How does it work? What are the best practices to engage others over social mediums, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram?

What if we were to tell you that it’s all about sharing information, education, and making an emotional connection with your audience?  It’s truly that simple. Gone are the days of hard-selling, pushing out as many advertisements as you can each day in order to get more sales. Yes, we need to get in front of our audience. Yes, there are times when we need to promote our events, products and services. That said it’s how this is done that really has an impact.

Here are five best practices for boosting your social media engagement:

  • Be authentic and show who you are. There are so many of people pumping out posts that everyone can begin to sound the same. That said, if you are real and demonstrate to others that you are someone who believes in what you’re doing, you are more likely to gain a strong following. Be comfortable being yourself, particularly those of you in the self-help or wellness realm. The more you can share of your own story, how you overcame challenges using certain modalities, what effects those challenges had on your life and how you have come back from them, the more likely others will watch, learn and connect with you.  We are emotional beings, and we want to know that you have been through something, overcame it and now want to help. Your stories build trust with your audience and demonstrate to them that you can actually help them.
  • Strike up conversation and be responsive. This is a great way to connect with others. It may feel like you put yourself out there with a question and get ‘crickets’ at first but people are watching and paying attention. Be patient and responsive when the comments come. If your post gets a like, that’s a good thing but it isn’t the only thing to measure. Our social media feeds are fast and furious so sometimes people see your posts but don’t react or engage. Keep putting it out there and the engagement will come for you to respond to. If you’re comfortable, or let’s face it, even if you’re not comfortable doing a Facebook Live, do it anyway!  Start with something short and sweet. You may get little to no engagement at first, but keep doing it. Little by little, and with consistency, you will gather your flock and that is key –and when you do, be responsive and keep that conversation going!
  • Share information, educate and add value. We just mentioned Facebook Live. This is a great venue for sharing information, educating others about various elements of your industry that may need clarifying. Invite people to ask questions in your Facebook Live, as this is a great way to give back, offer basic consultation for free and reach a larger audience.  For example, we just started with Wonder Wednesdays where we go LIVE on Facebook every Wednesday at 3:00pm for 10-15 minutes and talk about some of the questions people often ask us. It also provides great video content for your Facebook page as well, that people can watch at a later date.  The key is to add value, share good information and answer some of those ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ for people, who may or may not reach out to you otherwise.
  • Use your creativity to draw in your audience. We only have so much time to read each day, so if you’re like most people, you are pretty selective in whose content you choose to consume. While there is a formula for this, the gather, draw in and retain, everyone is quite different in what they are seeking. For me, as a writer, I enjoy reading other people blog posts. However, not everyone loves to read –unless it’s a juicy novel that you cannot put down. Some people prefer to watch a video, or listen to podcasts. So to that, we suggest that you mix it up!
    • Give your audience a variety of options; write blog posts, do some videos or Facebook Lives or IG-TV. You may want to create a series, and have your audience waiting for your next video.
    • Turn some of your old blog posts into educational videos or mini courses. This can create some energy around your business and gather an audience, who want to learn from you.
    • Offer a freebie in there as well, as incentive for watching –this can create good traction and help build a stronger online presence.
    • Check in with your audience to find out what is working well, so that you’re not throwing time and energy at something that isn’t being well received.
    • The key here is to be creative and keep trying new ideas to see what works best –then stick with it!
  • Develop a marketing strategy. The very definition of a marketing strategy is: “An organization’s strategy that combines all of its marketing goals into one comprehensive plan. A good marketing strategy should be drawn from market research and focus on the right product mix in order to achieve the maximum profit potential and sustain the business.” (*Source: Business Dictionary).  If you haven’t done so, identify your ideal client, as this is a crucial step to success in your business. Once you have identified your ideal client, you will want to review your marketing message –does it speak to your client specifically? Does it solve a common problem that they have, and this is key, that they are willing to pay to have solved?  Your marketing strategy is simply figuring out the best, most impactful way to engage your audience, convert them to clients, keep them satisfied, and then ask them to share their experience with their friends.

There you have it!  This isn’t rocket science and it works. There is no limit to what you can do –it’s there for you, right on social media within your Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter following –an audience just waiting for your incredible value. All you have to do is open your mind to the possibilities. Start mapping out your plan, then set the intention to do those action steps each day.  Follow the five best practices, develop your own individual marketing strategy and watch your business grow and your dreams unfold!  Honestly, it is really that simple.  Cheers and see you on social media!

Need help or want to ask some questions?  Follow us on Facebook and join us each Wednesday at 3:00pm EST, for Wonder Wednesday –and get answers!

Cheetah Fusion Creative Agency –Catapult your brand… fast!

705.302.3386 | www.cheetahfusion.com | meow@cheetahfusion.com

 

 

We work with a lot of business owners and professionals and we often get asked questions about networking such as; how often should I be out networking? Where should I be networking? What are some dos and don’ts of networking? It’s interesting that as business owners, we know we need to network, but there are many unknowns with networking –probably the biggest unknown is, how do we measure the return on investment (ROI) of networking?

Well, we know that there is a huge return on investment with networking that surpasses any other marketing tactic on the planet. Yes, marketing your business online, through your website, email marketing and social media are all important and work very well. However, marketing online along with meeting face-to-face with people, can be a winning combination for success! Networking is also a very cost effective and natural way to attract new business. So, here are a few quick tips and best practices for networking:

  1. Walk into the networking space with a smile. This can be difficult if you feel nervous walking into a room full of people you don’t know. That said, if you can manage a smile and keep your head up, as you walk in, that’s a great start! As human beings, we are naturally attracted to, and want to work with people who are approachable, look confident, but most importantly, those who have a smile on their face. You will likely feel more drawn to go and say “hello” to the people who are smiling, who have their head up and are looking at who they will talk to first. They tend to exude a certain trustworthiness and are more likely to be conversational with you when you meet them as well.  So next time you enter a room, take a deep breath, roll your shoulders back and smile…notice what happens!
  2. Interact with tact and be sensitive to others. Have you ever been at a networking event and had someone come up, say “hi” and before you can respond, they jam a business card into your hand? They may have even interrupted your conversation with someone else. This can leave a very negative impression and if you’re like us, it’s very unlikely you will ever reach out to that person to do business with them. Before walking up to someone to start a conversation, be tactful. If two people are talking shoulder to shoulder, that is an indication that they are open to others joining their conversation. If two people are face-to-face, and seem to be in deep conversation, that is not an invitation for you to join their conversation or interrupt them. Find another friend to have a chat with in the meantime.
  3. Be intentional when you are out networking. The best way to connect with someone, is to smile, say hello and say your name. Hold out your hand to shake theirs. Avoid the “So, what do you do?” question. This is a cop-out and can be off-putting. Instead, warm up the conversation and ask a few questions; how are you? How did you get started in your business? I’m always curious about this. Who or what inspired you to start your own business? These are all great conversation starters, as they can prompt other questions and a much deeper conversation. It also lets the other person know you are interested in them and their business. Usually when you make a strong connection, that person will ask for your business card and possibly a meeting. Finally, set the intention to meet with just 2 – 3 people and have a meaningful conversation with each of them.
  4. Make sure you are responsive. After attending a networking event, you have likely collected a couple of business cards, and quite likely you exchanged business cards with other people. So, the next step and the key to building relationships, is to reach out to them and thank them for a great conversation. You may want to invite them to continue your conversation over coffee. Also, if someone reaches out to you, make sure you respond in a timely manner. This is part of building rapport and trust with that other individual, and it starts with being responsive –so email them back within a day whenever possible! Oh, and a quick note about business cards, be very careful about adding someone to your mailing list. It may not serve you to do so. It’s always best to invite them to join your newsletter, or better yet, allow them to peruse your website, and have them join your newsletter by choice!

We have found that in most cases, when you are out networking with like-minded people, it’s likely that you will make a connection with at least 1-2 people, and they will become a client or refer someone to you, if you have followed the steps above. Be relatable, friendly, listen carefully, be curious and for goodness sake, unless they ask, do not start selling to them!  They will become agitated and will look for a way to leave the conversation. You haven’t earned their trust yet, let alone their business! Networking is not for making the sale. It’s intended to connect with others and build rapport.

How often should you network? Well, especially in the beginning when you are just starting out with your business, we suggest getting out to at least three networking events each week. This will give you an opportunity to check out a few different groups, see how you feel, and whether they are a fit or not.

How does the ROI work? Once you find a couple of groups that feel right for you and your business, choose two to three networking groups that you can attend regularly and stick with them. Be patient, as it takes time to build the know-like-and-trust factor and the more consistently you attend, the better you become at sharing stories, examples of how you can help which showcases you and your business brilliantly, helping you get good traction. If you stick with a group and show up to each meeting, you should start to get the return on your investment of time, money and energy with clients, either directly from those groups or referrals from them. It is about giving, as much as it is receiving though, so be sure to meet with other businesses within those groups to learn about them and their business, and look for ways that you can support and refer each other!

Where should you network?  There are a lot of great networking groups around, including Professionals in Partnership, a local group of which we have been members for a few years now. There are BNI Chapters all over the world, and we highly recommend that you check out your local Chamber of Commerce as well. For female entrepreneurs and professionals, there is also FemCity, another well organized networking group. We have found that there is a great variety of business owners and professionals who attend these meetings and events. Also, your Chamber of Commerce will likely offer a variety of times in which you can network from breakfast meetings, to Lunch n’ Learns, to Business After 5 networking in order to suit all types of businesses. If you are a great speaker, they even offer speaking opportunities to do a presentation on a topic of interest. This is great for visibility and helping others get to know more about what you do and how you can help them!

We hope you found this post helpful, and that you have more insight on how to measure the return on investment (ROI) of networking. Remember to smile when you enter the room. Be curious. Ask questions. Show up consistently. Connect. Build relationships and refer other businesses –repeat. The business will come.

Please comment or reach out to us anytime. We love hearing from you!

Penni & Heather

Cheetah Fusion Creative Agency

Tel: 705.302.3386 | meow@cheetahfusion.com | www.cheetahfusion.com

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About 8 years ago, I was searching for something to help facilitate and also make setting goals more fun and exciting.

In my corporate life, we had goals passed down from our department head and managers, so it was something that I grew up doing. We would go over the company’s goals and objectives each new fiscal year. We would meet as a department to discuss in detail, the various quadrants that each goal would reflect and how we would measure success in each of those areas.

While I had been setting goals for years and years, throughout my career, I found that I started setting my own goals, driven by a desire to do more, be better and improve my life personally and professionally. During that time, I found my own ways to make goalsetting more fun, creating templates and visuals that some call a vision board now, before I even knew about vision boards. These worked, especially in wanting to have a new house or a new car, or even applying for a new job. I’d go over what I wanted, write down as many details about it, colour make, model, for jobs, what it would feel like to work in that department, how life would change if I were doing what I loved. I would also go through a planning process, identifying my strengths, gaps in knowledge or experience, then figure out what I needed, courses, do interest interviews, etc.

This process worked well, but it was missing something. I had to really think and even upon reflection, sometimes I needed time to go through and figure out what I wanted.

So, I began looking for another way. There had to be another way, right?!  Well, as I discovered about 8 years ago, there was indeed another way. A much better way. That’s when I discovered Mind-mapping!!

 

What is a mind-map?

The genius who came up with this process is Tony Buzan. He has several patents on this and mind maps. Mind-mapping is taking the term pen-to-paper to a whole new level. It’s letting your ideas flow and your pen fly, allowing your mind to create and allow radiant thinking to draft the plan and get those brilliant ideas onto paper, not stalling your progress thinking so much. Instead, you create a free flowing idea chart giving way to planning and focusing on the developing of your ideas. The mind-mapping process, actually allows us to go into action more quickly and effectively.

 

How does a mind map work?

A mind-map has several components to it that actually propel your natural radiant thinking process. Once you learn the methodology behind mind-mapping, you can use it for many different applications; goal-setting, fitness and healthy eating practices, organization, decision-making, planning a vacation, and the list goes on!

 

5 Best Practices for Mind-Mapping

  1. Choose your main idea; Start my Business; Improve my Health & Wellness
  2. Keep an open mind and use a blank piece of paper with coloured pens
  3. Ask yourself questions to keep the ideas flowing; what do I want? What do I need? What helps motivate me?
  4. Resist the urge to think, just allow your ideas to flow and your pen to fly
  5. Take 20-30 minutes to create your mind-map, then choose one idea, move to action with three simple steps and make it happen!

Sound intriguing? If you are interested in learning more about mind-mapping, send us an email at meow@cheetahfusion.com for more information. Are you interested in building a business road-map? If so, we are holding a half-day workshop on Tuesday, November 20th, 2018 at OfficeInc where our office is located.

Check out our website for more details at https://cheetahfusion.com/shop/. We would love to help you in make your dreams a reality!

Cheetah Fusion
Catapult Your Brand… fast!

 

We work with lots of entrepreneurs and business professionals and every so often, we will hear, “I think I’ve lost the passion I had for my business. Maybe I’ve been doing it too long. Perhaps I need a change!” 

Sure, this may be true. Our business or our jobs are like a relationship or a marriage. Like any relationship or marriage, we need to work at staying in love with our businesses or our jobs. Sometimes, it’s beneficial every now and then, to reflect on what brought us into the industry or the role we are in, and ask ourselves, why do I love what I do again? Sometimes we fall out of love because we get up caught in the doing of the job, or the running of the business and that can wear us down. Some days are really challenging, things don’t go well and pretty soon, if you’re not mindful of it, you start to resent the very thing you loved and the business you worked so hard to grow.  

While it sometimes feels as though it came up suddenly, it didn’t. This like any marriage breakdown or failed relationship happens over time. It happens while we are so busy trying to making ends meet, growing and hiring, building our empire and not paying attention to ourselves, how we feel and whether or not we have celebrated our successes along the way. It happens when we least expect it and one day, we wake up and wonder where all those years went… and why we feel so exhausted and worn out.

If you are feeling this way, if you’re feeling like you want to quit, sell your business or do something else. Before you do, ask yourself these three questions:

Why did I start this business?
What do I still love about it?
What do I need to get back to where I was?

My hope is that everyone takes time to reflect on this, to ‘stay in love’ with your business or profession. It’s very easy to lose touch with ‘Why’ we do what we do, when we get rolling along. The key is to remember that, people connect with others, not for what they do, or how they do it, but why they do it. 

Here are a few key questions that can help you discover or re-discover your “Why”:

What is the driving force, or what motivates you to get up each day?
What are you truly passionate about? Why?
Who are you doing it all for? Is it for you? Is it for your family? Is it to improve your health and wellness? Reduce stress? Rediscover who you are?
Why are you doing this? What has changed for you to be considering a career change, or a new direction?
Are you wanting a different lifestyle?
Have you suddenly realized you can do your job better, if you weren’t restricted by the corporate umbrella or rules?

All of these questions can help you determine your “Why” and your true life’s purpose. This is a good exercise if you are wavering on whether or not you should keep on, keeping on! Or if you are on the fence with a decision. Going through this process can help in business and in many life decisions. It helps you get out of your head and reflect with your heart and soul. Using your head and thinking about the pros and cons can serve you well, but it can also have us going in theoretical circles. When you ask yourself the questions above, reflect with your heart, use your intuition, even meditate through this process, you can often come to a way more viable conclusion.

We hope you will find this process helpful. Next month, we will be talking about setting goals to support you, your values and what is relevant to your life for 2019!! We are here to help too, so reach out and let us know how you’re doing!

 

Cheetah Fusion Creative Agency
strategy • branding • marketing • social media • coaching • web
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54 Cedar Pointe Drive, Unit 1207, Barrie ON L4N 5R7
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