How To Make Connections On LinkedIn The Right Way

LinkedIn is a fabulous online networking tool that can help you grow your connections and business.

The problem is because it’s online, there are a lot of lazy people out there who rely on the standard request:

“I’d like to add you to my professional network.”

How many times have you received one of these requests to connect from someone on LinkedIn that you’ve never heard of before?

They’re maddening, aren’t they?

I’m not the greatest at remembering names, so I guess there’s a slim chance that I may have met them at a conference or networking event.

The problem is, by sending LinkedIn’s generic invitation if you’re “unknown” to the recipient, it’s probably going to be ignored.

Make it personal

It’s my understanding that the only way you can personalise your request is if you click on “connect” from the person’s LinkedIn profile from your desktop or laptop. You don’t get the option when using the app.

From my point of view, if you want to connect with me, you need to tell me why.

There are a lot of folks out there that want to make themselves look well connected by sending requests to every Tom, Dick and Harry.

What’s the point in that?

LinkedIn loses its effectiveness as a potential marketing tool if you’re connecting to random people.

No. If you want to get the most out of it and want to connect to certain people, give them a damn good reason why they should accept.

How to be personal

It goes without saying your LinkedIn profile should carry a professional photo of you. Leave the ones of you cycling, running, or dancing on tables for Facebook.

Then you should always start your request with a greeting bearing the recipient’s name (spelt correctly).

Tell them how you know them. Perhaps you have mutual acquaintances, follow each other on Twitter, or met at a networking event, conference etc.

Once you’ve done that tell them why you want to connect with them followed by a short description about what you do.

Finish off with a bit of flattery about their work (not so much that it’s creepy or embarrassing) and sign off in a friendly way.

Personally, if I get the generic connection request, it’s very unlikely I’ll accept (especially if I don’t know the sender) and I’m sure I’m not alone.

If you want to make an impact and some valuable connections, put in the effort to make it personal.

Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting, is a professional copywriter, SEO website copywriter and advertising copywriting with extensive experience in both B2B and B2C markets.

To have a chat about how she can help you send an email to sally@briarcopywriting.com or call +44(0)1449 779605.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Sally_Ormond/12972

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Corporate Branding – Will they remember you?

In today’s market selling quantity seems to be the rule of the day. Slap together something quick and don’t worry about what flies out the door, it doesn’t even matter who the purchasers are.

Companies who focus on branding will stand out amongst the crowd. Why? They have recognized that most buyers’ especially online buyers need confidence in doing business with an established entity. Nothing shows your commitment to your business like a well developed branding strategy. Having a great logo is the first major step towards cultivating this development. Sure there are plenty of “out-of-the-box” logo solutions and the prices are more than appealing to a business that doesn’t recognize the value of their corporate image.

The Difference

Why should you spend more than $300 on a logo? Would you buy a car for $1000? Chances are if you do you’ll be paying a lot more for maintenance and the headaches it will bring. You always get what you pay for. This can’t be stressed enough. If you are willing to sabotage your business from the very beginning by neglecting the image you portray to your potential clients, that logo will be costing you a lot more than you’re willing to invest. A professional Graphic Designer will invest a lot of time, researching to produce a logo that is truly unique (vital to branding and making your mark) and introduce you to a solid first step in Branding your company as a powerful entity. A logo is further enhanced by the elements built around it. With everything related to design, everything should be custom made, now more so than ever because the competition for capital is increasing. You have to be better than your competitors in as many ways possible.

For the young start-up company, budgets may disallow you the option of working with a professional designer. There are plenty of great designers out there that won’t gouge your pocket book but be certain that they are capable of creating exactly what you want and that they have the experience to expand upon the logo design provided. You want someone who is business savvy and has demonstrated their applied knowledge. They must be able to foresee the bigger picture. The success of your business rests on this.

Putting it Together

Generally speaking the more experienced the designer the higher the rates charged. With the experience you will usually get a product that has been developed and refined over time. A veteran Graphic Designer will be designing with the big picture in mind taking your investment dollars further. The numbers quoted are relative to what they generate, a client will be happy to invest money when they see return. If the image developed for them attracts customers price becomes secondary. Recognize the value of your image and take your logo very seriously. As human beings we are visual.

For the long haul

Generally a business that has quality services to offer and takes their image seriously will understand the value of investing in professional design. Most successful businesses know how much they must devote to marketing in order to generate the sales they desire. Those marketing dollars will be more effective if your Branding approach was cultivated properly. If you take your business seriously chances are you’ll attract the same. How do you want to be viewed?

A Bit about the Logo

For the most part focus was placed on the business mentality rather than the logo itself. There are different types of logos. Many large corporations utilize strictly text or abbreviations. Companies like DELL, IBM, RCA, ABB, etc. Text logos are very popular and are easily integrated across the Branding board. Iconic treatments are also utilized by many businesses. An icon can be very powerful in identifying a company. Take Apple or Nike for example. Using imagery is a very powerful strategy in branding. Symbols guide us in our lives and daily activities. Icons can be very simple and clean to more complex utilizing gradients and simulated 3D. Illustrative (beyond iconic) is less frequently used but can work effectively for companies that usually want to portray a timelessness or “natural” homey feeling typically found on a bottle of tomato sauce or organic potato chips.

Everything outlined above can dictate the price of your logo. The logo is a powerful aspect of your company. It should take time to create and will require much attention if it is to create a powerful Branding strategy. Be sure that the logo designer of choice is willing to provide you with mock ups and multiple revisions and is willing to help take your company to the next level.

Author Bio Tyson Fenech is the Creative Director for Core Creative Concepts. Designing web sites and print materials for the past 7 years helping both small startups and Fortune 500 companies.

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Going The Extra Mile to Business Success

You cannot fail when you give more than 100 percent. In whatever endeavour you are doing, always give more than one hundred percent. You will find that whenever you do this, your rewards will always be far greater than the extra effort you expended. Some people refer to this success concept as going the extra mile. What it means is that you need to give people more than they expect.

If you are working in your business and want to see it grow, the surest way to achieve it is by giving more. Customers are impressed when they discover a business that is innovative and gives them more than what they expected. Look for better and more efficient ways to do things. For example, make it easy to order from your site. Reduce the number of clicks to get to relevant information about your product or the order form.

Don’t be afraid of giving information for free. This is a crucial step in the online world to building credibility and trust. A free report or a sample (or extract) from your information product will enable your potential customer to determine whether what you are offering is what they are looking for.

Always include some free (but valuable) bonuses with every product ordered. This also promotes the perception of getting more than what was paid for. In some cases, I have purchased products on the net because the free bonuses interested me more than the main product.

Ensure that your product delivery is quick and efficient. If you sell an information product, ensure that the customer can download it as soon as they have paid for it. Provide alternative download formats and locations so that all needs are catered for. Follow up a couple of days later to ensure they received their products without problems. If they had problems, resolve them straight away and provide an additional bonus to compensate for their inconvenience.

If your product needs to be shipped, provide your customer with alternative shipping methods. You customer can then choose how quickly their order is to be delivered and they can pay for the faster alternatives. Again, follow up to ensure they received their order on time and without problems.

Go the extra mile with customer complaints. This is an excellent opportunity to turn a disgruntled buyer into a life long supporter of your business. Acknowledge problems and resolve them quickly. Thank the customer for making you aware of them. You can be sure that if one customer has had a problem, then others have also had the same problem too.

For those working directly with customers, always give them more than they expect and you will generate more sales. Sometimes just giving a big, warm smile and courteous attention to the customers’ requirements are all that is required. In the online world, prompt attention to email and courteous responses will boost your reputation and your sales. Spend the time to determine the customers’ need and then you will be in a position to satisfy it. I stress to you be sure to concentrate on satisfying the customers need.

Have you ever been into a store and everyone is glum and does not want to serve you? Do you feel inclined to buy from them? No. But go into a store where they seem glad to see you and willing to help you and you feel far more like buying their products. The same applies to the online world. A well-designed web site with easy access to information will yield greater results. Make your web site user friendly!

Don’t sit around waiting for people to buy. Ensure that your marketing communications ask for the order! Encourage responses through offering a strong guarantee. When someone makes a claim under your guarantee, honour it. This is part of the trust building process.

Make the effort to develop additional skills in your spare time. Studying about leadership or how to motivate people will always be of help in building your business. There is always something new to be learnt when it comes to dealing with people and influencing them to buy.

However, never lose sight of your most important task right now – keeping your existing customers satisfied.

Author Bio

Article by Kevin Sinclair, CPA, of Personal & Business Success Resources. Visit his website at www.mlm.ksinclair.com.

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com

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How can you help your business to thrive in a Co-Working Space?

Co-working is getting a lot of attention right now, and it’s easy to understand why. If you’ve never heard of this type of office before, a co-working space is simply a dedicated office space where companies can rent a desk or five on a per-week or per-month basis. The office has facilities including computers, meeting rooms – and if you’re lucky – a kitchen.

If you’re an entrepreneur, business owner or startup who primarily works from home, then co-working offers a range of benefits – a professional environment to host clients, a chance to escape the home office and still use a comfortable chair, and a built-in network to help your business grow.

But co-working can have it’s downsides. It’s been accused of being trendy, gimmicky, fostering competitiveness and negativity, and of being the most unproductive environments business owners could find themselves in. If you’re thinking of using a co-working space, here are some tips to help you get the most out of the experience:

1. Look for the right space

Different co-working spaces attract different types of businesses. As with any other business activity, think carefully about your needs and goals are before you choose your space. Tour lots of different spaces and look for one that fits in well with your business goals.

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5 Email Marketing Tips to Grow Your Small Business

Are you looking for ways to use email marketing to grow your business? Then you’ll want to take a look at these five email marketing tips to help boost your sales.

As a small business owner, it’s tough to decide which marketing strategies to invest in. After all, you can promote your business using social media, blog content, video sharing mediums such as YouTube or Vimeo and even put out routine press releases sharing good news with your loyal followers.

However, studies continue to show that customers prefer to receive marketing materials via email, making email marketing one of the most important strategies to focus on.

Not to mention, the ROI on email still impresses. In fact, for every one dollar you spend email marketing, you can expect at least $44 in return.

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Tips From Branding, Blogging & Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business

There’s so much that goes into creating a successful small business marketing campaign. Branding, content marketing and social media all play important roles in this area. So you need to come up with the mix best for you.

But members of the online small business community can still offer valuable insights to help you shape your own unique plan. Here are some of their top tips for promoting your small business with content marketing, social media and branding.

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

Source: https://smallbiztrends.com/2018/06/10-tips-for-branding-blogging-and-social-media-marketing.html

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15 Business Etiquettes Professionals Should Know

A man without a smiling face must never open a shop” or so the Chinese proverb goes. Truly, smiling goes a long way to lighting up the mood for a friendlier, more understanding conversation. This is true in business as well, especially when trying to make a business partnership. However, there are more business etiquettes beyond smiling and demonstrating these will show others that your customers and your business are worth respecting.

* Introduce everyone, even when in doubt – There is a proper way to introduce people to each other. First, introduce the person who is the most senior, using their full name and their job title or responsibility. Next introduce that person to the person who has lower authority. Make sure to also mention his or her full name. To end, you may mention some details about each other as a topic of common interest. When being introduced to someone, always stand up if you are sitting.

* A firm handshake – The way businessmen shake hands more often than not sets the tone between them. Giving a good, firm handshake will set a good first impression as it may eventually end up in a successful business partnership. If you are the host or the senior member, you should be the one initiating the handshake.

* Admit if you forget their names – Forgetting the names of people you were recently introduced to is not uncommon. If it happens, admit it and ask for it again as this shows that you give them importance.

* Sitting down for a meeting – Whether the meeting is in a restaurant or in an office, in a group or a one-on-one, it is best not to pull out the chair for anyone. In a business setting, everyone should dismiss social gender rules and treat everyone equally. When seated, never cross your legs as it may be distracting and disrespectful.

* Meeting in a restaurant – Contrary to business instincts, do not use your knife to break bread. Tear it off with your bare hands as this signifies your openness to your potential business partner. When finished with the meal, never push your plate away nor stack the plates. Try not to have any left overs as well. If your guest orders appetizers or dessert, you should be ordering as well. This avoids the potential awkwardness of having other people in your party eating and you have nothing on your plate. If you are the host, you should pay for your guest unless he or she insists otherwise or is against their company’s gifting policy.

* Dress properly – The way someone dresses is a form of nonverbal communication. Dressing appropriately for a meeting shows an automatic sign of respect for either the guests or for the host. Additionally, always check the dress code for an event as some events may require either more or less formal attire.

* Keep cellphones in your pockets – Never place phones on the meeting table and don’t use them during the meeting. Only answer calls that are urgent and excuse yourself from the meeting and take your call outside so you don’t interrupt the meeting.

* “Please” and “Thank You” – These two phrases show politeness in any conversation and it is all the more important in a professional setting. Saying “please” can be used as much as needed. “Thank you”, however, should be used once or twice as saying it too many times may lower its impact. As much as possible, give thanks to everyone individually after a meeting.

* Stay sober – Businessmen have lost reputations and careers because drunken behavior. Although none of the things said or done while drunk were meant, it is a clear sign of disrespect towards either the host or guests. Don’t embarrass yourself or your business. Know your limits and control your pace.

* Be genuinely interested – Always make eye contact in a conversation and make sure to pay attention to every detail the guest says. Take the time to ask questions as this shows that you were listening and interested.

* Double check emails – Simple mistakes can be made to derail a meeting or blow a deal. You may have date and time wrong for a meeting, left out some paperwork to be signed, or worse, your emails were sent to the wrong person and may potentially endanger the company.

* Use professional photos – When using your or anyone’s photos for business matters, always use a proper headshot. Businesses would need to look credible to other businesses.

* Greet everyone anywhere – Regardless of seniority, always greet people. You may never know that he may actually be your next business partner. When people greet you, it is imperative that you greet back.

* Don’t forget to smile – Just like the Chinese proverb, smiling works wonders in any occasion, whether in a meeting, during introductions, or in a business social gathering.

* End on a polite note – When you need to leave, make sure you exit politely with either, “It was nice to meet you” or “See you at the next meeting”.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9899429

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The Value of Networking Your Brand

Networking can be an effective tool for promoting, marketing and sharing your personal brand. It allows you to meet and connect with like minded individuals and develop quality relationships. It also helps you create the right contacts for growing a viable and profitable network. Last but not least, it allows you to communicate your mission, goals and passions for success.

Listed below are tips and practical ways that savvy networkers can increase their brand proposition.

Activate Your Brand

In order to build a credible and reliable personal brand, you need to be active in your networking activities. Generally, this means staying consistent and intentional in your endeavors. Whether you feel comfortable connecting via in person or online, have a plan and put it into action. Make sure to follow up and follow through. Set up meetings, additional ways to stay in touch in person or online and build your personal brand with others. Show commitment and integrity in your dealings and interactions.

Establish Your Brand

As you develop your relationships, focus on building a strong personal brand. Explore various avenues of expressing your personal brand within your communications styles. What makes you unique and differentiates you from your colleagues or competitors? What skills, abilities or talents make you passionate in your career, business or academics? What do things do people associate you with, when your name comes to mind? By answering these questions, you are gaining a greater understanding of the value of your brand.

Execute Your Brand

Your personal brand can be a powerful for growing your networks. Use it as a touch point for conversations and finding opportunities. Show the relevance of it whenever you go to events, meetings and functions. Incorporate it into your elevator pitch, resume / bio, business cards and other marketing tools and materials. Make every effort to reinforce its worth and significance.

Use these tips to add more value and increase the dynamics of your connections. Along with your communication styles and marketing efforts, create relationships that improve your networks.

By Chi Chi Okezie

Chi Chi Okezie is owner/producer of SIMPLEnetworking, LLC in Metro – Atlanta, GA. Learn tips, tactics and techniques from the Champion Networker! Visit the SN Official Website: http://www.snseminars.com to read excerpts of her networking books, sign up for the newsletter, register for events and classes or visit her blog! Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9932929

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All About Getting More Facebook Likes

A lot of marketers have a goal of getting as many Facebook likes as humanly possible as they lead to better SEO and a more viral audience that does not hesitate when it comes to jumping into the mix and sharing their opinions along with your posts. Having an active fan base is crucial to promoting your page, product or a service to a larger visitor base. That said, the tricky part is getting those Facebook likes to flow in as today there are a lot of competitors that just can’t wait to see you fail.

1. Post relevant content – yes it’s very easy to get off topic when it comes to these things but keeping on topic and to the point is the key to getting more Facebook likes in a short amount of time, and if you manage to share something that is not already common knowledge your targeted audience will surly know how to appreciate it

2.Add call to action – sometimes we just need to remind our visors and fans to actually participate and add Facebook likes, Facebook shares and Tweet our post, there is nothing wrong with adding a certain call to action at the end of your post

3.Interlink your social accounts – Twitter, Facebook and Instagram work very well together and you can get a lot more shares if you use all of these channels, it won’t be time consuming as you are sharing a same post but it will surely do the trick

4.Offer value – you can run a promotional give away or send out samples of your products to a lucky few but these things usually end up getting a lot of Facebook likes overnight not to mention a lot shares, just make sure you are not overdoing it by accident.

Ask a question! It’s common practice that we always think we have to be the ones telling the story to our visitors in order to get more Facebook likes, however, if you turn the mic over to them, they will be more they willing to participate as they will be emotionally invested in the topic. The key here is to ask the correct question. You can also start a debate as that will work well also.

Post a photo! They get 54% more Facebook likes than just standard textual messages and updates as the visitors have to spend less time in order to get engaged right away. You can also post short videos as those do the trick as well.

Post 1 to 2 times per day! This is proven to get about 40% more Facebook likes and engagement than posting 3 times a day or just once every few days. A lot of big brands use this strategy successfully as this is what will spark the best reaction.

Source: http://www.a1articles.com/all-about-getting-more-facebook-likes-2440179.html By NorbertoHensley

 

 

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The Challenges You Must Overcome to Turn Your Small Business Into a Big Business

You might have a small business today, but you don’t want that label for the life of your business. When entrepreneurs make endeavors, they are looking to create a business that will rule the world one day. However, every business has to face some struggles in the beginning that it must overcome to become a big business. The way you handle these challenges decides the fate of your small business. Today, you will read about these challenges and the solutions to them, so if you are a small business, you can set the foundation for its success.

Knowing the Target Market

One of the biggest issues with most small businesses is that they don’t know their exact target market. Sometimes, they don’t know how to narrow down to the target market. This is a huge issue because you could have a perfect product, but you might pitch it to the people who don’t need it. Keep in mind that people who don’t need your product won’t buy it even if you try to give it to them for free. On the other hand, people who need your product will be willing to buy it even if it is priced high. For your business to survive, it needs to start selling as quickly as possible, and that’s why it is important to find your target market before launching your product.

Solution

The first step of identifying your target market is to know your product well enough. You have to ask yourself some important questions about the product and write the answers down. For example, you have to ask yourself “what existing problem does my product solve?” You also have to know if there are any other solutions available in the market for the same problem. If yes then you have to see how your product is better than them or how you can make it better. Conduct surveys on the street and social media to know the personas of the best buyers of your product.

The Right Type of Marketing

Businesses, small and big, have huge parts of their budgets allocated only for marketing purposes. However, the modern technological advancements have proven that a big marketing budget does not translate to successful marketing. So, you might have done a great job in identifying your target market, but if you approach them in the wrong way or through the wrong channel, you will not be able to reap any benefits from even the most potential market for your product or service.

Solution

Identifying your target market should help you identify your marketing methods and channels too. For example, if your product is for people aged over 50, you would not want to make Instagram the prioritized marketing channel because only 18% of the users on Instagram are aged above 50. Similarly, any product that targets executives, marketing officers and professional people should be promoted on LinkedIn before any other platform. After knowing the buyer personas, you should also select the type of marketing that best suits your potential audience. If you are creating a hip-hop music video for marketing to retired individuals or an opera video for 18-year olds, you are doing it wrong. Use website analytical tools to know what appeals or does not appeal to your website, visitors. Base your digital marketing campaigns on data-this is the era of data-driven marketing.

The Funding Problem

If there were no funding problem, every person who thinks of a unique idea would have a business. In the real world, funding is always a problem, and it is exactly the point where the journey ends for many aspiring people in business. However, it is not always the lack of funds that kill many small businesses before they even start. In fact, the important part is how much dedication you show in arranging those funds. Sometimes, people have the options available, but they do not knock on all the doors.

Solution

First, you have to know all the options you have available for arranging the funds. If you are not okay with arranging funds through the bank or in the form of a loan, take a look around at your family and relatives. You will be surprised to know how many of the people in your circle will be ready not only to give you the investment you need but become a part of the endeavor. The crowdfunding options are also there. You don’t even have to go to the investors personally today as you can visit a platform like funded.com and arrange funds online.

The Right Leadership

You can’t make a business successful unless you have the right leader in place. It is not completely untrue that the attitude of the leader sets the attitude of the rest of the employees at a company. If you lack confidence in your leadership, you will end up hiring people who lack confidence in themselves. One of the biggest problems with most small business owners is that they can’t convince themselves to delegate responsibilities. They believe in their skill so much that their mind never accepts that someone else can handle the responsibilities too. They end up taking the responsibility of everything on their shoulders and mismanaging things at the end of the day.

Solution

The first thing that needs to be fixed here is how you think. If you find it hard to delegate responsibilities, get rid of this habit as soon as possible. You can’t handle everything as the business grows and so you have to create a team right from day one. Do not hire people just because they can do the job-hire people who share the same vision as you. Do not settle for good employees because finding the best ones is taking time. Do not try to take matters into your hands all the times. Listen to everyone that’s part of the team and the decision making process. Have a great relationship with your employees.

Setting the Price

One of the most difficult decisions for a small business owner is to set the price of its service or product. When you are a small business, you can’t afford to have a full-fledged marketing department. Of course, when you have a marketing department, they can set the price of your products, but when there is no marketing department, you are the one to take this decision. Price your solutions too low, and you might not make any profit at all. Price your solution too high, and customers might never buy your product.

Solution

It will be tremendously helpful in this scenario to take a look at your competitors and how they have priced their products. Secondly, you have to know a simple rule to set the prices of your products and services. You first set the price to cover your costs. Once you have started covering your costs, you set the price to cover the costs and make a profit. Once you have done that successfully, you start adding your “value” to the price. You should also know the buying power of your target market so you can keep the price within their comfort zone.

These points cover pretty much every big challenge that a small business comes across. Keep in mind that some of the challenges might be exclusive to your business and industry too, but if you can overcome these common challenges, you can cover the industry-specific difficulties as well.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at http://www.Funded.com

 

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