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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.

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

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.

Benefits of a Sales CRM Software

Sales CRM Software

The primary benefit of a sales customer relationship management (CRM) solution is that it makes a business more money. It makes the business more money by making the sales force more efficient in its efforts and by developing stronger relationships with clients and prospects. The following are a few ways how sales CRM software makes all of that happen.

Sales CRM Software Categorizes Clients

A quality sales CRM software permits one to categorize their clients. This is important because what a business sends out to different clients will not always be the same. The more that business can zero in on the target's needs and interests the better the chances for a sale. A very basic categorization would be customers and prospects. One would never send a past customer letter to a prospect or vice versa. However, a sales CRM software can do categorization that is even more specific and customized. It may even turn out that a message is only sent to a single client, and that would be fine because that message would be crafted for just that individual.

Sales CRM Software Provides Multiple Ways to Contact

Having multiple ways to contact clients helps keep contact efforts fresh and new. Imagine if the only way a business contacted their clients was via e-mail, after a while clients would become immune to those efforts. However, some sales systems like Ace of provide alternative means to make contact. Alternative ways like sending a card with a custom message or even a custom photograph can really make a difference. Sending a customized postcard can be a quick way to make contact and an impact. And then there is the telephone contact information for a person-to-person phone call. All of these different ways to contact clients or prospects are just more tools available to the sales person (or small business owner).

Manage Client Notes in your Sales CRM Software

Sales is about developing relationships and the more a person knows about their customers the better their sales efforts will be. Harvey Mackay of "Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive" fame required of his sales force to eventually find out 66 different pieces of information for each client. They were to find out things like education, family, military service, business background, and much more. It is upon this kind of information that relationships can be built. However, that is a lot of information to manage.

That is where sales CRM software benefits the user, it keep tracks of all the client information and details. Imagine without having a sales software keeping track of 66 different pieces of information. Just having 10 clients would make that 660 different pieces of information to manage. That's not to mention the meeting notes and call notes after every contact is made.  Sales software makes it all easy to manage and to use.

Ultimately, it is those businesses that make the investment in a sales system software to build customer relationships and manage client information that will be around for a long time.


Three Tips For Effective Time Management In Networking Groups

How effective are you with managing your time in Networking Groups?

Every small business owner has the challenge of getting his or her business name known. And the array of opportunities to market a business is vast but marketing is typically expensive for the small business owner. Where large corporations can wage multimillion dollar ad campaigns, the entrepreneur has to be more selective in its battles. However, networking groups can be a very cost-effective way for one to spend their time rather than their money. Still, there are some tips that can help a small business person to maximize that time spent in their networking groups.

The first tip is to go into a networking event with a plan. The larger the group the more important is the plan. The plan should contain a goal of how many new people you are going to see. The number of new people that you can introduce yourself to is a lot easier in an open event like a MainStreetChamber Commerce mixer, rather than a smaller membership based group we you are likely to know everyone already. Another element the plan should contain is who you are going to see. Even with the membership group where you see everybody weekly, plan to sit next to and get to know one of the members you don't know that well. Always increasing your circle.

The second tip is for membership type groups where everybody knows you and provides you leads. The tip is to understand that your purpose for attending each event is to educate. Not only do you need to educate everybody about what you do, it is more important that you concisely and precisely educate everybody about who is a good prospect for you. If you tell people that everybody is good prospect for you, that tells them nothing. But what you want to do is trigger in their mind specifics about people that can open the floodgates of leads for you. Regardless of your business, your core clientele can be segmented into different groups. For example, if you find that your customers often wear blue shirts and you tell your networking group people who wear blue shirts are good prospects for you. That will immediately trigger memories people that they have seen wearing blue shirts that they know.

The third tip is to prepare your leads early or provide them via e-mail before your weekly (or regularly scheduled meeting). This will save you a lot of time in the meeting so you can be concentrating on tips one and two above. You can always provide leads during the week when you may have more time and simply claim credit later with whatever formal procedure your networking group uses. Do not spend a lot of time in your networking groups clarifying leads that can be done via e-mail or telephone before or after the meetings.

Hopefully, by planning what you want to achieve your networking group meeting, then ready to educate your group, and prepare your leads early your time will be well spent.

Andy Horner’s True Story – Don’t Be Like Brady!

My friend Andy Horner, chief development officer at Ace of Sales, put this video together for you. He is brilliant at creating salesmakers that help sales people make a sale. Watch this and then leave your comments on this blog post or at the Ace of Sales Facebook fan page.

Power Through the People

You are in a room full of people and across the way you see someone who is naturally friendly and has the gift to gab or even better, the gift of making friends. We call them a people-person, someone unbelievably nice and charismatic that they can charm anyone into doing anything.

A socially-empowered person achieves greatness because of the people he surrounds himself with. He earns the trust and all-out support of the people whom he helped before. He can do anything with the plethora of people behind him. All because he knows how to maximize his social potential with self-empowerment!
Self-empowerment is making a general overhaul in your life and turning yourself into a happier and more successful person. Here are a few tips on how to make it happen:

1. Be genuine.
Hypocrisy will just bring you all the way down. Be genuinely nice and interested to people. Once they perceive that you are Mr. Hypocrite with selfish intentions, you might as well say goodbye to self-empowerment.

2. Be the greatest listener that you can be.
To earn the love and trust of the people, listen to their problems and sympathize with them. Do not just hear them out, listen to them with your heart. Make eye contact when the person talks to you. Listen as if every word matters and it does. Brownie points when they find out that there is a confidante in you.

3. Laugh out loud.
I do not mean that you force yourself to laugh for every joke cracked by someone, albeit you do not find it funny at all. This means finding humor in things and not being too darn serious. A person oozing with an awesome sense of humor attracts crowds and eventually, attracts success.

4. Don’t forget yourself.
In the process of fluttering around like a social butterfly, you might forget yourself, allowing everyone to push you over. Remember, love and value yourself before anyone else. If you deem yourself respectable and worthy of affection, people will flock to you and not trample on you.

5. Do random acts of kindness.
You don’t have to do a John Rockefeller and blow your savings to charity. Little acts of kindness matters the most and this can be as simple as giving someone a surprise you-take-care card or helping an elderly cross the street. When we were kindergarten students, kindness was taught to us and greatly practiced. Now is the time to revive the good deeds and this time, let them stay for good.

6. Contact your old friends.
Sad how some friendships are destined to goodbye, but thanks to technology, you can do something about it. Relive the good old days by flipping your yearbook and look for the great people whom you want to communicate with again. Adding these old friends to your roster of support peers will surely make you feel good all over.

7. Develop your personality.
Are you grouchy, grumpy and generally morose? Whoa, you can’t go through life with those. Get rid of the bad traits and habits that perpetually hamper your growth. And really, who wants a grouchy friend anyway?

8. Be confident.
Be able to stride to the other corner of the room and introduce yourself to people with that winning smile of yours. Just remember: be confident, not arrogant.

9. Practice control.
When angry, don’t snap at anyone. Never throw a tantrum. Stay calm and collected. Be adult enough to take control of situation and transform your anger into something more productive and passive. As soon as people think your anger goes to volcanic proportions easily, they will find it hard to come to you.

10. Keep nurturing your relationships.
Your relationship with your family, friends and significant others is too precious that you must not neglect it whatever happens. Go out and have fun with them. Do things together. Happiness will never fly from your side as long as the people who matter the most are close to you.

In the end, using people for self-empowerment means becoming a better and more lovable person. It’s a win-win situation: the people know they can turn to you anytime and vice versa.

MainStreetChamber VIP Card – List Your Business

MainStreetChamber VIPWith over 100 national retailers and thousands of local businesses. Save money on everything from prescription drugs and insurance to office supplies and restaurants

Today, saving money is not just for those on a modest income. Coupon clipping and consignment shops are becoming almost chic. Of course, people who have achieved financial security have always known the importance of being frugal.

Consumers today are so motivated to save money that they spend hours searching for the best deals and clipping coupons. Discount retailers like Sam’s Club and Costco have attracted millions of customers who are willing to pay annual fees for the opportunity to save money. Perhaps you have purchased one of those entertainment coupon books or belong to the Diner’s Club.

However, if you are like me, when you get ready to make a purchase, coupons don’t do you any good because you either forget to bring them along, or, you drag them around for so long that they expire. Or, the entertainment coupon book you bought is so heavy that you usually don’t have it with you when you need it. Buying in large quantities from discount clubs is pointless because I don’t have the room to store things like five gallon jugs of shampoo, 10 boxes of cereal or 100 roll packs of toilet paper. Besides, coupons are not even available for certain items that I might like to purchase.

So, what do I do to save money? I use the MainStreetChamber VIP Membership Card. It saves me money on everything from prescription drugs and insurance to office supplies and restaurants. Plus, it fits in my wallet and never, ever expires. With the VIP card I save money on products and services from hundreds of national retailers including Wal-Mart, Macys, FedEx, UPS, Office Depot, Costal Contacts, PetSmart, Comp USA, Footlocker, Tiger Direct, CDW, Wyndham Hotels, Days Inn, Hertz rental car, and thousands of local businesses.

Each month, thousands of local businesses are joining MainStreetChamber and offering discounts to VIP Card holders. This means that besides national retailers, you can save money on products and services you purchase from local businesses. Whether you need accounting services, tax preparation, legal services, website design, help with marketing strategies, a unique gift for that special person, (think of some more), chances are, you can find a source near you at a very special VIP price. As our Chamber grows, new offers are added every day. Therefore your VIP Card becomes more valuable every day!

Do you see why I use the VIP Membership card? Did I mention that it never expires and there are no renewal fees. How cool is that? Of course, a card that never expires and will save you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime, can’t be cheap. You would expect to pay at least hundreds of dollars for such a valuable card. But, you can purchase the VIP Membership card during our launch for the low price of just $39.99!

Remember, this is a one time fee. Not an annual fee! All you need do is click this special link and order your card today. Your card will arrive within just a few days and you can start saving right away. Trust me when I say you’ll be glad you did!

5 Incredible Lead Generation Ideas

Ideas for capturing new leads and converting prospects into customers

As an expert in your field, you’ve got a ton of really important information in your
head. But you’ve got to get it out of your head and into some useful format for
lead generation. Information is the heart and soul of marketing, so you’ve got
to have some idea about the products you want to develop as part of your
overall strategy. Let’s talk about the top five.

1. White Papers
“White paper” is the corporate, fancy-pants term for an online article. A white paper
usually ranges from two to three pages and stands alone as an item customers or
prospects can download. White papers work great as a lead generation tool when
you ask prospects to provide their email address in exchange for your
valuable””yet free””information.

2. Free Reports
A free report is like a white paper, just a bit bigger. From a lead generation
standpoint, it holds more value than a white paper and is usually several pages
long. Free reports are great products to use as an add-on to online purchases.
“Buy Product X and receive three Free Reports!” You can also use them like
white papers and offer them as free downloads in exchange for contact

3. E-Books
E-books are the killer product that can create a lead generation bonanza! Like a real book, an e-book is going to be long…at least 50 pages. The fact that it’s a real book makes the perceived value huge. If the copy inviting prospects to download your e-book is well-written and compelling, you can generate several thousand new
leads from this one lead generation tool alone.

4. Audio Reports
An audio report helps prospects get a feel for what you and your company are all about. It’s a way for prospects to talk to you about doing business without really
taking to you. Using audio reports as part of your campaign can boost brand
loyalty and help you prospects commit to a sale. If you are well known in your
industry – or if you can hire someone who is – you have the power to generate a
LOT of leads using audio reports.

5. Webinars
No joke. Webinars can drive an endless stream of customers to your business. Like audio reports, they give customers a feed for your company. But webinars go way beyond teaser information. The power-punch of the webinar is that it lets you cover the entire sales pitch AND close the deal. Another bonus is that webinars can be recorded. That lets you leverage your time by making the pitch once and then playing the presentation again and again for new groups of prospects. Talk
about a time saver!

How Does It Work?
Here’s the way it works, in a nutshell.

  • Develop information products.
  • Make the available on your site in exchange for contact information.
  • Send out an announcement to your email list that also creates a sense of urgency.
  • Put tools in place to track downloads and capture new leads.
  • Follow-up with leads to convert them into customers.

You’ve got your very own lead-generation machine!

To check out some real lead generation products, download a free
report about Email Marketing 2.0.