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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

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

LinkedIn Tip #8 - LinkedIn Group Overwhelm

Are you feeling overwhelmed with all the changes that LinkedIn has just launched?

You are not alone!

It can be just a tad daunting when you are not that familiar with LinkedIn to suddenly be faced with the feeling that you have lost all your work. This has prompted me to share some tips to help you adjust to this new platform.

There are two types of groups:
a. Open Groups
b. Closed Groups

Open Groups
You can view the discussion thread before you join the group to see if it is a group you want to join. You are accepted into these groups immediately without having to be approved first. Once you are in an open group, you are free to mix and mingle with the members.

Closed Groups
You cannot view the discussion thread before you join the group. You have to join the group before you can view the discussion thread. Once you click to join a closed group, you then wait for someone in the group to approve you. You can wait weeks for this to happen sometimes, depending on how often the manager of the group checks it. Once you are accepted into the group, you are free to mix and mingle with its members.

LinkedIn will allow you to have up to 5 pending acceptances for the groups. It lets you know with a message when you have reached your limit for the day.

When you are wanting to start your own group on LinkedIn, there are also some things to consider very seriously.
1. If you set your new group up as an open group, you cannot change your mind and switch it to a closed group.
2. If you set your new group up as a closed group, you can always decide later to switch it to an "Open" group. However, remember that once you switch to an open group, you cannot switch it back to a "Closed" group.

As you join groups, remember that you do not need to stay in that group forever. You can join up to 100 groups. You are free to leave groups whenever you wish. Nobody knows when you leave the group, especially if there are more than 25 people in the group.

My suggestion would be to check out the new format for the groups. There is a tutorial that will walk you through some of the basics. I recommend that you take advantage of this short walk-through.

Remember LinkedIn is the most professional platform on the "net". There is none other like it. Everyone on this platform is there to do business.

Treat LinkedIn like you would a live networking group. The members are real people and it takes time to build trust with people. You build the relationships online, and real business gets done offline.

For answers to your LinkedIn questions, feel free to contact me.

Christine Till

The Marketing Mentress
Twitter: @mktgmentress

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

LinkedIn Tip # 7 - What Kind of An Impression Are YOU Leaving?

How do you feel about linking up with profiles that have NO headshot?

Every day I receive requests from LinkedIn members asking me to add them to my network. Many of those requests come from profiles with NO headshot. How do you think that makes me feel?

First I wonder what they are hiding from me. Second I wonder if they are fake profiles. Third I do not connect with them if I do not know them and understand that they are new and working on getting a professional headshot.

If you own a business and want all your staff members to be on LinkedIn to help maximize its use to promote your business, what kind of an impression are your employees leaving about your company?

Even if you put a "selfie" on your profile, do you think that will promote a positive impression about the company?

Here's the "shtick".

You have 3 seconds to make a great first impression on LinkedIn. Yes, you read correctly. Try an experiment. Go on your LinkedIn profile, and check out some of the profiles listed in one of your groups. Slowly scroll down the pages of the members in the group and make mental note of the profiles that catch your eye.

Right! The first thing you look at is the headshot. The second thing you look at is their name and the third is their "headline below their name"... 3 seconds flat!

Take time to check out the LinkedIn profiles of all your staff members. Better yet, what kind of example are you giving your staff. They will duplicate what you do, only be a little more slack than you are.

It takes effort to keep your standards high. As a business owner, it is imperative that our profile is in stellar shape and that you invest in a professional headshot.

If you are looking for a professional photographer in your area, please let me know. I can connect you to some highly recommended ones in my network.

To learn more about enhancing your entire LinkedIn marketing program and how the groups are the key to it all, join us Nov. 19th for LinkedIn 202 - The Secrets of the groups:

Christine Till

The Marketing Mentress
Twitter: @mktgmentress

Monday, 9 November 2015

Tip # 6 - Three Reasons Why the Groups are the Key.

Now that you have heard that the groups are the key to LinkedIn, are you wondering why that is?

It is easy to get caught up with the daily responding and commenting in the Home Feed, let alone responding to the group discussions we belong to. No wonder people feel just a tad overwhelmed with LinkedIn and how to maximize its' use.

Many people become disenchanted with the platform and leave it, never to return, because it just takes too much time to figure out all on our own. Here's a hint.

You need a coach to help you get started. I for one would never have managed to be this far along with my LinkedIn without the help of a coach to get me started.

LinkedIn is a business platform, not a social platform. Facebook is like the backyard bar-b-q; Twitter is like the coffee shop chatter. Business gets done on all three platforms, but if you want to get serious about business to business, LinkedIn is the platform for you.

One of the most confusing areas of LinkedIn is the groups. Now that we can join up to 100 groups, they can be more than a little daunting.

Tip #6 - Three Reasons Why the Groups

1. You can join groups that contain your target audience for prospective clients and if a specific group is not working for you, you can just leave it and go find another one that will suit your pipeline better.

2. You can search the groups with specifically targeted clients in mind and send them a message without being connected. Each group is like its own networking meeting where you can meet people and build the relationships you need and want for business.

3. You can set up your own group and invite other LinkedIn followers to join you in a discussion you have started there. You can attach a survey to this discussion that screens your potential target market even finer.

With the way we can use the advanced search tool now, it is easier than ever to target our specific market.

Join our next webinar: LinkedIn 202 - The secrets of the groups

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress

Twitter: @mktgmentress

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Secrets of the Groups - Tip #5

Are you looking to build the relationships you need and want for business?

Part of building relationships is carrying on a conversation, like you were meeting someone in life for the first time. This all begins on LinkedIn with the connections we make.  In real life, real time networking situations, we respond to each other and find out all about the other person first, before we say anything about ourselves...or at least that is what should be happening. When we immediately start pitching our stuff, we turn people off. They want to run away.

The same is true on LinkedIn.

When we accept a connection, the first thing we should do is click the tiny envelope beside their name and send them a cordial "thank you for linking up" kind of message, and invite them to connect with you on your other platforms of online media.

Remember, it is not all about you. It is about how many people you can help.

Once you make that initial connection, the next step is to check their profile and find out all you can about them. Search for ways that you can serve them to add value to your relationship. For example, if you know of someone in your connections who would be a great possible client for them, introduce them. I have done this many times, and had cheques mailed to me as a result of business that has been generated. It is called working joint ventures (JV's).

Moving on to the next step.

The secret to LinkedIn is in the groups.

Many business owners think that the secret to the groups on LinkedIn is interacting and taking part in all the discussions, but how can one manage to take part in 100 different group conversations every day?

With the new platform, we can now join up to 100 groups. However, before you get all overwhelmed, there are ways to keep in communication with all these groups without having to spend the entire day responding to comments and posting. The key is to join groups that would contain your ideal types of clients. For instance, if you had a health and wellness business, you would not join all health and wellness groups, because everyone in those groups is looking for the same type of clients you are. Think where your past clients came from, and join those groups.

It used to be that you could go into each group that you were a member of and search through the members for your target audience and potential clients. That is no longer the case. LinkedIn has set their search systems up, so that you do not go into the groups to perform this search.

Now you just use the "Advanced" search.

The Advanced search allows you to choose which area you would like to search. Among those are the groups. You can choose which of your groups you would like to search each time.

You can also set the Advanced search up so that it will continue to search with those parameters you have set up and let you know when your search has found potential clients for you.

Also, you can change your search parameters any time you like being as specific as you like.

The Marketing Mentress has a 2 hour webinar coming up on the 19th of November from 6-8pm MDT.  It is called "Secrets of the Groups". If you want to know all the tricks you can employ through the use of group searches and how to maximize your time with them, this is a great webinar. Learn how to make money with the groups.

Register to save your seat:

I look forward to helping you.

Tip #6 will be The Three Reasons Why Groups are the Key.

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress
Twitter: @mktgmentress

Friday, 6 November 2015

Accepting and Responding to New Connections - LinkedIn Tip #4

Many times when I am working with people helping them with LinkedIn, they are trepidatious about connecting with people on this platform. 

They are worried that if they do not have their "business running perfectly" they better not do anything on LinkedIn until they are where they think they should be.  Or they are worried that their boss will see that they are doing a side business.

Here's the shtick.

You can turn off all notifications while you are setting up your LinkedIn profile. In fact, I recommend that you turn them off, otherwise LinkedIn will be sending all your connections message after message about you and your profile. You can always turn notifications on later, when you are ready.

Here's another point.

It takes time to build up momentum on LinkedIn, and if you just get on there, set up your profile, and then sit there waiting for people to "ask you to dance", you will be waiting for a very long time! We need to be actively interacting with people on LinkedIn, in order to build the relationships we need and want for business. It all takes time and patience.

Tip #4
Head over to the little blank person icon with the plus sign beside it in the upper right corner of your LinkedIn platform and hover over it. A drop-down menu will appear, and you will see who is asking to connect with you. As you move your cursor down the menu, you will see "x" and "check mark" icons appear. You can click on the check mark to accept a connection.
Once you have accepted a connection, you can click on that contact immediately and then send them a message thanking them for joining your network and ask them what inspired them to join LinkedIn, or something that is copacetic with their profile.

It is important to acknowledge every person who reaches out to connect with you or accept your requests to connect. It is all about making that first great impression. You only have 3-8 seconds to do it online.

If you do not want to connect with someone, then click the "x".

It is all about being responsive and gracious. Treat connecting on LinkedIn the same way you would if you attended a live networking meeting.

Happy Connecting!

Next time we will discuss how to search through the members in the groups.

Christine Till

The Marketing Mentress

Twitter: @mktgmentress

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Are You Connected...Really?

Today I am sitting in the lobby of the Rowe building at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. 

I am watching a myriad of young men and women as they gather in this great lobby waiting for their next classes to start. 

Know what I am seeing? 

There is very little conversation happening. Most of them are on their electronic devices. They may be standing close to their classmates, but they are not communicating.

Have you heard of the quote, "No man is an island"?

Theoretically this quote should be true. But I have noticed something very significant that is occurring with this age of connectivity. Social media has and continues to create more "Islands".

It seems that more often than not, people are sitting alone or even beside friends texting and checking online for ... whatever. In fact, instead of chatting to one another, they text each other, even when they are sitting together!

I was waiting at a stop light to cross the street and there were two young ladies, around 14 years of age standing in front of me waiting for the light to change. They were both busy, thumbs flying as they were texting someone. Then a very strange thing occurred! One girl turned to the other one and said, "Yes!" Then there was another flurry of flying thumbs, and the other girl turned to the first one and said, "No Kidding!" -And that is how their communication was continuing as we stood there on the corner.

I was in shock!

What is this world turning into? No wonder we are having more challenges with building relationships today than ever before. All our gizmos and social media are actually making us more disconnected.

Then what in the world does this "age of connectivity" really mean? Does being or staying "connected" mean that we are taking our relationships for granted and simply think that because we are "connected", we are communicating?


We are human beings and thus are gregarious by nature. We all need interaction with other human beings in order to stay healthy. In fact, we have discovered that when people stay isolated for a long time, they are more apt to have things like dementia when they are older. Dementia can start when we are in our twenties. It usually is not detected for at least 20 years, thus it is thought to be a condition of old aged.

Is this age of "connectivity" also creating the microwave oven effect on our other relationships?

Because we are sending and receiving messages online at an alarming rate, when we do not get the results we desire quickly, we leave in search of another solution

If our relationships are not growing at the rate or in the area we desire within a very short period of time, we give up on them and search for that "perfect" one.

Believe me, it does not work that way.

Building relationships takes a lot of work! Years! It is not easy and "life does not run smoothly."

It takes reading lots of books; working together with open minds; finding solutions to those "hic-ups" along the way. Believe me, they will happen, and yes, "life does not run smoothly", but if you have a willing heart and mind, together you can do amazing things. 

If you are in business, you will want to seek out a good coach to guide and mentor you through this process.

It takes time to build those relationships we need and want with the people we need and want for business, and it all starts with you.

Get connected on a much deeper level. People you are connected to will only do business with you if they know, like and trust you. If you are in business, you will be glad you did.

Make it a great day!

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress
Twitter: @mktgmentress

The LinkedIn Marketing Mentress Tip #3

How to respond and share from your notifications menu under the tiny bell icon in the top right corner of your LinkedIn platform.

A wise man told me many years ago that I would discover that life does not run smoothly. At the time I thought, "Sure, I can handle that." However, there have been many times since then that I have sincerely wondered about my own sanity, dealing with so many changes in my life. At times it seems like everything was conspiring against me, and I have wondered if I would ever get through it.

Guess what! I survived!

If you are on LinkedIn and just getting started, you will want to feel like you are accomplishing something that makes sense for your business marketing plan. If you signed up on LinkedIn just prior to the last 2 weeks, you are probably wondering if you are logging into the right platform.

Am I right, or am I right?

Part of LinkedIn keeping us on alert was first changing the look of the platform. As soon as we see the layout change, those of us who have been using LinkedIn for a while realize that this means there are more new changes happening.

We are in the age of connectivity now, and that requires us to be more connected to our networks.  We need to be constantly working on new ways to build the relationships we both need and want for business. And LinkedIn is a great tool to help us with this.

There is another reason that LinkedIn has made changes.

The search engines.

Each and every time we make a change to our profiles on LinkedIn, we are letting the search engines know. Their little cookie monsters are always on the net searching for something new. The search engines love these changes!

Tip number Three:
Responding through the drop-down notifications under the bell icon.

Notifications are the messages you are receiving from people who have responded in some way to your posts or viewed your profile. These are the most important ones to be aware of, because you can respond in real time. With this age of connectivity, we also need to be more responsive. If we can respond within 10 minutes of receiving a message on LinkedIn, it could mean whether we can build a relationship with a potential new client of not.

If you have a smartphone, you can very easily respond to these notifications. The app allows you to click on each item, read it, like it, comment on it, and share it. I prefer responding to my notifications via my iPhone. It is fast and easy.

However, responding to this same drop-down menu on a PC is a little different. You add a couple of steps after clicking to read the post, in order to comment or share with the post, here is what to do.  You will need to scroll down to the bottom of the post to comment and share it through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. 

Another way to respond to these notifications is through your main feed on the Home page, but that is a lot more time consuming. I am helping you to save time.

If you have any questions, please feel free to send me a message through my email below.

Next we will address accepting and responding to new connections.

Make it a great day!

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress
Twitter: @mktgmentress