Critical Issue: Verifying your Google My Business listing

Critical Issue: Verifying your Google My Business listing

Who else gets technology rage?
Let me tell you about the technical gymnastics we often have to go through on behalf of our members, just to get their tech ducks in a row. Marielle, one of my full-time staff in the Philippines, has been wrestling with Google for several days, trying to verify Google My Business listing of our client and live online.

(It can be a tortuous process). Depending on Mr. Google’s mood on the day, he’ll sometimes allow instant verification with an automated phone call reciting a 6 digit code to the business owner. Other days, the only way you can do it is by triggering a postcard, which can take weeks to arrive.
Yesterday, Juliet, was at the airport in Boston, about to fly down to Jacksonville, Florida where she’d set up her new business.
I was in touch with her via text message, and liaising with Marielle via Zoom chat. You’ll see from the screenshots below what a convoluted process it can be.
But essential – getting your Google My Business listing into the “Big Three” at the top of search results is the most valuable online real estate you can have. We know that GMB verification can be tricky, and it is not always a viable method to verify Google My Business by postcard. So, finding out how to verify Google My Business without a postcard could be crucial for some businesses.
Visibility on Google searches is highly crucial not only for online businesses but for all. Google my Business provides its users a vital opportunity to appear in Google search results with relevant information and Google Maps with all the contact details. And this opportunity is free.
How to verify your Google My Business listing 1
verifying your google my business listing
get your google listing verified
verifying your google listing
Is YOUR Niche Market as Rich as This?

Is YOUR Niche Market as Rich as This?

The recent addition of a new puppy to the Milner household has once again highlighted for me the immense power of the riches to be found in niche markets.

And it makes me wonder why so many business owners ignore this, and try to be all things to all people.

For the record, his name is Digby, after my late father. He’s a new breed called an Australian Cobber Dog.

If you’re a dog person, you’ll know that a puppy is blissfully unaware of its ability to induce the departure of reason from the minds of its masters. 

Thus it is that, thanks to re-marketing technology, our visits to dog-related websites immediately result in Facebook and Instagram kindly show us repeated ads for pet products. 

So Dr Lisa Chimes, a vet and online marketer of Broadmeadows in New South Wales, can be pretty much assured that ads for her high-margin products will find a ready audience in the Milner household. 

Dr Lisa Chimes

You also learn quickly that it is ill-advised to be too emotionally attached to things like shoes. Or soft furnishings. Or your garden sprinklers. Even our wooden wine rack bears the scars of needle-sharp puppy teeth.

By far the most significant change in our household, however, has been our complete loss of reason when it comes to buying “things for Digby.”

On our frequent visits to pet supplies retailers, all consideration of pricing comparisons and value judgements is left behind at the door.

That fancy new bark control collar? A snip at just $190. No matter that it cost $4.50 to produce.

Every week, a new chew toy seems to arrive in the house. No matter that he already has a basket full of chew toys. And much prefers to chew the basket.

Why have only one monogrammed food bowl for inside the house, when you can have another one for outside as well?

And don’t get me started on the contents of said food bowls. Entire supermarkets are dedicated to a dazzling array of canine sustenance, all of it declaring – on packaging designed specifically to appeal to humans, not dogs – that it’s scientifically formulated by veterinarians to put a spring in the step of every pooch.

Near where we live is a new pets-only crematorium. And just around the corner, a craftsman who markets leather, silver and stainless steel bracelets around the world. 

More than half his orders come from pet owners who want one of his bracelets with stainless steel hollow clasps into which one can insert small quantities of your beloved pet’s ashes or hair. 

Here’s part of a Facebook ad campaign we’ve just designed for him (featuring our own Digby!):  

Facebook advertising for niche markets

Did I mention vets?

The average dog owner might well quibble over the price of a bus ticket, or haggle with a car salesman till both are blue in the face.

But when it comes to the family hound, a qualified vet can charge whatever she likes – think of a number, and double it – and the dog owner will meekly, nay eagerly, hand over his credit card without so much as a whimper. And gushingly thank the animal doctor for being so kind as to take his money.

Pet owners are a lush, rich, inch-wide-but-mile-deep niche market. A bottomless pit of money.

Golfers are the same. So are car enthusiasts. Cyclists? No great powers of observation are required to notice that at any city café on a Saturday morning, ALL cyclists are kitted out in the latest lycra fashions, their $5,000 machines adorned with every electronic device ever invented.

I like fishing. So much so that I have been known to walk into a tackle shop intent on buying nothing but a box of hooks, and walk out $600 poorer, armed with a bag of colourful new lures clearly designed to attract fishermen, rather than their prey.

There are niche markets everywhere, hidden in plain sight.

Famously, one of my earliest and most successful marketing students created a booming business after a coaching call with me in which she complained bitterly about how she was exhausted working 60 hours a week doing massages at her small inner-city salon.

I asked her about her typical client. Turns out more than half of them were…pregnant women!

Aha, I said. Why not just concentrate on marketing yourself to expectant mothers?

Within a month, her new business Yummy Mummy Pregnancy Day Spa was doing a roaring trade, and she was ‘off the tools’ completely.

Enthusiasts, hobbyists, collectors, professional athletes, sports fans, pet owners, photographers…the list of niche markets is saturated with people who will spend whatever it takes to be ‘at the top of their game.’

A city hair salon specialising in and marketing to men and women with dreadlocks? Certainly sounds a better and more profitable proposition than simply competing me-too-style with every other hair salon on the block.

Most businesses are ‘generalists’, forever trying to appeal to the masses. And by doing so, they become indistinguishable from their competitors, left with little more than price to differentiate themselves.

Take the time to critically and forensically examine your clients. Look for commonalities. Do a sizeable number belong to a particular group? If so, find ways to refine your message so that it appeals to more of that group.

There are immense riches in niches. It’s worth the effort to identify and exploit them.

Want some (free) help identifying your ideal niche market?

Book your free Niche Market Strategy Session Zoom call with Greg!

Greg Milner, Founder, Worldwide Salon Marketing

Greg Milner is the founder of Worldwide Salon Marketing. Since 2004, he and his team of digital and offline marketing specialists have been helping salon & spa owners all over the world to get more clients, spending more money, more often.

[NEW VIDEO] How to Advertise on Facebook

If you’re not a geek, navigating the ‘back-end’ of Facebook’s advertising portal is enough to have you tearing your own hair out. 

Worse, Facebook keeps changing things, just as you get used to it. And you can spend frustrating hours just trying to work out what the heck they’ve done!

So many small business owners throw their hands in the air and give up. Or worse, just throw money at it, hoping some of it sticks.

Posts on your business page are now being shown to fewer people. Unless you boost them.

But how to do that effectively and efficiently, to ONLY the right target market, can be confusing. In this video, Worldwide Salon Marketing social media specialist Samantha Buckley walks you through exactly what to do to make every dollar you spend count.

It’s one thing boosting a post to as many people as you can. 

BUT it’s better to boost a post to people who are more likely to respond. 

And those people tend to be people like your clients, their friends, family and people with similar interests. 

How to do that? In the second video, Sam reveals how to import your own list of clients into Facebook…

After watching that, is social media marketing STILL doing your head in? 

Thankfully, you CAN get it all done for you. Regular daily posting, monthly special promotions, even specialised Google, Facebook and Instagram advertising campaigns. 

Sam and her team do the lot. Click the button below to find out more, and call Sam on +61-8-94439327. 

Greg Milner, Founder, Worldwide Salon Marketing
Greg Milner signature
A simple decision – now this salon owner can take holidays…

A simple decision – now this salon owner can take holidays…

Now, Salon owners can take holidays with this simple tips from us!

It can be a scary thing to contemplate.

“I wish we had a receptionist – but how can I generate enough business to pay for her???”

It’s a question Jasmine Dwyer asked herself often.

One day, she just gritted her teeth, and pulled the trigger.

It changed her life. Here’s how Jasmine described it:

Jasmine has been a Member of Worldwide Salon Marketing’s Client Attraction System for 8 years.

If YOU want access to the same tools, templates, strategies and hands-on support from our team of marketers, digital experts and technical specialists, it’s a one-click process to join our flagship program:

 

For the past 10 years Greg and the team from WSM have always facilitated a highly engaging, dynamic and professional marketing platform . We have been equipped with helpful tools focused around client retention, new client lead generation and past client re-engagement. Investing in this marketing program has helped grow our business to what it is today. Highly recommend. Also I would like to say the help we had from Sam with the launch of our Social Media Shops and advertising will be sure to drive more traffic our way.

Leiza Cester

Owner, Allura Hair Boutique

Greg and his team are second to none when it comes to getting clients through the door. As a start up Laser Tattoo Clinic with no reviews, I'm thrilled to say business thrived in the first five months of opening (pre Covid19) all due to the great advertising and follow up links provided by the team at WWMarketing. I'm looking forward to continuing the journey post Covid19 lockdown. Thank you, can't recommend you highly enough 🙂

Lorina Cassidy-Reid

Owner, Original Skin Tattoo Removal

SEE WHAT PEOPLE HAVE TO SAY

Check out what Salon Owners are saying about Worldwide Salon Marketing.  These business marketers have all been through one or more of our Salon Owner programs.  These programs are designed to change them into real business marketers and their salons into cash-generating machines.  If you want similar results then take action yourself by calling one of our offices.

What’s your Salon’s USP?

What’s your Salon’s USP?

I’ve written a lot, taught a lot, coached a lot on the subject of USP or Unique Selling Proposition. While most of our Worldwide Salon Marketing Members ‘get’ the reasoning behind all the Emotional Direct Response salon marketing ads, flyers, letters and other material in the Simple Salon Marketing manual, very few owners of salons & spas even attempt to understand the importance of having a truly unique message for their prospects and customers, and it’s effect on your salon’s income.

In 1961, famous American advertising executive Rosser Reeves introduced the idea of USP in his book Reality in Advertising.

According to Reeves, there are three requirements for a USP:

1. Each advertisement must make a proposition to the consumer. Each must say, “Buy this product, and you will get this specific benefit.” (Your headline must contain a benefit – a promise to the reader.)

2. The proposition must be one that the competition either cannot, or does not, offer. Here’s where the “unique” in Unique Selling Proposition comes in. It is not enough merely to offer a benefit. You must also differentiate your product.

3. The proposition must be so strong that it can move the masses, i.e., pull over new customers to your product or service. The differentiation cannot be trivial. It must be a difference that is very important to the reader. (What Reeves was talking about here was making a BIG promise. But not necessarily an expensive one.)

By contrast, so much beauty industry marketing, particularly among average ‘corner store’ hair and beauty salons, is so timid that it disappears, becomes invisible. “Come to us and we’ll make you look much better…” Vague, wishy-washy nonsense.) Now, big companies spend millions, billions of dollars building a strong brand.

There are lots of soft drink manufacturers, many of whom sell a ‘cola’ product. But you can only buy Coke from Coca Cola. Unfortunately, YOU don’t have the kind of money Coca Cola has to build a ‘brand’. So we use ‘guerilla marketing’ methods to achieve differentiation in a USP. One of the best methods I know to create a strong USP is when your product or service has a unique feature, one that competitors can’t boast about. Of course, if you have that advantage, it all becomes pretty easy. Okay, I hear you thinking,

“But what if I’m just an average salon doing pretty much the same kind of stuff as the competition?”

According to Reeves – and I agree – uniqueness can either come from a strong brand (an option 95% of salons can’t use) or from a claim not otherwise made in that particular form of advertising.
And that’s what you should be doing in your salon.

In other words, saying something about your business or service that others could be saying, but aren’t!

It’s called Making the Invisible Visible.

Here’s an example of that process in action:

For years, Schlitz brewing company dominated the market by ‘telling the story’ of how they made their beer. No different from the way everybody else made their beer, but they ‘made the invisible visible’.

Decades ago (there’s nothing much NEW in this concept) Milwaukee’s famous Schlitz brewing company went from nowhere to market leader when they started ‘telling the story’ of how they made their beer, in painstaking detail. Ironically, they made their beer exactly the same way every other brewer made beer, but crucially, nobody else was telling the story.

There’s another VERY large advantage to taking this approach. I call it ‘claiming the high ground’. Once you’ve done it, your competition is left to look like followers instead of leaders if they copy you. Famously, Reeves crafted a USP for M&Ms – ‘It melts in your mouth, not in your hand’ – that had the opposition chasing them for decades, and is still in use today. What could the competition do, run an ad that said “we also melt in your mouth, not in your hand”? I don’t think so.

If you’re a reasonably intelligent salon owner (in other words, one of the few who understand that the money’s in the marketing, not in the product or service) then you might have picked up on a couple of crucial lessons in this post.

Creating a USP is not necessarily about how good your product or customer service is. Everybody claims they provide ‘great customer service’. Big deal. As you can see from the examples I’ve quoted here (Schlitz and M&Ms) they didn’t talk about how good their product was. Instead, they talked about stuff that was actually peripheral to what was in the bottle (or the box). So, think: what can you say about your business that is unique (or perceived to be unique), that either cannot be said or isn’t being said about a rival salon? And remember, it’s not about you, the business, or the product – a truly ‘sticky’ USP is always about the customer, and the benefit to that customer.

Here’s ONE way for a salon to create a truly Unique Selling Proposition:

First, write a LIST of things that aggravate and annoy (your potential) customers. For example,

  • Being kept waiting
  • Getting shoved from one therapist/stylist to another
  • Dirty, unhygienic floors, rooms etc
  • Inexperienced staff
  • No parking nearby

(You can and should be able to make a LONG list of things that pee people off about salons.)

Second, pick at least ONE of these, and provide a GREAT answer to it.

Example: one of our Member salons decided that what annoyed her mostly middle-aged clients was going to a salon and being served by therapists or stylists barely out of their teens. So she came up with a cracker of a USP: “You know what it’s like when you visit a salon and you’re thrown in with an inexperienced junior? Well, at (salon name) the average age of our staff is thirty eight, with an average experience of 15 years! So you can rest assured your skin is being looked after by people who know what they’re doing!”

No meaningless blather about ‘Our customer service is exceptional’ or ‘We’ve won the industry’s top awards’. Just stuff that matters to the customer.

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