May 302012
 

Become the Business Social Networking Terminator!“T” factor? Who do I Terminate? My business’s social networking plan doesn’t address this!

Think for a moment why people would come back to your site. Needless to say great content is a must, but are you creating a personal experience?

The “T” factor helps you terminate your competition and portrays you as a more approachable resource. What I am referring to is Transparency.

Transparency in your online and offline business networking efforts is what humanizes your audience’s perception of you. All of these “new” ways of marketing seem to have people thinking that; 1. They really are new ideas, and 2. The more money they throw at it the more ROI they will make.

Let’s clarify this and give you some strategies to implement that will help you become more valuable and expand your viral growth.

None of these new age techniques are new. The internet is a new player, but the game is still the same. I just started watching the show “Mad Men,” it is about the early stages of advertising companies in the 60’s. Very cool show, but their objectives are the same as today’s advertisers.

Get your audience talking and raving about you!

Word-of-mouth is and always has been the strongest form of advertising known to man. How does this relate to being transparent? Well, would you be more likely to refer someone to contact, website, or business that has a persona of being stuffy, serious, always business, and almost seems scripted in conversations?

Probably not.

You would however, refer someone with personality, friendliness, and an openness to help? In a heartbeat!

Even the standard term “business networking” has evolved into “business social networking,” or “social business networking.Social is the key word.

How are you incentivizing and socializing with your audience to make them raving fans? Spending more money on banner ads and commercials will continue to show a smaller and smaller ROI. Investing in customer communication and customer gratitude will exponentially increase your earnings.

Top secret tip of the day:

Ok, I just implemented this and it has already shown to be an easy, and awesome way to grow a group or fan page virally. It starts on your website.

1. You have your opt-in box giving something of value on your website. (If you have one and nobody is taking advantage of your offer… Change it!)

2. The next page, for me, is an email confirmation page.

3. Once email is confirmed you are sent to a “Welcome and Thank You” page that has a contest with instructions that most people will take advantage of.

My page looks like this:

Welcome and Thank You for subscribing to BNL’s email list!

Every month we are giving away a $25 Visa Gift card!

Please see details or watch short video tutorial below

To get involved all you need to do is:

  1. Become a fan of BNL on Facebook
  2. Tag BNL in a post sharing this link http://businessnetworkinglife.com (To “tag” someone put the @ directly before typing someone’s name)

If you need a little visual watch the video.

When completed your post should look something like this:

Business Social Networking Resource Tag

Now I have captured somebody’s email with an offer of value, and made a secondary value offer for a chance at $25 to share something they have already seen value in. Even if you have 1-3 people a day doing this is it worth $25 a month for 30+ people talking about why everyone should check your site out?

Business social networking will continue to evolve and it is imperative for you to share your personality and humbleness to your audience while providing incredible value.

Let us know one super awesome strategy that has helped you in your business.

May 222012
 

Guest Post By: Katie Krienitz, COO or The Wealth Building Annex

Being passionate about your company is a vital component of every successful business owner. It may not always be the product or service you’re passionate about. It could be the marketing of that product or service, the systemization of the company, the management of the team, the execution of the sales process or even the development of new ideas that get your juices flowing. Wherever that passion lies, it’s crucial to constantly stay in contact with it..otherwise, it dies. And then, your business becomes WORK.

I was definitely in WORK mode a few weeks ago. Exhausted and burnt out, I sat in a fog during a team meeting as our marketing plan was discussed. One of the ways I experience joy in our business is in the details of our processes…making sure that our company is as systemized as possible. Apparently, my passion for this had served its purpose because there was no longer a need for the majority of my time to be spent on our systems. I have an incredible team that I can hand these systems over to, so my time was now free to market and bring in new members. And because I was not in touch with a passion for marketing, our business was now WORK to me.

Until...a brainstorm.

Chris, Mark and I sat at the table while committee meetings, events and networking ideas were discussed, none of which made me very excited. To be honest, my stomach began churning as I anticipated walking into each of these scenarios. While I love to connect with others and form strategic alliances, networking, committee meetings and events are not my strengths. I slumped in my chair and felt defeated. I saw the looks on their faces – business owners who loved to get involved in the ways that made me cringe. Frustrated and feeling lost, I suddenly blurted, “what other ways, besides joining committees and networking groups, can I get out there and connect with other business people?” Thoughtful stares, but nothing. The conversation resumed and went in different directions. A few minutes later, Mark brought up the Centre Club golf membership and suddenly, I sat up straight.

“Golf! I can golf with people!!!!” A seemingly easy concept had hit me hard. “It makes perfect sense! I’m an athlete. I love sports. I can incorporate my athletics into my marketing!” All the tension and pressure that had been building up over the past few weeks were immediately gone. “And I can pick up tennis again too!” There it was…my passion. Once again living in the same space with me and my business.

I know this sounds ridiculously simple. But as your relationship with your business matures and changes, the smallest of tweaks can have the most powerful effects. I felt horrible for a long time that I didn’t want to be a part of 20 committees and join 15 different networking groups. But with a simple twist of how I can embrace marketing in a way that excites me, I’m not WORKING anymore…I’m playing business builder. And I’d say my 227 yard drive on my first time out on the golf course says I’m playing to win! (yes, it was straight on the fairway).

May 122012
 

We just discussed 3 easy strategies that will increase your online presence; let’s identify a few things to avoid that can save you time and money on you internet marketing.

I think we can all agree that the internet is a non-stop avalanche of new ideas and informational products. So how can you to be expected to know what is crap and what is gold? There is no shortage of self proclaimed guru’s out there marketing all of the “secrets” of Facebook, and Linkedin, and Youtube and on and on.

Here are 7 reasons why your efforts may be falling short and some ideas to improve your results.

1) Your website is an online brochure.

This is a very common error in the market place because the capability of a website has evolved dramatically. We have gone to, I need a website so when someone search for me something comes up; to my website is a lead generation system, company validation platform, sales processor, dynamic face of the company.

Get your site on a CMS like WordPress, or Joomla (Just 2 of many examples, I prefer WordPress myself)

2) There is no “Call to Action”

I have heard people say, “My site has a Contact Us page, if they want our information they know where to find us.This is horrible!

We as a society have become lazy and impatient. When we get to a website we want benefit, instantly. By not capitalizing on why people come to your site and addressing their needs immediately you are losing people faster than it took them to find you

3) No communication

When people interact with you on your site or social media it is your duty to respond. Most of your efforts are probably being made to try to get people to interact with you and when they finally do you don’t even communicate back! Now, I am not referring to having an auto responder send them an email, I am talking about you actually taking a moment and show you give a damn about what they took their time to say.

Making a phone call based on someone’s communication online is almost unheard of. I have asked this in seminars “Who has ever gotten a call from someone online based on your subscribing or purchasing something?” The response is maybe 3-5% of the room, and of those people all of them can tell you exactly who it was that made the call.

Pick up a phone based on an online communication and skyrocket participation and exposure.

4) Shiny object syndrome

Marketing online is great, but when you are doing something new every week, are on every new webinar, and are looking for the magic bullet to explosive viral growth you are wasting an immense amount of time.

Which leads into the next ROI killer.

5) Lack of strategy

Creating a profile on all the social networks, and setting up a website is not a strategy. Making random posts about what you do or about your company of your Facebook page is not a strategy. Telling people about your business in everyone of your post responses is not a strategy. Posting a pitch of your company on other people sites or fan pages is NOT a strategy.

You may laugh, and say “Joe, duh! Why would I do that stuff?” Well the fact is it happens all the time, and for some reason people think it works.

A strategy is exactly that, a strategy. It is a formulated plan of attack. It defines objectives, goals, timelines, milestones, checklists, and a success tracking plan.

6) Tracking

Strategy is great and necessary, but when you don’t ever take the time to look at what is and isn’t working the wheels never stop spinning and they may be taking you down a path of failure faster than you can imagine.

Identify how many people come to your site (daily, weekly, monthly), where are they coming from, how long are they there, what are they clicking on, what percentage of people are subscribing and/or buying, how many are opening your emails, are they clicking on links, what is your sites rank and bounce rate?

All of these things can pretty much be achieved with Google analytics and a CRM like iContact, Constant Contact, or Aweber.

7) Thinking you can do it on your own

There is nobody out there creating massive success online completely by themselves. Just like in any business everyone has a few things they like to do and a few things they are really good at. It is important to know what your strengths and weaknesses are and leverage them.

Outsource, collaborate, barter, do whatever you have to do get away from the stuff you know other people are much better at than you are. You may be great at implementing a strategy, but have no idea how to create something that is going to generate revenue or vice versa.

I love creating strategy, but hate doing the leg work. There are pieces I like, and I can do everything (for the most part) that I need to get done with some exceptions, but I began to pay others to do the bits and pieces I don’t want to be bothered with and life is much easier.

Don’t be another “I tried internet marketing and it didn’t work ,” B.S. story. You can do it, it does require learning new stuff, and the only one who can make that decision is you.

Thanks for stopping by, and please let the audience know if there is some tool you used that you did or didn’t like or even a strategy.

Have a great day!