What Makes a Good Business/Social Networker?

For most business owners and top executives business networking is just part of the job. Some network more than others and even a few try to avoid it due to being uncomfortable with direct contact with people, but overall all businesses need to have someone out in the business network.

So, what makes a good business networker?

Really, anyone can be part of the network.  All it takes is stepping out of the office to attend a gathering of people.  What makes business networking strange for some is the type of gathering they attend.  Naturally, attending an event organized for business networking makes it easier.  However, connecting to the business community’s network can be done at just about any type of gathering.  Networking in a non-business arena takes someone who is good at business networking.

Someone deemed good at business networking is usually a person who shares more than a cocktail with someone.  They share their experience in situations and, of course, share contacts they may know who would be of interest to what someone else has expressed they are out to find.  A good business networker sometimes takes on the role of curator of who is in the room or in the business community who would benefit in meeting someone needing their help.  Some people would call a good business networker a matchmaker, but only in the sense of matching a consumer’s need with a supplier’s want.  Sometime matching interest or needs are impossible to do especially if the network is avoid of anyone to match someone’s interest with.

Social Butterflies Migration

What is not part of being a good business networker has to do with being more of a social butterfly than a networker.  The person who attends business networking events to be seen more than providing the community anything is sometimes seen by many as a good business networker when in fact they really have little to offer anyone.  This type of overly social personally is great and does attract interest, but really hinders the business networking event if a room full of them.  This is not to say social networking has no place in business networking. Oh contraire, social networking skills play a huge part in how business networking is done today.  What is taking place is the social only individuals have different motives…like finding a date, or people to hang out with… which eventually conflict with those who came to the event looking for business connections or opportunities.

As a result the events turn both groups of networkers off since they are not accomplishing their goals.  This friction sends many of these networkers to their online social networks to express their dissatisfaction with the gathering.  Usually this leads to the group who organized the gathering to get a huge black eye for which leads to the gathering to be seen by many as a place not to be.

Pontificate

What also is not part of being a good networker deals with the opposite of the social butterfly…the business only people…the business owner who makes it their business to make every conversation at any function, social or business, about them and only THEM.  This type of business networker usually is the person who starts out their conversation with ‘Do you know anyone in your contacts I could talk to that…”.  This seemingly harmless question is really the sucker punch leading up to the conversation going one of two directions for which either one of them will result in usually a very, very short interaction.  This person’s needs are very focused and they are only interested in working the room of the gathering to find who they can hammer for business.  Usually…not always…these outspoken individuals get upset if they do not find what they are looking for immediately…or if they do find what they look for will not stay around long enough to reciprocate.

These types of ‘business only’ networkers are sometimes wrongfully seemed as good business networkers because of their high level of boasting and pontificating.  If anything, these tyrants of the business networking arena are the most worthless of the business networkers.  They are a receiver only and purposefully claim their high level of authority in their field as the reason they need information they are after.  Their social skills are usually based on their vocabulary and method of wordsmith with little sense of humor.  These individuals also will bring along an entourage of supporters wherever they go. Very seldom does this type of business networkers crack or divulge any helpful information of anything outside them.

Changes Have Been Made

What makes a good business networker in today’s business community is someone who is more social than business.  People are more interested in learning more about who they are talking to before knowing what they do professionally.  This movement away from formalities and structure is an about-face from how business networking was conducted. Building Trust first is now part of what is more important to business people.  Having a more social professionalism generates a more trustful disposition which will bring the socializing to the next level of true business networking.  Business people today are more open when they can trust someone and will in a short time become more reciprocating.

Gone are the days of the 30 second elevator speeches (thank goodness).  Today’s social networking bring in the New Way of business networking through humorous social banter as a way of finding out if the people around them are really people or robots out to only serve themselves.

So, if you are looking to find a good business networker, look for the person who uses social networking skills to business network.  At the very least you will have a heck of a better time with them than standing in front of someone who just advised you that you are a waste of time.  Happy business networking and let me know how I can help.

 

How to Convert Your Facebook Fans Into Paying Customers

Building Your Business Though Facebook:

I’ve seen many businesses that are new to Facebook make the mistake of trying to close the sale way too early or pitching their product or services aggressively to their fans on Facebook. These Pages often look like a screaming billboard full of advertisement, and I tend to just run away at first sight of these Pages. The wall posts tend to scream “buy me, buy me”, and to tell you the truth, that just scares me away and go elsewhere.

Facebook is about engagement with your audience, and providing them with value up front. Trust and credibility must be established with your prospect first before trying to close the sale with them.

During your Facebook campaign, make sure you pay close attention to your audience. Focus on posting value content, answer your audience’s questions, ask those questions, get involved, and find out everything you can in a meaningful way. Engage with them, listen to them, and learn about their needs and current pains. You can start to show them how your business can solve their problems or ease their pain.

Once you have developed a relationship with your Facebook fans and have established trust and credibility with them, then it’s time to move your fans forward through your sales funnel and convert them into paying customers. Here are 4 tips on how you can convert your Facebook Fans into paying customers.

1) Offer special promo codes to receive discount offers

Before putting an offer out on the table, make sure you prove how your product or service provides value to your audience. Communicate this value proposition on your wall post about your offer, and then direct them to a sales page for that product. Tell your audience to enter a Promo Code upon check out. Not only will your audience receive the special offer, but you can also track how many leads you are getting from Facebook, and you can measure the results of your Facebook campaign.

2) Invite your customers to a webinar

Host a webinar where you address a specific problem or pain of your target market, and offer solutions to them. Once you have delivered valuable content through your webinar, it’s time to make an offer for your product or service. Make sure your call to action is crystal clear, and is easy for them to make a purchase. Perhaps you can offer a discounted rate if they buy your product or service before a specified deadline.

3) Limited time offers

Having a limited time offer creates a sense of urgency among your audience. For example, you can promote a special discount offer of 25% if you purchase this item by the end of Friday this week. If you have consistently shown how your product or service provides value by solving your audience’s problems, they may feel more inclined to buy when there’s a special offer out on the table, and they can only get the offer during a limited time frame.

4) Capture their e-mail addresses

If you already have an email marketing funnel in place, you can add an opt-in form on your Page and start collecting their e-mail addresses. The best place to put this opt-in form is on your custom landing tab. If your Page does not have a landing tab that first time viewers can see when they first view your Page, I suggest creating one. Your custom landing tab should have a call to action where it tells the viewers to click like, and enter their e-mail address to receive a special offer. Once you get them into your e-mail marketing funnel, and then let that funnel work on providing value to that fan and convert them into a paying customer at the proper time.

What other techniques have you used to convert your audience into customers? What other suggestions do you have? Please leave your comment below to help out our readers.

 

What is a Blog and How Do I Use It to Grow My Business

Great question, I thought you would never ask! Just kidding. All joking aside, a number of you don’t really know or understand the difference between a website and a blog.

The answer is in how you use it, in my opinion.

A website is full of all kinds of relevant information about your product and service, and those products or services can help your customers and potential customers. It can be a marketing site, informational, educational, or ecommerce website where you’re selling products. However, in most cases it tends to be a one-way communication tool.

You get to talk to them, but they really don’t get to talk back to you.

Blogs are really a two-way communication tool between you and those interested in products or services and what you have to say about them.

Social Media

Blogs are tending to fall in the social media sphere because they are hybrids. Not quite a website, but not quite a full blown social media site either.

When you write a blog article, you can post it directly to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. People can leave comments and feedback on your blog or social media pages. Because of this, your blog opens up to the web in ways that your website may not.

Your blog should be a part of your website. What I mean is don’t use a third party blogging platform like blogger.com, wordpress.com, etc. Not that those are bad, but they may not really help you build search engine traffic for your website. That’s a whole different conversation right there.

To make your blog a part of your website, install WordPress from www.wordpress.org onto your server and have the domain be www.healthylifewi.com/blog. That way, you get credit for the blog instead of Google or WordPress, who doesn’t need it. You do! And, for business purposes it makes you more credible and respected if you’re attempting to monetize your blog and website.

How To’s

Blogs are tools that you get to write about your passions and interests, noteworthy news and information, and especially “How To’s”.

The key to a great blog is how does what you are writing help your readers?

“How To’s” do that.

For example, if you sell some kind of furniture, then write a how to brace a book shelf and caulk it into a wall so that it blends in and becomes part of the wall. I hope you get the point? There may not be a whole lot to say about a book shelf. But, there may be ways you can write about how to utilize a book and make it part of the decor that is practical, interesting, and relevant.

That’s giving value!

Value

Value is part of the blog game. The more value, i.e. practical ideas, suggestions, and how to’s, you can give away the larger your reader base will grow and the greater the opportunity you have to earn new and repeat business. And, use pictures and video as much as possible to help illustrate your points.

I admit value is an overused term. But it is a good term. With a fragile economy, you have to give people a reason to both trust you, and buy from you. Value is that reason. If you can give me a practical idea or tip that benefits me, why wouldn’t I buy from you?

Conclusion

So, there is the difference between a website and blog. Websites can be interactive, but they are still generally a one-way communication tool. Where blogs are a two-way communication tool whereby your readers can write comments back to you.

Of course, there are great similarities. They ought to share the same domain, and they may be in the same website theme and look similar. But their uses are very different.

Thanks for reading this blog entry!

If you would like more clarification, or if you have other ideas about blogging and how to use one, please leave us a comment.