Daily/Weekly/Monthly Networking Tips & My Magic Bullet!

Recently, a colleague asked me "What should I be doing on a daily/weekly or monthly basis to enhance my marketing efforts?" GREAT QUESTION! Of course the answer would take up pages and pages of advice, however, you have to start somewhere! So, here are a few tips to get you started. Comment below and share your own tips!

Daily/Weekly: 8:30 am

-         Monday: Reach out to one person already in your network to schedule coffee during the week. This should be someone you know fairly well and someone you feel would be comfortable discussing details about how to be better referral sources for each other. Ask them: what groups they belong to; what industry is their best source of referrals; and to talk about a successful 'case study' for a recent client. (Obviously be prepared to discuss the same for your company.)

-         Tuesday: Go through your LinkedIn contacts; reach out to 1 or 2 people to connect via coffee or lunch; this should be someone who you don’t know well (unlike the Monday contact) but want to get to know better; identify a common person that makes it a “warm call." Schedule lunch and ask questions about them. Find out how you can support them, don't ask for business unless it comes up organically.

-         Wednesday: Write a blog article for your website and LinkedIn. Think in terms of 5 tips for doing X; how you can you help others with this post? While you are at it, prepare titles for the next 3 weeks. 

-         Thursday: Link your LinkedIn blog post to Facebook to cross promote; link it through Twitter as well. How about Instagram? Can you send that article to a local newspaper for publication?

-         Friday: Look at the coming quarter to see what events or activities you can get involved in such as street fairs, nonprofit events and the like, and what you need to get ready; i.e., premium items? Business cards re-order? RSVP. Then invite someone to attend with you. Need to find local events? Access www.rocklandeventscalendar.com to find events to get involved in. Attend a new group each month to see if there is another place where you can make connections or contribute your talents. Remember that joining a committee or a board is where the magic happens. That's where people get to know you and your capabilities.

Monthly

Choose a consistent date like first Friday of the month and put it on your calendar so you remember to take advantage of these opportunities.

-         Look at your website and see what can be updated; Google 'rewards' sites that are updated on a regular basis and penalizes sites with lower rankings that seem static.

-         Identify quarterly events coming up and see what you can get involved in; respond early so you don’t miss deadlines and get shut out.

-         Thank about your 3 best clients: what made them so successful? What did you do right? How can you put those techniques into new client relationships?

-         Send an email blast, use your blog posts as a basis for that email; use bullet points and drive people to your LinkedIn profile or website for more information.

-         Research your competition and see what they are doing. Check their websites; their LinkedIn profiles and their FB and Twitter feeds; what are they doing that you’re not? What can you learn? What can you do to be proactive so you are ahead of the curve?

-         Consider joining the board of an organization; this is where real connections start and grow and if I had to identify one 'magic bullet' for networking it would be this. I believe immersing yourself into an organization is one of the most powerful ways to meet people, demonstrate your talents, and gain new business. Not to mention you will be giving back in one way or another.

Get Out!

If you're like me, you've been around these parts for quite some time! That means you have seen plenty of business swings, highs and lows, ups and downs. Hard to tell which one we're in now! Perhaps that's because I'm extremely busy but it does seem like things have shifted and the "busy" is different than it used to be. Do you feel the same way?

Something else we may have in common is that we used to network alot or should I say A LOT!!! I was the president of the Westchester Association of Women Business Owners (WAWBO) for several years and sat on the board for 15 years! I was also a member of a bunch of other little organizations over the years. The networking and sharing of ideas that I learned then has served me extremely well over the years. In fact I recently got a lead from someone I met over 20 years ago through WAWBO, so that investment in networking is still paying off.

However, I stopped hardcore networking a few years ago. Growing kids and feeling comfortable with my business made me feel less inclined to go out in search of new business. I was happy with the way things were going and enjoyed not having to do the rubber chicken circuit all the time.

But I'm ready for a change. How about you? I've been going to more and more meetings, networking, events, having breakfast with old clients and business connections, not so much in search of new clients, but in search of new ideas, fresh faces, innovative discussions and a reality check on the economy. It has been incredibly helpful and insightful. I have gotten new ideas at every meeting and I even found a few new clients! Wow, I wasn't even searching for them.

So the morale of the story is, get out. Go to a new meeting. Find a group to visit or join and share who you are and listen to others. If you don't find a new client, you might just find a new idea and you might get a reality check that maybe the economy isn't that bad and in fact, is turning around for many!

Twitter 101 & some fun twitter ideas!

One of the most important keys for having an effective Twitter account is to remember that you are building relationships. The goal of Twitter is not just to push out promotional information, but to develop a sense of trust among your followers. Here are some tips for creating an effective Twitter account for your business.

1.       If you don't already have a Twitter handle create one that is either under your personal name or your business; some people do both. Whatever you do, keep it short. The reason for the brevity is to help with retweets; 140 characters does not leave a lot of space and you don't want the whole tweet to be taken up by your Twitter name.  

2.      Make sure to complete the bio and photo portion of Twitter. You can use your logo or even create a background for your Twitter page using your logo or creating one in another program.

3.      Put links in your Tweets to encourage people to visit your website, Blog, Facebook page, etc. as well as links to other good sources, you can use owl.y or, bitly or others to shorten your links so they fit in the Tweet box.

4.      Gather a group of retweeters. You want to befriend other popular tweeters in your area so that you can ask them to retweet for you. A recent tweet we did on behalf of a client was retweeted by three popular Twitterers and we reached over 15,000 people in 2 minutes. Be sure to retweet for others as well, remember this is about building relationships.

5.      Find appropriate people to follow so they follow you back and you know what’s trending in your area; look for your industry's gurus, magazines, newspapers, and other influencers in your area. One way to do this is by using WeFollow. Get listed with WeFollow and then you will be able to identify, locate and follow the most influential tweeters in your area.

6.      Be sure to share good news (employee awards, charitable involvements, etc.) and tip-type information as well as direct promotions for your business. If you only share sales, or information that encourages people to buy from you, your followers will begin to get bored and unfollow you.

7.      If you are in a business that takes reservations of any kind (restaurant, hair salon, etc.) and you have an open reservation or a cancellation on a particular day, Tweet it and you might fill just fill it!

8.      You can also try Tweeting a special offer just for your followers; for example offer a free item, consultation, etc.  if someone mentions “the magic word” or comes in by a certain day, etc. Make it fun.

9.      You should also link to personal accounts for more exposure like your own Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.

10.   Finally, consider attending or even hosting a Tweet Up; Tweet ups are usually free and you can host it in your place of business or a local restaurant/bar who will likely offer up some free appetizers in exchange for the exposure. Make sure you have access wi-fi so people can tweet from the event.

And, follow me for more tips! www.twitter.com/gmgpr