Tag Archives: Linkedin

Have You Ever Had A Sizzling Online Connection?

Last week, I became a true believer in online connections. No I am not talking about Match.com, I am talking about an amazing group of women, Chicks Who Click.  They mean business when it comes to connecting online gurus with the tools, trends and training to make us truly twitterrific. Picture-2

Enter in my newest online friend, Suni Hayes, of My Office Zilla. Not only have I never met Suni face-to-face, but this kind stranger invited me to this week’s upcoming Chick’s Who Click conference, for free.  She checked with her friend Shawn Kinkade, who then then checked with me and the rest is history (sounds kinda like the game of telephone, huh?). What’s more, I have already met two other people, online who I can’t wait to meet at the conference this weekend.  Here’s my shout out them: Denise Smith and Elaine Ellis. 

So what’s this got to do with your business? Well, if you’re not connecting with others and planting solid seeds for future connections to grow and flourish, you may just be watering barren soil, if you’re not using some kind of social media strategy.  Social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and of course my favorite, blogging, can really give you a voice in a world of multiple messages. Here are a few keys to making your marketing message loud and clear, so you’re heard and people have your product/service “top of mind”.

Tips 4 Communicating A Loud Social Media Message

1) Less Words, More Power

One of the key things to keeping your message front and center is to make it concise. Yes, as a writer this is very hard, but when it comes to getting your message out there you want sweet, short and simply spectacular words. After all, if you’re sending out a tweet to your customers, you only have 140 characters to broadcast your message, so make them work for you. Bottom line create a relationship with your customers and be real. That’s what social media is all about. 

2) Share information that is useful and helpful to your audience

I often hear many of my clients tell me that Twitter doesn’t work because most people don’t care when someone is brushing their teeth. I agree, don’t bore me with a bunch of useless details, but have you thought how important a “brushing my teeth” tweet might be to someone selling toothbrushes? Look for opportunities to connect. What if you are an owner of a hair salon and someone tweeted: “Having a bad hair day, don’t laugh”. Image how you could make that person’s day if you instantly got back to them and offered a half-price haircut & style at your shop? I am pretty sure I would remember that and probably tell all my twitter followers about it. 

In addition, offer up useful information, helpful stats and interesting stories that bring life to your Facebook page or blog. It is amazing how posting a story about someone struggling with time management can make quite bit of buzz on your site. If you can provide tools to help your  audience’s business or even life easier, they are going to remember you.

3) Think of it as an online networking event

With so many layoffs, I keep hearing multiple stories about how Linked In saved a person’s bacon. As a pink slip hit their desk, there was no need to worry about their connections. They didn’t need to search for the company directory or grab their desktop rollodex. All the contact info they would need to notify their business connections was saved and easy to access online, from anywhere, not just the workplace. 

What’s more, LinkedIn offers you a chance to help others. Whether it be an upcoming event you think might be helpful, writing up a testimonial for a fellow co-worker or even  feedback on a book you just read that has changed your life, you can offer up a lot of valuable information to your connections. In addition, searching your connections, connections is a great way to meet new people and if you’re the one that received that pink slip, perhaps meet your new boss.

4) Connect and Reconnect 

The most powerful thing I have found so far with social media is the power of meeting new and old friends/co-workers/neighbors. The sense of community that is created within the social media sphere is quite exciting. I can’t think of the last time a print ad made me feel so great, well maybe if it was advertising chocolate, but that’s different. I have met some of the most brilliant marketing pioneers out there and I must say, they are just as personable as if I had known them for years, Colleen Wainwright. Not only have I met new friends, I have found some old friends, co-workers from my old TV days.

Bottom line, we as humans want to have solid, dependable connections. Which makes being a business owner quite a way to make an impression through tapping into that human desire and delivering a memorable, lasting connection and experience. See where social media can take you next. I would love to hear more about your journey-leave me your comments.

So as I prepare for the upcoming conference, I look forward to sharing more insight on social media and how your business can move to the next level creating and retaining lasting customer relationships. Stay tuned ….

Happy Social Media Connecting-

Sarah @ Dog-Eared Pages

– 

2 Comments

Filed under Advertising, Business Development, copywriting, Marketing, Small Business Solutions, Writing

Defining The Biz Social Media Space

picture-2

Lately, I have been doing a lot of reading concerning the Social Media Landscape. In the last two days I have found a couple of articles that small business owners should read. The first, reported on CNN.com, is about what you should and shouldn’t say on your Facebook, LinkedIn and various other “social” sites from a business perspective. I am all about people having personality, their own flare and unique selling points-that’s what makes the world go ’round, this just gives you some guidelines on how to do that.

I also, ran across this article,sent to me from Ad Age, and I thought it was worth passing on to you. If you’re wondering what all the buzz is about Social Media, here’s a great example of how many ad agencies are approaching the subject. One thing that is worth noting are the case studies that are included in the article. 

Happy Social Media Construction!

Sarah @Dog-Eared Pages

Leave a comment

Filed under Advertising, Business Development, copywriting, Marketing, Small Business Solutions

Words Are Captivating

I couldn’t let this video pass by without sharing with you. One of my dear friends, who is a life coach passed this on to me as she knows my love for words and anything that contorts them in an unique fashion. So take a look at this one. I think you’ll agree it’s pretty amazing what they have done here.

So what does it have to do with business? My challenge to you is this, find a way today not to take everything at face value.

  • Is there a way to make your business run smoother using resources you currently have? 
  • Can you review your current marketing assets and see if there’s away to use what you already have in a new way? 
  • Have you touched base with your scads of LinkedIn contacts to make sure they don’t need your product or service?
  • Are there things you are currently doing within your business to an excess that could be trimmed and the savings could be passed on to your employees?

Just a few questions to ponder as you view a list of words that somehow become magical.

Choose your words wisely-

Sarah @Dog-Eared Pages

1 Comment

Filed under Business Development, copywriting, marketing in a down economy, Writing

A Recipe For Success In a Recession

 

Breakfast Time @ Lion's Gate-Newburg, Oregon- June '08

Breakfast Time @ Lion's Gate-Newburg, Oregon- June '08

 

When times of running a business seem a financial challenge, the first thing business owners examine is their bottom line. I mean after all, business is business and if you’re loosing money, it’s time to review the damage. But what many business owners do first is cut their marketing budget.  However, many experts believe cutting your marketing budget, is the one thing you shouldn’t do in a recession. Here’s some evidence why.

 

First of all did you know that MTV, iPod and even Crest White Strips were all launched successfully during recessionary times? It’s true, and most of the success they experienced is attributed to their marketing battle plan and innovation.

So how do you increase your company’s exposure to the market, save money and at the same time make your marketing budget go further?

Here’s a list of tactics that can help your reallocate your thinking about your marketing budget and in turn effectively promote your company.

Jump on the social media bandwagon. Build up your social interactions.

In a recent study conducted by the Association of National Advertisers, a whopping 28% said that social media integration would provide the most growth opportunity for their companies. What’s more when asked to name their preferred vehicle for this integration, 32% said they didn’t know what to use.  Now that’s an opportunity.

Be one of the first in your field to try out Facebook. Maybe you could Twitter about the latest innovation your company has created. It’s all about getting your business out there and what’s more, often times the most you’ll invest is time as many of the social media platforms are FREE!

If you don’t understand the social media arena, ask around, people, like myself, specialize in helping companies set up professional social media solutions and would welcome the chance to clearly explain the tactics that will work for your company.

Look at your customer’s feedback.

One thing I always ask my client is  …

“Do you know what your clients are saying about you?”

Several clients will answer yes and others may have a blank stare. Bottom line if you don’t know how your clients feel about your product or the service you provide, now is the time to beef up on that golden nugget of info.  Positive testimonials from your customers are key and give your business validity. Here’s how you can gather testimonials:

·      Send out a survey through Survey Monkey that asks about their experience with your business.

·      Have them place a recommendation on your LinkedIn page.

·      Schedule a one-on-one meeting with your clients and record their thoughts

Bottom line before you ever publish their feedback in a brochure, on your website or within a letter, ask their permission to use their comments. This is also a great way to improve the product or service you offer. Many companies say it’s their client’s feedback that helped them craft their top-selling offerings.

Strategically plan your marketing budget.

When faced with a recession, it makes sense to create a detailed plan for your company. Your probably already have a fiscal projection in place for 2009, but many companies don’t generate a marketing plan. I have often heard people say, “If I have money left after the first quarter, I might place an ad in the local paper.” While this may have worked in solid financial times, it won’t work now.

You have to generate a buzz about your company and the only way I know to do that is to keep your business front and center of your target market. Creating a thoughtfully executed marketing strategy that has some component which places your company out there each month is vital.  There are many companies, like mine, that specialize in helping clients create a plan. However, if you feel comfortable charting out there here’s an article from Entrepreneur.com than can help get your started.

Bottom line … it’s time we make our dollars work harder for us. Through effective marketing and self-promotion tactics, you can generate a buzz about your company that grabs your target market’s attention and prompts them to buy your product or service. It just takes a bit of planning, a pinch of creativity and a sprinkle of customer insight. Walla … a recipe for success has been created.

If you want to know more about how to effectively market your business, let me know. I have lots of research on the subject and would be happy to tailor a solution to fit your needs.

 

Happy Marketing-

Sarah @ Dog-Eared Pages

1 Comment

Filed under Business Development, Marketing, marketing in a down economy, Small Business Solutions, Uncategorized

Does Your Business Stand Out in the Crowd?

 

Pumpkin Hunting Oct. 08

Pumpkin Hunting Oct. 08

 

This weekend my husband and I journeyed out with friends for the annual pumpkin patch expo. It’s something we have done for a few years now and it’s always a blast. Maybe it’s just being around dear friends or the fact that we drive golf carts in search of the perfect pumpkin, I don’t know, but whatever it is, it’s interesting to see which pumpkins we award as the “perfect pumpkin to carve”.

One friends says she likes the warty pumpkins because they have character. Another likes pumpkins that are smooth and flat on one side as they are easier to carve. We like pumpkins that are oval. To us, that’s what a pumpkin “should” look like. 

So as we were in search for our perfect pumpkin I was reminded how crafting a marketing message to catch a customer’s attention can not only seem like a quest, but the message can also get lost in a sea of other everyone else is doing. Finding your business might be very similar to looking for the right pumpkin. There’s a million of them out there, but what really fits your needs?

Here’s how to stand out in the crowded market and make your marketing message the one customer’s find, remember and act upon.

  • Delve into what your competitors are doing. Know their message inside and out. Is it successful? If not, why?  How can you capitalize on their weaknesses? Are your competitors using flashy images? Should they be and if so, why aren’t you using eye-popping images to grab attention?
  • Use keywords and messaging that resonates with your audience. Know what your customer’s speak sounds like. What are terms that get their attention? Are you talking over their heads?
  • Define your target market and talk to them. If you haven’t had a chance to chat with the people who purchase your products/services you should. How can you effectively communicate your company’s message to them if you don’t know what challenges, goals or expectations your customers seek? It’s a good practice to set up focus groups and parade your advertising ideas in front of the people that will be purchasing your product/services. Gage your message’s effectiveness based on their comments. Revise if you need to. It’s much cheaper to revise than to pull the plug on a campaign that’s been running for a few weeks or months!
  • Try something new.  With the Web 2.0 boom, there are a lot of new vehicles that your company can use to get your message out there without spending a ton of ad dollars. Survey your solid client base. See if they know about Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or even MySpace. If they don’t, discover why they haven’t had a chance to learn about Web 2.0 and take it on as a new way to market yourself if it’s true to your target market, of course.
While you may not find a marketing vehicle that’s totally perfect, you can always fine-tune your ideas so that your customers are more willing to choose your product over the competition. With a little homework on your part, you can find the right messaging and and solid marketing platform. In the end, you create a more effective way to catch your customer’s eye.
All the best-

Leave a comment

Filed under Advertising, copywriting, Marketing, Small Business Solutions, Writing

Hold On To Your Twitter Finger!

Today was webolicious I must say. And if you haven’t heard of Dan Melton, owner of NPT Labs (Non-Profit Tech. Labs) then shame on you. He’s quite a combo platter, one part web genius, one part brilliant presenter and one part best friend to a non-profit organization. I’m bullish on how his company has set into motion a way to totally transform the non-profit world!

Dan Melton-Kauffman Foundation Webitation for Council of Philanthropy 9-10-08

Dan Melton-Kauffman Foundation Webotation for Council of Philanthropy 9-10-08

 

 

So what’s all to Twitter about you ask? Well today at the Kaffman Foundation as part of their Council of Philanthropy’s educational seminars, I saw an amazing webotation (presentation with web spiffs) and was thrilled to see someone in the Kansas City area creating solutions for the non-profit sector. 

Let’s say you’re a non-profit organization and you are still trying to design a website where donors, volunteers and prospective employees can come and see what you’re all about … you’re a bit behind the times. According to Melton, that’s part of the old Web 1.0 world and it’s time to head on to Web 2.0.

What’s Web 2.0 you ask? Well Melton says, “It’s totally phat.” It’s combining blogs, Twitter, RSS feeds, widgets and so much more into your total online presence.  It’s social networking sites (MySpace, LinkedIn, etc.), surveys online, anything that can tell your story and get people to visit your website, other than your website. 

And that’s just the start. Melton’s company is changing the way non-profits are marketing themselves and helping them find the tools to make their organization shine online.  

I know some of you who read my blog are part of the non-profit sector. Check out Dan Melton for your company and your sanity. His company has some great things currently in development that will help make your organization profitable and give you a stronger voice in the online community.

Happy Social Networking-

Sarah @ Dog-Eared Pages

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized