Category Archives: appreciation

How to be Wildly Successful with Inbound Marketing

By Marcia Reece and Carol Naff

What an exhausting frenzy when business owners try to do everything to attract new clients and customers. They run all over town networking and meeting new people. They participate in trade shows and join organizations. They think they need to meet three new people each and every day. Regretfully, these tactics most often result in a very busy person failing to get the results they want.

Identify your niche

It is so important to identify tactics that work. Ask yourself these questions:

  •   Who is your audience?
  •   Who is in your niche?

When you know the answers to these questions, it is much easier to design the best marketing strategies to hit your mark leading to new business.

Key success strategies

Pick only one or two organizations, become involved, and build relationships. Key learning: it often takes multiple touches to earn their trust and their business. If you think you can attend an event just a couple of times and attract a client, think again. Yes, sometimes you find that perfect prospect the first time you attend a networking event. More often, you need to build a relationship of trust to earn their business.

Use inbound marketing to fill your funnel and reach successful goals.

So what is inbound marketing? Inbound marketing is a technique for drawing customers to products and services via content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization.

Create engaging, enticing information, and content. No longer can we interrupt our prospective clients with mediocre content and sales messages they don’t care about.

Develop stories to inform and entertain and compel your prospect to take action to become a client. Stay in touch with the people you meet. Be sure to reach out to inform or compliment your prospects making sure some of your  “reach outs” have nothing to do with selling you or your business/service. It has been amazing to have someone contact me after two or more years saying they are ready to take their business to the next level.

LinkedIn remains the Goliath of all Social Media. This is the whopper of all Business Social Media to reach your ideal prospects. It always amazes me that LinkedIn wants you to connect with only people you know. Now, be serious. Would you attend a networking meeting and only talk to people you know? By using simple tactics, Marcia and Carol reached more than 4,500 connections on LinkedIn and growing every week. Marcia continued to implement our strategy for reaching this number and now has more than 9,700 followers. We have developed a system to secure more connections each and every day to help us reach our goals. If you are sitting at a low number of connections, you will only implement inbound marketing with very limited success.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is another very important part of inbound marketing. Just this past year, Carol worked with her client to improve her SEO. She has multiplied her business income from desperation to something beyond her imagination – from having contracts for only $1,000 in a typical month to having $15,000 under contract this month.

Many people often don’t think of speaking, teleclasses, and webinars as inbound marketing. You are missing the boat when you are in front of your audience and you cannot drive them to visit your website. If your website is dynamic, you know how to convert your audience to paying clients. If your website isn’t dynamic, take steps today to make it so; it’s way too valuable an asset to not have it working for you!

Best advice: Always have something to invite them to attend or offer something of real value for them to download from your website to engage them, i.e., an assessment or a great business tool. Surveys can be a fun way to learn more about your prospects but keep them short and weave some fun into them as well.

Who do you want to meet? What stops you from meeting those folks?

Many of our clients fret about meeting new people and taking first steps.  Some simple tips to start your relationship journey are as basic as it gets:

  • Smile – it’s simply the best way to put anyone at ease.
  • Act and behave in a friendly way – don’t go overboard and keep the walls down.
  • In early stages, let the other person do most of the talking – you’ll learn a lot. Instead of asking, “What do you do?” ask “Who do you want to meet?”
  • Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. You might feel their pinch and find unique and individual ways to help them achieve their goals.

These are truly easy strategies to implement and they work every time. Too many people miss the simple stuff!  Don’t over complicate the obvious.

These tactical steps work well with social media to drive inbound marketing. No one wants just a stock invitation. Take the extra time to review profiles and invite each person to join your network based on specific mutual interests and goals. The extra time spent in your research will return dividends as you get more and more contact engagement. Remember, It’s All About Them, so gear all your communication to and about them to achieve maximum results!

Once you’ve visualized your success, you need to take action and go after exactly what you want. You must act with persistence and enthusiasm.

Most of us are good “starters” but poor “finishers” of everything we begin. Often people easily give up at the first signs of defeat. There is no substitute for persistence. Marcia called her Wal-Mart buyer 46 mornings in a row before her call was taken. What if she had given up after 45 mornings?

Well-focused, timely marketing can make all the difference to your business. It’s understandable though to be overwhelmed with implementation because other business priorities get in the way and are important as well. This is why Marcia and Carol want to help business owners with their marketing needs. Let us know what your next step will be. Give us a call; we’ll be happy to discuss your marketing and help you take your business to new heights.


Carol Naff is a Professional Coach, a Certified Email Marketing Strategist, Visibility Coach, and expert in creative marketing and business development. She founded Mariner Company in 2000, a coaching and consulting business with more than 15 years prior experience in developing marketing strategies for creative business owners to get more clients and how to come in #1 in your job search. Follow my blog at Complete the business and job search assessment to help you identify what you need to succeed at

Marcia Reece, the inventor of Sidewalk Chalk, is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Director also was the inventor of Gel-eez, the very first gel-filled wrist rest for keyboard and mouse users.  She founded Aspen Support Group in 1998 and uses her creative energies to help many dozen entrepreneurs and authors take their ideas to products and their products to the shelves of American Retailers.  Her books are available on Follow her blog at







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5 Secret Questions hold the key to life

Often times I’m asked how it is so easy and seemingly effortless for me to meet strangers and soon have them turned into friends.

It begins with my genuine interest in people. It has always been my belief that I can enjoy anyone for at least 20 minutes. Sometimes 20 minutes is enough; often times a lifetime is not nearly enough. People genuinely interest me. They all have stories and I love to pull those stories out.  You see, I have discovered to make others feel important, show a genuine interest in them. Once they feel valued (important) they will open up and shortly thereafter a relationship is born.

To be successful, be genuinely interested in other people. I always learn so much from other people. It’s so easy to be interested, so why not be interested

To make others feel at ease with me, I’ve honed a specific set of easy-to-answer questions. Soon you will learn these questions. Commit them to memory (write them down until you have them memorized) and soon you can make everyone you meet comfortable with you.

When we build bridges with people we are more likely to create great relationships, to get cooperation and to conduct business. Talking with other people becomes easier when you realize that everybody’s got a story. And those stories, in most cases, are very interesting. These stories are so fascinating to me and it’s amazing how much I learn in about five minutes. We can all learn so much from the challenges, successes and adventures of others. When you meet someone new and find a way to allow them to talk, they will quickly hold you in high esteem. They will feel comfortable with you within minutes and they will often want to talk with you further. So, how do I get so many people to talk with me so easily? Getting people to talk with you becomes simple when you have specific, easy-to-answer questions that you can use every time. These questions will make you feel confident and make the person you are meeting feel important. Anyone will find these questions easy to answer. Make sure your tone is inquisitive and calm when asking these questions. No inquisition here.

Question 1:

I’m just curious, where are you from originally?

Starting this question with “I’m just curious”, relaxes the person you are asking. They are disarmed and comfortable right away. This question always leads to the beginning of a person’s story.

Now Question 2 can go two directions.   If the person you asked are from a place different from where they are now, ask:

What brought you here?

If they are from the same place where you are asking the question, ask:

Have you lived here all your life?

Question 3 is:

Do you have a family?

This questions immediately creates great relationships. People love talking about their family.

Question 4 is:

What do you do? 

Question 5 is:

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Because I owned a toy manufacturing company, I often also ask

What was your favorite toy when you were growing up?

Every person on the planet played with something when they were kids and this question is a wonderful ice breaker.

Everyone likes talking about their roots and about their families. Once you get someone started with easy questions, they’ll usually find it easy to keep talking. If the person you’re talking to is someone you’d like to speak with again, or do business with in the future, make note of the answers to these questions as soon as you have a moment. When you speak in the future, you can refer to some of their answers. This wins massive brownie points and showed you truly cared enough to remember. People are honored when we let them talk and even more so when we refer to something they told us in the past. That shows that you were genuinely interested and took the time to remember.

Many people have related to me that they were amazed with how much they learned about other people when they started using these questions. These questions will give you an easy and non-threatening way to start conversations and to make people feel important. You will see the magic this process creates in your ability to talk with others.

If you found this post useful, please forward to 5 people you know would like these questions. Please suggest they go to my website to learn more about me ~


It’s All About Relationships

– truly everything is!

Now practice your questions and let me know the results you achieve. Have fun and get to know some incredible new people with these fail-proof questions.

Marcia Reece, the inventor of Sidewalk Chalk, is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at or on

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