What Your Favorite Bartender Can Teach You about Online Marketing

 Bartender standing behind his bar

Much like a new website for a small or medium-sized business, nobody knows who you are when you start bartending, whether it’s your first time at a new establishment or just your first time in general.  While working in a popular restaurant or tavern can certainly award you with an installed audience, most bartenders need to still promote themselves so that regulars decide to start coming during their dedicated shifts.

Unless you have invented a new product that nobody has ever seen, you are likely going to be creating content in an industry that is familiar to a large audience.  Bartenders realize that what differentiates them from their competition aren’t the drinks that they prepare and the way they serve their guests, but how they provide their own unique spin on age-old traditions.  Sometimes this is as simple as allowing your personality to take front stage in your brand’s content.

When you as the guest think back to the steps of service and the qualities of the place and the people at your preferred destination, what was it that initially got your attention and kept you coming back?  Successful bartenders usually have a number of positive qualities, but here are some of the most important ones that you can also use for your business’ online marketing efforts.

They Have a Clear Strategy for Repeat Business

With the exception of a few popular spots, most bartenders and servers wouldn’t be able to thrive without repeat business.  As a business owner, you undoubtedly also realize the importance of retaining clients and customers.  But what most small to medium-sized businesses fail to do is create an interactive experience on their website that clearly outlines this desire.

Any good bartender knows that building trust and repeat visits involves guest appreciation and genuine care, but it also involves building a lasting relationship that is beneficial to both parties.  They realize that paying attention to minor details such as always offering bleu cheese stuffed olives with a martini can make the all the difference to a repeat guest.

One way that you can encourage your guests to return to your site even when they aren’t making a purchase is to encourage comments on your blog.  Unfortunately, many site owners have chosen to disable blog comments because of old spam-oriented link building tactics.  But as long as it is properly modified, blog comments can be a great way to build trust in your brand and repeat visits.  As a site owner, you should value your user’s feedback and questions, and responding to them frequently works much in the same way that a bartender frequently explaining the distillation process of their favorite whiskey will in time build their guest’s trust to try that particular brand.

You might also consider offering deals on future products or services with an initial purchase on your site.  A customer that may not have intended to make a repeat purchase from your site could be persuaded if they know that the next item they buy will have an added value or discount attached to it.

They Are Great Listeners

Listening is actually a key part of the previous quality of any great bartender.  In order to initiate trust and compassion from their guests, bartenders need to pay close attention to every interaction that they have while on their shift.  Paying attention and remembering key details about their guests is what allows bartenders to earn trust and also receive appreciation from their patrons.

How well do you listen to your customers?   Can you honestly say that you value their feedback and remember the minor details about their interactions with your business?  Your guests may not physically speak with you on your site, but the data that you are able to record based on their visits does.  Analyzing your visitor’s behavioral patterns on your site and making minor adjustments to better serve their experience can go a long way to earning their loyalty.

They Remember Everything

The memory of a good bartender is uncanny and it is a quality that not only builds lasting relationships, but those relationships also have a level of trust that allow bartenders to easily recommend new drinks or menu items with their regulars with heightened success.

Can you say the same thing about your online business?  Even if you can’t remember every little detail about your visitors, remembering key elements that are important to their experience on your site and throughout the sales process is vital (this could be as simple as remembering to package a certain customer’s product in a special, requested way every time or ensuring that you follow-up with providing something that you may have promised a visitor in a blog comment).

They Build Genuine Relationships

One of the most important traits of any good bartender is that all of their positive qualities are ones that they carry out because they genuinely care about the people that come to them for service.  Bartenders understand that they have a special role that allows them to interact with many different personalities from all walks of life, and that their dedication to their service can make the difference in someone’s day.  Because of this, many bartenders build lifelong relationships with their guests that “pour over” (pun intended) into their personal lives.

In order to be successful online you don’t necessarily have to become friends with everyone that visits your site or reach out to your return customers to see if they need help moving over the weekend, but consider ways that you can make their experience on your site more personal.

Do you have an area for reviews?  How about an area for complaints?  Many site owners shy away from having an area for their visitors to complain.  By not having a clear place for your guests to voice their concerns with you, not only are you not caring for their needs, but you’re also making it easier for them to voice their issues elsewhere.  Bartenders, by the way, refer to complaints as “opportunities.”

Can you remember the last time that you were upset over a service that you received?  Now can you remember how it felt when your concerns were addressed personally?  Customers that have their experience “recovered” can make some of the strongest brand ambassadors for your business if you tend to them appropriately.

So next time you visit your local watering hole remember, you could learn a lot about how to be a successful online marketer from your bartender.


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