It’s interesting to note how true this observation really is. Social media expert Stanford Smith guest posted on Jay Baer’s Convince & Convert blog the other day, and he mentioned how nervous his client got when he realized he was going to have to produce killer content for his audience. The difference between what I experience and what Stan experiences is that Stan’s clients are generally small and mid-size businesses with lots of employees and big budgets. My people are local businesses, with 10 employees usually being the max, and tiny budgets compared to these other businesses.
Where’s Stan’s client thinks they don’t have the content they need because they might be a boring company, my client gets nervous around this subject because they believe they’re going to have to pay an arm and a leg to create content on an ongoing basis. Stan combats his client’s nervousness by outlining 5 ways they produce great content without having to think so hard, and I suggest you take a look, because you’re going to get some great ideas you can use to make your own content.
What I really want to talk about is one of the content generators Stan points out – testimonials. I see so many testimonials go to waste because LBOs just don’t see the value they produce in their customers’ lives. I’ve seen people leave many of these businesses smiling from ear to ear and yet I can visit review engines and search local listings like Google Places, and Yahoo, and Bing local, and see at best – 20 reviews. If it’s a real go-getter, I might see 50 reviews.
This may sound really nuts, but if you’ve been in business for over 5 years, with a store front – you have way more than 50 reviews available to you. You have at least 100 reviews floating around out there, and you don’t even know it. Take some time to go through your customer profiles and contact them all. That’s right, I said it! Call them all up and ask them if they would be willing to give you a testimonial about the quality of the service you provide.
You’ll go from a few testimonials to way too many to work with, and that’s a good problem to have. Just remember, delegation is the key. Have someone else contact these people while you work on a system for gathering these testimonials. At the same time, all this love your customers will be giving you can open the door for even more sales. If you have a proven sales process, this is where you’re going to want to interject it into the process.
Content creation is not an issue, and it never will be when the intent to create content is there. I know that sounds a little too metaphysical, but it’s true. This is especially true for LBOs who have smaller budgets, and in many cases, have a whole lot more to lose than their mid-size to larger counterparts. You don’t have to hire someone to create content for you to get the job done, but you do have to create content to create the kind of buzz you’re looking for in your business.
Marcus Roman is founder of the Upper Level Media Group and the author of the Local Business Reboot Manifesto, 12 reasons why local business tend to fail and 12 ways to make sure it doesn’t happen to you. For more information on how you can become the number one choice in your local community for your product or service, apply for a Strategy Session.