Three Tips for Connecting with Social Media Leaders

When asked about his social media strategy, best-selling author and leading productivity blogger, Tim Ferriss, suggested that marketers try one of two strategies: target ‘thought leaders’, or target ‘traffic leaders’ with important, unusual questions. The tactic was one of several used during the promotional build-up to his best-selling book and the pre-launch of his own personal website.

While some may point to the advice as being outdated or rather unspecific, it appears to be even more relevant today than it was when issued almost twelve years ago. The blogosphere has grown even more convoluted and difficult to navigate, with top personalities publishing their content at several domain names and major faces communicating with followers on hundreds of services.

Add a puzzling social media scene and you’re left with a setting where the only real way up is by spending months networking. These three tips – each based around the idea of thought- and traffic-leaders – can help you make the oh-so-important connections in the social media world without being forced to push your message on bloggers against their will.

1) Approach people offline when given the chance.

Most social media leaders live in fear of their email inbox. The hundreds of messages that make it through their spam filter daily are each plastered with ‘urgent!’ announcements, grabbing attention and making it difficult to read each one. With overflowing Facebook inboxes and a lengthy list of responses on Twitter to catch up with, it’s difficult to get a single word to a social media power user.

So don’t. Don’t try. Don’t even plan to write an email. Instead, look at the offline events at which a social media leader is appearing and make an effort to drop by. An offline introduction can build a rapport that simply isn’t possible through blog posts, direct messages, and email.

2) Don’t pitch. Listen and offer advice when you can help.

Never pitch. Never even think about pitching. It’s a sure-fire way to end up in the ‘do not call’ list, and it’s something that shouldn’t even appear in your social toolkit. Instead, speak with top social media presences the same way you would with a friend or acquaintance – share jokes, offer some cool quotes, and let them know that you’re not just talking to them for exposure.

Bring up your business when they ask and you’ll gain an instant point of connection. Not only will they ask you for more information, they could offer to help you with marketing and online buzz. A dedicated effort towards not pitching will give you a huge advantage should the subject of business come up later in conversation, if only because they know you’re not being exploitative.

3) Follow up the old-fashioned way – on the phone.

Remember how crowded email can be? If you’ve had a great chat with a social media leader, be it at a conference, a local event, or simply at an internet meet-up, ask for their phone number instead of a flooded email address. Not only does phone contact give you an advantage in message volume – it’s one of several methods that allows you to command relative urgency during your conversation.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan check out her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Ready to find out how to take your business to the next level? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary session to discuss your marketing and website/social media presence, here!

Women Need to Delegate More

Through her position as president of Count Me In, and CEO of her own company, Merlino has witnessed firsthand the unique challenges that women in business face. In her experience, the biggest obstacle for women in business has to do with many female business owners’ desire to take on all aspects of the business.

Merlino finds she is constantly coaching women on becoming better delegators.

“You can have it all as long as you don’t try to do it all,” Merlino said. “Women can feel like they have to do it for themselves or are the best person for every job, which leads to more time being spent working in their business rather than on their business,” she said.

Merlino said that the first responsibility female business owners need to start tasking others with is the production of goods or the delivery of services. She believes that time is a business owner’s most valuable resource, and is constantly encouraging women to put their time to good use by developing a system of delegation that is as brilliant as the product being made.

“If you’re in the cookie business; that means getting out there and selling your product and looking for opportunities to get you to the next level,” she said. “To grow, you need to hire a strong team to make the cookies. It’s working on your business, not just in it.”

“Too often, Merlino said, business owners view hiring employees as a strain on revenue instead of an opportunity to make more money.” In fact, she said that this lack of critical thinking about money is one of the greatest challenges facing the businesswomen she meets. She encourages them to step out of their comfort zones and take charge of their finances.

“Know and go where the money is,” Merlino said. “Whether it’s your banker, investors, or customers, you need to know where your money’s coming from. You should constantly be developing and deepening these relationships.”

“Women who own businesses also must learn how to make their money work for them”, Merlino said. Though many women believe they need grow their business no further once they’ve made enough money to support themselves and their families, Merlino disagrees. “Such women, she said, while successful, are misguided in the belief that by keeping their businesses small they are able to have more time with their families.”

“This is the fallacy that I think is the worst,” Merlino said. “You believe that keeping the business small will allow you to do everything you want to do. But if you build the business bigger, then you will have more money and more time.”

So Merlino coaches women away from this line of thinking and teaches them how to grow their businesses gradually and logically.

“To grow your business sustainably and increase revenues and profits, you need to have a plan and focus your energy on implementing it effectively and on a clear timeline,” she says. “Commit to a plan, and keep your vision clear and at the forefront.”

Merlino’s years of experience also means that she has seen and heard many ideas for businesses. She says the best way to know if a business idea will be successful is to ask questions and do research in the field.

She instructs us to ask yourself, ‘Is this product needed and wanted? Is there truly money to be made with this idea?  “A business that has the potential to appeal to different demographics and can be offered up in a variety of distribution channels is an indication that there is a potential for the business to grow and thrive”, she shared.

Merlino encourages women to be open to the professional feedback and constructive criticism they receive while trying out different business ideas or expanding an existing business, but she also believes that they need to be confident in their abilities in order to be successful.

“Having the right mindset is incredibly important,” Merlino said. “Be confident and don’t let the fear of failure get in your way of succeeding.”

Merlino is confident that through programs like the ones offered by Count Me In, more women will become leaders in the world of business and in the world at large.

“I see how the world is changing,” Merlino said, “And I do my part to keep pushing. The women who grow their companies do the same.”

Source:  BusinessNewsDaily.com

The entire article can be found here: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/3924-how-female-business-owners-can-get-ahead.html

I spent many years holding myself back by not doing a little delegation of my own.  I now have a professional team in place to help me manage and implement my own marketing (as well as my clients’), my accounting/taxes and other business aspects that I do not have a passion for handling. They are being taken care of by experts in those fields.

I have seen steady growth, as much as 25% in many of the past 23-years, and I’m already showing positive signs of growth over this past year.  Take a close look at where you’re spending your time and whether or not you should be delegating some of those tasks to someone else.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan check out her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Ready to find out how to take your business to the next level? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary session to discuss your marketing and website/social media presence, here!

Why Video is Your Company’s Best Friend

Unless you’re not keeping up with the latest craze on the Internet, you know that Video is HOT for both business and personal use.  Wouldn’t it be great if your company became the next YouTube sensation?  The one thing everyone couldn’t stop talking about at the water cooler?  You never know, it could happen.  YouTube is now ranked as the 2nd highest search engine online.

Video has changed the world in countless different ways, and web video has only made the revolution stronger.  Sites like YouTube can transform an individual, or a company, from an unknown entity to the biggest star in the world.  The power of viral video is well known, and many marketing professionals are busy trying to help their companies become the next big thing.

The trouble with that strategy is that it misses the bigger picture.  Even if your firm does not become the newest overnight sensation, video marketing can provide a number of important benefits even if they don’t go viral.. 

Video Lets Your Voice be Heard

Words on a page are a dime a dozen, but video speaks volumes.  We have all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words – the good news is that a video can be worth far more.  A well-made video allows you to tell your potential customers your story and have them share your vision.

Videos Can Provide Long Lasting Results

A 30 second spot on television or radio is gone in a flash, but web videos can be kept virtually forever.  Whether it is next week, next month, next year or years down the road, your company’s voice will still be out there.

Videos Show Your Company in a Positive Light

Consumers want to build a relationship with the companies they buy from, and companies like Apple, Google, and Nike have made a fortune trading on their corporate culture as well as their products.  Web videos are a great way to introduce your potential customers to your own corporate culture.

Video Provides an Important New Outlet for Your Marketing Talents

Marketing is as much an art as it is a science, and it is important to show off your artistry in a number of different ways.  Modern technology provides companies with a myriad of ways to get the word out, from articles in trade journals and webinars at trade shows, to blogs and articles on the internet.  Web video provides another powerful outlet for company marketing.  One of the best and easiest ways to market your company and its culture is to ask your happy customers to provide video testimonials.

Producing Quality Video is Not as Challenging as You Might Think

These days chances are good your five-year-old niece has a cell phone with a video camera – and chances are also good that she knows how to use it.  If a five-year-old has the talent and knowhow to create a video, so do you.  Many people are intimidated by video production jargon, but in the end if you have a camera and something compelling to say viewers will take notice.

Web video can provide many great benefits for your company, even if the videos you produce do not become the next internet sensation.  Being the “must see” clip on YouTube would certainly be a bonus, but you do not have to go viral to go big.

Jeannine Grich, owner of Accurate Business Services, a VA practice, is an author, writer, speaker, and VA Business Coach, specializing in providing professional business coaching to established and start-up virtual assistants (VA’s).  For her FREE article,  “What’s Holding Back my Business Success?” or “Finding or Expanding Your Niche”, Visit:  http://www.VAbizcoach.com; or contact her at: http://vabizcoach.com/contact-us/.

Ready to find out how to take your business to the next level? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary session to discuss how coaching can help you GROW, here!

Three Tips to Creating Effective Social Media Communications

Most businesses recognize they should be using social media, but the trouble is very few businesses actually understand how to create effective social media communications for their business.

It takes more than just a post to engage users and build social media traffic. Let’s look at three tips to create an effective social media plan.

Check out my latest video for my three tips!

Jeannine Grich, owner of Accurate Business Services, a VA practice, is an author, writer, speaker, and VA Business Coach, specializing in providing professional business coaching to established and start-up virtual assistants (VA’s).  For her FREE article,  “What’s Holding Back my Business Success?” or “Finding or Expanding Your Niche”, Visit:  http://www.VAbizcoach.com; or contact her at: http://vabizcoach.com/contact-us/.

Ready to find out how to take your business to the next level? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary session to discuss how coaching can help you GROW, here!

Using FREE E-Books To Promote Your Business

Have you considered any non-traditional marketing options to help promote your business, generate more leads, increase your website traffic, or build a list?

Check out my video and add an E-Book to your marketing plan!

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan check out her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Ready to find out how to take your business to the next level? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary session to discuss your marketing and website/social media presence, here!

Making Ourselves Accountable to Achieving our Goals

Looking through magazines for gift ideas recently, I stumbled upon something I hadn’t seen in years, a glass piggybank.  I recall receiving one when I opened my first savings account as a child.  It forced me to continue to save because I didn’t want to ‘break’ it until it was completely full, or until I had enough to purchase something I really wanted.  My eyes were always on the prize.

By the ‘80’s piggy banks had changed; they had rubber stoppers in the bottom so you were able to remove money whenever you wanted.  No longer having to continue to save until you’d reached your goal, many times goals were never met, because we could remove small amounts whenever we wanted, no matter if the purchase was for something important or simply something we wanted.  The bank became a place to gather loose change but it took away the demand that you reach a goal or lose it all, by having to ‘break the bank’.

I think about my business goals in somewhat the same way.  I have to find ways of making myself accountable to reaching my goals or they may never be met.  Last year, I setup several reminders to check on my goals. When I got the first reminder, I realized, – YIKES, now where did I put those goals? J  I was not contributing to them as I would have liked, and I certainly had not put a system in place to remind me more often how I planned to achieve them.

It’s difficult when you’re the boss, isn’t it?  How can we make ourselves accountable for the goals we need to keep our businesses afloat in these challenging times?

Because I know many of us struggle with this, I decided to find someone willing to help me stay focused on achieving my goals, and I’m doing the same for her!  Sort of a business buddy system that keeps things fresh and motivates us to always keep our goals in mind as we work on our businesses.

Now do not beat yourself up if you don’t achieve a goal.  They are always evolving to meet the demands of whatever’s going on in your industry, or marketplace, to help your business stay strong and profitable.

So set some attainable goals for where you’d like to see yourself in 2022.  Find someone you trust who will help you stay on track and make you accountable for the goals you’ve set.

Re-invent yourself and your business.  Try new technologies.  Keep in touch with your clients to see what new challenges or problems they may have that you can solve.  Take your yearly goals, break them down into monthly and weekly goals, so that you are always in touch with what will be needed to attain those goals. 

Be reasonable with yourself and your abilities to meet them, change or update all areas including your marketing options and tracking systems, whatever is necessary to get your business growing in the right direction, and keep making deposits in your unbreakable piggybank of growth.  Stay positive and watch what happens.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan check out her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Ready to find out how to take your business to the next level? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary session to discuss your marketing and website/social media presence, here!

Email Marketing Advantages

Email marketing has become an acceptable option for marketing a business.  It allows you to stay connected to current and prospective clients and provides ways to grow your business and build a loyal following. As a viable and low-cost part of your marketing plan, it plays a big role as a method by which you can distribute, advertise, and promote various types of communication to a wide range of recipients.

Through a targeted email marketing approach you may tailor or personalize your message to your specific audience or niche. In marketing terms, this is called segmentation.

The advantages to using an email marketing strategy to promote your business are many, such as: low cost as compared to traditional mailing costs, the speed at which your message is delivered, and the ability for recipients to forward the message to others who may also be interested. Moreover, email marketing software allows you to track results of your communications, allowing you to evaluate your success and enhance your messages through your statistical insights.

While there are multiple advantages, keep in mind that email marketing is intended to be an enhancement to your other marketing activities. For example, it may be used to lead your prospects to your website, which should be designed to process sales, while your email marketing campaign will highlight the benefits of your offerings and encourage prospects to make a purchase. Your website should also be the focus of other online marketing strategies such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and article marketing. Email marketing allows you to enhance all your marketing efforts and encourages customers to patronize your business and become loyal fans.

Always remember when implementing an email marketing campaign do not overdo it, one of the downsides or disadvantages of email marketing. If you’re sending emails to thousands of people every other day, they’re going to get tired of hearing from you and either delete them or opt out of your mailing list, which will potentially cost you a lot of business. The last thing you want to do is irritate your subscribers by making them feel they’ve been tricked into signing up for something they didn’t actually want.

Email marketing is a very valuable tool to supplement your marketing strategies while giving you an additional method to keep in touch with your customers and prospects to build a loyal following.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan check out her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Ready to find out how to take your business to the next level? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary session to discuss your marketing and website/social media presence, here!

Never Forget That Your Customers Have a Choice

People don’t like to be taken for granted, irrespective of whether they are giving freely of their time and resources or whether they are paying for them.  Customers may also leave if they feel they are being taken advantage of by not getting consistent high levels of service and some sort of communication, periodically.

Make a customer feel taken for granted or taken advantage of and just expect his or her business to keep coming your way, and you will lose him or her forever.

Customers have always had choices, but in today’s global markets they have more choices than ever before and a greater willingness to use them.  With so many alternative products, services and suppliers to choose from, and access to what are sometimes significantly cheaper prices, no buyer in his right mind is going to stick with a company that doesn’t offer excellent value for their money and first-class service, no matter how long they might have dealt with a particular supplier in the past.

Many times what happens when companies have been doing business together for years is that the supplier begins to rest on his/her laurels, believing that for the customer to change suppliers would simply be too much hassle and inconvenience. 

That’s just no longer the case. A new supplier who is keen to steal away your business, will go out of their way to ensure that that transition is as smooth and trouble-free as possible and that the customer suffers no inconvenience at all.

A good way to keep clients happy is to setup a system of checks and balances that will help you communicate the value they bring to your business, while making sure you provide them with the best products and services that meet their needs.

Here are just a few ideas that may help you in setting up a client care system:

  • Check client purchases on a quarterly basis to be sure you are maintaining their business
  • Touch base with the client by phone or email quarterly to see how their business is doing and what additional needs they may have
  • Two to three times a year take a moment to send them a greeting card (we use Send Out Cards) or a handwritten thank you card to show them you care about and value their business
  • Several times a year send them a brief survey asking them to tell you about their experiences with you, your level of service and any areas you can improve upon
  • Several times a year pick up the phone and engage them just to let them know you are thinking about them
  • Engage them at least once a month (preferably once a week) with some sort of electronic email or eZine to stay top-of-mind

These are just a few ideas of ways to build a strong relationship with your best customers on a regular basis.  This may seem like a lot, but even if your customers appear to be totally loyal to your organization, never make the mistake of taking them for granted, or taking advantage of them, as there is always someone else who will quite happily come along and show them how much their business is valued.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan check out her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Ready to find out how to take your business to the next level? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary session to discuss your marketing and website/social media presence, here!

Five Fast and Easy Ways to Create an Opt-in Email Marketing Page

If you use email marketing as a part of your overall Internet marketing strategy, your opt-in page can be your most important asset. In fact, if properly created and marketed, your opt-in page can be your sole means to successfully generate viable leads.  Here are five fast and easy ways you should consider to ensure your opt-in page is effective and successful in generating as many good leads as possible.

#1: Compelling Headlines

Internet users have short attention spans and you have only a few seconds to strike their fancy and make a connection. For this reason, your headline must be strong enough to catch your visitors’ attention and compel them to read more.

#2: Publish a Video

The popularity of videos and the appeal of learning by watching rather than just reading content is all the rage right now and it doesn’t show signs of changing. You can create a video demonstration of your products and services to highlight the benefits to your customers. Place this video near the top of your webpage so that your visitors are encouraged to view it right away, and stay longer on your site, as well as consider checking out more of the information provided there.

#3: Use Bullets to Present Your Content

It’s still a good idea to layout all the features and benefits mentioned in your video in text.  We live in a world where people want immediate and instant access and they want it quickly. Using bullets or lists, and shorter text, helps visitors to quickly scan the content and grab their attention. This area will also serve as a summary of features and benefits that will reinforce this information in your visitors’ minds, making them more likely to search the site for more.

#4: Testimonials

It’s one thing to tell everyone how wonderful and marvelous your products or services are, but something totally different when it’s a testimonial from a happy customer who a prospect might better relate to. Choose testimonials that reaffirm what you are presenting in your bulleted information.  Be certain to include quotes and the reviewer’s name.  In this context you may also include a short profile or their company name so that prospects can identify with them and realize your offerings can benefit them, too.  If you don’t have testimonials, it may be a good idea for you to either request some from current clients or send out free packages to influential people in your niche and request a review.

#5: Keep It Simple (Subscription Form)

If your focus is to use this information for email marketing only, require only the subscriber’s name and email address.  By keeping it simple, more people will opt-in.  However, if the focus is to use the contact information to market to them offline, make sure your offer is something that requires their address, perhaps a CD, or a printed report.  You will also want all those who register through your opt-in page to automatically receive a welcome or thank you email of some sort.  Linking your subscription form to a simple autoresponder will do the trick.

These simple options are proven strategies in putting together an effective opt-in page. Try them on for size and experience how quickly and easily you can generate leads for your business.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan check out her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Ready to find out how to take your business to the next level? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary session to discuss your marketing and website/social media presence, here!

Four SEO Tips for Your WordPress Blog

WordPress has become the most popular self-hosted blogging platform around, with over ten million different users utilizing the technology as their blog back-end of choice. Offering a huge range of features, customization options, widgets, plug-ins and controls, it is no wonder the platform has achieved such immense popularity amongst bloggers, web developers, and serious Internet professionals.

Marketers are especially fond of WordPress, for a number of reasons. It is easy to customize, giving marketers the power to create text-heavy sales pages, multimedia website intros, and call-to-action service pages on a single platform. Alongside the customization is another powerful marketing aspect, its incredible search engine optimization (SEO) benefits.

As blogging platforms go, WordPress is the reigning champion of SEO. From extended page URLs to pingback links and header tags, these four tips can help you turn your WordPress blog into a powerful SEO resource.

1) Enable comments.

Comments add great things to your website: fresh content, and outbound links. The first is a godsend in the eyes of search engines. While other marketers slave to produce fresh content for their websites manually, a relatively popular WordPress blog can live off the SEO-friendly content produced by the comments it receives.

2) Be visible.

Sometimes the most basic mistakes are also the most devastating. Almost all modern versions of WordPress include a range of visibility options. Users can select to make their blog visible to all, block it from any viewing, or simply block search engines from indexing the content.

Of course, no marketer would want to block their blog from search engines. However, some automated WordPress installers — particularly Fantastico and cPanel installers — block WordPress from search engines by default. To reverse this, simply use your WordPress dashboard to change privacy options back to “visible by anyone”.

3) Use the All-in-One WordPress SEO plug-in.

Simply put, no other WordPress plug-in is as valuable to online marketers as the All-in-One SEO Pack. Offering a buffet of SEO options for marketers, this plug-in allows its users to optimize their post URLs and categories for maximum SEO power, override default meta and title tags, and even highlight potential keywords to target. Simple, quick, and powerful — this plug-in is a must for internet marketers using WordPress.

4) Use keyword-heavy titles.

Keyword density was once thought of as the ultimate measure of a website’s search potential. Marketers would stuff their content with keywords, often until the point where it resembled machine-style nonsense.

Now, most marketers know that keyword density is not the ultimate measure of SEO value. Websites that rank typically do not use keyword-heavy content, but keyword-heavy post titles. Whenever you are writing a blog post, research keywords first to get an idea of what your market is searching for to help make the connection far easier for your reader.

Try these four search engine optimization tips on your WordPress blog and watch your analytics to see how well you’ve done.  What other challenges are you facing with your blog platform?  Leave your comments and/or questions below!

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Ready to find out how to take your business to the next level? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary session to discuss your marketing and website/social media presence, here!