Category Archives: business

12 Ways Women Unknowingly Sabotage Their Success

12 Ways Women Unknowingly Sabotage Their Success

Did you think the glass ceiling was a relic of the past? Not so much.

Even if there weren’t plenty of statistics to demonstrate continued gender bias in the workplace, the marketplace, and in financing for start-ups, a depressing stories out of Silicon Valley makes it brutally clear just how far we haven’t come.

Unfortunately, according to Wendy Capland, CEO of Vision Quest Consulting and author of the bestseller “Your Next Bold Move for Women,” there’s a lot women do ourselves to make matters worse.

“It’s not that I don’t think there’s a glass ceiling,” Capland explains. “More women now graduate from college than men, and women are the breadwinners in almost 50% of American households. But only 22% of executives in Corporate America are women, so that number is pitiful.”

But, Capland says, her work coaching executive women has given her a different perspective. Her company has trained thousands of women leaders, both Fortune 500 executives and small business owners. And from what she’s observed, women business leaders often fail to put ourselves on the same footing as men. Thus, she says, we suffer not only from the glass ceiling, but also from what some call “sticky-floor syndrome.”

As a woman in leadership and a lifelong feminist myself, my first reaction was to dismiss Capland’s view as just another case of blaming the victim. But as she began listing the ways that women leaders undercut themselves, I had to admit that many items on her list were things I myself have done. So have other women leaders I know.

Here are 12 things Capland says we women need to stop doing ASAP so as to claim our power in the business world. See if any of these sound as sadly familiar to you as they did to me:

1. Using minimizing language.

Women use words that minimize their own impact,” Capland says. “Like ‘just.’ ‘Let me just tell you something.’ ‘I just wanted to stop you for a minute.'” That simple word sends the subtle message that our statements and opinions aren’t that important, she says.

And there are other belittling words women are prone to using, she says. “‘I’m feeling a little bit concerned about something.’ I doubt you’re really feeling just a little bit concerned or you probably wouldn’t have brought it up,” Capland says. “You’re feeling concerned.”

2. Apologizing.

Women in business are prone to apologizing when there’s no reason to do so, Capland says. “Many women’s voicemail messages begin, ‘I’m sorry I’m not able to take your call right now.’ Even in our voicemail, we apologize!”

3. Asking permission.

Women are prone to asking questions when they already know the answers, Capland says. “We don’t want to be too overpowering, and we want to get buy-in up front. And we ask permission to say something when there’s absolutely no need to do that.”

4. Waiting until we’re experts before taking on a new role.

“Often when offered an opportunity, women will feel like they need to be fully skilled before taking it on, while a man given the same opportunity will say, ‘It’s about time they picked me!'” Capland says. “Men will say, ‘I’ll take the job and figure it out when I get there.'”

And, she says, age doesn’t seem to make a difference. “I just talked to two 20-year-olds, one man, one woman, both unhappy in their jobs. The woman says she wants to get a new job but doesn’t know what else she can really do. The man says, it’s no problem, he’ll just get another job because he’s so marketable.”

5. Focusing on cooperation rather than competition.

Yes, there are a thousand business articles that tell us collaboration is the more effective approach. The problem with that? “It’s not the structure of Corporate America,” Capland says. “Corporate America has a hierarchical structure. It’s not set up for collaboration to be effective long-term — I don’t care what people say.”

6. Questioning ourselves.

“A lot of women I’ve been exposed to — including myself — spend a too much time thinking about these common concerns,” Capland says. “Will I be a threat to my husband if I surpass his income? Will people think I’m a bad mother because I’m working so hard or running my own business? Will I lose my friends if I upset the balance of power or popularity? And who am I, anyway?”

7. Not setting clear goals.

“You have to be really clear about what you want,” Capland says. “Do you want a promotion or a job change? Funding for your new company? Do you want to write a book or be a keynote speaker? You have to be really clear so that you can set priorities and boundaries. You’re going to have to make big asks. If you’re wishy-washy about what you’re going after, everyone else will be too.”

8. Only setting goals we know how to reach.

“Don’t be stopped from setting a goal because you don’t know how to get there,” Capland says. “No one does when they set a goal where they’re stretching themselves.”

Years ago, she adds, she found herself declaring during a workshop that she wanted to have her own television show. “As soon as I said it, I thought, ‘I have no idea how to do that. That was a stupid goal.'” But a woman in the audience came up to Capland afterward, told her she was being interviewed by a cable show next week, and invited her to come along and observe. Capland decided this was a good way to get her feet wet.

“You can head toward a big goal one baby step at a time,” she explains. In fact, it may be better that way — you’ll avoid setting off your own fight-or-flight response.

Sure enough, Capland eventually wound up with her own cable program. “It ran locally for three years and I had 2.5 million viewers,” she says.

9. Not setting clear boundaries.

Once she’d done the show for three years, Capland was done with cable. “My next stretch goal was a PBS special,” she says. So when a woman got in touch and invited Capland to do a cable TV series, she said no. “Create some non-negotiable boundaries so you can say yes to things that lead you toward your goals and no to things that would distract you,” she advises.

10. Worrying too much about relationships.

That “no” on the cable series was harder than it should have been, Capland adds. “I was really clear that was a no for me,” she says. “But I think the woman was surprised. And all I cared about was the relationship — even though I didn’t even know her.”

11. Getting too hung up on details.

Women tend to pay too much attention to little details for too long, versus seeing the bigger picture,” Capland says. “That can make it hard for them to delegate and therefore prevents them having the freedom to take on the next challenge. I have a client who’s been focusing on details for years and now realizes that she’s pigeonholed herself in a role she doesn’t want, rather than planning and preparing for the role she wanted next.”

12. Failing to build a personal brand.

A strong personal brand will help you get what you want whether you’re working in a company or running one of your own. “The way to develop a personal brand is to deepen your own self-awareness,” Capland says. “What makes you stand out positively from other people?”

A personal brand, she says, is an asset that defines the best things about you. “It’s the impression people have of you, and the impression you want them to have,” she says.

Read more: http://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/12-ways-you-might-be-making-gender-bias-worse.html#ixzz3RtzPCOmJ

21 Ways To Build Your List

21 Ways To Build Your List

Email marketing can be profitable for any business, no matter what kind of product or service you offer. But the foundation of email marketing success is the quality and size of your permission- based email list. If you build a list of subscribers that trust you and consider you an expert in your field, your response rates will constantly climb.

Developing and maintaining a responsive opt-in email list is challenging, even for the most experienced marketers. Whether you’re at the beginning of your list-building journey or already have thousands of contacts, list management is hard work. Addresses change, subscribers become inactive, and some unsubscribe, chipping away about 20-30% of your list every year!

However, consider the alternative. Studies show that low-quality lists waste tens of millions of dollars annually, and no business can afford that. Quite simply, small investments in list management can reap huge returns in marketing efficiency and campaign ROI.
The following list provides techniques and tips to help you grow your marketing list, including, but not limited to:

  • Boost sign-up form activity.
  • Find new places to add forms.
  • Use more content-distribution channels.
  • Partner with other publishers and vendors.
  • Contribute to social media sites and blogs.
  • Place your sign-up form on Facebook

1. Add a sign-up form everywhere prospects go

Sign-up opportunities should be easily accessible on every page of your website. Make sure they “pop” visually and indicate clearly what subscribers receive. Don’t forget your website and any blogs you control. Blogging is a great communication tool, so include a sign-up form in every posts and continue the conversation!

Related article: How Often Should You Email Your List?

2. Boost sign-up activity

Make it quick and easy for your visitors to sign up. A first name and email address are all you need initially. If you ask about frequency or other preferences, keep it brief.

Be clear, persuasive and honest about what subscribers receive and how they benefit from subscribing. Include one or two short customer testimonials. Let them know how often to expect your newsletters and other emails. Don’t inundate subscribers, even if they indicate no preference. Link sample newsletter issues to your sign-up forms, so prospects can make an informed decision. You’ll get more responsive subscribers!

3. Address visitors’ privacy concerns

Don’t overlook this important issue coming out of the gate, as most people fear they will receive an avalanche of spam – or scams – when they give out their email address. Tell potential subscribers that you respect their privacy and their personal information then link to your privacy policy page. Include a link to Customer Service for those who have questions.



 

4. Add incentives to sign up

Decide early whether to use incentives then be as consistent as possible. The most popular incentives are free articles or reports and, of course, special offers, VIP programs and discounts. The latter can eat into your profits if your sign-up forms are working, so we recommend “thought leadership” papers or ebooks and reports that you know your prospects can use. These attract quality subscribers and increase your reputation as a subject matter expert!

5. Create a great squeeze page

First things first! A squeeze page is typically designed only to build your list, so make sure it’s compelling and convincing. It should feature a powerful headline and a few of the “juiciest” benefits to get visitors salivating to sign up to your list! Entertain your visitors with an audio or video message explaining why they should subscribe. Or consider letting a customer provide the message! It creates that “human connection” and is an opportunity to direct them to the sign-up form on your webpage while you’re winning them over!

6. Include testimonials in your squeeze page

This is crucial. Customer opinions can be the most powerful conversion tool of all! Put one or two strong testimonials from satisfied subscribers on your squeeze page. Use any format, but you may find that multimedia (audio and/or video) is more “believable”. People like to see and hear the people behind the opinions, so they can make more informed judgments.

7. Use social media and Subscribe-Via-Facebook options

Social media sites have become effective places to collect email addresses. Place a sign-up form on your FanPage, so fans can subscribe to your list. Then create a bond with your fans by sending personalized messages.
Social login allows people to sign up to your newsletters using their Facebook login. Research shows that nearly 8 in 10 respondents prefer to log in to sites using a social identity. And those who
are active on social networks are more likely to comment on your services and products. By the same token, they’re more easily influenced by what others say on social sites.

8. Include a “Sign Up” button inside your e-newsletter

…or a text link to your subscription page, if you’re not using HTML. This may sound like a waste of time, but what if a subscriber forwards it to friends and co-workers? Or shares it on social media sites? Or reproduces it online? You could explode your sign-ups, just by adding a form!

9. Create a web-based newsletter repository

By offering an online archive or gallery of all of your newsletters, you make it much easier for subscribers to decide whether they’d like to sign up. The more informed they are about what you have to offer, the more likely they are to open your email messages. Online newsletter and article archives are also an excellent way to generate additional traffic from search engines!

10. Include “forward to a friend” and “share” links in newsletters and promos

This is the best way to encourage subscribers to share your newsletter content, offers, and articles with friends and on social media sites. “Word of mouth” is a powerful viral technique that works great with email marketing! If subscribers find your content useful and informative, they’ll pass it on, multiplying your readers and hopefully your sign-ups! It’s a powerful source of new subscribers – achieved with minimal effort.

11. Add sign-up forms to blog updates

Place a sign-up form on your blog to notify your readers of new posts. This has a threefold benefit: you build your email list, strengthen relationships with your readers, and get more traffic to your blog!

12. Add opt-in check boxes to other forms and business messages

Create opportunities to sign up for your newsletter while prospects are filling in other forms. Why not? It’s a value-added service to let them know a free e-newsletter is available. Think about all the types of forms you use: from software downloads, demos, and white papers to event registrations and contact forms. And with the highest open rates of any emails, confirmation and transactional emails could also increase sign-ups. So add a form!

13. Let others reprint your newsletter

Encourage others to distribute and republish your newsletters, specifying that your newsletter content is not to be modified or used inappropriately. Many webmasters and newsletter publishers are actively looking for high-quality content, and if they reprint your newsletter, you may get new subscribers, traffic, and links to your site. If there are limits and conditions (on commercial use, for example) just state your policy clearly and concisely.

14. Use a co-registration service to build your list

Co-registration is a great way to build your email list. Your newsletter ad or link appears on other websites, and visitors can sign up on the spot to be added to your list! Our favorite co-registration service can be found at GetSubscribers.com or on the GetResponse.com website.

15. Use Google Adwords campaigns

Google Adwords is a relatively cost-effective type of online campaign and can get very nice results. It doesn’t matter whether you promote your newsletter subscription or a blockbuster product launch. Explore to find out what draws best…it’s worth it to experiment. Just make sure your newsletter sign-up form is always on the landing page!

16. Use your physical mailing list

If you have a physical mailing list from your offline business, send a snail-mail postcard to your customers, offering a special discount for signing up to your email newsletter. If you don’t have a snail-mail list, consider leaving a sign-up form near your register or point-of-sale location!

17. Contact other newsletter publishers and vendors

Use your networking and social media skills to reach out to other newsletter publishers or even vendors with complementary products or services. Let them know that you’d be interested in promoting their newsletter or offering if they’d do the same for you. This way, both of you can get more online exposure and build your list faster!

18. Advertise in e-zines and other newsletters

Use newsletter directories to find other newsletter and content publishers that target your audiences. Run a search for “e-zine directory” or “newsletter directory” to find multiple advertising possibilities!

19. Promote your newsletter in Article Directories

Research and submit topical articles to article directories like GoArticles, SubmitYourArticle or EzineArticles. Be sure to include a bio box at the bottom with a link to your website or an autoresponder email address for instant sign-up to your email list. It enhances your reputation, builds your brand, and attracts quality subscribers.

20. Be active on similar websites

Search for similar websites and newsletters using Google Blog Search or Technorati. Post relevant, helpful comments and a trackback to your blog or squeeze page, including, of course, your newsletter sign-up form! Visit discussion boards, forums, Yahoo Answers and similar sites to provide helpful comments and information, including a signature linking to your subscription page.

21. Promote your newsletter at every marketing touch-point!

Whenever you share your PowerPoint or webinar presentations, make it easy for audience members and associates to subscribe by including a link to your newsletter subscription page. Hand out sign-up forms when speaking to groups or at seminars. Don’t forget to ask for them at the end of your presentation! Imagine how many sign-ups you’d get if every incoming caller had the opportunity to subscribe! Have call-center and sales employees ask customers and prospects if they’d like to receive newsletters or promotional emails, once they’ve established rapport. It only adds seconds to the call and is an ideal source of qualified subscribers! If you use hard-copy collateral, get some of those print costs back by encouraging email subscriptions on Direct Mail, Catalogs, and Print Ads.

Conclusion
Include a sign-up form with every value message – everywhere you come in contact with prospects and customers. Feel free to vary the content and the design, but make signing up quick and easy. Your list-building engine will generate new contacts 24/7.

Source: GetResponse.

How Often Should You Email Your List?

How Often Should You Email Your List?

So how often should you email your list? And more importantly how often is too often? There’s a lot of confusing information out there that could be detrimental to your online success. More likely than not, when it comes to email marketing you’ve made at least one of these mistakes. If you want to have a more profitable business and double your income and most importantly if you want to find out about DOs and DON’Ts when it comes to emailing your list read on…

When it comes to email marketing the very first thing you should focus on is making sure your findings are based on the right metrics, and aimed at growing a more stable and profitable business rather than “feelings”.

Method #1: Autoresponder ONLY

Some experts never send live broadcasts and rely only on their autoresponders to do all the work of follow up (unless they’re launching a new product).The intervals they use normally vary from once a day to once every other day.
PROs:

  • handsfree, runs on autopilot
  • lower unsubscribe and complaint rates on average than a more aggressive approach.
  • longer warm up period tends to create higher lifetime lead values over the span of years.

CONs:

  •  requires extremely high lead flow and patience.
  • can take months with this slow drip method to recoup your original advertising expenses let alone see an ROI (return on investment).

Who This Model Is Ideal For: It’s an ideal model for a $10-20 million dollar company with extremely high lead flow and cash reserves, but not for the every day average entrepreneur.

Related article: How To Write Better Emails?

Method #2: High Sales Broadcasts Ratio

This is a model you’ll see a lot in the home business and internet marketing arena and it’s easy to spot for it’s high sales pitch broadcast ratio to value driven emails.

Typically this model exists in a business in an industry with a higher available lead flow and short lead life span.

The practitioners of this model mail their fresh leads heavy to buy offer after offer because they know through experience if they don’t monetize the leads they’ve generated today with a 30 day time span it’s likely they never will, so they blast varying offers at the list to maximize immediate sales.

PROs:

  • highest probability of immediate monetization (rotating offers, and blasting them out without abandon will certainly make you more money in the short term)

CONs:

  • limited in core lifetime lead value. Meaning, you may win now, not long term and you’ll burn through your list fast
  • high unsubscribe and complaint rates which ultimately can get you blocked by major ISPs. Generally the practitioner of this model lives and dies by their lead flow because if it drops from one month to the next so will profits.

Who This Model Is Ideal For: This is generally a method that is seen in $1-3 million dollar per year biz opp heavy businesses with higher lead flow and lower revenue per lead, again not for the long term revenue driven marketer.

Method #3: Hybrid Autoresponder + Broadcast Messages

Some experts have a baseline autoresponder sequence programmed into their autoresponder and commit to bi weekly or weekly broadcasts.

PROs:

  • steady cashflow as you’ll cut the time period for self liquidation of leads down and you’ll positively reinforce yourself on the broadcast days with 1.5X to 2X sales volume days

CONs:

  •  typically a monthly or bi monthly product launch to re-coup ad expenditure So it’s a good model if you’re willing to put out new product offerings every month or every other month to keep profits high.

Who This Model Is Ideal For: Typically this model is found practiced successfully in businesses that generate between $1-7 million annually with a moderate to high lead flow.

Which model works best for anyone starting an online home business?

Method #4: Live Daily Broadcasts

  • most effective, immediately profitable, and long term revenue driving way to develop relationships with your list of prospects is to send out at least two live daily emails. One in the morning or afternoon that’s entertaining and of high value, and another in the other time slot that is meant to drive traffic or direct your prospects to take a positive monetization action.
  • if done consistently it creates immediate short term revenue gains and builds solid relationships that drive high long term lead and customer values.

It’s all about the consistency. High value and entertaining content shared consistently leads to long term trusting relationships.

And, a daily expectation and curiosity to see “what’s coming tomorrow.” You become a welcomed friend and part of your prospect’s daily routine that they will miss IF you don’t show up.

Related article: How To Write Better Emails?

What about deliverability and spam complaints?

Counter to common belief (which would be, “if you email more you’ll be seen as spam and get blocked”) actually the opposite is true.

When you email a specific volume consistently and daily the major ISPs also get used to you and as a result you end up with higher deliverability than if you sent more sporadically.

Now let’s look at spam complaints. You’ll see the same principle holds true. When you email daily you actually have less spam complaints than when you don’t.

When you email daily you’re creating a “self cleaning oven” effect on your list.

Those who aren’t interested unsubscribe a little bit at a time daily. As a result, you’re effectively cleaning your list daily of time wasters and potential spam complaints.

If I email my list daily won’t more people unsubscribe?

The answer is – probably, and that’s good! It’s honestly something I don’t even give a second thought. Get rid of the complainers early. Who cares if people unsubscribe.

The only people that do care are the people who live in a scarcity mindset of “I’ve only got X leads and if I lose one that’s bad” and well, that’s just stinking thinking.

If you believe and know to your core that there’s an infinity supply of leads out there, and you make your business about getting as many of them as possible and sharing value with them daily via email – a highly successful, fulfilling, and profitably business you shall have.

Related article: How To Write Better Emails?

Source: http://daegansmith.com/how-often-should-you-email-your-list/

Which autoresponder should I choose?

Looking for the best autoresponder?

Are you just now figuring how important email marketing can be for your business? No matter what business you are in, you need leads. And if you treat these leads right, these same leads can then turn into sales and happy customers.

If you want to be successful at email marketing, then you’ll need an autoresponder. Not just any autoresponder, but a good autoresponder.

On this site we have gone out and tested all the popular autoresponders we could get our hands on and put them through the paces as part of our own email marketing efforts.

Ultimately, we’ve come up with a list of the best autoresponders that we can confidently recommend. Each one will provide you with the email deliverability, features and support that you will need to become the basis of your email marketing efforts.

Below is a list of the 3 best autoresponders we’ve found according to our testing.

#1 Top Autoresponder – Pure Leverage

pure leverage

Pure Leverage Rating: 

Pure Leverage provides marketing tools including auto-responder, lead capture page system, conference room and video email service. Pure Leverage combines all the necessary tools to run your online business in a single platform.

The Pros

  • highest email deliverability
  • lead capture system
  • conference room
  • blog platform
  • video email service
  • email analytics (you can optimize your opt-in campaigns, track your e

4 Things You Need To Do To Become a Self-Made Millionaire

Not surprisingly, self-made millionaires share a  few common characteristics that position them to earn big early on, according to Peter Voogd, founder of the Game Changers Academy, who made his first million before turning 26.

“You don’t make a million by accident,” he says in a recent LinkedIn post. “If it’s not a goal you sure as hell won’t hit it.”

Related: A Surprising Reason That’s Stopping You From Achieving Success In Life

What traits do these young, successful entrepreneurs share that you too can develop according to Voogd?

1. Don’t leave anything to chance.

If you want to be successful you need to constantly work towards your goals rather than waiting for an opportunity to knock on your door.

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

Milton Berle

 “Now matters more than any other time, and the ‘someday isle’ mentality is killing so many dreams,” Voogd claims.  Make your financial success your top priority from day one instead of deferring it until someday. Someday may never come!

Related: Top Ten Self-Made Billionaires

2. Find the right mentor. 

If you think you can get to the top on your own you’re wrong! Millionaires and even multi-millionaires have mentors at their disposal to guide them on their way to building their careers. Find the one you trust that has your best interests at heart.

“Success rises and falls on who you associate with, so make sure you stay aware of your surroundings”

Peter Voogd

Don’t try to reinvent the wheel, instead learn from those who are already successful when it comes to making the right business decisions. A good mentor will challenge your way of thinking and help you re-focus making sure you think big, Voogd adds.

3. Focus on leverage.

Time is money but trading your time for money won’t make you rich. “At some point you have to focus on scaling and leverage,” Voogd advises. ” Maximize your time to make sure you have positioned yourself to earn as much as possible by utilizing the power of leverage. 

4. Ignore what other people think.

“People who care what others think of them will always be limited to others’ opinions”

Peter Voogd

Don’t waste your time trying to please people who don’t believe in them or win over those that don’t support them. Instead, focus on your own vision and learn to believe in yourself. To become truly successful, “you must give up the need to be liked by everybody,” Voogd warns. 

Related: What Does It Take To Become A Millionaire?

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/traits-of-young-successful-millionaires-2014-9#ixzz3DTcjrGeU

How to Fire Back at an Angry Customer on Social Media

How to Fire Back at an Angry Customer on Social Media?

Social media is a wonderful and remarkably useful tool for promoting your business and building your brand. When it comes to angry complaints, however, it can turn into a vile, unrelenting beast that tears your company down. Fortunately, understanding how to deal with angry customers on social media is actually quite easy.

First, in case you need convincing that social-media complaints need to be addressed, consider a marketing study by Dimensional Research in 2013, which showed that “an overwhelming 86 percent of respondents indicated that their buying decisions were influenced by negative online reviews.”

Clearly, dealing with customer complaints on social media is important, but more important is how you respond. For many entrepreneurs, a complaint is often taken personally, so the inclination might be to fire back an equally angry or passive-aggressive retort, or to delete the unwelcome message altogether.

Related: How To Convince Your Prospects to Buy and Win Them Over?

This will only make angry customers angrier and more likely to take the “fight” to other platforms.

how to fire back at an angry customer on social media

Before you delete or send off a response, here are a few things to consider first:

Seek to understand. First, determine whether the complaint is valid. If it comes from a customer or client, then it is important that you respond. Intentionally hurtful or vile attacks, however, require a completely different strategy (see tips for staving off an attack from a special-interest group).

Act fast, but not too fast. It is incredibly important, especially with the lightning-fast speed at which messages can propagate through social media, to respond promptly. If responding quickly means not taking your time to fully understand the situation, however, your response may reflect the unpreparedness.

Take it offline. When possible, take the problem out of the public view of social media. If the complaint is a legitimate customer or client, and you have contact information, pick up the phone and deal with it directly. Nobody needs to see your “dirty laundry” spread all over social media.

If the problem or complaint on your social-media channel cannot be taken offline, the inclination might be to delete it. This, like a poor response, can just add fuel to the complaint. Instead, leverage the complaint on social media to demonstrate your business’s ability to calmly and collectively handle the issue.

Before you draft the response, consider these tips:

1. Validate their concern. Empathize with the complaint, even if you are not in the wrong. Most people will fire off a complaint in the heat of the moment, when all they want to do is be heard and understood.

“Thank you for your comments. We are very sorry to hear that you had a poor experience and would like to do what is necessary to help you make it a better one.”

2. Take accountability. We all admire companies that take responsibility, even if the problem is not fully or even partly its fault. Address and take responsibility for the concern.

“We take the feedback from our customers very seriously. We will look into your concern and, if necessary, do what needs to be done to remedy it.”

Related: How To Convince Your Prospects to Buy and Win Them Over?

3. Give a directive. Others will be reading the complaint on social media, so provide directions in response to the complaint that others can use to find more information.

“In the meantime, please phone our office at 555-555-5555 and speak to a representative who can provide you more information or find the solution you need. We have additional information online at www.website.com/FAQ.”

4. Communicate the resolution. If you are able to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of the customer, ask them to submit a follow-up post. If the issue is still sensitive, and you are not comfortable asking the customer to follow up, leave the message alone. The trail of dialogue showing you addressed the issue and provided instructions to resolve it will suffice.

Lastly, if you absolutely feel you must respond publicly to an angry comment, consider this:

Vent your frustration, but post a response. Getting into online arguments never ends well.

Find a high (or higher) road. If the complaint is vile, do not lower yourself to the same level and use name calling and a derisive tone. If necessary, just agree to disagree.

Draft your response, but do not send. Sometimes it is best to type your message, but put it in “DRAFTS” while you cool off. Have a trusted colleague read it as well, as they will have a more objective view.

And if you need more convincing of the importance and impact of a response, consider the epic social media meltdown of Amy’s Baking Company, which occurred after the equally epic meltdown on the season finale of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmare in 2013. After taking to social media to deride those that were posting complaints, the company started receiving death threats and eventually lost more than 50,000 Facebook likes.

On the other end of the spectrum, consider the much more profound response by Liberty Bottleworks’ COO to a raging client who posted an angry rant on its Facebook account. The response went viral, presenting the company in a very positive light and leading to thousands of new supporters and, more importantly, sales.

Responding to social-media complaints is absolutely critical for a business. Just make sure you put much more effort into your response than the individual who posted the complaint.

Do you have any experience dealing with social-media complaints, good or bad? Please share with others below.

Related: How To Convince Your Prospects to Buy and Win Them Over?

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237196

How to Use LinkedIn to Build Your Business?

7 Tips to Using LinkedIn for Business

Viewed mostly as a social network for job seekers, LinkedIn is ideal for home business owners as well. But many home-based entrepreneurs and freelancers don’t use or maximize LinkedIn and all it’s great features. With over 250 million users, LinkedIn is a must for home business owners.  Here are tips to maximize LinkedIn to build your business.

how to use linkedin to build your business

1) Complete your personal profile. On LinkedIn, the power is the quality of connections, not the quantity. Incomplete profiles, especially those without pictures are viewed as unprofessional. LinkedIn walks you through the process of adding information in all the important areas making it easy to create a complete profile. Use a professional or high quality photo, as people are less likely to connect if there is no picture of you. Use keywords and content that will attract your target market in your summary, experience and other sections of the LinkedIn profile. Request a personalized URL that uses your name.

2) Create a company page.  This is slightly different than a profile, but it’s a great way to focus on your company and have people “follow” it. Like a profile, you want to complete all the information, including a logo and keyword targeted content about your business.

3) Ask for recommendations. Testimonials can significantly improve your business growth. They instill confidence in prospective clients and customers making them more willing to hire or buy from you. While you can get testimonials for your website, also ask for recommendations from clients or customers at LinkedIn.

Related posts: How To Use LinkedIn To Promote Your Business?

4) Share business news. Are you launching a new product or service? Will you be hosting an event? People like to work with businesses they feel connected to, and one way to help them feel connected is by sharing news and inside information.

5) Be active. Social media can be overwhelming. There are so many sites you can join, all of which require active participation. In many cases, some social media profiles end up not getting the attention they deserve. But a dormant social media page is worse than no social media page at all. Tools such as Hootsuite can help you post blog or other content to LinkedIn as well as other social media sites. However, LinkedIn is much different that other networks. You don’t post what you had for breakfast (unless it was with a powerhouse like Bill Gates) or cat pictures. LinkedIn is a professional network. Post news and information about your business and industry trends.

6) Engage with others. Too many people are self-centered with their social media forgetting the part that it’s supposed to be social. Social media works, but only if done right. Along with posting your own content, you need to reach out and engage with others. Check your news feed and like or comment on what your connections are posting. Participate in groups where you can connect with potential customers or others who can help you make good connections. Recommend businesses that you’ve worked with and can say positive things about. Endorse your connections for their talents. The more you reach out and help others, the more they’ll reach out and help you.

7) Assess results. I know business professionals who created a website and did social media, but ultimately they gave up because they said it didn’t work. But social media does work. If it’s not working for you, then you’re not doing it right. Tracking what’s going on with your LinkedIn profile will give clues as to what you need to do. Are people being able to find you? If not, maybe you need to relook at the keywords you’re using and better optimize your profile. Are people liking or commenting on your posts? If not, you need to create more engaging posts. You can do that by asking questions or for feedback. For example, don’t just share a link to your most recent blog post. Instead, share the link and ask people to respond. Finally, are you getting good quality connections? If not, improve your engagement and seek out better people.

Related posts: How To Use LinkedIn To Promote Your Business?

Source: http://homebusiness.about.com/od/Home_Business_Toolbox/fl/How-to-Use-Linkin-to-Build-Your-Home-Business.htm

How To Use LinkedIn To Promote Your Business?

LinkedIn can be a great way to promote your home business. Here are a few reasons why:

  • LinkedIn is a network with 65 million business professionals around the world.
  • The average LinkedIn member has an average annual household income of $109,000.
  • One person creates a LinkedIn login every second.
  • Nearly 50% of LinkedIn members have decision-making authority for their companies.

It’s easy to see why LinkedIn is considered the world’s largest audience of influential, affluent professionals in one place. Like other forms of Internet marketing, marketing a small or home business on LinkedIn is relatively inexpensive and provides a lot of bang for the buck. If that’s the market you are trying to reach, you need to get in the game.

how to use linkedin to promote your business

Getting Started with LinkedIn Marketing

In order to get started with marketing your business on LinkedIn, you’ll need to:

  • Understand how LinkedIn works.
  • Create a LinkedIn login, if you’re not already a member.
  • Create a great LinkedIn profile to put your best forward when people come to check you out.
  • Ideally, create a LinkedIn company page for your business. You’ll have the opportunity to do that as you are completing the resume section of your LinkedIn profile, and your company page will be automatically linked to from the resume in your profile.

With these LinkedIn basics in place you can get started on marketing yourself and your business to LinkedIn members.

Related posts: How To Use LinkedIn To Build Your Business?
 

Passive and Aggressive LinkedIn Marketing Methods

There are two main ways to dive into LinkedIn business promotion – using a passive approach or taking a more aggressive stance. Let’s explore both, but keep in mind that, like anything else, the more time and effort you put into your LinkedIn marketing efforts, the bigger the rewards.

Passive LinkedIn Marketing

Simply by creating a LinkedIn profile, building your connections and keeping your account updated, you can get the attention of potential clients and customers. The passive approach can pay off by:

  • Giving you exposure to people hunting for products or services. LinkedIn’s search features allow others to find you, and just like Google search, the use of LinkedIn search is an important, well-used feature of the network.
  • Getting you you introductions. Your LinkedIn business connections can give you an in with people and businesses you might not otherwise be able to reach.
  • Displaying your recommendations from others on LinkedIn. Recommendations are word-of-mouth testimonials to you and your business. They provide credibility that encourages people to do business with you.

Aggressive LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn does provide possibilities for more proactive marketing of your home business. To take full advantage of the possibilities the network has to offer consider:

  • Posting regular status updates. Talk about what you’re working on and who you’re working for. Include updates that would be of interest to your target customers and clients.
  • Active group participation. Join groups related to your business and your interests and participate in discussions there for increased exposure. Discussion participation can help establish you as an expert in your field. Don’t spam the groups as you’ll run the risk of getting tossed out. You’ll also tarnish the reputation of your business.
  • Send messages and invitations to those in your network and to other group members. Again, don’t be a spammer or a pest.
  • Try LinkedIn advertising. Paid advertising on LinkedIn is still a relative bargain. In fact, from time to time LinkedIn sends out offers for a free month of paid advertising. You may as well take advantage of it, try it out and see if it works for you.
  • Consider upgrading to a paid LinkedIn membership. This will give you additional contact options and other benefits that may be a good fit for what you’re trying to accomplish. Just click the Basic Account Upgrade link from the top left of any LinkedIn page after you’ve logged in to get more information on the benefits available exclusively to paid members. There are three levels of membership available, the first two fairly reasonable, the third quite expensive.

Adding LinkedIn to Your Marketing Strategy

Adding LinkedIn to your marketing strategy can be a great idea. If you have the time, you can learn to do everything yourself. If not, you might consider hiring a specialist or virtual assistant to handle some of the tasks for you. Admittedly, LinkedIn doesn’t work for every type of business, but it can work for most and should be given full consideration if you want your business to succeed and grow.

You may not see results at first, but as you build your network and become more active, you could find that marketing on LinkedIn is a very smart thing to do.

Related posts: How To Use LinkedIn To Build Your Business?

Source: http://homebusiness.about.com/od/socialmediamarketing/a/How-To-Use-Linkedin-for-Marketing.htm

What My Father’s Early Departure Taught Me About Business

In many ways, I didn’t have a typical upbringing. When I was fifteen years old, my father passed away suddenly presumably after a stroke.

He had no life insurance or savings that could support his five children or widowed wife. For several months we lived relying heavily on our family’s and community support and for many years my mother struggled to put food on our table.

I’ve often reflected on what my life would have been like had my father lived, how different it would have been for me, my siblings and my mother who sacrificed much to be sure we did not go without. While I certainly was sad my father was not around, in some ways I felt my life was easier because with little or no choice left I had to suddenly grow up.

My dad’s business and entrepreneurial aspirations had a lasting and (I would like to think) positive impact on me. In my business, as in my life, when I find myself in a conundrum, I often default to asking, “What would my dad do?” Inevitably, I will recall one of these lessons:

1. Quit complaining. Complaining solves absolutely nothing. In fact, more times than not, it just compounds the problem. My dad was the most optimistic person I know, never uttering a negative thing about anyone or complaining about his work.

He always stayed neutral whenever any of my  four sisters would pick up a fight and had a generous helping of affection for everyone.

2. Appreciate what you have. One does not make a fortune fixing other people’s roofs for a living, though my dad always seemed to appreciate trivial things that made him happy. More importantly, his way of being made me realize that moments and all successes be it small or big are to be cherished, a sense of gratitude I still carry with me today.

3. Make time for those you love. It did not matter how many hours of sleep my dad had or how exhausted he might be, in our household he was the first one of his feet doing the morning shopping and preparing breakfast no matter how little time he had for us for the rest of the day. He always made sure we had food in our stomachs.

What I learnt from this experience is that there will always be time for work, but rarely time for others, and that when we die, we will not regret spending too little time at the office.

4. Give more than you take. My dad helped everyone, often at the expense of his business. I can remember when he was repairing a roof for an elderly lady and would then charge her less because of her advanced age.

Even at a young age, I understood that if you run a business, you should charge people money for what you do. He always made it known, however, that little displays of kindness go much further than nickel-and-diming people. Later, I understood this more, it was all about word of mouth recommendations.

5. Wake up early. My dad rarely slept in. Regardless of when he went to bed, he was always up before us. He was typically engaged in some household chore before he went to do some work. By doing so he made sure he was home by evening to spend time with his family.

6. Nurture close relationships. My dad did not have a great number of friends, but the ones he did have been around for as long as I remember. I learned from him that you should never take your closest colleagues or best friends for granted. They require just as much attention and respect as your family. Even years after his departure they still speak of him affectionately.

7. Keep your mind sharp. For as long as I can remember, my dad read books and newspapers to stay up-to-date and keep his mind sharp. When I was still a kid he would read us bedtime stories. The benefits of taking care of your mind, starting at an early age, are undoubtedly clear.

My dad and I share a similar background. We both graduated from a university but went on to start a business in fields not related to our degree. Neither of us had any experience in the industries or businesses we started, and for the most part, we both have had a bit of success in our entrepreneurial endeavors.

The difference is that I had my dad as a role model, and he had nobody — which in my mind makes his courage and accomplishments much more admirable.

Do you have a similar story? Please share with others in the comments section below. 

The 12 Most Important Things Everyone Should Know About Money

The 12 Most Important Things Everyone Should Know About Money

1. Don’t get a salary. A salary will never make you money.

2. Don’t invest any of your money. Investing is for wealth preservation, not wealth creation, so first you have to make wealth.

3. Come up with 10 ideas a day. This doesn’t seem like “personal finance,” but it is.

4. Don’t try to save money by not buying expensive coffee or taking subways instead of cabs. That’s a myth. The best way to save money is to make more.

5. Learn how to copywrite.

6. Come up with 10 ideas for how two people can help each other. Introduce them and stay out of the way. This is real networking. Not fake networking where people hand business cards to strangers.

7. When you have wealth, never invest more than 2% of your wealth in any one idea.

8. Don’t enter a business with a lot of competition. Enter a business with a monopoly. This means high profits, high perks, great education.

9. Read a lot about things that have nothing to do with finance. Then combine them.

10. Sleeping eight hours a day might be the most important personal finance rule.

11. Be around people who love you and whom you love. Eliminate people who bring you down.

12. Gratitude = Abundance. You can be grateful only for what is abundant in your life or what will be abundant in your life. So practice gratitude / abundance all day long.

Trust your body. With everything you do, everyone you meet, ask, “Is this good for me?” Your unconscious brain will tell you yes or no. Wait for it to answer.

Once it answers, follow the advice.

Look everywhere for what is hidden. The people who know personal finance hide the money very carefully.

The people who don’t know personal finance have TV shows about it.

Be skeptical. Even of me.

Intuitive And Transformational Business Coach