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Thursday, 25 June 2015

When You Think You Can't, Somewhere...

Exhausted beyond comprehension and ready to quit, a saint came into my life.

We were living on a farm east of Red Deer, Alberta in the district of Joffre. We had sold property in Northern Alberta and put everything into building a house on this new piece of property, had run out of money, and were trying to work our real estate business to cover living expenses.

I seldom saw my children awake. I was in the office early in the morning calling "For Sale By Owners" or showing properties and holding open houses in the evenings and on weekends. I was top listing agent in our office and had lots of properties to show. I was never the best "closer" in the world, so I figured that if I had most of the inventory that other realtors would have to come to me for product. It worked like a charm!

However, when I was at home, the work just began. I was up late canning and preserving food from our garden to feed our family through the long winters. I was doing all the work that did not get done when I was at work. I was living on less than 4 hours of sleep at night most nights. Sometimes I even pulled all-nighters working to get ahead of my work.

I felt burnt out with this sinking feeling that I was going to have a nervous break-down. Me...the perpetual cheerful person of the family, and my office!

One Sunday I was sitting in the hallway at church with one of my, not so reverent, children trying to teach them what it meant to be reverent, when a girlfriend came up to me. She asked me if I was ok? It shocked me to have her ask me that, but I was at the end of my rope, so I just blurted out..."I feel like I'm going to have a nervous breakdown!"

My girlfriend quickly asked if she could chat with me for a bit because she had something very important to share about this revelation.  She was my friend and I welcomed a sympathetic ear. So she pulled up a chair beside me and began sharing her story.

I had no idea that her husband was a counsellor with Community Services. She shared that her husband had told her many times, that as he counselled with many people who had nervous breakdowns, he had discovered that virtually every time someone had a nervous or mental breakdown, at some point, they had made a mental decision to "give up".

Then she told me that once a person has a nervous breakdown, they never ever completely regain their original strength and acuity of mind. Once they have given up the first time, it becomes easier and easier to have a breakdown again and again. They end up on medications that keep them in a dazed mind-frame for the rest of their lives.

When she told me that, I was in shock!

She shared with me some key things that people need to practice on a regular basis to keep themselves mentally strong and able to rise above any level of stress in their lives.

Know what that was?

"You were given this life because you were strong enough to live it!"

Rise up to your challenges. Face them head on. Be honest. Be true to yourself. Practice integrity in all you do. Remember that you can do anything you put your mind to. You can choose to have a nervous breakdown or you can choose to be a person of strength. It is all up to you.

Stop blaming life and other people for your challenges in life. We are all given "hic-ups" along the road of life. What we end up with at the other end of life depends on how we choose to deal with them.

We Choose!

I choose to be a woman of strength. What about you?

-And, No, I never did have that nervous breakdown. I never will!

Christine Till
The LinkedIn Marketing Mentress
LinkedIn: /christinetill
Facebook: /christinetill
Twitter:  @mktgmentress

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Is it all about the relationships?

Did you know that you can get 80% of your business through LinkedIn?

When it comes to online marketing, people seem to think that it is all about blasting people over and over again.  Talk about feeling like you are being slapped in the face!

I remember when faxing was going strong, "blasting" was the view people had then. People got angry and turned off their fax machines because of wasting paper.

With email there is no paper involved. So, when emailing took over from the faxing programs, people appreciated an email much more than a fax, because now they could just "delete".

Today if the message being sent is too long, or it does not grab our attention immediately with its subject line, we automatically hit "delete". Have you found yourself doing this too?

The challenge with faxing and emailing is that these are both based on the principle of quantity, not quality.

In sales, numbers DO count, about if you could control those numbers and build more solid relationships instead?

Here's what I mean.

When we blast a message out to people, we need to have thousands of addresses/emails/fax numbers in our list. The ROI is maybe 1/2%.

Let's take that further.

Back in the "snail mail" days when we used flyers sent via the post office, the ROI was as high as 1%.

When we took the flyers and personally delivered them into the hands of the business owners, or prospective customer and built some rapport with them, the numbers went to 10 or 20% ROI.

As we take time to build relationships with people through educating , informing and entertaining them, the numbers get even better.

LinkedIn published these statistics in February of 2015. The percentage of B2B leads generated through each social network:

·         LinkedIn - 80.33 percent
·        Twitter - 12.73 percent
·         Facebook - 6.73 percent
·         Google+ - 0.21 percent
·         B2B leads are most likely to convert between 1 and 4 pm.
·         1 in 3 posts that triggered engagement had a question mark in it.
·         The update posts that performed the best had 248 characters.

First Place : 62% of B2B marketers consider LinkedIn to be effective!

It is all about the relationships.

Looking for help with your LinkedIn?

Christine Till
The LinkedIn Marketing Mentress
LinkedIn: /christinetill

Twitter: @mktgmentress

Monday, 22 June 2015

Do you have a bag on your head?

Would you connect with someone on LinkedIn if you did not know them?

How would you feel about friending someone who never answered their door?

Let's say a friend of yours tells you about this wonderful person who lives on your block in town, and that you should reach out and befriend them, because they have some awesome service that you really need and want. So you go up to their door, and knock. You have a bag over your head because you are shy and self-conscious. You get no response, but you know someone is home because you can see through a little peek hole in the corner of your bag, shadows moving inside, and hear music playing. So you knock again...still no response...a third time...same response.

What do you do now?

You go back to the friend who suggested this new friend possibility for you, and they suggest you go reach out to someone else this time,  This time you remove the bag and they respond by answering the door and inviting you inside. You discover what things you have in common and can help each other with, and set a time to meet more formally.

Sound familiar?

How do you think the first person felt about you? Why do you think they would not answer their door?

This is real life. This is how most of us would respond in real life. Am I correct?

Let's take this to building relationships online.

Say that someone sends you a connection request on LinkedIn. They do not have a headshot, or they have a logo, or a baby picture, or one with their spouse, or their favourite car, or a nice vacation spot. How do you feel when you receive a request to link up with these people?

Did you know that hiding your picture is not going to save you from online goblins? All someone needs to steal your identity is your full name and birthdate. That is all they need to build a solid profile on you. They can steal your house, your car, your bank accounts, your credit. I know because I had someone try to do it to me.

Here's the straight goods.

The more active you are online and the more connections you have, the less likely your profile/identity will be stolen. When you have a lot of friends who know you well online, they will know immediately when you start doing strange things online that are not in keeping with how they know you. When they see strange things happening with your online presence, they will probably do like I you and ask why you are "stuck in Scotland and in need of funds."

The more you try to hide from people online and still try to do business, the more you risk identity theft and phishing challenges.

Here's the shtick.

-If you are online to build relationships with people you want to know and do business with, they are also looking for the same thing. When we try to hide by not using a professional headshot, it sends a message to everyone that we are trying to hide something from them. They will be hesitant to connect with you and even more hesitant to do business with you.

We are now living in the "Age of Connectivity".

You would not go to your neighbour with a bag over your head trying to build a relationship with them for business. The same applies online.

We need to be just a tiny bit transparent online, in order to build those relationships where people will get to know, like and trust you. If you are like most people in business, you also want to do business with people you know, like and trust.

Bottom line is use a professional headshot.

-And never put your birthdate on any of your profiles. If you do, put the wrong one.

Need some help with your LinkedIn?

Christine Till
The LinkedIn Marketing Mentress

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

What Does the Industrialization Age Have to do with You?

Many years ago our world witnessed the dawning of  the age of industrialization.

Are we stuck there?

By the time of the second world war, our world had fully embraced the industrial age. Many factories were built to produce a myriad of products to supply our civilization. We were manufacturing everything from ammunition and guns to household items that we used on an everyday basis.

With this new industrialization rose a huge need for workers...people who could stand in the assembly lines or work in the offices pushing paper. There was a tremendous shortage of workers at that time. How were all these factories going to get the workers they needed to keep up with the demand for their products?

Enter the public school system!

 The Public School System was not really designed to educate; it was designed to train up people to be obedient, to take orders, and follow instructions. Receiving an education and a degree ensured people that they would have a regular job for the next 40 years, with the same company.

Today, we still have schools training people and teaching them to get degrees, but what do these degrees really mean? No longer are they providing jobs for people like they did in the past. The average time people today stay in one job is 4.5 years.

We are educating many thousands of young people today, who cannot find employment once they have graduated.  Our world today has changed. The way we used to do things no longer works.  There are more and more people, young and old, starting their own businesses, but with a 90% failure rate in business start-ups today, what do we need to do to affect positive change?

The age we live in now is the age of connectivity. We are connected more than we ever have been in the past. The internet and online systems have shrunk our world and brought us close to our fellow beings on the other side of the world from us.

 "Truly we are a global village." (Marshall McLuhan)

Relationships are being built online by the tens of thousands of people every minute of the day. How is this affecting our lives as we know them? Do you feel overwhelmed with all the things that are coming at you? Are you feeling challenged with 'feeling small' in a strange world?

We need to embrace it! If you want to be successful today, get connected both online and offline.
Many people are hesitant about getting connected online, if we don't, we stand to lose our businesses for sure. If you are not connected, it is just a matter of time before your business or charity will die.
Here's the big secret to being connected...We build the relationships online and real business gets done offline.

Get connected! Learn how.

Christine Till
The LinkedIn Marketing Mentress