Tag Archives: marketing consulting toronto

How Do You Approach Potential Clients You Already Know? Read This to Find Out!

group of potential clients

Hard to approach potential clients you already know?

I was recently asked — “How do I approach people I notice who could use my services and explain what I do without being annoying/intrusive? So many missed opportunities every time I walk around the hood!”

I think every single small business owner asks this question when they’re starting out – either out loud or at the very least in their heads. It is an *extremely* fine line between promoting your business and providing help/value to someone and going over the line and ticking them off, even damaging trust or a relationship.

Small businesspeople need friends

Your friends want to help you!

Ultimately, however, I think it’s good for people to know about your business. Partly because they themselves might be able to benefit from your services, but also because as friends and acquaintances of yours, they are probably happy to support you and help you out if possible. But they can’t do that if they don’t know what you do.

There are a number of ways to approach sharing business information, and you have to pick the one (or ones) that work best for you and the people you’re talking to. (this applies whether your clients are other businesses or consumers)

Because I wanted more than my opinion on this I solicited a variety of business contacts. Below is what they had to say. (#4 is mine)

Approach #1

I think by speaking about how your service or product can help them, instead of just selling it in general, people become inspired and see it as less of a pitch. I hand out my business cards (which are really nice…thanks Moo.com!) and tell them to give me a call if they want to chat more. No pressure, just a chat. If they don’t take me up, often times they’ll refer someone to me.

Approach # 2

I think just being honest and sincere is the key. For example saying, “Hi there, I noticed you were X. I don’t know if this is something that would be a good fit for you or not, but I provide Y.”. Or something like that. I find the phrase “I don’t know if this is a good fit” always puts the prospect / other person at ease.

Approach # 3

In my view: First observe your target people around you. Examine what they are struggling with when it comes to child raising. Upon observation, if you could find problem, go to them and provide them a small piece of free advice/solution. This will help you start conversation and will spark interest in you.

Listen to that Small Business Idea!

Ask questions, listen, then share if appropriate.

Approach # 4

I find that it’s easiest to share what you do when you’re finding out more about what the other person does. I’m always curious about people I meet and like to find out what they did before having kids, whether they’re currently working etc.
If I’m asked in return what I do, I share.  (Note: have your “elevator speech” ready – who you help and what problem you help them with).

If they’re interested let them know you offer lots of resources, tips, etc. on your Facebook page or blog, etc.  
They might hire you one day and they might not, but either way you made a good impression, did your good deed for the day, and got your name and business contact info out there :) Remember that it’s not about selling – it’s about helping solve their problem, whether that’s through your services or not.

Approach # 5

1. Setup & populate a blog / social media channel with valuable content
2. Print namecard with contact & the online channel URL
3. Be bold & gentle when approach the prospects
4. Highlight their issue & offer quick & short advice (don’t always point back to the business).
ie “Hi there, I noticed you are having X issue. How about trying Y (don’t always point back to the business)? Hand them the namecard “Do check this out. It is my site & I share about XYZ.”

As you can see, this is all about sharing how you can help the potential client solve a problem (and this may not be through your service!), then directing them to the appropriate place to get more.

Thanks to Crunch Compass for this question. Crunch Compass’s Charise Jewell is a parenting consultant and writer providing support, education, and practical solutions for the problems we all have.  Check out Crunch Compass on Facebook (and like the page while you’re there!).

If you have any questions email them to me and they might appear on this blog, with a link to your website.

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How Excluding People From Social Media Can Hurt You

Social Media inclusiveness?Do you think it’s better to have a smaller number of social media fans who are obviously your ideal clients, or a bigger number of social media fans, only some of whom are your ideal clients?

I’ve heard the argument that someone should not like you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter (etc.) unless they are your ideal client. Some people even say it’s “cheating” to increase your number of fans with people who are not ideal clients.

I used to agree with this, but over the past year a few things convinced me that excluding people on Social Media can actually hurt you. Or said in a more positive way, that being more inclusive on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. is the right thing to do!

Here’s why I think you should be inclusive rather than exclusive with your Social Media:

1. Connected
People are totally connected these days, even more so than in the past because of Social Media. I’m not saying that we have deeper connections with people but definitely more of them. So if someone likes you on Facebook, even if they are not your ideal customer they might have a friend who is, and that person might have need of your services. If you connect with only a select few you might be missing out on the immensely valuable power of “six degrees of separation”.

2. Helping Others
I think sometimes we undervalue ourselves and the impact we can make in other people’s lives. For example, I recently wrote a blog on Simple Search Engine Optimization (SEO), because I found that I got so many questions about SEO. I have now shared that blog with lots of people, many of whom were not ideal clients (or likely to become an ideal client) because they needed it or were interested in it. What if you could help in a similar way? Sometimes we do things because they’re the right thing to do, not because of what they’ll get us!

One more example….do you know how often someone shares a simple quote or funny photo that makes me laugh? It’s often someone I’ll never buy from, but they’ve helped me. (thanks if that was you, by the way!)

3. Value
You can still learn from people who are not your ideal clients! ie. I posted a question in an Online Marketing forum recently, and have learned a tonne from people who are likely never going to be my clients. There is a real value to connecting with people who are not obviously ideal clients and who may have different ideas than you’re used to.

Small business marketing torontoOn that note, whether you’re my ideal client or not, I’d love to connect with you. Here’s where you can find me:

Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google +
Pinterest

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And if you have any comments, please share below!

Simple SEO to Get More Business

If one of your goals is to get more clients one of the easiest and least expensive ways to do so is to optimize your website. I can’t tell you what a difference this can make for your business – it’s that important! Below are some basic SEO tips that aren’t overly technical.

First, a couple of definitions:
“SEO” stands for Search Engine Optimization, and “optimizing” is just a short form of SEO.
“Meta tags” are information contained in the code of your website that give information to web browsers and search engines.

1. Use Relevant Keywords
In my opinion this is the #1 most important thing you need to know in order to attract more clients. Find out what words or phrases your potential clients are using to find you or your competitors. 

The Google Adwords keyword generator tool is an invaluable free resource to figure this out. You can even use the keyword tool to find out what keywords and phrases people are using for your competitors websites!

Now, where to use those keywords…..

2. Include a Title Meta Tag

SEO Title Tag

Title Tag

The title tag is like the title of a book – it tells people what your website (or specific page) is all about.

And just like people judge a book by it’s cover, they’ll also judge your website by it’s title. Use keywords people are actually searching for. ie. if I’m searching for “small business marketing” I likely won’t click on something that doesn’t have a similar term in the title (or description)

Also, title tags should ideally be 65 characters or less. Any more and you risk the title being cut off.

3. Include a Description Meta Tag

A description meta tag explains the content of the page. It’s often (though not always) used in search engine results pages, so it’s important to include keywords that are relevant to what people might be looking for. 

Description tags should ideally be between 150 – 156 characters long.

If you use WordPress, I’d recommend the “Add Meta Tags” plugin; you can enter both title and description meta tags for each page very easily with this plugin.

meta tag description

Description Meta Tag

4. Add “alt” Tags for Images

Image Meta Tag

Where to insert Image Meta Tag

Did you know people can find your website through photos and images? That’s why it’s a good idea to include “Alternative text” for your images. This is what people will see if images don’t load, and also Google uses it to figure out what your website is all about.

Alt tags images

Get found by using Alt image tags

In WordPress you can set the “Alternative Text” and “Description” right when you upload the image.

And, take a look below at all the images that come up when I searched for my website — these are all from my website, blog and Facebook pages.

There is *always* more you can do to improve optimize your website. The above is a bit time consuming – you have to have different title and description tags for each page of your website, but you’ll find it’s worth it.

If you have any questions about SEO or want me to help with yours, just email me.

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