Who to turn to for Mystery Shopping business advice

Becoming a mystery shopper for a legitimate mystery shopping company doesn’t cost anything. Here’s how you can do it:
• Research mystery shopping. Check libraries, bookstores, or online sites for tips on how to find legitimate companies hiring mystery shoppers, as well as how to do the job effectively.
• Search the internet for reviews and comments about mystery shopping companies that are accepting applications online. Dig deeper. Shills may be paid to post positive reviews.
• Remember that legitimate companies don’t charge people to work for them – they pay people to work for them.
• Never wire money as part of a mystery shopping assignment.

You can visit the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) website at mysteryshop.org to search a database of mystery shopper assignments and learn how to apply for them. The MSPA offers certification programs for a fee, but you don’t need “certification” to look – or apply – for assignments in its database.

Dishonest promoters use newspaper ads and emails to create the impression that mystery shopping jobs are a gateway to a high-paying job with reputable companies. They often create websites where you can “register” to become a mystery shopper, but first you have to pay a fee — for information about a certification program, a directory of mystery shopping companies, or a guarantee of a mystery shopping job.

It’s unnecessary to pay anyone to get into the mystery shopper business. The certification offered is almost always worthless. A list of companies that hire mystery shoppers is available for free, and legitimate mystery shopper jobs are listed on the internet for free. If you try to get a refund from the promoters, you will be out of luck. Either the business won’t return your phone calls, or if it does, it’s to try another pitch

In the meantime, don’t do business with mystery shopping promoters who:
• Advertise for mystery shoppers in a newspaper’s ‘help wanted’ section or by email.
• Require that you pay for “certification.”
• Guarantee a job as a mystery shopper.
• Charge a fee for access to mystery shopping opportunities.
• Sell directories of companies that hire mystery shoppers.
• Ask you to deposit a check and wire some or all of the money to someone.

If you think you’ve seen a mystery shopping scam, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or Your State Attorney General.

How to Market Your Law firm with your Logo, Slogan and Website

So you just got your ticket, or you decided to take the plunge and grow your own practice. Let’s me congratulate you. You have taken a bold step. Now its time to get real and get those clients knocking on your door.

Fact is, you are in a competitive field. I don’t care what type of lawyer you are, chances are there are a dozen others within a few miles of you offering the same thing. So, to start, let’s begin the way that most other folks would, on the web. Do you need to be on the first page of a search engine to compete, that depends on your definition of “compete”. If you want a bunch of new business, but are willing to weed through the tire kickers as well as the true clients, then go for it. I, for one, believe in a balanced approach of web and traditional marketing. Start with your budget. What is it? If you can’t answer that, stop reading right now and figure that out. Most of the agencies we deal with have a marketing budget equaling 5-7% of their annual gross billings. If you are just starting up, you’ll have to bootstrap that a bit more. Nonetheless, have a budget to start with. You can always change it.

Start with the following:

A good logo and a good slogan. If you have those 2 items, you already beat close to 50% of your competitors. We do quite a bit in the DUI Industry and there is a DUI Attorney in Orlando who has really done a great job with this. Take a look at his logo and slogan. Then take a look at how he integrated it into the website. While he is a criminal defense attorney, who has an amazing track record, he presents himself as the guy next door who is here to take your worries away. That’s a great marketing strategy.
Think of the way people feel when they come and see you. What are they feeling? What is their monster in their closet? If you can figure that out, then you can become the monster killer. When you are that monster killer, you will be able to close countless clients, because those clients feel understood.

Look at your website. Are you selling the emotion? Are you selling the fact that you are going to help them, or are you simply telling visitors how great you are. If you are doing the latter, you are not speaking the language of your clients, and chances are, you are going to drive them away. Does your website have a strong call to action? Are you telling folks that you are the best solution to their needs?

Are you using third party websites to help establish that you are an experienced leader in your industry?

Are you promoting yourself as an expert in your field? Got a problem with that? Don’t think you are an expert? Experts are self-proclaimed. Go proclaim away.

A great website, slogan and logo combo tells a story. It gives the visitor a certain feeling. You need to decide what you want that feeling to be. You then take that message and begin to duplicate it to other marketing mediums, such as videos, slideshares and information graphics.

Think of your brand. Compare it to the other guys, especially those firms you’ll be competing against. Deliver your message +1 and slowly grow to out-do all of your competitors one digital step at a time.