Turn Conference Introductions into Ongoing Connections

Communication
After your next conference or networking event, social media tools can help you follow up with the people you really want to make a part of your professional network. Harvard Business Review recommends you try these strategies: Install a business-card-processing app on your smartphone that can scan cards with a camera and convert them to contact information. If you meet someone and hit it off, connect right away. Send your pal a tweet from your smartphone right then and there. At the end of each trip, make a “keeper” pile of business cards for people you want to stay in touch with, then use your business card app to capture them. Use your business card app’s social networking function to send each person a LinkedIn connection invitation. Send your “keepers” a personal e-mail…
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Do People Know What You Do?

Communication
There is an amusing group of cartoons going around social media in which an occupation is named ad illustrations show "What I think I do," "What my mother thinks I do," "What my friends think I do," and "What I really do." While the images are very funny, they do illustrate a serious question. Do people know what you really do? This has become even more difficult as people have titles such as "consultant" that doesn't say anything about what you do and is more and more being used by network marketers looking to hide what they do. In networking meetings you hear 30-second introductions that say "I help you get more customers." That's wonderful but it doesn't tell me what you do. People won't hire you if they don't…
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Get More From Your Business Card

Communication, Improvement
Despite the proliferation of digital tools, the business card is not going away any time soon. Your card, and how you use it, can have a big effect on how you are perceived and whether or not you get a sale. Follow these tips to maximize your impact: Always Keep Some On You: You never know when a networking opportunity may spring up. A casual trip to the bank or running some errands could lead to a chance encounter with someone whose business might benefit you or your business. When such chance encounters happen, having a business card on hand makes information exchange seamless, as opposed to worrying about finding something to write your information down on. Exhibit Proper Etiquette: There is in fact a right way and a wrong way to…
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Turbo-Charge Your Presentation

Communication
Whether you have to present to a corporate meeting, a networking group, or a workshop most people at some point will need to make a presentation. It can be nerve-racking but it doesn't have to be. Follow these tips to get better results from your presentation. Prepare: You will not be able to pull off a dynamic presentation by the seat of your pants. The foundation of any presentation is the amount of preparation the speaker puts in behind the scenes. Develop a topic, flesh it out into concise, relevant and specific bullet points that  back to the central theme and develop a narrative arc to follow. Then perform a handful of dry runs -- in front of the mirror, a friend or colleague, your partner, your family, etc. Open…
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Monitor Your Social Media Presence In Less Than 10 Minutes A Day

Communication
Monitoring your social media presence is incredibly important - but many business owners and marketers are concerned it will take too much time. In fact you can keep up with with what people are saying in less than 10 minutes a day. Here are some simple steps to take to keep up while you enjoy a cup of coffee. Check Twitter for chatter about your company ( 2 minutes ): Use tools like TweetDeck or Twitter Search to monitor conversations about your company in real-time. Use Google Alerts ( 1.5 minutes ): Check Google Alerts for your company name, products, executives, industry or brand terms. To set this up, enter your search terms in a Google Alert and select to receive updates as they happen or once daily. Now, when people blog about your products, an alert will be sent to your inbox. Use…
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Boost Your Presentation with Great Visuals

Communication
Most people respond better to visuals than the spoken word alone. But, not all visuals enhance a presentation: Inaccessible graphs or nonsensical clip art will detract from your message. To create visual aids that give your presentation impact, engage your audience, and make your points stick, Harvard Business school recommends these rules: Keep them simple. If your audience can't understand the visual within 30 seconds, remove it. Don't get too artistic. Only use graphics and icons to reinforce key concepts. Don't try to pretty up the presentation with irrelevant pictures. Edit heavily. Each slide or handout sheet should only convey one concept. Include no more than six lines of text, or else it's no longer a visual.
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Beware Of Network Marketers Selling Retirement

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Evaluate, Process
Network marketing gets a bad rap. Originally referred to as multi-level marketing, the industry had such a bad reputation that they changed the way they refer to themselves so as to escape the negativity. The bad reputation came from the behavior of some people selling. Whether you call the industry MLM or network marketing, those bad eggs are still out there. One of the quickest way to recognize these bad eggs is they are trying to sell you on your retirement. Good network marketers are trying to sell you on their products or services, because like any good salesperson they believe in what they are selling. Bad network marketers are trying to sell you on selling their product. They don't care about the product, they care about getting you to…
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Are Social Media Gurus Talking To Themselves?

Communication
There are many ebooks, articles, etc. talking about how you can use Twitter as a marketing channel. The number grows further when you include periscope and other video channels that rely on Twitter. Before you jump in, you need to take a look and see if your target market is on Twitter. Based on the latest quarterly results that Twitter reported, the answer is only yes if you're targeting social media gurus. Despite the number of people swearing by Twitter, the service is not growing and not attracting a general audience. Twitter has a huge following among the media, tech people and social media gurus. If this is who you are trying to reach, jump right in,. The water is fine. If that's not your target market, chances are you…
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What Sets You Apart Is You

Attitude and Mindset, Communication
There are very few, if any, businesses that operate in a unique space. There is someone offering a similar product or service as you. In many cases, there are other companies offering the exact same product as you are. What sets you apart from your competition isn't your product or service. It is you. The one thing your competition can never have is you. (If you join them, they are no longer the competition.) The culture of a company can create a type. Even years after they leave the company, you can usually tell if someone worked at IBM. For small businesses, you are that culture. You need to reach out to potential customers not just as a representative of the company but as a person. In the eyes of…
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Marketing Is Not Sales

Communication
Despite the fact that every business depends on marketing, most still don't understand that marketing is not sales. Sales is a part of marketing. Sales is the ultimate goal of marketing. Marketing is not simply about sales. Businesses have multiple constituencies that they have to interact with. Stakeholders include customers, employees, investors, suppliers and community. Sales deals with customers. Marketing deals with all constituencies. Marketing builds a brand for each group. It is about convincing employees that they want to work at your company, investors that your company is a good place for them to make money, suppliers that they want to be in business with you, and the community that they want you as a resident. None of that will directly convince someone to buy from you but it is…
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