We all know that Facebook and Instagram had a “moment” on Monday. No need to rehash those details as based on some comments from my own Facebook feed, the fallout from Monday is still fresh for those who rely upon Facebook as their primary commerce channel and there’s no need to rub salt into those still fresh wounds.
And that leads to this ideal teaching moment which I shared with my clients over the last couple of days…..if you want to build a successful business online, build it on channels and platforms that you own, not ones where you are merely tenants like Facebook, Google, and just about any other platform out there.
So how is one supposed to grow their business if they don’t have a platform of their own?
Here are 18 ideas to get the creative juices going:
- Drip Campaigns – 80% of ALL sales occur between the 5th and 12th point of contact. A drip campaign helps you capture those sales, just not those buying “Right now”
- Joint Ventures – Most recognize this on a basic level, but are you familiar with the “Event Chain” approach to jumpstart things? The Event Chain is simply building relationships with those who your customer buys from before AND after they buy from you.
- Increase Pricing – This isn’t a death knell as many think and can actually be quite profitable if done right (With the added bonus of driving away some of your worst and least profitable customers in the process)
- Upsell & Cross-Sell- 34% of buyers can be persuaded to buy additional products or services at the time of their original purchase.
- Downsell – A way for those prospects who either can’t afford what you sell…or who aren’t ready to fully engage with you business to engage with your business.
- Reactivating Former Customers – This is likely the easiest and quickest way to increase your revenue. Dust off those old files and reach back out to your old customers who haven’t bought from you in a while.
- Cut Costs – The game is to create revenue, and thus profits, but a way to drive profitability is to cut costs. Look around your business and see where you can cut costs and gain a few points of profitability without selling one additional item.
- Taxes – Similar to cutting costs, sit down with your bookkeeper and/or accountant and go through smart ways to minimize your tax positions now and in the future. (BTW…do you know what an S corp is and how it can significantly save you money on payroll taxes? Message me and I’ll fill you in).
- Dynamic Referral Systems – If you’re not careful, this could end up being one of you biggest new customer channels. You’ll be guiding your current customers through either static or proactive referral systems to “promote” your business by enticing them to share information about what you do with anyone and everyone they know. The enticement can be as simple as a discount or even something larger.
- Direct Mail – This is a vastly under-rated tactic in today’s digital first world. But everyone still likes getting a letter in the mail. Take the time. write a compelling sales letter, and regularly send and you’ll start to see the results.
- Networking – Most business owners attend networking events without a strategic plan of action. By figuring out what you want to achieve first, and a road map of how to get there, you’ll be able to start to monetize your events into paying customers.
- Proximity Marketing – This is gold for anyone that does services for their clients at their homes. It’s the proverbial yard sign, but so much more. What about adding a pamphlet sleeve on that sign? What about having flyers available on the side of your logo wrapped vehicle? Sending postcards to everyone on that street telling them what you just did. Or old-fashioned door-to-door canvassing and door-hangers to put in a bit of face time with potential new customers.
- Trade Shows/Special Events
- Email marketing – Just like direct mail but naturally online, stand out from the crowd by writing compelling sales letters. Go against the grain of what others are doing so you stand out amongst the noise. One of the greatest asset any business can have today is a strong in-house email list to market to.
- Webinars – Pre-recorded or live, doesn’t matter. Can be as something simple as you interviewing customers to tell their stories, or going the informational route. Long-form creative has been proven highly effective at converting people and webinars are just that. It allows you to demonstrate, at length, the problem and how you solve that problem….giving customers the information they need to make a buying decision.
- Bundling – Bundling is simple the process of grouping together certain products/services to create “packages” which you then sell. This not only makes the decision-making easier for your customers, but it drives profitability and margins.
- Email signature – Update your email signature regularly with specials, testimonials, and upcoming events. Think of it as a little mobile billboard.
- Compelling offer – What is that irresistible offer you can promote to drum up some easy sales? Could be a loss leader, or a sampling a new product/service. Feature it everywhere and see what happens when customers get accustomed to looking for a “Deal”.