Online Business Networking in 30 Minutes a Day

Online networking for business growth is the thing to do these days. But it can be time consuming.  There it is best when you can condense this activity into a small period of time so you don’t get sucked into Facebook, Twitter or other distracting social media sites. Thirty minutes a day is really all you need to do a great job of boosting your network when you know how to do it.

Here are a few steps to help you cut down on networking time but still getting a lot done:

1. Work Your Connections

Keep a list of people with whom you want to build a connection then locate them on Twitter, on Facebook or on LinkedIn.  Focus your activities on being in touch with these people. Check for updates from these people on a daily basis. Comment on their Facebook updates and @reply or retweet their tweets. Build up a connection with them gradually, using social media connections.  In time, you’ll be able to reach out to them for introductions, to schedule a meeting or even to close a sale.

2. Post Specific Tweets and Facebook Updates

If you’re using Twitter or Facebook professionally, then post an update on either or both of these sites. Make your posts as relevant to your audience as possible. Use these sites to build your credibility.  Keep the posts short and too the point.  Make them informative and use links to get people back to your website or blog.

3. Make a New Friend

Try to reach out to someone new every day. When you reach out, your goal is to help by offering something of people need.  Look for ways to offer value to people you know or people you don’t know.  One great way to do that is through LinkedIn answers. Answer questions for people, then see if you can connect with them.  You can also hop on Twitter and look through the people who are on hashtags that you also follow. See if you can connect with them. Look through your pile of business cards and see if you can find some of the people you’ve met in person on social media sites.  In other words, be proactive about building your network.

4. Ping an Old Contact

Look through your old contacts and look for people that you haven’t touched base with in a while. Shoot them a quick message.  If you get in the habit of doing this regularly, you’ll have a much stronger base of contacts than most people. Instead of letting your contacts die off, you’ll keep them alive and well.

5. Move Online Connections Offline

After you’ve built up some goodwill with someone online, see if you can meet them for lunch sometime.  Online connections are one thing. It’s great to have a lot of online B2B connections. But in order for those connections to amount to anything, they really need to be converted into offline connections. Try to meet  with someone different as often as possible.  As the renowned networking expert Keith Ferazzi says: “Never eat alone.”

Doing strong online networking doesn’t have to take up your whole day. Follow these tips and in just 30 minutes a day you’ll strengthen your network, meet new people and lay a solid foundation for any kind of professional support you need.

Let Fiverr Help Your Business Grow

Have you wondered what the Fiverr site is all about?  Well, it is one of the very first and largest microservice sites on the internet.  It is a site where people with skills offer services for only $5.   The idea is simple, but the results are huge.  You can literally find any type of services you might need for your business and contract with someone to provide that service for you.  It can be very helpful for basic services you need without having to put out a lot of money up front.

I’ve used Fiverr to purchase a cover graphic for a Kindle book and to get some articles written in a pinch.  As with any type of service site you have to carefully select a service provider even if you are only spending $5.  The reason you connect with someone at Fiverr or any other type of service site is because you have a business need.  So you expect to get good services.  Some of the providers will be excellent while others  will not.

Spend some time at the site getting to know the type of work any person can provide.  Look at their portfolios and see how many times they have been used by other business people.  You can also correspond with the person asking questions about their experience.  At least Fiverr is only $5 and if you find someone who does a great job it’s possible to be able to to work with them again.

Here are some of the different kinds of services you can contract on Fiverr.

Attention Getting Publicity Stunts

People on Fiverr can offer to do really unique things to help you get publicity for your business.  For instance, you can get someone to temporarily tattoo their arm with your brand’s logo and take a photo of it.  Someone could offer to walk around carrying a sign advertising your business.  Other will create original lyrics about your business and sing them for you on a YouTube video.

Proofreading and Publishing

You can have your document proofread for $5. You can have a book cover designed for $5. You can have a book converted into Kindle format for $5. You can have an electronic book cover rendered for $5.  A lot of the more menial tasks in the writing and publishing process for both web and print content can be outsourced to Fiverr.

Website Building Tasks

Find someone to help solve a WordPress configuration error.  Get another person to build .edu and .gov backlinks to your website.  Need help moving your website from one host to another? You can pay $5 for it instead of several hundred by going to a system admin.

Random Things

There are all kinds of random services you can find on Fiverr.  You can find people who’ll sign up for Dropbox using your referral link, so you can get extra storage space.  Someone will provide coaching to help you get through a tough problem with your business or another problem.  You can find even find someone to write articles and create blog posts on your niche topic.

Video and Audio Services

Need someone to read your video script out loud in an exciting voice? Fiverr is a fantastic resource.   Want to add a cool animated intro to your videos? Someone will gladly create it for you for $5.  The list of things you can find on Fiverr goes on and on and on and on.

Get in the habit of checking Fiverr whenever you find yourself wishing you could hand off a task. If you ever find yourself taking a long time on a task that’s outside your expertise, try checking Fiverr to see if someone would do it for $5. If it’s work that can be delegated online, chances are someone will.

Increase Your B2B Social Networking Effectiveness

Do you work with other business owners in your business?  If so you are engaging in Business 2 Business operations often noted as B2B.  As a B2B business, it is important to understand how to properly network in this arena.  Business to business networking is a skill. Unlike traditional social networking, which anyone can pick up in moments, learning to be a great B2B social networker takes a bit of practice.  Take time to learn how to be a better B2B networker and make more effective connections with businesses using the power of the internet.

1: Get Personal: Don’t Just Broadcast

Good networking techniques means getting personal with some of your activities.  If you are only focused on broadcast styles of communication, chances are you’re going to miss out on a lot of valuable connections.  Instead use social networking to develop a relationship with other businesses.

Don’t just post updates on your wall or send out tweets en masse. Make one on one connections, @reply to people individually or send people personal messages on LinkedIn.  In other words, build a real connection.

2: Know Your Metrics

There’s a common misconception that social networking results can’t be quantified. This simply isn’t true. Most people just make the mistake of not picking metrics early on, which makes it very tough later to measure the success of a social networking campaign.

Choose a metric to measure your success.  It might be the number of in-person meetings you can get, number of retweets, number of Facebook likes, or something else.  Pick one that makes sense for your business.

3: Find Real Life Networking Opportunities

Don’t limit your B2B networking activities to just the internet. You can use online B2B networking to increase your in-person networking opportunities,  to connect with people and find events. Once you find out what’s going on by using the internet, get out a meet people.   Attend in-person minglers, networking events and mixers. Ask people who you meet online out to coffee or lunch.

Real life connections are infinitely more powerful than online connections. Use your online connections to get more face to face opportunities.

4: Become a Specialist in One Network

Don’t try to be an online jack-of-all-trades. It’s much better to master one social network than to be mediocre at several. In other words, let’s say you are a partner at an investment fund. You’re always on the lookout for potential investment opportunities.  Instead of trying to create a Twitter feed, a Facebook page, a LinkedIn profile and a Google+ page, just pick one. For instance, LinkedIn.

Get really, really good at that network. Answer questions in the Q&A section and build a reputation. Get a ton of recommendations.  Become an authority.  Your one fantastic feed will draw more attention from people than several mediocre ones.

4: Look for Ways to Help People

Remember that B2B social networking is a long-term proposition. You’re not necessarily going to reap the benefits from your actions immediately. But it more than pays off in the long run.  The best way to cultivate your online business network is to help people.  Look for ways to connect people.  Share valuable content.  Answer questions in your field of expertise and help people whenever you can.

Build up goodwill and eventually it will come back to you in the form of referrals, clients, deals, job opportunities and more.

Take these few tips to improve your B2B Social Networking techniques to increase your marketing effectiveness.

Becoming a Marketing Consultant

Christian business women might want to use a marketing consultant at some point to assist with getting the word out about their business.  In fact, some business women will become a marketing consultant as a part of their specialty service area.  If that’s your choice, you have many ways to enter into the marketing industry.

Marketing consultants come in many shapes and sizes so it’s essential that you know what kind of consultant you plan to be. That understanding will shape the way you brand yourself, the way you look for clients, and the way you work with clients.

Here are five common types of marketing consultants.

1: Entrepreneurial and Small Business Advisor

Some of your clients will be small businesses that have a physical location such as small restaurants, spas, hair salons, grocery stores and other small businesses.  Your duties will include helping to identify new ways to bring in customers and helps clients plan and execute marketing campaigns.

Common marketing tactics you might suggest include coupon mailers, coupon packs, newspaper advertising, cable TV advertising and joint ventures with other local businesses.

2: Client Acquisition

If this is your niche, you will work with individuals or organizations that deal with higher end clients. For example, investment advisors, lawyers, doctors and real estate agents.  The goal is to bring in more clients. In this realm, however, the tactics are quite different. Common tactics might include web advertising, PPC marketing, buying leads, and magazine or newspaper advertising.

3: Pay Per Click or SEO Consultant

In this area you will focus on the online aspect of marketing to help clients maximize their Pay per click (PPC) or Search Engine Optimization (SEO) returns.  Actually, markeitng consultants in this area usually specialize in either PPC or SEO but not both as these are very specialized skill sets. Clients can range from mom and pop stores to Fortune 500 companies.

4: Branding Advisor

If you work with brand marketing you will specialize in helping companies figure out their brand and core message.  You would help shape both the visual message as well as the intangible message.  A part of your job would be to help figure out things like logos, banners, posters and multimedia and help make sure that everything the company puts out adheres to a coherent message.

5: Social Media Consultant

As a Social media consultant you can help companies in a number of different ways.  You might  specialize in helping companies set up social media in the first place.  You help design Facebook covers and Twitter backgrounds, help register pages, help get a feed going and so on. They help take a company from no social media presence to having one.

Another focus might be to actually help run the social media campaigns.  You would take over the reins and post tweets, post status updates, run contests and create infographics.

Still another  specialty could be in crisis management.  With this specialty you will monitor the social media feeds and jump in to take care of things should negative press start spreading among the social sphere.

These are just five areas that are common in the marketing consultant industry.  You could find your specialty here or in one of many other new and useful areas that would be helpful to others in business.  Each area targets very different customers and uses very different skill sets. Make sure you know which category you fall into before you jump into the industry and you will be able to expect great success in this needed area of work.

Five Common Time Management Leaks and Mistakes

                           “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:”                                                                Ecclesiastes 3:1

Christian women realize that time is not something that can be adjusted.  There are only 24 hours in each day, no matter how much you have to get done.  Being a good time manager is often not about learning how to manage your time well; instead it’s about making sure you don’t make time management mistakes that cause stress and inefficiency in your life. These are five of the most common time management mistakes that people make, along with how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Not Setting Time Limits on Tasks

Some tasks can go over time by quite a lot. For example, let’s say you’re formatting a book to the Kindle format. At first, you might think it’s a piece of cake. But looking into it further, you realize there are all kinds of intricacies to the formatting process.

If you don’t have a time limit, you could easily spend hours and hours on the task, which detracts from your ability to get other things done.

For tasks that could go over time, set a strict time limit. At the end of the time, schedule another time to work on the task, but don’t let it take over your work day.

Mistake #2: Ignoring Not Urgent but Important Tasks

It’s easy to focus your attention on things that are urgent. For example, if the company’s server goes down, that’s extremely urgent and calls for everyone’s attention.

But people tend to ignore things that are important, but not urgent. For example, planning your ten-year goals. Or researching your next marketing tactic. Or networking with potential mentors. These tasks are important, but have no deadline.

Make sure to schedule some time for these tasks.

Mistake #3: Blaming Yourself When It’s Your Schedule

If you always feel like you’re not getting enough done, or if you’re regularly late on tasks, there’s a good chance it’s not your fault. It’s not you lacking in competence, nor your commitment. Instead, you may just have an unrealistically packed schedule.

Learn to say no to requests. Don’t stuff more into your schedule than you can realistically achieve.

Mistake #4: Thinking Busy Means Efficient

There’s a big difference between doing a lot of things and getting a lot done. People often force themselves to constantly be busy, even if they aren’t achieving a whole lot with all the commotion.

Focus instead on high leverage activities. Learn to delegate. Get as much done as possible by looking at your actual end results, not on how much time you spend working on a problem.

Mistake #5: Too Much Time in Meetings

Do you ever feel like you spend far too much time in meetings where not much gets accomplished? Chances are, you’re right.

In any given meeting, try to get clear on the purpose of the meeting. When the meeting starts, go straight for that purpose. Avoid chatting about topics that aren’t relevant. Everyone should leave the meeting with a clear sense of what they’re responsible for.

If timely meetings become a regular issue, set a time limit for your meetings.

If you avoid these five time management mistakes, you’ll likely be more efficient than the majority of your co-workers.