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Thursday, 31 December 2015

LinkedIn Tip #13 - It is all about the Money!

Millions of the members on LinkedIn are utilizing the FREE platform.

The percentage of people on a paid platform is small by comparison. Looking through LinkedIn's eyes, what would you do?

Here is what LinkedIn did:
1. They completely revamped the groups to the point that we can no longer message people in the groups without being connected to them. Now, the only way we can message people in the groups without being connected to them is if we are on a paid platform, and purchase "Inmail". Inmail allows you to send messages to anyone on LinkedIn that you are not connected to. Various paid platforms allow certain limits to Inmails you can send. 

Actually, this is a good thing. It cuts down on all the spammy emails we get through LinkedIn.

2. The look of the groups is completely changed. Personally, I like it much better, now that I have had a chance to get accustomed to it.

3. Open groups have gone the way of the Dodo bird. We have to be accepted into all the groups, just like a closed group. ALL the groups are now closed groups.

4. The only places that you can send messages to the group members are in the "LION" groups. The people in LION groups have made a commitment to accept all people who ask them to connect. These people will not IDK (I Don't Know) you. They openly offer their email address, so anyone can connect with them. LinkedIn assumes that if you have someone's email, you know them well enough to connect with them.

Here's what you can do:
1. You can go to your own rolodex, contact lists, and shoe boxes full of business cards to invite them all to connect with you. You have their emails, and will never be IDK'd.
Sound daunting? If you have all these emails in a spreadsheet, you can just copy and past them into the special "Other" box to invite them to connect with you on LinkedIn.
Never - Never-Never!!! ask someone to connect with you if you do not know them or they are not in a LION group!!! You will eventually get sent to LinkedIn Jail. (Account Frozen) 

It happened to me when I first started using LinkedIn. I had invited all the connections I had to connect with me, and then I saw that LinkedIn was showing me all these people that "I May Know". I thought that LinkedIn was telling me to connect with them. So I sat at my desk clicking on people to send connection requests for hours on end. HAH! I got sent to jail!

I had to print out the terms of use for LinkedIn, sign them and scan them back to LinkedIn, along with a copy of my drivers license, so they knew that I was a real person. UGH! You do not want this to happen to you. You only need 5 people to IDK you and you will get your account frozen.

2. You can set up your own group and invite all your connections to join in your rousting discussion that you have started there. In your own group, once a week you can pitch to your group about your "stuff". You can also start tantalizing discussions as often as you wish. You can also reach out to the members of your group on an individual basis to ask them to connect with you. Once they have been in your group for a while and you have interacted with their discussions, they will even ask to connect with you themselves.

Remember that people want to be educated and informed before they want to be pitched to. It takes time to build relationships with people and we need to respect that. Remember to use the 'Rule of 10'.

3. Join up to 100 different groups. Be sure to join those groups that contain the people you want to know and do business with. Also, be sure to join groups with 10K or more members, because when you do searches through the groups, you will discover that your Boolean searches narrow down the number of people in the results considerably. 

For instance: You might be in a group of small business owners and do a search for 'training and the name of your city'. The group has 400K members, but when your Boolean search is applied, you might only have 50 people in your search that are your target market.

4. You can completely automate your LinkedIn marketing along with all your social media, using the services the LinkedIn Marketing Mentress team. 

We manage all your responses to connections, getting connections, searches and blog posts. We also help you to join the right groups for you and set up your own group, monitor that group and respond to discussions therein. How much are 200 leads a month worth to you?

Give us a call and we will fill you in on all the details.

Got a LinkedIn question? Feel free to email me and I will answer it in my next blog.

Fired at Fifty: Stop Looking For Work and Discover What You Were Meant to Do.

Christine Till

The Marketing Mentress
Twitter: @mktgmentress

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

How Important is it for You to Automate Your Social Media?

Have you been struggling with your business searching for ways to automate some of your daily routines?

Here's the straight goods.

If you are not strategically using social media today, you can bet your boots that your competition is. If you own a business, you MUST be using every form of marketing available to you. Social media is the cheapest and best way to access your target audience and build your business the fastest way possible.

Let's say that you have not been using your social media.

What would you say that your average good client is worth to you over a year? I am guessing that an average client is worth $1,000 or more to you per year. In 2015, how many new clients did you actually get a month? Let's say that you got two per week. Now do the math. (2 x 52 = 104 customers in 2015) Now 104 x $1,000 = $104,000 for 2015.

Wow! You did very well! Oh! Let me only got 2 new clients a month. That would mean that you grossed $24,000 in 2015. Oops! Kind of makes you feel like up-chucking doesn't it.

See how the numbers never lie.

Let's say that you automate your social media and receive 200 leads a month, of which 20% convert into paying clients. That means you would have received 480 new paying clients last year!

Wow! You could have earned $480,000 in 2015!!!

Where did your gross earnings total at for 2015?

My question to you is, "If I could guarantee you 200 leads a month, how much would that be worth to you?"

If you are looking to automate your social media we need to talk.

Got a LinkedIn question? Feel free to email me and I will answer it in my next blog.

Fired at Fifty: Stop Looking For Work and Discover What You Were Meant to Do.

Christine Till

The Marketing Mentress
LI: /christinetill
FB Bus: /themarketingmentress
Twitter: @mktgmentress

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Where is Your Money Coming From in 2016?

Have you got your in 2016 mapped out yet?
Here is a great tool to help get the "juices" moving!
Think about and write down your Five/Fives. Where do you want to be in Five Years, Five Months, Five Weeks, Five Days, Five Hours? Then work it backwards.
Start with where you want your business to be in Five Years and break it down into categories: Money, Personal, Health, Spiritual, Family, Business, Etc.
Once you have completed your Five/Fives, Then do a simple one year projection spreadsheet listing all your projected income and expenses.
After you do this one time, all you need to do is tweak it for the next year. It might take up to 2 hours to develop the first one, but it will only take 15 minutes for next year once you have everything in place.
This can actually be quite addictive. I have gone ahead and projected for the next five years on my spreadsheet.
Revisit this at least once a month to calculate where you are with your plans.
May I ask, are you interested in automating your social media marketing at all?
Happy New Year!
PS:  Got a LinkedIn question? Feel free to email me and I will answer it in my next blog.
Fired at Fifty: Stop Looking For Work and Discover What You Were Meant to Do.
Christine Till

The Marketing Mentress
Twitter: @mktgmentress

Monday, 21 December 2015

LinkedIn Tip #12 - Joining Groups

The secret to LinkedIn is through the groups; your own group and other's.

The comparisons made here are for those who are utilizing the FREE platform.

Before the big changes in October 2015, there were two types of groups; open groups and closed groups. You could only join up to 50 groups. You could send a message to members of the groups individually without being connected to them.

Since October 2015, there are no more open groups...only closed groups!

What is a closed group?
1. Anyone can ask to join the group.
2. Everyone has to be accepted into the group.
3. You cannot check out the discussion thread to see if the group is one that you want to join before joining.

The owners and managers of the groups can still send out a group message once a week...and LinkedIn monitors these very closely. These messages cannot be sent even 1 minute before the full 7 days are up to send out the next message. But this has always been the case.

You can join up to 100 groups now, which opens up our possible connections considerably.
However, now we cannot send direct messages to the members of the groups, to which we belong.

LinkedIn is in business to make money. 

Now, in order to send messages to people we are not connected to we need to be utilizing a paid platform, which allows us to send a number of "Inmails" every month.

Because of these changes, we need to be more aware of the tools at hand on this platform. I will be addressing some of these tools in my future LinkedIn Tips.

Got a LinkedIn question? Feel free to email me and I will answer it in my next blog.

Fired at Fifty: Stop Looking For Work and Discover What You Were Meant to Do.

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress
Twitter: @mktgmentress

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Secrets Learned From My 4H Calf

My 4H calf had a stubborn streak that I was determined to break.

If you have been in a 4H beef club, you understand that we had our work cut out for us. Not the least of these was training our calves to lead, stand, and wink at the judges. (Smile!) -And that was only the half of it. We also had to learn how to feed said calves and groom them, so they were ready for their 4H Calf Pageant of the Year.

I should clarify that if we did a masterful job preparing our calves, then we could have a good chance to win the 4H trophy for "Best All Around Calf". There were ribbons all the way from 4th to 1st place.

Now, if your calf was lined up in the show ring where he was 'supposed' to be, and refrained from kicking the judges, that was considered a huge plus! Glad I was never a judge. (Just sayin.)

In my last year of 4H, I had my single 4H calf and by then I qualified to have a 'pen of five' as well. That meant that I had 7 calves I had to feed, train, groom, and teach proper ring etiquette to. (One calf was a spare, just in case a calf got sick.)

Well I had noticed on our annual spring calf tour of all the calves in our club that my 'pen of five' was the skinniest of the lot! Time for drastic measures!

I decided that if I was not going to have the best looking 'pen of five', then I was going to have the best trained pen of five! This meant that I had to train them all to lead nicely and have good manners, by standing where and how I placed them.

All was going very well, except for Claude.

Oh! Didn't I tell you their names?

There was Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe, and Claude. I know, really original!

Eeny, Meeny, Miny and Moe were well behaved and great on a lead rope. -But then came Claude...a much different story.

When my own brawn failed to budge him, I hitched him up to the tractor and drove in 'bull low' with Claude tied on the back, and he fought that tractor with all four feet planted firmly on the ground. The tractor just pulled Claude like a statue as he skidded through the barnyard dirt leaving 4 skid marks in the gravel. He snorted and fought that lead rope for all he was worth.

Well, that didn't work, so I thought I would resort to gentler techniques once again and use my own brawn.

Ha! Claude knew better.

Talk about a battle of wills. Claude just planted all 4's in the ground and no progress was made, so I resorted to the most drastic measures of all. I let up on the rope attached to his halter and called him every name that wasn't his. I let my temper get away on me and I gave him a Karate chop right on the forehead. You know, how those black belt guys karate chop the piles of bricks and the bricks all break in half. Well, that is what in envisioned would happen to Claude.

His head would just split in half...NOT!

I heard this loud "splitting" sound, like when you drop a watermelon on the ground. But when I looked at Claude, he was still in one piece. Bummer! Then I realized that my left hand could not grip the rope. When I checked it out, it was swollen twice its normal size.

Big shock! I broke my hand! But how was I going to explain this to my Dad?

I had to concoct a story about how Claude shook his head so hard trying to fight against me pulling on his rope that he whipped my hand into the hay trough.  

Yup! That's what I went with.

When we got to Milk River and saw the doctor, he took an X-Ray and when he returned with the pictures of my hand, he said that my break looked like I had been in a fight. (Smart Doctor!)

I sheepishly stuck to my story. It was 20 years before I finally got up the nerve to tell Dad what really happened.

The good thing about my broken hand was that I could "lord it over" on my siblings, clunking them on the head if they refused to comply with my orders. The bad thing was that I had an immobile hand for 6 weeks, and who was going to work with my calves? It was getting woefully close to the big show!

All worked out in the end. I received the prize for the gentlest 'pen of five' in the competition.
Flash forward.

Lessons learned the hard way are always remembered.

Since then I have realized that no matter what the outcome, always have integrity, be true to your word and work like h-e-double-tooth-pics. People have respect for you even if you fail, because you did not give up.

Many times in my business I have felt like giving up and quitting, but this story always lingers in my mind with the hard lessons learned from my 4H calf. Claude isn't with me now, but I will always remember the lessons he taught me.

This is the time of year to push into gear and take those life lessons, apply them to 2016 and forge ahead. Success is on its way for us all in 2016!

Got a LinkedIn question? Feel free to email me and I will answer it in my next blog.

Fired at Fifty: Stop Looking For Work and Discover What You Were Meant to Do.

Christine Till

The Marketing Mentress
Twitter: @mktgmentress

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Business Secrets from 4H

Growing up on the ranch gave us many opportunities and even more lessons.
One of the opportunities we received was the chance to be a 4H Beef Club member and raise our very own 4H calf. We all awaited our 12th birthday with eagerness for that was the day we could officially join the Milk River 4H Beef Club! (Well, my birthday was in March, so I had to wait until the following September.)
The first day I walked into a monthly 4H Beef Club meeting, I soon learned there was more to being a member of a 4H Club than I thought. Right off the bat there were rules...Parliamentary Procedure...for all the meetings! We learned who to address and how to be heard. There was no calling out of our thoughts allowed.
There had to be a motion to discuss, a 'seconder' to that motion, a discussion, a motion to vote, a 'seconder' to vote the motion, and a vote for everything.
When I left that first meeting I thought my head would spin off! The nerve they had of voting me into a position! What on earth was a social convenor anyway? I was only 12 years old. What did I know about it?
Here's the key.
I accepted graciously and as soon as we left the meeting I peppered my Dad, who was one of the club leaders, with questions about what on earth is a 'social convenor'? He laughed and told me to look it up in our Encyclopedia. (There was no internet then.) He also suggested that I check out our Webster's Dictionary. If we wanted to research anything, those were the places we had to look.
Guess what I did as soon as we got back home? Yup! I spent the next hour and a half reading.
Once armed with this knowledge I began to plan a rock-climbing day and picnic at Writing On Stone Park for the following summer. I also thought a dance would be fun...oh but then I remembered that I was not allowed to go to dances until I was 14 years old, but a tobogganing party at our ranch would be a blast! But we had to wait for the snow. (Remember, this was September.)
One key thing I forgot was that we needed to wait until our next meeting, so we could make a motion, 'second', discuss, make another motion, 'second' that motion, and vote.
There were many opportunities as social convenor and even more lessons learned.
Being the social convenor for the club meant that everyone wanted to know my next big idea. It also meant that I had to be the one to organize all the wonderful activities.
Lots of hard work.
In later years I was elected club secretary, then club treasurer, then club vice-president, and lastly club president.
And that wasn't counting learning how to raise, feed, groom and train my 4H calf!
The secrets I learned from my 4H years have been great life lessons that I have applied to my business today.
The opportunities of owning my own business are that I get to choose when I work and where. The lessons I have learned from owning my own business are that I need to work and I need to be organized. There are opportunities to meet people every day. Owning my own business taught me that I NEED to meet new people every day, or I will not have a business.
The secrets I learned from my 4H calf have given me the base I needed to overcome and become. Overcome my fears and become more than I thought I could be.
What life lessons have you learned?
Got a LinkedIn question? Feel free to email me and I will answer it in my next blog.
Fired at Fifty: Stop Looking For Work and Discover What You Were Meant to Do.

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress
Twitter: @mktgmentress

Thursday, 3 December 2015

LinkedIn Tip # 10 - Have you got a stagnant group?

So you started a LinkedIn group and have 2500 members; now, no activity!

It has been a while since you checked in on your group to see how everyone is doing, and realize that the last time someone posted to your group was six months ago. Your group has stagnated. What do you do now?

There are many LinkedIn group managers who are in that dilemma right now. It is partly because of the huge changes that LinkedIn has implemented, but the main reason your group is stagnant is your own fault. I know that you are busy and I hate to be blunt, but here's why.

1. As a group owner/manager, you must be on that group every day monitoring and commenting on the different discussion threads. Get someone to help you manage your group, so it does not all rest on your shoulders.

2. There must be a message sent out to your members once a week from the management of the group keeping the members apprised of new thoughts and ideas. In this message, you can pitch to your followers things about your next workshop or webinar, or product special, etc.

3. You need to post discussions in your own group regularly. There should be a post from you as the owner every day. Make your posts engaging, educational and informing.

4. Monitor the discussions coming into your group discussion thread. Check to be sure that they are appropriate and not pitches. Your group members will lose interest if they feel like they are always being pitched to.

5. Be thankful to your group members. Give them accolaides about their great posts and thank them for their contribution to your group. Have you thanked them yet?

Once you consistently do this, you will find that your group will be revitalized in a very short period of time.

Remember the "Rule of 10": For every 10 posts, 6 are reposts from someone else; 3 are posts you have written yourself; 1 is a pitch. Just work the numbers and you will succeed!

People want to be educated and informed, not pitched to all the time.

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress

Twitter: @mktgmentress

Monday, 30 November 2015

What do you do when you get "bucked off"?

There are many life lessons learned when you live on a cattle ranch.

One lesson I learned very early on in my life was when I got bucked off a horse for the first time...and many times thereafter for that matter.

How would you feel being tossed 5-6 feet down to the ground and landing smack on your back or your face or your backside. Actually, landing on my backside was the best place of all to land. It might sting for a while, but nothing got broken but my pride.

The first time I went hurling through the air to "bite the dust" so to speak, it hurt! I was so mad at the horse that I was never going to have anything to do with it again. But my wise Dad persuaded me to do differently.

He explained that when we get bucked off, we need to get right back on, or we will never ride a horse again. I asked Dad why that was. He explained that if you get bucked off and then never get right back on again, you will never ride a horse again for fear of getting bucked off again. The whole incident gets blown out of proportion in your mind until you never dare try getting up on a horse again.

So, the solution is to get right back up there and try again.

Thank goodness the first horse I learned to ride was a little black Shetland pony. It wasn't far to fall from one of those horses. I actually thought my little black pony was my "black beauty".

Mom called him 'nipper' and I couldn't understand why? Come to find out many years later that every time she bent over to lift me up on 'Nipper's' back, he would reach around and bite her in the buttocks! So, that was the end of 'Black Beauty'. He was 'Nipper' ever after!

Oops! I digressed!

Similar things to being bucked off can and do happen in business. You can put hours of work into a proposal only to be turned down. It makes you want to quit on the spot, but there is a good lesson to be learned each time we get 'bucked off' a business deal. We learn from it and move forward.

The next time we put a proposal together, we will be much wiser.

Know why some businesses make more money than others?

They write more proposals. It is a law in business according to Christine that "He who writes the most business proposals wins!"

Remember that feeling you get when you succeed. Keep that great feeling in your mind while you are writing those proposals, and you will win!

There is a lot of rejection in running your own business, but the successes make up for it.

Keep getting back on when you get 'bucked off'!

Christine Till

The Marketing Mentress
Twitter: @mktgmentress

No, Thank you!

Have you got some customers who are being a pain in the "patoot"?

You know what I mean. Those customers that you just can never please. They are always finding fault with everything you try to help them with. They return items for no legitimate reason it seems. Every time they buy something from you, it seems like you spend inordinate amounts of time helping them learn, assemble, or repair.

I owned an interior decorating business once, and specialized with window coverings. We were doing great in our first six months. Revenues were climbing. Sales were flowing. It was awesome!

Then we decided to run a special on sheers to increase our sales volume even more. The sales came rolling in and we were running like mad fiends to keep up with the demands.
Know what?

With the mistakes that were made on orders purchased during that special, we were better off to never have run the sale. We actually lost money because of that sale. It seemed like every bargain hunter in the district came for a deal on sheers.

Once things settled down after that sale, we decided never to do that again.

Do you wonder why you are not making more money with your business?

Let me keep this simple.

The less we charge for our products and services, the more we will be inundated with time-consuming customers. Low prices attract customers who have the "get something for nothing" mentality. They will suck up your time and if possible every ounce of life from you and your business.

Know how to get rid of these kinds of customers?

Raise your prices!

You will chase away all the "bargain hunters" never to be bothered again!

Know what else will happen when you do this? ... You will make more money!

That's the simple truth.

So the next time you catch yourself pondering running a special, remember you can always say, "No, Thank you!"

You will be happier and richer because you did.

Christine Till

The Marketing Mentress
Twitter: @mktgmentress

Three Lessons from the "Old Iron Pot"!

Grandma told me stories from "the old iron pot", when I was little!

She would hold one arm up in a rounded circle and take the other arm and reach way down inside this invisible pot. The arm inside the pot would move around and around in a big circle as if it was stirring something. Then the hand would grab something special, pull it out and Grandma would read it.

She never told us what exactly it said, except the name of a familiar ... or not so familiar story.

Once dipped and stirred, the hand came out with an invisible note between the fingers. Grandma would say... "Little Red Riding Hood"... no, not today. Then she would dip her hand into the invisible pot and stir again to find an even more tantalizing tale.

After going through this process several times, she would finally come out with the perfect tale to tell! We children would all sit close and listen intently to this story that had never been told before. Grandma's stories were always different.

Interesting how later in life, when I was ...much older... "Rapunzel" and "Snow White" stories I read in books were captivating, but not the least bit like the way my Grandma told it.
Grandma was the most enchanting story-teller I have ever known!

Today, as an adult, I am reminded about my Grandma every time I sit with my own grandchildren and tell them "Stories from the old iron pot". They love those stories and squeal with delight at the surprise and suspense.

Grandma was the original Queen of marketing. Perhaps she did not know it, but she was the best of the best story-tellers. I might be just a tad prejudice.

The lessons I learned from my Grandmother have sustained me throughout my career in sales and marketing.

One thing I discovered is that no matter who we are, we are all in sales and doing marketing every waking minute of every day. The first people we are selling to is our families, spouses, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. -And the list goes on.

Imagine that!

Here are the three lessons I learned from "the old iron pot":

1. Be different.

My Grandma knew there were lots of Grandmas out there telling bedtime stories, and she worked diligently to make herself different from all the other storytelling Grandmas out there.
The same applies to business.

We all have competition, so if we fail to make ourselves different, we will die. Simple as that.

I suggest you read Roy Osing's book, "Be Different of Be Dead".

2. Be Enthusiastic.

Grandma was so enthusiastic every time she shared one of her stories with us that we couldn't wait to find out what story she would share with us that day! Her enthusiasm made us want to be around her, to listen to her every word. In fact, we would always hang around when Grandma visited, because we never knew when she would stir way deep down deep in "the old iron pot" for another great tale to tell.

Are you enthusiastic about your business? Do you attract prospective clients to you because you are full of enthusiasm for your business and what you have to share? Are you enthusiastic about meeting new people and take your eyes off yourself to make time to listen to their stories?

3. Listen.

We have been given two ears for a reason.

When Grandma spoke, we learned how important it was to listen intently for fear of missing something really important in the story.

When you attend your next networking meeting, try using your diaphragm and speaking up, enunciate your words and speak enthusiastically about your business telling your story like nobody else can. Be enthusiastic about listening to the new people you meet. Take your eyes off yourself and focus on those you meet. Find out ways you can collaborate and help each other.

I am so thankful for the lessons I have learned "from the old iron pot".

I would love to listen to your stories. Let's meet for coffee or have a Skype call to find ways we can collaborate.

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress

Twitter: @mktgmentress

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

LinkedIn Tip #9 - New Group Secrets!

One month since the big LinkedIn updates and we are still finding surprises!
Well, if you are not using it much, you may have just discovered them.
No worries! In the LinkedIn Book of Christine, it is all good!
The groups received a huge overhaul.
Now we only have to use the "Advanced" search tool to look for key people we want to know and do business with. It used to be that you could use this tool, or go directly into each group to perform a search of the members there. Then you could send them a message, follow them, or ask them to connect with you. You did not even have to know them in order to message them.
Here are the keys to the "Advanced" search tool:
  1. You can select more specific search parameters. For example: You can choose which type of connections to search or which groups you wish to search. You can get your search nailed down to the postal code for the exact area in which you wish to search. So Cool!
  2. You can set up a search and just leave it in place for a while. LinkedIn will continue to search for those parameters and send you the results, depending on how often you wish to receive these results. The frequency of emails can be set up through your settings menu.
  3. You can search your first connections, or second connections, or groups, or 3rd plus connections. My suggestion would be to search one of these at a time. With each group that you search, for instance, you can change your search criteria as many times as you wish until you have exhausted all your options for that group. Once your search results stop bringing up results, it might be a good idea to leave the group and search another one.
Play with the "Advanced" search tool for a bit and discover how slick it really is. The "Advanced" search tool is not really that new. You could always perform these types of searches. Most of us did not use these to their max. However, the new updates have refined this type of searching, in my humble opinion.
The fact that LinkedIn will keep sending you results from your searches until you change them is phenomenal!
Once you find some key people you would like to build a relationship with, you can take it from there. Remember that the relationships are built online, and real business gets done offline, face-to-face.
People want to do business with people that they know, like and trust. It takes time to build those relationships. It may take as long as 3-6 months to start getting business through LinkedIn, but if you are building solid relationships with people, taking your eyes off yourself and finding ways you can help others first, you will be amazed how LinkedIn will work for you.
Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress
Twitter: @mktgmentress