Matthew Jonas is the President of TopFire Media. The company is a fully integrated public relations and digital marketing agency in the Chicago suburbs specializing in serving franchise-industry clients. Along with sister companies, iFranchise Group and Franchise Dynamics, Jonas and his staff have worked with more than 100 of the top 200 franchise companies. They know the franchise industry, and they know what small and mid-sized businesses need from a marketing perspective.
TopFireMedia has been around for three years and they continue to grow and develop their team, focusing on a number of critical services including, PR, social media, SEO, pay-per-click advertising, web development and more.
Jonas offers his expertise and insights with small business owners.
(Photo courtesy of Matthew Jonas)
Top five tips for SMBs to distinguish in business and increase sales.
- Build a lead generating website. SMBs need to be able to compete in the digital space among larger players. One way of doing that is by developing websites built to convert visitors into legitimate leads. Make your form fills simple to use and attractive to the user. Make sure there are specific calls to action on your site.
- Get people to the website. Before you even get them to fill out a form, you need to get the audience to your website. There are several ways to do this. Perhaps the most obvious is search engine optimization [SEO]. Essentially, you create content that ranks high in search engines. You build an engaged audience and your website climbs up the page rankings on search engines like Google and Bing. Your SMB has a digital audience!
- Publicize your brand. Whether you hire an agency or do it yourself, be sure to tell people about your business — who you are, what you do and most importantly, why you’re better than your competitors. Be confident, but make sure you’re smart. People crave authentic, transparent brands.
- Know when to sell. There are times when a hard sell isn’t the best strategy. I can’t tell you how many times it’s taken me weeks, months to close a deal. Sometimes, it may be a year or two until your client is ready for your service or product offering. It might be tough to keep patient, but realize that people are ready to buy when they are ready to buy. As a sales person, you need to be there for them the moment they want it.
- Don’t speak badly about your competitors. It’s critical to take the high road. A prospect may ask you about a competitor. While it’s perfectly fine to say something along the lines of, ‘they do this, but we take a different approach,’ never speak badly about your competitors. You want to be positioned as the brand that is simply the best, and when you’re on top, there’s no need to bash the competition.
This article was written by Michelle Guilbeau of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.