Tag Archives: business

13 Ways to Network Beyond Facebook and LinkedIn

John Jantsch (Duct Tape Marketing)

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Photo by lirontocker
Building branded profiles, engaging prospects and connecting with potential employees and strategic partners are all powerful ways to tap into Facebook and  LinkedIn.

But, for the typical small business, there may actually be some equally important social networks you may not be so familiar with. The big networks get all the press, but small networks, say for instance, like the connectodex found here at OpenForum may prove tremendously valuable for small business folks due to the small size and targeted focus of the membership.

The list below represents some of the more active networks I’ve encountered when it come to small business social networking.

Visit a handful of these sites and choose several that feel right for your business. Once you build a profile, taking full advantage of the opportunity to link to your primary business offer full descriptions of your products and services, spend enough time to go a bit deeper.

Write or republish some articles or blog content, search and identify a dozen or so people to connect with, and give some advice, point to someone’s great content or answer questions from other members.

Don’t try to jump into every new network you can find, but do jump into a few outside of Facebook and LinkedIn and make yourself a bit of a larger fish in these smaller ponds.

In addition to OpenForum check these networks out:

  • Biznik – this network for small business folks is blending online and offline by allowing members to collect by city and host and promote local events
  • StartUpNation – a wealth of information focused on startups and very active community
  • Wall St Journal – community build around subscribers  and geared, as one might suspect to professionals and financial folks
  • Small Business Brief – heavy dose of search engine related content but very active small business focus
  • Inc magazine – another popular business related magazine with community of entrepreneurs
  • StartUp Biz – very fast growing network with lots of tools to promote yourself
  • PartnerUp – small business focus and big on helping people find answers and connections for the things they need
  • BizSugar – allows you to submit, share and vote for the best business information links on the Internet.. Great place to promote and discover your small business content
  • CoFoundr – Programmers and designers use the site to find co-founders, build teams, and get advice.
  • Business Week Exchange – Site from Business Week magazine is a great place to promote and find content on the web, tends to be a bit larger business focused
  • Naymz – one of the better sites for those focused on building personal brands – highly indexed in the search engines

Image credit: andresmh

John Jantsch is a marketing and digital technology coach, award winning social media publisher and author of Duct Tape Marketing.

Making the most of B2B telemarketing

Author: Maria Morton

cold call
Photo by clickrme
Regardless of your personal thoughts about the appropriateness of being cold canvassed during your evening meal, telemarketing is a thriving industry and could be the new lease on life that your company needs. In the business-to-business arena, effective telemarketing services can serve a number of purposes: increase exposure to new customers, follow-up cold leads, set appointments, raise your profile, conduct customer research, update databases, gain permission to continue marketing contact, or promote new products and services.

While it’s true that telemarketing may add new dimensions of profit to fledgling sales revenue, you have to know how to use it to its potential and put effort into making the most of this well-proven tactic. Telemarketing is like any other marketing activity; it benefits from both commercial planning and creativity, and reflects the amount of effort you put into it.

Choosing a telemarketing service

If you decide that telemarketing is an activity to include in your marketing mix, it may be worthwhile investigating one of the outsourced providers rather than suddenly deciding to include it on your existing staffs’ job description. Cold calling is often considered a less-than-desirable activity by internal staff, and sales people would usually prefer to spend their time contacting warm or qualified leads. Things to consider when choosing a telemarketing provider:

• What is their customer service like? After all, they won’t treat your customers any better than they’re treating you.

• Do they have a pilot program which allows you to ‘dip your toe’ in the water?

• What is the minimum number of contacts you must provide?

• Can you pause or expedite the program depending on your capacity to service new business?

• Can they assist you with leads or recommend list brokers?

• Do they charge per call or do they have some other pricing model?

The first point is telling. When choosing to use the services of any outsourced company, take note of how they treat YOU as a potential customer. Do they respond in a timely manner to your enquiry, are they happy to explain their services to you, are their own processes streamlined and customer-focused? Remember, if you aren’t happy with their treatment of you, would you really want them representing your business?

Be prepared

Before you embark on a telemarketing campaign, it is worthwhile to prepare beforehand the information that you will be asked to provide, which may include:

• Description of your business and your ideal customer;

• Your unique selling proposition (USP);

• Why do your clients currently buy from you, why should they buy from you?

• Who are your competitors?

• What is your current sales process?

• What do you hope to achieve with a telemarketing campaign; e.g. appointment setting, database updating, research?

• How would you define a successful campaign?

If you would like more information about using telemarketing as a marketing option to grow your customer base, Plenty Systems works with a number of full-service providers and we would be happy to make recommendations based upon our own experiences.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/marketing-articles/making-the-most-of-b2b-telemarketing-1413755.html

About the Author:

Maria Morton is a director of Plenty Systems, an Australian marketing and training services business that assists companies to increase their revenue through strategic goal setting, marketing action plans and by providing the manpower to make it happen. Maria has almost 20 years of experience in marketing, public relations and corporate communications. For additional marketing resources, including her monthly newsletter Plenty News, visit her website at www.plentysystems.com.au

Why Active Offline Advertising Can Prove More Beneficial

Author: Naz Daud

Photo by kawaface
Offline advertising can often be forgotten or ignored with the progress of internet technology. But to ignore the opportunities which advertising offline, or ‘real world’ advertising, has to offer, is to cut off a significant portion of your potential success. Internet technology might reach customers on the other side of the planet, but if you’re a regional business how is this of any help to you? Distributing mail shots, slipping flyers in with the local free paper of displaying adverts in shop windows will be more likely to reach the customers you’re actually after.

Internet banners are seen, and almost immediately forgotten. No one bookmarks a web page because of the adverts. However, with offline advertising there is a very real chance that people will see your advert time and time again. How much would it cost you to print off a few hundred flyers, and slip them under the wipers of every car in the town center car park at the weekend? For the sake of a few pounds and a couple of hours of your time you could reach hundreds of potential customers.

Certainly many of them will throw the advert away, just as they might click off a web page, but for those few, who might just be interested, you provide a document which can be kept, filed, referred to and which acts as a regular reminder, long after a banner advert on a web page has been forgotten. Offline advertising provides scope for greater variation, more imagination, and above all, far greater durability.

Of course, this isn’t to ignore or forget the online advertising and other forms of brand impression which your business will be seeking to employ. It is important that the brand image is translated seamlessly from one medium to another, and any offline advertising must match online advertising, and any other promotional literature which your business publishes. Brand image is everything, and if your advertising is merely to help impress your business or product name upon people, then this will prove to be more successful through continuity and consistency.

However, having said that, there is a time when sometimes breaking the mold is better and proves more advantageous for your business. When you are considering an advertising or promotional campaign, in whichever medium you choose, it will be important to occasionally consider breaking the rules. Knowing what the rules are gives you a better idea of when to break them. It’s also important to know why you are breaking them.

Let’s consider a scenario – that your business is seeking to expand the sales of a particular product or service. One of the crucial questions you will need to ask is why such an expansion is necessary. Give yourself a rap on the knuckles if you instantly assumed that the reason was to make more money or increase profit. Business is rarely a charity, and so quite clearly any decision or action will be employed in order to try to further the business in this way. However, what you may need to consider is why such expansion is necessary.

The answer may well be because your current clientele only represent a specific portion of the potential market. If you have carried out effective marketing you may have discovered that your product or service is being entirely missed by a significant group or category of people, and it is those people that your offline marketing campaign will be trying to reach.

To some extent, marketing and reaching out to specific groups online can be a good deal easier, since you can use cookie trails to identify potential customers, you can advertise through known sites frequented by the kind of people you’re after, and you can track searches and alter your advertising and promotion on the basis of the keywords being used. In the real world this can prove a little more difficult, and it will be necessary to combine good, effective market research with hard work, and often, leg work too. It will need you to go out to the customers, rather than exploit known patterns online and wait for the right customer to come to you.

To a large extent it will be reasonably obvious that if you are trying to target successful businessmen, there are ways in which any advertising campaign is highly likely to fail, and inserting your adverts into publications rarely read by such people is a guaranteed way to lose your company a fair chunk of money. But it will also be important to consider ways in which you can get the attention of those customers you are after.

Offline advertising can prove to be much more successful, as it can involve active promotion, rather than passive promotion. For example, actively putting documents into people’s hands as they pass in the street, actively arranging a publicity stunt in the town center, or actively giving away products which might really be useful will all help ensure that those suitable people passing by don’t just pass by.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/marketing-articles/why-active-offline-advertising-can-prove-more-beneficial-857148.html

About the Author:
Naz Daud – CityLocal Local Business Directory Ireland Local Business Business Franchise Sale Latest Businesses