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Posts Tagged ‘marketing strategy’

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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Connect On Facebook and LinkedIn With A Personal Message

Let’s face it, in order to build your professional network you will want to forge relationships with people who you don’t know personally. You can use social media as a starting point. However, don’t go spamming people with blank invitations to connect!

Quick Tip: When you send a Facebook Friend Request or a LinkedIn Invitation to a person that you don’t know personally, you should always submit a message explaining why you want to connect.

The note doesn’t have to be too fancy or deep, but you need to give a reason for the connection.  I have heard too many hi-profile professionals say the same thing: they will not connect with a stranger who sends a canned invitation with no explanation. Think about it: why would I add a complete stranger as a friend or connection? I don’t know you so why give you access to my colleagues and network to sales pitch, or worse, tarnish my image? A professional that understands the power of social media will not let that happen. So take 3 minutes to write a message to let someone know why you want to connect. If your request is ignored, don’t take it personally, maybe you can think of another way to “connect” with that person.

Note: This does not include “Open Networkers” – as the name implies they are open to connecting with everyone.

Ciao,
Miss Kemya 

You Are Your Brand, Own It!

I had the pleasure of attending a fantastic social media seminar, dubbed an Online Marketing & Social Media Crash Course, featuring none other than Entrepreneur Magazine expert Starr Hall.  Now since I already know Starr I was prepared to be blown away by all her proven tips to navigate the online marketing environment. For those of you that don’t her, let me tell you she is indeed an expert!

My friend and event attendee Author Brian L Thompson asked me a question after the event that really had me stumped. He asked me “What was THE most important thing I learned? And what am I going to do with it?” The nerve of him asking me such a loaded question right?! After giving some it some thought, I answered: I think the most significant takeaway for me is that I AM THE BRAND. My personality must resonate in everything I do, so I’m working on adjusting all my communications – social media and otherwise – to accurately reflect my brand.

Why am I sharing this? As business owners, we spend so much time making our clients look fabulous that we often neglect our own businesses in the process – don’t despair because I’m guilty too! As it relates to branding and communication, part of this stems from traditional marketing tactics. You see, before the age of transparency via the internet and social media, too many of us were taught to NOT put a personal spin on our communications, thus we would write a bunch of stodgy copy for our marketing collateral. Great design elements, but the copy would either bore you to sleep or be too sales-pushy. Unfortunately, many of us still accidentally succumb to this traditional ideology and it hinders our success – again, call me guilty. As I pondered my most significant takeaway from the event, all of the tips and tricks I learned are rooted in the understanding that it’s okay for me to let my personality shine through as I build my brand. My personality, my uniqueness,  is what you buy, not my degrees or brochures! Ok, maybe you buy my degrees but you know what I mean!

What makes this so ironic is that Janice Clark, one of my tweeps and mentors, pointed this very thing out to me a couple weeks ago. Anytime I try to hide my personality I bomb, as in no “hits”, no feedback, no inquiries = no sales. So how timely is it that I attended this seminar while I am in the midst of making drastic updates to my online persona? Sometimes timing is everything isn’t it? If you’re reading this post I’d dare to guess the same lesson applies for your business – YOU ARE YOUR BRAND!

I could write a thesis on all the things I learned from Starr during this seminar, but you need to check her out for yourself… Seriously though, I am thankful to know people like Brian, Starr, Janice and my tons of business friends for asking me loaded questions and forcing me to think and ACT on strategies to build my business. Remember, you are judged by the company you keep, and  I happen to choose my company carefully. After all, I AM MY BRAND!

Ciao,
 MissKemya

Why Aren’t You Tweeting Yet?

Many professionals are still apprehensive regarding social media outlets.  I run into so many business owners that simply don’t know how to join the social media conversation, so they stay behind, falling further and further into the abyss with the dinosaurs. For those of you that don’t know how to join the conversation, I’m here to get rid of all the excuses you’ve been using as to why you can’t “get on” social media.  Read on to learn how I joined one of the major social networks: Twitter.

How To Get Started on Twitter For Business Purposes 

Learn the Basics. Go to http://business.twitter.com/ and learn Twitter basics. Just because you don’t know what you’re doing doesn’t mean you have to look like a novice late to the party  – that’s the beauty of the internet isn’t it?

Complete your profile. When choosing a username, make it something easy to understand, and related to your name or company name. Use a real picture as your avatar (aka the picture that shows up next to your username). People want to converse with humans on Twitter; we know logos and robots don’t tweet! Complete your bio as well, otherwise, we (business people) won’t take you seriously.

What to Tweet? You don’t have to “rush” to join the convo. I started by “lurking” – aka reading other people’s tweets and not commenting or retweeting. Then, once I understood the lay of the land – aka “twitterverse” – I started retweeting others’ professional posts. Then, when I got comfortable, I would add a brief comment to the retweet. Then, again while getting more comfortable, I would find original articles and topics to tweet. Over time, I became confident enough to add my personality and personal tweets in the mix. This is my rebuttal to the “I don’t know what to say” excuse!

Who to follow? Since you’ve already learned about hashtags via the Twitter basics, think of a few keywords that relate to your business and search for them as hashtags.  You can also seek out fellow business owners, prospects, and clients that are already using Twitter and follow them.

Consistency Counts. You have to tweet to be seen and build a following. I always recommend starting out with 5 tweets daily for a few weeks, then 10 daily for a few weeks. I tweet Mon-Fri, and rarely during the weekend. Mon-Fri is pretty acceptable for business purposes. This allows you to get the hang of it.  I  know you can spare 20 minutes 3 times a day to read tweets and find interesting posts to retweet or comment on. This is my rebuttal to the “I don’t have time” excuse!

BONUS: Perform searches at http://search.twitter.com/advanced to find tweets based on a myriad of criteria. This method is still elusive for many, so if you’re reading this post you’re ahead of the game! Thank me by commenting!

This is exactly what I did when I got serious about using Twitter, so I know it works.  This formula is simple enough to prevent any excuses. I understand how overwhelming social media can be, and when you hear tips from “experts” with a huge fan base their advice doesn’t seem practical. Been there, done that, moved on, and so should you! Building your following and your level of comfort will take time, but you will get there if you follow my tips. The longer you wait, the more you sink into the abyss. If you get lost or need help, find me on Twitter @MissKemya, leave a comment, or send me an email at kemya [at] phiscomarketing.com. I’m glad to help.

**For those of you already deep in twitterverse, please send this post to your reluctant colleagues and let me know how it works for them. I’ve had this same conversation numerous times to get people started on Twitter.**

Ciao,
Miss Kemya 

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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