This was posted by Dee Valdez or @glutenfreedee if you follow her on Twitter. It’s quite helpful!
Over the next week, I’ll be sharing my 10/10/10 to impact the way you do business or interact with GREAT Gluten Free Companies. In October, I celebrate 1 year of consulting some of the best Gluten Free Companies in the market while building magical relationship with Gluten Free GREATS around the world. I’m humbled and grateful for all I have learned since venturing out on my own to start my Public Relations and Marketing Business, Gluten Free Dee. This 3 Part Series will include:
10 Gluten Free Consulting Tips for Business Success – Part One
10 Ways for Gluten Free Restaurants to Draw a Crowd – Part Two
10 Gluten Free Greats – Leaders Who Have Changed the Game – Part Three
PART ONE: 10 Gluten Free Consulting Tips to Assure Business Success – Part One
- Have a GREAT PRODUCT
In this new and wonderfully versatile market, only the best will survive. There are still some terrible gluten free products occupying shelf and freezer space but the new, savvy gluten free consumer is learning to vote with their dollars. Go back to the drawing board if your product is not GREAT.
- USE SOCIAL MEDIA to Find Your RAVING FANS
There are people all over the internet talking about your product so invest the time to get to know them. Twitter and Facebook are no longer optional activities. It’s imperative to make the time yourself or hire someone to connect with your fans thru Social Media. This is how you compete – by building deeper, more authentic relationships. Read blog by Jeff Bullas for best practices.
- REWARD Your Raving Fans and Best Employees
When you see someone consistently lovin’ on you or doing excellent work each day, thank them with some of your product, a shout out, or a gift card. Be sure a handwritten note is enclosed. Oh, will they talk about this! This will take about 16 minutes and $10 for $1000 in reciprocal promotion or an employee who says YOU ROCK!. JUST DO IT!
- ASK FOR HELP
Ask your Raving Fans to help you get into specific markets or specific stores. I used this Pull Thru Marketing tactic when I worked for Udi’s Gluten Free during the 3 months they went from “Unknown to In Demand TM” Be strategic. Use this tactic before, during and after you are going to negotiate with the big dogs to get into their chain of stores or restaurants. It’s hard to say no when 6 people a week come in asking for your product!
- MAKE IT EASY for Fans to Help You
Spend an hour or two putting together all the information you need to design a Pull Thru Marketing piece consumers can take into their local supermarket. Be sure it will only require 1- 2 calls to get your product into their store. Treat this type of request as the highest priority.
- MEET FACE TO FACE with Your Fans
Invite fans to tour your facility. Attend Gluten Free Vendor Fairs. Leverage Cause Marketing Events for visibility, hand shaking, personal conversations. Allow time to take a few people to coffee or dinner after each event.
- GIVE STRATEGICALLY
There are a multitude of causes in the Gluten Free Marketplace now. Camps. Research. Testing. Education Campaigns. Fundraising Events. Meet Up and Support Group Meetings. And of course, the national movement to start Gluten Free Food Banks in every city, which is my project (and hopefully will become one of your favorites!) Determine how much you will give, and JUST DO IT! It’s easier to say no to good causes so you can support GREAT ones that resonate with you and your company philosophy.
- CREATE A BUZZ with Reviews
Get others to talk about your products and be sure it’s because it’s amazing (see #1)! There are some clear gluten free industry leaders and major league influencers. Get them to talk about your product. You’ll be shocked at the fabulous results you will quickly receive. Udi’s Gluten Free needed a 300% increase in production after only 3 months of buzz we created with reviews. Canyon Bakehouse saw a 500+% increase in on line orders with the top influencers talking about their healthy, tasty breads. It’s easiest to create buzz with incredible breads but the formula works with any product.
- BUILD STRATEGIC ALLIANCES
If you use agave in your product, find others who do who are in your same community and do co-op buying to save on freight. If your product compliments something else in the market, partner up to do product demos or vendor fairs. If you are in startup mode, and cash poor (a tough way to do it) use your yummy product to “pay” an excellent graphic designer to develop great branding. You get the idea. Think outside the box. Consistently read Seth Godin’s blog to keep your mind stretched.
- TELL YOUR STORY
On line and in the workplace, be sure people have experienced the charm of your story. Most of you have some deeply meaningful reason you are making the gluten free products you make. Put this on your website. Put this in correspondence. Tell Your Story in Social Media. Periodically check with employees to find out how they tell Your Story. They do all the time when talking to friends about work. Be sure your Branding is what it needs to be. You can look bigger and more successful earlier in the game if your branding is stellar.