I’m on the cover of Forbes? Oh, someday, I hope. Nope, if you need a cool, fun headshot check out Pho.to and then, the Funny section. There are so many sections to easily retouch, enhance or create fun composed headshots for your local small business marketing.
So many great choices for changing up your headshot. Have fun!
This is my sister’s dog who I walk twice a week. All boy and purebred Beagle. Here’s his horoscope for today. Yesterday, he played on the “Big Dog” side of the dog park. He gets rolled…a lot by the big boys but he doesn’t mind. Those you ignore him get barked at, incessantly. He refuses to not be the object of desire. He really doesn’t bark at home but in public, a bit obnoxious. Goodness. He’s fun. Did I tell you how he cries and howls in the car on the way to the park? Makes me laugh every time.
Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)
You have no sheep to organize, only your friends. They might not take to being herded around, but they’re your only real option. The humans are out, it goes without saying. Make sure they know it’s not about power or prestige, but simply about following your instincts every now and again.
Want to find out your dog’s horoscope? Check out Yahoo!Shine.
Given the explosion of blogs and bloggers, you probably think you’re going to get lost in a churning sea of information. That’s entirely possible. But, there are some things you can to do pull your blog into the boat and save yourself from drowning or getting lost at sea.
Why should you blog? For local businesses it’s a surprisingly good way of adding “juice” to your website. Google’s algorithm (the formula for delivering results) is constantly on the hunt for three things: 1) relevance, 2) freshness, and 3) connection. When you blog, you do all of those, making it far more likely that your business will turn up in the highly coveted organic results. Remember, Google wants be the go-to search engine so they give you results that really match your query. Then, the look for websites that are tended to. A blog shows that you tend your website without you constantly having to update your other pages. As far as connections go, the algorithm looks for social media connections and links. Comments go along ways to. See if you can solicit comments from some of your fans and remember to post your blog to your Facebook Fan Page.
In this infographic, that’s intended for new local business blogs, there’s great advice for both new and experienced bloggers to get discovered by Google. Of course, Google isn’t the only search engine but it’s used by 70% – 80% of all users. So it’s the 800-lb gorilla in the room. It cannot be ignored. Appealing to Google is the best way to juice up your blog.
Infographic by Digital Philippines
I’m as much a diehard practitioner of perfection as anyone. I’ve got undone projects galore. I’m always on the lookout for salvation, the perfect to-do list, a faster way to do organize papers, the most perfect, perfect marketing method, etc. It’s EXHAUSTING.
Then, I read this from Mike Brooks’ article on Yahoo!Small Business’ website and I was freed.
Money loves speed
I love this statement. Coined by a long time friend of mine, I use it often.
What this means is that procrastination due to a desire for perfection is the enemy of action. And action is what breeds results.
Most people are so hung up on wanting to make whatever they are doing – a website, a blog post, a marketing piece – perfect that they never launch anything. Or it takes 10 times as long.
Mr. Brooks is right on. Frequently, I tell my clients to just start marketing. I will meet you where you are. It’s time to do that for myself. And, it’s time to take your local business’ marketing and just start executing.
If you have some things in place: products and/or services, know who your target or ideal clients are, a vivid vision of your business and what you want to do. You will also need to know what the results of your marketing might look like.
Then, get going. Choose 3-5 marketing methods and attack them.
- Offline Advertising
- Online Marketing
- Social Media
- Relationship marketing
- Structured networking groups
- Community marketing
- Public Relations
- Passive marketing
- Direct mail
Treat your marketing like a lab. Experiment. Review. Retool. Implement changes. Start getting sales.
Well, the idea of an elevator pitch does seem cheesy these days. I guess you would say they’re networking introductions and conversation starters. An elevator pitch may seem even out dated. But, it doesn’t remove the overwhelming need for you to have something to say about your business when asked.
Introductions and conversations starters require a couple of sassy statements about your business that you can use when you introduce your business orally at a networking event or on the phone or for in writing everywhere else, can help turn heads, pique interest and get a conversation rolling.
After all, the most important thing you have to do with your marketing is arouse curiosity. It’s unlikely a sale is going to come from it straight away when you are selling a service product. Service products require more time for trust building and customer education. So, just be interesting enough to start building trust.
Bad Intros Made Good
Here are statements about products that have been made to me by people introducing their business.
If you know anyone buying or selling a home, I can help them.
I work with people on their health.
I show people how to get X% return on their investments.
My client’s have investment portfolios that I help manage.
I practice law. I’m a real estate attorney. I am an estate planning attorney.
Before you wonder if it’s you I’m calling out, the answer is yes. But, I’m being a little generic to protect the innocent.
Let me pick these apart as a group. Most of these are statements about what they do as a technician and not the benefit to their clients. These professions are also practiced by millions of people nationwide. These folks often wonder why “no one” wants their business card or approaches them at a meeting.
What I propose is that instead of being generic, clever or trying to hide your true profession, introduce yourself in a way that provokes a statement akin to “tell me more.”
Here’s my idea for these intros:
I work with first time home buyers who have less than 10% down. I hold their hand through the pre-qualification process and work as hard as I can to get them in their home in 90 days or less.
Wellness/Weight Loss/Nutrition Network Marketers –
My clients have reached an age or a point in their lives where their worried about the next 20, 30, 40 years. In a 60-minute sessions with them, we quickly identify their most pressing health concerns and I help match them with the right resources whether it’s my products or not.
Investment Professionals –
Most of my clients want to have freedom to make choices about ditching their roommates, traveling or getting out of a crappy job. I show 20 and 30 year-olds how to make money for themselves for as little as $25 a week.
OR – Most of the folks I work with have neglected their 401K from their last job and they don’t even know that they don’t have to roll it into stocks and bonds to make it pay a return. A lot of my clients are nervous about the volatility of the stock market. I show them alternatives.
Law Professionals –
In a perfect world, everyone would call a lawyer before there’s a disagreement. The reality is that by the time most folks need me, it’s an unhappy time for them. So, I work with them on the legal problem their having and determine the least traumatic course to resolve it.
How To Construct A Good Intro For Yourself
- What problems do you solve? Be specific in mentioning your profession.
- When someone comes to you with a problem, what’s their state of mind?
- What’s unique about your approach or your product or how you deliver your service or your viewpoint of your profession?
- What can you help them do smarter, faster, easier, newer, seamlessly, ahead of the competition?
Three Formats for Introductions:
Before and After Story: Before the worked with me, they were_______________. Together we did__________________. As a result (this happened)___________________.
Typical Problem: Typically, I work with target market (young professionals, married homeowners, small business owners) who are (having this problem) and
Reconsider how you are presenting yourself. Be confident. Invoke curiosity. And, lastly, think of others. It takes the pressure off of you. When you are focused on other people’s problems, you can’t help but succeed.