Direct Sellers: To Blog or Not to Blog – That Is the Question

The direct selling model is truly one of the most lucrative models for obtaining sales because it is driven by personal relationships and word of mouth marketing. The technology of today has made it easier to reach out and interact with your clients and customers, changing the way that direct sellers obtain leads and prospects.

With the online industry booming, should direct sellers take advantage of this and start their own blog? Some of you may think that there’s no point since you already have a company blog that puts out nice content and is a place to direct your customers looking for additional information. What benefit could there be in putting up a personal blog?

Be Unique

Well, think about this. With so many direct sellers out there who are offering the same products to consumers, how do you make yourself stand out? Starting a blog is one of the things that you can do to set yourself apart from all the other sellers out there. By offering valuable content to your readers, they can see the specific benefits of buying from you. And those who follow your bog can potentially become your long-term customers, as they continue to read your posts and interact with you personally.

A personal blog will give people the opportunity to really get to know you and the values and things you stand for. By knowing you, they can grow to like and trust you, which is a key factor in the direct selling business. Remember, people buy from persons they like and trust, and a blog can help you build this trust with your readers and customers.

Also, having a blog can enable you to reach a wider audience than ever before. You may have been limited in your direct selling efforts because you concentrated on people you personally knew or organizing parties in your neighborhood. By starting a blog and using a bit of SEO in it so that it ranks well in the search engines, people who are searching for your products or information related to your products may stumble upon your blog and may become intrigued enough to follow you, possibly becoming your prospects.

And if you’re still not convinced, did you know that there are so many free blog platforms out there? Putting up and maintaining a blog doesn’t have to cost you a thing. You only need to spend a couple of hours a week posting content, and a bit of time optimizing it, to make sure that it gets the results you want.

But one last problem… you’re not a writer! Honestly, bloggers don’t have to be writers. What you can do is to simply write about things you know, about things that can help your customers solve problems. Think of the products you’re selling and what value they can offer to your consumers, and start a blog post about it. You may be surprised at how much content you can write by simply coming up with simple solutions for your customers.

So to blog or not to blog? It’s all up to you. But a personal blog can definitely benefit your direct selling business, so it would be a shame not to take advantage of the opportunity to reach a far wider audience than you’ve ever dreamed of.

Effective Marketing Tips for Your Dental Office

Any successful dental advertising campaign begins with research. Before layouts are drafted, headlines are written or artwork is chosen, the savvy marketer learns everything they can about the target customer. It is important to research patients and also think like them. What are their pain points? What’s the number one thing they look for in a practice? What would keep them coming back to the same dentist?

Discovering current demographics is part of this research. Demographic information should include age, gender, household income, number of household members and physical location. There are many ways this data can help inform marketing decisions. For example, Patient News’s research, data analysis and years of experience show that women make more than 80 percent of all healthcare decisions, so most dental correspondence is addressed to the female head of house.

The next step is taking an honest look at your strengths and weaknesses as a practice. Once these are identified, marketing messages should highlight strengths and turn weaknesses into positives. If your practice excels at customer service, focus on the personal and friendly experience a patient will have at your office. If customer service is identified as a weakness because your front desk is understaffed, turn this into a positive point by telling customers you keep overhead low and pass those savings on to them.

Determining a budget is a critical part of any dental marketing campaign. Break down projected costs to determine the overall budget and then look at how often you can contact customers within that budget. Whether it is big or small, sticking to the projected costs and using them as a guideline for decision making will help your campaign be a success.

Once these pieces are in place, a marketing strategy can be developed. This strategy will outline clear goals, action items and measures of success. This is also the point at which the direct mail campaign is developed. This includes creating collateral, a mail calendar and mailing lists. The overall marketing plan and the direct mail campaign should be integrated and combined to complement and support one another. For example, if an advertisement for your practice runs in the local paper, send an acquisition mailing to new prospects at the same time.

Whatever the medium for the messages, they should be meaningful and resonate with the target demographic. Sending a direct mail piece about denture services to young families is a waste of time and money, as is sending a postcard about children’s dental care to a zip code with many retirement homes. You also need to determine if you are trying to attract new customers or retain existing ones. The messaging for these two audiences should be very different.

Throughout the dental marketing campaign it is important to remain focused on the strategy and goals. If a new dental advertising opportunity arises during the campaign, hold it up against your current goals and budget to see if it complements them, and take a pass if it doesn’t. A marketing schedule or calendar is an important tool to stay focused on the bigger picture. Gathering data and response to the campaign should occur throughout the process. Measurement systems can include response rates for direct mail, new patient acquisition, lapsed patient renewal, or many other performance indicators.

Email Marketing Explained

What is Email Marketing?

Over the past ten years email marketing has taken its place amongst the top most effective direct marketing campaigns being used. With the economy still struggling to revive itself and competition more fierce than ever, business professionals are having to re-evaluate how they market their services and products in a cost-effective way. Electronic marketing via email, Facebook and other social mediums has become monumentally important in these times.

Email marketing in basic terms is the use of electronic communications, or emails, in direct marketing schemes. How it works is that a customer or potential customer provides your company with an email address. This may be collected on customer satisfaction surveys, at booths during social events, through referrals and so on. You or your marketing director would then put together some sort of promotional material, such as a flyer, newsletter or coupon page, which could be easily attached and emailed to return and potential customers.

Email marketing is ideal for creating relationships with your customers. This gives you an opportunity to let them know a bit about yourself and your company. The more familiar they feel, the more loyal they are bound to be and the more business comes your way. Sending newsletters can be effective and can make customers feel that they are “in the know”. Try to make them both informational and entertaining. Humour can be a positive aspect of a company newsletter. Another option is to send coupons via email for services or products. Use this tool wisely and the return on investment could be great.

To determine whether or not email and social marketing is working for your company, track the results and compare them with other types of marketing you are utilizing. Just be cautious when studying spamming laws and other Internet ethical guidelines to make sure you are not violating any rules. Remember, you want to entice the customers, not irritate them.

Ultimately, electronic direct marketing is low-cost and can bring in business on a tight budget, so it is certainly worth exploring in these difficult economic times.