Tag: Networking

#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 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 ~ 

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 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


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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Building Connections on LinkedIn

When speaking to clients about building connections on LinkedIn, I encourage them to build their network with professionals they know, like and trust … in addition to building a network of connections that they may not have met yet, but might be good potential clients.

Sure, it makes sence to connect to people you know, but it is possible that those people may already be a good referral network for you. Connecting with people who may have similar interests, similar industries, similar groups, etc will enhance your network and launch the potential for more relationships in your extended network.

Being a user of LinkedIn, you are familiar with the tiers … 1st, 2nd, 3rd-degree connections and so forth. 1st-degree connections are directly connected to you. 2nd-degree connections are directly connected to one of your contacts. 3rd-degree connections are connected to your 2nd-degree connections. Additionally you may run across profiles that say “Group” and are only a part of your LinkedIn network because of a mutual group. “Out of Network” simply means that you are not connected in any way.

So, how can you build your network?

(1) Synch your Email Contacts

In your LinkedIn profile, select Network, Add Connections. The system provides many options for connecting your emails. Additionally, by selecting Any Email, you can also Upload your contacts file or Invite contacts by individual email.

NOTE: The first screen is your list of contacts that have an email address in LinkedIn, the second screen shows the list of your contacts email addresses that are not setup on the LinkedIn network. You can simply select all or select contacts individually.

(2) Connect to members of Groups

In your LinkedIn profile, select Interests then Groups. Select the Group you would like to view. In the group, near the top right hand side of the page, you will see a box that says Member; next to this box you will see the quantity of members in the group. Click those words. You will see the full list of members with the people you have 1st-degree connections, then 2nd-degree and so forth. Simply click Connect for the individuals you would like to connect with. Some versions of LinkedIn still have Members listed in the navigation under the group name.

NOTE: You will need to be connected to a group before you can view Members.

(3) Search for people/jobs/companies of interest to you

Search is one of the best tools in LinkedIn. You can search for what ever you might need from People to Jobs to Companies, Groups, keywords, etc. The Search bar is found at the top of LinkedIn no matter what screen you are in. Simply type in your words and click the clue search button.

Build your contact lists, make an introduction and get to know your network of resources. LinkedIn can be one of the best tools for your business growth, communication and networking.

Remember, if it isn’t fun, you are doing it wrong. Happy Networking!

~ 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

Sign up for your Free Social Media Analysis