How I Made $1 Million With This One Strategy In 10 Months
What if I told you that a single strategy could bring in $1,000,000 worth of revenue to your company?
Sounds too good to be true, but it is the real deal. I’m talking about… Yelp reviews.
Back in January 2016, our company set up a Yelp account, and tried various strategies to get good reviews. Some were pretty hit-or-miss, but we kept at it, and by October 2016, we had amassed a pretty decent amount of 5-star reviews.
Of course, every entrepreneur knows that good reviews will help your business, since there’s nothing quite as powerful as social proof. So I did expect our shiny, new Yelp profile (complete with 5-star reviews) to have some sort of impact on our revenue, but trust me when I say I was floored when I realized this:
According to our CRM system, we earned an extra $1,000,000 from January to October, and this was directly attributable to Yelp reviews.
Basically, we hit jackpot.
Once I realized how crucial Yelp reviews are to our business, I started doing some research online, and here’s what I found: a Harvard Business School study shows that even a one-star increase on your business’s Yelp rating boosts sales by 5 – 9%!
The best part? It’s so simple and cost-effective to drive revenue using your Yelp profile, it’s something that pretty much any business can do. It’s time to capitalize on Yelp and explode your business growth – here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Have a fully decked out Yelp profile
According to Yelp, businesses with 1-5 reviews and at least 10 photos see 200% more user views than a business with the same number of reviews and no photos. Yup — that’s your low hanging fruit right there.
But simply adding more pictures to your Yelp profile isn’t enough. To make sure your business is most searchable online, you should also be geotagging your pictures, filling in your website URL, operating hours, price range, and other miscellaneous information. I also like to state in my profile what my business does differently from the competition — this makes it easy for my customers to understand the value that we bring to them.
2. Seek and court the power users
In this case, the Yelp Elites. These folks are the site’s most engaged users who write frequent, quality reviews — and reviews from them carry more weight than normal users’ ones. You can identify Yelp Elites easily by the colorful badge they have on their profile.
By targeting this group of powerhouse users, your business will get an unfair advantage from the start. I recommend attending Yelp events and networking with as many users (especially Yelp Elites) as possible. Even better? Host exclusive events for these VIP members, shower them with great freebies, and you will automatically win their favor. To start, just go to the events section of Yelp and click Add An Event.
3. Preempt negative Yelp reviews
Let’s get this straight — you can’t be paying people to leave positive reviews, because it violates Yelp’s Terms of Service. But here’s some good news: there’s a legal and ethical workaround, which is to immediately address negative reviews even before they show up on Yelp.
With my company, we make it a point to survey our customers about their experience after each appointment. If a customer is even the least bit dissatisfied, I step in and address the problem. The trick is to do it ASAP, so they don’t get the chance to post about it on social media (by then, it’s often too late.) On the same note, we also offer refunds to unsatisfied customers right away — we lose a bit of money upfront, but we often win over the customer.
4. Offer Yelp Deals to your best customers
Want to up your Yelp game to another level? Offer Yelp Deals. Yelp Deals is very similar to Groupon; basically giving out online discount vouchers to Yelp users. It’s a great lead generation channel on its own.
But here’s the killer trick: focus on promoting your Yelp Deals to your already satisfied customers. By rewarding loyal supporters and getting them to check out your business’s Yelp page, you double your chance of getting positive reviews. Plus, you get them to come back to your business again – talk about killing three birds in one stone.
One last thing: remember that Yelp might not necessarily be the killer customer review site for you. So, do your research and figure out what your customers are using most to leave reviews. It could be Yelp, or Angie’s List, or Google, or Facebook. Whatever site it is, just make your customers consistently happy, because that alone can make or break your business.