steps to grow your business3 Things you need to understand to grow your business

Growing a business takes a lot of work.  We all hope for the day our business becomes viral and people flock to us like moths to a flame, but in reality, growing a business takes a bit of time.  It takes a foundational understanding of what we do, who we do it for and how to tell them about it.

 

Understand what you sell in business

I know a lot of business owners think they know what they sell.  I am always surprised to see that they really don’t know what they are selling.

Let’s say you sell new cars.  There are thousands of different cars to choose from, so how do you stand out?  You stand out by understanding what you are selling.  If you have a minivan, you may be selling safety and security.  If you have a sports car, you may be selling power and prestige.

Here’s a quick exercise.  Take your product or service and define how your customer’s life is different after they use your product.  Then, ask “Why?”  Do that five levels deep.  Once you do that, you will truly understand what you are really selling.

For example, let’s say you sell minivans.  Your customers have a car that fits all of their family together.  Why?  Because having enough room is important.  Why? So the kids don’t fight.  Why? So they have a more peaceful ride. Why? So the parents can concentrate on the road.  Why? Because family is important and we want them to be safe.

If you follow those five levels you will see that family is important to people who buy minivans.  You are selling the idea of family, unity, peace and security.  You are not just selling a minivan.

 

Understand who you do business for

Once we have nailed down exactly what it is that we are selling, we must understand who needs it most.  Our customers are the people who are going to purchase and if you get this one wrong, we will always have a struggling business.

First thing we must get right is how they think and talk.  Each group of customers speaks a different language.  They may all speak English, but what they say is different.

A twenty something new mother is going to use different vernacular than a forty something female executive.  They are the same general persona, but they have widely different circles of influence, habits and values.  What is important to one may not be as important to both of them.

It is important that we really nail down our ‘best type’ of customer.  If we try to get everyone into our business, we will find ourselves doing a lot of work and getting minimal results.

Think about fishing.  Depending on what type of fish you want, you need the right type waters (lake, river, ect.), the right bait, the right hooks, the right equipment to get where they are, and the right timing.

The more we understand our ideal customer, the better we can talk to them and help them with the business that we have.

Here’s a quick exercise.  Write down 10 things your ideal customer values.  Write down 10 habits they may have.  Where do they shop?  What do they drive?  Where do they spend leisure time? Etc.  Once you nail down those 20 items.  Write a ‘day in the life of’ you ideal customer.  What does their life look like before they use your business and what will it look like after they use your business?

 

Understand how to tell customers about your business

Everyone likes to buy but no one likes to be sold.  People love getting a good deal and finding things that help them with problems they have in everyday life.  They love businesses that can speak their language and if they can relate to your business, they will be a loyal customer for life.

I can’t express this hard enough.  If we want our customers to buy from us, they must like us.  They must feel like we understand them and are there to help them.  No longer are we in the days of yelling the loudest to get the most attention, we are in the days of whispering in the ears of good friends and engaging them on a personal level.

You have a message about how you can help your customers.  They want to know how you can help them.  Put together the two ideas from above.  Do they fit?  If not, fix the one that makes the most sense.  Remember, people love to buy things that help their lives and solve pain points they feel, but they only listen to you if they feel like you are talking directly to them.

 

Putting it all together

Here is a real life example. I was talking to an insurance sales man.  Their motto of their company was “for all your insurance needs from A to Z” (slightly altered to protect the company).  I asked what they did different that all the other companies that say they have all kinds of insurance.

He said, “Well, we are Christian and we pray for our people.  We have all the insurance they need and can probably get them a better rate than they are currently getting.”

I asked, “Many insurance agents offer all types of insurance and a lot of them say they can save you money. What are you doing differently?  Are your customers Christian?”

He said, “Why, yes, most of them are. I don’t guess I ever realized that.”

I suggested, “Then why don’t you emphasize your Christianity?  I would put our some ads, geared at Christians that said, ‘When was the last time your insurance agent prayed for you?’ When people know you are praying for them, they realize that you really care for them and that is different than other insurance agents.”

He said he had never thought of that and would have to do some work to see if he could get more people.

See, he wasn’t just selling insurance, there are thousands of people doing that.  He was selling a company that prayed for you.  In essence, he was selling insurance agents who care about you and your needs so much they will take time to pray for you.

Being in business as a Christian may not mean you only have Christian customers, but some do. You must identify your ideal customer and how you can help them.  Then, and only then, will you be ready to tell them what you have and how you can help them.

 

People love to buy, but they hate being sold. #Christianbusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

 

 

marketing strategyA marketing strategy is a growth mechanism for any business. Christian entrepreneurs understand they need to pray for growth and plan for it with an on-going, effective marketing strategy.

We’ve talked about business strategy and communication strategy.  Today, we get practical by putting these two together in a marketing strategy that brings in new customers.  Let’s define marketing.

Marketing is making sure those who need what you have know about it.

In other words, you help solve a problem in your business and it is your responsibility to make sure potential customers know that you can help them.

Before we go too far, let me say that marketing and advertising are different.  Advertising is the item you are using to market.  A flyer is an advertisement.  Marketing is strategically placing that flyer at the most effective location and making sure it has the most effective draw to your ideal customer.

 

Marketing Strategy

Marketing strategy is lining up your ideal customer with your ideal message.  Start with your customer and their needs.  Then, add in relevant and specific messages in a way that communicates with them.  We have other articles about your ideal customer and communicating well in marketing (see links at the bottom of this article).

When you refer back to your mission and vision, you should see a consistent pattern in how you help people.  The way to help people is the key to marketing.  It is not about shouting from the roof tops, though that may work for some businesses.  It is about creating a message that specifically and effectively talks to your ideal customer and helps them with a pain in their life.

 

Marketing Channels

An effective marketing strategy understands there are many marketing channels.  Each of these channels must line up for a specific message for your customer.  Basically, you must decide where the most effective location for your marketing would be best suited.  You have to define where your customers go to get information to solve the problem your business solves.

Here are some marketing channels to think about:

  • Webpage (SEO, Content marketing, etc.)
  • Social media
  • Coupon books
  • Billboards
  • Flyers/Mailer/Direct Mail
  • Whitepapers and reports
  • Webinars and video series
  • Commercials on TV or Internet
  • Digital ads (PPC or CPC)

 

I don’t want to inundate you with ideas.  I have a list of over 100 ways I can help businesses market their company.  My background is in helping businesses find ideal ways to grow through marketing.

As a matter of fact, you can have one million ways, but until you know your goals and understand your customer, it will be hard to create a marketing strategy.  You must start with a specific goal.  There will be some trial and error, but you must engage your customer to understand them better.  Then, you must go where they go and make it seem as though you are everywhere they are.

 

Marketing strategy is creating a message that is an integral part of your customer’s life. #Christianbusiness #Christianentrepreneur Click To Tweet

 

How to set up your marketing strategy

  1. Start with your vision and mission.  Set a goal that you want from your marketing.
  2. Once you have a goal, set up a valuable sequence to bring your buyers from knowing about your product to actually buying your product.  You must know where your customers are in the buyer’s journey.
  3. Do your research.  Talk to current customers.  Engage online in forums and social media to really get to know your customer.  Look for pain points and common terms among your potential customers.
  4. Based on your research develop a marketing sequence.  Post your ads where they will get the most attraction and make sure it lines up with the terms and pain points of your potential customers.
  5. Evaluate each piece of your marketing to test its effectiveness.  Make sure any calls or emails that you gather have tracking so you know where your customers find out about your business.
  6. Once you know the most effective source, put more time and effort into developing a solid campaign.

 

Conclusion

It may sound like a lot to do, but you are fine tuning how you communicate with your customer.  You are defining how they hear about you and making sure you can help them.  As Christians, we should want to help as many people as possible.  It is our duty and responsibility to treat people with kindness and integrity.

Marketing strategies are simply aligning how you help with where your customer are.  Whether it is online, at a location or some other idea you found when doing your research, get to where your customers are and make sure they know how you can help them.  Do it in a way that benefits your customers and not just for your sales.

Here are some articles you may find helpful:

If you need a professional to help you design a solid effective marketing campaign for your business, here is a link to a Christian Marketing Consultant I trust.  Just tell them you found him on Christian Business Revolution and he’ll give you a great deal.

email marketing for Christian entrepreneursChristian entrepreneurs should always be looking for simple proven strategies to grow their business and engage customers.  Email marketing is a great tool to do both of those goals easily.

We discussed what an email marketing campaign is and how to think strategically about it. In today’s article, we are going to discuss the major parts of an email campaign and introduce some tools to help you get started on email marketing to engage your customers and grow your business.

Before we get too much into this, let me pull out the spiritual side of things.  Email marketing is about building relationships.  The more your customers understand who you are and what your business is all about, the more they will feel they can trust you.  When they realize that you actually care and do business differently because of a higher purpose, you may just be the bridge that brings them one step closer to knowing Christ.

 

Collecting Emails

The first tool you need in your email marketing toolbox is a way to collect emails.  You can collect emails online through your webpage, social media or even on someone else’s webpage.  If you read our article on the power of email marketing, you saw that you must start with a strategy.

The basics of the strategy is to know you customers well enough to know what you can offer to entice them to give up their email address to you. It can be a giveaway, coupons, reports, newsletter, etc.  It needs to be something that would help your customers and they would find it valuable.

 

Ways to collect emails

Get a clipboard and a piece of notebook paper.  Draw columns with the title ‘name’ and ‘email.’  You can also get phone numbers if you plan to do any text messaging.  Have your cashiers fill out the form so you can read the email address and name.

To take it up a notch, you can create a ‘fancy’ sheet using Word or some other office type software.  Show on top of the page your ‘enticing offer.’  Again you can have your customer service representatives fill out the information either by typing or by hand-writing.

Next you can create a free Google form online.  It is really easy to create if you have a Gmail account.  Just go to your drive and create a simple form to collect name and email address.  Again, make sure to point out the benefits of joining.  You can have this on a tablet at your location, customer representatives can input the info or customers can.  You can even put a link to the form on your social media accounts and your webpage.

You can use a simple contact form on your webpage.  It is best to create a new form and put it on a new page.  Your webmaster can help with this.  You just want to show the benefits of joining with your enticing offer and have a place where customers can fill in name and email.  Make sure when you get an email, you respond with the benefits and congratulate the new ‘member of our family.’

The best way is to use an autoresponder.  There is a slight learning curve, but it is well worth learning if you want to use email marketing.  Basically, an autoresponder allows you to collect information online, store it in a date base, send out messages regularly and even automate sequences of emails. (more on autoresponders below)

 

Email Campaign Communication

Once you get an email, you must communicate.  Always use a simple ratio of no less than 6 to 1, I would even go as far as 12 to 1.  That ratio represents how many times you send some helpful, valuable information compared to how many sales pitches you send.

That being said, if you send a newsletter, make the ratio in each newsletter.  Put 6 helpful articles, information and research to one of your product sales pitches.

Whatever you do, make it a regular occurrence, especially the first week.  When I am coaching clients, I suggest the first couple of week sending some helpful advice every two days.  Then, on the last day of those two weeks offer to help in a relevant, non-threatening way.

The last email goes out and tells subscribers what your schedule is moving forward.  For instance, if you have a monthly newsletter, you will simply mention that it was great to get to know them and you will be sending monthly newsletter and as always, “if you have any questions, we are here to help.”

You may be wondering what to send.  Make it simple.  The first email welcomes them to the email list and delivers the enticing offer that was promised.  The next email is a helpful tip, tool or article relevant to your business and your customer.  The next email tells a simple story about your business and asks a question like, “how can we help you better?”  You can repeat this pattern followed by a relevant offer and an ‘ending’ email mentioned above.

 

 

Email Campaign Automation

The first suggestion I have in automating is using an autoresponder. I don’t want to make this article super long, but I found a great walk through that shares examples and even free tools for email marketing using an autoresponder. He suggests using GetResponse which is one of my favorite autoresponders.

If you choose not to use an autoresponder, your automation can be done in a few ways.  You use Google Forms, and can create a section 2 that delivers your enticing offer after someone enters their information.  If you collect emails manually, set up an internal system.  Have a customer service representative or sales person, know what sequence to send out.  They should have a check sheet for each customer that lists customer, email address, email sequences and date sent.

Automation only works if you put it into practice.  There are ways to use your online calendar to remind you about sending these.  There are tools the plug into your email that can send emails in a sequence.  There are even CRM’s that will remind you about dates and set up email templates.

If I was starting out and did not have an autoresponder, I would use Google tools to help.  I would create the form, collect the info.  Use that spreadsheet to track sending email.  Use a Google doc for my email sequenced templates and use boomerang connected to my email to schedule the emails.  We have an entire training on using Google tools that you may find very helpful. Click here to learn how to maximize your business using free Google tools.

 

Conclusion

Email marketing is a powerful tool if you know how to use it.  For Christian entrepreneurs, it could be the system that creates a connection with customers to build a bridge to knowing Christ.  Make sure you start with a solid strategy and if you need help hire an affordable Christian business coach.  The business coach should get the system set up, show you how to update it as needed, and you can run it from there with a simple system.

In our next article we will discuss the parts of a well written email and walk you through a simple step-by-step email sequence to help make your email campaigns a success.

 

Relationships with solid, caring Christian entrepreneurs help build relationships to Christ. #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

grow my businessBusiness Growth Habits for Christian Entrepreneurs

As Christian entrepreneurs, we want to have a growing business so that we can help more people.  You can’t help people if they don’t know about your product or service.  You can have the best product in the world, but if you want to grow your business, you need to do whatever it takes to make sure people know about it.

 

Understand your customer

The first step to growth in any type of business is to understand your customer.  (Read our article on how to understand customers better.) You must know your customer so well that when they come into your store or read your webpage, they think, “This is just for me.”

Think about the places you enjoy doing business with.  You probably feel like they ‘get’ you.  You like the lay out, colors, the words they use, etc.

You want to do the same thing for your customer. WOW them by how well you understand them.  Then, you won’t just have customers, you will have loyal fans that will stick with you through thick and thin.

 

Understand what you sell

After you understand your customers, you want to understand what you sell.  Remember, if your product is drills, you are not selling drills.  You are selling holes. People want a hole and they buy a drill to get the result they want.

People want solutions and results.  Really dig down into what you sell.  What emotions will your customer have after using your product?  What will their life be like without your company?

Here’s a fun exercise:  Write down what a customer’s life is like before they use your product.  Then, write down how their life has changed after they use your product.  Be creative and notice any repeated words.  If you have trouble doing this exercise, you don’t know your customer well enough and you don’t really know what you are selling. (Don’t be offended about this, go take action, get to know your customer and grow your business.)

 

Understand your marketing strategy

Once you understand your customers and really know what you are selling, you must take action on that knowledge.  You want to create a marketing strategy.

Now before you start to check out, let me break this down simply.  A marketing strategy is simply know where your customers are and giving them an opportunity to know about your product.  It does not have to be complicated or salesy.  It just needs to show you genuinely care and are true to your word.

Pick one strategy and try that strategy as your one focus.  Put considerable effort into developing that strategy and making it work.  You want to learn all you can about your marketing strategy and really give it your best effort.   You may even consider hiring a a marketing professional to help give guidance or do it for you.  Whatever you do, make sure you track results and it lines up with what you know about your product and your customer.

 

 

Conclusion

Growing a business is all about the fundamentals.  The only way to grow your company is to understand your customers and understand what you actually sell.  Then, armed with that knowledge you set a strategy to make sure as many customers know about your business as possible.

Check out our other articles on marketing:

If you are really ready to grow your business, sign up for our Growth Membership.  It is affordable and provides training and resources to help you grow as a Christian and an entrepreneur.  Remember our motto: Grow your Faith, Grow your Business.  I’ll see you on the inside.

I would be remiss here if I did not remind you to pray about your strategy.  Make sure it is something that lines up with your customers and your business.  God will give you success if you listen to Him and wait on His leadership in your business.

 

Business Growth Formula= Know Your Product + Know Your Customers + Tell ‘Em. –Rev. H. #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

marketing how to for Christian entrepreneursA how-to guide to the basics of marketing

Christian entrepreneurs need to have a good foundational understanding of their marketing.  In this two part series, we are going to cover the basics.

Make sure you read our previous article on what marketing is.  We redefined marketing as offering the greatest products and making sure your ideal customers know about it.

 

Ideal customers

The first component in marketing is not your product or your business, it’s your customers.  In essence, the better you understand your ideal customer, the better you can talk to them.  Just think about the difference in the way you talk to your grandmother, mother, friends and spouse.  Different people relate to different words.  Plus, your relationship to those people identifies how you talk to them.

When it comes to customers, you want to help them.  To help them you must understand them.  What do they like?  What kind of house do they live in?  What kind of cars do they drive?  If you can understand where they shop, what they read, what music they listen to that can all become part of your communication with them.

If you want to know where to start, check out our article on a free tool to help you understand your ideal customer.

Once you understand your customer better, make an avatar.  In other words, I want you to create a picture of that person so well in your head, it is as if they are a real person.  If you have someone who is exactly the right fit, use that person and interview them.  (Of course, offer them some incentive or bonus for their participation.)

Create a name for the person.  Find a picture online that represents that person.  Write up a short bio for that person.  Make sure everyone in your office has that picture of the ideal customer in their head each time they think about your product or service.

Once you have that person firmly in your head, pray for him/her.  Begin praying for your ideal customers.  You can even go through your customer list and pray for previous customers by name.  When you begin to pray for people, your heart is moved to notice them better and want to help them. Plus, God may just give you some wisdom about your business.

 

Ideal conversation

Marketing is simply a conversation.  You have a business that can help others and you want them to know about it and like it.

Let’s use a simple example of a movie.  If you go to your best friend you can easily talk to them about the movie you just watched.  You can even convince them to see it with you.  If you talk to a stranger, it is a bit harder to communicate to that person because you don’t quite know what they like.

When you begin to understand your customers, you can use words they relate to.  If I was trying to talk about a car to guys I may use words like “power” and “speed.”  If I was talking to women about a car, I may use “safe” and “comfortable.”  Not to put people in a box or anything, depending on my ideal customer, those statements may be reversed.

Marketing is simply understanding our customer and communicating with them.#Christianbusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

I heard it said best this way, “Marketing is entering the conversation your customer is already having in their head.”  If you can identify what keeps them up at night and what they would pay to solve that problem, you have a great understanding of how to market to them.

Do your research to understand them, go to forums, look at reviews on similar products on Amazon, or search for blogs that relate to that specific customer.  Notice the colors, wording, length and even what other products/services they are trying to sell that person.

Quick note: Your product may be great for 100’s of people or 1000’s of people, but until you can sell it to that specific one person you will never be a success.  Focus on one ideal customer and get your marketing moving.  Later you can develop a second tier customer.  The key is FOCUS.

 

Ideal market

The ideal market involves many moving parts.  You must understand what others are selling your customers.  You must understand your competition.  You must know the ins and outs of your industry so well that you become the ‘go to’ company for what you produce.

You can do lots of research in this category, but don’t get distracted.  Keep in mind your ONE ideal customer.  Look at your competition and look at what you do better for your customer.  Look at reviews to see what others are saying they want in your industry.  Read information from real people.  With the digital age we live in, you can see reviews and comments from your ideal customer everywhere.

Once you know your market, you know what makes you different.  You can identify a USP, unique selling point.  Take what makes you different, communicate that to your ideal customer in a way that they can relate to and understand.  That is marketing in a nutshell.

 

Conclusion

In our next article, we will talk about setting up a basic marketing plan.  We will talk about where to put your message and how to best communicate with your ideal customer.

Christians are action takers.  We want to grow our business and understand it takes work.  Below are three actions you can take based on the article above.

  1. Write a bio for your ideal customer.  Get a picture (royalty free) and give them a name (Annie Car Buyer, Bob HomeOwner).  Make it memorable.  Print out this bio and ask your employees and leadership if they agree with the ideal customer.  (Actually, you should include them in the entire process.)
  2. Come up with 10 key points that your customers care about.  Look for patterns in your research.  Find attitudes that speak to them: safe, fast, etc.  Find specific fears they have and problems you solve with your business.
  3. Write down 2-3 key points about your business that differentiates you from your competition.  Don’t bash others, but edify your customers with what you do.   Keep everything positive and focus on RESULTS over benefits.

You have your work cut out for you, but if you take this exercise seriously, you will have a great beginning to a solid marketing system in your business.  It will help you grow your business in tight times or plentiful.  You can handle all the twists and turns of business when you are prepared and take everything to God in prayer.

If you need specific help, consider contacting a Christian marketing business coach or join our membership where you can ask your questions on our live online training webinars each month.  It is less than a dollar a day!!

Be blessed and be a blessing.

free tools to understand your customers

Christian business owners should understand their customers so well, they know where they shop, eat and hang out. Do you know your customers that well?

Today, I am going to introduce you to an online tool that will give you lot of insights into your local customers quickly, easily and free.

 

What is MyBestSegments?

MyBestSegments is a part of Nielsen research.  MyBestSegments uses zip codes to give insights into your customers and tells a little bit about their lifestyles.  One of the point on their page says, “Reveal your customer’s lifestyle and behaviors to create a clear comprehensive picture of their likes and dislikes.”

Basically, they have done research across the nation, the United States.  They have noticed certain patterns of people that congregate in certain locations.  If you can understand the general attitude and habits of the people in your local community, you can better talk to them about their needs.  Then, if you can help them, you have a moral obligation to tell them about your business.

 

How to use MyBestSegments

Start at the home page and click on “Zip Code Look-up” at the top.  That will bring you to a page to input the zip code.

Once you input the zip code, general data will show up.  To the left, you will see the common ‘segments’ who live in your area.  These are general groupings of the types of people most likely to live in your current area.

free tools to understand your customers

 

To the right you see a map and below the map you will see a scrolling data charts.  They will show you household income, age levels, ethnicity, and even the make up of families, i.e. with or without children.

After making notations about the basic information, click on one of your segments. It will bring you to a page that defines the general characteristics of that type of person.  It starts with a general description of those people, but I want you to focus on the “Lifestyle and Media Traits.” (You will want to do this for each of the segments in your local area.)

 

free tools to understand your customers

 

This section has invaluable knowledge.  It will tell you where they shop, what they do, what they read, what they watch on tv and even what they drive.  You may wonder why this is important, but let me share a simple example.

Let’s say that you find out that all of your segments are likely to drive a hybrid or flex fuel car.  That will give you the insights that your population is ‘green’ conscious.  You can attend green events, collaborate with green companies and make sure you point out all of the efforts your company has made to be green.  You even want to consider posting blogs posts and social media about green living and tips on being green and helping the environment.

 

Conclusion

Understanding the habits of your customers gives you insights about what is important to them.  These little things connect your business to your target audience.  It builds bridges so that people are likely to share information about your business with their friends (who are like them according to the research you did).  Those friends are more likely to do business with you because they were referred by a friend and they can relate to your business.

The more you understand about your customers, the better you can communicate to them.  We all have little nuances in how we communicate and if you can learn to ‘speak the language’ of your target audience, you will connect to them, grow your business and impact the Kingdom of God.

The better you communicate to your customers, the better you can make an impact in their lives. Click To Tweet
Facebook marketing strategy

 

Christian entrepreneurs of today must understand Facebook strategy.  These are tried and tested concepts that have worked since Facebook began and are still working.

Note: We will not be talking about Facebook ads, since that is a strategy by itself.  You can however, use Facebook ads very effectively with the strategy below.

 

Get to know your audience

Step one in any marketing is to know your audience.  If you have been doing Facebook for more than six months, you should have enough data to work for you.  You can review your top posts.  What are people responding to, liking and commenting?  Look for trends in topics and base a series of posts on that topic.

Another way to get to know your audience is to ask them.  You can set up polls, surveys or simple questionnaires.  Offer an incentive (see the next section) so that people have a reason to share their thoughts.  These can be serious or fun based on your personality and the culture of your business.

 

Incentivize them to give you information

An incentive is a free sample, electronic book, report, or other item your potential customers will find helpful.  You offer an incentive in exchange for some information from them.  Some people call incentives an ‘ethical bride.’  (As Christians, we don’t do bribes, right?)  What we want to do is offer our customers something valuable to them in exchange for their email address.  Emails are free to use and a great way to build a solid relationship with your customers.

Think about it.  Not everyone who comes to your page is ready to buy.  They may be curious enough to accept your special offer and you can have them on a follow up list using email.  The best way to do this is to use an email ‘autoresponder.’  There are free versions for up to two thousand email addresses for businesses just getting started.  (Here’s a helpful article about autoresponders.)

Inside of Facebook you can set up your own ‘opt-in’ form that works inside of Facebook.  You will want to review the training in your autoresponder to see how to best do this.  There are a lot of choices for autoresponders, but if you don’t have a budget I suggest starting with a free service or a free trial period.  You can always export your list if you decide to move to another system.

Note: You can ask for phone numbers, addresses, birthdays, etc.  However, statistics show us that the more you ask, the more people walk away from your form without taking action.  Simply ask for a name and email.  After they are on your list and get to know you, then, you can ask for additional information.  Of course, if you are sending a physical item, you need an address, but make it friendly by saying something like, “Where should we send your free sample?”

 

Set up a follow up sequence 

Once you have names and emails from Facebook, you can begin to communicate with your audience directly.  Again, refer back to your most favorited posts to find relevant topics your customers can relate to.  Create a simple sales sequence where you point out valuable insights about your industry.  Think about educating and entertaining your customers.

The idea of a strong email sequence is to create familiarity with you and your company.  Customers will get to know your culture and interact with your brand.  This keeps your company at the top of the mind of your customer so when they are ready to buy, you are the first one they contact.

When you are creating these sequences (it is just sending an email once a week or every other day), you don’t want to hard sell.  Post seven to ten good learning posts and then offer to help your customers if they need it.  After the first bump in collecting emails, you can go to one email a month in a newsletter type form.  You can even use content from other sources . .  legally. . . we are Chrsitians here!

 

Conclusion

If you want Facebook to work, you must get to know your audience.  You must understand their needs, wants and desires.  Then, you can create a relevant marketing strategy to connect with those customers and get more leads.  Every like your page gets is a potential customer.  Every email you can collect is a solid lead.  Connect with those leads using email for a simple, cost effective marketing strategy.

As Christian business owners, we have an obligation to connect to as many people as possible so we can help them.  We must line up our values and ethics and relate to our customers with love and respect.  Facebook is a great collection of people we can connect with and get to know.  The more effort we put into getting to know them, the more they will respond to us in kind.

As Christians, Facebook is where we can show people we have yet to meet the love and respect of God. Click To Tweet

Facebook business page
If you are a Christian business owner and you just set up your Facebook page, you are probably wondering what you should do now.  Let me show you.

 

Complete your Profile

The first step you need to take is to complete your profile. Here is a quick checklist for you.

  • Profile Pic: Make sure your logo fits the dimension of the profile pic.  I suggest using a picture of the owner with a smiling face.  People relate to people.
  • Header: Include a great looking picture for the top of your page.  You can put words on that picture with a graphics editor.  Put a call to action or give a promotion code as an incentive to call you.
  • About: There is a lot in this section.  Go through each piece of it one by one.  Choose a category, put your address, hours, etc.  Pay attention to the short description and the long description.  Make the words something that causes a customer to instantly relate to your product or service.
  • Call Now:  This is new to Facebook.  There is now a button for customers to call directly from Facebook to your business.  Make sure this number is correct and test it to make sure it is working.  (This works great for ads!)

 

 

Invite your friends and customers

After your profile is completed, start inviting friends and families from your personal page to your business page.  The best way to do this is to post something announcing you are excited about your business page and include a picture.  Invite people you know well who will like your page, share it and tell their friends about it.  If you want them to take action, tell them what you want them to do.

You can also invite your customers.  If you have a database with emails, you can add those emails and connect with your customers.  If you don’t have a lot of friends on your personal page, nor a good list of emails, go to the next step and take a more time to interact with pages.

 

Like relevant pages and activities

Now that you have some friends and your profile set up, start liking pages and groups.  You can use the search bar at the top.  You want to find relevant pages and groups.  You can look for distributors in your business and other partners you do business with. Pay attention to what groups and pages they like.  If you do business with the same kind of customers, it may be good to connect to the same pages. (You can also like the same things as your competition!)

Then, look for affinity groups.  What are some groups that your customers would relate to?  You may not run a bike shop, but you may notice a lot of your customers have bikes.  You can like pages related to bikes in order to connect to those customers and make them feel good about doing business with you.

Another great strategy is to stand for something.  Find a cause that you, as a business, can rally behind.  Do you research about these causes to make sure you know who you are aligning with.  Remember, when you stand behind a cause on social media, people expect you to post about those topics.  You don’t want to choose a personal topic if it would not be beneficial to your business.  (See our post on sharing controversial topics in social media.)

 

Post

Posting should be done regularly.  Regularly could be once a day or once a week.  When starting your page, I suggest posting at least ten posts and make sure each one has a picture or a video.  That way when people find your page, they can have something to look at and see what kind of a business you are.  You can post something about your company, its history and products.  Then, you want to post interesting, entertaining and informative posts your customer would relate to.  The more they interact with your posts, the more Facebook will show your page to more people.

See our helpful articles:

 

Optional: Pay for a ‘like’ ad

Yes, PayPal is a ‘pay to play’ system.  You may want to pay for a simple ad to increase your likes and get your page noticed. You can do this for as little as five dollars a day.  The key here is to highly target your ad.  Facebook has some great helps on their page about creating an ad and your first time, they will give you a representative to talk to if you ask them.  (Why not take advantage of free expert advice for your first ad?)

I suggest doing your first ad for yourself.  It may be clunky at first, but the better you know how the system works, the better you can hire someone to manage it for you.  I have seen too many business owners pay way too much for little results because they did not have a good grasp about how their ads could be best used.

 

Conclusion

Facebook takes a bit of time to set up, but once you get your foundation built, it is much easier to have it working properly for you.   You don’t have to spend hours on Facebook, just select a simple strategy and focus on one topic at a time.  Look at the major holidays and you can easily post relevant information about upcoming holidays.  Then, take a peak at the news and share interesting, relevant and entertaining content.

Lots more help go to our page with all of our social media articles by clicking here.

 

Facebook is not about selling, it is about building relationships with your customers. Click To Tweet
Facebook for business

Christian business owners understand billions of people are on Facebook, but how do you use it to connect to your audience and bring in leads for your business?  Let’s get started . . .

With the right strategy, Facebook could become your business best friend.  It is easy to use and once you have some simple concepts about how to use it beneficially for your business, you will be on your way to success.

This post is not to convince you about using Facebook, it is to get you to think a little differently about how we use Facebook.  Many people see Facebook as a place to start drama and share travel pictures.  For business, Facebook actually has some good tools to help grow your audience.  When you grow your audience, your brand grows and hopefully your business grows.

 

Getting Started with Facebook

To start with, you must have a personal page and a business page.  These two can work together, but it separates you from your business.  You can post family photos on your personal page and you can post office pictures on your business page.  Then, you share them between the two to give yourself a boost in interaction.

Facebook prioritizes interaction. The more people like, share and comment on your posts, the more Facebook shows that post to more people.  Yes, Facebook is a ‘pay to play’ system, but there are tactics that are free and can help you gain more exposure with a little bit of planning.

For instance, let’s say that the 4th of July is coming up.  You know in America, we celebrate Independence Day.  You can share some interesting quotes, facts or fun wishes for Independence Day.  These usually get shared and since they are ‘timely’ people respond to them quickly.

 

Change your thinking about Facebook

At this point, you may be asking, “What does that have to do with business?”  My answer is, “Everything!”

We don’t have to sell, sell, sell on Facebook.  We want to add relevant information and sell when it make sense to our customers.  Be social first, connect to your customers with meaningful conversations and selling becomes a natural part of the conversation.

We use social media to be social.  People buy from people they like.  If you post something that they like, they are more likely to come back to your page and interact again.  It is a simple concept.  You must post things that are relevant and interesting to your target audience.  If you find out your target customer is likely to have dogs, even though that has nothing to do with your business, you should post information about dogs or at least use dogs in your images.

Facebook, like any marketing tool, is all about connecting to your customer.  You must be aware of who they are and what their lives are like.  Then, you post things that are relevant to them on your Facebook business page.

We have posted a complete series about what to post and when to post, so we won’t rehash that in this article.  You can see all of our posts for Christian Business owners about social media by clicking here.

 

Quick tips to get you started:

Complete your profile on your business page including your about section.  Post a photo, include your phone number, website, and some information about how you help your customers.  Focus this writing on the customer and what you do for them.

Check your insights.  Go to your business Facebook page, click on “Insights” at the top, then click on the various tabs.  You can see what posts people are responding to, what times works best for your postings and even some insights about your customers.  Get to know this section and don’t be afraid to poke around and see what you can find.

 

Conclusion

We use Facebook for connecting to customers.  The more we connect to customers, the more likely they are to buy our products and services.  We can learn how to connect to customers by reviewing our ‘Insights.’

As with any marketing, we must know who are customer is and have a strategy to connect to them. Facebook is a tool and it has some valuable insights about who connects to your page.  If you can learn to leverage the power of social media, you can really connect to your customer and gain more business.

On Facebook start meaningful conversations with customers and selling becomes a natural part of the conversation. #ChristianBusiness Click To Tweet
faith-vs-business

 

As Christian business owners, we sometimes get conflicted about our faith versus our business.  We have to ask ourselves how do we present our business and still be true to our faith?

 

Quick story about MLM

I used to be in a large famous network marketing business or MLM (Multi-level Marketing).  I loved the encouragement and training they provided.  It was the first time in my life I was able to be around successful people.  It was in this MLM that I learned the power of information and the fact that I could be a success.

I would go to church on Sundays and rallies on Monday.  My week was primed with God and success.  As I begin to ‘spread the word’ about MLM, I began feeling a nudge in my spirit.  I began to wonder, “Shouldn’t I be telling them about Jesus, not trying to get them into my business?”

 

Crisis of faith

When we are in an MLM or just excited about our business, we want the whole world to know about it.  We see the opportunity and want to get more people to see the opportunity.  It is not a bad idea, but we must keep everything in perspective.

I saw too many people ‘run through’ all of their friends trying to get them into MLM and never once thought about sharing Christ with those same people.  Now their friends avoid them and they have lost a great opportunity.  Don’t get me wrong, sharing about your business is not a bad thing it is the way we share about our business that makes a difference.

 

Change of thinking

If we go to all of our friends and talk to them about our business just to ‘run through’ our presentation, we are doing a disservice.  Sure, part of your training is about getting the presentation down for presenting your business opportunity whether you are in MLM or digital or traditional business.  However, our focus should be on the person and their needs, not our needs to get them into our business.

See, if we start with the presentation and the fact that we want someone to be part of our business, we miss the opportunity to get to know that person and help them.  The same thing works with evangelism.  If we run up to people just to get through our presentation about Jesus, we miss the point.  Our focus should be love: getting to know the person.  When we get to know them we can help them take the next steps they need and then we only present what they need at the time.  That is how we become a success.

Here at Christian Business Revolution, I want us to have a people-focused, God-centered business.  That means we look at how we can help others in the light of the purpose that God has placed in our lives.  Then, we can present whatever opportunity that person may need.  They may need a job, they may need a business, they may need products, they may need Jesus or they may just need a hug.

 

Conclusion

If you want to be a Christian business owner in MLM or any kind of business, focus on the needs of others.  Zig Ziglar says, “You can get everything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want.”  That is where we should start . . . helping other people.

When we have our lives lined up with God and our minds focused on how we can help people, we will see new opportunities for our business.  We will see how God wants to touch lives and use us as His vessel to bring His love to this world.  Just follow the example of Paul and make your business your mission field.

A Christian business owner is people-focused and God-centered! Click To Tweet