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Mind Your Business Manners
by On February 1, 2017
Relationships are the heart of a successful business, and in relationships, manners matter. Business etiquette goes a long way in maintaining existing connections and forming new ones. Traditional etiquette practices are still important today, but digital technology presents new considerations. It doesn’t take long to brush up on your etiquette and learn to mind your business manners.

Conversation balance

As a leader, you have a lot to say, but some people say too much. Not only is finding balance in a conversation polite, but it’s the best way to have a productive discussion. One of the biggest mistakes a person can make is to dominate the conversation, spending more time talking about themselves than taking an interest in the person across the table. People who habitually dominate a conversation come across as self-absorbed. This is a turnoff for prospective employees, potential clients and current business partners.
The opposite extreme of conversation balance can also be true. Not sharing enough can be just as damaging as talking too much. Leaders who don’t contribute to discussions won’t be able to promote their ideas, share their goals and guide their employees. Their lack of participation can make them seem uninterested or unintelligent. Good conversationalists find the balance between dominance and weakness in a discussion.

Phone attention etiquette 

Communication methods have expanded with technology, and now many business conversations take place online. Business leaders have an obligation to stay connected to their partners, employees and clients. It’s a big responsibility that requires a lot of time and attention, but some people go overboard and come across as impolite. Constantly checking text messages, emails and voicemails is rude and frustrating during a face-to-face interaction. While you’re checking your messages, you’re sending the message that you don’t value the person who is right in front of you. The best practice is to set your phone aside and focus your attention on having a productive conversation in real life.

Online communication

Online communication is standard for every business. In some cases, the only contact you will have with customers is via an Internet platform, whether it’s social media, email or an instant messaging service. Messages should reflect the company’s identity and values across all platforms. Understanding how each different social media application is used will help you have an effective online presence and dodge social media blunders. Since every business has their own standards and policies for online engagement, it’s impossible to set strict rules. There are some general guidelines, however, that are applicable for every business.
Emails should be concise and professional, using correct grammar. They should always include a subject line and a sign-off to keep everything organized and avoid confusion. On social media platforms, it’s important to keep business and personal accounts separate. Monitor them regularly, because consumers expect prompt responses. Late replies or ignored inquiries will be seen as rude. Posts should be short and to the point, with correct punctuation and spelling. When you engage with consumers and business partners over an instant messaging platform, the conversation should be a brief exchange of information. This is best for problems and questions that can be easily resolved.

Etiquette in the little things

Even with the rise of digital communication, traditional etiquette practices continue to be relevant. Make an effort to learn the names of employees and partners at every level. These people are the foundation of your success, and this small gesture will show that you value their support and contribution to your business. Refrain from badmouthing the competition, employees or clients. You never know who is listening, and this can leave a strong negative impression. Sending a personalized thank you note might seem old fashioned, but it’s an easy way to build a positive reputation.
Successful leaders learn to invest in their relationships with partners, employees and consumers. Etiquette is an important part of that. Business etiquette today is built upon traditional practices and adjusted to accommodate digital advancements. Whether you’re building new connections or maintaining old ones, don’t forget to mind your business manners.
Ways to Network and Generate Leads
by On November 9, 2016

Leads are important for any successful business. Generating leads can be overwhelming, especially as this process has a high in-person level of involvement. As such, networkers have to generate a good number of leads. That way they’ll have enough people to present their products to.

You have printed fliers, sent out mailers, you’ve blasted your social-media followers. But you’re still not receiving the lead flow needed to grow your company to the next billion-dollar brand. Well, don’t worry because there are several ways to generate solid leads.

Twitter

Twitter is an ideal tool for generating leads. You can use twitter to reach out to the influencers within your industry, and get in conversations with them. Their followers are possibly some of your prospective customers. They will see all your interactions and might follow you or even visit your website. Also, follow subjects that are trending and relate to your business. Interject your thoughts in the general discussions by using the hashtag (#) symbol. For example, if you’re in the mobile world, you might use #iPhone to get leads.

Newsletters

Do you have a newsletter? If not, then you are missing out on one of the simplest ways to network and generate leads. Make sure that you put a newsletter sign up in all possible places that make sense on your site. With these newsletters, not only will you have a captive audience but the email pathways will also serve as a great way to avoid getting lost in the Internet noise. Once more, don’t make it about you. Instead, you should share your insights, recent wins that you created for your customers and the industry news with your contacts.

Blogging

Having a blog is among the best lead generating tools that you can use. A blog gives a person or (company) complete control of what’s said while still giving them an opportunity to have the complete attention of the reader. Ensure that your blog is well-optimized to generate more leads. This can be done by having a sign-up section for the newsletter and using the margins to promote your services and products. Do not make the blog all about yourself! Give real value to the visitors.

eBooks

Ebooks usually work great for the B2B companies or businesses that work in a technical space. Ensure that you do not promote your products or services. People don’t want to buy your products, they want to be informed. As such, you should write from a neutral perspective and ensure that you give actionable insights. Share the eBooks socially and ask your network to share it on your behalf.

You’ll have to ensure that you have the landing page set up. That requires guests to input their email, phone number and name for a chance to download your eBook. Such pages can be built easily using tools like Unbounce.

Networking Events

While lots of action happens within the digital world, the real world is still providing a lot of advantages – especially for networking events. Today, events that do not directly relate to your business can provide you with some of the most valuable leads and contacts. You will meet more people, expand your network and also gain referrals. In addition, it is a great way to build your brand. Ensure that you bring business cards and do not be afraid to ask the people you meet for their patronage.

Engaging Video

Don’t produce yet another terrible commercial and decide to post it on YouTube for people to watch. The world does not need more posts like that. What people want more is entertainment. As such, spend time developing ideas that promote your company, and engages your customers. Once you have uploaded the video on YouTube, try to make it go viral. Use services like StumbleUpon to drive more traffic to your video. Video sites such as YouTube allow you to directly put links into the video. You should use this opportunity to link back to the specific landing pages on your site.

Infographics

Even though infographics may have been overused, people still read and share them. They are also quite cheap to produce. Just come up with an original idea and find a graphic designer. Share it on social media and with your network. You can also submit the infographics to publications that cover your industry.

Always ensure that you put your logo and the website URL at the bottom of these infographics. By doing so, you will enable readers to visit your site.

Webinars

Webinars are an affordable way to get your message to several potential customers. There are several services that allow you to broadcast a webinar easily and quickly. Furthermore, making webinars will help grow your following. Come up with a good idea that will help your customers. Promote your webinar on social media, your newsletter, and through your network.

At the end of these webinars, feel free to ask attendees to download your eBook, sign up for a newsletter or even visit your site. This will eventually bring more leads in.

Media Coverage

Do you know what journalists usually hate most? Being hit up by several PR agencies day after day. And, do you know what journalists hate a little less? Having the company owner reach out to them and tell their story in an authentic and real way. As a matter of fact, your chances of getting covered will go up significantly if you decide to reach out by yourself. Here are a few tips concerning reaching out to the journalists: Do not mass email them, don’t open with “to whom it might concern” and do not pester them (one follow up email is sufficient).

By getting your brand name out to the media, you will start to develop more followers, increase your brand and come off as a professional within your domain – all which can help you get more leads.

Strong Branding

Customers usually love authentic businesses. They like it when a business has a strong, clear message and the message should be consistent across all their marketing platforms. As a result, do not try and be everything to all people. Customers want experts and the company that’s the best within their industry. You should focus on communicating this through your branding and the conversion rates will eventually go up, thus generating more leads.

Once you’ve gotten the hang of generating more leads, nothing can stop you from becoming a network marketing success.

7 Habits of Highly-Effective Entrepreneurs
by On October 25, 2016

The actions we do every day turn into habits that influence our lives. There are good habits and there are bad habits, as everyone knows. These habits form our lives and help us be successful. As entrepreneurs, there are habits you can form that will help you and your business succeed Here are 7 habits of entrepreneurs that prove to be highly effective.

LOW IMPACT DECISION MAKING

There are some decisions that we make every day that can impact and benefit us. Then there are some that we do not need to even think about. Making decisions that have a low impact on our lives takes away time we could be using to do something beneficial. Influencers such as Steve Jobs practiced this method, later picked up by FaceBook creator Mark Zuckerberg. To minimize low impact decision making and make time for the more important task, Steve jobs opted for the same outfit every day, minimizing the time taken to choose clothes every day, and making more time to do things beneficial to his business.

BE PERSISTENT

As an entrepreneur and a business owner, the one word you will hear the most is No. While sometimes we want to throw in the towel when we hear that word, don’t. If you have a dream and a whole lot of determination, this word should not stop you from achieving it. It can be discouraging when it seems like no one believes in you. Big companies that around now don’t stop after hearing many No’s. They took those No’s, put in some hard work, and improved their business. They took the criticism and learned from it. They kept on trying and trying until they were where they wanted to be. It is said that 90% of startups fail, and without that hard work and determination, you don’t have a good chance of making it.

GO THE EXTRA MILE

As an entrepreneur, you have to do things 100% more than anyone else in order to succeed. You really have to go above and beyond. You have to work harder than everyone else to make your dreams come true. Being an entrepreneur is not like any other job. No one pays you for what you do. No one has everything figured out for you.

KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER MATTERS

Customers, like in any other business, make the business what it is. They take part in determining whether your business succeeds or not. They are important to businesses and entrepreneurs. You always have to put the customer first. Make sure their needs are always met and put first. Make your customers feel like they are part of the business.

DON’T BE AFRAID OF CHANGE

As many of us know very well, things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes we have to change our plans and go a different route. This ties back in with being persistent. When, unfortunately, your company doesn’t do as well as you wanted or expected it to be, don’t be afraid to go a different direction and try something new. Change can be good and you might even find that you just needed to find a new and different way of doing things in order to succeed.

PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE

Being entrepreneur makes you different working class. You don’t have to work from 9 to 5. You can work anywhere you choose. The one thing that entrepreneurs and other businesses should have in common is customer relations. Make sure your customers know who you and your business are. Communication is an important aspect of business. You have to communicate with and get to know your customers. Put yourselves where they are. Reach out to them. Form relationships with them.

BE TRUE TO WHO YOU ARE

Your brand and business show who you are to people. You put your heart and personality into it. People can see you through your business. Know what you want your brand to be and stick to it. Stick with the culture that you have created. It’s easy to get steered off into a different direction and to lose sight of who you or your company are.

Being an entrepreneur makes you stand out from everyone. There are obstacles you constantly have to go through. Make sure that you are doing the right things. Form good habits and use some of these to help you in your business.