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Tagged in Referral

Suggestions For Utilizing Facebook To Build Referrals?

Asked by Marcy Schacter from Make Healthy Taste Great

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Has anyone found a great system for automating referrals through a simpleFacebook page

How-To Articles

Tagged in Research

How To Actually Generate Customers On Professional Networks: Part 1

Asked by Julbert Abraham from AGM - LinkedIn Marketing & LinkedIn Training

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If you're wondering if you can get clients from a professional network such as LinkedIn or Alignable (or any... Read Full Answer

Data & Insights

Tagged in Engineering & IT

10 Actually Actionable Benefits Of List Building

Asked by Juan Manuel Colome from Top Response Marketing

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What is List Building all about?

List building refers to a continuous process of adding new and updated subscribers to your list.... Read Full Answer

Local Business Stories

Tagged in Local

Celebrating Small And Locally-owned Businesses With Bill Brunelle of Independent We Stand

Asked by Alan Belniak from Alignable

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Today's special edition of the Local Business Stories by Alignable podcast highlights... Read Full Answer

[Survey] What Are The Biggest Marketing Challenges For Your Small Business?

By Joanna Mastrocola · Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 · Tagged in General Discussion



We want to learn about the marketing challenges that impact your business the most.

How many employees do you currently have?
  • 1-5
    76% (3020)
  • 6-10
    11% (428)
  • 11-20
    5% (217)
  • 21+
    8% (331)
I currently serve these types of customers:
  • Local customers only
    36% (1305)
  • Regional or national
    12% (425)
  • A mix of both
    53% (1942)
My business model is:
  • B2B
    22% (700)
  • B2C
    19% (603)
  • Some of both
    60% (1928)
I believe my online presence is:
  • Serving my business well
    47% (1474)
  • Not serving my business at all
    13% (395)
  • Not really sure
    32% (993)
  • Other
    9% (273)
My biggest marketing challenge is:
  • Not enough leads
    34% (1005)
  • Can't convert leads to sales
    9% (263)
  • Not enough time to do it well
    14% (404)
  • Not enough budget to do much
    16% (464)
  • Not sure which tactics to focus on
    13% (382)
  • Other
    15% (461)
I believe my most pressing marketing need is:
  • A clear marketing strategy
    25% (726)
  • A better website
    6% (180)
  • Search engine optimization
    13% (362)
  • Effective advertising
    25% (704)
  • More content
    7% (207)
  • Other
    24% (676)
I wish I had:
  • More control over my marketing efforts
    6% (176)
  • A trusted resource to advise me
    12% (340)
  • A steady flow of qualified leads
    50% (1376)
  • A better way to keep up with all the changes
    12% (325)
  • Other
    20% (542)

Most Liked Answer

William Shryer, LCSW, DCSW from Diablo Behavioral Healthcare and TMS Center
1 Local Recommends Them • Answered on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The health care field is a different kettle of fish. People need it but don't want to think about it. Sometimes embarrassed to even talk about these things. I wish marketing stratagies were as simple as marketing oil changes or homes.


David J Dunworth International Best Selling Author from Marketing Partners
53 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

William, it's all about positioning, not necessarily medical vs auto maintenance. As an agency focused on the Medical/Wellness field, I'd like to recommend two things. Go to https://marketingpartnersllc.com and learn more about our medical marketing, and then consider attending our FREE webinar on April 5th,

http://bit.ly/2mlg8QT

We do things unconventionally, because OUTRAGEOUS Customer Experiences to Drive Lead Generation isn't canned soup.

David J Dunworth

Marketing Partners LLC



Marc Feldstein from Marc Feldstein, Licensed Insurance Agent
3 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Agreed. The same goes for health and life insurance.


Anthony G from Digital Strategic Marketing
0 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Thursday, March 23, 2017

William, there is a simple formula that business have been using for over 100 years to market their goods and services to customers. It does not matter the field you are in or the product or service you offer, if you do these steps correctly. You just need to know those steps and follow them.


Rosalind Marshall Jones from Jacksonville's Best Caregivers
0 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Friday, March 24, 2017

Anthony that is great advice. However, who would we turn to for those steps. I'm also in healthcare and own a home health business. I have wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars on advice and steps. I am just starting to recover from those mistakes. So what is your suggestion. I have advertisements on Facebook and a weekly ad in the Times Union.


Dorothy M Neddermeyer from Genesis Consultants, Inc.
14 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Friday, March 24, 2017

William Shryer, LCSW, DCSW from Diablo Behavioral Healthcare and TMS Center AGREE!!! Not to mention Deep Healing protocols are little understood, thus education is a challenge other services don't have.


David J Dunworth International Best Selling Author from Marketing Partners
53 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Friday, March 24, 2017

William, Ill be frank. Your website, which is the foundation of your online presence is unreadable. There is so much data on the page with an image behind it that it is very hard to read. More than 70% of all content is viewed on mobile devices, and we live in a digital world, even if we don't like it or can't keep up with it. It's our way of life now.

Have you tried looking up your website on a smartphone? Your site is so outdated that it is unreadable on mobile.

If you want to get found online, you have to start with your online presence. I was serious about... (more)


Mark Mehling (Mark@TakeControlMarketing.com) from Take Control Marketing
78 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Saturday, March 25, 2017

Rosalind Marshall Jones from Jacksonville's Best Caregivers: Bummer to hear stories like your of spending tons of money. Usually the problem is simply failing to identify the target market, the message, and then finding the media that reaches them. If the market, message, or media is wrong it will be wasted money. You noted two media that you use. Not sure what the message is(which could fail) or the target market (which could fail). If you would like a professional to review your ads, send a connect message. There's no charge or obligation, in fact I offer... (more)


Mary Kaba Valis from Your Sparkling Potential, LLC
2 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Monday, March 27, 2017

I feel the pain for those in healthcare. How do we ensure the CARE is in there, and conveyed that our teams do CARE!?

As someone who provided Dementia Consultation and Education, to include community/professional/team presentations and training it is challenging to ensure those who need services obtain them. We are presented with more and more individuals with memory loss and cognitive decline. This is true in all industries, not just health care.

Law enforcement, restaurants, hair and nail salons, retail stores...our population is living longer, a fabulous... (more)


Anthony G from Digital Strategic Marketing
0 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Monday, March 27, 2017

Mary Kaba Valis from Your Sparkling Potential, LLC

Mary, marketing does have its challenges, however, marketing agencies exist to make that job easier on you. If fact, we try to remove this burden from our clients, and let them focus on what they do best, while we also focus on doing what we do best, which is marketing.

Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service are cornerstones of business. To be successful, a business should be doing all those things and more. I have seen businesses grow when they have brought in specilists to do the tasks they dont want or dont... (more)


Abel Nunez from Creative Marketing Nerds
0 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Hi William, I truly believe that the best type of marketing for the medical field revolves around education. Blogs, infographics and video are threegreat methods of distributing information and educating your audience, for certain industries white papers are an added bonus. I can see how certain medical problems/conditions can be embarrassing to talk about, or even seek help for but that's a great opportunity for you to educate and inform- by doing so you start to build trust which then opens the door for a conversation that can lead to treatment options.

If... (more)

Most Engaging Answer

Paula Steger from Artistic Laser Productions
2 Locals Recommend Them • Answered on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

If you are specifically looking for a laser show, you'll have no problem finding us. However, if you don't realize what a laser display can do for your event (whatever event it is), how do I get the word out to you? Trying to find the right way to advertise our laser show services is the bane of my existence!


Sandi Capra from Grove Ave Solutions
5 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Are you looking for local clients or are you looking for national/international clients? There are different strategies depending on the demographic you want to target.

Having a clear strategy of identifying your ideal customer and then building a plan to target your perfect client is essential for success. It always goes back to: the right message, at the right time, to the right buyer.


Patricia Watson from Aero Lock & Safe, Inc.
10 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Hi Paula: Laser show! Wow! I do not know if you can do this but is there a way you can just set up at an event for them for free but be allowed to set up something where you can put advertising, brochures, cards and be there to talk to folks about what you do? Also tv can actually work for you. Your ad can be a light show to music with just a line or two at the end. Put a tiny light show with music on facebook for birthdays, holidays or the 4th of July!! Laser show instead of fireworks as there are now almost too many cities that can not have fireworks in the... (more)


Paula Steger from Artistic Laser Productions
2 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

We do all of the above. Although, TV is not ads, but we appear on AXS TV's World's Greatest Tribute Bands a few times a season - they give us screen shots and shout outs as part of our pay. The main issue I have is trying to figure out what keywords our potential clients are using when they are putting together an event (both the event planners and the end users). I feel if we pop up unexpectedly, they may go "hey, I hadn't thought of that". But if I don't know the magic words to make that happen.....


Eugene Kernan from Phoenix Day and Night & Local Motive Marketing
4 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wishing I thought what I do could help...

Have you asked prior clients for referrals? Try "monetizing" that for them. E.g., for every new (paying) client they refer, give them a realistic discount on their own future events.


Paula Steger from Artistic Laser Productions
2 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I like the monetization idea. We always ask for referrals....clients say of course they will, but seldom do. We also pay referral fees to anyone who sends us a client (and we are real bugs about finding how a paying client found us).


Eugene Kernan from Phoenix Day and Night & Local Motive Marketing
4 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I need to rephrase my suggestion to you, Paula. When you ask a happy client for referrals, offer that happy client a discount - on their next event - for any NEW client you get from their referral. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, OFFER TO "PAY" CASH. That has a distinctly different result because 1) they think you want them to become your "salesman", and 2) it cheapens their experience.

Give them a "referral card" instead. Perforated, if possible, with one part saying (for example) "Get 10% off on our next event!" and the other part being a fill-out form... (more)


Paula Steger from Artistic Laser Productions
2 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I understand what you were saying, I just didn't phrase my answer very well. We only pay cash to non clients who refer us, and actually, give them the option of either cash or "laser points" which can apply to a show for them if they want.

To my shame, I realize we have never offered paying clients any incentive at all to refer us - just have asked if they could tell others about us. I absolutely love your referral card concept and plan to print some right away. Having something on their desk will help remind them to do it and make giving the referral an... (more)


Eric Holloway from City Media
3 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Paula, what matters most is that you are present at points of interest to customers. There is a path to purchase that each customer takes, read this. Along this path are micro-moments where you as a marketer can engage with them. We are Google Partners and they shared this infograph with us that shows how to identify these moments and where they occur.

Our service at www.citysearchlocal.com gives you presence and control over how you appear in so many places that your customers and potential customers will have an accurate up to date point of reference for... (more)


Victor Goldberg from T4U-3D Designs LLC
0 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hi Paula, am interested to talk with you, I have a unique idea utilizing your technology, will you sign an NDA...? my direct email is [email address]

Kind regards,

Victor


Stephanie Berk from Jewish Parents Media Group
0 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hi Paula, I am more than happy to tell you what I have learned over the past 3 years as the publisher of a highly read and engaged magazine. I am a Cognitive Neuroscientist by training, but left Academics 3 years ago to create a high quality, free, monthly resource for parents (www.stlouisjewishparents.com).

What I tell my potential advertisers is to "trust your gut". Look at the advertising avenue that you are considering, with the eyes of the client. Read through the whole thing. Ask yourself, "Would I read this?" "Would my target demographic read this?"... (more)


Anthony G from Digital Strategic Marketing
0 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hello Paula, what problem does your product or service solve? That is what your future customers are looking for, the answer to their problem, which you can provide. If you can provide a solution to a problem your idea avatar has, then you can easily market to them. We walk all our clients down this process and they love it. Helps them focus in on the right prospect who is willing to pay their price for their goods or services.


Audrey Ranieri from My Awesome Business Reputation
3 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Monday, March 27, 2017

Paula, it sounds like you have a very specialized business which most people would not need or use if, or until, the occasion were to present itself to them. You would gain a lot of traction by joint venturing and creating strategic alliances with businesses who serve your same clientele.

For instance, when my brother had his DJ business, he had many people who needed a photographer/videographer and he asked me if I wanted to those gigs. He had a handful of gigs lined up for me if I wanted them. Now, mind you, I live in another state and did not team up with... (more)


Abel Nunez from Creative Marketing Nerds
0 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Video is a great medium for your product since what you have is highly visual you can simply show your product in action. You can then use that video in YouTube/Facebook/Instagram ads (the neat thing about those platforms is that you can hypertarget your audience so you can manage your budget and make changes as necessary if you aren't getting enough views or if your audience is too broad/narrow).

Pat Unruh from ' MINNESOTA PAT'S '
1 Local Recommends Them • Answered on Thursday, July 6, 2017

i am at the 'bottom' of the professionals.....have a cottage business in machine embroidery. biggest challenges are mor 'traffic areas', and advertising. i live in 'corn country'....a town of around 2,500 folks.....that is, counting all the dogs and cats too !. so, it will never be the local customers who will fill my financial needs. i love 'all' my customers, but i find that one has to 'bite the bullet', so-to-speak, and do some advertising outside of my area. also, consignment shops are an option.

Anthony Fiorino from Emerald Sun Energy
0 Locals Recommend Them • Answered on Thursday, July 6, 2017

The most challenging aspect of marketing for a small business is having a clear marketing strategy. Most don't even know where to start! The take the advice of marketing companies that are trying to sell them their most profitable items. So diferenciating yourself as an industry expert and creating powerful content that will actually be used by your local clients. A great example is what Emerald Sun Energy a Solar Power Company Orlando did with their Solar Buyer's Guide. This helped them to develop an actual marketing strategy and engagement point.

Rev Patti Ruhala from Rev Patti Ruhala
0 Locals Recommend Them • Answered on Sunday, March 26, 2017

I am an officiant and it is hard to market my business and get serious leads who are not just price shopping for their day, but really want someone who will do a good job at a fair price. Reaching out to the younger more electronic savvy client has been challenging to learn all the new tools out there (Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) and which one would be most effective for me to stay competitive.


Ted Rejman from King Ferry Bottling Co.
2 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Monday, March 27, 2017

I believe your profession is one in which Divine Intervention plays a significant role in how you reach the younger generation. I find in doing what I do just talking to people young and not so young they want to be heard and they want to know that someone is listening to them. I always find it interesting how questions and answers leads them to a place they hadn't originally thought of. I being a Christian myself am interested in where they are headed and for some reason I always find a way through conversation to pick out what it is they really want to do... (more)


Kathleen Fitzgerald from Prairie Adult Care Inc.
2 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Friday, June 16, 2017

what areas do you service? I have a daughter looking for a officiant for her Aug 19th wedding?


Anthony G from Digital Strategic Marketing
0 Locals Recommend Them • Replied on Monday, March 27, 2017

Rev Patti Ruhala from Rev Patti Ruhala

Rev Patti, I can see some of your challenges. You serve a niche market, which from a marketers prospective, is fun and challenging to work with.

I can offer steps that will go along way towards you defining your ideal customer and how to reach them.

Let me know where I can send you additional information.

Dennis Suto from SutoCom Solutions, Inc.
4 Locals Recommend Them • Answered on Friday, May 19, 2017

Being brave and persistent to tap in new areas where your business can grow and be profitable.

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Joanna Mastrocola from Alignable
Boston, MA