The new year is a time of review and introspection coupled with making new promises for the future. We are often filled with a sense of control over our destiny and a desire to begin again. If you’re feeling the same, here are a few ways you can capitalize on the new year’s momentum by embracing the habits of successful people:
As we move into the new year, take the time to reassess things in your world. What do you want to change? These ideas are only a start. Make this your year to become your most productive, happy, and successful yet.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog. We purchase rights from Frank Kenny for our Chamber Nation customers.
Finally, a bonus tip: create something amazing that people will want to photograph themselves in front of. This can be a giant chair or a beautiful backdrop. Use your imagination. Then post a hashtag poster nearby so you’ll be sure to see what they share.
Even though Small Business Saturday is right around the corner, there’s still time to participate. Show your interest and help others find you through marketing and social media.
As our Production Team attempts to complete your Premium Production Member's buildout we run into roadblocks at times. If a member has no email address in your Member Database we have no way of communicating with the member. In addition your member will not receive information about prospective customers.
If your member does not have a website that we can gather information about their business or organization, we ask them to submit information at PremiumEntrance.com. In many cases members do not respond to our requests. When this occurs we ask Chamber Staff to encourage their members without a website to visit PremiumEntrance.com and submit the short form. This will help us to complete your entire member community in a timely manner.
process to create Newsletters In advanced email Editor - then how to obtain a system Link to display newsletters on your website
When you access the Advanced Editor in the Broadcast Email Message module, you will see
'Adv Editor Categories'. Click there to add, edit or delete categories.
When you create a message in this case a newsletter, you will select the 'Newsletter' category, check the box to 'Publish as Newsletter' and enter a 'Publish Date'. Then proceed to create and save your newsletter. You can send it out as you do with other Broadcast Emails. In addition you can display this and all newsletters you create in the same fashion on your website.
Access MMS Configuration - System Links - item # 26 Broadcast Email Module - there you will find a unique link that you can place on the desired website page. This will display all the newsletters you create so the public can read about Chamber News for months and years to come.
Surveys aren’t the way to good customer service. They might’ve been five years ago, but they’re being used with such an annoying regularity that no one wants to take part in them. But how do you improve your business’ customer service if you don’t know what your customers want? Trust us. There are other ways. Here are a few things you need to ditch in order to begin providing better service.
As I just mentioned, surveys are overdone in 2018. Call the bank, they send a survey. Get the oil changed in your car, survey. Everything is a survey these days. Sure, you can get people to participate through free goods and discounts, but no one wants to waste time telling you how to do your job.
Try this instead: try one-question, emoji-style ratings when you send a follow-up email thanking them for their business. Smiley face or sad face. Or use a clickable star rating the way Amazon or Goodreads does on their reviews. Then give them contact information to a real person if they have more to say. They can rate you in a second as well as ask for a follow-up.
Not Filling Empty Positions
When an employee leaves, there’s a time before you hire again while you’re searching for an ideal candidate. If that process becomes long and drawn out, co-workers are usually called upon to fill in the gaps. After this occurs for a while, management often thinks that position doesn’t need to be filled since everyone is managing fine. Unless you are making it worth the employees’ while financially, you are over-burdening the employee. Burnt out employees don’t provide good customer service, let alone excellent service.
Try this instead: as soon as the employee gives notice, begin the hiring process. As a preemptive solution, always have up-to-date job descriptions on file so there’s no time wasted writing them. Ask good employees for referrals. Fill that position or compensate the individuals who are taking on an increased workload.
Everyone working for you should know two things: what’s expected of them (including how they’re measured against those expectations) and how you expect the customer to be treated.If they don’t know these things, it’s difficult to do their job.
Try this: Give employees processes and missions to go by so it is clear to them to what degree your company believes the customer is always right. This empowers them to do right by the customer on a level that you support, even if you’re not available to ask.
If your employees are always making up excuses as to why something didn’t happen or why they’re not meeting expectations, your customers will grow tired of this. Customers recognize an excuse. Excuses never smooth over any of the ruffled feathers.
Try this: Ban certain language from your employees’ repertoire. Things like, “I’m new” or “That happened because X is new” don’t matter to customers. They don’t want an excuse. They want a solution. Make sure your employees are skilled at providing them.
Square Hole, Square Peg Thinking
Yes, protocols are essential to businesses operations but you also want your employees to be creative problem solvers. They should not feel hemmed in by rules that can never be bent. Sometimes, it is necessary to make allowances.
Try this: as mentioned earlier, let employees know how far they can go to do right by the customer. It’s important they feel empowered to act on the customer’s behalf.
“Not My Job” Mentality
The customer doesn’t care whose job it is. When they have a problem, they want it handled. There’s nothing more frustrating than an underling saying they can’t do anything or the customer being passed around the company explaining the issue each time.
Try this instead: even if the person answering the inquiry isn’t fully equipped to solve the issue, they should remain the main point of contact for the customer. The employee is the one who works for the company. They are the most skilled at dealing with peers and departments. Stay in good communication with the customer and allow one point person for customer convenience and relationship building. This way your customer will see them as an advocate for them.
If you want to start providing better customer service, think of the customer experience. Consider the things that bother you most about dealing with businesses. Then refrain from introducing those frustrations into your environment.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. She is a regular blogger for Frank Kenny who Chamber Nation purchases content from for our customers use.
Your membership organization (Chamber of Commerce) has invested in membership services so they can strategically help their members grow business. This is why we handle your setup, product and service documentation, mobile application, text prospecting, and search engine support.
Aside from this, we also provide your organization with a tool they can use to activate an easy way for you to request people to quickly review your business directly on Google. Normally people who are at your facility that have android devices, or google local operating on an iPhone, will be prompted to review your business. This is terrific for most of us, but what about all of the locals that love your business and have never seen that prompt?
We are going to be showing off this new tool at our next Chamber Collaborative - Be sure to register here for the next meeting.
You can also finish reading about the new Member.Reviews by going to www.Member.reviews
if all of your "new" members are RECEIVING advanced member services, and you would like to offer the same to existing members, here is an example of what you might say.
If you are an existing member who have noticed that new members are receiving additional marketing services, that is because new members are paying a one-time onboarding and technology fee of $49.95 (which you were not charged in the past).
Would you like the same services explained at www.MembershipPublishingSystem.com? Just let us know at the Chamber and we will invoice you a one-time fee of $49.95 and then get you started.
If you have any other questions please let us know as well.
We are excited to re-launch a Daily Deals program designed to help drive traffic into our local businesses! It is the perfect time to create or share what specials your business is running as it's just in time for the start of holiday shopping. The Chamber is going to run an ads in print and on social media directing potential visitors to a special landing page on our site. This landing page (which currently looks like this) is where your deals will appear, promoting your locals special or any other deal that your business may be offering. Discounted services, discounts on food, specials on drinks, discounts on merchandise, etc are all examples of what you can load here.
Here is what we need from you:
Boulder City Chamber Communications Director
Businesses need to evolve periodically. Whether you like it or not, you have to look at the trends going on around us and make decisions accordingly. These decisions may involve reaching out to a new demographic, offering new services or products, or changing the way you do things like tailoring your marketing writing to Google’s ever-changing rules.
If it’s been a while since you’ve innovated in your business, now might be the time to consider a facelift.
Many business owners embrace tradition and refuse to yield. That worked for Blockbuster, too. But seriously, no one stopped watching movies. They just changed the way they did it. The same may be true of your business. To keep from closing your doors, you need to watch for trends. Here are a few that may influence how you think about your business.
Three Not- So -New Trends That Are Shaping Today ’ s Businesses
When you talk innovation, very few people have the intestinal fortitude to be on the bleeding edge of adopting completely new approaches. That’s why this article features trends that aren’t so new that they haven’t been tested but are still new enough that they may give you some exciting ideas.
If you sell products, you may have been watching this trend. Today, you can get hobbies, pet toys, clothing, beauty products, razors, books, teas, coffee, wine, fitness equipment, snacks, dinner, and so much more sent to you weekly or monthly. They have sample and full-sized boxes. Some companies allow you to control your selections, delivery frequency, preferences, and many other customizable options.
But for most of the boxes, you don’t know what’s coming in them until they arrive (or you see an early opener on YouTube). The boxes always boast a value of more than you pay for the subscription service.
Why it works: it surprises and delights recipients. Often it streamlines something they need or want and offers an attractive entry price. Many box services use word of mouth and offer discount codes to influencers in their target market like mommy bloggers or YouTube beauty experts.
It used to be when you started a company, you needed to invest in resources and other start-up expenses. These days, a new type of business is putting that onus on contractors. Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, and others aren’t ponying up the necessities for their business operation, contractors are. From homes to cars, boats to crafts, there are businesses that are building their entire empire on things they don’t own or need to worry about maintaining.
They pay their contractors a portion or charge them a fee to be listed on their site. Some of them cover the contractors under an insurance policy to ensure the property is protected but the contractor is in charge of their own maintenance, production, and other critical components.
Another idea that’s similar is how direct marketing companies work. They make the product and then have an army of contractors sell it for them. Each contractor runs their operation as a mini business adhering to the manufacturer’s rules for selling and they receive a commission when they move product.
Why it works: fewer start-up costs to hamper growth.
Reshaping a mission
The final trend that more companies are embracing is telling their “why,” and in doing so, embracing a culture of giving back. Many businesses find a cause to support now and give a portion of proceeds (either of the whole business or a particular product line) to that group or cause.
Why this works: a study has found that young people (especially) are willing to pay more for a product that supports a good cause.
If it’s been a while since you rethought your business strategy, it might be time to open yourself up to some of the newer trends out there. These ideas won’t work for every business so consider your offerings and your target market before making any big decisions. However, you might just find that these ideas get you thinking about one that’s an even better fit for your operation.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and WritersWeekly. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com where we access these articles with permission.
Do you have an SEO strategy? Maybe not. But you likely know that SEO is an important part of your business getting seen on the internet.
Things change often with search engines so it’s good to have an agency, guru, or SEO expert at close hand. If you can’t afford one of those things for your business, you’ll have to do it on your own and stay abreast of all of the changes. One of those changes you should be considering is how voice search is impacting SEO.
Voice search is increasing with greater use of mobile and the increase in access to artificial intelligence. If you have a business that focuses on local clients or customers, voice search is incredibly important as local searches are 3 times more likely to be voice searches than text.
But exactly what’s different between voice search and keyed search?
Plenty. Here’s what you need to know and the changes you need to make to what you’re already doing:
4 Ways to Optimize for Voice Search
Consider Placing for Questions or Phrases
In voice search, most people ask a question or make a statement surrounding a need. For instance, “Where’s the nearest taco place?” Think about what sorts of questions people would ask to find your business. Then create content around those questions. For example, someone might request “Best dog groomer in Nashville.” Write a blog post under that title. Write a review of several different places where you can get your dog groomed from doing it yourself to a portable groomer to your business.
Offering other ideas besides just your own business makes you a reliable resource. However, there’s no need to directly mention the competition. Speak in generalities of the competitors unless you find that people are often searching for you and your nemesis. For instance, if there’s a rivalry between your hot dogs and another place in town, mentioning them directly could help you “steal” some of their search results.
Use the Right Language
There are regional ways of saying things (not accents) and naming items. Just listen to a comedian making fun of their hometown. For instance, some parts of the Midwest refer to washcloths as wash rags and vacuums as sweepers. If you sold those items and wanted to rank for them locally, you may consider using those local terms.
Also, while it might be hard to rank for some terms like“pizza restaurant,” it might be easier to rank for “best pizza place near me.” Most voice searches will use less formal terminology or language because voice search is based on how people talk. And when they talk to search or their virtual assistants like Siri, Google, or Alexa, they speak like they’re talking to someone they know. They don’t speak formally the way they might when looking something up online.
Localize the Search
Wherever possible, if you serve a community (meaning people in town come to you for your service or product and you’re not an internet business serving all areas), mention the areas you serve. Not only will this clear up any confusion but it will also help you rank in that area. But don’t simply state the name of your town over and over. Any bot can do that. Pepper in things about your town that will help people and search engines recognize you really are serving that area. For instance, if you are a carpet cleaner you might add content to your website that asks, “Having people in for the Waynesville Sauerkraut Festival? You want clean floors. We can help.”
This type of personalization is best used when switched out throughout the year. Websites were never made to be stagnant. Remember to refresh content on a regular basis.
Become More Verbose
When typing in a search, most people use 2-3 word phrases. Voice search is much longer, 5-7 words. You’ll want to keep this in mind when optimizing your content. It’s important to do some search research to find out how people are searching for things that you provide. When it comes to voice, they tend to be more long-winded and describe what they need than when they’re texting it.
If you’re concerned about search engine optimization--and you should be--it’s important to consider how search is changing that, especially if your customers are largely local. Create content and optimize your web copy around how people speak and the questions they’d ask to find you. It’s well worth the time investment to do it now rather than wait until your competitors do it.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com who we purchase the rights to this content from for our customers.
One of the most common mistakes businesses make is wanting to be all things to all customers. Just as in life and friendships, you will never be everyone’s “cup of tea.”
That’s okay. It’s more than okay.
Understanding this and attracting your ideal customer is the one way to build loyalty among your clients and provide them with the services and products they need. In personalizing your sales approach you will gain more, not less. Here’s how you can go about doing that:
1. Decide who your ideal customer is. There is a group (or maybe several groups) that you can help better than any other business. Who are they? Identify them, flesh out details about their demographics including:
3. Analyze what they want? Now that you know what they’re struggling with figure out what they want; what they wish they had even if it’s not in the budget right now. Focus on how you can help them get there. Several banks have used this approach selling the question of what dream can they help you achieve today.
4. Design marketing campaigns based around the second and third step in this list. Target individual demographics separately. Don’t try to use an all-encompassing solution for the different groups who buy from you. For instance, market to Millennials differently than you do retirees. They have different concerns. Designing your marketing strategy around these groups involves more than just your message. It also affects where and how you’re delivering it. For Millennials, you might turn to Instagram or YouTube. For the older generation, it might be Facebook and direct mail. You need to assess where your clients are so you can implement a strategy to reach them.
5. Create content that appeals to each group. Yes, your marketing message is content but this step takes it a bit further. Create ebooks or infographics with information that will help your ideal customer. Do video or host events. Understand the group you want to reach and then create content and experiences to reach them best. Ever notice a lot of end-of-life providers host free lunch and learns? That’s because they’re a popular way to reach that demographic.
6. Create a clear and “doable” call to action (CTA). At the end (and even midway, as appropriate) of all of your helpful content, you’ll want a clear and actionable CTA. The call to action must be the next step in what they’re looking for. For instance, if you’re selling something with a long sales cycle, you don’t want to add a buy-now button to your About Page on your website. About Pages are something most people visit when they want to learn more about you, not at a late stage in the sales cycle. On the other hand, a call to action to learn more about you on an infographic that walks people through the financing process of your product or service is not a good fit either because by that point most people are ready to consider signing with you. They likely already know about you.
7. Find a way to delight them. Remember when you were figuring out what your ideal customer wanted and needed? Now you want to use that information to make an impression. By this point, you’ve already attracted them with your targeted marketing. They’re already looking into what you have to offer. They’ve scanned your valuable, personalized materials and content. Now, use what you know about them to make an impression. This could be through a targeted email marketing drip campaign or promotional materials that are tied to their wants and needs. But at this stage, you want to kick up your marketing and do something no one else is doing. Maybe that’s a handwritten note or a pop-up event. Use what you know about your ideal customer to surprise and delight them.
8. Always follow-up. Most salespeople know to follow up but incessant calls from your sales team can get old. You need a way to stay in touch with your ideal customer as they consider doing business with you. You also want to stay in contact with those who have purchased and may purchase again. You can do this through a newsletter or other means of occasional contact. Get their email address. Being connected on social media is not enough. They could opt out of those platforms at any time but for someone to give up email that would be nearly impossible. Getting someone’s email is like getting their home address. It could change but not as often.
Get to work at attracting your ideal customer. They’ll remain more loyal to you and you’ll be more able to solve their problems and suit their needs. You’ll have fewer customer service issues because they are a good fit for your business. Stop trying to appeal to everyone and speak to those you are best suited to help.
First Step is to submit a support ticket or use CHAT to tell us that you would like the MEMBER REP system activated for your organization.
Now you will have a full accounting of all member touches and are able to monitor and be sure that your Member Reps are indeed communicating with members. As always let us know if you need our assistance.
We have heard many great things from our customers about the services we are providing to their Chamber members. One thing we also are hearing is that sometimes it is hard to explain all of the terrific benefits members receive when they are part of the Chamber Lobby program. To try and help rectify this, we have created a second way for Chamber leaders to explain the member benefits.
Since we know that most businesses today are interested in mobile marketing and texting systems for growth, we thought a good move would be to start telling prospective members that when they join the Chamber, they will receive a complete mobile publishing system at no extra charge. To make it even easier you can send them to www.MobilePublishingSystem.com so they can quickly learn all about it.
Click to Tweet is a simple yet elegant service that allows you to get people to tweet your content, which is also an easy way to get more traffic to your website or blog. The application and plugin are 100% free to use, all you need is a Twitter account. In this tutorial, we’ll be describing how to use Click to Tweet and some ways to get the most out of it.
Why Create Click to Tweet Links?
Click to Tweet gives you the ability to direct readers to share specific content on Twitter. You can generate links directly from the Click to Tweet dashboard after logging in. If you have a WordPress site, you can download a free plugin and get readers to share specific blog posts or pages. You can also get view analytics reports that provide you with lots of useful information about the people who tweet your content.
Many people may enjoy your content and could be willing to share it. At the same time, it might not occur to them if you don’t give them a prompt. It also takes a few steps to share something on Twitter. Click to Tweet cuts down on these steps and makes it very easy for people to share something.
How to Make Best Use of Click to Tweet
There are many social media buttons you can install on your website, including ones for Twitter. These can be useful to get people to share your content if they liked something you posted. Click to Tweet, however, allows you to focus on particular areas within your content.
In order to get the most out of Click to Tweet, you should keep several things in mind. The areas that you might want to highlight for tweeting include central points of your article. Look for areas in your content that emphasize crucial points. For example, if you are writing a post about getting more Twitter followers, you might want to highlight something like:
“This is how I got 10,000 new followers in under a month. Click to Tweet.”
Need to Remind Members to REQUEST THEIR FREE TCS PAGE? Here is a sample email template you could use.
As you may know our Chamber receives tens-of-thousands of impressions a month from people searching our area through search engines and within our own membership directory. In order to help in this indexing process, and to improve your own business success online, the Chamber provides each and every member with their own marketing landing page that is sometimes referred to as a Traffic Catcher System (TCS) page.
We know you are busy SO WE ARE HAPPY TO BUILD THIS PAGE FOR YOU. All you need to do is login from the link below using the LOST PASSWORD function. Once in, simply look for the BRIGHT RED REQUEST SETUP BUTTON and answer a few short questions. Please allow 5 minutes for this process.
THIS IS WHERE YOU WOULD PUT THE LINK TO YOUR MEMBER LOGIN
(find this link in your MMS Configuration area and look for system links #2.1)
GO TO Facebook Forum
We answer Facebook Forum Questions Here so You Can Search Solutions at Anytime. Helpful for Chamber Staff and Their Members.