Promote Your Business on a New Level

It is easy to get too focused on the benefits of your products and services. Yet consumers have heard that all before. They want something fresh, a new approach, and something that entices them to make the purchase. Keep this in mind when you discuss exhibition stand design with your provider. Let them know who your audience is.

They should be willing to conduct some research too in order to find out what that particular audience is interested in. They can address current trends, how the consumer sees the benefits, and if it is considered a want or a need. Based on such details, the exhibition stand design provider can create some ideas for you to evaluate.

Your Input

While they are the ones that will create those designs, your input is a big part of what they will come up with. Share with them the vision you have for your business. Perhaps you have some ideas you would like them to expand on. Giving them that foundation to work from can help them do exactly what you want.

You will find most exhibition stand design provides are great listeners. They are excited to help you and motivated to find a great solution. They have ideas turning in their heads and they want to make them a reality for you. Share with them all you can so they can create some concepts for you.

Final Decisions

Thanks to technology, exhibition stand design professionals are able to create variations of concepts quickly. They can do so with computer software rather than all by hand. When they talk to you about the designs, look through them and point out what you love and what you aren’t fond of. Perhaps just a few minor tweaks will have to be done.

If you don’t like any of the ideas, don’t move forward. You have the final decision and nothing should be printed without your approval. You need something unique, appealing, and relating to your business. You need to appease your target audience so they will be encouraged to take the next step in the process of buying your products or services.

Printing

Once you agree on the concept to be created, the printing can be discussed. How large would you like the exhibition stand design to be? Can it be rolled up or will it need to lay flat? What colours will be used for the printing to make it professional and appealing? Make sure you are on board with all of this including the cost before they go into production.

The time it will take to complete the work depends on the exhibition stand design you hire, their methods, and other work they have ahead of yours. Start the planning early on so you aren’t rushed to make decisions so you can get to a trade show or for a launch of a new product or service you offer.

Display

All of the effort you put into it is going to pay off when you see that display in place. You can be proud of it, and you will be excited as it starts to draw in consumers. You will see an increase in sales if it has been done well. This is a wonderful marketing opportunity that isn’t pressuring your customer base either. They will be encouraged to buy without those harsh tactics.

Finding the right provider is essential, so take your time to explore who is out there. Look at prices, their communication skills, and ask to see samples of other work they have done for businesses. You need to know they are diverse, reliable, and have great skills to create your design.

5 Ways to Identify Your Top Competitors

Here are 5 ways that you can start to identify your real competition.

1) Google your top 3-5 key phrases. Create a Google search related to what your ideal customers would type in to look for your services. If you operate within a specific geographic location then also include your town, city or zip code in the search. Browse the companies that come up on the first 1-2 pages. When you do this try not to use industry jargon. This isn’t how your customers are searching.

2) Search on social media. Similar to the Google search mentioned above you want to search for competitors on the social media platform your customers are likely to use. If you’re service is B2B then default to LinkedIn. If you’re B2C then use Facebook. Even if you don’t utilize social media in your business just yet, don’t assume that you’re customers aren’t using it. And I can almost guarantee that your top competitors ARE using social media to build trust within their market. Go check them out.

3) Ask your customers. Follow up with your BEST customers and find out who else they considered working with and why they chose you. Your best customers will be those who buy from you repeatedly and refer others to your business. These are your golden customers and you want as many as you can handle so be sure to find which of your competitors are on their radar.

4) Ask your prospects. Try to have a process in place so that you can ask prospective customers who else they are considering working with and what they’re likely to base their decision on. Since most prospects will default to “price” be sure to dig a bit and find out what else might make them confident to hire you or one of your competitors. You can also follow up with prospects you know went somewhere else. This is actually a great sign that you value their opinion and you might even get future business this way. Especially if they aren’t completely thrilled with the company they hired.

5) Look around. Who do you see showing up everywhere? If YOU see them then it’s likely your customers are seeing them too. This means online AND offline. Who are you losing work to and why? Always keep your eyes open.

Keep an ongoing spreadsheet with your competition and identify their niche, strengths and weaknesses.

How to Boost Your Business With Promotional Tents

If you want to level up your business, boost the morale of your employees and enjoy outdoor sales events, think about using promotional tents. They may be able to help your business get noticed by customers, and let your employees continue to be productive even when they are away from the office.

What are Promotional Tents?

Tents, which are also called canopies, are portable canvas that can be used to make a temporary room for the outdoors. They can have a roof, walls and floor made of canvas or another type of material for the ground. They can also have an open space with only a cover on top. These all depend on your preference and needs. They can allow you to create a space for your business outdoors.

They can come in different dimensions, and many companies let you make your own design. So, in general, you can have it made in whatever size you want, even if it is too small or too big. They are usually made with materials that resist fire, and they help block the sun. Their frames are typically made out of steel to provide stronger support.

The term promotional in the name refer to the printed designs chosen. These could be your business logo, pictures of products, special sales announcements or anything you want. Therefore, the structure itself advertises or markets your company.

Promotional Tents Uses

Promotional tents can be used in a variety of ways and by various types of businesses. They can serve as an extension of your business, like for example a restaurant that creates a provisional seating space, where guests can dine. In addition, they are ideal for exhibits, corporate events and trade shows. You can also use them to put up a shop at farmer’s markets and local fairs, since they are easy to set-up and collapse.

If you regularly hold special sales events to persuade customers to visit your business, it may help to buy one. When you want to attract a big crowd, this can work to your advantage, since the presence of a tent often catches the attention of people.

Promotional Tents Benefits

Besides providing help in setting up a sales area at events outdoors, and allowing employees to be productive even if they are out of the office, there are more benefits that these structures could give. You can use them to market your brand and advertise special promos. You can maximize their use because they are sturdy and last long without fading.

These tents can serve as a private place where staff can converse with customers during outdoor events. They can protect you and your display from all kinds of weather conditions as well.

They can bring your business to the next level, in which your business is not only limited to your store or office. You can take these tents along to different outdoor events to let you connect to more customers. Every time you set up one, you give your business a marketing boost.

Top 5 Word-Of-Mouth Marketing Tactics

Consciously or subconsciously, we are constantly influenced by the people around us, be it family members or friends or colleagues or even neighbours. Back in the days, when the internet was yet to be born, people had to interact face-to-face and make connections through word-of-mouth communication which worked out pretty well. Now it’s more of people-to-computer, but the idea is the same and much more convenient. Since social influence is ingrained in every single human, word-of-mouth marketing is a highly effective tool! Majority of us trust recommendations from friends and family, more than any other form of marketing.

1. Know Your Brand

You need to know your brand inside-out. Be clear about what your brand stands for, what are its values, what products or services you provide and how can it help people. This will help you present your brand in a way that your audience can appreciate. Trust can be easily built once you’re sure of what you are, since people dig confidence.

2. Prioritize Psychology Before Technology

A whole lot of time must be dedicated to doing research on the minds of your audience and what actually makes them share. Consumer behaviour needs to be studied on a regular basis since it changes according to new trends. This makes it easier to hit the right spot of your target audience. Anyone can send a bunch of emails, but going that extra mile by personally interacting with your customers and finding out what they expect from you can come in very handy. Find out what drives people to share content or stories and use these elements to your advantage.

3. Provide Top-Notch Products & Services

Give something extraordinary for people to talk about. Customers will remember your products and services only when you live up to, or exceed their expectations by delivering quality in what you sell and how you sell it. Your product, your ads, your sales pitch and everything else must make them feel you’re worth their time. Word-of-mouth marketing can be both, positive and negative. It can bring you down if your customers are unhappy with your brand and end up complaining publicly about their bad experience. You definitely want to avoid negative publicity!

4. Advertise Through Influencers

Advertising your brand through influencer engagement is indisputably effective in generating leads. This word-of-mouth tactic works wonders since these influencers might already have an influence on the audiences’ purchasing decisions. Influencers can range from famous social media stars from YouTube or Twitter or Facebook to even industry leads. Interacting online with a big brand, for example, can get you their followers and increase your visibility drastically. Pick relevant, popular and authentic influencers to take your social engagement to the next level.

5. Capitalize On Loyalty

Give your regular and loyal customers special incentives, additional offers and exclusive content that will make them feel privileged and special. They will definitely want to share their happy experience with friends and family and turn into loyal brand advocates that you’ve always wanted. Make your audience happy and watch them advocate your brand on social platforms! Don’t forget to thank them and show gratitude – helps maintain a good brand image.

Travel the World of Freelancing

Do you need extra income?

Are you a mother looking for ways to earn at the comfort of your home? Or a father who would like to use his talents, hobbies and interests to make money at the same time? Or an educator who would like to share his knowledge and expertise? Or a mere student who would like to be independent to support his studies? Or a team of experts with the goal to gain for value and profit? Or someone who wanted to set up a home business, a micro entrepreneur and who would like to be his own boss? Or are you the one who would like to change his career path or would like to have some sort of career break? Or simply someone who would like to have additional work and bonus income?

In this eon of high technology and social media proliferation, earning through freelancing is one of the ways to increase household or individual income.

Earning by freelancing can be your chance to achieve your vision, your dream and a decent way to gain extra income. This can even become a source of your full time earnings.

Why not read on and let us traverse the world of freelancing…

What is freelancing and freelancer?

Before, freelancing work is not so popular and not given any worth at all. Others perceive freelancer as person with no stable job and who do job hopping and hunting from one place to another. In short, no value.

Nowadays, in electronic media and eCommerce development, freelancing is already a “word of mouth”. There is a better connotation today when a freelancer says he belongs to this category. Freelancing is in stratum to compete with corporate giants earning competitively in a blink of an eye.

Others term it as outsourcing skilled and talented people in the project needed by client or buyer. The people in this kind of work are labeled as freelancer, freelance, freelance worker, independent contractor and the like.

The freelancer, the person who is doing freelancing activity, is a self-employed status and has no employee-employer relationship. This is based on mutually agreed arrangement and can be done either verbal or written form stating the requirement of the client including:

the type of work to be done

the deadline

the payment of a certain piece or specified work

the ways to pay the freelancer

and other specific details of a sale or contract

Other freelancers may even require proposal with quotations and deposits from the clients before pursuing the project. They may charge by the hour, day, on a per-project basis, or per piece rate. Some freelancers tried a value-based pricing on the perceived worth of the outputs to the client. It is a common practice to pay fractional fee on the onset as a downpayment or lump sum amount upon finishing the project. For longer period and complex projects, a payment schedule based on results is used which is most common in consulting jobs, where a phase by phase billing is more applicable.

Freelancing in a way is selling skills, talents and expertise with the desired result for a certain buyer or client. Freelancing can also be illustrated as the freelancer providing solutions to client’s problem/s. To optimize the freelancer’s results, one should focus on his own specializations in order to be effective and efficient.

Freelancers are represented by the organization like Freelancer to negotiate on their behalf who at the same time resell their capabilities to the potential clients.

The influence of internet revolutionized the word freelancing into a much detailed explanation, highfalutin terminologies in corporate world such as telecommuting, online outsourcing, offline outsourcing, crowdsourcing and business process outsourcing.

Where can we apply freelancing?

Freelancing has a wide array of applications, vast field, unlimited opportunities and through the advent of internet and uprising technology anything is possible and accessible.

Freelancing can be useful in the following works:

1. Blogging

2. Book Publishing

3. Journal Publishing

4. Magazine

5. Newspaper Publishing

6. Journalism

7. Technical Writing

8. Report Writing

9. Academic Writing

10. Tutoring

11. Article Rewriting

12. Business writing

13. Sports Writing

14. Feature Writing

15. Poem Writing

16. Literary Writing

17. Editing

18. Proof reading

19. Copywriting

20. Ghost Writing

21. Song Writing

22. Consulting (ISO 26000 Corporate Social Responsibility, ISO 9001 Quality Management System, Integrated Management System, ISO 14001 Environmental Management System, ISO 22000 Food Safety Management System)

23. Public Relations

24. Photojournalism

25. Photography

26. Full Marketing Collaterals Designing (from making of company logo, letterhead, business card, tarpaulins, stickers, flyers, billboards, signages, and several marketing and promotional items like corporate giveaways)

27. Photoshop

28. Graphics Designing

29. Logo Designing

30. Illustrator

31. PSD to HTML Making

32. Magazine or Newspaper’s Lay-out Designing

33. Website Development

34. Website Designing

35. Web Scraping

36. Indexing or Market Surveying

37. Content Creation

38. Content Management System (Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, Blogger)

39. Hacked Site Recovery and Protection

40. Coaching

41. Communication (Chat, SMS, Email Support)

42. Language Translation

43. Designing and Conceptualizing Content for PowerPoint Presentations and similar Open Source Presentations

44. Medical Transcription

45. Video Production

46. Flash Production

47. Video Editing

48. Sales and Offline Marketing

49. Telemarketing

50. Online or Internet Marketing

51. Customer Help Desk

52. Tour Guiding

53. Event Planning

54. Event Management

55. Speech Writing

56. Social Media Management

57. Computer Programming and Product Integration

58. Script Writing

59. Film Making

60. Film Reviewing

61. Music Composition

62. Accounting

63. Auditing (Finance and Quality)

64. Researching (Engineering, Mathematics, Science, Technology)

65. Training

66. Recruitment Advertising

67. Virtual Assistance

68. Data Encoding

69. Data Processing

70. Data Mining

71. Interior Designing

72. Gardening

73. Landscaping

74. Home Designing

75. Building Architectural Designing

76. Advertising

77. Open Innovation

78. Mobile Phone Programming

79. Cellular Phones Repairing

80. Game Design and Development

81. Games Installation

82. Operating System and Specialized Software Application

83. Social Media Optimization and Management

84. Search Engine Optimization and Inbound Marketing

85. Link Building

86. Software Architecture

87. Website Administration and Management

88. Finance and Loan Consulting

89. Legal Consulting

90. Business Consulting or Entrepreneurship Mentoring

91. Sports Coaching

92. Business Plan Making

93. Product Sourcing and Manufacturing and a lot more

94. E Commerce

95. Shopping Carts

96. Entertainment

97. Logistics and Product Sourcing

98. Toll Manufacturing and Packaging

99. Food Service Management, Canteen and Catering

100. Public Speaking and Hosting

101. Voice Talent Management, Broadcasting/ Radio Announcing

102. Health Care Management

103. Beauty Care

104. Hair Care

105. Janitorial Services

106. Manpower Services (Bartender, Waiter)

107. Medical Advice Services

108. Metal and Plastic Fabrication

109. Painting/ Repainting, Floor Coating

110. Waterproofing Services

111. Real Estate Development and a lot more…

The prospects and projects are countless. In the internet world, we can get projects and works from Freelancer.com’s website.

Why freelance, what are the benefits?

The client and the freelancer are both in a win-win scenario when they get into freelancing activity.

Essentially, freelancing is a planned action of the organization to focus on their core capabilities and transfer other processes or work to third party such as the freelancer. This aims to expedite work, to increase quality of the product or service and to save fund. In short, this will make the company become more productive and effective as an enterprise. At the same time, the receiver or the freelancer will gain income and experience, too.

Freelancers are paid commensurate to the services rendered to the client and to the negotiation process undertaken.

They can also earn money faster and more frequent than permanent or regular employees in a given period with the same kind of work. This is also dependent on freelancer’s competence, capability, marketing ability, connections and track record.

Flexibility in time or even time freedom to choose the work schedule made freelancing even more attractive to freelancers. They work at their own pace.

Freelancers can choose the place to work. It can be at home or a place conducive to them. It can even be more exciting and inspiring space or an “on the go” mood as it can be mobile too using the latest technology of Apple iPad or Samsung tablet.

Freelancing offers variety of works or projects. So, there’s no place for boredom. Having freelance works at hand, freelancers can earn more!

There could be times that perks may be offered specially for consultants, such as free travel and accommodation! Freelancing is available not only in your community or local market, but also nationally and internationally.

So, freelancing is a very satisfying experience as it gives the freelancer more agility to profit, has the option to work on his choice or market niche and perform at his own time and space.

How to become a freelancer?

There are several ways to freelance as there are also numerous websites regarding this matter. Just be mindful that there are genuine and bogus sites and so it is always necessary that we only negotiate to trusted sites. A newbie freelancer must choose a freelancing site which is known for integrity, reliability and if possible with huge clients’ base. It is no doubt to utilize the website of Freelancer Dot Com with its user-friendly interface.

Freelancer Dot Com is a site with reputation, experience and regarded as one of the top searched website as buzzed by influential world bloggers and SEO practitioners.

In http://www.freelancer.com, it is as easy as, A, B, C. The basic steps are:

A. Sign in

B. Bid

C. Get Hired

Freelancers can sign up for free in http://www.freelancer.com and can bid on the freelance works posted by the buyers or clients or companies.

The numbers of projects and the total amount is so huge and we can get the share of the market most specially if you have the knowledge, skills, talent and attitude.

So, what are you waiting for, let us travel the world of freelancing! This is your time to shine and get more income.

Just try it and who knows you will be surprise how this piece of information can get you going and in turn your time to share this post to all your friends. You may feel free to comment and tell us also your experience about your journey in the world of freelancing…

Top 5 Trends To Driving The Future Of Marketing

No doubt, marketers always dive into the future to predict the next big trend that boosts their brand to the next higher level. You should shape your marketing strategies to keep them updated and healthy, so, it can work for your business. It is a little bit complex to understand but not impossible of course. It’s almost the end of the year and it’s high time to focus on your efforts. With this keep in mind, plan something new and big for the upcoming year and these top 5 trends mentioned here helps you in driving the future of marketing.

Mobile Will Hit A New Milestone: Yes, you heard it right, mobile is the new future of marketing that allowed you to expand your business and drive more sales and traffic. So, this year you should also shift your focus from screen to mobile now to touch the new heights in your business.

Content Will Remain King: Needless to say, Content is, was and will remain the king of marketing. It grabs the attention of search engines and visitors as well to your website. In the coming up year, you have to be more focused on the quality content because this is the only thing that takes you to the success.

Customer Experience Still Matters A Lot: No doubt, customers now have more options than ever before and drive them to your website totally depend upon their experience, which still matters a lot. So take a little bit extra pain to provide best and never before customer experience, which holds them to your business for a longer time.

Social Media Becomes The Next Internet: Nowadays, everyone is online and social media platforms now become the integral part of our lives. If you want to get the ball in your court in the coming up year, so, take the help of social media because it will give you the best result than ever.

Brand Must Get Really Personal: Building a professional relationship with the customer is the one thing and understanding their need and do best to fulfill them is another, so, you should focus on it. This year brand must get really personal, so, it can win the loyalty of the customer and give them a reason to get connected with you.

Benchmarking and Growth Hacking – The Same, Only Different

While I have never been one to use the latest buzzwords, “growth hacking” is a concept worth adopting and its implementation can be the difference between your company thriving or just surviving. If we look back in history, the closest concept to growth hacking would be “benchmarking”, which is the practice of analyzing your competitors to see if you can learn methods of improving your market position. According to businessdictionary.com, the objectives of benchmarking are (1) to determine what and where improvements are called for, (2) to analyze how other organizations achieve their high performance levels, and (3) to use this information to improve your company’s performance.

In the digital age, growth hacking does share some of the same attributes of benchmarking, but on a much deeper level. Growth hacking concentrates more on gaining market traction through application of data driven strategies that are tested, retested, and duplicated across as many platforms as possible.

For example, if you have a target audience of 11-17 females, you can use software to examine marketing techniques of a famous artist like Taylor Swift to get a glimpse into how her marketing department best reaches that audience. Using this type of software gives your company insight into an average number of hits on Taylor Swift’s website, where the hits originated, key words used in SEO efforts, and samples of ads run over several campaigns.

Armed with this information, your company should A/B test versions of your website pages, splash pages, and information downloads in order to determine which iteration lead to the desired conversion rate. Be sure to chart the results of each change, but be careful in the number of changes you make per iteration. Try not to change more than two elements per session and have the test page be 40% of exposure to ensure you are not losing conversions as a result of trying something new.

The final stage of growth hacking is increasing your company’s voice as a thought leader in your discipline. Write a book, preferably in collaboration with a well-known influencer, send articles and blogs to local, regional, and national publications; build relationships with bloggers, who reach your consumer with different products or topics and offer to provide content, and add your company’s names to the lists of experts for local television and radio shows. All of these methods will help drive traffic to your new and improved website, significantly improve your SEO rankings, and increase conversions and profitability.

In summary, benchmarking has been a very effective tools for companies to increase market share, but growth hacking represents the next phase of competitive analysis and growth through incorporating proven methods and strategies from many industries globally.

5 Reasons Why You Should Re-Evaluate Your Marketing Strategy, Even When Business Is Good

Businesses avoid criticism nearly at all costs, and the hesitance to hearing something negative shows itself in the marketing strategy most businesses have in place. Far too often, businesses both large and small have implemented a marketing strategy that will allow them to achieve success with few other goals or markers in place. There is little to no room for talking about success leveling out or even a lack of success.

Even when business is going well, it is always important for a business owner to take the time and look over their marketing strategy. Here are five reasons why this is an essential practice:

1. Marketing Strategy and Return On Investment (ROI) Do Not Match – Your marketing strategy needs to be strongly connected with not only the goals of your company, but also its objectives. This relationship is key to having a positive ROI. Taking the time to re-evaluating your marketing strategy can lead a business to adjust its overall strategy to produce the desired results.

2. Your Competition is Doing Well – Sometimes knowing how well your competitors are doing can be difficult to hear. However, this can be a golden opportunity to see what marketing strategy is being employed by your competitor? You may just find that since you have a similar prospective customer base and business goals, their strategic marketing techniques may prove to be beneficial for your business.

3. You’re Unsure of What Numbers to Track – Even a strong marketing campaign can be undone by paying attention to the wrong numbers. The metrics that are most important to a business varies, but tracking the wrong metrics harms your marketing plan because you’re chasing numbers that give an inaccurate view of your business.

4. Your Online Presence Isn’t Thriving – Businesses need to take the time to track the effectiveness of its marketing plan on social media and optimizing it for search engine success. Herein lies the importance of tracking the right metrics so as to know if things are moving in the right direction. It is also important to note that a business’s website should be re-evaluated so that it is easy to navigate and engages online visitors as often as possible.

5. Your Current Strategy Doesn’t Have Room for Movement – A business needs to operate under the arena of competitive dynamics, or the concept of how a strategy works over time. A solid marketing strategy needs to have room for adjustment in case things change. This way, a business can review marketing, target more of its budget on the areas of its marketing plan that are getting the best results, and can cut cost for parts of their plan that need revamping. You also want to have room to identify new marketing opportunities. A business’s initial marketing strategy provides a general direction in which to move, but new opportunities can be life-changing in some instances, and your marketing needs to be malleable enough to handle such changes.

Conducting a Successful Fax Broadcasting Campaign

Fax broadcasting is a compelling and efficient approach to get your message out to hundreds of customers and prospects at once. Aside from standard features, fax machines these days have enhanced features that can make your marketing campaigns more successful.

By taking advantage of these advanced features, businesses can maximize their fax marketing campaign and increase its effectiveness. Making the most of the fax marketing services entails having the best value for your money. One way to do this is to ensure that your business is reaching the right customers by analyzing the statistics of your marketing campaigns.

Fax marketing services come with programs that show detailed reports of your fax messages including pending, successful, in-progress, and unsuccessful faxes. In addition, you can incorporate fax marketing with your online advertising tactics by adding an email signup form to your website to encourage people to join your subscription list.

A well-planned fax marketing strategy can increase the impact of your message, improve conversion rates, and eventually increase your revenue. Here are some tips for a successful fax marketing campaign.

Compelling headlines will help grab the attention of your target audience upfront. Think about the message you need to convey and make sure that it is easy to read, concise, and clear. Normally, readers look at your headline, scan the page, and then decide if it’s worth their time or not. Put key messages in strategic places and highlight areas that you want readers to focus the most.

Timing is also essential in sending out fax messages. For instance, businesses can use fax broadcasting to send out seasonal promotions or give discounts to drive foot traffic on slow days.

Most importantly, include a clear call to action in your fax messages. Once your readers understood the concept of your messages, it should be obvious to them what you want them to do next. It can be as simple as asking them to call a phone number to schedule an appointment or to fill up and send back a form through fax.

People are used to receiving dozens of emails every day but can you remember the last time you received a fax message? Most probably, it’s been a long time. Sending a message by fax could mean that it can easily stand out since it has lesser competition. So, if you’re searching for an affordable yet effective marketing channel, fax messaging is certainly an option.

Nicole Smith is an Executive consultant and practice leader in the Multi-Channel Customer Engagement area with 20 years of experience in his field. Experience working with clients in numerous industries, including telecommunications, financial services, local government, high technology, and entertainment.

5 Ways to Identify Your Top Competitors

Here are 5 ways that you can start to identify your real competition.

1) Google your top 3-5 key phrases. Create a Google search related to what your ideal customers would type in to look for your services. If you operate within a specific geographic location then also include your town, city or zip code in the search. Browse the companies that come up on the first 1-2 pages. When you do this try not to use industry jargon. This isn’t how your customers are searching.

2) Search on social media. Similar to the Google search mentioned above you want to search for competitors on the social media platform your customers are likely to use. If you’re service is B2B then default to LinkedIn. If you’re B2C then use Facebook. Even if you don’t utilize social media in your business just yet, don’t assume that you’re customers aren’t using it. And I can almost guarantee that your top competitors ARE using social media to build trust within their market. Go check them out.

3) Ask your customers. Follow up with your BEST customers and find out who else they considered working with and why they chose you. Your best customers will be those who buy from you repeatedly and refer others to your business. These are your golden customers and you want as many as you can handle so be sure to find which of your competitors are on their radar.

4) Ask your prospects. Try to have a process in place so that you can ask prospective customers who else they are considering working with and what they’re likely to base their decision on. Since most prospects will default to “price” be sure to dig a bit and find out what else might make them confident to hire you or one of your competitors. You can also follow up with prospects you know went somewhere else. This is actually a great sign that you value their opinion and you might even get future business this way. Especially if they aren’t completely thrilled with the company they hired.

5) Look around. Who do you see showing up everywhere? If YOU see them then it’s likely your customers are seeing them too. This means online AND offline. Who are you losing work to and why? Always keep your eyes open.

Keep an ongoing spreadsheet with your competition and identify their niche, strengths and weaknesses.