Monday, July 30, 2012

The Power of Pins

I've got to tell a consumer, I am hooked on Pinterest. Pinterest allows me to make a scrapbook of my interests. I can keep track of a reading list, my favorite music, projects for home and family, future purchases and products, things I'd like to do for the holidays, places I want to go...the list goes on and on.

And I have noticed that men are just as likely to have and maintain a Pinterest page as women are. The benefits of Pinterest for small businesses are enormous. But first---Pinterest is not another Facebook. Unless you have a pin that I think will add to my scrapbook I won't follow you or repin you onto my Pinterest page. Give me a great picture of a product I'm dreaming of or something that will help solve a problem I have and I'll pin it to my scrapbook. Give me an idea that I can add to my own project list and I'll repin it to my page. That pin will have a link back to your page and/or website. That pin, if it has enough value, will be repinned over and over again; hitting audiences that your small business never dreamed of.

A picture is worth a thousand words. And on Pinterest your picture can have a major impact.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Newsletters and Value

As part of my web consulting job, I purchased a copy of CorelDraw. The program is great, easy to use, and equally as useful but much cheaper than Adobe's $1000+ program. But this post isn't about trying to persuade you to purchase a program. It's about adding value to newsletters.

When I registered my version of Corel I was offered a newsletter. I signed up thinking I would not only get news on updates but also tips and ideas about how to use my product.

I couldn't have been more disappointed. What I initially received was an email per day advertising the product that I already owned. The emails were poorly designed with outdated graphics; hardly inspiring from a company that was trying to sell graphic design software. Later the graphics got somewhat better. But when the new version came out there was no explanation of why I should upgrade; no demonstration of what the new product could do. In fact the announcement itself was plastered on the old graphics.

These emails continued to come until, after a couple years of deleting them everyday without any value added tips, hints, or information, I signed off of the mailing list.

Corel lost the opportunity because they didn't add value or give customers a reason to stay signed on.

Monday, July 16, 2012

That Little Extra Goes a Long Way

I had an opportunity to give a customer an unexpected surprise the other day. Just a tiny thing but it went a long way in making the product I was selling special, unique, and just for that customer. There are thousands of ways to go the extra couple of steps to make your customer feel good and most cost little in time or money, making them perfect for small business to take advantage over the big guys.

  • Add designer labels to products
  • Throw in a freebie
  • Take a picture of your customer with the new product and add it to your customer appreciation wall.
  • Add a discount on accessories.
  • Add free classes or support
  • Personalize
  • Free samples of complimentary products

Tiny, unexpected gifts can make even the most mundane products special and your business transaction more memorable. 



Monday, July 9, 2012


If you're familiar with iGoogle then you know that an iGoogle page is made up of widgets. And if you also manage a business blog you may have even attempted to make a widget of your own to submit to Google so that your blog posts could be included as a widget on your customers iGoogle pages.

IGoogle is going away but widgets are part of the web and will continue to be part of the web as a convenient conveyor of news. And it's extremely easy to use Netvibes to make a widget of your site---place it in a box for your users to import into their home pages.

Better yet build a Netvibes page that you can use to monitor news regarding your products and services. You can even build a public page for your users to follow and incorporate it into your website. This is just another marketing tool to stay on your user's desktop so that when they need services and products that you sell, your business is right in front.