Friday, August 31, 2018

UPCOMING NETWORKING EVENTS! KickStart the Fall Season Building Your Business Connections



As the summer unwinds and we enter the fall season, we would like to share some awesome networking events we have schedule for September 2018.

We hope you can join us to meet new people, introduce your business and reconnect with others.

UPCOMING SEPTEMBER NETWORKING EVENTS

Tuesday, September 4 | 6:00 pm 
Small Business Exchange Meeting (6-Week Program)
This is a goal achievement program for entrepreneurs to collaborate with each other on growth discussions to help reach income and business goals through small intimate discussion groups for a commitment of 6 weeks.  Interested? Learn more here

Wednesday, September 12 | 12:30 pm
Member Orientation & Information Meeting 
Want to learn more about a membership with Westchester Networking for Professionals? Attend this meeting.  Free to attend, but RSVP required. RSVP here.

Thursday, September 20 | 12:00 pm
Business Lunch & Learn Networking Event: “The Cycle of Performance”
Join local professionals for networking, lunch and educational session with Jennifer Zelop. Limited seats available! Online tickets available online at discount. Interested? Reserve your seat, today

Tuesday, September 25 | 6:00 pm
Paint & Sip Networking Nite
Attend this Paint & Sip Networking Nite event to meet new people and reconnect with others during an evening of fun and excitement.  Limited seats available, so don’t delay - get your tickets, today


For event details and registration, visit WNFP calendar of events

Questions? Please email us at: rsvpevents@wnfp.org

We look forward to seeing you!



ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Add Social to Your Email Marketing to Boost Your Nonprofit Audiences



“Don’t cross the streams!”

That’s good advice when working with nuclear ghost-catching equipment strapped to your back, but it took breaking that rule for the Ghostbusters to defeat the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Crossing your social media streams and email marketing so your audience can move easily from one to the other will help grow your nonprofit organization’s reach on both channels.

Using Constant Contact’s new email social block, you can start promoting your social channels and build an audience that will spread the word about your nonprofit for you.

Connect email to social and build other audiences

Building an email list builds an audience for your nonprofit organization, but building a social audience helps to support your email efforts. The more you build up your social channels, the more likely you’ll be able to drive traffic to sign up for your email list, and vice versa.

Social and email should work together to grow your organization’s reach and audiences. Adding social links to your email helps potential donors or volunteers find your social platforms, and also helps them share your email with their social network, reaching new people that may also be interested in your cause.

Give readers a backup option call to action

Adding social media buttons to your email not only brings your channels closer together, it also gives readers a third option, something other than clicking through to your site or closing the email. Even if they don’t click your call to action button to sign up as a volunteer or donate, they may decide to look at your social media channels, giving you another chance to target them later.

When designing your email, place a social media block below your call to action button. You could also add a small banner that says, ‘Spread the Word to your Friends,’ above the social links to provide context and help push them to action.

Direct readers to a specific action on social

Like deciding what to write in your nonprofit email, your social links should be specific and point readers towards a single action. Your social links should either direct readers to follow you on your social channels, or help them share your email message on their social media channels with a share button.

If you’re promoting your fundraising event in an email and the reader decides not to donate or sign up to volunteer, linking your social media channels can help them stay up to date with reminders to get involved later. If your cause needs petition signatures, as another example, it may be better for readers to share your email message on their own social media channels, to build your audience and spread the word faster.

Help your email and social media marketing work together


Combining your marketing efforts on social media and email will help grow your nonprofit organization’s reach on both channels. With a bigger reach, you’ll have more firepower when promoting a fundraising event, getting signatures for local causes or zapping the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in the streets of New York City.




Source: https://blogs.constantcontact.com/
Image Credit: Constant Contact

ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

5 Ways to Create Great Relationships at Work and Beyond


Building solid relationships is a key part of being successful at work and beyond. Just think of the people you know who are successful. Most likely, they have an ability to create and sustain connections. But don’t just take my word for it. A Harvard study found that 85% of professional success comes from people skills, so it should come as no surprise that it’s impossible to have true success in all facets of life without building and sustaining outstanding relationships.

Relationships are at the heart of working, creating communities, driving change, and having a healthy self-image. The most critical relationship we each have is the one that we have with ourselves. Without a positive relationship with ourselves, every other relationship we have is in jeopardy. The best relationships are built on vulnerability and an openness to show our weaknesses, and this is true whether the relationship is with a colleague, spouse, relative, or friend.

Build Strong Relationships and Reap the Benefits

Equally important is that people who build great relationships always look for the positive in the world and in others. They want the best for the people they know and celebrate their successes. Here are five ways to create genuine connections that matter.


  • Act on the intent to do something nice for others. The key is to not just think about other people, but to act on those thoughts. Consciously and continually contribute to others’ quality of life in a meaningful way. This can be a genuine compliment, a thoughtful note, or passing along something you know they’re interested in and would be excited to receive. The habit is thinking about what other people would want and what you can give. People tell us it’s important to listen and pay attention. Remembering the things that are important to others is a simple starting point. The approach is to give more than you take. The motto of this habit is simple: giving is living.

  • Intuitively support others, especially when the need isn’t obvious. When we lose a loved one, the support that friends provide is often never forgotten. The value of the relationship we feel can’t be overstated. People who build exceptional relationships, however, pay special attention to the lives of others so they can tell when they’re struggling or going through a tough time – even when it isn’t as obvious as losing a loved one. They have a so called “empathy sensor” on high alert to notice the little things that might be distracting people they care about. When they notice something is up, they show up, step up, and intuitively know what to do to let the other person know they’re not alone. They don’t do this because they want to build better relationships, but because they care.

  • Be happy when others succeed. The unhealthy competition we feel when we’re young – for grades, sports, recognition, making the team or club, and for being accepted – can easily slide into adult life. The habit of celebrating the success of others, instead of being jealous that their success is not your own, can be immediately felt by the people experiencing success. Ask a good friend, or just ask yourself: “Who do you think is truly happy for your success?” It’s stunning how quickly an answer will come. You just know. The habit of great relationship builders is to embrace an abundance mentality and to be just as happy for the success of others as if it were your own!

  • Be actively curious about what other people think. Being curious about what others think means you suspend your opinions and conclusions to thoughtfully consider those of others, especially when they’re different and diverse. Loosening your grip on your point of view and exploring the whys, whats, and hows of what others think requires discipline – and it’s a habit of the best relationship builders. Most of us are too busy thinking about what we want to say next to really listen to what the other person is saying, but when we do listen, we build powerful relationships.

  • Take responsibility for more than you deserve. Relationships and life get easier when you learn to accept the apologies you never got. A colleague once summed it up this way: “Being in relationships is more important than being right.” A friend feels slighted; a customer complains about a service; an argument has many changing pieces. It’s better to be in relationship than to be right, and this means that whatever the issue, and regardless of who is at fault, some of the best relationship builders step in and take the hit. Few acts are more selfless than taking an undeserved hit.




What’s your number one tip for building strong relationships?




Source: https://www.business2community.com/
Image Credit: StartupStockPhotos / Pixabay

ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

How to Display the Ideal Body Language When Networking

Learn when it's appropriate to use hand gestures and head nods when building new relationships.





Body language can be a powerful attractant or deterrent when it comes to building relationships with others. People assess you visually within the first few minutes of meeting you. I’ve been asked a lot about body language by the media over the years. Here are some of their questions along with my answers relating to the use of body language in networking environments.

1. What can you do to increase your confidence and to come off as warm, friendly or knowledgeable to others?

People over-think this issue. The answer is pretty straight forward -- be more “interested” than “interesting.”  When you are meeting people, practice being an interested interviewer and an active listener. Learn about them and during the process make sure that your facial expressions match that interest. Don’t look bored -- look engaged. You can do that with a smile, appropriate reaction to a comment or a few nods (but not like a bobble head doll). Also, use your eyebrows to show your reaction to comments. Do this in an authentic way. If you really show interest in other people, you will be amazed at some of the stories you hear and people you meet. You will also make a great impression on these individuals. All of these things will help to make you look warm, friendly and confident. 

2. What is the latest reputable science saying about hand gestures and how they effect the way we're perceived by other people?

In a study done by Holler and Beatie, they found that gestures increase the value of someone’s message by 60 percent! They analyzed thousands of hours of TED talks and found one striking pattern. The most watched TED Talks were done by people who used effective hand gestures.

Specifically, they analyzed the top and bottom TED Talks and found that the least popular TED Talks used an average of 272 hand gestures during the 18-minute talk, and the most popular TED Talks used an average of 465 hand gestures during their talk -- or almost double! 

Remember that hand gestures are good when talking to someone, but don’t turn it into “jazz hands,” where your hands never stop waving! Be purposeful with your gestures.

Also, when doing certain hand gestures, make sure to do them from the listener’s perspective, not yours. For example, if you are talking about the growth of a business, you might naturally do a hand gesture going from your lower left to your upper right. That looks like growth from your perspective, but it would be the opposite from the listener’s perspective. The same goes regarding a timeline. For you, the start of a project would be on your left and the end of the project would be to your right. However, for the listener, your hand gesture should be flipped so that the gesture you are making supports the point you are sharing according to the other person’s perspective. This is a very subtle technique that can really help in your discussions with people.

3. We've been hearing about how the so-called "Power Pose" or "Superman Pose" (hands on hips) may not be as effective as research initially showed -- is this true? Are there other poses that increase confidence?

The “Power Pose” is great if you are Wonder Woman or Superman. For mere mortals -- not so much. It just looks theatrical. Power Posing is a discredited theory of psychology that was based on a 2010 study that has even been refuted by one of the original authors of the paper.

Instead of “striking a pose,” be your best self. Don’t hunch over or look like a wallflower, don’t cross your arms and, above all -- maintain good eye contact. Don’t be looking around the room as you are talking to people. It makes them feel like you don’t care about them. Remember, be interested and look interested when you are talking to someone.  

4. Personal space is sometimes an issue. How close should you stand to people when you are talking to them?

The study of proxemics has an application to personal space in a conversation. Personal space varies by culture; however, generally speaking, in North American cultures, personal space is roughly arm's-length away. Don’t get in someone’s space unless you have a relationship with them that would justify that. Don’t make people feel uncomfortable by standing too close. In this day and age -- that is particularly important with the opposite gender.


Body language in networking environments can be very important. Keep the above points in mind. Be comfortable and authentic while not trying to overthink the issue. The key is to practice, practice, practice and observe reactions over time.





Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/
Image Credit: monkeybusinessimages | Getty Images



ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Twenty Tips For Startup Success, Part Fifteen: Form Relationships

In the previous post of the series, I talked about creating content to grow an audience. In this installment, I’ll discuss building business relationships.

Achieving success in business is a long journey, and on that journey, you’ll meet people who will help you along the way. Building relationships are what we do as humans, and it’s vital that we do it in our lives as entrepreneurs as well. Even in the modern business environment that is fueled by technology and the Internet of Things (IoT), it’s ultimately humans who are behind the keyboard and who will ultimately make or break your company. As you work to grow your business, it’s important to not lose sight of importance that human connections play in getting you where you want to go.



Forming relationships with other entrepreneurs, either as mentors or friends, gives you an outlet for your problems and frustrations with people who understand the daily grind of the startup world. Not only can they lend you a sympathetic ear, they can also offer advice when needed on the issues that you’re running into. Having that perspective from someone who has either gone through a particular problem themselves or is removed enough to offer fresh ideas can be invaluable. And that same network might be able to lend a hand at other junctures when you find yourself in need of help, whatever it might be.

The network you’ve build can also help you to meet other people you might otherwise not have met that might be able to help you know or down the road. If you’re trying to get your foot in the door at a company for a partnership or pitch, an introduction through a mutual friend or acquaintance is going to prove more fruitful than a cold introduction over email or phone. Your shared connection can speak to your qualities as a person and an entrepreneur, either explicitly in an introduction or implicitly in the fact that they think enough of you as a friend or peer to make the introduction in the first place. Even if these introductions don’t initially prove fruitful, it never hurts to expand your network, as you can’t predict how the relationships you develop might ultimately pay off later in unexpected ways.

Partnerships are one of the biggest ways in which your relationships can pay dividends for your business. As great as your product might be, it might not meet every need that your customers have, or your sales and marketing might not be able to reach as many of your potential clients as you’d like. Building partnerships with companies that have complementary products allow each to help the other put in offering more to their customers to differentiate themselves from competitors. Those partnerships may be born out of shared interest or even need, but they are built and sustained by a strong relationship between both parties that relies on mutual understanding and appreciation.


As much as you may be getting from your network, it’s important to give as well. You’ve benefited from the generosity of those around you, and it’s only right to display that same generosity when others come to you for help and guidance. Even in cases when you’re getting an ask from someone that hasn’t previously done anything for you, helping as you're able without thought of reward fosters a spirit of collaboration that they can hopefully share with others eventually.

Perhaps the most important relationship you can form is the relationship with your customers. You’re always striving to make your product stand out from the rest, but in cases when it can be hard for buyers to choose between seemingly similar options, it can be the personal touch that makes the difference between making the sale and losing it to a competitor. Depending on the industry and your business model, you have to determine the right level of interaction for your company and product. For example, it might not make sense to have your sales team call every customer or potential customer if you’re offering a SaaS product at $20 a month. However, calls or online chat where appropriate, along with follow-up emails and responsive customer support, can demonstrate that you care about your customers’ business and want to make sure that they are getting the most from what you have to offer.  


Business can be transactional at its core, but it is still conducted by humans. It is human connections that help us to grow our businesses through friendships, partnerships and customers, and tending to those relationships and developing new ones is crucial for success.


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



ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Monday, August 27, 2018

5 Branding Tips If You're an Entrepreneur on a Budget

Ever hear of a brand style guide? That's the very first thing you'll need.





Think of branding as you would meeting someone on a blind date. You dress to make a specific impression. You communicate in a way that makes the other person interested in knowing more. And, if things work out, you may nudge your way toward a second date.

This is also the heart of branding, because with branding, you give someone an experience of your company that establishes a clear picture of who you are and ultimately engages that someone -- now a "customer" -- enough to buy your goods and services.

Many entrepreneurs ignore branding because they consider it too expensive or don’t think they'll need it until they reach a specific growth point. The truth is, however, that the longer you wait to brand, the more confusion you'll create in the marketplace. So, instead, start with the basics and use the many free or inexpensive branding tools that won’t break the bank but will have a drive revenue.

Create a brand style guide.

A brand style guide establishes guidelines that define your brand and how it will be shared with the marketplace. Similar to a marketing plan, a style guide assures a consistent company presence across every engagement so that your brand becomes recognizable to current and potential customers.

A brand style guide can be as complex or limited as you choose, and for most small businesses and startups should cover:


  • Mission and vision
  • Competitive analysis
  • Target audience
  • Creative guidelines
  • Voice

Establishing your brand style guide requires time and effort, but no money unless you choose to hire a consultant. There are also several free examples of brand style guides that can provide inspiration.

Design your logo.

Design your logo using your brand style guide. Your logo will appear on everything from business cards to your website, so it needs to visually encapsulate your brand. For assistance, check out the free or inexpensive logo-making websites, like AI logo designer by Designhill, or Sothink Logo Maker. Both provide quality designs for little to no money.

You can also find independent contractors on sites like Fiverr, to design your logo. Before using any of these options, study competitors' logos and logos from businesses that you admire, even if they are in a different industry. Identify the elements you like, and the ones you don’t, and design the logo that best represents your brand and will appeal to your target audience.

Launch your website.

Every business needs a website. Period. Why? A recent study by Deloitte found that small business with a strong digital presence earned twice as much revenue per employee than those without it. Websites generate sales, increase consumer trust and provide a 24/7 online marketing presence, which supports the company’s growth.

The challenge is that developing a website can be expensive, but resources such as Squarespace and WiseIntro can get you on the digital map cheaply, and you can upgrade or redesign your site as your company grows. If you have the funds to splurge on one piece of your branding, this is the place to spend it.

Leverage social media.

Social media sites are free to use and a great way to build your brand. Yes, you can pay to run ads and access high-level analytics, but you don’t need to start there right out of the box. Effective social media leveraging requires a professional and consistent presence. Start by conducting research to determine which social media channels are most likely to reach your target market and industry influencers.

Next, use free resources, such as Canva, to give your posts the branded look you need for a small-time investment but no financial outlay. Finally, utilize an editorial calendar to remind you to upload fresh information to these sites on a scheduled basis. Think outside the marketing box, and truly enhance your brand by sharing information about your mission and vision in ways that also highlight your personality.

Start a blog.

Blogging is another excellent way to establish your brand and engage your audience. This is where branding your voice is critical. Be intentional and consistent in your tone and communication process. Establish your expertise in your industry, discuss trends or other information relevant to your target audience and share stories about your company and staff to personalize your relationship with customers.

This is also a great opportunity to connect with other experts or influences by offering them opportunities to guest blog or request to curate their content on your site. The key to branding is to deliver fresh content on a consistent basis that will bring your audience back for more. There are several free and inexpensive blogging platforms, such as WordPress, that can get you up and running in minutes.

Bottom line


Your brand is the foundation of your business, but you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to establish and support it. The brand style guide should inform every aspect of your professional engagements, from your logo to your blog, to clearly and consistently communicate who you are to your target audience. A strong brand will provide financial returns, so get started today.




Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/
Image Credit: Mlenny | Getty Images


ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Friday, August 24, 2018

How To Create An Email Newsletter

So you’ve decided to create an email newsletter. Hooray for you! Or maybe someone’s suggested you launch one and you really have no idea what they’re talking about? Whether you’re an email newbie or you just want to make sure you’re doing things correctly, we’ve got you covered.

Right on cue, here’s “The best email newsletter post ever”.

What is an email newsletter?

Basically, an email newsletter is a type of email sent out by companies or individuals to a subscriber list (existing or potential customers that have signed up to receive marketing communications) that’s contains valuable content (guides, blog posts, news, products reviews, personal recommendations, tips, announcements and other resources).

Newsletters are an essential part of the email marketing strategy, as they allow businesses to nurture their contacts, by establishing themselves as key players in their industry, sharing insights and highlighting new products that will drive traffic to the website.

What are the advantages and the drawbacks of sending an email newsletter?

The immense popularity of email newsletters isn’t a coincidence. Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels. The average ROI is £38 for each pound invested and 72% of customers prefer to be approached via email. Well-designed marketing emails sent regularly, like email newsletters, guarantee constant website traffic, webinars and other event registrations and product sales. As newsletters statistically form the largest part of all marketing emails sent, they hold a great deal of marketing potential.

Wondering whether setting up an email newsletter is the right step for your business? Let’s have a look at the advantages and drawbacks of sending one!

Strengths of sending an email newsletters

Creating a newsletter is not just a way to keep your customers informed about your new product or features, but has many other advantages.

A newsletter is a constant source of traffic

One of the main reasons for creating a newsletter is that it generates regular website traffic. Organic engagement on social media platforms like Facebook is declining dramatically. Banner advertising is rarely noticed in the era of ad blockers. Written press releases sent by email will often be ignored by journalists and online editors.

Luckily, this is not true for newsletters. Emails that reach someone’s inbox are usually seen, and the likelihood that they will be opened is high, provided that the subject line is appealing and the sender is recognized (so make sure your readers know who you are!). If your newsletter is well designed and it contains relevant content, this will enhance your chances of the reader clicking on the calls-to-action for more information.

Email Newsletter generates considerable savings

Money is important for marketers. So anything that saves you money should be a top priority. And newsletters do.

Don’t underestimate how much money email marketing saves you, compared to other using other marketing tools. Paid advertisements like banner advertising, Google AdWords, Facebook Ads and influencer marketing are considerably more expensive than email newsletter marketing. The cost of a newsletter software is usually low and labor costs are also lower, as the newsletter is created and optimized faster than other media.

Easy performance measurement

The success of a marketing tool is based on whether it reaches the required relevance or not. And in order to find out, performance must be measurable.

Measuring the performance of an email newsletter is simple. Your email statistics provide you with all the information you need to do this: open rates, click rates, unsubscribe rates, bounces, which user terminals were used to open the newsletter and when, which links are clicked on, etc. These KPIs will help you accurately calculate your ROI and produce target-audience relevant newsletter content.


Corresponding KPIs Newsletter
Define rough content

Planning the topic of your newsletter is closely connected to the objectives you have defined, but coming up with content can be hard at first.

To find inspiration, analyze your competitors’ newsletters (of course, avoid copying it and concentrate on what else you can offer to make yours better 💪) and newsletters of companies that you think are successful at email marketing. This is likely to give you inspiration about new potential topics, products, events etc.

Another recommended method is to carry out a survey in advance, and to continue asking your contacts to share their thoughts as you grow your newsletter list. At Mailjet, we do this to ensure we are always providing the kind of content our subscribers want to read, and we love reading their feedback.

If you’re just starting one, ask your target audience and customers what content they want to see and what are their expectations for a potential newsletter. If you want to incentivize customers to complete it, consider giving away freebies or discounts.





How to Build your newsletter subscriber lists before creating an email newsletter

In order to be able to create and send a newsletter, you obviously need recipients (duh!). Setting up an email contact list with high interaction rates is relatively simple if you take certain factors into consideration.

How to add subscription widgets to your site

To gain new newsletter subscribers, the first thing you’ll need is a responsive subscription widget with a double opt-in process. Add the subscription widget to all the relevant pages of your website. Some of the most effective places to include your widget in are the homepage, the blog, the footer and pages with gated content, such as guides, white papers, and others.





New York Times email subscriptions

Explore other channels to develop your newsletter contacts list

Aside from adding a widget on your site or a dedicated landing page, there are other ways of growing your email list, such us promoting it on your social media platforms, incentivising existing subscribers to share or encouraging people to join at events or at your physical store.

Consider what benefits prospective recipients may have if they subscribe to your newsletter. Ideally, you have already clarified these reasons in your strategy. Bear in mind that arguments like ‘100% free’, ‘no spam messaging’ or ’subscription can be canceled at any time with a single click’ are not actual benefits.

Real added value, for example, is provided by things like special offers, advanced information and booking facilities, invitations to exclusive events, regular industry information, access to exclusive content like e-books, email mini-courses, etc.

Build your email contacts list properly: Get consent from your contacts


But remember, regardless of how you’re getting your subscribers, you should always ask for consent before adding anyone to your email database. Remember what data protection and spam laws (like GDPR) say about consent, and ensure you’re complying with the applicable regulations.





Source: https://www.business2community.com/
Image Credit: business2community.com




ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

4 Ways to Boost Business Branding in 2018 (Infographic)


The brand is considered one the most valuable assets of a business. However, it is also an aspect that many business owners fail to understand the basics, let alone its significance. A quick search on the internet will give a diverse range of answers, such as “the emotional and psychological relationship you have with your customers,” or “the name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identify your product distinct from the others.”

Regardless of the definition you subscribe, we can all agree that the brand is a multi-faceted and does encompass many aspects that revolve around the interactions between your business and its audience. More than a logo, your brand lives and evolves in the minds and hearts not only of your customers, but of your employees, stakeholders, and even competitors as well.

As such, developing a good brand is essential to running a successful business today. Not only it helps you attract, retain, and engage potential customers, but it is instrumental if you want your business to leave a mark in your industry as well.

When developing a brand, it is always best to strive for transparency and authenticity. This is because 94% of all consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand when it commits to full transparency. Likewise, 80% of consumers say that “authenticity of content” is the most influential factor in their decision to become a follower of a brand.

While the process of developing a good brand can be time and resource consuming, the merits it can provide to your business is astounding. And with a plethora of digital tools and technologies available in the market at your disposal, boosting your brand should not be as hard as it used decades ago.


Learn the ways to improve your business branding in 2018 by checking out this infographic from CJG Digital Marketing.





Source: https://www.business2community.com/
Image Credit: CJG Digital Marketing





ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Six Reasons Email Marketing Still Rocks (And Will Keep on Rocking!)


What do email marketing and rock n’ roll have in common? Probably more than you imagine.

Let’s start with some history. Email has been around since Ray Tomlinson sent the first person-to-person message back in 1971. Seven years later, a visionary named Gary Thuerk sent the first mass-marketing email to several hundred Arpanet users– which, amazingly, resulted in $13 million in orders for his employer, the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC).

Rock n’ roll is synonymous with the guitar, which can be traced back 4,000 years. But the first electric guitar wasn’t perfected until 1931, by Adolph Rickenbacker and George Beauchamp. It was used initially by Hawaiian and jazz musicians – and two decades later it got into the hands of rock ‘n roll’s pioneers. Rickenbacker and Beauchamp probably didn’t expect to change the world, but they did. Ditto Tomlinson and Thuerk. But today – 40 years after that first commercial email message – email is a dominant power player, with some 300 billion emails being sent every day.

Like rock ‘n roll, which lives on to this day, email marketing keeps on making a big, exciting noise. And here are six reasons why that’s likely to be the case for a long time to come.

1. Email marketing is affordable

“It’s relatively inexpensive to start and maintain email marketing campaigns,” writes Keran Smith on the Lyfe Marketing blog. “Tactics like segmentation and triggered campaigns help you get the most for your money, allowing you to grow your business without pouring all of your revenue back into digital marketing.” His bottom line: “Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective digital marketing strategies that you can use to reach and engage your target audience.”

2. Email marketing has an extraordinary ROI

“Email marketing is the king of the marketing kingdom with a 4400% ROI and $44 for every $1 spent,” reports Campaign Monitor. There’s simply no other marketing investment that can beat that return. And eMarketer, reporting on a study undertaken last year, indicates that the ROI trendline is heading in the right direction. According to the study, “73% of in-house marketers worldwide said that email marketing provided a strong ROI in 2017, making it the marketing tactic that received the highest percentage of responses in the survey, even slightly in front of SEO. Back in 2008, SEO ranked higher than email.”



3. Email is bigger than social media (in terms of users)

Joe Kindness, writing on the Agency Analytics blog, cites a study showing there were anticipated to be more than 3.7 billion email users by the end of last year. And social media? “Facebook, which is far and away the most popular social media platform, sees ‘only’ 1.9 billion unique visitors every month,” he reports. “Two of the other most popular networks, Instagram and Twitter, have 600 million and 317 million visitors every month, respectively.”

4. …and email is better than social media (in terms of reach)

Kindness explains that even if a marketer has an equal number email and social media subscribers, odds are very good that only the marketer’s email messages will be seen. “Why is this? It has to do with social media algorithms,” he writes. “Users don’t see every single post, tweet, and pin from the people and businesses they follow, because there are simply too many updates to fit on an average news feed. On Facebook, for instance, you can only count on about 6% of your fan base seeing anything you post, according to Social Ogilvy.”

5. Email marketing does personalization incredibly well

“Brands are using creative and diversified email personalization methods to increase brand engagement, foster customer loyalty, and, ultimately, work to please that 75 % of consumers that are more likely to buy from a brand that personalizes messages,” reports Campaign Monitor.

While personalization used to mean seeing your name in the subject line, it’s now much more than that. “Personalization includes an array of awesome, data-driven techniques that bring in substantial ROI. These techniques include making recommendations based on past purchases, using dynamic content to fit consumer preferences, showing an understanding of purchasing history, and taking advantage of data to promote compelling offers.”

6. Email marketing has unrivaled cross-generational appeal

“Across generations, there is a clear preference to receive communications from companies by email,” writes Kelsey Bernius at SendGrid, citing a survey that asked thousands of email users of different ages about how they use it and their perception of it as a communication channel. “Your emails are crucial for reaching and engaging with your audience – and this trend can be expected to continue,” Bernius writes. “Email should be the foundation of your marketing efforts.”


Rock on, email!




Source: https://www.business2community.com/
Image Credit: business2community.com


ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Why Building Relationships Is the Marketing Secret No One's Talking About

Customers, influencers and competitors should all be part of your network. You read that right: even competitors.



I love technology. I mean, in today’s world, who doesn’t? It makes our jobs easier, it connects us to more people than ever before and it continues to make new things possible.

But there’s also a big downside to technology: It’s impersonal. Sure, we can send mass messages to thousands of contacts at once, but is that what people really want?

On her website, professional speaker Patricia Fripp says, “Technology does not run an enterprise. Relationships do.” And I agree.

If you want to build a successful business, you need to focus on building relationships with three key audiences: your customers, influencers and your competitors. Here’s why building relationships with these audiences will benefit your business.

Your customers will love you.

You may be saying to yourself, “That’s obvious. Of course, I build relationships with my customers.” But it’s easier said than done. Out of all your relationships, your relationship with your customers may be the most important -- and the most difficult.

That’s because customers know when you’re being inauthentic. They’ve been hounded for years by brands looking for a quick sale. But customers want more than just a one-time purchase. They want to build a long-lasting relationship with a brand.

So, how do you do it? Your strategy should be two-prong: Listen to and understand your customers, and then give them what they want.

Before I begin any marketing program or campaign -- or something as simple as an article like this one -- I research my audience. Who am I marketing to? What do those people want? Asking these simple questions allows me to better understand my customers and their needs, and how my business can meet those needs.

It’s also important to make sure your customers feel special and appreciated. You can do this by personalizing your emails, sending special gifts to key clients and reaching out personally to unhappy customers. You want your customers to know you and your company better. Once they know you, they will trust you.

Influencers will align with you.

Every industry has its movers and shakers, the ones who are pushing the envelope and moving the needle. And aligning your brand with these influencers can result in major benefits.

Having a relationship directly with your customers is important, but it’s not the only way to get through to them. Sometimes a third party can be a valuable partner in building relationships with your customers. But first, you must build a relationship with that person.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve made a point of connecting with marketers and practitioners in my field. I’ve connected through email and Slack and built relationships with these people. But I didn’t initially go out and say, “Hey, please help me with this.” Instead, I started by asking what I could help them with.

Relationships with influencers need to be mutually beneficial. How can you help each other? Today, I’m friends with the influencers in my industry, and we’re constantly chatting via a Slack group, sharing content and information. And, guess what? Because we all write a lot of content, we end up referencing one other, naturally.

And those references? Your customers notice them. Influencers already have a respected reputation in the industry, so your customers trust their opinion. If influencers are out there recommending your brand, you can bet your customers are going to listen to them.

Competitors will become friends.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Why would you ever want to be friends with your competition? But bear with me here. Instead of thinking of your competition as something that needs to be destroyed, think of your competitors as a valuable resource. You’re both going after the same audience, so by regularly exchanging information, you can learn more about what’s best for your business. For example, I learned from the CEO of Growbots that advertising is a poor channel for both of us because the cost per acquisition is way too high.

Plus, when you’re not bad-mouthing your competition, you show that your business has integrity. Companies that focus so much on putting their competitors down take the spotlight off the benefits that they offer. Customers don’t want to hear how awful your competitors are. They want to hear how good you are.


If you focus on what your customers want, they’ll trust you more. And, when they trust you more, you’ll be able to build the relationships that matter most.



Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/
Image Credit: David Cabrera / Getty Images


ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Email Marketing: How To Make The Most Of It


There are so many ways of marketing your business these days, and email marketing is one of the best ways of doing this. You have to make sure you are focused on making your business as successful as possible, and this is important. Email marketing is one of the most essential ways of marketing your business effectively. Since the internet has been around we have had email marketing, and it is still as popular as ever.

So, why do you need to make sure you have the best email marketing you can? Well, there are a lot of things you have to keep in mind when trying to do what is best for your business, and email marketing allows you to reach customers wherever they are in the world. It is so important to try to reach as many people as you can, and email allows you to do that more effectively. So, how can you make the most of email marketing?

Craft the Perfect Email

Crafting the perfect email is something of an artform these days, so it is very important that you make sure you work on this. The right content in an email can make a huge difference, and plays a really big role in making people engage more with your business. This is why it is so important to make sure you work on getting the content just as perfect as you possibly can moving forward.

Difference Between Personalized & Group Emails

The advantage of email these days is the fact that you can send personalised emails as well as group emails, and you can use these for a variety of different reasons. There are plenty of things to think about when it comes to the differences between the two, but it is essential to understand that the two are actually quite different in a fair few ways. Use them each for achieving different things, and making the most of the way you advertise your brand.

Subject Lines


It is also essential to keep in mind the fact that email subject lines can play a massive role in attracting people to the business. There are so many excellent things that can be achieved with the right subject line. The best thing you can do is to follow the proven email subject line strategies in order to craft the most compelling and enticing subject line you possibly can. This is something that is so important to get right as soon as you can in the process.





It is clear that email is one of the strongest and most important marketing techniques you have at your disposal. Because of this, it can be very difficult to properly promote the brand without i, and when you do use it, it is important to make sure you get it right. This means it is essential when it comes to making the most of email marketing, and trying to attract more people to the business as effectively as you possibly can. Embrace this, and your business will be all the better as a result.




Source: https://www.theselfemployed.com/
Image Credit: theselfemployed.com and iContact

ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Best Tips for Increasing Your Networking Effectiveness


Becoming unemployed is likely a sudden, unexpected event, and most people do not have the networking skills needed to immediately switch gears and begin efficiently developing job leads. There could be many reasons: feeling uncomfortable with the networking process, not knowing the process, being shy by nature, or never having needed to network in the past. Unfortunately, people in transition need to resort to networking, because it has been found that 60 to 80 percent of people are getting their next jobs via networking.

The purpose of job-search networking is to cultivate relationships to lean on for getting advice, information, leads, and–it is hoped–referrals. The objective is to expand your sphere of personal connections. Certainly, whom you know is important, but in this instance, equally or possibly even more important is who knows you. After all, you’re the one looking for a next job.

Networking is a learned skill. And it’s not necessary to be Mr. or Ms. Personality in order to be successful at it. Networking also involves consulting people who can list the search tools and strategies that have worked for them in past; people like telling their especially success stories. Involve people in building your own search tools. Try to unfold the hidden job market–the positions that have not yet been advertised or that won’t ever be. That’s the reason they’re called hidden.


While networking, be considerate, genuine, and timely so that people will be willing to lend a hand. Smiling–smiling a lot–is very effective while networking. Genial body language coveys that you are friendly and are enjoying your relationship with the other person. Who wants to be associated with a Sorrowful Sue or a Negative Ned? It’s a big enough burden just to be in transition, and others usually don’t want to hear about someone else’s problems. You need to project a friendly and helpful image of yourself: Let the other person talk. Don’t monopolize the conversation. Exchange contact information and agree to follow up within a day or two. Keep the momentum going. By being a good networker, you increase your chances of getting a job several fold.



Source: https://www.business2community.com/
Image Credit: rawpixel / Pixabay



ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

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Friday, August 17, 2018

Up Your Social Media Game By Answering These 8 Branding Questions

Don't put the social media cart before the brand strategy horse.



To excel at social media, you must be a social media expert, right? While this is true in some respects, having narrow social media knowledge can also be limiting. A social media-only focus can actually hold back your social media strategy from reaching its full potential. You are building more than a social media presence -- you are building a brand. Social media is not an end unto itself. Vanity metrics -- followers and likes -- may be early indicators of good content, but the true test of social media is business impact. Management will eventually stop paying for social media activity that doesn’t lead to bottom line action.

Despite the hype, spending on social media has failed to live up to expectations. In 2017, actual social media spending was nearly half of predicted levels. This stems from a continued struggle to show the real impact of social media and to integrate social media with wider marketing strategy. CMO Survey results indicate marketers still rank social media low in its contribution to company performance (46 percent) and low in how well it is integrated with the wider marketing strategy (59 percent). Social media actions, and even plans can exist on their own, but without having an understanding of the larger marketing and business strategy behind them, they could be acting in vain. Are you putting the social media cart before the brand strategy horse?

To help understand how social media fits into the bigger picture of marketing and business, consider the following key questions to help develop a basic brand understanding of your business or organization. The questions emphasize the consumer perspective which is especially important in social media. Answering these questions can help create a broader understanding of a business, its marketing and how social media contributes. They can help you gain more of a branding perspective, speak the language of business and move towards integration and improving ROI.

1. Why does the business exist?

Vision and mission matter to today’s consumers. To make money is not a sustainable answer for customers or employees. What does the company behind the product or service stand for, and where is it headed? This could be a focus on solving a greater problem or spreading a bigger message. Maybe the business supports a cause, community or the environment. Perhaps the mission is simply being the absolute best at something specific.

2. How did the business get started?

A brand’s backstory is important. People buy for rational and emotional reasons that can come from an organization’s origin story. Show the human side of the business starting in a garage, the founders investing their last five dollars or making a childhood dream come true. Perhaps an event put the cause on their heart, or something they couldn’t get as a customer motivated the creation of the company. Even large corporations can benefit by showcasing their humble roots.

3. How does the business measure success?

Business objectives are where the rubber meets the road. All marketing action, including social media, must help support business needs such as sales, average spend, market share, leads, contracts, awareness, customer satisfaction, retention, referrals, volunteer, or donations. To do this, brand building must start with specific objectives clearly defined. Make sure they are SMART:


  • Specific (quantified such as XX percent or $XX)
  • Measurable (data you can access)
  • Achievable (not too high)
  • Relevant (support vision/mission)
  • Timely (deadline like X months or X years)

4. What does the business sell?

Don’t take knowledge of the brand’s products and services for granted. Start by literally listing every product and service offering, lines and versions. But then go further to describe each from the consumer’s perspective. What is the real value to the customer? Turn product and service features into consumer benefits. Then look for gaps in product lines and offerings from the company, but also its competitors. This can uncover key messages to emphasize and may uncover key opportunities for growth.

5. What is happening in the industry?

An industry overview provides valuable context. Is the industry and category growing or declining? What innovations and trends are important? Are there gaps in offerings? What do consumers care about most? What are their pain points, threats and opportunities? What are the consumer’s unmet needs? Once identified, clearly communicate how the brand meets these needs.

6. Who is the business trying to reach?

Be clear on the overall market and ensure you have the right target market. Don’t merely identify everyone who could possibly use the product or service. Focus limited resources on the segment with greatest possibility of return. Narrowly define the group most likely to have the unmet needs the business provides. Be specific with demographic (gender, age, income, education), psychographic (attitudes, values, lifestyle) and behavioral (products used, brand loyalty, usage) bases. Who needs the solutions the brand offers the most?

7. Who else targets this market?

Brands are evaluated by consumers against key competitors. Identify several top competitors by market share and sales in same industry and/or by replacement products and services outside the category. What do you offer that is different? Why should they pick you? With this understanding summarize the main distinctions of the brand.

8. How can you sum up your branding strategy?

Understanding your main message focuses effort, ensures consistency and improves integration. Summarize all the answers above into a positioning statement written to the target market. Boil it all down to a main overall message. What is the essence of what the brand means to the target audience?


Now that you have a larger brand understanding, take that knowledge and apply it to current social media presence and actions. Where is the target market active in social media? Look at social networks, messaging apps, blogs/forums, ratings/reviews and podcasts. Look for ways to leverage geosocial, crowdsourcing, influencer marketing, social care, user generated content and paid social media. Identify the top social platforms for the target and then compare to the current business social media accounts. Do you need to make some adjustments based on the target market?

What about messages and content? Are you talking about the right things based on your products and services, industry and competitors? Look at business objectives. Are you driving to the right places and actions that matter? Are you telling the complete brand story? Don’t miss out on parts of the mission, vision and backstory that could drive consumer action. Finally, ensure that all social media is integrated in message, tone and look with other forms of digital and traditional marketing communication to optimize efforts. It could be a good time to perform a social media audit.


Being a better social media professional can start with improving your business intelligence and gaining a better understanding of overall branding. Having a strong foundation in branding will lead your social media activities in the right business building direction. The latest CMO Survey results indicate that the top use of social media by companies is for brand awareness and brand building. Answering these questions will increase your brand knowledge and help improve your social media strategy.


Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/
Image Credit: Kelvin Murray | Getty Images


ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!