It’s Not Who You Know, it’s Who Your Friends Know

It's not who you know it's who your friends know

Who are your Friends? Remember the “6 Degrees of Separation”? Supposedly, “any two people on Earth are six or fewer acquaintance links apart.” (Wikipedia)

Social Media Friends - Networking on SteroidsNow, with social media – Networking on Steroids – it’s more like 3.5.

If you want to meet someone, let’s say an influencer in your field —

  • someone that you’re target market looks up to
  • someone with a huge following
  • someone that if they liked you, your service or your product and they shared it with their friends, you’d be set

How do you meet that person? More than likely they’re part of your LinkedIn network.

2 people join LinkedIn every second

linkedLinkedIn Mystery PersonIt’s easy enough to connect with them, but if they viewed your LinkedIn profile right now, would they be impressed? Would that person think that you were an expert in your field?

Or does your LinkedIn profile look like you’re looking for a job rather than owning your own company? It makes a difference. Or are you one of many Mystery People who don’t have a professional looking head shot.

You are your BRAND.

If you own your own company, on LinkedIn, you are an employee of that company. A company cannot have personal profile. A company gets a company profile and that’s how they’re indexed. If someone is searching for you, they can narrow the search by company or person. If you’re not in the right category, you won’t come up. (By the way, if someone Googles you or your company name, LinkedIn profiles are usually in the top 3 search results.)

This is Networking

You don’t join a chamber of commerce to sell your products. Well, yes, that is the ultimate goal, but the person you’re sitting next to at the lunch probably doesn’t want or need your product or service. HOWEVER, they may know someone who does.

You don’t know who they know. You don’t know who their clients are or their neighbors or family members. The more you get out there and are visible, the more you’ll be known for what you do. Every time you publish and article (post) on LinkedIn, you solidify your credibility all the more. Every time you share some useful information to a group you get noticed.

It’s See and be Seen

You want to become an influencer, a newsmaker, be known as the expert. LinkedIn can help, if you learn how to use the tool properly and effectively.

 

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing strategist & trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. She’s the official social media, newsletter and blog manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and offers Social media classes at the new AZ Social Media Training Center. 602-738-1700. You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

 

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Get your Networking on at NetworkingPhoenix.com

Networking event coming up in Phoenix!

It’s not who YOU know, it’s who YOUR FRIENDS know! That’s the essence of networking.

If you’ve never been to a NetworkingPhoenix.com signature event, you need to check it out! Where else can you be in the same room with over 1000 area business people!

In this video, NetworkingPhoenix.com founder Gelie Akhenblit, explains what a great event this is:

In this video, she explains how NetworkingPhoenix.com service and website works:

The popular NetworkingPhoenix.com Signature Event only takes place twice a year, so don’t miss your chance to attend this prime networking opportunity.

With 1,300+ of Phoenix’s finest entrepreneurs, small business owners, and professionals in attendance, you are bound to make amazing connections!

When: Monday, April 25th from 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Where: Chaparral Suites – Conference Center
5001 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85250

Stop by the Greater Phoenix SCORE table & say hi!

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Luckyleo Dancewear Wins American Small Business Championship

SCORE 2016 Championship winner, LuckyLeo Dancewear

Greater Phoenix SCORE client Luckyleo Dancewear, a small business start-up company that specializes in making custom handmade dancewear, was named a winner of The American Small Business Championship based on the company’s dedication and willingness to make its business successful in the marketplace.

SCORE, a national nonprofit dedicated to mentoring small business owners, and Sam’s Club partnered to create the award. A total of 104 winners, out of approximately 400 entries, was chosen from across the United States based on written, video and photo entries. Winners were determined by online voting and a panel of judges comprised of small business experts. Luckyleo Dancewear’s video entry received more than 7,000 votes.

LuckyLeo Dancewear wins SCORE 2016 Championship“We are so thrilled to have been chosen and are truly grateful for the honor of being selected as a national champion,” said Chelsea Early, owner and designer for Luckyleo Dancewear. “This is just the beginning for Luckyleo Dancewear. We don’t plan to stop here. We’re in the running for the grand prize of $25,000 at the SCORE Awards Gala in the fall, and are shooting for the big win.”

In the fall of 2015, Early and her sister Heather Walker turned to SCORE who partners with small business owners and entrepreneurs to provide free mentoring. They were teamed-up with Doug Whitney, SCORE mentor and former owner of several afterschool tutoring centers in Arizona and New Mexico.

“I have been meeting monthly with Chelsea and Heather to serve as a resource and provide guidance with human resources, accounting and marketing components of their business,” said Whitney. “I am very impressed with their company and the sound business decisions they continue to make. I am so happy they have been selected to be honored as small business owners with the American Small Business Championship award.”

In a little over a year Luckyleo Dancewear has had a 900 percent increase in gross revenues. The family-owned workshop in Central Phoenix is committed to keeping the design and manufacturing of their garments in the U.S. They create each custom leotard by hand and buy supplies locally whenever possible, supporting small Phoenix fabric shops.

“Doug has been so helpful to our growth as a business, guiding us through the transition from being just a small start-up to realizing our dream of becoming employers and running a successful business in Arizona,” said Early. “We continue to look forward to each meeting with excitement, knowing that he will be there to help us understand the ins and outs of being an entrepreneur. SCORE has been the missing key that we were looking for, the one-stop resource we needed to help us understand how to run our small business in Arizona.”

Luckyleo Dancewear received a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, an all-expense-paid trip to one of three SCORE training events, SCORE mentorship for one year, and promotion throughout the year to showcase the company’s story from a grant from Sam’s Club. One of the winners will be awarded a grand prize of $25,000 and receive national recognition at the SCORE Awards Gala in Washington D.C. on September 16, 2016.

To view the full list of the winning businesses, visit www.championship.score.org.

About Greater Phoenix SCORE

Greater Phoenix SCORE provides free mentoring to small business owners and entrepreneurs, along with classes, seminars, and special events to benefit small businesses across the Valley. In 2015, SCORE helped 647 new businesses start and created a total of 1,017 new jobs. Overall, the Greater Phoenix SCORE chapter delivered mentoring and classes to 7,288 people. SCORE has over 70 mentors, each with extensive business experience, ready to help individuals start up a business, grow a business, or work through difficult business management issues. Experts in all functional areas and many different businesses are available as a resource for business owners. For more information, visit www.greaterphoenix.score.org.

About Luckyleo Dancewear

Luckyleo Dancewear makes custom handmade dancewear created by former professional ballet dancers and sisters, Chelsea Early and Heather Walker. The family-owned company offers small quantities of hand-selected prints to keep their products creative and new and to encourage individuality within the art of ballet itself all the way down to every classroom where dance is taught. With sizes for all age ranges and a large offering of styles and fabrics, Luckyleo Dancewear has flourished since opening just over a year ago by hand-crafting one-of-a-kind dancewear for ballet dancers in 29 countries across the world.For more information visit www.luckyleodancewear.com.

Thank you to PR Specialist, Julie Frisoni of Frisoni PR, for this press release.

 

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Top 10 Misleading Marketing Tactics [Video]

Top 10 Misleading Marketing Tactics

You’ve seen the ads. It looks too good to be true. That’s deceptive and misleading marketing tactics. As business owners and entrepreneurs, marketing is the “oil” that keeps your machine (business) running. However, you have to be careful what you claim. You don’t want to be sued by someone who bought your product or service and they didn’t get what you advertised.  (This kind of goes with the “Due Diligence” article previously posted turning the tables around.)

In this video, WatchMojo.com gives examples of marketing tactics you should NOT do when promoting your product or service.

Warning: some portions of this video may be offensive to some.

From Burger King to Subway to online dating sites to cars all these ads promise something that they really don’t deliver.

Is your marketing message truthful?

People buy from whom they know and trust.

Online, people will read reviews, ask their friends “Google” a business or person to see what comes up. It’s your online reputation. Make it a good one.

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Methods for Avoiding Fraud: Doing Due Diligence – Podcast

Do Your Due Diligence

Business owners and entrepreneurs are risk takers and sometimes, an opportunity may seem fantastic, but it’s really not. How do you not get “taken”?

Do your Due Diligence:

Listen to this podcast with Justin and Tonya Dawn Recla of Avent-Guard Due Diligence and Vetting Solutions.

  1. How did the opportunity come to you? Who’s the source? Is it legit?
  2. Is it truly an opportunity?
  3. Ask the questions to determine that it’s legitimate.
  4. Verify the information.
  5. Make the decision to get involved.

Do your research & due diligenceThink about how many business, vendors, service providers you hire. You are responsible for checking out people and companies before you hire them. Do you due diligence and don’t get “taken”.

Check out Greater Phoenix SCORE’s upcoming classes where Justin and Tonya Dawn Recla will be explaining how exactly to do this.

 

 

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Top eCommerce Trends for Small Business

ecommerce trends

The world of eCommerce has revolutionized the way that customers shop and ultimately how businesses sell their products and services. The large company in New York City and the small business in Denver can now compete for the same customers with the click of a button. Having your business online has never been more important.

However, it can be challenging for small business owners to decide which ecommerce strategies to embrace. Fear not! Let’s check out today’s top ecommerce trends for small business.

  1.  Free shipping/ shipping options

Shipping has to be the No. 1 question that most customers ask themselves when buying online. When will my purchase arrive? How much will it cost?

If you are selling an online service, then shipping might not be a concern; but if you sell a physical product, shipping is one of the top trends you need to consider to win the eCommerce game. 

Some larger eCommerce companies such as Amazon offer free two-day shipping with Prime, but you can compete with free priority shipping at a certain purchase point. Other companies add free shipping to a membership program. Consider offering a variety of shipping options.

Here are some examples of how companies big and small are taking advantage of this top eCommerce trend:

Cupcake Royale offers a variety of shipping options.

If you are a small business who cannot offer free shipping, dazzle your customers with a variety of shipping options! One of my favorite local Seattle businesses, Cupcake Royale, offers a handful of great shipping options — including Same Day PostMates Delivery.

Cupcake Royale offers a variety of shipping options in their ecommerce site.

Body Shop offers free shipping to members.

Body Shop offers free shipping to members in their ecommerce site.

The Body Shop is offering free shipping to members and 20-percent off of the entire purchase.

Amazon offers free shipping to Prime members.

Amazon offers free shipping to Prime members and to customers who order $35 or more on the ecommerce site

Amazon offers free shipping to Prime members and to customers who order $35 or more on the site.

2. Multiple payment options

Payment method are a hot eCommerce topic because customers around the world may not necessarily use the same type of payments. In addition to the traditional Visa/MasterCard/ Amex/Discover options, many eCommerce companies are now looking at additional payment methods to ensure that all customers can make purchases easily.

Here are some of my favorite payment gateways:

PayPal

PayPal eCommerce payment system

PayPal is popular payments method that many customers feel comfortable using to buy from businesses online. And now that PayPal has announced that it will be setting up payment transfers to Cuba, there is almost nowhere on Earth where this payment method will not be accepted.

Stripe

Stripe payment processing

Stripe is a new company making a huge dent in the online payments space. They offer the ability to add easy-to-use payments to your checkout experience. The nice thing about Stripe is they offer their own payment forms so you don’t have to pay someone to code it for you!

  1.   Retargeting

Retargeting has to be one the top eCommerce tricks that has turned simple online shopping experiences into millions of dollars in profit. Let’s look at an example to show you the power of this trend.

Let’s say you go to a physical store with the intent of buying shoelaces. However, once you get into the store, you start looking at jeans and T-shirts and end up buying those items instead. Once you leave the store, that retailer had no idea that you were looking for shoelaces to begin with. This results in lost revenue for the business.

On the other hand, when a customer shops online they have to type the product into a search bar or click on a particular product to look at it in more detail. By capturing this information, you can retarget that customer with specific products in which they’ve shown an interest. You might wonder if customers get tired of being retargeted — probably not.

Most customers want to feel as though you understand what they are looking for when they visit your site online. Retargeting is a great way to demonstrate that you do.

A lot of retargeting is done through search engines (Google Ads) and social media (i.e. Facebook), but you can retarget customers with products they’ve shopped for on your dedicated ecommerce site. Here’s an example of how Amazon retargeted me with headphones after I searched for similar products on the site:

Amazon retargeting ecommerce

Ready to take your eCommerce business to the next level? Consider implementing one or more of these strategies to captivate your customers.

About the Author:

Angeley Mullins with GoDaddyCurrently working on marketing and product initiatives for GoDaddy, Angeley Mullins is an accomplished strategy, marketing and business development professional who has seen success bringing businesses and ideas to market. She has led marketing for global exports at Amazon.com as well as business development projects at Lehman Brothers. Angeley also has a strong history of partnering with leaders on social business initiatives. She believes that through technology, education and social awareness, we can solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. Connect with Angeley on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter @AngeleyMullins.

 

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