Monthly Archives: September 2010

5 Step Process for Getting Traction for your Website by Starting Local

If you want to start getting traction for your website and business, start local like Kansas City, MO, or Kansas City, KS. Below I explain in simple easy to understand language how to make sure you increase your income in 5 steps.

You could focus on Johnson County or Jackson County. You could even use some zip codes like our zip code is 64114.

I’m personally am big believer in organic search results because otherwise your relying on paying for click (PPC) to be placed on the search page. As soon as you stop paying there goes your placement. Don’t get me wrong there are times and really good uses for PPC campaigns.  But for small business owners who have a very small marketing budget creating content over time that adds to your base and builds your Internet footprint is one of the cheaper and fairly easy things to do. When I say easy I don’t mean set up a website and forget it. You have to strategically think about what your customers need to help them make an informed decision about your product or service and provide that information. Putting a website up with your contact information and a few pretty pictures is not enough.

So lets say your a Roofer who bases his/her business in Lee Summit.

Step one: Own roofing in Lee Summit. As your building that step you can move on to step two but don’t forget the original goal. Hyper local search and customer loyalty plays a huge role in how customers decide on which person to hire. People want to support their neighbors… as long as you are a quality business. Customer service is key in today’s market place.

Step Two: Start planning your content creation with surrounding areas in mind. So from Lee Summit then start working on Blue Springs and Independence.

Step Three: Don’t get caught up in controlling your content. I know of a roofer who thinks because he wrote an article 5 years ago that he plastered his name all over the content you can hardly read it. He also has it as a down-loadable PDF rather than a website with copyrighted content. It isn’t like he is doing something other roofers aren’t, maybe he was 5 years ago but today they all are doing it. So why not use the content to overpower your competitors on the Internet and pull more customers to you.

Step Four: Keep your web presence as a high priority. Being current keeps you on the cutting edge of what everyone is doing and also helps your ranking in searches. Especially if your going to be using social media. If you decide to add social media to your marketing mix. Think of it like adding another phone line. If someone calls your business line; You answer it right? That is how you get a customer. Same with social media; if someone engages you on facebook or twitter you have to “pick up the phone” and answer or engage back. Social media is about a two way communication with your audience. It’s not about putting content out there on a regular basis and just hoping it will bring you customers and build brand loyalty. If you don’t have enough time to add another phone line then don’t add it. But don’t get overwhelmed by a new phone system where you can put someone on hold for a minute and answer another line. Just remember go back and pick up the person on hold and don’t keep them waiting too long.

Step Five:  This is an action step: Go do a search for coaching or coach in Kansas City. If I’m not on the first page as an organic search then feel free to blast me or ignore me or flip me the bird. But if I am then ask yourself this question. Should I think about calling Chuck and hiring him to help me with my Internet presence. How can he help me gain more customers and increase my income? Always keep an eye on your competitors and your own ranking.

Below are links from www.hellokansascity.com on a google search. If you click on them they will take you to their site and show you a map of that section of Kansas City. They had the first organic SEO placement slot. Kudos to them.  I coach in all these areas and welcome your calls on how to improve your business. I also teach classes and do group coaching for small business owners who want to stay a head of their competitors. Feel free to check out my upcoming classes

Navigating the Internet for Small Business owners

Social Media: How Small Business Owners can Attract New Clients and Grow your Business

and or contact me about individual or group coaching for small business owners.

Feel free to comment on this blog entry. Was it helpful?

Social Media Business Classes Fall 2010 Communiversity UMKC

Catalog is out and classes are filling up. If the following topics are of interest read on and see how to sign up for the classes.

Navigating the Internet for Small Business owners

Social Media: How Small Business Owners can Attract New Clients and Grow your Business

Come learn what hands-on business owners and entrepreneurs are doing to attract new clients. The new rules of marketing have made it easier for small businesses to compete with large corporations. We will cover the latest in social media, shifts in marketing strategies, SEO,  Facebook, Linked-in, YouTube, Twitter, blogging and some things you haven’t even heard of yet. Come learn how to easily grow your business.

My challenge to you is go to Google,type in keywords that would lead you to find a life or business coach in Kansas City, or even just my name Chuck Franks. If I’m NOT on page #1 of Google don’t take this class. You should learn from someone who actually does what they are trying to teach you. Do you want your business to be on page #1 of Google?  I’m teaching two classes this Fall Semester and each class has two sections so you have a better chance of getting it worked into your already busy schedule.

Location is scheduled through Communiversity so you’ll have to register through them and you’ll be notified of location by them when the catalog comes out.

Navigating the Internet for Small Business owners

Come prepared with questions related to strategy and how to get the results you want to see from your online efforts. We will explore why you’re not getting the results you think you should from your efforts. We will discuss the basics of your web site, why it’s working or not working. Bring paper and pen- you’ll want to take notes. If you are interested in having your web site used as an example in class, feel free to write me and volunteer. It’s much more personal if we utilize a specific example. We may have time to review more than one web site. Chuck@ChuckFranks.com

Sec. A: 1 session; Wednesday, October 6; 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM; University Center, Rm. 147, 50th & Rockhill Rd., UMKC Campus, KCMO; LIMIT: 25

Sec. B: 1 session; Wednesday, October 6; 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM; University Center, Alumni Rm., 50th & Rockhill Rd., UMKC Campus, KCMO; LIMIT: 25

 

Social Media: How Small Business Owners can Attract New Clients and Grow your Business

Come learn what business owners and entrepreneurs are doing to attract new clients. The new rules of marketing have made it easier for small businesses to compete with large corporations. We will cover the latest in social media, shifts in marketing strategies, SEO, Facebook, Linked-In, YouTube, Twitter, blogging and some things you haven’t even heard of yet. Come learn how to easily grow your business.

Sec. A: 1 session; Monday, October 4; 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM; University Center, Rm. 147, 50th & Rockhill Rd., UMKC Campus, KCMO; LIMIT: 20

Sec. B: 1 session; Wednesday, September 29; 6:45 PM – 8:45 PM; Central Library, Rm. 310, 14 W. 10th St, KCMO, NE corner of Baltimore & 10th; LIMIT: 20

Register at Communiversity.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Greetings Future Client! Welcome.

One of my main goals is to help business owners stand out in a crowd. Get people talking about what your doing and how your doing it differently. This first video is the capturing of the footage and the second is the polished version.

 

 

 

Sometimes it's easy to get so focused on today, tomorrow and next week that you lose sight of your original plans for your business–or perhaps the world around you has changed and it's time to reassess those plans.

My goal is to help give you the perspective you need to keep your business thriving and improving.

The fact that you are visiting my site means you probably are already considering hiring a coach. You're probably wondering how it can make business sense. Your also probably wondering, 'Is this Chuck Franks the right guy for me.' Let me see if I can shed a little light on who I am and what I believe in so you can make that decision and choose to contact me about having a conversation. I'll give an overview of some of my thoughts, beliefs and feelings around how I work and what my clients accomplish by working with me.

My personal philosophy of Coaching

I've been a coach my entire life. My training as a counselor gave me a strong education and background to work with. I remember my first love was reality therapy. The basics of this theory are about facing the truth and then doing something about it, taking action.      

I get excited about coaching when a client has what is known as an "AHA moment".   A shift happens and they can instantly see the world from a new place in a new way.   It is simply amazing. It's definitely what drives and excites me. I work with my clients and we move forward together through the process of reaching their goals creating the life they truly want.

Even though I get excited from "AHA moments", I get even more excited when my clients tell me stories about how they see direct results from the work we do together.

Here is one of my clients talking about his results. Granted these results were before he broke out on his own and more than doubled his income.

I use to call myself an Executive Life Coach. I coined this phrase not because it was something that no one else was doing but because it represented the way I view life and how I work with clients.

I believe we are all our own CEOs of our lives.  

The question then becomes:
Would you fire yourself or give yourself a raise?
If you don't deserve a raise then it is time to take action. Change needs to happen. That is where working with me comes into play. I resonate and am grounded in the Appreciative Inquiry philosophy, with an emphasis on relationship enhancement. The truth is we are all in relationship with everyone, your boss, your significant other, your children, your clients, your neighbors, and the environment. By focusing on improving those relationships your level of satisfaction will increase.  Who doesn't want to be happier.

Since starting coaching practice many years ago I have evolved and now refer to my self as a Business Relationship Coach with strong leanings toward social media strategist. Why? I view the world as a complicated interwoven fabric of relationships. As a business owner the most important relationship I or you have is the one with your clients/customers. If your customers are not happy, your not making money. From there it's just a domino chain falling. However when your customers are so happy they would never even consider doing business with someone else well the result is less stress on you, more profits, stronger business and all from focusing on the customer. Putting them first. Making them feel special. They are the life blood of your business, why wouldn't you do anything you can to make them feel special. Social media is a representation of how we treat people. Do you engage in conversations or do you just try and push content out to convince someone to buy what your selling?

That first step is inquiry.

Asking questions such as: How can I reach my goals? How can I create the life I want? How can I improve communication with significant others in my life ? How can I achieve a better work/life balance/integration? How can I be happier?

Coaching can help you reach your goals faster, saving you time, money and energy. Most people who are hiring coaches want more of what works and less of what doesn't. Problem is they think they should focus on what they are doing wrong and fix it. I think you should focus on what your good at, your strengths and do more of it.

I believe my background gives me a unique ability to access my client's goals and help them step outside themselves and into their customers shoes.  Some coaches refer to this as working ON your business not IN it. I agree but take it one step further, working on your business to make it consumer centric.

Feel free to stop right now and contact me.

ChuckFranks@mac.com

Or feel free to check out the site and get a feel for who I am.  If we don't connect on a level that feels right to you then I'm not the right coach for you. That is OK. I have a unique NO-BULLSHIT straight shooter approach. I grew up with the value of your only as good as your word. I live every day trying my best to make sure my clients get the results and reach their goals and being as good as my word.

I Fly Southwest because of Pat King and other employees like her.

I want someone over at Southwest Airlines to know what a great employee you have in Pat King.  In case you don’t know who she is, here is a quick reminder.

Southwest Airlines Pat King

We had the wonderful opportunity to fly best class in her section of the plane. On our first leg home from Fort Lauderdale to Denver. She is a true gem. I’m not a morning person and her smile warmed me up more than a cup of coffee. She was gracious and friendly and just everything we could have asked for in a flight attendant. And she did all that at 8am. We had been up since about 5am to get to the airport in time and I think she said she had been up since 4 because she was based out of Las Vegas but lives in Texas. I just always like to let companies know when they are truly being represented by some class act employees.

Then on our next leg of our flight we were greeted by a team of men who upon further inquiry always request to fly together on the anniversary of 9/11 we flew on the 12th but I’m assuming they had to be booked together for several days to get to be together on the 11th. All of them had a smile on their face and were so wonderful to everyone. I’m sure it takes a special bond to continue to do the jobs most of us take for granted. Now that I think about it. We flew Southwest on 9/10 home from Chicago that fateful year. I didn’t get the gentlemen’s names or pictures as their flight was completely full and a shorter flight. But I really want you to know how well you are represented by your staff.

Thanks Southwest for treating your customers so well. That is why I am a frequent flyer on your airline. Thanks to Pat and the Guys and all the rest of the crew that made our long day pleasant.

Sprint Nextel scores big through one employee but fails to see the big picture

Dear, Bob Johnson, Chief Service Officer for Sprint Nextel.

I recently had a wonderful experience at a Sprint store in Fort Lauderdale Florida. The sales person came up and asked if he could help. I explained we were looking for something to solve a problem that either included a phone that had Internet access or a WIFI hotspot for my partner. I switched from Sprint to AT&T a little over two years ago for the sole reason to have an iPhone. Before that I was a loyal Sprint customer for probably 10 years or more. Daniel Broit asked a few questions and then mostly remained quiet as I processed out loud the issues we were having the problems this would solve when I stumbled he would interject a few comments.  Yes and No to clarify what the item would or would not do. 

In a minute, I’ll share with you how Sprint is missing the boat on customer service and feedback but right now I want to continue with how great we were treated.  Daniel was very patient about signing us up. Explaining what it would cost today but that the mail in rebate would offset it. He even filled out the rebate form for us and put it in an envelope addressed. Everything but the Stamp, which of course I had to give him a hard time about. But literally every step of the way he held our hand and made the experience of purchasing the wifi hotspot such a great experience we could not have been happier.

Until a problem occurred. Two days later after having the thing run down and kick off and have to be rebooted several times. We called customer support and they told me to do a few things. Nothing was working, this was a business trip, we needed internet so we went back to the store wanting them to maybe replace the battery or the snap on back cover which didn’t seem to fit right. Which might have explained the battery just not being held in place properly. We were waiting to talk to Daniel Broit again cause we had had such a great experience with him when a young lady offered to help cause Daniel with another customer. We started explaining the issues we were having. She immediately went into the stock answer of you have to take it to the service center.  She was rude to my partner so he walked away which she chimed in that that was a good idea which only made him get more upset. Literally in less than 45 seconds she had pissed us both off. I kept trying to explain that we had only got this device 2 day earlier and …. “You’ll have to take it to the service center, How do I know it’s not working properly?” was her reply. I wanted to say to her, well the same way you knew I wanted to buy it when I whipped out my credit card 2 days earlier is how you know it cause I said so.  Thankfully Daniel was right next to us and was over hearing everything that was happening.  So he intervened and asked us to wait till he could assist us. He got us a new battery and a new back just in case and again sent us away very pleased with him not necessarily Sprint.

Neither one of these employees know I write a blog nor do they know I am a Business Relationship Coach who specializes in helping companies understand what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong.  But the fact that I live in Kansas City, where Sprint Headquarters is located and I’m buying something way across the country made the entire experience very personal. You don’t have to be from Kansas City to know that Sprint is hemorrhaging customers at a rate that seems unstoppable. I figured I would highlight one individual that Sprint has working for them who should be getting some kind of recognition.  I am always about focusing on the positive of a situation. And this young man truly knows how to handle the public.

I hope that if anything comes from this article it’s that Daniel Broit gets the credit and recognition that he due. Maybe Sandra J. Price, Senior Vice President, Human Resources should be calling him in to do some training with front line service people.  At the very least some VP should be sending him a hand written Thank You note for doing such an awesome job on behalf of the company.

I mentioned earlier I’d tell you how Sprint is missing the boat on customer service. What I consider the most important observation I made beyond the interactions I had with the staff was each time a customer was helped and sold an item the staff made a special request almost a plea that the person go fill out a survey about the type of service they got while they were there. However the girl who didn’t help me and was sending me away frustrated never once asked me to fill out a survey about my experience in the store. If you want to improve customer service ask for all feedback not just for positive feedback.  If your only collecting information about positive exchanges then it leaves the person who had a negative experience no other choice but to go use Facebook, Twiiter, Brightkite, Foursquare, or a blog to vent their frustration with your company.

However, If your sales and customer service individuals know that they have to ask for feedback on each and every interaction they have with customers they will approach the situation differently.  Before they even say Hello, how may I help you today they will be thinking strategically about solving a problem and creating customer loyalty.  They will take ownership of the interaction and the customer.  Isn’t that really what you want them to be doing?

Had the young lady even given me time to explain the entire situation and then politely stated that she didn’t have the authority to do anything other than refer me to the service center then I would have asked for a manager.  Had the next step been that I was still told I had to follow the proper channels and go to the service center I would have at least understood they were following company policy. I would have felt like they took the time to listen.  I would not have been a happy or satisfied customer but I would have understood and just been frustrated.  I probably would have just returned the WIFI and gotten out of the 2 year contract which it committed me too.  So really Sprint if that is standard of customer service you might want to rethink that approach.  They might not have been able to fix a broken WIFI device but they could certainly refund my money.

I wonder how Dan Hesse, Chief Executive Officer of Sprint Nextel Corporation would have expected this situation to be handled?   Oh and don’t let the fact that I’m still in my 30 day return policy sway your judgment.  If you want to earn and keep customers treat them well all the time not just at the point of sale. That is how you increase loyalty and retain customers. Give them more than they are even expecting but most importantly listen to them.

This particular story was about Sprint but every company has it’s own star employees and not so stellar employees. How are you handling your customers? How are you getting feedback about their experience? Are you even asking for their feedback? As customers become more empowered to control the image and message about your company through social media, how are you engaging in the conversation?