How All the Social Media Experts Got it Wrong

We all know email is a powerful tool to follow up with your prospects and customers but social media can be equally as powerful if you use it correctly. The problem is that most so-called experts have it dead wrong! They think it’s about posting as frequently as possible when in fact, it’s about having a clear, concise message and engaging people through proper follow up.

Now let’s be clear, as with all types of messages: DON’T SPAM people! What’s the difference between proper messaging and spamming?

The key is to provide value and message them about something they are ACTUALLY interested in! Don’t talk about yourself like some egoistical fool! Engage them with information that is relevant and important to their business.
How do you do that?

You want your follow up to be semi-automated so you set up a series with a very specific idea of what you intend to say and then begin with a line that is completely custom. Then you copy and paste it in your Facebook messenger or LinkedIn messenger and you send it.

I talked to someone who was using social media as part of her sales funnel. She was posting messaging in Facebook groups but she wasn’t individually messaging them and she wasn’t following up with them. When you use any sort of sales message you need to follow up, politely but firmly.

If you think that by posting into groups is going to work, then you’re not studying how Facebook works anymore. Two percent of people are seeing what you post and it’s about to go to one percent! Two percent of all your Facebook group people, unless they specifically go to your Facebook group and look what’s there, won’t see your message. Facebook has strictly become a pay to play network! Most of your connections won’t see what you’ve written on your news feed. The problem is if you’re relying on groups and posts for all your communications, you’re missing out on a lot.

Isn’t it interesting that social networking has made a bunch of things easier, but has made us so lazy that we don’t follow up, we think because they joined our Facebook group, anything we post there, they’re seeing and they’ll take action

The good news is that it’s still relatively inexpensive to boost a post. It’s definitely worth it to spend a couple bucks on each post to make sure people are seeing it. The added benefit of boosting a post is that you also increases the organic post. They piggyback off of each other. Many times if I boost a post for seven bucks I get over a 500 organic reach. Not bad for the price of a Triple Venti Mocha!

If you’re smart, you’ll use a customer management tool that actually reminds you to restart the conversation when you’ve not been in contact for awhile. Once you come to the realization of how important that is, you’ll be swatting away the customers!

Everybody out there it’s all excited about social media, but nobody is figuring out that if you engage someone on Facebook messenger, it has to follow up just as much as you would on the telephone or by email.

With messaging everything should be a series to get them connected over time. Yes, when we were talking that someone by direct message on LinkedIn or direct message on Instagram or Snapchat or anything, everybody is sending one message and then that’s it! They give up!

As a small business owner I know you’re busy and you have a lot of things on your plate. That’s why you need a system that does all your thinking and the legwork for you. The CRM tool reinitiates conversations and says ‘hey, you need to talk to this guy again! It has been six days and go here to remind you and this is what you need to say to reengage him!’

If you follow these rules and strategies, you’ll have more clients than you’ll know what to do with and you’ll need help managing all the leads you get. Small Business Dream can help you. For just $99 a month, you can manage all your customers and make sure that you keep them engaged! We can do that through both email and social media campaigns that you can completely customize!

4 Ways To Make Your Business Stand Out On Social Media

There’s absolutely no getting away from it anymore. Social media is here, and it’s here to stay.

I used to crack jokes when I was watching TV, and at the end of a commercial there’d be a ‘blurb’ saying “Like us on Facebook” or some such social media plug for whichever company was paying for the commercial.

Now it’s so commonplace that I don’t even notice it anymore. There are a number of social media vehicles that you can get involved with. But you don’t just want to “get involved”. You want to stand out! You want your company to be the name on the lips of your customers. Not some random widget maker!
So how do you go about shaking up the world of social media with your company and it’s products or services?

Here are the 5 triggers that generally set the brain in motion when I start a new client on the road to social media success. These are just a few easy ways to utilize some of the tools at your social media fingertips;

1. Think outside the box

Once you realize that in the social media realm, very few things are impossible, it kind of ‘sets you free’ in terms of how you’ll think about reaching out to those who should be buying your products and/or services. Within each vehicle, there is more software and apps that help you accomplish outside the box tasks.

2. Use slide shows

Instagram, as you probably know, is essentially a photo sharing vehicle. But why stop at a plain old photo?

When utilizing Instagram, instead of posting a simple picture, the platform will accommodate video of about 13 seconds in length. Why not make a 13-second ‘slideshow’ of your best sellers, newest pieces, etc.? Better yet, why not create a separate account that just houses your fashion video and/or slide shows?! (I’m sorry…once my brain starts going, it’s really difficult to stop, so please bear with me.) The same idea can be utilized on Twitter and Facebook.

PicSlide is an easy to use app that lets you build 13-second slide shows that you can share with your followers (and their followers, etc.), and it’s super easy to use, whether your product is about shoes, beauty products, clothing, or whatever. Provide your followers with an abbreviated version of each collection/season/new products on this account.

If you’ve got the kind of designs that are frequently worn by celebrities and other notables, why not create slide shows of your creations as worn by those people?

3. Don’t be afraid. It won’t bite.

Twitter is the app/software of choice for those who like to post in short bursts of 140 characters. Periscope is a “live video streaming platform” which basically means that you can transmit a live recording of yourself to your Periscope and Twitter followers.

Using a vehicle like Periscope, you can let “fans” of your products in on some of the ‘top secret’ part of the production of a much awaited piece or a collection, do a customer generated Q&A with your creative director, and stream it on Twitter or Facebook. The possibilities are literally endless.

4. Automation rocks!

Most business owners don’t have the time or the inclination to manage their social media tasks throughout the day/week/month. Automating tasks say…once a week for days, up to a week at a time can help you stay on task and keep you in front of those who’re interested in what your company has to say. Drop in every once in a while and interrupt the automated tasks with some “real life” communication. Mix it up a bit!

Getting Your Real Estate Business Ahead in a Crazy Market

real estate

Getting (and keeping) your real estate business ahead of the pack in an insane market can be a massive and daunting task. All aspects of your marketing game need to be ‘on point’, because the competition for your potential client’s hard earned dollar is fierce.

Gone are the days when all you had to do was make sure that your face was on the side of every bus, and underneath the butts and backs of those waiting for them. This is a brand new era.

Escalated real estate values mean that you’re going to have to put in ‘extra time’ and effort to getting your name and your reputation in front of those looking for your services. And there’s no better way to do that than by staying top of mind using the tools that were built for just this reason.

Let’s start with the most basic of those tools (actually, the two most basic); your website, and your blog. These are a no-brainers, so if you’re not utilizing both to their fullest potential, you’re totally missing out. Adding a newsletter component is a given, in order to stay in touch on even a very basic level, but what about staying in touch on the fly?

I mean, how often do you look to your cell phone for information before you sit down at a desktop or laptop computer? Yup. I’m talking about mobile marketing tools for your real estate business. It’s like ramping up your newsletter campaign, keeping your customers in the loop by way of mobile. It’s marketing at the touch of a button.

Even though you’re ‘marketing at the touch of a button’, you still want to be sending valuable, timely information to your client list. Sending useful information, rather than random ‘marketing’ will keep you at the head of the pack. Using a suite of tools like Small Business Dream allows you to make the task almost as simple as tying your shoes.

Partner with a related business, in order to spread your marketing efforts. Partnering with a business that has real estate “interests” is a creative way of getting your own business to those who might not otherwise know about you, and the type of partnership possibilities are vast and numerous. From furniture stores to flooring to art, the possibilities are endless. Use your customer relationship management tool to promote that partnership to the advantage of your customers, by sending out ‘deals’ and specials that your customers (and likely their friends and acquaintances) will utilize! It’s win-win!

To know more on how you can outpace the competition  in the real estate business, check my post on how you can “growth hack” your real estate sales.

Or, you can start right away by using our Small Business Dream Suite of tools at

How A Salon Used Customer Management Relations to Boost Sales

Once upon a time in a city far far away, there was a little hair salon that decided to do the unthinkable. The hair salon owner decided to try and actually follow up with their hair salon clients to check in, not only on customer satisfaction with the hair stylist, but also to increase their sales frequency and profit.

Here is the surprisingly simple way the hair salon owner did it. First, the salon owner made sure to give every customer a client number and a simple loyalty card for the Hair Salon. This started as a stamp type loyalty card, very simple, and it had a place to write by hand, the clients name, and their ID number on the card.

Once the customer visited the hair studio 10 times, they were entitled to one of many free services, which included a hair color, hair protein treatment, a hair wash dry and set, a bottle of shampoo, or a colour root touch up.

In order to prepare the customer card, the little hair salon owner had customers fill in a simple survey pertinent to a hair salon, including the customer’s phone number, email address and hair styling preferences, and known allergies. They also offered all new hair salon clients the chance to opt-in to their weekly hair styling newsletter, and if they did, they would be placed in a draw for a monthly free $50

Hair Salon owner increases sales 63% in 47 days with this simple secret The hair salon owner decided to try and actually follow up with their hair salon clients to check in, not only on customer satisfaction with the hair stylist, but also to increase their sales frequency and profit.

The hair salon owner was very progressive and set up some simple sales and marketing automation software using Small Business Dream in order to follow up with the customers over the next few months.

As customers have enough cards to carry around, the hair salon owner decided to keep the loyalty cards at the front desk for the customer so they never needed to remember it, they simply needed to give their name.

Every time a customer came in to the hair salon, the receptionist or a stylist found their card and confirmed their number.

After the client was done with their hair cut or hair color or hair service they came for, the hair stylist pulled up their information in the marketing and sales automation software, filled in what hair services the customer had done in the notes field, as well as any other pertinent details that would allow them to better service this customer the next time they came in to the hair salon, AND reset their automated email follow up campaign (email autoresponder). The email campaign was a big key to the increase in sales in the hair salon. It was structured in the following way.

The Day AFTER the hair appointment, the hair salon sent an email from the hair salon owner checking in on the previous days service and asking for feedback if anything was wrong and how the hair stylist performed. This surprised the salon as the owner got both GOOD and BAD feedback about the hair stylists they employed. This allowed them to rectify errors and retain good customers even in the event of a mishap.

Two weeks after the hair appointment, they sent an email letting the customer know they could pop in for a professional wash, dry, and hair set for just $30, a way to get that just been to the hair salon look, at a fraction of the cost for a special occasion. Four weeks after the appointment, they sent an email asking if it might be about time to come and get a haircut again.

They were stunned by how many responses this email got, and VERY positive ones, actually thanking the hair salon owner for the reminder stating that the customer often forgets to book, and this email reminded them to get it done and it was simple, as they just replied by email, to book the time that they wanted. This system made it EASY for the customer to book a hair styling appointment.

Now the cool part of this for the hair salon was, this took the average rebooking time from 7 to 8 weeks, to averaging 6 weeks, which meant a MASSIVE increase in annual sales. Here’s the math (yuck) on how this increased sales frequency generated by the sales and marketing automation software affected the hair salons sales and profitability (Yes!);

Let’s say your average hair salon sale is $65 and your customers come in every 8 weeks. This means your hair salon customers comes to see you about 52/8 = 6.5 times per year. So your average annual sales from your hair salon’s clients are 6.5 x $65 = $422.50. If you got them back an average of 1 time each 6 weeks instead, it would be 52/6 = 8.67 times. Your average annual sales form a client then would be 8.67 x $65 = $563.33.

That is $140.83 additional hair salon revenue PER client. This is a WHOPPING 33% increase in Annual Sales!!!! What if you only had 500 hair salon clients? $70,415 extra sales annually What if you had 1000? $140,830!!

At 6 weeks, an email went out re-suggesting it was time to rebook a hair cut as they were likely getting pretty shaggy.

Then at 8 weeks, an APOLOGY email went out, YEP, that’s right, they apologized for not doing a good enough job to have the client come back to the hair salon and they offered at 10% discount with the apology email if the customer rebooked within 3 days.

At 12 weeks, an extension of the apology re-offering the 10% off went out, and tossing in a free bottle of shampoo, or free protein treatment if they booked again in the next 3 days. This wasn’t as random as it sounds, they knew that their average time of rebook was 7 weeks, so at 8 weeks it was likely frustrated customer, or a super cheap one that would wait 10 or 12 weeks to come back. By offering the 10% the made the unhappy client feel cared for, and often coaxed the cheaper customer to come again to chase the discount. This again drove annual sales up dramatically by increasing customer frequency.

Once the hair salon had collected its customer database including email address, it also started to implement a Web Special page on its hair salon website that it email blasted out each 2 weeks as part of their bi-weekly newsletter.

The web specials page contained super hair salon amazing deals, sometimes as much as 50% off, but only for specific hair stylists and time slots. They used it to fill their empty seats, this decreased dramatically their sales vacancy and once again increased their hair salon profits.

If the hair salon ever got in a real bind with hair stylists having empty seats, they did an instant blast to everybody offering a great hair salon service deal on a super short time frame to fill that spot. It may have been a haircut, or a hair color, or even a hair straightening, it just depended on what the hair salon could handle in the time available.

The results were out of this world. Hair Stylist’s empty seat time vanished. Stylists made more money in tips. The hair salon owner made more money as a hair salon. Other hair stylists started to want to work there as they heard how always busy the hair salon was.

Another benefit the hair salon found as it implemented its simple CRM sales and marketing automation software to track and follow up with its customers was the ability to track Customer Preferences to increase customer satisfaction.

One of the final things the hair salon owner put in place was a reminder phone call, text (SMS), Facebook message, KiK message, or any other method of communication the customer had indicated they preferred for all appointments coming up the next day. The sales and marketing automation software made this easy for the hair stylists to do, so they weren’t as likely to try to skip it!

This simple action decreased no-shows to the hair salon significantly, and made the customer feel extremely cared for.

In Today’s online world, the likes of Yelp and others are making it more and more important to have at least a simple web presence for review and referral sites to link to. By having your own hair salon website, all the ranking sites for Hair Salons will send traffic to YOUR site where you control the narrative, vs. scraping information they can find publicly available about your hair salon.

As a result of this and the web-specials concept the hair salon put together a simple website (Small Business Dream also allows you to build a simple website for this purpose) and even started to use their new found cash flow to do super targeted advertising on Facebook, twitter and Google AdWords.

This traffic simply was directed to the hair salon’s website which had the ability to sign up to the newsletter for the possibility of winning that $50 salon gift certificate. This drove engagements, and the ability for the email follow up series to be employed to convert this look and see traffic to an actual customer.

The final thing the hair salon owner DID was implement a referral program. They simply offered that anybody who had their friend signup to the hair salon newsletter would earn one draw per person they referred into the draw for a $100 gift certificate at the hair salon. (drawn monthly) This turned happy clients into referring ADVOCATES or FANS! It grew their list dramatically, which converted to new hair salon customers over time.

It is simply amazing how simple it can be to increase a Hair Salons sales with some simple techniques and CRM Sales and Marketing Automation Software that costs as little as $99/month.

Small Business Dream is exactly that sales and marketing automation software for hair salons and for $99/month, it can handle all the marketing automation mentioned in this article.

1. The ability to make a Simple website and web specials page

2. The ability to have data collected and used for an email blast like that for web specials or weekly newsletter.

3. The ability to collect data on prospects generated by Facebook and Google, and follow up with them automatically over time with a timed series of emails to convert them to a client.

4. The ability to make a calling list of all appointments the next day easily and take notes as you make the calls.

The best part is, we have a template of the hair salon system, so you simply need to make minor tweaks to the content and you should be up and running in a very short time reaping the rewards of good sales automation for your hair salon.

Are you ready to Growth Hack Your Real Estate Sales?

I want to start with my own short story about my real estate, real estate agent, and realtor experience, and please understand that I’m not saying real estate agents and professionals are all as bad as the ones that I seemed to have found, but wow, do I think there may be some room for improvement! I used a real estate agent and bought eight rental properties in a period of about 18 months. You may be surprised to know but all 8 were with different realtors.

There is a simple rule with most things sales related. If I do not get properly followed up with, I go to the next real estate agent or salesperson who may actually have enough respect of our relationship to follow up not just up to the sale, but AFTER IT.

If you can believe it, even knowing I was buying rental properties that were cash flow positive, and I had a budget to buy 7 or 8, n o t o n e sin gle real estate agent followed up after the initial sale! All my realtors were very at following up until they MADE THE SALE and got paid their real estate commission.

Realtors and Real Estate Agent’s Little Known Technique if you can believe it, even knowing I was buying rental properties that were cash flow positive, and I had a budget to buy 7 or 8, not one single real estate agent followed up after the initial sale! All my realtors were VERY GOOD at following up until they MADE THE SALE and got paid their real estate commission.

AFTER the Sale, not a “hello, are you happy with the place I helped you buy?”, not a “hey didn’t you say you were looking for a few more cash flow properties in the area, well I found a few that may work for you”, not a happy birthday, not even an “I hated working with you don’t call me again”.


So that got me thinking the other day about how cool it would be to see just how Small Business Dream may help a real estate agent make larger commissions and REDUCE a lot of busy work.

I started to think about myself as a home owner, the things I learned over the years that were cool as far as maintaining a property and how it affects resale. I imagined how happy I would have been with my real estate agent if they took the time to give me some after care on my primary residence, OR on my rental properties.

I’d like to share just 3 great reasons to follow up with your real estate clients. These are just a few reasons that you want to stay ‘top of mind’ for clients as a realtor, who will effectively refer you to friends and family, effectively growing your real estate client base.

Firstly, what if 1 month after buying my home I got a nice email from my realtor suggesting things I can do each month to keep my home in tip top shape?

Things like:

1. Checking furnace filter and replace if needed

2. Clean kitchen sink disposal (garburator)

3. Clean range hood filters (I know, nobody does this monthly, but imagine how easy it would be if you DID!)

4. Inspect your fire extinguishers (or gentle reminder to get a few!)

To find more ways how you can stay “top of mind” with your clients, check my post on how you can  get your real estate business ahead in a crazy market.

Or, you can go to our main website at and learn more about our Small Business Sales Blueprint