Man reaching out to shake hands

Many people, especially when nervous and amongst strangers, tend to over promote themselves. For example, a CEO started training as an amateur cyclist; he joined a weekend competition where he met a fellow rider and introduced himself as a CEO on a bike ride.

False humility doesn’t fool anyone. It’s not unusual — people often want reassurance in uncertain situations. But, if your introductions are self-focused, you probably will find yourself in a one-sided conversation. And really, that’s counter productive when trying to meet new people, both in personal and business contexts.

How do you introduce yourself? By your second sentence, do you feel like you’ve walked into a job interview?

Instead, keep these tips in mind to keep your introductions focused on learning about the other person – and, if it goes well, on an emerging conversation:

Less is More: This is a kinder version of the more popular “Keep It Simple, Stupid;” don’t say anything unnecessarily forced, keep it natural.

Context is Key: If you must expound on your personal background, keep details relevant to the situation at hand.

Understate: In the real world, your job title is nearly meaningless to strangers, also in some business situations.

And what do you do? Make the exchange about the other person; ask questions, and above all, listen!

Source: Best Way to Introduce Yourself

{ 0 comments }

With so many marketing strategies out there, it’s hard to know which will actually work.
Here are five proven techniques:

  • Personal notes and birthday cards: People are bombarded by impersonal advertisements
    all the time. A birthday card or note establishes more of a connection.
  • Face-to-face meetings: In person you can pick up on body language and cues and adjust
    your sales pitch accordingly, unlike emails or phone calls.
  • Volunteer work: Use your talents to help a cause. This demonstrates your abilities to
    potential clients. Be sure to follow through on your promises.
  • Quality advertising materials: Put money into a good website, brochures, and business
    cards. People will associate the quality of your marketing materials with the quality of
    your company.
  • Plans for everything: Don’t start strategies without goals and a plan for where to go with
    them. Measure the success of your techniques so that you only put time into ones that
    work.

Source: Biz Journals

{ 0 comments }

Expect to start noticing more ads on your Facebook news feed that seem to be specifically designed just for you.

Facebook recently launched its new “Custom Audience” ads. The basic concept is that businesses can provide email addresses and customer information so that Facebook can target them with ads that more specifically match their demographics or previous purchases.

For example, if you’ve purchased an SUV over 5 years ago, that car company can provide Facebook with this information so that you receive ads for purchasing a new SUV. Amazon can take your recent purchase history and use this to target you with ads for products that match your interests, rather than general ads for Amazon. In theory, this produces more returns for both advertisers and Facebook.

Source: TechCrunch

{ 2 comments }

Two of the once-booming publishers of local telephone directories, Dex One Corp. and SuperMedia Inc., recently announced plans to merge, less than three years after each emerged from bankruptcy. This leaves just two big players, since the whole industry saw steep ad revenue drops the last decade while pressured by competition from newspaper, radio, and Internet-based advertisers.

Print advertising sales for the industry declined 40% since 2005, and digital sales of this newly merged company comprise only 25% of revenues. [Continue reading…]

{ 0 comments }

People Conversing

Being part of the online conversation.

Are you serious about raising the online visibility of your business? If so, a small business marketing blog is a key component to your success. It requires, however, commitment and consistency, but it reaps amazingly strong relationships with prospects, customers, media outlets and influential industry or community observers.

If you need more convincing, read these top 7 reasons why small and local businesses use blogging to dominate the competition. [Continue reading…]

{ 1 comment }

Consumers are increasingly relying on online customer reviews to learn more about local businesses. Whether at home, work or on the move, people are using reviews to make decisions about offline purchases. In early 2012, 72% of online local consumers in a survey stated that they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, up from 69% a year earlier.

Only 15% of people responded that they never used online reviews, according to the Internet survey, with 85% using them.

Customer Review Trends

This trend shows that as consumers become more familiar with online reviews, they are placing more trust in and are valuing the opinions of others, unknown to them. [Continue reading…]

{ 0 comments }

Are you paying for a local business directory listing to attract customers on the Internet. Does it also include a nifty phone number with online tracking and reporting? If so, it might not be as beneficial to your business, as it appears.

Most business owners know that Internet search companies have pulled a huge share of lead generation services away from companies that sell printed telephone directories and ads. To survive, these older, offline corporations had to shift their services to the Internet and, of course, still need local businesses as customers.

Like most advertising companies, they justify and sell their services by encouraging online tracking and reporting of the phone calls and clicks delivered to a business website. You may have received a solicitation by mail or phone or email, and signed up for a paid listing. [Continue reading…]

{ 0 comments }

How well does your local business leverage what customers are saying about it? If it was fairly easy and inexpensive, would you take the time to uncover and leverage these gems?

While you may already encourage word-of-mouth referrals and testimonials, what if your customer’s experience was only a click away, or easy enough to make so?

What I am referring to are the millions of customer reviews for local businesses already on the Internet, and how they can impact your business results. Let us take a look at recent survey results showing how prospective customers regard the experiences customers write about local businesses.

While most U.S. small businesses still depend on word-of-mouth referrals as a way for new shoppers to find them, whether or not you like it, the Internet is close behind, according to a survey by American Express OPEN.

[Continue reading…]

{ 2 comments }

One of the worst strategic mistakes any large or small business can make is focusing on the wrong target. Most CEOs and business owners know they should focus on serving their customers, but that does not mean it always happens, despite being a most effective marketing strategy.

How to Respond to Competition
When a successful new competitor seemingly arises out of nowhere, the trounced executives naturally feel their confidence wane, causing fear or panic at some level to take hold. What happens next is important because this is where the mistakes begin.

  • Do its executives start dissecting the competitor, its successes, strategies and tactics?
  • Does the company establish new strategies, goals and actions focused on matching or exceeding their competitor’s gains?
  • Or, does the company renew its focus on serving its customers? (Best!)

Yahoo is a tired example of a business that lost their vision and focus, and now they are struggling to sell or revamp businesses that Google vanquished. The Board of Directors at Yahoo has also failed, and is now disassembling.

[Continue reading…]

{ 0 comments }

Many marketers dream about creating buzz during a launch of their new product, service or business. Businesses that experience strong buzz often receive outsized results, amplifying their budget and revenues.

The hope is that a creative message matched with complementary media can propel an exciting, fresh, fun or celebrity-associated promotion into a winner. If successful, it might rapidly spread through word-of-mouth or, when using digital media, instantaneously ripple into social chatter on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. Who wouldn’t desire such effective marketing?

[Continue reading…]

{ 0 comments }