The October Business Growth Club Meeting took place on Tuesday 9th – packed full of practical advice and tips for small businesses throughout Norfolk and Suffolk.

Another busy meeting with some great businesses in the room! The main topics we discussed included pricing, reviews, podcasts and the content pyramid, webinars and case studies.

How do you price your product or service – there is an increasing move to open book pricing, certainly in the B2B market and we have nothing to fear here, as our cost bases are much lower than some of the bigger firms. The trick is to outline all of our costs so it is abundantly clear how we calculate our prices, our profit margins are reasonable and we can deliver for the price.

A great example of this is clothing manufacturer Private Label VC – who also cleverly state that they never, ever discount prices either, as their prices are fair.

Many firms are still paying far too little attention to online reviews – I came across a food business recently which had over 44 Google reviews on their listing, all but two giving them five stars! So clearly a business delivering great value, as these reviews had been given spontaneously by their customers.  But the business hadn’t even claimed their website listing never mind thanked their reviewing customers.  Sadly all too common in my experience.

Reviews and social proof are crucial tools to help our prospects make an informed decision, based on what those who came before us thought of the product or service. We need to be encouraging our clients and customers to leave as many as possible on social media sites, Google, Feefo and Trustpilot too.

Podcasts continue to grow in popularity and are really easy to do and can be part of your content pyramid – all you need is a simple recorder and some people to talk to that are relevant to your audience. I use a Tascam DR-40 which is really excellent and not expensive either, delivering very high quality results.

Once your podcast is recorded, you can get an accurate transcript of the recording very cost effectively using a site such as rev.com, which costs only $1 a minute.  A thirty minute recording typically will mean around 6 – 8 A4 pages in Word.

You can of course use this as a blog, cut and paste for all of your social media and indeed any marketing campaign!  The net result is one 30 minute recording can be used throughout the month.

Webinars are another under used medium which can be very effective – again any recording can be transcribed as above, and used across all mediums. They should be used to provide information rather than hard selling of course.

Worth exploring further and I have used Webinarjam which is very easy to set up and effective.

We touched on cyber security again – at a recent meeting with one of the main high street banks, they stated that they now lose more money to cyber crime than bad debts, and the situation is only getting worse. We must take active steps and control over our own security – two factor authentication, password managers, encryption and of course be very aware of telephone and email fraud too.

We discussed an interesting take on case studies and testimonials – the temptation is to use those that show us in the best light where customers have had the best result.  However the danger is not only that they might not be believable, but more importantly we need to think what runs through the mind of our prospects.

We want our prospects to relate to the story and the danger is an amazing story raises doubts in their mind as to whether they could replicate the results.

It would be better to feature a case study and testimonial from somebody who clearly gets a result, but they started from a lower base than the average – a prospect will think I am starting from a higher place and therefore should do even better!

Finally we ran through our normal examples of both good and bad marketing – sadly bad ones are easier to find than good ones!  Serious lessons for us here, good marketing and messages cost no more than poor ones.

Great meeting and our next is on Tuesday 13th November, in Poringland as normal and starting at 8am.