Month: January 2021

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Building a personal brand is all about capturing attention. If you work in a “boring” industry, it can be tough to communicate the key benefits that differentiate you from competitors. Especially when you work in an industry that’s not usually the topic of conversation or trending on social media.

Take the VoIP industry, a very boring industry. It’s hard to make VOIP stand out or make it “sexy”. People don’t usually turn to VoIP companies for engaging content, actionable educational or entertainment. But with the right attitude and the ability to produce quality content, leaders even in the boring Cloud VoIP industry can gain recognition and build an audience. (I’ll show you a real life example in bullet #1 below).

In this article I’ll show you real examples of how to capture your target market’s attention, convert them into stark raving fans, and build your personal brand even when you’re in a boring industry.

Ready? Let’s roll!

1. Be Bold. Be Authentic. 

Wallflowers and shrinking violets don’t build brands. People who are bold and enthusiastic do. For executives looking to make their mark and build a brand, being a hands-on, in the trenches type of person translates into authentic experience.

You don’t want to be the kind of exec that takes all the credit and not know how anything works. If your team does the heavy lifting while you get the kudos but you can’t explain how your widget works, then people are not going to respect your opinion.

Someone who shows they know what they are doing and can express their “Why” is going to be more authentic.

Don’t be afraid to have an opinion and share it, even if it happens to touch on the politics of the day. If it is earnest, authentic and well-thought-out—not some emotionally charged overreaction—then boldly proclaim it and let the discourse begin. That is what builds engagement, followers, and brands. 

Those who take a position and confidently support their way of thinking are more likely to stand out 

People value leaders who are confident and don’t flip-flop on their beliefs just to appease the masses. Sure, some feathers may get ruffled, but how many low-key, wishy-washy executives can you name? Exactly. You can’t name many because they don’t stand out and nobody knows who they are.

2. Share Actionable Expertise

Just because your industry isn’t interesting doesn’t mean no one is interested. You can still share your knowledge and expertise to build your brand. Take Ryan Stewman, the sales and marketing expert who runs a sales training called The Hardcore Closer.

Ryan gained a loyal following talking about lead generation. He has built a multi-million dollar business by taking what has worked for him, sharing it, and monetizing it.

Ryan was on the cutting edge of using social media and videos to promote himself and connect with people when he started in sales. Because of his success, he started to teach other salespeople how to use social media to connect with people and use tools for lead generation. 

He built a lead generation software company called Phonesites that helps salespeople create their own sales funnels. He offered free training on Facebook live and produced free content in the form of articles and training videos.

Sharing his expertise helped grow his personal brand which has allowed him to scale into other successful business ventures. He’s doing it right.

Chris the founder of SalesMessage is another great example. He has been using SMS texting to communicate with anyone who contacts their business or even subscribes to their webinars, events, or blog. 

He shares actionable tips, tricks and information while trying to covert some of the leads who contact him and gets a whopping 70% response rate on SMS texts. He recently shared the complete set of sample text messages to send to customers on his blog. He engages his potential customers and build his following.

But, one of the biggest mistakes you can make in personal branding is to be and act like someone you are not. You will eventually be outed, caught, or exposed. 

When building a personal brand, don’t pretend to be someone you’re not or have expertise when you don’t.

Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of the once highly-touted blood-testing startup Theranos, was once the darling of Silicon Valley. She was seen as an influencer and visionary in the same vein as Steve Jobs.

Theranos WAS Elizabeth Holmes and her personal brand of being a healthcare wunderkind carried the firm. Unfortunately for many people, the whole company and the whole story was a massive fraud. She faked her expertise and knowledge, the company was exposed and now it is no more.

A personal brand built on lies and half-truths will come back to bite you.

3. Be the MVP of Value

If you want to really stand out, you must be useful and add maximum value at all times. Do this by offering free info, training, and content about your industry and share that info while speaking at events and on podcasts.

We’re talking about sharing real expertise, not just thoughts or opinions, but practical knowledge that comes from actually having done the work.

Jack Kosakowski kills it here. Jack has been providing actionable social selling advice and content for over 5 years. With his SkillsLab social selling site, he has been helping salespeople to increase their presence through social media and how to correctly connect with—and sell to—their target clients. 

Value comes from experience. Jack has churned out content on social media, his blog, publications like The Harvard Business Review, and on podcasts—continually sharing what has worked for him, and how it took him from a newbie salesperson to the CEO of the US division of a Global Digital Agency.

4. Stop Selling and Build Trust Instead

Look, you don’t need to be Billy Mays or the ShamWow guy, pitching and promoting all day while operators are standing by. Constantly pushing product is exhausting. But talking and engaging with people in your own voice—your true self—and showing them how to succeed with examples and actionable ideas will build trust.

When you let people see the real you, trust is built and your brand strengthens and attracts new prospects.

Trust isn’t built by speaking AT people. It’s built by engaging and speaking WITH with your audience.

People like to do business with people they know, like and trust. And that’s usually not the guy with the bullhorn shouting “Look at me! Look at me!” Differentiate yourself by sharing knowledge from real-world experience in an authentic, engaging way that creates value and trustworthiness. This will build your personal brand.

When someone needs to seek out info in your industry, you will be top-of-mind because you will be the rockstar of your “boring” industry. They will come to you for the value you provide because you’ve built trust due to engagement, value, and expertise. 

 

The post Personal Branding Tips For Executives In “Boring” Industries appeared first on Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career.

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Thanks to https://www.allbusiness.com/10-factors-to-consider-before-franchising-your-business-102515-1.html

If you’re looking to expand your business, franchising your business could be a great option. Growing a company by franchising can offer many benefits—but you need to be aware of the drawbacks, too. To determine whether or not you should franchise your business, we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council the following question:

What’s one tip you have for business owners who are considering franchising their business?

1. Carefully screen potential franchisees

Remember, the folks you bring on will be the face of your business, so you need to be very careful about whom you select. Do they believe in your business? Can they live and breathe your culture every day? And can they be great leaders? The future of your business could be at stake, which is what needs to be on your mind when screening potential franchisees. —Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

2. Consult a lawyer

It’s important to get expert advice before you franchise your company. Franchising is a huge process. You’ll need to set the pricing, create a franchise agreement, determine intellectual property protection, and do so much more. Hiring a lawyer can make all of these steps a lot easier. —Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

 

3. Consider the costs

First and foremost, business owners who want to franchise need to consider how much it will cost. Things like purchase costs, inventory, and working capital are all things you need to think about before franchising so you set yourself up for success. —Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

 

4. Have clear policies and processes

One tip for business owners thinking about franchising their company is to have clearly set policies and procedures. Document all of your processes and make sure that they’re as flawless as possible. Why? Because then, when franchising your company, it will be easier to replicate an already working model of doing business. —Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME

Other Articles From AllBusiness.com:

5. Have systems for everything

The beauty of a franchise is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, so there should be turnkey systems for every piece of the operation. These can’t be built overnight, so creating and testing the systems over months ensures that you’re handing over processes that you know work. Systems make the franchisee more successful and ensure consistent quality. —Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems

 

6. Be mindful of your FICO score

Having a high business credit score is essential as you’re likely to incur significant debt in order to open the doors of your first few franchise locations. Small business loans are usually how franchises get off the ground, so being creditworthy is a must for business owners looking to franchise out. The higher your credit, the more favorable the loan terms you’ll receive. —Tyler Gallagher, Regal Assets

7. Consider the uniqueness of your business

When franchising your business, there’s a chance that it can lose its uniqueness. Your brand will take on a “cookie-cutter” business profile and this may not be the best step for everyone. Do you care about being authentic and unique and standing out? Or are you happy to grow your brand and keep its image streamlined? Based on what matters to you, you’ll know whether franchising works for you. —Blair Williams, MemberPress

RELATED: 5 Keys to a Strong Franchisee/Franchisor Relationship

The post Important Factors to Consider Before Franchising Your Business appeared first on AllBusiness.com. Click for more information about YEC. Copyright 2020 by AllBusiness.com. All rights reserved. The content and images contained in this RSS feed may only be used through an RSS reader and may not be reproduced on another website without the express written permission of the owner of AllBusiness.com.

More info on financial freedom, is that ok? who agrees?

Thanks to https://www.allbusiness.com/10-factors-to-consider-before-franchising-your-business-102515-1.html

If you’re looking to expand your business, franchising your business could be a great option. Growing a company by franchising can offer many benefits—but you need to be aware of the drawbacks, too. To determine whether or not you should franchise your business, we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council the following question:

What’s one tip you have for business owners who are considering franchising their business?

1. Carefully screen potential franchisees

Remember, the folks you bring on will be the face of your business, so you need to be very careful about whom you select. Do they believe in your business? Can they live and breathe your culture every day? And can they be great leaders? The future of your business could be at stake, which is what needs to be on your mind when screening potential franchisees. —Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

2. Consult a lawyer

It’s important to get expert advice before you franchise your company. Franchising is a huge process. You’ll need to set the pricing, create a franchise agreement, determine intellectual property protection, and do so much more. Hiring a lawyer can make all of these steps a lot easier. —Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

 

3. Consider the costs

First and foremost, business owners who want to franchise need to consider how much it will cost. Things like purchase costs, inventory, and working capital are all things you need to think about before franchising so you set yourself up for success. —Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

 

4. Have clear policies and processes

One tip for business owners thinking about franchising their company is to have clearly set policies and procedures. Document all of your processes and make sure that they’re as flawless as possible. Why? Because then, when franchising your company, it will be easier to replicate an already working model of doing business. —Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME

Other Articles From AllBusiness.com:

5. Have systems for everything

The beauty of a franchise is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, so there should be turnkey systems for every piece of the operation. These can’t be built overnight, so creating and testing the systems over months ensures that you’re handing over processes that you know work. Systems make the franchisee more successful and ensure consistent quality. —Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems

 

6. Be mindful of your FICO score

Having a high business credit score is essential as you’re likely to incur significant debt in order to open the doors of your first few franchise locations. Small business loans are usually how franchises get off the ground, so being creditworthy is a must for business owners looking to franchise out. The higher your credit, the more favorable the loan terms you’ll receive. —Tyler Gallagher, Regal Assets

7. Consider the uniqueness of your business

When franchising your business, there’s a chance that it can lose its uniqueness. Your brand will take on a “cookie-cutter” business profile and this may not be the best step for everyone. Do you care about being authentic and unique and standing out? Or are you happy to grow your brand and keep its image streamlined? Based on what matters to you, you’ll know whether franchising works for you. —Blair Williams, MemberPress

RELATED: 5 Keys to a Strong Franchisee/Franchisor Relationship

The post Important Factors to Consider Before Franchising Your Business appeared first on AllBusiness.com. Click for more information about YEC. Copyright 2020 by AllBusiness.com. All rights reserved. The content and images contained in this RSS feed may only be used through an RSS reader and may not be reproduced on another website without the express written permission of the owner of AllBusiness.com.

Stuff about financial freedom are why everyone likes this page

Thanks to http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmallBusinessTrends/~3/9UKc4BWzByg/more-sales-for-less-money.html

More Sales for Less Money

In a year when many small businesses are struggling, making sales is the shortest path to getting back on track. While most would agree that you have to spend money to make money, many businesses don’t have the option to spend large sums of money at this time.

Instead of stressing about coming up with the funds for a big year-end ad campaign, think outside of the box. Difficult times call for creative solutions, and the right ones can offer big returns without big investments.

Communicate More Efficiently

Before you can get potential customers to sign on, you need to know what they’re thinking. Learning how prospects interact with your business will help you make more effective sales pitches. It may sound difficult, but an easy way to start is by implementing email tracking software.

Email tracking allows you to see who exactly is opening and interacting with your emails. It also can show you what content resonates better with those you are trying to reach. Email isn’t going anywhere any time soon, so getting the most out of the medium now will maximize returns later.

Be Direct

One of the simplest ways to increase sales with little cost is to make your calls to action more clear. It should appear on your website, in the emails you send, and on all of your social media platforms. A good CTA doesn’t need to be complex: learn more here, sign up for a free trial, subscribe, almost anything. It’s your best chance to get potential customers engaged through digital communication.

If you already prominently feature your CTA, make sure it’s optimized to stand out. Use eye-catching colors and language, and make sure it’s easily visible. The more refined it is, the better your results will be.

Learn Your Customers’ Habits

Communicating efficiently and effectively are great ways to start a customer’s journey and make sales. In order to keep the quality of that journey high, you’ll need a customer relationship management system to facilitate it.

They may sound high-dollar, but plenty of CRMs are available for no upfront cost. Choosing one of those will allow you to explore the benefits without making a financial commitment. With a CRM, you can evaluate customer interests, see past purchases, and review any pain points they may encounter. The more of this data you have, the more effective your sales pitch becomes.

Maximize Your Online Presence

Customers can’t start their journeys with you if they don’t know you exist. An often overlooked way to generate more business with few costs is to make sure you can be found online. Optimize your website, utilize social media, and expand your presence on Google.

Make sure up-to-date company information is on your website. Things such as how to contact you, what you offer, and your call to action should be easy-to-find.

As for social media, create accounts on the platforms where your customers are most likely to be. Once there, interact with your audience regularly. If you already have a robust website and social media, start bolstering your Google front.

You can establish a free Google My Business account that lists information about your business, answer customer questions, and host reviews. Check it regularly to make sure the details are up to date. Otherwise, customers may be calling the wrong number expecting you to pick up the phone.

Make Customers Work for You

A satisfied customer can be a great marketing tool for your small business. Reach out to some of your best, and ask if they’d be willing to write a review you can share. If a potential customer sees a positive peer review or opinion, they’re more likely to make a purchase themselves.

According to a Nielsen report, more than 80% of consumers worldwide trust recommendations from friends and family. Moreover, two-thirds of those surveyed said they trusted consumer opinions online. Online reviews and word-of-mouth marketing are some of the most effective strategies out there, and neither has to cost a penny.

Turn Old Business Into New Business

Sometimes, customers are wary of having their opinions posted publicly. If you find that yours are reluctant to share reviews, consider a referral program instead. This allows your best clients to funnel in new customers without telegraphing it for the world to see.

Offering a discount is the most common incentive for referrals, but don’t limit yourself. Gauge what your customers value about your business and give them more of it as a reward. You’re not only gaining new clients; you’re strengthening existing relationships as well.

Cast a Smaller Net

If you’d like to pursue a more direct marketing route, save money by avoiding large campaigns. During the holiday season, even local ad buys can completely take over a year-end budget. Instead, reach a smaller, high-potential audience through targeted digital advertising.

Use what you already know to develop a small campaign focused on those most similar to customers you already have. A great place to do this is on social media, where advertising is relatively cheap and targeting simple. Many platforms allow you to target a “lookalike” audience that matches the interests of people following your accounts. Pursuing these leads engages a more fallow audience at a much more reasonable price.

Build Professional Relationships

While searching for new customers, don’t ignore the opportunity to connect with other businesses. The small business community is just that: a community. Find other businesses in your area and explore the possibility of partnerships.

Through partnerships, you can offer exclusive packages that may be more appealing than just one product or service. Creating a relationship with another business can also help keep customers in your shared sales funnel longer. Referring customers between companies expands your base, increasing long-term sales without upping long-term costs.

There’s no one right way to boost sales, but no business needs to resort to expensive leads or ad buys. Strengthening your existing network and sales infrastructure can have just as powerful of an impact at a fraction of the price.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, “More Sales for Less Money: 8 Tips and Tricks” was first published on Small Business Trends

Always love everything like this Click To Read The Full Article

Thanks to https://www.theworkathomewoman.com/free-resources-business/#comment-1216059

Thanks a lot for sharing the list of free resources to run home-based businesses. When it comes to the website, the design of the site always matters a lot. And to present any product, or to show the specifications of the products, most websites are preferring images, as it is easy for the users to understand. And the most crucial part is that used images should have a small size, but at the same time, its quality should not be compromised. Here I would like to recommend a tool, Resize.live, to resize, crop, rotate and flip images in real-time.