Category: Small Business

Best Estimates: Providing Accurate Estimates in General Contracting

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With the current state of the supply chain in the general contracting and construction industry, it’s critical to provide accurate estimates to your prospects in order to avoid unnecessary losses for your business. Luckily, there are a number of online programs and tools that can be used to automate this process and render precise calculations the first time around. 

The Benefits of Software

Generating quotes can be a time-consuming process that drives up the costs of your operation. Additionally, many customers requesting estimates may not even sign on, so it’s in your best interests to keep this task as efficient as possible. By using software, you can eliminate the stress involved in number crunching, and use the app to submit your bid as soon as you’re ready. Here is an overview of these benefits and more if you switch over to software and away from manual calculations:

  • Quick Calculations

Realistically, the process involved with performing complex calculations associated with your designs is prone to human error, which ultimately leads to unhappy clients and loss of time and money. With a software program, you’ll simply need to upload your plans and wait for an estimate to be provided based on the relevant measurements. 

  • Keep Track of Local Costs

The costs of labor, materials, and equipment are ever fluctuating, and more often than not are on the rise. Estimating software gives you unfettered access to a library of local data that you can use to stay on top of these costs – thereby allowing you to have contingencies in place when providing estimates to clients. 

  • Streamline With Templates

To maintain professionalism, you’ll want your quotes to remain consistent in their design and style. If you haven’t paid much attention to your branding, you can use a logo maker and other free online tools to brand your business. Then, simply create a template using the estimating software that can be used with each new quote that is generated.

Stay Competitive

Although keeping your pricing low may appear to give you a competitive advantage, it may deter customers who see it as a sign of poor workmanship. It would be worthwhile to take an in-depth look at how your competitors have positioned themselves in the market and what line items are being charged on their invoices and estimates. This will help you determine whether there are any specific services you are selling yourself short on so you can adjust your pricing strategy accordingly.   

Check Past Expenses

Taking a closer look at how much you’ve spent on your previous work contracts can give you invaluable insight into where money is being wasted and which services are being undercharged to clients. You may also find that any specific materials you use a lot of can be ordered in bulk, which will result in savings based on a wholesale price.   

Seek Advice 

It’s important to concede that you may not have all the expertise necessary to take on every job or contract. If you’re required to offer pricing on something that you’re not well-versed in, consider bringing in a sub-contractor to offer advice on the costs or to take over that aspect of the job entirely. This will save you from liability and offer an opportunity to broaden your knowledge in the field. 

Running a contracting company involves keeping track of loads of equipment, staff, and materials. This means that mistakes are usually expensive and take lots of time to correct. It’s important to avoid this by providing the right estimates from the get-go and ensuring that your staff is well-prepared for any contract you take on. 

Blackhawk helps small business owners triple their leads and double their revenue within 12 months — guaranteed!

Article courtesy from Naomi at

Business Contracts: What New Owners Need to Know

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An often overlooked aspect of starting a business is how much legal ground needs to be covered in the early days. While following appropriate guidelines for your company’s licenses and permits, it’s also important to draw up legally binding documentation for all business agreements. Learning how to create a strong business contract is essential for protecting your organization’s interests.

Understanding Contracts and Their Purpose

Business contracts keep parties on either end of a deal accountable to each other. They set the terms of agreements and establish what’s expected of both parties. They also detail what consequences or contingencies take place when either side breaks its end of the arrangement. For example, if a contract states that an artist will generate a logo within a week for an agreed-upon price, the contract may also include price adjustments if the artist misses their deadline or licensing agreements preventing the client from using the completed work without paying. 

It can be difficult for an entrepreneur to collaborate with others; surveys revealed nearly a third of people report starting their business with the purpose of being their own boss. Keeping every aspect of an agreement detailed in writing can mitigate much of the stress and uncertainty associated with working with others. It also minimizes any damage that your company may sustain due to personal disagreements.

Creating a Strong and Fair Agreement

There are many facets to consider when making sure your contract is as close to perfect as possible on a first draft. The document should be mutually beneficial, giving the other party a reason to do business with you. It should also be as detailed as possible to eliminate any loophole either party can exploit. For instance, vague wording like “to be paid at a later date” can make payment obligations difficult to argue in court.

Make sure to be as specific as possible. While there are a variety of contract templates online, they’re not likely to be as focused as the one you’d generate yourself. A marketing professional will need different protections and terminology than a carpenter, so even basic employment contracts will need to be suited to their individual purpose. In other words, use these templates as a jumping-off point for your contracts; tailor them as necessary to the professional you’re hiring. You may also want to have a lawyer or legal professional look over any contracts you’ve created on your own to ensure that everything is legally sound.

Negotiating and Implementing the Contract

With an initial draft readied, negotiations can begin. Each party should go through the contract line by line when identifying which changes need to be made. This is the time to close loopholes, tweak bits of the deal that no longer seem fair, and make sure everyone has the benefits and protections they need to comfortably make the deal.

A third-party arbitrator is practically essential when creating this document. An unbiased individual can look at the terms and identify which ones are predatory, poorly articulated, confusing, or absent without the influence of their own interests. It also levels out the power dynamic between an employer and employee to have a neutral party in the room.

Before finalizing any agreement, it’s important to be attuned to your company’s financial health. Using an integrated invoicing tool, you can know at a glance what your company can afford to spend or lose in a given contract, or what specifically it needs to gain. The ability to digitize and automate payments and charges also relieves a lot of the stress of running the business while simultaneously drawing up these documents.

You don’t need to be an expert to understand the importance of business contracts. Executing the proper research and accepting help when you need it will make sure your arrangements are legally binding and mutually beneficial.

Blackhawk helps small business owners triple their leads and double their revenue within 12 months — guaranteed!

Article courtesy from Naomi at

Leveraging Data Analytics to Make Your Business Better

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As reported by Bloomberg, 97% of decisions taken by businesses are devoid of data. What this means is that rather than making important business decisions based on facts and performance, they are made based on assumptions. A prominent reason for this drawback is the lack of easy and quick access to data among employees across organizations. The lack of data-driven decisions can lead to financial losses, ineffective use of resources, and the downfall of a company. 

To help you overcome these challenges, it’s important for businesses to analyze data so they run more efficiently. Business process management (BPM) can automate and optimize processes and workflows by analyzing how people, systems, and data interact. By streamlining and improving previously laborious business operations, BPM technologies and solutions allow you to operate more efficiently. When creating a BPM framework, make sure you’re constantly monitoring its effectiveness and then acting on monitoring info to take steps to improve the process and output.

Here, Blackhawk Coach explores other ways to collect, analyze and utilize data in three core areas of your business.

Customer Acquisition and Retention

A CRM will improve your decision-making process and seamlessly allow you to interact with customers at the best time and through the best medium. With a CRM, customer data collected by various teams such as sales and marketing will be stored in a centralized dashboard which can be shared with all employees.

This data can then be analyzed for the following:


  • Predictive Analysis: Predicting future customer behavior based on their past actions. For example, if a customer bought five gifts from your website last year for Christmas, you can predict they’ll do the same this year.


  • Descriptive Analysis: This includes drawing inferences from the data as a whole, to find major trends. For instance, you may find sales numbers peaking each year between August and October. On deeper reading, you may find the cause and then apply the strategy to achieve those numbers year-round.


  • Personalization: According to research by McKinsey & Company the majority of customers prefer businesses that provide them with personalized experiences. Your CRM data will allow you to understand trends regarding individual customers and provide them with the experiences they demand.

Website Performance

In today’s digitally driven world, having an amazing website is key for a successful business. A website serves as a multifunctional platform where you can promote and sell products and generate a ton of customer data. This data can give you insights regarding customer behavior, website performance, and areas of improvement. Here are a few ways to analyze and use website data:

  • Track Website Traffic: Traffic is the number of users who visit your website in a given period. Additionally, you can segregate traffic into new and returning users. If you are currently running marketing campaigns, an increase in traffic can be viewed as a good sign. But there are other variables such as bounce rate, average time on page, session time which will need to be taken into consideration.


  • Lead Collection: Having a contact form on your homepage is a classic method of collecting high-intent leads. Your sales team can use the form data to contact potential leads and convert them into customers. If you are experiencing lower than expected form fills, it signals an improvement is needed on the webpage. This can include better text, new form placement, lesser form fields, etc.


Financial Management

Having structured financial data will make it easy to identify the best and worst-performing areas of the business and make required changes. Additionally, this data will help keep your business financially healthy by staying on top of payments to be made to lenders, and suppliers while keeping track of receivables.

While using excel sheets is common among small businesses, they are tedious to maintain and prone to human error. Rather, you should consider using an API (application programming interface) integrated with your payment software that tracks transactions, allowing you to gather financial details. This data can then be used to analyze the following:

  • Liquidity Ratio: This measures the amount of liquidity you have to cover business debts and meet working capital needs. A low ratio (less than 1) indicates the need to reduce liabilities. While a high ratio (over 2) points to underutilization of capital and the need for investment in assets, or research and development.


  • Net Profit Margin: This ascertains your company’s earnings after taxes. Comparing this figure with that of competitors will provide you with a strong idea of your performance, and areas of improvement.

Making data a central part of your decision-making process will result in better utilization of resources, faster decision-making, and improved business performance.

Blackhawk helps small business owners triple their leads and double their revenue within 12 months — guaranteed!

Article courtesy from Naomi at

Mind Your Own Business!

The concept of minding your own business means that while you are grinding away at your day job you need to be investing in your future and minding your own business. Pretty soon you’ll be able to walk away from that day job and mind your own business full time.

The best way to do this is through the acquisition of real estate. 

Let’s take a quick look at where you are losing all your money-taxes. Taxes have been around since 1913 in the U.S. (earlier in England). While the original intention was to only tax the wealthiest of the population, obviously that’s trickled down to the masses, including those in poverty. 

Now, keep in mind the more money you make the more taxes you pay. The wealthy know a way of getting around this-form a corporation. Corporations offer tax benefits and protect you from lawsuits. To learn more about this talk with one of our business coaches or your attorney. 

We’ve all heard the golden rule of: Pay Yourself First.

But many of us don’t do it. Until you learn and put this rule into effect, you won’t have any chance of getting out of the rat race. What this rule does is force you to come up with more income to pay your expenses. 

There are some key areas of finance you should learn about, taking classes is one of the best ways to do this. Here are the basics you should learn:


It pays to know how to read financial statements. When acquiring businesses or assets you need to quickly see the financial standing of the company you are acquiring.

Many grown adults do not know how to balance a balance sheet. In the long term, this knowledge will pay off for you and your business.

Investment Strategy

This skill will sharpen with experience. Talk to investors and observe how they play the game. 

Market Behavior 

Know the laws of Supply and Demand. No business owner can do without understanding these basic principles of the market. Bill Gates saw what people needed. Open your eyes to opportunities. Look at what sells and who buys.


Do everything you can to grow your business within legal boundaries. Know your corporate, state, and accounting laws.

Once you know these areas of finances you can make them work for you. The rich practically invent money. You have to know where to find a great deal. Let’s continue with real estate. Look for houses in trouble or find the court in your area that handles foreclosed, police impound or other real estate situations. You can either renovate and sell or rent for residual income. 

So, essentially there are two main types of investors:

  1. Those who buy pre-packaged investments
  2. Those who create their own investments

You know which are the most successful. In order to be one of those people you need to know what to look for and how to respond.

You must:

  1. Find a good deal other people have missed.
  2. Raise the capital needed for the transaction.
  3. Put together a high-performing team to execute the plan.

There is risk involved in every acquisition. The goal is not to avoid the risk, but to respond to the risk with confidence and a steady hand. 

If you need help identifying potential money-makers, where to get the capital you need and how to put together a smart team, try our FREE test drive to gain access to our resources and tools. 

Get Out of the Rat Race

We’ve all worked jobs we hated. We were underpaid, underappreciated and bored out of our minds. We either quit these jobs or were fired for poor performance because we just gave up. Instead of taking that approach you need to consider every job an opportunity to learn something new that you can apply down the line to find success.

When you give people the tools they need to come up with unordinary solutions, you are enhancing their lives for the long run. You need to take this approach. What if one of your terrible jobs had been one with no pay at all and you needed to come up with some ingenious ways of making money? I bet you could have found a diamond in that rough. This idea can also be used in your own company.

I don’t recommend going into the next meeting declaring that no one will receive pay anymore, but you can tell them that their potential raises, bonuses and other perks are now dependent on their creativity in ways to enhance business.

Let’s talk about a great concept called financial literacy. This certainly isn’t something they taught you in school but is still essential to know. So, what is financial literacy? 

The old school way teaches people to be good employees and not employers. This mindset will never make you wealthy. You need to focus on becoming a good employer. You also need to learn how to not only attain wealth but sustain wealth for generations. This is what financial literacy is all about.

So, how do you get out of the rat race and start working toward a wealthier future? You need to understand the difference between an asset and a liability. Take a look at your own life and you’ll probably find the following:


  • Real Estate
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Intellectual Property


  • Mortgage
  • Consumer Loans
  • Credit Cards

You’ve probably been fooled into thinking things like your house, car and entertainment system are assets. They aren’t! Assets should be continuing to MAKE you money. When you continue to struggle, you are not building wealth. If your primary income is from wages and each time you make more money you pay taxes, you’re not really creating wealth either, are you?

So, if buying a house isn’t an asset (and it’s not because you spend about 30 years of your life paying it off), then what is? Here are some of the best assets to attain and when you can start to actually see wealth being created because of it:

Average time of holding on to an asset before selling it for a higher value:

1 year

  • Stocks (Startups and small companies are good investments)
  • Bonds
  • Mutual funds

7 years

  • Real estate
  • Notes (IOUs)
  • Royalties on intellectual property
  • Valuables that produce income or appreciate

So, here are the steps to getting out of the rat race and onto your journey of creating wealth:

  1. Understand the difference between an asset and a liability.
  2. Concentrate your efforts on buying income-earning assets.
  3. Focus on keeping liabilities and expenses at a minimum.
  4. Mind your own business.

If you need help getting out of the poor mindset and into the wealthy one, try our FREE test drive and work with one of our experienced business coaches today.

We went through the first three and next time we’ll talk about how to mind your own business to keep your eye on the prize. 

Prepare for Lift Off!

Last time I gave you a laundry list of tips and tricks you can use to make your word of mouth program work for you. Hopefully you’ve taken a look and decided which ones are the best fit for your company, products, services and target customers, so you can put them to work in your word of mouth campaign.

We are going to wrap up this series on word of mouth where we give you the specific steps to create a word of mouth campaign. 

Now, let’s take a look at those steps:

  1. Seed the market. Find some way to get the product into the hands of key influencers.
  2. Provide a channel for the influencers to talk and get all fired up about your product.
  3. Offers lots of testimonials and other resources.
  4. Form an ongoing group that meets once a year in a resort and once a month by teleconference.
  5. Create fun events to bring users together and invite non-users. Saturn, Harley-Davidson, and Lexus have all been successful with this approach.
  6. Develop clips on your website featuring enthusiastic customers talking with other enthusiastic customers. 
  7. Hold seminars and workshops.
  8. Create a club with membership benefits.
  9. Pass out flyers. 
  10. Tell friends. 
  11. Offer special incentives and discounts for friends who tell their friends.
  12. Put the Internet to work.
  13. Do at least one outrageous thing to generate word of mouth.
  14. Empower employees to go the extra mile.
  15. Encourage networking and brainstorm ideas.
  16. Run special sales.
  17. Encourage referrals with the use of a strong referral program.
  18. Use a script to tell people exactly what to say in their word of mouth communication.

These are all amazing ways you can get the word out about your products and services and start a word of mouth campaign that takes on a life of its own. Before you can release your word of mouth campaign out into the world, you need to go through the checklist to make sure you’ve covered all the essentials.

Here’s your word of mouth campaign checklist:

  1. Are all of your communications sending the same simple message? If it can’t survive word of mouth, it’s not a compelling story.
  2. Is your product positioned as part of a category? Ex.”A dandruff shampoo that doesn’t dry your hair.”
  3. Are your examples outrageous enough to be shared?
  4. Do you enhance your materials with success stories from real people?
  5. Are you using experts effectively and in an objective manner?
  6. Have you created mechanisms so people can follow up on the word of mouth they hear, as well as simple ways of inquiring or ordering?
  7. Have you made the decision process easy for customers?
  8. Have you created events and mechanisms so that once a year your prospects hear about your product, and it is easier to try or buy?

These are all essential elements to keep in mind when taking a second or even third check over your word of mouth campaigns. I hope you’ve found this series on word of mouth to be a great resource and are getting ready to put it into action for your own products and services.

Remember, if you need help with anything in this series, try our FREE test drive to gain access to the best resources, tools and business coaches you can find.

Put it to Work!

In the last post we talked about how to conduct word of mouth research and then put that research to work. Today we’re going to give you some great tried and true ways to use word of mouth when building and executing your campaign.

We’ve done it in a list form, so you can go through and highlight the ones you want to put into action. These are offered by George Silverman which you can find in his amazing book The Secrets of Word of Mouth Marketing.

Here they are:

  • Give them something worth talking about
  • Cater to your initial customers shamelessly
  • Give them incentives to engage in word of mouth
  • Ask them to tell their friends
  • The customer is always right
  • Always tell the truth
  • Surprise the customers by giving them a little more than they expected 
  • Give them a reason to buy, make them come back and refuse service from anyone else other than you
  • Make eye contact, and smile, even through the telephone
  • Find ways to make doing business with you a little better: a warmer greeting, a cleaner floor, nicer lighting, a better shopping bag, extra matches, faster service, free delivery, lower prices, more selection.
  • Never be annoyed when a customer asks you to change a large bill even if he doesn’t buy anything.
  • The customer is your reason for being. Never take her for granted. If you do, she will never come back, and will go straight to your competition.
  • Always dust off items, but never let the customer see you doing it.
  • Never embarrass a customer, especially by making him feel ignorant.
  • Never answer a question coming from a desire to show how smart you are. Answer with a desire to help the customer make the best decision.
  • Never shout across the store, “How much are these condoms?” or anything about the personal items a customer is buying.
  • When you don’t know, say so. Do whatever you can to find out the answer.
  • Every customer is special. Try to remember their names.
  • Don’t allow known shoplifters into the store.
  • Don’t ever let two sales staff talk when a customer is waiting. The worst thing you can do is count your cash while a customer is waiting.
  • If you can suggest something better, they will be grateful. Always respect their choice.
  • Never pressure anyone into buying anything.
  • Never knowingly give bad advice. Just help people come to the right decision.
  • Personally visit the store of the competition or assign people to visit and report back to you.
  • Hire a shopping service to prepare periodic reports on how your people are treating your customers.
  • If you hear of a store where the management is insulting the customers, buy it, then put up the sign “Under New Management” outside. Then sell it later based on the increased sales.
  • One expert (in the drugstore’s case, a nurse or physician) who is convinced you are better brings hundreds of customers and their friends through word of mouth.
  • Always look for ways to make a stranger a customer.
  • People will walk several blocks to save a dollar, or see a smile, or be treated right.
  • Always run a sale promotion or an offbeat event. Make them come back to see what you are cooking up next.
  • Use the best sign-maker you can find and pay him more than anybody else.
  • If someone is mad at you, they will tell everyone who will listen for as long as they are angry, maybe even longer. So correct any dissatisfaction, and ask customers to send their friends.
  • Treat your employees and salespeople who sell to you the same way you treat your customers.
  • Have a zero-error system. There may be terrible consequences for example, if a mistake is made filling a prescription. Have people check each other’s work for safety.
  • Occasionally make intentional mistakes to see if people are checking.
  • Always measure your performance.
  • Always ask a customer to “come back soon”
  • If customers say they are moving away, offer to send them their favorite items by mail.
  • Tell jokes.

I know this is a lot of information to digest so we’re going to wrap up this lesson and leave you with the homework of going through and taking a look at the tips and tricks you like best. Also, look for tips that fit your company, products, services and target customers for the most effectiveness.

If you need help with this process, try our FREE test drive and get all the help you need from our experience business coaches. 

Search & Implement

People only remember the extraordinary, strange, wild, surprising and unusual. You need to make sure your ideas and marketing reflect these reactions. This doesn’t mean you have to have a product or service that is completely out of the norm, in fact, this could easily drive customers away. You need to have a product or service that is high quality and easily marketable, then you need to market it as extraordinary and new. 

As you research word of mouth, there are some questions you need to ask along the way:

What are the users willing to tell the non-users?

  • Exactly how do your customers describe your product?
  • What are the non-users willing to ask the users?
  • What are the things they need to know, but are unwilling to ask?
  • What happens when these issues are raised?
  • Exactly what do your prospects have to know in order to trigger purchase?
  • Exactly how do your customers answer the objections, concerns, and qualms of your prospects?
  • How do your customers persuade their friends to use your product?
  • How do your customers suggest they initially get to know or try your product?
  • What warnings, safeguards, tips, and suggestions do your customers suggest to your prospects?
  • Are your sales messages, positioning, and important facts about your product getting through and surviving word of mouth?
  • What messages do you need to inject into the marketplace in order to turn the tide in your favor and how will you deliver them?

There are two main reasons why word of mouth research is so important:

  1. To get the real impression and feedback from customers
  2. To define word of mouth itself and the concept it creates

There is a simple formula that can help you conduct your word of mouth research. It’s called the “2-2-2” model.

2-2-2- Model

What this breaks down to is:

  • 2 groups of customers 
  • 2 focus groups of prospects
  • 2 mixed groups (enthusiasts & skeptics)

In these groups you need to ask the following questions:

  1. What would you tell a friend?
  2. How would you persuade a skeptic?
  3. What questions would you anticipate from a skeptic?
  4. How would you answer their objections?

The best way to conduct these groups is by teleconference. This ensures you’ll get a good variety of demographics for your customers and potential customers. It also allows people to feel safe and more able to express their true feelings. These teleconferences should not be conducted by you, but an independent party to avoid adding pressure to the situation.

We’re going to transition a bit and talk about how to construct a word-of-mouth campaign. First, we’ll talk a look at the essential ingredients you need to put together a campaign. These ingredients are:

  • A superior product
  • A way of reaching key influencers in your marketplace
  • A cadre of experts willing to bat for you
  • A large number of enthusiastic consumers
  • A way of reaching the right prospects
  • One or more compelling stories that people will want to tell to illustrate your product’s superiority
  • A way to substantiate, prove, or back up your claims and how the product will work in the real world
  • A way for people to have direct, low-risk experience, a demo, sample, or free trial
  • A way of reducing overall risk, an ironclad guarantee

Once you have those ingredients ready to use, you should consider the situations in which your company can benefit from a strong word of mouth program. Some of these situations are:

  • When there are credibility problems
  • When there are breakthroughs
  • When there are marginal improvements
  • Where the product has to be tried in large numbers or over time
  • Where there is high risk in trying the product
  • With older or mature products that have a new story that people tend to ignore
  • With unfair competitive practices such as spreading rumors, or telling lies about your product
  • When there are governmental or other restrictions on what you may say or claim directly

While most of the word of mouth tactics are positive for your word of mouth program, there are a few products to avoid using in this program. They are:

  • Products where a seminar would not provide meaningful added value
  • Products that can’t be tried and where there is no consensus among experts
  • Products that are clearly inferior, without having a compensating superiority for similar products
  • Products that are so personal or emotion that rational discussion is irrelevant to the decision
  • Products where the decision value is so small (low price/low volume) the medium will not be cost-effective. 

This wraps up this post on word of mouth research and how that research can be used when putting together your word of mouth campaign. If you need help with the research and a plan to use the results of that research, try our FREE test drive to get all the help you need with our top notch resources and tools.

The Science of the Memes

Today I’d like to discuss the science of the memes and how spreading ideas around and through society is ingrained in humans.


This refers to types of ideas that spread the fastest through society, why they spread fast and how that affects consumerism. You can use this same information to create a lasting positive impression about your company, products and services. People are more likely to try a new product or services when they feel protected and reassured by the masses. 

It’s been determined that spreading ideas is essential to the survival of a society. There are 5 main situations where this occurs. They are:

  1. Crisis
  2. Mission
  3. Problem
  4. Danger
  5. Opportunity

Think of evangelism. This is prime example of people not only spreading the word, but convincing people to jump on board and start to spread the word themselves. To do this effectively, you need to incorporate a few key things that always catch people’s eye:

  • News
  • Unique Results
  • The Unusual
  • Helping Others
  • Secrets

Next we are going to switch gears a little and talk about viral marketing. While, traditional marketing can be used to your advantage, the reality is viral and online marketing is the king of the castle. You can spread the word online like the plague, if you know what to do. Here are some simple steps to do this:

  • Find an interesting idea
  • Make it easy for people to experience or trial
  • Spread the idea while people who are in close contact with others
  • Take advantage of existing communication methods
  • Develop the way of trying your product in such a way that it automatically draws more try-ers

Some great places to use viral marketing are:

  • Geocities
  • Amazon
  • Roger Wilco
  • YouTube 
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Instagram Messenger
  • TikTok
  • Gmail
  • “Tell A Friend” Buttons
  • E-Greeting Cards

There are six things everyone should be doing to benefit from word of mouth on the Internet:

  • Put WOM components on your website.
  • Assign people to monitor your viral marketing.
  • Place testimonials in different places on your website to walk a customer through the purchasing cycle.
  • Set up an email marketing campaign.
  • Stay up to date on what products and services the experts in your industry are recommending.
  • Use your website to demonstrate the great ways people are using or finding success with your products and services.

This wraps up the lesson on traditional and viral marketing. If you need help putting together any of the plans or successes in this lesson, try our FREE test drive to get all the help you need to put these plans into action.

Decoding WOM Messages

Today’s lesson will talk about how word of mouth messages are delivered and how you can influence those messages.

There are essentially 3 methods of word of mouth:

  • Expert to Expert
  • Expert to Peer
  • Peer to Peer

When experts are talking about your products or service you will usually receive an amazing rush of sales and new customers, so obviously this is one of the best things that can happen. You can also help to facilitate this by offering free products to experts for them to review.

Expert opinion can also bring about new ideas that help to fuel new products, services and operating systems within your company. If you take the time to change or develop the opinions of even a small group of experts, you will have the opportunity to help your market explode.

There is a standard word of mouth delivery system that, in most cases, takes a few years. But, you can speed this up into only a few weeks. The standard system is:

  • First impressions from an expert
  • Organized trial of your products or services
  • Pooling peer experiences

It’s important to know exactly who is advocating for your products and service. Take the time to find out who they are and reward them. While, you may already have a customer service system for filing complaints, do you have one for compiling praise? Most likely not. If you take the time to show these people appreciation, they will help take your products and services to the top. 

Some of the ways you can show them appreciation are:

  • Invite them to a customer appreciation dinner
  • Offer to video tape their testimonials
  • Ask to interview them for feedback to improve with
  • Offer them a premier customer membership
  • Ask them to join a referral incentive program

There are lots of things you can offer your biggest fans to help spread the word about your products and services. 

Conventional media has been around forever and while it can still be effective, it’s lost a little of its luster over the last few years. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Expensive and doesn’t necessarily return results
  • Boring, lacking something fresh and new
  • Too short of a time slot to offer enough information

While these are all true, there are ways you can make conventional media work for you. For the information to be effective it needs to be presented in the right sequence, come from the right sources, be relevant to the target customer, be credible and be delivered at the right time in the medium. 

We’re going to switch gears a little and talk about the two phases of the product adoption cycle. Traditional media is great for taking you through the information stage where you can offer the information you need to your potential customers, but it’s not so great for measuring the results of those efforts. 

Without these results you can’t fine tune your marketing and therefore can easily miss the boat and lose potential customers and waste a whole lot of money. Once a consumer has the information they need, they’ll go through a verification process as they analyze whether or not the purchase was a good one. They generally get their information through:

  • Direct experience with the product
  • Interaction with peers using the same product
  • Experts’ experience
  • Scientific journals and other resources
  • Independent reviews and opinions

You can accelerate this process by:

  • Providing your own demos and free trials
  • Offer them indirect experience through the experience of others
  • Offer a good, true story that can be passed around 

Once you have the ability and can work through these concepts, you will be able to target your customers much better. If you need help with any of this along the way, try our FREE test drive to gain access to our experienced business coaches.