How to Get More Reviews for Your Business

how to get more reviews

Think of the last time you looked up a new business or service and decided you would use their service or product. Whether it was a pizza place, plumber or podiatrist, most likely you spent all of 10 seconds absorbing information on a site like Google, Yelp or Facebook and then knew which one you liked. 

As businesses, this means we are left to perfect that 10 second moment or we’ve already lost so many opportunities. While word of mouth still remains the most dependable source of new business for most of us, gaining new customers by creating an excellent digital introduction to our business is essential. Key to that success is reviews. 

No matter your industry, positive reviews typically don’t come naturally. It’s human nature to react when we’re annoyed but move on – albeit pleasantly surprised – when we are feeling appreciative. Rare is the customer who feels delighted and then proactively leaves you a review. 

This is why you need to ask. 

How to Ask for Reviews

If you leave your review pages up to the hands of fate, you’ll end up with a lower rating. True, this could be because your business stinks. But most of us toil in what we do because we care, and our ratings should reflect that.

Set Yourself Up for Good Reviews

If you want to receive more positive reviews, the first step you’ll have to take is ensure your review pages are set up and you’re actively monitoring them. 

If you have a brick and mortar location for your business, you’ll want to claim your page in Google. This is essential to making sure the correct address is listed for your business and that no one else claims your business for you. Once you do that, you’ll receive emails when there is a new review, and you should respond to these within 24-hours. If it’s positive, thank them! And reshare that information as a testimonial in other places. If it’s negative, acknowledge the feedback without going into too much detail or getting defense and let them know you’re addressing their concerns. Then, go ahead and fix the problem. You can even go back to the reviewer and let them know how you handled the issue, which shows the whole world that you take feedback seriously and are committed to your customers. Next stop for you, my friend, is surely tackling world peace.

When it comes to social media, don’t ignore that space. If a lot of your word of mouth business happens on Facebook or Twitter, be sure to actively check your reviews on these channels and respond. Thank them if it’s positive and publicly acknowledge them if it’s negative. Then, take the conversation over to the private messages so that you can help them sort out their issue. Once you fix the problem, you can publicly respond and let the world know. 

Does this sound like a pain? Perhaps. But consider this: customer relations has ALWAYS been a part of business. Meeting your customer where they are – which is online in increasing numbers – is an integral component of customer service today.

Following are three ways to proactively get more reviews from your clients. 

  1. Add a link to your email signature: Once you’ve claimed your Google Business page and are on top of your social media reviews and comments, go ahead and add links to these pages in your email signature. Here are instructions to find your direct link on Google. Find it on Facebook (at right) by going to your page and clicking on “Reviews” in the left bar. 
  2. Make a habit of reaching out to customers when they leave your business: Once a client leaves your business, you can follow up with an email or a text thanking them for their business and asking them to take a minute to leave an HONEST review. If you’re going to do this, don’t ask them directly for a 5-star review because that’s not authentic. You also don’t want to ask them for a review while they are still on your premises because Google can see where your reviewers are, and this will be suspicious. (Creepy, I know.) Google has been known to remove suspicious reviews. 
  3. Use a service like Get More Reviews: There are a lot of companies that will automate the process above for you at a reasonable price. You will need to add emails and cell phone numbers into the dashboard, and then the review service will reach out to them on your behalf. What I like about this service is that you’re more likely to keep up with the reviews because it’s simpler and you’re more committed by paying for it. It also offers recipients the option to write their ANGRY ALL CAPS RANT to you in a private message rather than on a public review. Many times, they will actually choose this because the goal of a negative reviewer is often just to get the owners’ attention. You’ll also be able to track a lot of reviews in one place if you own multiple locations of your business. 

Most importantly, keep doing the good business practices you started out to accomplish, and let the 5-star reviews pour in. 

Want to talk strategy for your business? Be in touch! Let’s talk.

Creating Mindful Moments Every Day

how to stay mindful

Everyone is talking about being mindful and intentional lately. In new release books, on NPR and in every other podcast, staying mindful is on everyone’s mind in our distracting digital age.

Now, there are those who naturally find quiet by being alone, who enjoy time and space to think and find their zen in yoga. And then there are those who get high on being busy, who can’t sit still for a formal dinner and are more likely to find their rhythm on a run than in downward dog.

Entrepreneurs typically fall in the latter category. Driven by passion for an idea that is our own, it’s hard to stop and take stock. But thinking is what got us here in the first place, and it’s also what ensures we keep moving in the right direction – in both our careers and in life.

How I Hope to Stay Focused

This is why on the same day that I launched Sparkr Marketing, I began my own plan to stay intentional throughout the busy days. I start in the morning by writing BE MINDFUL at the top of a page in my journal, followed by my 3-5 most important tasks for that day. Typically, this is a mix of work and family life. Then, I schedule those tasks into my calendar as if they are a meeting. And then for that one hour, I attempt to focus solely on that one task.

So far, it’s working. By the end of the day, I can look at the list, and on most days I’ve done what I set out to do. I feel less harried while I’m doing it too. I also feel less of a pull to work when I’m focused on my family and less guilty working when my kids are around.

Tell me what keeps you focused and intentional throughout your day? Share this post with a tip on what works for you.

Build Your LinkedIn Tribe

How many times have you created a GREAT post in LinkedIn only to see it go…exactly nowhere?

I’m betting that pretty much everyone has this experience on LinkedIn pretty frequently, and it’s bound to happen even more as LinkedIn continues to gain popularity. LinkedIn has over 575+ million users, with more than 260 million monthly active users. It’s also the social channel that’s enjoyed the most longevity.

But, back to you. Let’s assume you’ve created an original post or article. I’m not talking about just sharing an article that someone else wrote. This time, you’ve thought hard about what you want to share with your network and crafted something clever, relatable, funny, educational or inspiring. It’s a message you would want to read if you saw it in your own feed.

How do increase impressions and engagement for your great content?

Here’s a trick that works on LinkedIn and really on any social channel, for that matter. It’s true for your personal profile, and it works for your organization’s page as well.

Get More Engagement on Your LinkedIn Content with 3 Easy Steps

  1. In LinkedIn messages, reach out to a few friends and colleagues, who are sharing content you think would be interesting for your network. Invite them as a group to be a part of your content sharing tribe.
  2. Then, when you or a member of your group post new content, let the group know. Obviously, this only works if you are sharing quality content your group will find relevant.
  3. Any member of the group who finds the content useful can then go to one another’s profile page to proactively share that content or comment.

It’s that simple! This shortcut ensures that a few targeted people will see your content sooner than it would have shown up in their feeds. Once a few people engage with your content, LinkedIn will recognize its significance.

That’s it!

If you’re creating great content on LinkedIn and want to join my existing group, send me a message on LinkedIn.

Join my business journey

life with no regrets

💥 F I N A L L Y! This week I launched the official rebranding of Sparkr Marketing. It took over eight years to get here, not counting the professional work I did before beginning my freelance side hustle. This week, family and friends can finally stop hearing me hem and haw about making this move. No doubt, it won’t be long until they tire of all my eager energy as a new entrepreneur.

What took me so long?

Stability, great colleagues, meaningful work and, hello?, a steady paycheck!

There are many reasons I spent the last two years vacillating over when to leave the stability of my part time job to focus full time on this business. But eventually I turned to the rational that has been the biggest driver of change in my life:

🔥 If I don’t do this now, I will regret it later.

This realization lights a fire under me every time. It sparked my passion to use what I’ve learned to help more organizations.

So, here we go. Let’s do this. 🙌

What this blog is about

If you’re still with me here, you’ve probably noticed that this isn’t the typical marketing agency blog. I thought about being conventional – posting 10 social media tips for Tuesday! and 5 ways to level up your brand!

But, here’s the truth. You can learn EVERYTHING in digital marketing online for FREE if you have time, passion, creativity and skills to put it into practice.

And while I do plan to share a lot of what I’ve learned from others in this blog and on my social media pages (give us a follow, will ya?! 👉LinkedIn 👉Facebook 👉Instagram), what I decided to really offer you ME.

My passion is helping small to medium size businesses tell their story. So in this blog, I plan to tell you mine.

My hope is that through reading this honest entrepreneur blog, you will find personal tips and better ways to tell YOUR story. I plan to share the stories of other entrepreneurs, who work with me as well, so leave me a comment, social media post or smoke signal if you’d like to be featured here.

Thanks for joining my business journey! Leave a comment on what your business goals are and what’s holding you back.

If you liked this post, send a little love by sharing and tagging us on your favorite social media channel.

New Branding Launch Day

digital marketing business launch

It’s finally launch day for my digital marketing business rebranding! WM Marketing is now Sparkr Marketing.

After eight years of part time marketing consulting, I am now working full time for Sparkr. We offer full service digital marketing for small to medium size businesses and nonprofits, including: social media, content creation, website maintenance, SEO and more. Want print media? We do that too.

I’m also excited to announce that we offer one-on-one marketing coaching for small businesses and nonprofits.

Big thanks to all my cheerleaders as I take this next career step. Chief among them are Jonathan Margolin and Mindi Zissman of Zissman Media, as well as others.

The one who nagged me the most was my late father-in-law, Stephen Margolin, who saw an entrepreneur in me from the start. I’m so grateful I made him proud by making this move a few months ago, while he was still around.

Ready to spark your story? Let’s do this.

Moving on after 12 years

Like every graduation season, we’re preparing to send off the senior class of Ida Crown Jewish Academy. As communications director there, it’s my job to salute the seniors and their accomplishments across all our digital and print media.

Except this year, I’m graduating too.

After 12 years working part time in the private high school, this year will be my last. I’ve pursued my marketing business over the past eight years, joining many workers today in the “gig economy.” The balance has worked for the most part—offering me both part time job stability and the freedom to pursue my business. It’s time to move on.

Like anyone graduating this season, I’m excited and hopeful for the future while reflecting on the past. I couldn’t be more grateful for my colleagues and for all that I learned at ICJA.

I joined the administration fresh out of JUF News, eager to diversify my work beyond writing and editing and ready to work closer to home. Like everyone working in communications in 2007, I had no idea just how diversified my work would become.

At the time:

  • Marketing was almost exclusively print
  • Ads were in newspapers and magazines
  • Facebook was in its infancy
  • Websites were virtual phonebooks
  • Organizational email campaigns were unsophisticated

I started my job at the cusp of the digital marketing revolution (or at least it felt like a revolution to those of us in the trenches). I couldn’t have been in a better position to sort it all out.

Backed by a boss with high expectations and a willingness to support my professional growth, my job in communications co-evolved with the ever-changing digital marketing landscape.

Over the last 12 years of marketing in admissions, development and even a capital campaign, I:

  • Created the school logo and style guide
  • Launched two websites, maintained on WordPress
  • Launched a weekly e-newletter with targeted emails campaigns
  • Launched a Facebook page back when it was easy build followers (and reach them) just by slapping up a photo, followed by Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram pages.
  • Produced videos as the most potent form of our digital communication strategy

I’m leaving ICJA in a good position to continue forward in the fast-paced, ever-changing digital marketing age. I have no doubt they’ll continue to forge ahead as a leader in private school marketing. As a parent in the school and no longer an employee, I plan to be among their biggest cheerleaders.

Beginning this summer I’ll be working at Sparkr Marketing full time.

Onward!