Here at SwipeClock, we not only provide tools and software so that our partners can grow their accounting, consulting, and other businesses, but we also provide marketing tools to help them do it. Most of our partners provide business services and software to small businesses and are also small businesses themselves. This is part of an ongoing series regarding marketing as one of the tools we provide to our partners.
Recently, we published an article in Forbes, “Turn Employee Knowledge into Content. Content Creation Ideas for Small Businesses.” Let’s have a discussion about that topic and some of the concerns that small businesses have voiced.
How do I present the “uniqueness” of my team without possibly saying something that might offend people or turn people off of my business?
One common concern of small businesses is that they might be viewed differently than a large business. Often small businesses compete with the big-box brands and that can make the pressure intense. However, small businesses should realize that is often what attracts consumers to them.
A small business can often offer flexibility, personality, and passion that gets lost in big businesses. Leadership can navigate changing environments and customer feedback faster. Often employees are passionate about what they do. Take advantage of all these gifts. Show your customers what you do and why. Don’t be afraid to show that your CEO loves telling corny jokes or that your top saleswoman loves motorcycles and the top sales guy is turned into a teddy bear around his kids. Remember, it’s the human side of a business that builds connection, loyalty, and trust.
What if my employees don’t want to be on camera?
There are many ways that you can turn employee knowledge and personality into content. Create an FAQ based off knowledge your tech team gets. Illustrate a customer experience based on a true incident. You can even create animated videos using tools like Animoto (we have no affiliation with them) and voice record an interview with an employee.
Other ideas include an employee photo gallery of events, team building activities, or the office on a typical day. Do your employees work remotely or out in the field? Capture that.
Consider interviewing clients, partners, and affiliates about your business. These interviews, stories, and experiences will demonstrate what it is like to do business with your company.
What if I am getting bad publicity from an angry customer? How do I overcome that?
This is a problem that small and large companies have. However, studies have shown that the right response after a bad experience can actually increase customer loyalty greater than it was before. That includes loyalty from those who didn’t directly experience it but read or heard about it. It’s important that you don’t simply ignore it. No response is one of the worst things you can do. It creates a vacuum that can easily be interpreted as guilt, lack of empathy, or something worse.
There are a few things you can do.
1- If a mistake was made- own it. Blaming an employee or the customer can look like gaslighting. Instead, apologize for the misunderstanding and offer a solution. If a company policy is an issue, explain the reason for that particular policy. Explain that employees are human and as everyone makes mistakes, you are working to educate and better inform your employees. Emphasize your values.
Solutions can include many varied responses. As customers see you bending over backward to make the wrong right again, that will create loyalty. Most people don’t expect employees to never make a mistake, but they want to see that the company cares and redress occurs. It is when that doesn’t happen that resentment builds.
I have a small business that I’m busy running and I don’t have a lot of time for content creation. It seems overwhelming. How do I get started?
Getting started is probably the most important step. Start gaining momentum. Perhaps start with a short piece that addresses one topic. If you aren’t a natural writer or don’t have time, hire an author to put together something for you. Check your employees. Often employees have additional skills and talents that aren’t always manifest on the resume or in their job duties. You may have employees who are willing and eager to expand their current roles and grow in another manner. It doesn’t matter as much whether you start with videos, a Q&A, manuals, infographics, visuals or other content as much as that you start. Too many get analysis paralysis. That’s a common phrase to describe the feeling that you must do it all and that feeling keeps you from doing anything. Just get started. Ater that, you can tweet what’s working and abandon what’s not.
Written by Annemaria Duran. Last updated on August 9, 2018