Busy Entrepreneurs Use Yelp to Grow Their BusinessesThe idea to increase sales revenue in your business using Yelp may seem farfetched but to be honest its not. With the right information, busy entrepreneurs can convert Yelp into a powerful cornerstone to help build their online presence & take revenue to a whole new level. The good thing is there aren’t too many technicalities involved. In fact, making the best out of Yelp is just a matter of getting the simple things right. There are a number of innovative marketing strategies through which busy entrepreneurs can use Yelp to build and grow their local service or product based business into a successful entity bringing in substantial sums in revenue. You don’t have to be a restaurant for Yelp to empower your business. Consumers turn to yelp for advice on Dentists, CPAs, Doctors, Financial Planners and other Products. Here is a quick list of strategies you can explore.

Let your customers know you are on Yelp: It is very important to ensure that all your customers know your business is on Yelp. You can do this through social media platforms or directly letting customers visiting your office know. In addition to this, indicating your business is on Yelp on your business cards is also a nice idea. Yelp is a good hunting ground for lead generation and the more reviews you have, the higher the chance of attracting many more clients. If you’re a CPA firm, list your business on yelp and ask your customers to provide reviews. It can go a long way in helping you find more customers.

Develop a good photo gallery: The best way to grab the attention of new customers on Yelp is to have a strong and compelling photo gallery. Creating a strong photo gallery will endear new customers to your business and more often than not, such strong images will serve to shake off competitors. Just like in social media marketing, graphics always speak a lot more than just words.

Embrace the reviews and engage:  The main reason why Yelp was created was to offer a platform where customers can post reviews regarding the services offered by local businesses. In light of this, it is important to look at reviews positively. The reviews customers give you is just an indicator of what improvements you need to make to help your business grow. In addition to this, you can also use reviews to gauge how far your competitors are going in outpacing your business. Remember to also make sure that your response to negative reviews is professional. If it’s a genuine concern, admit it, offer repair and assure customers it will be rectified.

Avoid spammy reviews: When it comes to branding your business, the most important thing to do is to let real customers understand your business and the service you are offering. Although sometimes it may seem that more reviews bring more leads, spamming can be a destructive and counterproductive move that will destroy your Yelp rating. It is important to look at customer reviews as the measure of quality in the services you are offering. Once you have that information it becomes easy to readjust your service delivery and marketing plan to meet the expectations of your clients. That way, it will be very easy to develop a brand later on with a massive customer base using Yelp.

Read through the profiles of your competitor: The best marketing strategies that reap the best marketing results always focus on outshining what competitors are doing to acquire new customers. Understanding how your competitors are doing on Yelp can be the ideal wake-up call to help innovatively steer your business towards better competitiveness. However, this does not mean you should do exactly what your competitors are doing. The idea of looking through their Yelp profiles is only designed to give you a heads-up on how best you can outwit rivals in retaining and attracting new customers.

Develop your own network: network marketing is a concept that can help improve sales remarkably. In Yelp though, building your network won’t cost you any commission dollars, and you can always rely on the good will of your customers to help you out. Building your Yelp network means keeping in touch with your potential customers.  You can use the Yelp Business owner Account tools to communicate with your customers and announce special offers and events.

Take advantage of Yelp ads: The Yelp Ads program is a good way for a small business to buy its way into the highly competitive online business space. Although using advertising alone is not a 100% proven marketing plan, goo promotions  go a long way in helping generate new leads. Remember… the ultimate goal is to create more exposure for your local business and Yelp ads is an ideal tool to do that.

Use Yelp deals: Yelp deals can also be effective in creating exposure for your small business. The deals work very simply — you offer a discount for your service that can be claimed by Yelp users. Discounts often get a lot of exposure and this will be translated into new customers for your business. In addition to this, a lot of customers tend to give more prominence to services that are discounted compared to those that are not.

There is no doubt that Yelp is one of the major business directories in the world. It’s not designed only for restaurants. If you have a real estate agency, offer financial services or any other sort of services & products, Yelp is the place consumers go to for advice on who to hire for services & products. The benefits that come from listing your business on Yelp are all well known and with these simple strategies, you have an excellent chance to use Yelp in expanding your business and sales remarkably. Modern business is no longer about the office space. Marketing your business online is very important — especially now that a lot of local entities are competing for market share. Give it a try, and let us know how you do.

Like what you’ve read? Click here to subscribe to tips via email!

Written by Andrew Bermudez

Andrew is the co-founder & CEO of Digsy, a free online platform that helps local business owners save time & money finding their dream office, retail & warehouse space. Before Digsy, Andrew was Senior Vice President & Principal of Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Irvine, California. He's a 12 year commercial real estate brokerage veteran specializing in representing tenants, buyers and landlords.