How will you stand out?

After more than a decade of attending networking events, putting on events and participating in events.  I have seen a lot great things that work and I wanted to share them with you.

Tip #1

Tip #2
Wear comfortable shoes, since standing in front of your table always works better than sitting behind your table.

Tip #3
When preparing for you table, go ahead and set up the display at your office.    You may even want to take a picture and take with you to event.

Then pack the way you set it up, therefore when you get to the event you can set up without stressing.  Remember when packing up, pack the same way, so you have things ready for you next event.

Tip #4
If you have physical products bring less.  Only Display your most popular products and showcase them as they do in your catalogs.  For example, if you sell monogrammed bags that are useful.  Then make them shine by displaying them as can be used.  If you can use them in your car to keep it tidy, then display that. 

You can certainly bring items to sell, however, put yourself in the people’s shoes that are attending the show.  They are walking by lots of businesses and sometimes can become a blur, so make your business stand out.

Don’t be afraid to use color.  Be sure to have height and great signage.

Tip #5
Just as on your website when you create an irresistible offer for people to join your mailing list, you must do the same here.  Think outside the box and think what would make you want to enter yet another drawing at an event.

Tip #6
Consider having food and/or water at your table. Nothing is better for making people comfortable than having tasty stuff to snack on, particularly if you’re doing it after work.  You can use custom-labeled candy and snacks.

Tip #7
Be rememberable. “Out of sight, out of mind” is just human nature, so it’s important to have some kind of takeaway for your participants, otherwise all the time and hard work you’ve put into the even may be for nothing.  Make sure it something useful and unique.

Tip #8
Follow-up, Follow-up, Follow-up!!!

Make your follow-up authentic and standout from the others.  Send a handwritten thank you note and mail it.  Then send them a personal email with a surprise gift, that would be helpful them, such as a ebook on how to be effective in Social Media or something along those lines. 

© 2012 Renee Morales Belbeck, National Association of W.O.M.E.N.

Renee Morales Belbeck, CEO & Founder, National Association of W.O.M.E.N., offers a free membership, support and resources to business owners.

This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included.

The last time you were looking for a new pediatrician or dentist, did you Google one — or did you ask your friends, family and co-workers for a recommendation on Facebook?  When one of your Facebook friends asked for a good local restaurant to try, did you reply with your favorite little Mexican eatery?  Lately, more and more people are turning to their social networks to get recommendations on almost EVERYTHING.

Facebook has become so much more than the chat-with-friends, share-pictures-with-family social media site that it started out as. Now it’s also about asking for advice, getting deals, complimenting businesses, complaining about services and handing out recommendations.

  • 80% of people try new things based on friends’ suggestions via social media
  • 74% of people encourage their friends to try new products via social media
  • 72% of people stay more engaged with the brands they like via social media

Businesses now have to have Facebook pages to be able to stay in the conversation
 — because without a Facebook page to gather personable info from, potential customers and your merchants will keep looking.  Customers want to see the people behind the business, beyond the basics of a static website.

But even more than just having a basic Facebook page, it’s important for businesses to maintain that page, engaging with and responding to fans in a consistent and timely manner (especially to any negative comments!).

Take a look at this recent chain of fan posts from a national women’s clothing store’s Facebook page (on the right):

After posting a simple comment, a customer received one reply from the business but failed to hear back when she continued the conversation.

Then, additional women chimed in:all agreeing that they’d rather take their business elsewhere.  And other people visiting this business’ Facebook page were left with the impression that the business just didn’t care.

That’s not the kind of reputation you want, is it?  Didn’t think so.

We know it’s time consuming to make sure you’re replying to every single comment or question that is posted on your Facebook page, and coming up with intriguing content to keep your fans checking your page — that’s what we’re here for at Hay There Social Media!  You can focus on your business; we’ll just focus on carrying on the conversation.

How long have you waited to hear back on a comment you left on a business’ Facebook page?  As a business owner, do you put a priority on answering customer questions on your Facebook business page?

Contributed by Hay There Social Media Team Member, Deanna Rose.

Word choice is a vital component of the copy for your marketing, advertising and promotional materials. In fact, your copy can make or break your sales efforts. I always say "copy counts and actually your sales count on your copy."

The best illustration of how important copy really is was shared by my good friend and colleague Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero. She explains that copy is the DNA of all marketing materials. I have to agree.

Imagine stripping all of your marketing materials of words. How well would your website, brochure, print ads, sales letters, press releases or broadcast scripts work without words?

Although it's been said a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture alone isn't going to sell your products or services as effectively as when pictures are accompanied by clever copy.

Let's take the importance of copy a step further and discuss word choice. It's best to use words people will readily understand in your copy. After all, your copy should connect with your customers by speaking their language to move them towards the sale. Not only is it important to use words people understand. It's equally important to choose your words wisely. Words have different meanings to different people. That's exactly why it's vital to consider your choice of words carefully.

Here's an example:

Would you rather do business with the oldest garage door company in town or the most experienced garage door company in town?

"Old" can seem less desirable, even behind the times.

"Experienced" positions a business as an authority.

Would you rather work with a Realtor who wants to sell you a "house" or help you find your dream "home"?

"House" is a word that can seem generic.

The word "home" is warmer and connotes a much friendlier feel. Notice how using the term "dream home" increases the warm and fuzzy feeling even more.

As you can see, words definitely have different meanings to different people. Plus, the way you arrange words can impact your results, too.

Here's another example:

Consider using the word "bonus" instead of "step" when it comes to referring to blended families. Bonus mom or bonus child each have a much more appealing ring than stepmom or stepchild (remember Snow White?).

Take Action Challenge:

  • Consider your industry, products and services and most importantly the people who are interested in what you have to offer. 
  • What words do you use to describe your offerings? 
  • Could you use an alternate word or synonym to make your marketing materials more effective and really connect with your clients?

Lisa Manyon is an Award-winning Author, Copywriting Strategist and Master of powerfully communicating marketing messages to increase results. A leading expert in copywriting, Lisa successfully challenges the notion that "copy is king," with her message that copy is actually QUEEN, strategy is KING, and together they are the key to creating strong and effective results. Her mission is to give women a voice to turn ideas into something that matters. She writes copy for conscious entrepreneurs, authors, speakers and coaches who feel overwhelmed as they try to write their own content. Well known for her website copy packages and Manyon Marketing Web Makeovers, Lisa helps her clients build relationships, book more business and increase income online. " Lisa's blog received the 2011 APEX Award in Publication Excellence. She publishes Manyon's Musings and offers a complimentary Copywriting Action Plan at www.writeoncreative.com 

If you are a speaker or want to position yourself as a speaker, one simple yet highly effective tool to have at the ready is a speaker's one-sheet. A one-sheet is a snapshot of your expertise and why an organization should book you as their speaker. It's called a one-sheet because it fits on one piece of paper, usually front and back. 

When event planners book speakers, they are thinking of questions such as: "What do you speak about?" or "How do you help organizations?" or "Who else have you spoken for?" or "Will our audience be receptive to what you have to say and how you say it?" 

Your one-sheet provides a concise way to answer these critical questions and more. Here is what you need to include on your speaker's one-sheet:

  1. Topics/Programs
  2. Target audience
  3. Benefits of booking you
  4. Bio
  5. Partial client list
  6. Testimonials
  7. Contact Info
  8. Personality photos of you or photos of you speaking
  9. Link to a samples of you speaking
  10. Your brand colors, fonts, imagery, look and feel
  11. Your tagline or moniker – something that sets you apart
  12. Expert status credibility boosters such as key media coverage and images of your products (books, ebooks, DVD courses, etc.)
Once you have your speaker's one sheet, there are several things you can do with it. Here are just a few.

  1. Post it on your web site as a downloadable PDF.
  2. Email it to a few associations, corporations or other organizations who may be interested in having you speak to their audience.
  3. When you meet people who have access to your audience, ask if you can follow up by emailing your speaker's one sheet. You'll be seen as an expert who is prepared and professional.
There are other ways to use your speaker's sheet. We would love to hear your ideas on our blog

Meredith Liepelt, CEO of Rich Life Marketing, offers a free report called "101 Ways to Attract Ideal Clients, Build Your List and Raise Your Profile," which can be downloaded immediately at www.RichLifeMarketing.com

I'm asked all the time how I manage to create all this new content each and every week for my weekly ezine. I have a process I've been using for years that allows me to come up with lots of new content so that I don't have to recycle it very often.

I start by thinking about "who" it is that I most want to attract. When you're being haphazard with your content, it's too easy to attract all sorts of prospects. But, if you're in a place in your business where you're very clear on who your ideal client is and who it is exactly that you want to attract, you start to pay more attention. It becomes a matter of identifying what it is that your ideal client needs most, right now.

When I'm on the phone with a client and he or she expresses a concern or tells me about a particular issue they are having, I jot it down on a post-it note, stick it to my wall and then continue on with my teaching. Before long, I start collecting these great topics for future articles that will solve my prospects' problems and attract more ideal clients to my business.

I also identify issues that I'm going through because very often our ideal clients are a lot like us. Think about the challenges you personally go through and how your experiences can benefit others like you. Make a list. When you have 12 or 13 then you've got an entire three months' worth of editorial content. Put it together in an editorial schedule and you've got a specific list of topics you can plug right into your calendar.

Your Assignment

Take the following 4 easy steps to create editorial content that will attract your ideal clients every time:

  1. Think about what type of clients you want to attract, right now. If you're not attracting the type of clients you want, consider changing your content.
  2. Make a list of the topics that would appeal to them. What are they having a hard time with right now?
  3. How can you position yourself as the problem solver? You want to provide solutions. Believe it or not, people don't buy processes, they buy solutions!
  4. Map it out on your calendar.
There you have it--your process for creating content that solves your ideal client's problems, while attracting those same people to your business. Now, get writing...and good luck!

Fabienne Fredrickson, The Client Attraction Mentor, is founder of the Client Attraction System®, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to attract more clients, in record time...guaranteed. To get your FREE Audio CD by mail and receive her weekly marketing & success mindset articles on attracting more high-paying clients and dramatically increasing your income, visit www.attractclients.com.
If you are looking for ways to a productive Work At Home Mom, then be sure to read the September 2012 issue of Parents Magazine.  Turn to page 194, for the Six tricks to turn your home into a home office article.  You can read, Founder & CEO of National Association of W.O.M.E.N., Renee Belbeck tip number 4. 

Click Here To Read The Story

As an entrepreneur, you are the one responsible for growing your business.  You can’t just sit at your desk, do an assigned task, and get a paycheck.  You have to assign your own task and do the task, or better yet assign the task to your team – we will talk about that another time.  Then, my friends, you will receive a paycheck.

If you keep the alphabet in check, you will be successful.  What do I mean?  Well, let’s start with the A. B. C. – Always Be Connecting.  Whether you are connecting in person, online or the phone this is a success strategy that will help grow your business. 

There are many ways to connect that won’t take a lot of time, but can be effective.  Here are some of the things I have put in my “system”:
  • Put on your calendar a time to write a personal story to “connect” to your newsletter readers.   This could be anything from a personal struggle you have had in business and the solution you found to resolve it to an exciting time in your family’s life.
  • Write a blog, such as this one to share your personal thoughts on your expertise.
  • Mark your calendar to connect with EACH of your mailing list members and your clients.  I don’t mean sending the mass newsletter, I mean send a personal email, letter (you know the one you get in your mailbox), a phone call just to say hi, post a comment on their social media page, and so on.  You will be amazed at the insight you will receive from them as to where they are in their business and life.  Thus, helping you understand how you can best help them.
  • Get out from behind your desk and go to a networking event.
What are some effective ways you have connected that have been successful?  Post your comments below.

© 2012 Renee Morales Belbeck, National Association of W.O.M.E.N.

Renee Morales Belbeck, CEO & Founder, National Association of W.O.M.E.N., offers a free membership, support and resources to business owners.

This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included.

No Time Read...Listen Instead
Bob, my faithful walking buddy!
As I am getting older, my blood pressure gave me a wake up call.  You see I have always had good health and at a good weight, however, as we get older we tend to be less active and do more sitting. In my younger days, I wanted to get a degree in Sports & Fitness Management, and then life happened.  With knowing that being healthy is important, I knew I had to get moving again.  However, as you know being an entrepreneur we have to juggle so many things with our business and don’t forget you have family and friends that need your attention as well.   I turned to my good friend Erin Morrow, Wellness Innovations, Inc., she has a fabulous natural way to loose weight.  By eating healthy it encouraged me to get out and get moving.

Everyday that I am at my home office, my dog Bob and I go for two walks a day about 20 minutes each.  We end up getting in 3 – 4 miles a day, which adds to about 20 miles a week.  Needless to say, we are both getting healthier.  He let’s me know it’s time for our walk.  If you don’t have a 4-legged walking friend, check with your friends in the neighborhood or if you have a neighbor who works outside the home and they have a 4-legged friend offer to walk them.  Otherwise, put it on your calendar with the reminder on and do not hit the snooze button.  Once you get in the habit you will be glad you did.

What I have discovered is when I return to my desk I become more focused and more productive.  Some days I use the walk to just listen to my favorite music and other times I use that time to listen to Podcast or to videos from my favorite entrepreneur peeps.  Since all I am focusing on is walking and listening to them I absorb what they are saying and figure out ways to actually implement those things into my business.

Some other productive things I have found are the following:
  • Record my favorite TV shows and then watch when I make time and skip all the commercials.  Did you know you will save about 20 minutes for each hour-long show and your half-hour shows will only take about 15 – 20 minutes to watch?
  • When you are getting ready in the morning, listen to recorded podcasts or videos on your iPod or phone.
  • Instead of listening to the radio in the car listen to the podcasts – it’s like talk radio, however you will be listening to things that will help grow your business.
  • DO NOT multitask.  You will get much more accomplished and feel better at the end of the day that you completed projects.
  • Make time to eat and not at your desk.  Take your lunch outside on the patio on nice days and get some fresh air.
  • Check your messages less frequently.  If someone really needs you, they can call you.
What are your favorite productive habits?

Giving monetarily is great, however, giving of your time is the most rewarding.  There are many ways you can give back that doesn’t take much of your time, but is very effective

  1. Many people donate and volunteer within their own families. Think about what you most enjoy doing to help your family and use that as a starting point to explore other interests. 
  2. Determine your motivations and goals for volunteering. Why do you want to volunteer? Motivations and goals can include meeting new people, gaining work skills and experience, or simply giving back to the community.
  3. Identify skills and talents that you can bring as a volunteer. Are you most interested in volunteering directly with people, in a back office, at a special event, or in another way?
  4. Choose an issue you care about. Are you interested in arts, youth development, health, homelessness, education, etc.? If so, there are many nonprofits in your community that work in various areas of interest. 
  5. Consider being part of Board of Directors for a non-profit.  Many times, they only meet once a quarter.
  6. Consider how much time you have to volunteer. Is it a couple of hours a month or can you only help on weekends? Whatever it is, nonprofits appreciate any help you can give. Ask potential nonprofits what expectations they have of you as a volunteer. Ask how your volunteer time will help the nonprofit achieve its mission. 
  7. Make it a social outing. Volunteer with friends, family, business associates, and neighbors.

Permission to reprint this article is granted with inclusion of “About the Author, contact information, & active web site link”.

About the Aurthur
Renee Belbeck, CEO of Innovative Success, the headquarters for National Association of W.O.M.E.N., which helps entrepreneurs succeed in business by bringing them resources and connections.  The W.O.M.E.N.  Paying It Forward Clubs were created to give business owners another way to give back to community.

To sign up for your FREE National Association of  W.O.M.E.N. membership, visit www.NationalAssociationOfWomen.com to learn more.

By Barb Girson

To Sales / Business Networking Ninjas, networking is a way to utilize tools to reach and infiltrate other professionals, as well as a way to employ business pursuit tactics to generate new business.  In this context, business is a fierce match, and Networking Ninjas its players.

Business Networking Ninjas by trade meet multitudes of people.  During each said interaction, Ninjas make a habit of sharing what they do, what they have done and what they will do.  Business Networking Ninjas know this interaction is done on both the verbal and non-verbal scale.  While it is the verbal cues that often move optimistic encounters along, Sales Ninjas give the non-verbal cues that signal “Dismiss” or “next” as soon as one appears uninterested in your product or service. Business Networking Ninjas are ALL about the sale.  Sales Networking Ninjas never really get what networking is about.

Polished, professional and goal-oriented as a Ninja may be, the Ninja does however fall short of business perfection.  Can you guess why?

Outcome Obsession!

In the process of a Sales Ninja becoming connected to a potential outcome, the Ninja fails to connect to the actual person.  Whereas this rarely works at a speed-dating event, this practice will always be regrettable in business.  Fast and furious networking leads to futile networking!

So let’s get something straight:

If you compared networking to cooking, it’s a crock pot—not microwave. The main ingredients in the recipe to building strong business relationships are time, trust, and talking to one another.

To effectively network to build business relationships:
  1. Steer clear of Business Networking Ninjas. They are not concerned with the effort it takes to foster a connection or relationship.
  2. Understand that networking is the process and the purpose is to build mutually beneficial relationships.
  3. Relationships develop with repeated conversations and shared experiences. Find those who have mutual interest.
  4. Open your mind.  People can bring value and meaning to your business in limitless ways… Look beyond the traditional sale.  Forgo the pursuit of networking for the immediate outcome and when it occurs, be delighted.
To learn how to handle the 3 most common concerns that women entrepreneurs, small business owners, and sales professionals encounter when networking visit: How to conquer the 3 most networking concerns – pushy, perfection-possibly-no

To learn the art and science of networking to build relationships and generate leads register for Network for New Work.

About The Author Barb Girson, International Direct Selling Industry expert, trainer and Registered Corporate Coach(TM), is a highly interactive, creative speaker & author offering professional skill development programs for workshops, leader retreats, and annual conventions & telecasts sales training programs. Custom programs /Coaching 1:1 available.

Barb Girson helps companies, teams & entrepreneurs gain confidence, get into action, & most importantly… grow sales.  To sign up for her next FREE sales training teleclass / join her free email list & get ‘Sales Strategies that Stick’ ezine, Visit MySalesTactics.com to learn more. Need a speaker for your next event? Contact Barb Girson:  614.855.0446

Edited by Robyn Brooke
[Download PDF Version of Are you a Business Networking Ninja? - 4 Ways to Effectively Network to Build Business Relationships]