4 Yelp Hacks to Promote Your Business for Free
Today I want to talk about Yelp and how you can use it to promote your business without spending any money.
When I first started out in the industry over 20 years ago, there was no social media or review websites. The only ways people got information about your business was through either the Better Business Bureau, a business card or flyer you gave out or word of mouth.
Now we have tons of review sites like Google and Yelp. The most popular review site of our current time however, is Yelp.
I remember when Yelp was created around 2005. A friend of mine at the time told me about it and I thought it was cool because it was in San Francisco but I never knew it would grow into what it is today. Back then, there was a dog as the mascot of the company and I attended a lot of Yelp events as part of the 2006 Yelp Elite Team. It was a lot of fun. At the time, no one was talking about monetizing Yelp but I'm sure the creator had it in mind for long term goals.
So here we are today where people use Yelp as a trusted source to decide whether or not they should give your business a try. And while we've all heard some colorful tales about Yelp users, I want to share what I've learned on how to use it to your advantage without committing to their advertising plan.
Here are the steps I took to attract clients from Yelp that you should implement in your business right away.
CLAIM/CREATE YOUR YELP BUSINESS ACCOUNT
This is the first step in attracting more people to your business. With a Yelp business account, you're able to share detailed information about your business and you can see back end analytics such as how many Yelp users are checking out your listing, their location and any actions they took on your page such as get directions, clicked to call your business or visited your website. None of these things are possible for a personal Yelp account. With a Yelp business account, you also have access to running ads and you can respond publicly to any reviews written for your business. The Yelp business panel is the place where you'll want to make sure your business information is clear and spelled out in full detail so people can get to know more about your business. Include as much as you can about your business and what makes you different from other local artists. This is the place where you want to shine.
UPLOAD YOUR BEST PICTURES
I think we all can agree that our clients aren't the best at taking amazing pictures of our lash artistry. Every now and again, they may capture a cool selfie but even then, it may not capture the detail of your work that people want to see. Keeping this in mind, Yelp allows you to upload pictures of your best work for potential Clients to see. This is your opportunity to outshine other local Lash Artists so make sure you showcase your best work. As your work gets even better, you have control to remove and replace pictures as you'd like. What I also like is that you can include a caption for each photo to explain to potential clients what they're viewing. Since I offer volume and classic lashes, this is where I like to point out the differences and educate potential clients. One thing to keep in mind however and that is, Yelp will automatically sort your photos when you have a free business account. You won't have a choice of which pictures are seen first so make sure they all look great so it won't matter which photo Yelp uses on your home page.
So this one is tricky because Yelp discourages you from asking for reviews however do it anyway! Just don't put in writing. The bottom line is that the more reviews you have, the better chance you have of being seen when potential Clients are searching for the services you provide More reviews coming in on a consistent basis will get you a higher ranking. So let your Clients know that you're on Yelp and explain how reviews help attract more Clients to keep you in business. Even having the famous Yelp sticker in your space to let people know you're on Yelp helps to encourage reviews. Now for me personally, I don't get many reviews these days. Mainly because most of my clients are older and don't have a yelp account. They use it to look up ratings but they don't actually write reviews. So here's what sucks the most about that. As much as they'd love to help, if they create an account and write up a review, it will most likely get filtered and not included in my overall rating? Why? Because Yelp likes people that are more active and consistent on Yelp. So if you're like me and have a more mature clientele, it's good to get in the habit of asking but just know that there's a great chance the review will get filtered if they don't continue writing reviews on Yelp.
RUN A YELP DEAL
Ok so before you shoot me down, there's a method to my madness so her me out. lol. The reason to run the Yelp deal is not to attract deal hunters or cheap people. The point is to make sure your business appears when a potential Client is on another local businesses page that offers the same service. I've tried this and found that it's rare people will buy the deal before clicking onto my site to check me out. And by the time they get to my site, a pop up appears with the same deal so they usually book with me. I'll go into that in more detail on another day but for now, here's how you'd structure your deal:
Let's say your average lash set is $150. Create a Yelp deal offering the full set for $125 instead so it looks like the Client is getting a fair amount off. From there, if they are on another businesses page, your ad will appear on the competitor's page (unless they pay Yelp for no ads to be seen on their page) and they will check you out. In most cases, they'll poke around to your website or call you to ask questions. And that's when you can let them know you will offer the same deal they see on Yelp if they purchase with you. Worse case scenario, they buy the deal on Yelp, Yelp takes 30% and you make $87.50. On the bright side, you've gained a Client and we all know the real bread and butter comes from refills. Not only that, You didn't advertise to the world that your services are super cheap so people will respect your pricing down the line.
Now I don't encourage paying for Yelp ads personally. Some have said it works great for them but as a marketer, I have some pretty strong reasons as to why I advise against paying for Yelp ads. I'll be sharing those reasons in upcoming articles.
So there you have it! Implement these steps in your business and you'll begin to get more calls and more traffic to your website so you can book new clients.
Hearing from you lets me know you like this content and not only that, it give me encouragement to keep sharing from week to week.Do me a favor would you? Drop a comment below and share your Yelp experience. I'd love to hear all about it.