Saturday, June 11, 2011

Contacting Potential Clients and their Responses

Recently I have been really putting myself out there to potential clients. Law Offices, Contractors, Medical professions, etc. I am not limiting myself to one area because I figure, I can definitely learn anything I need to. That is how confident I am in myself. I can learn with the best of them!

However, I have been getting just a tad bit frustrated lately. I know I shouldn't, but, I can't help it. My confidence has been slowly and surely going down and out the window. I know I can do it if someone, anyone, will just give me a chance. However, I came to the conclusion, it is not always me they are saying no to. Yes, some of it is to me directly, but, other cases, not so much. Companies really don't know what Social Media is. There is the fear of the unknown. What happens if people leave negative comments about my business? What if they accuse my business of poor quality/service? This is a completely logical and rational fear. Without Social Media, companies, for the most part can keep complaints underwraps. Except for that issue with Taco Bell. Remember that? Not fully a meat taco? However, how they handled it, was fantastic! They came back with not only a written argument of what is actually in the taco's, but, they also came out with their TV Ad. The lawsuit was dropped less than 3 months later due to Taco Bell fighting back and proving that their meat is up to FDA standards. They didn't trash talk, they simply stated their case and that was it. It leads back to the initial statement that most companies can keep complaints from getting out to the public if they are made via phone or mail. With Social Media, no, this is not the case. It is put out there for everyone and their mother, (should they be on Facebook and Twitter) to see.

This is one of the best things that could happen actually. This gives the businesses the chance to shine. This will show customers how they respond to negative feedback. Encourage the potential client that this isn't a bad thing. Granted, not everyone is going to be happy. That is a fact of life. But, if the companies show other customers how well it is handled, they will be happy that businesses they like are capable.

Now, another thing that has been happening, and to a person trying to provide a service to businesses, I find this extremely frustrating. The absolute lack of response. I call the businesses and leave a message with a brief summary of what I am offering and then leave my phone number. One day passes. Two days pass. 20 days pass and still nothing. I usually wait 48 hours or two business days and then do a follow up call to the business. I will then do a final follow up at 20 days.

I am now wondering. Is this the way to go? Voice mails are one thing. Very easy to delete and forget. I think for those companies that I have emails or mailing address, I am going to start sending letters with pamphlets indicating my services and rates. Will this work?

However, for companies that I do contact, I am either a current customer, or a potential customer. How does that look to customers when the companies do not even respond? What kind of Public Relations or Customer Service is that? In my own opinion, regardless of what calls are made, some sort of response is expected. It is highly rude I think and will make me think twice about using their services. As stated in a comment posted here before modifying this post, even if the company says, you know, I don't want to go this route at this time. Or heck, even a "h--l NO!" will suffice! Just show that your company has some courtesy. Yes, that is what it boils down to. Common courtesy and not letting people wait and wonder.

Have you found something that has worked for you as a Social Media Consultant? Do phone calls work for you or do letters?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Providing Services to your Clients

What services do you offer to your client?

This is something you want to sit down and take a moment to think about. Don't jump in full force offering everything under the sun. Start off with what you know you can do with 100% focus and then add more variety to your available services. Find your niche and put both feet in and go for it.

Don't feel that you are settling when doing this. As a new Entrepreneur, you are learning what you are capable of doing. If you offer services ABCDEF, but you are only comfortable with services ABCD, then offering EF is not fair to you or your clients. They are looking to you as the professional. You know what you are doing. It then also puts added pressure on you to feel you have to do everything. Right now, the services I offer to my clients is:

- Facebook status'
- Tweets
- Blogging about their product
- Advertising

I believe this is what I can handle right now because I also work full time and am a single mother. I am learning what is out there in social media and what is expected of a Social Media Specialist.

Also, make sure you are doing what you love. If you don't, I believe it comes out in your work.

With all that being said, do you feel that you sometimes overextend yourself? Or do you feel you don't push your self enough because you are afraid? I'll tell you, I was in the latter part of that question. I was afraid. I told myself, "no one will want to work with me because I didn't have proper training". Then I realized, who really has had training in this field? Not many people!

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Business Cards. Are they important?

Absolutely! This falls under the category of Network, Network, Network!!! You want to give cards out to anyone and everyone who will take them. If you are going to any blogging conferences this year, make sure to take plenty of them. What do you want to share on them? Well, I was reading Blog Conference Guide for the (Un)Experienced and it comes down to, what is your preference? You can keep it plain and simple, or you can fancy it up to your hearts content. She also says if you don't want to share your personal info, home phone or address, then put your email address, twitter id, facebook and of course your URL. This is all very important to have on the card because you want people to be able to reach you if they need help with anything and you came to mind.

I currently have business cards for my review blog Single Parent Retreat and now that I am running not one, not two, not three, but FOUR blogs, I think I need a business card that is more and allows me to put all of my blogs on there and not focus on one blog and bring all my blogs into the limelight. I always purchase my business cards from Vista Print because well, they are the cheapest. You can purchase your business card from up to 45 designs for free. All you have to pay is shipping and handling. There are many more options you have if you choose to pay for your cards.

You can also advertise your blog with a cling to put on your car window and have more local residents start to look at your blog.