Business cards are great, they carry a wealth a contact info and they are very easy to acquire. Whether you have a pile of cards you’ve collected from a recent trade show or cards you’ve collected overtime, you need to harness their latent energy. I imagine they aren’t doing you much good is a desk drawer.
As my amazing wife often says, “The Fortune is in the Follow-up.” So, how can we best tackle this mountain of cards? Let’s re-look at all these cards, not as a daunting task, but as opportunities to do business.
First, sort the cards in four groups; 1) Hot Leads, 2) Leads, 3) Contacts & 4) Junk.
Hot Leads are people that are very interested in your product or services right now. They need to be contacted ASAP. If you have a lot of these, don’t panic – be grateful. ~:-) Depending on the age of your mountain you might not have a lot of #1’s.
Leads are your second group to make contact with. You might be surprised to find out they are hotter leads that you believed.
Contacts are people to stay in contact with but, aren’t in the market for what you offer today. I would ask YOU to consider if they might know people that would be interested in your offering.
Junk are cards that you believe would have no interest in your company or if you already have their card. Excuse my optimism, but if someone gave you their card, I believe their might be an opportunity there.
OK, so you only really needed two groups, Hot Leads and Other, but I made you consider each card. ~:-)
Get those business cards on your computer. No, don’t stack them on your monitors. We need to digitize them. You can open your address book and start typing away or you can
use an app on your phone or tablet. Earlier this year I shared my top 10 favorite apps for the iPad. Number 4 was CardMunch.
This is a free app that works remarkably well at capturing the data from your cards. It can then sync with the address book on your computer(s). Note: It does require a free LinkedIn account. When you scan the cards it will look to LinkedIn to see if they are a member. If they are it will take some of their info from their profile and add it to your address book. Pretty slick.
Make Some Calls and eMails
What are you waiting for? Get a hold of your #1’s right away! There is no substitute for personal contact. Yes, personalized eMail can be personal.
Contact All of them, ALL.
Yes really. If you had unlimited time and resources, you’d personally make contact with everyone. But, I’m not here to give you more work, my aim is to help you work smarter and more efficiently. For those of you who have read my articles in the past know, I like to reduce the amount of keystrokes (work) needed to achieve your goals. To make the least amount of impact with the least amount of work.
eMail is a powerful and cost effective way to connect and stay connected with your people. So take those newly entered cards and prepare and eMail (maybe an article like this. ~:-). I recommend that if you have over 50 people that you wish to eMail that you use an online tool such as Constant Contact or iContact. These
services will ensure maximum deliverability (higher percentage of people will actually see your message).
I understand this is just the beginning of the journey up the mountain. If you need help along the climb let me know. ~:-) Remember, “The Fortune is in the Follow-up”.
Thanks to everyone for visiting our booth at the Building Bridges Trade Show on Wednesday in Longivew/Kelso.
We had a great time of networking.
Without further ado, we’d like to announce the Winners to our raffles from some of our awesome clients!
- 1 Hour of Free Landscaping
Winner: Lisa Allen from Banda’s Bouquets
Spencer’s Trucking & Excavating
- 1 Yard of Top Soil
Winner #1: Wayne Lewis from Lewis Construction
Winner #2: Erin Fields from the Valley Bugler
Music & More Productions & Tent City Rentals
- Free Rental of PA System and 1 Mic
Winner: Dale Novotny from Applied Industries, Inc.
Fire Place for Your Home
- Assorted DVD & Blue-Ray of Fireplaces and Fishtanks
Winner: Sue Piper from Columbia River Reader
- 1 Facebook for Business Workshop Ticket
Winner #1: Julie Reinhard from Community Home Health & Hospice
Winner #2: Jack Crenshaw from Castle Rock School District
A big thank for our awesome clients please check them out. ~:-)
These drawings were from entries received at the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Building Bridges – that showcased local business in and around Cowlitz County Washington. Thank you Chamber!
April 17th, 2013 – Cowlitz County Regional Expo Center
We are proud to be part of this great business event for the 3rd year running.
Please download and print this invite and bring it with you to the event.
From the Kelso Longview Chamber…
Welcome to the third year of the Business Showcase, formerly called Business 2 Business Expo. We have a new name, Building Bridges a Regional Business Showcase. This was changed to try to encourage more people to attend. A Business 2 Business expo lead many people to believe that only those businesses displaying at the expo were permitted to attend. Your committee decided to change the name to hopefully do what was originally intended…
Showcase the businesses of Cowlitz County. Thank you, for continued support this event and be a part of the over 100 businesses showcasing what they do.
This year set up will be able to take place on Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning, followed by a lunch in one of the break-out rooms with a speaker who will provide you with valuable information on how to make your day the most successful it can be.
Again, this year we will offer a chance for one of our booth or table holders to win a Multimedia Packaged valued at close to $5,000 that can be used for Transit advertising, local newspaper ads, radio spots, webdesign and graphic design. We will also be giving away baskets of goodies provided by our sponsors/venders and this year we intend to give away a number of tablets to our exhibitors. The more people you get to attend and visit your booth the better chance you have to win one of the popular new tablets.
A reminder, there will not be an After Hours Reception this year. Light snacks and a no-host bar will be set up at 5pm for you and your guests to enjoy.
CEO/Kelso Longview Chamber
I’m often asked how to get better Google rankings for a business. They understand that if a business doesn’t exist online, it’s likely they won’t exist offline very long. We can discuss other search engines but, today we will just focus on the King of Search. According to PC World Google is the King of Search with a 66% share and Microsoft Bing at a distant 15%.
Before I talk about improving results, I like to give a lesson on the anatomy of Google search results.
Let’s take a look at the layout of the Google search results page. When you do a search for a business, Google serves you up some content. To simplify the process I’m going to take some artistic license. There are three 3 components. 1- Paid Ads 2- Places (Maps) & 3- Organic Results. Interestingly enough each of the 3 components has a different way to get to the top of each section.
Let’s start with component 1. Paid ads. The first section of ads are ones the top-left of your screen and they have a yellow background. The second section of ads are down the right site of the page. To get listed in here you have to get a Google adwords account and pay up.
This can be fairly inexpensive for categories that don’t have a lot of competitors. This is how nationwide companies often show up for local search when they don’t actually have a local presence. Alternatively, in highly competitive markets this can be very pricey. The good news is you can get to the top, the question is “at what cost?” If you plan to take this route, I strongly recommend you have professional set you up with your account. Some knowledge on the front-end can save some serious time and money.
Component 2 is the Map results.
This is often directly below the primary paid section. This section is great as they are location based. They only list businesses that have a physical address on the map. Each listing in the section has a pin with a letter and a map to show you it’s location. Google offers free places pages for businesses. These pages are basic, but they do allow for the all important client reviews.
The simplest way to get optimal ranking in this section is to #1 have an address in the search area, and to have a good quantity of positive reviews. Again, good news here is that these pages are free. Your business may already have one as Google uses a variety of sources to automatically create these pages.
You can claim your page by clicking on the link underneath it and by then clicking on “Mange this page”. FYI It does require a Google account to take control of a page.
The 3rd component is the Organic Results. Who doesn’t love organic. This section is also free and Google does a good job of ranking web sites primarily on the content of the pages (relative to the search) and the popularity of the website.
This section rewards those who have great web sites with specific intelligently prepared content. Some web professional will say getting a blog will get you great organic results. This can be very true with some diligent work and training from a professional. ~:-)
This month I want to encourage you to take another look @ Linked-In. I’ve seen a lot of activity in the last month. For most users, I recommend that they get in at least once a quarter and make sure their info is updated and make some more connections. This month, I encourage you to logon, write a couple Recommendations, add some Skills and make 7 or so endorsements.
Before I get ahead of myself, here is a quick recap of one of my favorite social networks: LinkedIn is a online networking tool for professionals. At the heart of LI is your professional resume. You might think this is just for people looking for a job. You would be correct that it is a good place to look for jobs. It is equally good to make yourself available for making business connections. If someone is looking for a trusted CPA, a trusted Lawyer (I’m restraining myself from a joke here), or even a trusted web site developer, they can look on LI.
My favorite part is the Recommendations section. Fellow users can post recommendations of you professionally. LinkedIn doesn’t have critical reviews, just positive recommendations . I believe strongly in the power of testimonials. (You can see evidence in our marketing and the marketing of our clients.) You can say that “you are an expert”, but a testimonial from a client or customer speaks volumes more. My business has been blessed with about 20 of these recommendation gems on LinkedIn. Most folks don’t have many. I believe this true because it takes a fair amount of time and effort to write a recommendation.
LinkedIn just recently added a new Endorsement section, where you can list your skills. Your connections can then click on the + sign if they believe you possess such skills. Where it took months to receive 10 Recommendations, I received 23 Endorsements for Website Development, 21 Endorsements for Web Design & 15 for Social Media in less than 2 weeks. I also received endorsements for 20 other skills during this same time. Endorsements won’t replace Recommendations, but it is a great way to demonstrate your strengths.
Another nice update is the enhancements on the pages that you can create for business on LI. You can now customize the page with additional content. This a great place for people to learn about your business and connect with key people. It is also an excellent place to post job opportunities.
Don’t forget to look behind the scenes. You can see who is checking out your page! The insight (stats) show you their level of SENIORITY, INDUSTRY, & FUNCTION.
Here is our updated page for omOriginals Marketing! www.linkedin.com/company/610011 If we aren’t already connected on LinkedIn, I invite you to look me up and connect. My personal profile is @ www.linkedin.com/in/oscarmyre4
Happy networking. ~:-)
We would like to thank our clients and wish you all a very wonderful Thanksgiving! We will be enjoying this time with our families, sharing delicious food and thanking God for the many blessings he has bestowed upon us. We hope you are able to do the same!
Like the Turkeys (in the cartoon), we want to be very clear in our message to you …
We are thankful for you and your business.
Have a blessed and relaxing Thanksgiving full of family, love and happiness. ~:-)
Our office will be closed November 22 & 23. Our emergency/after-hours line will still be available 360.200.4844 :-)
You probably remember my article “Interview with an iPhone”. Now it is time for you to jump in the interviewing chair. It is time for you to interview your web site! I have 5 questions to help. Don’t be shy. Demand quality answers from one of your best marketing tools for your business!
1) Have you made our business look good?
First impressions are big. If your web site doesn’t look professional and well taken care of, neither does your business. Simple. Take a look to see if your business looks like the type of company you’d want to work with. This is your place to highlight your strengths. This is an especially good place to hear from others in the form of client testimonials – testimonials make you marvelous.
2) Have you helped people find our business?
There are two parts to this:
1) When they are at your site people expect to be able to quickly and easily get a hold of you via phone, visiting your business, connecting on facebook or eMailing you. Can they?
Part 2) Can they find your web site? Today’s phone book is called Google. Trying “googling” your business. You need to be easy to find by typing your business name AND your product/service name and the city, state you are located in. You also want to make sure you can be found at bing.com, yahoo.com and others. Not found? Call us to schedule a free consult on how to GET FOUND.
3) Have you sold people on what our company can do for them?
Your current and potential customers should be able to learn more about what you offer. Make sure it clearly outlines the value you bring to the marketplace, and why.
4) Have you helped our customers?
Our clients web sites are helping their customers in a variety of ways. Your site can be a great place to check out your menu, download a form, pay a bill, order a product, answer a frequently asked question, check hours, call your business, give directions to your place of business or even read a helpful article (like this one).
5) Have you helped us make more money?
You don’t have to sell products online to make money from your website. I hope you are all tracking your sales to see where they are coming from. Consider your website as an essential sales and marketing tool, and don’t let it get rusty.
I hope this article got you started asking your web site some very important questions.
Want another set of eyes to take a look at your site? Ask our geeky team here at omOriginals Marketing to do a similar interview, for free! Ask your customers to share what they think of your site. ~:-) The more you concentrate on what your web site has done for you, the more it will do for you.
7 things you need to know about Facebook (For business)!
When creating a Facebook Fan page last month for an organization in Cowlitz County, WA we noted that there are now 100,000 + Facebook members 18 and over!! (In Longview, WA plus 50 miles. I can remember when I thought 32k was a lot. Before you fire up Facebook, I invite you to take a few moments and learn 7 essential concepts about Facebook (for business).
1) It is about building relationships.
People are looking to be sold to (directly) they want to learn what you are up to and who you are. This is a long term investment.
2) It isn’t really free.
Yes, setting up an account is free. But, your time is valuable and to make and grow a successful FB page it takes time. Time to learn the right way to do things and time to do them.
3) People spend lots of time there.
Most people spend 30 seconds or less on website. In turn they spend over half hour on Facebook. This is great. Not because they we are wasting time online, but because lots of people are spending time and they are just a click away from visiting your web site, or joining your eMail newsletter, or (insert desired result here).
4) The Average user has between 150 – 260 friends.
When you get users to interact with you, their friends will learn about you from their news feed.
5) The more the better!
The more often people interact with you page the more they see your page and the more their friends see your page and the more their friends are likely to interact with you as well. Our page took some time to get to 1,000 fans, because of engagement we surpassed 2,000 fans and beyond at a much quicker rate.
6) Content is king. King.
We keep going back to this. Finding the write voice and delivery the right content to your fans is the best (and most difficult) way to grow your interactions. Deliver value.
7) Facebook tracks a lot of data.
Page admins have access to “Insights” to learn about their fans. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these. You can learn a lot of in such basic demographics, info on new likes and see how “viral” your content is becoming. These tools have help you improve your interactions.
You don’t have to do this social media stuff alone. None of us should do this alone. It is social media. ~:-) If your business needs help with Social Media Setup, Training and/or Maintenance I encourage you to schedule a free initial consultation with my office at (360)575-9839. I’d be honored to help you market like a professional geek. ~:-)
A retailer was dismayed when a competitor selling the same type of product opened next-door to him, displaying a large sign proclaiming “Best Deals“.
Not long after he was horrified to find yet another competitor move in next-door, on the other side if his store. It’s large sign was even more disturbing- “Lowest Prices“.
After his initial panic, and concern that he would be driven out of business, he looked for a way to turn the situation to his marketing advantage. Finally, an idea came to him. Next day, he proudly unveiled a new and huge sign over his front door. It read,
Who says marketing can’t be fun?!
omOriginals Marketing! offers refreshingly different solutions.
Websites | eMail Marketing | Social | Search | Graphic Design
Cowlitz Car Service provides Luxury Rides for competitive prices! The 2012 Audi ASL is so comfortable with its smooth ride, leather seats, and reclining back seats. Arrive to your next business, sporting, or social event in style. Take your spouse on date night to dinner and a movie and don’t worry about parking. The second luxury vehicle is the 2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV is roomy, comfortable, and grandiose. Take a long or short trip, the Cadillac Escalade ESV sits 6 people comfortably, has huge cargo space, and video entertainment for those long trips. Visiting the city, going out with friends, or going to the airport; this luxury SUV will have you at the utmost comfort the whole way. Call them and choose which Luxury ride you would like 360.747.2200 or visit their Facebook or Website to check out pictures and learn about their promotions.
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omOriginals Marketing! of Longview, WA, is proud to help promote great companies and services with refreshingly different; web design, eMail marketing, Facebook, Google, workshops & good old fashioned graphic design. We invite you to call upon us, we are here to help. :-)