Using Blogs to Advance Your Business

Just some further notes on using a blog in your business. I did a call with my team on these details last night & thought I'd share the details here as well:

How a “business blog” can help your business
· Each new entry on your blog creates its own “page” that will come up in internet search engines. Blogging for your business will help you come up when people search for your product or service.
· Provide a service to your customers through your blog
· Create interest for current customers and possible new customers

How to set up a blog
· I recommend, www.blogger.com; its free & easy to use!
· Go to www.google.com & sign up for a free gmail e-mail account
· Go to www.blogger.com and use your gmail account to sign up for a blog

How to use your blog
· What kind of a service can you offer? Ideas for using your products, recipes (linked to your product), special deals on your product, testimonials from customers, your personal experiences with your product, decorating ideas with your product, pictures of your family with or related to your product, links to your online catalog, information about community events you’re involved in
· Your blog should be personal but still professional. Blogs are a type of online journal. Use your own voice & write the way you would talk to a friend. People should be able to get to know your personality through your blog posts. While showing your personality is great, still remember to keep it professional by avoiding language, topics, etc. that might be objectionable to your readers.
· If you already have or want to create a blog that is about yourself or your family, mention your business every now and then. Don’t make people feel like you are always pitching your product to them, but don’t be afraid to mention that you’re going to your national convention, that you did a home show over the weekend or other details of what is going on in your life with your business.·
· Post to your blog consistently . . . at least once a week. If there’s nothing new, people will stop looking. But if you consistently have new & valuable content for them, they’ll keep coming back for more. Keep a notebook handy that you can jot ideas for posts down as they come to you. Then, once or twice a week post those items to your blog.

FREE Extras
once you have started your blog, here’s some ideas of other things you can add to it:
· Free blog counter that increases in number each time your page is opened: www.easy-hit-counters.com
· Add a fun background to make your blog stand out: www.thecutestblogontheblock.com
· Allow people to sign up to receive update on your blog posts in the form of a newsletter when you post new items: www.feedblitz.com

Get the World Out
· Include your blog address on your e-mail signature
· Include your blog address on your facebook profile & when you first create it, announce it by posting a note
· Print up address labels that have your blog address & a little bit of details about what benefit your customers will get when they visit your blog and put those labels on the back of your business cards & on your catalogs


Using Facebook to Build Your Business

A few days ago, I posted about using Facebook for your business. I just wanted to share some further details for those who may have signed up for an account or were interested in more information & my one word of caution.

Caution: You can waste a lot of time on Facebook. My advice is to check your facebook each morning, responding to posts on your wall or messages in your inbox. Make it quick & move on with your day. Once a week, take a few minutes to send a personal message to 2 or 3 people on your "friends" list to "chatch up".

Why use Facebook?
· Connect with old friends who may not know about your business
· It’s fun!
· Realize that you’re doing some relationship building with this, instead of looking for immediate results.

How to use it in your business?
· The advertising here shouldn’t be something that makes it look like you’re only on facebook to get people to buy from you. In fact, it should be very subtle so that people don’t get tired of having you as their friend, feeling like you’re only selling to them.
· When you re-connect with an old friend, post on their “wall” to ask them what they’ve been up to for the past 10 years (or however long it’s been since you’ve seen them. They’ll respond & will also ask what you’ve been up to. In your reply make sure to mention that you are a demonstrator for ____. Don’t try to sell or push them, just mention it. If they ever have a need for your company, they’ll know who to come to!
· On your facebook profile, be sure to include your web address. You can also choose other parts of your profile to add a little sprinkle of your business interests to.
· When you’re having a special event, create an invitation for the event on your facebook. Only do this a maximum of 2 or 3 times a year, once again, so people don’t get feeling like you’re trying to sell to them.

Getting Started:
· Go to www.facebook.com and sign up for a free facebook account, filling in your contact information & being careful not to include anything you don’t want people to have access to (I don’t include my phone number or full address – just city & state)
· Start looking for “friends”. Where to start? People in your e-mail address book; friends from high school, college, or past co-workers; family members; etc. Look for me!
· Post photos of your family; people love to look at those & it will draw them to your page!


Favorite Resources

I LOVE learning new things & hearing new ideas for my business. I thought I'd pass along 2 great ones to you today.

I've added 2 links to the right side of this blog for free offers from these 2 resources, Laura Worachek (Home Party Profit Software) and Carrie Wilkerson (The Barefoot Executive).

If you sign up for free use of Laura's software program that helps you keep a clear schedule, you'll also get access to 4 free recordings on getting bookings that I thought were AWESOME!

Carrie Wilkerson has a great e-newsletter and free video trainings that are really great!

Enjoy learning from these 2 great trainers & let me know what you think of them.


Giving Your Best to Your Customers

I enjoyed reading this article on another blog & thought it would be of benefit to others as well. Enjoy! http://www.passionforbusiness.com/blog/giving-your-best-to-your-customers/#comment-246

Get to Know Your Customers

I have quite a few names on my customer list that I can recall specific information about the customer & I tell you that it is so much easier to offer good customer service to people that you feel like you know. Its not as intimidating making follow up calls or asking if they want to book a show or place an order because there are other things that you can talk about & not seem like you're just looking for money from them.

In order to get to know some of my other customers better & get updates on the ones I already know, I put together a Get to Know You questionaire that I'll be sending out to my customers. Those who answer & return it to me will be included in a drawing for $50 in products. Here's the questionaire that I'll be sending out:

What is your birthday?
What’s your favorite color?
How do you spend your day?
What are your favorite Gold Canyon fragrances &/or products?
What states & countries have you lived in?
Are you married?
Do you have children? How many & ages?
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
What talents do you have?
Do you have your own business that I can promote to my contacts? If so, give me some details!

Keep in mind that a lot of these questions are ones that I'll be able to use as I do business with them.
Birthday: send out birthday e-cards just to let them know you're thinking about them

Color: customize cards, host gifts, etc. in the color that they love

How you psend your day: know when is a good time to call, what they're work/home circumstances are like

Favorite Products: call when there are specific offers for their favorite products; offer their favorites as a booking bonus

Do you have your own business: helps us to network together & shows you have an interest in helping them, not just yourself


Free Resource List

There are so many free resources available for training for our profession out there on the internet! I've started putting together a list of the ones that I know about that will be given out to people who subscribe to my blog updates . . . and, of course, anyone who is already subscribed will get a copy too. It may take some time because I want to go through the resources and make sure they're applicable before recommending them. If you know of any free resources that you'd like to recommend to be added to this list, please let me know!

Connecting with Facebook

Okay, so I'm a little taken right now with the technology side of advertising. There are so many great ways out there to advertise your business for free on the internet. They may not work as well as face-to-face interactions, but even if you can get some response, I would think it would be worth it to give them a try.

So . . . are you on Facebook? I thought it was something just for teenagers and college kids but then got intrigued when my college age sister was showing me how it works. I decided to go ahead and play around with it even though I thought I would be the oldest one on facebook -- and I'm only 32! I quickly found out that wasn't the case & in just a couple of months have managed to connect with a lot of old friends that I haven't had contact with in years.

During this time, I've connected with someone who had wanted to purchase from me, but moved away shortly thereafter & I didn't have her new contact information -- she's already placed an order with me. I've also connected with an old friend from high school who said she had been looking for a new consultant for my company since she has moved to where she doesn't know any consultants and her old one had quit; she said she was thrilled to find me & would be sure to place her orders through me from now on.

Right now, I just consider that I'm planting seeds. The more people I connect with who find out what I do, the better the chance that they will think of me the next time they need something from my company. I think this has been a much better way to go about it than tracking old friends down and hounding them for business.

Not only that, but its been fun to catch up with old friends! Join facebook today! And you're welcome to add me as a friend!

Stand Out with Little Extra Touches

I went out to lunch today to a place I had never been before. The mexican food was very good, but I wouldn't say it was better than any of the other places I like. HOWEVER, on the way out, we grabbed a mint for the road; it was different than any other restaurant mint I've ever seen . . . half green & half white. Intrigued, I unwrapped it & popped it in my mouth. It tasted like key lime pie and was the best restaurant mint I've ever had. This simple little candy had me thinking, "I have to go back there again!"

So, it got me thinking. . . Do I do any small little extras that make me stand out from the crowd of consultants that my customers can be buying from? Some ideas might include: offering free gift wrap, making sure customers know I have product on hand for last minute gift purchases, sending out a thank you card after someone makes a purchase, following up with a phone call after the customers order arrives to make sure they are happy with it. These are just a few ideas . . . do you have any to share?