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Posts Tagged ‘networking’

Got Klout? Use It For Marketing

So by now you’re familiar with Klout. If not, take one step back and read my previous post on getting started with Klout, and this post will make more sense.

Whether you like it or not, Klout is being used to develop your online profile, so stay ahead of the curve and use it to your advantage! But do you know to incorporate Klout into your marketing strategy! Here’s 4 quick tips to get you started:

  1. If you’ve already registered at Klout, you know you have a Klout Style. You can use this to get a pretty good idea of what you’re chatting about online. Suppose you don’t have Klout in a category that’s your specialty/niche – checking your Klout influence can help you determine what you need to be chatting/sharing on the social networks to develop your overall Klout profile. Even though it’s relatively new, I’ve already heard talk of people checking Klout scores as part of their hiring process. So don’t go calling yourself an expert these days if you don’t have some easily found stats to back up your claim – someone just might do a social background check on you and give preference to someone with more Klout!
  2. Much like many social media platforms, you can use the search usernames to find people who share similar interests or prospective clients. With Klout you can get a summary of topics they post about. Suppose you follow someone on Twitter but not Facebook (or vice versa), you may want to connect with them on other platforms as well, thus expanding your reach and exposure. You can also use this for competitor analysis couldn’t you? For example, I could check the Klout score of my competitor and see how our profiles compare. As I stated in the first tip, people are already comparing Klout scores for hiring purposes whether you agree with it or not.
  3. #Kloutchat is an interesting tweetchat centered around using Klout. This as excellent marketing research tool to use to learn how other companies are leveraging Klout. You can learn new ideas and adapt them to your own company. I’ve learned quiet a bit just lurking around #Kloutchat.
  4. Learn how you influence your followers. Use your Klout Score Analysis to find out why you’re influential. Are your followers retweeting your posts? Are you starting discussions? Are you creating calls to action? Understanding the reasons and methods you’re using to gain influence can help you refine your social media strategy to build your brand. You can figure out what’s working for you and what you need to improve upon.

Klout has other tools you can incorporate into your strategy, and since it’s relatively new there are constant improvements. I can’t say whether Klout is right or wrong. But as a marketer I must learn to navigate social media platforms and figure out how to best utilize them for myself and my clients. If you want to maintain control of your brand, you must learn the tools people are using to make decisions about your brand, and Klout happens to be one of those tools. Any platform that gives a quantifiable measure of your online profile will certainly cause a stir. Whether you think Klout is good, bad, or you’re indifferent, understand Klout and make it work for you!

Ciao,
Miss Kemya

Learning Across the Globe From Your Comfy Chair

If there’s a subject you’re interested in,  you more than likely do a quick search online to find out details, right? You can apply the same principle to your ongoing business education. With so many social media platforms launching on a regular basis, you can easily stay abreast of hot topics in your industry from your comfy chair. Here’s 4 quick methods you can use to stay current with your industry’s trending topics:

  • Virtual trade shows – This concept is gaining in popularity, and it’s a great way to hear industry-related speakers and topics in one place without the travel expense.
  • Online events, such as webinars, tweetchats, and facebook chats.  I attend at least a couple of these weekly to keep current on trending topics and stay in touch with colleagues and competitors. Did you know many webinar hosts will provide a recording of their webinar if you pre-register?
  • LinkedIn Groups – there is a wealth of industry specific information being shared right now on LinkedIn. Become a member of relevant LinkedIn groups, subscribe to receive updates, and participate in the discussions.
  • Read websites/blogs that relate to your field and subscribe to their RSS Feed. It’s like building an online textbook one article at a time.

Making It Work:  Add these events and activities to your calendar the same as you would if they were in person. 

Did you notice there are no physical boundaries with any of the above mentioned methods? One hour I might be chatting with someone in Australia, the next hour I’m watching a presentation in Canada. Don’t limit yourself or your business!  Just because you’re already established or done with school doesn’t mean the learning is over. Join global conversations, stay current, and ensure your piece of the profit. You can literally get an international education from the comfort of your home.
Ciao,
Miss Kemya

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 

Business Can Bloom with the Season

As the weather changes and we gear up for the hot summer ahead, I am reminded that nature is a great compass. How many of you adjust your business activities with the seasons? All the beauty of nature is in full bloom, is your business blooming as well?

Naturally we spend more time outdoors socializing in the summer. Thus we may stumble upon any number of impromptu business opportunities while going about our daily routines. The question is, are you prepared to do business at any time? Does your elevator pitch need tweaking? How do you get people to notice you and your brand? Do you host summer events, sponsor any sports-related activities, or perhaps take advantage of all the conferences and socials happening during this time of year?

Like many folks from the Northeast, I can’t help but change my attitude a little when the weather changes. When it gets warmer, I mellow out just a bit. I can visualize growth better, and I seem to experiment with new ideas more easily. With all the beautiful flora in full bloom, I can’t help but become inspired by nature’s color palette. I spend more time outdoors, so I get a chance to meet more people as I walk my dog, take a hike, or dine al fresco. Summer is the only time I wear t-shirts and baseball hats, so I make sure they’re branded with my company logo or interesting taglines. Easy conversation starter at the grocery store or bbq!

If you need a lift, or a piece of motivation to get your business going, take a walk outside. Nature has a way of lifting your spirit and stimulating your mind. I’d love to hear if you’re inspired by seasonal changes. How do you use nature’s compass?

Ciao,
Miss Kemya 

Networking: The Conversation Just Started

If you are a current (or aspiring) business owner or self-employed by any means, you already know you can only eat if you make sales. With that being said, what are you doing to keep yourself fed? When you’re out attending events, traveling and otherwise  “networking”, what do you do when you get home?

Networking is only useful if you FOLLOW UP to build the relationship and actually make a sale/gain a referral/gain a resource to grow your business. Thus we have today’s quick tip: don’t waste time networking if you’re not going to follow-up on the contacts you make. Attending networking events costs money, time and resources, so why not take the initiative to follow-up with interesting people you meet? Note: do not become a spammy salesperson. You can plan to meet for coffee (or a bagel, cocktails, you get the point) and get to know a person. You might be surprised by what you have in common or what you can learn.  Remember, you already have a baseline for a conversation if you attended the same event. You have a wealth of free social media tools at your disposal to stay in touch with your new contacts, so there is really no reason why you can’t build a relationship with people as you go about developing your business and your network of resources.

If you don’t want to do any follow-up, and you just want to sit around complaining about the status of your business, you might as well do something else better with your time and money, like skimming through the yellow pages for contacts…

Ciao,
Miss Kemya 

A Business Card Can Be Your Friend

Most of us still use business cards on a regular basis to communicate who we are, what we do, etc. Yet so many seemingly professional people do not adhere to basic business card rules. Thus my cheat sheet on business card essentials. I didn’t think I needed to spell these out, but I’m often taken aback by how many times I meet a business owner that either runs out of business cards or doesn’t have pertinent information listed on the card. Tsk tsk… 

5 Business Card Essentials

 

  1. Make sure you have business cards with your current contact information on you at all times. You can’t predict when a business opportunity will strike.

  2. It’s 2011, please list at least one social media site you’re using.

  3. If you’re networking it’s usually for business purposes, right? Please put your company name, website and/or blog information on the card.

  4. Has your contact information recently changed, and you haven’t had a chance to order new cards? NO EXCUSE! I’m not letting you off the hook that easily. You can go to an office supply store and print your own cards, or go to a local print shop and order a small print run in the meantime. Scribbling a new phone number is a big no-no.

  5. Have you been out meeting and networking like crazy all day and ran out of cards? This is understandable, but stay prepared. Have a .vcf card already created in your phone so you can immediately email your contact information to the person you’re talking to.

Bonus Tip: Use the backs of exchanged business cards to take notes on conversations you’d like to remember – what you talked about with a person, what they wore, additional info not listed on the card, etc. You don’t have to rely on your memory when you need to follow-up with 40 people, just use the card for hints. You sound far more interested in building a relationship if you can refer to a previous conversation when you’re trying to connect via phone, email or social media. I do this faithfully and it works!

Ciao,
Miss Kemya

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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