Category Archives: authors

Are you invisible on LinkedIn?

BREAKING NEWS!

LinkedIn is the largest professional online network

LinkedIn just turned 14 years old

AND

LinkedIn has more than a half-billion members!

That’s 500,000,000 professionals just waiting to learn about you! (Well, at least a nice percentage want to know you)

And it’s a powerful group. The household income of LinkedIn users averages more than $88,000 per year, which outpaces the average income for the readers of the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Business Week!  Impressive!

You will find most people are more than willing to engage with you, which generates more inbound leads for your business. Just this week, Marcia received four invitations to be a guest on radio talk shows on the subjects featured in her books. Yes, she will bring great value to the audience of the show AND have an opportunity to sell her books. Marcia is visible on LinkedIn and you can be visible, too. She has more than 10,850 connections that reward her with opportunities for inbound marketing.

If you are a professional or business owner, you simply can’t afford to miss out on the massive opportunity to build relationships with potential customers, clients, partners, and peers on LinkedIn. It’s a powerful audience ready to engage, interact, and influence.

How do Carol and Marcia make these powerful connections?  Here’s how…

Be Visible

With more than 500,000,000 members, now it’s more important than ever to have a presence that stands out from the crowd.

Did you know that Viewers of your profile form an opinion of you in JUST 3 SECONDS, according to LinkedIn’s own research?  Make sure you’re offering your best impression by having a decent head shot photo.  No Selfies!! Remember this is the largest professional network on the Internet and you have 3 seconds to be memorable.

Too many profiles on LinkedIn do not include a photo. It is like sticking a bag over your head and going out to network. Often we meet someone at an event in person and want to invite them to connect on LinkedIn. If their photo is not there, we cannot be sure that is the right person. An incomplete LinkedIn profile says more about you and your work ethic than might first meet the eye.

Start with a professional profile picture that represents you and your industry. This is critical for your LinkedIn success! Adding a profile photo could result in 14 times more profile views. Having the same professional photo on all your social sites begins to build your personal brand. That fact alone makes it worthwhile to have a professional photo taken. Include no photos you might regret next month or next year. Any photo that damages your personal brand defeats the whole purpose of being on LinkedIn.

Follow Up

Follow up with people you meet by inviting them to link or connect with you. When we stay in touch with people we meet, we can remember each other. Carol has developed this skill to a fine art. Often when she first meets someone, they may not yet be ready to become her client. AND her thoughtful and helpful touches, keeps her top of mind when they are ready.

Respond to people who link with you and actually endorse them for a few skills. Be sure to respond to all inquiries and notes. Connect to people you believe can benefit from knowing each other and then follow up. So many people never update us on the results of our introduction. Was it a good referral? Did you connect? Did you do business? Many times, we do not even receive a thank you for the introduction. We really appreciate referrals and reward people for giving them to us. Would you like a discount for our services or a cash reward or something that seems to be a great way of saying thanks? What will make you give us a referral?

Who do you know who wants more clients? Who do you know that has a product almost ready to take to market? Both Marcia and Carol will reward you for your referrals that work.

We love seeing your activity on LinkedIn! Keep creating engaging content and share updates of value. And remember to always pay it forward! Yes, that means sharing posts and endorsing your contacts for skills. Help everyone reach 99+ endorsements.

 

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wow Marcia - carol

Carol Naff is a Professional Coach, a Certified Email Marketing Strategist, 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. MarinerCo.com. Follow my blog at CarolNaff.me Complete the business and job search assessment to help you identify what you need to succeed at Marinerco.com

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 Amazon.com Follow her blog at https://marciaok.wordpress.com

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Filed under authors, branding, building relationships, business development, kindness, Lead generation, LinkedIn, marketing, relationships, Social Media Marketing, Uncategorized

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 ~ www.marciareece.com

Remember:

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 www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com

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Is Free Really Free?

These days, everyone talks about free content. “Give it away!” they say, but does this really work?

Well, yes and no.

As with anything, there has to be a strategy.

I listened to an author friend of mine telling me about her morning run through her neighborhood. She noticed a number of garage sale signs . One of the signs had a sign beneath it that read: We have free stuff! As she ran, she passed that house and noticed they put all their free stuff in the “Free zone” and already, even at that early hour, hoards of people were migrating there. She passed the other garage sales which were doing OK, but not great. Clearly the one with the free stuff pulled more people, but did it actually sell more paid merchandise? Yes. She checked in with the sale after her run to find most of the good stuff gone. The homeowner said the free stuff went fast, but it wasn’t junk stuff, it was actually good enough to make the garage sale shopper feel like they got a real deal.

If it’s junk and it’s free, it doesn’t really matter.  What’s the lesson here? Free stuff can help you sell more of the paid merchandise, but you have to be careful, because some people just want freebies and that’s fine. But they are not your customers.

Here are some tips to help you maximize the use of free:

  1. Why free? The first question you should ask yourself is why are you doing this? If you aren’t sure, then free might not be right for you. Free content should be offered to help further your message, build a list, and get new people into your marketing funnel. If your model isn’t set up this way, maybe it should be. If you aren’t interested in this kind of a marketing model, then free probably isn’t your thing.
  2. Define how free can help: Figure out why you want to give free stuff. Getting clear about your model will help determine if a free product is even worth your time. If it is, then you need to figure out how it will help you. As an example, while Secrets of the Marriage Mouse was in the final editing, I wrote a companion workbook.  It’s nearly 200 pages of content and I give it away free at my live events when someone purchases Secrets of the Marriage Mouse.  Great value; you bet!  This pushes my book sales to around 82% of my audience.  Those are great numbers any way you look at them.  Why would I do this?  To build trust.  Trust and caring are important. Our free stuff builds our mailing list, yes, but it also builds trust.
  3. Make sure it’s really free: A lot of people have content that is purported to be free when it’s not really free. What I mean is that you get a sliver of it, not even a piece really worth mentioning, but the stuff you want is something you have to pay for. If you want to do free, make it free. Find something of value and give it to your customers.
  4. Make it something your end user wants: Make sure the free is something people want. If it isn’t you a) won’t bring in the right crowd of people (you’ll end up just getting the freebie hunters, and b) you won’t build your mailing list as fast. Virtually any electronic product is easy to create and deliver.
  5. Take names: You should never give free away without asking for an email address. I see people do this all the time; they have a ton of free stuff but never collect emails. If that’s the case, the freebies you are offering may be of great value to your end user but they won’t matter to your marketing. Get emails. You get something (their email) and give them something (the free stuff).
  6. Make it easy to get: Don’t make free difficult. What I mean is make it easy to get your free stuff. If people have to jump through hoops, they won’t do it and the free stuff won’t matter. Put your free stuff on your home page, or at least have a link to it. They sign up for your newsletter and they get your free stuff.  This is a pretty common tactic these days.  But when ask for their email, make it easy. A simple click or two is all it should take. Then, don’t ask for too much information. Ask for what you truly need.
  7. Call to action: Make sure that your free stuff has a call to action. You are collecting names and email addresses and building your list, that’s great. But what do you really want people to do? Define what you want them to do, and then include your call to action in the free stuff. Let’s face it, it’s a good piece – designed to help your reader – but it must also help you. It’s ok to promote your book on the last page, or encourage folks to do a consult with you if that’s what you offer. You can also offer specials and change these periodically in the giveaway.
  8. Follow up! The best kind of free stuff is, as I like to call it, the gift that keeps giving. Auto responders are a great system but often underutilized when it comes to marketing. If you are collecting names and then never contacting your prospects again, what’s the point? People need to be reminded, and reminded again. Now, you can also funnel folks into your newsletter as I mentioned earlier.
  9. Define what your market wants and then give it to them. No one knows your market like you do.

The real key here is that free stuff can work well for you in so many ways, but free stuff without a goal is just free. Great to get free stuff, right? But then how is all of this hard work going to pay off for you?  I can tell how and when my free offer works to increase my market and to increase my sales.

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 www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com

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Tell the Fed Ex Man Good Bye

We all spend so much money sending out copies of our work via Federal Express. Sending out books for customers, reviewers, and FOF’s gets really expensive.

Let’s all plan ahead and send our books fourth class, or media rate. There’s really no advantage to using overnight services unless we are specifically requested to do so. If it absolutely has to be there overnight, but most times it doesn’t.

Sending via fed ex doesn’t impress like it used to. Back when I was a toy manufacturer, I remember sending samples to my “Big Buyers” via fed ex, UPS red label, and mail. I wanted to make sure they got the samples.

Have stamps made to look like the cover of your book. If you email me, I will give you two great resources I’m happy to share with you.

My printer made Marriage Mouse stickers that were made from the art on the cover of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and I use those on the outside of the package.

If it’s holiday time, I gift wrap my book in holiday appropriate wrapping paper. I’ve had a few comments on how the recipient enjoys unwrapping their gift.

With some creative thought you can make sure your recipient opens what you send them – without breaking the bank paying for fed ex fees.

What’s the most creative way you can think to send your materials? Share and let’s have some fun being creative.

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 www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com

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