#TeamBuilding – Invite Your Village



Our business coach, Sabina Claus asks, “How do you eat an elephant? It’s not one bite at a time. You invite the village and have a feast.”
How does this relate to your small business? Often running a company can be overwhelming. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes. It would be nice, as the owner, to be able to focus all your energy on the things you are good at – after all, that is why you started your own business to begin with. However, you need to market, balance your books, maintain your online presence, network, and various other tasks that you may or may not be talented at or have the time to accomplish.
Being an entrepreneur or small business owner does not mean you need to take on the roll of doing everything. In fact, many people discover that they are not only more productive, but also more profitable, when they hire out certain segments of their work. If you are not ready to hire on employees and build your team internally, the wonders of modern day technology allow you to access qualified help right from your desktop.
Before you begin looking into online sites such as Craigslist, Fiverr or Upwork to find assistance – consider reaching out to your network first. Your network is your village of clients, power partnersand brand advocates who are eager to see you succeed. Each one of these people has a village of their own. Invite your village in to feast and see if they are able to support you or can recommend someone that would be a perfect fit for the role you need to fill.
What types of team members could you invite into your business? Here are just a few ideas of tasks you can outsource in order to free up your time. Bring them on board as independent contractors and pay per project instead of hiring on an employee.
  •        Virtual Assistant
  •        Bookkeeper
  •        Web Designer
  •        IT Specialist
  •        Social Media Manager
  •        Graphic Designer
  •        SEO Expert

Your village is an essential resource and not only for finding contracted support. Your village is the people who support you, have your back, and are invested in your own success. Be good to them and they will be good to you.

Find out more about investing in Your Village by following our business coach, Sabina Claus. Sabina helps small businesses focus on their goals, dreams, time and getting back to enjoying the company they created. She gives business owners systems so that they are running their business instead of the other way around. Find out more at www.sabinaclaus.comor my joining her Meetup Group – Your Village.



~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind
 ~ 

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Hollie Clere, of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them. 

Click here for her 
Social Media Workshops, Classes and Seminars.

#GiftYourBusiness – The Gift of Team

As we cover different ways in which you can gift your business this holiday season, we need to focus on adding team. For many small business owners, it can feel overwhelming tackling all the different aspects of owning a business. There is a lot that goes into what you do that is most likely outside of your passionor your calling. Or there is a stack of work that keeps piling up but you haven’t been able to figure out how to find more time in order to tackle all of it. If either of those cases sound like you, it’s time to find help.
What Type of Help Do You Need?
When it comes to finding help there are a variety of different methods available to business owners. You could go find and hire an employee. You could hire a company or vendor and outsource the work. There is also the possibility of hiring an independent contractor on a project or task basis. What are the differences?
Employee
An employee is someone that works for you and you are in charge of the work, the output, the hours and other aspects of the role. As a company, you will need to provide equipment, space, payroll and a set number of hours. An employee will represent your company and all work will be completely under your control. This can be an expensive choice for small businesses in the beginning due to the overhead costs of hiring your own team member.
Vendor
There are plenty of reputable companies available that specialize in the type of work you need help with. Contracting with a company for a project or service is as simple as finding a landscaper or plumber for your personal residence. You’d contact them, interview them, discuss costs and payment and set up an arrangement. The project, staff and delivery method would be discussed up front but that is where your control of the work ends. However, you would be able to terminate the service at any time without fearing legal repercussions.
Independent Contractor
An independent contractor is a blend of the two options. They can be tasked like an employee but provide their own equipment and set their own hours. You would pay them like a vendor and would not need to be concerned with payroll or benefits. They have control over how they accomplish the task given, but you can work closely with them to establish a better working relationship than you would be able to with a company or service provider.
Using Social Media to Find Team
There are a lot of traditional ways to find and recruit team members. However, since my realm is social media I’d like to focus on using social to find help. The first step in transitioning connections into team is to make sure you have built a brand, company culture, with your own social media.  The impact of attempting to recruit using social is that interested team members will go to your social media first to determine whether or not to work with you.  By focusing on your social media you are building a funnel of connections automatically – so, attracting the right type of connections will be so much more effective. This is a way to encourage the right person to want to sign up for what you do even before you start posting for help.
Ask Your Network
The first thing to do when seeking help using your social channels is to simply post asking for referrals. In your vast network of followers and fans, someone will probably know a person that is able and willing to do the work you need help with. Be sure to bring it up at networking events and ask for suggestions in that network as well. For Twitter, plan to post at least once per day that you are looking for assistance. On Facebook, plan a post per week until you find what you are seeking.
LinkedIn
When thinking about recruiting, people often think of the local classifieds, staffing agencies and top recruiting websites. However, LinkedIn is not only the social media platform for businesses and professionals but it also has a fantastic built in recruiting area. While you could pay money to post a job ad, try just posting an update asking for help first. Your LinkedIn network will see your update and might know a great place for you to look!
Use Groups
Facebook and LinkedIn both have group functions that can connect you with a like-minded group of individuals. It’s a great spot to ask for help or simply to ask for ideas on where to find help. Utilize the expertise and knowledge of the people in these groups to find the team members you need to be successful in the new year.

Finding team members via your network or social media is not a complicated process and doesn’t take up a lot of time. However, locating a valuable individual to help unload your plate so you can focus on being more strategic is a great way to start off the new year on the right foot. I want you to #BeAwesome in all that you do and that is why spending time this month to #GiftYourBusiness will help you become more successful.
~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere, of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn,FacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+ , YouTube,Pinterest, Instagram  and the tools to manage them. 

Click here for her 
Social Media Workshops, Classes and Seminars.

#GiftYourBusiness – The Gift of Clients

This week we are going to talk about another way you can #GiftYourBusiness for the holidays. This is, traditionally, a pretty slow time of year for a lot of businesses. Retail aside, many consumers are more focused on the hustle and bustle of the holiday season than they are about anything else. Here are some tips to help you keep filling that funnel anyway. Give your company the gift of new clients!
Find Your Audience
When you just begin to generally market your business, you are hitting a lot of people that simply are not the right audience for you. That’s just a waste of time, money and effort. In order to maximize the potential of generating quality leads and winning new work, you have to spend time narrowing down your focus.
With online marketing, the goal is to figure out who your target audience is and where they are most likely to spend their time. There are a lot of social media platforms and online communities out there. However, just because one of them is a big name doesn’t mean they are going to be a hot ticket venue for what you do.  The key is to understand what each site excels at and then determine if that is a good fit for your business. Don’t dilute your efforts by trying to be everything to everyone. You’ll just get overwhelmed and that’s not productive.
Become Your Client
Take some time to really consider your ideal lead. What do they search for online? What hashtags would they use on Twitter? What groups would they join on Facebook or LinkedIn? What influencers would they follow? What type of events would they sign up for?
These questions will help lead you to places where people are already in the right frame of mind to listen to what you have to offer.  It will also give you a much better insight on the keywords that will work best so you can incorporate SEO into everything you do online.
Now Engage
Once you now where to find your prospects it’s time to start engaging. However, don’t just go in there guns blazing. Promoting yourself too heavily or coming off too strong is the best way to push leads away. Start small. Start liking posts, sharing, or re-tweeting. Leave a comment on something they’ve posted to start a conversation. Team up with some influencers and collaborate. This will establish your expertise in the field and give you more credibility.  Do some prospecting and make some connections.
Then, once you’ve dipped your toes in the water, start sending a few messages. Don’t overdo it. If you work this process well, interested potential clients will reach out to you.  This is not only more effective, it saves you time.
Track Your Progress
There are plenty of different tools available to track your effectiveness. Most of them are free. Use them. Just because your gut says Facebook is the place to be doesn’t mean that the numbers will agree. This will allow you to continually fine tune and adjust your plan. There is no point wasting effort on a site that just isn’t producing results.
Follow Up
Often, this is where many businesses drop the ball. Yes, it is time consuming to input all of these leads into your CRM database. Developing a landing page or an email newsletter list involves investing up front. However, all of the progress you’ve made to this point is a complete waste if there isn’t adequate follow through. If you don’t have time to make it happen, hire someone who does.
Yes, it seems like a lot of work. However, if you are doing the preparation on your own it could not cost you a thing. Unlike traditional methods of marketing and advertising, there is no budget required. Just time. And if you effectively utilize some of the time management techniques from our last blog post, you could free up the time to really go out there and sign up new work! 
It can be easy to get buried in the day-to-day tasks and projects of running your business. Take some time this month to really think about how you can best #GiftYourBusiness and make next year the best one yet! And remember to #BeAwesome.
~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere, of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn,FacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+ , YouTube,Pinterest, Instagram  and the tools to manage them. 

Click here for her 
Social Media Workshops, Classes and Seminars.

Forget Me Not – Reconnecting with People Online

The next chapter of our #KeystoKindness series this month covers reconnecting with people online. This is especially true for past clients, colleagues, co-workers, and networks that you might not have thought of in awhile. While social media is all about connecting, having conversations and engagement online, the focus tends to be on making new relationships instead of strengthening those you already have.
The main benefit of reconnection is building on a foundationthat is already established. They already know, and most likely trust, you and what you do. We all get busy and get lost in our own tunnel vision. Taking a moment to remind them that you are around and are thinking of them is a great way to reopen communication channels. From there, both parties are welcome to collaborate, brainstorm or share information.
How to Approach Reconnecting
It may feel awkward to say hello to someone you haven’t thought of in awhile. It doesn’t have to elaborate, opening with something simple works just fine. Try one of these:
“Hey there! I was just thinking of you and wondering how your business was doing?”
“Hello! I’m working on this new project and thought it would be great to get your input on it. I’ve always valued your opinion.”
“I saw this article online and it looked right up your alley. Figured I would share and see how you are doing?”
Where to Reconnect
Sure, you can just shoot people an email or a text to reconnect. There’s nothing wrong with that approach at all. However, consider using your social media platforms instead. For one, everyone is looking for more authentic engagement on his or her online platforms. Besides, a side benefit could be that other people view or even participate in the conversation.
Facebook
Share a link to a website, blog, or article that might be interesting to the person. Like some of their posts. Comment on their shares. Make sure to leave a personal note. Ask them a question to encourage them to respond.  
LinkedIn
The good thing is this site is built for connecting. Go through your connections and send people a message. Leave a recommendation or endorsements. Often they will be grateful for the time you spent and message you expressing gratitude. Perhaps they will even reciprocate on your profile. Spend some time looking at the prompts the website offers for reconnecting – congratulation people on their new jobs, promotions or work anniversaries.
Twitter
Twitter has perfected the art of the short conversation. If you use Twitter, get on there and start retweeting, favoriting, and mentioning people you haven’t spoken to in a while. Find creative ways to spark their interest and build your own engaging conversations.
There are other ways to reconnect as well. Know any bloggers? Go read their latest blog post and post a comment. Engage and interact with people you know on forums, community groups, and websites. Pull up a list of people you network with and send them something valuable or interesting.
Challenge yourself to take some time this week to drop a line with some people you haven’t talked to for a bit. It establishes more presence for you online and you never know what kind of benefits might come from engaging others. Keep expressing gratitude, counting your blessings, and sharing kindness.

This is just one of the ways to #BeAwesome this November. Keep an eye out for more of our #KeystoKindness later this month.

~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 


http://thesocialmediaadvisor.com/


Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere, of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn,FacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+ , YouTube,Pinterest, Instagram  and the tools to manage them. 

Click here for her Social Media Workshops, Classes and Seminars.


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