20 June 2008

You’re Marketing and You Didn’t Even Know It.


I'm fond of saying that marketing isn't just a task you do, it's a living, breathing part of your business. And it sneaks out in the darndest places.

Your Voicemail Greeting.
“Hi, you’ve reached Amber and your call is important to me but I’ll ignore it for several days.”

This is a prime opportunity to give people a 10 second screen shot of your personality. Your voicemail greeting should include, without fail, your name, a thank you to the caller, instructions to leave a name and number, and a timeframe in which you’ll return their call (I like within 24 hours). Infuse some personality. Be happy they called. Then call them back.

Your Business Card.

I know it seems silly, but your business card does not have to be boring. (And unboring doesn’t have to mean that it’s a handheld super video game thing or something). And when you leave one, leave several. It'll be easier for people to pass them along to others and spread the wealth. Cards should always have your name, phone number (direct, please, if you can) an email address, and a website. Don’t ever put generic info@XYZ.com on your card unless it’s supplemented by your real email address. After all, the point is for people to contact you, and if you don’t trust them with your information, why should they trust you?

Your Out Of Office Autoresponder.

This is similar to the voicemail greeting. Be friendly, human, and un-corporate as much as you can. Acknowledge that you’re sorry you missed someone, but that you’ll get back to them in a designated timeframe. If you have an alternative contact they can reach out to, give it to them. And thank them for reaching out. Then RESPOND when you say you will. It’s amazing how much good will a fast response can engender.

Your Email Etiquette

1. Spell check.
2. Double check name spelling.
3. Use proper grammar.
4. Please and Thank You.
5. If sending an email to several people, use the BCC field unless you’re ABSOLUTELY sure they’re all ok with sharing their emails with the other recipients.
6. DON’T USE CAPITAL LETTERS.
7. Skip the emoticons :) in professional correspondence.
7. Remember that email is indeed written correspondence, just without paper. Be open and friendly, but mind the rules of polite letter writing, please.
8. Include a signature that contains your name, phone number, email and website. Keep it concise, and dispense with graphics.

Email is the ubiquitous form of communication right now, and it’s often the only interaction a client or customer has with you for some time (or ever). Take care to make your correspondence professional, open, and conversational so it encourages dialogue. If you have a generic email for inquiries (a la info@XYZ.com), be sure you have a designated real person respond within 24 hours. This whole topic can consume an entire post. Maybe it will someday soon.

Marketing is a perpetual state of mind, really, when you're a small business. Every interaction you have with your customers and prospects is a mini marketing experience, and the small things can do a great deal to elevate your image in the eyes of these people. Be enthusiastic, be human, be polite, and be responsive.

What other small things have you noticed that make a big impact on how your clients and customers perceive you?


Zemanta Pixie

2 comments:

Edd said...

It's the presentation. Word of mouth is a very powerful marketing tool but difficult to master; often times I find I impress people when I'm not really trying and I'm just being polite. So much for high-tech/high-gloss! *rolls eyes* But, you are right. I'm a self-employed small business owner and as such I carry my business around with me as a state of mind -- like the Sioux Nation. You never know when you might find a customer.

I confess I don't have a business card...and I have a voicemail greeting through my advanced 800 provider gotvmail, so my personality doesn't come through much there -- but it does sound professional, which I think is key. Besides, my personality comes out elsewhere. For example, I was surprised that you didn't another really obvious marketing venue -- a website! I didn't pay thousands for mine (although I'm revamping at the moment) but it's clean, says what it needs to say, and reeks of my personal touch. I also find spreading the word easier when you can just refer to a URL.

Amber said...

@Edd, presentation is indeed key. Polished professionalism goes a long way, and beats the pants out of high gloss/high tech any day, in my view.

I left off websites because I was primarily focused on the ways that folks are marketing themselves but might not realize it. Building a website is a significant task, so I was thinking folks were probably paying more attention to which foot they're putting forward.

Thanks so much for visiting, and your insights.

20 June 2008

You’re Marketing and You Didn’t Even Know It.


I'm fond of saying that marketing isn't just a task you do, it's a living, breathing part of your business. And it sneaks out in the darndest places.

Your Voicemail Greeting.
“Hi, you’ve reached Amber and your call is important to me but I’ll ignore it for several days.”

This is a prime opportunity to give people a 10 second screen shot of your personality. Your voicemail greeting should include, without fail, your name, a thank you to the caller, instructions to leave a name and number, and a timeframe in which you’ll return their call (I like within 24 hours). Infuse some personality. Be happy they called. Then call them back.

Your Business Card.

I know it seems silly, but your business card does not have to be boring. (And unboring doesn’t have to mean that it’s a handheld super video game thing or something). And when you leave one, leave several. It'll be easier for people to pass them along to others and spread the wealth. Cards should always have your name, phone number (direct, please, if you can) an email address, and a website. Don’t ever put generic info@XYZ.com on your card unless it’s supplemented by your real email address. After all, the point is for people to contact you, and if you don’t trust them with your information, why should they trust you?

Your Out Of Office Autoresponder.

This is similar to the voicemail greeting. Be friendly, human, and un-corporate as much as you can. Acknowledge that you’re sorry you missed someone, but that you’ll get back to them in a designated timeframe. If you have an alternative contact they can reach out to, give it to them. And thank them for reaching out. Then RESPOND when you say you will. It’s amazing how much good will a fast response can engender.

Your Email Etiquette

1. Spell check.
2. Double check name spelling.
3. Use proper grammar.
4. Please and Thank You.
5. If sending an email to several people, use the BCC field unless you’re ABSOLUTELY sure they’re all ok with sharing their emails with the other recipients.
6. DON’T USE CAPITAL LETTERS.
7. Skip the emoticons :) in professional correspondence.
7. Remember that email is indeed written correspondence, just without paper. Be open and friendly, but mind the rules of polite letter writing, please.
8. Include a signature that contains your name, phone number, email and website. Keep it concise, and dispense with graphics.

Email is the ubiquitous form of communication right now, and it’s often the only interaction a client or customer has with you for some time (or ever). Take care to make your correspondence professional, open, and conversational so it encourages dialogue. If you have a generic email for inquiries (a la info@XYZ.com), be sure you have a designated real person respond within 24 hours. This whole topic can consume an entire post. Maybe it will someday soon.

Marketing is a perpetual state of mind, really, when you're a small business. Every interaction you have with your customers and prospects is a mini marketing experience, and the small things can do a great deal to elevate your image in the eyes of these people. Be enthusiastic, be human, be polite, and be responsive.

What other small things have you noticed that make a big impact on how your clients and customers perceive you?


Zemanta Pixie

2 comments:

Edd said...

It's the presentation. Word of mouth is a very powerful marketing tool but difficult to master; often times I find I impress people when I'm not really trying and I'm just being polite. So much for high-tech/high-gloss! *rolls eyes* But, you are right. I'm a self-employed small business owner and as such I carry my business around with me as a state of mind -- like the Sioux Nation. You never know when you might find a customer.

I confess I don't have a business card...and I have a voicemail greeting through my advanced 800 provider gotvmail, so my personality doesn't come through much there -- but it does sound professional, which I think is key. Besides, my personality comes out elsewhere. For example, I was surprised that you didn't another really obvious marketing venue -- a website! I didn't pay thousands for mine (although I'm revamping at the moment) but it's clean, says what it needs to say, and reeks of my personal touch. I also find spreading the word easier when you can just refer to a URL.

Amber said...

@Edd, presentation is indeed key. Polished professionalism goes a long way, and beats the pants out of high gloss/high tech any day, in my view.

I left off websites because I was primarily focused on the ways that folks are marketing themselves but might not realize it. Building a website is a significant task, so I was thinking folks were probably paying more attention to which foot they're putting forward.

Thanks so much for visiting, and your insights.

20 June 2008

You’re Marketing and You Didn’t Even Know It.


I'm fond of saying that marketing isn't just a task you do, it's a living, breathing part of your business. And it sneaks out in the darndest places.

Your Voicemail Greeting.
“Hi, you’ve reached Amber and your call is important to me but I’ll ignore it for several days.”

This is a prime opportunity to give people a 10 second screen shot of your personality. Your voicemail greeting should include, without fail, your name, a thank you to the caller, instructions to leave a name and number, and a timeframe in which you’ll return their call (I like within 24 hours). Infuse some personality. Be happy they called. Then call them back.

Your Business Card.

I know it seems silly, but your business card does not have to be boring. (And unboring doesn’t have to mean that it’s a handheld super video game thing or something). And when you leave one, leave several. It'll be easier for people to pass them along to others and spread the wealth. Cards should always have your name, phone number (direct, please, if you can) an email address, and a website. Don’t ever put generic info@XYZ.com on your card unless it’s supplemented by your real email address. After all, the point is for people to contact you, and if you don’t trust them with your information, why should they trust you?

Your Out Of Office Autoresponder.

This is similar to the voicemail greeting. Be friendly, human, and un-corporate as much as you can. Acknowledge that you’re sorry you missed someone, but that you’ll get back to them in a designated timeframe. If you have an alternative contact they can reach out to, give it to them. And thank them for reaching out. Then RESPOND when you say you will. It’s amazing how much good will a fast response can engender.

Your Email Etiquette

1. Spell check.
2. Double check name spelling.
3. Use proper grammar.
4. Please and Thank You.
5. If sending an email to several people, use the BCC field unless you’re ABSOLUTELY sure they’re all ok with sharing their emails with the other recipients.
6. DON’T USE CAPITAL LETTERS.
7. Skip the emoticons :) in professional correspondence.
7. Remember that email is indeed written correspondence, just without paper. Be open and friendly, but mind the rules of polite letter writing, please.
8. Include a signature that contains your name, phone number, email and website. Keep it concise, and dispense with graphics.

Email is the ubiquitous form of communication right now, and it’s often the only interaction a client or customer has with you for some time (or ever). Take care to make your correspondence professional, open, and conversational so it encourages dialogue. If you have a generic email for inquiries (a la info@XYZ.com), be sure you have a designated real person respond within 24 hours. This whole topic can consume an entire post. Maybe it will someday soon.

Marketing is a perpetual state of mind, really, when you're a small business. Every interaction you have with your customers and prospects is a mini marketing experience, and the small things can do a great deal to elevate your image in the eyes of these people. Be enthusiastic, be human, be polite, and be responsive.

What other small things have you noticed that make a big impact on how your clients and customers perceive you?


Zemanta Pixie

2 comments:

Edd said...

It's the presentation. Word of mouth is a very powerful marketing tool but difficult to master; often times I find I impress people when I'm not really trying and I'm just being polite. So much for high-tech/high-gloss! *rolls eyes* But, you are right. I'm a self-employed small business owner and as such I carry my business around with me as a state of mind -- like the Sioux Nation. You never know when you might find a customer.

I confess I don't have a business card...and I have a voicemail greeting through my advanced 800 provider gotvmail, so my personality doesn't come through much there -- but it does sound professional, which I think is key. Besides, my personality comes out elsewhere. For example, I was surprised that you didn't another really obvious marketing venue -- a website! I didn't pay thousands for mine (although I'm revamping at the moment) but it's clean, says what it needs to say, and reeks of my personal touch. I also find spreading the word easier when you can just refer to a URL.

Amber said...

@Edd, presentation is indeed key. Polished professionalism goes a long way, and beats the pants out of high gloss/high tech any day, in my view.

I left off websites because I was primarily focused on the ways that folks are marketing themselves but might not realize it. Building a website is a significant task, so I was thinking folks were probably paying more attention to which foot they're putting forward.

Thanks so much for visiting, and your insights.