Why Every Entrepreneur And Business Owner Should Be All Over Linkedin Right Now

Why Every Entrepreneur And Business Owner Should Be All Over Linkedin Right Now

There are 300 million people in the United States, and 500 million people on LinkedIn. Are you one of them? You should be. In fact, we think that if you’re a business owner, you should be all over LinkedIn.

It’s a big network, yes, but more importantly: it’s a big network filled with other professionals, entrepreneurs and business owners. On this platform, you have direct access to your peers, as well as future (and current) employees, and other thinkers in your field. Use it to build your business through networking, conversation, and exchanging ideas

LinkedIn allows you to connect with your audience in a way that virtually nothing else can. No ads or marketing (though arguably posting on LinkedIn is totally a form of marketing). No podium to stand behind or website to navigate or email app to open. Just you and your audience. It’s your best social media tool for building connection and relationships, and establishing yourself as a thought leader.

Three Ways to Establish Yourself (and your business!) on LinkedIn

Networking (duh)

To be clear, we’re not talking about networking as that slimy thing people do when they give out business cards, talk about themselves and their business and never listen to what you have to say, but will happily email you four months later asking for a favor.

No.

We mean networking where you make connections with other people with whom you have something in common. We mean connecting person to person by:

-Sharing your ideas, successes and struggles (!) on your page.

-Congratulating people on their successes.

-Asking for help when you need it.

-Offering help when you have it.

In other words: building lasting relationships.

Thought Leadership

As a business owner, you have a valuable perspective on your industry, one that can probably help other people, and can definitely spark conversations with others in (and outside of!) your field. Perhaps the greatest value of LinkedIn is being able to disseminate these ideas to an audience who can benefit from them. Your page can be a lab for new ideas, and a venue for valuable discussions with others in your field.

LinkedIn allows you to write and publish your own posts. Use it to give value to your contacts. It will help you grow, professionally and personally.

Groups

Straight from LinkedIn.com: LinkedIn Groups provide a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts.

Facebook has a very popular group option—but a ton of people aren’t on Facebook and don’t want to maintain an account. You already have a LinkedIn, as do 500 million other professionals. Talk shop, post jobs, ask for help. Or, build a group for your customers and use it as an unbeatable option for market research.

LinkedIn was built for people like you. Use it like a pro.

Two Thoughts that Just Might Revolutionize Your Marketing Strategy

Two Thoughts that Just Might Revolutionize Your Marketing Strategy

If you work in marketing at all then you know two things: Seth Godin, and Seth Godin’s unmatchable insight.

Just this week I was doing some client work and came across this 2016 Q&A he did on the TIm Ferriss show.

(I’m going to sidetrack for a moment to ask: do you listen to the Tim Ferriss Show? I don’t listen to every single one, but every single one I do listen to is worthwhile. Just recently he sent out the intro and first chapter of his new book Tribe of Mentors to his email list and it was so good. I’m looking forward to reading the rest!)

I pulled these two questions from the beginning of the interview because there’s so much to chew on in just these two questions. Sometimes I get so into the metrics of marketing that I forget what we’re actually doing. This was a good reminder.

How do you build a tribe from scratch?

In the modern world we can get confused because it might seem that our job is to build a tribe from scratch but most of the time that’s not what happens.

Nike did not invent the running tribe there were already runners before Nike showed up…. What we do when we lead a tribe often is we find people who are already connected and we merely show up to lead them

For most businesses, we don’t even lead them. We merely service a tribe that already exists so that when you find a group of people who share an instinct and interest a connection a leader a goal and you give that group of people something with which they can take action

The way i abbreviate that long sentence is: people like us do things like this.

What’s the one thing that most marketers do wrong?

This is easy. We’re selfish. We’re narcissists–infantile narcissists who believe that our need for more and our desire for attention trumps everything else. We justify and rationalize our work and interrupt people spam people, yell at people, deceive people and play the short term game again and again and again. Successful marketers are successful because they don’t do that. It turns out that’s scarce. The folks who are willing to build a story that’s true, to earn permission, to create a product or service that spreads merely because it’s remarkable–that mindset almost never shows up.

Boost Traditional B2B Sales Through  Digital Marketing

Boost Traditional B2B Sales Through Digital Marketing

As we all know, traditional B2B sales have a patterning process where field representatives meet with their customers, educate them on the product and attempt to close the deal. However, that is not the case in today’s business climate. Many B2B sales are declining because they are finding it hard to adapt to the new modern, sales cycle and the several marketing channels. Let’s face it, technological innovations have changed the world around us. There are now well-designed solutions and support to obtain information about products.

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t immediately reach for their phone and start googling something that’s on their mind. We look for general information, solutions, the latest trends, celebrity gossip and last but not least the infamous consumer reviews on restaurants and products. Seriously, nowadays the internet can answer just about anything.

Unfortunately, many B2B sales organizations aren’t taking advantage of today’s digital technology and marketing. If the B2B sales organizations understood the process better, they could increase their sales and be more efficient.

Let me show you three effective ways you can boost your B2B sales all by leveraging digital marketing.

1.    Stay connected to your customers

With today’s digital technology and marketing, you are able to stay connected to your customers, educate and support them anytime, anywhere. Online content never sleeps! Consider this your 24/7 marketing depot for your business. This is very important because today’s customers spend a lot of time self-educating through digital channels. You have the ability to lead and influence your customers to make the selections and best purchasing decisions for them.

2.    Know your customers

Digital Marketing can give you access to an abundant amount of data so you can really know your target audience. With online digital channels, you can learn about the people who have visited your website, track returning visitors, show you what they viewed and even tell you what device they used. It’s pretty scary to think about as a customer but as a business owner, this is a great benefit. This can help you understand your customer’s expectations across all platforms. When you know your customers, it will be easier for you to deliver the most relevant content.

3.    Interact with your customers online

Yes, you can now interact with your customers through a website. Businesses can now build effective online tools that complement the sales process for them. So, a website can’t provide an actual sit down meeting, but it can deliver a great user experience. It’s important you personalize the content so you can extend your customer relationships. This can actually be more convenient than any “in person” sales contact.

Remember, at the end of the day, both traditional sales and digital channel process will ultimately be decided by the consumer. However, digital marketing is an essential part of any B2B sales strategy. It’s always ready to help drive sales, so use it wisely and to your benefit. Enjoy!

When It Comes to Your Brand, Legal is No Different than Customer Service

When It Comes to Your Brand, Legal is No Different than Customer Service

I’ve written before on the blog about Derek Sivers and his book Anything You Want. It’s just such a good read! It’s a slim volume broken down into like 2 and 3 page chapters, each one a little morsel to help you think differently about your business. I always feel both more inspired and more thoughtful after spending a few minutes reading it.

I wrote in September about the genius piece of content that was the CD Baby confirmation email. He makes a point in the book that it’s the little things that matter, those tiny human touches that make your customers go crazy for your business.

I agree.

One of Sivers’ examples is about how two lines of programming code cleared up the phone lines AND thrilled customers. CD Baby used to ship via FedEx each day at 5 PM, so customers would call and ask what time it was at the warehouse and see whether they could still get an order shipped that day. Sivers added a countdown to the site that, by the way, is in use by many online outlets–most apparently Amazon–that gives the numbers of hours left before the next shipment.

We don’t think of that as part of marketing–it isn’t really–but marketing and branding are so closely linked that it might as well be. It reminded me of Netflix’s recent cease and desist letter, which is another little piece of branding genius.

Some guys started a Stranger Things-themed bar in Chicago. Naturally, corporate giant Netflix wanted to shut it down. But, Netflix is a savvy corporate giant and so it knows that  brand-building can happen anywhere and that legal is no different than customer service.

Totally.

Live by this. Do all your business with this as your foundation, and you’ll be set for life.

Why Your Business Should Be Going All In On Marketing Before 2018

Why Your Business Should Be Going All In On Marketing Before 2018

Why Your Business Should Be Going All In On Marketing Before 2018

We talked last month about how important it is to start marketing for the holidays months before the holidays arrive. Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas, New Years. They’re all coming up fast. People have gifts to buy, sales to take advantage of, and New Year’s resolutions to spend money on! They want what you’re offering and they want a good deal.

The problem is: you’ve got competition. You’re not the only one with your product, and yours really isn’t the only one on the market.

Always Be Closing Marketing

Corporations sponsor things like conferences. Really big corporations sponsor really big things like stadiums and arenas.

Can you imagine that? You’re planning your marketing budget for 2018 and it includes a an $18B line item for stadium naming rights. How’s that for competition?

The point is: your marketing can’t just be good. It has to be better than your competitor’s.

That’s why your marketing is so important. You have to be thinking about your market, but also about your competitor. Your campaigns have to connect with your customers better than your competitor’s does. And just like in a real game, you have to always be upping your game, outsmarting your opponent, changing your strategy mid-game so that when that shot opens up, you get nothing but net.

The Year Is Almost Out. What Do You Have Planned?

Facebook ads. Influencer campaigns. Sales and sales pages and extra big discounts.

Those are great! Truly. But think about your marketing as a way to connect with your customers. You know your customer better than anyone. You know the problem your business is helping them solve. Right? (If I’m wrong here, you need to rethink your marketing strategy and ensure it includes some damn good research.)

Now zoom out a little and figure out how can you add value. What can you give these people, in this busy, crazy (but beautiful, cheery, feel-good) season that would really add value to their lives.

Or, to their Facebook feeds at least.

Put out content that’s funny, pretty, inspirational, useful, helpful—whatever’s going to connect with them.

(But, like, genuinely connect. Don’t be all smarmy about it.)

How Will You Ring In The New Year?

I’m not talking about watching the ball drop!

You’re going all in for the rest of this year, you’re killing the competition and connecting with your customers. Whatever big business goals you have for the new year, go after them in full force right now(!).

Connect with them now so that after the holiday madness has passed, you can ring in the new year with new customers.

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