Bake Great Customer Service Into Your Brand

We’ve all experienced it: the hipster barista too busy making snarky comments on her cellphone to take your order, the salesperson hovering over you that makes you flee without buying what you came in for, or the voice mail hell that seems designed to keep you from speaking with a human being.

A bad customer experience can go viral in seconds, yet when most small business owners think about branding, they’re more focused on their logo or tagline than their customer service strategy. Ultimately, customer service has more impact on your brand than the cool pictures you post on Facebook.

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How to Sell Without Selling

When most people purchase an expensive or unfamiliar product or service, they want to educate themselves and talk to a few vendors before buying. We’ve all been on a pushy first date. In sales, as in love, timing is everything.

If you’re willing to take the time to share your passion and knowledge with a prospective customer, not only are they more likely to buy from you when they’re ready, but chances are, they’ll come back for more. In a sense, you’re selling by not selling.

A new methodology has sprung up around the concept of “inbound marketing.” The customer is attracted to you because you’re providing them with relevant, helpful, easy-to-understand information that helps them decide whether and what to buy. This “customer-centric” approach can give you a competitive advantage, whether you’re selling in person or online.

Guest columnist Lock Whitney is an inbound marketer and a Common App essay specialist. He runs Red Brick Writers with three friends from Amherst College and works as an Account Coordinator at HubSpot.

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How Can I Increase My Sales?

Almost every business wants to increase sales, but bigger isn’t always better! Good Egg Marketing doesn’t promote mindless consumption. We work with companies that provide great products or services that people genuinely want or need.

Here are a few of the tactics that the businesses we work with or admire have used to increase sales. By the way, many of these principles apply to non-profits, too.

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How to Motivate Your Audience with Calls to Action

Wait, What Am I Asking For?
The purpose of a CTA (Call to Action) is to inspire your audience to take some form of action. In a sales or fundraising context, this action is also known as an “ask.” It is critical to define exactly what your goal/objective is in order to determine an appropriate CTA. Do you want a larger following online? Do you want more potential customers (leads)? Do you want existing donors to contribute more? Each CTA should inspire a specific action for a specific purpose.

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What I Wish I’d Known at Start-Up

Launching any type of business—especially in food—is exhilarating, exhausting, and endlessly surprising, but the more that you know when you start up, the better. Here’s some advice from friends and clients of Good Egg Marketing.

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Is Your Marketing Having Any Impact?

My colleague Julia Shanks, principal of Julia Shanks Food Consulting, is an expert at helping farms and food entrepreneurs create and use business plans and financial analyses to grow their businesses. She’s also a chef and cookbook author. Not surprisingly, her approach to marketing is very analytical. I invited her to write a guest article to share how she measures her marketing tactics.

Myrna Greenfield

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Are You Millennial Enough?

Take the Pew Research Quiz!
Take the Pew Research Quiz!

Understanding how millennials think and what they value is critical to your success as a business or nonprofit. The millennial generation (born approximately 1980-1996–it varies, depending on who’s counting) is creating fundamental shifts in how we all think, learn, communicate, and act.

So if you want to reach people in this digital age, you need to learn to think like a millennial. Here are some tips on how to be more millennialish.

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4 Ways to Use LinkedIn

I frequently hear my clients and colleagues say, “I don’t know what to do with LinkedIn!”

With 300 million users around the world  (100 million in the US), LinkedIn is the leading online professional directory. Yet, 52.2% of users spend 2 hours or fewer on the site each week.

This amazes me, because if you have a business or job (or want one), I think LinkedIn’s the most useful of all the social media platforms. While it’s particularly helpful for job seekers, recruiters, salespeople and consultants, it’s a great way for almost anyone to connect with people and stay in touch with them. Here are my top suggestions for what you can do with LinkedIn.

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Are You a Competitor or a Collaborator?

People seated at a table collaborating on a project
Photo by Jennifer Leonard, Creative Commons

It may sound counterintuitive, but the best way to grow your business may be through collaboration, rather than competition.

Americans are brought up to believe that we can’t collaborate with our competitors. There are even laws against price fixing, when competitors get together to agree on pricing. Yet, in many cases, being a collaborator rather than a competitor may be key to your success.

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Is Your Website Giving Me a Headache?

I’ve been looking at hundreds of food and farm websites as part of a project I’m doing for a client, and, frankly, some of them are giving me a headache! Too much text, too many garish colors, and way too many flashing images.

With all the free and inexpensive tools out there, every farm, small business and nonprofit can have a decent-looking website. But an effective website must not only look good–it should also answer the four questions below.

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