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How Clear Are You About Who You Serve with Your Business?

Surprisingly, the number one mistake startup entrepreneurs make is not clearly defining who they serve. 

What’s the big deal? You might think.

Your marketing message is critical to the success of your business online. If your message is too vague or broad there’s little chance of it standing out in a crowd.

That’s where the power of specificity propels you to the front of the line for your ideal customers.

Maybe, you’re thinking…

But my product helps everyone. That’s great. To grab attention online, you must be specific.

I’m new and don’t know who I serve yet. To you, I say pick someone you would enjoy working with.

I have multiple types of people who could be my audience. Again, I say pick the one where you can provide the biggest value and reap the quickest income return.

If I pick one, won’t I be casting smaller net? Yes, and you’ll be doing it on purpose, too.

Why is targeting a smaller segment of people better?

Your marketing message needs to do two things: Attract the right people and repel the wrong people.

For it to do that, you must be specific. Some people will resonate with it and others with be repelled by it. That’s a good thing, trust me!

Which do you think is easier?

Selling 1,000 people on a $100 product. Or Selling 10 people on $10,000 product.

It’s actually much harder to sell more people for a lower priced product than it is fewer people at higher price points.

People who are attracted to a lower price point have a different mindset than those who gravitate to the higher price points.

Being specific about who you serve is kind of like setting yourself up to sell to the few people who will pay higher prices.

It’s ok to repel the wrong people because you only want to build your email list with people who want to be there.

The fact is the people that will follow you want to be on your email list. You teach, train, or coach in a way that really has an impact with them. And they will buy up whatever you put before them.   These people are there for a reason. They like your message. They trust you have the answers to their problems. They are willing to the take the next step with you, no matter the price tag.

That’s why getting really clear on who you serve is so powerful.

If you skip this crucial step in developing your marketing ecosystem, all your results will be disappointing to be sure.

How Clear Am I Talking About?

Crystal clear. 

Your Ideal Customer Profile is a representation of your ideal customer. It isn’t a real person exactly. But it is so detailed in the definition, it could be.

Let’s test your knowledge of being clear.  Which of the two audience examples below is more specific?

Audience 1 People between age of 25 – 35 years old Stuck in a dead in, minimum wage job Income $30,000 – $50,000 Looking for quick win.

Audience 2 Women age 47 Recently laid off from corporate job Earns $150,000 annual income via own consulting business. Works to improve her lifestyle with more control over her time and finances. She is well resourced. Invests in herself and her business. Not afraid to learn what she doesn’t know yet. Willing to ask for help. She does the inner work necessary to keep her mindset a positive asset. Hires experts to fill in for her own weaknesses.

Now, which of these two is more specific?

If you choose Audience 2, you are correct.

While this is not an exhaustive description of Audience 2, you can tell there is more substance there.

The deeper you go in building your ideal customer profile, the better your messaging will be.

Ready to Create Your Ideal Customer Profile?

Watch this mini-lesson below.

Download the worksheet that goes with the video here.

How to Market Your Business Online

A simplified view of marketing online for beginners

Let’s begin with some explanation of each hexagon in the graphic above.

Your Home Base – Your Website

First, you need a website to become your home base. This is wholly owned by you. The one asset you have complete control over. This is your online property. Think of it as your house on line. You want to welcome as many people to your house (aka website) as possible. More specifically, you want a certain ideal type of person to come to your house. That is your ideal target customer.

Your Ideal Audience

Defining your ideal customer is your next step. Without a clear picture of who you serve and how you help them, all your marketing efforts will fail to connect with them. So, get ultra-clear on your Ideal Customer Avatar (ICA).

Also related to your ICA is your customer’s journey. You need to map out their buying journey and understand what they need at every step of the journey to become a paid customer. This will influence what content you create.

Your Content Strategy

The content you create must be specific to what your customers need at the whatever stage they happen to be in on their buying journey. It must speak to the audience in a way that makes them feel heard and understood, as this will build trust. Your content should provide inform, influence, and entertain, if possible.

Your Offers

What offers can you make to your audience? An offer is like serving your audience tasty morsels that cause them to want more. What small problems can you solve for your audience before they buy something from you? What valuable items can you curve out of your product or service to offer in exchange for an email address?

Your Visibility

Where does your ideal audience hang out online? Are they on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, SnapChat, ManyChat, etc? Wherever they are, you should be too. When you are starting out, its wise to pick one platform to focus on. Only after you’ve got that one down, do you attempt to add another platform.  These social platforms are like gatherings or venues on the internet.

Your Campaigns

Using campaigns to build your email list is the best way to secure and grow your business going forward. No matter how large a following on a social platform, your true success comes from moving those followers to your email list. Campaigns are one such way to do that.

Your Traffic

If your website is like your home on the internet, then traffic is like the roads or highways that bring people to your house. There are two types of traffic: organic or free and paid. There are many ways to gain organic traffic without spending a lot of money. It usually takes a little longer, but saves you some money in the early days. While paid ads, when done properly can increase your traffic exponentially overnight.

What Do You Start with First?

The #1 priority you need to focus on is building your email list. This can be done with or without a website. 

What do I mean without a website?

You can create an opt-in page to entice someone to provide their email address in exchange for a valuable piece of content.  This requires only a single page, which doesn’t have to be part of a larger website.

The #2 priority is creating your content, for without content you have nothing to entice people to join your email list.

However, the caveat is you can’t create content without know who you’re creating it for. So, you also need to define your Ideal Customer here.

The #3 priority is your website. Everyone searches the internet to research prior to making a purchase decision, so having a website is essential.

If you don’t have a website, you won’t show up in the search results and you’ll be essentially INVISIBLE to your audience.

The #4 priority are your offers. You need strategic thinking around what you decide to offer for free versus paid. It’s best to look at the big picture before throwing offers out there. Make sure the offer makes sense in the larger plan.

Keep in mind you are building out an entire marketing ecosystem here.  It takes time to put all these pieces together, so give yourself some grace.  Just focus on one area at a time. As you implement and hone one area, you move to the next.

I highly recommend you don’t attack everything at once, unless you want to have a nervous breakdown or you have a very talented team who can help you.

Remember it’s a process. You’ll be learning along the way and that’s okay.

Your Next Step is…

  • Define Your Ideal Customer. You can watch a training I did in another program that discusses how to get started building your ideal customer avatar here:

You can download the worksheet here.

  • Create Your Freebie Offer. To help you do just that, schedule a complimentary 90-minute Consultation, where you and I will discuss your business, products or services and brainstorm valuable content ideas for your freebie offer. Book your session now.
  • Setup Your Email Provider. There are many email providers out there.  I recommend ConvertKit because they offer a free account up to 1,000 email subscribers and pay as you go unlimited emails after that.  Also, you can create forms, landing pages, and emails all in the same tool. Sweet!

To gain an overall view of marketing online, you might like this a quick read called The Woman Entrepreneur: A Definitive Guide for Marketing to Create the Wealth You’re Worth.

How to Stay Visible to Your Audience While Social Distancing

Online marketing is the BEST way to stay visible to your potential customers right now.  But if you don’t have a strategy and you’re just flinging social posts out once in a while, chances are you won’t attract who is right for your business.

Or worse you’ll just be ignored.

That’s where strategy comes into play.

If you haven’t taken the time to build out your marketing strategy, now is a great time to do that. Define who you are, who you serve, how you help those you serve, and what impact you want to make with your business. Describe the logical metrics of this plan as well.

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure” says Peter Drucker.

You’ll want to consider overall marketing strategy and then individually your content marketing strategy, social medial strategy, email marketing strategy, and your website’s strategy.  

Remember, your strategy is your like your guiding principles. With this in place first, every tactic you choose to use will help you reach your desired results because you have defined it!

If you need help with your strategies, let’s talk. I’d be glad to assist you in the strategic planning process.

Now, if you have these strategies well defined already – great, you’ll be ready to reach out to your potential customers.

Tactics come next

There many ways to stay top of mind with your customers and potential customers during this crazy covid-19 time.

  • Reach out to people (call, email, text, mail, social media, direct messages, etc.)
  • Use video – people connect with people, even through video!
  • Serve – what can I do for you right now? (no selling, just be helpful)
  • Educate – offer valuable content that helps your audience solve problems

Use Social Media to stay in touch. There are few things to consider.

  1. Due to the algorithms of each social media platform, you can’t just post the same thing on every platform. They each have their own guidelines. Image size requirements and specific things they don’t want to see, like links to take people off their platforms.
  • If you use video, for example, both Facebook and LinkedIn recommend you post natively in their platform. That means, you use their in-app video option for creating the video. Why? Because they want people to stay in their app. If you post a YouTube video for example, they are less likely to want to show that video to more people because it points people away from their platform to YouTube to watch it.
  • LinkedIn is similar to how Facebook was 5 years ago. They are still learning and growing. That means an opportunity for you. When they finally release Live video, you’ll have the opportunity gain new territory being among the first users of Live on the LinkedIn platform. You must apply to gain access, as it’s still in beta.  
  • Using popular hashtags in your posts can help extend your reach. You should search for trending hashtags and use any that are relevant to your industry or topic so you can extend your audience to those who follow that hashtag.
  • Realize one post a day will probably not be seen by that many people. Increase your chances of being seen by repurposing your posts and publishing many more times a day. Exactly how many I can’t tell you, but if you increased from 1 to 5, you might see an uptick in viewers. If you increased from 5 to 10 posts you should definitely see an increase.
  • Another way to increase visibility to your posts, is to get people to like, comment, and share within the first hour your post is published.  How do you do that? Ask your network to help you out. Tell them you’re testing something and would greatly appreciate their help. Let them know you’ll share the findings of your test results. 

To gain more visibility you must have the basic foundation in place.

A website, lots of content to share, an email list, and an offer. But just having those things won’t make you a success.

You must do something with them!

  • Is your website speaking to your audience? Consider a content assessment to see what can be improved to strengthen your message right now.
  • Have an email marketing tool + a lot of content? Use email marketing to connect with your audience and lead them to your content.
  • Don’t have a lot a content? Start creating blog posts that offer value to your audience.
  • Don’t have an email list?  Build one using a freebie offer and landing page.
  • Want to create another source of income?  Consider creating courses to sell your knowledge to those you want to learn from you.

If you need help with any of these, let’s talk. I can certainly help you.

5 Things Business Owners Should Be Doing During the Coronavirus Shutdown

Strategic Activities Rule!

While the government may have shutdown a lot of businesses, there are still ways to keep your business alive and kicking.  If your business has slowed down, it’s a good to invest the time back into your own business.  Here’s a few activities worth mentioning that can help put your business on track to not just survive, but thrive through all this!

ONE | Now is the perfect time for a strategic marketing review

  • Reassess your marketing messages. Use the extra time to analyze your message in light of the current situation. The last thing you want to do, is continue your same marketing message and sound “tone deaf” to your audience.
  • Review your social media content. Is there anything mentioned that might sound out of place right now? If so, fix it before its published.
  • Review your website content. Is your main message still appropriate right now? How might you update it to better catch the attention of your audience? How might your call to actions be improved? What advice can you offer to help your customers right now?
  • Review your content strategy.Assess your buyer’s journey. Reassess their emotional state. Are there any content pieces that need to be updated? Are there any new content ideas you need to add in light of the current situation?
  • Review your email strategy. Review your autoresponder email sequences and update as appropriate for today’s environment. This is critical if you have autoresponders that you haven’t reviewed in several months.
Stay Connected

TWO | Reach out to your past and current customers.

This is not a time to shrink back, isolate, or stop any business development efforts. Quite the contrary, you should be focus on reaching out even more!  There are several ways to do this.  Keep in mind you’re not in selling mode. You don’t want to sell anything. Take this time to reach out, make a connection, and see how you can help.

  • By phone. People who are not used to working from home or have been laid off recently, will appreciate a friend call.
  • By email. Write a friendly email letting your past and current customers know you’re thinking of them. Ask if there’s anything you can do to help them.
  • By direct mail. Plan a direct mail package. Write a letter, include a helpful promotional or branded item, such as an eye glass clothe, computer screen cleaning clothe, letter opener or a
Check In

THREE | Reach out to your referral partners.

Before you reach out, do a little planning. List out all your products and services and identify which one would best serve your referral partner or their audience. Then when you speak to them you can mention you are offering a finder’s fee for any referrals needing your XYZ service.  This is a great way to stay in touch and plant seeds for the future business. You never know who your referral partners might know that need your product/service.

Brainstorm with others

FOUR | Review your product offerings.

Now is a good time to look at your products and services.  Are there any other products you could create that would help address the new problems people are facing right now?  Are there any skills or knowledge you have that could be turned into an instructional product you could offer at as a low-ticket item? Are there people wanting to learn something from you that would benefit from a group coaching or mastermind program?

Reallocate

FIVE | Reallocate your budget.

Look at your budget. Perhaps there are things you are no longer spending money on, such as live events, specific advertising at live events, travel, hotel, car rental, etc. How might you reallocate those dollars to make better use of them right now? Could you shift your travel budget into digital marketing, online ads, and content creation efforts? How might that grow your business while you’re stuck at home?

Elizabeth Marks

You’ve just discovered five strategic activities you could be working on to strengthen your business during a difficult period. Which one will you work on first?

Call or email me when you want help with any of these activities.

6 Things I learned at #smmw20 for Using Social Media for Your Business

On a recent trip to San Diego, California for the 8th annual Social Media Marketing World conference, I learned several tips for improving how to use social media for your business.

It’s About Community

Brian Fanzo, a digital strategist, says “the future of business is community.”  It’s really about storytelling to begin a following of people who are interested in what you say. Then you build a community of like-minded people by…

  • Be a passionate person
  • Inspire others through a shared purpose
  • Motivate people to create and collaborate
  • Leverage individual’s passion.

Things to consider measuring

Stop looking at your engagement stats and start looking at true connections. Who’s repeatedly viewing your content? Who’s sharing about your brand message? What offline interactions have you had? How many multiple connections/touches from the same person have you had?

Creating Connection

Pat Flynn, Podcaster shared ways to get people to connect with you. He shared how to he built connection into his book, Will It Fly, to get readers to engage on a deeply level.  It’s the same in social media. Every interaction on social media should be enhancing or encouraging the person to take the next step of deeper access to you.

Encouraging Collaboration

Marcus Sheridan, a pool making business owner, was a keynote speaker. He shared the power of story telling and engaging with your audience to bring them into the storytelling process by asking questions. His method is this:

  • Ask a question to get audience engaged in a dialog with you.
  • Tell a story to help the audience imagine themselves in the story.
  • The results – this is the payoff you get by listening.
  • The Challenge – this is the action you want them to take next.

Building Your Brand

Jasmine Star, photographer, strategist, and owner of Social Curator agency shared how to build a brand that thrives on Instagram. She told everyone that a brand is an experience. So, in what ways can you create experiences for your audience?  Read the entire session recap here.

Using the Right Words

Mike Kim, of CopyProof, talked about how to write persuasive copy in a voice that’s unmistakably yours. He shared his ideas on the 3 identities of a brand (Verbal, Visual, Value). “Marketing isn’t about closing the sale, but about opening a relationship.” If you’re still developing your brand consider these three questions:

  • What pisses you off? This stirs passion within you.
  • What breaks your heart? This is how compassion grows.
  • What is the BIG problem you solve? This is your business.

When you incorporate all three into your brand messaging you become unmistakably unique. You share this brand through the visuals and words you use.  You can read the recap I wrote for Mike’s session here.

Using Video to Reach Your Goals

Goldie Chan, the “Oprah of LinkedIn” and top LinkedIn Voice for Social Media, shared how to build an unstoppable brand with LinkedIn video. “Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video” (Insivia).  “LinkedIn video gets 3x engagement compared to text posts” (Foundation, Inc). Get clear about the four objectives for using video on any social platform. 

  • Brand awareness
  • Amplify a product launch
  • Thought leadership
  • Targeted series

Once you identify your top objective, create content focused on that topic to drive engagement and interaction with your audience.  The recap of Goldie’s session can be found here.

Go create better, deeper, collaborative relationships with your audience on social media. There is no better time to get started.

How to Leverage LinkedIn Video to Grow Your Brand – Recap

Learn from Goldie Chan, LinkedIn Top Voice for Social Media (Video) and the “Oprah of LinkedIn.” Goldie goes over the best ways to define, attract and deliver to your perfect audience and customer/client base. Discover both organic video and LinkedIn live-streaming tactics that get you to the top of the feed and dominating your industry vertical.

Do you have a LinkedIn Account? If so, that means you can do LinkedIn Video.

Know what you want to do with video before you jump in and start doing video on LinkedIn.

She’s been in all the beta groups of LinkedIn. She has 7 million views, 750+ daily videos and written content. 60K people are following her on LinkedIn.

She loves to tell stories.

Goldie Chan is the youngest women of color in the Producer’s Guild.

Because she is a teacher, she told the audience there will be homework at the end.

Of 610+ Million members, only 3Million members are creating content. There’s some much land grab that can be done.

That means LinkedIn doesn’t have a barrier to entry.

Why we love video

The number is going even higher due to short form content on TikTok.

Whatever content you’re creating, consider video because it sticks with the users better.

She shared her first “hater” video.

LinkedIn is not Facebook. Of course! It’s a different ecosystem. Most people go on LinkedIn to look for jobs or clients.

LinkedIn beta on video was just 3 years ago.  But consider YouTube that’s been around a lot longer.

The rules have not been set yet.

This graph is completely made up. The beginning is real. The rest is a bunch of guesses. Still very few active creators. Those who post more than once a week.

The competition is not very big.

LinkedIn Live is in beta format. You have to apply.  Everyone can join if you apply. Keep applying. They are looking that your persistent.

Out of 610 Million people, less than 1,000 are live streaming and short form content are the future.

Respond to other people’s comments always.

Having a singular focus with one subject on your live stream. 5 minutes to 4 hours (max) should be focused on one subject.  10 to 15 minutes to start. Once you have an audience, 25 to 35 minutes is the sweet spot.

You can livestream on multiple platforms is amazing. Yes, you have to use 3rd party app for that.

Brand Awareness for B2B companies

If no one is listening to you, you don’t have a brand.

What’s your audience like? Where do they hang out online? What do they read? What are they interested in?

Engaging with the audience. Having a targeted market. Not selling to 12 years, but C-Level audience with a large budget.

Is your target audience on LinkedIn? If not, go to another session.

Amplify Product Launch

The best thing for B2C is NOT brand awareness.  Should focus on a launch for a specific subset of your targeted audience.

Brand awareness will not be effective over time for B2C.

Hashtags are being used now.  You don’t know how many people are seeing the hashtag. Better metrics are views and comments.

Thought Leadership

Show credibility. You are someone who is known for being the top provider in your industry.

You want to be known as the best for your specific area in marketing. Show you’re an incredible people and have incredible amount of knowledge.

She shared her tactics on building a personal brand because this is her area of expertise.

Each video showed she knew what she was talking about.

Fun content won’t help you get a job or client. Show yourself smart in your field.

Targeted series

Very focused series of content.  Daily Goldie was a daily show for 2 solid years. Understand where your focus is. This is where you can own two hashtags on LinkedIn.  One hashtag is made up #yournamespeaks. The other one is real that every one else is using #personalbranding.

Type in an example in the search bar to see if anyone is searching for it.

Huge spike in people wanting to learn about NASA.

5 Best Tips

Know your audience. Become the best in your space. It’s more helpful. Become the best person for your demographic. Know who you want to speak to before you open your mouth.

Consistency is the key. Use themed dates and regular posting. Hang in there even when it’s no longer fun.  Make daily videos.  She did it for 2 years.

Pick a day of the week and own it. Create content once a week to start.  Make 4 pieces of content each month.

LinkedIn is not Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. Use appropriate captions.

When you create content use common sense. Every post is tied to you. This could impare your job or career moves if not done well.

Don’t ignore other platforms. Don’t shoot videos for YouTube and drop them in LinkedIn.  You need to create content tailored to the platform.

Link to your LinkedIn videos on other platforms.

Link your videos to your product pages by put the link in the comments.

Is there an optimal style to use on LinkedIn?  NO!

Make it work for mobile devices.

Be attractive framing. Don’t use extreme closeups.

LinkedIn Stories – it’s like Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook stories.

It’s short form vertical content. They have been trying this out for targeted audiences, such as Real Estate Agents in the Dallas area.

Homework

Halloween of 2018, Peter dressed up as Goldie Chan and thanked her and all video creators.

Create 1 video, write an optimized caption, upload video on mobile or desktop to personal page or brand page, and tag Goldie Chan.

LinkedIn Learning Goldie teaches many courses.

https://www.LinkedIn.com/Learning/instructors/Goldie-Chan

Be empowered to create a LinkedIn Video today!

Lead Generation B2B: Necessary or Not?

There are many forms of Lead Generation for B2B. Organic search, paid search, advertising, blogging, social medial, content marketing, email marketing, direct mail, cold calling, appointment setters, database marketing…should I go on?

No matter what method of lead generation you choose for your B2B business the fact remains…Content is a critical component.

The goal with any tactic is to build your internal list of email addresses by getting as many names as possible on your mailing list.  But it’s not as easy as collecting a bunch of business cards, entering them into your “system” and sending emails. Not with the GDPR law now in effect.

This new law makes it more difficult to marketing to your mailing list. You need to ensure the people on your mailing list, actually requested information from you. Gone are the days when you got a someone’s business card and added them to your list. That’s a big No-No.

The best way to ensure you’re compliant with GDPR is to gather names and emails by offering something of value that people want.  This is done by offering potential prospects valuable content, special reports, discount offers or free trials in exchange for their email address. This allows you to send the information they requested.

But just because you have an email address doesn’t mean all of those names are really true prospects.

For example, say you offer a free widget to those who opt in. They are on your list just because of the free widget and have no real interest in what you can do for them.

However, if potential prospects click to opt in for a special report or another offer, then they may have an interest in the topic of the report they opted in for.

 Lead Generation Sales Funnel

Lead Nurturing

That’s where lead nurturing comes in. Lead Nurturing is different from lead generation because you want to identify the true prospects from just those that signed up for whatever free thing you offered.

Staying in contact with the potential prospects over a period of time by providing valuable content, newsworthy updates, or other special offers through email is a great way to determine whether they have further interest in what you offer.

If they continue to respond to various offers you send, there’s a good chance they might turn into paying customers.  The goal in lead nurturing is to get your prospect to take action.

This where email marketing shines through. With a well thought out plan, you can guide your prospects through a series of emails that will “convert” them into a paying customer via the call-to-action within the emails.

 Call-to-Action

That action could be as simple as asking them to visit your website for more details about your company. Or asking them to sign up for a free trial. There are many possibilities.

The diagram below shows some of the possibilities. At the top of the sales funnel, tactics like email, landing pages, newsletter, direct mail, web site, sell sheets, blog and articles are used to collect names for a mailing list. These are primary lead generators.

Lead generation B2B sales funnel activities

Over time different informative or educational offers are used in the email marketing to the mailing list. These materials are classified as lead nurturing type because it is content job to help the prospect solve a problem, satisfy a need, or achieve a goal.

You can see the bottom of the sales funnel is when the prospect becomes a customer by buying your product or service.

 Keep in Contact

Throughout the process, another purpose is to stay in touch with prospects so they begin to know, like, and trust you. When they are ready to buy, they will check out your store or site to buy what you offer. All because you offered them great content and you were looking out for their best interests.

Remember your prospects are looking for a way to solve a problem, satisfy a need, or achieve a goal.

They are on the search for anything to help them with those things.

Email Marketing Customer Cycl

That’s where lead generation B2B comes in to play.

Educational material, webinars, special reports, and other offers can be effective ways to help your prospect reach a place of decision.  All of these are used in a series of emails designed to peak the prospect’s curiosity and cause them to take action.

By providing helpful pieces of content to answer questions, point to solutions, and guide them in their buying decision process, you set yourself up as an expert. This builds your reputation and brand because you seem like someone who knows and cares about what a prospect might be facing.

Save Time

As a result, I can write all the content for you, which can save you time and effort.

In conclusion, allow me to help you plan a marketing campaign. I’ll help you identify a way to measure the success before you start. Let me develop the right lead generation b2b tactics for your business. I’ll write lead nurturing emails causing your prospects to take action. Then, we’ll measure the results so you’ll know for sure you made the right choice.

Finally, let me help you save time and money by hiring me for Lead Generation and Lead Nurturing emails. Find out how to get started by contacting me.


 

How to Get More Referrals

Karim Wahba

Karim Wahba, of Realty One Group and President of Christian Business Partners Irvine, spoke today about how to get more referrals.  Drawing on his years of real estate and networking experience, Karim, shared eight ideas for you to implement in your business to increase your referrals

By a show of hands, Karim asked, how many of us business owners are in sales? We all raised our hands. That’s right every business owner is also a salesperson. We may not want to call ourselves that, but we are.

And how do you get business today? What’s working for you?

  • Events
  • Word of mouth
  • LinkedIn
  • Networking

What activities have you tried that you didn’t like? Cold calling and knocking on doors. Exactly, no one likes to do these activities.

At this point, the audience was ready to hear something that actually worked. Karim did not disappoint.

1. Every business owner needs a CRM. It may not have to be a fancy one. Even something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet with name, phone number, and last date contacted would be better than nothing.

2. Send a physical item of value once a month. Things like a tax tip sheet or an educational piece on how to protect yourself from identification theft work well.  Karim usually mails these tips out the second week of the month because most people get a lot of bills the first week of the month.

3. Email something of value two weeks after the physical mailing. Use the same principle here and share something helpful.

4. Call your contacts at least once a quarter. The purpose of the call is NOT to sell anything. Just use it to touch base with your contact. Ask about how they are doing? How is life? The goal is to reconnect.

5. Send a personal note. Karim uses personal notes in two ways. Anytime he receives a referral from one of his contacts, he will send a handwritten thank you note to them. This is a physical note, so remember that’s sent via regular post office mail. The second way he uses personal notes is to send a special birthday greeting one week before the actual birthday date.  Then he follows up with a phone call on the birth date.

6. Personalize Your Social Media. Karim suggested sharing personal stuff on your social media channels because people connect with people. The more real you are, the higher chance people will want to connect with you. Always posting about your work is boring. So post a few personal topics or photos to show your human side. Of course, you should share work-related stuff. In this case, Karim shares a video on a market update the 1st week of the month. On the 3rd week of the month, he shares a random video that might be offering a tip. Lastly, Karim suggested you tag your friends or colleagues when you post a video.

7. Schedule a “Pop by” twice a year. Karim likes to do this on Mother’s Day and Thanksgiving. Each time he gives a small gift. For example, for Mother’s Day, he buys a $5 gift, to deliver to all the mothers on his contact list. For Thanksgiving, he has a baker friend who creates delicious desserts, so he delivers a yummy treat just before the holiday. This helps his contacts think about him when they are dining together with their families over the holidays.

8. Lastly, host a Client Appreciation Event. The purpose of the event is to say “Thank You” to current and past clients, have fun and help clients meet a lot of new people.  Karim’s last event was at a bowling alley at The District. His clients and their families all attended and got to know each other. They all had a blast.

Remember, the key to getting referrals is in the follow-up.  So you just read about 8 ways to creatively follow up with your contacts. So which are you going to implement in your business?

If you’d like to join us for the next informative speaker, we meet every Tuesday morning at IHOP 18542 MacArthur Blvd in Irvine, California 92618 from 8:15 am to 9:33 am.

Please check out our Facebook Page to see who’s scheduled next.

If you need help coming up with follow up ideas for your business, contact me. I’d be happy to brainstorm with you.

How to Build Your Network in LinkedIn

In today’s digitally connected world, it is critical you know how to reach out to others and build lasting relationships.  LinkedIn is, by far, the best platform for business people to find other business people.

Why should I grow my professional network?

You’ve heard that saying “It’s not what you know but who you know,” right? Well, I offer a small twist on that saying…”It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you that matters.” I’ve certainly found this to true. After all, marketing is about letting people know who you are and how you can help.

As I’ve experienced much success with LinkedIn in my own business, I thought it was about time to share what I’ve learned along the way. I hope you benefit from the 7-step process for growing your professional network.

Step 1: Identify Who You Want to Reach

 

Step 2: Research Profile

  • Click on the person’s picture to go to their profile
    1. Scan their profile looking for any common ground.
      1. Articles shared or liked
      2. Past experience
      3. Education
      4. Skill
      5. People they know
      6. Groups they are in
      7. Volunteer or causes
      8. Accomplishments

2. Find one thing you have in common.

Step 3: Personalize Invite

  • A sample message might look like…
    1. “Hi, Name, as we’re both women in marketing and belong to AMA-OC group, want to connect to grow both our professional networks?”
  • Almost 100% connect rate
  • LinkedIn Help tells you how to personalize your invitation at https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/topics/6096/6097/46662
  • Hint: If using a cellphone, don’t click Connect Button! This will send a generic request. Click the three dots in the upper right corner or the down arrow next to the Connect button to personalize the invite.

Step 4: Follow Up in LinkedIn

  • After they accept your connection request…
  • Send a message like the following:
    1. “Hi, Name, thanks for connecting I’d like to know more about you and your business. Let’s chat <link to calendar>”
    2. Note: Use app like https://calendly.com or https://acuityscheduling.com/
  • 5% – 10% meeting rate

Step 5: Share Content Relevant to Your Audience

  • Someone else’s connect
  • Meeting recap
  • Helpful tips
  • Anyone connected to you will see post in their news feed.
  • This helps keep you top of mind in your prospect.

Step 6: Follow Up after 1 on 1 call with an Email

  • Recap your conversation
  • Ask them to connect on social media with you
  • Send one or two days after you meet

Step 7: One week later, send a thank you email

  • Thank them again for the initial call
  • Remind them what you do and who you help
  • Ask for a face to face meeting <link to calendar>

If you’d like a professional review of your LinkedIn Profile with suggestions on how to improve, contact me at https://calendly.com/elizabeth-marks/quick-15-minute-call .

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