What inspires you on a daily basis? Do you have a particular photo or quote that motivates and inspires your personal and business life? Let MACs Women know! We want you to show us how you stay inspired and how much of an inspiration you are to others. Being inspired and inspiring others can have a wonderful impact on the growth of your business. It makes things just that much brighter.
And we haven't even gotten to the best part! If you enter your inspiring photo into the contest, you are automatically entered for a chance to win a pair of FREE tickets to the 2015 MACs Women Connect Summit on October 3rd! It's easy to enter and it's worth it!
After you have decided which picture (or pictures, you can enter up to five in the contest), here's how to enter:
We here at MACs Women are very excited to see what inspires you! We are looking forward to seeing everyone's submissions, but there can be only one winner. The contest ends soon, so hurry up and enter for your chance to win a pair of tickets to the 2015 MACs Women Connect Summit!
The internet thrives on information, making content the most crucial element of online marketing. Your blog, which is the content powerhouse of your business site, can be used to educate and inform visitors, build loyal readership, generate leads, and eventually convert those leads into sales.
Following are tips on how you can get the most out of your blog:
1. Write the right topics. If your business belongs to the food niche, don’t blog about unrelated topics. Your posts should be reflective of your knowledge and expertise, why you do what you do, or why your organization exists.
2. De-clutter your blog. Avoid adding too much elements on your blog. Instead of helping you engage readers, too many elements on a page will just distract them. Basically, the anatomy of your blog posts should only contain these three elements: an eye-catching image, the content itself, and an opt-in box at the end.
If you don’t want to add the opt-in box (because you already have it on the sidebar), make sure that you always end your post with a call to action.
3. Make your posts easy to share. Don’t you wonder why this post gets hundreds of retweets? First, because it’s a pretty good and relevant article and, second, because it has social sharing buttons conveniently located on the side of the post.
4. Write frequently. SEO-wise, blogging frequently allows your site to be crawled by search engine bots more frequently; you get Page Rank (PR) points for that. Also, if you keep on producing new content on a regular basis, you’ll start gaining regular readers. These people will see your blog as their go-to resource and will willingly share your posts or link to you.
5. Promote, promote, promote. At the end of the day, you will still have to promote your blog post. You can’t just let it sit there. Social media sharing is the easiest route to go. But one really smart way of promoting your blog content is by packaging several blog posts into a weekly newsletter.
What other tips would you suggest so that website owners and online marketers can get the most out of their blogs?
No single business succeeded right off the bat. Failed products, unsuccessful ventures, and failure in general have always been, and will always be, a part of every success story. But not everyone who went down the trenches were able to bounce back to tell their inspiring success story; some were slumped too deep down to get back.
The one BIG reason of most small business failures is the imprudent use of resources. Below are 3 smart tips on how you can avoid falling down into an unrecoverable situation.
1. Focus on what you do best. Avoid offering too many products. It’s actually okay for a business to just do one thing – as long as it’s done extremely well.
Re-evaluate your company’s mission and vision, identify that one thing that you should be doing, and focus your resources into that. It will probably take all you’ve got just to make that one thing succeed.
2. Shut down small, resource-exhausting projects. Shutting down less successful projects/products frees up your resources. You can then put back the additional resource to your core product.
If you’re running a small business with a few team members, make sure that everyone is assigned a task that will contribute to your bottom line.
3. Automate and outsource. As a business owner your time is one of the most valuable resources. Instead of spending hours doing basic daily tasks, you should focus on the core activities of your business – planning, networking, etc.
As an entrepreneur you’re really on an unending roller-coaster ride – some days you’re at your highest, other days you’re at your lowest; some days you’re feeling like a million dollar, and other days you feel like you owe one million dollars. But small periodic failures are really valuable opportunities for you to look at the bigger picture and find out what may have gone wrong.
Over to you..
Want to share your opinions, thoughts or comments? Please do so below. We'd love to hear them.
Most successful entrepreneurs in any industry right now started from the bottom just like you. They’ve been in every situation you’ve been through. They’ve faced many challenges and failures just like you did. And they were able to climb their way up to success not because of lucky breaks, but because they’ve got the 5 golden qualities all other successful entrepreneurs before them possess.
1. They have an unwavering passion. Your passion for what you do will be one of your tickets to success. As an entrepreneur you’ll be on a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows, your passion will be one of the things that will keep you hanging in there during the low times.
That unwavering passion will give you purpose and will ultimately fuel your hunger for success.
2. Successful people are open-minded. The minds of successful entrepreneurs work like a sponge, soaking up all the best practices in the industry, learning new things, constantly asking questions and always looking for ways to find answers to those questions. They take in knowledge from around them and use them to their advantage.
3. They have an extraordinarily creative mind. They are people who keep asking “why not?” and go around improving things that are too consistently boring. There are always ideas constantly flowing in their heads, seeing opportunities and possibilities where others see problems.
4. They have a relaxed perspective. Being a business owner is all about dealing an unending series of problems and successful entrepreneurs know best how to problem-solve because they always keep their perspective.
They know just how important composure is especially during stressful situations. They understand that when your emotions get the best of you, that’s when you slip in through the cracks, dragging your business with you downhill.
5. They take responsibility. Successful business people never blame others for the consequences of their decisions and actions. The complain and blame game is a huge time waster for them. They make decision, learn from any incurred mistakes, and move on.
If you try embracing these qualities, you’ll be on your way to becoming a better and more successful entrepreneur.
Over to you..
Do you agree all successful entrepreneurs inherently posses the 5 qualities mentioned above. Anything you want to add, please do so in the comment section below.
Over the years, LinkedIn has become more than just a job resource. It has now become a tool for professionals to connect, discuss, and ask questions and get answers from industry experts.
Following are 4 of the mistakes that most people make on LinkedIn and how you can avoid them:
Blunder 1: Your Profile is Just All About “What You Do”
LinkedIn is known to be THE network for professionals, so people obviously see this as an opportunity to talk about their professions and what they do. But if you really want people to start taking interest in you, tell them how you or your company can help them instead of just telling them what you do. It’s the same as marketing a product – you highlight the benefits more than the product features.
So instead of just putting “Online Marketing Director”, it would be best to add something like “I help business owners market their products online in the most effective & cost-efficient way possible”.
Blunder 2: Your Most Important Message is Not Reaching Them RIGHT AWAY
Most people who buy magazines/newspapers by impulse bought them because of the headline. The picture or text on the headline grabbed their attention and piqued their interests, resulting in them buying it. Whatever’s inside is just bonus for them. Your LinkedIn profile summary should work like this.
Always remember that anyone visiting your LinkedIn profile is just one click away from getting distracted and leaving your page. This means that you should have an attention-grabbing, irresistible headline spanning across your profile that would pique their interest right away.
Blunder 3: You Don’t Update Regularly
Neglecting to update your profile can slow down the momentum of growth you have on your LinkedIn account. You need fresh content regularly to engage your audience and keep them coming back. If you fail to do that, you will more likely lose your audience. A lot of LinkedIn accounts die a natural death due to neglect and dormancy.
Blunder 4: You Simply Fail to Give Them a Positive Mental Picture
Give your target audience a mental picture of who you are, what makes you unique and most importantly how you can help them or make the world a better place. If you have not given your audience or painted for them a positive mental picture, your path to building a successful online brand will be much harder.
Breaking free from corporate 9-5 jobs and starting a business is never easy. You may have the passion, the persistence and the right attitude, but business startups, small or big, need up-front financial capital to really get started.
Here are some ways on how you can raise the capital you need to launch your business:
Your own pocket. If you truly believe that your business is viable and that you can make it work, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t shell out your own cash.
Putting your own financial well-being on the line is a huge risk, but you can’t expect other people to invest in your business if you yourself is unwilling to invest in it. Of course, don’t use everything up, you still need to have emergency funds always at the ready.
Friends and family. If after putting your own money on the table you still fall short of the needed capital, you can then start tapping into your circle of family and friends.
Approach family member or close friends who are financially well off. Show them your business plan and tell them that you’ve already invested in it so they know you’re serious. If they decided to invest, keep them involved as the progress of the business.
Crowdfunding. Thanks to the internet, raising capital for your business has never been easier! Crowdfunding is essentially small amounts of capital pitched in by large amounts of individuals. Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the most popular crowdfunding platforms.
Bank Loans. The bank will scrutinize your funding request more than your family and friends. Present your business plan together with a comprehensive market research and revenue expectations.
Seed Funding Firms. Seed firms, just like Angels, invest small amounts on early stages of a promising business. Because seed firms are companies, approaching them is much easier than approaching an Angel investor. Just Google the word “seed funding” and you’ll be able to see a huge resource of seed companies. You can then visit their websites and contact them from there.
Seed firms invest in the earliest stages of a business, so they are basically investing into the people just as much as the business idea. This means that, as the business owner, you should pitch yourself just as much as you would your business.
Venture Capital Firms. VC companies invest other people’s money in a much larger amount than what seed firms normally invest. VC investments, averaging several million dollars, come in the later stages of a startup’s life, are harder to get, and come with more stringent terms.
If you’re an entrepreneur looking to get connected with potential investors, joining an entrepreneur summit like the MACsWomen’s Summit & Expo is a good way to start.
How were you able to launch your business? Did you need a large starting capital or did you start with just a few dollars? Ever tried pitching your business to investors? Any tips you can share with startup entrepreneurs out there?
If you own your own business, you've got plenty of people to keep happy, whether it be clients or customers. Not only do these people provide the revenue coming into the business but there also is a great feeling that comes with contributing to the success and happiness of your clients. Here are a few tips on how to keep clients or customers happy so that your business will can continue to thrive.
1. Pay attention.
Anticipate needs. Get to know expectations and communication style. What is the most effective way to talk to them? Pick up on patterns and habits that they may have.
2. Ask what matters to your client/customer.
Prep yourself in advance for the predictable and unpredictable chaos. Act and deliver on what will make your clients and customers happy. Ask them what YOU can do to met there level of satisfaction.
3. Go above and beyond.
Do more than what is asked or what is planned to do. Again, clients and customers are the most important key factors in keeping your business up and running. Without them, you wouldn't have business. Do a little extra if necessary to keep satisfaction at reasonable level. Remember, you succeed by tending to your clients' and customers' needs.
To keep your clients or customers happy, you'll need to work on your social and networking skills, improve your business, streamline the organisation of your workflow, and more. This all might sound scary, but don't worry; if you keep some of these tips in mind you will make it! In what ways do you keep your customers or clients happy? Have you ever gone above and beyond?
The inbound marketing process starts with attracting the right audience, converting them into customers, and then building a relationship with them so that they become repeat business.
Here's a 6-step guide to help entrepreneurs like you get the most out of your inbound marketing campaign.
1. Create the right content. Inbound marketing is all about creating contents that are aligned with the interest of your business’ target audience. That is, any content you produce should be able to answer your customers’ basic questions or cater to their basic needs.
2. Market & promote your contents. The customer-business interaction falls into different stages. You should be able to recognize the stage your customers are currently in so that you can provide them with appropriate and personalized marketing messages.
3. Be everywhere. A good inbound marketing strategy is multi-channeled by nature. This means that you should be able to connect with your audience on any platform or channel they are in.
4. Start converting. After creating the right types of content, promoting them and connecting with your target audience on different platforms, you should now be able to have driven a steady amount of traffic to your site. Your next step is then to convert this traffic into hot leads by gathering their contact info.
Some of the most common tools that you can use to convert visitors into leads include:
5. Convert leads into customers. To be able make sure that you’re approaching your leads with the right marketing message at the right time, you need to determine “just how ready they are to buy from you”.
If a visitor subscribes to your newsletter or downloads your eBook but still doesn’t buy from you after a month, it means that they’re not yet ready. In this case, you have to be proactive. Sending them a series of emails with content related to the newsletter or eBook they originally subscribed to would definitely help them become more ready.
6. Keep wooing them. Just because you were able to make a customer buy one product doesn’t mean the sales cycle is over. Remember, you don’t just aim for new sales, you also aim for repeat sales.
Continue providing useful and valuable information to customers even if they have already purchased from you.
The most crucial element of inbound marketing is the content; an effective content creation and content sharing strategy must be in place, otherwise the whole inbound marketing campaign won’t work.
Are you using any one of the above strategies for your inbound marketing? Or perhaps all of them? Or maybe you have additional inbound marketing tips you want to share to the MACsWomen community? Please share your thoughts and comments below, we’d love to hear them.
Whether you're planning to host an online (webinar, teleclass) or offline event (summit, expo, conference, etc), social media marketing is an effective and cost-efficient way to reach your target audience. The trick is to know which online channels to use and when to use them.
The first things you need to do is pick out 3 or 4 social media platforms where you’re likely to get the most engagement from your target audience, and focus the bulk of your marketing efforts on these platforms. Remember that you must have a different approach for each platform to make sure that you’re engaging your audience the right way.
Here are smart tips on how you can maximize online exposure for your networking event on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn:
On Twitter, you can either create a separate account for the event (with the event name as the Twitter handle) or opt to just use your existing business account to promote the event.
For example, I could have created a Twitter account for the upcoming 6th Annual MACsWomen’s Summit & EXPO 2015 and use @macswomensummit as the handle. I prefer not to do that because MACsWomen’s Group current twitter account and its handle, @MACsWomen, is branding enough and I want to manage everything in one place.
As for tweets, make sure that you are not just tweeting about the event all the time because that would just annoy your followers. A 1-2 ratio would be a smart strategy – for every 1 event-related tweet, you send out 2 non-event tweets.
You should also ask people to share your event by asking them for a re-tweet.
You can do a range of different activities on your Facebook account. For one, you can post/announce sponsors and speakers just as soon they are confirmed, you can highlight discounted ticket promos using images, you can post a series of marketing images about the event, etc. Always include links in your photos/images.
Just like on Twitter, you can also make a dedicated Facebook page for you event, but for the same reason state above, I just used MACsWomen's official Facebook page and opted not to create a separate, dedicated account for the MACsWomen’s Summit.
Also, make sure that you create an RSVP and invite your friends weeks before the event. This will attract more interest and engagement.
Most often than not, you and the people in your network already share the same interest or are already in the same niche. This means that it would be a lot easier for you to reach out to them and invite them to join your event. You can also RSVP people on LinkedIn.
To increase the discoverability factor of your event, don’t forget your hashtag. Put a hashtag on all of your promotional materials (if possible). Even when the actual event is already over, people can still use hashtags like #macssummit when they have something to say about their experience at the event. Hashtags are incredibly useful especially if your event is recurring.
Over to you..
Any tips you want to add? Please share your thoughts, comments or opinions below, the MACsWomen community would love to hear them.
Aside from using social media platforms to promote your event, here 3 more online mediums you can use to get your networking event in front of your target audience:
1. Your blog. You can either write a post about the event on an existing business blog, or create a separate blog dedicated to the event.
No matter which route you go, make sure you create a post or a series of posts announcing the event. We actually did both. And because the MACsWomen’s Summit is a fairly big annual recurring event, we decided to create a page for it, which you can find right here.
2. Your email. Email marketing has remained one of the most effective marketing tools out there. So promote your event in a big way by tapping into your email list.
The first thing you need to do is setup an account with an email marketing program like MailChimp, Aweber, Constant Contact or Madmimi. Once you’ve picked your email software of choice, it’s time to lay out an email marketing strategy. Start sending promotions and event newsletters but make sure that you’re not overdoing it by flooding their inbox with daily emails.
If you're still months away from the event date, you can send event-related emails and promotions at least once a fortnight. As the event draws closer, you should also start to pick up with your marketing – a weekly event update, and then send an email every 2 days a week before the event.
3. Google and Facebook ads. If you have the budget, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go this route. The best thing about paid ads is that your event will be displayed right in front of people who are most likely to join it – they are highly targeted promotions.
Few tips here: Research about the keywords that you’ll be using in your ad, prepare about 10 different ad copies, and do some tests to know which of the keywords/copies works best!
Over to you..
Any thoughts or comments you want to share? Please add them below.