How to Follow Up with Prospective Customers and Referral Partners After an Event

Successful african woman working in her small office with laptopPicture this…

You’ve just returned from a killer networking event. You mingled like a boss, rubbed some pretty impressive elbows, shared your vision and walked away with a pocket full of business cards.

Now what?

Networking is a powerful tool for marketing your business. Why? Because it involves relationship building, which is the key to driving ongoing success. In fact, 95% of professionals feel that face-to-face meetings are essential for developing and fostering long-term business relationships.

That first meeting is really just the tip of the iceberg. It’s the work you put in after the fact – that is, taking the appropriate steps to follow-up, stay connected and really start nurturing those relationships – that really gets results.

Easier said than done, right? Not necessarily. Think you’re too busy?    [Read more…]

7 Reasons to Use “Set It and Forget It” Marketing

It’s possible that you are too busy…

Too busy running your business to effectively market and grow your business?

If marketing feels like an afterthought and if you find yourself scrambling at the last minute to create compelling marketing campaigns…

You are in the right place!

There’s a new marketing game in town, and it will solve the previously mentioned problems and then some.

Here is the solution dropped right in your lap…      [Read more…]

Reputation Counts! How to Capture Business from Tech Companies

Business woman shaking handsTech companies of all sizes are looking for diverse suppliers to buy from. For example,Intel has committed to spending $300 million to diversify its workforce. Google has committed to spending $150 million with diverse companies this year alone.

As a minority-owned, woman-owned, veteran-owned or LGBT-owned small business, there is plenty of opportunity available to you to do business in the tech industry. However, before venturing into the world of supplier diversity, you should be sure your company is well positioned to attract and win business.

Reputation can be a big factor in whether or not a tech company chooses you as a vendor – and reputation can come in many different forms.

Your brand presence, your proposal process and your track record as a supplier can all be factors that can determine your reputation.

With a stellar reputation, you’re more likely to garner the attention of the exact tech companies you want to work with and help lay the foundation for a successful vendor/client relationship.      [Read more…]

Why Planning Is The Most Important Step In Your Website Design Journey

Young woman feels guilty and sorry for situationYou would think that getting a website that works would be as easy as finding a designer you like, telling them what you want and badabing badaboom you have a client magnet! Unfortunately that’s not the case.

The problem is that most small business owners take a “looks” approach when they start their website design.

They pick the colors, they have a vision for ideas that they want to convey with imagery, and they have some ideas for sweet doohickies that will make it all cutting edge… and that’s it.

What they’re missing is the functionality and strategy that needs to go into their design.

It’s kind of like hiring a contractor to build you your dream house. You tell them the colors, the finishes, the number of rooms, and that you really really want a hot tub in the back. He shows you some pictures of what he’s going to build, you oooh and ahhh, and tada he builds you a house!

But when you move in, things aren’t so ducky. Sure everything looks pretty, but your front door opens into the bedroom, the hallways look more like some kind of maze, and you don’t have enough room for any of your furniture.

In short, it’s just not functional. When visitors come they’ll initially be impressed by the curb appeal, but when they get into the house they won’t know what to do with themselves.

Just like a house, your website needs to have a strategic plan behind it before you build.

Creating that strategic plan can be tough for busy entrepreneurs because even though you understand your customers and have great services, you are probably not a web strategy expert (unless that’s your specialty). And what you think might be logical (just like your contractor thought), actually doesn’t translate into something functional that’s going to bring you results.

So how do you create a winning plan for your website?

On Thursday January 29th at 11am PST / 2pm EST I’ll be hosting a FREE webinar with my friend and colleague Holly Chantal of The Land of Brand® where she’ll be showing us exactly how to plan a website that attracts your ideal prospects and engages them right away.

Register NOW to join us:

012915 - SSM - JV - Holly Chantal - Webinar - Image 1

Webinar Hosting Reviews: Pros and cons of GoToWebinar, Livestream, and OnStream Webinars

Which webinar platform is right for you?Creating and marketing a great webinar is tough. Choosing a webinar hosting platform shouldn’t be.

That’s why we’ve researched the top-selling webinar hosting platforms on the Internet and compiled this handy list of pros and cons for each.

We reviewed each application and evaluated the following:

  • Cost and value for the money
  • User-friendliness
  • Tech support and tutorials
  • Video streaming options
  • Integration with social media and other websites
  • Webinar marketing assistance

While researching the best webinar hosting platforms, we looked at GoToWebinar, Onstream Webinars, Livestream, Google Hangouts + LeadPages, Adobe Connect, ClickWebinar, and MegaMeeting.

And the winners are….      Read more about Webinar Hosting Reviews: Pros and cons of GoToWebinar, Livestream, and OnStream Webinars

3 Simple Marketing Tools for Absolutely Any Budget

Marketing TacticsMany entrepreneurs think the best marketing tactics cost a fortune and require budgets of thousands per month.

The truth is that any small business owner with any budget can implement the following 3 marketing tactics with hardly any financial investment.

The best part? These tactics are not only cost-effective, they’re the most effective ways to generate new business and keep current customers coming back.

  1. Increase “word-of-mouth” referrals

    It’s an old adage for a reason: there really is no better marketing than word-of-mouth.

    You can encourage word-of-mouth marketing by giving your customers incentives to share your brand with their friends and families.

    A few examples of this include

    • “Refer a friend to my class, and when they sign up I’ll send you a check for $25!”
    • “For every referral that generates $100+, you’ll earn a free 90-minute massage session” ($125 value)
    • “Refer a friend and get 30% off your next session!”

    Notice that there is no out of pocket expense to you in any of these cases. The current customer wins big by getting a great deal or discount, and you win big by gaining a new (hopefully lifetime) customer.

  1. Build your customer base with (free or cheap) email marketing

    When you have a strong, active email list, sending a single email can do more for your bottom line than spending hundreds on advertising.

    The best part? It doesn’t cost a dime to start building your email list. You can create a free email capture form with sites like FreeContactForm.com, and begin marketing to your captured leads using Constant Contact (starting at $20/month).

    With such a low-cost investment of both time and money, it’s pretty amazing that email marketing remains one of the top tools in your marketing arsenal.

  1. Create and publish consistent content

    Consistency is one area where many small business owners and solopreneurs fall flat.

    Publishing consistent content on your blog and regularly emailing your list keeps your brand at the forefront of customers’ minds.

    That way, when they’re ready to buy, yours is the first business they’ll think of.

    Being consistent with your marketing tactics means….

    • Publishing blog posts on the same day or days each week
    • Shooting, editing and posting Youtube videos every week or month
    • Emailing your list regularly based on the tested frequency that works best for your brand and niche.

    The key thing is to consistently market your brand and then test the results.

    For instance, if emailing on Tuesdays and Fridays isn’t working, try switching to Mondays and Thursdays.

    Whatever you do, do it often, and always test to make sure your efforts are gaining the desired results.

Encouraging referrals, building your email list, and being consistent are 3 (practically) free marketing tactics that will give your brand a huge boost in terms of exposure and increased conversions.

Do you use all 3 marketing tactics in your current business?

If you’re missing one, what’s been holding you back?

Share your thoughts here on the blog!

5 Tech Tools That Help Prospective Clients Find You

One thing entrepreneurs never have enough of is time.

A lack of time is often cited as a reason why some small business owners aren’t consistent with their marketing efforts.

I can’t give you any “magical” tips on pulling time out of thin air, but I can share with you 5 tools that will help you market your business more consistently, more successful and help you to increase your profits: Read more about 5 Tech Tools That Help Prospective Clients Find You

5 Tech Tools That Help You Stay Current, Organized and Build REAL Relationships

You likely spend a significant amount of time each day connected to a desktop, a laptop, a smartphone, a tablet or some other device.

Are you making sure that the precious time you’re spending is going to give you a return on your investment? If what you’re doing isn’t directly tied to helping you serve the clients and customers you have, attracting new business, or spending time with your family and friends, it would be smart to consider where you can make adjustments.

One easy adjustment is to truly leverage technology to help you accomplish the important tasks you need to complete each day – you know, the ones that create tangible results and aren’t just keeping you distracted.

Here are 5 FREE tools that will help your day run smoother and get you one step closer to reaching your goals: Read more about 5 Tech Tools That Help You Stay Current, Organized and Build REAL Relationship

5 Ways to Grow Your Business with Evernote

If you’re anything like me, the minute you got your smartphone you were on the hunt for great apps. Having the right tools and resources at your disposal is essential to staying productive while you’re on the go. While there are a lot of apps out there that I use and I like, I’ve never found anything as dynamic as Evernote for growing my business.

Evernote is a website application as well as a smartphone application – meaning you can access it online, on your desktop, with your phone or your tablet. This is part of what makes it such a dynamic tool for your business. You can access your notes wherever you are.

In its simplest form, Evernote is a note taking tool. You can create notes and save them using notebooks and tags to keep everything organized. It’s pretty easy to get started but part of what makes it so terrific for small business owners is that you can do anything with those notes. You can clip articles from online, upload photos, record videos or voice memos and add in your own notes. The possibilities are virtually endless.

You can register for a F.R.E.E account for Evernote at Evernote.com, which also includes links to the Android and iPhone apps. There’s also a premium option for $5 per month which has extra features like multiple users. (However, I’ve been using the free version for almost 3 years and have never found it necessary to upgrade.)

So what can you do with Evernote? Here are a few ways to help your business grow.  Read more about 5 Ways to Grow Your Business with Evernote

How to Use Your Smartphone to Make Videos That Get You Clients


Creating a marketing video for your business used to mean booking time with a professional studio and paying a hefty price tag. Now you can do many of the same things using your own smartphone. Whether you have an iOS or Android device, you can use your smartphone or tablet as your personal video studio to craft content that speaks to your target audience.

But in order to get started, you need the right apps. There are several video recording apps to choose from for your smartphone. Here are a few of your best options.     Read more about How to Use Your Smartphone to Make Videos That Get you Clients