YouTube.

However, nothing is absolute, and YouTube has broad appeal. Major advertisers know that 90% of 18-44 year olds and half of those 65 or over spend time on YouTube. Because of that, you’ll see that car and insurance companies spend dollars there as well.

In short, it doesn’t matter which platform has the most overall viewers if they’re not viewers who will be interested in your product. Before you commit to an ad buy, make sure you know your customer’s viewing and browsing habits and spend accordingly.

Fill Your Social Calendar with the Right Kind of Content

October 30, 2019 Advertising Questions

It’s easy to set up a business social media page, but it can be a lot harder to come up with quality content. Creating a social calendar will help take some of the stress out of managing your social pages. Make sure the tone of your post topics reflect your business and your customers. Still not sure what to write? Here are three types of posts that will engage your customers and help to build your brand.

Customer feedback- If you get a good review, share it! Lots of people will share negative feedback, but few will share a good experience. It’s up to you to amplify the good to your customer base. If you don’t have a formal review to share, share a positive comment made at a register, someone’s excitement at finding the perfect gift, a funny encounter you had with a customer. All good ways to encourage people to come into your store.

Information about your suppliers- If you do business with other local companies, or do business with someone who has an interesting story, share it! More and more, people want to know about the products and people in their supply chain. This is also a great opportunity to create some cooperative social opportunities with those other companies.

Local news and events- Do you belong to a chamber of commerce, or downtown association? Trade Group? Occasional updates about local issues or events can be valuable to your customers. Also, your involvement and/or expertise will establish your business in the community.

Your social pages are a way to stay in contact with current and future customers. Make sure you keep the conversation interesting.

Marketing on the Move

July 16, 2019 Advertising Questions

If time is money, then efficiency is like a savings account. The less time you waste, the more time you can devote to tasks that generate income. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you make the most of every day.


  1. Get mobile. With today’s phones, you should be able to do nearly everything that you can do on your computer on your phone or tablet. Use a program like Dropbox or Google Drive to save your projects to the cloud so you can jump in or forward documents from anywhere.
  2. Frontload your social. A social media management tool like Hootsuite or Buffer will allow you to preschedule your posts days in advance. Rather than popping in and out of platforms multiple times each day for different clients, you can do them all at once.
  3. Project success. Get your team set up with a good project management app like Trello or Basecamp. Each team member can log in and upload their progress, drafts, deadlines and more. No more constant emails to your team asking for status updates.
  4. Make connections. Productivity app Zapier helps your apps communicate, so docs automatically appear where you need them, regardless of how they arrive on your device. The platform works with over 1,000 apps and requires no coding, making it easy to use.
  5. Plan productivity. Get a time tracker app like Toggl or Timely and make it a habit to plan each day. Doing this before you leave the office every night will help you jump right in the next day. Schedule your priority tasks, appointments, exercise and other necessities. Block out uninterrupted time to focus on big projects. Refer back to your schedule when you get off track. Seeing your agenda laid out in front of you will help keep you on track.