Phone 0488 406 050

Promote and sell products 24/7
with an online store.

Our eCommerce solutions feature all the tools you need to build sales and improve your bottom line.

Quality, affordable websites that
build your business and your brand.

We craft each one of our websites from the ground up, tailoring them to your specific requirements.

Responsive Web Design
for all kinds of screens...

Over 1.2 billion people access the internet on mobile phones and tablets. What will your site show them?

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Mobile Responsive

Promote and sell products 24/7
with an online store.

Our eCommerce solutions feature all the tools you need to build sales and improve your bottom line.

Mobile Responsive

Quality, affordable websites that
build your business and your brand.

We craft each one of our websites from the ground up, tailoring them to your specific requirements.

Mobile Responsive

Responsive Web Design
for all kinds of screens...

Over 1.2 billion people access the internet on mobile phones and tablets. What will your site show them?

Mobile Responsive

Your Competitors are online...
Why aren't you?

Without a website, your business could be invisible to the
3.5 billion online searches made by Australians every day!

Mobile Responsive

From Bowen to Cairns, we've got the Tropical Coast covered...

... and even beyond. Tropical Coast Web Design are specialists in website design for regional small business, wherever they are!

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Phone 0488 406 050

Four Steps to Successful Email Marketing

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While Social Media for small business continues to be a rave topic in marketing forums around the world, statistics indicate that, although annoying to some, email marketing is still one of the most powerful tools that a business can use to engage with its customers.

Succcessful Email MarketingYour Inbox is irrevocable proof of this – how many items of marketing did you receive this morning?

Although some will never be opened, the humble email can still be an effective way of reaching out to your customers. But, as with anything, there is a right way and a wrong way. Here’s our four top tips to help you create an effective (and legal*) email marketing strategy for your business:

Step 1: Grow your database

Before you start any email marketing campaign, you need legitimate* emails in your database to use. Gathering these addresses is quite easy if you have an established website. You can use the popular method of the pop-up window or simply have a newsletter subscription somewhere on your home page. MailChimp has plugins that work directly through the WordPress framework and integrate with their newsletter systems, saving the hassle of collecting email addresses and adding them manually to your campaigns.

Whatever method you use, remember to always declare why you are gathering the addresses and what can be expected in return (see value point below).

Step 2: Remember the Mobile Users

Due to the unstoppable growth of smart phones, more emails than ever before are being viewed on a mobile device. In fact, up to 75% of email opens* could be via mobile depending on your industry. To cater for this audience, ensure that your emails are mobile optimised – easy to read on a small screen, low on data usage and concise in their information.

* http://www.emailmonday.com/mobile-email-usage-statistics

Step 3: Be aware of the SPAM Act 2003

To keep your email marketing within the lines of the law, you must ensure that any emails you send comply with three main points – Consent, Identity and Unsubscribe.

Consent – The receiver of your emails must be made fully aware at the time they subscribe exactly what they will be receiving in return. Consent can also be in the form of an existing relationship with the receiver i.e. they are already a customer.

Identity – Marketing emails must identify who is sending the emails and their contact information.

Unsubscribe – Each email must include an Unsubscribe option so that consent can be retracted at any time.

Learn more: http://www.acma.gov.au/Industry/Marketers/Anti-Spam

Step 4: Offer Value

The secret behind any email campaign that wants to grow and be effective to offer subscribers VALUE in what they receive. Value can come in multitude of forms. You can reply with a free eBook, a newsletter filled with tricks and tips or keep them up to date with the latest industry news. If you are advertising products or services, butter up the receiving party with a discount voucher for their next purchase.

Everyone loves getting something for free and your subscribers are more likely to stick around.

Remember, what may work for one business may not necessarily work for yours. As with any marketing, try out all your ideas but be sure to MEASURE the response. Don’t spend hours of your precious small business time barking up the wrong tree only to find out that you aren’t getting a decent return from your efforts. Make a note of what works and what doesn’t, fine-tuning along the way. This approach will lead to an effective email strategy that will grow your business without eating away at your marketing budget or your valuable time.

How secure is your WordPress website?

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Website SecurityIf your site has been built on the WordPress framework, you are in good company. With a calculated 25% of all websites built using this user-friendly CMS, WordPress is easily miles ahead of its competition. However, with this popularity comes an inherit danger – it is a regular target for hackers.

WordPress was born from an open-source project and remains free to everyone who wants to create a website. Open source means that the code that makes the whole system work is available on the internet with no restrictions. This factor is important in the whole WordPress “ecosystem” as it allows developers and coders to create the myriad of plugins and themes that make the CMS what is it.

Unfortunately, hackers can also look at the code and discover its weak spots, making it vulnerable to spamming and security breaches. For the small time user, this may never be a problem that presents itself. But if your site attracts the unwanted attention of a hacker, they can cause all kinds of problems for your small business website and its visitors.

To protect your site (big or small), there are some very simple measures that you can employ without the need for any programming knowledge (or outside help):

1. Update the WordPress Core.

To do this, access the Dashboard of your site. If a new (major) version of WordPress has been released, this information will be displayed on the main screen of the Dashboard with an UPDATE link. With the newer versions of WordPress, small incremental updates to are performed automatically.

2. Update the plugins that you are using with your site.

In the main menu of the Dashboard, under the Home button, an Updates options will appear when updates for your plugins are available. Click on it to access the Updates page and select the updates that you want to apply. At the same time, visit the plugins page of the Dashboard and delete any plugins that you aren’t using. Even though they aren’t being use, these deactivated plugins can still provide backdoor access to your system.

3. Use a secure password.

A brute force attack, where the login for a site is attacked with a systematic password hack, is hard to protect against but with a secure password (one that used no common words and a mix of symbols, letters, numbers), the hacker will have to work harder to penetrate your system. Also, try to limit the number of users that have access. If someone doesn’t need access and will not be updating the site, don’t give them access.

4. Install the WordFence plugin.

This free plugin has so many features that I can’t list them all here. For a very basic explanation, WordFence provides high-quality firewall and malware protection for your WordPress website and you should have it on your site. Setting this plugin up puts into place a huge roadblock to anyone or anything wanting to cause harm to your site. Get it here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordfence/

All the above options are accessible through the Dashboard of your WordPress site but only if you have administrator access. If you log into your site and cannot see or perform the tasks listed, contact your website developer and request an upgrade of your user access.

There is nothing worse than trying to regain control of a severely hacked website however, if it does happen to you and the above steps do not reverse the damage to a perfect state, it is not the end of the world. The server on which your site resides should be* backed up on a regular basis and can be restored by your server provider* to a previous day/week for a small charge.

As always, however, a pinch of prevention is worth a full pound of cure.

  • If your web server provider does not backup at least three times a week, then it is imperative that you find a new provider. Security of your website is paramount.
  • A server provider such as Digital Pacific, NetRegistry, WebCentral, etc provides the space where your website lives. It is generally not the same as your Internet Service Provider (ISP) that connects your business to the internet.

Unsure about how to implement the security measures above, get in touch with Tropical Coast Web Design. We can undertake a no-obligation security audit of your site and let you know how we can help. 

Updating your website should be a habit, not a hindrance.

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In the case of most small business websites, the first few weeks after the site has been launched are usually the busiest (ever) for traffic through the site.

Update your Site The owner of the site is pumped and giving the website their utmost attention with both new content and inbound links from their social media accounts. However, as with many things, life (and business) gets in the way and the website sadly becomes neglected over time.

A website should not be seen as a once-off investment, something that you tick off a checklist. To be truly effective, a site needs to be an integral of the small business which it represents. The business is expected to evolve over time, keeping pace with changes in the world around it. The website needs to evolve too.

There’s nothing worse than visiting a website that isn’t cared for – in fact, it can be a waste of your time. The content is stale and boring – totally irrelevant to the customer who is looking for helpful information to help them achieve their original for visiting the site. And, the worst thing about an unloved site…. It reflects directly back onto the business.

“If they don’t care about their website, maybe they don’t care about business in general.”

Whilst this statement won’t be true in most cases, it’s a bad feeling to give to your customers and, like most things, its incredibly easy to avoid.

The easiest way to avoid a stale, old website is to make the website part of your regular routine, a habit that you tend to regularly.

A great analogy would be to look at your website like you do/should look at your health and fitness regime. The best way to a healthy lifestyle is to put healthy habit into practice every day. Diets with deadlines rarely achieve a long-term successful goal. Changes to eating habits and regular exercise program are more like to achieve long term success.

With your website, don’t do the one-off update to the site and think “well now that’s done – we can leave for a few months”. Put a habit into practice where the site becomes part of your everyday routine. Maybe first thing every morning, add a new piece to the site or give it plug on social media. Or set aside time every week to review the content on the site, move it around, repurpose it, check site visitors, check popular pages, anything that is going to ensure that the site is relevant to those customers looking for it TODAY, not three months ago.

From my own experience, I have found that using a content calendar, pinned to the cork board in my office, helps me to keep my content relevant. It lays out an entire month of changes, new content, social media placements – I create all my content for an upcoming week (according to the calendar) on the previous weekend, ready to roll out.

Make your website a long-term partner with your business by making it an integral part of your business.

Do you have any tricks or tips to making your website part of your regular habits? Please share your ideas by leaving  a comment below.

Cure your writer’s block with our simple website content template

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Writing content for your website can be a harrowing task. While you would love to tell your site visitors everything about your business and what you can do for them, you need to strike a balance between the right amount of information and the danger of information overload.

Writing Website ContentOn top of this, where do you start with writing content. To help my customers through this difficult stage, I have created a simple template for creating content that is concise and easy to read.

Follow the steps below using the supplied template for each page on your website:

Step 1. Before you begin writing your content, answer these questions:

  • What is the purpose of this page? Why is it important?
  • Who is your target audience for this page?
  • What are the three main points that you want to convey on this page?
  • What keywords will your potential site visitors use with Google to find this page?

Step 2: Page Title:

Create a title that is clear, concise and catchy. It also should include some or all of the keywords identified above.

Step 3: First Paragraph:

In the first two sentences, clearly describe what you want the site visitor to gain from visiting this page – this is the one thing you want them to “take away” with them.

In the remaining sentences of the paragraph, summarize the points (identified above) that you will describe on the remainder to the page. You should also include a Call to Action (CTA) in this text to capture those visitors with short attention spans and who may not be bothered to read on.

Step 4: Second, Third and Fourth Paragraphs

  • Summarize each of the main points in turn, using keywords or phrases if possible.
  • Use bullet points to highlight features or additional sub-benefits.
  • Include links within the content to either your own pages or external websites (Google loves inbound and outbound links).
  • If possible, include further information if the content allows.

Step 5: Call to Action

Finish the page with a bold, obvious “Call to Action” that clearly explains what you want the site visitor to do next.

Step 6: Checklist

After your content is written, read through it against this checklist:

  • How long are each of the paragraphs? (maximum four sentences)
  • Are they concise and relevant to your target audience?
  • Is the style of content conversational, addressing the site visitor as “you”?
  • Is the content interesting and engaging? (hint: get someone else to read it)
  • Is there a clear Call to Action?
     

Once your content is written, find someone to proofread through it for you. Sometimes we can get a little too attached to our work and we are unable to see its minor flaws. A reliable proof-reader will spot those details that need correction or more information about them. They will also be able to tell whether the content is too wordy or just right.

Click here for our free Content Template.

Still not able to put your writer’s cap on? Tropical Coast Web Design has nearly 20 years’ experience in creating websites including page content. We can take simple dot points and turn them into legible, clear information for your site visitors.

Get in touch today for more information.

 

The Secrets to Inbox Nirvana

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Email can be both a blessing and a curse on modern business.

The evolution of electronic mail (yes – that’s where email comes from) has made instant communication and document sharing possible without involving Australia Post. However, email is also responsible for “eating up” valuable time each day as Inboxes are filled to the brim each time we look.

To stay on top of this, I became an Inbox Ninja. Before you ask, let me explain that this doesn’t involve any kind of Martial Arts. It simply means that I have a methodology in place to ensure that I can reduce my Inbox to zero – every single day.

Impossible you say? Well, you too can become an Inbox Ninja by following a few simple rules.

#1 Unsubscribe from Email Lists

Never use your business email to sign up for online newsletters and downloads. Instead, create a Gmail account and use that for any non-essential email sign-ups.

In addition, look at all the junk emails that you receive and unsubscribe from any that you don’t need. Most of the time we don’t read them anyway, so you won’t miss them in the future.

With the emails that you can’t unsubscribe from, use your email program to create a rule that will send them directly to the trash.

#2 Sort / Delete EVERY DAY

To avoid answering emails throughout the day, which can be a huge distraction, set aside time at the beginning and end of each day to do the following:

Sort – Create an email archive folder with relevant subfolders and, after adding required tasks into your schedule*, move emails into those folders – only if they need to be kept.

* I use the project manager app called Flow to keep everything organised (see #5 below).

Delete – Any superfluous emails that don’t need to be answered, tasked or archived should be deleted immediately to clear the Inbox.

#3 Answer emails straight away

Take care of emails that can be answered directly (or with a two-minute task) straight away. Once this done, archive or delete those emails.

#4 Go Old Fashioned

Don’t forget that email is not the only choice of communication. Can you walk over to your colleague to discuss those price changes? Or can you call the distributors to sort out the dispatch issues?

If you can sort things with a quick conversation, don’t send an email – do it in person.

#5 Remove your tasks from your Inbox

As a web developer, I receive most of my work-related tasks via email from my clients. To stay organised in my work, I use Post-It notes to write down each task, archive the email (see #2) and then stick the Post-It to the edge of my computer monitor. Once a day, I add these notes into my project manager, Flow. With this simple procedure, I ensure that my Inbox get emptied and my tasks are always booked.

Obviously, day one of becoming an Inbox Ninja is not going to be fun, especially if you have a large backlog of unanswered or unsorted emails. Bite the bullet, clear yourself some time in your schedule and get to work on that Inbox. In a few short days, just by following the five simple rules above, you will be reaping the benefits with more time to spend on other important tasks within your business.

Do you want to be an Inbox Ninja with a professional email account for your small business? Get in touch with us at Tropical Coast Web Design for a free quote today.

How can my regional small business benefit from a website?

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In the small coastal town of Ingham, where Tropical Coast Web Design is based, most of the small businesses have been happily operating in the same way with the same customers for many years.

Regional Small Business

However, it is evident that the town’s small businesses are struggling in 2019. There are numerous empty shops on the main street and business confidence appears to be down with little “outside” business coming to town.

Introducing my business to the community in 2018, I began attending the local Chamber of Commerce meetings and talking to local business owners. A common theme that I found was that some businesses saw online competitors as a major threat – which is fair enough – they were losing business online. However, several that I spoke to needed clarification on how their own website could help them level the playing field and play “toe to toe” with the big guys.

Here’s a few ways that a small business in a regional town can benefit from an online presence:

Greater Visibility

Most customers under 50 are internet-savvy and that number is growing daily. We now have a whole generation of prospective customers who don’t know anything but life with the internet. I can guarantee it – your customers are looking for you online. And if they don’t find you, they will find your competitors.

In short – get online. Your customers demand it.

24/7 Service to Customers

With the advent of the internet (and faster connections), customers expect businesses to be available all day, every day to help us with our questions and enquiries. Luckily, with a clever website with though-out content, this doesn’t mean that you have physically monitor the site 24 hours a day. If required , your customers should be able to access how-to guides, FAQs and product information via your site. They should also be able to send you enquiries that can be answered during business hours.

Makes Sales while you sleep

This one is a no-brainer. Setting up your business with an online-store (or even just an online order form) means that you can take sales any time of the day – even when all your staff are at home and fast asleep. Even service-based businesses without online stores can take bookings and payments 24/7 through their websites (PayPal has made this very easy to access).

Get in front of your customers otherwise your competitors will be.

In a small town, people prefer to “go with a local”, even if this means a slight increase in price. If a home-grown store can supply orders via their website, most locals would choose this path over an online order with one of the “big guys”. However, if that store is not online and customers can’t find their prices to compare with the larger chains, they will most likely miss out.

For some small businesses who recognise that they need a website to remain competitive, a perceived roadblock is often the price. Bigger city firms can charge an arm and a leg to create you a site, but often that amount of money is just not available. Luckily, your marketing budget doesn’t need to be sacrificed to create an effective site that brings you sales.

Shop around (look for a free quote link on any designer’s website) and find someone who is producing work that you like – look at their online portfolio – at an affordable price.

Tropical Coast Web Design prides itself on creating effective sites at affordable prices. We are a small professional team which allows us to keep our costs down, which we pass onto you.

Get in touch today – we’d love to help get your regional small business online.

 

A goal without a plan is just a wish

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New Years ResolutionsThe turn of a new year in upon us and, like a lot of people, I’ve written a number of new Years resolutions for myself in 2019. In years gone by, I’ve managed to achieve some goals and fail on others. Looking back at my successes and failures, there is a clear reason I have achieved the successful goals.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish”

Simply saying that you are going to do a particular thing is not always enough. Not only do you have to put in the effort to achieve something, you should also put in the groundwork – right at the start – to ensure that you achieve the end goal.

Here’s my five tips to help make those 2019 resolutions a reality:

1.       Make your Resolutions SMART goals.

In brief, here’s the general outline to make your goals SMART ones:

Strategic – Write your goals clearly and concisely.

Measureable – Be sure that you can track your progress.

Achievable – Set goals that are achievable – not “pie in the sky”.

Relevant – Create goals that are relevant to your overall “life” plan.

Timely – All goals must have a timeline attached.

2.       Break your larger goals into smaller achievable “chunks”.

It’s hard to stay on track to achieve goals that are large or take a long time to attain. Break the large goals into smaller pieces – this way, you can celebrate the little successes along the way and keep your motivation up.

3.       Set aside time each day to work on or review your goals.

This is the big killer of New Years resolutions – we forget about them or we don’t put enough effort into making them a reality. Make time in your schedule to look over your goals and plans to ensure that you stay on track and “attack” a small part of a goal every day.

4.       Make changes to your lifestyle a habit, not just a one-off change.

People who set weight loss goals as their New Years resolutions often tend to fail (myself included) because they don’t change their habits. They exercise or diet temporarily and, once the goal is achieved, go back to their old ways and all the progress is lost.

I know this only too well – In 2017, through hard work and dieting, I achieved my goal weight. But, in 2018, with several changes in my life during the year, I slipped back into my old ways and gained back all the weight I had lost. I had made temporary changes to my lifestyles to achieve my goal and not changed my habits.

5.       Give yourself rewards along the path.

At times, achieving a large goal can seem a long way off. Rewarding yourself along the road is key to staying the path and making it to the end. Treat yourself to some R & R along the way. This could be a weekend away with a loved one or a movie night with the kids. Life is too short – enjoy it and have some fun while kicking those goals.

I’m writing this post just two short days before the New Year so my personal challenge right now is to look at each resolution I’m making and, using the above, lay out a road map to make sure that I can get there for each. I’ll be blogging throughout the new year – part of one of my resolutions – so I’ll be holding myself accountable for some of my goals online.

I wish you all success and happiness in 2019 – it’s going to be a great year!

Happy New Year from Tropical Coast Web Design!

WordPress 5.0 – Be Ready for a BIG Change

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The WordPress framework, which is estimated to have been used to create over 30% of all websites on the internet, hasn’t changed a lot over the years.

WordPress 5.0Even since its invention as a blogging platform and it’s ascension to become the #1 Content Management System (CMS) in the world, the basics of running a site on WordPress has remained essentially the same.

With the release of WordPress 5.0, also known at “Gutenberg”, that is about to change.

Matt Mullenweg, the original developer of WordPress, and his team of loyal developers have recognised that the online world has changed immensely since WordPress 1.0 was launched and they are preparing to introduce a brand-new version featuring some of the biggest changes the CMS has ever seen.

What is Gutenberg?

Regular users of WordPress will be familiar with the visual editor shown below where all the editing for a site’s page takes places in the one “box”. Users add text, columns, images, tables and other standard features straight into this area. For more complex items, the current editor requires used of short codes and customised HTML to make things work.

The release of Gutenberg aims to make this process easier, especially for novice users of WordPress. The new editor “breaks” the site components in smaller blocks, with each fulfilling a different task.

The Gutenberg page editor has blocks pre-configured for text, images, columns and galleries as well as media options such as slideshows, video code and audio. Regular page items such as lists, buttons and subheadings are also included with their own blocks.

Although the changes may be a little daunting to some users, having tested the new layout here at Tropical Coast Web Design, we believe that, after the initial “jump”, the change is going to make everything a whole lot easier.

Will Gutenberg break my existing site?

In most cases, your old site will be fine. The new editor is being created to be backwards compatible however with the vast number of community plugins (which add extra functionality), there is bound to be some issues.

I’m still concerned – how can I check my site will be OK?

There are a few steps that you can take to ensure that your site is ready for Gutenberg:

  • Test your current site with the “Gutenberg” plugin. This adds the new editor to your site so you can see how it works and determine whether it affects how the site functions. Any problems – just deactivate the plugin!
  • Turn off Major Updates in your WordPress installation. This will prevent Gutenberg from loading automatically on launch day and you can upgrade to WordPress 5.0 when you are ready to do so.
  • Contact your Web Developer and see if your site is ready for the upgrade. In most cases, developers have already tested their WordPress sites against the new editor and can inform you of any issues that may arise.

If you have any concerns about your website and the new Gutenberg release, please get in touch with Tropical Coast Web Design and we’d be happy to take a look for you. The testing we have undertaken with our own client’s websites has revealed no issues except for the short learning curve of the new page editor.
To help our clients with the switch, we are developing a brand-new Tutorial booklet which will demonstrate to how to use the Gutenberg with easy step-by-step instructions.

Note: Originally set to be released on the 19th November 2018, there is currently no firm date for the release of the Gutenberg update.

Sales Funnel Phase One – Awareness

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Phase One - AwarenessIn the initial moments where a customer becomes aware of your business and what it has to offer, the all-important lead generation process begin to take place.

Any leads created here are vitally important as they “pull” the customer into the system for nurturing further down the funnel. Without this “pull”, the remainder of the funnel will be ineffective.

With the advent of digital marketing, creating a awareness of your business is not as hard as it used to be. Here’s some “tools” that you can use to generate awareness of your business:

Facebook Ads

Advertising on the #1 social media platform, Facebook, is great for targeting the exact audience you want as you can use the Facebook Ad tool to select the personal traits and interests of potential customers. With a budgeting level that you specify, it is also cost effective for any growing business.

Networking

Build trust and awareness of your business by joining your local Chamber of Commerce, offering your services to non-profit organisations and participating in community groups such as Rotary and Lions.  Get your name out there!

Traditional Advertising – Radio and Print

If your target audience is likely to read your local newspapers and listen to local radio, don’t hesitate to use these traditional methods to promote your brand. Be sure to track any results (from marketing point to customer) to ensure that your marketing budget is not being wasted.

Social Media

Be visible on at least two social media platforms to cast a broad net over your target audience online. As a guide, Facebook is great for “business to consumer” promotions, LinkedIn works for “Business to Business” awareness and Instagram (owned by Facebook) is emerging as a powerful tool for all audience levels.

Phase One - AwarenessContent Marketing

The most authoritative way to establish trust and industry leadership is through the creation of powerful content for your website. Blog posts, videos, podcasts and demonstrations can quickly prove that you know your industry and what your clientele needs from you.

Direct Mail

If you can determine a specific market that is screaming out for your services or products, why not physically contact them with a direct mail campaign, specifically designed for that market alone.

Good SEO on Website

Make your potential customers aware of your business through the application of good SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) practices on your website. Ensure that you are “loved” by Google through using effective key words and descriptions on your site along with fresh content and quality inbound links.

Google AdWords

Along with effective SEO practices, you can also engage Google with a paid, structured AdWords campaign designed to target your specific customer demographic.

Partnerships

Partnership programs work with businesses that complement each other and can be done in a very subtle, effective way. For example, a mechanic, upon the completion of a routine service, could leave a small promotion flyer on the dashboard from the local Car Detailer. The detailer could do the exact same in return.

Referral Programs

Join with other local businesses to create a referral program where businesses refer their client base onto the services of others in return for discounts or other reciprocal arrangements.

There are literally dozens of ways that you can make your target audience aware of your business and the products and services it has to offer. The trick is decided which methods are going to be the most effective in gaining the attention of your ideal client.

In our next blog post, we’ll move onto the next phase in the marketing funnel – Conversion – where we take the potential customers who are now aware of your business and begin to convert them from prospects to actual customers.

What exactly is a Sales Funnel?

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A Sales Funnel is essentially the journey that businesses lead prospective customers through when they purchase products or services.

Most small businesses probably have a sales funnel process without even realising it. The real power and benefits of the funnel come from documenting and tracking it’s various phases allowing business owners to effectively tailor their marketing efforts. This ensures conversion and advocacy at the end of the journey.

The Sales Funnel

The primary goal of any sales funnel must be to move prospects from one phase to the next until they are ready to purchase from your business and become paying customers.

Unfortunately, a sales funnel is not like a real-life funnel where everything that goes in comes out the other end. Wouldn’t that be nice? Every prospect who enters your business leaves as a customer, in which case, the shape would no longer be a funnel – it would be a cylinder!

But the real world is slightly different.

The sales process always begins with many potential customers and ends with fewer who actually make a purchase. The sales funnel tracks these potential customers from the very first time they hear about your business, right through to the moment they buy from you and even beyond.

It is important to note at this stage that you CAN design your sales funnel to suit your own needs. The sales process differs from business to business depending on your own individual business requirements so feel free to add levels and details as you need them – it is your business that will benefit from accurate tracking and changes during the sales journey.

A little research on the internet will show that some sales funnels have many levels however the sales funnel that I will be working with has been modified for my own requirements for two main reasons:

1. Simplicity
Why over complicate things from the beginning? My sales funnel is a work in progress and I can add to it over time if I find that I need to.

2. The Advocacy Phase
A lot of my work is attained via my existing clients and I want to explore that avenue of marketing in order to continue to grow it.

Over the next four blog posts, I will go through each of the phases in my modified sales funnel – Awareness, Consideration, Conversion and Advocacy.

Note: The content of each of the next four blogs comes from a workshop I delivered to the Cassowary Coast Business Women’s Network. If you or your organisation are interested in my services as a guest speaker for your business network, please get in touch via g.provians@rustymangodesign.com.au