There is something about digital marketing for small businesses that has really been bothering me since about 2012.
It’s related to what true strategic marketers have been asking small business owners for decades.
How does the success of your business, and its ability to get more customers coming in the doors relate to the conventional wisdoms of marketing your business online today?
At the time I was transitioning from a retired navy commanding officer to becoming and expert digital marketing strategist, I would truly marvel at how well certain strategies worked for some folks, but when I tried the same strategy, I wouldn’t get anywhere near a satisfying result.
I would look over the strategy again, and thought surely, I would find something I had skipped, or something I didn’t do quite right. Often, I was just left completely dumbfounded.
And the “instructor” in the course would say, we know this works. So, if it’s failing for you, then you simply don’t follow the instructions and guidance correctly. Then, for over two years, I muddled through strategy after strategy trying to pin point what was the breaking point of the strategies.
What was the evidence it was a solid strategy? It must work, because this guy I’m watching isn’t smarter than me, and look at his results.
Well, to this seasoned combat commander, and long-time strategist and trainer, this wasn’t really a good answer. I knew much more was possible, and the evidence was right in front of my face in the form of massive online sales from companies like Amazon, L.L. Bean, Dell, and Walmart. And Amazon did start in a garage.
Then one day, I had my Homer Simpson moment and went do’h. I had two huge realizations…
- I’ve lived my daily, adult life developing strategy and none of this qualifies as strategy. At best these were tactics and tactics only work with a coherent strategy backing them up.
- Second, most of these tactics were being taught and used by everyone, and I never won a war by always doing what the Jones’s do.
Being able to crush your competitors means doing something truly different, that fits in your marketing strategy. If you don’t have a marketing strategy, don’t even bother. Just keep fighting with pack for survival, or get a strategy first.
Well, I had my chance with my first big direct marketer mentor. He showed me how, in marketing, and particularly in digital marketing that dominating any niche market online was truly simple and particularly so for local business owners.
I saw, how a man working from his home, turned the dating market on its head using digital sales. He commonly made million dollar launches of digital products. He had ten, 10 million dollar businesses and they were all achieved exclusively online, and from his home.
Imagine for a minute just having a fraction of those results with getting customers from online, and bringing them into your business. It all started with a strategy that keeps your message coherent across multiple media. Then having a tactic leveraging what others leave out while they’re stuck copying what everyone else is doing.
My first application of this was not what most would say was an easy choice. I choose a local business that was part of a franchise with 40,000 others with the exact same name, selling the exact same things.
This was a challenge of the grandest scale, because if you own or ever owned a franchise, you know that franchise offices tie your hands with all kinds of limits on what you can sell, and what you can do online and in your marketing.
I knew I had to find a product that could profit consistently, and find a way to market it none of the local franchise competitors used. It had to fit the franchise strategy, and not violate any of their obnoxious restrictions.
In the end, this one little store of 40,000 was dominating every store locally, in a major city for this major product line, and being found by people outside the store’s market area without us even trying for them. Kind of a free bonus with some value, but not much.
Can you imagine how, if a local store franchise can do this with so many restrictions and direct competitors using the same name, what you could achieve?
Zooming to the Present Day Local Business Owner
Let’s drop back to what’s most small business owners’ reality…
- You have a website, but it doesn’t get you much leads or direct sales, but you’re told you must have one.
- You’ve likely tried some online marketing like Google pay per click, Facebook ads, or placing ads on your local TV channel pages. You didn’t get much results. You may still be using it, but you’re certain you should be doing better.
- There’s a good chance you’ve heard about having digital marketing funnels, but you wouldn’t know where to begin to get one or how to make one. Without a marketing strategy, the expense of creating this funnel likely would be a ROI loser.
- You were offered a video with the promise or hope that getting into video marketing would change everything.
- Maybe you tried some of the latest SEO, or even reputation management to bury those rats that trash your business in Yelp, Google, Trip Advisor, Four Square, Angie’s List, or some other places they go to get back at you for whatever they want without ever giving you a chance to even know there was something wrong.
Seriously, who has ever had this happen you?
It happened to me when I ran a retail store: A customer comes in.
They want something you can’t realistically deliver, but the customer thinks you should deliver regardless of how unreasonable the request.
Finally, they act like they get it – that this isn’t what your business does, and leave.
Then you find online in one of the places like Yelp, a scathing review ripping your business to shreds. How did it make you feel? What did you want to do?
The status quo answer is reputation management.
Different companies offer these damage control or repair services. Some are helpful. Some are truly scams because the offer can rarely be delivered without violating someone’s terms of service.
There are numerous companies that show you legitimately your online reputation in the directories like Yelp, Foursquare, Leap Frog, TripAdvisor and others. But their follow up action is really just a reputation management action offering to fix problems causing these errors.
It doesn’t really change your reputation. It doesn’t get you anymore online love. At best, these actions simply restore some level of status quo getting a result that can be good, bad, or neutral. In most cases, it is just neutral. Is this worth your advertising dollar?
What Business Owners Can Do Different to Bring on the Love in the Form of New Sales
Now imagine what it would be like being able to use the love of your customer base to literally bring you referral quality customers from online information formerly out of your control.
Would this be something that would interest you?
Before we go further, you should know the results of many independent surveys show results similar to this one by Bright Local. That is that 88% of consumers across many markets trust online reviews the same as referrals.
In fact, our own data through our partners shows that 85% of people receiving a personal referral from a friend, family member or colleague then goes online and checks reviews and/or check the website of the company they were referred to. They still want to see your reputation online.
The fact is, any business having the ability to survive in their market must have people they satisfy every day. Businesses that don’t, won’t last. So doing any of what they find here before they fix their biggest problem – customer satisfaction – won’t help one bit.
But being able to share the love you already have in more than just a web page testimonial, would be big. I’m talking about sharing it in ways that literally makes the search engines like Google and Bing do all the hard work for you.
The possibilities are huge because of all the information about your business that is shared in places online. It molds your reputation and you never access it for anything but management. And let’s face it, management costs money. Marketing makes money. So wouldn’t it be better to be able to market this?
Well you can, and it’s a simple 7-step process that’s a basis for reputation marketing:
- A customer visits
- In the end, you get feedback from the customer
- You route this feedback to the right decision maker
- You immediately follow up with the feedback provider, good or bad
- You get the good stuff posted to directories and review sites
- You share it with your customers, and some share it with their friends
- New customers arrive, and you repeat the process
This process we call the Local Market Dominator Authority Cycle, literally shares the love of your customers to bring in new customers as often as daily. It also steadily builds your reputation online and gives you control of how it’s done.
This reputation marketing process allows you to stop the bad reviews before they happen, and get many more of the excellent reviews posted so you can market them.
The major search engines currently collect this review data and display it to your potential customers in the search results. They even tend to put the best ratings higher in the results more often. This is marketing to die for.
Now can you imagine how powerful it is to have your reputation building weekly, even daily, with new 5-star reviews?
Remember this: Various studies, including the Harvard Business Review and the Royal Economic Society have found that a ½ to 1 star increase in review status results in from 5 to 19% increase in revenue without any proactive marketing. Can you imagine how you would boost this 5 to 19 percent revenue jump with a proven, reputation marketing method?
But the question is, how easy is it to make this happen without taking an enormous amount of time and effort, or developing automation that can do it for you?
Common Factors Holding Back Small Business Owners
Though your excited now, here’s what commonly keeps business owners in the rat race instead of adopting a proven process of sharing customer love that, by default, brings you more customers:
- It’s too technical
- It’s too time consuming
- It’s too costly to get started and get over the money drain hump
- They’re very skeptical of what does and doesn’t work online
I’m sure there’s more, but this is what we find most often to be the reality.
Despite the proven results of reputation marketing, nearly all your competitors ignore it’s power, or say it’s not for them for one or more of the reasons above. Is this you, too?
The feeling you, as a business owner, would never have the time or resources to get something like this in place, is what makes it such a huge opening for truly dominating your market.
You can have this reputation marketing force with you, the choice is totally yours.
We know we truly don’t change people’s mind simply by powerful persuasion. In the end, you the business owner, totally own the decision of what’s best for you.
The Reputation Marketing Path
We found in our case studies that the results you can achieve are surprisingly amazing.
Our Local Market Dominator Suite does all the Local Market Dominator Authority Cycle for you. Part of this is getting the feedback, the second step of the process.
We used a tactic covered in our 29 Minute “5 Days to More Customers and Amazing 5-Star Reviews” web class. The system follows up using emails to customers.
In just one of the case studies (there were more with similar results), 50 follow up emails were sent…
- 57% of the emails were opened
- 20% were clicked
- 16% got feedback
So, from 50 emails, the business owner got 8 new 5-star reviews in just one week.
In light of these results, and what you want for your business in the coming months and years, maybe it would be helpful to consider…
On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready are you for change in your marketing and using online love to build new, referral quality sales?
One means you’re not ready at all. Ten means you’re totally ready.
Now think for a moment, why didn’t you choose a lower number. If you chose 7, why didn’t you choose 5?
If you chose 5, why didn’t you choose 3?
So, imagine now you did make a change adopting a reputation marketing approach that doesn’t cost you massive amounts of time and headaches. And using this approach, you created 10 new 5-star reviews in the next 90-days and sharing this love brought you new customers even daily.
How would this make you feel, and how would it affect your business?
Now you should be seeing the results you desire in a reputation marketing system when you put it to work. So ask yourself, why these results you envision are important to you.
Then the choice may be more clear as to what the correct path for your business is.
When you’ve decided that path, we have a solution that guarantees 10 new 5-star reviews in the next 90-days. All you do is become part of our beta program for the Local Market Dominator Suite. Your use of the platform is free, and we do all the hard work for you. You get the automation and the customers without the technical and time consuming management headaches.
Just go to https://thinkbigandgrowmedia.com/sm/5star-master for full details of how you get started. Schedule your acceptance call, and we’ll tell you how to turn it into 90-days of free use, and 10 guaranteed 5-star reviews.
Note: This program will not remain in beta forever, and will cost $1,500 setup and $399 per month when the beta ends.
The choice is yours. Take action right now.