Social Media is Here to Stay

News flash – social media is not a fad – it is here to stay and it is not just for personal use – businesses are finding many effective ways to use social media. First, we need to appreciate that social media has changed the way we communicate.  You are now in a two way communication with all of your contacts and all of your contacts contacts.  You have an interactive database at your disposal.  WIth all this access we have to remind ourselves that people don’t use social media because they want to be sold something.  People use social media to find useful information, to be entertained, to learn something and to connect with others. Given that we are using a relationship driven tool, we need to treat this communication with the same respect.  This is truly a case where the BNI motto holds true….Givers Gain.  When communicating using social media tools, ask yourself what the other person might need or want, what will be of value to them – do they want to be entertained, do they want to learn something, are they looking for useful information or is it a connection that they are looking for. Here are few guidelines that you might find helpful as you build your social media presence:   Be Human, Add Value, Interact, and Sell Softly As you begin to fill the needs of your audience you will gain their trust and we all know that people do business with people they trust.

Commit to Yourself

A new year is upon us.  We look at the year ahead with fresh eyes, with optimism, and for many of us – we set goals for what we want to accomplish. We have all set goals that we didn’t accomplish; we have all set goals that didn’t really even get off the ground.  Here are a few simple ideas that will move you further towards achieving your goals. Get focused.  Don’t complicate your goal setting by choosing too many goals, focus on a few meaningful goals that you are committed to working towards.  Better to achieve a few strong goals than to make lesser progress on many goals and achieve none. Get specific.  Drive out the details of how you will achieve each of your goals.  Define the steps and the sequence of activities that will be required.  If you visualize the steps required to achieve a goal rather than outcome you will be three times more likely to not get stuck and fall short of your goal. Last but not least… Get started.  Leverage the Zeigarnik effect.  A Russian psychologist discovered that activities that have been started but not completed get lodged in our minds and will only disappear from our active memory once they are completed.  This is a very powerful method to overcome procrastination.  Just getting started could mean the difference between success and failure. YOUR CHALLENGE THIS WEEK:  Write a letter to yourself that you will open one year from now.  In this letter congratulate yourself for your accomplishments, for your successes both personally and professionally.  Place in a sealed envelope that you can open one year from now.

Marketing 101

You don’t have to have a master’s in marketing to understand that there are some fundamentals in marketing that are often overlooked.  As we turn the corner on a new year here are some basics that can bring focus to you in your business.
  • Make the most of every lead – A prospect is someone that knows who you and qualifies as someone who needs your products or services either now or in the foreseeable future.  Put a system in place that puts an iron gate around that prospect until they become a customer. Track the leads, define a process for staying in touch, know where your prospects are in your sales pipeline.
  • Maximize every transaction – If there are less customers buying from you less often, then you need make the most of every one that is ready to do business with you. Are your customers aware of every product that you sell?  Has a client ever said, “I didn’t know you did that?” Do you have a plan to make sure that your customer is educated about everything that they need to complement their purchase? In most cases, a basic checklist can do the trick.
  • Put an iron gate around your customer – It is your job to make sure that your customers remember you! It is your job to stay top of mind! Stay in touch with email, newsletters, reward them for loyalty, have customer appreciation events, give them magic moments, let them know that you miss them and send them offers that give them a reason to be in touch.
  • Protect Your Margins – When times are good, unnecessary expenses creep in. Review your expenses for this year in contrast to last year and make sure that you are not experiencing additional expenses unnecessarily.
  • Go back to school – Growing a business has changed in the last few years. What got you to where you are isn’t likely to carry you to where you want to go. Some of the best strategies to generate leads 5 years ago are no longer effective. Some mediums that didn’t exist 5 years ago are today’s best strategies. To succeed in ‘today’s world’ you need to invest in your education and yourself.
YOUR CHALLENGE: Push yourself to get back on track and focus on the fundamentals of marketing in your business.