Tag: client appreciation

Commit to Relationship Marketing This Year

Often small businesses owners put a lot of time, attention, and focus on meeting and building relationships with new people. They don’t spend nearly enough of that energy on relationship building or retention with connections they’ve already made. 

If you want to encourage brand loyalty and stay top of mind with your current network, you’ll need a plan for that. While some people are natural connectors, it’s simple to let valuable relationship-building efforts slip through the cracks in the daily hustle of running a company.

Follow-Up Strategy

Wherever you go out and represent your brand in public, it’s likely you will meet people and establish connections. Whether it’s a cold lead, a warm prospect, a member of your target audience, or a potential collaboration partner – it’s essential that you follow up with the people you meet to stay top of mind and begin building that professional relationship. Common follow-up strategies include:

  • Bring a sharpie with you to jot down notes on the back of the business card of the individual.
  • Using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to organize your contacts and notes.
  • Create a follow-up schedule and use a spreadsheet or software to keep you on track.
  • Create a sequence of actions that ensures you touch base with each person several times. This could look like an email, a handwritten card, a phone call, or an invitation to another event. 

Building Relationships

People want to be seen and heard. Do your clients know that you ‘get them’ and that you are in their corner – rooting and cheering for them? Honestly, there are probably plenty of companies that provide similar services to yours. This means that building loyalty is important for client retention. 

Do your clients hear from you on a monthly basis via email, zoom meetings, and handwritten notes or gifts? If not, what plan do you have to keep communication open between you and your clients and to nurture the relationship you are building with them? Your marketing and business strategy is essential but so is developing a plan for client retention and nurturing your leads.

Getting to Know People

A one-size-fits-all strategy rarely works as well as business owners would like. Yes, it is simpler and less time-consuming to create a client appreciation or retention strategy for everyone on your list. However, to really make an impact with your people you need to get personal. A personal touch will go much further, and inspire more loyalty, than a non-personalized approach.

One way to personalize your efforts is to uncover your client’s love language. Why? While some people respond well to gifts, other people don’t care anything at all about receiving gifts. The same could be said of the other languages of love including words of affirmation, quality time, or acts of service. While the love languages were designed to improve romantic relationships, it’s not too large of a leap to envision how they can apply to the relationships you are creating and nurturing with your business. To find out more about the five love languages, visit this website.

Looking for a new networking group to meet people and try out your new follow-up plan? Expand your professional network and build authentic connections in a community of like-minded women.  Join us for our WEBOs Lunch and WEBOs After Hours Networking events. Open to all women entrepreneurs and business owners.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

How to Nurture Your Clients Through Social Media

As small business owners, we spend a lot of our time looking for and attempting to woo new clients to sign up for our product or service. Our current clients don’t often get the benefit of our attention once they sign on the dotted line.

Loyalty is not automatic, it is earned through interactions. A neglected client is a prime target for your competition. If you truly want brand loyalty, you have to earn it by making your current clients a priority by nurturing those relationships.

Engage with Them on Social Media

Do you follow your clients’ social media channels? If you don’t already, you should do that immediately. If you aren’t sure how to find their channels, I guarantee that they have them listed at the top or bottom of their company website. (Seriously, go follow them right now, we’ll wait.)

It’s not enough to simply follow their channels, however. You should also make it a priority to like, comment, and share their posts (as appropriate). Engage with the posts. Ask questions or start conversations in the comments. This is incredibly helpful for their social media engagement and they’ll remember your help.

Plus, the more you engage with them, the more they’ll naturally show up in your newsfeed – making it easier to keep up with your clients and engage with their content.

Communicate and Connect

Each social media channel has its own private messaging feature. Spend some time each month sending notes of appreciation through social media messages. This is another way to showcase your appreciation for your clients while staying top of mind in a positive, generous way.

If you come across, or create content, that you feel they will appreciate – go ahead and send them messages with links to the article, video series, podcast, or other content.

Don’t forget to invite your clients to join you at trade shows, networking meetings or other in-person events where you can introduce them to new people and get some quality face time in as well!

Checking In

We often only reach out to our clients when we have questions, problems, or when we are attempting to upsell them in some way.

What if you reached out, on a regular basis, just to see how they were doing? If you really want to nurture the relationship, use social media to invite your clients out to coffee, happy hour, or lunch so that you can connect in person.

It’s key that you DON’T use this time to try to sell them. The purpose is nurturing the client relationship.

It can feel awkward, or time-consuming, to call people regularly and impersonal to send out a bunch of emails. Connect with your clients on social media instead to attain a more personal way of nurturing your client relationships.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

How You Build Relationships with Your Audience Through Social Media

When social media marketing works well, it establishes a personal connection between the brand and their audience. Small businesses that only post when they have something to sell, will find that their followers don’t engage with their content.

These business owners often go out and tell other businesses that ‘social media doesn’t work.’

The truth is that social media marketing doesn’t work for brands that are only in it for themselves. It doesn’t work when a business owner spends zero time thinking about what their audience actually wants, enjoys, or is interested in seeing in their feeds.

How can you actually build a relationship with your audience using social media and make social media marketing work for you?

Create Content for Your Audience

There’s an overwhelming amount of content being uploaded to social media every minute. That’s a lot of noise. How do you get your social media posts seen by the right people?

First, you need to know who your target audience actually is. Because, to truly reach them, you have to create content they actually enjoy. That means the majority of your social media posts are not only geared towards the people you want as clients but that the content also aims to educate, entertain, inform, or inspire your audience.

This works best if you actually have a conversation with your target audience and ask them what type of content they consume. What do they enjoy on social media? Ask them directly, what would you like to see from my small business?

Engage with Your Audience

The second way to ensure that social media marketing won’t work for your business is to post and leave. Social media schedulers allow us to batch and schedule content months in advance. However, if you aren’t regularly checking for engagement and then responding to your audience, they will quickly learn that you aren’t present and they’ll stop engaging with your content.

Social media is meant to be social. You can’t just post content and then forget about it. You have to be present for your audience. Ideally, you are starting valuable conversations with them on a regular basis.

User-Generated Content

The most powerful content you can create comes from having interacted with your audience first. Polls, surveys, engagement questions, and social media conversations are all super valuable when it comes to creating content your audience actually wants. Don’t undervalue these exchanges. Figure out how to repurpose them or use them to create quality posts for your people. This is called user-generated content.

Social media marketing can be a highly effective way to reach and connect with your target audience. The key is in understanding how, and why, social media marketing works so that you can build your platforms correctly and share content that actually matters with your followers.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

Setting Goals with Your Client Retention

As small business owners, we are always focused on building relationships with people in hopes that those connections will convert into paying clients at some point. What many of us fail to do, however, is to create a plan and be intentional about nurturing our current client relationships. We all know that it costs less money to retain a current client than to onboard a new one and yet, we struggle to build a client retention plan or process into our yearly task list. If you look at client retention during goal setting, you can become specific about how you will love on your clients and can then calendar out those goals to ensure that client appreciation doesn’t fall through the cracks.

Building Trust & Loyalty

There are some obvious things that every business must do in order to build trust and earn loyalty from their clients. The first step in client retention is ensuring your current processes are already set up to make your clients happy.

  • Communication – Each client will prefer a different level of communication. Have a conversation during the onboarding process about how the customer prefers to communicate and how much communication they think they’ll need. This will help ensure you are meeting those targets and generating satisfaction in the exchange.
  • Keep Your Promises – Be realistic and honest about expectations regarding cost, timeline and delivery. Set expectations early and don’t change things unless you have to and you have properly communicated those changes in advance.
  • Check-Ins – Assumptions are counterproductive to a successful business. Schedule regular check-ins with your clients to discuss what is (and isn’t) working, adapt what you can, and really listen to their pain points and challenges. A good team member wants everyone to be successful!

Client Appreciation

Client Appreciation is the process of doing something on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly, or annually) to give back to your clients or show them how much they are appreciated. It can be as simple as a monthly call just to check on them and see how they are doing (and how you can be of service) but remember: no sales on client appreciation calls! Handwritten letters or cards work great as well.

Some companies give holiday gifts or send their clients tickets to events or host events throughout the year to love on their clients in person. What you do is less important than making it a priority to do something for your clients on a regular basis.

Types of Client Retention Goals

It probably wasn’t difficult to convince you that creating client retention goals would have a beneficial turnaround for your business. Where does a small business owner start? Well, anything you do that improves the customer experience is worth doing. Here is a list of ideas to inspire you or jumpstart your brainstorming process.

  1. Create an onboarding program for new clients.
  2. Schedule regular client appreciation touches.
  3. Have a plan for getting regular feedback from clients.
  4. Create a customer loyalty program.
  5. Develop a social responsibility program to give your customers a way to make an even bigger impact.
  6. Invest in better customer service tools and processes.
  7. Improve processes to make things more convenient and easier to use.
  8. Highlight your clients on your social media marketing channels.
  9. Collaborate with your clients on an event, project, or social giveback initiative.
  10. Make it a point to talk about and recommend your clients often.

We can’t wait to see what you come up with this year to really champion your clients and nurture those ever-important relationships!

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

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