Archive for Networking

EnVision 2016

When You Fail To Envision the future…. can you really take the right actions to get you there?

summitVision + Action = Results

I have been a long time believer in vision.  Not so much in the law of attraction working on its own, but I do believe that without a clear vision, it makes it hard to create the right strategic plan to get you to that vision.

I found that when I biked across the country. It was the strong vision of biking across the country that gave me the direction for creating a bike route and a plan.  If I just set out to bike for 6 months I could have stayed home and ridden with the bike club in circles — round and round.

That clear vision allowed me to create a strategic plan that we focused on implementing.  The results — a route across the country, places to stay each night, 10 service project locations across the country and lots of places to visit and see.

I use this as a metaphor for business.  In business, your vision is what drives you.  Sharing that vision, expanding the vision all contribute to your ability to create strategies for success.

When the vision is unclear or non existent it is hard to really grow your business.  You can perhaps keep it going on a day to day — riding in circles fashion.  But to really grow you have to be aiming at something — clear and compelling.

That vision drives your actions.

Each year, I take some time to look at my vision, to review it and refine it and create that new strategic plan for the upcoming year!

It isn’t about New Year’s resolutions.  It is about — a clear and compelling vision for the future.

I offer a complimentary webinar each year for my contacts as well — called EnVision 2016.  It is usually fun…

Bring your colored markers, paper, pen and enthusiasm and take an hour to create your vision for 2o16.

Register HERE

Business Networking for Business Growth

business networkingNetworking as a business building strategy

Networking is a great business development strategy when done right! But many business owners fail to have a complete strategy for networking!  There are several keys that make networking work better!

Networking Key #1:

Messaging.  Have a compelling message and call to action when you do your 30 second or 60 second intro.  Many business owners say their name, their company and what they do, but they don’t say how they solve the prospects pain.  You need to get to the pain and leave some intrigue so that people will want to talk with you.  Your goal is to enter into a conversation!  When you have a compelling message — then people will walk up to you and say I need to talk with you!!  That is what you want. Check out the resources at Compass Rose Consulting and download the template for a highly effective elevator pitch.

Networking Key #2: Your Business Card

The second key is to have a business card that is a lead generation tool.  When you buy business cards you are buyiing your very own piece of advertising real estate.  BUT, many do not fully utilize that real estate.  Include a call to action on the back of the business card that people will want.  This is where you can add your special offer.  The offer should be an informational report that they can download from your website… which brings us to Key #3; but be sure to download the business card template on the resource page as well: CRC Resources

Networking Key #3: Landing Page With Offer

The business card is leading people to your website or landing page with a compelling offer on it.  A special report or informational report that the individual can download.  This gets the person on your mailing list and you now have the opportunity to continue to market to them. I have a template for the report on my site as well as the landing page.  A landing page is a 3 page website.  The page with the offer, the optin confirmation page and the thank you page.  The only thing that a person can do is to optin or leave.  Most websites are big branding sites that fail to have an offer on them or a way for people to be in touch other than a number and contact us form.  Neither of these work effectively.  When you add a compelling offer to the site, then you increase your leads and can work on converting leads to clients.

Networking Strategy Key #4

After the optin, you need an email marketing series that goes out to people automatically. This is called an auto-resonder. There are many great programs for auto-responders   – Aweber, Get Response, Zoho Campaigns etc.  Email follow up is the first step in your followup strategy.  But you need a follow up plan along with scripts for you and your staff.

The three steps for using networking effectively are also available in a video training series.  You can access the video training series from my Marketing Center.  I offer these videos for free at the marketing center on the home page.  The Entrepreneur’s Marketing Center itself is a comprehensive training resource that provides a one stop shop for marketing strategies with a focus on the five step profit formula.  Everything that we have put together guides you through putting a strategy into action for your business.  The resources from ads, to templates, to video training are all there to benefit the members.

Take the networking strategy and see if you are maximizing it for your business. Download the templates in the resource area — they are absolutely complimentary… and tweak what you are doing.  Let me know the results that you have.  If you need some help — schedule your mini marketing audit with me:  Meet With Donna

Using Business Cards To Generate New Business Leads

The Business Card Challenge!

Offline Marketing Success Strategy – Hand out your business card! BUT, BUT —>>> Make SURE You Have a Call to Action AND a Strategy!

Many business owners order business cards, then they never hand them out. Amazing isn’t it? Why waste money on business cards if you’re not going to use them. Even if they are the “free version” (which by the way you probably should not use those for anything anyway) you still pay postage, so why not give them out to appropriate people.

Business Card Design Mini Primer—

  1. Be sure your cards incorporates your brand
  2. Make it professional and memorable – being full color can make your card stand out. (I use an orange card with a compass – people remember it and keep it!)
  3. Use both sides – the back of the card is valuable real estate.  Send people to your free report or offer. Or get carried away and use a folded card.
  4. Include your contact details—your name, company name, address, phone, website and email address.
  5. Redesign it if it doesn’t seem to work for you! Download our business card template!

In order to make sure that you actually use these valuable marketing tools here are some rules to follow:

Keep them with you always — Get a nice carrying case, get one for your cards so they are simple to find in order to give out, and also get one to house cards given to you. If you have a nice case for both sets of cards people will be impressed that you’re not going to lose their card and will be less likely to ignore yours.

Insert one in every mailing — Every time a letter, a bill, or other information leaves your office or home put a business card in. Usually someone, a gate keeper, opens the mail and you never know when what your business card says will attract them.

Ask for other people’s cards — Always ask, in every chance meeting, if an acquaintance has a business card. There are two reasons: It gives you a chance to give them yours, and every contact you make, even if they’re not interested might know someone who is interested.

Give out two at a time — Give everyone you give a business card to, two cards, and ask them to pass the second one on if they ever have the opportunity. Tell them to write their name on the back and you’ll give them a discount off your service or you’ll know to send business their way too if they’re referring you. Tell them if they ever need more, just ask.

Talk to strangers — Always talk to people in front of you in line, or in back of you, or at the bookstore, or before and after meetings. These are always networking opportunities. Ask them what they do, and listen. They will ask you too, then, you can exchange cards.

Follow up — Once you’ve given and received cards make sure to follow up with them. Most cards have email addresses, send them a friendly email, which of course has your signature to your website. Likely they’ll click it, and join your mailing list if only out of curiosity at first. If appropriate don’t just say you’ll “do lunch” with someone you meet, actually do it. Likely it will have to be you that initiates it, so go to it.  Follow-up is where most business owners fall down.  They fail at the follow up.  Don’t miss this valuable step.

Be sure to check out my video about follow up plans:


Be creative — Lastly, try to create a business card that is creative enough that someone is interested when they read it. Today it is not very expensive to have very artistic and effective cards made that truly get the word across of what you do. Remember there is a front and a back to the card. This little card needs to help the receiver remember who you are and what you do for a long time.

The Business Card Challenge!

Now for the challenge – how many cards can you hand out in a day? In a week?  In a month?  Make a log and note who you give them to and how many go out.  Track it for a week and the increase the number by 20%, meet your challenge and the increase another 20%.  If you follow up with each of these new contacts you should see an increase in your business volume.

Challenge your friends and colleagues too!  Share the challenge and see WHO gives away the most!!

Come back and leave your numbers…

Think about it — you hand out 5 cards per day. That’s a total of 35 cards in a week.  If you have compelling offer that generates a 10% conversion rate — which is conservative, that’s 3.5 new leads per week.  If just one converts to a new client — that is 52 new clients per year from handing out your business card.  If your new client is worth typically $1000 per year —-(drum roll) –> yes, that is increased business of $52,000 per year.  That might be a high estimate for some, but for others that is low.

I talked with a business owner the other day that had an average client value of $4500.  Now if she adds one new client per week that is an increase of $234,000 per year.  You can see the value of handing out business cards.  But this only works if you have created a complete marketing strategy – Learn the complete strategy.