Thursday, October 18th, 2012
As a marketer or business owner, there are many different reasons you should be building relationships with bloggers. Maybe guest blogging is part of your link building and brand building strategy; if you want to get lots of guest blogging opportunities, you should focus on building quality relationships with bloggers. Or maybe you want to get your products reviewed so more people can learn about them; again, connect with bloggers so you can get them to review your products.
The point is that before you ask a blogger to do something for you (e.g. review your product, let you submit a guest post, help you promote an event, etc.) you should ideally already have some sort of relationship in place with them. If a blogger feels like they know you, they’ll be likelier to help you out.
With that in mind, here are a few easy ways you can start building relationships with bloggers.
Thursday, October 4th, 2012
When it comes to promoting your company and keeping its reputation strong, your employees are your best asset. They are the ones who spend every day interacting with your customers. They’re the face of your company. And when they leave work, they’re still representing your company as they hang out with their friends, go out on the town, relax with their families, and so on. You want to make sure that they’re talking about your company in a positive way that reflects the brand image you desire.
More simply stated, you want your employees to be passionate ambassadors for your brand.
How can you do this? Here are several simple tips you can follow to turn your employees into your best brand ambassadors.
Friday, April 27th, 2012
In many ways, your logo is the face of your company. It’s the image your customers will associate with your brand, so it’s important to make sure that you get it right.
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when designing a logo for your company.
- Include your name…legibly—While there are some large corporations that are able to get away with abstract logos (the Nike swoosh comes to mind), you shouldn’t take that approach. You probably don’t have that kind of recognition, nor do you have the money to do the type of promotion necessary to make an abstract logo inextricably tied to your brand. So, include your company or product name in the logo, and make sure people can read it easily.
- Don’t expect miracles—A new logo isn’t going to turn around your company’s fortunes. The sales won’t start suddenly flooding in just because you have a new logo; so while logo design is certainly important, you don’t want to put too much time, money, or effort into it. Keep things in perspective and get your priorities straight.
- Less is more—Some of the best words of advice when designing your logo are “keep it simple.” Your logo needs to be clear and easy to reproduce. If you have too many elements and complex themes going on, your message will get lost.
- Look forward—While you can’t always predict the future, you need to be thinking about it when designing your logo. Where do you want your company to be 5-10 years from now? Will you be adding a new product or service line? What do you want people to think of when they think of your brand? How is the design landscape changing? These are all things to consider when creating a new logo.
- Choose your designer wisely—Finally, you need to find a designer to bring your vision to life. Not all designers are good. In fact, the industry is plagued with terrible designers and design agencies that charge exorbitant rates for mediocre work. Spend some time shopping around. Always look at a designer’s portfolio before you make a hire.
What are some other logo design tips that should be on this list?
Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
If you’ve been in business for any extended period of time, you know that you’re not going to satisfy every customer. Occasionally, a customer is going to get ticked off at you. They might threaten to stop doing business with you, or they may go online and say some nasty things about your company. The situation might have been caused by a mistake you or someone at your company made. Or it could have been caused by something that was totally out of your control.
While I don’t subscribe to the theory that the customer is always right, I do believe there are many instances where your best play is to apologize and try to smooth things over with the customer. And because you only get one chance to apologize (and you can’t apologize for a bad apology, Larry David), you have to make sure you get the apology right.
Here are some helpful tips for apologizing to a customer.
- Don’t blame others—Customers hate it when companies try to pass the buck. Even if you’re not directly responsible for the mistake, you need to take full responsibility and give a sincere apology. Playing the blame game will only upset the customer more.
- Don’t add a “but”—You can’t say “We apologize, but…” and expect the customer to accept your apology. Swallow your pride, apologize, and move forward. A half-hearted apology is often worse than no apology at all.
- Be prompt—Don’t wait until it’s too late to apologize. You have to take swift action when a customer is angry at your company. The longer you wait, the angrier they get and the harder it gets to win the customer back.
- Make sure you actually apologize—Apologizing means using words like “sorry” and “apologize.” Too many times, people are afraid to fully apologize because they think that admitting guilt will harm their reputation. But the reality is that you have to fully apologize in order for the customer to get over their anger and resentment toward your brand. An effective apology can restore that relationship.
Have you ever had to apologize to a customer? How did you handle it?
Monday, January 30th, 2012
No company is immune to the risk of a PR crisis. From BP to Toyota, we’ve seen some major brands take huge blows to their reputations over the past few years. While you might not find yourself facing a crisis that garners as much attention as those previously mentioned, your brand’s reputation could still take a serious blow that puts your company’s future at risk.
Here’s what you need to do when the worst happens.
- Act swiftly—The longer you wait to respond to the crisis at hand, the worse it will get. You can’t just bury your head in the sand and pretend nothing is wrong. You have to jump on the problem immediately to minimize the damage and gain control of the situation.
- Admit fault—Why do so many people hate corporations? It’s because corporations rarely take responsibility for their actions. They point fingers at others any time a problem arises, killing any goodwill they might have had with their customers. There comes a time where you just have to swallow your pride, step up to the plate, and admit you made a mistake. A sincere apology can go a long way to recovering your reputation.
- Correct the problem and take measures to prevent it from happening again—Just saying your sorry isn’t going to cut it if you make the same mistake again and again. You have to identify the source of the problem and take major steps to correct it and keep it from ever happening again.
- Go above and beyond to make things right—It’s important that you take the necessary steps to make things right with anyone you may have wronged. But rather than doing just enough to make it right, go above and beyond what’s expected to show your commitment to rebuilding the relationship.
- Don’t give up—Repairing your reputation is going to take time. Think about it like this. When someone you know does something horrible to you, do you repair that relationship overnight? Not usually. It takes time for them to win back your trust. The same goes for when your company gets caught in a scandal. You have to keep working to win back the trust of your customers. Just look at BP. They’re still running ads trying to recover from damage done to their brand after the oil spill disaster.
What other tips would you add? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.