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10 Effective Ways To Get More Customers

10 Effective Ways To Get More Customers
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Clients and customers are the lifeblood of business – without these valuable groups, you won’t have any business to speak of. Unfortunately, there’s no magical “formula” you can use that will help get more customers to your business.

Luckily, building advantageous relationships, doing some savvy networking, and good old fashioned marketing make it an easier process to get new customers. Just follow these tips:

1. Brazenly Bare It All

If you have a physical store-front, there is no better way to bring in foot traffic than a window display. Have the guts to show people what you can give them.

Consumers are bombarded with persuasion tricks and savvy marketers who know a thing or two about manipulation. Counter this by showing products and decorating your store in eye-catching ways.

2. Why Going Old School Boosts Leads

Remember flyers and brochures? These “dinosaur tactics” of marketing can generate incredible leads – if you execute your marketing strategy properly.

Real life marketing can be a breath of fresh air in a world where online marketing runs rampant. Since we live in a visual society, take your main benefits and apply them to your flyers, brochures, and pamphlets in ways that people will instantly recognize.

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You even have the opportunity here to include discount coupons (which advertising masters David Ogilvy, Claude Hopkins, and Robert Collier swear by – and if they’re good enough for the legends of marketing, they’re good enough for you).

Offer 25% or 50% off for customers who bring you the coupon or code.

3. It’s Who You Know That Shows The Moolah

Who do you know in business? Think of every name you’ve come across in the past that you think will help you and ask them how you can help them. Maybe propose a joint venture-ship?

Tap hot, marketable names in your network, and help them for no charge. This will A) not only show goodwill of your character, but B) tap into the fact that people tend to feel the need to reciprocate goodwill. So they probably will do something for you in return.

4. Dominate Trade Shows

Attending trade shows is a phenomenal way for spreading exposure for your business, nabbing you some important face-time with important movers and shakers.

Do you have a booth set up? Are you selling something or looking to just build leads? Whatever the case, trade shows (especially specialty ones) are important for one reason: foot traffic. A lot of foot traffic.

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There’s rarely a place or time when so many people expect to be sold to. Most people are genuinely interested in each other’s businesses – so why not go all out? Give each and every person who visits your booth a reason for them to see how much you value them. Unabashedly lay out every single benefit people get from doing business with you – without hype, without fluff, and without gimmicky showmanship.

There’s one big caveat: your trade show displays create a brand image. Having a bad one can sink your business faster than you can say “Jack Robinson”. That’s why having a solid-as-stone brand image, high-tier professional displays, and out-of-this-world courtesy gives you nothing but A grades all across the board.

Plus, these trade shows give you a chance to try out some creative exhibits that will really wow browsers and executives alike.

5. Develop Your USP

USP is short for Unique Selling Position. It’s actually “Proposition,” but I like “Position” better. What you’re essentially doing is positioning your business or campaign a certain way – a way that’s different from the competition.

A popular example is pizza delivery. Do you remember when Dominoes first advertised the “At your house in 30 minutes or your pizza is free” craze? This unique selling position set them up for a radical boost in profits.

Rosser Reeves, in his book “Reality In Advertising,” describes Dodge Chrysler’s USP as thus: “It was sent smashing through creeks.  Elephants were photographed standing on its top to show the strength of the body. Chorus girls, two and three at a time, were shown hanging from one opened door to prove the strength of the hinges. ‘TOUGHNESS … RUGGEDNESS—WITH BEAUTY!’ This was the USP, although it was never summed up in so many pat words.”

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6. Billboards Aren’t Always Annoying

Billboards are a quick and easy way to get your “face” out there, in front of the people immediately. Sadly, billboards don’t come cheap. However, since there are billboards everywhere, I’d say the amount of people you can reach far outweighs the cost.

7. Run A Smart Ad Campaign

If you’ve invested in Google Adwords or Facebook ads, you know that these platforms are great for business (if you’re savvy enough to know what you’re doing). They are a very affordable way to advertise for business owners on a shoestring budget.

Perfect Audience and Adroll are two great re-targeting services for site owners with huge bounce rates.

Does the reality of running a full ad campaign frighten you? Don’t worry: Kudu does just that.

8. Excellent Customer Service

Without a doubt, customers must be at the heart of your business. People are liable to find something wrong with your business and are bound to complain about it. It’s ugly, but it’s just the way we are. This is why having someone trained in handling people – a real people person – is a wise investment.

When you’re reaching out using mail, consider sending a handwritten letter. The days of personalized communication methods like this are gone, why not bring it back? Plus, people will be less likely to think you’re just another scam artist looking for money.

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9. Create Controversy

In order to bring people into his museum, legendary showman P.T. Barnum paid a nobody to set up blocks outside his museum. The nobody would lay down several bricks on top of each other, move down a bit, remove the bricks and pile them on top of each other, move down a bit again, and so on. What’s so controversial about this?

This man was arrested because crowds of people blocked traffic. Since it was right outside Barnum’s museum, people stepped inside to ask him what the heck was going on. This meant dollars for him and the entertainer.

Create ethical controversy that doesn’t hurt anyone (or is illegal).

10. Genuinely Help People

Above all, the most important part of business is helping people, actually helping them to make their lives easier. At the heart of your business is income and profits, right? If word gets out that your business is less than honest and is just another run-of-the-mill bad experience, word of mouth will spread, and you will be avoided like the plague.

Likewise, if you provide genuine value to people, they’ll praise you up and down the street to friends. Bottom line: be an ethical marketer and person, and you’ll be rewarded ten-fold in the form of increased profits that are out of this world.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that everybody’s experiences with marketing is different. However, the age-old adage remains true: you’ll never know until you try. Trying is what separates winners from losers. Regardless, utilizing these marketing and content strategies creatively will probably boost your business and make people see how you can truly help them.

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Featured photo credit: via pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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