Interviewed By: Jarette Petzer on ImStayingMedia
Jarette invited Jason Rinquest, founder of Deep Thought Media, to discuss ways to assist small businesses prepare for the post-lockdown period when it will NOT be business as usual.
Over 15 years ago, Deep Thought Media was a print media, graphic design business. Jason recognized the need for the company to evolve from print to digital. He now has 10 team members and they service a wide variety of clients.
What’s his blueprint for client retention?
“Treat every business (client) as if it was your own. Every business should be doing this.”
You must be relevant if you want to survive.
What advice does he offer for productive focusing during the lockdown? While Jason points out that you would think many businesses should still be able to work during this time, many cannot serve their customers.
What an opportunity – this gift of ‘time on their hands’! He urges business owners to use this time productively.
There will be “no such thing as business as usual. Everything needs to change going forward.”
Be Flexible: You must be relevant if you want to survive. Successful businesses know that they need to be flexible and able to pivot to the situations they encounter.
An online presence is crucial: One statistic of interest from Facebook, is that 93% of their users are still on Facebook during prime-time television.
Prepare for any eventuality: You need to be working on priming your business for any eventuality, especially the one we have learned from this lockdown. There will be “no such thing as business as usual. Everything needs to change going forward.”
10 Things you should be doing right now to grow or improve your business
The biggest lesson his business has learned so far, in this very unusual time, is that he chooses to use this time to audit his business. He lays out a seven-point plan for increasing your online strategy and reiterates that you will not last long if you do not have an online presence.
- Make sure have a strong online presence
- Website – if you don’t have a website, get one, or start creating content for your website and get a professional to build you one.
- Social Media – Make sure your business is on all relevant social media platforms – As a rule, all businesses should have a Facebook page and a Google MyBusiness listing
- Join Facebook Groups in your community or areas that you service
- Offer free advice to people who are asking questions about your industry, product or service – help first before you sell.
- Use the groups to advertise your services (it’s FREE) but don’t spam.
- Network and make connections with other businesses that you can form mutually beneficial relationships with.
- Monitor what your competitors are doing during this time
- Perform a search on Facebook and see if you can find your competitors – if you can find them but you can’t find your own business on Facebook, you have a problem.
- See what other social media platforms your competitors are utilizing.
- Perform a search on Google for your product or service. Do you appear on page one of the search results? Do your competitors? If they do, and you don’t, then you are missing out.
- Start organizing your data
- Customers may call or email you and you should be capturing data wherever you can (make sure you obtain and store data the legal way).
- Try segment your data by relevant demographics so that you may use this information to send the right message to the right customer in the right place and time.
- Email marketing is very powerful when combined with the right data! – Use services such as Mailchimp to send bulk customized emails to your customers to inform, drive sales and engage with them.
- Create content – there is no time better to create your own content. YOU are the professional in your industry which means you are in the best position to provide useful information. Think of the problems your customers face and write articles or blogs, make videos, etc on how they can solve or prevent these problems themselves. But if they need help, they can call on you. This type of approach helps to build trust.
- Work on your business strategy, set clear short-term and long-term goals and think of the best way to achieve them. Be realistic!
- Visualize your perfect customer/s so that you can accurately drive marketing campaigns to the correct audience. Imagine your perfect customer; is it male, female or both? How old are they, what do they have in common, what are their needs? Create an avatar of this person or persons and then create ads targeted to specifically speak to that customer. That way they won’t think of your ad as an advert!
- Explore paid media such as Facebook ads and Google ads. Facebook is a great way to serve visual ads direct to your demographic. You can set your ads to only show to the most relevant audience by targeting the correct age, location, interests and behaviours. With Google ads, you want to be found when a potential customer is searching for your product or service on Google. Typing your name into Google is not an accurate reflection of your online presence as the customer may not know who you are and will search for your service or industry using “keywords”
- Key things to remember: Always make yourself valuable, always be relevant and always be mindful of what is happening around you, locally and nationally.
One brilliant idea offered, and which is adaptable for almost any business, is a voucher initiative. For instance, restaurants could sell vouchers for meals when they reopen at a 10% discount. It is a great way for restuarant owners to maintain their cashflow during this time of lockdown.
Real brands equal real service and you need to delight your customers, at the beginning and the end.
“I want you to stop what you are doing and take a second to think about this, WHO DO YOUR CUSTOMERS TRUST ABOVE ALL ELSE? It’s not your business .. it’s not your message or your amazing advert. The thing customers trust more than anything else, is OTHER CUSTOMERS”
This important principle is stressed by Jason. One of the best methods to do this is, “Be helpful, be relevant, always strive to offer service beyond what is expected of you and you will have a happy customer sharing their great experience with your business with all of their friends and anyone who will listen.”
Real brands equal real service and you need to delight your customers, at the beginning and the end. “Customers trust other customers above everything else”. Make sure you drive reviews from existing customers.
Read: “Free essential advertising platforms every business should be using” by Jason Rinquest
Limited time opportunity for the #Imstaying community
Take advantage of a limited time opportunity to receive a light business plan from Deep Thought Media. This is being offered to the #Imstaying community, with no additional obligations. Please contact Jason at email@example.com or through their website www.deepthoughtmedia.co.za .
Edited By: Michelle Pagel
GOOD THOUGHTS • GOOD WORDS • GOOD DEEDS
Team Lead & Final Editing for #ImStaying
A lover of words, mentoring, networking, and helping my fellow man to ‘learn to fish’. Driven by a hunger to never stop learning, a passion for adventure and travel, sundowners and laughter with good friends. At the end of the day what brings great delight to my life are my young adult sons.
Quote: “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Nelson Mandela