Keep your customers happy – help them

Assuming the project you delivered went well and that you kept your promises, a key area for business development is to try and attract repeat business from these existing customers. To do this do what you did when you won their business – keep them happy! All businesses encounter peaks and troughs and all will need help from time to time and when this help is required, do what you can to solve their problem.

I’m not saying that you should work for free. Similarly, I’m not saying charge for every minute. Just be helpful!

Make suggestions and point them in the right direction. They’ve come to you for your expert advice so give it to them, but don;t “give” too much! By being helpful you will solidify your relationship as well as prolong it and, in the business climate of today, you must keep the sources of new business as open and as varied as possible.

Another route to keeping doors ajar is the client survey. There are some who will say that this type of marketing is nothing more than ticking a box and offers nothing more than a heavy overload of manuals and forms! However, there are others who find they serve genuinely to improve quality and act as a safety net and reassurance to clients. The digestion of the results will require logging and measurement, but as long as the exercise doesn’t become to onerous and repetitive, why not implement a client survey to your marketing plan?

Finally and some would argue as a more valuable exercise, is the client review meeting. These types of face to face meetings provide an occasion for real, frank discussions from which one can learn and make adjustments to the business from. Before going into such a meeting there should be an internal review also which evaluates one of two things. 1) the monetary value of the client to the organisation and 2) a review of cross selling opportunities.

In business we have found that relationships play a major factor in retaining clients over a longer period and every attempt should be made to help and add value to your client base. Happy clients talk….but so too do unhappy ones!

Create Content for SEO

Having quality content is a fundamental requirement for all websites if you want them to perform organically within search engines. There are probably 3 main considerations when looking at the wording you use that will influence SEO-driven content:

1) You must be as prolific as possible in your content creation.
2) You must balance the speed with which you create content with the highest possible quality of that content as possible.
3) You must also have an effective promotion strategy beyond onpage SEO + possibly some sort of link-building strategy for the content you produce.

Write original content.
In Bath Marketing Consultancy’s opinion, try to write content that is likely to attract links on its own and make sure that the content is written to a high level of literacy and is at least 300 words per page (more is often better). Also, if there are pages within your site where the content is written by someone else within your organisation, if possible, give them access to that page so that they can control the relevancy of that page.

By applying these initiatives, you will have the high quality content you wrote yourself and another part of the site that is kept fresh by other users.

Always try and make your content original and compelling and be warned, if you copy content from someone else, search engines will eventually detect that and will penalize you by removing your pages from the search engine rankings all together.
If you need help, engage a dedicated copywriter like The Copysmith in Bath….(or talk to a marketing company with a good track record in SEO about your online marketing requirements!)

Working on holiday. Right or wrong?

After my first official break with my family in nearly 2 years (Devon Mon-Fri last week), I found myself in a panic when the cottage I had rented had no mobile phone signal and no wi fi. 

I have read numerous articles since going into business for myself about the importance of finding the balance right between working time and home/switch off time, but it really alarmed me at how naked and exposed I found myself. In addition, every time I entered an area where I did get a signal, there was inevitably numerous emails and voicemail messages on my phone that needed actioning. For example, on Tuesday morning last week, I went to Woodlands Park and my phone flashed up 14 emails and 3 voicemail messages by 10am.

That was the final straw.

My decision was to set aside time every evening to go to the local pub (it was the only place that had wi fi – honest!) and work from 6pm until 8/9pm on my laptop so that I could try and clear the decks. This meant that I said good night to my kids early and left my wife to put them to bed. It also meant that I could sleep properly at night and knew that I would be able to at least start each day without stress knowing that I had done what work was required.

Some of you might say that I should have warned clients that I was off last week – I did. Some of you might say that nothing was that urgent that it couldn’t be left until I got back – I am afraid there was some media advertising work that needed doing that was time sensitive. Others might say that I should’ve got cover – who do I get as I am my business??! 

What I am getting at here is that I think going into business for yourself means that this sort of thing is to be expected. I have worked with over 40 businesses since I started Bath Marketing Consultancy and a number of these clients I work with on a monthly basis so they have a right to have access to me. 

In addition, why does something like the iphone sell over 51million units if people didn’t want to be pestered on their holidays?!

What do you think?? Please leave me a comment as would be very interested in what you think.