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Posts Tagged ‘Yelp’

I met with a new client yesterday and I asked her what they’re doing to market themselves. They’re two women attorneys who’ve been in business for ten years, and they’ve successfully weathered several economies. They belong to several legal organizations and sit on a few BODs. They’d do more networking, but frankly, both have two small children under 4, and they’re stretched pretty thin. Also, let’s not forget (ladies) that women are always the primary caregivers.

They have an intake form on their website, which generates a fair number of inquiries, but only a few of these turn out to be valid clients.

This brings me to my own realization. I have a fair number of 5-star ratings on Yelp, and over the last few months I have received quite a few calls from potential clients. I call these people back, discuss their requirements, prepare a proposal and schedule follow-up call to discuss their projects.

All of these efforts have been a waste of time because none of these people has been ready to spend any money on marketing. They all have unrealistic expectations about the time it takes to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy, create a newsletter, a blog or website. One person wanted me to develop and execute a very labor-intensive social media campaign, assuming that he could pay me once his business got off the ground. Is he crazy?

Another thing these people have in common–none of them understands that networking and word of mouth are the most important ways to build a business. Every single one of these people expected a website, blog, newsletter or social media to bring clients storming through his/her doors.

Get a grip. Successful business owners know that networking and word of mouth are essential to business growth. Most of all, it takes considerable time and effort to develop and nurture the relationships that generate new business. Savvy business owners know that we don’t have choices about how we market ourselves–we have to be doing it all.

Ask me about how to make the most of your marketing dollars–it’s what we do at Top of Mind Marketing!

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I just got a call from an ad sales rep at Yelp. He congratulated me on my great Yelp reviews and wants to talk with me about doing some advertising with them.

Their reporting shows that apparently I’m getting a lot of people looking at my page. I agreed to schedule a call with him, but started thinking about it after I hung up. I used to do a lot of traditional advertising for my clients, and I know that ad sales reps speak a whole different language and answer all of your questions with meaningless statistics.  

I realized that I’ve received one solitary prospect directly from Yelp. Now, that doesn’t mean that people don’t check out my reviews, but it does mean that exactly one person called me as a result of my Yelp page. I also realized that I’m not ready to pay $300/month for advertising that may/not work.

So where does most of my business come from? Networking and word of mouth. It works and the price is right.

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I do a lot of social media work for my clients. They know they should be using these channels, but don’t have the time or interest to figure this out. And can you blame them? What is it with Facebook? They’re always fooling around with the interface, the Help menu is absolutely worthless and usability issues bring you to your knees. No wonder people are overwhelmed by these social media apps.

I was reading some things about how you sabotage yourself on Linkedin. Some of these are really fundamental, but I was looking at some profiles, and sure enough, a lot of people were missing the boat.

In general, never–ever–miss an opportunity to provide information about yourself and your company. If there’s a field, fill it in. Remember that it’s not just about your LI presence, but contributes to your SEO strategy.

  • Update your message frequently. I try to swap mine out daily, though I don’t always make it. Prepare a week’s worth of messages at a time. That way, you can just upload it every morning without having to think.
  • Include links. Keep people happy by giving them something to click on. Keep an eye out for articles or other information that is relevant to your audience.
  • Ask people to give you recommendations. Offer to do the same for them so that there’s a better chance of their doing it. If you really like them, ask them to post the same testimonial on Yelp–a lot of people place high value on Yelp recommendations.

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