How to Build Five Star Online Reviews to Fuel Your Business and Career

freelance, Marketing Metrics, marketing muscle, Marketing Strategy, Online Reviews, reputation management, Reviews, testimonials, Uncatergorized, word of mouth campaigns

Zero-cost word-of-mouth marketing is the gold standard of brand ambassadorship and the one thing that will surely build your business, customer base, and client book.


The best way to build online reviews for your business is by designing a superb product or service that delights your customers and clients while delivering an exceptional experience from beginning to completion of a purchase.  Restaurants know this via Yelp and Open Table. Businesses are starting to pay attention to Glass Door.  However, consultants, freelancers, and hired guns also need reviews.



It doesn’t matter what you do or what you offer.  If you’re a nutritionist or personal trainer, or maybe a fashion apparel designer or corporate wellness director. Perhaps you’re a physician, attorney, life coach or yet another creative director, you want to work for five-star ratings.


As I transitioned from marketing and PR agency owner to online business consultant and strategist, I knew that one of the fastest ways to bring in new business was to focus on my current clients’ absolute happiness.


I knew that when they shared their happiness with other people who didn’t know me, I was creating a built-in lead generator for future clients while minimizing my cost per client acquisition spend. What does that mean? Well, this has been going on since the dawn of time, but so many free agents don’t remember to make recommendations and referrals a priority.  You see, my reviews on LinkedIn, Upwork, Angel list, Clarity, Thumbtack and my website help convince and convert those that are on the fence about working with me. They help to get the client to sign the agreement and start the project.


Whether you own a healthy fast food cafe, or you’re a veterinarian looking to build your thought leadership position, great reviews will let everyone know what to expect from you.


So how do you get reviewed? Well if you are pivoting your career like I did or you’re just starting out, you want to create profiles on above-mentioned platforms, like Linkedin. Then you want to find clients and you can do that on platforms like Upwork. Then you want to deliver the goods in an impressive way.  Some platforms will prompt a client to give you a review. Others, like LinkedIn, require you to request a recommendation.  How?Recommendtations

Thumbtack 1




I continue to work diligently for great reviews and recommend you do too. Need help creating your online presence? Let’s connect about what you’re up to  @madelinemariejohnson on Instagram.

Linkedin Pro Finder


Hero Marketing

marketing muscle, Measureable Marketing, word of mouth campaigns


Marketing can never substitute great products and services that people just love. Reality is, an awesome product or service will market itself. Any noise made beyond that will just support organic word-of-mouth growth.

Hero marketing begins with great product development.

Make Love not Marketing

brand management, brand reputation, building brand trust, Engaging Customer Service, marketing rituals, Uncatergorized

We’re really fortunate to work in a collaborative workspace with all types of start-ups and energized people around us. The vibe at WeWork is contagious and because we are all nestled together (our offices are divided by glass) we can pretty much hear every conversation that’s happening around us. Not in an annoying way mind you, it’s very similar to working in any office, where people are hustling and bustling around, without the bureaucratic nonsense.

Sweet Talking Turns Us On

Now, theres this one guy who has a very distinctive voice. He also has an awesome business.  He moves around a lot. He’s the type to roam the place on his cell, hold interviews on the lobby sofa near the elevators, let you give his dog a pat on the head . . . you know the type. I kiddingly make fun (never to his face) about his bedroom/boardroom tone. It’s distinctively his own and every word that comes out of his mouth sounds suggestive and just a bit seductive. Not in a porny way – but in an alluring and soothing way. In a, I want to hear what this guy has to say because it sounds so pleasant to my ear way.  Now, he could have just been born with this charismatic voice, or maybe he adopted/perfected it to lure in new clients and sweetly manipulate employees into giving just a bit more of their time and energy, regardless, it’s working for him – and I am pretty sure he knows it.

Little does sugar lips know, that he has been a big inspiration to us. Really, we have been talking about how to build an emotional connection with our customers and clients – and hello – how about staring with the tone of our voice? Duh. Now that’s a great way to spark an emotional connection with our customers.

Mouth Watering Marketing

Our new start up, The Snack Cart aims to help people change the way they eat at work and is a collaborative effort we are launching with WeWork, who just so happens to be changing the way people work – together. Our plan is to bring healthy and delicious food, fun and community to all of the WeWork members. We launch in a week. Why change the way you eat at work? That’s a whole other story. Check out Mashable for more.

We really believe that the experience that each member has  @thesnackcart when they purchase a salad, sandwich or apple – has to be fantastic and consistent. The best brand experiences deliberately attract and build trust. Experiences with a strong emotional connection can create long-lasting customer relationships and fanatical advocates.

Here are some of the rules of engagement we are creating for our Snack Cart employees. We hope they inspire you and your customer experience.

The Snack Cart Smile

  • Look happy even when you aren’t – nobody will know the difference.
  • Learn to say each customer’s name at least once when you greet them.
  • Never talk as though you’re looking to score.
  • Adjust yourself to the personality of the customer. Mirroring is the behaviour in which one person copies another person usually while in social interaction with them. It is often observed among dating couples.
  • Look into the customer’s eyes from time-to-time and keep it organic. Let them decide what they want – be respectful.
  • Serve promptly. Answer the phone promptly. Show up promptly. Be alert.
  • Stay energized, even when you’re not. Sip a shot of Red Bull or Bawls or something. Get pumped. Be pumped. It’s contagious.
  • Give our customers sweet presents, kisses from the cart, thoughtful  little gifts.
  • And finally, never say good bye. . . . – Let the customer know they’ll be back.

Hasta luego baby.

Micro-Marketing – Zooming in on New Customers

Creative Marketing Campaigns, customer loyalty, customized promotions, Email Marketing, future of marketing, infiltration marketing & PR, Marketing Mavens, marketing muscle, Measureable Marketing, Uncatergorized, word of mouth campaigns

Zooming in on a specific concentrated/targeted market can be an effective way to increase customers and sales revenue. It requires a very strategic focus and time spent studying the current customer mix, how they shop and what they do before and after they arrive at your business.

We have a goal to double our client’s customer base in 30 days. Our biggest weapon will be word-of- mouth marketing, giving current customers a rewarding incentive to tell just one friend or family member to try our client’s services.  Doesn’t it seem much more doable when you break it down into simple bites?

Here are five of the tactics that we believe will help us to reach our goal.

  1. Email current customers with a double rewards program incentive for each friend/family member they bring in by the end of October along with the creation of point of purchase signage at reception and check-out in case they miss the email. Be sure to encourage them to forward the email from their phone and invite friends on Facebook.
  2. Participate in mid-month customer appreciation events at the local chain of gyms with one location across the street and another about 9 blocks from this location. We found out about these customer appreciation days by just walking into the gym one day to introduce ourselves.
  3. Investigate the costs of hosting a table/booth at street fairs and festivals within a 20 block radius for micro-branding.  (More and more of these festivals are popping up around the holidays – a great way to find original and hand-made “Esty” like gifts).
  4. Offer gift certificates and products as prizes for the local YWCA events (two blocks away from our location). Again more branding on the Y website and to their fans and followers.
  5. Inviting bloggers in for a complimentary service to help spread the word through earned media. Also sharing tips and advice from our experts to their readers/visitors.