How to Expand Your Social Network for Business Success

In the last twenty years the growth of online social media has been phenomenal. New social sites are popping up left and right. This social media explosion can be a powerful tool for the growth of your business. But trying to gain control of your social media skills for business development can be a daunting task.

Below are some ideas on how you can zero in on your social media marketing campaign and use it to expand your online network and intensify your business.

1. Establish Identity

– Starting with your username, establishing the appropriate identity is very important. Define who you are and be clear on your purpose. Do not try to be too cutesy or trendy. Trends come and go but your username will be forever. Using a good photo of yourself for your avatar is usually best. This will help brand you as a person to connect with your company.

2. Build Relationships

– Establishing and building relationships is the cornerstone for all businesses. Taking the time to cement a relationship with your followers will be much more effective than being a collector of friends. Let them get to know you so trust and respect can be formed. From this will come more conversions and sales.

3. Share and Share Alike

– Don’t expect everyone to share your posts and information without ever sharing back. You will need to reciprocate these actions. Let people know you appreciate the sharing of your posts, videos or information. Do not take advantage of others just to get the share.

4. Value and Quality

– Do not watch conversations and then jump in when you feel your sales pitch fits. Participate in the conversation, offer sound advice and quality information. Become a regular contributor who is always willing to offer value. Don’t just copy and paste. Provide original ideas, information and resources. Take the extra time to establish your expertise and willingness to offer assistance. This will carry over into your business when the people you have helped need your services and/or products.

5. Understand Your Customers

– Do your research and always be aware of your potential customers’ needs and wants. Periodically take surveys, stay on top of the marketing trends and information. There are tools that can help you compile consumer data which you can then analyze to see what is working and what is not. DataHero, NetVibes and Google Analytics are a few you can use for free to sharpen your analytical skills.

6. Analyze and Adjust

– As there are tools to help you compile and analyze consumer information, there are also tools to help you track and measure your marketing responses and effectiveness. Study your engagements, likes, shares, followers, etc. to see where you can improve. Klout, HowSociable and SimplyMeasured are just some of the tools you can utilize to sharpen your social skills.

7. Focus

– The number of social media sites is grown to staggering amounts. It is impossible to join them all and expect any usable results. You need to choose a few that you can excel at and spend the time and focus needed to make them work for you. My favorites are Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. I know if I attempted more, the effectiveness level would go way down. Focus your skills and concentrate them in a smaller area for more success.

8. Interactive Events

– Posting and providing helpful and valuable information is a great start but you also want engagement and interaction. Holding events, contests or other such promotions can be a great way to draw interest and get the interaction you need. Hold themed contests each month. Be creative with promotions or “parties”. Games and contests are always a big business booster. Use images and videos to bring your event to life. Make it fun and exciting to people will come back for more.

9. Consistency is Key

– When becoming a social pro you will need to be consistent. Stay active regularly and always respond to comments, whether positive or negative. “When you have time” unfortunately will not do the job. Social media is a full-time commitment so doing it “whenever” is a waste of time for you and your followers.

10. Separate and Distinguish

– One mistake people make is to plaster the same posts over all their social sites. This is a mistake. Separate your social accounts and give each one its own identity. Distinguish what is needed for each group of followers and satisfy that need.

It is hard to describe the impact that social media has had on all businesses, not just online. You may resist embracing this power because of the total feeling of being overwhelmed, but you cannot delay any longer. Get your feet wet, learn the ropes and hop on the social fast track. Getting involved in social media and expanding that network could mean a total about-face for your online business success.

About the Author:
Terri Seymour has almost 20 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Now is the time to get started with your own exciting resell ebook business. Visit now to get three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips. http://www.ebooks.seymourproducts.com

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10 Common Online Business Blunders

Online business blunders 2014

Because of the internet we all have the opportunity to make our own success and live the life of our dreams. But this does not mean that building a thriving internet business is easy or a way to “get rich quick”.

Starting and building an established online business takes commitment, persistence, hard work, and the drive to make it succeed. Unfortunately many people are led to believe it is as simple as putting up a website, placing a few ads and watching the money pour in.

That is exactly what I thought over 16 years ago when I first started online. I learned fast that building an online business would be much more than I ever imagined. While teaching myself how to make my business successful I made many mistakes. But I persisted and worked very hard. Then a very exciting thing happened. I started experiencing the benefits of success – both financially and personally. I find this work to be very rewarding in many ways and would recommend to anyone to stick with it and make it happen for yourself!

Mistakes are a very valuable part of building a business if you learn from them. Use your mistakes to your advantage. Below are some of the most common mistakes we can make when developing an online business.

1. Not Choosing Your Passion

– In order to build a successful business you have to do something you are passionate about. It is hard to work 16 hours a day on something in which you are not interested. What do you love? What can you see yourself doing that you would not consider a “job”? I have always been a lover of books and wanted to own my own bookstore. The internet allowed me the opportunity to make this dream come true!

2. Unrealistic Expectations

– As I mentioned earlier, so many people are misguided into believing that making money online is quick and easy. Please do not fall into this trap! Make sure you are ready and able to put the time and effort into your business. Be prepared to work months or even years before reaping the benefits of success. Expecting unrealistic success is one of the main reasons people give up too quickly.

3. Too Much Preparing, Not Enough Doing

– It is a good idea to plan for your business but at some point you actually have to start doing something to get your business going. I know one lady who spent years going to seminars, paying money for complete business packages, buying books, etc. In all this learning, listening and paying out money, she never did start a business. This is also an easy trap to fall into. Yes, you do need to do research and learn but don’t make that your business.

4. Too Much Flash

– A business website should be clean, sharp, easy to navigate and professional. Don’t buy into the idea that you need music, flashing lights, or excessive clutter on your site. If you do offer music or a video give people the choice to listen or watch. Don’t have it automatically play when a visitor arrives. Don’t put too many banners, ads or flashy graphics on your site either. This will only result in slow loading time and losing visitors.

5. Being Too Personal

– Although a small personal touch added to your business is a good thing, don’t fill your site with pictures of friends, family vacations, or your life in general. Don’t overdo on telling of family stories, get-togethers, etc. Business and personal life must maintain a degree of separation. Create a personal bond with your customers but don’t overload them with your own personal life.

6. No Online Support

– Don’t try to go it alone. Contact other online entrepreneurs. Join groups. Network and obtain support from business associates. When I first started I knew a lady online who encouraged me to start my own newsletter. I had many doubts but she convinced me I could do it and that was a big step towards my success. I will never forget her or the help she gave me when I needed it. You can find many more experienced online business owners who will gladly help beginners and other business owners.

7. Treating Your Business Like a Hobby

– I have seen this so many times. People mistakenly start an online business thinking they can work it when they have the time. They say their family comes first and will get to it when they can. This is definitely not true. Your business needs your full attention and you must give it the time it needs to flourish. Yes, my family came first as well which is exactly why I started online. You cannot treat your business as a, “I’ll get to it when I can” project.

8. Doing Too Much

– Another unfortunate trap I have seen many people get caught in is signing up for multiple business opportunities and thinking they can make them all work. I have seen people trying to run as many as five different businesses. Spreading yourself too thin will accomplish nothing. You should decide on one business at which you will work your hardest and focus your complete attention on making it a success.

9. Not Keeping Up to Date

– Running a business is an ongoing process. You need to always be learning, studying new marketing techniques, watching your competitors, etc. Don’t fall into the “if it works, don’t fix it” routine. Just because your methods are working now, doesn’t mean they always will. You have to keep on top of things!

10. Grammar and Spelling

– This is an oldie but a goodie! Over the years I have seen some grievous errors in spelling and grammar. Please be sure to proofread and correct any mistakes made. If necessary, have someone else proofread for you. Fresh eyes can catch mistakes you may have missed. I have made some of these mistakes as well so I regularly have someone proofread my work. If you are not sure of the spelling of a word or proper use of grammar, look it up. Your business and your reputation are certainly worth the extra effort!

I have made several of these errors and have definitely learned from them. Developing an online business can certainly be overwhelming and frustrating at times but if we commit to it, we can do it. Do not give up! Make your dream come true!

About the Author:
Terri Seymour has over 15 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Visit her site for free articles, resources, information, resell ebook business opportunity and more. Get three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips. http://www.SeymourProducts.com

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10 Tactics to Perfect Your Online Market Research

Market research is the process of gathering information about products and consumers which will help connect you with your customers in order to provide them with the products and services they want and need. Effective marketing research can help your business keep one step ahead of your competitors.

Market research enables you to learn from the consumer and find out exactly what you can do to meet their needs. Gathering and analyzing all this data is no easy task but the techniques below can help you gain more insight into the consumers’ needs.

Keyword Research – You can find out a lot of information about your market area just by going to a search engine and typing in relevant keywords. By doing a keyword search you can find out what exact phrases and words people are using to find sites in your market area. You can also find out how many times those phrases are used per month, what keywords your competitors are using, and how many websites there are for those particular keywords. You can use your research to refine your keywords and enable more people to find your site.

Study Competitors

– Always keep an eye on your competitors. Study their sites, their ordering process, their promotions, and marketing methods. Do a customer service experiment by contacting them through their form or email address and see how they handle your questions, comments, feedback, etc. Staying on top of your competitors will keep you from falling behind and losing customers.

Online Survey

– Surveys are one of the most common methods of market research. By doing online surveys you can find out what consumers are looking for, what they like and don’t like, what keeps them at a website and what makes them leave quickly, plus much more valuable information. Keep the survey fairly short so it takes just minutes to complete. Offer a free gift upon completion of the survey.

Discussion Groups

– Join groups that involve your area of interest. Take note of information discussed, opinions given and any other information you can take in from the participants of the group. Get involved and offer advice and assistance when you can.

Message Boards

– Message boards are similar to discussion groups. Post questions, ideas, thoughts and see how people respond to them. Learning to be a good researcher can mean a lot for your business.

Google Analytics

– Google analytics will enable you to learn exactly what people do when they come to your site. What pages do they visit? How long do they stay on each page? From what page do they exit and enter? What days get the most visits? What time of day is the most active? Gathering and analyzing all this data can help you make improvements to your site that could make the difference your business needs to propel forward.

Blogs

– Because blogs are usually updated more often and more interactive than regular sites, take the time to visit blogs to collect information based on the opinions and statements of the blog writers and also the people who leave comments. There are blog specific search engines such as Technorati to help you target in on the information you need.

Feedback Research

– Check with local and online business organizations such as Better Business Bureau to collect information they have on your business. Also, be sure to add a feedback form to your site. Pay close attention to feedback of all kinds and use that information to help your business. Do not dismiss complaints or negative comments. They can offer you tremendous help!

Social Media

– Social media sites open up endless possibilities for us to conduct market research. There are many ways you can gain insight into your market area. Track trends, take advantage of real-time opinions and comments, and use data to learn how to tweak and refine your marketing strategies. Most social media sites will offer tools and built-in features to allow you to perform your research almost immediately!

Free Tools

– The internet is well-supplied with free tools to help you accomplish your market research effectively. Google offers a free keyword research tool, free analytics, Google Trends and many more. Many free survey tools such as Survey Monkey are available to help you with your research. Whichever tactic you are using, do a search and you will probably find numerous free tools to help you get it done more quickly and efficiently.

The opportunities are available online but you will need to know what you are getting into. You will also need to know what you can do and need to do to capture and keep your customers so your business can be a success. Learning how to collect and analyze market research is an important key to accomplishing that goal!

About the Author:
Terri Seymour has over 15 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Visit her site for free articles, resources, information, resell ebook business opportunity and more. Get three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips. http://www.SeymourProducts.com

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10 Ways to Lose the Sale

Remember the old saying “Good Salesmen are Born”. Well, anyone can become a good salesperson if they can learn and master the basic sales skills. Sales techniques have dramatically changed over the years. Gone are the old school selling methods of talking incessantly and pushing a customer into a sale.

Selling now involves listening to a customer, making a connection and giving the customer what they need. Today’s skilled salespeople are self-confident, persuasive, attentive and able to build relationships of trust and respect with the customer.

There are many closing techniques that can be used to make the sale but watch out for the ten sales blunders listed below:

1. Talking Too Much – When trying to make a sale, you need to offer relevant information to the prospect. You also need to find out what it is they need. Asking questions and giving the customer plenty of time to answer is a good way to do this and avoid talking too much. Incessant chattering about the weather, your sales skills, sports or any other irrelevant topic will only leave the prospect confused and disillusioned. By talking too much about too little, you will most likely lose the sale and the customer.

2. Not Listening to the Customer – Many sales people will be so focused on making the sale, they fail to really listen to what the customers say and need. You must focus on the customer’s needs so you can find a solution for them. Ask them questions and listen intently to how they respond so you can identify and fulfill their needs.

3. Immediately Going for the Sale – Do not jump right into the sale. Take the time to connect and establish a relationship with the prospect. Let the customer know what your product can do for them and how it can solve their problem. Show them you are interested in more than just making the sale.

4. Not Being Prepared – Never meet with a customer unless you are prepared to do so. Do your research. Learn as much as you can about your prospect before meeting with them or talking to them. Know what they need and what you can do to make their life easier. You want to be able to offer them a solution right away. Being properly prepared can make a big impression on your prospect and lead to sales.

5. Not Being in Control – Leading the sales process is very important. You will need to keep the conversation under your control. One way to do this is by asking questions. But you need to ask the right questions. Get the information you need from the prospect so you know if your product or service will satisfy their needs. You can then explain to them how you are going to solve their problems. You want the customer to feel confident that you know what you are doing and what you are talking about. Being in control of the conversation will do just that.

6. Not Knowing Your Product – Not learning everything you possibly can about the products you sell is a definite mistake. When making a sale, you need to educate people on how your product will benefit them and if you don’t know, you will definitely lose the sale.

7. Not Asking Questions – By asking questions, not only will you learn vital information about your prospect, but you will begin to make a connection and start building that all-important relationship.

8. Not Following Up – Life would be much easier if we could all make the sale in one meeting or one phone call or one email but a lot of the time, it just doesn’t happen. If the sale does not happen right away, be sure to follow up with the prospect. Keep in touch so that when they are ready to buy, they buy from you.

9. Not Focusing – Always be attentive to your prospect and make them feel important. If you are fidgeting, looking around the room or appearing to be distracted, the customer will feel ignored and unimportant. This will surely lead to a lost sale. Always make direct eye contact, focus on the customer and every word that they say so you can deal with their needs.

10. Not Closing the Sale – Ask for the sale but do it in a non-aggressive manner. You do not want to come off as pushy or threatening in any way. Customers sometimes just need a small nudge in order to make a final decision. Don’t leave the customer just thinking about it. Ask for and get a commitment!

Sales can be tough so you need to learn the process of how to build relationships, how to talk to people correctly, use proper body language and be prepared. Be self-confident, persuasive and respectful and don’t make the above blunders. If you can learn these skills, you can be a good salesperson!

About the Author:
Don’t be one of the 95% of people who fail at their online business. Terri Seymour can help you make money online. Find out how to increase your traffic and sales with her popular “How to Build Your Online Business” ebook for FREE at: http://www.SeymourProducts.com

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10 Start Up Tips for Your New Business

Are you planning to put up your own business? Regardless of whether it is big or small, starting your business right is extremely important. Otherwise, you might end up in a disaster, or even worse, get your business closed down.

Here are 10 start-up tips for your new business:

  1. Think of a business that you really are interested in. Before anything else, think of a business that you really are into, something that you love or can relate to. This way, you will get to enjoy running it and making it succeed later on.
  2. Make a business plan. Once you have thought of the perfect business you can venture into, try to come up with a good and feasible business plan. This may sound like a lot of paper and research work but take note that one way to make your business succeed is to plan how to you can get it well organized.
  3. Research. After coming up with your business plan, try to do some research for your business. You can ask help from professionals and other people who have experienced running their own business. You can join professional organizations so you can establish linkages with other people in the business industry.
  4. Come up with a budget. You also need to come up with a budget for your business. Try to list down all the expenses you will have- from office supplies, rental, transportation fees and even the salary of your employees. Then come up with an estimated budget. Make sure that you have enough money to invest in your new business.
  5. Raise the money. You need to have enough money for your business right. If you have saved enough money, then go for it. Otherwise, you have to make a business loan. Make sure you have understood well the terms and conditions as well as the risks your taking. You can visit potential investors ahead so you can ask help from them.
  6. Begin your business while you still have a job. If possible, start your business while you still have a regular job. Since you’re just about to start your business, you can never tell when you will be able to gain profit. While you’re still working, you can earn a regular salary.
  7. Get a support system. Starting your business on your own is okay but it’s better if you have a support system to back you up. Your business partner or colleagues can help you start up your business because after all ‘many heads are better than one.
  8. Look for potential clients. You don’t have to wait for your business to open before finding customers. Beforehand, try to find potential clients. Advertise your business as early as possible and try to reach as many people as you can. You can start using social media as your marketing strategy.
  9. Establish your identity. As part of your marketing strategy try to establish your business identity as early as possible. Make it appear professional and customer-friendly. So that you can reach out to as many people, prepare your business cards with complete contact information.
  10. Learn the laws of the trade. Finally, you need to learn about your legal and tax responsibilities before you operate your business. Get the business permit and all the requirements for your business to be officially recognized. You wouldn’t want to run into trouble for ignoring these, right?

These are just some of the tips to help you start your new business. So good luck with your business venture!

This guest post is written by provided by www.MyJobApps.com.  MyJobApps is a great place to search for your next job.

 

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