Show the World You’re An Expert
You’ve worked hard. You’ve worked long hours. You’ve put blood, sweat and some tears into building your business. Now it’s time to show the world what you know and put that school-of-hard-knocks knowledge – that expertise – to good use.
You want to showcase your expertise so that you position yourself as an authority and enjoy the credibility that comes with it.
AFTER ALL, YOU EARNED IT!
Think of yourself as an expert CONTENT PROVIDER, one who will generate interesting, relevant information packaged in a way that is appealing to homeowners and people considering becoming homeowners. Or even people who live in houses. With the proliferation of HGTV, practically everyone is interested in home-related topics.
Let’s start with the most obvious choice – blogging.
Let’s Go Blogging
When starting a blog, the hardest part isn't how to set it up online. No, it's creating interesting content that people will actually want to read.
We have a few suggestions.
Think about the kinds of things you can write about. Try focusing on all things home-related that involve cabinetry. This could include the obvious kitchen and bath design issues, but you can expand that into home offices, entertainment centers, laundry rooms, garages, master closets, dressing rooms.
When you start to drill down, you’ll find endless inspiration. LED lighting, countertop materials, cabinetry care and maintenance, smart appliances, colors for the home, etc. etc. etc. What are some things that people need to watch for? Or watch out for?
You know all this from what you do for a living. All you have to do is think about what you do every day, the questions prospects ask you, the information you provide when meeting with clients in their homes.
Sit down with your laptop or tablet and come up with 100 ideas for blog posts. Yes, 100. You should be able to it in your sleep.
Next, create the outline for the first five articles so you know where you’re going to start and end.
Then you have to actually know how to write. You’re not writing the Great American novel, but you do need to have a cohesive thought process that explains things in an interesting way. Remember Freshman Comp? This is where that knowledge comes in handy.
The best way to write is first person. You’re positioning yourself as the expert and speaking from your own point of view, so use “I.” Assume your reader has no background knowledge on the subject you’re writing about. Keep articles to about 700 to 1,200 words.
Don’t overlook attention-grabbing headlines. Remember your marketing basics: Interrupt your readers with the headline, engage and educate them with your article.
Movin' On Up - Local Newspapers
Once you have several articles posted to your blog and “in the can” so to speak, it’s time to find a wider audience.
Every town has local newspapers that report things like high school sports, church fund-raisers, and city council meetings. Usually these newspapers are free and are supported by local business advertising.
These local papers offer a nice, easy opportunity for your marketing efforts. All you have to do is become a regular contributing columnist (or blogger—it’s essentially the same thing) and you’ll realize big rewards. (More on rewards later.)
These little newspapers struggle to find original editorial content. If you approach the newspaper
with an offer to write a bi-monthly blog / article for their newspaper / website and you’ll do it for free,
you’ll most likely have a receptive audience.
You don’t want to just tell the editor you have a “great idea” for some home improvement articles. You need to show him or her you already have content prepared. Share a list of some headlines you have prepared in advance (20 should do it) that are interesting and catchy. Take them from your blog posts, but if you need more, here’s a few examples to get you started:
The Secret of a Stress-Free Kitchen Remodel
Is Your Kitchen Embarrassing You?
The #1 Most Common Mistake When Hiring A Remodeler
You should also have actual articles already written, not just ideas for articles. Together with your headlines, three articles are enough to impress whomever you show that you’ve come prepared and that you have a plan for writing the rest of the articles.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to the paper several times if you don’t hear from them right away.
Even if they say no, don’t worry. You can still use the articles on your own website and blog and in your email marketing. Put the editor on your email distribution list and send them the articles consistently over time so they can see the type of information you have to offer. Be patient. Be persistent.
You're In A Special Position
As a business owner in the kitchen design / remodeling world, you have several unique publications and websites that will gladly accept your articles. Kitchen+Bath Business and Kitchen and Bath Design News actively solicit articles from industry experts on relevant topics, including “Before and After Case Studies.”
And then there’s Houzz.com. They have a dedicated section for industry professionals to post articles showcasing their expertise on topics that consumers are hungry to learn about.
The procedure for getting your articles to editors at industry-specific magazines and websites is pretty much the same as those outlined for the local papers. Pitch your ideas to the editors by submitting your headlines as a “teaser”, then follow up to determine if they have any interest.
Ok, now about those benefits...
When articles you write are featured in the newspaper or on the newspaper’s website, or – hopefully – both, you get credit for being the expert on that topic.
You can promote this from that moment forward. You are a published expert on kitchen design and remodeling! It doesn’t matter if people actually read the articles; just knowing that you are an expert puts you way ahead of your competitors.
Huge SEO Boost
nce local newspapers are… well, local… that’s a very positive thing regarding SEO for businesses like yours. Every time one of your articles is posted on the newspaper’s website and linked to your own website, Google is going to notice and consider that a very important link.
After a year of weekly or bi-monthly articles, when people in that local market search for home improvement topics, not only will the articles themselves come up, your website will come up, too.
After a year of weekly or bi-monthly articles, when people in that local market search for home improvement topics, not only will the articles themselves come up, your website will come up too. Google will know that you are the local expert. You will get that credit and your rankings will go up. Your leads will go up, as well as your sales and profits.
And that's a fact.
Kitchen Design Partner offers a Package that includes Content Marketing, Blog Posts and articles of interest. Contact us online at www.kitchendesignerpartner.com
or call 888-766-8470 to learn more .
We create and follow trends, as does the fashion world. And we both sell the same things: beauty, glamour, luxury, romance, sex. And all of us would be lost without photography.
Yet, unlike the world of fashion, many kitchen designers do not appreciate or understand the power of photography. They think a quick snap with their cell phone and they’re good.
Not So Fast
As a business owner, you have to showcase images that help you stand out from the crowd.
Good photography can mean the difference between “just ok” and “great”. Think how you come across to your prospects. If your photos look cheap, expect people to start out with you by asking “how much”?
If your photos convey quality, you will attract customers who value quality and are willing to pay for it. Low quality photos translate to low quality workmanship. And vice versa.
You want your photographs to capture images that will support and grow your brand and tell a visual story of who you are. People shopping for a new kitchen need to see photos to stir their imagination. Most people do not have the ability to visualize what their new space will look like. That’s why Houzz.com exploded when it appeared – it fulfills the need of homeowners who want to SEE what their remodels will look like.
What Makes a Photo Good?
What goes into making a kitchen photo good or not-so-good? Let’s illustrate with some... um... photographs.
We’ll start with a good photo. What makes it good? This is a long, narrow, galley-style kitchen and yet from the angle chosen by the photographer, you can clearly see all elements of the room - sink, stove and fridge, industrial-style faucet, even a section of the hood. You are invited into the scene to explore the rooms beyond. You’re enticed and intrigued. The lighting is kept basic to add drama. The simplicity of the design is further enhanced by the minimal styling; two colored vases provide a contrast to the white of the cabinets, countertops and backsplash. Everything is balanced and in proportion; no one element overpowers the shot. Your response to it is immediate and emotional.
Your prospects don’t need to analyze a great photo like we just did. It speaks to them and charms them, and they don’t know why. It just does. That’s a good photo.
Kitchen Photo No-nos
Now let’s look at a few “bad” photos. We probably don’t even have to say why this first one is bad. This is a beautiful kitchen! Look at all the things that make it desirable: two different finishes on perimeter cabinets and the island, stainless steel appliances, stone floor, subway tiles backsplash. And yet, we look at this and think - I don’t want a kitchen designer whose work is shown like this. Do they even know what level and square is?
How could this be fixed? A tripod will hold your camera steady and help to square up the shot.
Here’s another fabulous kitchen shown in a bad way. What color is this room anyway? Is it white? Is it gray? How can we tell when the lighting is so poor.
How to fix this? Either Photoshop or other digital photo-editing software can add some brightness and/or contrast. Or you can get some lights at a photo supply store that provide indirect lighting that won't create "hot spots" and will bounce light off the ceiling.
One more example of “bad” that could have been “good.” Poor lighting and fuzzy focus do not show this nice kitchen to any advantage. Again, Photoshop or other digital photo-editing software could revive this photo that is now D.O.A.
Styling the Shot
In our design world, there are other factors to consider when photographing finished jobs. Staging the shot shows how a kitchen will look when it’s lived in.
At left is a lovely kitchen, completely bare. The shining hardwood floors, beadboard sides on the island, the custom wood hood, furniture feet on the sink base are fabulous custom kitchen features worth looking at. But wouldn’t bar stools, flowers, possibly a bowl of fruit make it look more appealing and inviting?
The photo (below) is the ideal to which all photo staging should aspire. Not only is this kitchen fabulous in all its white glory, the photo is staged perfectly. Note how the accessories complement the completed kitchen in a way that looks “real.” They fill in empty spaces, but don’t overpower the overall room design.
Photo staging doesn’t get any better than this.
And then there’s this (left). Whoever took this photograph was looking over the cabinet blankets at the lovely cabinets and counter and appliances beyond. This is where a professional photographer would save your shot. You would not get a photo like this if a professional was involved.
Truly this photo is unusable because of the poor staging and layout. And that’s a shame because there are features that are worth showcasing.
Vertical? or Horizontal? It's How You Use It.
Something else to consider when setting up shots is whether you want a horizontal or vertical layout. You will get more of the room in a horizontal shot, but vertical gives a different perspective.
Compare these two photos (above). Same room, one vertical and one horizontal. Which one is “better”? There is no correct answer. It just depends on how you want to use the photo.
Pros are Your New Best Friends
As every business tries to market themselves to attract customers, the quality of their photos becomes increasingly more important. You have to produce photos of your work that help you stand out from the competition.
When your marketing photos are professional, they will attract cusomers, create value in the eyes of your prospects, and build your brand. Think of all the different ways you can use photos: Pinterest, Houzz, your website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, news releases, articles for local publications, email marketing, and more.
Kitchen Design Partner will assist you in placing your photos where you will get the most "bang for your buck".
The photo at left is a dark and fuzzy and out of focus cell phone shot of a very nice kitchen. (In defense of the photographer, this was a scouting shot taken before a professional shoot. Seeing the scouting shots allows the pro to know what to expect when he arrives with his equipment.) The quality of photos from cell phones has come a long way, but they are still far inferior to a professional shoot.
Below is the same room, shot by a professional. What a difference! Details are crisp, and lighting creates an appealing glow on the hardwood floor. Compare the backsplash behind the range in both photos and see which one you want representing your work. Yes, professional photography can be pricey, but it is so so so worth it.
In addition to superior equipment, the professional has a trained “eye.” He or she knows how to frame the shot to best capture the spirit of the space. The pro knows how to light the scene, something amateurs struggle with. And the professional knows just where to place the fruit and the wine to fill any blank spaces. What he sees in the camera is completely different from what you see looking at the same thing.
In today’s digital world, you get to see what your photo will look like on the computer screen before the camera shutter clicks. Don’t like the way the light reflects off the backsplash? Move the camera up or down, adjust the lighting. Don’t like the cupcakes in the shot? Take them out. Gone are the days of agonizing over a shot and then having to decide if you like it after looking at Polaroids.
Kitchen Design Partner recommends forming a working relationship with a professional photographer so he or she can get to know what you want in your photos to best showcase your work. You get to know how they work and what they charge. It’s a win-win for both of you.
Photography creates instant reactions. In the first few seconds, photography conveys your message in a powerful way, compelling people to take a closer look.
Our industry is highly visual. People are highly visual. We all require photographs to help us experience our world, market our products and sell our services. As the old saying goes: sell the sizzle, not the steak. And your photos provide that sizzle.
One More Perfect Photo Before We Go
Although this isn't a kitchen, it was taken to show cabinetry in a family room. Notice the artfully placed accessories. You just want to snuggle up in that chair with the luxurious throw, don’t you? The shot is well lit, the framing is square and level, and the cabinets create a strong background and are shown to their best advantage. And most importantly, you want to know more about how you can achieve that look in your own home.
And that, my friends, is what marketing is all about.
Kitchen Design Partner offers a Local Foundation Package that includes how to use your photographs to best advantage. Contact us online at www.kitchendesignerpartner.com or call 888-766-8470 to learn more about how to increase your online reviews.
PART TWO OF TWO
In Part One of this two part blog post, we introduced you to Google AdWords advertising and the way it can help your small business reach a very targeted and motivated audience. Your ad on Google only shows up when someone is searching for what you offer. It doesn’t get much more targeted than that. And you’re in complete control of every aspect of the ad.
We looked at selecting appropriate keywords to power your ad. Let's move on.
Take Me To Your Landing Page
When a potential customer clicks on your AdWords ad, they should go to a dedicated
landing page, not to your website’s home page. Your landing page should capture their
interest and attention at once or they are gone.
The most important quality of a landing page is RELEVANCE. Just as your ad text should
be relevant to your keywords, your landing page should be relevant to your Google ad. The page should deliver what the ad promises and what the user wants.
The headline is the first thing your prospect sees. Use it to grab attention, re-state the offer
made in the ad, and compel your prospect to keep reading, fill out the form, or whatever action you want.
Cope on your landing page should be relevant to the keyword searched and the ad clicked on. Include your NAP (name, address, phone number), benefits of your product or service, details about your offer, credibility that you’re a legitimate business, and a strong call to action.
Brief Overview of How Costs Are Calculated
Cost-per-click (CPC) advertising means that you pay for every time someone clicks on your ads. For CPC campaigns, you set a maximum cost-per-click bid, and that’s the highest amount you’re willing to pay for a click on your ad. There’s no minimum amount that you have to spend. Instead, you set an average daily budget.
If your main goal is to have people visit your website, then clicks are a good place to start. By using cost-per-click bidding, you’ll pay only when someone actually clicks on your ad and comes to your site.
AdWords runs an auction every time it has an ad space available -- on search results, or on a blog, or a news site, or some other page. Each auction decides which AdWords ads will show at that moment in that space. Your bid puts you in the auction.
Let’s say you’ve set a maximum CPC bid of US$1 for your ads. The most you’ll pay when a
customer clicks your ad is $1.
That's A Lot To Take In
Organizing a successful Google AdWords campaign is no easy task. When set up and managed properly, AdWords can be a great source of new customers. But it’s complicated, and there’s lots to consider, it takes time to manage, and it’s even possible to lose money if you are not patient enough to wait for results from your pay-per-click advertising campaign.
Kitchen Design Partner (KDP) to the rescue! They have the expertise and experience to guide you through the steps of setting up your AdWords campaign and getting you to the results you want.
Before you commit to anything, you should make sure you’re completely satisfied by discussing with them:
TARGETED KEYWORDS. Together, you and KDP will establish a list of keywords you want to target. A comprehensive keyword list should match your business’ strengths with the most relevant search terms.
COST PER CLICK OF THE TARGETED KEYWORDS. Together, you and KDP will establish a budget for your AdWords campaign.
TARGETED GEOGRAPHIC AREA YOUR AD WILL COVER. Together, you and KDP will establish the territory your ad will be shown in.
INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE AD. Together, you and KDP will develop the core message of your ad.
LANDING PAGE. Together, you and KDP will develop the message for a landing page for your business that is relevant and compelling and converts web surfers into customers.
MANAGEMENT OF THE PROGRAM. KDP will stay on top of your campaign by monitoring your Google AdWords dashboard and making adjustments to the program to ensure your budgeted money is being used wisely to get results.
Kitchen Design Partner offers a Local Foundation Package that includes Social Media Ad Campaigns. Contact us online at www.kitchendesignerpartner.com or call 888-766-8470 to learn more about how to increase your online reviews.
PART ONE OF TWO
Ever since the turn of the century – the 21st century, that is -- Google AdWords Advertising has been changing the way small businesses can increase their brand recognition and grow their sales.
It began simply, as an online advertising service that links ads to the advertiser’s websites. And it still does that. But In the intervening years, AdWords Advertising has grown to an overwhelming and sometimes intimidating array of advertising options. There's text-based Search Ads, graphic display ads, YouTube ads and in-app mobile ads.
As people search for things on Google, advertisers target those searches, or QUERIES, using KEYWORDS. The relationship between queries and keywords is at the very heart of search advertising with AdWords. Google uses your keywords to place advertising copy on pages where it is relevant.
Advantages of Adword Advertising
The biggest advantage to Adword Advertising is that your business gets to be seen by customers at the moment they’re searching on Google for your products and services. And you only pay when they click on your ad.
There are other advantages as well.
Google Adwords Ads Are Measurable.
With Google AdWords, every single aspect of your marketing campaign is measurable, right down to the number of clicks, click through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), and more. It’s very easy to measure your return on investment (ROI).
Google Adwords Are Cost Effective.
Google AdWords’ are extremely cost-effective. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, and you get to determine how much you want to spend before you do anything. You can set your budget to $10 per day to $5000 per day; it’s up to you and your budget.
Google Adwords Allow You To Target Specific Locations.
For each ad campaign, you can select the locations where your ad will be shown. You can choose locations such specific cities or even a radius around a location. You don’t have to waste money advertising nationally when you only sell locally.
Google Offers A Huge Number Of Searches.
Google handles more than 3.5 billion searches every day or 40,000 searches a second as of 2017. This means business owners can literally make money while they are sleeping as clicks on their Google Ads lead potential customers to their website. Gone are the days when you had to spend tons of advertising dollars on print, radio and television ads with the hope of attracting new customers.
Google Allows You To Reach Your Audience, Your Way.
Do you want to drive potential clients to just a certain page of your website? That’s doable. Or maybe you want to test which landing page works best. Also easy to accomplish. Do you prefer to show text ads to people in Google.com doing a keyword search? Can do. You have full control over the ad.
Google Reporting Tools Are Amazing.
You can see which keywords or websites are driving the best quality traffic, sales or conversions. Stick with what works, and eliminate what isn't working.
HOW TO DETERMINE KEYWORDS TO POWER YOUR ADWORDS ADS
Remember, AdWords accounts are powered by keywords. Google uses your keywords to place advertising copy on pages where it is relevant.
Think like a customer. What are the different ways that potential customers could search for what you’re selling? Here are some sources to consider when determining how to find new keywords.
Start With Google’s Keyword Planner, a free tool that will help you focus on keywords related to your business. Google Key words planner.
Brands You Carry. Your potential customers may be searching for a specific product; things like product names and models can make high-performing keywords.
Auto-Complete. Use the auto-complete feature of Google to find popular keywords for your business. Auto-complete shows the words and phrases other people have used as they typed into a search box. These can be a valuable source for keyword ideas.
“Long-tail” keywords are phrases (rather than one word) people type in to Google when searching. The more specific a long-tail keyword is, the easier it is for your website to rank when people search for it.
Long-tail keywords can sometimes be too long. Research has shown that keywords containing five words or more get less than half the volume of clicks on average. Longer keywords take more effort to define, and they deliver less volume, so the experts advise to keep keywords simple.
Google Adwords advertising offers an incredible way for your small business to reach a very targeted and motivated audience. Remember-your ad only shows up when someone is searching for what you offer. It doesn’t get much more targeted than that. And you’re in complete control of every aspect of the ad.
Google’s options for advertising can be overwhelming, and that’s why KITCHEN DESIGN PARTNER is here to help you do it right. From selecting the appropriate, high-producing keywords to setting your budget, KDP will be right there, guiding you to improved local brand recognition and increased sales.
In the next part of this two-part INTRO TO GOOGLE ADWORDS ADVERTISING blog post, we’ll look at landing pages and calculating costs.
Kitchen Design Partner offers a Local Foundation Package that includes Social Media Ad Campaigns. Contact us online at www.kitchendesignerpartner.com or call 888-766-8470 to learn more about how to increase your online reviews.
Improve Your Business SEO Results Using The Google Local 3-Pack
If you don’t already know about the Google Local 3-Pack, you’re probably asking: What is it and do I need it?
If you are working to get your business noticed when local consumers -- your potential customers -- are using Google to search for businesses, you need the Google Local 3-Pack in your marketing mix.
Type ‘’kitchen cabinets near me” into Google, and see what happens. You’ll get a list of kitchen cabinet companies in your area, the ones closest to you. These companies are listed at the top of the page in a special list, together with a map showing their locations.
And these listings are called THE LOCAL 3-PACK.
The screen shot below shows cabinet companies close to the author’s location. Try it using “kitchen designers near me” or “kitchen remodelers near me” and see what comes up for you. This is your competition, and getting your name listed in the results is your goal.
This listing is prime real estate. You can’t buy your way in, but there are things you can do to make it happen.
When Does The Local 3-Pack Show Up?
Any time Google determines a search has “local intent”, it will show a Local 3-Pack on the results page. How does Google determine if a search has local intent? Generally speaking, the following types of searches have local intent:
• Search phrases that contain a geographic reference, such as a city name or zip code (like
“kitchen cabinets in Lancaster, PA”)
• Search terms that contain the phrase “near me”
• Google also uses your IP address and knows where you are
How You Can Get Your Business In On the 3-Pack Action
1. Claim Your Google My Business Profile. Or create one, if you haven’t already.
Before you can show up in the 3-Pack, you must have a Google My Business profile.
2. Optimize Your GMB Profile
Just claiming your profile won’t be enough to make your business start appearing in the 3-Pack. You have to improve your business information as much as possible:
• Have accurate information: your NAP (name, address, phone number), business hours, etc. (See our blog post about NAP.)
• Add photos of your business, finished projects, and the services you provide
• Enter a company description that is linked to corresponding pages on your website.
• Optimize your description using keyword phrases that potential clients are searching for.
3. Ask for Reviews on Your GMB Profile
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to increase your chances of getting placed in Google’s Local 3-Pack is to get online reviews. As a business owner, you should be constantly asking for feedback from your customers.
Users can see your star ratings in the search results. Having a good star rating and lots of reviews not only increases your chance of getting into the top three of the local pack, it also increases your likelihood of being selected from those three. (See our blog post about Getting Starred.)
Google 3-Pack listings now show stars starting with just one review instead of five. Before February 2017, you had to have at least five reviews on your Google My Business page for your listing to display with the number of stars.
4. Get Local Reviews On Other Sites, Like Yelp, Houzz, Etc.
It’s also important to get online reviews on other sites, like Yelp, Houzz.com, Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, etc. Google can “see” these reviews, and positive reviews on these sites increase your placement in the Local 3-pack as well.
5. Get Your Business Listed in Local Directories
Being active on local listings sites also contributes to good results in local search. These include sites like churches and community bulletin boards, as well as listings like the website for the local Chamber of Commerce. The more you appear in these listings, the more Google trusts your business.
6. Add New Listing Profiles
Add your business profile on the many listing sites gradually over time - not all at once. Some of the most familiar are:
When you gradually add profiles and build up your local listing profiles, it looks natural to Google.
When Google sees new business listings for your company on other sites that match the information on Google My Business and your website, it verifies that you are a genuine business and increases your chances of getting into the Local 3-Pack.
7. Be Consistent Everywhere
Did you have a different address or phone number a few years ago? If you’ve been in business for a while, it’s very likely that you have out-dated info floating out there in the Internet ether. When Google sees inconsistencies, they question whether you are still in business.
Having a consistent NAP in all the places where your business is listed is important because Google looks to make sure that information is accurate, correct and consistent. If you have your info in the right format in many different listings, then you will rank higher because Google can be sure that it has the right contact information for your business. (Again - See our blog post about NAP and the importance of being consistent.)
8. Be Mobile Friendly
When it comes to mobile local search, it is more important than ever to make sure your site is mobile-friendly. Google gives preference to sites that are mobile friendly because the number of internet users on mobile devices is large and growing every day. It’s already a good idea to try to target mobile users to get their business, and now there’s strong SEO reasons for doing so.
9. Have a Great Website
These days, the educational value of your website is more important than ever in determining your placement in the Local 3-Pack. Google wants to send their users to websites that offer value.
Your site should contain videos, articles, photos, and information that potential customers will find helpful. Your chances of converting searchers into customers are greatly increased by keeping them on your site as long as you can and motivating them to contact you.
Some Things Change and Some Things Stay the Same
The way Google shows local search results has changed in the past few years. But some methods for increasing your visibility in local search results have stayed consistent, and they’re not likely to change. Having a great website that provides potential customers with useful information, is not likely to go out of style. Getting regular online reviews isn’t going to disappear anytime soon either. In fact, it’s only going to become more competitive as businesses get better and better at asking for reviews.
Kitchen Design Partner Stands Ready to Help
Consult with the experts! Kitchen Design Partner are specialists who can help you get to the top of the Google Local 3-Pack.
Don’t get left in the digital dust. The farther behind you get, the harder and longer it will take to catch up. Contact KDP today.
Kitchen Design Partner offers a Local Foundation Package that includes SEO strategy and management. Contact us online at www.kitchendesignerpartner.com or call 888-766-8470 to learn how to get your business in the Google Local 3-Pack.
By now your Referral Program is established and you’re working it. There’s one more extra super special advantage to having a solid network of Referral Partners in place that we haven’t mentioned yet, and that is joint marketing opportunities.
Cooperative marketing activities will generate more business together than your separate individual efforts. You and your Referral Partner are going after the same ideal clients, so join forces! By planning and executing a joint marketing plan, you’ll both get better at generating new business. Two heads are definitely better than one.
Create a joint marketing calendar using a Google docs spreadsheet. For each marketing initiative, record your goals, the action steps involved, the due dates for these action steps, and who’s doing what
Some tactics Kitchen Design Partner (KDP) thinks would work well in our industry: Live events, like cooking demos, chili contests, celebrity chef, etc. in your showroom or in a kitchen you’ve remodeled, educational seminars, open houses at your business or at your Referral Partner’s (take turns), videos on your Facebook page or on your YouTube channel – you can think or more activities together.
Let's Get Specific
Create a partner page on your website: Have your Referral Partners do the same with links back to your site.
Open House. You can be the host and introduce your clients to your Referral Partners as a trusted resource. And vice versa.
.Press Releases: Announce that you’ve formed a working alliance with your Referral Partners. Focus on the benefit of the partnership to your customers.
.Advertising: Share ad space and expenses. Together you can afford a much larger and more prominent ad than separately.
Direct Mail. Post card marketing works especially well for joint marketing. You get one side, your Referral Partner gets the other.
Email Marketing. Send an offer of an exclusive deal on your Referral Partner’s products and services to your mail list.
Trade Shows. Whether you share a booth or get booths close to each other, you can steer customers to each other. Go together on a great give-away, then share the leads you generate. Today’s trade shows make it simple to capture attendees’ contact info. Share.
Conferences. You can make and receive introductions if you go with a Referral Partner. Vouch for each other’s credibility.
Newsletters. Give your Referral Partner a column in your newsletter. Introduce him or her as a guest author.
Customer Events.. Reward customers for their loyalty. Host Customer Appreciation events throughout the year that include your Referral Partners.
Prospect Events.. Jointly host a live event where you provide information where prospects can get a taste of what you and your Referral Partner offer. (“How to Get a Kitchen or Bath Remodel Started.” “What To Expect While Your House is Under Construction.”) Jointly host an event that benefits a local charity. You’ll get free local publicity to beef up your local SEO (citations, remember them?), you’ll get mentioned in promotions for the charity, etc. This isn’t just a win-win-win, it’s WIN-WIN-WIN.
Blogging. Guest blogging with your Referral Partners is a great way to expose your readers to the full range of products and services they can access because of their connection with you. Benefits are two-fold: It adds valuable content to your website to pump up your SEO efforts, and it strengthens your connection with your Referral Partners.
Social Media. Introduce your social media followers to your Referral Partners regularly. Cross share content with your Referral Partners - hash tags, likes, shares, reposts, etc. When you give a review or make a comment about another business’s products and services, it speaks well of them -- and about you.
Reputation Marketing. Create online reviews of your Referral Partners businesses. When customers tell you they had good results with one of your Referral Partners, coach them how to write a review.
A Referral Marketing Program can generate lots of new business, both for you and your Referral Partners.
Another partner you need in your journey to success is Kitchen Design Partner. They have the experience and expertise to set up your Program and keep you on track.
Kitchen Design Partner offers a Package that includes REFERRAL PROGRAM MANAGEMENT. Contact them online at www.kitchendesignerpartner.com or call 888-766-8470 to learn how to get your Referral Program up and running.
In Part One of this three-part series we looked at (1) why you would want a Referral Plan that connects you with like-minded professionals who sell to customers similar to yours, (2) the advantages of having a network of Referral Partners, and (3) how a prospect that comes to you via a referral is more qualified than someone who comes to you through any other form of advertising. You and Kitchen Design Partner (KDP) created plans and strategies for a successful referral program, and you profiled your ideal customer.
Now let’s look at the actual workings of the Program, what’s involved, what you need to know and how you can make it work for you.
You And Your Referral Partner Need to Know
Communication snafus will de-rail your Referral Program faster than any other challenge. Always be as clear as possible
What you meant to say.
What you actually said.
What they heard.
What they thought you meant.
Getting customer reviews is a numbers game, and you can improve your numbers.As a small business owner looking to increase online visibility, you need to become a participant in “electronic Word of Mouth” (eWOM). Yes, it’s a thing. eWOM is a term that encompasses online reviews, social media and discussion forums.