How to Increase Sales Using What You Already Have

Have you watched those videos on social media where a toy and an everyday household object are placed in front of an infant and the child pushes the toy out of the way and plays with the everyday item? It’s actually quite amazing. Every single time the child chooses the cardboard paper towel tube, comb, box of tissues, empty lotion bottle, and… even an onion over their toy.

Credit: Simply a Rome

To me, this is the perfect illustration of shiny object syndrome. Children pushing aside the toy they play with all of the time for the unfamiliar and exciting object in front of them – it isn’t too far off from a struggle most entrepreneurs and forward-thinking-executives battle. The ability to take a risk and jump on something new is 100% necessary for launching a business/service/brand but it is dangerous when we neglect the critical parts of our business. This time of year is especially dangerous. In a matter of minutes, we can go from setting a goal of creating more social media posts – down a rabbit hole of googling social media strategies where we end up with photo editing presets, a new app, and the holy grail of content calendar templates in our shopping cart.

Atomic Habits: the secret to results that last

“The greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom. We get bored with habits because they stop delighting us. The outcome becomes expected. And as our habits become ordinary, we start derailing our progress to seek novelty.”

James Clear, Atomic Habits

Resist the urge to purchase the newest solution but instead, focus your energy on cleaning up the existing tools you have in place.

Why is a brand checkup important?

There was A LOT of change in 2020. It’s likely that your business had to update hours, policies, contact information, and a ton of other details throughout the course of the year to keep up with the frequently changing protocols. Covid-19 aside, there are typically a few updates needed each year to keep up with changing technology and even minor updates in our businesses. TRUST is a huge part of marketing and advertising. If your customers don’t trust your brand, they won’t purchase from you. So how does a business build trust? Especially in an era where so much communication is done virtually?

Let me just hop up on my soapbox here and tell you a recent experience I had. My dog has nails similar to bear claws. It takes all of my grip strength to try to trim them with the veterinarian-grade clippers we bought and Murph isn’t a big fan of the whole experience. So I happily hand over my money to have someone else trim his nails for me. I found a great grooming place in the next town over that takes walk-ins. The first time I used their service, I was disappointed when I pulled out my debit card to pay and was frowned at and told to come back with cash. Welp, that would have been good to know ahead of time – it certainly could have been noted on their website which I had checked carefully to make sure I didn’t need an appointment or vaccination records. I pushed it aside and continued to support the local groomer. Last month when it was time for our nail clipping outing, I double-checked the hours on the groomer’s Google listing and even confirmed it with their services and hours on their website. As I walked up to the door on a Wednesday with cash-in-hand, I saw a print-out taped to the front that said they changed their services and only offer nail clippings on Mondays and Thursdays.

Do I trust this business? No, unfortunately, I don’t. I haven’t been back. I love small businesses and seek out opportunities to support them. As a business owner, I understand the reasoning behind inconveniences like not accepting card payments. What I don’t understand is making things especially difficult for your customers to purchase from you, especially when it doesn’t cost any money to make it easy.

The failure to communicate is actually communicating a lot about a business. It says you don’t value your customer’s time and you clearly aren’t in their corner.

What exactly is a brand checkup?

Don’t worry, this isn’t your CPA’s audit or a trip to the doctor’s office, it is much more fun! We’ll be going through all of the details of your audience touch-points with fresh eyes. That’s it. Follow along with our list or join our email list to get the FREE downloadable and printable checklist (psssst, the Intentional Brand Checkup has bonus info in it!).

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    1. Google My Business: when a user searches your business on Google, this is the panel of details that shows up to the right. We wrote an entire post about it here if you are unfamiliar.
      1. Are your hours up-to-date?
      2. Have you noted out-of-office-time for upcoming holidays?
      3. Is there any covid-specific info you need to share?
      4. Are the images and logos up-to-date?
      5. Is your phone number and address correct?
      6. Click ALL of the links in your Google My Business profile. Are your website, social media accounts, appointment scheduling, and any other links working properly?
      7. BONUS POINTS: download the free My Business app on your phone so you can keep on top of this. Sitting on the beach and need to update tomorrow’s office hours? No problem!
    2. Your Website
      1. Click all of the links in your menu (the tabs at the top of the page).
      2. Click all of the links in your footer (at the bottom of your page).
      3. Do all social media icons connect to your business social media profiles? Do you have these icons in multiple places on your site? Be sure to test each one!
      4. Are all logos and images up to date?
      5. Is the address correct? Phone number? Email addresses?
      6. Submit a test of each contact form on the website. Does the success message need to be updated with new or more accurate information? Is the email notification going to the proper person within your organization?
      7. Announcement bars are usually at the top of a site above the logo/menu. If you have an announcement bar on your website, check to make sure it has the most up to date information. Be sure to test any links!
      8. Does your website have a secure icon (a lock) in the top right corner of the browser next to your url? This lets users know it is secure and prevents them from receiving notices about security vulnerabilities by using the site.
      9. Is the copyright year at the very bottom of your site current?
    3. Social Media: ask yourself the following questions for EACH of your social media profiles.
      1. Are the hours/contact information/links listed in your profile correct?
      2. Are the bio and about sections up-to-date?
      3. Do you have inbox messages that need to be tended to?
      4. Is there Covid-specific information you need to make your audience aware of? Where can you add this to the social media profiles so that it is easy to find?
    4. Collateral: take a look at all of your branded materials. Check them to make sure they are updated with the current phone number, address, email addresses, hours, url, etc. Here are a few items to help you get started:
      1. Business cards
      2. Letterhead
      3. Brochures/rack cards
      4. Proposals, estimates, invoices
      5. White papers and one-pagers

    “It’s when we have stayed faithful and true to our own ability and skillset and established ourselves as credible and knowledgeable should we venture and experiment with one or two elements that may evolve our product or service.”

    Mark Sephton

    The bottom line.

    We’ve reached the point in the year where a lot of resolutions and new habits are starting to wear off for the majority of people. I’d encourage you to take some time to inventory the touchpoints that are already established in your business and to make sure those are maximized before experimenting with new social media platforms and marketing tools. As a business-minded individual, you can jump into something quickly and that is absolutely an important strength. At the same time, it is important to serve our customers well in order to increase sales. It is my hope that this post equips you with the tools to do just that.

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