For the second year in a row, I’ve been honored with a nomination for the Small Business Influencer Award 2013. This year it has inspired me to take a look at how one becomes a business or person of influence and what the value of that is. Over the years of growing my practice, I have seen many businesses come and go. The ones that succeed, however, are conscious and consistent in the following seven areas.
Grow Your Influence, Grow Your Business
1. Right size your company: Is your budget in alignment with your goals? Make sure you set your business up for success with the initial realistic goals and a right sized budget and team.
2. Be generous: work on growing your reputation as a business that offers value from the moment they interact with the you and/or your team members. Make life easy for them in some way.
3. Be a cheerleader and promote others: Are you giving referrals, sharing resources, listening for where your prospective clients are stuck (even if it has nothing to do with your business)? Who can you introduce? Always be advocating others. Social media is a great place to give shoutouts if your customers would appreciate that.
4. Collaborate: Who are other influencers of your market? Think about ways to create a joint event, product or service and co-market it.
5. Keep in touch: If there’s one area most businesses don’t put enough emphasis on is keeping in touch with your customers, colleagues, and prospects. How can you let them know you care? Take your email newsletter to the next level. Do what Lou Bortone did recently, offer to have a one-on-one conversation. I personally also recommend sending greeting cards for birthdays, thank yous, thinking of you, reminders, anniversaries, invitations, even vacation postcards to your clients. You can use online services like SendOutCards (send a card out on me with this link) that will send paper greeting cards that make it easy and they will even remind you.
6. Give Value 24-7: No, I’m not talking about inviting phone calls or email 24-7. Rather make sure your website and social media account offer valuable information that your market is craving. Jay Baer in his book Youtility, talks about creating content that is so useful to your market that they would pay for it.
7. Provide outstanding customer service. Monitor your social media accounts, email, and/or support system. Be proactive and host Google Hangouts, have an online appointment scheduler and make your phone number available. Above all respond quickly.
Please share with us, how you have grown your influence in the comments below. We love your input!