Marketing your business can be challenging and overwhelming, especially with the new technologies, online systems and medias that are now available.
There are constant updates that you need to be aware of, things that you didn’t even know you needed to know and technical parts that no one, other than online specialists truly understand.
It can be really frustrating to implement these into your marketing mix.
Luckily, there are some really great companies out there that can solve your online marketing headaches.
But I wanted to give you some marketing strategies that require NO online implementation or know how, something that is quick, effective and easy to do.
In fact, some people may even think these methods are a little old school.
But the good news is, just because it worked years ago, doesn’t mean it won’t work now.
Technology has changed, people haven’t.
My clients are using these techniques I am going to share with you are. They are out doing their competitors every time, because they are marketing to people that already know that they provide a great service and they are doing it in a different and much more personal manner.
“The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%” – Marketing Metrics
We have all heard the old adage that it cost more to get a new client than it does to keep an old one and getting new clients is important but let me ask you, how much of your resources, money and time, do you really allocate to market to your existing client list?
Service-based business owners, especially women-owned and operated, are renowned for getting lots of their work via word-of-mouth, repeat business and referrals.
Just stop and think for a moment, if every client you have had over the past three years had you come back to do some a review or maintenance once a year, chances are your diary would be booked rather solid.
And to me, empty space in your diary is as ugly as a Myer store after the Boxing Day Sales.
So, what can you do to ensure that your previous clients keep you front of mind without having to rely on online strategies?
Well, aside from providing exceptional service at a reasonable price, you might like to include one or two of the following methods into your marketing strategy.
Or if you don’t have a strategy, this would be a great place to start.
And it begins with the humble letterbox.
Here is why:
It is estimated that we see between 3,000 to 20,000 marketing messages each day. These numbers not only include ads, but also include every time you pass by a label in the shops, all the ads online or in the paper, whether you see them or not, the labels on yours and other people clothing, signwriting on cars on the roads, etc.
This is a lot and strangely enough, your letterbox is now days probably the most uncluttered way that you get information.
Sending things by post is still one of the best ways to communicate with your clients, to get your message and your business in front of them.
So, here are some things that you can implement into your business today to help you get more business from your existing client list.
‘Thank You’ cards
This is known as the world’s simplest referral system. When was the last time that you received something in the mail other than a bill? Chances are it was awhile ago. What about something that was in a handwritten envelope? Well, a simple handwritten card sent after the job has been completed, thanking them for their patronage, can go a long way for people to remember you. And the best part is, it is not uncommon for people to call to thank you for simply sending them the thank you card.
Costing estimate: Thank you cards from stationery and office supplies are priced at around $10 per pack of ten, postage stamps $1, a few extra business cards cost a few cents. Realistically you are looking at $2.20 per client.
Newsletters can be a cheap and effective way to communicate with your clients on a continuing basis. Sending your clients monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly newsletters ensure that you are still in contact but not in a way that is salesy or sleazy. It allows you to be helpful and provide information that will help them be aware of things that may be relevant to their home or business. You can put seasonal tips in there, share some updates about you and your business and include some ways people could avoid problems they might have surrounding your service or industry and the latest tips and tricks. All of this of course with the offer to call you to review the work or problems they need to be fixed.
Costing estimates; if you send out a newsletter to your clients at a cost of $2.50 (for printing a few pages and a stamp) and you post it out to a client every month for 12 months it would cost you $30 per year. If you do this for five years it would cost $250 per client. If you get one job in or they refer someone to you, you generally have made more than your money back. This method requires a little sweat equity to get the information together but in my experience, but most business owners I speak to can give me 3 mistakes they see every week and how to avoid them, off the top of their heads plus a list of things people need to do to prevent problems in the future. Generally speaking, you will make your money back with newsletter campaigns after the first edition, that way you can reinvest it back into using the newsletter system again.
“92% of respondents trusted referrals from people they knew” – Nielsen
This one is often a little controversial and can make some people uncomfortable because asking for or soliciting referral from clients can feel like asking for a favour or a bit pushy. So, I have a compromise for you. Rather than actively asking for referrals, when you do get a referral from a client, which happens a lot in, for example Sarah referred her friend Jane to you to get her financial planning done, you could purchase something for Jane, perhaps some movie vouchers, a dinner voucher, or a $25 gift card and hand deliver it to her with a note of thanks. This is an elegant way to reward people for referrals and you can be sure that they will refer you again and again.
Costing estimates: you could do something relevant to the cost of the job but a small gift of appreciation is always welcomed, it doesn’t have to be extravagant.
So there you have it, three simple things that you can implement into your business to help you to get in front of, be remembered by and get referred through your existing client list.
Here is to a fully booked diary.