How an FAQ page can help get you more sales
Do you regularly get asked the same questions over and over again? Set up an FAQ page on your website with answers to the most frequently asked questions and then direct incoming inquiries to this. It will save you a lot of time and effort.
Questions will differ from business to business depending on what your customers or clients ask you.
If you have a brick and mortar shop it may that you need to give directions to your shop or let customers know where the nearest parking is and what it costs. If you have an online business it may be that you need to let clients know about your working hours, the best way to contact you and how to make a booking or cancel an appointment.
To help you get the most out of your FAQ page, use the three top tips below.
Priorise your Q&A’s
You could end up with quite a long list so may sure your prioritse your questions with the most common ones at the top. If the list really is getting out of hand, think about putting questions into sections. A section on location could give both the directions and parking information. A ‘working together’ section could include questions on working hours, terms, and condition, booking, cancelling etc.
When you are giving the answers to the questions listed, make sure you reiterate key benefits to the reader rather than just cold, boring facts. This FAQ section can be a great selling tool where you really overcome any objections a prospect has so make the most of it.
Keep answers short and sweet
Remember to keep your answers short, sweet and to the point. You don’t want to go off on a ramble that leaves the poor reader more confused than when they started. Try and keep answers to just one or two sentences where possible.
Consider using video for answers that need more in-depth explanation. Again, keep it as short and sweet as possible but it can be easier to get a point across clearly in a video than trying to explain it in text.
Keep answers updated
Do make sure you diarise to keep your information updated on a regular basis. You don’t want visitors rocking up to your shop if the nearest car park listed on your site has closed! Yes, it happens!
It can also be a good idea to include a form at the bottom for readers to ask a question that is not listed and if you are sat at your laptop frequently, think about having a live chat box to answer questions in real time.
Do you have an FAQ page on your site already? How about sharing to give us all inspiration? Pop the link in the comments box below.
Do you ever have clients placing an order for your products or services only to cancel a while later? There may be a very good reason why.
Yes, that simple act of keeping in touch and letting them know what is happening behind the scenes can make the difference between a happy customer and one who gets fed up thinking they have been forgotten and decides to take their business elsewhere.
There is no better example of this than when I ran my estate agents. Other agents were getting complaints and clients cancelling all the time to switch and coming to me. My clients stayed with me and the business was built on word of mouth recommendations.
Because I kept in touch. I put myself in their shoes and kept in mind how they might be feeling. Whilst my team were busy behind the scenes calling people about their property to book viewings and chasing surveyors and solicitors when a sale was agreed, the homeowner had no idea this was going on. All they had from other agents was silence. I made sure that every one of my clients had a call to update them every single week, even if there was nothing new to say. It made them feel important. They knew exactly what was going on and appreciated the call.
Yes, it took time and effort but the fact that my estate agency soared whilst others were struggling spoke volumes.
The key to stop clients cancelling
Take a moment to think how often you keep in contact with your clients. Are you busy working behind the scenes on the behalf putting together their order or working on a project for them? Do they know this? Are you updating them? If not, then perhaps it’s time to think again about your communication policy. Set up a simple database such as CapsuleCRM to keep in contact with everyone and see how much they appreciate it. This simple step really could be the key to stopping your clients cancelling and going elsewhere.
Just to finish, here are two current examples. Just this morning I have cancelled an order with a local company for having a sign made as they simply have not kept in contact with me and not sent information to me as promised. I have chased them no less than three times and yet they have still failed to keep in contact, and I am now fed up. I have now contacted another company and transferred my order to them.
The other example is with my husband’s laptop which stopped working whilst under guarantee. We took it back to the shop where it was purchased and they promised to fix it asap. That was six weeks ago!!! My husband has called on a number of occasions to get updates and then called again this morning. They said it was fixed and had been posted back. If this company had kept us updated and even let us know it was fixed and on the way back, we may have bought from them again. As they couldn’t be bothered to keep in touch, we have both said we will never buy from them again (and will tell others not to!)
Communication is key
Remember, whatever you do, don’t forget communication is key. If you don’t keep in contact with your prospects and clients, don’t be surprised when they go and buy elsewhere.
Promote your small business with these simple and creative marketing ideas
Here is a basic list of marketing mediums, both free and paid, that could be useful to promote your small business. Before you start on any marketing think carefully which are best for your business and which are going to get your marketing message in front of your ideal customers. Don’t just blindly follow the crowd and do something because others are doing it. They may just be throwing their money down the drain or may have a different ideal customer to you.
Free marketing ideas
I want to put a disclaimer here. Whilst I have said the list below is ‘free’ please remember that there is still a cost element due to the amount of time you will take to implement your marketing through these channels.
Most online directories offer a free listing. Research the better ones and get yourself listed
Set up a free blog and post new articles frequently to build up a following of people who may become your future customers
These can be sent by email to your subscribers or posted out to potential customers, again dependent on your business and your ideal customer.
There are so many social media channels to choose from. Start off setting up pages on just a couple of social media sites until you are comfortable with them and don’t become overwhelmed
Ask people to refer customers to you. If you don’t ask you don’t get!
Offer to do a free talk at local events to raise awareness of what you can do for potential clients
Send your details to as many publications as you can think of. You never know who may give you some free publicity
If you have a phone contract and you don’t use all your minutes, take some time to call prospective customers to introduce yourself
Attend networking events and turn up everywhere that your target audience hangs out. Remember to take your business cards.
Create an E-book that is branded with your company details. Offer as a free book to draw attention to your business.
Carry out surveys online or in person to find out information about customer buying habits whilst raising awareness of your brand at the same time.
Run a contest or competition where the winner can get a free product or service or a discount on a purchase. Raise awareness of your brand with all entrants.
Direct mail marketing
If done correctly, direct mail can still be a lucrative way of gaining new customers.
Paid for ideas to promote your small business
Print can still work for many businesses and print tends to get read more in-depth than online ads.
Pay per Click/Advertising on complimentary websites, social media adverts etc. all form part of online advertising
These can be professionally designed and printed or created from home. Always do a test run on just a few before printing hundreds.
Don’t leave home without them! You never know when, or who, you are going to meet so have them ready to hand out.
Both print and online. You can pay for a banner ad in directories that put your business at the top of the listings ahead of the free ads.
From high-end trade events to setting up a stall at your local village fete.
A website is essential for any business these days. From a low cost ‘free template’ site to a professionally built site, just make sure your site will be able to grow and be changed in line with your business in the future.
This can be expensive but if your business requires it, hiring a professional PR company can get great results and reduce the need for other forms of advertising.
Do you have products that would suit being put into a catalogue? Catalogues can be digital or printed and then mailed to your prospective and existing customers.
Pens, mugs, bags and notepads. In fact, just about anything can be printed on.
Get others to do the marketing for you and then pay them a small fee for each sale they make. There are many affiliate sites online that can help you get set up.
This can be from a single one-off event to sponsoring a team or organisation long term.
Think of where you might get seen by your ideal client. From car stickers to roadside signage to billboards at sporting grounds or on buildings, start to take note of the different signage out there and where yours might fit in.
So there are just a few marketing ideas to promote your small business. If you have any of your own, leave them in the comments box below..
Yes, that time of year is rapidly sweeping towards us again and it’s time to be thinking about to take advantage of the Christmas shopping splurge.
Whatever business you are in, think about how you can create interest in people buying what you have as a Christmas gift. Ok, if you’re an HR expert, this may not be quite so easy but for most small business owners, if you get creative you can come up with something that can be given as a gift.
Here a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
Easy to create and the perfect gift for any business to promote
Free gift wrapping service
If you have a physical product, a free gift wrapping service can be a godsend for those of who hate grappling with the Sellotape and scissors.
Offer a gift with a purchase
Choose something you have that is of low value for you to provide but of great value to the recipient to entice them to buy. This could be a sample of your product or a complimentary trial of your service.
Pull together a number of your offering and package together to create a festive gift bundle. Offer this at a special price that is lower than if all the products were purchased individually.
Create a Christmas themed product or service
Do you have something that you create a festive theme for? If you are an artist then it’s easy. Create some specially designed Christmas cards or gift tags. If you are in the service based industry think about something along the lines of a ‘Christmas stress reducer massage’ or similar to say thank you to the person who has prepared the Christmas dinner.
At this time of year, people are always looking for last minute stocking fillers. This could be one of your vouchers or a small or lower cost item.
Create a Christmas gift ideas page on your website.
So many people get stuck for ideas but have a price bracket in mind for what they want to spend. Set up a separate page on your website for your products and services and pop them into different pricing brackets.
- Gifts under £10.
- Gifts under £50.
- Gifts under £100 etc.
Make sure you explain the benefits of buying your offerings for the Christmas period.
So there are a few ideas to get you going. Do you have any of your own? Pop them in the comments box below.
P.S. If you would like to see the Facebook live broadcast I did on this subject and to join in with any comments or questions, pop over and have a watch now.
There are so many reasons why gift vouchers can be a good idea to use in your business.
- They raise your business profile
- You get instant cash up front
- Great for indecisive buyers who can’t decide what they want right away
- A great way to get new clients
But how do you get people interested in buying them?
To get people interested in gift vouchers you first need to decide who is going to be buying them as this may be different to your ideal client who will be using them. Think husbands, boyfriends, partners, friends etc. Where are they so that you can your vouchers under their noses.
Make the benefit clear of buying the voucher:
- Save time trawling the shops for gifts.
- The perfect gift for the woman who has everything.
- Stuck for gift ideas? Here’s the perfect answer
- Pamper her like a queen
- A treat she will love you for
- Send out info to your mailing list, post consistently on social media. Post on your own page, in your group, on local selling sites etc.
- Send the voucher info to your past clients and prospects and tell them to add a voucher to their Christmas gift list.
- Consider adding your voucher to a third-party site such as Groupon or Wowcher etc but do check how much commission they take and ensure you are still going to make a profit as you will need to offer the voucher at a discounted rate on these sites.
- When marketing for special occasions such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s day etc, start your marketing well in advance. Don’t leave it until the last minute when people will have already made their purchases. Do, however, keep marketing right up until the very day for those who are completely unorganized and going into last minute panic of what to buy.
Run a competition
To raise awareness of your voucher, run a competition with a voucher as the prize.
Put the competition on your website and ask people to answer one simple question such as ‘what is your favourite beauty treatment’ (or whatever is relevant to your business of course) and then leave their email address to enter. Create just one page for this competition and then post the link to this page everywhere. Again, use social media, email etc.
Once the competition is over, email the winner to everyone who entered and perhaps offer them a small discount on buying a voucher as a thank you for entering. This works twofold. It can help you get more sales and you also now have more subscribers to add to your future mailing list (you must make it clear to entrants that they will also be added to your mailing list but they can unsubscribe at any time if you are going to do this).
Creating your voucher
When creating your voucher, remember the following:
- Make sure your offering on your voucher is clear and simple. What is it for, when, where etc.
- Set out terms and conditions properly – how long it is valid for, booking terms, how to book etc
- Add a link to buy online to your website and Facebook page
- Make the voucher look and feel good. No-one wants to get a thin piece of paper with a dull bit of writing on it. Snazz it up using something like Canva. Pop it into an envelope to make it easy for the purchaser to hand over to the recipient.
- When selling online, consider giving purchasers a choice of designs to choose from. If this is too much work for you and you are now going into ‘How the hell do I do that mode’ just stick with one simple, yet beautiful design with your branding on it.
- Have all your contact details and how to book clearly displayed.
If you have a gift voucher promotion, feel free to pop the link in the comments box below.