How to Use Venmo for your Business in 2019

Today, service professionals need the ability to process payments as a part of their everyday operations. Today, more than 50% of consumers use mobile payment methods to complete purchases rather than using cash, checks, and other payment methods.

Mobile payment has grown into an industry, valued at more than $220 billion annually. That means that being able to accept credit cards on your phone or ipad/tablet is not just a useful business tool – it’s a necessity. You need a mobile payment processing service that is fast, secure, reliable as well as convenient for both you and your clients.

Working With a Leader in Service Business Mobile Payments

Venmo is one of the leading mobile payment platforms. It is owned and operated by PayPal. It is an innovative mobile payment service that gives users the ability to make payment transactions wherever, whenever. It has made the money transfer process between individuals easy, social, and fun! In the first quarter of 2018 alone, Venmo facilitated more than $12 billion in transactions worldwide.

But in the rapidly advancing information age, breaking ground in service business and being the best are not the same thing. While Venmo is responsible for opening up a whole new avenue to commerce that did not exist before, the market is now demanding more features, faster service, and better results.

Meeting the Demands of Mobile Commerce

It’s a predictable phenomenon; when a company like Venmo comes out with a new product that is a game changer, a product that does things no product has ever done before, it opens up new possibilities. Those new possibilities inspire others to innovate and one-up the original. And generally speaking, they do it lightning fast.

As users adopt the new technology and become familiar with the new capabilities it offers, they quickly discover ways to improve on it. You probably have this experience every day. In your service business you use a product to deliver your service and quickly start thinking of enhancements that would delight your clients even more. You imagine how much more productive you could be if it were streamlined, better integrated, had more features, or more user-friendly.

Once a game-changing innovation like Venmo reaches that point, the race to improve the technology, and to take it to the next level, is on. Too often the original innovator like Venmo is slow to improve, and they are left behind. That’s where other worthy competitors come in.

Enter the PocketSuite Service Business App

PocketSuite is a new mobile payment service provider with an edge that Venmo can’t match. They have taken the underlying technology of mobile payments and taken it up several notches. PocketSuite is an all-in-one business app for your mobile phone or ipad/tablet that is more powerful, more responsive, and has far more features than Venmo. It is designed to help save service businesses time and make them more money.

With PocketSuite, it doesn’t matter where you are, where you’re going, or how quickly you have to be there. It is a comprehensive business application that gives you access to online booking, allowing your clients to schedule appointments from your website or Facebook and Instagram pages. PocketSuite is leaving Venmo in the dust. But that’s just the start.

PocketSuite Does for Your Service Business What Venmo Won’t

The team behind Pocketsuite listened to Venmo users to find out what they needed that Venmo was not providing. In so doing, they came up with a comprehensive list of mobile business features that service professionals need to compete with marketplaces and larger companies. Here’s what they came up with.

Client Notes

PocketSuite allows you to add important notes on any client. This makes it possible for you to remember all those client preferences that make a huge difference to clients. Remember those little unique idiosyncrasies about each client like preferred pronouns, nicknames, weird delivery instructions, things they like and dislike, special discounts, or their birthdays and anniversaries. Venmo doesn’t do that – not even close.

In a service business, these little details are incredibly important. Forgetting them can mean less sticky client relationships and lower client retention. This powerful feature gives you the ability to make your client feel special. It makes a world of difference.

E-Contract Signing

With Venmo, you can’t send contracts or forms to the client as proof of the terms of your payment agreement. Instead, you have to use a separate application, like PocketSuite. (wink wink)

It really is a no brainer. With an app like Venmo, you should be able to accept payment and send all the requisite forms to the client in one (maximum two) tap(s).. But with Venmo, you just can’t do that. Venmo forces you to log into a second program to send forms and contracts. Of course, any time you do that, you run the risk of causing confusion, creating friction in the transaction, and losing the client. There’s so much that could get lost in translation – so much of that could affect your bottom line. Why take the risk?

With PocketSuite, unlike Venmo, you get all of this in one place. Plus, you have your client notes and other important info and services all in one accesible place.

Text Automation

With Venmo, you can’t automate follow-up texts – with PocketSuite you can. PocketSuite allows you to automate important follow-up texts to your customers. Why would you want to leave them in the dark when you can keep them in the loop throughout your process? This is where Venmo really drops the ball.

Suppose, for example, it takes you a week to deliver a service. Until now, the norm with Venmo has been to simply to keep users in the dark about where your funds are until you reach the next stage. Today, mobile users want more and they deserve more. They want to know that you are working on their product, service, or project. They want to be able to plan around delivery times and milestones. Give them that ability with automated text reminders & updates.

Multi-Service Lists

With Venmo you can’t list multiple services for sale, but with PocketSuite you can. PocketSuite is exactly what the name implies- an entire service business suite right in your pocket- complete and ready to go at the tap of a button. PocketSuite lets you list your entire product inventory and service list, all in one place. Why would you want to make potential clients toggle back and forth between your website and Venmo’s payment service? When your clients are trying to fulfill a need, they want a ready solution available to them. PocketSuite gives you that toolset all upfront.

Invoice Sharing

Everyone with even a little business experience knows that invoices can be a pain to deal with. Why not automate as much of the invoice process as possible? Unlike Venmo, PocketSuite lets you do exactly that. Now, you can send invoices automatically.

Full Brand Packaging

Now, your customers can find everything you provide and everything you do all in one easy to use interface- one that’s conveniently accessible via SMS. With PocketSuite, unlike Venmo, you can bundle and add any service that you wish to sell. Choose which one and how many you want to include in a package? Just fill out the remaining details and your PocketSuite client service package is launched and ready to go. It really is as easy as that.

Instant Payments and Payouts

Say goodbye to delays that Venmo makes unavoidable. Take charges and give refunds instantly. Simply tap the “Charge” button to complete payment transaction with any credit card that has a Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, or Discover card logo. Your client gets the benefit of knowing where they are in the payment transfer process and the risk of disputes/chargebacks is drastically reduced. Venmo doesn’t do that.

My reaction when I receive an Instant Payout

We’re all grateful to Venmo for creating such a powerful mobile payment processing technology. But now, it’s time to take mobile payments to the next level. It’s time to transform your mobile digital payment asset into a full-service business suite right in the palm of your hand.

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

Sources:

https://pocketsuite.io

https://www.intelligenthq.com/the-3-biggest-benefits-of-implementing-mobile-payment-in-your-business/

Top 4 Messaging Apps for Small Businesses in 2019

Top Messaging Apps for Small Business (in 2019)

We’ve all been there.

You’re scrolling through your text messages, trying to figure out which client you messaged and when.

Your business is growing, but it’s starting to feel like a looming, disorganized monster.

Maybe you’re starting to lose track of clients as your business expands.

Or maybe you’ve finally had that one key client slip through the cracks.

You’ve dropped the ball on following up with them, and you’ve realized it’s because you don’t have a system in place to remind you.

On the other hand, maybe you’re just starting your business, and your goal is to create a great first impression with your clients.

In any case, you’ve decided… enough is enough! It’s time for me to find a more professional solution.

In this article you will learn about the best solutions to your dilemma.

We’ve corralled the best Client Messaging Apps available in 2019 for Small Business owners.

Ready for a knowledge bomb? Read on!

Why You Should Care

For small businesses, a reliable client messaging service is essential to the company’s success.

Messaging tools ensure collaboration and communication, especially if you have remote employees and are on the go yourself as a business owner.

The best tools are easy to use and intuitive, and allow you to problem-solve and share information in real-time.

The issue is that, as a business owner, if you actually search for a group messaging app, you might find unhelpful search results like the following:

Search: What is the best group messaging app?

  • BBM – BBM is no longer exclusive to Blackberry phone owners. …
  • GroupMe. …
  • Google+ Hangouts …
  • Tango. …
  • Voxer …
  • WeChat.

Seriously, who uses these for business messaging?🙄

As you can see, it’s not enough to just have a generic messaging app. None of these suggested apps fulfill the needs of a business owner, as we shall discuss in arduous detail below.

Luckily for you, we’ve saved you the researching time and compiled a definitive list of the absolute best messaging apps for business owners.

The list we’re going to go over today includes:

  1. SMS Text
  2. Facebook Messenger
  3. WhatsApp
  4. PocketSuite Messenger

Below are four of the most popular messaging services & apps out there for today’s small business owner:

1. SMS Text

If you’re like me, you probably have a love / hate relationship with texting.

Short message service (“SMS”) texts allow you to use your cell phone plan to send short messages to one or more people. It’s easy and convenient; the majority of people have cell phones now, so you can contact clients and workers on their current devices.

People tend to prefer texts over calls. They’re quicker, and allow people to read and edit messages on their own schedule. They’re more immediate than email, and users do not have to download any special software or apps.

Additionally, it’s estimated that 90% of texts are read within 3 minutes or less. Talk about an astronomical response time!

How did you feel the last time you lost your phone? Yeah, not good.

However, depending on your cell phone plan, relying on SMS text can be expensive. If you go beyond your allotted threshold, you could be on the hook for pricey fees.

SMS tends to become a disorganized mess once you’re working with over 10, 20, or 30 clients, depending on the frequency of interaction.

Not to mention you aren’t able to add notes to client messages (or a client file) in order to remind yourself of key aspects of your business relationship with the client.

Example: A random phone number (presumably one of your clients)  texts you at 8PM asking to switch tomorrow’s appointment time, or they will have to cancel.

You frantically begin searching through your notes to find the client’s name so you can look up when their booking is for.

Unable to find the client’s information in your notes, you expand the search by checking  your calendar, your desk drawer, and all of the other places you might have notes stuffed (c’mon… I know you’ve got notes!)

Plus there are limits to how you can communicate via SMS text – you can’t send broadcasts or schedule follow-ups to go out, and there are other feature limitations when comparing SMS to other messaging apps.

How many times have you wanted to do this with your phone 😅

SMS covers the “basics”, but there are a lot more things you prefer to communicate to your clients besides simple texts and photos.

Moving on, we have one you’re probably familiar with if you live in the developed world, or even certain remote countries – Facebook Messenger!

2. Facebook Messenger

Facebook is free to use and allows you to chat with individuals or small groups.

This can be a useful option because many people use Facebook on a daily basis in their personal lives. You can use Facebook Messenger for discussions or questions and to send pictures and video.

However, relying on their Messenger as your primary messaging service has some drawbacks.

  • Anyone you want to communicate with must have the Facebook messaging app installed (unlike regular SMS text, Facebook does not come pre-installed on smartphones).
  • To use Facebook Messenger on a smartphone, both you and your clients will need to download a separate app, which can be an annoyance for busy business people.
  • Many business owners prefer to have their conversations with clients separate from conversations with Facebook friends. Some feel as though messaging clients via Facebook isn’t the most “professional” mode of communication.

As you can see, it may not be in the best interest of you or your business to use Facebook Messenger as your primary messaging app for your small business. If you’d like to find something more suitable for messaging your clients, keep reading!

3. Whatsapp

Whatsapp is available on both your computer and smartphone. It uses your internet connection to make voice and video calls. After being acquired by Facebook in 2014, Whatsapp no longer charges customers an annual fee to use the service. They also hit 1.5B monthly users as of Jan 2018.

Unlike some other messaging services, Whatsapp does not display any third party advertising. However, this does come at a price:

  • While Whatsapp is a free service, it does require users to download the app on their smartphone or computer. This again causes friction on the customer’s end to ask them to “do work” to download an app that they will only use for your business’s communication.
  • In addition, there have been some security concerns, which could prevent some clients from using the app – especially if personal information and payment information is being exchanged over this messaging service. See this shocking LifeHacker article from last year: “Stop Using WhatsApp If You Care About Your Privacy.”

4. PocketSuite Messenger

PocketSuite is a client messaging app, but hyper-focused on service and small business owners.

The app supports basic messaging features like normal text and photo sharing, but also has a suite of messaging tools available, such as:

  • Scheduling messages to be sent
  • Creating & naming customer groups
  • Sending out broadcast announcement messaging
  • Saving/sending common message templates (like shortcuts) to customers

The app comes with a built-in calendar and payments tool as well. So within every message thread with your customer, you can easily schedule an appointment, send a professional request for payment, and more.

It’s more of a one-stop-shop communication tool for businesses with their clients.

The best part is clients don’t need to download any app on their end – no friction!

Clients send and receive all messages on their end over regular text message. So they don’t even know a separate app is being used by the business – they can text your business just like they text their friends.

To get a dedicated business line there is a small monthly fee, but you can also use the app for free if you prefer just a basic, organized client messaging tool (without additional messaging features).

For example, you can send smart campaigns to clients to remind them to book your services (and increase your bottom line):

“Smart Campaigns have doubled our revenue in the last 3 months.” Madison Parker, PocketSuite Service Pro

Finding the Right Tool

Finding the right tools for your business is an important part of making you profitable. Communicating with clients is something you most likely do every single day – making the messaging tool you use very important.

The wrong messaging service can cause you confusion, add to customer headaches and cost you from winning over clients.

Finding a cost-effective platform with the necessary tools for your business, can simplify your administrative needs, allowing you to focus on the big picture – making more money.

Ensure you try out different messaging services before deciding on one. While SMS text may be your default, you may find that a more robust tool like that can streamline your business.

This wraps up our comprehensive article on the top Messaging Apps for Small Business in 2019. At this point, it’s time to pick a solution and implement! Of course, as with any new system, be sure to check in on your progress and make adjustments accordingly.

Have any further suggestions for Small Business-geared Messaging Apps?

Anything I missed or that should be added? Please contact support@pocketsuite.io

If you liked this article, you may like our 2019 Guide to Generating Online Leads for your Service Business.

And of course, if you’re a service Pro and you want a way to manage your entire business from your phone, check out the PocketSuite app. We’ve been featured on TechCrunch, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, and more.

Written by Ilya Ornatov

Original Article by Sam Madden

What is Business Messaging

A new category of communication has arrived…It’s called “Business Messaging” and it’s designed for busy professionals and business owners.
If you find yourself asking “What the heck is Business Messaging?”, the answer is simple:

A mobile messaging tool to help your business make more money

Business Messaging focuses on 3 core benefits that can instantly bring your business out of the ancient technological traps of SMS and email, and delight clients (both old and new) to help your business make more money.

People in the 21st century want instant gratification more than ever.

Faster Customer Responses

That means, any inquiry or question a customer (or prospect) sends to a business, they want a response ASAP. The longer the client has to wait for a response, the higher the likelihood of the client moving on to another business.

To enable you (the business or professional) to respond as fast as possible to customers, you need to make sure you’re getting notified. In order to do that, you need to make sure your client list is organized so you can actually response as fast as possible.

The first key to delivering an instant customer response is being notified when the client reaches out.

That means ANY time a client wants to contact you (whatever the context may be), you need to get notified immediately — whether you’re sitting at a desk or out with another client.

This is where email falls short. You don’t want clients who shoot you an email or who fill out a form on your website, to have to wait for you to happen to pull out your phone and load your emails and then respond. This creates pockets of delays where clients can be waiting hours or even days to get a response.

Not only that, but with email spamming being a reality of life these days, parsing through unwanted emails to find your urgent client emails can be huge a time suck.

This bring up point #2 in delivering faster customer responses:

Client Organization

Email, yes, can have spam intermixed with customers. But even worse is SMS text message — not so much the spam aspect of it, but more so personal distractions.

80% of business owners we talk to use text message as their primary way of communicating with clients. The issue there becomes – on your texting feed, you’ll have a client, then a friend, maybe a family member. Your private life conversations and business get mixed together.

This creates (at no fault of your own, to be clear) an unorganized feed of your life’s thread of communications.

Not having a single, instantly accessible area where ONLY your customer messaging and history flows into, creates a problem. It’s a problem because:

  • You’re unaware immediately when you hear a text come through if it’s a client or friend or family member pinging you
  • You cannot prioritize messages to be followed up with in a regular SMS feed
  • Spend time scrolling and searching through a mix of people to find specific customers
  • Can only access a client’s message history — not calls, notes, payments, or anything else relevant to that client

A way some business owners get around this is to shell out  another $500+ on a new phone (for “business”). Then you’re permanently stuck carrying around 2 devices at all times: one for business, one for pleasure.

These days are now over.

Business Messaging keeps all your client communication in a central, mobile location. This will give you instant and organized access to all your customer’s needs. This makes your life less stressful while keeping your clients happily attended to.


A More Organized Day

Today’s modes of client communication are all handicapped mainly because they only do one thing: communicate.

We (over at PocketSuite) don’t really see any particular reason for why that has to be the case.

With your client communication (whatever that may be: phone, email, text, a fancy CRM system, etc.) being focused on just communication, then you depend on other tools for relevant information about each customer. That information includes customer:

  • Payment history
  • Upcoming appointments
  • Detailed notes
  • Signed contracts
  • Referrals
  • Call logs

Logistics and payments are all integral parts of any conversation you have with a client. Thus, these important items should be naturally weaved into the conversation and easily accessible by both you and your client.

Business Messaging does just that — it integrates all crucial transactional information into each customer message thread. WITHIN a conversation, you can transact with said client, while at the same reference important information about said client.

Combining all this information into one place that is instantly accessible anywhere turns today’s business owner into an efficiency machine.

Accessibility 24/7

Homeowners have graduated from having to flip through a single Yellow Pages book to search for a local business to hire.

With the growth of discovery platforms online, the ability for you to reach moreof your addressable customer market is easier than ever.

But that also means that clients are going to be reaching out to you on a LOT more platforms. That includes:

As you expand your business presence online, you’ll be receiving more and more incoming messages, inquiries, questions, quote requests, leads, and more, from a whole host of platforms. Each one of these different platforms has apps, account log-ins, special email addresses, etc.

Business Messaging reduces the mess and consolidates all incoming requests – no matter where they are coming from – into a single, organized channel.

Business Messaging comes with messaging widgets that can be placed as links practically anywhere. From a single website, social media, directory to a lead gen platform. That means, that no matter WHERE a customer finds you, all their reach-outs will be directed into your Business Messaging feed.

This allows you to respond smartly and instantly to any new customer coming your way. You are 100% accessible so a new customer never slips through the cracks, and a repeat customer never feels ignored.

Client Payments: However You want them

10 Ways to Receive Payments

1) Point-of-Sale

Occasion: Quick way to charge a client’s card if they hand it to you or simply tell you the card details over the phone.

Benefits: Fast! Also you can store the client’s card for future charging at will.

How: Tap the CHARGE button on your home screen of PocketSuite, enter client CC info, charge any $ amount.

Save on processing fees at 2.7% per payment, compared to Square or PayPal.


2) Invoicing

Occasion: Sending a traditional (and professional) invoice to clients for services.

Benefits: Allows clients to pay any invoice amount online (from their smartphone or computer) with convenience.

How: Tap the INVOICE button on your home screen of PocketSuite. Deliver any invoice via text or email, and clients will have the option to pay online.


3) Appointment Deposit Upfront

Occasion: If you want to collect payment on an appointment upfront when scheduling a client to your calendar.

Benefits: In one-fell swoop, confirm a client appointment on your calendar while receiving a full or partial $ deposit upfront.

How: When scheduling an appointment in PocketSuite, set a “$ Deposit” amount on the appointment and require your client to confirm said appointment with a credit card when you send it to them.


4) Payment once an Appointment/Job is Complete

Occasion: When you want to accept payment immediately after an appointment is complete.

Benefits: Uber-like experience to charge a client’s card that is linked to an appointment on your calendar.

How: Tap the CHARGE button on any appointment on your calendar that has been reserved with a client’s credit card. You can charge any $ amount and even hand the phone over to your client to add a tip (if desired).


5) Online Payments

Occasion: If you want to have clients book/pay you online – you can accept payment through your website, Facebook page and Instagram profile.

Benefits: Allows you to turn anyone visiting your website or social media pages into an instantly booking and paying client.

How: Enable ‘Online Booking’ in PocketSuite, and integrate your booking widget onto your website. Then paste your booking links on your social media profile.


6) Selling Packages

Occasion: If you want to sell upfront to a client a group or package of services/classes for future use.

Benefits: Collecting payment upfront, and then having a simple way to track all the sessions/credits used by each client.

How: Set up / save any standard package or program you sell, then send it off to your client (via text or email) to review and then purchase online. Credits are auto-added to the client’s account and you can start tracking those sessions!


7) Recurring Payments

Occasion: When you need to automatically charge clients each week, month, etc. – for ongoing memberships or recurring billing.

Benefits: Literally get paid while you sleep. No work on your end to have to invoice/charge clients, and no work on the client’s end to have to remember to pay an ongoing bill.

How: Enable ‘Subscriptions’ in PocketSuite, and send any type of subscription plan you’d like to a client (with a set $ amount and payment schedule). Your client confirms that plan just ONCE with a credit card only and voila!


8) Class Deposits

Occasion: When you want clients to sign up for a class and pay a drop-in fee ahead of a class.

Benefits: Double whammy: fills up your class roster allowing clients to sign up for a class ahead of time, and ensures you get PAID for the class ahead of time.

How: Enable ‘Classes’ in PocketSuite, then set up your class schedule (class name, $ drop-in, schedule, location, etc.). You can sign clients up yourself or post your class schedule online (see ‘Online Booking’ above) for clients to sign up & pay online.


9) via SMS Shortcode

Occasion: When you are requesting payment from a client via SMS text (i.e., sending an invoice via text, a package via text, requesting a job deposit via text, etc.), clients can literally just reply “1” to pay.

Benefits: Literally the easiest way around for a client to make a payment.

How: If you send any payment request to a client via text message, then your client will be given the option in the text thread to “Reply 1” to pay whatever is due (assuming your client already has entered a CC on file before).


10) Cancellation Fee

Occasion: If your client ever cancels an appointment falling inside your cancellation window.

Benefits: Gives you the ability to charge a cancellation fee — so you can be compensated for clients who fail to show up or cancel on you last minute.

How: When a client taps on their appointment link and hits the CANCEL button, they will be shown that by cancelling, their card (on file) will be charged your cancellation fee (as set by you under Settings > Business > Cancellations).


Bonus: GIVE YOUR CLIENTS THEIR OWN APP…

11) Client-side app

Occasion: If your client wants more control over sending you one-off payments not tied to any particular transaction.

Benefits: Gives your clients more flexibility and an organized record of all payments they send to you as the business.

How: Clients can download PocketSuite to their smartphones as well – they create a ‘client’ account instead of a ‘business’ account. They can add your business details under their PocketSuite contacts and send you payment at will via credit card, debit card and even ACH transfer.

Smartphones Beat PCs in Speed, Cost, Convenience

Frustrating Slow PCs

WHY THIS IS HUGE NEWS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

The release of the iPhone X has proven one major headline: smartphones are now faster than PCs.

Chips inside computers and smartphones are referred to as central processing units, or “CPUs”. The faster and higher quality they are, the quicker your PC or smartphone runs. The CPU inside the new iPhone X is referred to as the “A10” chip, and that chip not only outpaces all other Android smartphones, but it has now caught up with Intel’s laptop CPUs.

That means that common tasks are (for the most part) now faster to perform on your mobile device than on your desktop or laptop. Retail consumption trends show just how important processing speed really is, with people are buying smartphones at five times the rate they are acquiring new PCs. iPhones alone saw 75 million shipments last quarter vs. 72 million for PCs.

But it’s not just your average consumer buying up more iPhones and smartphones for their day-to-day enjoyment. Small businesses and professionals are now flocking to this newest wave of faster and more powerful technology.

Speed and Power

Speed and power are crucial and a much-needed added benefit to today’s small business owner.

If your business runs faster and more efficiently, you have more time to grow.

Many businesses and on-the-go professionals have been resorting to their laptops to deal with customer transactions. The speed and flexibility of their PCs were providing platforms for scheduling, invoicing, contracts, etc. Despite being on their feet and in the proverbial field each day, mobile was not quiteadvanced enough to support all their real-time needs.

As the power of smartphones has now surpassed that of the most popular computers, the adoption of mobile in business continues to see an upward trajectory. It’s perfectly natural for home and local businesses to want to have the fastest, most capable, and most convenient tool at their fingertips to stay ahead of their competition. In fact, they deserve it.

Hardware-less

The lighter you are, the faster you move.

Small businesses are shifting in droves from lugging around laptops (and even tablets), to moving towards the more practical, lighter-weight tools.

The iPhone X, for example, has now removed the need for wired headphones by removing the jack. This is a major step towards something bigger than just mobile – wireless. The indirect result means that other clunky hardware like Square swipers will soon be defunct as the business world continues to turn light-weight.

Shedding excess baggage and hardware weight gives mobile professionals the agility they need to better serve their clients. This leaves much more time and energy to focus on the day to day business and clientele… the real revenue driver.


All-in-One

The fundamental offering of any smartphone is the combining of the most basic workflows. From being a communication device, location awareness, to a high resolution camera.

Native and 3rd-party applications further build on top of this foundation. Specifically for businesses includes tasks like note-taking, scheduling, payments, client management, and more.

The advancement in smartphone technology actually presents an exponential benefit for small businesses. That is to say, it doesn’t just make a single workflow faster – it makes all of your daily workflows faster.

This small device supports all your core workflows on a single device. Professionals are starting to save tremendous amounts of time by taking care of all client related things in the palm of their hand. The beauty is without going back to their desk to use their computer or a pen and paper.

In addition to a time saver, moving mobile is a cost saver. Instead of paying thousands for the newest PC, any business owner can pay just hundreds for a powerful smartphone. And instead of paying for 5 different workflow tools, mobile apps can now support all core workflows in a single app. For less.

The Future of Work

The future of work and business is fast. It’s cost-efficient, time-efficient and mobile.

Small business owners and freelance professionals alike are growing to accept today’s mobile world. This is not just due to the aforementioned benefits above. Their clients have come to accept this as the norm.

The average consumer and homeowner checks their phone 85 times a day. It’s convenient, it’s with them at all times, and it’s enjoyable to interact with. The increasingly accepted mode of consumer communication is SMS text, with phone calls and emailing on the secular decline .

As more professionals make the switch from PCs to now faster smartphones, that allows them to further engage clients on their device of preference – mobile. Happy clients turns into to more referrals, which means more revenue.

Mobilize your Business

Texting Convenience

The world is going mobile, and so are your clients. That means you should too.

For some business owners and entrepreneurs, initial reaction to the terms “mobile” and “text message” may seem unprofessional.

For some professionals, after a long day of running the day-to-day and dealing with clients, having to sit in front of the computer for busy work is just a necessary evil of being a small business owner.

Well, the times they are a changing…and mobilizing. 

The benefits of text message far surpass the “what I’m used to” feeling you might have while sitting in front of a desk.

Payment speed, customer convenience, workflow efficiencies, relationship building, marketing and more — these are all fundamental reasons why your peers and competitors are rapidly adopting apps and mobile tools to help their businesses succeed in today’s mobile world.

And your clients? Not only do they accept mobile with open arms, but nowadays they expect it.

You should be happy that your clients live in apps and over text message. As evidenced below, this mobile wave will actually help you build a lightening fast business without causing you any stress.


Here’s a fun (yet slightly depressing) fact: the average time it takes a customer to pay a standard invoice is 14 days.

Newsflash: the average time it takes a customer to pay a PocketSuite invoice (sent over text) is 1 day. (See more)

Why is that (you’re probably asking)? Well we asked some of our 15,000 business owners on PocketSuite, and they responded simply: “Because it’s easy”.

Clients don’t need to get cash from the bank, or remember to mail a check, or go back home to their computer to log in somewhere online to make a payment. On mobile, your customers can pay anywhere, and they can pay over SMS text message. This isn’t some new technology or app your client needs to learn in order to make a payment. Heck, they don’t even need to create an account (i.e., PayPal). It’s a simple tap to pay. Or how about “text to pay” 🙂

In short – you’re not moving mobile for selfless reasons. You get paid quicker. Seize the day!


There are two types of businesses I run into these days when it comes to scheduling: (1) Tech Savvy, and (2) Old School. Now, there are of course others who don’t fall into these 2 groups. For the most part, these are the 2 main types you might fall into.

Tech Savvy
You’ve got some business software with a proprietary calendar. It helps you add really detailed stuff to your calendar, it’s on the web, has a log-in, sends reminders, maybe has some other cool business features, etc. The problem with the ‘TechSavvy’ approach is that the software that is being used is completely isolated from the rest of their life and it’s at your desk. Most software out there does not sync with your personal or any other calendars you use (i.e., Google, iCal, Outlook, etc.). If you want to see your business schedule, well you need to log into some portal from your desktop and view what’s on tap. You can’t see if you have a lunch scheduled that day, or if you have a doctor’s appointment, or your schedule to pick up kids, etc. You’re stuck seated, isolated. No bueno!

Old School
You do scheduling your own way. So a paper calendar or you use your Google Calendar because it’s handy and it gels with all the other personal events you’ve got going on in your life. The problem with the ‘Old School’ approach is that you’re missing out on tons of efficiencies that can help you save tons of time running your business. I get it though – “time” is tough to value. But think about a calendar that gels with your life that’s also mobile, that also sends automatic reminders to clients, that puts appointments directly on your customer’s calendars FOR them, that supports “credit card confirmation”, that auto-sends Thank You! when the appointment is complete, and more. Things you do yourself and things you also can’t even imagine doing yourself.

Start adopting a tool with the best of both worlds. Make sure it’s easy, make sure it syncs with your entire life schedule, and (most of all) make sure you can use it anywhere!


If you work in an industry where your client needs to trust you, then communication is key.

If I’m hiring anyone to come to my home, or to depend on for a special occasion, or to take care of a love one (animal or human of course), or who I’m simply paying a lot of money — I want to make sure I can contact that professional at any time. And that doesn’t mean I’m going to call you at 4 o’clock in the morning to ask you a question.

There’s a reason why people have adopted (and LOVE) text messaging as a mode of communication — it’s convenient, fast and reliable. So why not give that feeling of convenience and reliability to your CLIENTS when building a relationship with them?

Have you ever simply forgotten to respond to an email? Or lost an important email in the midst of junk mail? Or had a client be upset at your “email response time” (however reasonable that might actually be)?

Be available when your clients need you, and give them that warm & fuzzy convenient experience. Build mobile communication into the core of your workflow, and form a deeper and more direct relationship with your customers.


Give Customers Mobile Convenience

We’re talking CONVENIENCE across the board here.

Payments, scheduling, messaging, e-signing documents, and more.

In a major way, introducing all these parts of your business to clients in the palm of their hands is incredible. Your clients can be literally ANYwhere and pay an invoice you send them….Get a reminder about tomorrow’s appointment…Field a text saying “Running 15 mins late”…Receive a waiver to sign. Literally ZERO effort on them to take any action.

And that last sentence ties into why convenience is good for YOU. The “zero effort to take any action” I just mentioned? Well that “action” typically drives the success of your business — your getting paid, winning a new client, filling up your schedule, etc. 

Give clients what they want and good things will happen 🙂

Turn Your Thumbtack Leads into Lifelong Clients

Thumbtack Leads

Use Thumbtack to win new customers.

Receive incoming job requests, bid via quote, and get notified when clients are interested…


Use PocketSuite to retain new customers for life.

Schedule jobs, secure payment and deliver your new client a seamless customer experience…

So who uses PocketSuite?…

Why do over 15,000 pros use PocketSuite?…

Direct Client Import

Add any client directly to PocketSuite or import clients directly from your iPhone contact list

Keep all client contact information easily accessible

Track all income earned from each client

Take notes (text, photos) on each customer for private viewing

Track and analyze lead sources by client (e.g., Thumbtack, Yelp, referrals, etc.)


Appointment Calendar Sync

Sync all PocketSuite scheduled appointments directly to iCal

Pick and choose which calendars (i.e., Google, Outlook, etc.) sync with PocketSuite as well

Use a single calendar app to manage both client and personal appointments


Automate Client Reminders

Easily set appointment reminders for each job scheduled

2 hours prior to service? 8 hours? 24 hours? 3 days? We give you customizable reminder options

Clients get auto-texted ahead of each appointment

No need to spend time manually making sure your customers stay on schedule


Industry Low Payment Processing

Accept credit card payments for as low as 2.7% per transaction

  • Get paid for all your jobs entered in PocketSuite
  • Accept deposit payments
  • Reserve appointments with client credit card
  • Send invoices to clients via text

Clients can simply take a photo of their credit or debit card to pay for any invoice or appointment

Payments direct deposited in 1-2 business days


Mobile Messenger

Send instant text messages to any of your clients

Share photos, share contacts, share GPS pin location

Clients receive messages via SMS text – just like any other message – and can respond to you in real-time

Market deals, discounts and send group announcements

Keep all your communication and transaction history organized in a single message thread for each customer


See what our pros have to say themselves…

Brio Photography
Los Angeles, CA
I love the deposit feature! Requiring a deposit for booking has made a big difference in my client follow through.
www.briophotography.com

Adriana’s House Cleaning
San Francisco, CA
PocketSuite has helped me simplify my customer schedules and payments. It’s helped me grow easily in San Fran, and I’m now expanding into Los Angeles.
www.adrianacleaning.com

Beverly The Pooch Coach
San Francisco, CA
Online booking is amazing! I used to play phone tag a lot with people trying to set up appointments before PocketSuite…and I know I lost a bunch of clients in the process.
www.poochcoach.com

Wells BR Fitness
Baton Rouge, LA
I’m literally setting up my entire week’s worth of classes from my phone in minutes with this app. Life saver!
www.wellsfitnessbr.org

Check us out in the press:


Tap here to learn more about all the different features and tools PocketSuite can offer your business today.

 

How Apple Business Chat Is A Win For Today’s Pro

Apple Business Chat

Apple’s new Business Chat (“Business Chat”) feature was announced on June 9th at WWDC.

Throughout most of the presentation of the features and use-cases of the new product, business examples that were being used included airline companies, online retailers and larger businesses with complex customer service departments.

So not completely in the entrepreneurial spirit. For the true small business owners and entrepreneurs who are working for themselves (or maybe hire 1-10 people), the value was not clear on the service.

However, if you dig deeper into the heart of Business Chat, there can be found some real benefits. It is shown as to how this much-anticipated product helps small business.

The value is giving today’s professional a communication tool to help them grow. Not just from getting discovered by new clients, but also by better serving their existing client base. That combination blows most of today’s ever-growing laundry list of messaging apps out of the water.

Less bots, more relationships

A big push in today’s messaging world is the increasing evolution of bots.

Bots meaning machines (essentially) that can interact with your customers on your behalf. That involves a bot reading your clients’ messages as they come in, and then sending “appropriate” responses. Businesses can also set up automated responses to be triggered based on the message that the clients sends them.

Facebook Messenger is at the forefront of the bot revolution.

There are indeed use-cases where this can be helpful. This is especially prevalent at a company where the volume of customer inquiries is incredibly high. It is this that helps the company better service their clientele.

Apple’s Business Chat, however, is taking a slightly different approach. Their tagline at the beginning of their WWDC presentation on Business Chat was “A better way to make meaningful connections with your clients”. So Apple seems to be taking an refreshing approach to customer communication.

Apple is more focused on allowing business owners to have personal connections and conversations with each of their clients. The company seems less so focused on automation (at least for the time being), but more around allowing clients to directly connect with the actual owner of the business, and get a personal response.

The fact that clients do not need to download an entirely separate app to communicate with the professional is a huge win. That means no friction whatsoever when a client wants to ask a question, or drop you a line, or send you a follow-up.

This makes professionals more instantaneously accessible to clients – both old and new. Being instantly accessible goes hand-in-hand with great service.

Discovery

Every business wants more customers to find them. And nowadays, there are countless ways to get your business discovered by more clients online.

Once a client discovers you and your business online, there then becomes the initial friction point of what the customer does next.

Do they call you? Interestingly enough, 64% of Americans would rather text a business than call.

Do they find your email address and compose an email to ask questions? Finding your email address takes work on the client’s end.

Do they go to your website, head to your contact page, and fill out your contact form? That could be 5-10 “clicks” away.

Being a part of Business Chat empowers clients with quick messaging capabilities when a customer finds your business online. A message widget will appear listed next to your business on any Google searches done on the client’s iPhone. This is a convenient and lightweight start to a conversation. It does not require the customer to book an appointment with you right away (which can sometimes be too much of a commitment). It succeeds in opening up the dialogue into committing to doing business.

In today’s increasingly mobile world, and with messaging apps growing almost exponentially, mobile (and instant) communication is beginning to be the norm – for people young and old.

Logistics

One other problem Business Chat is attempting to solve is the logistical pain inherent with every business-client relationship.

Specifically, for those business owners selling their time by providing a service, Business Chat will allow professionals to send over their availability. This is sent in the form of time slots for clients to choose from within the iMessage thread itself.

This is beneficial for not just new clients but also for existing clients as well. A “one touch” scheduling flow without having to leave the iMessage experience can help further build goodwill to foster that business-client relationship.

There is more work to do

We are in the very early innings with regards to improving communication tools and technology between customers and businesses.

Every day another messaging app (or tool) enters the space in its attempt to solve a variety of communication pain points. All too common, however, these messaging apps look to solve the consumer experience first and foremost. All while putting the entrepreneur and business in the backseat.

Although there is still a lot of improvement needed to Business Chat to be fully adopted by the entrepreneurial service economy, Apple is one of the first to take the preliminary steps in preserving the personal relationship between the business and the customer.

Get A Fresh Phone # For Your Small Business

Get a Business Phone Number

Communication is a key building block to developing a lasting relationship with your customers.

Ever hear a client ask: “What’s the best way for me to get in touch with you?”

The answer to that question can vary. It could be email, text, phone call, social media, etc.

Most customers these days expect the convenience of the text message experience as a way to communicate with anyone – even businesses. But for business owners, there can be some initial hesitancy in giving away their personal number to customers as the core communication channel. Reason being, by giving your clients the same number on which your friends and family contact you, issues around privacy, organization and overall professionalism in the eyes of your clients can arise.

Getting a dedicated phone number for your business can not only mitigate any aforementioned issues, but can go a long way in actually developing better relationships with your clients. Here are 4 key ways why getting a unique number for your business can help you thrive.

1. Privacy & protection

Having your personal number listed across the web and social media can create a dangerous cycle.

The issue with using your personal number as the primary contact number for your business is that it will be publicly available for the world to see. Spam and scam calling is something that is increasingmore and more these days – and this increases the risk of your number being stored on spam list not only in the U.S. and but international as well. So your personal contact details will be shared and passed around list after list without any control. That that become a lifetime nuisance.

The other issue is from time to time, every business can attract certain demanding clients. There is even a podcast dedicated to these types of customers… the “crazy” ones. This can cause the growing number of people who you do not want contacting you, to be able to reach you day and night. The realities of running a business is you’re going to come in contact with customers and potential customers who either do not respect business ethics, or do not treat you like a real person, or can become harassing.

Having a dedicated business number will protect you from all the above wanted callers and interactions. Instead of making your personal number go viral, put your business line on business cards, the top of your business website, social media profiles, etc. Make it easy for clients to reach you at the right place (i.e., your business) while protecting your personal life from the many unwanted callers across the U.S. and globe.

2. Keeping you organized

The added benefit to having a dedicated business number is it adds much needed structure to your life, especially if your business is growing fast.

For the same reasons why entrepreneurs and business owners set up a personal email address and a work email address, you should do this with a phone number as well. You will be able to maintain all your client communication threads completely separate from those of friends and family. Any history of client notes, messages and even phone call logs can be accessed at any time in seconds.

Not only can a dedicated business line keep you organized as you keep tabs on client records, but it can also help you stay organized in real-time as well. If a new client decides to call you out of the blue, when the phone is ringing you should be able to tell if this incoming phone call is someone calling your personal line or your business line. Depending on which phone number is being dialed, that can determine how you answer the phone, how you prep for the caller, and the immediate tone of the phone call.

Keeping business and pleasure separate can save you tons of time and headache when needing immediate access and information to your customer base.

3. Accessibility: The key to great customer service

There are many different reports about how important customer response time is to clients when interacting with a business or professional.

Having a separate business line increases your ability to respond faster, plain and simple. If all your client messages and reach-outs are organized in a central location (separate of texts from friends and family), then that’s less information and contacts you need to sift through. You will be able to access your customer’s request more quickly, drowning out any noise, and respond at the drop of a hat.

In addition, having a dedicated business number will make you feel more comfortable to push your business line to go viral (you won’t be worried about your personal number getting in the hands of spammers). Thus, making your business number front and center across the web – wherever your business is listed – will make it dead simple for any customer (young or old) to know HOW to reach you.

Overnight you will become more accessible to new and recurring clients, which will delight each and every inquiring customer. The more you delight your clients, the more they will stick with you, and the more they will tell their friends.

4. Act like a professional

Portraying yourself as a true professional goes a long way with your clients – especially the new ones.

You do not have to invest in expensive website development or fancy design on your business presence online to seem professional. It can be very simple to act like a real pro – and a lot of this starts with your phone number.

If a client is calling your business, and they get a voicemail that is tied to your personal number for friends and family, they might have second thoughts. Clients might jump to a conclusion that your business is not large, or might not be structured to handle a lot of customers (thus you don’t have experience), or might not even be a real business! A simple automated voicemail by you with your business name and indication as to when you typically return phone calls can nip this potential in the bud.

The added benefit to a dedicated business line is consistency. That means whether a client is the one texting / calling you, or the if you are the one texting / calling your client, that same business number is always at the forefront. The client is never getting a notifications or messages from numbers (or short codes) they do not recognize. And if you make sure text message is your core line of communication, then you can remove the need for clients to regularly check their Gmail or Outlook for appointment invites or even physical mailbox for mailed invoices.

Having a simple and consistent line of communication can go a long way in making the communication lines with clients incredibly convenient.

Communication and customer relationships

There is a direct correlation between better customer communication and increase referrals and retention.

The one thing business owners focus most of their time on is delivering great service! As a result, some of the “little things” can be overlooked.

But to the client, customer service, professionalism and organization are key components in building up customer confidence and enjoyment when they think about your brand. The simple act of getting a dedicated business number can go a long way in delighting your clients – whether they be prospects, brand new clients, or customers you’ve seen for years.

And with more customer delight, comes more dollars in your pocket 🙂

Social Media

Social Media

Believe it or not, the typical American checks social media 17 times every single day. One rule of thumb when it comes to trying to attract customers: Be where your clients are!

Organically introducing your business into the daily lives of consumers is a great way to build your brand and presence. Social media enables you to build your own brand for free! An effective way to get your Call to action in front of new leads.

What’s the deal with Facebook?

Facebook doesn’t just have to be a place where you simply list your business and build content in the hopes that clients find you (as discussed above). You should first set up your business online on Facebook. Test the waters posting a variety of content to build your brand and get the fundamentals down.

Then you can actually be pro-active with Facebook and seek out potential clients on the platform. Since Facebook collects information on individuals (i.e., what they “like”, what their interests are, where they live, what they engage with on Facebook, etc.), you’d be surprised how much accuracy there can be with respect to finding potential clients using FB advertising. Core campaigns you can test out are the following:

Note that with these campaigns, you’ll pay to drive interested people to your website or your FB page or to take a specific action (i.e., Engage, Like, Click). You want these people to see your page or website, and be impressed and want to call you or email you about booking you. That means, you want to have lots of great content on your FB page to increase the “conversion” of these customer visits – that is, make sure when they do come to your FB page or website, they take action!

That’s why it’s crucial to build up those FB reviews, post interesting photos, make community announcements, share articles or write blogs yourself about you and your industry. You can pay FB to drive people to your business page, but to get the most out of Facebook advertising, the key is to make that page worth going to

An added benefit to FB is the ability to re-market. What that means is, you can have people “like” your posts or page, and you’ll be able to know exactly who they are. So these are leads…leads are interested people who could become clients, but (for whatever reason) they simply aren’t ready to book you.

So you can reach out to these leads directly, and you can (more efficiently) post more pieces of content on FB which will show up in their FB feed. If you have a personal FB account (as opposed to a business account), then you know what your “feed” is – that’s the main HOME page on Facebook where you see all the various posts and ads flowing (from friends and businesses).

How do I set it up Facebook?

Before you try to set up any advertising campaigns on Facebook, visit the Facebook for Business page. From this page, you can watch simple and helpful videos about which campaigns to run and test out, such as:

·         Pay per Post Engagement

·         Per Page Like

·         Every Website Click

These videos will do a better job in describing how each ad product will work. This will give you a sense of what might work for you based on your goals.

Once you’re ready to get started, go to your Facebook Ads Manager to start a campaign. Then get underway!

You’re going to have to stay on top of these ads and iterate. Do not overwhelm yourself with tests when you get started. Play around with the audience, the copy, and the graphics on your ads. Get comfortable with how it all works before you go crazy and start spending hundreds of $’s.

What are the risks of Facebook?

I just alluded to it in the paragraph above, but these Facebook ad campaigns can be time consuming to get set up and monitor. There’s a bit of a learning curve as there are a lot of variables to pick and choose from in terms of ad copy, graphics, audience demographic, interests, “cost per” pricing model, budget, etc. Then when the campaign goes live, you need to monitor the campaign to make sure it’s performing OK.

There have also been questions around what a “LIKE” is worth. Probably one of Facebook’s most well-known engagement actions is liking something – as in like a business page. Go ahead and enter into Google search “What is a like worth on Facebook” – search results here.

With a lot of debate as to the return on investment of getting a like. One of the main reasons is because Facebook has now reduced the frequency of business page posts appearing in the news feed of those people who have indeed liked your page. FB’s argument is that they want the consumer’s feed to be more relevant to them (more info on their rationale) and less commercial. So a simple “like” won’t make your business – you need more engagement from your audience than just that.

What’s the deal with Twitter?

Twitter is a lot more fast-paced than Facebook. Typically the behavior of a lot of consumers is opening Twitter up multiple times throughout the day to read or post quick pieces of information or updates or news. As shown in the chart below, people spend ~60% less time on Twitter each day than Facebook:

Twitter provides a different scope of content with its limited 140 character rule on tweets. To be perfectly honest, consumers don’t go on Twitter to help discover someone to hire, although Twitter would probably disagree (since they are biased of course).

What you can use Twitter for is to help build your brand. Maybe post updates on jobs completed, or happy customers, or photos of the service you performed, or any interesting links about news in your industry.

A lot of white collar professionals are also on Twitter because it’s a great place to get breaking news quickly. These white collar professionals should be your clients! They know Twitter well and will respect any service professional who leverages the platform and talks about interesting industry or business information.

Use the hashtag tool! When you do tweet something, at the end of your tweet add “#” and your industry name. (Read why hashtags are important for more info.) This will organize all your tweets and content onto a public thread about that very industry topic. It simply helps organize your tweets and increases your chances of being discovered by consumers of your vertical interests.

Twitter also supports advertising products where you can pro-actively promote yourself to a target audience of Twitter users based on their demographics, profiles, and types of tweets they engage with. Call-to-actions can be clicks on your website, email address collection (for re-marketing), or simply more followers:

How do I set up Twitter?

Just head to Twitter.com and set up an account. In about 2 mins you can start tweeting anything you like. If you know anyone (friends, peers, current customers) who is on Twitter, follow them and they most likely will follow you back. This is where you start your network.

To set up advertising campaigns just go directly to Twitter Ads here. They will walk you through how you can set up different Ad campaigns based on your goals. 

What are the risks of Twitter?

I would be weary of focusing a lot of your efforts on Twitter to grow. Twitter is so fast-paced that it does not accommodate for potential clients to spending time evaluating you and your tweets. In addition, your profile on Twitter doesn’t leave a lot as it relates to client reviews and engaging content. You typically use Twitter to link back to the important stuff.

I would create a Twitter account and be somewhat active mainly as a way for prospective clients to “check the box” when evaluating you as someone to hire. Having a Twitter account will show that you are indeed social, are thoughtful, have something to say, and just improves your brand standing in the consumer’s eyes. 

As you can probably imagine, I would also advise you not spend money on Twitter. Most companies that do spend money are large companies that want to pay for impressions re brand building, or mobile apps that have easy call-to-actions (like “Download Now”) when in a tap of a button they can get a user or customer. There are plenty of other platforms that are better designed for your service based business to help you grow more efficiently.

What’s the deal with Instagram?

Instagram is a photo sharing app. People can join Instagram, post photos, follow friends, and attract followers.

It’s almost like Twitter but more photo/visual-focused. To cut to the chase, use Instagram if you run a business where photos are fun and important. A beautician, a pet professional, a photographer, etc. – these are all service based businesses that would be fun to follow on Instagram (and I’m talking about that personally!).

Instagram is used as a brand building tool (to show off your work), and when you get enough followers then you can go viral. As shown below, you can also include a bio and even a link – a link back to your website or even any bookings tool you have one set up.

How do I set it up Instagram?

You can download Instagram from either the iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store. Note that this is primarily a mobile tool (less so desktop).

The strategy here is similar to Twitter – follow people, get them to follow you back, build a presence and post interesting stuff.

You can even pay to advertise on Instagram. Since FB owns Instagram, advertising on this photo platform is simple after you set up FB campaigns (as discussed on the above).

What are the risks of Instagram?

I would steer clear of paying for Instagram advertising. What you see are brands like Coca Cola, Uber, McDonalds, etc. – more consumer brands – advertising on Instagram as a fresh way to build brand. You’re out priced when it comes to spending on ads.

Also, you’ve got to invest the time to post continually, and – hate to say it – posts need to look good if you’re going to get any traction of interested followers. So you need to be dedicated. The risk to spending too much time is the return – when post on Twitter and Facebook, for example, that content can show up on Google search which is much more easily accessible by your clients to see. Instagram is relatively isolated to unless a client is actively search for your name or business, getting “discovered” is quite tough.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram aren’t the only social media platforms out there.

Check out others including LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr and more. I would prioritize LinkedIn first – not really from an advertising perspective. More so to create a profile on you the business owner. Lots of times clients Google the business owner before booking a service. LinkedIn has phenomenal SEO to the point where your profile will show up in search. It’s just a nice trustworthy source for clients to make sure you are a real person with experience.

Social Media shows your face where your clients are looking. In part also builds a personality and brand. You can make announcements, post content, engage with followers / likers. Even pay to pro-actively engage with others. Don’t let them fool you that you must spend to go viral. You won’t grow your following if you don’t have good content. Just keep on sharing what’s going on with your business and with you, and you’ll slowly but surely build up an audience who will start talking you up.