Take Charge of Your Networking

networkingNetworking is often what turns a small business into a thriving and prosperous business. Last night, I attended a Chamber of Commerce small business networking event, and I was reminded of how important it is to not just attend these events, but to be proactive in your networking strategy to get the most out of your time and effort. Networking success comes with planning and follow up.

Create Networking Goals

What do you want to achieve with your networking efforts? For example, do you want to create partnerships with other business owners? Do you want to broaden awareness of your brand or drive traffic to your website? Do you want to increase credibility? Decide what your goals are and then you can move onto the next step which is to plan how you’re going to achieve your goals.

Choose Your Tactics

Once you have your goals, plan how you’re going to achieve them. This step involves two considerations:

  1. How much time do you have to commit to networking?
  2. What tactics best support your goals?

For example, if you want to generate partnerships with other business owners you might choose to attend a local networking meeting each month. This may easily fit into your available time and schedule.

If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, then you may choose to focus on social networking sites. This tactic may require a daily time commitment of an hour or more, which may or may not fit into your goals.

Take Good Care of Your Contacts

Regardless of the goals you have, it’s important to take great care of your new contacts. Touch base with them on a consistent basis. Provide value. Send information, notes and clippings to professional contacts. Send articles, videos and valuable email messages to social networking contacts.

The more you take care of your new contacts, the more value they’ll provide you. Your networking efforts will be worth your time and energy.

Turn Your New Contacts Into More New Contacts

Networking has the power to multiply your efforts. For example, you might create a referral program. Each contact or customer who sends you a new customer might receive a reward. Also, the more value you provide, the more likely your new contacts will tell others about your business. Put your networking contacts to work for you.

Schedule Your Networking

Networking can take over your life. However, you can gain control of it by simply adding your networking time into your schedule. Plan time for it so you can stay in charge.

Also consider using technology to help you maximize your time. Email groups and autoresponders can help you send messages to new contacts. Social networking applications can also help you schedule posts in advance.

Taking charge of your networking is as simple as setting goals, creating a plan and scheduling your tactics. Use your resources to maximize your time so that networking can maximize your business!

 

 

Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications

 

 

Q&A With Lisa K. – Employee Use of Social Media

In this video of Q&A With Lisa K. I review how to manage social media in the workplace to allow your employees to use these tools and become brand ambassadors. The question asked was “Are my employees using LinkedIn and other social media to enhance business development for my business?”

Watch the video for the answers.

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7 Powerful Benefits from Marketing with Video

Video and business benefits

You’ve heard that using video to market your business can bring incredible results. But do the benefits outweigh the effort it takes to create a video and put it online?

In a word, YES! Shooting a video, editing and formatting it, uploading it to the Internet with the right title and description takes a bit of time. But the payoff for video marketing can be tremendous.

Here are seven real benefits of marketing with video:

1. Personal connection. The personal connection with your potential market is a huge selling factor. With video, your audience can truly get to know you, see you and get a sense of your personality. They get to see that you are indeed a real, live person. They start building a deeper relationship with you and feel as if they actually have met you.

2. Trust. There’s an old proverb: “Believe nothing of what you hear, and only half of what you see.” It can be very easy to be a fake and a fraud online. People are skeptical about claims they read online—and rightfully so. But video puts a face to your words and makes you more believable and trustworthy. And people will only buy from businesses and individuals that they trust.

3. Traffic. People are watching 8 BILLION+ videos per day on Facebook alone! That’s a whole lot of traffic you’re missing if you’re not marketing yourself with video. It’s free and easy to add your video to a large number of the video sites available online.

4. Emotional influence. The classic horror movie is a great example of how audio alone has an emotional effect on us. The creepy music comes in, immediately cluing you in that something bad is about to happen. Now, imagine combining that audio with powerful video cues to influence the emotions of the listener and create a much more compelling message than with just text alone.

5. Portability. Maybe even more so then articles and e-books, video is portable. Smartphones, tablets and all kinds of other devices allow video to be seen on the go. You can also allow people to download video easily so they can view it over and over again.

6. Demonstrations. Reviews, case studies and examples are great ways to sell products and services. It’s the reason why infomercials make millions of dollars. Now there’s no need for you to be annoying to make money with video, you just need to create videos that show and tell your potential customers why your product will be helpful for them.

7. Engagement. There are many reports available online to show that video boosts response and conversion rates. When someone is watching a video, you have their full attention—eyes and ears. Unlike with the written word, they’re not likely skip ahead or gloss over important information. Most people will watch a video from beginning to end, allowing you to clearly create a message and call to action that engages your audience.

Overall, video is an effective marketing strategy that continues to grow in popularity. Since video is here to stay, it’s time to check out the options and see how quick and easy video marketing can be.

Are you interested in learning more about social media and using video? Watch my video series “Q&A With Lisa K.”

On YouTube 

On Facebook  

 

photo credit: Auryn & Anastacia via photopin (license)

 

Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications

Q&A With Lisa K. – Blog Posts on LinkedIn

In this video of Q&A With Lisa K. I review the best way to promote blog posts on LinkedIn.
Do you simply share the link as a status update or do you include it as a published article?
Do you know that you can re-purpose your blog posts as articles on LinkedIn?

Watch the video for the answers.

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Do you have questions about using social media for your business?

Watch the series on You Tube for other Q&A videos or  if you have a question, post it in the comments below and I’ll include it in a future video – which may be recorded like this one or using the new Facebook Live video feature.

8 Ways to Use Video to Promote Your Business

Using Video to Promote Your Business

To be competitive in today’s online market, your marketing strategy must contain video. It’s a powerful form of content, which is rapidly becoming the primary marketing tool of choice for many small businesses.

That’s because videos showcase your and your company’s personality. They convey, in images, what you and your mission/vision are all about. They demonstrate both authenticity and authority online. They communicate valuable content in a format that engages your prospects. They let people in, they connect, so that people get to know you.

Business owners who use video for marketing purposes have cited an increase in sales, lead generation, website use, improved customer relations and more. It definitely pays to take advantage of video to spread your marketing message.

Here are 8 ways you can use videos to promote your business and take advantage of this powerful tool. Continue reading »