Categories: Networking | SaaS | Time management

There’s a team online meeting in 5 minutes and I am scurrying around trying to find my notes. I know I jotted on a post-it some ideas I had during the week, oh, and I need to find my journal with the notes from last meeting. UGH! As if I could really find the right sticky notes pad, journal or scrap paper on my desk! Maybe I moved it…

Sound familiar?

How about when you meet with you team or client over the phone and you’re trying to take notes and follow the conversation. You do your best but when you all hang up, you’re wondering” OK, what was I suppose to do first?” or ” Shoot! She said something really good and I didn’t catch it.” Not too many of us want to call back and say “Hey, I think you said something important but I didn’t write it down,  can you repeat it?” We’re trying to exert our authority, not create doubts of competency.

Well you can breathe a sigh of relief because I have the solution with this week’s tech tip, LiveMinutes, online meeting web app.

LiveMinutes boasts the following features:

  • conference recording: Giving your full attention is common courtesy, but is still highly valued because it demonstrates to your potential client that you care and will be attentive to them if they work with you. Call recording gives you peace of mind to focus now, knowing you can recap later and not miss any golden nuggets.
  • document sharing: No more asking clients to hunt through email threads for the proposal you sent. LiveMinutes lets you share straight from your computer, Dropbox or Evernote so you can grab your files quick and share them live on the screen. Make it easy for them to say “Yes” by being prepared and avoiding stalls while you wait for email attachments to arrive.
  • document collaboration: Meeting over the phone can be tricky, especially when you are trying to review documents or images. Once you’ve brought a document into your LiveMinutes meeting room, all participants can notate in real time. Eliminate confusion by having 1 collective record from the meeting that everyone has a copy of.

This online meeting web application is designed to make it quick and simple to both host online meetings and leave the meeting with everything needed to move forward in your business process.

Do you struggle with getting in a rhythm for meeting with clients virtually? Do you have a preferred conference service? Share below, we want to hear from you.

Categories: Email Marketing

3 Questions to Grab Your Blog and Newsletter Subscribers Attention

I’m wondering if one of your goals for 2013 is to keep up with your blog. If you’re getting some push back from yourself, not sure what to blog about, I want to share with you the litmus test I created. When you check your blog posts or email campaigns against this litmus test, you’ll quickly know if you’re headed in the right direction.

Often business owners say the problem is they don’t know what to write. I think a more accurate diagnosis is that they don’t know what their list will read.  And it’s just easier not write them anything, than to have your writing rejected.

Ask yourself these 3 questions to grab your blog and newsletter subscribers attention:

  • Is this in line with my expertise? – Your subscribers came to you for your expertise that matches their need. Stay on topic and deliver what your reader has already made clear they are interested in. Sounds simple, but think of this: I come to your website because I’m looking for parenting advice for tweens. You offer weekly tips that I can implement right away with my 12 year old, so I sign up. In my first month you’ve sent 4 emails, only 1 was actually about tweens, the others talked about household items you favor, getting romance back in marriage and nutrition advice for busy moms. While technically these things are all relevant to someone such as myself, that isn’t what I came to you. So, I unsubscribe.  Am I hitting home? Let’s keep going.
  • Is this my voice? – You bring something unique to the table. In the field of _____________, you believe…  or  your approach is…. In addition to your unique selling point, you also have your own personality. These two are often the deciding factors in your potential client determining if you’re a good fit. To put it bluntly, they know what you do, they like you and they subscribe. See where I’m going with this? Blog posts and email campaigns are the communication tools you use to build the relationship and Trust. Nothing violates trust quicker than someone who flip-flops on their opinions, attitudes or personality. Hey, you might be a happy chipper person and some days you just have something more serious to say. But always stay true to who you are and what you believe.  If you write something that seems like a new direction for you, share with your audience the reason behind the shift.
  • Is my ideal client at this “location”? – This last question is for choosing the right place to post your article. When looking for guest blog opportunities or article submission websites, first check that your audience actively comes to that resource. Some things to look for: the topic and focus of the website, what audience is it geared towards, what content are they putting out and the comments from readers. These will all give you clues to know if the readers of that site share the same traits and needs of your readers.

When you write about your target market’s needs, while staying consistent to your unique perspective and approach, than you can be confident that your blog and newsletter subscribers will value and read your content.

Did this article help you? Please share, we’d love to hear from you!

Categories: Email Marketing | Social Media | Website

 

Face it, The way we do business has changed! How do you mix timeless marketing principles with cutting edge technology and social shoppers?

Does your 2013 business marketing plan include increasing your business and fast?

Are you ready to stop just thinking about it, and start taking action?

Can you visualize all the people you are going to serve and bless through your business this year?

Yep, you can see it clearly, as if it is just in front of you.

That’s why we’re so excited to bring you an action-oriented plan to give you a jump-start and motivate you! Our new class PROFITfoundations launches in 24hr hours and is jam-packed with practical, customizable tools and strategies to increase your confidence, client and cash- in only 22 DAYS!

How so, you say?

Well, we put on our listening ears (pardon the phrase but you parents will get it) and heard you saying how:

  • you’re frustrated with dead-end sales conversations
  • you’ve downloaded every generic online marketing ebook and are exhausting yourself trying everything at once
  • you’re tired of ” feast or famine” and not knowing where or when the next client is coming
What do you do to really MAKE MONEY online?

It’s not for lack of effort. You are emailing your list. You’re dabbling in social media every weeks. A post to facebook. A link here and there. You’re networking and giving out your website address. But no bites.

There is a Step-by-Step process that we are calling PROFITfoundations and it’s based on some simple principles, including Know-Like-Trust. But before you brush this off as something you already know, allow me to reveal exactly what’s causing those negative results you’re experiencing.

Know: You have to know your potential client. Sales conversations dead end when you haven’t shown your buyer than you can meet their need. Listen to what your market is saying and sell on their needs, not on what you think they want.

Like: In addition to liking what you do, you have to like how you do it. While a principal can be applied generally, the actual application needs to be modified to your specific business needs and goals. If you aren’t comfortable with the marketing material you’re putting out, your shoppers won’t be either. Identify what your brand is about and operate consistently within those values and objectives.

Trust: Feast or Famine ends when you a)Trust in yourself and take massive action, putting in the effort so you can reap the profits. b) Position yourself as the expert, guiding and educating your leads with high value content and c) when you demonstrate you care about them by communicating in their language about what they care about

I couldn’t possibley squeeze anymore into this email so if you want the step-by-step action plan to increase confidence, clients and cash-in just 22 DAYS- you need to jump into PROFITfoundations NOW.

And we’ve made it a no brainer. For the next 6 hours ONLY we are having a FLASH SALE. You can get your seat and be on your way with:

  • Simple templates that translate to action
  • A system that takes the mystery out of marketing
  • Basic Branding that’s fresh and speaks to your ideal clients
  • Confidence that your online presence is attracting new clients 24/7

We’re even throwing in A Private Website Audit, our gift to get you moving forward from Day 1.

Will you be next to see success online? Let’s get started NOW!

http://www.profitgeeks.org/online-marketing-course/

This 22 Day Course will show you how having clear and concise description of the service/ product you offer and your unique point of view will increase your market’s confidence in you…and their eagerness to BUY.

Cheers,

Erica

P.S.  What do you have to lose? I know you’ve got butterflies in your stomach. But I also know you aren’t a tire-kicker, I know you’re serious about your business. Let me show you what the gurus are not revealing and why YOU, even a beginner or solo-preneur, can learn Marketing and Branding Strategies that convert!

http://www.profitgeeks.org/online-marketing-course/

P.P.S We have a proven track record. Here what our clients have to say:

“Before working with Erica I didn’t realize that a web designer could have the skills and the ability to look at your design request from a brand standpoint. Her questionnaire allowed her to get to know me, my voice and personality in order for that to come through to my site. She was easy to talk to because she didn’t use industry jargon to explain things to me and she didn’t get frustrated at my lack of knowledge in the area of web design. Her patience was a breath of fresh air and I always felt I learned something new every time we spoke!” – Twanna T. BodyBlessings.com

“I thought we had a decent website before meeting Erica. Of course the only person who said that was me! Erica offered to evaluate what we had. As kind as she was, it was obvious there were several mistakes. Looking back, we understand the credibility that a ‘professional’ website brings was not there. Now we have clients going to our site, making comments on how sharp it is and with the knowledge that Erica brings, how efficient for the client it became. If you have doubts about your web, trust me, your clients have more. My advice is simple…let the experts do their thing. Allow Erica to help you with your web ‘image’ and this will pay you back more than you know.” – Craig Krause – Direct Development Training

“I had a horrible web site, no hits, no traffic and NO business from it. Erica and I spoke of what I needed in a website. She proposed a dynamic Word Press site. Well, she delivered exactly what my business needed and it was on time and on budget. Now I can make changes to my website effortlessly which saves me time and money. I switched to Erica/Profitgeeks, so should you!”- David Johansen, NE Rapid Edge

Categories: Etc. Etc. | goal setting & vision

If you answered the call to yesterday’s survey, Thank you! If not, you’ll still find the results helpful.
The question was “What is your biggest Marketing roadblock?” The four possible answers were:

  • I need a step-by-step complete marketing system to follow.
  • I need an action oriented plan to jump-start and motivate me!
  • I need practical and customizable tools and strategies.
  • I have the “toolbox” but I need to know how to really implement what’s right for my business

Initially, as I watched your results come in, the majority said option 2, needing an action plan to jump-start and motivate. But currently, 44% of small business owners in the PG community want tools and strategies that they can customize for their own practical use.

The kick off practical, customizable strategy for 2013 is….Surveys. (Did you see that coming?)

Surveys give you insight into what your audience cares about and needs, allowing you to make offers they’ll be willing and eager to respond to. Here’s how to put one together:

  • Use a survey service such as survey monkey. (They have a free model.)
  • Pick a question that will get to the heart of your clients’ problem that your service solves. ie. If you’re a image consultant you might ask “What keeps you from enjoying shopping?”
  • Go to Amazon and search terms that your customers would use to find a solution to that problem. Here’s another example: You’re in the home services industry and you want to know what keeps your market from moving forward on their dream project. You would want to search possible solutions for a home owner to start a home renovation project.” Hiring contractors”, “DIY home flooring”, “Saving for a large home renovation” are all options.
  •  Comb through the consumer comments on the most popular book results and find the 3 predominant trends in the comments. What are the readers most excited about? Which problems did the book solve for them? How does this relate to what you do?
  • Use the top 3-4 user needs as the answers to your survey question(s) and try to use the same wording because this is the language your client uses.
  • Listen to your audience and tweak your messaging to reflect the needs they share with you.

Again, thank you for your support and we are excited to continue serving your tech & marketing needs in 2013!

-Erica &  PG Team

Categories: Social Media

It was a rather mild winter day on December 3rd and I decided to dawn my cloak, a re-enactment piece that I scored through my local homeschool classifieds. (No, homeschoolers are not socially deprived, but yes, we’re a geeky bunch.)

[tweet https://twitter.com/profitgeeks/status/275672060250968066]

Well, I thought it looked neat and my 7yr old was happy enough to snap some photos, which I uploaded to my instagram account and shared on Twitter and Facebook.

8 likes, 4 comments, 1 fav , 1378 impressions, 41 clicks later, here’s 3 Ways to Get Real Business Results With Social Media:

  1. Expose yourself: People not only take interest, but they trust others who are willing to be true to themselves, even at the risk of looking foolish. Trying to hide who you really are or what you’re interested in will not only breed inconsistency in your business image, but it will come off just plain shady.
  2. Give genuine compliments: When I review my tweets, the ones that are most retweeted and favorited are compliments. Sure there are some content tweets, but people care most about what’s in it for them. A sincere compliment is uplifting and is social validation, which are valuable to your potential client. Getting your name out there by giving genuine recognition is pretty honorable…better than just blasts of your content, in my opinion.
  3. Ask non-business related questions: Your audience isn’t thick; They can tell when they’re being treated as marketing guinea pigs. It’s okay to ask questions that will help you be smarter in business, but be sure to balance it with agenda-free inquires that help you learn more about your lead base as individual people.

Truth breeds trust. And trust(following know and like) is the final step to someone deciding to work with you or not. Show your audience they can trust you are who you say you are, that your word is valuable and that you value their relationship beyond price tags.
Have a social media experience to share? Chime in on our Facebook Page!

Categories: goal setting & vision | Thoughts

Last week in PG Lab we discussed ways to get ahead in January, perhaps the most important of which, was habits of highly effective people.  We explored 3 ways that habits can make or break your new business year before it even begins.

  • The way you do anything, is the way you do everything.- Suzanne Evans. Probably the biggest take away I got from her. Seriously. If you flip-flop over your main service/ product offering, you’re showing up inconsistent in other areas of your business too.  Inconsistency is unprofessional and will cripple your credibility with your target market.

Action Step 1: Zero in on what service/product sold the best in 2012, survey your audience for feedback (including what made them say “Yes” to that offer) and plan and expand on that for 2013.

  • The Law of Attraction: Whether you follow this school of thought or not, it stands true that you will attract people who strongly relate to you. I want people to relate to me for my positive attitudes and attributes, don’t you?

Action Step 2: Misery loves company, so be mindful of the vibes you are sending out in your content, as well as your public habits. Be that person who uplifts and inspires.

  • Being nervous is a side effect of being unprepared. – Unknown                                    The New Year rings in new resolutions, the time of year when ideal client makes a  promise to herself to fix the pressing problems in her life & business.   She’s reinvigorated, passionate, excited, hopeful and ready to spend some cash.   Are you ready?

Action Step 3: By the end of next week,  line up your email campaigns (if not already started), write your sales pages, and test your cart system.

2013 CAN be a better year for you IF you decide to make it so. Waiting until January to take action only sets you up to repeat the same bad habits. Start working on your new goals now so that you cross into 2013 already on the path to where you want to be!

Categories: goal setting & vision | Thoughts | Time management

Are you really in control or are you at the mercy of the wind, your emotions or someone saying “no” to what you have to offer?

The 1st answer that I hear from entrepreneurs about the biggest challenge is the self accountability. It’s challenging to be your own boss, especially for those of us with home offices. Coffee spills on us, kid throws tantrum or you get a nasty phone call all become legitimate reasons to crawl back in bed for a nanosecond.

Entrepreneurs that push through and succeed have these two words going for them (and no it isn’t lady luck.)

Vision and Schedule

Vision is what you are “seeing” for your future. It’s what you picture in your mind’s eye (or your vision board) to get a visual of where you are deliberately going with your business and your life. I bet flexibility is part of your vision and when you get a curve ball, that’s when you need to invoke your rights according to that vision.

Say, “This is when I give myself a break, eat a forbidden food, go for a walk, or put the phone on silent and play some tunes, dancing like no one is watching.”  If you ever sat in a cubicle, what did you wish you could do just for a moment to get back in your groove after a meeting gone wrong? Do it. Your vision isn’t just something to achieve someday, it becomes your reality by living more pieces of it each day.

Your Schedule is what allows you to bring your vision to life without creating a train wreck. So the impromptu solo dance party needs to last 20 minutes to be affective, no sweat. You’ve got your schedule and your  to-do list(5 tasks max) at hand. You’re in control because you know what needs to be done, when it has to be done by and how much time you have to do it.

Some people resist the idea of a schedule because they enjoy riding by the seat of their pants. I get that, I was totally that way. Until I realized I can’t run a business, home-school and keep house like that. Having a planned schedule is like having a map. You are in the driver’s seat; knowing where you’re going and how long it takes give you the freedom to make choices about pit stops, rest stops or fun stops.

I challenge you right now to write down your vision for your life and business. When your done, write out a schedule for next week and refer to it each day. Lastly, be gracious to yourself. Your schedule is a reflection of your life, change means you aren’t stagnant.

Cheers!

E

 

Categories: Website

Last week on our facebook page we shared a powerful infographic we found on mashable.com.

The stats were staggering as we learned that 85% of consumers are searching online for their local businesses, but 63% of small businesses don’t have a website! That’s the same as turning off your store lights and thinking customers will still believe your open. Just plain silly. It also means that the smart 37% of small businesses with a website are snatching up your potential buyers.

So the challenge isn’t really how do small business owners find more customers; It’s how does a small business get found by customers. Use these three website tips to increase website sales.

  • Avoid DIY templates: No tool will turn a novice into an expert and your business’ credibility is hanging on the line.  It takes the average person 6 months to learn how to set up a WordPress site. Can you really afford half a year of losing those 85% of consumers looking for you?  Set a budget and invest in a professional web developer.
  • Interview Professional Web Designers & Developers: You wouldn’t hire an amateur to do your accounting so don’t try to cut corners on your website presence either. It’s important that the person or company you work with understands your business model and goals for your website. Be clear about this and don’t be shy about asking questions. Two important questions are: “Will I be charged for each revision? Will I have access to make your own edits? “
  • Online Branding: Creating an online presence for your business shouldn’t be starting from scratch. Your online branding should be the same as your offline store, office or yourself-if your a service professional. Any graphics you use offline can be translated online into your website design. This could include a logo, the same color scheme and any special fonts you may use on printed marketing materials. Consistency is the key to building credibility with your online shoppers.

Take the first step closer to 85% of your local shoppers NOW!

infolocal

Categories: Thoughts

I don’t normally post on Saturdays but I wanted to share a personal breakthrough, an Ah Ha moment. Through our micro lender, Accion, I was offered the opportunity to be interviewed by one of the companies that funded our loan. Yesterday was the video shoot, and it was Awesome! There, I said it.

Growing up, I was raised to be modest and taught that any self-congratulations or too much thinking about something I’d done was boastful, prideful and wrong. So becoming a successful entrepreneur by age 25 has been an internal battle, that if certain moments were caught on video, you might think I was weird.

I’ve fluctuated from grinning to myself and being happy when no one is around, to outright denying accomplishing anything of worth and having nothing but a dry “Thank You” for compliments received.

But yesterday was different. I couldn’t hold back my smile, my passion and most importantly, my pride. As I recalled my story to the camera, I couldn’t ignore the words as they flowed out of me. Me, not anyone else. My experiences. My insights. My achievements.

If you can relate to having the mindset of false meekness, that speaking proudly of yourself or business is wrong, I want to encourage you today to break away from that. Denying your accomplishments only keeps you questioning your worth and doubting your abilities.

When you own and embrace your victories, strengths and talents they come to life even greater than before. Like a wilting sprout finally being given the nourishment of light and rain, you will flourish with multiplying results.

I hope that my sharing this has inspired you and maybe this isn’t for you, but someone you know. If so, I hope you’ll pass it on.

To your successes,
Erica

Categories: Thoughts

I‘m often asked how I juggle my business, home schooling, keeping house and still have so much energy. Here’s my 2 part answer:
The first is prayer and trusting in God’s strength.

The second is time management, but I prefer to think of it as time accountability.

I began with listing every hour in the day and claiming each hour for a specific area in my life. I made these designations based on our personal priorities.

Now because every day is different(parents you get this), I created 2 alternating schedules with customizable “out” times. This covers days I have appointments out of the house/office on either mornings or afternoons.

To implement after creating your schedules, simply check your planner and tape up the appropriate schedule the night before where everyone can see it. We keep ours in the dining room.

Now when you are unsure of what’s next (or you’re like me, walking in and out of rooms forgetting what you’re doing) you can glance at your hour designation and get right back to task.

Note that this is a general allocated time schedule, not for details. You’ll only need to do this once, although I recommend a couple of drafts to get the right mix for you and your family.

Have a time management tip that works for you? Please share!