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Get More Business with a Referral Marketing System


Word of Mouth is still the most powerful form of promotion possible!

And even in our hyper-connected, social lives, word of mouth (either offline or online) is the most powerful source of reviews, recommendations, referrals and revenue!

Gold Star is a nationwide network of business referral groups that can help grow your business through a unique process of building successful business relationships and sharing referrals.

We offer a user-friendly system to help you get more business!

Referral Marketing and Business Networking have been time tested and are proven to be extremely low cost, and very high return methods of growing your business, no matter what industry!

If you’re a business networker and someone who is a leader in helping support others to achieve success, then you might be a perfect fit for us  working together and you becoming a director.

Click here for more info!



Reviews are Word of Mouth: The Most Powerful Form of Advertising

11043390_1553045351622453_1788492456641338107_oMany have read negative reviews and some may have written one or two themselves. Often, when a business receives a negative review they don’t know really what to do.

Some will come out of the gate swinging

Mad, angry and ready to defend their team and their every move – sometimes they miss the main message or the constructive feedback embedded in the review.

Some will take the ostrich defense

Acting too busy or completely unaware that there has been a negative review or comments about their business, they decide to not even acknowledge the review.

Some are just as service focused online as they are offline

And, it serves them well. They are focused, listening and eager to help their customer and do take a genuine interest in translating their customer’s review to something that could become a plan to put into place for improvement.

How do you reduce the negative and increase the positive?

Make it a priority

A recent study shows that, on average, 10.4 information sources are checked before making a decision.

Create a good product and provide quality service

It’s important that you are providing quality all the way around. As a marketing team, we’re often asked to put “lipstick on a pig” which means we’re asked to make someone look amazing and engaged on social when their actual product or service is not that good.

Those companies we ask to “go back” and review their actual services. Many times, they know what they need to improve on but haven’t focused or made a commitment to make those changes.

Provide avenues or front level connections where customers can communicate and vent

It’s true. If you’re listening at the level where customers are doing business or engaging, then you’ll decrease negative reviews.

Providing customers the opportunity to be heard and to be valued, will negate those who want to take to the review sites or social airways to vent. If they feel heard at this level, they feel valued.

Are you asking for feedback? Are you listening to the response?

Does your team do the same? Are they willing to listen to constructive criticism and helpful in seeking solution?

Have the ability to capture positive comments in an easy way

To increase positive reviews, the key is not to bribe your customers for them or to exchange goods or money for them (that’s not ethical!).

Instead, provide an easy format to capture their positive comments.

One fitness facility we worked with had a laptop available to clients to capture their video comments and reviews on how much they enjoyed the facility.

Another utilizes a review funnel we created them that captures and promotes the positive reviews and sends negative reviews immediately to a customer care team member who contacts them for more personal interaction and feedback.

Respond fast

Either online or in person, quickly respond to reviews with a level head and the focus of nurturing the relationship with the client. Unless after careful consideration you feel that the person is being abusive or disrespectful and that would need to be determined during you contact of response to them (unless they were very explicit and derogatory in their review).

It is a conscious decision that needs to be made and not a knee-jerk or “rage quit” decision.

*rage quit: when someone emotionally takes action to no longer speak or engage with someone and quits in a fit of anger.

Offer opportunities and incentives

Let’s be clear. You’re not offering these in exchange for a positive review – that would be unethical! What you are doing is offering this opportunities and incentives to those who have left negative reviews giving them a chance to try you again; or to see how you’ve made improvements from their feedback; or to show them that what they initially experienced was not the normal experience and provide them the opportunity to experience what you really deliver.

If we can assist you in creating these easy systems with the tools we have that make this easy for you and encouraging positive word of mouth , please let us know – we would be honored to assist you!

Author Bio:

Maria Elena Duron, Marketing CoachMaria Elena Duron is a strategist with Know, Like + Ignite.  Duron is a connector, trainer and coach. Small Business Owners that work with Maria Elena develop a profitable relationship building system, appeal to their brand advocates, and increase sales.  Take the uncertainty out of how your personal and business brand delivers business –get your checklist!

Restaurants: See Who Is Posting Images on Instagram While Visiting Your Business

Today I’m going to share one quick tip with you for Instagram. This Instagram tip might seem a little bit complicated, but once you hear it all through and you try it one time, it’s not that hard for you to do on a regular basis. Today’s tip has to do with checking out the photos people are sharing on Instagram from your business’s location.

If you have an Instagram account and you’ve shared a photo that was geotagged at your location before, this is going to be simple. Just go ahead and pull up one of those photos and above the photo and below your username, you’re going to see a link with your location’s name. Go ahead and click that link and you’ll pull up a map within Instagram. The map will show all the photos that have been shared previously from public Instagram users from your location and it’s an easy way for you to check out what people are saying about your business, what they may have liked about their visit or even maybe what they didn’t like.

If you haven’t shared a photo from your business on Instagram before, here’s how you can check out all the photos that have been shared previously. You’re going to have to go ahead and share a photo from your location, so you have to be there. And once you’re done editing that image, you’re going to see within the section where you write your caption, there is a little button that says add this photo to map. Click that and turn it on and then click name this location. Go ahead and name that as your business name and that will show up in the future for anyone that goes to share a photo from your location and add it to a map. And after you are done sharing that photo completely, you’ll be able to go back to that photo like I referenced before, click on the little link below your username and above the photo and you can see all the photos from public users that have shared from your business in the past.

Restaurants See Who Is Posting Images on Instagram While Visiting Your Business

If you are a restaurant, this is a really easy thing for you to do. People love sharing pictures of their meals or of their food so definitely check it out. But for any business with a location where customers come to visit, I recommend seeing what people are saying about you on Instagram. It’s a really quick tip that you can just check on a regular basis going forward.

Showcase and Update Your Most Important Info Everywhere

Know, Like + Ignite is proud to announce our association with SinglePlatform – making  it easy to showcase and update your business’s most important information everywhere local consumers are making decisions online.

It takes just 24 hours to get your business information and menu uploaded. We’ll then publish your listings and menus on all the top sites and apps where consumers are searching for local businesses. You can make updates, enhance your listings, and check your performance any time, or have us do it for you.

Contact us:  ME@KnowLikeandIgnite.com or fill in your information here and we’ll provide a free guide to you on how you can manage your online reviews and review sites.


The Myths and Truths About Customer Reviews


The diversity of voices and opinions that create authenticity and ultimately value in a business’s online reputation.

In evaluating a product or service, consumers want to hear from more than just its ranters and ravers. They triangulate on the truth from many points of view.

This quick video takes you through the 5 Myths About Customer Reviews and introduces you to a Review Funnel that can help become a positive marketing channel for you.

Why Customer Reviews Matter

You can find hundreds of recent stats and studies that confirm the insanely influential role online reviews play in getting customers to buy or try new products, services, and local businesses. I cite some of the most salient findings in this section, but for me, the most compelling evidence comes right from our clients:

  • An urban chiropractor asks his new patients where they heard about his practice. In the last year, he says that the proportion of total patients identifying review sites as the referral doubled from about 40% to 80% of all new patients.
  • A spa with glowing online reviews was getting a steady flow of new client leads. Eager to grow, the owner ran a Groupon daily deal that brought in scores of new clients at once, but the spa staff wasn’t prepared, leading to service failures and a spate of scathing reviews. The owner says business slowed to a halt until she took measures to recover her reputation.
  • Two competing pizza joints opened a block away from each other in a town with a cutthroat dining scene and high restaurant turnover. One owner decided to go “black-hat” and buy scores of fake reviews to “prime the pump,” while our client focused on collecting a few honest reviews from real customers every month. Our client has grown a steady following, visibly busy most nights and packed on the weekends. The most visible activity from the competitor is online: a bunch of empty five-star ratings and 2 comments from real customers calling out the phony reviews!

These rangy anecdotes are just that: anecdotes. But for me, they expose the power and complexity of what has been dubbed “social proof,” the notion that consumers now validate or invalidate for each other the value proposition of your business. It’s not quick or easy to build genuine social proof, but it is definitely worth it. Here’s why.

Reviews are Insanely Influential

Customer reviews matter.  We now live in what Forrester Research has dubbed “The Age of the Customer,” and guess what? Empowered customers are more demanding than ever, and they have the ability to make or break your business. They don’t trust what you say about your product or service, and they really don’t trust your ads. Instead, they trust other people like themselves.

72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family.

So, whether you’re talking about a restaurant, a medical practice or an electrical contracting company, it’s hard to overstate the influence its customers now have on each other. Because customer reviews are perceived as being written by regular folks with no agenda, people trust them—even more than they trust expert opinions. A 2011 study found that 55% of consumers felt that the opinions of “people like me” had the greatest impact on their buying decisions. To underscore the point, the popular members-only home service review site Angie’s List started using this tagline in the same year:

“Reviews you can trust, written by people just like you.”

And globally, trust in online reviews is on the rise. According to Nielsen’s 2012 “Global Trust in Advertising Survey,” 70% of consumers trust online reviews from people they don’t know, up 15% from four years earlier. Ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust word-of-mouth recommendations, whether from strangers or from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.

And keep in mind that those who regularly read and post online reviews tend to be younger, wealthier and more optimistic about technology—an attractive segment for most businesses to reach.

4 out of 5 consumers reverse their purchase decision based on negative online reviews.

Author Bio:  

Jon Hall has helped small and medium businesses over the last decade and a half, most recently as the co-founder of a Web marketing software solution for medical practices that was acquired in 2013. He loves the grit and excitement of working alongside business owners and entrepreneurs, and lives to see them succeed

5 Facts that Will Surprise You and Change Your Marketing

A recent Kissmetrics post, https://blog.kissmetrics.com/shocking-social-media-facts/, reveals some important facts that marketers need to keep in mind in developing their social media strategy.At the core of this is the importance and the foundation that email marketing has within the whole social strategy.The Pinterest stats in this video were provided by Piqua. And, the Kissmetrics post, provides insightful bullet points of lessons and next steps.These 5 Lessons from the Kissmetrics blog posts are the most helpful takeaways from the statistics:

1.Spend more time and money on email marketing than on social media marketing.
2. If you want engaged traffic, spend time optimizing YouTube.
3. Stick it out with Facebook.
4. Use Pinterest. And be patient.
5. If you’re going to use Twitter, stay on top of it.

The entire blog post is well worth the read.

Maria Elena Duron connects small business to new customers and referral partners. She connects businesses to their internal team members and advocates, and business to their customers and brand advocates through authentic appreciation. Maria Elena connects you to the systems, tools and frame of mind that develop strong joint ventures and genuine communication.

There’s a NEW VIDEO published every Friday providing PRACTICAL tips and tactics so that you can make solid connections and increase your know, like and trust factor.

Maria Elena Duron is senior Marketing Strategist/Coach with Know, Like + Ignite. http://KnowLikeIgnite.com

Know, Like + Ignite is a Relationship Development Firm focused on bridging online + offline relationships to get more business for small business and make work relationships work.

“I’ll share strategy, tips and tactics here on making marketing simple and makes business connections work, online and offline.” – Maria Elena

Know, Like + Ignite focuses on working with Restaurants, Realtors, Renegades and Rejuvenators.

The Cost of the Unhappy Customer

It seems like the first instinct now when you’re dissatisfied with a company is to post it on social media. According to Vision Critical, there are large costs associated with an unhappy customer.

Take a look and see how that unhappiness  has reach and influence fueling it.



Planning a Successful Event Campaign

15 Best Practices for Running a Successful Event Campaign

Events are a great way to deepen relationships with current customers and can help you attract new customers as well.

When done right, events are also one of the best ways to get people to take the next step from interacting with you on Facebook or reading your newsletters, to actually visiting your store, restaurant, or office.

But successful events don’t just happen overnight.

To create a successful event campaign, you need to come up with a strategy that incorporates your different marketing channels — like email, social media, mobile and web — so that you can promote your event, reach the right audience, and drive meaningful business results.

That’s why we created this guide.

This guide will walk you through the necessary steps to plan a successful event campaign that will attract new customers and help you do more business.

Get Your Copy!

Author Bio:

Ryan Pinkham is interested in helping small businesses and non-profits recognize their full-potential through marketing and social media. He wants to hear your story and learn the creative and innovative ways that you’re marketing your business. He’s worked in small businesses his entire life and now is excited to work with them!