Tag: Networking

#RelationshipsMatter – Write a Letter to a Friend

In our digital age so many people rely on text messages, social media updates and instant messaging to stay in touch with their friends and family. We are becoming more and more distant from our friends without even realizing it; relying on these quick electronic updates to feel connected. However, getting out a pen and paper helps you to connect in a much more personal way and can make people feel more appreciated. Here are a few reasons as to why:

Letters make us feel special – When you open up the mailbox and see a hand-written letter, straight away you are curious, exhilarated and happy that someone has taken the additional time to write you a letter. Many people keep hand written letters received in a binder or special box to look back on – although you can save an email it just doesn’t feel the same.
You don’t know need to write much to make a difference – If you have just met someone, why not send a postcard with a little note to say ‘Hi, was lovely to meet you today :)’. It can make them smile and help your friendship bloom.
You can focus on that individual – Writing a letter allows you to focus on that individual rather than make a generic message out to everyone, it forces you to think about the person and your friendship with them. It gives the reader the feeling that you are having a conversation directly with them and although slow – as the name snail mail suggestions –  the connection is consistent and continues to stay personal.
No pressure to respond instantly – all our lives are different and when we receive text messages or instant messages we feel it necessary to reply straight away, if we can’t we feel guilty for ignoring them. However, a letter allows us to take our time replying and make the content more valuable than a quickly typed text message. 

Not just for personal but for business too – Business is so fast paced that the last thing we think about is writing a letter, due to the time it takes. Instead of writing a newsletter, handwrite it as a letter instead sending it to those special customers who deserve a little more of a personal touch. Handwritten letters to business associates and consumers can allow you to let your creativity to show – especially if you are a designer. Additionally, there is less risk of it getting lost amongst other emails and more chance of people taking the time to read them – who isn’t interested in seeing what a hand-written letter has to say.

Relationships matter and the more effort that goes in to cultivating those relationships, the stronger and more valuable they will be. Letters are the simplest forms to foster those friendships, so take a step back in time and start re-connecting with your friends.
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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+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

#BrandConsistency – Branding is About Who Knows You, Not Who You Know

#BrandConsistency involves putting yourself out in the public eye with a clear and concise message. It’s about overcoming hesitancy in new sales and clients. Loyal customers buy based on their feelings. To build a solid foundation of success, it pays to be known. 

Your brand is the idea, the emotions, images, thoughts, etc. that comes to mind when people hear your name, pass by your store, see your ad, or view your website. It’s your complete online presence. People remember how you made them feel over everything else. The world is flooded with other people and brands who want to corner the market on success. So how do you stand out from the crowd?

Word of mouth, brand consistency, customer loyalty, and dedication to the customer experience will go far in making your brand known.


Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Do you offer a unique product, service, environment, etc.? If you’re not sure, find a way you can do it better than the other guys. 
  • Are you consistent in delivering your customer service promise? And do you do it every time?
  • How is your business memorable? Is it memorable for the right reasons?
  • What is the first impression that you offer potential clients and customers? Is it consistent across all platforms? Remember that visitors to your Facebook page may not visit your site and vice versa. Try not to refer them back and forth unless it’s absolutely necessary. The same goes for cross-platform promotion. A twitter follower has no interest in your Instagram ad, and your YouTube subscribers will rarely care about your Facebook Live Q&A.
  • How easy is it for new customers and clients to do business with you? Call your company or use the website. Perform an “experience audit” to determine whether or not you fall short.
  • What are you good at? Where do you consistently get great feedback in your business? Highlight that as a great selling point. Networking with other companies who have used your service is another key aspect.
  • Are you being genuine and sincere in your interaction with your clients and customers?
  • Have you reached out to influencers who also interact with your target market? If you get them excited about your brand, others will get excited as well.
  • Do you convey confidence in your interaction online and with customers? Your employees should be subject matter experts on your brand. Even apologies for making mistakes can be done with confidence. “I apologize for this mistake,” is much more confidence-inspiring than “I don’t know how it happened”. A quick and favorable interaction with a customer will build brand confidence.

It takes time and consistency to build a loyal customer or client base. These tips will put you on the right track for success and to #BeAwesome with your branding.

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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 LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.

#Develop Strategy – Why Strategy in Your Marketing is Important

When you are running a small business it can be difficult to maintain all the different facets of running a successful company. Owners need to manage the work, the clients, the numbers, the team, and the marketing. It can be both daunting and overwhelming. Many entrepreneurs and business owners simply overlook marketing due to a lack of time, energy or experience. However, business growth is dependent on your marketing strategy. 
Business Plan
First, you need to have a plan. The more detailed your plan the easier it will be to set measurable and achievable goals. Your plan should incorporate what you intend to do during the year – the amount of work, the level of profit, staffing, expenses, purpose and messaging. Leave no rock uncovered when you sit down and develop your plan. This will include your marketing strategy for the year. 
Branding & Storytelling
What a lot of business owners don’t understand about their brand is that it exists whether you develop it or not. How the public views you, and your company, makes up the elements of your branding. Owners that ignore this fact will find that the public has 100% control over how their work is perceived. Smart companies understand the power of creating a business message – a method of storytelling for work – that projects the image that business owners want their staff, clients, competition and the general public to associate with their work. Understanding your own brand and company story is the first step in developing a marketing strategy.
Target Audience
We no longer live in an age where we market our services to everyone. Traditional advertising is slowly becoming a marketing tool of the past. Why? Because it is ineffective to sell to a wide group of people without narrowing down the demographics. Want an effective marketing strategy? You need to hone down exactly the type of people that make your ideal client. The time and effort involved in sales and marketing should be utilized only in areas where your target audience works, plays and relaxes. If you don’t have a picture of your ideal client, then you need one right away.
Types of Marketing
Now that you know your message and where your clients hang out, you need to determine the types of marketing that will be most effective for what you do. This will be different for every business. The variety of marketing options feels endless. This list alone will have your head swimming. 
In 2016, online marketing is the place to be. This means social media marketing and content marketing are huge right now. Building a mailing list (or funnel) is another area that many marketing experts say is essential for your business. Developing content and booking stages is a type of marketing as well, called influencer marketing, and can be quite effective for establishing expertise and presence. Relationship marketing is a great way to build a village of partners that are invested in you and what you do. 
This article showcases a study that proves the younger generation does utilize social media when it’s time to make purchasing decisions. Another reason that demonstrates how knowing your audience is vital. 
Marketing Plan
Having an editorial schedule with goals and focus for your content, messaging and social media is practically essential.  If you are not certain which direction to take, do some initial experimentation. For instance, you can concentrate on one type of content or platform each month, while maintaining your other marketing channels.  If you switch it up and continue focusing on different platforms over a 3-6 month period, you can see which platforms are doing the best for you and get a better understanding of each option. 

If you know one choice will work well for your business, focus your energies on developing that area first and then slowly begin incorporating other channels. Often it’s better to do one thing well than to do a variety of marketing tactics on a sub-par level.
Networking
Networking is another way to grow your circle of connections.  You can do this both on- and offline.  Recommendations back and forth are extremely beneficial.  You can also reach out to your network if you have questions about how to get the most out of your marketing, social media platforms, content and emails.  You might have a connection who is masterful in a certain aspect of marketing you are you’re interested in.  You and your connection might work in the same industry, but have different niches.  If you both have blogs, you can refer to each other in your content. This is a great way to develop both referral and power partners for your business, not just new clients!
The best advice is to have fun!  Think of your marketing strategy as an adventure.  You will learn so much about how you want your business to look, feel and present itself to the world. 

Having trouble creating your company’s story? Don’t have a clue how to put together an editorial calendar? Just don’t have time to deal with all the little tasks involved with staying on top of your marketing strategy? Give the team at The Social Media Advisor a call – we specialize in small business marketing strategy development!

~ 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+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

3 Key Take Aways on How to Optimize your 1-to-1 Meetings into Referrals for Your New Connection

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Attending Networking events may be a key comment in your marketing.  If it isn’t, you might want to consider how networking could benefit your referrals and recommendations.  It is a proven fact that people do more business with people they like, know and trust. So, what are some things you can do to build that in your first encounter?
(1) Ask The Right Questions
Instinctively we ask people we meet, “What do you do?”  They in turn have a canned, preprepared answer or sales pitch on a 5-10 second highlight of their best services.  What if you asked the question differently?
– “What is your gets you up every day?”
– “How is your most ideal client?”
– “If I were to introduce you to your most valuable Power Partners, who would they be?”
– “With knowing what you do, who would be someone I could introduce you to?
– “What is your favorite book and how has it helped your business?
– “Where do you find you get the most business?”
– “In given a specific ideal client, what can I tell them in Why you would be the best fit?
—-> You get the idea
(2) Write Down Key Take Aways 
Document some memorable notes on their business card or in a notebook.
*** Be sure to collect 3 business cards (you’ll see why in a moment). 
How in the world will you be able to remember every single person, their ideal client and niche without writing it down?  This is great for your memory as well as enhancing that encounter further, reminding your contact what you remembered and how best you can refer them. If I took the time to visit with you on a deeper level, I would want you to remember key points of our conversation.
(3) Earnestly think of the 3 people in your network this person might find value in meeting 
A key networker in my cycle shared with me, that if I collect 3 business cards from the person I am meeting with, I am more likely to earnestly make efforts to refer them to 3 other people. If this is your business, and you are gaining credibility, making a personal introduction hand in hand with a business card with show far more value to your meeting than just a meeting with no additional follow-up.
Networking and relationship management will either build or halt your efforts.  It takes a village to build a business and it also takes consistent visibility, follow-up and relationships to take you to a higher level of business. 

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

Hollie Clere, of The Social Media Advisor is a social media manager, trainer and author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+ , Pinterest and the tools to manage them. Click here for her Social Media Links

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