Networking Slump

Even savvy networkers can experience a decline or slow down in networking activity. There are many reasons for unpredictable situations such as the time of the year, holidays, changes in the industry / economic climate, etc. But regardless of the circumstance, you can bounce back and gain traction in your networking endeavors.

Listed below are tips for navigating uncertain conditions to make the most of your business and social strategies endeavors.

Plan Ahead

Take time to create a networking playbook. Mark times which are considered busy and potentially slow. Planning ahead allows you to forecast and better predict your outcomes. For example, Summertime, the holidays or a new (fiscal) year can slow down networking or business progress. Find ways to be productive and efficient to avoid becoming idle or complacent.

Stay Active

Keep your network frequency up to par. Be focused on staying consistent by attending monthly events, having weekly lunches or coffees, scheduling calls or sending out emails. Making it a point to stay connected and being available adds value while fostering trust for growing quality relationships. It shows that you are serious and intentional in your agenda.

Track Progress

Although it is important to plan ahead also make sure that you are evaluating your processes. Observe best methods, common trends and successful ways of networking and staying effective. Monitor results and seek out ways to improve your systems. Also, reach out to your existing networks for support and additional advice.

Use these simple and practical tips to overcome common networking obstacles. Be mindful of ways to avoidactivity and unwanted circumstances to achieve your goals.

Start Your Future NOW!

Ever think “There must be something else, something more and something better”?

The world is changing at a rapid pace. Job security is a thing of the past, and for most of us, having ajob barely pays the bills. For most people, it does not pay the bills, and certainly does not allow for holidays or luxuries.

School taught us to work hard, get good grades and get a job. What it did not teach us was how to create wealth.

It's the 21st century, the Information Age and if we do not keep up we will fall behind, big time!

Traditional jobs are disappearing rapidly. Businesses now use half the staff they used to, and in many cases pay on a performance level rather than an hourly rate. And this is just the beginning of what is to come.

So what can you do about it? The answer is simple – Become an Entrepreneur.

There are millions of people globally who have discovered the secret to creating wealth through becoming an Entrepreneur. And it's easier than you think.

To become an entrepreneur all you need is: –

  • A willingness to learn
  • A can do attitude
  • Determination and discipline
  • The desire to become a better person

Anyone can learn Entrepreneurial skills. You do not need a university degree; you do not even need to have finished school. In fact some of the richest people in the world had very little if any formal education. What they did have was a desire to make something positive happen in their lives.

Do you want more for your life and the lives of your family? Do you want a future that has quality?

I think we all do, but we are so caught up in the speed of 'daily living' that we just have not given much (if any) thought to the possibilities that are out there. And believe me there are endless possibilities. It does not have to be all doom and gloom. Life is for living.

Once you learn the basic skills to becoming an entrepreneur, a whole world of opportunities can open up to you.

So what is an Entrepreneur? Basically anyone who owns their own business.

But do not panic. It does not have to be a huge company, with employees and massive overhead expenses. Nor does it mean buying a franchise. There are literally thousands of business opportunities out there, if you know where to look and how to find them. And the wealth they can create can make the difference between an average life and an abundant lifestyle. Which one would you prefer?

Remember, you are new to this, so step one is to start part time. Learn the skills while still working your current job. And if you are serious about increasing your wealth, you have the ability to earn part time, an additional $ 1000 plus per month. What would extra $$$ per month mean to you and your family?

For most it would mean a BIG DIFFERENCE.

The time to get started is NOW. Do not wait. People who wait are waiting all their lives. Do you want the next 5 years to be the same as the last 5? If not, then take action now.

And here's the secret that most people never realize – The time will pass anyway!

Yes that's it – The Time Will Pass Away! So why not do something to make things better. Unless you are happy with your life the way it is now. It's entirely up to you.

But here's the key – if you start now, you'll be so much better off 5 years from now. And your future self will thank you for it.

Trust me. Nothing changes by itself. No one will jump up and do it for you. And if you do nothing, then that's what you get in return.

I live by the motto – The only way to predict the future is to create it.

So start your future now. It will be fun. It will be exciting and it will be very rewarding.

Where Refrigerators Go to Die

You may be wondering what beat up old refrigerators have got to do with anything, let alone marketing. Stay with me and find out.

The other day I went to the recycling center with my husband and standing on its own in the middle of a dirt area was a group of discarded refrigerators. I looked at them and saw beauty in them, stood there, old, antiquated, forgotten. It reminded me of the equipment and online tools that we have used and discarded in marketing.

Who remembers telex machines and fax machines being used for mass distribution of advertisements? It was not that long ago people were grappling with email. What about Netscape? At some point these were all brand spanking new shiny objects. There was a little bit of awe, anticipation and fear, but we got on with the job and mastered the technology.

When we go to the shop to buy a fridge there's something we're looking for: the latest fancy ice maker; SMART technology that links the refrigerator to the house systems. Whatever, it is, we're drawn in by something we've never before and when we get it home, it takes pride of place in the kitchen. We want to immediately try out the functions, even though we do not understand how they work, and we start pressing the buttons before we read the instructions. We show our new toy off to family and friends and then it becomes part of our everyday life. At some point it will outgrow its usefulness. For some people it is early on, and we decide to upgrade to a newer model and pass on our not so new refrigerator, still with some life in it, to the next appreciative owner. Or we could be the owner who keeps the refrigerator going for as long as possible, repairing it until the parts become obsolete. Then we move on, running fast to catch up with the latest features to satisfy our palette. The cycle starts again.

Technology runs with a similar cycle. We buy the latest equipment or software that promises to increase our business profitability. We use it before we understand its true functionality. We show it off to our customers and prospects and then we settle into a daily routine. We may upgrade by adding new parts or new versions or we may move up to the latest model. Some of us will keep patching our tools until there comes the point when there is no longer any service or upgrade capacity left. We then have a lot of catching up to do when we invest in new technology.

In marketing, there is always something new that's there to make life easier, get more sales, more customers, more time and more interactions. The sales funnel gets more sophisticated and there before we are constantly looking for the new ways to get customers and sales. In this maelstrom, technology quickly becomes obsoleste or left behind.

If we do not keep up with technology, we will find our outdated methods could slow us down. A good example of keeping up with technology is the use of autoresponders for email marketing; a great tool to nurture prospects and convert them into buying, but for many of us, the process involved seems tedious. What we do not acknowledge is that the time taken to set up the email sequences, more than compensates people personally sending out emails that seem repetitive and take up a lot more time in the long term. I am not saying we should be completely online; we should not. But if we do not keep up with change, then change will overtake us anyway and we could end up, with our businesses, stuck in that field, like those refrigerators waiting to die.

Fear of technology is a very real problem facing people in businesses. This fear turns resources that are meant to help make our lives and businesses easier, into taboo topics that should never be discussed, or worse still, they get sabotaged or thrown into dark cupboards never to see the light of day.

Networking Mastermind Group

Savvy networkers are always looking for ways to maximize and build their networks. They have a plan in place, are strategic and steadily measuring their progress. Another excellent method for effectively networking is starting a mastermind group. This term was first coined by Napoleon Hill in the 1920's. He defined it as two or more people coming together in harmony to solve problems. Almost 100 yrs. later, the concept is very useful for developing relationships, gaining support and being successful in your endeavors.

Listed below are helpful tips for creating and establishing a functional group.

Rules of Engagement

In the process of creating and organizing a mastermind group, make sure that proper expectations are set. Designate someone in charge of laying the ground rules, organizing the agenda and scheduling the meetings. Once in place, the group can rotate responsibilities accordingly. This gives flexibility and a balance to the dynamics of the group.

Purpose and Mission

As the group develops, it is key to create a purpose and mission for the sessions. In regards to networking, consider discussing topics for being efficient in networking, growing networks and sharing resources. Another beneficial practice is to offer leads, referrals and introductions when needed. This also allows members to support and encourage each other in their journey.

Revise Goals

Common interests and needs may evolve as the mastermind group progresses. A good idea is to create quarterly goals to identify and evaluate what is relevant to the group. As the time passes on, the group can easily adjust and stay current to their purpose and mission.

Definitely use these tips to get the most out of your networking and group. Be focused on development, building relationships and offering solutions for success.

SMS Gateway for Small Business to Facilitate Bulk SMS Marketing for Local Businesses

An SMS gateway enables a PC to send or get Short Message Administration transmissions to or from a media communication. Most messages are in the long run steered into the cell phone systems. Numerous SMS gateways bolster media change from email and different configurations.

In a country where more smartphones are being used than toothbrushes, Bulk SMS Marketing is no doubt any business's sure shot way to connect with audiences. It is an extremely effective medium to reach out to millions of people at the same time. And also the open rate of SMS is the best among this kind of marketing, So there are possibilities for best ROI

Typically, an SMS is opened inside five minutes of its conveyance. Here, that makes Bulk SMS Marketing an extraordinary decision for new item dispatch data, constrained offers, regular rebates, arrangement updates and coupon advances.

Utilizing SMS to specifically instant message clients are an extremely successful approach to express straightforward new data and offers. In any case, the tenets that administrator the business are tight with respect to what is considered spam and what is not. This implications organizations that need to use Short Message Service (SMS) framework strategies for marketing and correspondence should be watchful about how they handle the errand. A business bought to make sure that the immediate correspondence framework that it has worked to address Bulk SMS marketing needs was developed in light of those particular concerns.

Utilizing an SMS Gateway has its own favorable circumstances. Some of them are as per the following:

· SMS Platform for Business Messaging

· Sub-Accounts for Team Members

· Virtual Mobile Number

· SMS Sender ID

· Long Text Messages

· SMS Stop Command

· Reporting & Analytics

· Secure Text Messaging

· Incoming Message Automation

There are a few types of correspondence accessible to an organization that is as immediate and successful in taking a message and truly putting it right in the hands of the planned buyer. On the off chance that a specialist's office needs to stay up with the latest about the doctor's accessibility, SMS is the ideal method to do it. It is likewise a significantly less expensive technique for correspondence that other direct marketing options, for example, mailing updates or making telephone calls. As in the case of a specialist's office, it's less demanding and less expensive to send updates about arrangements to patients by means of content informing than it is to have a partner put a telephone call and endeavor to talk straightforwardly with the patient.

4 Reasons Why Digital Marketing Is Important for Small Businesses

83% of SMBs (small businesses) believe digital marketing (DM) is critical for their businesses. Can you beat that? A simple “No”. The modern world is increasingly driven by digital media. We are constantly hooked to the Internet for something or the other. Such a digitally-influenced space makes a digital presence more than compulsory for every business to reach the customers. Boosting sales figures is the prime goal for SMEs taking to DM today. Added to it, SMEs are also counting on online marketing for enhancing brand awareness, lead conversion, and improvement of website traffic.

The post below shares 4 significant benefits of digital marketing for small businesses.

Customers are online

80% of potential consumers take to online media for information. When we come across a new business or company, the immediate reflex is to search for digital marketing in the web world. Gone are the days when we used to visit a store physically or call it up to know about it. Thus, it's extremely cruel for a small business to have a strong presence online and digital marketing is the tool for it. Put simply, if your potential customer can not find you online, she will immediately go to your competitor.

To connect to the modern “smart” world

Mobile phones are no longer used for mere calling or texting. In fact, smartphones are one of the most important tools to browse the web world today. 91% American adults are in constant touch with their smartphones. When it comes to searching for a product or service, they will naturally prefer to make queries from their smartphone only. If your business is not present online, just imagine the huge chunk of potential leads you are going to lose!

More economic

Capital crisis is a major problem for most of the small businesses. And this is where digital marketing comes as a savior. Online marketing is any day cheaper compared to traditional marketing. In fact, some of the channels are even free of cost. For example, it costs you nothing to make your business page on social media and stay connected to your customers online.

Digital marketing also helps you to save money. There are many online marketing tools that are available for free like free website builder, free email marketing management tools and so on.

Better ROI

On one hand, DM helps you reach your customers while keeping the costs low. On another hand, it helps you to save money for your business. The end result is better ROI for your business over time.

When are you going digital? If you need to learn digital marketing , probably can start with digital marketing course first.

Networking Online Resources

Networking is a great asset for professional, career, academic and business development. Beside connecting in person, it is also beneficial to connect online. Virtual networking opens doors and gives you access to many resources and opportunities. It allows you to extend your reach further and connect with others around the world. But, you must do your due diligence and foster online relationships as you would in person relationships.

Listed below are helpful tips for using online strategies to enhance your networking agenda.

Find Online Groups

Connect with online groups on social media platforms which best represent your networking objectives. Once you join the group, become an active participant. Post relevant info, post questions to encourage dialogue and comment on posts. These forms of engagement are excellent ways to brand yourself and build your credibility.

Listen to / Create a Podcast

This is another great way to build community and support. If you are listening to podcasts, make it a point to post questions and share the recording. Follow podcasts which can help you develop in your career, offer resources for growing your business or support your community interests. If you are creating a podcast, the same criteria applies. Talk about relevant topics which connect you to your audience, objectives etc. Use the podcast to promote your agendas as well as create a platform for exchange.

Scheduling Apps

Utilize a scheduling app to make appointments and meeting seamlessly. These automated services allow you connect with others by date, time, location, etc. They also offer friendly reminders and other details to make your meetings successful.

Networking Apps

Download networking apps onto your phone to connect easily with people at events. Once you have connected with them in person, you can migrate to online to continue the relationship building. These apps also offer reminders and updates about your contacts. This information can be useful for gaining resources, developing partnerships or getting leads and referrals.

Use these strategies to expand your online communications and networking objectives. Definitely take the time to manage ways of effectively and consistently connecting and adding value.

Direct Mail: An Old Marketing Tool With New Power

Looking for a better way to connect with customers and prospects in this technology-rich, multi-channel environment? Would you think I was crazy if I suggested using a channel that was developed in the early 20th century?

That channel is direct mail. And while many of today's marketers may dismiss it as a quaint relic of days gone by, it's actually more powerful than ever before. Surprised? If you understand the factors behind the effectiveness of direct mail, you will not be.

There are two reasons direct mail is a wise choice in today's market. First, fewer companies are using it, so the competent that know how to employ it effectively has a much larger opportunity to be noticed. Three decades ago, your mailbox may have been full of letters on any given day, but how many do you receive now? Finding a letter (especially one with a real stamp) is something of a novelty these days, so instead of simply tossing it away, people are more likely to read it.

“Well, I do not read junk mail,” you insist. Neither do I. But effective direct mail and junk mail are two entirely different animals, and that's where reason number two enters the picture. The key to effective direct mail is making sure you put the right message into the right hands, and today's combination of powerful technology and big data makes that easier to do than ever before.

Junk mail is the stuff you do not want. You're not interested in doing business with the sender, or it's a product you've never bought, so you chuck it into the recycling bin. If you're sending the wrong messages to people who have no need or interest, you're wasting your money on junk mail.

But if you're sending relevant messages and offers to a tightly targeted group of recipients that meets specific criteria, you're engaging in effective direct mail. You have the opportunity to “talk” directly to someone who is likely to be interested in what you have to say or offer. Even better, you're doing it in a place where they're comfortable at a time when they're comfortable. Many forms of marketing communications are interruptive. For example, phone calls always come when you're doing something else. But most people have some sort of routine when it comes to reading their mail.

Now, about that tightly targeted group I mentioned. I've written a lot of effective direct mail packages over the years, but I'll be the first to admit that my brilliant words are not the primary reason those efforts achieved success. Direct mail experts will tell you that the writing and design of a direct mail piece or package accounts for less than 10 percent of its effectiveness. How do they know that? They've tested millions of pieces of mail over the years, making slight modifications to pinpoint what works best.

Those experts will also tell that your offer accounts for about 20 percent of a direct mail effort's success. So what's the factor behind the remaining 70 percent? It's the quality of the list.

In other words, you can develop the most beautiful direct mail package with the most poetic word promoting a truly irresistible offer, and if you mail it to a crummy list, it's going to fail. The list is the single most important element.

A good list is focused completely on one type of recipient. The more clearly you can define your target audience and obtain a list of those targets, the more effective it will be. The list should also be accurate, and it's important to make sure your vendor or whoever is producing the letter merges the right fields. Otherwise, you could embarrass yourself.

The other element that's important in effective direct mail is making sure your message is personal. Even if you're sending your marketing message to 100,000 people, it's being read by one at a time. You want each recipient to feel as though they're having a conversation with someone at your company, not being subjected to advertising. Copy that's friendly and conversational will go a long way toward accomplishing that.

Direct mail may actually be an ancient technique, but that does not mean it's obsolescent or ineffective. Use today's tools to refine and boost it, and that old standby may be the source of your newest success!

Won’t Turn Pink In The Can

Once upon a time

There's an apocryphal story about a tuna cannery at the turn of the 20th century. Canned salmon was the dominant fish sold over most of the US. An exec with the tuna cannery compared all the features of his tuna with the features of canned salmon. One of the biggest differences was the color. Tuna was white, and salmon was pink.

Rather than try to convince prospects why they should buy tuna instead of salmon, he simply added a large headline to all his ads for tuna: “Will Not Turn Pink In The Can.”

Tell the truth

The beauty of this phrase was that the ad exec was making a factual statement. He left the reasoning as to why it was actual to prospective consumers. Salmon was pink when the can was opened – did that mean there was something wrong with the fish? The can? The whole process of getting salmon to consumers?

This story has been told in many different ways: tuna vs salmon, white salmon vs red salmon, even white tuna vs pink tuna. It does not matter which version you've heard, or which version you tell. While the actuality of this story has been debunked a number of times, the truth of it remains. So much that in the past couple of decades, real marketing executables have used phrases like “A non-fat food” on packaged loaded with sugar and carbs (the human body stores these as fat), or “No added sugar” or ” No added salt “on foods naturally loaded with those ingredients.

These are easy examples – ones well within reach that I can pluck down and show you. However, not every example has to have the negative potential that these phrases have.

Be assertive

I'm bringing this up because I have a prospective client who's looking for a way to differentiate her products from her competitors. You do not have to craft sentences starting with “We're different because …” or “We're better because …”

Find something positive to say about your product or service – something that sets it apart from your competition – and trumpet it loudly and proudly. Pick something irrefutable, something that can not be proven false. Use this as your positioning statement, and make sure it's truth sets you apart from the competition. After that, it's up to you to tell prospects why that position is better than, or superior to, the competition.

3 Ways to Improve Your Networking Image

Did you know that you have a networking image? Many savvy networkers do not have a clue and do not take advantage of this extraordinary branding mechanism. What is a networking image? It is the tangible and / or intangible impression or form which a person reflects. It can help to build credibility, trust, professionalism, likeability etc. On the other hand, a bad image can create the opposite.

Below are effective ways of establishing a networking worthy impression for big success.

Physical Image

The most notable image is your physical image. Research shows that the way in which a person carries themselves is judged in a few seconds of them meeting someone. In regards, to your physical image, you want to be neat, proper and respectable. Appear in a way which aligns with your career, industry, etc. Develop an impression which compliments your personality. Keep an image that is true and consistent to your brand.

Written Image

Your written appearance involves your business cards, written correspondences, marketing material and online presence. All of these aspects should be similar and constant with your personality traits, skills, abilities, profession, etc. Whether on paper or online, make sure that you are being represented in a clear, professional and polished manner.

Verbal Image

Last but not least is your verbal exchange. This is the way you introduce yourself, your elevator pitch and the way in engage in conversations. Your verbal interactions, similar to your other images, should reflect your expertise and professionalism. It should also be culturally sound.

Utilize these techniques to create a dynamic networking profile. Make sure that your images align with one another and adds value and credibility.

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