Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Leveraging LinkedIn for Business Growth

While most of us have profiles on LinkedIn, have you ever wondering if you're using this social media tool to its fullest? Many of us continue to build 'Contacts' on LinkedIn but rarely utilize them for referrals, introductions, conversations and other ways to expand our businesses.

Here are a few ways you can utilize LinkedIn as a sales, marketing and business development tool:

1. Complete your profile
Has LinkedIn rated your profile 100% complete? If not, take the opportunity to get your message across by filling in all aspects of your profile. Give people a reason to want to connect with you. Include the keywords and terms that your potential prospects would use when searching to find your services or products.

2. Join Groups
Groups are a good way to find and communicate with qualified prospects. Join groups that have the same professional, affiliations, goals or interests as you. Try creating a new group if you can't find one that suits your needs.

3. Prospecting
Are you looking for a specific person to connect with? Maybe you're looking for prospects in a certain industry or others with a specific title? Click on LinkedIn's Search field in the upper left-hand corner and choose People in the pull-down menu. Then choose All Filters to the right of the white buttons. Here you’ll find all the options you have to search your LinkedIn connections.

LinkedIn will show you any "shared connections" you have with these prospects to possibly facilitate an introduction. Leverage your current connections to add more.

4. Publish Articles
Publish your professional knowledge and insights on LinkedIn. Publish articles regularly and they’ll become part of your profile and be shared with your connections in their news feeds. Your article can be searchable within and outside of LinkedIn so people who aren’t in your network can find you and connect. To get started, simply click on the Home icon and then click on ‘Write an article’ under the posting box at the top of the page.

Have other questions about how to use LinkedIn? Contact Jocelyn Murray.

How Using Video Can Help You Reach Your Audience

Are you as surprised as I am about these stats? Granted, it’s not as surprising that people, on average, spend over 5 hours per day watching TV, but did you know that YouTube is the third largest search engine on the planet? I’m still not sure why people watch videos with the sound turned off, but yes, YouTube is the third largest search engine behind Google and Bing.

What do these stats mean? The first three social media stats are evidence to me that people like interacting with one other. The video stats are proof that people like to watch videos. So, as speakers, if we want to get ourselves in front of more people, it sounds like video is a great way to do it. I’ll bet you agree, but the thought of standing in front of a camera can be scarier than the thought standing in front of an audience!

Please know that I’m not saying that you have to do videos. What I am suggesting is that while you are continuing to build your platform, getting used to using video is going to provide you with another way to reach your audience. In addition, it may even provide advantages you might not have even thought about, such as:

1. Video gives people a more personal way to get to know you beyond your bio, headshot, and/or website because they get to “meet” you on screen.

2.  Short-and-sweet videos between 1 and 3 minutes provide you with a chance to share content while also showing off your subject matter expertise.

3.  Best of all, in addition to being visible evidence that you can speak to an audience, because you’re posting your videos on one or more social media platforms, it’s visible evidence you'll now have to share with event planners, meeting coordinators, etc., who are looking for new speakers!

I realize that seriously considering video opens up a Pandora’s box full of new questions, such as what platform to use, how to do it, etc. But my purpose here is simply to be informative, NOT to overwhelm you, so I’ll offer you two simple how-to get started thoughts.  

Don’t think that you have to conquer video in one sitting. Instead, take small steps. Come up with one thought, idea, point, tip, or strategy that you can cover in a couple of minutes. Turn on your cell phone and record yourself talking it through. Each time you make a mistake, stop recording, erase it, and start over. Keep taping yourself talking until you’re comfortable.

Once you’re comfortable, figure out which social media channel you’d like to start with. It’ll probably make sense to start with the one you frequent the most, right?

Trust me, you’re not alone if you’re nervous about videotaping yourself. I’m very nervous about it, but I’m working on doing it! So let’s challenge ourselves together. Who knows... one of these days you might get a video newsletter along with my written words!

Authored by guest blogger:  Beth Stoller

Beth Stoller is a relationship-driven person who has a passion for helping people step into their roles as speakers and leaders. In 2014, she combined her savvy organization and logistics skills with her talent for networking and established her speaker’s business, At the Podium, LLC. In 2019, she started ATP’s Business Professionals Speaker Mastermind Group which meets the 2nd Saturday every month.“Speakers can change people’s lives for the better in a moment. That’s one of the reasons I love my work. I get to help business professionals, whether they’re aspiring or seasoned speakers, prepare for and create those moments!” 

Beth has an absolute belief that everyone has gifts, talents, skills, experiences, knowledge, stories, and/or special messages to share. “When knowledgeable professionals start sharing their expertise from the stage, we all benefit.”

On a personal note, Beth resides in Trumbull, CT, where she lives with her husband, her son, and their dog Poncho. When Beth’s not working on At the Podium, she pursues other passions which include bookkeeping, tennis, photography, and hanging out with family and friends. Occasionally, you might also see her attempting to hit that little white ball around a golf course (it’s a networking thing).

Friday, January 25, 2019

Email Design Checklist

If you've ever created an email campaign and forgot to include an important website link, phone number or social button, then this email design checklist is for you!

Before you schedule your next email newsletter, offer or promotion, be sure to run through these seven check points to ensure that your email communication is on point!

(source: Constant Contact)

Monday, August 27, 2018

Grand Opening Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business

When done right, grand openings can be big attention-getters and can properly introduce your business to the community. A successful grand opening event can effectively launch your company and positively impact your bottom line.

But it takes hard work, preparation and strategic promotions to make a grand opening work.  Here are some marketing activities and ideas to help you make that happen:

Local PR

Write and distribute a press release to the local media to announce your new business and the grand opening event.  Can you put a unique spin on your business and grand opening to get the attention of the press? What will be happening at your launch that will make it an event to remember?

If a celebrity appearance, flash mob, a parade or something really unique is part of your event, let your local radio and TV stations know. A remote broadcast could happen!

In addition to a press release, send media alerts to local reporters inviting them to come to the grand opening. Let them know the day’s schedule of events and which key people (owners, managers, chefs, celebrities, etc.) they can interview. Have media kits including copies of your press release, brochures, bios, etc. available for distribution.

Your Online Presence 

It’s a given that your business’ new website should be up and running well in advance of the grand opening with all the event details posted on the homepage.

Set up your business’ social media pages in advance of your grand opening to build the online buzz early. Develop a hashtag campaign on Twitter and Instagram to draw some attention to your event.  If you have Facebook followers, create an event and use FB’s paid advertising to promote it to a targeted local audience.  Remember to engage and interact with your social followers too.

Are there adjacent businesses, business partners or social media influencers who can promote your event to their followers? Connect with them early on to build mutually beneficial relationships.

Flyers, Postcards etc.

Even in this digital age, printed promotional materials are still a smart way to promote your event. Custom designed grand opening flyers can help you brand and advertise your new business the right way. In advance of your event, post flyers locally, hand them out or leave them behind at local businesses and residences.

Haven’t build up your local email list yet? Send oversize grand opening postcard mailers to businesses and residents in your zip code without purchasing a mailing list. The United States Post Office’s Every Door Direct Mail program lets you send a mailer to any targeted geographical area at postage prices as low as .18 cents per piece. In addition to geographic location, you can target audiences by age and income too.

Promoting your grand opening is a huge opportunity but it's a big undertaking. If it seems like more than you can take on with the launching of your new business, consider hiring a professional!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Amplify Your Business with Google Posts

Are you using Google Posts to enhance your Google My Business Listing on search engine results pages?

If you have your business listed with Google My Business (if you don’t, you should), you can add a content post to share additional information directly below your business listing. Users will see your Google Post on Google search engine results pages (SERPs) and Google Maps when they search for you.

Google Posts are a free and easy way to boost your business listing.  Posts let you provide information about your products, services or events for people who are searching for your business.  In your post, include an image, video, up to 300 words of copy and add a button (Sign up, Learn more, Buy, etc,) that will link the url you specify.

Posts expire after 7 days so be sure to create a new Google Post weekly.

What Should Post?

Your Google Posts can include any type of information that will promote your business or inform users:

Offers/Coupons- Post info about your weekly sale or promotion
Promote a Product or Service- Add a ‘Learn More’ button to your post that links directly to your product or service web page
Events- Offer details and a link to your upcoming event
Announcements- What’s new and what do you need to tell your prospects and customers!

How to Create Google Posts

Sign in at and click on your business listing

On the Menu, click ‘Posts’

Look for the ‘Create New’ or ‘Write Your Post’ prompt

See options to add photos, text, events, and a button to your post. Simply enter the relevant information in each field. Once you’ve created your post, click Preview to see a preview. If it looks good, click Publish in the top right corner of the screen..  

For more marketing tips, visit

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Local Marketing Musts for Your Business

If much of your business comes from local customers, then local marketing should be a priority.  Even on a limited budget, targeted, local marketing initiatives can be some of the best ways to maximize your marketing dollars.  Here are some marketing ideas to increase your local marketing presence:

1. Online Business Listings
Make it easy for people to find you by listing your business with Google My Business. In addition to Google, be sure you're listed in all of the other significant online directories including Yahoo, Bing, Yelp and YellowPages (to name a few). Make sure your business listings are complete, correct and consistent on all these major sites.

2. Ask for Reviews
Let your fans sing your praises- they're your best local advertisement. According to BrightLocal, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Encourage happy customers to review you on sites like Yelp, Yahoo Local or Angie's List. 

3.  Connect with Local Journalists
If you regularly read the local newspapers, you're probably familiar with the reporters that cover your city or industry.  Make an effort to form professional relationships with these journalists and they may end up reporting positive things about your business.

4. Facebook Local Advertising
Local ads can help you reach your nearby target audiences. Facebook’s Local Awareness advertising is an easy and affordable way to get in front of people in your neighborhood, city or county. 

5.  Local Email Marketing
Target your emails and include messaging and an offer that local customers can take advantage of. Use a local subject line. Integrate social media to make your local email marketing even more successful.

6. Participate in Community Events
Be sure that your target audience will be in attendance at any local events you commit to. Plan your marketing strategy ahead of time.

For more marketing tips, visit

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

5 Tips for Managing Social Media When You Have Limited Time

With the massive number of people actively participating in online social media platforms, it's become a necessity for your business to get organized with your social media marketing.  As social media continues to change the way people communicate, it is an increasingly important tool for small businesses.

But where does a small business owner or manager find the time to create and post content and keep multiple social media profiles active?

Keeping up with social media for your businesses doesn’t have to mean a heavy time commitment.  Here are some tips to help:
Social Media Marketing

1. What’s the Plan?
Every action you take on your social media platforms should be part of a larger strategy and plan. Define what you want to achieve on social media (ex: build your brand, increase sales through offers, drive traffic to a landing page, promote a new product line, etc.) and develop a strategy to get there.  If you map out a plan, the more effective you’ll be in its implementation.

2.  Create Content in Bulk
Set aside time once or twice a month to create your content. Follow industry keywords, relevant people in your industry or trending hashtags to keep up on the latest news.  Create your social posts from all the info you collect.  In addition to info and news about your products and services, offer valuable industry info to keep readers coming back.

3. Advanced Scheduling
Use automation to make your life easier. Who has time to post on multiple social sites daily? Schedule the bulk of your social posts in advance.  Facebook has a built-in scheduler. Just click the drop down button next to the Publish button to select the exact date and time when you want your post to publish.

Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer can connect to all your social media accounts so you can create and schedule posts for future dates. 

4. Share and Repost
Sharing, retweeting and reposting content from others will save time while providing strong content. But be sure that the content is related to your brand, products or services in some way and be sure that it offers value to your target audience/followers.

And save time by reposting some of your old content. Not all posts get read the first time around republish your evergreen content.

5. Hire an Expert
If you find that you just can’t keep up with social media, it might be time to hire a professional. Depending on your budget and goals, a freelancer or a marketing agency may help you better leverage social media to grow your business.