Category Archives: marketing

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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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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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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Would You? Could You?? Should You???

Last week at the Executive Roundtable one of the authors there admitted to “reverse shoplifting” and actually putting their book on the shelves of a store where they wanted it to sell…and it did sell!!  I’ve thought about doing this and never have.

Many years ago when I was in the toy industry, the company with whom I was working was launching a new Piggy Belly toy. It was debuting at Target. Over our lunch hour, we all went into the area Targets and each bought two Piggy Belly toys. Not quite the same as reverse shoplifting, but the principle is nearly the same.

Just for the heck of it, next week I’m taking my books into 3 retailers and leaving them on the shelves…as a gift from me. Does it sound as bad if it’s referred to as a “gift” instead of “reverse shoplifting”?

Chime in and let’s be honest here…how many of you have ever rigged your sales by forced purchasing or reverse shoplifted? Just suggesting we aren’t getting any younger and what the heck…it might be fun.

Let me know if this marketing strategy pays off for you. Listening to George Clooney and Jimmy Kimmel talk about pranks they play must have brought this out in me.  Who knows? I’m usually way to squeaky clean, straight laced.

P.S.:  Maybe we should take it a step further and leave stacks of bookmarks in the washrooms of the stores where you leave your books or other strategic places?  What says You??

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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One Thing NEVER to Forget

 Last week while at two invigorating events, I noticed how few people had business cards to distribute.

I jokingly told a friend that  I’d rather forget to wear underwear than to forget to have a good supply of business cards always in my pocket, wallet, or purse!!

Now, never fear, I always have on clean underwear but that’s how strongly I want you to understand the lost value when you show up without your “leave behind”. Remember the old American Express commercial which asked, “What’s in your wallet?”  Put a post a note on your steering wheel which says, “Do I have plenty of business cards”? If you don’t; don’t start the engine until you do because you can’t start the engine of your business without good legible business cards.

Here’s some ideas to get you thinking about your business card:

1)Have a card that stands out. Mine is inside a see-through vellum envelope. It ALWAYS stops the recipient and I get a chance to say, “I think outside the envelope” which opens up very interesting conversations.

2) Quality counts ~ this card is your first (and lasting impression). Don’t skimp on money when it comes to business card. You want to have good stock paper, print that doesn’t bleed from a drop of water, an embossed logo, and the card should feel substantial and pleasing to the touch. A poor quality card implies your business has poor quality products and services.

3) Using an Oversized Card may look chic to a designer, but common sense dictates the use of the traditional and standard 3.5 by 2-inch business card. Anything bigger will not fit in wallets or most business card holders.

4) If you give your card to someone and they can’t read it without their reading glasses…big NoNo.  A good guideline is to use a type size no smaller than 7-8 point. Your name can be 12 point, and your company name will work at 9 point.

What’s been the most memorable business card you have ever received? Do you still have it?

Remember, you are your brand and let your brand start with your business card…and Don’t Ever Leave Home Without a Big Stack of them.

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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How Did You Get Involved in Social Media

Yesterday I was asked how I became involved with social media. Here’s my reply…

I am a novice in this world. I am a grandmother of 5 and I don’t want to be left in the dust.

So I am learning and I’m making a lot of mistakes BUT I’m also making some forward progress. Like I’m still learning when to hit the return key and when to let a paragraph just run on so as to not create two separate posts.

Two years ago I wrote a book which became a #1 best seller not because it was brilliantly written, but because I understand traditional marketing. I found traditional marketing would only take book sales so far. I needed to learn about Social Media.

Now I find if I want to keep growing and offering my very best to my clients, I needed to jump right into the “new way of marketing”. It’s fabulous. Challenging; you bet! But it’s great how this works!

I write a blog: it was just a few short weeks ago that I learned from savvy Debra Jason to use the marciaok. (dot) not the marciaok@ (at sign) when directing folks to my blog. Otherwise, they get sent to an email screen.

See it’s a big learning curve for me, but I’m Up For The Challenge!! See you at the top!!

How did you get involved??

Marcia Reece 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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