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Get Found in Google Maps Without an Address

by Justin Lukasavige on October 8, 2010

Google has upped their game again, now allowing people working out of their homes, to be listed in google maps without an address.  They’ve renamed their business feature to google places and now allow you to list a service area.

With this change there’s no reason not to be listed with google.  Get out there and be found!

Click here if you can’t view the video


Building Buzz

by Derek Sisterhen on September 23, 2010

Savory Spice ShopI get really excited when a business I’m working with gets to launch.  There’s excitement and a bit of fear that surrounds an event like this.

Will people show up for a grand opening (retail)?

Will they buy what I’m selling?

Will they like it and want more?

Will they tell their friends?

All these questions hang in the air but none of them can diminish the hopes and hard work a new business owner has invested in their business.

This picture is of two big samples of spices from Bob and Cindy Jones.  I’ve been working with them over the past few months to get their new shop, Savory Spice, open and profitable, in Raleigh, NC.

Instead of a big radio and TV blitz, they’re doing a big grass roots campaign and getting out to where the people are.  They’re not hoping for people to see their ads, but instead, are out there interacting directly with their future customers.  They’re people, not a faceless company with a fancy spot on the radio.

That’s what grass roots is all about.  Being real.

Not only is their campaign less expensive, but it’s far more effective.  They’ll meet people in their neighborhood and get to know them by name.  They’ll be able connect with them again when they come back for another spice.  After tasting this sample, there’s no doubt they’ll be back.

If you want to squash doubts about the success of your business, get out there and do what it takes to be real. Stop hiding behind ineffective advertising and do the hard work of connecting one-on-one.


Get a Greater Return from Print Advertising

by Justin Lukasavige on June 14, 2010

Nails and SpaAs I got into my car last week I was just about to drive away when I noticed one of those annoying pieces of paper under my windshield wiper. You know, the ones where the business can’t think of anything more creative and effective to get the word out, so they bomb every car in the parking lot with their flyer.

First, kudos to Royal Nail and Spa in Cary, NC for letting everyone know about their grand opening. I think there’s a better way to do it other than littering on every car, so here are a few thoughts.

How to Improve Your Print Advertising

The spa did do a good job of printing full color on both the front and back of their flyer. It’s wasted real estate if you leave a side blank, unless it serves another purpose. But, both sides were printed with the exact same info! Seriously? Can’t you find something remarkable to say about your business that you have to duplicate your content?

Be Remarkable

There’s clearly nothing remarkable about this spa. Here are there four main bullet point:

  • Excellent skill
  • Quality service
  • Fund atmosphere
  • Reasonable price

Doesn’t that also describe the spa down the street from your house? If you want people to talk about you, you must be remarkable. Seth Godin talks about that in The Purple Cow.

If you cater to guys and have four flat screens on the wall playing sports center, that would be remarkable.

Create a Sense of Urgency

There’s a Grand Opening going on and 20% takes center stage. Does the sale last forever? Maybe. I might find the sale enticing but if you don’t tell me when it ends I’ll probably put it in a stack of papers and never get around to visiting.

Talk Directly to a Person

It’s important to have a target market, but even more important to speak directly to your ideal client. The spa’s ideal client may be a married woman named Jennifer. She might have 3 kids (two boys and a girl) and stay at home with them, which would explain why she needs to be pampered on her birthday.

You need to identify who this is for your business and speak directly to them. I don’t know who the target market is for the spa. Their tag line is “Nails & Skin Care For Ladies & Gentlemen.” And I spelled it exactly like the flyer does. If you’re general and you try to attract everyone, you’re not speaking directly to the person you need to reach. Be very specific in your message. If you’re not excluding people, you’re not speaking directly to anyone.

Don’t be Vague

“Appointment & Walk-in Welcome” doesn’t provide anything helpful for me. Tell me how to do business with you. Should I visit your website (I can’t find one for them by the way), call you, walk in? What do you want me to do?

Provide a Website

Royal Nail and SpaI can’t find one. This is a picture of their location in Google. Google knows they’re there. It’s free, by the way, to create a business listing in google.

Even without a website you can solicit testimonials in google. Yes, some people still use the phone book and I could make the case for advertising there. That’s becoming rarer in today’s digital age. When’s the last time you used a phone book? Could you read reviews there of people who have used the business you’re looking at?

Don’t Try to Reach Everyone

Royal Nail & Spa paid someone to hit every car in the parking lots surrounding their store. They have no idea whose car they leave it on. Their goal is to drop off as many flyers as possible. There is safety in numbers as well as profits; or so they think.

They left their advertisement in my business parking lot and hit hundreds of cars. My guess is that many of them are men and most of them threw the flyer away shortly after removing it from their windshield. Some even threw it on the ground to blow in the wind. Do you want your business to be associated with trash floating around? I don’t.

How I Would Promote and Grow My Business

  • First, I’d get people talking. I’d want to help facilitate that too.
  • I’d start a blog and talk about the best ways to care for your skin and nails at home.
  • I’d determine who my ideal customers are and where they hang out online. (Remember, marketing online is nearly free).
  • Then I’d talk to prospects and clients and help them look and feel better about themselves.
  • I’d monitor local tweets and proactively look for them.
  • I’d talk to them when I have something of value to say.
  • I’d build up followers and friends on twitter and facebook and I’d build subscribers to my blog.
  • Every so often I’ll have a sale or give something away. My online friends are the people who are most interested in hearing about my specials. They opted in to hear from me after all.
  • I’d solicit reviews on google and yelp.
  • Above all, I’d add value in everything I do and every interaction I have.

Given this example, what do you need to change about how you do business?


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