Got Products? You’ll want the Want button!

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You know it – people are doing more and more of their shopping online these days.  Well, guess what? Facebook is rolling out a new “Want” button. According to iMediaConnection.com…

Facebook has just rolled out the “want” button on some very select merchants, including Pottery Barn, Fab.com, Neiman Marcus, and Victoria’s Secret, as well as a few others. The concept behind the “want” button is fairly simple. Facebook users will be able to click the “want” button on partner sites and send selected products to their “want list,” which is visible to the users’ friends.

This Want button could be used for coupons, gift registries, special sales…or a host of other marketing ploys.  Click here to read the entire article from iMediaConnection.

What do you think? Is this something that would benefit you? How might you use it once it’s rolled out to everyone? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Eydie Stumpf 🙂
Social Media Consultant, Orange County Institute for Women Entrepreneurs

Goals and Strategies: Not just for offline marketing

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goals and strategiesGoals – we all have them, or at least we should have them.  Our lives are spent setting goals and strategizing the steps we need to take to reach our goals.  When you started your business, you knew that you had to write down your plans. You knew that you had to figure out the steps to take in order to make your business a success. Writing your business plan was the first step towards planning your strategy and reaching your goals.

I was one of many speakers at a women’s conference in Riverside, CA.  Each of the conference speakers spoke about a different facet of business, however; I realized that each one of the speakers had a common focus – setting goals and developing a strategy!

Whether you are planning to write a book, developing a webinar, creating a publicity campaign, or considering a new marketing strategy, you need to set goals and know how you will reach them.

Many business owners do not think about social networking as something where goals and strategy need to be implemented.  On the contrary – social networking is all about setting goals and developing a strong strategy for success..

It is great that business owners are finally jumping on the social networking bandwagon, but before digging in they need to know the rules, set goals so they understand what they should be doing, and then the steps they need to take to realize their goals.

Let’s take a look…

1. Know your target market. That really should be easy because you wrote that in your business plan – right?

2. Know where your target market hangs out. You know where to find your target market offline, and you should know where they hang out online as well. If your target market spends most of their online time using LinkedIn, then that’s where you should be focusing your efforts.

3. What do you want to get from being online? More clients – well, sure. However, do you want to use social media as a customer service tool? Are you looking to grow your strategic business partner arsenal? Do you have a new book you are promoting? Is your main goal to build your list? Once you know what it is you want to achieve it becomes easier for you to figure out how you will move forward.

4. Do you know which social networking tools you will be utilizing? Are your social profiles complete? Are you familiar with the “rules” of the tools you will be using? Will you be blogging? Do you know which email marketing service fits your needs? Will hosting teleseminars or webinars help you reach your goals?

Then once you are online….

1. Listen to your community. Whether you know it or not, your community is telling you what they need. Be actively visible, be part of their conversation, and listen closely.

2. Educate your online community. Give them valuable information that they can use right now, either in their business or in their personal lives. When you educate your community, they start to realize that you are the expert and you’ll become their go-to person when they need help.

3. Keep the salesy talk to a minimum. When all you do is “sell”, people will tune you out. I am not saying you should not promote your products or services, I am saying to develop a soft sell approach – or as I like to say – build a “plant the seed” campaign.

4. Give, give, and give some more. Give referrals, give kudos, and give support.  Share videos, articles, and news stories. When you give, you will eventually receive.

What are your online goals, and how will you be reaching them? Share with me using the comment box below, and I will post your stories on this blog.

Eydie :)

Do You Talk Too Much?

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Do you talk too much?  For me, the answer to that question would be,  Heck YES – I talk too much! If you know me personally, you KNOW that I love to talk.  But is talking too much a good thing or…maybe not such a good thing. My late husband used to tell me to ‘stop beating around the bush and get to the point’.

Talking too much doesn’t only happen when you’re face to face with someone or on the phone. It happens a lot in blogging and email marketing as well.

These days, people don’t have time for you to beat around the bush. Plus, we’re in a world where information overload is a daily occurrance.  So, I’ll make my point quick. If you want to hang onto your email marketing subscribers and your blog subscribers, then don’t write something that would print out to two or three pages long. If you haven’t gotten the point across within the second or third paragraph – you won’t get them at all. All you’ll do is lose them.

Keep things short and to the point. Hey, if you’ve got something more to say…. send out another e-newsletter or write another blog post…the search engines will love that too!

What about you? Do you sometimes talk too much? How can you talk less and still give your readers valueable information? Leave your thoughts in the comment box.

Eydie Stumpf
Social Media Consultant – www.ociwe.org

Do Want Your Business to Go Viral?

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Going ViralSunday and Monday were amazing!  I had the opportunity to attend the California Women’s Conference at the Long Beach Convention Center. There were a host of speakers, entertainers and other celebrities.  My mind is still reeling from all the activity and information I received. In future blog posts I will be sharing what I’ve learned, but for today I wanted to share one small tip.  
 
When a new client comes into my office here at the OCIWE, one of the first things they tell me is that they want to go viral. Well, of course they do – we all do. But going viral is not something you can calculate. Social media expert, Lori Taylor made it clear that “Going viral should never be your bottom line outcome. It’s a happening… sometimes it happens, and sometimes it doesn’t.”  Your bottom line goal should always be about engagement and relationship building. Plain and simple. 
If you want to learn more about marketing your business online – call the OCIWE at 714-480-7455 and make an appointment for orientation. We’ll tell you all about the center and how we can help you and your business.
Eydie Stumpf 🙂

Wordle: Fun Tool for Generating Images

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OCIWE, WordleHi everyone – just wanted to share with you a great tool to put into your marketing arsenal! Wordle is a super fun tool for generating “word cloud” images from your chosen text . See the Wordle I did on the left side of this blog post. The more often you use a particular word, the larger the word is depicted in the cloud.  You can save your Wordles and use them on your website (as I have in our header above, or use them for blog post images, reports and so much more. Check out Wordle – you’ll thank me – I promise! Oh, and did I tell you that it’s free?

What will you use Wordle for?

Eydie Stumpf
Social Media Consultant
Orange County Institute for Women Entrepreneurs

10 Must do’s for Online Marketing Success

Schedule your social media tasksOnline marketing can be overwhelming. There are so many sites to choose from, and so many things to be done.  This post, however, is not going to go into how to use certain site, or tips on how to promote yourself online. Instead, this post will talk about the 10 things you need to know in order to be successful online…in a more personal sense.  In a way, it’s a strategy.

Let’s take a look…

1. Take responsibility: Social media is a tool – it’s up to you to be active and do what it takes to make it work. If you think you don’t have the time to fiddle with social media – make the time. Make it part of your daily schedule. Yes… I said DAILY!

2. Raise the bar: Do more than expected. Offer more value than your competitors. Go above and beyond. Also, raise your own bar. Challenge yourself to do more online. Thinking about doing a teleseminar? Stop thinking and DO!

3. Dream Big: The bigger your dreams… the bigger your success. Neve stop dreaming. And NEVER allow anyone to squash your dream. Others don’t always understand your dream – so they don’t understand what it means to YOU!

4. Develop an action habit: Know what you want to do online and be consistent. Again, schedule online tasks just as you would schedule appointments. Make an appointment with YOURSELF- for your business.

5. Visualize your success: Can you see yourself enjoying the fruits of your labor? In my eyes I can see myself in a condo overlooking the Pacific Ocean. If you can visualize it then you CAN have it! 

6. Associate with winners: Hang out with people who have created their own success. What did they do to achieve it? Learn from them. Become part of the movers and shakers…BECOME one of the movers and shakers!

7. Give something back: Share your success – whether it’s donating time or money to charity, or teaching others how to become successful. What goes around comes around, so PAY IT FORWARD.

8. Be flexible to change: Everyday things change. New social sites, new rules to old social sites. Be flexible – don’t fight it, you won’t win! Work with it, and you’ll come out ON TOP!

9. Learn to love the process: Sure, social media takes time and effort. It takes planning, too. If you MAKE IT FUN – it won’t be so challenging or so much of a chore. Remember – once you’ve got the rhythm down, it won’t be so difficult. Embrace the fact that you have the opportunity to connect with people all around the world. Was it this easy to connect 10 years ago? 

10. Be patient: Rome wasn’t built in a day… neither will your success online. It takes time. But, in the end, it’s worth working towards and waiting for. And if one strategy doesn’t work for you – change it up, add to it, DO SOMETHING NEW! 

Thank you to David Newman of DoItMarketing.com for the idea for this post.

Is there anything else you can add to this list? Do you have any questions for me? Leave your thoughts and questions in the comment box and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Eydie Stumpf
Social Media Consultant, OCIWE

Are You Ready to be a Business Owner?

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Years ago, when I started my first business, I had no idea about what it took to be a business owner. I new nothing about writing a business plan, or a marketing plan. In addition, I never knew how much work, and how many challenges I was going to run ito as a solo business owner.

Above all, I never stopped to think about what it took to be a business owner. Did my personality lend itself to entrepreneurship?

So, blindly, I entered the world of business and opened up Old Dog Web Design – a Web and Graphic Design business.  Never thinking that at my age that someone could teach this “old dog” some “new tricks”… at 50 years of age,  I graduated with a certification in web and graphic design. 

Whoo Hoo!  With my excitement over-flowing, I jumped into my business. No business plan, no marketing plan, no sales plan – nothing. Was I successful? NO, I wasn’t. Why? Because I was unprepared, and I didn’t have the tools to build my business successfuly.

Starting your own business is not diffcult, but it is a challenge if you don’t start off with the basics.  AND, unless you know that you can commit to that challenge, you’re business will become a burden rather than something you love doing.

According to the SBA, Entrepreneurs often have similar traits and characteristics. Here are some of the qualities that can go a long way in bolstering business success. If you don’t have all of these traits, don’t worry. Most can be learned with practice.

  • Creative
  • Inquistive
  • Driven
  • Goal-orinted
  • Independent
  • Goal-oriented
  • Confident
  • Calculated risk-taker
  • Commited
  • Avid learner
  • Self-starter
  • Hard worker
  • Resilient (able to grow from failure or change)
  • High-energy level
  • Integrity
  • Problem solving skills
  • Strong management and organzational skills

Being a business owner also takes patience and passion. If you’re not passionate about what you do, then none of the above characteristics are going to matter.  Talk small steps at a time, don’t overwhelm yourself, but do first things first. 

Oh, and get help. There isn’t a successful business owner out there that didn’t have some help. Hire a Virtual Assistant, a Social Media Manager (sometimes Virtual Assistants also manage social media), an accountant. Get help form centers like ours, or the SBA, SBDC, and S.C.O.R.E.

Got questions? Leave your comments and questions below.

Eydie Stumpf
Social Media Consultant

 

 

 

 

How is your business doing?

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How is your business doing? Do you know?

survey and polls are a great way to get customer feedbackOne way for you to truly understand how your business is doing is by getting feedback from your customers. You may be seeing money in the bank, but can there be more?

Provide your customers with a way to communicate to you. Create a poll or survey. Ask them to review your products and/or services. By doing so, not only will you get your customers input, but you will also be creating a buzz around your products/services. Polls and surveys are also a great way to drive traffic to your website or blog. And remember, when your site starts getting more traffic – it attracts the attention of the search engines like Google.

Listen to your customers. They might have more insight about your business that you thought.

Eydie Stumpf
Social Media Consultant
Orange County Institute for Women Entrepreneurs

 

How are you communicating with your customers?

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How are you communicating with your customersFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn? Social media is great – but when you really want to get down to the business of business it is crucial that you interact and communicate with your customers in a way that you can build your value.

Building relationships using social media is only piece of the marketing puzzle. Let’s take a step back to basics – direct communications with your customers.

  1. Call your customers: This is such a personal way to connect with your customers. Depending on your business, a phone call is a simple way to let your customers know that you are thinking about them. Who knows – maybe that one customer has been thinking about calling you to place an order, but keeps forgetting. A quick phone call could add up to lots of dollars.
  2. Send cards: The digital age has made it so easy and convenient to connect with customers with e-cards and social media. However, occassionally sending a personal card using the good old United States Post Office is a good idea every now and then. The gesture will let your customer know that you were thinking about them….and again, this too could add up to additional sales and income.
  3. Email newsletters: Email marketing is not near as personal as a phone call or a card, but it’s a wonderful way to stay in touch with your customers on a regular basis. Today’s email marketing services offer so much more than they did just a year ago, and e-newsletters sent via these services can be personalized in a number of ways.  Sending e-newsletters is still a strong, efficient and cost-effective way to stay connected and top-of-mind. But remember – always make sure you tell your subscribers “what’s in it for them”!

How do you stay in touch with your customers? Share your story by writing a comment below!

Eydie Stumpf
Social Media Consultant
Orange County Institute for Women Entrepreneurs

Email Marketing is Alive and Well

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Email Marketing

Email marketing is alive and well!

Once again, I’m reading articles on the Internet saying that email marketing is going by the wayside – being replaced by text marketing, and even Facebook. Bah Humbug, I say!

There is one big reason I say this – REPORTING! There isn’t anything out there that can replace the reporting features that are included in email marketing services. Where else can you track who opened your email, who clicked on one of your links, and best yet – who forwarded your email! Wow – wouldn’t you love to have reports like those from any other form of marketing?  Not going to happen!

Check out Constant Contact or Mail Chimp and take advantage of their free trials.

And next time you come into my office – ask me to tell you more about email marketing. What are you waiting for? Make an appointment today! 714-480-7455