Friday, June 24, 2016

3 Things to Value When Networking With an Entrepreneur


Entrepreneurs are the best people to network with and listen to. Whether you are watching them talk in a video or seminar or you’re directly talking to them one on one, take note of everything they say. 

Showing value to an entrepreneur will show the entrepreneur how serious you are. They will know immediately if you value what they’re telling you. Entrepreneurs usually have busy schedules and not much time to spare. So when you get a chance to have a meeting with them, there are a few things you need to respect about them.

1.Value their time.
A lot of entrepreneurs don’t have very much time to spare. They are usually booked with meetings and the daily upkeep of their businesses. When you lock in a meeting with an entrepreneur, make sure that you value their time. Show them that you value their time by being prepared when the meeting starts. Have everything ready to go and be short and to the point about what you’re looking for.

If you have a 30 minute meeting with them try to wrap up the meeting by 25 minutes and let them know that you value their time. You will prove it to them by wrapping up early. This will make them more inclined to scheduling more meetings with you because you showed them you valued their time.



2. Value their feedback.
If you’re meeting up with entrepreneurs to get feedback on a product that you have or trying to get an idea of what worked for them, then you need to value their feedback. Everybody has different ways of doing things and they will all have different opinions of your product.

Make sure that you take into consideration their feedback about your product and how you can do something better. Keep an open mind when asking for feedback. It could sound like something completely off the wall but if it worked for them there’s a chance it can work for you as well. Give it a shot and if it doesn’t work then you know what isn’t helping.

But make sure you take what they say into consideration and have the trial and error for them when you meet up with them again. If they see that you tried what they said and it didn’t work, they will be willing to offer and provide more help knowing that you listened to them and valued their feedback. 

3. Value their ideas.
Entrepreneurs are great at acting on their ideas. When their ideas don’t work out they move on and act on their next idea. When one idea doesn’t work out they don’t let it slow them down. So when you are talking with an entrepreneur and they’re giving you ideas of how to make a program or how to provide more value, you need to listen to them and value what they’re saying.

A lot of entrepreneurs are mentors because they have been there and they have a pretty good idea of how things work. Entrepreneurs tend to give great ideas and provide value to the people they’re talking to. Don’t take that for granted. If they have an idea and it just doesn’t resonate with you, keep listening.

They will have more than one idea to pitch your way. Make sure you show that you value their ideas by taking them into consideration and giving them a try. They are more likely to stop meeting with you if they know you aren’t trying what they tell you.


Being able to have meetings or phone calls with entrepreneurs can really help you on your journey but you have to value their time and what they have to offer or they will stop giving you the time of day. 





Image Credit: Shutterstock
Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com


ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business networking association dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, expand and grow. We offer affordable opportunities to help create a positive impact and advancement in your business interests and personal quality of life to take you to the next level.
Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Business Vendors Wanted for Small Biz Networking & MiniExpo





Local business organization seeking business owners and entrepreneur to showcase their products and services at 2016 Small Biz Networking & MiniExpo Event.


Westchester County’s premier business organization, Westchester Networking for Professionals will be hosting their 2016 Small Biz Networking & MiniExpo to take place on Thursday, July 28, 2016 from 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm at Velocity WorkSpace in White Plains, NY.


This event will attract thousands of community business owners, executives and professionals throughout the New York tri-state area, Westchester Networking for Professionals is seeking business owners and entrepreneurs who want to reserve a table to showcase their products or services at the event to gain visibility and new business leads.


The Small Biz Networking & MiniExpo will feature food, wine, entertainment, educational seminars, expert advisors offering free business advice, a diverse array of vendors showcasing their products or services and unlimited networking to expand your network and generate new business leads.


“The Small Biz Networking & MiniExpo is great opportunity for attendees to connect, grow and network, last year we had a great turnout and looking forward for another successful event” says Founder, Theresa Todman.

This event is open to the business community and local businesses are encouraged to reserve their vendor table space at http://wnfpevents.webs.com or call (914) 266 - 0347.

A limited number of early bird discount attendee tickets and table reservations are available online at http://wnfpevents.webs.com or call (914) 266 -0347 for more information. 



ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business networking association dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, expand and grow. We offer affordable opportunities to help create a positive impact and advancement in your business interests and personal quality of life to take you to the next level.
Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

7 Email Marketing Best Practices


The content of your email message is important, but your design is the first element that recipients will see. If you want readers to see your message instead of clicking to the next email, it’s essential to please their eyes and pique their curiosity. Here are a few keys to a winning email design:

1. Make it mobile friendly.
Two out of three emails are opened on a mobile device. Make sure that your email design is based on elements that work well in that environment. Those include large text, small file sizes for images, simplified layouts with plenty of white space, and touch-friendly buttons inside. If you use an image-based header, utilize responsive design to ensure that it shows up well on all screens.

2. Don't rely too heavily on images.
While some Web services load images automatically, many of your recipients will not see images unless they specifically enable this. For these readers, most images will result in a lot of blank white space. Always use alt tags and title tags to ensure that descriptions are still showing up when images don't. And, keep important information in the text of your email so that people don't miss it if images are not appearing. Read your email without the images to make sure that it still communicates well when all you see is text.

3. Make links easy to see and click.
You don't want to annoy recipients by making them hunt for links. At the very least, links should appear in a contrasting color (blue is the classic). Also consider underlining and bolding text links so that they show up easily. Use a combination of image-based buttons and text-based links so that all prospects can see where to click to get to your site. Having multiple links throughout the email makes it easier for prospects to do exactly what you want them to do.

4. Make sure you are CAN-SPAM compliant.
The CAN-SPAM act of 2003 requires that businesses make it simple for readers to stop receiving commercial mailings from you. Include clear instructions in the footer of your email that tell the recipient how to opt out of further mailings. The text should be large and easy to read. Failing to do this can get your message marked as spam. At the least, you can risk getting sent straight to the junk mail box. In worst-case scenarios, you can be fined for failure to comply.



5. Keep emails short and to the point.
When sending a commercial email, keep it under 300 words. Long emails look unwieldy to the reader and are more likely to get deleted than read. Deliver the hook quickly and follow up as succinctly as possible. Use subheads and bullet points to make it as “scannable” as possible.

6. Skip the spam-oriented words.
Spam filters often look for specific words to determine whether a message should go into the inbox or not. Some of the top spam words that have been identified are:
  • $$$, cash, money, cheap
  • Work at home, online biz opportunity, make money
  • Buy, clearance, order, shop
  • Free, f r e e, no cost

Exclamation points and all caps are also common triggers. What’s more, even when these words get past the filter, they can still turn off readers. While it can be hard to avoid every spam word, minimize them wherever possible to increase your chances of getting through. Get creative and find ways to share your message.

7. Test every mailing.
Before any mailing is released to your larger list, send it to a smaller test list to check your results. Open emails in both desktop and mobile browsers -- to ensure that your message looks good across platforms. Garbled messages with weird line breaks and broken images make a poor first impression. Make sure you can get your foot in the door with a professional look from the start.


Email can be one of the most effective tools in your digital marketing kit. However, efficient and pleasing design is vital. Ensure emails are easy to read and pleasant to look at, and you'll see a higher open rate, more click-thrus and happier recipients staying on your list.




Image Credit: Shutterstock.com
Source: https://www.malaysiamarketing.my

ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business networking association dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, expand and grow. We offer affordable opportunities to help create a positive impact and advancement in your business interests and personal quality of life to take you to the next level.
Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

5 Lessons for Growing Your Small Business


There’s exciting news for those of us who love small businesses: the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) found that nearly 14 percent of working age Americans are now either starting or running new businesses. That’s a record high for this study since it first began 16 years ago.

Small Business Week runs the first week of May to promote and honor America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. After all, small businesses are the engine of the U.S. economy. According to data from the SBA, roughly two-thirds of all new jobs in this country are thanks to small businesses. And while it’s important to formalize this recognition with an official week, it’s equally important that we support small businesses throughout the year.

As a serial entrepreneur and someone who has helped tens of thousands small businesses get off the ground, I’ve come to appreciate one thing about small business ownership: starting a business may be hard, but scaling that business up can be even harder. That’s why I’m sharing some of the key lessons I’ve learned on how to grow your business and take it to the next level.

How To Grow Your Business

1. Focus On Your Brand, and More Branding

No matter how small your business may be, it has a brand. You may not have a marketing department or outside branding agency, but your business certainly has a brand. This is the emotional attachment that connects your customers to your product, service, and company. And it’s this emotional attachment that keeps your customers coming back more than pricing or any other strategy.

How do you want people to feel when they think about your company and product/service? How is your company inspiring its customers or creating other positive memories? Think deeply about these questions. Then, make sure that every aspect of your company — from your website to products, advertising, and employee policies — reinforces the brand image you want to portray.

2. Dedicate Blocks of Time to Work on the Business

There is a great article on Small Biz Trends offering solid tips on “How to Work ON Your Business, Not IN it“. When you’re running a business, you can keep yourself busy every second of the day. But busyness doesn’t necessarily equal success: in other words, just because you’re working around the clock doesn’t mean you’re driving your business forward.

If you are constantly focused on the day-to-day tasks and reacting to every request, email, or issue, it means that no one is actually working on building out the business for the long term. That makes it very hard to grow from where your business is right now. Set aside time in your schedule to work on getting new business and your company’s long-term strategy. Some choose to work only on new business deals every morning until 11 am; others schedule Friday afternoons or Monday mornings. Pick whatever time works for your schedule and stay disciplined: focusing on the future is the only way you can grow.




3. Surround Yourself with Great People

Small business owners are used to wearing all (or at least most) of the hats in their business. However, a successful company requires a team, not just one person. With only one person responsible for each decision or activity, there’s only so far your business can scale. Consider some of the tasks you could hand over to contractors, employees, interns, and even family members. Try delegating some of your major pain points first; this will free up your time to focus on the important stuff.

One word of advice. When small businesses start growing, owners often feel compelled to bring on a senior employee from a big company with an impressive resume. While this specific expertise can help in some cases, you should be hiring for smarts, work ethic, and culture-fit with your business rather than fancy words on a resume.

4. Invest in Your Legal Foundation

If you started a business without a clear growth strategy in mind, you may not have been thinking about a legal business structure. If you didn’t designate a structure, then by default, you’re operating as a sole proprietor (one owner) or general partnership (more than one owner). As you start growing, or are thinking about growing, it’s time to formalize your business structure — either by becoming a corporation or LLC (Limited Liability Company).
While there are several benefits to the corporation and LLC, the main advantage is that these structures help protect your personal assets. This means that if something should happen in your business (e.g. it gets sued or can’t pay its debts), then your personal assets can be protected and the responsibility falls on the shoulder of your business as its own entity.

5. Invest in Your Health and Sanity

A study from Bank of America found that managing a small business is twice as stressful as maintaining a healthy relationship with a spouse or partner and three times as stressful as raising children. Furthermore, small business owners routinely skip free time, exercise, and other personal priorities in order to focus on the business.

I can’t stress enough the importance of taking care of yourself, while you’re taking care of your business. After a few debilitating panic attacks brought on by business stress, I’ve learned to make my well being priority number one. When I’m feeling stuck or down, I get to the gym. Exercising and listening to music are my reset buttons. Find what feeds your soul and schedule it into your calendar just like an important client meeting. Because running a business is an ultra-distance marathon, and you need to have fuel in your tank to keep going.

Kudos to those of you who are traveling the exciting road of entrepreneurship. I know how hard the journey can be, but the challenges are so worth it!


Do you have any great tips to share on how to grow your business?





Image Credit: Shutterstock
Source: http://smallbiztrends.com/



ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business networking association dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, expand and grow. We offer affordable opportunities to help create a positive impact and advancement in your business interests and personal quality of life to take you to the next level.
Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

How to Beat Your Competition in the Advertising Game


It’s often said that competition is good for your business. It pushes you to be your best. Think Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi, Visa vs. MasterCard, Xbox vs. PlayStation, or Apple vs. Microsoft.

Of course, part of the fun of rivalry is stealing customers from your rivals. You can do that with the help of advertising!

Competitive Advertising Strategies

Today you’ll learn five brilliant competitive advertising strategies you can use to get in front of your competitors’ customers and (with a little work) turn them into YOUR customers instead. *Evil laughter*

1. Target Facebook Users Whose Interests Include Your Competitors

Facebook Ads doesn’t offer keyword targeting for your ads and you can’t specifically target people who have liked your competitors’ pages. However, Facebook offers something called interest-based targeting.


On Facebook, interests range from extremely broad (e.g., business or entrepreneurship) to very specific. In this case, your competitor’s name is the specific interest you want to target, because Facebook allows you to choose to target people based on, among other things, brands and products they like.



Type in your competitor’s website URL. Or, if that doesn’t work, you can type in your competitor’s brand name or try a few keyword combinations to figure out best option for reaching their target audience – which is now your target audience!

Make sure your Facebook ads are awesome and your competitive campaign will be off and running.

2. Disrupt Your Competitors’ Videos with YouTube Ads

Recently I was on YouTube searching for an AT&T ad. Before I could watch the ad I was looking for, I had to sit through another ad – I know, that’s modern life. But the genius part was that this ad wasn’t for AT&T, but for its competitor, Sprint.

In this ad Sprint explained why it is a better provider than AT&T and highlighted an offer to switch carriers, before I could even see the ad for the brand I had searched for.

To execute this competitive advertising strategy for your own campaigns, create the most watchable TrueView ad you can, adding in how much you’re willing to spend.

There are many targeting options to choose from (e.g., demographics, interests, keywords, remarketing). But today we’re feeling competitive!


You want to target your video ads so that whenever someone searches for the YouTube videos of your competitor that they’ll see your ad first. If you play it right, they might not even watch your competitor’s video!


For best results, make sure your video ad is memorable.

3. Use Your Competitors’ Emails Against Them with Gmail Ads

Another brilliantly sneaky competitive advertising tactic you should start using now is targeting people who have recently shown interest in the things your competition sells.

With Gmail Ads (those ads that appear at the top of the Promotions tab of users’ personal email accounts), you can do keyword targeting on your competitors’ brand terms.

As you read this, people who are in the market for your competitor’s products are getting emails from your competitors – and those emails mention your competitors’ brand terms. For example, if you were competing with Sephora, you could target its brand name as part of a Gmail ad campaign so that every time a Sephora newsletter arrives in someone’s Gmail inbox, your brand ends up in its inbox as well. Obviously, your email should tell Sephora subscribers all about your great competing site and product and why they should check your out.


So if you want to try to steal some sales, target the trademarks of your competitors. Make sure you use an email subject line that will have users clicking your Gmail Ads in droves. Use only the best-performing subject lines, the ones with the highest open rates – your unicorns. As an added bonus, because these people are already in the market for a competing solution, it’s likely that more people will click on your ads, which reduces your costs.


4. Reach Your Competitors’ Audiences through the Google Display Network

Google has some great display ad technology. But if you want to beat up on your competition, you need to use Google’s custom affinity audience feature.


Affinity audiences let you target a predefined audience, one that should be more receptive to seeing your ads.




To make this work brilliantly, and avoid wasting your ad budget, you’ll want to target the home page of your competitor. AdWords will then figure out the brand trademarks and the behavior of the people who visit and are interested in that domain name (or search for content on related topics).

Let’s use MailChimp as an example: MailChimp is a publication that’s geared toward businesses doing email marketing. So if I’m running a similar business geared toward email marketers, MailChimp visitors would form the basis of our “ideal customer” we want to reach with our own display ads.

This will start the process of getting the right people familiar with your brand and the products or service you provide. And hopefully, with the right message, you’ll start stealing business away from your competitors and experiencing breakout growth.

5. Download and Target Your Competitors’ Twitter Followers

There are tools that allow you to download a list of every Twitter follower for any account, such as BirdSong Analytics. You can use these to download a list of all your competitor’s Twitter followers. Costs generally start around $35 and go up the more followers the account has.

Once you have your report, you can use those Twitter handles to create a list that you’ll then upload to Twitter Ads. Make sure to select the option to “add tailored audiences.” Uploading the list will take about 3 hours to process.

You can then create ads to get your business in front of the Twitter users who are already following your competitors and are likely in the market to buy or switch to a similar product or service. Genius, right?

After setting your budget comes the real fun. It’s time to get creative and compose your tweet copy. Here are some quick and (relatively) easy ways to produce creative for your Twitter ad and make it stand out from the crowd.

Don’t Let Your Competitors Have All the Fun!


Remember, all these competitive advertising strategies are putting your business in front of users who are interested in your competitors, which means they’re much more likely to be in the market for your product/service. You just have to show them that what you offer is better than what your competitors do!







Image Credit: Shutterstock
Source: http://smallbiztrends.com/


ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business networking association dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, expand and grow. We offer affordable opportunities to help create a positive impact and advancement in your business interests and personal quality of life to take you to the next level.
Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Monday, June 20, 2016

3 Reasons Promoting From Within Is Better for Growing Your Business


Startups often make headlines when they hire big names to fill management positions. It’s conventional wisdom that you “go for the gusto” when it comes to hiring vice presidents or C-Suite executives -- you hire a recruiter and pay top-dollar for an established name.

But at AppLovin, we’ve found that promoting from within rather than hiring from the outside often yields great results. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, but here’s why I often prefer to cultivate people internally and advance them when the time is right.

1. Motivated employees work harder.

We prefer to promote based on merit as opposed to relying on dated formal review cycles that don’t align with our employees’ major accomplishments and goals. When people can be promoted at any time, it keeps them motivated and adds incentive for them to do their best year-round, as opposed to burning the midnight oil the month before their performance evaluation.

Outside hires can sap the motivation for mid-level and junior-level talent to work harder and move up the ladder. When you promote from within, your employees know that the sky's the limit, so they always work hard and deliver more for your company. In my experience, this “sky’s the limit” approach creates an atmosphere of optimism that has a positive effect on everyone.

2. Opportunity, happy people = higher retention.

When you promote from within, you also save money and boost morale by increasing your retention rate. Twenty-nine percent of workers cite lack of career opportunity as the key factor that makes them think about leaving, and it’s certainly true that any perception of a “revolving door” can contribute to instability and make people think about finding a new job. But both in terms of the financial and cultural health of your company, you want to build a nice community where people can picture themselves for the long haul. When employees know they are the first to be considered for a more senior role, they become more aligned in striving for overall company growth over a significant period of time. This approach enriches the corporate culture and helps everyone feel like they’re working toward a common goal.

Hiring through recruiters is also remarkably expensive. One study found that the cost of recruiting and training a middle manager can cost between six and nine months of the candidate’s salary. And it only gets pricier as you go up the ladder. Employees that make six figures or more can often cost twice their annual salary to recruit.

3. Internal hires adapt better to new roles.

We all know how outside hires can sometimes struggle to adapt, and we’ve all known people who landed their “dream job” only to find out that it’s not what they expected. When you bring in somebody new, they don’t necessarily know the culture and won’t know the company’s best practices from the bottom up, and unfortunately that can sometimes spell dissatisfaction or outright failure.

True enough, one of the advantages to bringing in someone from the outside is that they can offer a fresh point-of-view. But that can be a double-edged sword: while outside perspectives are crucial for a company to prevent tunnel vision, differing management styles can create a serious culture clash and harm employee morale.

When you promote from within, you bring up someone who embodies the DNA of the company, and you avoid the friction of ramping up someone from the outside. Promoting from within also shows how the company is growing and leveraging that growth into opportunity for its current employees. It’s an act of faith that gives everyone a greater sense of stability both financially and emotionally.

Sometimes you do need to look outside the company in order to find someone with the skills you need, but if you can promote from within, you should. When you pursue headline-chasing or “silver-bullet” hires, it’s likely you’re not just failing to cultivate insiders who could do the job beautifully and be role models for other employees. It’s good practice to slow down before you call a recruiter and think through the potential of someone you already have on board.




Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com


ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business networking association dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, expand and grow. We offer affordable opportunities to help create a positive impact and advancement in your business interests and personal quality of life to take you to the next level.
Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Friday, June 17, 2016

The 4 Types of Relationships That Can Make or Break Your Career




You hear it all the time as a business leader or entrepreneur, "your success will depend upon the people you surround yourself with." That's true... you must find the best talent and get them on your team and in your company. No doubt about it. But, there is one fatal flaw that leaders make in the "people" department over and over again. In both startup situations, and among seasoned leaders, I see them focusing on finding the right people to do the work, but not giving attention to the ingredients of those relationships that actually fuel performance, and increase their own performance as well.

Ask any high performer about their best season in business or in life... or their worst season, and you will always find one thing to be true: there was another person or persons playing a pivotal part during that time. The neglected truth of performance is that to succeed and perform well, you must have the right kinds of relationships active along the way, and at the same time, you must avoid others.

We all know this intuitively, that some people affect us well and others can "do us in." But now neuroscience is able to explain the "how and why" this happens, and how to be better stewards of our relational world so that we are being fueled in the right ways, and escape the downfalls of the wrong kinds of relationships in both business and in life. Turns out that there are relationships that actually increase performance in our brains, and those that diminish us. Knowing how this works can mean the difference between success and failure.


Leaders that I work with find this simple map helpful to determine whom to get close to and whom to avoid. They also find it useful in their teams as well. I call it the "map of the leader's world," and there are only four possibilities, four possible corners of your world, where you can find yourself in any relationship:

Corner one: No connection.
This corner is the one of being surrounded by people, but still basically being "on your own." There is the absence of needs being met, an absence of real enhancement of fueling or connectedness that drives you to doing well and being better. Ultimately, you feel like you are by yourself, and it all depends on you, even with others around you or even on your team. "Alone...but with others." It is the corner of unmet needs.

Corner two: Bad connection.
In this corner, we have connection with someone(s) but the nature of the connection is that we end up feeling "bad," in some way. "Inferior"..."not good enough," always not measuring up. This is very different than being appropriately challenged or getting feedback, for those are invigorating. This dynamic, however, is demotivating and painful. De-energizing, as it feels like not matter what you do, it is never good enough and never reaches the bar. While in the short-term, this dynamic can fuel your efforts, over time it becomes debilitating to performance.

Corner three: Pseudo-good connection
Different than the aloneness of Corner One and the bad feelings of Corner Two, Corner Three feels "good." At least for a while. This is the connection that makes us feel good in some way....it medicates us. The approval of someone, the flattery that makes us feel we can do no wrong, the accolades of one more promotion or adulation all feel good, but are shallow and ultimately not performance-enhancing. A team or life surrounded by "yes" people and admirers is neither fueling nor challenging us towards improvement. It is like a "sugar-high," that feels good for a minute...until you need it again. It nourishes nothing.

Corner four: Real connection.
The only one that helps us or our business get better, Corner Four has attributes that are different than the other three. It is the place where we can be real about our needs for others, which overcomes the isolated efforts of Corner One. It is the place where we can be challenged to do better, like Corner Two, but in a way that is motivating and not diminishing. It is a place where feeling good happens as in Corner Three, but is based on real accomplishment, thriving and being connected from both our strengths and our weaknesses. It acknowledges failure and mistakes, unlike Corner Three, but is able to both metabolize those and use them for learning and "getting better." And it has other ingredients as well, such as support, ownership, modeling, enhancing self-control and regulation, energizing challenge with feedback, and more. It is "real," where we can be honest and authentic and be accepted and challenged.

I find that high performers always find a Corner Four place to live....both in work and in their personal lives. They also build their teams, boards and companies around Corner Four elements. Use this little map for you and your team, and I think it will help you figure out how to eliminate some pain, and enhance more of the results you are seeking.







Image Credit: Shutterstock
Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com


ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business networking association dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, expand and grow. We offer affordable opportunities to help create a positive impact and advancement in your business interests and personal quality of life to take you to the next level.
Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

RESTAURANT MARKETING – USING EMAILS TO GET CUSTOMERS IN



Using emails to get customers in is one of the easiest forms of restaurant marketing there is. We work with many different eateries around the country and let me tell you, a good restaurant with great service and amazing food draws raving fans like bees to honey!


The best part? Your customers want to know about what you are doing! They want to know when the events are, which days they should come in for their special favorites and especially be reminded of how much fun they had the last time they were in!


Now, I go to restaurants A LOT and I can count on one hand the times that I have been asked for my email address. Treating each and every customer as a one off is a recipe for disaster! By simply adding an email component to your restaurant marketing, you can guarantee that you can fill your restaurant whenever you like!


So how do you get their emails?


Low Tech/Low Cost: Ask! Put cards on the table and ask for their name and email address in return for a free beverage or dessert.


High Tech/Low Cost: Have a website you drive your customers to and gather their names in return for a dollar savings coupon.


High Tech/High Cost: As you notice, all these ideas YOU control. One of the worst things we have seen lately is the proliferation of half off deals that where the restaurant gets 25% of the revenue for one customer coming in the door. Equally as bad are the ones where you pick one geo-targeting brand like FourSquare and pay them to do your promotion. Seriously, you can do this on your own and keep control of your customers and their contact info!



Whatever data collection technique you choose, start today. Have your hostess start collecting emails when she takes a reservation, have a contest with your servers to see who can get the most email address or spiff your bartenders a buck for every address they collect.







Source: http://mandmmonsters.com

ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business networking association dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, expand and grow. We offer affordable opportunities to help create a positive impact and advancement in your business interests and personal quality of life to take you to the next level.
Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Online Advertising: What Marketers Can Do In Light Of A Crisis Of Faith



You remember the promise at the turn of the 21st century: online advertising will provide comprehensive data and proof of effectiveness, all with incredible new opportunities for interactivity. This statement could also be called “The Great Digital Over-Promise.”

Nearly two decades later, marketers are finding themselves in the awkward position of having sold a dream and a promise that has faltered under real-world conditions. Jessica Davies described the current state of online advertising in Digiday, writing that “online advertising is under the microscope, thanks in large part to the rise in ad blocking.” Davies’ assertion is reinforced by research conducted by Adobe and PageFair, which reveals that as much as 28% of U.S. internet users may have ad blocking enabled.

Ad blocking, fraud, viewability and a host of other challenges have bruised online advertising’s reputation and left many marketers in the unenviable position of buying something they may not completely believe in, nor can perfectly demonstrate its effectiveness.

In a stroke of irony, online advertising finds itself in the position most other forms of traditional advertising have dealt with their entire existence: everybody knows advertising works, yet no one can prove exactly how or when or why. As the old adage goes, half of advertising works — we just don’t know which half in today’s digital age.

This creates an environment that every tech startup and marketer has been trying to overcome for decades. In the end, advertising remains just as much about faith as fact.


Expectations, Expectations, Expectations


Online advertising is effective, but marketers have been trained to expect far more from it than other forms of media. This means that every false data point and report of impropriety is under a level of scrutiny rarely applied to other media channels. If marketers had access to data that showed every missed billboard impression, for instance, every distracted driver, or every overcast day that affected billboard legibility, we might see an upheaval in pricing and demand.






Source: http://www.forbes.com/


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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How To Break In and Stand Out at a Networking Event


When you’re in business for yourself, you need to network, however, not all of us are masters at this skill. For anyone, and especially for introverts, networking can be daunting and extremely uncomfortable.

It’s easy to envy the smooth talker who can pick up on any subject and roll with it. It’s not so easy to come up with ways to make small talk or to approach people you don’t know; yet it is essential to your business success.

Instead of dreading the proverbial networking event, think of it as an opportunity to meet like-minded people who share your enthusiasm for business. Here are seven tips to get you started.


1. Psych yourself “in.” 

Instead of psyching yourself out when anticipating a networking event, convince yourself that you are there to make friends, and treat people as such. Throw out the notion that you are trying to make a business contact or sale. Go to an event with a service mentality. In other words, always keep in mind what you can do for others instead of what they can do for you.

2. Put away your mobile device.

If you are staring at your phone or texting you are unlikely to be approached or be considered approachable. A networking event is your opportunity to personally connect with other people in the room. Leave your phone in your pocket or purse, or better yet, in the car. You'll want to avoid the temptation to scan it every few minutes or jump when a new text message comes in.

3. Introduce yourself.

Look around the room for a group that seems to be having a good time, then walk up and make eye contact. One entrĂ©e is to say, “You all seem to having a good time, mind if I join you?” If they say yes, simply listen to their existing conversation and join in when you have something to add. Or you can politely eaves drop and say, “I couldn’t help but overhear you all talking about such-and-such. Do you mind if I join you?”

4. Prepare some opening topics.

Scan the news or current events, or come up with one or more topics related to the event or the group before you arrive. This will make it easier to approach someone you don’t know. Or you can always talk about something or someone you and another person have in common. For example, walk up and say, “Jim sure does throw the most outstanding parties.” Don't forget to give a firm handshake and say your first and last name, and something about yourself. Doing this will open the door to a true connection.

5. Assume others will like you.

Many people are so fearful that others won’t like or accept them that they are shy about meeting someone new. Change your mindset to “I’m likeable” and you will feel more confident in initiating a conversation.

6. Help someone else.

It’s always easier to approach someone who is standing or sitting alone versus a large crowd of people. That person may be shy and desperately want to be part of a group, but may have no idea on how to enter a conversation. Once you find out a little bit about that person, invite them to come with you so you can introduce them to someone else.

7. Show enthusiasm.

Show real interest in what another person is saying, even if you don’t find the topic that interesting. You never know—this person might be just the liaison you need to make your next big deal. Listen actively and ask engaging questions. He or she will be flattered by your attention.

Once you have practiced these skills a few times, you will begin to feel more comfortable. Remember the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” More importantly, “it’s who knows you.” Networking offers a solid opportunity to create new friends and allies, so get out of your comfort zone and make some connections.





Image Credit: Shutterstock
Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com

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Study Shows How to Get Subscribers for Your Email Marketing Campaign

New research shows what incentives work best for motivating consumer to sign up and engage with email marketing.


Email marketing is an effective tool for businesses of all sizes. According to the Direct Marketing Association, when it comes to purchases made as a result of receiving a marketing message, email has the highest conversion rate (66 percent), which beats other forms of marketing like social media, direct mail and more.

But, many first-time marketers run into trouble when trying to build their email marketing list. As was described in an article last week, using a paid list can be counter-productive and ruin the reputation of the sender.

The key to getting consumers to sign up for an email list is offering something of value that makes it worth their while. This is easier said than done, when many consumers are already oversaturated with emails and don't want any more unnecessarily. However, a recent study from Adestra found what incentives work best for motivating consumers to sign up for email lists.

Adestra teamed up with eConsultancy to survey more than 1,100 marketers and used data from several years worth of email marketing campaigns to see what worked best for each aspect of the email marketing cycle, from gaining subscribers to getting people to engage.

Unsurprisingly, Adestra's study of U.S. consumers found that financial based incentives worked best for getting people to sign up. Of the people surveyed, most (85 percent) said they sign up to marketing emails in the hope they will receive some sort of discount or promotion.

The study also broke down which types of promotions performed the best with audiences. The top types of promotions consumers in this survey wanted to see were percentage-off offers (35 percent), free shipping (20 percent), free trials (14 percent), and dollar-off promotions (14 percent).

The analysis of the top promotion types reveals some helpful tips that marketers can use in their emails. For example, though everyone like "Free" things. Free trials under perform compared to other promotions because people associate these plans with annoying-to-stop subscription plans. Also, it's important to note that people were twice as likely to want to see percentage-off offers (e.g. Save 25 percent), rather than see dollar off coupons (e.g. Save $10).

There are other useful incentives, though they aren't as powerful motivators as financial incentives. When compared to those who want financial incentives, only half as many people (41 percent) in the survey said sign up to keep up with new products or services. That's still two out of five consumers, which is a sizeable demographic.

Additionally, more than a third (38 percent) will sign up purely because they love a brand and just over a quarter (27 percent) subscribe so they can take part in product research. The point of all this data is that there are a lot of ways to get people to sign up for emails and to open the messages when they receive them. If you give your audience what they want, they will come to you.

This focus on subscribers is important. Email subscribers are more than just a target audience. They can be just as useful to a brand as social media followers and fans. According to QuickSprout, email subscribers are 3 times more likely to share your content via social media than visitors from other sources.


So though email marketing can be difficult at first, it's worth the effort to build a subscriber base of people who want to get discounts and information about your products and services.





Source: http://www.inc.com/ 
Image Credit:Getty Images




ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business networking association dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, expand and grow. We offer affordable opportunities to help create a positive impact and advancement in your business interests and personal quality of life to take you to the next level.
Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!