Thinking Global – Presenting Webinars

Ellen's Webinar SetupAttending webinars is something that I enjoy and I know that they can be an important part of building a business now.  I want to grow my business and develop an email and social media marketing coaching/mastermind group. Presenting my own webinars will be how I will move to make that happen.

In May, I purchased Hangouts Marketing Mastery: Your Platform to Enhance Visibility, Attract Ideal Clients, and Increase Revenue. I knew that I had found a platform to present my own webinars.   I went with Jon and Michael’s suggestion and purchased WebinarJam Studio as soon as I watched a few presentations on that platform.

My first “Jam Session” was less than perfect.   The people watching could hear me fine but could not see my slides; the evening session went much better.  Lesson learned.  You can see my “studio” in this shot.  Not perfect, but it is better than nothing and will allow me to keep moving forward with building my business.  I am enjoying presenting webinars and know that my audience can now be global instead of just local.

I also now have a Facebook Group “Ellen’s Email Flutter“.  This is my free group to grow my community and help people to create better email marketing campaigns by allowing sharing of ideas.  Who is a wonderful spell-checker only after hitting send?  Join the group and you can share a copy of your email for others to review and give you feedback prior to sending it to your list.

What are you doing to move your business forward?  We are in the last quarter of the year, but that does not mean that you have to wait for year’s end to create a new goal or return to one that is yet unfulfilled.  So far, 2015 has been a year of growth both personally and with my business and I am not slowing down just because it is the last quarter of the year.  You should not either.

Thinking Global? Think Mobile!

I have heard for a while now statistics show that more and more emails are being opened and read first on a mobile device.   My Constant Contact dashboard now compares how many of my own marketing email campaigns are read on mobile devices and desktops.   The number of mobile devices is rising.

Three things to think about when designing for mobile

  • Single column works best.   Yes, a few people have large screens but it is still narrow and multiple columns are not as easy to read (and may not stay side by side on every device).
  • Fonts should not be smaller than 11 pts.  Make it easy to read.  Most of us are just glancing through our email and are not going to strain to read.
  • Make it short.   Last week I heard a great term – go on a word diet.   The more brief you are the better.  Include links to your website for people to learn more.  (An added bonus to this is the reports will tell you what people are interested in and will generate hot leads.)

Why aren't you showing images?  Ellen with Alex This week I attended a day long email Boot Camp where I was taught by Alex Holden how to set up a mobile friendly Master Template.
Do you need for me to set one up for you?  Let’s Talk!

Are you like our hardheaded fish?

My parents have a really large fish tank in their home.  Recently I was visiting; the entire time I was there one of the fish continuously banged his head against the automatic feeder.  You see not too long ago the feeder was loose and a few times when he hit the feeder, food came out and gave him food.  The feeder is now fixed, but the fish is stubborn.  It used to work to bang his head and have food rain down so he is convinced he can make that work again if he just keeps working the same method.

Aquarium

I thought about how that fish is much like many small business marketers.  We are convinced that what used to work is bound to work again if we just keep “banging our heads”.  Marketing has changed and we must change with it.

How do you look up the phone number and address of a local business now?  When is the last time you opened a phone book? More and more we go online or probably even more often we go on our phone.  Google is even emphasizing mobile marketing by hurting your search rankings if your website is not mobile enabled. (Something even I need to do for myself.)

Google My Business mobile listingWhat I have done and I make sure I do for all of my clients is to claim the business listing on Google. It is a simple process.  When you claim your business on Google it makes it easy for people on a mobile phone to call you or get directions to your business.  See this listing to the right?  This is from a search on Chrome on my phone.  To call the therapist all I have to do is to hit a button.  Same if I need directions or want to see their website.  Best part of this is that The Google My Business insights tells me how many people call or get directions (after a few people use the button). It really is one of the most useful analytic I can get from social media; few other sites can tell me four people called you this week because of your social media activities.  I really stress this to my clients I work with because I know that appearing in people’s mobile phones is essential to success in this mobile era.

If you want to make sure your listing is claimed but don’t have time to complete it yourself, allow me to claim it for you and transfer the ownership to your Gmail (you do have to have a Gmail to claim these listings.) Hire me today! Let’s make sure it is easy for people to find you, call you and do business with you.  Don’t be like our hardheaded fish who is still banging his head convinced his old methods will work again if he keeps at it.  Learn more about Ellen McDowell – Your Social Butterfly here. 

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I Have Heard That One Before

I was on a weekly Women’s Prosperity Network’s  “Wow Wednesday” call this morning  and was reminded that no matter how many times I have heard something before, someone is probably hearing it for the first time (or perhaps it is sinking in for the first time).  The call is a fabulous way to start your hump day and I highly suggest tuning in every week that you can.  This week’s topic was “Your Network Determines Your Net Worth” with Martha Cooper Hudson.  In the discussion she said some of the best advice she ever received was – “If you work your business like a hobby then it will pay you like a hobby; but, if you work your business like a full time job, then it will pay you like a full time job.”  I nodded as she said this because I have heard this from a few of my mentors.  Then I listened as I realized some people on the line had not heard that aphorism prior to the call (or they had not realized the truth of the statement).

This relates to your Social Media and email marketing efforts because you shouldn’t worry about putting something out on your emails or social media just once.  Someone who needs to hear your message will miss it the first time (or even the second or third time).  Don’t worry about repeating a post at a different time, sending a few email reminders or otherwise reiterating the point you are making or offer you are presenting.  Someone may see it the second post – someone may see it the seventh time.  A couple of months ago I presented a Lunch and Learn on LinkedIn Profiles.  A week after the event someone I am connected to through networking and on social media told me “You should present on LInkedIn!”.  I asked them if they had not seen my posts regarding my lunch and learn.  Somehow they missed them even though I know I posted links several times.  Note to self – several posts may not be enough to get your message out to the one person who needs to hear it.  (I may have another one planned on my calendar so be sure you are on my newsletter list for the next one! When you sign up to get my newsletters I am going to send you 10 Social Media Marketing Strategies for Success Emailed to You! Get those here.)

So to review my point again – feel free to repeat yourself.  One post is not enough.  Having your offer sit somewhere hoping people will know you have it because you told them about it once is not a marketing campaign.  Feel free to repeat yourself.

Ellen Getting her Certified Professional Speaker designation

It has been a while!

I have gotten away from my writing here, but you may have seen posts other places. Time to start back up right?

I am very excited to announce that I have earned my Professional Speaker’s Certification from Women’s Prosperity Network. Ellen McDowell Certified Professional Speaker I attended a three day workshop where we learned methods for engaging our audience, sharing our information and closing our speakers with confidence. I have been speaking on email marketing and social media for years, but now have tools that I think will help my be more successful in increasing my business after speaking engagements.  I am considering writing a book and creating talks on reinventing my self from a “wall flower” professor working alone on a laptop computer to a “social butterfly” speaking and promoting social media in front of rooms of people to my region.

This month (June 2015)  I have four presentations in the Baton Rouge area.  So I am quickly applying what I learned at the certification workshop.  The first of the month went very well and I can feel a difference in how I communicated that I am available to help businesses outside of a seminar session.

I am available for your events so please contact me if you are in need of a Certified Professional Speaker!

5 Tips for Choosing a CRM

A well-chosen Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is the key to not only managing these relationships but also to helping an organization become more efficient and increase productivity.  In fact, although CRM systems used to be reserved for enterprise organizations, today CRM is considered a critical component to the success of every organization, no matter its size.

Love your ResultsSo, with more than 300 CRM systems to choose from today, how do you select the right one?  Moreover, how do you ensure that your CRM solution will become a vital asset to your company and not just another expensive application to manage?

While every company has different needs, there are five “must-haves” for any business that is serious about finding a CRM that will deliver results.  When selecting a CRM solution with a proven ROI, choose one that:

  1. Goes beyond Contact Management – Mature CRM products go beyond Contact Management to truly manage the entire business.  Your CRM should unite your Sales, Service, Billing AND Finance departments.
  2. Will Grow with Your Company – Make sure your CRM is not only a good fit for your company today but that it can support your business down the road, too.  As your company grows, so will your number of contacts, employees, and other important relationships.
  3. Allows You to Work Anywhere – Gone are the days where employees are at their desk from 9 to 5.  Make sure your mobile workforce and field staff have access to key business information – anytime – anywhere.
  4. Integrates with Products You Already Use – You will save time and money when your CRM talks to the products you use already, such as QuickBooks, Outlook and Constant Contact.
  5. Can be Easily Customized – No two companies operate in the same way.  Your CRM should be able to be easily tailored to your culture, processes, and workflow – and by a company known for providing consistent and excellent customer service.

About the Author:

Sam Saab, President & Founder of Results Software
Sam
is passionate about helping businesses succeed!  Sam is a recognized pioneer in the CRM industry and office automation technologies.  In 1986, Sam developed and launched Results CRM as an integrated business solution that helps businesses centralize their data, streamline their operations and improve their business relationships.  Sam is a national speaker and published author on CRM topics including business growth strategies, office automation, virtual offices, boosting sales and gaining a competitive advantage.  For more information about Sam Saab, please visit www.SamSaab.com.

Happy Clients are the best

I worked with a client yesterday to get her PayPal button working on her WordPress website.  It wasn’t a difficult job, but it did have a couple of tricks to it to get it working like we wanted it to.  She has scripts for puppet shows written that are wonderful for educators, babysitters and parents (See the site here for ore information).  While it was something she could have figured out, I did it for her in a short amount of time.  Since time is money, I saved her a lot of money.

This appointment with the client has me thinking.  If we stick to our strong suits and hire people to assist us with their strong suits everyone wins.  I am often asked if I can help with websites.  The answer is yes – to a certain point.  I am good with simple websites that use templates.  If you want a custom and fancier website then I work with partner companies to make sure you get what you want.

Can you do your own Facebook page?  Sure you could and you can probably do it well.  But if it is a struggle, then why not get someone who can take the day to day postings to keep your page relevant and concentrate on selling your services?  Post when you feel like it! Social media shouldn’t be a “post when you get to it” if you want to keep your pages feeling fresh.  So hire someone to follow sites and magazines you like to share, hire someone to keep your posts regular, hire someone to worry about your social media and then you can post when you feel like it.

What in your business do you feel like you do yourself that you might be able to let someone with a specialty do better for you?  It might not be your social media (but I hope it is because then you will be calling me).  If might be bookkeeping, it might be cleaning, it even might be cooking.  Take a moment to consider what you might turn over to someone else that will allow you to concentrate on your own specialty.  Let me know what it is.

Work Smart, Not Hard: 9 Signs that It Might Be Time for CRM

Results SoftwareA guest post from my business partner Results Software.  I am very excited to help you work smarter with a Customer Relationship Management tool that I use in my own business to work smarter.

We’ve all heard of the saying “work smart, not hard”.  But when it comes to managing your entire organization, how does your company work?  Many small businesses have decided to “work smart” by capitalizing on their current business relationships and better managing their sales, projects and billing by making an investment in an integrated CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system.

Once considered a luxury reserved for large enterprises, CRM software has become a critical component for success that is accessible to all businesses.  A properly implemented CRM system allows companies to segment their clientele and track preferences and trends.  This permits them to target promotions and client contact in ways that say “We know you and care about you.”  The result is increased client loyalty, better success with promotions, and increased client referrals.  Further, a well-integrated CRM streamlines workflows, reduces double-data entry and helps uncover up-sell opportunities based on account and marketing history.  A CRM provides business continuity and makes information a truly valuable business asset by centralizing all client information, sales opportunities, documents and communications history.

Sometimes, we can get so used to the current way we do things, that we might not realize there is a better way.  So, how do you know when it is time to introduce a CRM?  It might be time for a CRM and business management solution when:

  • Business is stagnant
  • You miss revenue projections
  • You are losing business
  • You are surprised that a customer left
  • You are not making informed business decisions
  • Communication breakdowns are becoming common
  • You can’t monitor tasks and project performance in real-time
  • Your organization has non-existing or broken processes
  • Key information is scattered across isolated applications

A properly integrated CRM can be the first step to helping your company work smarter, resulting in increased performance, reduced costs and improved cash flow.  Don’t let implementing a good integrated CRM fall to the bottom of your to-do list.  Make the investment today that can take your company to the next level by operating smoother and providing you the information you need to make better decisions for tomorrow.

 

About the Author:

Sam SaabSam Saab, President & Founder of Results Software
Sam
is passionate about helping businesses succeed!  Sam is a recognized pioneer in the CRM industry and office automation technologies.  In 1986, Sam developed and launched Results CRM as an integrated business solution that helps businesses centralize their data, streamline their operations and improve their business relationships.  Sam is a national speaker and published author on CRM topics including business growth strategies, office automation, virtual offices, boosting sales and gaining a competitive advantage.

For more information about Sam Saab, please visit www.SamSaab.com.