To Make the Sale, You Need to Stand Out

Here’s why…

First of all, you may or may not know that I am a digital nomad since January 2017 and am currently working from various locations around Europe. It’s pretty awesome!

The other day I was at the morning fish market in Hamburg, Germany (eating fish sandwiches at 7am is an experience I highly recommend, by the way) and I noticed that among the many booths, some of the sellers were yelling out their prices to passersby. Those same sellers were also singing songs, joking with the crowd of people gathered around, and generally seemed to have a lot of personality.

I would dare to wager that those guys sold more fish than the other booths. Why? Because they stood out.

My theory comes from one of the basic principles of salesSelling is all about relationship-building.

In the case of these fish vendors, their boldness allowed them to stand out, which created a starting point of interaction with these potential customers.

Build Relationships to Make More Sales

This experience got me thinking about sales reps in general, and how critical being memorable, standing out, and building relationships are to making a sale. It’s important to note that if you own a business then you are, in fact, a sales rep.

If you focus solely on what your product or service is or does, you risk blending in with all the others who provide your same service or sell the same product.

But by creating a personalized experience through conversations with your customers – whether that conversation is in the form of an online survey, a blog post, a video or a song – they get to know you better and in turn, begin to see you as a human with a personality, and not a sales person they are trying to avoid.

This is the first step to building lasting relationships with your customers.

Personalization Makes You Memorable

If you’re creating memorable experiences, hopefully you’re doing it in a positive way. Another common wisdom in the sales world – people buy from people they like.

If your potential customers like you, then they’re more likely to trust you, and people buy from people they trust.

When you leave the fish market you may think back on the souvenirs you saw, the coffee you bought (a godsend at that early hour), the vendors selling baskets of fruit and the beer being drunk in the live music hall. Yes, you read that right. Germany is an amazing place.

Naturally, in a fish market, you’ll have seen more fish vendors than anything else – dozens in fact. Which ones will you remember? Probably the ones that sing songs and make friends with passersby.

How will you stand out and add your personality to the marketplace?

This Applies to Your Business Too

Sure, selling fish is nowhere near as complex as getting someone to use your legal services or sign up for a monthly software service – but the principle remains the same. Stand out in a positive way, and you’re more likely to get the business.

We’re all being sold to all the time, and there are multiple providers of nearly every service or product out there. How you differentiate yourself and stand out to your customers will affect their decision to buy from YOU and not the other guy.

6 Best Digital Marketing Strategies for Small Business

For many of us, the end of the year is a time to wind down, relax, and enjoy time with your loved ones. I am a big fan of this practice of mindfulness and being in the moment!

For many small businesses, however, the year’s end is an important time to look back at successes and missteps, analyze sales data, and plan out a marketing strategy for the coming year. Maybe you’re wrapping up projects with clients in the next few weeks, pushing to meet end-of-year goals or gearing up for a big kick off for a new business promotion?

If you’re in the latter boat, consider some of the most effective (and foundational) marketing strategies for small business.

Marketing Strategy: Branding/Identity

There’s never a bad time to take a good, honest look at your company’s branding and identity. Your company name, website, logo, colors, imagery and other graphic elements should all work together to communicate your strategic positioning to your customers.

Are you trying to exude a feeling of luxury? Safety? Reliability? Your branding is an essential tool for casting yourself in the desired light. If you’re feeling wobbly on your branding, consider hiring a good freelancer or a branding agency to help you refine things.

If your brand is already rock solid, I recommend creating a brand book to better communicate yourself to partners, vendors, and internal teams. Make sure your brand is properly applied to all documents both internal and external.

If you need a recommendation for a good designer to create your brand book, let me know! I can point you in the right direction. If you’re feeling adventurous, use a tool like Canva, Powerpoint/Keynote, Adobe PDF Writer, or Pixlr Editor to create your own.

Marketing Strategy: Content Marketing

Content marketing is all about making yourself discoverable on the web and adding value for your potential customer or client. It is not about spamming them with sales pitches!

With content marketing, you position yourself as a helpful expert in your field by sharing valuable information that matters to your ideal client. Content marketing pieces include your blog, social media, email marketing, white papers, reports, ebooks, etc. (more on these “Lead Magnets” below).

For example, if you’re in the real estate business, you might find that there are a lot of searches for tips on buying a home. Then you would write a post for your website’s blog about things for first time home buyers to look out for. Next, you can share that post on your social media and LinkedIn profiles, and send it to your email list. Your customers and potential customers will appreciate the helpful knowledge and will keep you in mind for when it’s time to act.

Check out this post I wrote geared towards commercial real estate tenants to get the idea.

Marketing Strategy: SEO/Local Search

SEO is complex and ever-changing – so don’t be surprised if you’re not able to do this one all on your own. There is so much value in a good SEO/local search expert, and if you haven’t noticed, it’s pretty competitive out there!  So getting started with Google AdWords couldn’t hurt either.

However, there are some low-hanging fruits that you can definitely self-squeeze to improve search rankings. Some of the main factors that influence your search engine ranking include keywords, content quality, links to and from your site (through subject expertise, collaboration and partnerships), mobile-friendliness, security and user experience.

The #1 easiest thing you can do for better SEO is to have a consistent, informative, keyword-friendly blog. Google loves websites that consistently push out new content. I specialize in blog creation and management for a variety of business categories, if you want to chat about this.

digital marketing strategy: build your email list

Marketing Strategy: Build an Email List

Don’t have an email list? You’re missing out! An email list is a crucial part of modern digital marketing and one of the most powerful tools you can have. The people who opt-in to your site are expressing interest in you – now it’s your move!

Another purpose of email marketing is to stay relevant in people’s lives before they’re ready to buy what you’re selling and to stay “top of mind” for word-of-mouth opportunities. It’s also great for promotions tailored to your best customers.

Key tips for email marketing: Keep it short and sweet, and only reach out when you’ve got something important to say. Add an email signup form to your website and social media profiles today to collect more leads! I am a big fan of MailChimp for their fair prices, helpful chat support, and excellent online knowledge base.

Marketing Strategy: Lead Magnets/Content Upgrades

You’ve probably been involved in a lead magnet exchange before without even realizing it. A lead magnet is a digital piece such as a PDF guide or free ebook which you receive in exchange for your email address. These “content upgrades” are a great way to accelerate your list building efforts. You can repackage a piece of content you have already created, or better yet, create an item that is a complement to an existing blog post or article.

Of course, lead magnets are branded with your logo and web address, and now you can follow up with these new leads via email. Lead magnets can be offered on your website and distributed automatically using your email marketing provider. Or, you can use them in your advertising to increase click-through rates.

Marketing Strategy: Be Social

But do it strategically. Social media can be a great source of exposure for your business, and it’s made businesses more human, thank goodness! At its best, social media is integrated with all your other strategies – it meshes with your branding, serves an outlet for your content marketing, it helps build your SEO through review and links, and drives traffic to your website.

While almost every small business owner I know is aware that they should be using social media, many are not sure how to go about it.

Rule # 1 – You don’t need to be everywhere. Figure out where your customers hang out and go there. It could be more than one, but it doesn’t have to be all. Once you’ve decided where to focus your energy, commit to it. Be consistent. Consider hiring a pro to help you create and share content on a regular basis. Too often, it’s added to the existing job of an admin or another role within your organization, and it falls by the wayside.

All of these strategies are proven and cost-effective. Most of them, you can implement yourself, if you have the time. However, calling in a professional like a good freelancer can help you learn the ropes, and can actually save you time and money by doing it right the first time.

If you like this article, I have a treat for you! Get your free downloadable guide to sharing your content and getting more views:

trends in digital customer care ebook 2017

Trends in Digital Customer Service 2017

Our digital marketing landscape is always changing.

In 2017, the business world has become increasingly digital. With developments in mobile apps, social media, email marketing, online ordering, and selling directly from your Instagram page, the lines between storefront and e-commerce shop are becoming increasingly blurred.

For some, keeping up with the constant evolution of online marketing is an inconvenience. For me, it’s an exciting challenge. Keeping up definitely keeps things interesting! One thing that’s not going to change anytime soon: today’s customer is a digital customer.

What can we learn from our digital customers in 2017 and beyond? How can we use technology to better serve them?

I am happy and honored to be included among 10 international experts discussing this subject in the ebook 2017 Trends: Social Customer Service Trends by 10 International Experts (in English and Spanish!)

international expert digital media rebecca rosenbergdigital customer care trends 2017

Thanks to my colleague Billie Sastre for putting this together.

Read the entire ebook here.