National Clothesline
National Clothesline
Editorials
Put a little fun into it
Admittedly, drycleaning isn’t a word that often brings to mind “excitement,” but if you think that it is too boring of an industry to effectively market on social media, then you’re simply not being creative enough. If anything, the fact that consumers might generally perceive this industry as less-than-thrilling makes it easier for you to stand out in their minds provided you harbor an original marketing presence.
Humor is always a good way to engage people online. Another trick is to find relevant content, which can range from tips for removing common everyday stains from clothing to events that are happening in the local community or ways you are contributing back. Don’t be afraid to inject a little personality into your posts, but also be wary of trying to share too much information. These tips and more are part of Neil Schroeder’s column this month that helps cleaners with posting on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets in order to generate more interest (and revenue) from customers. Essentially, it is not about direct selling; instead, it is about showing your human side and generating a friendly conversation that will bring your clientele closer to you so they will enjoy doing business with you more.
The strongest, longest-lasting relationships often start with simple little conversations. Simply show a genuine interest in your customers and what’s important to them and, chances are, they will reciprocate that attitude back to you. If you can, help them solve problems. Writing a blog about services you offer or posting a picture of a wedding gown you recently saved from disaster goes a long way in the minds of those who may someday have such a need in the future.
It is also important not to get too caught up in the numbers. It’s easy to focus on the amount of “likes” associated with your Facebook page, but it’s better to be more relevant with the customer base you have, even if the overall numbers aren’t as high as you would prefer. Basically, the more feedback you receive is a better way to measure success than how many simply clicked on a button one time and haven’t interacted with you since. As Schroeder points out, one of the best ways to achieve a better relationship with your customers online is to simply ask them for suggestions or opinions on topics, whether it is some change you are planning for your business or something that is happening in your community. Either way, people enjoy being included in the conversation and that goes a long way in establishing a true connection.
What is there to worry about?
Before beginning the annual ritual of planning for the new year, take a moment to look back and gain some perspective on the issues you want to address in your planning. A good starting place is to consider the old saying, “If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.”
Can you come up with a list? How about just one thing? Here’s one you probably have forgotten: the end of the world. Remember that? The world was supposed to end on some particular date last December because of something the Mayans had come up with centuries ago. A year later, we can’t even remember what that date was. But a mere year ago it was the topic of TV programs, newspaper and magazine articles and, of course, much chatter on the internet. Even if you thought it was all a lot of nonsense, we bet you spent some time reading those articles and watching those programs and, maybe for even just a minute, let it all register on your worry meter. That was time wasted.
It is difficult to list things you worried about a year ago because most of those worries proved to be unfounded. They are quickly forgotten, soon to be replaced by some other worry which in turn will end up being nothing to worry about. Trouble always seems to lurk on the horizon, but more often than not we never arrive at the trouble spot.
That brings to mind another old saying, this from Winston Churchill: “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.”
So in planning for the future, consider that many of the issues that seem to need addressing and problems that beg to be solved are really not that important. We can apply a variation of the venerable 80-20 rule. Eighty percent of those worries are inconsequential and not worth spending much time on. It’s the other 20 percent that demand attention. Separating the 80 from the 20 is the first step in planning. Concentrating on that 20 will save a lot of time, be more likely to bring good results and eliminate a lot of worrying.

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