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Archive for April, 2009

The BNI Song – from Richard Swan of Cornucopia

Monday, April 27th, 2009

For those of you who know about BNI – this is great! It’s a song performed by a member of BNI here in the UK. His name is Richard Swan and he is from a wedding, party and function band called Cornucopia – and a member of Tower Hill BNI who meet in the Gherkin Building in London.

Luckily none of you have to go back in time to attend – it’s on You Tube – and here on our Blog!

Have a listen to the whole thing and let me know what you think!!

9 ways your website can help your business!

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Clink website

Websites are good for business – everyone knows that! But have you ever stopped to ask yourself – what are 9 ways that websites can help your business? If not, you are in luck – we have listed them below and we have explanations as well!

Be proud!
Your website is an instant visual presentation of your company so it’s important it reflects your business and your personality – but often people are so embarrassed about their websites, it shows. When you have a GREAT website which you can be proud of, it you want to tell everyone – you are enthusiastic and speak confidently about your business and your website – and then people are more likely to recommend you.

Stand out!
Your business will naturally have competitors and one way to win business over them is to have a great website compared to the rest of your industry. Most people go online to compare companies and if your website stands out next to others then you will get more enquiries – a no-brainer!

 

What do you do?
People make split second decisions (we call it The Pickle Syndrome) and spend a very short amount of time on each page they visit, so it is important to convey what you do instantly. The result is that your visitors don’t feel lost and confused! They know what you do, where to go, how to make an enquiry and you’ll soon be converting visitors into potential clients!

Investor Pages - an example of a website which shows what they do!

Show your expertise
It’s not enough to provide information about your products and services. Think of your website as a well trained employee, presenting your customers with help and knowledge about your company’s area of expertise.

There are many ways in which you can do this

- Case Studies
- Online Galleries
- Testimonials throughout the websites
- Links to your social media profiles in relevant directory websites
- Logos of organisations you are affiliated with.

By clearly explaining and showing what you do and how you do it you will create a memorable and impressive first impression!

Mills & Mckinney - an example of a website which shows their expertise

Keep your clients and visitors up-to-date
There is always something happening in your field of expertise that you can report on your website, and these day’s things change fast so use your website to keep people up to date. Make people feel part of your company.

When things happen in your business, put the details up on your website and contact them to let them know. Then more people will keep you in mind and that is GOOD MARKETING!! Plus search engines like websites when they are changed more regularly.

You can do this by

- sending regular email newsletters (yes, we do these for clients!)
- having a blog linking from your site – a low cost easy way to make regular updates (ask us for help if you want!)
- including a “latest news” column on your homepage – but this is only if you commit to keeping it up to date!
- Even keeping the copyright date in the footer up-to-date with the current year can make all the difference! (a quick and easy change!)

Interact with your clients
There are many ways you can interact with your visitors, clients and potential clients through your website. You can build up an immediate rapport with your potential clients by using interactive media.

Creating a customised, integrated blog to match your website is a great and cost effective way to keep your customers up-to-date.

You can also jump on the Twitter bandwagon! It’s not something you should ignore – the Twitter is a great way of keeping in touch regularly with “followers” and also reinforcing your place in your field of expertise.

It’s a good idea to include “calls to action” on your website.

Some ideas:

- Include a “sign up to our newsletter” form (if you have a newsletter) (but you need to give people incentive – eg free e-book or regular tips on your subject of expertise!)
- Link to “Get a free quote” form or online quote facility
- “Free initial meeting”
- “Request a callback” form
- A “Find out what our customers say” link
- A “follow us on twitter” link

Interacting with potential customers gives you an immediate connection. You are emphasising why they should use you. It also shows you care about what your customers think.

Save on marketing spend
With website content, you incur no printing, shipping, or postage expenses, and updates are quick and easy. A website is a necessary and measurable primary marketing tool. It can also be tailored to suit the size of your business and your budget – so better to start with a small single page website and grow from there.

Additionally you should spend time setting up your online profiles on networks you belong to (eg BNI, NRG, Ecademy, LinkedIn, Business Junction, and industry specific directories) – these are a low cost way to get more of YOU online!

Always be available
Everyone is on a tight schedule these days – busy busy busy! Your web site is open 24/7 so your customers can interact with your business when it’s convenient for them. They may really appreciate the convenience of finding what they need without having to stop, call, and ask – filling in a form, signing up for a newsletter, reading your blog, getting a quick quote, booking online, downloading your e-book, or reading your case studies, all in their OWN time!

Increase your customer reach
There is no other medium that provides the geographic reach of a website, and internet usage increases year over year. Your website puts your business out there to be found by clients anywhere who are already looking for what you offer. If you don’t have a well placed website someone else will get their business – and you certainly wouldn’t want that!

Having a website gives you the opportunity to present your business internationally to customers you wouldn’t normally reach and or to your entire local community – whichever suits you best!

And finally:
The point is, using the web wisely is a surefire way to increase your client base, awareness, interact better with your audience, and ultimately help any business succeed!