Archives for April 2013

3 Reasons Why Blogging Leads To More Paying Clients

Corrina web 5A guest post from Corrina Gordon-Barnes of You Inspire Me

So, you know blogging is supposedly a great idea for growing your business. You’re keen to give it a proper go – but you’re concerned it’ll be a waste of your time.

Here are three reasons why blogging is well worth the investment:

1. Blogging is the antidote to freebies and discounts

Giving away your wisdom for free means you don’t have to discount your actual work.

Blogging is content marketing. This means you’re strategically giving away free content with the aim of (a) adding value to your prospective clients whilst (b) equipping them to become future buyers of your products and services.

Without a blog or similar free offerings, people only have two options: they can either buy from you… or they can’t. If you’ve ever felt pressured to drop your price to make your service more accessible (at a financial loss to you), then a blog gives you an alternative: “I’m sorry to hear this isn’t currently within your budget. Do get in touch if and when your circumstances change and here’s my blog with practical tips you’ll find useful in the meantime.”

2. Blogging provides more opportunities for people to share

Free content is immensely shareable – which means every post you write is one more resource to inspire and fuel word-of-mouth marketing.

The more you share, the more others can share you with their friends and colleagues, which brings more of your ideal clients into contact with you.

3. Blogging raises the perceived value of your core service.

When your prospective clients see you’re giving away a lot of content for free, they assume (rightly!) that it’s because you’re tapped into a never-ending supply of expertise. They get curious, “Wow, if I get this for free, just imagine what I’ll get when I pay!”

Those are just three of the – many! – reasons why blogging is such a worthwhile business investment. Consistent, regular blogging enables you to help more paying clients, showcase your expertise, raise your credibility, and enjoy the impact and income you desire.

So, now let’s hear from you. What kind of content marketing have you done so far? Have you written an article for a magazine or given a talk? Recorded videos or written blog posts? Led a teleclass or webinar? Or what has held you back from doing these things? Leave a comment below, let us know…

© Corrina Gordon-Barnes 2013

Get in touch with Corrina on her Facebook Page and Twitter.

Take Care of Your Customers, Before Someone Else Does

I was recently invited to deliver a brief Customer Service presentation at a Cubiq Design event and for those who were unable to attend, here is the basis of my talk…

customer-service.0822.12Customer Service is Reactive
Too often, customer service is thought of solely as a reaction to a customer complaint or a measured response to a piece of feedback. Very often customers don’t complain, they just don’t come back. How about this? Last summer I visited JD Sports to buy a pair of trainers. When I found ones I liked, I handed them to the shop assistant and asked for them in my size. After a few minutes, she returned and handed me the shoes back “We don’t have them in stock I’m afraid” and walked off instead of offering an alternative pair or finding out more about what I was after. So I simply walked out! I’m not alone here either as 90% of UK shoppers walk away without buying something if they get bad customer service. How can anyone react to customer emotions that they never get to hear?

This works both ways though. Picture the scene. I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Vienna Airport after a weekend away before returning to the UK via Germany. After my coffee, I head to the gate only to be met by ground crew who tell me my flight is delayed and at Berlin Airport they will need to rush me off the plane and head quickly to my connecting flight. On arrival, nothing happened and I missed my flight… I was tired and angry that I was promised an action that never happened. Once I got to the Air Berlin customer service desk I had mentally prepared my words to express how unhappy I was, only to be met by

Before you say anything Mr Goodman, you’ve missed your flight to the UK, there are no more this evening and there is nothing I can do about that. However, I have a taxi outside waiting to take you to a hotel which I’ve booked you into. You will also receive a meal, and tomorrow morning you will be picked up at 5.30 to bring you back here where you’re booked on the first flight home. Any questions?

…er, no!!

Customer Service is Proactive
I think what both those instances tell us is that Customer Service is much more proactive. Actually, it’s often more about how we’re treated before we’re actually customers. It’s why we use the accountant that we do, or my hairdresser, or where I get my lunch from. It’s why Nicky and I even chose to open our accounts with our bank. It’s the way we were treated from the moment our relationship started, long before we signed any agreements or I sat down for a trim. Again, my emotions and reactions as a customer here are far from unique. In fact, 86% of customers are more likely to purchase something following a good customer experience and 64% are unlikely to repurchase something if they are very dissatisfied with the customer service interaction.

Customer Service is Reciprocal
Although this has been the case for years, the impact of social media has increased this further with customer service being now more about reciprocity. A powerful psychological state that produces deep seated motivation. In short, you do something amazing for a customer and they feel they have to do something amazing back – like share how wonderful you are.

A simply example of this happened only recently when a customer asked if we possibly had a spare laptop charger he could use, was it a Dell and how much was it? We did, it was and he didn’t have to pay anything. He was so happy (and relieved) that he put it on his Facebook page which is liked by 1002 people.

It is clear from all this, that customer service is intrinsic in everything we do. Therefore, here are 3 simple tips for you to focus on:

1) It Starts From Now
The next person who calls you or walks through your door could be a customer. So, treat them with the respect that your existing customers would expect. How they feel will affect their buying decision and determine how they speak about you. Even if they don’t buy from you, there is every chance that they know someone who is looking for what you offer.

2) Ask Your Customers
In case you missed the headline, here it is again “Ask Your Customers.” I think we’re often afraid of asking because we’re afraid of the response. But why? What’s the worst that can happen? If they hate you and never plan to buy from you again, find out why. If you’re not sure what to ask, may I suggest simply these:

  • Would you recommend me/us to a friend?
  • Why?

3) Give Your Customers a Platform
If your customers’ emotions have been push to one end of the spectrum or another, they will talk about you. Therefore, it’s best to know what they’re saying. So, have a page on your website or encourage them to use your social media feeds, but give them a chance to say how wonderful you are or what you can do better.

I’ll leave the last words to Walt Disney…

“Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do”

Testimonial 5

The location and room were ideal. Your rates are reasonable and being able to pay for the room on an hourly basis is a good feature

Nigel Jones (Riverside)

Testimonial 4

It’s long overdue that Cambridge has a coworking facility that’s open to all freelancers and small business owners

 

Mark Goodson

Testimonial 3

Professional workspace in central location with great facilities and high speed bandwidth at a hugely affordable price.

Helen Reinson

(IT Hummingbird)

Speaking of Business

Jon-TorrensRecognising the importance of public speaking as a key communication tool for businesses, Cambridge Business Lounge is proud to announce a new collaboration with Public Speaking Coach Jon Torrens to offer workshops in the heart of Cambridge. 

Previously a professional stand-up comic for over two years, Torrens’ half-day course Killer Presenting: Achieve a Comedian’s Confidence provides an innovative approach and alternative perspective on the skill of public speaking.

“For me, public speaking is like a martial art. I’m no physical fighter, but I love a bit of verbal combat. I like to think of myself as a mystical, public speaking Shao Lin monk. In reality I’m a coach with tons of stand-up comedy experience; I help transform people into confident public speakers with tried and tested techniques” quips Torrens.

Focusing on adaptability, the half-day workshop at Cambridge Business Lounge guides attendees through the essential skills for delivering a great presentation, offering advice from a comic’s perspective on managing situations that may occur whilst presenting. The course leads participants through the entire process from the key elements of speaking, from defining the presentation through to improvising, structuring material and guidance on how to deliver.

Dubbed by Comedian Jimmy Carr as “a great writer and performer, always a pleasure to work with, and a true gent” Torrens has now established himself within the realm of Public Speaking, encouraging and teaching many individuals to significantly improve their speaking skills.

Host Ed, owner of Cambridge Business Lounge, has helped over 10,000 small businesses to develop in the past decade and has a passion for collaboration. Himself a public speaker, Ed hopes Killer Presenting will inspire many local business people to reengage with the art of public speaking:

“I’m excited about this collaboration as Jon offers such a fantastic approach to public speaking coaching. CBL are pleased to provide the opportunity to local businesses to come and improve upon, or rejuvenate their public speaking.”

If you would like to smarten up your public speaking skills, the course Killer Presenting: Achieve a Comedian’s Confidence costs just £85 and includes light refreshments. To book, please call 01223 324 040 or visit http://killerpresenting.eventbrite.co.uk/

The CBL Interviews – An Introduction to Crowdfunding

In this edition of The CBL Interviews, we speak to Gonçalo de Vasconcelos of Syndicate Room to get a greater understanding of Crowd Funding from both the entrepreneur’s perspective, and the investor. Click on the link below to watch the video:

The CBL Interviews – An Introduction to Crowdfunding

Email your thoughts and comments to info@cambridgebusinesslounge.com