Last month, we posted an article about how important it is to know your competitors in business.

Just as important is that is to know your customer. In fact, it is a critical ingredient in the running of a successful business.

Simply put, if you don’t know your customer, how will you know what they need? How will you satisfy their requirements and increase their lifetime value to your business? Well, of course if you don’t know your client, you are merely going through the motions and hoping that you are doing the right things to please them. And that just isn’t good enough!

 

So what does it take to really get to know your customers?

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Regardless of whether your business operates online of offline, knowing and understanding your competitors is vital to your success. Just as no man is an island, no business operates in seclusion. It’s extremely important for you to do your research on your competitors and find out about their strengths and weaknesses. There will always be other businesses that provide variations of your own products and services, and knowing who they are and how they work will give you an edge on securing clients.

Most likely, you are targeting clients from the same pool of prospects. By knowing the tactics and techniques that your competitors are using, you can gain an advantage over them and attract the prospects to become your clients rather than theirs.

It’s important that you understand your competitors so that you can position your business and your products and services to stand apart from the crowd. Otherwise, you simply become just another business offering the same services as dozens of others. Why would a prospect choose you over any of the rest? Do you want to leave that to chance, or are you going to take a page from successful businesses to create and develop your own unique brand?

 

So how do you go about developing a strategy to position yourself and give your business a leg up on your competitors?

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I’m going to share a little secret with you.

Those expensive, flashy, eye catching websites really don’t help you when it comes to your ROI.

As a matter of fact, there are tons of examples of companies that have poured many thousands of dollars into beautifully designed websites that have generated them no leads, no conversions, and therefore, no dollars!

When creating your website, start by determining it’s purpose.

Is your purpose to create or increase revenue or produce any sort of client or customer activity? If so, you want a marketing expert to work with you to develop your site, or to correct the issues on your current website that you bought from a webmaster or graphic arts company. Or, an even worse option that some companies have opted for are those online phone directory companies who purport to be able to build you a great website. A quick view of some of these sites will show you that they are ineffective, unattractive, and unlikely to bolster your business online.

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An online media kit is a great way to launch a public relations campaign. It provides the opportunity for your prospects and the media to get a closer look at you and your business.

Additionally, it makes it simple to capture the attention of online and offline journalists, bloggers, event hosts and even radio show producers, allowing them ease of contact in order to draw attention to you and your business. And, it never hurts to show that you are media friendly and media savvy.

Be sure to dedicate a separate page on your website to your media kit. You can call this page Media, or Press or Media Kit, ensuring ease of navigation to the page. Also, be sure to use file formats that work across various platforms, browsers and computers, such as PDF files.

A properly designed media kit is generally comprised of the following six main components:

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In 2013, Dimensional Research carried out a study sponsored by a software company. While the research was about customer service and how it affects sales of midsize companies, researchers uncovered nuggets that changed the way people look at online reputation management forever. Those nuggets are as follows:

  •  86% of respondents said negative reviews influenced their buying decisions
  • 90% said positive reviews influenced their buying decisions

In today’s online world, it will be a huge mistake to ignore reviews about you or your business on the Internet. More so, it will be a bigger mistake to leave everything to chance, wishing that satisfied customers post the best testimonials while disgruntled ones keeping their opinions to themselves. Your target buyers are out there researching for you on the Internet and are looking for an excuse not to deal with you. Don’t give it to them.

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