Category Archives: business development

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.

 

#speaker #coach #No1BestSellingAuthor #relationshipmarketing #LinkedIn #MarciaReece #CarolNaff #WaysToBeFound #Marketing #LeadGeneration #LinkedInTips #WOWFactor #LinkedInProfile  #InboundMarketing

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

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. 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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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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Nike is absolutely right. Just Do It!

Despite what we may think about the power and flood of information coming at us from a multitude of different places, there is still something we all crave: consistency.

We want it.

We need it.

We value it.

So Just Do It; right?

No matter what your platform, no matter how you send out your information, the importance of consistency can’t be overlooked. 

We all have so much coming at us all day long, but we do look at what resonates with us.  If you have your message targeted to your key audience, they will want to read what you have to say.  

If you’re sending to people who have no interest in your work, they hit the delete button.  This makes it critically important to know your audience and give them what they want.  Each and every time!  If you expect your favorite show to be on a certain channel at a certain time each day, you will stop what you are doing and tune in – regardless of how busy you are.  

We are creatures of habit. 

Keep your followers happy by giving them what they want when they expect to get it and they will continue to follow you and pass the word to their networks who are interested in what you have to say.    

The value of being consistent became very Real to me many years ago when I was trying to get Wal-Mart (when they had only 66 stores) to buy my product.  I called my buyer every morning, precisely at 9:00 a.m.  I did not call at 8:57 a.m. and I did not call at 9:02 a.m.  I called for 46 mornings in a row precisely at 9:00 a.m.  On the 46th morning, my buyer’s assistant told me my buyer would see me at 11:00 a.m. that day!!  Well, the rest is history and the consistency of that phone call started a chain of events that changed my life and grew my company to 72% worldwide market share … far beyond my wildest dreams.  

Those on the A-Team or the TCO Groups are learning about the value of consistency. I know consistency continues to make a difference in my world every day.

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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WIIFM

Today was spent working with a client on the east coast who has finished writing his book. It’s ready to go for final edit. We worked on his book promotion/media strategy.

Here are some of the things we completed you might also find valuable:

  • Complete a great media kit
  • Polish up your bio
  • Write 3 media releases, each from a different angle.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY, find what’s in your book that will DO Something for the reader; solve a problem the reader is having.

Finding the benefits to your book might seem like a pretty simple task, but touting that “It’s a great read!” won’t get you very far. To determine what your book will do for your reader, you’ll have to dig deep, sometimes deeper than you thought. Especially if your book is fiction, this task of finding benefits will require some serious brainstorming. The key here is, be different. If you have a diet book, don’t offer the same benefits a million other books do: you’ll lose weight. Instead, offer a benefit that is decidedly different than anything that’s out there.

If you think you can’t find a different approach, go back to the beginning. Why did you write your book? It must solve a problem you could not find solved in the books already written.

Or, try to couch a similar benefit in a different way.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the WIIFM factor: what’s in it for me? If your reader likes what’s in it for them, they’ll buy your book.  Make sure your audience finds the answers to THEIR needs within your book and all of your interviews. If they stop hearing about them and their needs they will drift away and you will lose them.

Be sure to keep the WIIFM foremost in your mind as you write your media release and all your sales materials.

People only care what your book will DO FOR THEM.

The idea of not selling your book also holds true when you’re doing an interview. Never, ever answer an interviewer’s question with: “You’ll find it in my book.” If you’re the author, of course the answer is in your book.

The uniqueness of your benefits can also directly relate to each particular audience. For example, if you have different levels of readers or readers from different backgrounds, it’s a good idea to work up a set of benefits for each of them. Then any interview you do (or speaking engagement) will offer benefits with that audience in mind as opposed to a more generic form of, “Here’s what my book can do for you!”

Creating a list of benefits for your book can aid your campaign in a number of ways: first, it’ll help you get away from a more “salesy” type of approach, and second, it will help you create the tip sheets that can add substance to your media kit.

BONUS TIP:  When you are preparing for your interviews, speak to your audience as if you are speaking directly to one person at a time.  Don’t try to speak to the whole audience…make your answers specific to one person’s needs.

BONUS TIP:  If you’re working on the benefit angle of your book early enough, you can incorporate these into the back copy of your book.

The point is, never, ever sell your book. Be a step ahead of the competition and sell what your book can do for the reader, and let them know why it’s better than the competition.

In the end, that’s all anyone will care about.

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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