13 May 2013
A prospective client said to me last week, “I will pay your fee for social media management services on commission. You do all my posting and I will pay you a percentage of every sale I make from your efforts, deal?” Well, that takes chutzpah, I thought to myself. I actually tossed around his unusual offer for about four days before I said “no.” First, he wined and dined me and my husband. And told me what a terrific team we would make. Every time he closed a home loan, I’d get a nice chunk of change. However, the only loans he would count are the ones that resulted directly from my efforts on social media. Current customers and repeat customers were off limits. Referrals from networking groups also were not in the mix.
I explained to him that social media marketing, when done correctly, is part of the overall marketing plan. Even referrals frequently check out the business profile of a service provider. Quite often, the professional presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Plus and other social media sites seals the deal. I did not see how he could differentiate which clients came from my work creating an engaging, educational, informative platform and who called him based on other avenues. Especially since he pulled all of his direct mail and email campaigns.
When I explained this to him, he insisted I was being short-sighted. I took to Facebook to ask my social media counterparts and business associates to get their opinions. One person out of about two dozen said they might do it. The rest were emphatic that this guy was crazy and I should walk away. I did end up walking away, rather surprised that someone in this day and age would truly think this was a good deal.
A couple of interesting facts to add. I see this man every week at one of my networking meetings. I met him nine months ago at a different meeting and his last words to me were, “Call me, we can make a ton of money together.” I did call and email several times with no response. The first time he talked to me (after the nine months of ignoring me) was two weeks ago. While we were in the negotiation phase, he gave me a stunning testimonial, before even hiring me. To this day, he has not responded to me.
What would you do? What are our thoughts of payment by commission only?
03 Mar 2013
So many social media platforms, so little time. This is what I hear frequently from my social media clients. And that is why I say thirty five minutes once or twice a day is enough to make an impact in the social universe. Deliver great content and be consistent.
I find myself gravitating more towards Google Plus these days and wrote about that in my blog Why Google + Deserves Some Love back in January. Two months have passed and my Community on Google Plus is growing. You can join my Community – Social Media Solutions and Strategy and be part of a group of folks who share lots of good stuff. We have themes most days because I like to mix up the content and attract people to interact and contribute.
This past week on The Social Networking NewsHour the topic of discussion was Google Plus and several excellent point were raised by my guest Tina Reed Johnson. Definitely worth repeating, although you can download the podcast by clicking here.
Google Plus is owned by Google, the number one search engine in the world, need I say more?
Connecting to and finding new friends is easier on Google Plus due to their powerful search engine.
The “circle” concept of grouping people in different categories is genius. What you would share with one circle, you don’t have to share with everyone so you can laser focus your messages.
Using Hangouts, a video conferencing option, is easy and fun and a terrific way to deliver your message live or just have a chat with a group of followers.
Creating a Community and being the moderator is fabulous. Your Community can be anything from attracting your niche market to a hobby you like. The purpose is drawing a targeted group of people together to share ideas.
Videos and pictures are larger and more inviting than on Facebook; more impactful.
On Google Plus you can edit your posts on your profile or your page; Facebook only allows editing on your personal page.
The search benefits far surpass Facebook and you can use hashtags to find people or pages in Google Plus.
These are just some of the cool benefits of using Google Plus. So, get yourself a Gmail account (you will need one to use G+) and get involved. Your business will thank you.
Are you on Google Plus? What has been your experience? Please share in the comments.
Laurie Hurley is a social media consultant and mentor who has a passion for helping newbie social media users and baby boomers find their voice and comfort level online. Check out her Social Networking Made Simple Membership group.
13 Jan 2013
Google + and I are finally going steady. Yes, we flirted for over a year, totally broke up once or twice and went through a phase not even speaking to each other. It got so bad that I even bad-mouthed Google + publicly. Then, one day about three weeks ago, all of that changed.
I’m not sure what it was. Hard for me to put my finger on, actually. I had been very happy with Facebook and the amount of engagement and activity in that relationship. I even spent some money and invested in a Facebook ad which brought me over 300 new targeted followers for a mere $36.00. The relationship was good, but growing stale. I was getting bored with the same old stuff. Ads running down the right-hand side of my page, lots of “likes” but no direct answers to some of my questions. Facebook was showing me its aloof side.
Meanwhile, a Google + community popped into my email. Sure, trying to lure me in with the work “community.” I fell for it. I joined the community and discovered people actually were leaving comments, not just “plus 1′ing each other.” I became intrigued.
I felt daring and strong and confident. So, I created my own Google + community to see if I should think about getting back together with G+. Lo and behold, my community is growing. People are joining and actually participating. To make it even more fun, I came up with Wisdom Wednesdays where the members can share a hot tip and Theatre Thursdays, where we all share our videos – business, no sales – and comment on at least two of them.
Our courtship is going well. Rumor has it Facebook is rolling out some other big changes this week. Since I am addicted to Facebook, I will hang in there with them, but I am cheating on the side. And it feels good. More fulfilling. Not to mention the traffic on my website has increased by more than 44% over the last twenty-one days, according to my Google analytics.
Are you and Google + tight? Or, do you have a love/hate relationship like I did? Please share.
Laurie Hurley is a social media consultant and has an active membership group, teaching basic social media to entrepreneurs. Laurie is also the hostess of The Social Networking NewsHour, which airs every Wednesday at 2pm on the Woo Hoo Radio Network.
23 Dec 2012
I walked into the room for my Mastermind session and thought I was in an Arts and Crafts class. Believe it or not, I am in my fifties and have never created a collage or, what is known in the business world as a Vision Board. Being artistic is not one of my strengths. I have trouble drawing a stick figure, but this was cut and paste, which I was fairly certain I could handle.
Our leader instructed us to flip through the large piles of magazines she had brought and find visuals that inspired us and reflect what we want to accomplish in 2013. I am a very visual person, so I thought this would be easy. And, throw in a ton of fashion magazines and gossip mags, and I was all over this!
As a began to browse the pages, I surprised myself at what jumped out at me. Words, sayings, headlines, quotes, and taglines. For me, it wasn’t so much the pictures – although I did cut out a giant scoop of chocolate ice cream and a picture of Claire Danes from Homeland. Not that I over-indulge in sweets or plan to join the CIA. When I look at those two pictures they remind me to have more fun, i.e. eat ice cream and relax more – watch Homeland, sometimes twice to analyze the plot.
Anyway, back to the vision board. Some of my favorite words from my board are:
- never settle
- please elaborate
- get more of what you love
- be in no one’s shadow
- laughing matters
When I was finished with my masterpiece, I took it home and hung it prominently in my office, somewhere that I can see it everyday. As a home-based business owner, it is important to remind myself what is important. What is the vision you forsee for yourself, as a professional, but also as a parent, friend, partner, caregiver? After one has created a small business, it is oh so easy to get caught up in work, work, work all the time. Striking a balance with some fun is important!
Gazing at my vision board reminds me to strap on my running shoes and hit the pavement even with a full in box. To laugh at myself more often, to let my needs be heard, to forge ahead after a client turns down my proposal, to not be tempted to be a follower, but to continue being the leader of my own destiny, embracing my goals even when I set the bar high.
I recommend every small business owner grab some scissors and glue sticks and document your vision for yourself and your business. You may be surprised at what speaks to you from the pages of a dog-eared magazine.
Have you ever created a vision board? Did a theme emerge? Was it dominated by pictures or words? Please share!
Remember the Yellow Pages? What’s it doing for you now? Filling the recycle bin, holding up the corner of a table, used as a booster seat for your grandchildren when they come to visit? It was but fifteen years ago that I would rush to the front door when the Yellow Pages were dropped off and quickly go to the Tutoring section and check out my ad. When I began my tutoring business in the 1990′s, everyone used print advertising. You were actually considered very advanced if you listed a website in your ad – and were charged more for the privilege.
People born between 1946 and 1964, all 76 million of us (yes, that includes me, born in 1956) are not quick to retire and many of us are reinventing ourselves with new businesses, hobbies that turn into money-making ventures, or pursuing a passive income via Direct Sales or some kind of life, fitness, or wellness coaching. And that means we must advertise our businesses which means having a social media presence. Which is terrifying, overwhelming, frustrating and anxiety-producing for several million people.
Some of my clients sound like children, “Do I have to?” and “Can you do it for me?” and my favorite, “I don’t want to learn something new!” Well, the bottom line is, you don’t have to do anything. After all, you are a grown up, but think about these statistics.
In the U.S, according to Radicati, a technology research firm, 294 billion emails are sent a day. And, new research from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, cites more than half (53%) of Americans age 65 or older now use the Internet or e-mail. And, what about Facebook? One billion users as of last week with an estimated 48% of all small to medium-sized businesses having a Facebook business page.
So, my fellow baby boomers, get your business a website and get yourself some basic social media training. Go narrow and deep – you don’t have to be everywhere – learn how to connect if you believe in relationship marketing. There are many places that will teach you for free, such as your local SCORE office. Or, if you are daring, sign up for an easy online class and practice your skills. Many adult education programs offer the basics of the internet and social media.
Lastly, get out there – in person! Don’t underestimate the power of in person networking. Social networking and offline networking compliment each other so beautifully. Make friends with people on Facebook that are like-minded for they may be your future customers and a terrific source of referral business.
Take your life experience and know-how and spend some time investing in yourself. Just because AARP is sending your membership card does not mean you are too old to be successful in the social universe.
Oh, and about the Yellow Pages. If you are a service business such as a plumber, mover, electrician, carpet cleaner, dry cleaner, restaurant… need I go on – don’t cancel. Just be sure you put your Facebook address and your website in your ad.
If you are one of the 76 million out there, and own a business, have you jumped on the social media bandwagon yet? With just your big toe, or both feet?
09 Feb 2012
Kerrin Shank is a different kind of entrepreneur. However, like many mompreneurs out there, she runs two businesses – that are very different. Her first and most passionate endeavor is her Rodan & Fields skincare business. Not wanting to enter the Corporate world, she has embarked on a career as an Independent Consultant for this company that successfully launched a $6 billion skincare industry with a product called Proactive. When Rodan & Fields decided to go into the direct sales business, Kerrin jumped on board and loves her position as a skin educator and trainer. Her business helps women with all different kinds of skin, and includes four different skin regimes:
Anti-Aging to erase the signs of aging with prescription-grade products. This is a #1 seller in Nordstrom when sold in retail.
Soothing for sensitive skin, redness, razor burn, eczyma, and other skin issues delicate skin encounters.
Reversing for sun damage and brown spots
Unblemish, basically for acne; amped up Proactive that includes treatment of cystic acne and acne scarring.
Kerrin is actively growing her business and is very interested in others who want to join her and learn how to be a Rodan & Fields expert; a great opportunity to supplement one’s income or work the business full-time. Get in touch with Kerrin!
You can visit her website at website - www.skincarebyrfd.com
Now, a whole different side to Kerrin – she and a business colleague set up a matchmaking service called The Courtship Consultants. Love the name!
A matchmaking service for serious commitment-minded individuals and a very personal touch business for people looking for a relationship….
This is NOT on-line dating. Kerrin and her partner meet with each client for a face-to-face consultation, get to know them, find out what they are looking for, and then ultimately find their MATCH. Again, focusing on Long Islanders ages 28+ who aren’t into the bar scene, on-line dating, and want to meet someone who they are compatible with and hopefully have a connection with. The website is www.thecourtship.net. Sounds pretty dang cool to me and if you know a single person in Long Island, send them to Kerrin!
Kerrin is the mom of four kids, yikes! Three boys and one girl, all under the age of nine. So, she definitely has her hands full. Kerrin’s been married for ten years and in a previous life was a school teacher. Kerrin’s passions are learning and teaching others, her children, exercising, and matchmaking, of course!
You can get in touch with Kerrin the following ways:
cell phone # (631) 335-6576
website – www.skincarebyrfd.com
email – firstname.lastname@example.org
27 Jan 2012
I write two weekly blogs for a networking group to which I belong called, Contacts N Coffee , so I decided to write my weekly blog about my observations of people when they network; little quirks and habits, if you will, that I have noticed over the past few weeks. Here they are!
I am holding myself back from doing a “Things Not to Do At A Networking Meeting” because I believe in being positive. So, I will reframe my remarks as questions. See how many of these questions you answer “yes!” (This is not a test and will not be handed in or graded)
- Do you work the room passing out your business cards, even if someone doesn’t ask for one?
- Do you stand in front of the room, facing everyone, during your 30-second commercial?
- Do you talk to someone else during the presentations – 30 second and 10 minute?
- Do you arrive a bit early or on time?
- Do you sit in the same general area for every meeting?
- Do you know exactly what you are going to say when it is your turn?
- Do you think about what you are going to wear to the meeting?
- Do you leave immediately when the meeting is officially over?
- Does your raffle item reflect what you do or a product that is related to the business or service you represent?
- Do you make a point to meet at least two new people at every meeting?
- Do you go home and think about the meeting and people you have met that may be a “good fit” for someone else you know?
- Are you comfortable in your own shoes?
No one ever said networking was easy. For some people, it is extremely difficult because they are moving outside of their natural comfort zone and quite frankly, would probably rather be back in bed – safe, warm, not exposing themselves to strangers.
Next time you walk into a room, look for the people that are clearly not comfortable and strike up a friendly conversation. And it doesn’t and shouldn’t be about sales. How about, “What brings you here this morning?” or “Hello, we’ve never met before, do you know the structure of our meeting?”
For those of you who know me, it’s hard to believe that I was a painfully shy woman not too many years ago. I know how difficult it is to be in front of people one does not know. The beauty of Contacts N Coffee is that, in my opinion, I find most of the folks are friendly, accepting, and genuine. So run through those questions again and think about your answer. Till next week!
Laurie Hurley is the resident blogger for Contacts N Coffee Conejo Valley and Simi Valley and the Founder of The Social Networking Navigator. She helps people implement a smart business strategy using Social Media to increase their bottom line.
Reach out and touch someone” used to be a byline for the phone company. Wow. That was way before social networking was the rage. I remember watching television commercials encouraging people to call their mothers on Sunday. When you think about it, that is a great byline that is timeless. It’s just the manner in which we reach out and touch someone that has changed so drastically. So, I began thinking about how often the people I pay to provide services to me and my family; like my insurance broker, financial advisor, and mortgage broker really pay attention to me.
My financial advisor is great – every ninety days he calls my husband or me with an update about the market and what our money is doing. He makes suggestions, keeping in mind we begin paying for college soon for my oldest daughter in about eighteen months. He is on it and is always in touch. Our mortgage broker is wonderful. We have refinanced our home three times in the past four years because he is so tuned into the interest rates (as every good mortgage broker should be!) Unfortunately, my insurance broker dropped the ball.
Quick case study – every year in February our health insurance policy renews and every year we get the annual phone call from our broker comforting us about the rate increase. This year was different though. I met an insurance broker at a new networking group. Every week he would get up and tell the group how he can save us 30-40% on our premiums. I began thinking about it, and took him up on his offer. He came over and did an analysis of our current policy. Turns out, he was right! Which begs the question, where was our other insurance agent? Why didn’t he do the research and find us a lower premium with the same coverage?