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Why Use Social Media As A Marketing Tool?

I read an article this week that made my jaw drop! It talked about how 64% of small businesses don’t think social media is important. What?! If this is the case, this means these business aren’t incorporating social media into their marketing strategy. My only caveat: there was a small sampling of business owners, and stats can always be misconstrued. However, these stats are alarming, sample size and industry aside, so I was compelled to discuss.

I could write a thesis on the value of social media but neither of use has time for that. I will give you a some answers to help bridge the social media divide, from the perspective of a person who started a marketing career before the age of the internet and social media, back when we used phone books, land lines, and unannounced drop-ins to prospect for clients. <I see you looking at my pic trying to guess my age>

So what’s wrong with this notion that social media is not important? Understand the correlation between “traditional” marketing and social media as a marketing tool:

  • Small businesses look for inexpensive ways to communicate their products to the public. If you have time to market your business, you have the resources you need to use social media. You can use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs, etc. and shell out $0 monetary costs. Don’t believe me? Ask me and I’ll show you.
  • Small businesses thrive on word of mouth marketing. Social media is the most organic form of word of mouth marketing there is. The whole point of social media is to build your street credibility through word of mouth. That’s why you can message, repost, retweet, comment and share, it’s all about communication, no physical boundaries required!
  • When you run a business and marketing is not your strength, you usually hire someone for marketing, correct? This marketing person usually teaches you some tips and tricks you can use on a daily basis, and then they build the bigger marketing plans and strategies. So why are you not using your hired marketing person to understand social media?
  • Your brand is your image. It doesn’t matter what you think of your image, it matters what your clients think of your image. What does your brand, your image, look like when it’s stuck in the twentieth century? I’ll let you ponder that for a moment.

So why am I disturbed by the statistics of small business owners who refuse to adopt current marketing practices? Because they are missing out on a huge opportunity to catapult their businesses to the next level. Because small businesses provide a big chunk of the private sector jobs in this country. Because I recognize that small businesses are the life blood of our economy. This is no secret! Thus it is very important, not only to me but to us, for small businesses to stay strong, adapt to a changing business climate, and rebuild our country.

Know a small business that’s falling by the wayside because of their inability to adapt new, broader means of communication to grow their business? I will almost bet it’s because they don’t understand the value of using social media. I just have one favor to ask of you: email this post to your fellow business owners that have this notion, since they’re probably not regularly using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, etc. so they won’t see it online. Or better yet, print this post and drop it in snail mail if you can actually find a postage stamp.

If you or someone you know fits in the 64% category, I implore you to join us on the other side. How? Call me. I happen to be a Strategic Marketing Consultant who finds value in social media.

Ciao,
Miss Kemya

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Solopreneurs Need Staff Meetings Too!

Yes, the title is an oxymoron, but indulge me for a moment. This post came about because I am often asked how I keep track of all the different aspects of running a business as a solopreneur.

As a solopreneur you’re pretty much responsible for wearing EVERY hat in the company – accounting, marketing, IT, snacks – you already know this. As I started attending more events, growing the biz and just getting busier, I needed to get a better handle on all the different aspects of running my business, not just “get the client and do the work”. Sound familiar??

One day I’ll grow to the point where I need to hire employees. In the meantime, I needed a way to organize all the “departments” in my business. This got me to thinking about corporate Monday morning staff meetings, when each department reports on what they accomplished last week and what they have planned for the upcoming week. Next thing I knew, the Phisco Marketing Staff Meeting was born.

Now, I don’t technically have a staff, but that doesn’t make a difference.  Here’s how it goes: As the boss/CEO/COO you divide your staff meeting “agenda” into departments and list responsibilities as though each department head has to give a weekly report. Next, complete the agenda below as your first order of business on Monday morning (I usually complete mine on Sunday evening to get a jump on the week). Then plan your actions accordingly, even scheduling in those “where did that come from?” tasks that creep up on you.

Important note: A client is any entity that you do work for. If you sit on a Board, that’s a client. If you are an active member of any committee, that counts as a client too. Do you perform volunteer work on a regular basis? Client. You get the picture.

Here’s my Staff Meeting Template. I added basic notes so you can see what I include for each department. Yes I really use this one, colors and all, I didn’t pretty it up for y’all one bit!

At the end of your week (whichever day that may be for you) review what you accomplished, and push the items that didn’t get done to next week’s agenda, rinse and repeat! This can’t replace a quarterly review, business overhaul, etc. but it can function as your prioritized week-at-a-glance. This has been my saving grace for the last 6 weeks or so!

Sometimes a simple structure can make life less complicated.  Feel free to use, re-purpose, modify as you like,  all I request is that you let me know how it works for you! If you have another method, do tell!

I’m ALL IN, Are You?

Last week I participated in a fun Facebook group chat with the publisher of the new e-magazine Going Pro.  (To see the premier issue of this awesome mag, click http://stephaniepollock.com/goingpromagazine/) So we’re chatting and our moderator/publisher Stephanie poses the question: What is possible when you really go ALL IN? Well, this got me to thinking, especially since this is a phrase I use quite often. The problem is, I don’t know the answer…YET.  

Have you ever truly gone ALL IN and put forth 99.99% effort to building the business of your dreams, even if only for a short period of time? How much “productive” time do you actually spend daily? I’m not talking about the half-a$$ busy work you do, I’m talking real strategy and execution of your ideas. Be honest: write that number down, and then throw it away!

Two weeks ago I decided that I’m ALL IN for the month of April. I threw this decision out to the universe (and Twitterverse) because I wanted to challenge myself in order to find out what ALL IN really means. So far, I have to admit, I’m having fun embracing the challenge. It’s causing me to be more productive with my time and more aggressive with my business decisions. Rather than half-a$$ it, I’m acting like I have the business that I dream of TODAY. It’s amazing what a catch-phrase can do for you, huh?

So, I challenge you to answer the question: Are you half-a$$in’ or ALL IN? If you’ve never went ALL IN, consider yourself challenged! Put together a just-out-of-reach action plan and for the rest of the month, act like the world is yours for the taking! Join me this month and leave a comment to let me know how you’re embracing the challenge. I’ll certainly share my adventures with you!

Ciao!
Miss Kemya


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5 Tips To Freshen Up Your Business

In the spirit of my do-over Happy New Year, I have spent the past week reflecting on my business – what works, what doesn’t, what needs some tweaking. As any entrepreneur can tell you, there are always outstanding tasks that can easily take control of your day: last-minute meetings, unexpected phone calls, tech nightmares, places to go, blog posts to schedule, etc.

Unfortunately, many biz owners never actually schedule time to work on their own business, always working on client projects or participating in activities that just don’t fall into the productive category. With this in mind, and having to ‘fess up to my own challenges for the first quarter, I figured I’d share my top 5 tips to freshen up your business and get back on track:

Review your networking activities for the quarter. Where did you go, who did you talk to, how did you benefit? Did you walk away with business cards, flyers, miscellaneous notes, souvenirs, etc. that you stuck in a pile to deal with later? Well, later is here, so deal with it! While you’re at it, organize your networking efforts for the next two quarters, then proceed to …

Organize your contacts. Business cards, sticky notes, napkin scribbles, etc. – did you enter them into a practical CRM tool? If not, schedule 1 hour (or 2 if you’re way behind) and enter all your contacts into your CRM tool of choice. Extra tip: put a comment with each contact – where you met, what you talked about, follow-up needed, etc. – you’ll thank me later. Then schedule those follow-ups.

Revisit your immediate target client list. Who do you want as a client? Make a list, research the company, connect with them via social media, and make a plan of action for actually winning each client. Don’t know your targets? Think about your mission, your experience, and your contacts. Which firms can you think of that may fit your set of criteria and you can get access to a decision maker? Don’t be timid, utilize your network! It’s time for some action!

Update your social media profiles. You keep your profiles updated right? Of course you do. However, you still need to spot check to make sure your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blog, SlideShare, Digg, etc. profiles are CONSISTENT and up to date. Post a new bio, profile pic, or update – then brag about it.

Revisit your business objectives. Are you still on track to meet your goals for the year? If not, you have a decision to make: change your actions or change your goals. If you haven’t defined your objectives… well that’s another post for another day. But you can always call me to discuss.

So there you have it, simple methods you can use to get organized on a quarterly basis, just in case you wake up with the “omg my business is a mess” blues.

I know you have an additional tip or 2 to share, so go ahead and leave a comment. I’d love to hear what works for you. It just might work for the rest of us!

Ciao!
Miss Kemya

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