Category Archives: Business

5 Minute Series: Facebook Public Profiles

I just became “online friends” with a friend. Whilst having a Facebook conversation with her, I asked how the promotion of her seminars was going. In exchange, I told her about the social media seminars I am hosting and asked if she had created a Facebook Public Profile for her business. Here’s her reply,

“So how do you make that Facebook link?”

This 5 minutes post is about the first step you need to take on Facebook for your business. Once this is established, we can revisit Facebook in this series to talk about other aspects of Facebook that you can utilise.

What is a Public Profile Page?

Facebook allows businesses to interact with people via Public Profile Pages that have the same functionality as your regular profile. Facebook says that it creates “a presence that looks and behaves like user profiles to connect and engage with your customers and amplify your voice to their friends.”

On your Public Profile Page, instead of friends you have fans, and in the past these were referred to as fan pages. So you may still see references on Facebook to Pages, or Fan Pages.  A Public Profile on Facebook is great becasue the “fan” doesn’t have to ask permission to follow you as they do when you are “friends”.

I find that Facebook makes it difficult to create a Public Profile, so click here to be directed to the right starting place or paste http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=logo#/pages/create.php into your browser. Just make sure you are already a member of Facebook.

Now you can create your Public Profile in 3 simple steps.

1. Choose your category

Once you are on the Create New Facebook Page you can choose your category. If you are a business, click on “Local” and from your drop down box choose the most suitable category to suit your business type.

2. Name it

Facebook says that the name you give your Page is permanent. So choose wisely. You want to match your name to your business name as closely as possible to make it easy for customers and fans to find you.

3. Complete the official stuff

Check the box, electronically sign, click the “Create Page” button – you’re done!

Your Public Profile Page is ready for you to flesh out and invite people to visit. Some things to consider in making your Public Profile inviting include~

  • logo or friendly photo of the hotel/restaurant/cafe
  • adding tabs for video, photos, discussions, polls
  • photos of your hotel rooms, food, staff and views
  • adding the reservations application designed for restaurants
  • listing upcoming events
  • post updates regularly

You can check out my Facebook Public Profile here and take part in the current discussion “What’s your favourite holiday/travel movie?”

Cheers,

Tracy Tormai

PS. Leave a comment below with a link to your Public Profile so we can all become fans!

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“You should write a book about this…”

Where attention goes, energy flows and results show.

~ T. Harv Eker from Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

I reread this quote today and it reminded me of a post I wrote about a year ago on another blog, about focus, determination & vision. It can relate to any aspect of your life, and I’m sure that you’ll find a business application for it. I hope that you enjoy!

Tracy

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“You should write a book about this…”

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that phrase now, each time as I slide into the perfect car spot. Generally it’s from my partner, amazed yet again that we are parking right out the front of where we need to be. Well, I’ve decided to give the idea a spin (yeah, pun intended) in a blog, and if it becomes the basis for a book – great!

I’ve never really thought that it was special, getting the perfect car spot. But if I reflect back upon it, I do have a best friend who has always made me drive, especially if we were going into the city, or anywhere where parking was “critical”. She knew that we would get the perfect car spot if I was driving. Hmmm, it was either that or laziness on her behalf – I’ll have to check… But it wasn’t until I heard the phrase, “You should write a book about this…”, for the several hundredth time that I thought that maybe there was something special about the way I manage to manifest (yeah, bit of an esoteric word – but true in this context I guess) the best parking spots each time. 

Everytime up til now I kind of dismissed his idea of writing a book because I thought it would be a pretty thin book. You drive to your destination, you see a gap, you park – finito! So on this occasion I prompted him further. “What would I write about?” I asked him, “Why would it make us millions?” His answer was simple. If you can break down the process of the perfect car spot each time, then we can apply it to other aspects of life and business. And if it’s in a book – others can too! (And that’s G‘s theory of making millions.) Well, maybe there is something to that thought process… so here goes…

How to get the best parking spots

1. Certainty

From the start of your journey, you have to know where you want to end up. My friend, the one who gets me to do the driving, doesn’t think that she can get the best spot (not even if I’m in the car with her). And so she doesn’t. So I guess that’s a key too – you gotta believe.

2. Believe

You have to believe without a doubt, that the perfect car spot is there, waiting for you.

Where there’s doubt, there’s a longer walk to your destination. (hmmm, note to self, good quote potential… better highlight that)

3. Persistence

If the first drive-by at your destination doesn’t yield a car spot – do a ‘u’-ey (gosh, I have no idea how you spell that. Do you know what I mean? A u-bolt, u-turn), u know, u turn around and drive past again. Persistence.

4. Determination

That means not listening to others who will settle for something less-than-perfect. Something that’s a block away. You need to stay true to your vision.

5. Vision

That’s probably another important ingredient. G helped me discover that one. I always have a clear picture in my head (probably even before I get in the car) of where I want to park – again, I guess I know my ultimate destination before I set out.

So a quick recap…

1. Be Certain 2. Believe 3. Be Persistent 4. Be Determined 5. Visualize

Hey – pretty simple when you put it like that. And probably quite familiar. If you’ve read a self-help book, attended a personal development course or listened to a Christopher Howard CD, then I don’t think that there is anything “new”. And whilst you can apply this 5-step process to other life circumstances, and your business success, why not start by applying it to your next car parking expedition?

It’s often good to get evidence that you can create small things before you move on to bigger and better things! I think I’m ready for bigger and better things. I’ve been unconsciously getting the perfect car spot for more than 15 years. This year, I’m going to start applying this to the rest of my life – consciously. I’ll be sure to update you in future blogs on how I’m going, car parking and otherwise!

I’d love to hear about your own car parking experiences, or other aspects of your life where these principles/theories have worked for you – so please add your comments.

Til next time,

Tracy Tormai

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival’s Wicked Sunday: A missed marketing opportunity?

AKA – How to Stand Out in a Crowd

 

Coffee, gelati, coffee, cupcakes, coffee, coffee machines, coffee, gelati, cheese, coffee, coffee, gelati, cupcakes, biscuits, coffee.

That was the make-up of today’s Wicked Sunday at the 2009 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

 

Heaven! A coffee and cake festival – how much more Melbourne can you get? Even the weather smiled today, happy to celebrate in a grey sort of way that is also very Melbourne.

Coffee Cup

 

It was crowded, a free event often is, but I couldn’t help thinking that too few stands took the opportunity to engage with the community that had gathered. Too focused on just being an extension of their regular retail presence, many stands treated the festival as a transaction instead of a conversation.

 

Personally, I had been looking forward to having all these purveyors in the same vicinity. As a devotee of Jock’s Ice-Cream I rarely wander off the beaten track that is worn between my house and the store in Albert Park. So thinking that I would be able to sample some of the other local and regional gelati makers, I made my way in to Federation Square.

 

Disappointment!

 

I guess that I was expecting something like a harvest picnic, with samples available to try-before-you-buy. Sadly, this was not the case. Whilst all coffee stalls offered a cup at a flat rate of $2, the cakes and gelati stalls appeared to offer their regular prices. We did purchase so we could eat, drink and be merry, but I didn’t get the opportunity to sample, compare and explore new tastes. This lack of opportunity for me also translates into a lost opportunity for the stall holders to reach out to a new customer.

 

With so many competitors in a confined space, you need you stand out and create some buzz around your product. Here are my ideas based on my customer experience today.

 

Free Samples

Free samples don’t have to be anything more than a taste. A lick, sliver, slice or sip delivers you the same taste sensation for your product without satiating the full desire. And it leaves your customer wanting more! Of course you need to be willing to allow your product to be compared to the others on offer. However, if you are confident that your product is the best, let people compare and they will come back and buy.  

 

A full size cone (coffee or cake) that fills you up can be a good exclusionary tactic that prevents someone going to your competitor. I certainly didn’t need another coffee after my first one, so I wandered past the 12 other stands that were just making coffee. In a competitive environment such as a food festival where there are 5 or 10 other people selling the same thing as you, you need to give people a reason to stop and check you out.

 

More than just creating greater consumer awareness on the day, during a sample exchange you get to talk to the customer, engage them and invite them to take the next step with you. That might be an immediate upgrade to a full size right now, or to purchase an item to take home, or an invitation to come to your regular premises. And more people are likely to do that because you have reached out to them, enticed them, conversed with them.

 

$2 Cap on Everything

I knew in advance that all the coffee stalls would be offering their wares at a flat rate of $2. A local café was taking part and had been promoting the event from their store leading up to the event. It had however set an expectation that there would be similar offerings from everyone else.

 

A $2 cap actually promotes the sense of a bargain for the customer. How many times do you walk out of a $2 Shop having only spent two dollars? In this festival environment, it would also help promote the idea of sampling all that was on offer. Offer less for less, and people often buy more, they still think of it as a bargain!

 

Joint Ventures

One coffee stall that managed to stand out from the rest had a joint venture going with another store from their neighbourhood. (Obviously sharing a stall also reduces your costs.) This one combined coffee with grooves, and helped cross-promote each other’s uniqueness. Something else that they did really well was get out from behind the coffee counter, went into the crowd, and took orders on the coffee cups from the people passing.

 

Other possible joint ventures could have been between the coffee and cake stands; capturing the customer in one place with this traditional pairing. There were also some coffee machine retailers with stands, they could have paired with a coffee stall already using their machines to help direct customers to their lonely looking tents. Cheese & wine, coffee & cake, coffee & cake, coffee & cake (there were heaps of coffee stands!)

 

Competitions/Database/Fans & Followers

I didn’t see one stall offering a competition. A couple of places were offering you a place on their mailing list, but with no incentives, very few seemed to be taking up the offer. To me this seems like the most wasted opportunity. Whether it was a constraint placed on the stall holders by the event planners, I’m not sure, (I’ll investigate further), but to me this would be a perfect opportunity to grow you following, and be able to reconnect in the future.

 

And with so much passing traffic, what a perfect spot to promote your twitter presence! Or facebook? Shoot a short video to go on YouTube, take photo’s for Flickr? If you are too busy to have a conversation at the festival or fair, make sure you can have it in the future.

 

Special Mentions

St Ali – for engaging with the crowds by demonstrating and sharing samples from their Hario Syphon Filter Demonstration

Obscura & White Rabbit  – for their JV of coffee & grooves (but where were the rabbit ears?) 

 

Success

Based on crowd numbers, and participants, I’m sure that the event will be declared a success. But for many stall holders, how will you measure that success? That you sold out on the day? Or that you have x number of new regulars supporting your product all year round?

 

I look forward now to next year’s event,

Cheers,

Tracy Tormai

 

Twitter + Hospitality = Customers!

Great article about how one coffee shop is using Twitter to double its client base! You can Direct Message your order from the comfort of your WiFi position in the cafe – how is that for service! See the full article here http://ping.fm/wPYi2

The “Yes-Frame”

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Never, never, never assume”? or “Assume makes an ASS out of U and ME”? And yet we still make assumptions, instead of asking that can easily become questions that help maintain your client in a “Yes-Frame“.

A “Yes-Frame” is simply a series of questions that get your caller into the practice of saying “Yes”. A Yes frame of mind, so to speak. It is important because when the time comes for the caller to answer Yes to the most important question of the call, “Would you like to book that now?” they are well rehearsed. And the easiest way to achieve a “Yes-Frame” is by asking questions and not making assumptions.

Consider this example. It’s the before shot.

Agent: “Is that for just one night?” Caller: “No, three.”

Agent: “Just one person?” Caller: “No, with my husband.”

Agent: “And you’ll be flying in?” Caller: “No, we drive, our daughter died in a plane crash”

What sort of a head space do you think you have led your caller into? A positive one? I don’t think so… And each time the caller said “No”, what was being reinforced? “No!”

And “No” is where you have led the caller’s focus. You’ve got them in the habit of saying “No” so that when you ask the next question, that’s what they’ll want to answer, no? And when you get to the most important question of the call, asking for the sale, they will be well practised in saying “No”.

I think I’ve said “No” too many times now. That’s not where I want our focus to be. Time to get us back into a “Yes-Frame“!

Instead, we want the internal representations, the pictures, sounds, feelings that we are creating in the other person to be positive. When you make assumptions, you have less control over these internal pictures and feelings, than by simply asking questions. Simple questions to elicit transactional information can keep the conversation neutral until the caller gives you a hook. Then latch on!

Agent: “Howmany nights are you booking?” Caller: “Three.”

Agent: “And howmany adults and children are staying?” Caller: “Two adults.”

Agent: “How will you be arriving at the hotel?”  Caller: “We will be driving.”

Now we have something to work on! A conversation can actually occur now, quite naturally based on these answers. “Will you be driving far? We have a comfortable one bedroom suite that would suit a longer stay such as yours. And it has a spa so you can wash away all the driving aches so you are refreshed to start your stay. Are you travelling for leisure or on business?” As you become more adept at this, you start to see a pattern occur – pace, pace, lead – that enables you linguistically to get more sales, at better rates.

 The magic of the “Yes-Frame“, combined with pace, pace, lead is that you get the caller to start thinking about the benefits of staying with you, as opposed to the reasons why they shouldn’t.

All that being said, there is one thing, and only one thing that you should assume at all times – the sale! Stay tuned for the upcoming article – Assumption Gumption!

For now, all you have to remember and practise is asking questions that elicit a YES response.

Cheers!

Tracy