Does Your Referral Network Remember Your Message


To Get Referrals; Your Referral Network Must Know Your Message

Is the message you give your referral network effective or is it lost in the clutter? To have an effective referral network; your members must know your message succinctly and clearly. If they don’t; not only will they not refer you, they can’t refer you! They simply do not have the necessary information.

You Must Provide a Clear Message to Your Referral Network

I don’t believe enough can be said about the quality, context and content of your message to your referral network. All small and most medium sized businesses succeed or fail on their ability to get people talking about the business, the individuals, the products and the services; if you can’t get this conversation going, you will not succeed!

Your Message Must Be Easy to Remember

Make it easy on yourself and your referral network; create a easily remembered message. Your referral network wants to help you, but they only have a limited amount of time and bandwidth for it to happen. It’s up to you to create a message they can easily share with their contacts.

Your Message Must Be in the Form of a Story

We have all heard “facts tell and stories sell”; your message to your referral network is no different! You need to give them something they can remember and put to use on your behalf.

Don’t Clutter Your Message with Too Much Information

Most organizations and individuals clutter their messages. They create a message which lacks focus and can’t stick with the audience. The problems come from a position of fear. People are afraid they will miss an opportunity because they don’t share a particular fact; instead they share too many facts and nothing gets communicated or remembered.

You must be specific with your message. Decide the specifics of what you want to communicate and then focus. Avoid over communicating and cluttering; make it easy for your network to remember.

If the message cannot stick; your referral network will not remember!

You Need To Make Your Message Sticky

Chip and Dan Heath wrote a book a few years ago Made to Stick and this is what you must do with your message. You message must stick with your audience. It goes back to the old speech writer’s or presenter’s instructions; tell your audience what you are going to tell them, tell them and then tell your audience what you told them.

Your message must be one specific message and your referral audience will help you!

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Do You Value Your Network?


Is your network important to you? Do you provide regular value to your connections?

Is it proper to even call them connections?

For most the answer is “No!”

The Problem with Networking

The problem is that people, maybe people like you, just sit back and do nothing with their network. Sure, they may add a new name every now and then and some people add names regularly, but, sadly to say, that is the extent of their effort.

A Network Is Not Something We Think of Only in a Time of Need

Here’s what I see as the problem. Most people are not proactive or even active networkers. They are simply name gatherers. They look at the process as a way to keep track of people in the event they, the individual, need something.

Is Your Network Collecting Dust?

Their network is essentially something set aside that is collecting dust. Periodically they will pull it out, blow off some of the dust, add a name or two, and then put it back into the corner.

A Valuable Asset Waiting for You to Take Action

Your network can be one of your most valuable assets; if you would allow it to take that role. Your network can be a treasure trove of opportunities and good fortune and the better that you are at networking and the members of your network are at networking; the more value you both will receive.

Networking Riches

I’ve told this Story before, but I’m going to briefly tell it again. There once was a woman who joined LinkedIn because she wanted to build her business. Not only did she want to build the business; she absolutely wanted it to flourish.

Taking her interest and desire she joined one of the many LinkedIn groups and immediately started to get involved. She participated in discussions, asked and answered questions, and added value to the group in many ways.

In the Spring of 2010; British Petroleum (BP) came knocking. They had a problem and they thought this woman might be able to help. Basically BP knew they had many more problems than the oil spill.

This was an opportunity that came to her because of LinkedIn.

Now for some personal insight into this individual; she isn’t even particularly good with LinkedIn. I watch her profile and she has been stuck around the 360 mark in connections for close to one-year. How many other opportunities may exist that she is missing because she isn’t proactive?

Periodically I view the profile of my connections to see what they are doing and to see if they are providing any value to their network. Most of the time I am disappointed by what I see in recent activity.

Most of the time the activity is either not there or it is simply the adding of new connections. There are few posts or status updates. What does that say… OPPORTUNITY!!! Because there are few that are proactive… Opportunity is there for those that are willing to work at it; try it on for size and see if you can be a better networker.

Conclusion

As I said in my previous post “Your Network – Are You A Collector or a CONNECTOR?” from my observations it appears that over 97% and probably much closer to 99% of the people on LinkedIn do not add value to their network; it is up to you to make the difference!

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Do you approach things with an UPPROACH? With the idea that when you make a change; it shouldn’t just be a change – rather it should be a change for the better. This was the premise that caused UPPROACH to be born. The idea of don’t just do it; do it better!

Tom Staskiewicz speaks, coaches, and consults on Professional and Business Networking and how Social Media is a tool in that process. He helps businesses, organizations, and individuals understand the power of networking and recognize that networking is a tool for giving.

Tom believes that when you give value to your network; your network will give value back to you. Using today’s Social Media tools makes Professional and Business Networking more efficient, improves decisions, and enables you to respond more effectively to your audiences.

Do you want to be more effective with your Professional and Business Networking? Would you like to be making more “warm” contacts instead of “cold” calls? Contact Tom to learn more about how he can help you and/or your organization reach your networking goals.

Why HR Must Use LinkedIn for OnBoarding


HR Departments Should Use LinkedIn for More than Finding or Researching Recruits

HR Departments and recruiters use LinkedIn to locate and research their recruits, but isn’t there more they can be doing with LinkedIn. The truth is that HR must be looking beyond the obvious with LinkedIn to uncover the additional uses that will make their recruiting processes more successful.

LinkedIn Can Aid in Retention

We hear all the time about the expense of on-boarding and training new employees; but what are businesses and organizations in general doing to help new employees integrate into the organization and culture that will promote retention? It’s not that we want these individuals to be a clone of the others in the organization; but we do want them to feel that they are a part of the organization. With LinkedIn you can facilitate the process of the new employee becoming a part of the organization and part of their new department.

Create Internal Groups on LinkedIn

Most LinkedIn users are familiar with LinkedIn groups; at the same time most are not nearly familiar enough with how groups can be used internally. A case in point: most organizations follow the practice of taking the new employee around and introducing the employee to countless individuals in the organization. The are many problems with this process; to include, but not limited to:

  1. The process can be intimidating, too many names and faces to remember;
  2. They will not remember more than two or three people they meet;
  3. They will not remember who does what;
  4. They won’t be remembered either;
  5. There will be embarrassment when a name is forgotten;
  6. Initially they will be remembered as the new guy or gal.

How LinkedIn Can Help

Using LinkedIn Groups; the HR function, the organization, and departments can make the on-boarding process more friendly and welcoming to the new employee. Organizations can create LinkedIn Groups and sub-groups to facilitate the on-boarding process.

For the organization you would create the parent group and for each department, work group, or team you would create a subgroup of the parent where you would include all members of the department, work group, or team. New employees would immediately be invited to the appropriate subgroup where they would find the names, pictures, job titles, and a profile of the other members.

When the new employee needs to talk to someone they can look up the profile and feel more comfortable approaching the other team members. Through the profiles they may learn other non-business information that aligns with their non-business interests and helps them become more comfortable with their new surroundings.

LinkedIn has countless uses within businesses for enhancing on-boarding, operational, strategic, and team communications. It is up to you to look outside the normal uses for ways to apply the technology to your organization.

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Tom Staskiewicz consults with organizations on understanding Social Media and how it can be applied within the organization. Tom has MBAs in Marketing and Management to go along with his 30+ years developing and implementing IT solutions.

If you are looking for innovative ideas on how you can implement and apply Social Media within your organization you can email Tom or call him at (971) 678-8181.

What Can You Do with an Email Service


What Email Service Is Right for You

Have you thought about using an email service to stay in touch with your customers and prospects? I’m sure you have, if for no other reason than the intensive marketing being done by Constant Contact.

Before You Select a Service; Know What You Want to Do

The truth is that all email services are not created equal. Some have features that others do not. Some charge based upon the number of emails sent and others charge based upon the number of subscribers you have.

How Many Subscribers Do You Expect?

Knowing how many subscribers you will have and how often you plan on contacting those subscribers can make a huge difference in the cost.

How Many Email Lists Will You Have?

Another factor is how many email lists will you have? Will you have both a list of active customers and prospects? Will it be a single list? Will you have a list for customers of each type or category of product or service you offer?

Are You Going to Do Email Campaigns?

Maybe you are asking what is an email campaign, so I will give you a brief overview. A campaign is typically a series of emails sent to subscribers.

The campaign starts with a letter of invitation to join the list (usually an opt-in or double opt-in) process to make sure you have the correct person.

Following the opt-in there is an immediate follow-up with the additional promised information. A few (7-10) days later there is another follow-up to ensure that they received the information and provide a second promotion. 12-14 days later there is another follow-up typically with some type of incentive to sign up. That may be it or 60 days later there could be one last follow up. It’s really up to you.

Some email services support email campaigns, some do not, and others only limited email campaigns or a limited number of campaigns.

To Opt-In or Not; or Will You Spam

Opt-In basically says do you want to participate and lets the reader know that they can opt-out at any time.

Do you want an opt-in or double opt-in process where the people signing up must go to a sight or respond to an email and confirm that they want to be on your list. If you don’t have an opt-in some, maybe many will report you as spam and can get you blacklisted; opt-ins are preferable to blacklists. Unless you are closely monitoring the service you won’t know that your emails have been blocked.

If the service isn’t offering an opt-in option that can be a problem. Maybe you don’t irritate the users but that doesn’t mean that someone else using the service won’t irritate their recipients and the backlash can hit you!

Opt-ins protect you as much or even more than they protect your recipients.

Will You Have Mini-Memberships?

A Mini-Membership has people sign-up typically paying a fee for a limited-term-membership (compare it to a four – 12 week class and sometimes up to one-year). Each week or month they will have the next part of their course delivered to their email box.

Some email services support this and some do not. Some will support several limited-term-memberships and others will support only one.

Before you select a service know what you services you are expecting them to provide.

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Tom Staskiewicz speaks and coaches on Social Media/Social Networking topics helping businesses, organizations, and individuals establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

Social Media Does Not Provide Instantaneous Results


Going Viral Takes Time

I was talking with one of my clients recently about their Social Media efforts. The owners had been questioning whether the Social Media effort, which they had started about 5 months ago, was producing anything tangible. She told them that it was and was able to give one or two examples. That provided a little bit of satisfaction, but not too much.

Ironically I had been thinking about that same thing with this client and had done a couple of Google searches to see how we were doing. I was pleasantly surprised at the results. This client had two pages of Google results and upon review I saw that some of the results were from reposts of our Blog articles.

I forwarded the search criteria so they could perform the same search and see for themselves what was happening. No, it is not bringing droves of people into their office thus far, but it is starting to take effect.

You Must Have Patience

The reality is that there are billions of businesses, articles, blogs, and everything else on the Internet and taking or making your place in that thriving world takes time and patience. Even when you are attempting to make a dent in a small segment of the Internet it still does not happen overnight.

You Must Create Your Own Following

To be successful you must be able to create a following and you do that by having interesting and informational posts. The fact that you post something is of little consequence; the fact that you post something that interests and attracts an audience makes all the difference.

Identify Your Target and Then Focus Your Efforts

Creating a following takes time and effort. Here are some key questions that you need to answer before you proceed:

  1. What is your target market?
  2. Is your target market…
    1. Local?
    2. Regional?
    3. National?
    4. Worldwide?
  3. Who is in your target market?
    1. Male?
    2. Female?
    3. Young?
    4. Old?
    5. Metropolitan?
    6. Suburban?
    7. Rural?

Obviously there is much more to the process than these few questions, but the ability to answer these questions will make your process much more successful and targeted. There are many people pushing the idea of building your list by the thousands every day, the question is whether you are adding valuable names or simply adding names. Be focused in your efforts so you create an audience that is interested in your message.

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Tom Staskiewicz consults with individuals and businesses on the use of Social Media to help you build your brand and your business. Don’t waste time where there is no value. You must have a strategy so you don’t throw your money away on wasted efforts.

Social Media.. What Site or Sites Are Best for My Business?


Few Companies Take the Time to Select the Social Media Sites that Will Be Best for Them

I don’t know how many times I have read purported experts telling organizations that they should have a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Plaxo, Friendster, MySpace, etc. I have heard them specify up to 10 sites that they state are critical to your business. Do they really know? What is their proof?

If you go looking for sites on your own you will see that Wikipedia lists over 190 different Social Media sites. On top of selecting your Social Media sites; businesses are told they must be blogging and oh, by the way, you should do podcasts in your spare time.

The reality is that there are way too many options and no business, regardless of how well staffed they are, can effectively participate in all these sites or even 10 sites. To make it worse many so-called Social Media consultants or experts spend little or no time understanding your business or helping you develop a strategy. My experience is that their interest is to get you involved in Social Media Sites far more than helping you achieve Social Media success.

What Do You Hope to Accomplish with Social Media and Why?

Before you jump into any site you must first understand or determine what you are attempting to accomplish. You must be able to answer these questions:

  • Who do you want to talk to?
  • Where do members of your audience spend their time?
  • What Social Media sites serve your audience?
  • What is interests your audience?
  • What information can you contribute to meet their interests?
  • How often do you want to talk?
  • What of quality or value do you have to say?
  • What action do you want your audience to take?

I am sure you can come up with other questions that will help to narrow your focus and evolve your strategy.

When you can answer these questions you are then prepared to start evaluating which Social Media sites will best serve your purposes. Certain sites lend themselves better to one objective or another and none are a one-size fits all solution.

The mistake that you do not want to make is to spend time in places where you will not find your customers and prospects or where you have nothing to add to the conversation. My friend, Neal Shaffer, wrote the blog post 5 Reasons Why Your Social Media Strategy Isn’t Really a Social Media Strategy.

Your Social Media Strategy Must Be Evolving

Your Social Media strategy must be evolving. Social Media sites will come and go, customers will redefine their interests, and/or you will change your strategies. You must be prepared to adapt and change as your needs change.

The reality is that businesses must pick and choose their Social Media sites with care. Just like you take care in selecting your product or service lines you must be using the same care in selecting your Social Media sites.

Social Media Has Much to Offer Businesses, but They Must Do Their Homework First

If you take the time to do your homework; your chances of success will increase geometrically.