Testimonials are one of the most important pieces in building your credibility as a business. Gathered testimonials provide a quick look into the reputation of your company.
Everybody likes references from their peers. When you’re looking to purchase a service or product, or visit a location like a restaurant, you want to know what other people think about that business. If there are two similar businesses and one has several great testimonials and the other does not, you’re obviously going to go with the one you know people had a good experience with.
What are testimonials?
Testimonials build your reputation through written or recorded reviews that discuss their experience with a business. They bring in potential customers and encourage existing customers to stick with you. They are today’s new “word-of-mouth,” and are critical in strengthening your reputation and online visibility. Put simply, testimonials are a customer’s testimony that your business provides quality products and/or services.
Make it Easy For Them
It doesn’t take long for someone to write a testimonial, but most consumers don’t think about writing reviews unless they had a bad experience. This means you need to ask your clients for positive testimonials. To encourage them to take time for your business, offer them a small reward. You could send them a $5 coffee gift card, merchandise from your store, or a discount on future services.
Although it doesn’t take very long to write a testimonial, your customer’s effort makes a huge difference for your business. You want to thank them for doing you a favor.
You can send out a link directly to your Google My Business Review sheet and a link to your Facebook reviews. All they have to do is click the link and write a few lines about their experience with your business. Make the task as easy and simple for them as possible. You want the world to know that you create a positive business exchange.
Take advantage of every opportunity you have to receive a new testimonial. Express gratitude when you receive them and be strategic with how you use them.
So you’ve built an email list and chosen a software like Active Campaign. Now what? It can be scary getting started with your first email campaign. But it’s not as hard as you think! By following a few steps and suggestions, you will be able to craft your first marketing email.
- Introduce yourself.
— Give your audience every way they can contact you: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, your website, etc. Start developing the voice you will consistently use in your emails.
- Craft a welcome email.
— Let subscribers know what they can expect by being on your email list. Sell yourself as an expert in your field. Save this email as a template for future welcome emails. You’ll want to update it as things change within your business.
- Give them an offer.
— If your readers joined through an opt-in, make sure they receive it. Remember to give more than sell.
- Write a stellar subject line.
— Subject lines are more important than you might think. They’re the cover of your book that informs a reader whether or not they want to open your email. You want to entice them to open, and follow through with great email content.Read more about the importance of subject lines.
- Be aware of the preview text
— The first sentence of your email will show up in most inboxes next to the subject line. Make sure the first few words you use are powerful.
- Write smartly
— Keep your paragraph lengths short, follow a sensible structure, and include one main idea in each paragraph. Subheads and bullets can break up your email and make it more scannable.
- Get to know your audience
— If you haven’t defined your ideal customer, stop everything and do that right now. Seriously, you need to know who you are talking to before you start talking to them. Once you know your target customer, imagine you are speaking directly to them. Be personable and consistent.
— Promote action by asking for it. You’ll only get conversions when you are requesting them. What is it you want from your readers? Tell them. Be clear and don’t use all caps or too many exclamation points.
- Don’t overload with too much content
— You want to provide good content, but you don’t want to overwhelm your readers. Be careful about how many topics you are covering in your email. It shouldn’t be too sparse, either. Finding the balance of just-enough content will do wonders for your open-rate and continued readership.
Karen Lum of KLum Consulting, has helped the KRose Company so much with organization and prioritization, that we just had to ask her to share her thoughts will all of you! She gives some tools that she has found and loves and we can’t wait to share them, enjoy!
Organization skills and prioritization methods are abundant online; in fact, there are so many options it can feel quite overwhelming to determine what prioritization methods and organizational tools to adopt for your own professional success. Here is the real key to finding a great prioritization method that works for you; you first need to understand how you think and function best. If you start with understanding your own tendencies and stuck spots you will have far more success when vetting systems and tools to support you with prioritization of goals and tasks.
So how to go about doing this… here are a few options: Find an assessment tool or two that you can take to learn a bit more about how you are wired. Insights Discovery, Myers Briggs are both long-standing assessment tools that can provide insight. The Enneagram assessment has also become quite popular in providing perspective about characteristics and tendencies of individuals.
In addition to these tools, you can do some of your own assessment through journaling and answering questions about your current processes.
Here are 7 self-assessment questions:
- Do I have a realistic sense of how long tasks take?
- Am I currently using any method at all to track my tasks or time? If yes, describe the method?
- What time of day do I feel most in ‘my zone” and productive?
- Do I get overwhelmed easily? If so, what specifically triggers my feelings of overwhelm?
- What communication method is my preference when someone is delegating work to me?
- Do I prefer hard copy business and organization tools or electronic tools? Why?
- What is my process for evaluating progress on my goals?
I have three tools that I, as well as many of my clients, use and have had success with and I would love to share them with you!
Trello is an online tool with an app that works wonderfully on mobile as well. Of all the digital organizational tools I have tested or used, Trello remains my favorite. I tend to use a combination of electronic and hard copy prioritization tools and Trello’s interface feels a lot like an old-fashioned bulletin board to me (I dig it!). Trello utilizes digital “index cards” to support users in building out tasks, projects, timelines and accountable parties. It can easily be used by an individual or a large team who is collaborating on a larger goal.
Some of my favorite features of the Trello app are:
– The awesome UX of Trello that feels like a throwback bulletin board but on steroids (it works with my visual learning tendencies)
– Ability to physically drag “cards” to other areas of my “bulletin board”/project list
– Ease of sharing components of my Trello board with others when I want to collaborate
– Color-coding of tasks and projects
– Super smooth experience breaking down any “card” or task into a To-Do list with dates and action items
– The sheer versatility of the tool – basically Trello gives you this simple framework of a bulletin board with columns and you can build them out to reflect any tracking need or project you can think of! You can build an entire board that is just tasks by days of the week. Or you can build out a board that you use for brainstorming new projects. Its amazing and I kinda find it fun, which I can’t say about many professional tools!
I suggest you give my Top FIVE Priority List process a try for three weeks and see what you learn about yourself and the flow of your days. The power of this process is in its simplicity.
The Top FIVE Priority List forces you to focus in on your micro-planning while keeping the bigger picture in mind. I developed this tool for myself when I noticed how susceptible I was to sitting down at my desk in the morning and utilizing email as my guide for what got my attention. Regardless of what larger goals I had on my radar for the day, once I dove into email, I would quickly use an hour (or sometimes more) tackling correspondence or tasks that were not on my radar before that moment. Then I would spend the rest of the day playing catch up while trying to fend off all the negative self talk telling me how I had such a terrible handle on my schedule and had too much to do with the time I had. Can you relate?
Top Five Priority List was born out of my necessity to guide my focus each day and to give me a visual reminder of what I have committed to for the day. The process includes prioritizing the most critical tasks for the following day, before the end of your work day. It supports you in clearing your mind, making choices about how you plan to use your time and force ranking your tasks. Our brains love it when we narrow in our focus and build lists of 5 to 7 items (same reasons memorizing phone numbers works so well!). So do yourself a favor and try this version of micro-prioritizing and see what you learn about yourself and your schedule. The full directions for the Top Five Priority process can be found here.
- “Week-At-A-Glance” Calendar
Have you ever experienced a tough time balancing all your roles or feeling there wasn’t enough time each week to fit “it all in”. First of all, I am here to say, most weeks in our lives will not feel balanced. Try to stop seeking “balance” and your internal contentment meter will probably go up pretty quickly! There will be weeks where work takes first priority and other weeks where the needs of our families or personal goals take the lead. It’s a dance more than a balancing act.
I have found however, that having a tool (whether electronic or hard copy) that provides a week-at-a-glance view has been tremendously helpful in architecting effective schedules I can follow. I use a weekly desk calendar made by Smitten On Paper (but you could make your own as well) to chunk out major themes for each day of the week; this gives me a bird’s eye view of my week so I can experience clarity in how all my days line out for the week.
If you’d like to support a small business local to Bozeman, Hey Day Bozeman, has some amazing planning tools! They carry a lot of Smitten on Paper including the Week-at-a-glance planner I have mentioned and every time I go in, I am constantly finding awesome stuff! Check out their online shop here!
When using the week-at-a-glance tool, I suggest holding yourself to one AM theme and one PM theme. For example: Monday AM is “Admin tasks” and Monday PM is “Client Meetings”. Tuesday AM is: Proposal writing and Tuesday PM is: School pick up /family time. Sometimes an entire day needs to be dedicated to one theme and that is ok too.
The biggest benefits I have experienced since mapping out my week in this way, is a solid sense of the themes that dominant my week (that lets me mentally prepare for what is ahead) for example is this a big client-facing week or a lot of individual project work or maybe even a lot of after work commitments with my family), an opportunity to check in with myself regarding what my overarching priorities are and a chance to adjust them proactively rather than experience regret at the end of the week, a quick at-a-glance check in to see what is coming up in my schedule, any time I need a reference point.
I hope you find some of these processes and tools useful for your own prioritization and planning. Keep in mind, having systems is less important during the times when we are on-fire, in our zone and slaying the day. Systems and tools are there to serve us when we are feeling overwhelmed, disenchanted, lacking focus or feeling less than our stellar selves. Processes and tools are there to provide the structure and discipline we need to actually think LESS and just get to work. Because despite the myths floating around, motivation rarely comes before action; it is action (even micro-movements in the right direction) that then breed motivation and momentum to continue forward!
Here’s to momentum my friends!
Here’s what you missed this week on the blog!
Monday: Shaping Your Attitude Using Affirmations with Molly Painschab
- How you talk to yourself is SO important for your mental health and well being
- Molly dives into how using affirmations can help put you in the right mindset and help develop routines that work for YOU
- Tips and tricks for how you can make sure your day starts on the right foot, everyday
Tuesday: Subject Lines 101: Do’s, Don’ts, and Why They Matter
- Subject lines determine if someone is going to open your email or not–BIG DEAL
- There is a fine line between peaking someone’s interest and information overload
- Let us guide you on how to make sure your subject lines are quick, easy, and to the point to get those emails opened!
Wednesday: Small Business Spotlight: Amanda Radke
- Cattle rancher, wife, mom of three, speaker, writer, and small business woman, she does it all!
- Meet Amanda and her story on how she started her business that has the cutest graphic tees, awesome gifts, and children’s books that she wrote to share her passion for promoting agriculture literacy!
- We even have a discount code for you!
- Use KROSE15 to get 15% off your entire order!!
Thursday: FAQ on Google My Business with Tessa Witmer
- Getting the hang of Google My Business does not come without questions
- We had our friend and GMB expert, Tessa, pull together the most common questions she gets asked about GMB and offer her answers!
I hope you guys enjoyed this week’s content and are looking forward to a new line up next week!
If you read my first KRose blog post about Google Business Pages, you know that it’s a secret weapon you can use to set your business apart from others in your area. In this second installment, I’m breaking down the five most frequently asked questions about Google My Business pages to help you better understand what your profile can and can not do.
How do you know if your business has a Google My Business account?
If you’re not certain whether your business has a Google My Business page or if your business has not been verified, the easiest way to find out is by googling your business. Does the result show up with a column on the right side displaying your business’s name, hours, reviews etc? Congrats! Your business has likely been verified and your have an account. If not you should go through the easy steps to get verified and begin your account.
How do I link Etsy/Facebook/Instagram to my Google Business page?
Plenty of business owners want to allow searchers to quickly click links to their prominent social media platforms. This comes in handy if you’re a jeweler that wants to link to an Etsy account or if you’re a wedding photographer wanting to link an Instagram. However with a Google Business account, it’s not as simple as dropping a link and pressing save. Google works by taking into considerations things like your business’s prominence and reviews. From there Google makes a decision on whether or not to allow you to link your socials.
Can I delete a bad review?
So, you’ve got a bad review? Trust that you aren’t the only one who has suffered a few 1 or 2-star reviews. Your first instinct might be to quickly delete the review or to reply in anger. However, Google doesn’t allow you to delete your review and replying in anger isn’t the answer either! Instead, thank the customer for their business and their feedback before offering a way to talk off line about resolving the issue. If the comment was written by a troll or was a coordinated attack on your business you can flag it for removal or contact Google Support for help.
Can I schedule posts to my Google Business page?
Do you find that you don’t have the time to get online daily and create attention-grabbing posts? Don’t worry about it! You can always use platforms like Social Report, Sendable, Social Pilot and One Up to easily schedule posts in advance for your account. It can save you time by getting your posts scheduled and ready ahead of time.
Can I have a Google Business page if I share an office with another business?
Unfortunately, no, you can’t have a Google Business account if you share an office with another business. This is because Google looks at things from the viewpoint of the user. If two businesses share the same location it could confuse the user. If you want to have a Google Business page but share an address you’ll want to use a suite number to differentiate between the two businesses.
Do you have other questions about your Google Business page? I’d love to help! KRose readers can schedule a free 15-minute call here.