Pretend for a moment that you're a customer visiting your store or restaurant for the first time.
Approach the property from the parking lot and carry a notepad with you to jot down your observations.
Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is the outside clean, presentable and welcoming (including landscaping, the parking lot, windows, paint, signage, etc.)?
2. What do your five senses pick up on when you first walk through the door? What do you see, smell, feel, hear, etc.?
3. Is the interior clean, comfortable and inviting? Write down why or why not.
4. Does anyone greet you?
5. If you didn't own this business, would you personally want to spend money here? Be honest.
If you go through this list with an open mind, you'll likely find one or two things to work on in the coming months.
Small improvements make a big difference toward a stellar first impression!
Need help with this or other marketing? Reach me via the form below.
Content marketing success is possible, but it takes planning and organization.
It all begins with a simple calendar.
Step 1: Set up your calendar.
You can create a calendar online (blank calendar templates are available through word processing software programs) or pick up a desk or pocket calendar from the office store.
On each day of the month, create a note for the blog/social channels you plan to post to (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) and leave space for your content ideas.
Step 2: Mark special dates.
Most retail/service businesses and restaurants already have special promotions and events that happen every month. Mark these dates on your calendar before anything else. These could include menu promotions, happy hours, family specials, discount days, holiday events, e-newsletter mailings, etc.
After writing these down, you'll notice that the calendar is already starting to fill up. This will be the base of your content. You can schedule regularly occurring promotions and posts in advance using the bulk schedule function inside social media scheduling software, which, can save you a lot of time.
Step 3: Create Repeatable Post Types.
Once you have your regular monthly promotions scheduled (step 2), decide what other types of content you’d like to create. Examples can include the following types of posts: Funny photo/gif; video interview/tour; list of tips; contests/giveaways; trivia question; Q&A with owner/staff; news story; etc.
Once you have your list of categories, color code them and start placing them in your calendar. You might want to be completely random with them, or you might decide to schedule a trivia question every Monday and a video every Friday. The goal is to have categories that you enjoy and can easily schedule in advance.
Step 4: Schedule dates in the future.
When planning out your calendar, schedule reminders about gift cards for holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. Schedule posts for the start of summer that invite guests in to enjoy summer specials. For the start of winter, post about winter promotions you already know will occur.
The above topics are evergreen and can be scheduled at any time. By using a content calendar and scheduling software, customers will always know what’s happening in your business.
Step 5: Leave some room for fun.
Don’t make the mistake of filling your social media calendar with shop talk and promotions. You want to interact with guests in a way that doesn’t come across as advertorial. Visit your social channels every day, if possible, and interact with the people who take the time to react to your posts.
BONUS TIP: Spread the love! When you create a great piece of content, such as a video or a one-on-one interview with a staff member, a calendar will help you remember to share that content on ALL of your social media channels, not just one. And, don’t be afraid to re-post a great bit of content two weeks or a month later; some visitors to your page may miss it the first time around.
Need help creating a content calendar for your business? Reach me via the form below.
Adding a photo helps readers retain 65% of the information placed in front of them, according to Brain Rules. Without the photo? Just 10% of the information is remembered.
It's no surprise that consumers are drawn to photos and videos on social posts and websites, but not everyone is a professional photographer.
Scrolling through Instagram can be intimidating for the chef who wants to snap and post a pic of his new cheeseburger.
The good news is, there are services that allow you to hire a photographer and/or videographer for a day. Kind of like the Uber or DoorDash of photography. Coordinate it just right and you can have hours worth of video footage or months worth of photos that you can then use for your website, blog posts, social media posts, media outreach, press releases and so much more.
I tried one of these photography services (Snappr) when I needed images for a story I was writing about a ghost kitchen in New York. I was able to book a photographer just a couple of days before the shoot and arrange everything with the restaurant so that I didn't need to be there. The photos were amazing and the photographer only needed to be in the restaurant for an hour.
Even if you don't choose one of these new options, consider hiring a local photographer or videographer by asking other business owners for referrals or by searching on Thumbtack. A photographer can work with you for a day and leave you with a ton of materials to pull from whenever you want.
Need help coordinating a photographer or videographer? Reach me via the form below.
There are more than 5 billion searches made on Google every day.
One of the fastest ways to get your business found on Google is to "Google Your Business."
If your business serves the local community, managing your listing on Google Your Business will ensure that your name pops up when someone searches for your business name or your type of business located near them.
The setup is fairly quick and easy through Google. Even if you think you already have your listing set up through the former Google Places system, it doesn't hurt to refresh the information. Your website, phone number, hours, or social channels may have changed recently.
Go to Manage Google Your Business and simply follow the prompts.
Sidenote: If you do already have a Google Your Business listing, don't forget to check and respond to the reviews that your customers post.
Need help with this or other content needs? Reach me via the form below.