Archives for October 2010

Social Networking for Business: Are You Doing What’s Right for Yours?

The BIG 3:  Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Everybody who’s anybody has a profile in each.  And it seems everybody is preaching the same thing:

  • You HAVE  to have a Facebook Fan Page
  • You HAVE  to be on Twitter
  • You HAVE  to join LinkedIn and participate in groups

But, do you really HAVE to do any of this?  Will your business fall in the water if you don’t?

The answer depends on your target audience.

Remember, your target audience determines where you should be and how you spend your time.  If your target audience spends their day on Twitter, then that’s where you should be engaging with them.  While it may be a little challenging to have a full-fledged conversation, you can still interact and find out what their challenges are, participate in the conversation when they are looking for solutions and become a trusted adviser.

The same could be true if your target audience hangs out on Facebook.  Maybe they prefer to interact there because there’s no character limit (like the 140 characters on Twitter.)  They may like the back and forth conversation of posting comments on each others wall and seeing their updates throughout the day.

[Read more…]

Attract Ideal Clients En-Masse With Public Speaking

Public speaking is one of the most effective ways to connect with ideal prospects for your service business. Even if you’re not entirely comfortable talking in front of a crowd, it would serve you well to add this strategy to your marketing mix. Why? For one reason, it’s the fastest way to establish yourself as an expert in your industry.

Think about it.  When you’re looking to hire a service provider, don’t you typically want to work with the BEST person for the job?  Would you really consider hiring a provider who isn’t well versed in what you need? Of course not! So neither would your prospective clients.

Smiling Woman at PodiumBy speaking publicly about your expertise, you automatically put yourself in the driver’s seat. Whether your presentation is 5 minutes long or 90 minutes long, the room is focused on you. Everyone is listening intently to your thoughts and if you deliver great content, they are writing down what you say and noting questions they have.  (Which is great because it means they are envisioning working with you!)

Also, public speaking allows you to develop that “know, like and trust” factor quickly and easily.  In listening to your presentation the audience gets a sense of who you are, how you teach and how they can benefit from the services you offer.  So instead of slowly developing a relationship over time, perhaps via online marketing, you speed up the process so that prospects feel more comfortable with you and can see the value of working with you.

[Read more…]

Small Business Financing Opportunities for Bay Area Businesses

If you are a small business owner in the San Francisco Bay Area and looking for options to finance your endeavors, I highly recommend you check out the upcoming “Annual Access to Capital Business Expo” on Saturday, November 6th.  The event is being hosted by the VEDC (Valley Economic Development Center) who’s mission is to create and sustain jobs and businesses in local communities by providing high-quality economic development services.

My friend Steve Roth who has been instrumental in the success of my business since the very beginning will be the keynote speaker. His presentation will focus on the attributes of successful companies.  Also, Steve will be the moderator for a panel discussion on accessing capital for your small business

An an expo participant you will have the opportunity to:

  • Discuss your financing needs in a one-on-one consultation with a loan officer
  • Obtain information from business resource providers & lenders
  • Attend workshops conducted by panels of experts:
  • Sources of unconventional financing & what it takes to qualify
  • Poised for growth – recovering from the recession
  • Understanding procurement & contracts
  • Creating a financial plan and enjoying life without boundaries
  • Government loan & incentive options

Registration is JUST $10 and includes breakfast, expo entry, lunch, workshops AND a private consultation!

BUT, Steve has generously provided me with a coupon code to waive your registration fee! (That’s just the kind of guy he is!).  Simply enter discount code: vedcSF at checkout. (NOTE: the discount code is case sensitive!)

You can secure your spot at:

http://sfwtmoney.eventbrite.com/

I’ve learned priceless lessons from Steve over the past 5 years and trust that this event will be well worth your time to attend.  Enjoy!


How to Consistently Attract Ideal Clients With ONE Sentence

When you’re out networking, attending a seminar or otherwise meeting new people and are asked, “What do you do?” how do you respond?

Do you label yourself? (i.e. “I am an Interior Designer”, “…Financial Planner” or “…Virtual Assistant”.)

What happens next?  The person you’re speaking to may say “Oh, that’s interesting” or change the subject and go on talking about something else.  Worse yet, you could get that “deer in headlights” look because they can’t relate to what you’ve just said.

Woman with LightbulbThe truth is, associating yourself with a particular profession doesn’t mean much because the person you’re speaking to may have no idea what you’re really talking about. And even if they do, you likely have a unique skill or specialty that sets you apart from others in your industry.  For example, how many different types of lawyers are there?  You could meet three attorneys at one event who all have different specialties, expertise and knowledge.  So if each one says, “I’m a Lawyer” this hardly showcases the value they provide to their clients.

[Read more…]

Stand Out and Stay Top of Mind Using Good Old Fashioned Snail Mail (SSMS Episode 17)

Subscribe to Sydni's PodcastLooking for a simple way to set yourself apart from the other service providers in your industry? And to stay top of mind with prospects, clients and referral partners? Online marketing strategies are highly effective and can work well for this purpose. But nothing grabs someone’s attention like receiving a handwritten note, letter or card from you in the mail! Learn how to implement this simple, low-cost marketing strategy in your business TODAY by listening to this week’s episode!

How to Eliminate Marketing Overwhelm

Overwhelmed Business WomanAre you confused by the “noise” of all the different strategies available to market your business?  You may hear one “expert” saying you HAVE to do social media or else you can’t have a thriving business.  Someone else is saying that you HAVE to do pay-per-click advertising to drive traffic to your website.  Still another claims that blogging is the “golden ticket” to your success!

Then there’s the fact that, as entrepreneurs, we often find it difficult to get through everything we’d like to accomplish in one day.  You may be so busy serving clients and doing your work, that your well-intentioned marketing plans fall by the way side.  If you don’t have a head for marketing or aren’t tech savvy, it can seem downright impossible to make any headway in growing your business.  And what happens then?  Because you can’t decipher what to do next, are pressed for time and have limited marketing knowledge you become overwhelmed and wind up doing nothing.

Doing nothing to market your business is not an option.  If you don’t consistently market your services, you won’t continue to attract new prospects and eventually your client base will dry up, leaving you with no revenue and no business.

So what’s the solution?

[Read more…]

How to Stand Out From Your Colleagues and Create a Thriving Business (SSMS Episode 16)

Subscribe to Sydni's PodcastYou’re not the only professional offering your particular service. To consistently attract YOUR ideal clients, you need to show prospects that you are the ONLY solution to their problems. So how do you go about doing this? How do you stand out from the pack? Implement what you learn in today’s episode and you’ll never be without a full practice of clients!

Are Your Marketing Materials Helping or Hindering Your Business?

One of the most important considerations in creating your version of a successful business is having a brand that reflects the high quality services you provide.

Just because you have a small business, doesn’t mean your brand should look “homemade”. Everything you do from participating in social networks, to your website and how you show up at networking events should reflect a polished professional image.  There is NO second chance for a first impression.

Therefore, you’ll want to give careful attention to your marketing materials and what they’re saying about you.  No matter what it is: your website, email newsletter, headshot, social media profiles, etc., your marketing materials should be first class.  They speak to your audience even when you aren’t there or long after you’ve met.  What are your marketing materials saying about you and the services you provide?

[Read more…]