The Online YOU – the relevance of Social Media in Internet Marketing

Greetings.

I came across a very interesting article about the art & business of crafting your online self by Tara Gentile and I began to think about this very concept in terms of marketing your business online.

You have no doubt heard the mantra that people buy from those whom they trust, so how can you possibly trust someone whom you’ve never met and who could live on the other side of the world?

In Tara’s words, “how do you communicate the “essence of you” to people who’ve never met you before?”  I believe that this question is even more important when you’re asking people to part with their money for something that you are offering online.

So, how do you communicate the “essence of you” so that you will be trusted enough for relative strangers to do business with you over the internet?

Why, through social media of course.  There are more and more social media sites appearing across the net which devote a large part of themselves to business networking online.

Even Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace and many other ‘social’ networking sites have recognised that business people are a very important aspect of their online presence these days.

But there are sites that now go further and devote themselves almost exclusively to business professionals who want to meet and do business with other business professionals.  However, the above mantra will still apply in human relationships – people generally tend to do business with others that they feel that they know and trust.

With that in mind, these business networking sites focus more on the background – both personal and professional – of their members and usually have some sort of rating system whereby members can rate other members on the quality of their prior business dealings and general interactions.

This sort of rating helps to shorten the learning curve for busy marketers whom have little time to make any in depth background checks on online entrepreneurs other than the good old ‘Google search’.

Quite apart from the quality of the products and services being offered, people want to know whether or not potential business partners are ‘nice’ people or ‘good eggs’.  After all, who wants to do business with rougues or scoundrels?

This is precisely why “The Online You” is a crucial factor in internet marketing and why you must portray yourself effectively and extensively across the net using social media and, more relevantly, business networking sites.

They are geared towards business professionals and they even combine  affiliate programs and referral bonuses for members to add to their business arsenals.

These business networking sites are many and varied but there are a few new kids on the block that I’ve written about before that I believe are going to be taking the online business world by storm.  There is also another that is due to launch within the next couple of weeks and is currently in beta mode.  More on that to come.

Ending with some more of Tara’s thoughtful post:

“you know me as the words i write, the information i share, and the people i introduce you to. i am all those things, put together, and examined.

but i am nothing without relationships

if its not for you, the people who i work hard to cultivate relationships with, i am nothing.”

Quite so.

Talk soon.

Chineme – http://internetmarketingviews.com

Are you a Nurturing Networker?

Greetings.

I came across this well considered blog today posted by Steve Blumenfeld (website details at the bottom) who says, “My wife wrote a blog on relationship marketing in the form of networking”…

Are You a Nurturing Networker?
What exactly is a nurturing networker, and why does being one matter?
If you are in business you probably think of networking as a necessary part of marketing. You find some groups of other business people, you go to their events, and you talk about your business. Your focus is primarily on you, your needs, your sales.

If you can help someone else without too much effort, you probably will, but mostly you are trying to encourage others to help you. If you attend a couple events and get few good business leads, you decide it’s a waste of time and stop going.

The mindset of a Nurturing Networker is very different. And yes, being a Nurturing Networker starts in your mind. You see networking as a way of life, not a series of events you need to attend for your business. Whether in a group setting or talking to someone individually, you are networking.

You think of networking as primarily a way to connect, develop relationships, and help other people. As you are listening to someone you are looking for an opportunity to make a connection or otherwise assist them with their goals. When you are alone, you spend some time thinking about your contacts and how you might be able to help them.

As a Nurturing Networker, you know it’s all about the other person, and by focusing on them you will benefit much more than you will if you focus on you. Nurturing is defined as promoting the development of someone else by providing nourishment, support, and encouragement during the stages of growth.

As a Nurturing Networker, you recognize that everyone is in a different place in their business and their life. You can nourish them by promoting them to others. You can support them by providing resources and ideas. You can encourage them by inspiring them with confidence and courage. You genuinely care about the whole person: their business, their family, their hobbies, their dreams. It shows in your actions.

Why does being a Nurturing Networker matter? It matters because you want to make a positive impact in the world, and the only way you can do that is through your relationships. It matters because it is more satisfying to give to others than to always be grasping for what you want and need.

When you are giving, what you need will come to you effortlessly. It matters because it will change the way you look at things, and your life will be richer. To your business success!

This blog was posted by my wife, Sara Blumenfeld and if you’ve enjoyed it, please visit http://www.businessnetworkingmistakes.com to get a free report on networking mistakes that can cripple your business.

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Are you a nurturing networker?  I will ensure that I’ll be one from here on in!

Talk soon.

Chineme – http://internetmarketingviews.com

How to Get Prospects to Value Your Expertise

Greetings.

I came across a well considered piece by Allison Babb who gives some tips on your relationship with your prospects.  Here it is and I hope you find it useful too:

How to Get Prospects to Value Your Expertise

by Allison Babb on June 8, 2010

As small business owners, when we’re seeking the best ways for how to sell services, a key aspect is discovering how to position our expertise/products/services in such a way that it would display true value for our prospects.  And that true value would then turn those prospects into paying clients.

Here are 2 critical aspects of positioning your value and some misperceptions that may undermine that goal:

Speak to those who already value you

Every business owner I’ve worked with has had incredible talent with which they can create a lot of revenue.  However, they are often trying to sell to folks who just aren’t a match and those people simply don’t value what they offer.

So the key then, is to discover what type of person or business would be an ideal match for what you offer.   For example, one of my clients does social media marketing.  If she’s talking to a person who has zero interest in understanding Facebook or Twitter, it’s unlikely that person would value her expertise.  And her efforts would be futile to try to persuade that prospect to become interested.  In fact, I would suggest that person’s not even a prospect at all because they’re simply not a match for her expertise or services.

As business owners, we often make it very hard on ourselves, and there’s a lot of wasted effort in marketing and sales when we continue to beat down the doors of folks we must first persuade to value what we do before they are willing to look at what we offer.

So the goal here is to first define who YOUR ideal prospect is and be sure your efforts are being spent with folks who are truly a match for what you do.  This would be someone who already, at some level, appreciates the value of what you offer and they are in the place of simply being open to discovering who they would invest with in your area of expertise.  There are plenty of them out there, so why not go after that crowd instead.

Increase value by speaking their language

Often when we describe our products and services to prospects, we do it in our lingo and from our place of expertise.  We can get all caught up in talking about the technical aspects and features of what we do.

Instead, describe what you do using the words and phrases your clients use when they work with you.  For example, an interior designer isn’t really designing the look and feel of a room.  That’s not how a home-owner would describe that service.  More than likely, a home-owner wants to feel a certain way or to create a certain environment in a room.

Before you describe what you do, the key then, would be for you to ask enough questions to discover the true problem your prospects wants solved.  Or the burning desire they are seeking to fulfill.  This helps you to speak their language and convey what you do in a way they would readily understand and readily value.

Allison Babb Phillips is an author, speaker and Small Business Coach to solo entrepreneurs.  Allison publishes the “Small Business Success” weekly Ezine on how to create a steady stream of clients for your small business at: www.GreatSmallBusinessAdvice.com

Talk soon.

Chineme – http://internetmarketingviews.com