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A Quick Social Media Strategy

The floodgates are open when it comes to managing your social media channels and implementing a strategy.

Here is one social media strategy that only takes seconds to implement. It's called Rapportive.com

Rapportive is a plugin in attached to your Gmail account that displays information from your email contacts’ social media accounts like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. 

As soon as you open an email and put the email address in a sidebar window appears with that persons social media content. You can connect with them and comment on the social content without leaving your inbox. 

This is a powerful tool since engagement is the number one way to build your social media channels. Many people complain because social media is too time consuming. Now you have no excuse. 

I found Rapportive to be my "spy" on new email contacts. People will email me to inquire about a product or client I work with and with Rapportive I can quickly find out if they are a real person, a competitor or someone who I might like to build a stronger relationship with. It's terrific for interacting with on Twitter as I can instantly see what they tweeted and then comment or re-tweet immediately and move on with my work. 

Another great feature is that I can input notes in the sidebar and it pulls recent emails up too. 

Do you have a favorite social media strategy that you would like to share? I'd love to hear about it. Post a comment on my Facebook page now.

Where’s the Conference Room?

 

Enjoy Life

Have you ever had one of those days when your world feels a bit overwhelming? A few months ago I was in a place where I thought it might be better if I venture back into the Corporate world of working, getting a regular paycheck and having a conference room available if I needed to hide from the chaos of a busy day. I could take PTO time and get a paycheck if I needed a vacation, call in sick and still get paid and even go to the doctor when I needed to because it was part of a corporate wellness plan. Ahhh those were the days. 

Heck, this entrepreneurial career path is not exactly what I was taught 6 years ago when I invested big bucks in a mentor who said "just dream it and you will achieve it". I believed him and drank his KoolAid on a regular basis. I've never dreamed so much in my life during the first few years during my mentorship. However, it seems that nothing I was dreaming about was coming true. Why? Because I was told to be someone I wasn't, speak like someone else would, and dress like a certain millionaire so I could achieve that goal too. It was a gut wrenching process because I forced myself to do things I wasn't comfortable doing. As I saw my life crumble around me and my soul starting to sour it was time to say enough is enough.

Lessons learned and things started to change for the better when I converted back to my gregarious self. I was listening to peoples needs, sharing personal experiences and loving all people for who they were. Becoming a mentor and a connector and using my God given talents in a natural setting helped open new doors and create healthy relationships. I'm on a continual path to learn more and become a better person and am confident that the path of entreprenuership will allow me to help more people. 

So when you are ready to give up or throw in the towel on your dreams just remember that there are lessons to be learned and a life of positive experiences ahead of you. It's a great time to sit back and have some fun in your life. Just like I do once in a while with my kids. The picture attached is one that included silly string while I was on a conference call. They got me. Have fun while living life.

Be Real * Have Fun * Get a Mentor You Can Relate To * Keep Learning

Should you cut prices during a recession?

According to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, nearly 30% of small business owners have lowered their prices.

When setting your own prices, consider these ideas:

>> Be flexible – offer a wide variety of pricing options to win
over and keep risk-averse customers.

>> Customize – ask your clients what they need, and then change
your mix of offerings to emphasize the most affordable.

>> Target customers when they have the most cash – the first
week of the month after shoppers have received their pay checks
is usually the best time.

Source: Evans, Teri, “Slash & Earn,” BusinessWeek SmallBiz.

This article appears courtesy of Bob Bly, Direct Response Letter. www.bly.com

Pinterest Trends, Boards and a new way of Marketing

Pinterest. Another social media platform that causes chaos or cashflow? Pinterest has become one of the fastest growing platforms in the social media world. Top marketers, trainers, authors and more are flocking to the fairly new social media site because they see the benefit of the additional traffic it is driving to their site. 

Pinterest is easy to set up, easy to use and a whole lot of fun to discover new ideas for design, food preparation, baby items, marketing ideas, and vacation spots. Pinterest is a great tool for building new relationships, finding out more about what a person has interest in and being able to see what a finished product may look like before you embark on a new project. It already accounts for more referral traffic on the internet than LinkedIn, Twitter and Google +. Why not engage and learn. 

Read the infographic below and follow me on Pinterest. I'd love to hear your feedback on how you use Pinterest . 

Follow Me on Pinterest

Pinterest Data You Can’t Ignore: The Ultimate Guide to Pinterest [infographic]

Texting, Tweeting and Driving

This is not just about texting your friends and family it also relates to tweeting and Facebooking while driving. 
Take caution and please use social media while parked, at your desk, or in a safe environment. 

The Dangers of Texting and Driving
Brought To You By: CarInsurance.org

How a non-profit charity can effectively use Facebook

Facebook is the largest social networking website in the world. It makes connecting with people much easier than it was before. There are not only people on Facebook; there are also companies and charities. This has actually helped a lot of companies take off with their sales and can increase donations for charities as well! Some tips for using Facebook for non-profit companies include:


1) Use the “causes” section of the Facebook page.

Every non-profit Facebook page comes equipped with a “causes” tab. This makes it really easy for all Facebook fans who “like” the charity to donate and actually see what their donations go towards. Fans of the page don’t even have to go to an external website in order to donate. They can do it all right from the Facebook website within a few minutes.<br />

2) Keep up with the page.

More people are going to “like” your page if you keep up with it and are active. This means updating your status, which could include information about events that are going on or just a kind message for the day. It’s also important to respond to anyone that comments to you with something important. Other fans are going to like to see the interaction with others. When you talk personally with those that are fans, you are reaching out to a lot of people.

3) Get involved with fans.

Getting involved with the people that “like” your page is essential. They will be more likely to spread the word about your page if you do this. It could even be something simple, like having a commenting contest for a free charity t-shirt!
 
4) Use unique updates.
 
Updating your page with interesting information is very important. If you just write boring information that is already on your normal website, people are far less likely to donate and help out.
 
5) Use all sections of your page.
 
All Facebook pages for charities let you have some fun with what you do. There are different tabs, so you can create games, run contests and do a number of other things to get people more involved!

6) Offer products for donations.

On your Facebook page you can even have a store with donation products. This could be items, like shirts or stickers, with the name of your charity on them. People are likely to purchase these since they will be getting something for their money.
 
7) Respond to private messages.

Also make sure you read messages and respond. Although this is going to take some time and effort, it’s worth it. Fans will appreciate personalized responses for their questions and comments.
 
8) Use the feedback from fans.
 
Fans are going to comment when something on your page isn’t working. Use their feedback to show them you are listening to what they have to say!

9) Use other social media networks.
 
You can easily connect your Facebook page with other social media outlets. By connecting social media networks, you can network with as many people as possible!

10) Show progress for donations.
 
If you are starting a donation campaign, show the progress. This should include how much you have earned and how much is needed. Also make sure to give updates of how the money is being used for good things!

3 Tips to Integrating Social Media into Your Marketing Practices

The Internet has really proven to be a great resource for local business owners, and many of them are just now discovering exactly how many customers it can send in their direction. One of the reasons why this is the case, is because people are now searching online for local businesses by name, or by what they have to offer. Along with that, many of them use social media networks regularly on their cell phones, and you can also use this to drive insane amounts of new and repeat business to your location.

One of the best ways for you to be able to do this is to simply ask your existing customers to follow you on one of the social networks, such as twitter or Facebook. Whenever they do this, it gives you the opportunity to market to them and to send them a message or update about your business. This can be a very powerful tool, and if used properly you can really fill your location with customers very quickly.

Something that you may want to consider, is running specials from time to time and contacting your customers through these social media networks. For example, if you run a small restaurant, you may want to have a special evening that is themed in some way or another in order to attract customers. By sending out a message on the social media networks about this special event, you will not only get visitors that will be attending it, you will also remind people to come by and visit you at any time.

Make sure that you are active on these social media networks, even when you're not sending out information that is specific to your business. This gives people the opportunity to form a bond with you, and a certain level of trust is also going to be achieved. When this takes place, people will feel as if you are talking to them directly, even if you have hundreds or perhaps thousands of followers.

Finally, try to get people interested and adding into the conversation whenever you are posting messages on Facebook. This helps to build your local network, as their friends who are also part of their network will see what they have to say. This is an excellent promotional tool, and it is one that should not be overlooked by any local business that would like to achieve higher numbers and to get more customers to come in their door regularly.

6 Forms of Inbound Marketing Campaigns

Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing On Target

The majority of marketers on the Internet use outbound marketing in some way or another in order to draw people into their website. If you really want to make use of the Internet to the full, however, you need to utilize inbound marketing properly. When you do this, the amount of traffic that visits your website can really be overwhelming. Here are 6 different forms of inbound marketing that you might want to use in your business.
1.) Blogs – it seems that everybody is blogging nowadays, and not only does it help you to have a voice on the Internet, it is also an excellent way for you to be found. Many blogs are interlinked together through what is called RSS, and this can help people to hop from a related blogs over to yours. Simply by posting things that are related to your business, you can have inbound traffic.
2.) E-books – E-books have been around for quite some time, and that they are an excellent way for you to pull people into your website. One thing that you may want to do, is try putting out a free e-book that will be passed around. This form of viral marketing pulls people into your website, and once it gets started, it seems to take on a life of its own.
3.) Videos – The most popular type of websites that are online now are video websites. It seems that online video is here to stay, and you can grab a part of this with your own inbound marketing campaigns. Posting videos that are related to your niche on high-traffic video websites, such as YouTube will naturally pull people that are interested in what you have to say.
4.) Search Engine Optimization – This is the mother of all inbound marketing techniques online. By optimizing for keywords and keyword phrases that are related to your target audience, you can pull free traffic off of the search engines directly to your website. The people that tend to come from the search engines visit as a result of some very specific searches. This means that you have a hot audience from the start.
5.) Webinars – Holding an online seminar is also an excellent way to promote your service or product through inbound marketing. People love webinars, and even if they don’t make it to the actual event, you can post it on your website in recorded form and it will act as a form of inbound marketing for many years to come.
6.) RSS Feeds – You can use RSS feeds in order to pull traffic into your website, as they generally get posted throughout the Internet on related websites. Not only that, it many times acts as a form of inbound link which helps to boost your SEO and get you more free traffic from the search engines.

Business Card Design for Effective Networking

Even with all the technological advances that have come about in the past few decades, the business card is still a powerful way to communicate and network.

Elements of Good Business Card Design

The main thing you want to accomplish with your business card design is to stand out. If one attends many networking events they know just how many business cards people acquire. 
Because a business card is a reminder of who one is, they will want to stand out among all the rest. One way to stand out is to change the shape of the card. There is no law that says that
business cards have to be 3" x 2." with the corners at sharp right angles. By simply rounding the corners it will make quite a difference. Another way to stand out are the elements that you put on the card. A humorous picture goes a long ways to eliciting a smile and reaction from those that receive the card. A funny tagline always makes a business card memorable. 

Even changing your professional title can help. Small business owners and entrepreneurs should use something other than president or CEO. Be creative, even self-deprecating. Consider Yahoo, a large billion-dollar company and the founders refer to themselves as Chief Yahoo. Still, there are professions where comical or whimsical business cards are not well-suited. In cases like lawyers or morticians, the best tip for good business card design is to go minimal. Use plain text and offer as little as possible. Some business professionals could get away with just a name and phone number.  For more information place only the name and title on the front, then put additional information on the back. This is a good way to get an initial impression from a minimal design, while still offering plenty of information about one's business.

Always Leave Room For Notes

A person should have plenty of room on their card to personalize it.  Good networkers know to always personalize a business card with a note of some sort, like providing their cellphone
number.  Handwriting something turns a business card into a personal note which has a higher value.  Again the personalized business card will stand out among any others a person may
get.

Of course, if a person is not using the back of their business card it is all the room they will need. On the other hand should someone decide to use the front and back, there should be
plenty of room somewhere to write a note. Just make sure that the note space has a white or very light background to contrast against the ink of the pen for maximum readability.

How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Design

Before shipping off business cards design to the printer you want to make sure and check just how effective the design of your card is. The best way to measure effectiveness is to print them out on your home or office printer. Then show the design to friends, colleagues, and family to get an opinion. However, what you really want to look for is for their initial reaction. If they do not react to your card you probably want to go back and re-work your design. After all, with the people that you meet you want to get their attention and remember you, the business card should be helping you do that.

Networking Tips For Live Events

Networking Tips For Live Events

Live networking events are a wonderful way to get prospects and is so much better than having to cold call for potential business. However, there are some things that one should avoid doing. So, the following are some networking tips for a live event.

Attending a Networking Event Without a Plan is not Smart Networking

While it is true that showing up is half the battle, knowing what one is going to do when there is the other half. It is always a good idea to have a plan of what you want to accomplish at a networking event. Know how many people to meet or which specific individuals to get to know before you arrive. Write a plan of how early to arrive at an event, how late to stay, and define the goals to be achieved will make a person a much more effective networker at live events. After all, how many other people at the event the think will have a written plan just for that event?  Among all the networking tips for a live event, this one alone will make one a winner. That is why it is the first tip.

Do Not Be Caught without a Business Card

Every business professional should carry plenty of business cards, always. With the number of different business card cases there is no excuse not to have a good amount on hand. Plus, one knows that they are attending a networking event where they will be handing out business cards, so they should have plenty. It would be supremely embarrassing to be at a networking event and not have a business card. What does that say about the person who knowingly goes to a live networking event and does not have plenty of business cards? It would speak poorly about that person and reflects on the type of work that they do.

It would actually be good to have two business card cases full of cards when going to a networking event. It is not inconceivable that a person can run out of business cards, so plan for that not to happen.  One could even keep a box of business cards in their car in case they needed to reload their business card case. The main thing is to never be without a business card when meeting someone new.

Do Not Spend Too Much Time with People You Know

Networking is about meeting new people. As a matter fact the whole reason to go to a live networking event is to meet new people. Therefore, when at a networking event, as diplomatically as possible, avoid familiar acquaintances. The more one knows a person the less amount of time that should be spent with them. That doesn't mean that anyone is ignored but a simple handshake and hello is all one really needs to give to familiar people. Avoid getting caught up into a conversation with them. If one is truly working the event as an experienced networker, then the networker should already be in conversations with people they don't know.  That will alleviate any problems from people feeling ignored or snubbed.

Do Not Be Just On Time, Be Early and Stay Late

Being on-time is being late when it comes to networking tips for a live event.  Because a good networker goes to networking to meet people, they know to go early and stay late so they can reach the maximum number of people. It's simply a matter of having more time to meet more people. It also helps because one never knows when certain people will be at an event. Critical prospects may only come early to an event but leave early or vice versa that they came late to an event. By coming early and staying late one maximizes the possibility of meeting everyone that they can including those prospects who may not have much time to spend at the event. Another benefit is that one can offer to help set up before or clean up after an event. This would help one ingratiate themselves to the event's hosts, which will most likely lead to some favorable introductions or referrals later.

Hopefully, by applying these networking tips for a live event one can start to see more business.