Getting Results from your social media

Getting results from your social media is crucial when you’re in business and if you are bootstrapping, it is even more important to harness what is available at no cost.

In addition to the 5 key steps outlined in my article on understanding the basics, it is really important to understand just how busy social media is.

When you realise that Facebook now has more active users than China’s entire population you start to get an idea of how vast it is. More precisely how much traffic is out there!

It’s hard to be heard and seen. BUT… it is still a massive tool for FREE exposure if you are using the right strategies.

Getting Results

Three simple steps to implement to help you get results from your social media

1) Be authentic

Do not imitate.

By all means like and share, but…

Do not try to copy the style and tone of someone else.

Allowing your own brand personality to shine through is what helps build relationships.

Here’s the thing…

Buying a high ticket course or paying a “guru” lots of money does not mean you are going to achieve amazing results…

At least, not overnight.

More than likely you’ll need to do a whole load of hard work behind the scenes.

Remember, the results touted in case studies and testimonials to get you to buy are not typical. If you look carefully, you’ll see there are disclaimers saying exactly that.

2) Have a Plan

Getting results from anything comes down to having a strategy.

This means spending time thinking about the direction that you are taking and whether it is aligning with where you want to take your business.

Write down what it is you are aiming to achieve and then work out the strategy to get you there.

3) Build your mailing list

This is crucial because if Facebook shuts you down you will have lost that audience.

It is not as frightening or as complex as it sounds.

You can bootstrap by using MailChimp which is free up to 2000 subscribers.

Next Step

Try out the three simple tips above and you’ll soon be seeing a difference. Make sure you track what’s happening so you can really measure your results.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you have a plan, or if you need help formulating one.

Fly like a dragon!Fly like a dragon

Michelle

 

 

 

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING – UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS

Social media marketing is here to stay.

Yes, it can be a moving feast of pixels, insights, reach, engagement and algorithms.

BUT…before you even start to think about those, there are a few basics to get a handle on.

Talking basics

It is very important to understand that marketing is not the same as sales. It is not about generating sales.

Marketing is a very different beast. Social media marketing is huge. There are so many channels to choose from.

You do not need to be on all channels. Do one and do it right. You can always add others later.

The key is to choose the ones that are right for your business. The one where your audience is likely to be hanging out.

Facebook is the biggest platform and that’s why we always recommend it as the best place to start.

The key focus is on building your audience.

It’s about creating a relationship.

5 Key Steps

Social media marketing is a changing landscape, but there are five key steps you need to take to make sure you are “dressed” for business.

In the online world this means:

1) A good clear profile picture/logo

If using a photo of yourself, remember it does not necessarily have to be studio shot but it does need to be clear and recognisable.

This means no hiding behind sunnies or under a big hat.

If you can afford a professional headshot – get one done!

2) Link your personal page to your business

This is important because if you interact in a group you are interacting as yourself when you make comments.

If folks are curious about you, they click your profile to learn more. Naturally, you want it to lead them to your business page. Check out the video clip on why here.

3) Join groups where your target audience hangs out

These can be really great sources of market research. Watch, listen and get a feel for what is happening.

Be helpful without the expectation of gaining anything.

Be interested in what others have to say – like and comment as appropriate.

Remember, social media marketing is not about what you have to sell.

4) Be consistent

It’s a crowded marketplace so consistency is key.

This means showing up regularly. Not just on your own page but visiting others too – you can use your professional identity when you visit.

5) Interact

When people visit your page, make sure you interact.

If they leave a review make sure you thank them. If they’ve left a comment, at the very least like that comment. Even better respond!

Let me know in the comments if you found these tips helpful.

Fly like a dragon!Fly like a dragon

Michelle

PS – if you’ve got a question – ask away and we’ll do our best to answer.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA – IS IT CONFUSING YOU?

If you’re confused by social media and how it applies to your business you are not alone.

Yes, it’s been around for over 10 years but that does not mean it’s gotten any easier to understand. In fact, it’s got more complex and confusing.

There are so many different channels to choose from – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter,  Instagram to name just a few.

If you did not grow up in the digital world with a smartphone attached to your fingertips, it can get a tad hard to understand at times.

It can also be a massive time-waster as you dash down the rabbit hole trying to figure it all out and listen to every expert that there is all telling you different things.

I’m not a digital native but I’ve been using social media for just over 10 years now. I’ve learnt a few things along the way.

My 5 Social Media Top Tips

1) Consistency is key – turning up consistently is essential.

You can’t just pop in and out as the fancy takes you or when you decide you want to “sell” something.

You need to consistently work on your social media.

If you’re not sure how you may like to check out my Understanding Facebook for Your Business self-paced course where I’ll teach you.

2) Set goals and stick to them – decide what your goals are for social media and make sure that your expectations are realistic.

Is it to create engagement? To make sales? To get referrals? Each of these requires a different approach.

Once you know what your goals are it is much easier to pursue them.

3) You don’t need to be everywhere – being “everywhere” is not necessarily the right thing for your business.

Be strategic. Identify where your target audience hangs out. Once you know which platforms they are on, you need to get on the same ones.

4) Focus on 2-3 key platforms – once you know where your audience is you are better able to focus on interacting and gaining their attention.

5) Make sure you are offering quality content – this keeps your readers and fans engaged.

My Channels

I tend to stick to Facebook for my business and personal connections and I also use LinkedIn. The bulk of my posting is done on Facebook.

I do have accounts on Twitter and Instagram but I am not altogether comfortable with them. More importantly, that is not where my audience hangs out so I have not invested time in learning how to effectively “work” them.

LinkedIn keeps me in touch with my professional networks, and Facebook helps maintain a presence that is on a more ‘friendly’ level.

Monitoring

The landscape is ever changing when it comes down to social media. This means it’s really important that you continue to be monitoring what you are doing and where you are getting the best results.

It’s not a case of set and forget it.

Algorithms are rapidly changing and I make sure I keep abreast on my channels and I usually share my discoveries with my subscribers. Sometimes they are already aware of the changes but other times it’s a new discovery – it’s all about paying it forward and helping each other out.

Together we learn and discover what is trending and working.

Need help managing and Understanding Facebook for Your Business? My self-paced course where you practice as you learn will soon get you on track.  Click here to find out more.

What channels are you using? Let me know in the comments below.

Fly like a dragon!Fly like a dragon

Michelle

 

 

4 Reasons Why Referrals Make Great Business Sense

Referrals. Gold for your business.

With the popularity of Facebook and online forums, establishing a good referral system is essential to your business prospecting activities.

Yet, when working with clients we are often surprised that many do not have a formal strategy in place.

Not having a referral strategy in place for your business is leaving money on the table.

Different Kinds of Referrals

Developing your strategy begins by being conscious of the power of referrals.

The more expensive something is going to be, the more likely referrals are to be the deciding factor.

This does not mean that more expensive is necessarily better. Rather it means the decision is more measured when it comes to items at a higher price point.

Similarly, when putting our trust in someone to handle things that are very personal to us…like our health. Or haircuts. Special occasions that will not be repeated.

Two of the main types of referrals are:

1) Online Reviews

How often do you check the online reviews on TripAdvisor when you’re in a new town? or on Facebook when you’re thinking of using a business for the first time?

I’m willing to bet you do that quite a lot! Am I right?

2) Personal Recommendations

When was the last time you went to a restaurant because a friend kept on raving how great the food or the service was?

Have you ever asked a family member/friend to recommend a reliable plumber/electrician to take care of your dripping taps or broken fans?

I do this on a regular basis because good tradies are hard to find!

Similarly, doctors, dentists, web designers, accountants and a myriad of other professionals.

The Trust Factor

If you’re like me, then you probably like to give your business to, and place your trust in, someone that comes recommended by somebody you know and trust.

When you’re new to a place, or looking for a service for the first time where do you look before making a decision?

These last few months I’ve been spending a lot of time in a new location – Bribie Island – I’ve found a hairdresser, a masseur as well as my airconditioning installer and electrician all through referrals.

Most of these referrals came from online recommendations in a local community group Facebook page. I then did my own due diligence and checked out their websites and also the profiles of the reviewers.

If you’re in business your online profile deserves your attention because you never know when you’ll be ‘snooped’ by a potential client.

Referrals definitely work!

Referral strategies need to have a key place in your business.

Even more so now that there is so much happening out there in the social media landscape. Tapping into that landscape is GOLD.

4 key benefits to your business

1 ) Customer acquisition costs are minimal.

Your happy customers are doing the marketing for you.

Of course, this only happens if you give good service and are attentive to your customers’ needs.

This means going above and beyond what is expected.

2) Customer retention rate is higher.

If people are happy with your services, they are most likely to keep doing business with you.

However, you also need to remain front of mind, so it’s important to maintain contact via a strategic communications plan.

3) The marketplace is crowded.

There is so much going on out there in “internet land.”It makes getting your message to stand out from the crowd difficult.

Who better than to recommend and refer you than happy clients/customers?

Remember, we value the advice and recommendations of our friends.

4) Conversion rates are generally higher.

A prospect introduced to your business by someone they trust is far more likely to convert into a new client/customer for you.

Spotting a potential referral opportunity

The old adage that an unhappy customer will tell everyone and a happy customer usually won’t say anything much is definitely true.

What this boils down to is this…

Communication.

You need to make the ASK.

1) Ask your customer to spread the good word about your business.

2) Be quite specific in your ask.

3) When you get a referral be sure to follow up and THANK whoever made the referral for sending business your way.

4) Continue to keep in touch AFTER the job is finished.

Keeping in touch is a vital part of the relationship building. You’re going that extra mile to make sure everything is running smoothly or, in the instance where there may be a problem, you can immediately offer a solution BEFORE it becomes a bigger issue.

If you haven’t got a system in place, it’s not too late to start!

You’ll be surprised at how easy it really is once you are open to creating and maximising the opportunities.

Need some help working out HOW to ask for referrals? Ask us and if you’re struggling to choose a business consultant to work with – check out our tip sheet.

Fly like a dragon
Michelle

Michelle Hanton is a multi-award winning bespoke business strategist, working internationally as a consultant, coach, speaker and writer. She has a keen interest in the not-for-profit sector and is the former CEO of Lifeline Top End, and founder of Dragons Abreast Australia, a national charity dedicated to the promotion of breast cancer awareness.

5 Simple Tips to Improve Your Writing

Do you love to write?

If you do, then you’re just like me!

If you don’t…. you’re not alone.

Whichever category you fall into, these 5 simple tips will help.

Before you take to writing that next piece of yours, whether it be a blog post or a business report, here are some quick tips to help you shine.

1) The Daily Habit

Get in the habit of writing each and every day; start a journal or a diary, write to a pen pal, just get yourself in the habit of writing.

It might seem like a lot of work but it isn’t.

*A really good way to practise this is to write 2 pages in a notebook each morning. Even though I am a writer,  I’ve just started utilising this tip that I learnt from a LinkedIn post and it is working wonders for me.

If you’re in business, chances are you’re already writing every day. You might not think of it as writing, but no doubt you send off countless emails each day?

2) Broadening your vocabulary

Get a word calendar or download an app on your phone like Dictionary.com.

Putting new words into your vocabulary is a great way to make your writing more powerful.

Often, when expanding your vocabulary you’ll also improve your knowledge on spelling and the correct use of words already in your vocabulary.

*I personally love learning new words and use them often to improve my personal writing.

3) Keep using those tough words.

Everyone has words they struggle to spell.  Don’t let that stop you.

I recently found a recipe book and I’d written one of the simplest words wrong.

I was mortified, but you know what? That’s just proof of how reliant we’re getting on the computer spell checking for us.

If you struggle with certain words keep pushing yourself to use them. Eventually, you’ll spell them so often that you’ll learn to spell them correctly.

*Whenever I misspell something on my computer before looking for the correct spelling I go back and try to spell it again. Nine times out of ten I’ll spell it right on the second try.

4) Don’t always listen to the computer

Microsoft Word is great, don’t get me wrong.

I’m always looking out for those red and green squiggly lines, but it isn’t always right.

Sometimes computers don’t understand the context of how a particular sentence should work, so it’ll underline the whole thing with a green line. This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the sentence.

Before taking on board the computer’s recommended changes always give it a second or third read over.

See if it flows.

If it flows and you don’t detect anything wrong there probably isn’t an issue.

Also, bear in mind that not every word is registered in the Microsoft Word dictionary. If a word is really old or comes from another language Word will just keep on telling you it’s spelt wrong, even when it isn’t.

5) Write it ALL down first.

I used to always edit as I went, so if I misspelt a word I would immediately change it and if a sentence didn’t flow I’d spend ages re-writing it.

However, that isn’t the most efficient way to write and edit.

The most efficient process is to write everything out and then do a re-read for editing.

Trust me it saves time.

A helping hand

If you need a helping hand with any aspects of writing or editing…

Simple emails, sales funnels, website content reviews through to book manuscripts, blogs and ghost writing are all in a days work for us at Dragon Sisters.

Need some help…..reach out to us.

To your success,

Sasha

Sasha Hanton – a graduate of Bond University with a Bachelor in Journalism. Sasha possesses high caliber skills across a wide genre of writing, editing and multi-media content creation. Sasha’s achievements include the Sally A White Award for Investigative Journalism 2013.

 

HOW TO MAKE GREAT VIDEO CLIPS YOURSELF

Video is continuing to gain traction, and we’re repeatedly being asked about video, so we decided to repost this article with great tips from a Berlin based professional in the field – Ludwig Linnekogel.

Michelle

Have you noticed a huge trend to use video as a way to engage with your audience? Of course you have! Okay, maybe you haven’t, but take a moment to check and you’ll soon spot a trend. As an oldie and as an avid reader, I have to say that, as a rule, I much … Continue reading HOW TO MAKE GREAT VIDEO CLIPS YOURSELF

Source: HOW TO MAKE GREAT VIDEO CLIPS YOURSELF – Dragon Sisters

The Truth About Being Your Own Boss

How often do you hear stories of people chucking in their jobs, starting their own business, making millions and now sitting on a beach watching the money roll in?

All the time. The internet is full of these people.

Sounds like a dream life. Right?

Hmmm, not quite that simple.

Even for those who are at the very top of the tree there’s still a ton of work to be done behind the scenes.

It’s absolutely true that when you start your own business and work for yourself  you have the freedom to do as you like. Being your own boss and having no one else to answer to is great!

Yes, it’s definitely true that you have freedom in the sense you get to choose what to do and when to do it. But only to a certain extent.

I have my own business. I’ve owned a couple of others prior to starting Dragon Sisters 9 years ago. Sure, I do, on the surface, have freedom and flexibility to do as I like.

The Reality

However, the reality of being your own boss is a little different.

The bottom line is this –  it all comes down to your own efforts to succeed – you are in the driver’s seat and 100% responsible. You are your own hero.

The truth is, as someone who runs their own business,  the onus always lies on you to bring in the $$.

Of course, the more successful you are, the less pressure there is on bringing in the basics to cover the day-to-day essentials.

If you love your what you do and have a real passion for it, then it no longer seems like work.

However, here’s the thing – no matter how successful you are, you still need to be out there smarketing.

For instance, coming back to my own example, I’m currently fully booked up .

But, I’m still out there …adding in workshop dates, interacting on social media and attending a couple of face to face events.

I’m actively keeping my brand out there.

Why do you need to do this?

No matter what your product or service is, unless you continue to pay attention to your profile in the market place, you cannot stay front of mind.

This is why all the top names spend time and money doing tours, running workshops, marketing via social media and much more. They are constantly on the look out for ways to stay ahead of the game, to be at the forefront.

It makes me want to cry when I see people who have spent months, perhaps years building businesses to a point of success, and then taking their foot off the accelerator when the pressure to succeed eases.

They’re starting to get ahead, can pay all their bills and are feeling confident. So time to relax a bit – after all they’ve worked hard and deserve it.

This is the danger point.

Unless you have robust systems in place, you cannot expect to just take off and leave your business to tick along. That’s the road to ruin.

I’ve seen this happen all too often. Good people going down the tubes because they’ve failed to famine proof the business. They’ve relaxed too much.

NOOO! I want to scream out.

Sure, take a little break to refresh and relax, but you must also reframe your thinking. Keep focussing on your business no matter what. Yes, take a holiday. Yes, take time for yourself, but have a strategy in place.

It’s the old adage “momentum flows where attention goes.”

If your attention is not on your business then it loses momentum.

Notice I used the word ON rather than in?

This is a really important differential. When you work ON your business, you’re taking a helicopter perspective. You have vision, you see opportunity and you maximise wherever you can.

Working in your business, means your head is down, occupied with the detail and minutia.  You cannot see the woods for the trees.

As your business grows, it is vital to take the time to work ON the business, as opposed to in it. This is what those highly successful people sitting on the beach are doing. They’re working on their business – always.

The being your own boss formula is simple. Put in the time and your business will grow.

Do what you love and it hardly seems like work.

6 Tips for Working ON Your Business

  1. Set aside a minumum of 20 minutes a day (5 days a week) dedicated to your personal marketing activities – remember, people buy people so you have to maintain your presence.
  2. Be consistently attentive  – respond to emails, calls etc.
  3. Regularly view your business revenue streams. What can you tweak? What should you ditch? What can you add?
  4. Delegate/Outsource tasks that can be handled by others.
  5. Actively listen to your market place.
  6. Set aside time for yourself each day – to fresh, reframe and relax.

If you are already successful, your ongoing nurturing will ensure your business continues to thrive.  You’ll be able to sit on the beach and your efforts in working on the business are helping it become famine proof.

Starting your own business is an adventure. One that comes with many ups and downs, but brings with it many rewards.

If you want the freedom to follow your passion, then owning your own business and being your own boss is fantastic. I have never looked back. Sure there are hurdles to overcome at time, but I love what I do.

Are you your own boss?

Need a little support or got a questions? Drop me a note, or join my private Facebook group which is supportive, motivational, aspirational, refreshing and talented –The SMART Circle –

To your success,

Michelle

Networking – The Pain of No Gain

Recently I was invited to meet a new networking group.   The first person I met told me, ‘I don’t speak to customers,’ with a please-go-away glint in his eye.   His female associate said, ‘that’s right, he’s great at website design, but he doesn’t like talking to customers.’

It made me wonder why she hadn’t left him safely chained up in his virtual world, far, far away from the real life people; with real life egos to offend.   I wanted to tell him to relax; there was no danger of me becoming one of his customers.

What was his associate thinking?  Bringing him to a networking event was like inviting the Terminator to a peace rally – at best pointless; at worst, potentially deadly – the lifeless bodies of dead opportunities strewn around him.

By almost spooky coincidence, I came across another website designer (on social media), who took our introduction as an opportunity – to immediately shoot holes in one of my websites.   Well, at least he recognised the opportunity.  Not that he had it for long.

Even spookier:   I am actually in the market for a new website!

Now I’m not bashing web guys or girls.   I have the greatest respect for web wizards.   Especially since when I started out in business, digital space was what you had between your fingers, and the web was what Spiderman had between his.

Things have changed a lot in that time.   Moreover, some things haven’t.   Like the need to attract customers to your business  and the ability to recognise them!

Clearly, these two gentlemen were interested in this. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have been putting themselves in the physical, or online, networking space.  It’s a pity then that having taken that step, it didn’t work out for them because they had no idea how to maximise the opportunity presented.

It’s easy to look on and cringe, or chortle, at those two scenarios.   You and I can smugly reassure ourselves that, of course, we would never so obviously muck up the chance of interesting a hot prospect in our business.

The truth is, all of us, at some point, have missed an opportunity and are very likely oblivious to the fact.   The pain of no gain can show up much later, after the fact.   The more times we prod that pain point with the pointy stick of lost opportunity, the more it hurts – our business.

Image courtesty of 1shots at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of 1shots at FReeDigitalPhotos.net

Being on the point (sorry, pun phobics) with identifying an opportunity, in any environment, is a habit honing exercise, enhanced by practice and experience.  And it takes skill to translate an opportunity to an outcome.  A win-win outcome.

Not being on point, can be a business breaker.   Crack out the Panadol!

Michelle and I have worked together for nearly a decade now.   Sure, we’re sisters.

However, the reason I work with her is that Michelle is one of the best business strategists I know, and I have been privileged to know some amazing ones.

One discipline Michelle insists on (she can be a bit bossy), is that we dedicate a proportion of our time each week, to talking about creating and maximising opportunities – for our business, our clients, and our Dragon Sisters collaborators.

Michelle has a little list of what I call her Dragon Disciplines relating to opportunities.

DD #3 resonates here:   “Your expert may not be the right person to develop all opportunities”.     

If you’d like a copy of her list of Dragon Disciplines, drop me a note, and I’ll send you a copy.

Yvonne



Yvonne ToeringYvonne Toering is a business development consultant who has worked with leading organisations and brands including Securicor Group, Vodafone Group, ASDA as well as most of the UK’s major high street retail chains including Marks and Spencer Plc, the National Health Service, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mars UK, and the Grand Metropolitan Group, owners of Burger King, Smirnoff, Samuel Webster Brewers, Haagen Daas, Cinzano and other iconic brands.

 

Discover The Secret Ingredient to Getting More Business

You need to be getting more business.

That’s why you’re reading this – am I right?

You’re not alone. Do not despair.

There are plenty of people out there bemoaning their lack of customers.

The fact that you have tough competition, that maybe you can’t get your message out there in a way that translates to more business is frustrating.  I hear you!

Or maybe your message works – you get leads and enquiries – but still no significant increase in sales. Frustrating to say the least.

Does this sound like you? If so, keep reading.

You’ve spent a lot of time and effort building your profile, your brand or your service, thinking up ways to get new customers in the door.

It’s probably cost you a quite a bit too, in advertising, promotions, website development and more.

Perhaps you’ve now got a nice little group of clients, some new prospects and supporters, but you need more.

You need more sales!

So what’s the secret?

Okay – here we go……

If you’re savvy you’ll be translating all your efforts, not just your marketing, into real sales opportunities.

After all, it’s taken a lot to get yourself this far.

Often people think that it’s enough to be busy marketing, even if the results are pretty much hit-and-miss. At least they are maintaining awareness of their brand or service and isn’t that what marketing is all about?

These same lovely people, in the next breath, ask me:

But what can I do to get more business (from my sales and marketing efforts)?

My answer is always:

You can do a lot!

And it need cost you no more, or even less, than what you’re doing now. In fact, if you have a tiny budget, you can still do a lot.

Because, all that is missing is one key element to your sales and marketing equation … Smarketing….the secret ingredient!

So what’s Smarketing?

It’s a term Yvonne and I have coined – it encompasses sales, strategy and marketing rolled into a system that becomes a part of how you work, and everything that you do.

It’s learning how to refocus your business mindset for results.

When you’re a Smarketer you have your own unique voice and are able to consistently use every opportunity that presents itself to benefit your business goals and dreams.

A Smarketing Mindset sets you up for success.

If you want to transform your business-winning capabilities, BUT need a little help, you might like our FREE weekly tips.

Every Wednesday – direct to your Inbox – FREE Smarketing tips to help you connect, convert and sell!




Even if your business is going well and you’re on a roll, it’s vital to be smarketing – always.

Michelle

Michelle Hanton is a multi-award winning bespoke business strategist, working internationally as a consultant, coach, speaker and writer. She has a keen interest in the not-for-profit sector and is the former CEO of Lifeline Top End, and founder of Dragons Abreast Australia, a national charity dedicated to the promotion of breast cancer awareness.




6 Steps to Managing Your Social Media

You can love it or hate it, but the bottom line is, on a business level, we need to engage in some way or other with social media.

If you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated social media manager, you won’t need to worry, but for smaller businesses and solopreneurs it’s all too easy to become overwhelmed.

A common dilemma

What to post?

How often?

These are questions so many people ask themselves.

You can end up wasting heaps of time on a daily basis flicking through social media looking for inspiration.

Precious time that you could be dedicating to building your business and serving clients.

Social Media Connections(1)Our latest tip sheet 6 Steps to Strategic Social Media Posting will save you heaps of time. It’s totally FREE as are most of our resources.

Process = progress. Nail down the process (as outlined on the tip sheet) and you’ll find yourself making much more progress, plus saving heaps of time!

Michelle

PS – as always, love your feedback

Michelle Hanton is a multi-award winning bespoke business strategist, working internationally as a consultant, coach, speaker and writer. She has a keen interest in the not-for-profit sector and is the former CEO of Lifeline Top End, and founder of Dragons Abreast Australia, a national charity dedicated to the promotion of breast cancer awareness.