I got many nice holiday greeting cards this past December from family, business associates, etc. The coolest ones are those with pictures on the front, very personal, all cards much appreciated. But what about rest of the year? Did you ever get a card for April’s Fools day? Wear Red Day? Web Content Awareness Day? Laugh and Get Rich day?
Each of us markets our business throughout the year. But I’d never realized that I should plan that in advance, using various holidays. If you don’t have a holiday that celebrates as you wish, you can even create your own holiday.
Last year I picked up a Marketing Calendar from Heidi Richards. It was a great help. That was when I realized the value of planning in advance. You ever see a holiday come up, traditional or off the wall, and say “Gee if I’d only thought of it sooner it would have made a great promotion for . . .”
Of course when the next year rolls around, you will find yourself saying the same thing again unless you plan. I’m looking forward to the release of Heidi Richards new Quirky Marketing Calendar to be released first week of February.
I’d heard many good things about BNI. It just makes sense to me. A group of business professionals, each providing a different service, sending referrals to each other. Planned networking. A few years back I looked up BNI for Texarkana and there was no group in our local area. Closest group was at least 70 miles away. Not workable for me with weekly morning meetings.
Time passes and I was invited to visit a BNI group that was starting in our town. I was happy to join. Didn’t hurt that I was there as a rep for SendOutCards. BNI and SOC are Strategic Alliance Partners for good reason. Great group of people.
Throughout our day to day lives, we bump into people needing someone’s service. April 1st we had a nasty hail storm, “Know any good roofers?” Friend getting married and needing a new home? “I know a great Realtor you should talk to” Need a great lawn care service? “I know just the guy!” Allergies bothering you? Talk to my friend Jerry, he has something that has helped many others.
Sometimes have someone ask “Who do you know that would be good for … ? I don’t always have a answer I may know several people in that field, but I don’t know if they provide that particular service. But those in my BNI group, I know what them well through our weekly meetings. Meeting one-on-one I get to know them even better, what type of leads are good for them, how best to refer others to them.
Great way to start my day, I always feel better after our weekly meetings. Positive energy. Our Realtor received 2 referrals of people looking for homes. People that would not have come her way if it wasn’t for our little group. Imagine the power as our team grows.
We also give testimonials. Most of our members are also SendOutCard clients for me. Yesterday the insurance rep explained how when you try a new service, you always wonder if it will perform as well as expected. It was worth every penny he said. Very pleased with both the service the company performed, and my assistance in teaching his office staff how to use.
Visit your local BNI group, check it out, great way to develop referral partners, great network training.
I should have guessed it, as popular as twitter is among bloggers (for good reason), several wordpress twitter plugin have been built.
The first one I tried was Tweetbacks. The first time I used it I had a few thousand twitter spam/error comments added to my comment section. That was not going to work for me. I saw others where having the same problem and was about to uninstall the plugin, but two cool things happened. I could use TweetBacks clean up tool to get all the tweeter comments out of my database. And the plugin was upgraded. When I activated it with the newer version, my problems were gone.
Tweet this blog post and see if your twitter comment doesn’t show up here, maybe not immediately.
Retagrr is not a wordpress plugin, but a widget that will add your social media contact information and tweets to your blog. You can see this at the top of my right sidebar.
Tweet This plug in makes it easy for your readers to tweet your post on twitter. You have various options, under settings you can click Automatically insert tweet this links and you’ll see a bird like this at the top of your posts. Choose which of 6 url shortening service you’d like to use.
Or if you prefer, also check the box for Automatically insert a small link at the end of posts instead of a large icon at the top-right and it will look like this:
WP Twitip ID
WP Twitip ID adds a twitter id field to the comment form and when your readers comment, if they add their twitter ID a Follow Me link is added to their twitter account. This plugin was harder to use as it requires editing the theme’s comment.php file. Be sure and watch the video on the page for help in this.
PingPress fm is another plug in I’ll check out, thanks to @bluefur It sends out your blog posts to ping.fm . Which in turn updates many social networks.
I don’t know who first said these words, but I’ve been borrowing them.
Over the weekend a video link flashed through my twitter feed. I don’t remember where who first posted it, and I didn’t have time to see the whole thing, but knew it was good. Today I had to go back and search YouTube for the original, which I’ll post here. Validation by Hugh Newman
Watching this reminded me so much of what we do with SendOutCards. One thing we are taught is to send a heart felt card daily. It could be a thank you card to someone for something kind they have done for you. A joke, a laugh, and cool picture from that trip you and your kids took together. Your kids teacher, coach, an employee, co-worker or client. Funny thing happens when you do this. People give you back a great big smile when you see them next. Some will call and thank you. I’ve even heard it has brought tears to their eyes and posted the card on their fridge, near their computer, in their office. The smiles we send through cards works just like this video. I’ve had down days and gotten a happy call from a friend, telling me how much they appreciated me.
A few years back I started a game with myself. While shopping, smile at others, start conversations, be helpful, hold doors open, etc. See how many smiles you can collect. Works especially well in the hectic holiday shopping season, more of a challenge.
Or you can pick up the phone and spread smiles that way too. Smiles are viral. Spread a few.
As more and more friends enter the twitterverse, I get asked tips for getting started. The best tip is to jump in and do it. There are many great sources of information/tools for using twitter, and I’ll include those links too.
Here are links to some short videos (less 3 minutes) I made on how to use twitter.
Remember, add followers, courtesy to follow back those who follow you. Two rules of thought on that subject:
Follow everyone who follows you, it is the polite thing to do. Invite 2 way conversation with many new friends and clients.
Limit your followers to those you know best, to those whose tweets you value. Building closer relationships with those you follow. Your time is limited, but you still read all @ replies.
Last but not least, don’t spam! I saw one guy on twitter whose messages were nothing but something to the effect of look at this cool thing I’m sellling, buy from me. 0 followers and he followed 0. Twitter wasn’t working for him.
As you get the basics down, there are many tools and applications that are built to make twitter a more productive and enjoyable experience.
Great Twitter Resources