Virtual Communication: Staying Professional While Working Remotely

Virtual Communication: Staying Professional While Working Remotely

Be Mindful of Your Background

Piles of laundry or personal photos may be fine when you're having a video chat with friends, but for professional interactions, you need to curate a more polished background. I have been on calls where I see clothes hanging in the background or closet doors open. Treat your background as you would your work space in your office. Take some time to consider where you will be making calls from, and do a test run in advance to make sure nothing unexpected is creeping into the frame. Can't find an appropriate space in your home? Many programs, including Zoom, allow you to use a picture as a virtual background.

Keep Your Information Private

If you'll be sharing your screen at any point, take care that your personal computer activity isn't on display for all to see. Have your slidedeck open in the background and ready to be uploaded to share. Whenever possible, share the specific application that you want your audience to see (e.g., a PowerPoint presentation or Word document) rather than sharing your full desktop. If you are sharing an internet browser, be sure to close all unnecessary tabs beforehand. You should also be aware that if you search in the address bar of your browser, auto-complete may reveal previous searches to your audience. To avoid this, clear your history, or navigate to sites before sharing your screen.

Minimize Distractions

Family members or pets can be a major distraction if they wander into your frame while you're speaking. If you can, make your call from a room with a closed door, and put a sign outside beforehand reminding people that you will be on a call at a certain time. If you're unable to isolate yourself, try to make calls with your back to a wall so that no one needs to walk behind you as they cross the room. If you have a furry friend who just can't resist cuddling you while you work, put them in a closed room or distract them with a toy or long-lasting treat before you begin. Of course, working from home has it's challenges and consider the audience on the call. Many won't mind the occasional child or the pet – but many will mind the pet barking.

The virtual platform is here to stay. We will be continuing to conduce business in the new “hybrid era.” Be sure you move forward professionally in this new chapter.

Please be sure to visit http://www.corporatespeechsolutions.com to read more articles on virtual communication. You may also visit our YouTube channel- Simply enter Jayne Latz in the search box to view our weekly one minute video tips. At Corporate Speech Solutions “we help you say it better.”

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jayne_Latz/38794

Do Prospects Know, Like, and Trust Your Brand?

Do Prospects Know, Like, and Trust Your Brand?

If people know, like, and trust your content, they will want to do business with you.

It doesn't take an ace marketing team to figure that one out. And yet, many brands fail at one of these crucial elements all too often.

You don't have to put all your effort into all of them all the time. But if even you neglected one, it will show in your performance.

It is easy and simple to say all that, but what does it mean practically? Let's take a closer look at these terms.

What Does It Mean to Know?
To know means a little more than just recognizing your brand and being aware of it. It's about understanding what your business is about on a deeper level. To get to that level, you must actively and directly share information with prospects.

This doesn't necessarily mean that you should write an essay on your About page. Nor does it mean that every interaction with prospects needs to underscore all aspects of your business.

Sometimes, what's left unsaid tells an important story. Keeping things simple sends a message that your brand is focused and dedicated to results without the fluff. At the same time, if you're just starting out, it's a good idea to let people know of the brand's details explicitly.

In 1983, Apple Computers published an 18-page brochure called Macintosh Introduction in Newsweek. They saw those 18 pages as necessary to get their concept across ahead of the Macintosh's launch. Contrast that with Apple's approach today. The more prospects know you, the less you'll have to work at this step.

What Does It Mean to Like?
The first thing to make peace with is that not everyone is going to like you or your brand.

Some prospects just won't like your approach to sales, or they just won't like what you're offering. That's OK, as long as you know why that's so.

Every marketing decision you make puts you in a category. For every person that likes how you engage with them, there's bound to be one that doesn't. Your job is to figure out why they like or dislike you.

Sometimes, you'll find that getting some people to like you isn't worth sacrificing your values. It's fine to make that choice, as long as you know why you're making it.

One of the things that most people don't like is being sold to. It's not a pleasant experience, especially if it's glaringly obvious. To get people to really like your brand, infuse value into your content.

There are many ways to get your prospects to like you, but the key thing is that you have to give them something to like. Your brand should have some character, as it's hard to like something that's bland and uninspiring.

What Does It Mean to Trust?
This is the easiest one to get right, and yet many get it wrong.

Humans are trusting by nature. We believe most of the things we hear. Otherwise, it would be impossible to have a conversation.

All you have to do to get prospects to trust you is never fail on the promises you make. With most prospects you reach, you have a priori trust in good-faith engagement. Don't compromise that trust and your job is done.

A great example of this is the Ritz-Carlton Hotel's $2,000 employee empowerment allowance. Every employee is authorized to spend up to $2,000 to repair a patron's negative experience. That creates deep trust. People trust that, no matter what, their experience will ultimately be satisfactory when they stay at the Ritz.

Knowing Leads to Liking and Eventually to Trusting
Whenever you make a decision ask yourself how it impacts your prospects' view of your brand.

Do as much as you need to raise awareness, even if it means publishing an 18-page brochure about your product. Figure out what your prospects like and what they don't. Don't assume beforehand. Finally, never, ever fail to deliver on promises.

Pamela Wigglesworth, CSP is an international marketing consultant, speaker and the CEO of Experiential Hands-on Learning based in Asia. She is the author of The 50-60 Something ™ Start-up Entrepreneur and works with organizations across multiple industries to help them increase brand awareness, increase leads and ultimately increase sales.

To learn more about Pamela, visit the Experiential website at http://www.experiential.sg or email her at courses@experiential.sg

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/P_Lorraine_Wigglesworth/969794

Are You Ready to Ride the Waves of Change?

Are You Ready to Ride the Waves of Change?

Emerging Prepared with a Plan in a Post Pandemic Economy

It's April 2020 and as I wake up and start my day, there is always the nagging questions lingering in my head. What the heck will my business look like in three month or even six months from now? Will I still have a business to run or will the way in which I earn a living cease to exist and will I end up doing something entirely different?

It's hard to know what state my business will be in one month from now, let alone three months later. Unfortunately, I don't have a crystal ball that will predict the future for me or anyone else I know for that matter.

One thing I do know for sure is that things will never be the way they were four months ago. If you're one of those people waiting for the ‘old economy' to return or bounce back, then you're in for a rude awakening, because it's not going to happen.

I'm guessing that most people don't want to entertain the idea that they could be out of business in a matter of months. Heck, it's not something that I wanted to think about either. To be put out of business because of an invisible predator that has spanned the globe and disrupted peoples' lives and the global economy, just seems unfathomable.

As my husband and I watched what was going on within our own country and around the world and the impact it had on our businesses, we did a financial assessment of how long we could sustain our current standard of living. For some reason I felt okay knowing that we could get to a certain period within the year. It never occurred to me that I wasn't allowing myself to think about what would happen if we did run out of savings.

My husband on the other hand had thought about it. Hearing him verbalize his ‘before we get to that point' plan of action forced me to finally go to that place in my mind where I needed to have the internal conversation, ‘what would happen if I could no longer maintain my business?'

The AHA Moment

When I did finally ‘go there', I had a major AHA moment. Suddenly I realized something that had never occurred to me before. The voice in my head said, “Pam, you've been here before!”

Oh my God, yes, that's right-I have been here before. I have had to unexpectedly close a business due to circumstances beyond my control-an economic crisis.

It was 18 years ago. I had a women's fashion retail store in a major mall in Singapore. The store was in operation for a good part of 3 years, and just one year at the mall premises. Business was good. That is until we got hit by the Asian Financial crisis of '99.

My clientele tended to be expat women along with residents and tourists. As we moved through the year 2000, we witnessed the decline in the daily number of shoppers. People began to hang onto their moneydue to the uncertainties that lay ahead. Much like what we are experiencing today.

Eventually it reached a point where there wasn't enough business to cover the monthly overheads and the tough decision was made to close the store. Yet it wasn't as simple as just closing the doors. While the landlords could see for themselves that there was no foot traffic for all tenants, they still demanded to receive payment for the remaining months on the lease. Thatresulted in a painfully written $40,000 cheque to the landlord. Making that payment just added insult to what was already a very difficult moment of having to close due to an economic crisis.

When the premises were vacant and the doors shuttered, I allowed myself to have a private pity party. I gave myself permission to feel sorry for myself for two weeks. When the pity party was over, I knew it was time to get up off the ground and get busy contemplating what the next plan of action would be.

Even through my despair, I was confident that there would be another business in my future and I would need to be prepared and ready to pivot.

Remembering that I've been here before and knowing that I had the resilience to bounce back and come out the other side,reassures me that I can do this again ifnecessary.

Every company or business owner will need to figure out what is best for them post pandemic. Maybe you haven't even begun to think this far ahead. Maybe you have, yet still have no idea of what you'll do when we all resurface in this new c-economy (covid-economy).

Instead of waiting for circumstances to dictate what will happen in one to three months from now, I view myself as a surfer who needs to be out there in the blue ocean, judging, calculating, waiting for just the right wave to jump onto and ride through the barrel all the way to the beach.

This time I'll be ready to ride on top of the wave instead of finding myself being tossed around in the surf and not knowing which way is up.

Preparing for the C-economy

No one will be able to say for certain when countries, states and communities will be open their doors for business, yet it's important to be ready with a plan of action.

Here are just a few of thoughts for a business owners and business leaders to consider right now in preparation for the resurrection of their business.

Establish product-service relevancy

There are a few vital questions to address before you begin to create the recovery road map.

Is my product or service still relevant to my target market today and will it be relevant post pandemic? Will the target audience remain the same or will it change all together?

If my target audience remains the same albeit with minor changes, then I will move forward with my recovery roadmap.

Anticipate, ask & answer

Read the latest research findings in your industry, along with reports from economists. As business operators we need to research the market and anticipate the wants and needs of the consumer in order to provide appropriate solutions.

Creating ideal solutions for consumers cannot happen while brainstorming in isolation. Ask your clients what they will need in a post pandemic business environment.

Armed with research and the needs of the target market, answer their requests and deliver your best solution that addresses those immediate needs. This may require the development of a whole new product or service.

Double down on the low cost, no cost marketing activities

The global health and economic crisis has left millions of businesses without incoming revenue for months, so the last thing most would want to do is fork out a large sums of cash for marketing campaigns.

However, that doesn't mean that a business should go underground and not market at all. On the contrary. There are things that any business can do to continue marketing their products and services using low cost or no cost marketing activities.

  • Create content. No one knows your business better than you (and your employees if you work for a large organization). Start by creating content that educates and helps your target audience. Your content can be distributed in so many ways.
  • Write blog posts and upload it to your website, social media pages and syndicated sites.
  • Conduct a survey related to your industry and then distribute your findings that to your target audience if it will help their business.
  • Use free creative sites like Canva to create visual content such as banners, posters, social posts, animated posts, etc.
  • Use the free tools to create infographics that educate.
  • Create short videos that educate, motivate or demonstrate a product. Everyone has a camera on their smartphone so pick it up and hit the record button. There is no excuse not to.

Seek synergistic collaborationOne of the upsides to all the chaos we're all going through is the change we are seeing in humanity. The giving economy is on the rise and rightfully so. You are of greater value to your clients when you offer them more of what they need.

Seek collaboration with business partners who can add value to your client base.What can others bring to the table that is beneficial to your clientele that is not in direct competition with you, yet creates synergy for both of your businesses?

Reaching out to other corporates and business owners will stimulate the economy and creates a three-way win.

Learn and Go Digital

The way business is conducted today has already changed. Operating efficiently in the new c-economy, will require the use of more technology and apps for conducting business remotely with clients and team members.

Businesses that once offered their services in person, must adapt to digital platformsin the new normal. This form of communication once thought to be a ‘nice to try' has moved into the realm of a legitimate way of doing business.

Not only will the need arise to learn new technologies for virtual engagement, the need to know how to protect our privacy will require us to spend some time understanding cyber security as well.

There will be a learning curve, yet failure to dive in and embrace the new wave of technology that has now become part of our everyday lives, will mean that those who are unwilling to learn will be left behind.

Repurpose to Create Additional Revenue Streams

As a veteran small business owner, I'm a big advocate of having multiple streams of revenue. Each time I develop a new brand, I map out the various ways I can sell my services at different price points and through different distribution channels.

Having more than one revenue stream is something that I push small business owners to do initiate when crafting their business model from the get-go.

View your business with fresh eyes. At the onset of your business, the product or service you offer may have been created for a specific target audience. Can what you offer now be re-purposed for another audience or niche market?

Case in point. I have a deck of cards on entrepreneurship that was derived from the chapter action steps frommy book, The 50-60 Something ™ Start-up Entrepreneur. The deck of cards was a spin off from the book and became another form of re-purposing information and additional revenue stream.

Given that the information on how to create a business is the same, I can now re-purpose the deck of cards with a new brand name, new design and sell this to a completely different market.

Is there a portion of your business that can be splintered off to create a new product in another industry? What could potentially be re-purposed or even upgraded within your own business to create a new stream of revenue?With a little brainstorming, you just might surprise yourself with what you come up with.

Riding the Wave

A big wave of change is on the horizon for all of us. It's going to come in the form of a recession or possibly a depression. I'm preparing myself now. I want to be ready when the wave of opportunity surges toward me. I hope others will join me out there in this blue ocean and we can ride this wave together.

Pamela Wigglesworth, CSP in an international entrepreneurship coach, speaker and CEO of Experiential Hands-on Learning. Residing in Asia for over 20 years, she is The 50-60 Something ™ Start-up Entrepreneur and supports encore entrepreneurs in their business development and growth.

To learn more about Pamela, visit the Experiential website at http://www.experiential.sg or email her at courses@experiential.sg

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/P_Lorraine_Wigglesworth/969794

5 Publicity Hacks For Startups To Grow Your Business Now

5 Publicity Hacks For Startups To Grow Your Business Now

One common thread about startups is that most are pressed for time and money.

They know they need to establish their brand, but lack the major funding of most established businesses.

Many try to muddle through in an attempt to pique the interest of journalists and secure media coverage.

They understand the longer it takes to create name recognition the longer it will take them to build sales and profitability, but they aren't sure how to get the process rolling.

Here are five publicity hacks for startups to quickly attract the attention of newspapers, radio and TV stations, and generate the needed publicity for immediate growth.

 

#1. Create a short summary highlighting what makes the business special and why it is different than other companies in the market space.

A startup should avoid the standard press release if possible.

The common mistake is to create the typical release and just send it everywhere hoping something will stick.

Instead, depending on the type and scope of the business, offer an exclusive story to the media with a lot of news “hooks”.

Point out interesting details and pitch the local business journal, daily newspaper, or a TV station announcing your company's launch before it happens.

You can put together an interesting summary with an eye catching headline. Journalists like to break stories and are always watching for new businesses they can write or talk about.

Businesses can always issue and distribute a standard press release later after a major news outlet or two have broken the story.

 

#2. Develop a short, quirky video for social media.

Video, of course, is highly used in today's highly digitized world.

A video can humanize the owners and team, and get people talking about it.

Many people would also rather watch something than read about it.

A video can help cover all the bases. It can depict some emotion and show aspects of the business print cannot deliver.

A company can also link to their video for added PR value when the business does send out its press release.

 

#3. Host a special event.

A special event can create excitement for the leadership, team and recruiting. The right type of event can also have a lot of media value.

Creating a special event is where creativity kicks in. You can do something a little off-the-wall such as creating the world's biggest cheeseburger or selling 50 dresses in 50 hours to build revenue for a nonprofit or repairing a house for a needy homeowner if you are a painting company or construction firm.

You can do something related to computers if you are a tech firm.

Many ways exist to execute an event and accomplish your goals. Remember a business will need something visual if you wish to attract local TV stations.

 

#4. Tie-in a charity.

Community outreach can be a key part of a communications program. A new company can develop something at the outset that benefits a local charity and gains the attention of the media.

Editors and producers like companies that do something creative and give back to the community.

You can do some special things with nonprofits that involve bringing your pets to work or small children. The media loves dogs and kids.

 

#5. Publicize your press coverage on social media and your website

Your newsroom should be kept up-to-date and make sure you link to your stories on all your social channels.

Print, video and digital all play off each other with SEO benefits as well.

Keep in mind the more coverage you get, and the more media relationships you establish, the more credibility you will have for future stories.

Stephen Turner is a Principal and owner with Solomon/Turner PR, a public relations and integrated marketing firm in St. Louis, MO. Solomon Turner PR is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020. The firm has been named One of the Top PR Firms in St. Louis for 12 years in a row by Small Business Monthly. Steve was named a Rockstar Publicist by Authority Magazine and Thrive Global. He has over 30 years of experience in PR and marketing communications. His firm, Solomon/Turner specializes in publicity campaigns, social media, and branding. Mr. Turner has written dozens of blogs and articles on PR and marketing. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Visit https://solomonturner.com

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Stephen_C_Turner/392401

Why Entrepreneurs Starting at 50+ Have a High Success Rate

Why Entrepreneurs Starting at 50+ Have a High Success Rate

It may seem like starting young is the best way to build a successful business, today more than ever. After all, when you're young you have nothing to lose and a lot of energy to spend, and since your whole life is ahead of you, you can afford to make mistakes and learn from them. But starting older isn't bad either. In fact, it turns out that for many people, starting at 50+ years is even better than starting young. Yep, you read that correctly.

A Few Illustrious Examples

Some of the world's best-known and most profitable businesses were started by entrepreneurs past 50. Raymond Kroc was 52 and driving around the US selling milkshake machines when he started McDonald's. Pharmacist and physician John Pemberton was 55 when, in an effort to create an alternative to morphine, removed the “French Wine” from his French Wine Coca recipe and founded the famous Cola company. Colonel Harland David Sanders was 65 when he opened a small service station and started working with franchises, establishing what would later become one of the world's best-known brands: KFC.

You could say “that was then, but things have changed.” To some extent things have changed, in that it's now easier than ever for anyone to become an entrepreneur and start a business, which is why so many entrepreneurs are starting young. But here are some present-day facts that can inspire anyone past 50 to start a business.

  • Entrepreneurs over 55 are almost twice as likely to build successful businesses than entrepreneurs aged 20 to 34. This is true even for the highly competitive tech industry, where young entrepreneurs are thought to have a head start because they grew up with the Internet and 21st century technology.
  • The highest rate of entrepreneurial activity in the United States in the last 10 years was dominated by entrepreneurs aged 55 to 64. There are many reasons for this, including a new approach to retirement that technology and modern life makes possible, strong professional connections, and the ease with each almost anyone can start a business.
  • Startups that survive are more likely to be led by owners over 45 years of age, according to a 2004 to 2008 study based on 5,000 startups carried out by the Kauffman Ewing Institute. No less than 64% of the surviving startups were headed by older entrepreneurs.
  • People over 50 years of age have a greater potential to create innovative companies, products, and solutions. This may sound a bit surprising, but innovators do get better with age. Whether you want to create a startup in an industry you've worked in before or start afresh pursuing a passion in a new industry, the experience that comes with being 50+ can be a big advantage.
  • People over 55 years are more likely to launch a high-growth startup than those under 35. What's more, this doesn't seem to be localized to specific industries, but can be noticed across the board. Older entrepreneurs have the experience, skills, and insight necessary for them to guide their venture to success. They can better manage fears and expectations and have the balance and determinate to persist in spite of obstacles.

When 50 Is Just Right

Put together all these interesting findings and the message is simple: age is not only not an obstacle to becoming an entrepreneur, but being 50 or older increases your chances of meeting with success. While this insight won't make the creation of your startup any less easy, nor will it eliminate challenges, it can be a wonderful incentive for you to finally create the business you always wanted to have.

Pamela Wigglesworth, CSP in an international entrepreneurship coach, speaker and CEO of Experiential Hands-on Learning. Residing in Asia for over 20 years, she is The 50-60 Something ™ Start-up Entrepreneur and supports encore entrepreneurs in their business development and growth.

To learn more about Pamela, visit the Experiential website at http://www.experiential.sg or email her at courses@experiential.sg

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/P_Lorraine_Wigglesworth/969794

How to Get Started With Social Media for the 50-60-Something Entrepreneur

How to Get Started With Social Media for the 50-60-Something Entrepreneur

When you see the title of this article, some of you may be saying, ‘what do you mean, how do I get started with social media, like it's some big secret?' To some, it might sound like a silly question as most people just dive into a platform and begin making posts.

Now imagine if you will, that you're a 50 or 60-something new entrepreneur. Most of your posts have been on Facebook or and you might have contributed to the company LinkedIn page, but you never had to bother with setting these social media accounts for your business.

With dozens of multi-million networks and big companies pouring millions of dollars into it, social media may seem daunting for any small business entrepreneur, even more so for fifty-somethings who haven't grown up with the Internet. But the amount of exposure social media can bring your business, and the opportunity it offers you to connect with your target audience and spread the word about your products or services cannot be ignored.

Your competitors are already on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social networks. In a world full of mobile devices and apps, having only a website and blog is no longer enough.

Here are some tips to get you started for the #FiftySomethingEntrepreneur.

The Right Approach to Social Media

Before getting started, you have to remember that social media is first and foremost social. While brands do use it to market themselves, sometimes using paid ads, the main benefit of being social is interacting with your audience. What's more, Google takes into account the buzz you generate on social networks when determining your search engine ranking, or how high you show up in the Google search results.

Start Small

There are many social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, WhatsApp, YouTube, and Tumblr. As a startup or small business, you may not have the time or the resources to be active on all of them, nor should you.

An effective strategy is to start small. Most businesses start with #Facebook, #Twitter, #LinkedIn, and optionally, #YouTube. Depending on your target customers, some of networks will offer you better returns on your time spent on them than others.

Create a SM Marketing Strategy

It's important to have a social media marketing strategy in place. Without one, social media can become a time-sink. Considering your audience, their needs, and what you can offer them. Decide what content would work best for them, whether it's articles, images, videos, short updates, how-to guides, and so on. Social media is very flexible, so you mix it up to keep things interesting.

Creating an Engaging Social Business Page

After creating your accounts, you have to personalize them. Keep personal and professional accounts separate. For your business, make sure to create a business page, rather than a standard profile. This will enable you to customize your page with a logo, business address and other details, as well as access a wealth of data about your fans and followers. Add a custom header and background to your business page, and try to keep all pages consistent in terms of design.

Content: Creation, Curation, and Timing

You also have to determine how often you will post fresh content on social media – at least two or three times a week is a must, and ideally you want to post something new every day. Fortunately, you don't have to create all the content yourself. You can always curate or share content from experts in your industry, news sites, and other relevant sources, so long as you give credit to the creator and don't infringe any usage rights.

The Key to Success – Being Active and Involved

The hard work begins after you've set up your accounts. Posting is not enough. You have to interact with your audience by answering their questions, starting discussions, organizing contests, and rewarding loyal followers with mentions, and possibly for ecommerce businesses with coupons, or freebies. You have to follow others, share their content, and join groups and discussions. On social media, if you are not active, you are invisible.

Social media can also open up the door to new professional connections. Actively connect with your existing connections and also seek influencers, experts, and other notable people in your industry. Share their content and you may catch their eye.

Be Social

Last but not least, it's important to keep in mind that being on social media is no longer optional for a small business. If you are not “social,” people won't be able to find your business as easily, and many will go to your competitors instead. That's why if you don't have the time to manage your social media marketing efforts yourself, it's better to delegate someone within your company to do it for you, or hire someone to help you with this.

The key is to get started and not to shy away from engaging in social media. Trust me when I say it gets easier the more time you spend in doing some type of post. Now go and have some fun.

Pamela Wigglesworth, CSP is an international marketing consultant, speaker and the CEO of Experiential Hands-on Learning based in Asia. She is the author of The 50-60 Something ™ Start-up Entrepreneur and works with organizations across multiple industries to help them increase brand awareness, increase leads and ultimately increase sales.

To learn more about Pamela, visit the Experiential website at http://www.experiential.sg or email her at courses@experiential.sg

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/P_Lorraine_Wigglesworth/969794

The Advantages of the 50-60 Something Entrepreneur

The Advantages of the 50-60 Something Entrepreneur

Today, when younger entrepreneurs get so much media attention, it may seem that they have a head start, but in fact, there are twice as many successful entrepreneurs over 50 as under 25 (yeah baby). Apart from life experience, a 50 or 60-something entrepreneur has a couple of other advantages over a young entrepreneur, even if he or she is only starting their first venture. Listed below are just a few reasons why 50+ is a great age for anyone to make his or her dream of being an entrepreneur come true.

Richer Network Connections

By the time you reach 50 or 60, you've probably built at least a few strong professional connections, some of them perhaps even reinforced by strong friendships and other ties. This is especially true if you've been working in the corporate world. Knowing other people in an industry you are interested in, whether they are on the management ladder or not, can be a treasure trove of insight, advice, business opportunities, and perhaps even partners and staffing resources.

Stability and Endurance

Being an entrepreneur is rewarding, but it can also be demanding, especially with your time and money. By the time they turn 50, many aspiring entrepreneurs have a family, own a house, and are more secure financially than they were in their 20s or 30s. Many are even likely to be grandparents. Having a strong and stable personal and financial foundation gives entrepreneurs in their 50s and 60s the stability and endurance needed to steer a business on the path to success.

Clarity and Focus

Entrepreneurs over the age of 50 are more likely to invest their time in projects that have a social, cultural, or environmental impact that matters for future generations. By the time you're 50, time has likely helped you filter your passions and embrace those which are not only the most important for you, but which have the power to do good. From this understanding springs the clarity and focus of applying all your energy and resources on building something that matters, not just for you, but for others, too.

Patience

Patience is a virtue in the world of business. There are plenty of young entrepreneurs who have it, but it's one of those virtues that the years tend to polish and refine. An entrepreneur in his 50 or 60 has seen enough in his or her life to know that rushing things, making impulsive decisions, or acting on the spur of the moment is often bad for business.

With 50 or 60 of years of life experience behind you, you will be less likely to force the growth of your company, quit when the going gets tough, or go to market too early. You have the patience of experience.

Empathy

As we grow older, we tend to become increasingly aware of the problems and challenges those around us are facing. The same is true for entrepreneurs. After 50 or 60, entrepreneurs tend to have deeper reservoirs of empathy for those around them. This can translate into a more considerate approach to management that creates a pleasant workplace environment which naturally attracts people.

Better Fear Management Skills

Fear of failure, fear of stagnation, or fear of competitors getting ahead are only three of the fears entrepreneurs have to manage. All too often, these are background fears that can surge at any moment during challenging times. The 50 or 60-something entrepreneur knows fear and, like most people, has likely battled with his or her own fears during his life. He or she has developed a natural fear management and response mechanism that minimizes fear as a factor for their decisions.

As C.S. Lewis said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” Being 50 or 60 years old is not only a great age for being a successful entrepreneur today, but it's actually good for business.

Pamela Wigglesworth, CSP in an international entrepreneurship coach, speaker and CEO of Experiential Hands-on Learning. Residing in Asia for over 20 years, she is The 50-60 Something ™ Start-up Entrepreneur and supports encore entrepreneurs in their business development and growth.

To learn more about Pamela, visit the Experiential website at http://www.experiential.sg or email her at courses@experiential.sg

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/P_Lorraine_Wigglesworth/969794

 

Social Media Sweepstakes and Contests: Legal Perspectives

sweepstakes

With the explosion in social media activity by users of the internet, its value as a marketing tool has also been recognized. At this point, any business which doesn't have a presence in social media is at risk of being left behind. One strategy that lends itself nicely to the interactive nature of social media is the running of contests and sweepstakes promotions. But they should never be entered into without ensuring that all your legal bases are covered.

Contests, such as those which ask participants to upload photographs, from which the winner will be selected by votes from the community, are fairly common. This sort of thing is legally classified as a contest, as distinguished from a sweepstakes, which requires no other action from entrants than completion of a form. The official rules for each type are, therefore, somewhat different in the regulations guiding them and the language used.

A contest and sweepstakes lawyer is a resource that you need whenever you are planning to run a promotion of this kind, whether it's through social media, on your own website, or through partnerships with bloggers. The complexity of drafting official rules which are fully compliant with current regulations, federal and state, is too much for you to realistically consider doing it yourself.

The liability you could face for rules that aren't compliant is significant. Don't be fooled into thinking that no one will notice. It's just not worth the risk. Having a lawyer who is experienced with online games of chance and contests, you won't have to worry.

Many people access the internet using mobile computing. In fact, within three years, it's projected that more people will do so than using a laptop or desktop computer. This may create new legal issues which need to be addressed; for example, if a person is a resident of one state, but enters a sweepstakes via mobile in a different state with different relevant laws.

As a marketing strategy, contests and sweepstakes became commonly used in the middle of the Twentieth century. Back then, direct mail and radio advertising were used. As legal questions arose, they were addressed and formalized. The process is ongoing. For this reason, you should never consider templating the language of your rules on someone else's – at least not without a full review by a contest lawyer.

There are both federal and state laws which govern the allowable features, qualifications for entry, and disbursement of prizes for both sweepstakes and contests. Each country has its own laws, as well, which complicates things for international competitions. Social media sites have their own terms of service, which include language relating to the running of promotions. All of these different requirements must be understood and incorporated into your official rules.

Engaging a sweepstakes and contest lawyer gives you the peace of mind that all your promotional games are fully legal. They'll also work with you in the event that issues should arise with competitors. This is an area of your business in which you just can't take chances with liability.

Lior Leser, Esq. can help you build and run legally compliant online sweepstakes. Regardless of how you deploy the online promotion, an Internet Sweepstakes Lawyer can help you navigate through the state and federal legal requirements of establishing, registering, bonding, running and fulfilling internet and mobile Sweepstakes. http://web20lawyer.com/Promotions_Lawyer.htm

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6892466

Facebook Transparency for Ads – Is it Good News for Advertisers?

Facebook advertisingFacebook recently announced that they are making significant steps to bring more transparency to ads and business Facebook pages.  Facebook is now providing users with more information about businesses and organizations on Facebook and the ads they are running.

One very significant change is that a visitor can now see the ads any Page is running across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Facebook's partner network, even if those ads are not targeted to that visitor.    How does this affect your business and your advertising strategy?   Well, you can now see all ads that your competitor is running.  And, they can now see all ads that your business is running.

We love to help small businesses develop cost-effective advertising strategies on Facebook.  Call us is we can help your business!

 

Facebook Introduces New Tools to Make Fundraisers Even More Impactful

And waiving platform fees for all personal fundraisers

Friday, April 27, 2018

MENLO PARK – Today, Facebook announced new features and tools for Facebook Fundraisers that are aimed at helping fundraiser creators and donors make even greater impact. Every day, people start Facebook Fundraisers to support the causes that matter to them.

These new features include the following:

  • People can pledge to match donations to their nonprofit fundraiser, which is a first of its kind tool in online fundraising that's now available in the US and will soon expand internationally.
  • There are now four new categories for fundraisers for personal causes so people can raise funds for more social good causes across family, faith, travel, and volunteering.
  • In the coming weeks, Facebook is eliminating the platform fee on all fundraisers for personal causes, helping people maximize their support.

Matching Donations for Nonprofit Fundraisers 
People often pledge to match donations to their Facebook Fundraisers, and the company wanted to make that easier. For example, David Smith lost his sister in a car accident in 2013, and this year for his birthday, he started a fundraiserfor Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). He told family and friends that if he could raise $100, he would match their contribution. People rallied around the cause and raised $2,360 — more than 10x his original goal.

Facebook wants to help everyone meet and exceed their fundraising goals through matching donations. Now people who create fundraisers can pledge to match donations, directly within the fundraisers tool. Matches can be any amount that they choose, from $5 to $2,500, helping people build momentum for their cause.

Matching Donations for Nonprofit Fundraisers

New features for Impact for Personal Causes
People on Facebook have raised money for many personal causes, including loved ones who need critical surgery, teachers needing school supplies for their students, and families in need after losing everything in a fire. They’ve added more categories for fundraisers for personal causes to give people more options to raise critical funds for themselves, a friend, or something or someone not on Facebook.

Based on feedback from the community, they’ve added fundraiser categories for family (like adoption or new baby supplies), faith (like missions or religious community events), travel (like educational trips or travel for medical needs), and volunteering (like volunteer programs or supplies) causes.

There are already examples of people using these new categories, like Lauren Pyskoty who started a fundraiser to support her first mission trip and raised $1,328. These are in addition to existing categories for personal fundraisers: community projects/groups, sports/competitions, education, medical, pets/animals, personal emergency, crisis relief, and memorial/loss.

Asha Sharma, Head of Product for Social Good at Facebook added, “we're inspired by the many ways people have come together to support one another. In the coming weeks, we're eliminating the platform fee on all fundraisers for personal causes, so that people can maximize their fundraising support.”

To create a fundraiser for a nonprofit or a personal cause, visit facebook.com/fundraisers or tap the Fundraisers bookmark on the Facebook app. You can choose the cause you want to support, share why it's important to you, and follow the steps to set up your goal. The company also waived all fees for nonprofit fundraisers last fall at the Social Good Forum in New York City, NY.

“We know people care a lot about the organizations and causes they support. We're grateful for their passion and for the feedback that helps us build better tools to help them reach their fundraising goals,” Sharma added.

How do the 2018 Facebook news feed changes affect your business?

As you probably have already heard, Facebook is making significant changes to how news is delivered to your news feed. What is this change and what does it mean for your business?

In a nutshell, people who “Like” your page will see less of your organic Facebook posts in their news feeds. Facebook feels people in general desire to be more “social”. Therefore, content from your “Friends” will be prioritized over posts from “Brands” or “Pages” you like.

While this move has some businesses panicking, we are not as concerned for our clients as we have always recommended that Social Media be a complement to an overall marketing strategy and not a replacement. This move, however, will significantly affect companies who rely primarily on Social Media as a primary marketing strategy.

If you have retained us to work with you on a regular basis, you can consider yourself in good shape and here is why:

  1. Your website is your company’s online storefront. If we are managing the ongoing search engine optimization (SEO) of your website, your Social Media posts are designed to give you short lived boosts for SEO. The 2018 changes in how Facebook delivers news to your news feed will not affect this.
  2. Many of our clients run Facebook Ads. We take a strategic approach when designing and managing your Facebook ads campaigns. The new changes will NOT affect how Facebook Ads are delivered.
  3. If you’ve followed our advice, you are not using Social Media as your primary marketing strategy. Therefore, having your organic Facebook posts delivered less often will have minimal – if any – adverse effect on your overall marketing strategy.

Many clients have asked if they should still post on their business Facebook page. The answer is, “YES”! Remember, this change will not affect what people see if they visit your page directly. And, your posts will still be delivered, just not as often.

The biggest advantage to using Facebook for your business is the SEO benefit and Facebook Ads, which offer an affordable and targeted option to get your message out to potential customers.

If you are not already working with us on ongoing SEO for your website or Facebook ads, please give us a call. Both are becoming more and more important, especially since this latest change with Facebook. Let’s set up a free telephone consultation to discuss how we can help you achieve your online goals in 2018!

Is Link Building For Your Website Worth The Effort?

In the past link building was used by online marketers to build tons of backlinks to their website to increase search engine rankings. And it worked. But, in 2012, the Google Penguin algorithm update stopped websites spamming their search results. In particular, those websites which were buying links or getting them through free link building sites designed to boost their Google rankings.

So does this mean that link building for your website is all but dead today? Far from it!

Don't Disregard Link Building For Your Website

Link building for your website has always been an important factor for it to rank well in the search engines. Links back to your website provide strong signals that your site is relevant and popular.

The focus for any website owner is now to create quality content and then build links to that from other relevant high-quality sites.

How To Do Link Building With Content

Generally, increasing the number of backlinks pointing to your website will improve your website's search ranking. To get more links, contact authoritative websites or blogs to see if you can provide a guest post or article. That post or article will contain a link back to your website.

It's much easier to build links to your site when you have high-quality content. Remember that without good content your online business has no value to your audience. It doesn't have to be a literary masterpiece, but it should be relevant and interesting.

Evergreen Content

Content can be an article, a blog post, a report, an eBook, an online course, a video or an audio. The best kind of content is that which is classed as ‘evergreen'. This means that the information presented doesn't go out of date, so in years to come it's still relevant. That means you'll still have content on your site that's worth linking to.

Social Media

It's true that Google still relies on ‘traditional links', that is, links from other authority sites. We're now seeing a shift towards Google and Bing taking more of an interest on what's happening on social media.

What social media links are great for is to reach your real live customers. This is a way to drive traffic back to your site without having to worry about what Google or Bing does. Once again, content is king. If you continually produce high-quality content, your followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ will share these posts, comment on them and vote for them.

With over 150 million active monthly users, Google is paying more attention to Pinterest. It's become a major player in the social media universe. Pinterest can boost your search engine rankings and send you free, targeted traffic. Don't ignore this social media superbrand. Download your free Pinterest Marketing Checklist at: http://jonallo.com/pinterestchecklist

Article Source

LinkedIn Personal Profile Tips

Optimizing your Social Media accounts is a good practice for both your personal brand and your business. Below are some tips on optimizing your personal LinkedIn profile. These tips are current as of 8/30/17 and are subject to change at any time. LinkedIn adds new features and changes processes on a regular basis, so it is important to review any new tutorials or information made available to you by LinkedIn.

  1. Profile: Complete your profile to achieve All-Star status:
    • Profile photo
    • Include industry and location
    • Add description to your current position. Try bulleted lists that incorporate relevant keywords for things like job duties.
    • Include at least two past positions
    • Include education details
    • List at least three skills
    • Obtain at least 50 connections
  2. Contact Information: Check all profile contact information to make sure it is accurate. All fields should be completed (website, phone, address, email, twitter, date of birth).
  3. Company Connection: Be sure that the jobs listed in your EXPERIENCE section connect to the correct company. It’s easy to connect to the wrong company when multiple companies have the same name.
  4. Groups: Join and participate in relevant groups to expand your network and improve the search optimization of your profile.
  5. Connections: Expand your network. Try searching your email contacts for possible connections. Click the MY NETWORK link and look for the PEOPLE YOU MAY KNOW section for most streamlined way to request connections.
  6. Review your account settings: (https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/66?lang=en) to select the best settings for things like what information can be seen about you and how others may contact you.
  7. Give and collect endorsements: Giving skill endorsements is a great way to keep your name in front of contacts. Collecting endorsements validates your skills.
  8. Recommendations: Ask others to recommend you. The RECOMMENDATIONS section of your PROFILE includes a link for “Ask to be Recommended” which you can use to ask specific connections to write a brief recommendation.
  9. Public Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/public-profile/settings View your public profile the way others see it then adjust settings based on your preference of what you want others to see.
  10. Profile URL: Create a custom URL for your LinkedIn Public Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/public-profile/settings
  11. Profile Badge: Create a profile badge to use on your website to link directly to your personal profile https://www.linkedin.com/badges/profile/create
  12. Articles: You can use LinkedIn to post blog-like articles. Look for the “WRITE AN ARTICLE” button in the status update section.
  13. Updates: Post frequent status updates. Like and share updates of your connections.
  14. Samples of Work: You can upload videos and presentations to show samples of your work, services, or product information.
  15. Jobs: Search for employment (note: posting jobs is handled through a company page).

Most people are intimidated because they do not feel they have the time to commit to developing their personal LinkedIn profiles. The best way to approach this is to not do everything all at once. Rather, set aside a few minutes each day to work on optimizing your profile and making connections. Social Media profiles are always a work in progress. Good luck!

How do I create a successful social media campaign?

Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. What appeals to you? What compels you to act? Peer to peer impressions have more influence now than ever before. A friend recommending a restaurant, product, service, etc. can have more impact than a paid advertisement. Think about the types of posts, information, etc. that not only appeals to your customers, but they will also want to share.

The ALS Association’s “Ice Bucket Challenge” was one of the most successful social media campaigns to date. It incorporated entertaining videos of people challenging people they know to support a worthy cause. The challenge went viral and spread like wildfire. As a result, the ALS Association not only raised a ton of money for their cause, but they spread awareness of the disease and their mission throughout the United States and beyond.

Social media was meant to be “social.” Direct selling of your product and/or service through social media is not as effective as offering something of value to your customers. Consider these ideas when developing a social medial campaign for your business:

  1. Helpful tips people will want to share
    (i.e. a pest control service may want to post tips on reducing mosquitos around your home, etc.)
  2. Entertaining videos – people love to share humor so come up with a video or series of funny, short videos that demonstrate the value of your product.
  3. Contests
    (i.e. send us a 30 second video showing why you love our product; we will post and people will have an opportunity to select their top three favorites; winners will receive a prize, etc.)
  4. Live streams – Facebook Live is an example of a platform where you can transmit live video streams. Consider broadcasting “live” content that is entertaining and informative. This new feature of Facebook – introduced in April 2016 – is gaining in popularity. Learn more here: https://live.fb.com/

You don’t have to be a million-dollar company to create catchy a social media campaign that reaches millions of people. It just takes one good idea to go viral.