Say It To My Screen: The Impact Testimonials Have On Small Businesses

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You’re sitting there, starving for something to eat but you definitely won’t be making it. You click open a new tab and start searching for delivery, clicking anything over four…ok, settle for three stars. You start skimming through reviews to see who actually has the most authentic street tacos and if there’s a photo; even better, you’re going there.


You’re driving down the long winding road you take to get home every day, singing every word to that song you just can’t stand and DA-DUNK you’ve hit a pothole and hear the dreaded rumbling of a flat tire that (of course) had to bend your frame and throw off the alignment.

Time to look for a trusted shop who will accept your insurance, replace the broken pieces without overcharging you and get it all done in a timely manner. Bonuses include filling your tank or washing up. How do you know what to expect?

By reading client reviews!


lyneda testimonial


If there’s anything we’ve learned by living in a mega-connected world it’s that every person has the ability to speak their mind. Some welcome; some not so welcome.

The first place a client is likely to go after being overcharged for their manicure, a shotty job on their plumbing or an expensive wedding earring that broke like a twig on the big day (…….) is to the vendor’s social media page. Here you can leave an in-depth review on your experience: the good, the bad, the ugly.

 

Why are businesses so eager to ask if your pet had a great time at their vet appointment if they know it could potentially lead to a nasty, exposing comment?

 

Because word-of-mouth is the number one referral. What you’ve turned out to subconsciously view before taking any considerable purchasing action is to hear from others like you.

People who also had the same combo skin and were looking for a great facewash.

People who also went to that movie theatre and found gum under their seat.

People who are on the same path to a similar fitness goal and worked with that trainer.

There is comfort in numbers and there is comfort in knowing what to expect.


rogge testimonial


So how do you, as a business owner, provide your customers with an experience they’ll want to rave about?

 

The more ‘stars’ and/or higher ratings you have will bump your business to the top of a potential customer’s Google search. The higher up you appear, the more click-throughs you receive, the more business you close, the more sales you make. The more attention others can draw to your business, the better.

  1. Provide an experience they’ll want to talk about. A meal, a service or a simple exchange is all about the experience. People are craving connection and experiencing something shareable. What stickers, backdrop or colors can you use that are photo-friendly? What fun hash tag can they include on that photo? What is a unique way to bring the check to the table? Can you provide a surprise to the service that you don’t advertise? (A car wash, a gas fill, an air freshener, items to hang the photo, a welcome home sign, a journal with a thank you note, etc.) If you need help brainstorming some creative ideas, let’s talk.
  2. Provide the social proof. Get legit! Every business is out for a certain purpose; usually to help, to entertain or to please in some way. Even if you have ONE review it’s proof that you’re in business and someone actually went there. Instant trust and often a deciding factor. Photos and videos you provide are meant to be aesthetically pleasing but coming from the smartphone of a client is the raw, real image of what to expect. ALWAYS respond and thank someone for leaving a review.
  3. The gift that keeps on giving. When asking someone how their experience was, thank them for coming and ask them to share their experience online. Some people offer a giveaway or another small gift as a way to say thank you. DO NOT BUY the review but incentivize. For example, if someone gives you a kind review, interact with them in public and automate a thank you email with a 10% off coupon for their next visit. They will keep spreading the word about you and you’ll reap the benefits of repeat and new business.
  4. You don’t get what you don’t ask for. Similar to #3, people need to be told what to do. If you don’t ask for referrals, if you don’t ask for a review, if you don’t make it clear what you want then they’re probably indifferent to leaving a review, regardless of the great time they had. Every bit of feedback you receive, positive or negative, is feedback you can use to improve your business. Once you ask is it easy for them to find and use? I’ve started leaving great reviews for companies but they wanted me to keep going and going and copy/paste my review on multiple platforms…it’s too much. Have them review you on Facebook and you can copy/paste it to your website.
  5. Get the employees in on it. Like a bonus structure but without the pushy perfume lady. Make it easy for customers to see your employee’s name and be able to shout them out online. It brings a personal touch to your company, makes the client feel like they can come back to see a friend and praises the employee for a job well done which will add fuel to the fantastic customer service fire. Encourage employees to leave a review online. You can add a light-hearted competition, a day off or another perk for every milestone of reviews.

Do you know how to respond to negative reviews? Not many people do.

Ask me how.


Donze testimonial


How, can we as customers, leave a constructive review?

Whether good or bad you might still want to talk about it. Unless there was a glaring issue, I usually avoid leaving a poor review. In many cases that is someone’s job or how they’re paying for their daughter’s dance lessons. There’s no reason for me to ruin their dream because it wasn’t the best food I have ever had.

How can we help these businesses out?

  1. Leave a review. Sounds simple but even just sliding the stars to the right without copy is better than nothing at all!
  2. Be specific. Can you include a name of someone who helped you? Did they have ‘good beer’ or did they have ‘the best IPA I’ve ever had! Try the Piggyback Peach when you visit this brewery.’ These keywords help the business’s SEO by pulling up the most relevant keywords. The more matches of closely related search and content pairs up to provide the best result. If someone is looking for the “Best restaurant for girls night out” and you wrote a review saying “Best spot in town for a girls night out” it’s like the internet angels are singing.
  3. It’s a visual world. Include photos and videos of what makes this place unique or what you most like to look at. If you order drinks based on their cool-factor, post a photo with the type of drink you’re enjoying. A beautifully plated meal. A well-lit back patio with live music. The menu. The ambience or the outside of the building. Help patrons get an idea of what to expect and what to look for.

Is your business taking advantage of this branding opportunity? Do you know what your highest performing SEO keywords are? I can help.


ashleylayton testimonial.PNG


Having said that, if you’re still leaving a ‘negative’ review make sure it’s filled with constructive criticism. Businesses then have a chance to respond, apologize or compensate. Pay attention to how they respond.

  1. Did you talk to the business? Things happen. People have off days. If possible, talk to the business before you go public. The service experience doesn’t end once the transaction goes through. If you’ve given them a fair chance to reply and correct the problem then give credit for their attention to fixing the problem.
  2. Keep to the facts. What happened, not what you interpreted. Did you just not like the shade of white she painted your walls or did she do it ‘because she was lazy’? Is she really bad at haircuts or just botched yours because ‘she thought you wouldn’t tip’?
  3. Keep the emotion out of it. If they were providing a personal service such as a lawyer, doctor, masseuse, wedding planner, etc. and acted in a blatantly unprofessional manner then this is important to report. Say what you need to say while realizing slander and libel are very real things.
  4. They’ve lost my business. So? If they lose the $20 you’d spend on the next visit would they really go in the red? If a stranger is reading your review and has no clue who you are is that helpful to them or is it just dramatic? A simple “I won’t be returning” or “I might go back here in the future but only as a last resort” is more helpful for patron’s to decide how they stack up against competition.

 

If you want some help on receiving or publishing reviews, remember a phone call is always free.

 

Cheers!

Marin

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The Three Best Ways To Lose Clients: Lessons On How To Win From Losing

You Win, You Earn, You Close, You…Lose?

There are books, videos, podcasts and coaches out there who will teach you how to find and gain clients; some even go as far as to how to keep and nurture them.

But no one tells you how to lose them.

And why would they? No one wants to learn how to lose. My hope is that if you find the lessons in LOSING that you will use that to find what helps you WIN.

 

My first job out of college was 100 percent commission selling supplemental insurance products. When jobs in my field came up short, I went in for an interview and immediately recognized what kind of working environment this would be. I told myself to stick it out for one year and it ended up teaching me everything I DIDN’T want to continue doing (which taught me everything I DID want to do and be.)

If you’ve ever had issues with a boss, employer or parent you have probably learned a lot about what you DIDN’T want to do as a future boss, employer or parent.

This is just as beneficial a lesson and in comes the ‘no regrets, just lessons learned’ quotes.

 

The entire goal of a business professional is to build your book of business, have them refer you and then continually service them while receiving commissions.

Maybe you’ve been someone who is great at closing accounts or fantastic at servicing accounts OR maybe you’ve been in the game for 10 years and have accounts you don’t even have to think about.

Then one day your star client calls and asks to cancel their subscription to your product.

“No one wants to quit when he’s losing and no one wants to quit when he’s winning.” — Richard Petty

 

If you’re active on multiple channels, working with multiple people and continually filling your sales funnel then this will be a bump in the road. If you’ve decided it’s good enough and already wiped the dirt off your hands welcome to the best way to lose clients. Here are the Top Three things I learned from gaining and losing clients.

Have a topic you want to hear more about? Leave a comment and let’s talk about it!

It’s Not Them, It’s You

I was watching tired people closing business, grudgingly setting up the account and then walking away as fast as they could with their paycheck. In fact, on multiple occasions in multiple businesses, I have been handed a list of HUNDREDS of accounts or clients to revive. They had been almost a year or more of no communication and I, as a new and unfamiliar employee, was to rekindle that relationship.

It’s not their fault; it’s your fault.

If you expect someone to love you, sign up for what you’re selling and cheer for you continually, it’s not going to happen. Like any successful relationship it requires continuous communication.

My co-workers were emailing people who didn’t use their email. They were calling people who don’t answer numbers they don’t know. They were walking in to businesses surprising them in the middle of their workday.

YIKES!

They were careless and regularly got caught showing the client they weren’t any different than the thousands of other people met in their lifetime.

Pay attention to what your client needs and how best to communicate with them. Each time I met with someone I took an insane amount of detailed notes to remember everything I could about them. Their outfit, their Alma Mater, their kid’s names…anything that came up in our conversation that I could recall and build rapport.

It is not their job to buy into you while you sit back and relax. It’s YOUR job to make an effort in relating to that person and (secondly) how your product can best fit or help that person.

Mary On The Prairie

A fun way to say you’re outdated way of doing things just don’t work anymore. My first job trained all of their agents to make hundreds (150-200) cold calls every Monday. Not kidding. It was hell at a desk. That kind of poison spreads through an office, to clients and back to you.

You’re calling people who don’t want to be called, leaving messages that won’t get returned and if you DO talk to someone it was a script that more than likely never got you anywhere.

I swore I would never get another job that required you to cold call….until I did. My next job the calls were a little bit warmer but it was still a call many found pointless or uninvited and this immediately alienated them from the company.

In the age where technology has found it’s way sneakily into our everyday life via Facebook or YouTube ads, spam calls, email blasts and more, people have a lower tolerance for the icky and awkward virtual door knocker (…and in person door knocker. No, I don’t want to buy your overly expensive vacuum cleaner.)

Time to work smarter and here is where your notes come in. If possible, doing business in person will help you win more than doing business over the phone. Think about how much can get lost in translation by not being face-to-face.

If possible, I will tell them when to expect my follow-up call. I will make sure I am showing up early and prepared on time. I can reflect on my notes to overcome possible or common objections before they come up. If someone prefers to have a texting reminder for a meeting, ensure it’s professional and leave emojis out of it.

ALWAYS make sure you’re following your state’s guidelines for communication and just because your manager says “You’re not selling, you’re inviting/just talking/asking questions” always do what you feel is right and what is legal.

If you wouldn’t want a stranger calling then why call? In the age where people text, you might find more success with a texting campaign. This will likely irk people who have opted out of your calls and emails so just leave them off the list. They’ll come back when they’re ready.

Oh, and for the love of all good things, stop asking “Can I ask you a question?”

 

Erase The Scoreboard

Difficult for people who consider themselves competitive, right? Keeping track of stats, accounts closed, clients enrolled or number of ___ sold are solid ways to keep an eye on all your quantitative data. This should be something you’re buddied up to daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly in order to reach your goals and improve your business.

But it is NOT the only thing that matters.

When you have your eye on closing five new accounts this month or enrolling twenty new people during your next promotion, you’re making them NUMBERS and not PEOPLE. I highly recommend figuring out your WHY and not just using that in your elevator or sales pitch to make you seem relatable but tattoo it on your dang forehead so you see it e.v.e.r.y.d.a.y.

We all have the same handful of friends that will send the generic message about how they were thinking of you and you would be GREAT to sell ____, or how they want you to buy ___ . You know the kind.

But these people only want to talk when I am looking for someone to hire. They don’t tell me happy birthday, they don’t message me unless it’s for a product purchase and they don’t interact with any of my posts yet they are all smiles when wanting to bring me on to their team. When it comes time for me to work with someone or buy something do you think I would go to them?

If you try to pretty up an ‘Ask’ or dodge around a topic in a way that will make them feel lied to, cheated or manipulated later on then you will lose them as well as anyone they speak to about it.

Remember people are more likely to share about a negative experience than they are about a mediocre one. Always treat every person and situation as if you were taking care of a loved one. If you continue chasing after the end goal, bonus amount or number you will never win. If you remember WHY you are doing this and WHO you are doing it for, you’ve got a client for life…not just another client.

 

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Take notes. Learn everything you can about the person and record your conversations for future use. Remember to keep it factual and unbiased to your emotion. If you see that you’ve reached out twenty times in the last year (as an example) without a return interest, let them go.
  • Communication. If you suck at listening or communicating then you’re business will suck. Show that you care and provide an awesome experience even if this means over-delivery or a few minutes longer on an already long conversation. People will always remember how you made them feel.
  • Work Smarter. If you’re doing the above two well then you can work smarter instead of harder. Use names, gather what information you can so you can speak to the correct person and do as much business in person as you can.
  • Don’t ask how to be authentic; just be authentic.
  • Say what you mean but don’t say it mean. Don’t ever talk poorly about a client (or friend or colleague, etc.) because that will reflect how YOU are, it will hardly ever damage the person you’re speaking of.

 

I hope these gave you something to think about and please share in the comments if you have any other tips for us. If you or someone you know is looking for a partner in the marketing field, let’s connect!

Cheers!
Marin

Oh, yeah, have you left a review yet? This helps people understand what they’re getting when working with Local Collaborative and I would love to review you right back!

Check it out.

www.mylocalcollaborative.com

www.mylocalcollaborative.com

 

 

 

 

Get More Social Media Engagement

In college, I majored in Journalism and Mass Communications. I was guided into a Public Relations degree, interned with an award-winning advertising agency and later played the role of a Marketing Manager. When it comes to mass communications and digital marketing, it’s not just the Millennials who are using social media for their benefit…all businesses should be maximizing their efforts. Every day I see people failing in this 

Social media provides a 24/7 connection at no cost to provide stories to establish connections and persuasion to sell and purchase products. While reading my latest JMC Update publication I came across some helpful, and very useful, social media statistics. The full magazine is available here but let’s look at the page I mentioned. I am going to walk you through the stats you can decide which platforms work best for your goals.

Why is this important?

  • 6 out of every 10 people in the U.S. will use social networks this year and the average person spends more than 5 years of their life on social media.
  • Businesses are hiring pros to focus on potential outreach and increase their revenues via free or low-paid services.

jmc update

  • 93 percent of Pinterest users use the platform to make purchases or plan future purchases.
    • Pinterest is best for those selling a physical or visual product. This is a great place to share your finished interior design photos, pretty cupcakes or recipes, decorated dorm room, candles and much more. If you’re an engagement, wedding, newborn or other special occasion photographer you have a huge potential to watermark and upload your photos for sharing.
    • The biggest key in any of these products is linking back to your website! If they are actively engaged and like what you’re doing but you don’t guide them back to help serve them, shame on you turning customers away. You can easily automate this through your website and a software like IFTTT. By connecting all of my initial automations, I can now see each blog with an image included shared on my board. People are saving them and reaching out for business.
    • Include plenty of keywords so you show up in searches. If you need any help with these, please let me help you!

  • 200 million people use Instagram stories per month. Plus, top brands post 4.9 times per week on Instagram.
    • I personally prefer using IG stories to Snapchat stories. You can also go live and interact to your audience, save to your highlights and directly poll your viewers.
    • If top brands are encouraged to post 1.5 times/day or about 4.9 times/week that doesn’t sound like it adds up too much, huh? I suggest researching your top demographic, scheduling or posting at the times they’re most likely active online to make the most of your engagement. By staggering times and days to test your results you will see what your audience is wanting and when.
    • Start by posting once daily in your theme and a pattern that will appear cohesive and beautiful to viewers.
    • Even if you’re a personal brand, switch to a business profile. You will see your stats live and have the potential to grow where you want to.

IG STORIES TRICK: There are a few requirements to use the See More swipe-up feature including having an IG Business account and at least 10k followers. If you have neither there are a few loopholes. Reach out if you want to learn the workaround.

  • 100 million hours of video content is watched on Facebook daily. 79 percent of American internet users are on Facebook.
    • You know how the videos on your timeline will start up without you pressing play? A majority of the time you will continue to watch the video and automatically be transferred to one similar. By going LIVE on Facebook you have the chance to engage with your audience. The best way to do this is to notify them the day before or day of so they know what to look forward to. If you have something to share immediately, the best way to be authentic is to…be authentic! Go live, don’t worry about correct grammar or the best lighting. Be as clear in your messaging and this video will live on in your network’s timeline.
    • Creating visual content that encourages people to share or prompts them to take action will expose you to new audiences. With 79 percent of users on Facebook, it’s a pillar that can (and should) be included in every social media campaign effort.
  • 67 percent of Americans report getting their news from social media.
    • No wonder this last election stirred up so much controversy. Using Facebook, Google searches or other online platforms as a news source is commonplace. If you can create news, write an article or share/create something newsworthy then you’re well on your way to fitting this niche and making yourself relevant.
    • Did you know NEWS stands for notable events weather and sports? Make stories newsworthy by including pieces after your hook and before your CTA that include recent events or happenings especially.

  • U.S. social network ad spending is expected to hit $26,007,137,644.75 in 2018.
    • The best form of advertising is word of mouth and referrals. This cuts the corner of having to achieve a know, like and trust factor with potential clients. People are well-aware of ad spending and targeted marketing when faced with certain topics or searches. To avoid being blocked, create your own posts. Look at what works well and replicate or boost for a few dollars. I wouldn’t boost a post that didn’t include a CTA asking to purchase a product or service.
    • You looking for someone to help with your ad targeting? I’ve got a girl. Let me know if you want to connect with her.

  • Posts with emoticons receive 33 percent more engagement than those without.
    • Emoticons, or emojis, offer a visual and creative way to express your message to followers. It’s the best way to reach a casual, informative, playful or expressive message. For example, Domino’s Pizza tweeted pizza emojis in the shape of a larger pizza emoji and used this to help their campaign Domino’s Pizza Anywhere.
    • Use GIFs, emojis or other fun communication to engage your audience.
  • The average internet user has 7.6 different social media accounts.
    • Sounds like a lot right? If you include your email or digital accounts and how connected you more than likely are this will add up quickly. I personally have Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter (not active), Pinterest, WordPress, and two email accounts. So this stat is fairly accurate.
    • If you’re looking for a way to reach the largest audience possible, post on every platform (automate sharing to make this easier) but pay special attention to your followers. If someone comments, comment back. Like their comments. Respond to messages or share testimonials. This is the most powerful resource you have.

 

You have an idea and the facts to stand behind what platform you choose to pursue. If you haven’t read my blog post on creating quality content head back over to the blog page after this.
Cheers!

Marin

You tired of reading about engagement and you want your own REAL results? Let’s work together.

How To: Be Content With Content (Free Guide Included!)

Personal brands, business brands, start-ups…there’s a lot that goes into creating a business. You want to do something that you love and earn compensation that reflects the work you put in.

You’ve set up the bank account, you’ve followed legalities, you’ve branded your company and purchased the materials needed to get going.

Let’s tell people about it!

 

Oh, but it’s just sharing a few photos and updates with a touch of humerous mishaps, right?

Eh….not so much.

You want to tell people about what you’re doing but it’s important to tell the right people, on the right channels, the right way. And the field of communications was born…

 

You don’t get fitter by just buying the gym equipment you have to use it!

You don’t get instantly prosperous by doing a one-time marketing session or class. You don’t get traffic or customers by just posting about it once and carrying on, hoping everyone will remember you’re selling ____ . Communication is a multi-platform, full-time job.

So you have the social media accounts but now what?

 

If you can, pick up some help. If you’re maximizing your resources, you should be BUSY and you’ll need to focus on doing the part of the business that you love. This can be difficult for many business owners because it’s usually something with your hands or that requires all of your attention.

Once you’re done working, you want to spend your time doing…well…what YOU want to do.

One of your goals in starting your own business was being in charge of your schedule.

So why are you letting it run you over?

 

I’ve seen waayyyy too many people fall just short of taking advantage of their communications strategy. Their competition, who are focusing on their communication and content strategy ALWAYS COME OUT ON TOP.

 

Creating content that converts…not just gets Likes

 

Will you let me help you?

Whether you want to be a top dog or you just want to play the game, I want to help you reach your goals. I created this content guide I’m about to share and had it in my marketplace ready to sell but knew the same people who weren’t paying for content strategy before wouldn’t now. So I made it an added bonus.

Is it worth something? Absolutely. The hours I spent on this could have been spent elsewhere.

But I believe this is valuable enough for you that it will just take putting in to action to see results. If you feel the urge to reciprocate, leaving a review, sending a referral or inquiring about working together would be fantastic. I am here to help whoever I can, whenever I can.

 

I would love to hear suggestions on what else you want to see and learn about. Please leave them in the comments below and don’t forget to share this on your social media pages!

 

Without further ado…

Here is your guide How To: Be Content with Content. Click the link to download!

(It is a downloadable document and will also be available on my website Products page here.)

 

Cheers!

Marin

Have a success story or want to leave a review? Sweet, thanks! You can do that here.

1) A false belief or 2) A BS excuse

*Feel free to share*

I went to our local farmer’s market this weekend and while we walked around purchasing random products and speaking to the owners, I noticed how they presented themselves and their tables.

One lady was head down, sitting, playing on her phone.📲 Another was standing up, energetically talking to every customer approaching the table and explaining how and why her treats were different, with a creative, cute, unique setup. 🙋🏼‍♀️

I went online to reach out to everyone and connect them with Local Collaborative. The woman sitting down had over 35k followers on Instagram (?!) and the one standing up engaging had only 300 followers. 🙇🏼‍♀️

Are you the one with 300 (or less) followers, feeling like you’re trying everything but it’s just not working and questioning if you should even do this for a living? 🤦🏼‍♀️

Or are you the 35k who think you’ve made it and have maybe taken a backseat. Maybe you don’t know the next step. You might want to sell, start something new, collaborate or expand but just don’t have the time to manage it all.

There’s a secret.

It’s absolutely priceless when you know how to communicate your story. Don’t let the fear of “not having a story” or “not being a good writer” keep you from achieving a great impact. I’ll let you choose what to call that: 1) A false belief or 2) A BS excuse. 💁🏼‍♀️

You can be both creative and strategic. Business can be fun. 💸🎉 Let this be a wake up call and take action ➡️RIGHT NOW.⬅️ If you’re a business owner or know an entrepreneur, please don’t hesitate to share.

Let’s find a solution to whatever problem you’re facing right now. Click here.

 

Cheers!

Marin

Argue like you’re right. Listen like you’re wrong.

“Argue like you’re right. Listen like you’re wrong.”

Made you stop, didn’t it?

YES. It’s powerful.

 

I heard this while I was listening to the “Originals” by Adam Grant (mentioned in my latest book club post) and I’ve been thinking of the way he phrased this ever since.

When you’re speaking to a child or trying to explain something you repeat yourself probably 12,804 times…at least.

If you keep doing the same thing, you get the same results.

If you keep saying the same thing, you keep repeating the same message.

If you keep talking then you don’t learn anything knew; you’re only repeating what you already know.

 

So how do you make sure a lesson sinks in? What’s more powerful:

“Don’t touch the stove.” OR “Don’t touch the stove because it will burn you and you’ll get hurt.”

I think Grant’s point in describing “Argue like you’re right. Listen like you’re wrong.” was to help clients understand the difference between what is ‘worth’ fighting for and when you’re talking, what to say.

 

 

Argue Like You’re Right

Maybe argue isn’t the best choice of words here. What if it was replaced with  Stand Up, Defend, Speak or Reason?

I don’t want to assume that because I was a female or a novice employee or young were any of the reasons that I was brushed aside when it came time to share my opinion but they’ve played factors. I have shared ideas or played devil’s advocate with my concerns only to be forgotten and dismissed…until it was time to use an idea or make a profit then the credit was transferred in the blink of an eye.

I was raised in a household where the loudest voice or biggest action ended the fight so guess how quickly and often things escalated?

What have I learned from all of this?

First, I had to find a better way to communicate. I had to list out and be prepared with my thoughts. I had to check my reasoning and decide between ‘tattling or telling’ you decipher as a child. I had to stand firm and stop interruptions when they attempted to cut me short. Then I had to…

 

 

Listen Like You’re Wrong

Ego meet Ego Check. Tongue tied, lips shut, eyes and ears open wide. Be accepting and take notes if you can. Before reacting as quickly as possible, say you’re unsure. Listen with the confidence that you presented your thoughts as best as possible but be humble enough to listen for points of view that you may have missed.

When you stand up firmly, not aggressively, for what you’re trying to communicate, people are much more likely to listen and agree with you. (If not agree, at least understand where you’re coming from.)

There is always room to mutually value the opinions of yourself and those you’re working with. What you have to say, what you think and what you are doing are valuable and you deserve to be heard.  Don’t be shot down or apologize every time someone disagrees or tries to silence you. Tell them to hold on a second and argue like you’re right….then listen like you’re wrong.

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: Do you want to communicate your business or personal brand more effectively? Reach out.

Why Smart People (Actually) Listen

I get why a lot of people struggle to connect to others especially in an age where it’s easier than ever to share their opinions or attack others from behind a screen. It’s scary to put ourselves out there where we’re vulnerable to things we don’t want to hear.

We want to relate, teach, celebrate or be prepared to respond but we’re nervous to hear what they really think unless it’s something good.

 

Like any skill or talent it takes time and practice to grow and develop. As we get older, we change and we are required to adapt; like it or not.

How many times have you had to hear something before you started doing it?

When you hear about accidents that could have been prevented by buckling your seatbelt or putting the damn phone down?

When you hear you should eat better and workout more to avoid complications or failures but you continue to follow your same routine?

When you’re presented with ways to help you work smarter, not harder, but choose to ignore those solutions….whyyyy?!

Where is the line between “You aren’t listening” and complete silence?

Sounds like a pretty lonely world where no one is talking anymore, huh?

Seems like a naive move to stop listening, huh?

 

It’s more beneficial to post content that provides value to your audience than it is to post for the sake of ‘frequency rules.’ The purpose of communicating is providing something of value. Are you handing out teaching opportunities or invitations to a pity party?

You can be extremely influential without being polarizing. Our goal should be to communicate our message in the most clear, concise and helpful way to those listening to us. It is our job to portray ourselves, our companies and the message we want to send out. It is our job to listen to (constructive) feedback from those we’re interacting with and take it to heart.

 

The way you communicate is how you let people know what and why something is important to you and why it should be important to them.

 

There is a difference between listening and waiting your turn to speak. One is the way of arrogance and one is the way of the successful. I’ll leave you with this…

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: If you’re wanting to improve the way you communicate with others, start with everything besides your voice. Nearly 90% of consumers purchase something based solely on how it looks. If they can’t tell what you’re about in the first five seconds of looking at your brand, they won’t move forward. Let’s talk about it.

 

Systems: Make it simple, Make it successful

Home visits, airplane rides, business meetings, hard drive crash, jury duty…just a few of the reasons over the last two weeks that I was grateful to have systems in place.

If you haven’t yet set up a team of pros and are taking the route of a solo-prenuer for now, this is a mandatory foundation of your business.

You may be able to head out for a planned vacation or you might have to drop everything for a last-second emergency. Is there a system for someone to take care of things in your personal and professional life?

 

Systems=Freedom. You have the freedom and flexibility you were looking for when branching out in your own business. The best type of system is the one that works for you and it’s the one you will use.

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. – Lewis Carroll

 

If you’re looking to stay organized in your home, your system won’t work like someone else’s does. Their lifestyle, their environment, their schedule vs yours. This is why many people struggle in their weight loss or other goals they set.

 

So how do you establish a system to success? 

  1. What are you currently doing? Is there anything that is working or not working? Is there something that scares you, stresses you out or something that you would have to spend more time learning than implementing?
  2. Write it all out. Write on a separate page for each area of your business (marketing, social media, finances, business partners, newsletter, virtual team, in-person team, etc.) What is every step that needs to be taken to make these happen and who is responsible for doing them? If you can include a timeline this helps you stay accountable.

 For example, when I have a new client my system looks something like this: 

  1. Client reaches out via messenger–Send them to contact form to schedule a call and collect info (24 hours). 
  2. Receive client contact form and call. Research all needed meeting and contact information. Research client’s online presence. 
  3. 24 hours before call, send confirmation. 
  4. 10 minutes before call, setup work station (quiet, full water, notes, chargers, strong service). 
  5. During the call take all notes, ask lots of quality questions (post coming up on this soon) then schedule a time for Branding+Positioning Strategy 7-10 days out.

3. Use the F-Word. Every successful business owner has written, spoken, preached, typed and tattooed (nope, too far) this critical part of their business after each contact with your client. There should always be a clear call to action before, during and after the transaction. You should show them the value you provide, why they need it, what materials they’re responsible for providing and a due date.

4. Where to find it? If you need to leave, where can someone access these documents? Using GoogleDocs is a free and very simple way for your team to access and see real-time changes. Evernote is a helpful system to declutter and organize so your team is on the same page. Team App, Slack and other Task Management Software are helpful for your team to test and use. There is no point in creating a system if no one follows it. Every person should be held responsible for following along and improving what you put in place.

5. Make it simple, make it successful. What can be delegated? What can be automated? How can something be made more efficient? Time is your most valuable asset, don’t waste it; you can’t get any more of it. Your time is worth money and it’s worth saving or spending with your loved ones. If there’s a way you can work smarter, it’s making your system and business work harder for you. Humans have always innovated to improve their efficiency.

There is nothing attracting people to someone that’s too busy. You’re showing them you’re worn down, disorganized and ‘too busy’ for them.

My favorite sources for this are HootSuite, Buffer, IFTTT, among others. If you are looking for something specific, platforms will offer free trials.

Always be improving. You need to implement to see what works and there is always room to adjust your system. Help me out here, would you mind? Tell me about a problem you ran into and a system you implemented that helped your business. Especially when dealing with clients!

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: We only have a few weeks left on our Branding+Positioning Strategy discounted promotion! When you schedule a FREE Discovery Session you will receive 75% off your Branding+Positioning Marketing Plan. Let’s Talk!

Why Local Collaborative?

marin profileHey, I’m Marin! I’m named after a county in California but I was born and raised in a small Kansas town. As in we still don’t have stoplights and I went to school in a cornfield, y’all. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism & Mass Communications (Focus in Public Relations) from the greatest school on Earth (Kansas State University) where I met my husband.

His career as an Army officer takes us across the country. We have a love for adventuring new places, hiking the most beautiful trails and searching for a new favorite beer all while loving on our Iranian rescue pup, Argo.

There are several challenges as a Military Wife but finding and maintaining a career is toward the top of the list. After some jobs left me feeling unfulfilled, underutilized, under-paid, and held back, I finally felt it’s time to fearlessly pursue a creative, fulfilling career. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for?

I am forever grateful that I’ve been consistently working my entire life. The variety of jobs I’ve held have taught me lessons to keep me humbled and well-rounded, allowing me to better serve my future clients and career. I’ve had several unique opportunities and experiences to apply to my work and have been encouraged for my creative ideas, innovative promotion strategy and eye for design. Paired with those skills, I have implemented public relations, advertising, marketing, communications, customer service and sales to provide a fresh eye and challenging approach to business.

I’m inspired by the thought of bringing you a collaborative marketing approach from your most enthusiastic local entrepreneurs. People I have worked with and trust from multiple industries. I believe in authenticity, I value transparency, I accept feedback and I expect a growth mindset from those I partner with. I strongly believe you can have fun while being professional. I believe you can be modern and rustic at the same time. I believe sandwiches should be hot, drinks should be cold and notes should be handwritten. I believe you should stand firm in your beliefs with an open mind.

I’m excited for what’s to come and I appreciate you being here. Let’s go have some fun!

 

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

 

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