Your Message Content and How it Makes Top-O-Mind Work


Your Message Content and How it Makes Top-O-Mind Work

What is the purpose of your messaging? What are you trying to accomplish?

Many believe the purpose of their messaging is to “sell their products and/or services” and, although this is the ultimate goal, it cannot be the purpose of the majority of your messages. Customers, clients, prospects, et al will see through this immediately and instead of accomplishing the intended goal; your message will fail.

Note: When I say messages I mean Social Media and Blog posts, comments, likes, etc. Any form of communication to your audience.

The Two Purposes of Your Messages

There are two purposes behind good messaging campaigns:

  • Let your audience know a little about you; and
  • Inform and/or educate your audience on a topic.

You may look at the first purpose and say to yourself he just said it cannot be all about me or my products and services but now I’m being told the messages are to tell my audience a little about me. I don’t understand.

If you bare with me I’ll explain.

A Little About You

When I say a little about you; I’m not talking about what you are selling. What you must do is build your brand. What you want to convey in the brand building process are your personal characteristics, such as:

  • Credibility;
  • Honesty;
  • Integrity;
  • Reliability;
  • Dependability;
  • Trust;
  • Sincerity;
  • Concern for your audience;
  • Consistency; and
  • Value

Inform and/or Educate

The next piece is you want to inform and/or educate your audience. You want them leaving the message saying; “that was time well spent.” You want them feeling good about the message and recognizing the value you just provided.

If you can accomplish those objectives your readers will return and, as long as you continue meeting those objectives, they will keep coming back for more. You want loyal readers because many will ultimately become loyal customers and they will share your content with their connections.

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

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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.

Are You a Person of Interest?


Are You a Person of Interest?

There is a new television show airing this fall: “Person of Interest” If you are trying to build a referral network; this is a great question for you to ask yourself.

Wanted Persons of Interest

I have looked at the content of the television show; however, the title definitely got me thinking.

In today’s world being a person of interest – for the right reasons of course – is a good thing! Whether we are in business, searching for career opportunities or even just a job, trying to be an influencer, or whatever; being a person of interest is desirable.

A Person of Interest Can Attract Opportunities

I know some of you are saying here it comes again someone talking about The Law of Attraction; but is that really all that bad. My experience is that most of the nay-sayers are people that have not tried to use the law or have only done it haphazardly.

The truth is that a person of interest has a far better chance of attracting opportunities than someone that is uninteresting. If you are uninteresting people cannot wait to get away from you. They definitely are not looking for greater exposure to you.

How to Become a Person of Interest

You may be reading and thinking that you do not fit this category, because you are uninteresting. That isn’t true! Everyone has an interesting story, but to truly be interesting; it starts with being interested in others.

Most people like some level of attention and when you take the time to ask them about themselves you are starting to become interesting yourself. The reason is that you are displaying an interest in them and not just in yourself.

When you are genuine in this interest it is easily recognized and your value immediately increases. Being genuine means that you actively listen by responding, asking questions, and restating some of the information to ensure you understand.

This is actually fairly simple process because most people do not do it!

When someone finds you sincere and genuine in your efforts a bond can rapidly form and a friendship develop.

Another way to become a person of interest is to share information with a perceived value with your network. Your network likes to receive valuable information and they will appreciate you more.

If you are sharing an article written by someone else; add your perspective on what it means to you and others. Don’t just send out the link; give a little of yourself and a reason for others to read the information. If you are really good people will start reading simply because it comes from you and you are a person they trust and respect.

When trust and respect are earned people that read your postings will forward them to their friends and contacts. Initially the information you create will stay among your distribution list. Obviously your goal is for the information to be repeated to others. This can happen and should be the objective for the person of interest.

It Is Who Knows You That Matters

If you are a person of interest that means that those looking for you already know something about you. This is key! When people know something about you it piques their interest in you and can make them want to know more.

When the bond or friendship forms you will both start looking for opportunities to help each other. You will each want to see the other succeed and will work to that end.

When people know you, know about you, and there is a bond or friendship; they have the information necessary to connect the dots and connecting the dots is what it is all about. When this person hears of an opportunity that might fit your skill set, your interests, or your product offering; they will be able to connect the dots to bring you and the opportunity together.

Do You Make Opportunities for People to Know You

Unfortunately most people do not take the opportunity to allow others to get to know them. They are reluctant to talk about themselves or crawl out of their shell to create opportunities to talk.

There is nothing you can do that is more counter productive to your goals! You need to reach out, you need to connect, and you need to give people the opportunity to learn about you.

To Be Successful; You Must Reciprocate

You need to remember that it is not all about you; you need to be ready and willing to reciprocate. If you are a person that just talks and talks and does not give the other person a chance; you will not be successful. You must learn about the other person so that you can add value to them as well. This is a trade-off process where you give value to get value.

Conclusion

Look for opportunities to get to know people and for them to get to know you. These are not just surface experiences; this is the real deal. Learn about people, find out what they are looking for and how you might help and of course give them the opportunity to learn about and help you as well.

Realize that you will not click on the same level with everyone, but your chances for developing mutually beneficial relationships will increase significantly and opportunities and benefits will flow both ways.
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Tom Staskiewicz speaks and coaches 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.

Most People Are Bankrupt When it Comes to Their Professional Network


YOUR NETWORK EQUALS YOUR NET WORTH!.
… Unknown

We all have goals. We all want to go or get somewhere? A very few can do it on their own; but the majority cannot… help is needed!

That help starts with your professional network. The members of your professional network can open doors for you and, likewise, you can open doors for them. However, this only works if you know something about the members of your network and they know something about you.

Clinging to the Past

People cling to the practices and excuses of the past when it comes to networking. Yesterday’s Rolodex of connections has been replaced by lists of connections in one or more Social Media applications.

When we meet someone new we continue to collect and file business cards, but we may also look to connect using one or more of the following:

  • Social Media applications;
  • Contact managers;
  • or Email address books.

The problem is that using today’s tools in the same manner that we used the tools of the past; we miss out on the functionality and benefits of the new technology. Networks, whether a Rolodex or card file, were typically organized alphabetically. Today’s tools default to an alphabetical organization, but there is much more. You can search by organization, by title, by location, and much more. You simply need to know how the tool works.

99% of Professional Networks Are Bankrupt

These people are bankrupt when it comes to their Professional Network because they have not taken time to understand the power available or taken the time to implement the advanced features.

When they need the help of their Professional Network they are not prepared.

  1. They do not have the necessary knowledge of their connections to know who can help.
  2. They do not have the organization to find their connections with certain skills or necessary knowledge.
  3. They haven’t taken the time to get to know even the most basic of information about their connections; and
  4. Have not taken the time to educate their connections on their own skills and abilities.

As a result their Professional Network is bankrupt because it cannot serve the needed purpose.

Know Your Network; Increase the Value

In the past having not only knowledge, but current knowledge, of your network was a difficult process. You had to be in constant contact just to know their current physical location and a method of contact.

Today, with Social Networking, the process has become much easier. In fact, we now have the ability to connect with people from many years ago because of the Social Media search capabilities. We also have our connections maintaining their own information.

With the advent of Social Networks the old excuses of:

  1. It’s too time-consuming;
  2. It’s too hard;
  3. There is no effective way to keep it current;
  4. I don’t know where my contacts are anymore;
  5. My network is large enough.

are just not valid.

Knowing the people in your network allows you to connect the dots. If you need a contact into an organization; chances are someone in your network will have or will be able to lead you to a connection.

The Importance of Knowing the People in Your Network

For example I recently found someone on LinkedIn that I wanted as a connection on LinkedIn. My goal was a meeting to discuss how I might help the organization. The individual was my second level connection meaning that one or more individuals in my network is directly connected to my target. I contacted Ed, the mutual connection, to learn whether he knew my target. It turns out that Ed knows my target connection well and is happy to help.

As I talked about my interest I also asked Ed about his new business.

Connecting the Dots…

During the conversation I realize that Ed is working with a similar customer set as my friend Jake. As I connected the dots it makes sense for Ed to meet Jake to better understand markets, but also to see what synergy exists.

From Jake’s perspective his company is always looking for acquisitions that compliment and grow their business; maybe there is an opportunity there for the two businesses: maybe it’s a merger or a joint venture. I don’t know, but I am starting the process to see what might be able to develop for their businesses.

Does this introduction add anything to me; not necessarily, but Ed and Jake may look more favorably upon me as a result and in the future that may be of value.

Successful networking and the ability to help each other starts with knowledge of what each person brings to the table. Although this may appear to be a daunting task, especially if you have 1000s of connections, there are ways to make it easier.

Three Tips to Aid in Knowing Your Network

Here are three tips to aid in classifying your network.

  1. Be selective in who you INVITE into your network;
  2. Use Malcolm Gladwell’s categories from “The Tipping Point”;
    1. Connectors;
    2. Mavens; and
    3. Salesmen
  3. Create a short 3 – 5 question survey for those you invite to learn more about them and add it to your notes about the individual.

Conclusion

If you network is simply an accumulation of names; it’s not too late to turn it around. Start a classification system to identify your connections. Look for and then classify based upon similarities of position, industry, business, location, or other common factors that are relevant to you. Spend 15 minutes a day in this process and you WILL be able to increase the value of your network.

When you add new connections classify them immediately or, if necessary, send your list of questions to help with the classification process. The important thing is don’t let your network to continue growing without implementing a structure and some controls.
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Tom Staskiewicz speaks and coaches 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.

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.

Putting Power into Your Reviews and Testimonials


Negating the Negatives

Negative Internet Reviews

If you are like many businesses today you have experienced the negative review on Google, CitySearch, Yelp, or a plethora of other sites. In the process you have most likely noticed that these reviews hide behind an alias. The reality is that they, the reviewers, are cowards or even worse competitors.

To top it off Google, CitySearch, and the others make it difficult and costly to respond. This may be a good thing, because your immediate response would be a “knee-jerk” reaction and probably end up hurting your more than helping. You must remember that you are in the age of the Internet and the person who wrote the review will NOT be the only one reading your response. In your attempt to respond you may end up hurting future business from the eves droppers.

What Do You Do

One of the best ways to counteract a negative review is to get a good review; but not just any good review. Get one where the individual writing the review is willing to give their name and their city and state. You want credibility behind the review!

Get Credible Reviews

When you have credible reviews and someone points to Google, CitySearch, or whomever and it is a review that hides behind an alias; you can point to your reviews (good, just okay, or even bad) and say that YOUR reviews have quality. You can say that these are people you can talk to and they will answer your questions honestly. These are people that have nothing to hide.

You can, with the writer’s permission, use these reviews in your marketing and sales materials as testimonials of the work that you do and they way your customers/clients/patients feel about you, your business, your products, and your services.

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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.

Helping Your Children by Building Your Network


Your Network Has Value to Your Children

While you may typically think of your network as your list of contacts that will help you in your business or career. Your network has the potential to help more than just you. One of the most important benefactors of your networking efforts can be your children.

How Your Network Can Help Your Children

Through your connections, you can provide your children access to influential people they may otherwise never know. Whether your child is looking for a connection to a college, an opportunity for an internship, a job, references, or some other interest that can benefit from a connection; you can be the missing link.

Almost daily most of you come in contact with interesting people with varied backgrounds. Capturing these connections brings value to you and your network, but it may also bring a needed future connection for your children.

As a parent building your network can be one of the most unselfish acts you ever take as you work to create the connections that your child will need as the progress through their career.

Read my other networking articles on this Blog for more reasons why you MUST be networking.

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Tom Staskiewicz is a Social Media/Social Networking Coach helping businesses, organizations, and individuals to 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.