Sunday, December 28, 2014

6 Requirements for Business Meetings that Work

Whether you’re conducting a business networking group or an association meeting, you have the power to focus on the details that get professionals looking forward to attending every time. Although some of these details may seem trivial to some and common sense to others, here is a list of six characteristics the best business events have that produce productive meetings, attract membership and grow attendance.

Have an Agenda and Follow it. This first one might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s more important than you might think. I attended a business networking meeting as a guest recently, taking the place of a friend who was on vacation. At first I was delighted to see that they were using an agenda, but soon noticed that they weren't following it. A bit confused, I asked the person to my left, where we were on the agenda. His response was “We don’t usually follow it.” So I have to ask, why waste paper and ink if you don’t follow your agenda? Don’t risk losing credibility by ignoring details.

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Start, Stay, and Stop on Time. It can be very tempting to start a meeting a little late to accommodate late arrivals or because you’re not ready to start, but you owe it to those who showed up on time to give them what you promised. Some attendees may even feel resentful if you don’t start on time. And even if there is great discussion going on at the end of the meeting, interrupt if for a moment to officially close the meeting so those who need to leave can do so, and invite those who want to remain and chat, to keep the conversation going.

Clearly Explain All Things. Never assume that everyone present knows what to do or what you’re talking about. I've been to meetings in which forms, phrases, names, or terms are mentioned, assuming that everyone knows. Take a few minutes at the beginning of your meeting to review procedures and processes. You may have guests, new members, or even folks who just haven’t come in a while so don’t be afraid to review. Your attendees will really appreciate it.

Provide Adequate Breaks if Possible. If you’re meetings run longer than 90 minutes, it’s very courteous to insert short breaks for networking, to allow people to check messages, or to use the facilities. If you promote people meeting each other, they aren't going to do that sitting in their chair listening to the speaker. One business meeting I attended included promises that we were going to meet our next business partner there, yet the organizers did not include any opportunities to meet others in the audience.


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Create Atmosphere. Any marketing experts will tell you that it’s not really the coffee that packs the Starbucks stores. Instead, it’s the atmosphere that does it; the music playing over the speakers, the smell of the products, the attractive d├ęcor and the chance to relax with a beverage or converse with a friend. Holding your meeting in a cold gymnasium with metal folding chairs won’t necessarily inspire people to attend. Dig deep to figure out what changes you can make to your meeting atmosphere.

Participation and Fun. Finally, how can you engage your attendees in such a way that make them feel like they were truly a part of the meeting. People don’t want to sit and be spoken to the entire time. What activities can you implement that help people feel like contributors and in a fun way. Could you give away prizes, host a raffle, organize a contest, or some other activity that make your attendees feel important, and at the same time, allow them to have fun. When people are given opportunities to actively contribute, they feel a sense of satisfaction that they helped make the event a success. Look for unique ways in which your attendees can offer ideas or voice their opinions.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Six Things to do to Attract Success in Your Life

The most recent open networking event I attended became my last. I quickly realized that truly effective networking does not happen in a room full of people who come together to eat appetizers, mingle, and share business cards. I’ll remember that evening forever as the encounters became uncomfortable. It seemed to me that most professionals there were only interested in handing me their business card, hoping I would hire them or send opportunity their way. When they asked what I do and decided there wasn’t a match, their eyes began to dart around the room for their next victim.

How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

After that uncomfortable experience, I made the personal commitment to only offer my card if someone asked for it. I also make the commitment to always take a person interest in everyone I meet, instead of trying to get my point across. This personal commitment means doing the following things:

1. Remain quiet while the other person speaks
2. Use my entire face to smile at them
3. Look the other person directly in the eyes
4. Think of questions to ask them to invite them to share more
5. Ask for their card and takes notes on the reverse side so I will remember them
6. Connect with them on Linkedin and fill in the HOW I MET THEM section


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I have found that the more I make it more about them and less about me, the more likely I am to create lasting relationships based on sincerity and true engagement. Those I have connected with have actually come back to tell me (and more importantly, others) how important they feel in my presence. This has lead to wonderful opportunities that eventually came back to me in amazing ways. Author John C. Maxwell once said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” I hope this inspires you to change the way you interact with others.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Power of Customer Testimony on Video

Have you ever found yourself about to buy a book or another product on Amazon, and then scrolling down to read the reviews? Have these reviews ever motivated you to complete or cancel the transaction? Customer reviews are more powerful than you might think.

What customers say about a product or an experience have a lot of merit. Before I book a hotel reservation, I find myself looking at reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor to find out what others experiences were like. I also leave reviews of places I’ve been to, to help my fellow travelers have a better experience.

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What about your customers you’ve served through your business or your own services? Have you thought about taking advantage of using their comments to help others make the decision to use you and your company? Linkedin is one place where you can request recommendations from those you have served, or those who have seen you perform your service and can attest to the quality you deliver.




Recently, I asked the members of a group I started to, to give their testimony on video about their experience attending our organization meetings. At the conclusion of one of our network meetings, I recorded several members who were willing to speak on camera to share their opinion or our group. Below you will find that video to watch. Where could YOU use video testimonials to attract more customers?



Sunday, November 23, 2014

12 Ways of Pissing off Producers and Ruining Your Chances of Getting on TV

One way of growing your brand and expanding your influence as an industry expert is to become a much sought after contributor to television news programs. That means creating relationships with the producers of those news programs and giving them what they need to do their job… content. All it takes is a little humility, professionalism, patience, and persistence to make it happen.

But all too often I’ve met people who don’t get it and instantly ruin their chances of ever getting on those programs. They’re also the ones who tend to complain as to why they aren’t getting the business they expect. To give something for the rest of us to learn from, here are 12 ways of never getting on TV, courtesy of those who've burned their bridges before us.

Don’t Watch Local TV Programming: Major network affiliates offer local news programming to feature both local and national stories to inform and educate their viewers. Ignore your local stations and don’t take the time to find out if they offer a morning, midday, or early evening local news magazine shows that features local experts.

Don’t Contact Your Local Stations: Most major affiliate network stations have local offices and studios that are staffed by receptionists. Don’t waste your time, trying to find their contact phone numbers, or asking for the names and email addresses of the news magazine show's producers.

Don’t Bother Introducing Yourself: Because you’re far too busy and have so much to get done, don’t reach out to the local producers with an introductory email explaining briefly who you are and what information you can provide them with, to help them beef up their segments.

Don’t Send them Leads: As an industry expert, you’re probably constantly watching for the latest trends and producing content such as books, eBooks, articles, blog posts, and more. Don’t bother to help a producer out by sending an email containing a 3 – 5 bulleted story lead each week that you can comment on. You have way more important things to do.

Take Your Sweet Time Replying: If, by chance, a TV news program producer does respond to one of your leads, wait a few days or even weeks to reply. Better yet, have your assistant reply instead or ignore the email all together. You can’t possibly be expected to fit in one more thing into your day.

Make Your Existing Appointments More Important: When a producer needs an on-air contributor, they may ask an expert to come in at a moment’s notice, or very early in the morning, or even very late at night. Decline the producer’s request by being too busy or unwilling to move existing appointments. This way they are sure not to contact you in the future.



Let Them Know How You Were Inconvenienced: If by chance you get invited into the studio for an on-camera interview and it is cancelled or postponed, place a call or send an email to the producer letting them know how inconvenient that unexpected change was. I’m sure they will apologize and make it up to you.

Demand to Speak with Their Boss: If you have gotten all the way into the studio and your segment is suddenly preempted for breaking news and you’re dismissed, let the producer know how angry you are and demand to speak to her boss about being inconvenienced.

Call and Voice Your Disappointment: If the segment in which you were interviewed did not air on the date and at the time you were told, call or write the producer to let him know how unfair it was for you to have invested your time and effort for no reason. I’m sure they’ll make sure it never happens again.

Do Not Send a Thank You Note: Save your money and don’t buy a box of thank you cards. Forget about sending off a short note of thanks to the news program producer. You can use that valuable five minutes for other more important matters.

Let Them Find Their Own Expert: Once you establish a relationship with a TV show producer, they may contact you out of the blue, when they are seeking commentary on a topic that is close to, but not exactly within your area of expertise. Let them know that you can’t help them or just ignore their request all together. Do not recommend to them, any other experts in your network that may be more skilled at providing what they’re seeking. Why bother helping them if you’re not going to benefit from the opportunity.

Send a “Nasty Gram” Letter to the Studio: Without notice, your emails to the producer are coming back undeliverable, stating that the producer is no longer working there. TV producers experience lots of stress and are under great pressure, which means the person in that position may change frequently. But that’s not your problem. Send an email or letter to the studio describing your inconvenience of having to start the process of finding the contact information for the new producer, all over again.

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As ridiculous as some or all of these points might sound to you, I’ve seen or heard unconscious professionals making these exact mistakes. I coach experts in growing their speaking business. I help my clients understand how busy producers are and what it takes to grow yourself as an industry expert that producers call first. I welcome comments on how you’ve seen others make these mistakes, or new ones that I did not include in this piece.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Remove Toxic People from Your Circle

One night my wife and I were leaving a business social event. We couldn’t help but share with each other what lingering feeling we had after listening to this other couple bicker with each other and complain to the rest of us. Neither of them had anything encouraging to say and the presence made us want to leave. That’s the night several years ago, that together, we decided on two very important things going forward.

Our first important decision, as entrepreneurs, was that we needed to surround ourselves with only encouraging and supportive people. Over the next few days we began ‘cleaning house’ by listing all the adults in our lives who we felt were toxic, and removing them from our guest list. These are the people who complained and berated others, bickered with each other in front of others, and the ‘doubting Thomas’ who usually tell you every reason why your new idea won’t work.

The second thing we did was to promise each other to always speak respectfully and kind to each other and about each other if the other was absent. We promised never to air any issues we have with each other in public and to address them with each other privately. This also includes not making each other the butt of a joke or busting on each other in a humiliating way.

To cultivate an effective relationship and life as entrepreneurs, it’s critical to remain positive, encouraging and to always focus on gratitude for all of the gifts that appear in our lives each day. Steer clear of the ‘crabs’ that will always try and pull you down to join them in their bucket of misery or misfortune.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Don't Be A No Show

Have you ever done a FREE public event, such as a workshop or a lecture, and then have people who registered, not show up? What were your thoughts when you looked at the sign-in sheet and saw so many registered people not checked off?

I held a FREE lecture earlier this year. It was a joint event with a fellow speaker and we held it at a Marriott hotel. It was a 2-hour event offering cutting edge marketing advice and an opportunity for my partner and I to get noticed by potential prospects.

When our event was over and the hotel staff was stacking chairs, I noticed that there were over 20 names on the registration list that did not check in. Our event tracking system easily allowed those who registered to cancel their seat, as we sent out reminder emails the day before. If any of these NO SHOWs engaged me for business, I'm not sure I'd be willing to move forward.

Why do some professional not follow through on their intentions. I’m sure a few could have had extenuating circumstances that kept them from attending, but 20? We did have 2 or 3 who sent emails after the fact, apologizing for not attending, but what about the other 17?

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Maybe it was the fact that we did not charge for this event, making some feel as if it had no value. Then all it would have taken was for something in their morning to fight for their attention and win out over the FREE workshop on their calendar, to keep them from following through.

What about networking meetings in which you made plans to meet someone for a cup of coffee or for lunch, and they don’t show. Don’t be a NO SHOW. Savvy business professionals don’t want to work with NO SHOWs. There will be instances of missing something on your calendar or getting the location wrong, but aside from human mistakes, SHOW UP for what you agree to.


Any stories of NO SHOWS you’d like to add in the comments section below?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

8 Reasons You Should Start a Linkedin Discussion Group

Linkedin is more than just a social media channel to set up your profile and wait for someone to find you. Your profile is where prospects can go to learn more about you, AFTER they’ve connected with you and engaged with you, and want more information on how you can help them. That’s were a Linkedin discussion group comes in to play. It’s the perfect virtual networking opportunity for people to meet you, see you in action and get to know you, to determine if they want to know more. Here are 8 reasons to have your own Linkedin discussion group. 

Grow Your Brand. It’s a great way to get professionals to know your brand. Searches on Linkedin groups are chances that your brand will be found, if your discussion group IS your brand. Group managers are allowed to include logos and headings that advertise. It gets you, your product and your brand publicity. 

Demonstrate Your Expertise. Let’s say your sell automobile tires and you start a discussion group on tires and safety. Every time you post a discussion or respond to someone else’s, it’s your opportunity to demonstrate what you know about your subject matter. 

Attract Prospects. When you’re discussion group logo is found in searches or seen on the group list on someone’s profile, it could attract someone who may want to do business with you. I’ve created several groups and on numerous occasions, someone who joined my group ended up hiring me or purchasing my products or services. 

Grow Your Connections. After reading someone’s posts in your discussion group, you could instantly see that they were someone you truly want in your network. Being a member of your discussion group makes it incredibly easy to send them a connection invitation because you’ve already met. 

Follow Up to Networking Events. You return to your office after attending a networking event and send connection requests to those who gave you their business card. For the ones who accept and who may also be a prospect, you can invite them to your discussion group so they can learn more about you and your brand. 

Invite Your Connections to Join. Similar to the connections you meet at a local live networking event, anyone who sends you a connection request may be good candidates to invite in to your discussion group. Determine if you have a connection with them and invite them in using the easy-to-use invitation process. 

Get to Know Your Connections Better. Let’s say you’ve got a professional in your 500+ network who you can help or someone who can help you. Interacting with them in your discussion group gives you the opportunity to further investigate the possibilities that a business relationship with them might be possible. 

A Marketable Audience. Number 8 on this list is probably the best. As a discussion group manager, you can send a message directly to everyone in your group once a week. This means you can send a new product or service announcement directly to them, or an invitation to an event. There is the risk that some may feel that they are being sold to and will leave your group, but that’s the risk we take with any business communication.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ten Things to do Immediately Following Publishing a Great Blog Post

I’ve stumbled on some really good blog posts and I’ve written a few myself. But no blogpost serves anyone well if it is not promoted on social media channels. To get found, you’ve got to get seen and not be waiting for Google search to stumble on your post. Here are 10 things to do immediately following every good blog post that you want to get read.

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1. After you write a great post, view it and copy it’s URL to your clipboard

2. Go to a Linkedin discussion group that you created for your niche

3. If you haven’t created a LI discussion group specifically for your niche, create one now

4. Click on DISCUSSIONS and start a discussion (title it so that people will WANT to comment)

5. Further describe your post and then paste the URL address to your blog post

6. If you still don’t have a discussion group, post your blog post in one your subscribe to

7. Go to the business Facebook page that you started for your business

8. If you don’t have one, create one now

9. Create a post with an attention getting heading that will tease your blog post

10. Paste the URL address of your blog post in the body of the Facebook post


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These tips are just for starters and I’m sure other professionals can offer others. Got an additional suggestion for using social media to get your blog post read? Post it in a comment here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I Don't Know What to Write in My Blog!

Having a blog is required of anyone hoping to establish a presence on the Internet who considers themselves a mover and a shaker in their their field of expertise. This is especially true if they want to be considered an expert in their industry. One of the hardest things for many (this writer included) is trying to figure out what to write about when it comes time to putting together the next post.

To help those who struggle each time they pull up a new blank post, I came up with ten questions that any blog writer can ask themselves when they are struggling with coming up with content. Keep these questions handy and refer to them when you feel writer's block coming on.

1.  What do you consider yourself an expert in that you can write about in 300 words or less?

2.  What problem does your typical client deal with that you can provide a solution for?

3.  What recent incident occurred in your area of expertise that you could tell a story about?

4.  What product used in your industry, do you absolutely love (or hate) that you can talk about?

5.  What 5 tips can you offer someone that will help them grow their business?

6.  What industry book have your read lately that you could write a review on?

7.  Tell your readers about one particular huge success (or failure) that you experienced that they can learn from.

8.  Describe an incident you recently observed that could lead you into writing a post that would get read.

9.  Relate a news story that you saw recently that could lead you into writing a post that would teach something.

10.  What industry leader recently did something that is worth writing a post about?

Did these questions trigger any others for you that I can add to this list? Post a reply to share it with my readers, and thanks for reading.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

How to Get on Radio and TV

About midday on December 14, 2012, I was landing at Hartford airport from a speaking gig I had in Omaha, NE. As I entered the terminal I noticed a large group of people gathered around a television in a nearby gate waiting area. I had to see what was so interesting on the news that had captured the attention of so many people. They were watching breaking news of a mass killing at an elementary school in Newtown, CT., just a few miles from the airport.

As I arrived home, my business phone rang and the caller ID showed me that it was the ABC affiliate newsroom calling. The producer of the news program asked me if I would drive down to New Haven to appear on camera and offer some advice to parents on how to help their children deal with the tragedy that just took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The point of this post is not to relive the awful incident, but instead, to ask you this question; how did that show producer know to call me? The answer lies in the formula on how to grow your platform and become the ‘go-to’ person in your niche area of expertise. The answer is to get yourself and your message out there so much so, that show producers know to call you when they’re in a pinch for an expert.


I share techniques for making this happen in my book THE 2.0 ENTREPRENEUR that you can purchase on the right-hand side of the screen, and I also share it in this teleseminar courtesy of the NONFICTION AUTHORS ASSOCIATION. Click THIS LINK to register for this event. If you’ve found this blog post after the date of the event, I will do my best to provide a link to the interview so you can hear it in it’s entirety.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Accept or Reject: It's Just Information

giving someone an idea is a gift
How do you respond when someone gives you an idea? Do you immediately think of the stress it will cause, the work it will take, what won't get done if they are doing that, the money it will take to do it, the time it will take away from them, on and on and on? Do you then tell the idea-giver why it won’t work or why you can’t take another thing on? Are you an idea-generator and find yourself thinking up and offering ideas to others? How does it make you feel when the idea you’ve given the other person is rejected?  

I don't blame those who reject ideas, as I use to feel the same things when others gave me ideas. But I learned to adapt to the fact that when someone gives me an idea, they are just giving me information that I can choose on my own to take action on or ignore. It’s all up to me; it’s just information.

I also like to take note that someone taking the time to give me an idea is like giving me a gift. When someone gives you a gift, you might immediately think about the fact that you really don't like it. But we've learned to be gracious and say thank you and look like we are thankful. I do my best to do the same thing with ideas; see them as gifts. I’ve learned to remain quiet, listen, and then say “Isn’t that interesting, thanks for the idea.” I often times write down these ideas because I may think differently about them at a later time.


Remember, whether someone gives you an idea or feedback, it’s all just information that you are free to do anything you want with. But thank them for the gift of their time, thoughts and ideas.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Latest Marketing Videos that Sell

Some call them whiteboard videos and others call them explainer videos. You may have seen them; a hand with a marker drawing images and text on a surface that looks like a whiteboard. Although this style of video originated in the UK, over here in the U.S., the package deliver service UPS used it many years ago to explain why their customers should use them for all of their package delivery.

 

Whiteboard videos like this one above are examples of some of those that I've created for organizations that want to attract donors, volunteers and supporters.  In less than 2 minutes I was able to put together key points about what the organization does and who it does it for.  Adults today have very little time to focus on one thing and a quick video like this one helps organizations to get the message across quickly.  They also make good book trailers, such as the one below.




I created the video above for a company that is launching it's first book.  This book trailer creates motivation to go looking for their new book before it ever becomes available.  Notice how the music, paired with the right phrases and images can invoke emotion that speaks to those who might be interested in buying this book.  Other whiteboard marketing videos may attempt to persuade you to come into their facility like the one below.

Whiteboard videos can take as little as 1 - 2 hours for me to put together, once the client sketches out the script and the decides on the images.  Contact me if you'd like me to create a whiteboard video for your company or organization to add to your Web 2.0 marketing plan.  Email me at bill@billcorbett.com to learn more.  Want to test drive this software yourself?  CLICK HERE to visit the company website and give it a try.



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What if You Can't Answer a Question?

Have you ever had the experience of presenting at the front of the room to prospects and someone throws a curve-ball question, catching you off guard?  It happened to me, early in my business marketing career and I'll remember that uncomfortable moment forever.   Here's my advice if this ever happens to you.

Rule one is DON'T FAKE IT. If you get caught making up answers or providing inaccurate information, it could hurt your credibility. First, acknowledge the person who asked that question for asking a great question. Then, admit that you don't have the answer but confidently declare that you will find out. Offer the person asking the question your business card and ask him or her to follow up with you at a later time for the answer to the question after you've had time to research it.

In my situation, it wasn't about providing inaccurate information. I made the awful mistake of using a handout that I didn't develop and someone offered me. Basically, I didn't review all of the information on it. Someone had a question on information that was listed on the backside of the handout and I had no clue what it was referring to. I must have had the deer in the headlights look and learned a valuable lesson that day; always know what's on your handouts!

Friday, May 23, 2014

When Someone Violates My Right to a Break!

Doesn't it drive you crazy when attending a meeting or a conference and the speaker/expert goes over his or her time? As soon as they have met their time requirement, I find myself looking at my watch and wondering if I've going to get the break I've been waiting for to get another cup of coffee or make it to my next appointment or not.

Audiences don't appreciate it when a speaker goes beyond the time frame they've been given. If the meeting agenda indicates that the speaker will speak for 45 minutes, they expect them to NOT go beyond that time limit. And when a speaker does violate that time expectation, the audience begins to lose interest in the presentation. To your audience, a speaker going over time could mean a long running meeting for them and a loss of their next break. 

Practicing your speech with a timer will certainly help you pair your talk with the time slot you've been given. Place a visual and silent timer in front of you that you can watch. There are some great FREE apps for smart phones and tablets that are easy to use. At the very least, seek out a volunteer at the front of the room to keep time for you and to discretely notify you when your time is running out.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How to be More Engaging When Speaking in Front of a Business Group

A more engaging speech means ENGAGING your audience. Adults like to be a part of a presentation so use techniques that draw them in to it.  For example, ask your audience questions they can answer by raising their hand. Be sure to remain silent while you appear to be counting hands for just a few seconds. Audiences get annoyed when speakers ask a question and don't take a moment to acknowledge their response to it. 

Provide one-page handouts that have missing information. In other words, instead of just providing a one-sheet that has a summary of your points, replace key words or phrases with blank lines for them to fill in the information they'll get from your talk. You can also engage your audience by gradually moving about the front of the room, using anecdotes or personal stories to support your main points, and using props that you've had a chance to practice with. 

Whenever I refer to a book in my speech, I make every attempt to get that book physically and bring it with me.  Sometimes I even read from a book I'm referencing, but be sure to keep the excerpt brief. Finally, Power Point is certainly engaging and embedding videos or illustrations make your speech visually engaging.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Should You Outline or Write a Speech?

A sales manager approached me following my presentation at a chamber breakfast event. He said he was going to be giving a speech at a business networking event and he was working on constructing his talk. He wanted some speaking coaching from me. He asked me, "What works better: making an outline or writing out the whole speech?"

There are many different solutions to this question, and many based on the speakers style or learning ability. So I suggest doing both. In preparation for your speech, sit down and write it all out, word for word, imagining yourself speaking it to an audience. Then, go back and create an outline from what you've written. Once your outline is finished, destroy the full speech you wrote. Doing a presentation word for word from memory is discouraged because memorized speeches don't usually come out natural. But having seen your presentation on paper and then having an outline to go by, your memory will retain the major components of your speech to give you talking points.

Whether you're speaking from your soapbox (a small and informal group gathering) or the stage (a formal business event), marketing yourself in front of your audience means being confident in yourself, your products or your services. Get to know yourself and practice developing and giving presentations. Find your local Toastmasters chapter to practice your talks and get some networking in at the same time.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How to Keep Nervousness from Losing Business Opportunity

If a large percentage of your potential customers are local to you, using Web 2.0 channels to market your business is only going to provide a portion of your capabilities. So if you haven't done it yet, you're going to have to add SPEAKING to your marketing platform. When I say speaking, I mean that you must seek opportunities to get in front of your prospects and get noticed. Why?  Because your competition is already doing just that.

Getting up and in front of your prospects means doing business presentations, speaking at networking event, presenting at chambers of commerce breakfasts or even doing talks at Rotary and Kiwanis Club events. And have you thought about breaking into the conference speaking circuit? Speaking to your prospects does not mean selling your products and services from the front of the room. It means proposing solutions to your potential customers' challenges to make them investigate your company and what you have to offer.

So what if you get nervous speaking in front of small or large groups?  How can you deal with your nervousness so that it doesn't interfere with business growth. Recently I was interviewed and asked questions to help those who are contemplating adding speaking their marketing plan.  The First question was, what tips did I have for someone who is nervous about public speaking and what suggestions could I offer to help them feel more comfortable and confident?

Before stepping onto a stage: Make sure that you know your material forwards and backwards; it's a huge step in tackling nervousness. When a speaker is confident with his or her knowledge of the subject matter, it helps to ease nervous feelings. Also know that your audience DOES want you to succeed. 

Just prior to a speaking event: Take time to visit the room where you will be presenting, before anyone arrives. Stand at the front of the room and envision the room full of people. Practice speaking in that room, moving about. Hearing your own voice and practicing your presentation. Successful speakers imagine their presentation before they actually give it.


During your presentation: Take deep breaths frequently. The more oxygen you get to your brain, the clearer you can think and the more relaxed your body will feel. As you look at your audience, look for familiar and friendly faces. Focus on them and look for as many of those faces as you can. Avoid looking at those with discouraging facial expressions.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Are You Using Video as Part of Your Marketing Plan?

If you aren't using videos as part of your marketing plan, you may be missing out.  Your competitors are doing just that and attracting more attention from prospects.

When small business owners hear about videos, they think about having to spend thousands of dollars to hire a video crew, but it's more inexpensive than you might think.

The best kinds of videos are less than 2 minutes and feature you speaking to your customers.  People have very little time to watch anything elaborate in fact, the shorter the better.

Get noticed by posting short videos of you or someone representing your organization, offering solutions to your customers problems.  Here is an example of a short but effective video that I made.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How I Used Web 2.0 to Land a Regular Paid Radio Gig

Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Using Web 2.0 to market yourself as a requires both broadcasting AND tuning in to what is being posted on the Web #web2.0. That means, posting content is not enough for effective marketing, it requires a great deal of listening to what others are saying about your industry, your business and about you. As a case in point, here is an example of what can happen by spending time listening and monitoring, as well as posting.
A tweet was posted that mentioned my name and it asked me to reply. Some quick research on my part revealed that it was posted by someone with the title of PRODUCER of a late-night talk show on the BBC, the UK radio network. With the high volume of SPAM out there and mass marketers trying to get our attention, I was cautious but curious, and replied to the tweet.
This conversation on the micro blogging site Twitter instantly became a telephone conversation. The producer at the BBC said he was seeking an expert from the U.S. who could be a part of a 90-minute radio show that was scheduled later that evening and it needed experts who were prepared to discuss the topic from various countries around the world.
I accepted the opportunity and was connected later that evening with the show's host via Skype, when the show began. The conversation took many interesting turns and twists as callers from about the UK called in to voice their opinion or concern, supporting one side or the other of a much polarized, yet conversational, topic.
As a result of answering that original tweet, I landed myself a regular paid spot on a popular late-night radio show. My bank even called to confirm the legitimacy of a regular deposit to my bank account made in British Sterling Silver. I record each show using a skype recording application and use the recording of the show I was a part of as another digital product I can offer my followers and fans, including another recording as part of my podcast.
Finally, in the original phone call conversation that came from the tweet, I asked the producer how he knew to contact me as an expert in my field. He admitted that he was not seeking me alone. Instead, he did a series of Internet searches on the topic of the show and selected the top five most active experts based on Internet presence and posted content. This fact alone has inspired me to continue to be an active participant using Web 2.0!