03 Apr Question & Answer with Tamara Mon Louis
Following our Webinar, Innovation and Navigating the Digital Landscape, participants had a quick Q&A with Tamara Mon Louis.
The digital space has a lot of noise, what would be a strategy to rise above all the noise and stand out especially now since there would more focus on operating in a digital space.
What are you doing? How are you making the difference? What does your target audience want from you? It may be educating them, it may be providing them tips. Find something that adds value. Look at what you have given your customers in the past, and see how you can add more value. Is it a video tutorial? Is it a PDF downloadable that they can utilize? People who have restaurants are facilitating cooking classes because it’s fun, but these people are building a bond with their customer base and providing value, because they’re helping people to cook while they’re in quarantine! Focus on how to add value, and that value moves you away from the crowd.
It’s said that Instagram is targeted for the younger crowd and Facebook for the older crowd. What are your thoughts on this?
If you’re not on Facebook, you’re missing out on people. Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook are all owned by Facebook. Facebook is where, chances are, and the people spend more money because they are older but is Facebook the right demographic for you? Instagram has a younger audience but does that younger audience have that revenue to buy your products? You can use these platforms to build a pipeline for these customers later on while engaging your current customers.
For those customers who are fearful about the economic future, how do we approach them?
People that are fearful about the not economics future, I think it’s a matter of forcible you may to be really empathetic of start the conversation off by understanding their plight. It’s crazy what’s happening right now but I think we started with empathy and then starting to help them shift into a mindset, it’s a mindset shift. Even though they’re fearful, we’re seeing customers and we’ve had customers reach out to was that are panicked and they want to stops our customers fit into three categories at this point right. You see people that are like “oh my God, no more stop, everything, I can’t do it”. There are people that say “there is so much opportunity here, let us take advantage of this opportunity, let us move forward”, and there are people that because their product or service may be impacted by another country they are just kind of like Hey let’s stay steady the course. They’re all right in some respects but it’s about really starting to help those people that are fearful shift their mindset. Today I had a call with a client who wanted to stop so I sent out an email probably 2 days ago saying here are 5 reasons why I believe we can’t stop. You probably don’t need to do everything we’re talking about but now there’s an opportunity for you to become an authority figure in your industry and share information that nobody else is sharing. She got the E-mail and she’s just like “let’s jump on a call” and got on a call we talked it through. By the end of the call we were able to move her from a place where she’s not stopping anymore and we’re getting her to a space where she’s actually continuing with probably half of the contract at this point. Now to me that was a win and she actually said to nice thank you for thinking about at this way. Digital is the new way. Regardless of what happens tomorrow, the pandemic goes away, this is how things are going to be done going forward. I believe its spending time, being empathetic of them, finding a strategy that can work for them, sharing that strategy and letting them know that you’re thinking about each one of your customers in an individual way and really giving them the love to get them to that next place.
How can you ensure that your page etc is listed higher when persons search for your services, let’s say on google.
That’s a great question so that’s really search engine optimization. SEO that’s where you optimise your website for those keywords. Google has a thing called keyword planner and there are a few other keyword planners that are online. They’re all free tools. What you can do is you can have a clear understanding of how people are searching for your service. Say for instance, one of the clients we worked with and we did SEO for in Trinidad actually, Azalea health services, so we did their SEO and one of the things I had them optimized for was best gynaecologist in Trinidad. Now they rank from that. It took about 3 months for it to happened but we understood that they were people searching for that so Google gives you are overview of how people have been searching in your country so if you’re doing business in the US, if you’re doing business worldwide you can have a clear understanding of how people are search it in that country and then you take those keywords and you optimize your website for those keywords. There’s a little bit of technical back end but what you want to do is you want to make sure that the keywords show up in the back end, it also shows up in your content and also if you haven’t broken mortar store you make a focus on Google my business listing. Google my business is for brick and mortar stores is really the number 1 tool that you should be tying with any SEO that you’re doing. Google my business, if you have a location you actually get to the page where you can share information about your dates/times that actually shows up 1st when people search for your service. You add keywords there, you can add images, you can add posts there like your outing on social media and then you can get people to give you reviews. What happens with Google is Google is all about relevance so they actually start showing you people that search, they show them the reviews first, so it’s important to leverage that conversation marketing, get people to fill out those reviews on Google my business and then it helps your rise to the tops. It’s really about the keywords. If you’re a brick and mortar store, then it’s about utilizing Google my business listing all the way through and I think that’s how you start ranking. The other option is if you do have a budget leveraging paid advertising so Google paid advertising so that you show up first and that’s a great way to supplement while you’re building your SEO strategy out because again it takes 3 to 6 months for an SEO strategy to go full force where you’re showing up 1st on, but the Google my business listing helps. For those in the coverage that has brick and motor stores, with Google my business listing you actually have to have it mailed to you. In the US you make a phone call they’ll give you a code. In the Caribbean they will send you it you fell out it and then they will actually send the code to your house or to your business I should say, and then you’re able to add that code and optimize and set up the Google my business listing.
Do you have any tips for starting a website for the T&T market?
Yeah the biggest barriers in the T&T market is getting be the backing piece. Is the business operating in T&T only or is it operating outside and in the US and looking to sell send there? If it’s just T&T specific the problem is the banking peace once you get that worked out one of the companies and Trinidad that we work with its doing a really great job of e-commerce is destination T&T so they sell tours to places like osprey caves and so they do a lot of purchases online and people in Trinidad are looking to buy it online. The first step is understanding the best platform for you which could be something like a shopify because shopify is already set up in a way where the functionality is there, they know what works, so it’s all best practices and then once you get the banking peace set up then you should be in a really good place and then it’s leveraging TTPOST to get people in that mindset of “hey this will come to you via mail.” One of the things with e-commerce in Trinidad is education. I mentioned the gynaecologist to you so she has a bit of an ecommerce because her bookings happen online. So because websites have not been the been in Trinidad, they’ve been getting better, the trust is low so you have to do a lot of building to say this is safe, this is convenient, you could do this, you can buy this online, and really getting them to not place so understanding that because e-commerce it’s becoming more and more. People applying on Amazon but they are just not necessarily buying in Trinidad so doing some education to get them to a place where they feel comfortable, but again I think looking at places like shopify and then one of the partners that we have that we work with in Trinidad, Sightfactory, they’re really good at e-commerce sites. Feel free to check them out and speak to them and they can help.
For brands that don’t have a tangible product, such as bloggers or writers, how can we create and build brand recognition as it won’t be looking for sales necessarily but following and re-sharing of content.
Yeah so you do have a tangible product it’s just education and you’re re-purposing content. I think that’s even better. There you have an opportunity to really focus in on personality and authenticity and I know about word ‘authenticity’ is often used to death, really stepping out to build that engagement with folks and sharing what they need. It comes back to, if I can get value I’m going to go there. What value are you providing with the content that you’re sharing. What are you blogging about? Who is your target audience? Who are your readers? Is it a mommy blogger situation? Because mommy bloggers have a perfect example of just taking all, and not necessarily having a tangible product but what they did was they built a base of people that now people with products can actually go to and they pay them to then advertise for them, influencer marketing. Looking to build yourself as an influencer is great for walking into writing but it’s key, who’s your target audience? Who do you want to read your information? What action do you want them to take? Do you want them to come back and read it again next month? It’s definitely going to be about the value that you share with them and then building that follower and then looking to see how you add more value. So partnerships with business, partnerships with new businesses. I always tell my customers all the time is there looking for influencers. Before they go to the influencer who has two hundred thousand followers and has to pay them $500, why don’t go to an influencer or someone who’s building and influencer brand who has 900 followers but 900 engaged followers or 500 really engaged followers and start partnerships with those people. Something that would be great would be to look at businesses who are also in that, come up were you are and then starting to highlight what they’re doing or highlight their service or product is. One of the people we’re mentoring right now, they have a gluten free pancake mix. That’s something if your target audience is in that lane then that maybe having a cooking show or were you show the gluten free pancakes so adding value and getting products in front of those people along with what you’re writing can also help.
If you update your Google SEO, does the ranking take 3-6 months for the Caribbean as well or does it take longer?
The Caribbean is sweeter but it depends on where you are. If a country in the Caribbean is not optimized if they’re not SEO savy and a lot of countries and just starting to focus in on SEO, then you have an opportunity. Two years ago when we worked with Azalea health services, no gynaecologist or doctors were really doing search engine optimization so we had an opportunity to get the best word and start racking for them very quickly so I think I’m ranking 3 to 6 months sometimes in the Caribbean’s actually be faster but I still like to give back industry standard gauge but it could definitely be faster.
What about stores that are interested in selling hand-made items to the Caribbean and even US markets?
I think first and foremost it’s about raising visibility for your product and service. In the US market it’s about the platform that you look at so is LinkedIn a platform for you because that really takes you international. Another person I was mentoring she just wrote a book and launched it yesterday and she had this digital party and she had so many people internationally as well as in Trinidad on her digital book launch a talking about her book. She’s been able to build an International network leveraging LinkedIn. If you have handmade items, I think first of all it’s about talking to the quality of the items, letting people know that it is just as great a quality as whatever brand you’re comparable to. For instance, I know I get all of the products in Trinidad a where I’m like oh my God this is like Gucci. It’s understanding what you’re comparing yourself to and then starting to get yourself out there by leveraging again.