Tag Archives: Quora

How to Do Better Next Year! (pt.1)

Balloon (aircraft)

Balloon (aircraft) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A man is flying in a hot air balloon and realizes he is lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts: “Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?”

The man below says: “Yes, you’re in a hot air balloon, hovering 30 feet above this field.”

“You must be an engineer” says the balloonist.

“I am” replies the man. “How did you know?”

“Well,” says the balloonist, “everything you have told me is technically correct, but it’s no use to anyone.”

The man below says “you must be in management.”

“I am” replies the balloonist, “but how did you know?”

“Well,” says the man, “you don’t know where you are, or where you’re going, but you expect me to be able to help. You’re in the same position you were before we met, but now it’s my fault.” Read Quote of Jason Heinrichs’s answer to Jokes: What are some of the most profound jokes ever? on Quora

Does the joke resonate? If the two worked together, the end result might be more positive.

Marketing

I explain marketing to many small business owners and non-profit organizations in my presentations and conversations with clients.  What I have noticed is that a lack of time and understanding for marketing may stem in the denial of a necessary collaborative effort.

You can silo out non-customer oriented positions, but anyone that may “touch” a customer must work together to be the most effective and deliver the most positive ROI.

Can you just delegate every role?

  • Salespeople should understand the goals of marketing and follow the company mission.
  • Owners/Management must train sales to optimize customer satisfaction.
  • Marketing needs sales and management feedback to determine marketing effectiveness.
  • Sales should provide customer feedback to owner/management and marketing
  • Owners/Management should provide product and sales input to marketing to promote consistency in messaging both on the floor and in marketing.

In other words, silo-ing will always lead to failure of some kind.

How to improve your success rate?

As for any small business or organization, a perceived lack of time is a primary factor inhibiting productivity and growth. I have 3 suggestions for using modern technology to facilitate success. See my next post for the suggestions…

A Thanksgiving message: Thankful for my Clients and for Modern Technology

Update: I posted this in 2012, and the sentiment remains the same, EXCEPT that Whitfield Consulting is now SMB Smart Marketing! When I registered for an LLC, the name Whitfield Consulting was not available. I am grateful that this bump in the road caused me to rethink my brand and give it a fresh feel. I hope you enjoy the following Gratitude blog…

It has been an amazing journey of personal and business growth for me these last few years.

I remember in 3rd grade (many years ago!), reading a short story by Isaac Asimov set in the future. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the title. But I do remember a drawing of school age children sitting at the kitchen table in front of a computer monitor taking school lessons.

I remember so clearly looking at that picture, and hoping I live long enough for that scene to become a reality. You must realize that at that time, IBM’s computers filled entire rooms, there were no cell phones, no answering machines, no video games, color TV was just emerging, and central air conditioning was a modern convenience. The concept of the story seemed so, so far away.

And now, here I sit, at MY laptop, dual monitors, running a small business with clients from all over this great country from my home office! Arizona, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, North Carolina, Kansas, Arkansas, Illinois, Georgia, New York, ….

How did they find me here in Atlanta? Through that “magic” internet… on LinkedIn discussions, Facebook interactions, Twitter tweetchats, Quora discussions, Google+ hangouts, professional listings on various websites and affiliations, my email newsletter, and of course, personal and client referrals.

I had a colleague in disbelief when I told him I had never personally met some of my clients – that all our engagement was through the internet or phone contact. He couldn’t understand how anyone would hire me without meeting me in person!

I tried to explain they HAD personally met me – in a way!! I am more personally exposed on the internet than I ever have been to anyone in my lifetime. Details of my entire career and public interactions are all over the internet accessible by anyone at anytime.

So, back to my point: not only am I thankful for my clients, past, present, and future, but also for modern technology. Here I sit in my home office in Roswell, Georgia (Metro Altanta, GA) communicating with the world. Not only did I live long enough to see Isaac Asimov’s story, but I am living it.

It is such a pleasure getting to know so many entrepreneurs in so many different types of small businesses. They each have their own way of approaching business, but they all have such passion for their individual businesses and it rubs off on me – very inspiring. And for that I am grateful to you all.

I also have had the pleasure of acquiring new colleagues through social media. Professionals I have never met personally, but who check in on me and my progress as I check in on them. We share ideas, ask each other questions and offer moral support.

And of course, if it weren’t for my family and friends supporting me, I couldn’t have done it at all. I thank them and love them all.

So that is my message of thanks to everyone for this Thanksgiving day. I wish only the best for you and yours today. It is a great pleasure to be a part of your lives and your successes!

Sincerely,
Hania

Sure there’s risk in Social Media, but it’s more risky without it.

http://www.gapingvoidart.com/delusional-p-73.html

(For sale on gapingvoidart.com)

Wikipedia: An entrepreneur is an owner or manager of a business enterprise who makes money through risk and/or initiative.

A good friend (and entrepreneur) I had not seen in a while was asking about my consultancy. I was pleased to share that I am doing well. But what I found myself sharing more excitedly was the fact that I have clients all over the U.S.A.

He asked how could they hire me without meeting me? I told him, no, I have not met one of them – at least not in person – just Email, Skype and mobile contact – exclusively.

He was amazed that people would hire someone across the country they had never met. I proceeded to explain that it was the power of social media and the internet that made this possible. I told him that an online presence allows for someone online across the country to be just as credible and accessible as someone in your backyard.

Don’t know ya, but love ya!

He still didn’t understand how anyone could hire someone and work with them without person to person exchange – much less refer me without having met me!

I told him that people can trust who I am better because of my online presence.

I explained that when I became a social media consultant, I decided I was going to walk the talk. Therefore, I exclusively use my online presence to build my business. As a result, I am an open book – just Google me and you’ll see. Google loves content and social media participation provides content! My participation in social media allows any prospect to sample my work, get a sense of my work ethics, my personality, my portfolio, and more by checking me out online.

When you think about it, you can learn more about a person today (who has an online presence) than you can by that initial face-to-face we have relied on in the past to decide on doing business with someone.

I did build it and they did come, but remember – it’s all about participation and engagement.  So, how do you build a reputation, online business presence and prove credibility like others and I have?

  • Twitter – not just posting, but responding to others’ posts.
  • Facebook – not just updating on your wall, but cruising the Home Feed and liking, commenting, and sharing others’ updates, offering advice and help.
  • LinkedIn – completing your profile, becoming an Open Networker and making connections, joining groups, responding to others’ updates and group questions, contributing content and tips.
  • Pinterest – not just pinning, but re-pinning, commenting, exploring and liking others’ pins
  • Constant Contact – regularly sending newsletters that provide hints and tips that not only help clients, but also boost credibility (btw, would love for you to subscribe to mine)
  • Quora – respond to professional discussion questions and contribute content
  • WordPress- you’re looking at it.
  • and more… but these are where I live.

Each of the above tools are free to use. Yes, it’s a learning curve, but using these tools to feed content online has given me a web presence I would have normally only attributed to a larger business. (I haven’t even jumped into YouTube yet – but that’s next. I’m a late comer there…)

But, here is the kicker – I haven’t even fully utilized all the tools these vehicles provide yet!

Yes, it took time to build my current presence, but NOT by using automated follows, autoresponders, and ads. It’s my one-to-one contact that has created a quality following of those who are truly interested in my content. It’s quality, not quantity that provides better results.

And I take the time to attend online webinars and take online tutorials. I read books, articles, whitepapers all to gain better understanding of strategies. I subscribe to feeds and blogs of the experts and post my comments.

Yes, it helps tremendously that I have a communications and marketing background and have worked extensively helping other small business. But in my work with small businesses, I have yet to meet a small business entrepreneur that isn’t a jack of all trades. Most entrepreneurs have to learn to work within their own business in housekeeping, maintenance, accounting, advertising, and more because they are responsible for all facets of their business. Therefore, learning to market your business must also be a part. You must explore and experiment.

Get help starting up

It will save you a lot of time to hire someone to get started. I see a lot of businesses set up their accounts on Social Media, but too often, little else gets done – then it just sits there….  Overwhelm is not necessary with a little assistance from experts and then you can take off on your own if you desire.

Note: Now that I am growing, I will be seeking help to develop a more professional website and more… but the point is, when I was starting out, I didn’t have the means, yet that didn’t stop me. Time was my biggest investment, and if you make time, you get things done.

So what’s stopping you from using free tools!?

Got questions? Contact me.

 

Feeling bad over lost time in Social Media

I just feel damned bad.

There is just not enough time in the day for me to do all the cool things to enhance my relationships to the degree I want to with all my social media connections!

For example:

  • I follow a lot of blogs, but have I added their links to my blogroll? Nope.
  • I love a lot of my Tweeps, but have I created appropriate lists to really nurture those relationships? Nope.
  • I love my Facebook fans, but do I have time to get on the home page often enough to see more of what they post. Nope.
  • And LinkedIn – don’t get me started on all the groups I have joined and had little to no interaction with.
  • And now I’m on Pinterest – ARGH!
  • Not to mention Quora, and a host of other social media places I really do like to visit.

What’s the solution? I’ve tried Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, and now I’m exploring SEND. But none truly satisfy my need for better organization.

Like why can’t any of them provide a Home feed from my business page? What use is my wall to me, except when someone likes or comments. Great for my ego and yes, I like to acknowledge what they like and say, but the real meat is on the home page. I want better access to what fans, friends and followers are posting.

It’s about engagement, right? Give me more time! I have to make a living, too!

What are your solutions to nurturing social media relationships?