December, 2011 Archive

Congratulations, Andi Hulse!

December 21st, 2011 by Ric in Sharing Success

Congrats to Andi Hulse for getting his new Automated Cash Sites up and running!

Congratulations, Lionel Boyd!

December 14th, 2011 by Ric in Sharing Success

Congrats to Lionel Boyd for getting his new Automated Cash Sites up and running!

Convincing Your Boss to Make Your Business More Sociable

December 13th, 2011 by Adaire in Sharing Success

Do you remember how schools, companies, and business entities used to block social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter from their internet servers, much to the dismay of many of their students or staff members? It was completely understandable at the time – social networking sites were often dismissed as mere distractions and nuisances back in the day, and they really were.

As Donna Price points out in her Small Business CEO Magazine article, If You Are an Entrepreneur You Should Be Using Social Media to Grow Your Business, social networking was simply something that the younger generation used to get into for fun. According to her, “Like much of the Internet, [social networking] was developed at college campuses. These media sites were a way to stay in touch with friends when they weren’t right there with you. It also became a way to make new friends in a less stressful social situation.”

As the years rolled by, adults started getting into social networks just to monitor the younger generation’s activity. Eventually they started using social networks for similar personal purposes – to reconnect with old friends, colleagues, and the like. It didn’t take too long for business owners and entrepreneurs to pick up on the benefits of using social networks to promote their businesses and establish their presence on the web.

These days, social media integration is no longer a nuisance; in fact, it’s one of the most important aspects of any business’ marketing campaign now. Every business that’s serious about getting more exposure online has at least two accounts on popular social networking sites. Facebook and Twitter are staples, of course, but there are plenty of others that cater to different kinds of audiences.

Even with the variety of social media networks available out there, it’s surprising to know that there are actually still businesses out there that don’t bother using them. If you work for a business owner who doesn’t see the benefits of social media, you should take the initiative to convince them to hop onto the social media bandwagon. Wendy Suto’s Healthy Wealthy nWise article entitled 7 Steps to Sell Your Boss on Social Media Marketing provides us with seven steps that will help steer your boss and your business in the right direction, but I can summarize them in just two major pieces of advice. :)

Show what the actual benefits of social media marketing are, and back-it up with proof

Some people aren’t keen on entering the world of social media marketing because they aren’t sure what sort of benefits an effective campaign provides. So the first thing you need to do is to come up with a list of the benefits that social media can provide for the business, and make sure to have examples of websites, successful campaigns, and statistics that prove your claims. Some of the benefits you may want to focus on include:

  • Effective Research: Communicating with your customers, audience, and colleagues directly through social media always provides you with a good idea of what the people like and dislike about your business, and the demands of the market niche that your business belongs to.
  • Creating a Community of Supporters: If you do your social media campaign right and remember to respond to your fans and followers’ queries and complaints in a timely, polite fashion, you’ll be able to show just how much you value their support and opinion. Sharing your interests or other content related to your business, as well as starting up and encouraging conversations will attract more followers, fans, and potential customers, too.
  • Reputation Management: The internet is rife with naysayers and rumor-mongers, and falsified or erroneous information is easy to spread around the internet. The presence of these negative elements can have a detrimental effect on your business’ reputation, and you have to find ways to help mitigate those effects. Having social media accounts in place will help you crush any unfounded negative statements about your business, and will serve as official, trustworthy resources for news and information about your work.

Be prepared to counter all doubts
As with all business and marketing proposals, your boss is bound to throw back some of their questions and doubts at you as you present them with this social media proposal. Donna lists three common arguments that people often resort to when not willing to start up a social media campaign, and these are:

  • “Our customers aren’t online.” – This is probably one of the oldest excuses in the book when it comes to social media campaigns. Thanks to the accessibility of the internet as well as the development of technology like smart phones, this line of reasoning has been rendered obsolete. Make sure to point these facts out when speaking to your boss – in a polite and reasonable manner, of course. :)
  • “What if someone posts negative comments or Tweets?” – As mentioned above, opening yourself up to your audience will make you more prone to being victimized by negative feedback. It happens to everyone, really – the trick is to know how to handle them properly. The best way to go about it is to handle complaints out in the open in a polite manner, and simply ignore the “complaints” from people who are just looking to pick a fight with you. This displays a degree of involvement, understanding, and responsibility that your followers will come to respect.
  • “It’s too much work!” – Another main reason why your boss might be hesitating to start a social media campaign is that they’re intimidated by the amount of work that they think they need to put into it. If this is the case with your boss, then make sure to show them that it’s not going to require as much effort as they believed it would. As Wendy says in her article: “Start small.” You don’t have to start your campaign by signing up for ten different social networking sites – you can start out with creating a Twitter page and start engaging your customers there, just so your bosses can get a feel of how simple it is.

Since social media marketing has become more commonplace in the past few years, you shouldn’t have any trouble convincing your superiors to get your business’ own social media campaign up and running. Just make sure to emphasize all the great things social networks can do for your business, back it up with proof, and reassure them if they have misgivings, and they’ll be sure to agree to your proposal. :)


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Congratulations, Barbara Hulin!

December 9th, 2011 by Ric in Sharing Success

Congrats to Barbara Hulin for getting her new Automated Cash Sites up and running!

The Importance of Being “Soft”

December 6th, 2011 by Adaire in Sharing Success

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the phrase “business skills”? You’d probably think of skills involving more technical stuff like account management skills or the talent to write compelling copy for your website or ads. But business isn’t all about these external, technical skills – your success in business relies heavily on another set of skills that are commonly referred to as “soft skills”.

Soft skills deal largely with communication, social interaction, and personal habits. In an article called “5 Soft Skills for Business Success” on Healthy Wealthy nWise, Ralph Goldsmith discusses five of the most important soft skills that you need in order for your business to succeed.

Three of the skills Ralph mentions are vision, imagination, and making it personal. I believe that these three interconnected soft skills are the basic starting points for any business. :)

Having a primary vision for your business is always a good thing – it helps you plan out your strategies and short-term goals, and keeps you motivated as you go about your work. While having a goal like obtaining a seven-digit income within the next five years is good, your vision shouldn’t just be about making money or any other material goal. Your vision should be something that will bring you real happiness and a sense of fulfillment. That’s precisely what Ralph means when he talks about “making it personal”. As he says, you have to “spend some time considering what sort of a person you want and need to become in order to achieve what you want out of life and out of your business.”

In another Healthy Wealthy nWise article called “Trusting Your Vision”, Jennifer Read Hawthorne says: “When vision comes from the heart and is coupled with the willingness to work, miracles can happen.” Having a vision that’s more personal and aligned with your passions and interests is always better than simply thinking about the money.

But how do you even start figuring out what your vision is? Jennifer describes a vision as something that “might be born when you find yourself at a crossroads, no longer willing to do things the same old way. It may arise out of need, as an answer to a problem, or a deep soul desire felt within. And it may seem impractical-even impossible.” There’s no definite answer how you can figure out what your own personal vision is – it varies for each person. The only advice I can give you is to do some soul-searching to find out where your passions lie, and what you’d like to achieve through your business. :)

And this is precisely where your imagination comes into play. Ralph calls the imagination “a powerful tool in your own motivation,” and he’s right. You can’t exactly visualize your dreams and end goals properly without using your imagination! When you have a general idea of what you want to achieve as an entrepreneur and as a person, try to envision everything in as much detail as possible.

Ralph also mentions awareness and listening in his list. These two skills are all about paying attention to what’s going on around you. By “awareness”, Ralph means that you should pay close attention to any opportunities and risks that you run into while running your business. If you don’t, you could miss out on chances to help improve your business, or wind up with a huge setback if you don’t keep your eyes peeled for anything that could impede your progress. Being aware of what’s going on will also help you prepare for any problems you foresee, and this prevents your business by being crippled by a major blow that you failed to predict.

“Listening”, on the other hand, is about paying attention to comments and feedback from those around you, especially your customers. Ralph says that paying attention to what your customers say not only tell you what they want, but also “exactly how to sell it to them”. Through paying close attention to what your customers say and their behavioral patterns, you’ll know where to promote your business and how. You’ll know which social media sites they visit more often, and how you should be wording your posts when talking to them. Paying attention to all these little things help you reach out and bond with your customers, fostering a relationship of trust and loyalty between you.

When managing your own business, it becomes so easy to zero-in on profits and money that we tend to forget about the soft skills required for us to stay happy AND keep the business afloat. Remember: You can only achieve true success by finding your vision, using your imagination, listening and being aware of what’s going on around you, and most importantly – making it personal. :)


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