Why are your Customers Coming to you?

Posted by on Mar 10, 2014 in Marketing | 0 comments

Finding Ideal CustomersI’ve been spending a lot of time lately trying to figure out a direction for the website and my business. I sat down with Evernote and jotted down some things that I see pretty frequently when I talk to new clients. One of the main things I’ve been seeing is people aren’t really sure where they are acquiring their customers from. I took a minute and thought. I’m in this same boat. I know locally where I am getting a client. Most of them are repeat customers and from word of mouth. This is pretty easy to track.

What I DIDN’T know is, WHY I was getting the clients I have.

I took some more time and I thought about who I like to work with. I thought about who they were and what I liked about them and the experience. Basically, I narrowed down my ideal client. On top of that, I narrowed down my preferred services. Narrowing these things helped me out a lot. Once I had this juicy little nugget of knowledge, here is what I did with it.

Used my Words

I reached out to the clients and other people I’ve worked with and with whom I enjoyed working. This didn’t take long, it was a matter of sending a few emails, text messages and pick up the phone and actually calling a few. When I asked them what it was they liked about working with me. It’s a simple question and you don’t really want to put somebody on the spot because they may just give you generic answers like you’re fun or your punctual. These are kind of crap answers. What to ask for is a list of your personality traits or quirks you can build on.

A few things I learned about myself and never really thought to be something to use my marketing who were:

  • Being flirty.
  • Conversation skills.
  • Analytical mindset.
  • Being down to earth and not corporate stuffy.
  • Being easy to talk to and feel comfortable around.
  • Being able to come up with unique solutions to their problems.

Using the Information

Okay, now what the hell will use this information for?  That’s a good question, I’m glad you asked.

Now that I have a slightly better idea of the people I like to work with and why they like to work with me, I can get a better idea of the voice I need and things I can say in my blog posts or general marketing. For example, when I talk to people I don’t typically have a filter on what I say. I have been known to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. This doesn’t usually go over well in a more corporate setting. This is why I never worked out in larger companies. I tend to speak my mind, not follow the herd for reasons of security.

What does work for me is keeping in touch with people.  I have always been good at staying in contact with people. When I say staying in contact, I mean talk to them about what’s going on in their life. The network I have I would consider to be more friends than business associates. There are some people I have just done work for, but even those clients I have a very personal relationship with. As I mentioned earlier, people find it easy to talk to me.

Now What?

The time spent sending a few e-mails, text messages and making a few calls was really vital to starting a path of only working with people I get excited to work with. I’m sure you’ve been around people in meetings where you just feel uncomfortable. You don’t necessarily want to be there, you just feel like you have to be there. Working with clients on projects you enjoy is a whole lot different. You find your productivity goes up and you don’t dread waking up in the morning because you have a day full of meetings. These meetings will actually be more fun.

This is something I tried to get to work with more people I enjoy. What are some of your ways to find your perfect clients?

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

Keeping an Eye on Your Office [Guest Post]

Posted by on Jan 13, 2014 in Applications | 0 comments

Automate_your_officeCompletely automated homes, at one time were only a possibility in futuristic movies (and more recently, a perk available only to those living the lifestyle of the rich and famous). However, these automated homes are now available to just about anyone who owns a smartphone. The same technology letting you control lights, temperature, computers and a wide range of other equipment from around the corner or around the globe can also be used to conserve energy and enhance security at your office.

Remote Control

When arriving at the office, is the first person there each morning required to take care of a list of simple but time-consuming tasks to make life a little easier for everyone else? Are you concerned that someone might have left the lights on, a computer running or the heat or air at the optimum daytime temperature, and unnecessarily running up your utility bill? Using your smartphone and some useful apps, here are a few jobs you can handle from home or during your commute to or from work, long before you walk through the front door and long after you leave for the night.

  • Adjust the heating or air conditioning system to get the temperature to a comfortable daytime level or energy-saving nighttime level.

  • Turn the lights on or off.

  • Start up the coffee maker or shut it down for the night.

  • Fire up computers and other equipment or turn them off.

  • Check on your security system.

Useful Apps

Here are some smartphone apps that can help you control what goes on at your office when you’re at home or any other place where you have access to the Internet.

  • Nest - Tired of adjusting the thermostat in your office? Nest actually learns your heating and cooling preferences, making things as comfortable as possible while you and your employees are at work and conserving energy when you’re not. You can control it wirelessly with an app available for iPhone and Android users.

  • WeMo - WeMo lets you remotely control anything that can be plugged into a switch that is then plugged into a standard electrical outlet. This would include lights, electronic equipment, space heaters and just about anything else that runs on electricity. You can even make it so that everything in a specific room turns on when you enter and turns off when you leave.

  • The Savant System - Another option to help control your energy costs, the Savant System gives you the ability to adjust the temperature in your office when you are elsewhere. The app is available for the iPhone or iPod Touch.

  • Vivint - Self-locking doors and smart cameras are key parts of the Vivint system. The system can lock and unlock the door to your office, and sensors let you monitor what’s going on when you’re away. The app that controls the system, which can be expanded to delve into energy management, is available for the iPhone and Android.

More Security Options

If you are concerned about security in your office, you can use a smartphone and a variety of apps to keep an eye on your place of business when you can’t be there, after hours or even while your employees are working.

  • Dropcam – available for the iPhone and Android, lets you watch what’s happening in your office and even talk with your employees.

  • iCam – gives you the option to monitor what various video cameras see from your iPhone, iPad or iPod. You also can watch live video of what’s happening in your office when a motion sensor is triggered.

  • AirBeam – turns your iPhone, iPad or iPod into a remote surveillance camera.

  • iSentry – uses the camera on your computer to take photos and videos when motion is detected in the office.

  • SecureHome – uses the built-in microphone in your computer. If it detects unusual noises in your office, it sets off an alarm and emails your iPhone.

  • Izon – can send real-time audio and video to your iPhone or Android.

  • IP Webcam –  an Android app, can utilize the camera on a smartphone to transmit video to any browser.

  • IP Camera – also for the Android, snaps photos every 12 to 15 seconds and displays them on your Web browser.

  • And finally, if you are concerned about people you know and people you don’t know using your computer without your permission, every time someone wakes up your Mac, Security Camera takes a photo and sends it to your Dropbox account. If your laptop is stolen, you’ll have a nice photo of the thief.

You can’t live at your office. You have to go home sometime. However, with a few good apps and your smartphone, you can keep an eye on what’s going on at your place of business and take a bite out of your utility bill as well.

Angelo DiGangi is a Home Depot sales associate in the Chicago area and is a regular contributor for Home Depot’s website. He provides tips on security, surveillance and automation for businesses.

Working in My Slippers: Reaping the Benefits of Work-at-Home Call Centers [Guest Post]

Posted by on Mar 13, 2013 in Freelance, Guest Post | 0 comments

work-at-home-thumbThe “single income” family is sadly becoming something recognized only on classic television programs. Most households are forced to generate at least two streams of income just to make ends meet. This may mean that a single person needs to work two jobs. Or, in a marital relationship, both spouses must remain gainfully employed. A growing number of call centers have recognized that allowing employees to work-at-home widens their pool of potential employees. (more…)

5 Reasons Why Your Homepage Isn’t Important as You Think [Guest Post]

Posted by on Mar 6, 2013 in Applications | 0 comments

Designers and copywriters love website homepages and as such, they will spend countless hours adding to and tweaking them. But most of the world isn’t so smitten by the homepage. The following are a few reasons why your homepage isn’t that big of a deal anymore. (more…)

Freelance Quick Tip January 28, 2013

Posted by on Jan 28, 2013 in Quick Tip, Quote | 0 comments

“Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.”   - Unknown

4 Ways A Freelancer Can Enjoy A Better Work/Life Balance

Posted by on Jan 25, 2013 in Guest Post, Time Management | 0 comments

freelancer-work-from-home

When you are a freelancer working from home, the lines between work and home life can begin to blur. It is all too easy to give into distractions such as television or having to sort out family matter, and this could have a detrimental effect on your productivity.

Research from accountancy firm Boox (The Boox Report provides an insight into the UK’s self-employed workforce) has indicated some freelancers can’t even escape work when they are on holiday, with 24% taking no leave at all over a year. Whilst your work/life balance as a freelancer may not be quite this extreme, these tips might help you separate work and play a little better.

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The Top 7 Things Customers Want [Guest Post]

Posted by on Jan 10, 2013 in Guest Post, Marketing | 0 comments

customers-wantCustomers can be your best advocates — or the worst detractors for your business. But what do our customers really want from customer service personnel at retail stores? A huge part of customer service is saying and doing the right things to make a customer feel heard, appreciated, and comfortable in your store, yet many people in customer service positions are oblivious to how a customer is feeling or what they’re thinking during the interaction. Focusing on the customer’s point of view during a retail experience can lead to much better service, more positive experiences by your customers and increased sales. Read on to learn what your customers really want. (more…)

Freelance Quick Tip January 7, 2013

Posted by on Jan 7, 2013 in Quick Tip | 0 comments

Consider even small jobs – it all adds up! – Freelance Weekly newsletter

Must-Have Android Apps for Freelancers [Guest Post]

Posted by on Jan 4, 2013 in Android, Guest Post | 1 comment

Android vs. iPhoneThese days freelance workers undoubtedly share the need to wear many different hats during the course of the working day. Having a smart phone such as one of the many Android devices help many freelancers manage their day. Whether adopting the role of a salesperson, an accountant, or a marketing manager, it’s generally safe to assume we can say “There’s an app for that.”

 

 

 

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SEO Know How for Freelance Writers [Guest Post]

Posted by on Jan 2, 2013 in Guest Post | 0 comments

Freelance writers have seen a growing trend as the Internet has become the norm in business and personal lives. SEO (search engine optimization) has become a necessity for sites you want to be competitive or at least attract visitors to their site. For many years, SEOs could get away with tactics that were primarily spam and had no need for qualified writers produced content. However, Google has been making it more difficult for these “black hat” SEOs and many are finding that they need to change-up their game in order to get their clients to rank. Content is once again king as you can read here, and freelance writers are finding themselves working for SEO companies more often than ever before. (more…)