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”.
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. ~:-)
I wish you a prosperous New Year. Many of our clients asked for help setting up BLOGS last year. BLOGS are a buzz word you should know.
First off, what is a BLOG?
The term is a blend of web and log. You see, geeks (& mathematicians) think it is cool to simplify things (often at the risk of making them more complicated). A BLOG is basically a journal on a web site. For many it is the “News” section. Much of a web site remains fairly static, but a BLOG is edited whenever news breaks.
A BLOG can also be interactive, where it can be open to comments. A word to the wise, be sure to moderate your comments. With my business, we send all comments to review by a human before they go live. ~:-)
4 reasons why you should have a BLOG on your company’s web site.
- BLOGS are fresh, people know to look to the BLOG for the latest info about your company.
- BLOGS are loved by search engines. What makes a search engine happiest? Fresh relevant content. A properly created BLOG is written as much for search engine rankings as it is for people.
- BLOGS are archive-able: As soon as new articles are posted the old ones are archived. This allows visitors to get some history on past projects from your company.
- BLOGS are social. BLOGs play nice with social media, and smart ones can automagically update your facebook, linkedin and twitter.
Warning: I hear some of you running off to Blogger.com to setup a BLOG right now. STOP!! I said above that the BLOG should be on YOUR Website. If you post it @ Blogger (or any other blogging site) THEY will reap much of the benefit for your hard work. Be sure your BLOG lives at your company’s website, not theirs.
What should you ‘post in your BLOG and how often?
This article is not a substitute to sitting down for some serious consulting with your favorite marketing geek, but I will share some general thoughts on content. We always work to deliver value. Most of our clients have a wealth of knowledge that they can share with their customers. By sharing your company as a resource, you become viewed as an expert in your area of business. Consider this an investment in your customers, current and future.
For omOriginals we post 2 articles a month with marketing tips [like this one ~:-)]. We also post brief articles on recently completed projects. This is valuable for our customers (promotion) and for visitors to see interesting marketing ideas, are to show real world examples of our work. We also share articles from others on occasion to change things up a bit.
How often? This will vary for each business. I often recommend 1 or 2 posts per month for companies new to BLOGGING. I’ve seen a fair amount of people start out strong with 1 or 2 a week for a few weeks and them drop off the map. It is best to make your plan sustainable. This is a balance of quality and quantity.
Here is a bonus: After you create these articles you can broadcast them in lots of places (Social sites, eMail marketing, newspapers, newsletters, mailers, etc.)
Do you have to do this alone?
Not unless you are a crazy micro-manager. Your company is likely a collection of uniquely talented individuals. Each of you has your own unique voice. By sharing the work of the BLOG with others in your organization you will have a richer experience for your users.
Side note: I enjoy reading Summer’s tips on our BLOG, they offer fresh marketing insight.
There is a wealth of industry specific content available for purchase. This can save a lot of time, but be very certain that you agree with the articles. You can also hire a company to help administer your BLOG. < This could be an article in itself.
What is the point, Oscar?
A BLOG is a great way offer value to your clients while remaining at the top of their mindshare. Today’s competition is tough and cutting edge! You need to use today’s tools to position yourself for success.
Work Smart + Play Hard!
Oscar Myre IV, ~:-)
Bright Lovable Original Geek!
Social Media Workshop
Tuesday, June 15th
Java Joy @ The Treasure House
1252 Commerce Ave, Longview
You missed the Workshop!
But, all is not lost. Click here to learn about our next Facebook + LinkedIn classes.
Have omOriginals setup your Facebook and/or LinkedIn.
Can’t afford to spend the time doing it yourself? omOriginals offers these services at a very reasonable fee. Complete FaceBook or LinkedIn setup and submission to over 1,000+ locals is only $250. Available for all your online questions and concerns. Call 360.575.9839
Testimonial from Recent Class
If you are looking for someone to help you that mirrors all of the other “run of the mill” providers out there, you will be disappointed. This man screams creativity and thinking outside of the box yet has a strong focus and knowledge on his topic.
I was part of a group of business people at a workshop Oscar was facilitating. We all had laptops and shared a wireless internet connection. He had two topics to cover that night. Prior to attending I was pessimistic as to how anyone could effectively cover the topics in the time frame allotted.
Keep in mind, 15-20 people on their personal laptops! We left that night very knowledgeable on the topics he presented and feeling well served. This man is a pro! He will be my source for future training! Thanks Oscar!
Thanks for tuning in for this Months GeekSpeak. Let’s dive in to LinkedIn. Maybe you’ve receive an eMail from a contact that says “Join my network on Linked In”.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn claims to be the the world’s largest professional network. They have over 65 million users. Not as large as Facebook’s 400 million, but 65 million members is very impressive. We are barely into the article and we are already talking about Facebook!
I thought this article was on LinkedIn…
Facebook has done a tremendous job to humanize technology. They have welcomed millions of people that wouldn’t consider themselves computer people or geeks to connect with others through their site. This is has transformed the way people look at their computers. ~:-)
Both FB and LI are social networking sites. The main difference is the intended audience where FB is aiming to be everything for everyone, LI’s focus is on business professionals. LinkedIn says it, “connects you to your trusted contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals.” It is all networking without the anxiety of social networking.
Joining LinkedIn is easy but making it work for you requires some work and savvy. Here are 4 steps to success that I’ve got for you.
1) Establish your Profile
Take control of your online identity. LinkedIn’s profile is a glorified and modern resume, that includes a summary, specialties, experience and links to blogs and groups. The profile is public to the work and it invites people to add you to their network. Note: since this profile is public the major search engines with allow show this profile on the first page of results when people search for you.
2) Build and Maintain your Network.
As you keep your Profile updated, and people in your network do too, they claim your address book will never be out of date. This is a great tool to keep you current with their latest jobs, projects and contact info.
Build core network with people you know and trust. Note: I have had a number of my connections that I didn’t really know, send me spam. I had to disconnect with them to quit receiving the excessive advertisements. That being said, you can click on Add Connections to start sending out invitations your contacts.
3) Find Experts and Share Knowledge.
LinkedIn has a question and answer section similar to answers at yahoo.com. People post questions, people answer and you can determine who the expert is. This is an interesting place to learn and to share the knowledge that you have with the community. To paraphrase Ivan Misner, founder of Business Network International, ”Gives Gain, if you truly help others you to will reap the benefits.”
4) Recommend Others.
A powerful part of Linked In is the Recommendations. Seek out professionals that are worthy of your praises and write a thoughtful recommendation. Encourage others to do the same for you. Testimonials are invaluable.
How much does it cost? The basic account is free. They have paid upgrades that can allow you to send messages directly to people you don’t yet know, expanded searches & notes. Sound interesting?!
Check out my Profile:
www.linkedin.com/in/oscarmyre4 and get connected!!
~ Oscar & his hot wife Michelle are the Owners of omOriginals Marketing, located in Longview WA! On May 11th they are presenting a workshop teaching about Online Marketing. Don’t miss it. Learn more @ omOriginals.com or call (360)575-9839
It is an exciting time to be in marketing and to be a geek! Internet Marketing has and continues to transform the marketing landscape. The latest buzz is Social Networking. Sites like facebook and twitter are some of the most talked about sites on the planet. There is lot of talk, but I’d like to offer a little education. Read more >>