Help Us Make More Connections

After a challenging first half of the year we're keeping ourselves alert to the connections we're making in the industry. The more people we help, the better our own business does.

Sue wants to do more of her Getting to Know You calls. While these calls never include a sales pitch of any kind, the honest personal connections that result have been consistently helpful—on both sides.

Who do you know in the publishing industry? Could be an agent, a publisher, a designer: if they're in publishing, point them to this post and let them know two things:

  1. We'd love to connect to learn about them.
  2. We abhor pushy sales pitches disguised as 'friendly chats' so when they talk to Sue, they're safe.

3 Ways to Expand Your Twitter Network

Twitter is still a major part of my social media marketing efforts. More traffic comes to my client's websites from Twitter than anywhere else. It's a great place to engage with others, start conversations, and have your content shared by your connections.

How can you expand your Twitter network so you have more connections to engage with and share your content?

  1. Mentions. Using the @ symbol to tag someone else and talk about what they are doing. When you share your connections' valuable and relevant content, they will reciprocate. Their followers see that you have valuable content and may follow you.
  2. Hashtags. Use hashtags to find profiles interested in the same topics you are interested in. This is particularly helpful if you're attending an online event where everyone is using the same hashtag to tweet about the event. As an example, each time the Nonfiction Writers Conference has an online conference, they use the hashtag #NFWC. Find other people using the same hashtag and connect with them.
  3. Lists. Create Twitter lists. Lists are great tools for finding content to share within a certain topic, and to find other people interested in the same topic. When I'm notified that I've been added to someone else's list, I then see who else is on that list and follow them as appropriate.

… more … "3 Ways to Expand Your Twitter Network"

4 Ways Your Small Business Can Remain Competitive

4 Ways Your Small Business Can Remain CompetitiveDo you want to remain competitive and increase your profits? Of course you do! How can you still accomplish all you need to do while remaining competitive?

Here are 4 ways your small business can remain competitive:

  1. Get professional help!

Two questions to ask yourself to determine what tasks you need to get help with are:

  1. What are the things you do that drain you of energy? We all do things we really enjoy and that energize us. We also do things that tend to drain our energy.
  2. What are the things you do that don't directly increase your profits? You know—those tasks that have to be done in a business but don't directly bring in income.

Once you've identified the things that drain you of energy and that don't directly increase your profits, you're ready to call in professional help. A virtual assistant can take on those tasks, leaving you with the tasks that you feel energized about and that contribute directly to your bottom line.

  1. Market by providing valuable education

Any business owner can increase their profits by gaining new clients. The key here is to approach this with a new mindset. Instead of focusing on gaining new clients to increase your business, focus on contributing value to others. The increased business and new clients will come.

Think about how you market to your clients. Is your focus on what you do and what your services you provide? The key is to focus on our prospects and clients, on their needs, who they are, what challenges they face, and what benefits they will receive by using your services.

Another way to provide valuable education to prospects and clients is to write articles and reports, such as this one, and distribute them freely. They not only increase your credibility, they give your prospects valuable information and a way for them to learn more about you and your services.

  1. Build relationships with social networking

Marketing now needs to focus more on building relationships. That's why we've seen an increase in businesses using social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Use these sites to provide resources and referrals. Be involved and participate in a meaningful way. Building relationships at these sites can build trust and at some point you'll find people asking more about what you can do for them.

  1. Invest in your business

Sometimes the best way to remain competitive in the small business world is to invest in your business. As a small business owner myself, I know how difficult the first few years were and there were times when there was no way I was going to spend any money until I had earned a certain amount of money. However, I learned an important lesson: investing in my business. Investing in my business allowed me to hire additional help so I could take on more work. In the process my business grew, I was making more money, and actually working less because I had a team of people assisting me.

One way to invest in your business is to utilize the resource Kabbage. Small businesses can use the working capital loan Kabbage offers to invest in their business to grow and thrive.

So what are you waiting for? If you want your small business to remain competitive, then get professional help, market by providing valuable education, build relationships with social networking, and invest in your business!

Commit to Offering Value

Make a commitment to offer something of value in your business. If you're already doing this, great! Find ways to take it up a notch. Helping people will result in growing your business. Here are five things you can do to offer value.

1.  Call a past client just to see how they're doing. Don't ask for anything; instead, offer an idea, a resource, perhaps a free report - no strings attached.

2. Send something of value to those on your mailing list. Again, it could be a free report or other resource.

3.  Call one of those people you met at that last networking event and invite them to coffee to tell you all about their business. Make it clear you want to learn more about what they do so you'll know the type of client to refer to them.

4.  Offer an educational teleclass to your network.

5. Write a thank-you note to someone who took the time to speak or meet with you.

It doesn't take much to commit to offer something of value. You'll be surprised at the results!

What can you offer?

Achieving Your Goals

What goals are you headed for?A key to moving your business forward and being successful is setting goals and putting them down in writing. Those who don't put them in writing tend to flounder, unsure of where they're heading.

Written goals help you see exactly where you want to be and what you want to achieve. A simple way to start is to just make a list of your daily accomplishments. Start a dream journal. Write down where you want your business to be in one year, five years, ten years. Seeing your goals in writing will give you the extra motivation needed to achieve those goals.

Setting Social Media Goals

Set clear, reasonable goals. It's useful to break your goals down into smaller goals. It's useful to write down one to three action items you will take to achieve each goal. Then put in writing the date you want to complete each item. You'll be surprised what you can accomplish.

Failures are opportunities to learn. Don't hold back if you fail to meet a goal. Re-examine the goal, perhaps change it, adjust the timeline. Set a new, smaller goal if necessary. Then celebrate when you achieve it.

We set goals for each of our clients on a monthly basis and review them often. If we're not reaching a goal, we re-evaluate it and determine if we need to adjust the goal or adjust what we are doing to reach our target.

"We created targets  for each channel for each month, measure against them and ultimately met and exceeded each goal. I can’t imagine achieving my goals without her help and support." - George Troy

Read what our satisfied clients say about how we've helped them.