Emily Chang asks, “What is the secret to successful start-ups?”
“They have to make something that actually makes people’s lives better. It’s funny how straightforward that is. People often think that business requires some sort of trickery; that you have to corner the market in something or something like that, but actually you have to make people’s lives better.”
Sounds simple. And if you really think about it, that’s why you started your business in the first place, isn’t it? Your particular product, expertise or service makes people’s lives cleaner, more elegant, efficient, more beautiful, comforting, entertaining, or delicious.
Now you have to relay that information on to your customer, while continuing to keep your vision clear. That can be tricky, so here are key points for getting your message across:
1. On your website; tell what you do and how you do it better
- Right at the top of the page
- On every page (Remember that people come to your website through different pages; not just the home page.)
2. Via email campaigns, show how you make lives better
- With testimonials from happy clients
- By haring how you specifically improve lives (what’s in it for the customer? It’s all about him or her.)
3. Provide forums where customers can share their experience with you by listing your shop on a site that encourages customer feedback. Do this only if you deliver a superior service or product and trust that it can stand on its own without your marketing. While this approach takes confidence, it also builds your reputation if you can let go control and let your customers push your brand for you.
- Encourage Facebook comments and interaction
- List your local site on City Search, Angie’s List, or other review sites
4. Ask your customers:
- Where they heard of you. Then keep that channel open and look for new ones.
- How they chose you. You may think you’re the best because you have the most experience in your field when really it’s because you’re the most convenient. There is always something that you are NOT. Be proud, vocal, and creative downplaying this quality. Use it to leverage what you ARE.
- How YOU can do better in making THEIR lives better…they’ll be happy to tell you. Then follow through.
The easiest part about marketing your business comes after you’ve proved to yourself and others that your business has improved lives.
Next to the inevitable payoff — repeat business, profitability — this simple concept may also be the most gratifying.
Written by Jen McGahan