Step Out Of The Box..
Don't fall into a trap. With a little outside-the-box thinking and some prioritizing, you can develop an enviable list of contacts. From pinpointing networking opportunities in your corner of the world to jumping on internet forums and groups, these ideas will help you build strong, worthwhile business relationships. Here are 5 Creative Networking Ideas To Build Connections.
Work Your Current Network
Think you don’t have any business connections? You’re probably wrong. Friends, family, former colleagues, the owner of your favorite coffee shop or the parent of your kid’s bestie are all potential contacts. So, talk business with your circle to make sure the people you see and interact with the most actually know what you do. And when an opportunity presents itself, offer help.
Remember: The world is a whole lot smaller than it seems. Aunt Josie might have no need for a website, but her best friend or co-worker’s daughter may be launching a boutique and very interested in working with you.
Get Involved in Networks and Social Media Groups
Perfect for people with limited time and minimal access to in-person options, industry-specific forums and social media groups are networking gold mines. Start searching through LinkedIn and Facebook for groups related to your work and those geared toward entrepreneurs. Forums and portfolio sites also offer loads of opportunities. Bonus: Branching out, away from social media, expands your pool of potential connections.
Joining loads of groups and forums at once makes it difficult to actively participate in conversations, so start small. Join one group and dedicate a daily coffee break to perusing comments and dipping your toe in conversations. Offer value with every comment, joke around, support other members and watch your list of contacts grow.
Find or Create A Local Networking Group
Platforms like Meetup aren’t just for finding people to take a cooking class with or enjoy a lazy float down the river on a Sunday afternoon. They’re also perfect for putting together a casual meeting or more in-depth group discussion with other small-business owners and entrepreneurs in your area.
If there aren’t any existing groups nearby that pique your interest, consider starting your own. Chances are there are plenty of people toiling away at home or burning the midnight oil in your area who’d love to have a supportive, mentally stimulating get-together.
Check Out Co working Groups or Collaboration Platforms
Physical co-working spaces and collaboration platforms like Slack give you the opportunity to work alongside people across industries and make valuable connections with like-minded, passionate individuals.
Co-working spaces charge a relatively small daily, weekly or monthly fee to set up your office amongst entrepreneurs and creatives from various backgrounds. Whether you want to settle in to an open work space, secure a private office or put together a team, the ability to see potential contacts daily makes developing relationships easier. A quick Google search will let you know what’s available near you. Or, check out sites like Coworker or Liquid Space for options. If there's aren't any co-working spaces in your area or you're partial to the quiet of working from home, consider joining a collaboration platform. As you build your network and work with others on projects, use the platform to stay connected during slow times or when you need a fresh set of eyes. Check out these tips for other suggestions.
Get Involved In Your Community
Even if most of your business is online, you can still find worthwhile people to connect with right in your own town. Make it a point to reach out to and talk with new and established business owners.
Keys To Successful Networking
Now that you know where to look for networking opportunities, how do you build lasting, mutually-beneficial relationships? Be supportive, listen closely and prioritize managing the relationships you develop.
Work active networking into your schedule just like you do every other business task.
Block off a set amount of time once a week to make friendly check-in calls or send out a catch-up email. And, make sure you respond to messages and calls with a similar level of urgency as you would a client or customer.
Time conversations and events so they coincide with when you’re most energetic and engaged.
Avoid scheduling midweek evening meetups if you’re typically exhausted and ready to meld with the couch at that hour. And don’t try to fit phone calls in first thing in the morning if you’re the type who needs a cup (or six) of coffee to form coherent sentences.
**Ask questions, listen intently and provide value. **The back-and-forth opportunities that networking provide are invaluable, especially for self-starters. But remember to open your ears and close your mouth. People will be more apt to help you if they feel heard and encouraged.
**Be yourself, not the business version of yourself. **If you attend a meetup, set up shop in a co-working space or dive into an online community with “always be selling!” in your head, you’ll gain minimal traction. Friendliness earns you more insight, referrals and ideas than playing the role of salesperson.
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If just thinking about a social media strategy is giving you heartburn, don't worry. Good content ideas are all around you if you know where to look. To help make the leap into the world of social media marketing and online selling easier, take a peek at the tips below.
If you're a small business owner, you've probably heard about the importance of content marketing and social media marketing for growing your business. But getting started on social media can be a challenge. Which platforms should you be on? How do you know if what you're sharing is resonating with your audience? Most important of all, what content should you be sharing to begin with?
If just reading these questions is giving you heartburn, don't worry. Good content ideas are all around you if you know where to look. To help make the leap into the world of social media marketing here are five quick content suggestions for getting started.
1. Customer Testimonials
Positive customer testimonials can be hugely valuable in your marketing (so if you're not collecting them, you should start). Even better, with just a few small tweaks, they can be reused as great social media content. Just share a snippet of a positive testimonial over a nice product or lifestyle photo.
Don't have Photoshop? That's no problem. There are a number of free or low cost apps that let you manipulate photos to include nice filters, captions and more. Canva is also handy for creating perfect images for your website, which you can then reuse on social media. In addition to testimonials, you can caption your photos with inspirational or humorous quotes or other content that you think will connect with your followers.
2. Behind-the-Scenes Photos
It's a scientific fact that people love seeing how things are made. Okay, maybe there's no scientific research behind this claim, but it's definitely true that behind-the-scenes content is one of the easiest things for small business owners to share online. If you're a maker, the odds are good that you're spending a significant portion of your day creating products anyway. Why not document that process in either photos or video?
Giving your customers a behind-the-scenes look into your operations will help them not only understand how and why your product is better, but also give them insight into you and your employees.
3. Employee Profiles
Taking customers behind-the-scenes to show products are made is one way to build an authentic connection with your customers. Another way is to highlight your employees (including yourself). To build a great brand, you need to have personality, and there's no better way to let it show than in a fun, candid series showing the men and women who live out your brand values every day.
Employee profiles can take a lot of forms, from short videos to blog interviews. Maybe you can turn over the reins of your social media account to one of your employees for a day. Experiment with different formats until you find one that fits your brand personality and lets your employees stand out.
4. Tips and Tricks
The internet is already filled with tips, tricks, and all kinds of “life hacks," so it may not seem worth the effort to share content like this for your business. But showing your customers how best to use your products or services is more than just good content, it's good for your brand.
One of the most important components of content marketing is making sure that the content you share is providing value to the audience. Instructional information, tips and tricks and other “how-to" content helps show that you're not just interested in boosting your sales, but also in improving their lives. Developing this type of content is also fairly easy. After all, who else knows your product better than you?
5. Caption Contest
Finally, a quick content idea that is sure to generate engagement is a contest or special promotion. There are a lot of different types of contests you can run on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, but one of the easiest to do is a caption contest.
While you're documenting behind-the-scenes content, capture some fun, candid photos of yourself or your team. You can then share these on social media and ask your followers to caption them. The person who shares the funniest caption wins a prize. It's that simple. Many brands rely on these types of quick contests to get engagement from their followers and it's a fun way to show off your brand's personality.
At the end of the day, social media and content marketing are just tools to help promote your business. They don't have to be scary or complicated to be effective, so if you're just getting started try some of these tactics on for size. The more you experiment, the better you'll get and before long you'll be running your social media channels like a true pro.
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Look, I know there’s nothing worse than putting in endless hours of dedication, time- and probably a bit of sacrifice-and then all you hear back is…crickets. I tried doing all the things for far too long, and if you have too, then you
probably know just how overwhelming and exhausting
it can be...
I’ve been helping clients grow their businesses for over a
decade and it’s been incredible to see first hand what
happens when we truly grasp our potential, stop limiting ourselves, take action, and go after what we want.
When you’re first starting out, it can be overwhelming to consider all that there is to do, and then on top of that thinking about marketing! There’s a few ways you can focus your efforts to get your customer base to grow without spending money to get there.
Set up a website
You’ve probably already touched on this in thinking about how customers will find you. If you’re running a local business, stick to the basics of a website – you can use services like Wix or Weebly to share your address, hours, and business info. This doesn’t have to be fancy, just the information potential customers need to find you. Not tech savvy to do this on your own? Let's chat.
Identify repeat customers
When you start a business, you’re going to have a sense of who your best customers might be, but three to six months in, you’ll have real spending behavior. Use this information, along with details about your customers, to identify what kinds of people are most likely to return.
Give your friends and family ways to help spread the word!
They’re going to be bragging about you anyway, so find ways for them to share your product or business when it comes up in conversation. Maybe you make stickers, or send everyone an email with a promotion that only available to friends and family. There’s lots of ways to activate the power of word of mouth, start brainstorming!
Whether you run a brick and mortar storefront, or you’re offering your services on the go, it’s important to get exposure in the community. That could mean running a special promotion through the local schools (family photos around the holiday season) or registering with the local chamber of commerce.
If you found this content valuable and informative, please pass it forward. Comments and shares appreciated. Follow me on Facebook or LinkedIn for more business tips
Throughout our lives, everyone from parents to teachers to bosses tells us about the importance of self-confidence. They say that self-confidence helps motivate us to move forward in life, take on challenges and, ultimately, succeed. But how often are we warned about having too much self-confidence? Some experts believe over confidence can lead to unwillingness to see the world through others' eyes, a lack of empathy an not being able to recognize our own faults and errors.
What do you think?
#selfconfidence, #challenge, #success
We all know that we should tailor our cover letter to each company, show our enthusiasm for the role, include real-life examples of our accomplishments, and double check everything we write for spelling and grammar mistakes. But what else are we missing as we're going to craft this important piece of our application? And what question many of us are probably asking ourselves: Why aren't we still landing jobs if we're covering all our bases? Well, maybe you're not aware you need to also do these seven things (or could use a reminder):
1. Make it Ridiculously Clear How You Can Help Them - Nothing stands out more in a cover letter than using it as an opportunity to align yourself with the company's interests, both in the experience you offer and the ideas you have for specifically helping them grow and succeed. Paint a clear picture of how you can help them. You should never make them try to guess or figure out how to utilize your skills, because they won't.
2. Write Less (But Better) - Unless you're applying to be a creative writer, be as concise and efficient as possible. Most people will scan and filter cover letters by keywords, and HR professionals respect and value quality brevity. Remember, the goal of your cover letter is to get them to read the rest of your application (read: your resume). So, explain in just a few well-crafted sentences why you're a great fit.
3. Find (and Include) the Easter Egg - When hiring, may companies put an "Easter egg" in the job description - usually a keyword or value they're specifically looking for. Any applicant who includes or references this special detail in their cover letter is more likely to move on to the interview stage. It helps identify the candidates who pay attention to details and it shows that they read the post and are actually interested in the opportunity, not just sending out generic applications to each job they see.
4. Vary Your Format - Some of the best cover letters I've seen have been the ones that were a little 'out there\ - for example, two short, confidence-laden paragraphs combined with a bulleted list of what the employee would add to the company.. These ones caught my eye not only because of he bullets (which were short and to-the-point) but because they were different from the rest. It helps to have a great resume, but an original approach to the cover letter works even better!
5. Include Your Contact Information - The first thing I want to do after reading an exceptional cover letter is contact the candidate. The good ones all include a cell phone number and email address so that an interview an easily be set up. The hiring process moves fast, and the easier you make it for a hiring manager to find you, the more likely they'll do so.
6. Emphasize You're Able to Pick Up New Skills Quickly - Candidates who can demonstrate they have a large capacity to learn and grow are the most valuable to a company of any size because they can easily shift to various positions - laterally or upwards - to adapt to how the market or organization may shift over time. Showing this upfront is a great way to separate yourself from other candidates.
7. Show That You're Adaptable - Show an interest in working on and exploring a broad range of topics and tasks. I always look out for those folks because they're some of the most adaptable, and often accomplish things you didn't know needed doing. Someone who isn't just willing, but is interested, in having a wide breadth of knowledge will see unexpected connections and help innovate.
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Bosses and their employees see each other every day at work and may even see each other as friends. But should they friend each other on Facebook as well? Some say yes, if you know how to set up some online restrictions. Others argue that it's inappropriate on Facebook because of the power imbalance, but OK to connect on professional networks such as LinkedIn. What do you think?
The next time you feel that you’ve royally messed something up at work, avoid self-flagellation and think about what you can learn from it. Don’t interpret setbacks as “I’m not cut out for this challenge.” Instead, tell yourself, “I haven’t yet developed the required capabilities for it.” Framing the setback this way will not only help your self-esteem but also allow you to candidly reflect on what went well and what didn’t. Those insights will help you set challenging learning goals and experiment with alternate strategies. You can make sure you stay in learning mode by worrying less about demonstrating your ability to perform certain tasks and focusing more on your development. When taking on a new challenge, ask yourself, “Am I in learning mode right now?” The question will prime you to stay open to what you can discover, rather than diagnosing your inadequacies.
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#setbacks, #businessstrategies, #selfesteem, #goals, #businessdevelopment, #discovery,
This Is A Really Great Tool To Organize Your Fonts and it's Free!
If you're anything like me, you have hundreds of fonts installed at any given point and sometimes it's just a real pain to remember all that you have available, much less what they look like. I can't tell you the number of times I have gone in search for a certain looking font for hours, only to realize that I actually had something like it all along. Ugh.
I came across a neat tool called Wordmark.it - It's a really cool web tool in which you can type any word or phrase and it will use Flash to show you all of your installed fonts! Best of all, it's totally free to use this way and it's been such a lifesaver for me already.
There's a pro version that costs $24/yr (or you can pay just $2/mo) which let's you categorize your fonts and give them tags within their system (I'm not using this yet - I find the free version to already be so valuable). If you liked this valuable info, please share and feel free to comment.
Hope this freebie totally rocks your day. Enjoy! This is valuable content. Please pass it forward.
#Findmyfonts, #savetime, #helpfulhints, #outsourcing, #blogging, #contentwriting,
Everyone goofs sometimes. But an ‘error of omission’ is the worst. In Google Analytics, the most common mistake is not finishing the setup.
But, there's an easy fix. After you add the tracking code to your site, setting up Analytics just takes a few clicks. To keep this simple, check out this post and short video for each type of setup. Click this link to read more on Google Analytics by Andy Crestodina.
#Googleanalytics, #goals, #filters, #sitesearch, #dashboard, #wordpress, #webmaster, #webmastertools, #troubleshooting,
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Welcome to our Blog. The Author is not an expert on the subjects posted on this blog and is merely sharing from either personal experience, articles or other networking sources. Content is intended only as useful tips and resources for business owners and all who visit this blog. Subjects will vary from time to time. We welcome comments and thank you for likes and shares.