Networking is the basis for Marketing

We live in a digital age. Most business is done, tracked, and advertised via computer. I think people are beginning to substitute good old fashioned networking for social media. I see a lot of disappointment with business owners when traditional and non-traditional marketing fails. Business owners invest money and time into “marketing” but leave behind the most important aspect of branding, networking. Networking is the basis for all marketing. Marketing and networking is something you should be doing all the time. I see digital networking sites and marketing efforts as landing sites and references for your business. Building a strong personal relationship with clients, potential clients, vendors, and employees is one of the strongest ways to solidify you and your business in any market. All of your networking efforts should lead back to your social accounts to solidify your place in the market but they must begin face to face in some fashion. Networking is also the fastest way to cash. One of the most obvious things that new business owners miss is that without incoming revenue there is no business or there will not be a business for long. We get caught up in pursing our passion and forget the practical side of things. That is one of the areas a business coach can propel your business to success. I am able to help a business owner formulate a plan, have it in place and adjust as things change day to day. We either adapt or die. That is a fact of life. Everyday you need to improve on what you did the day before. This is nearly impossible without a plan to execute and a cheerleader to help you stay the course. Another great aspect of networking is it expands your horizons and your brand. You become part of things that would have never been a possibility if you had not been a part of your network.

Go For It Social Media Tips

background-with-business-strategy-for-success_23-2147584858Social Media Marketing is ubiquitous.  Every time we log on to our favorite social network we invariably see the “sponsored” ad that just magically appears on our time line.  Though we are very familiar with this type of Marketing, many Small Business Owners aren’t sure how to utilize it for its commercial purposes.  Have no fear though, we are here to break it down for you.  Follow these tips to get the most out of your Small Business’s Social Media strategy.

First things first, you have to figure out which platform(s) are right for your business.  With so many different platforms out there, the question invariably becomes which one do I chose?  Entrepreneur.com offers a great guide to breaking down the different popular social media platforms and some of their pros/cons.

  1. Pinterest – This is a wonderful site for sharing “visual” products. Are you an Event Planner?  Do you design wonderful jewelry, or clothes?  Pinterest is a great site for Business to Consumer companies that specialize in visual appeal.  Pinterest’s site is predominantly female so keep this in mind if a lot of your products are aimed at a male audience.
  2. LinkedIn – This is the ultimate networking and business to business platform. Great for building up relationships, building up a lead pipeline and generating share-able business related content.  This is not the best platform for companies that sell directly to consumers.  Best utilized with businesses that sell directly to other businesses.
  3. Youtube – One of the trickier platforms to navigate for marketers. With Youtube, you want to focus on showing off a product, service or experience.  This can take the form of a traditional commercial, on-going mini-series, talk-show format, Q & A sessions, short films, instructional videos or mash-up/recap videos.  You will want your videos to be unique, original and exciting.  Think of adding depth and layers to your Youtube videos.  The key to Youtube is creativity.  You must be original to stand out in this platform.
  4. Twitter – This is your direct communication tool to your customers and audience base. Twitter is updating constantly with stream of consciousness tweets.  So take advantage of twitter to get real time feedback from customers on products, promotions or customer service related issues.  Great for getting feedback instantly from customers.  Can be utilized by both, direct to consumer and business to business, business models
  5. Facebook – The social media platform that we are all so familiar with. Facebook, in recent years, has become its own web community with its own search engine, local business, etc.  Whatever your business model, you should utilize Facebook.  You can reach both customer “fans” and potential customers.  You can also use sponsored ads on Facebook to generate leads, get likes or direct customers to your webpage (can be a specific page, such as your web ordering page).

Even with all of these platforms, there are still similarities and strategies that apply to most any Social Media platform, regardless of which ones or what type of business model you are using.  Tips that you can use across all of these platforms include:

  1. Community Building – Connect with your customers, connect with everyone that is in your social circle. Connect with other businesses in your industry.  Connect with suppliers, distributors, any type of business that might be related to your business.  Connect with “thought leaders” and other community organizations.
  2. Foster communication and build up story lines. Don’t be too blatant about your advertising efforts.  Instead, spark up conversations, release short content pieces that center around your product or service but that doesn’t necessarily scream out “I’m an advertisement.”
  3. Sponsor Posts/Ads: You can sponsor posts or ads in most any social media platform.  How much you have to pay depends on what type of posts you are trying to sponsor, but generally are very cost efficient and end up being very effective.  A lot of Social Media advertising budgets are usually between $200-$500 and can be more effective than traditional advertising channels because you get your add directly in front of the customers eyes on their feeds.
  4. Avoid sensitive topics. Don’t take polarizing sides in your posts or advertisements.  Don’t use your company accounts as social/political/economic soap boxes.  If you do want to mention a “serious” topic such as politics, religion, etc, take a sarcastic tone and make it evident in your posts that you are just making light of the situation.  People appreciate that.  The world can be so uptight sometimes, don’t make it tighter.

Our goal for you after reading this is that you will have an understanding of how to approach your Social Media Marketing strategy.  One of the nice things & one of the most frustrating things about Social Media is that it’s constantly changing.  This provides many opportunities for Marketers to try new things, but also forces Marketers to always stay up to date with the trends.

With this in mind, we encourage you to check out this handy guide from one of our favorite Social Media strategy sites, socialmedatoday.com.  Social Media Marketing always provides great learning opportunities for you to decide what works for your business.  If you are utilizing a platform and not seeing good results, don’t be afraid to try different types of posts, different types of sponsoring opportunities or trying a new Social Media platform altogether.  We challenge you to make between 3-5 posts on your chosen Social Media site per week.  Do this for a 3 month period and track how many followers did you get?  How many interactions on your posts did you get?  If you sponsored an ad/posts, how many leads did it get you?  How many likes/page likes did it generate?  Keep these thoughts in mind and watch your Social Media Marketing start to come into its own.  I like to use the analogy of the coral reef.  Build it up over time and make your own network/community.  Make it vibrant and make it an interactive experience.  Remember, no matter how much money you pay, you can’t buy a viral post/video/ad.  Only your customers, fan base and social network can do that.  Go For It with your Social Media Marketing!

To purchase a copy of Go For It, Jo Hausman’s Amazon best-selling book on overcoming obstacles in your life, click here.  To visit JoHausman.com, click here.  To book Jo Hausman for a speaking engagement, click here.

 

* Jo Hausman, MBA earned her Masters of Business with emphasis in Entrepreneurship in March 2014 from the University of Sioux Falls in Sioux Falls, SD.  She has owned and operated her own virtual assistant business since Sept 2005 and has coached people to become virtual assistants.  In 2014 she opened up 2 new business, is a real estate investor and city council alderwoman

9 Tips to Live a More Positive Life

cute-positive-quote-with-a-smiley-face_23-2147562024

1. Give Thanks – Always be thankful for what you have and don’t have.
2. Forgive Others – Forgiving is healing
3. Love One Another and Yourself – This is your fuel to drive you
4. Stay Positive – Retrain your brain to think positive thoughts instead of negative ones. Watch how your life expands when you do
5. Be Kind and Hang with other Kind People – it will make you a happier person and you will make others happy
6. Do One Thing a Day that Expands your Comfort Zone – It won’t hurt and will realize you can do more than you thought
7. Journal Daily – write down your frustrations, concerns, but also your joys and dreams. Watch your dreams become a reality
8. Be Grateful – Give gratitude wherever you go and Be Grateful for all you have and endure in this life
9. Always Remember – You Are Stronger than you Give Yourself Credit For. This life deserves you and you deserve it! Never ever Give up~!

Jo Hausman
Speaker, Live Radio Host, Best Selling Author and Coach