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.
Molly has been a member of our Small Business Accelerator for a while now and she is an amazing counselor and coach. We thought it would be highly beneficial to get her perspective on shaping your attitude by using affirmations. Enjoy!
From Molly Painschab:
I love mornings. LOVE. Love mornings.
I try not to be obnoxious about it. You won’t find me being overly chipper- but I do pride myself in beating the sun every morning. I get more done in those few hours of solitude than in any other. No distractions. Just me and my routine.
The alarm is set for 4am but my well-trained brain is usually awake by 3:50am. Dogs out, pets fed, dishes ran and a load of laundry in. Then it’s back upstairs to shower, dress, and do something with this crazy hair. Back downstairs to gather my things, leave a note for the family, and out the door if it is a workday. I do enjoy being at the office a full hour before I see my first client.
I have a good 15-minute drive when the weather is good, longer when it’s snowing or icy. It’s in those minutes that I mentally prepare for my day.
EMOTIONAL SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT
I am a person who truly enjoys what I do. As a therapist I am invited into client’s worlds to witness repair and healing as they recover from old wounds. As a coach I get to act as a tour guide on their journey to discovering who they really are, what they really want, and achieving goals that get them closer to their overall vision of life.
It’s safe to say that just because I like what I do, does NOT mean I am impervious to symptoms of burnout. It happens. To insulate myself and keep my mind right – I incorporate affirmations into my morning commute.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like “complicated”. If it is simple to add to my life- I’m in. So, when I think about affirmations, I like to keep them short and sassy, usually sticking to one or two that really work for me.
My personal favorite affirmations are: “Actually, I can!” and “Do it for science!”. These may seem silly to some, but when I use affirmations in place of negative self-talk my day is more productive, and I am less likely to be exhausted by the end of the workday.
BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD
If you have ever read don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements, you may be familiar with the agreement: Be impeccable with your word. Words are powerful. They have value and weight according to our personal core beliefs and culture. Thoughts are unspoken words – and they can either be helpful or unhelpful in our lives.
Negative thoughts lead to negative emotions and, often, poor decisions. A client once phrased it as, “If I look at the world through sh*tty eyes, the world looks pretty sh*tty”. Amen.
Using an affirmation for self-encouragement results in a more positive feeling and usually results in the likelihood of making a helpful decision.
WHAT DOES IT MATTER?
Practicing using affirmations is not a guarantee of a better life. It won’t affect the weather, acts of nature, or how other people treat you. Affirmations are for you, and you alone, to shape your attitude as you move through your day or into your future.
Affirmations build resilience. Have you noticed there are some sensitive souls walking the earth these days? Maybe you recognize this in yourself – taking words that were not meant for you, personally. Seeing offense in actions that have nothing to do with you. Practicing self-encouragement and providing yourself with emotional support armors you.
Affirmations motivate. Carefully crafted statements can provide momentum to keep you moving forward! Statements like “Progress, not perfection!” and “Just keep swimming!” stimulate our brains and keep us from getting stuck.
Finally, I find affirmations can be a part of my spirituality. When I am feeling a bit overwhelmed or when I can’t immediately see a way through, I like to use thoughts such as “Kind heart, fierce mind, brave spirit!” or while breathing “In with the light, out with the dark”.
TRY SOME ON
Here are a few more you can try:
I know I can.
I trust in miracles.
I am not alone.
Feelings are not facts.
Expect nothing. Appreciate Everything.
Life is what I make it.
I never give up.
I stand up for my beliefs, morals, and values.
Patience, Kindness, Tolerance, Love.
I live in the moment, while learning from the past and preparing for the future.
CREATE YOUR OWN
What works for me or your friend – will not necessarily work for you. Have fun playing around and creating your own. Tailor them to your needs!
To visit Molly’s website Click Here!
One of the most used phrases when you have a question about pretty much anything is a quick and simple, “Google it”. In the internet age we live in, access to information is always at our fingertips. Being set up in Google My Business is key for your business’s visibility. Whatever the nature of your business, you want to be a top link that pops up when someone Googles your topic.
Google My Business informs Google all about what you offer, where you’re located, your hours of operation, your website and more. This top search engine allows users to find what they want, quickly and easily.
So how do you utilize this incredibly powerful tool to increase your chances of being a top result?
It can take about 3 to 4 days after you’ve set up your Google My Business for the listing to appear.
You need to:
- Sign up to Google My Business
- There is a big, green “Start Now” button that will get you started.
- Complete all your business details
- Enter your company name, address, website, contact details, etc.
- Pick your business category
- Pick your location (if you want it shared)
- Double and triple check EVERYTHING
- Apply for verification
- Receive a verification card and verify your Google My Business listing
Google is smart and you want to be on its radar. Google My Business complements your existing website, allowing your business to have a public identity and presence with a Google Listing. This information will be visible in Google Search, Google Maps, and on Google+.
You can always update information as things change for your business. For more information on Google My Business, read our guest blog: Google My Business Account: A Secret Weapon for Small Business Success and our blog on How to Apply Google My Business to Your Business.
Google My Business helps you provide the information that will be displayed from a person’s Google search. This is an important tool for several reasons. When a potential client looks you up, you want them to find you easily and accurately. You get to control the listing of your contact information, photos, hours of operation, and more.
You don’t have to worry about paying for another service. Google My Business is free, allowing businesses to create a website free of charge. We covered all the details of what Google My Business is and how it can be a secret weapon for small businesses.
Now we are going to go over how to apply this secret weapon for YOUR business.
How to Create a Google My Business Listing
Step One: Create a Google Account if you don’t have one already associated with your business. If you already have one, you can just log in.
Step Two: Head over to google.com/business and find the “Start Now” link in the top-right corner.
Step Three: Type in Your Business Name
Step Four: Submit your business address
From here you can choose “I deliver goods and services to my customers”, if you deliver your products to customers. If you operate out of your home or another location you don’t want shared, you can select “Hide my address (it’s not a store). Then you can enter your delivery area if you have one.
Step Five: Select your business category and try to be as specific as you can be. This is where you are informing Google what type of potential clients you want to see your listing.
Step Six: Add your contact phone number and/or website.
Step Seven: Select a verification option. You can do a postcard, phone number, email address, and more.
Once you have a verified Google My Business account, you can optimize your listing by providing advanced information. This can include photos, amenities, features, “established in” date, along with other details.
It’s critical you double, triple and quadruple check your information since anybody with internet access can “suggest an edit”. You should also check back in on your listing often to make sure everything still looks correct.
You can edit your business profile by logging into your Google My Business dashboard, selecting “Info” and then the “edit pencil” next to what you wish to change. Finally you select “Apply” and boom! You’re done.
There is a Google My Business app you can download on your mobile devices (cell phones, iPads, tablets).
You can utilize the app for:
- Updating business location, contact info, hours, and description
- Viewing search insights
- Posting pictures and status updates
You can’t use the app to change settings, give listing ownership to someone else, or delete your listing.
When you want to target local customers, Google My Business is a necessity. Almost all internet users hop on to Google regularly. You want to ensure your audience is finding everything they can about you and that it is accurate information.
Make sure you check out our recent guest blog by Tessa Witmer, “Google My Business Account: A Secret Weapon for Small Business Success” for more details.
For frequent updates on Tessa and her facebook group for small businesses click here!
We are very passionate about small businesses growing in rural America! This week we are featuring one of our Small Business Accelerator members, Becca Sprauge. She has a passion for helping others and focuses on serving first-responders.
From Becca Sprauge
AXE Designs was born from the passion of helping others. What began as a favor, has since grown into a small business. The drive to serve those who serve others while offering skilled consulting and marketing services at reasonable prices is what makes us unique.
Being self-taught, we’re alway’s looking to improve our skills to best serve our clients. One way we do this is through our membership with KRose Marketing Small Business Accelerator.
With the help of Small Business Accelerator, AXE Designs was able to be transformed from a side-hustle to a full-time career. Their program provides cutting-edge marketing strategies in a one-stop shop setting.
Following their guidance, we’ve been able to grow and maintain a broad following of loyal customers. High-level marketing skills we can do ourselves have accelerated our business, allowing us to stay at the top of our industry.
They provide learning opportunities in bite-sized pieces, enabling us to spend more time with family and have an additional level of freedom, all while not feeling left behind.
They eliminate the guessing of which social media platforms you should be using to reach your ideal customer while providing expert reasoning why. This allows us to focus our time on what works best for our business, and devote more time to our clients.
Each month the accelerator focuses on specific topics with three pieces of training, including one with a guest expert. Their Resource Library is full of high-level marketing training that you can watch on your own time. This element of the program is crucial to our success with having a fluid schedule.
If your time is limited, they offer a cheat sheet for each training. They also offer free stock photos that you can use on your social media accounts. Both have been crucial to our business when implementing a new technique with limited time for further research.
Their Accelerator Workbook allows you to fill in your goals while answering tough business calls to help jump-start your acceleration experience. This has allowed us to gather our thoughts and vision for the future of AXE Designs while recognizing gaps we didn’t realize we’re there.
Last, but not least, they offer a supportive community through a private Facebook Group called the KRose Acceleration Nation. This group is full of other small business hustlers and devoted attention from the KRose team specialists.
Being a part of this program allows us to be surrounded by top-notch business owners and receive actionable marketing tools that can be applied instantly. Having that network of like-minded people from across the country is phenomenal.
AXE Designs was founded by an “entrepreneur” in a family of “9 to 5ers”, this additional support has been invaluable. This group is there to provide you with feedback, guidance, and support for any aspect of your business.
Overall, our experience with KRose Marketing Small Business Accelerator has become a crucial part of our ability to serve our clients. The insight we gain on managing our business to best assist our clients is priceless!
If you want AXE designs on their business journey and hear their stories, find them on Facebook and Instagram (@axe_designs)
“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers,”
— Tony Robbins
In order to reach our business goals, it’s important to stay accountable. You can do this in a number of ways. I always recommend having an accountability partner, but there are questions you can ask yourself to stay in check, too.
We ask ourselves questions all the time. From “What time do I have that meeting?” to “Why am I not reaching my goals?” We can’t always control the thoughts that pass through our minds, but we can choose specific questions to ask ourselves. You can channel your questions to focus on building good habits and reaching your goals.
It’s easy to get off track and distracted, especially when you are working for yourself. Here are some questions you can ask yourself every day or every week to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.
Example Accountability Questions:
What is the biggest obstacle I’m facing?
Honing in on what is getting in your way is the first step in developing tools to move past it. Check in with yourself daily and weekly to analyze what hurdles are slowing you down.
What do I need to tackle my biggest obstacle?
Now that you know what’s getting in your way, how can you overcome it? You might not be able to solve the hurdle entirely. But this will help you move forward in tackling it.
What are my top three priorities right now?
Our priorities change over time, but it’s important to focus on what we need to get done first. As business owners and side hustlers, it’s easy to get lost in our to-do lists. By focusing on what you need to get done urgently, you can move on to the less urgent tasks knowing you are on the right track.
Did I accomplish what I needed get done last week?
Tasks can fall through the cracks if you don’t check in with yourself. You might not have reached every goal you were aiming to make. But by keeping a detailed account of what you did and didn’t get done, you can more thoughtfully decide on your next set of priorities.
What lessons have I learned recently?
There are lessons we can learn through facing and defeating our obstacles. It’s important to evaluate what exactly we are learning. I don’t know about you, but there are lessons I seem to learn over and over again. If we don’t pay close enough attention to the lessons we’re being taught, we’ll probably have to make the same mistakes over and over until we see it clearly.
What was my biggest highlight — personally and in business?
Remind yourself what good things have happened recently. Give yourself a pat on the back when you do things right and accomplish the tasks you set out to. If it helps you, write down your highlights and accomplishments. You could have a sticky note board or some other visual tool to remind yourself of all the good you are getting done.
What do I need to accomplish to make this next week successful?
Consider all you have analyzed from your recent work. Now you have a good perspective to understand what things to do the same and what to do differently to make your future even more successful.
What do I need help with and who can help me?
We can’t do everything alone. All successful businesses are built by teams. You might be the main worker in your operation, but you need assistance sometimes. If you don’t already have a team in place, consider who you would want on your team. Think about who in your life would be willing to help you out and in what ways.
Reframe Unhealthy Questions
We all face uncomfortable questions within ourselves. Some of these questions can become unhealthy and only lead to lowered self confidence. For example, you might ask yourself, “Why can’t I make it as an entrepreneur?” This question is self-defeating in itself. You’re telling yourself that you can’t make it in the form of a question. Essentially, you are telling yourself, “I can’t make it as an entrepreneur.”
When a thought like that comes into your mind, try to reframe it into something healthier.
Try, “Who says I can’t make it as an entrepreneur?” If answers start filling your mind of all the people who aren’t supporters, remind yourself their opinion doesn’t matter and you can prove them wrong. Hopefully you will realize it doesn’t matter if other people don’t believe in you. It only matters that YOU believe in you.
Instead of asking yourself, “Will I ever finish this big project?” try asking, “When will I finish this big project so I can move onto my next big project?” This way you can give yourself an actual answer and a date to work toward. You are looking forward to more exciting works and encouraging yourself to finish what you’ve started.
You might ask yourself, “Am I creative enough?” Nope, wrong question. Of course you are creative or you wouldn’t be where you are. Maybe you are comparing your creativity to another person whose creativity is displayed differently. Instead of asking if you are “enough”, ask yourself, “How can I improve as a creator?” We can always improve, and you aren’t knocking yourself down by asking this question.
You can also reframe unhealthy questions into positive affirmations. Tell yourself:
“I can make it as an entrepreneur.”
“I will finish this project by X date.”
“I am creative.”
You are on your way to asking better questions and staying accountable. Make these questions and frames part of the good habits you are building to reach your goals.