Your Bread And Butter For A Local Service Based Business

Steps To Build Your Blog FromYour bread and butter, or the best and most effective strategy for starting and growing a local service based business, is not having a great budget. It isn’t getting a great spot in the newspaper, because those results may be short lived.

But rather, it’s something that I think we all know intuitively, that social media and the internet is making more apparent now a days. Your bread and butter for a local service based business is…

Community Integration

People are your greatest resource. Your mission, as a new service based startup is to integrate into as many communities as possible. I recently started a computer and iPhone repair company.

The single most effective functional strategy of ours has been to simply talk to as many people as we can, both in social media, and in real life networking, as much as possible. But why does this really work?

How did we go from an unknown to a growing, reputable, well suggested company? What is the juice that makes it all come together?

People have to like you

I see people get on social media, and start “marketing” all of the time. It happens more and more everyday. But what I don’t see too often is a marketer who realizes that no one gives a crap about your tweets for business, or your business status updates on Facebook unless they actually like you.

People have to like you, and you have to get them to like you. This means, if you’re not inherently so, you have to become a likeable person. This may mean that as a person, you have to make internal, functional (behavioral) changes to align yourself with the results that are available to you.

So does that mean that..

Being effective means changing you?

The short answer is, yes, it does mean that. Too many times, and in too many cookie cutter ideologies, people think that “action” and “strategy” is the answer. I say that this is fundamentally backwards. Here’s why.

Yes, action is the answer. Of course strategy is king, but if you’re not mentally in the place to create the strategy, or take the action, the best recipe in the world won’t help you.

You need to start at the cement foundation of your personality, and change yourself to become more communicative. You must become someone who loves people. You must re-ignite your childlike charisma and become a whole person again.

You can’t just keep being conditioned by society to keep your mouth shut, or to not be the awesome crazy eccentric person you innately are. You have to..

Become extremely exciting

People love excitement. If you can take actions and communicate with people in a way that excites them, you’ll have fans for days, and customers for months. If you’re doing the right things to treat them well, and provide good services, you’ll have permanent customers for the life of your business.

Be your crazy self! Go to local networking events. Or, take the strategy I’ve taken in cutting directly through the fat and finding the gem, and just do what works. Who needs the awkward, 40 people sitting in a room not talking to each other, networking event? Just contact local business owners, and set up a time for…

Business 1 on 1′s

Express that you want to find out how you can refer more people to them. Anyone will love that, and most solopreneurs, and teamed startups understand the power of networking. They’ll be into it. Do as much as you can. Meet as many people as possible and whatever you do, don’t stop! Just keep plugging away.

So when you have all of these things down, you’re exciting, communicative, integrated within local communities and doing a lot of 1 on 1′s, now what do you do?

Rinse and repeat (but leave room for innovation)

Rinse and repeat the same process. Become more exciting! Do more outlandish stuff. Make some cool videos and put them on the web of yourself engaging in work activities.

Do more 1 on 1′s. There are more people to find. Get deeper within your local community with tools like Twitter, and certainly Facebook. Find local bloggers, and interact with them on their blogs daily and keep your progress moving.

But, at the end of the day, or throughout your week, take time to reflect, induce a creative state, and think of more ways to reach people. Strategies are great. There are a thousand of them. But if you can learn how to stimulate your mind and turn it into an idea machine, you can innovatively create new ways to market your business, and grow some more.

Ultimately, your growth is going to depend largely on your connections. Everything has to do with people, and word of mouth is your best friend. Follow these steps, and create some of your own to activate the fire storm of word of mouth waiting for you. It’s yours, if you’re willing to step up and grab it.

How to Avoid Online Backlash and Knowing When to Shut Up

Knowing When to Shut UpDo you ever think that sometimes you talk before you think? Or have you ever wondered if past topics or conversations will come back to haunt you? Below, I want to share: How to Avoid Online Backlash By Knowing When to Shut Up.

These days with a lot of conversation online, it is no wonder how people end up in hot water. Each and every day, we chat, share, tweet and comment on anything from blog posts, to news articles. Everyone has something to say, but is what we say something we should keep to ourselves?

Is My Behavior Affecting My Bottom Line and Is it Worth the Impact?

You have heard stories of bloggers getting into hot water over topics and articles on their blog or forums. As much as I believe in free speech, is it easy to forget who we work for? If you work for a major brand or any company for that matter, what you say does matter.

I might be wrong, but I represent the brand I work for and I am cognizant that what I say might hurt my companies brand or shed a bad light on me personally.

content fluff1 How to Avoid Online Backlash and Knowing When to Shut Up

Social Media has become the forefront for conversations about anything news worthy to our readers. The problem I think we forget is: You are your brand. Scary huh?

Think about that party picture that gets posted on your Facebook page for the world to see. You think your profile is set to “private” and soon forget that people you do business with is your “friend” on Facebook.

What we do now, might not be what we want to do professionally ten years from now. There is no guarantee that what we put online now is something we might be comfortable with 1 year from now.

You ever walk up to a woman that looks pregnant and ask (thinking you’re friendly) when she is due only to find out that she is not pregnant? Ouch! Believe me, I have put my foot in my mouth many times for this one and you’d think I would know the difference. I walk away feeling like I want to put a gun to my head (not literally).

Recently, I heard about a well-known blogger I like get into hot water over a tweet they made that caused them to lose their job. What was so saddening about the entire situation is that they included a picture of the culprits with a not so nice comment behind it.

Regardless what the context behind it all meant, people lost their jobs as a result and the online backlash hurt their brand in the end. Job loss and reputation burned.

I have no complaints here, because I like to think I do too, but I do have limits. I am always conscientious of my audience, the language I use and how I write. Veering from that scares people because they are not used to that. You need to respect the intelligence of your readers.

Are there any particular blogs that you read that bend the degree of language more often than not? Did they start their blog that way or did it evolve into that? Even those bloggers know their limits and are able to get their point across brilliantly without offending the masses.

One thing that just bugs me is meeting someone and they project a prim and proper image to the masses, but on their social network, they end up sounding like a sailor or vice versa. Don’t get me wrong, I might use a few “seasoned” words every once in a while, but again: you are your brand.

Don’t put anything online, you don’t want to see on the Huffington Post. (Just saying)

The internet is NOT forgiving and once you say it online, you can’t take it back. Especially, if it is on social media. Content gets shared fast and what you say in 5 minutes might be shared with thousands in a matter of seconds. Our core business ideas is what attracts the readers we have now; once you change, then all hell breaks loose. Don’t be that guy.

Question: Have you ever put your foot in your mouth? How did you fix the damage? Am I off base? What say you?

8 Effective Ways To Create A Remarkable Business Card

Now that you have tips on how to attend a blog conference, now you need business cards. A business card is like a resume. It’s a small preview of who you are. You can design it to showcase your personality or tell your story. Like Facebook and Twitter, we connect instantly without knowing each other based on topics and likeness. When you meet people in your industry having a business card is another way to connect with them. Business cards is a great marketing tool that keeps evolving to embrace social media and technology to stay connected.

Juicy-bits.typepad.com

What are the Benefits of Business Cards?

  • Shows you value your blog as a business
  • Easy to carry and hand out.
  • Gives you an opportunity to share your information with others you want to get to know better.
  • You can leave a lasting impression with those you just met.
  • Can open up doors to potential business relationships in the future

Why Your Card needs to be Consistent with your Brand

Message in a bottle

The design behind your business cards, help articulate public perception of you, your brand and/or company.  Staying consistent with your brand is as important as having a logo on your website, without it, people won’t know it’s you. You can add a picture, but it only ends up being a card with your face on it and nothing more. Would Nike create a tennis shoe without their logo? It would be a no-name shoe and you probably wouldn’t buy it. Your logo, picture of yourself, the colors and its design go hand in hand and without it people won’t recognize you.  Your business card is the only perceptible thing they have to remember you by. Why not create something remarkable and memorable.

When I began thinking about my business cards, the one thing I wanted to incorporate was my personality. Anyone can create a simple business card, add some colors and a few tidbits pertaining to your site, but will it make a difference? Maybe. Having a business card to hand out is better than no card, so don’t kill yourself over trying to reinvent the wheel for outlandish design. Have fun with it!

What do you need to build a remarkable business card?

Awesome design

Have a goal – Before attending a blog conference, think about your goals and what you hope to gain from it. Figuring this out early on will help you know what to put on your card. Show your personality and give your card the design it was meant to have.

Include only pertinent information – Keep It Simple Stupid. (You’re not stupid), but you get the idea.  Don’t forget the real estate on the back of the card too. Cramming everything on the front makes no sense and doesn’t allow for you to be creative with the design.

Describe Your Business –Tell what you do and what you offer. Don’t try and write a novel. A short phrase will be sufficient.

Design a Remarkable card – Design something worth looking at. You only get one chance to make an impression.  You don’t have to go broke designing a card, but you need to be resourceful in the place you pick to design yours. Look at your blog and think about its design, colors, layout and niche. The design you create speaks volumes about your business.

Use your face – Some might agree or disagree on this, but your picture is just as essential. Blogging online isn’t an invisible game and your face is just as much your brand as your logo is. If you are “gun shy” about posting your picture for everyone to see, the only one seeing it will be the person you give a card to.  Does it really matter at that point? People recognize your face more than your brand. Mark Zuckerberg is the face of Facebook no more than Bill Gates is for Microsoft.

Signa

Pick the size that fits you – You don’t want to pick a card that won’t fit inside a wallet, but be mindful of whom you will hand them out to.  Exchange cards with prospects that you want to network with. Don’t give it out for the sake of handing it out. Picking the right size will ensure that your card won’t get lost in a pile of brochures or other pamphlets.

Pick out good quality paper – Pick material that will fit the concept you are after.  A simple matted look usually does the trick, but if you want a glossy look it could cost you.

Choose your colors carefully –   Color is a key facet to remember.  Certain colors give off different meanings and might not convey the message you want. Don’t be afraid to mix and match. Remember, this is suppose to be the fun part.

  • Brown can symbolize stability or reliability
  • Gray might represent quality
  • Orange represents strength
  • Yellow represents commitment
  • Blue represents trust
  • Purple represents wisdom
  • White might signify purpose
  • Red conveys passion or confidence

Some might argue that a business card isn’t necessary and a waste of money.  It doesn’t play a video or show a resume of your past work, but they are still incredibly efficient.  As technology continues to advance so will business cards as people want more digital contact information that can be sent directly to their smartphone to use immediately.  QR codes can be found on many cards today, but I haven’t felt a need to add it to my cards at this time.

Cardflick

If you don’t have a need or can’t afford business cards and want an immediate link to your iPhone, then you might consider Cardflick.  Cardflick is a new app I discovered for creating business cards directly on your iPhone or iPod Touch. Not everyone owns an iPhone, but if you have an iPod it will work just as well.  Cardflick comes with several themes to customize the look you want to send. All you have to do is add your photo and enter pertinent information you want to flick to another user’s iPhone or iPod.

If you meet another member that uses Cardflick, you both access the app and push your card across the screen to send it. Hence, the name, “Cardflick”.  If another person isn’t using Cardflick, you can simply send them an email. Sadly, you can’t have more than one card and they are currently creating a beta version for Android.

Don’t have an iPhone or iPod, no worries, you can sign up online and still create your own Cardflick online now.

While your at it, connect with me too!

We all collect business cards and let’s admit it; we all throw most of them away. Why do some cards make the cut, while others end up in the trash?

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Note: All card photos belong to their respective owners.

What are 10 Odd or Unique things about yourself: Let’s talk about you!

self evaluationI have been doing my rounds lately, visiting my favorite blogs and discovering new ones, when I noticed lately that most asked the questions about: You.

My goal with this post is to just get to know my fellow bloggers and sometimes the best way is to just let people talk about them self and let it roll. Instead of talking about the usual stuff I probably already know, I want to know about the “unique” things about you that I don’t know.Have you ever met someone and you are just drawn into what they have to say? Their personality, words and smile just suck you in like glue? Then you read their blog and get a more in depth view of who they are mentally.  So let’s take a leap and just talk about you!

(DON”T FOLLOW THESE QUESIONS) just something to get you thinking….

  • Do you excel at a particular sport?
  • Have you seen a certain movie thousands of times?
  • Are you obsessed with certain foods?
  • Do you promote something unique and different that no one has ever heard of?
  • Do you have some unique goals your trying to meet? What are they?
  • Do you make anything cool?

Share it with everyone! Keep it fun and join in…this won’t be fun without you!

I will start this off and let you in on some weird unique stuff about me:

  1. I am superstitious and do certain things in a certain way all the time (I hate bad luck)
  2. I have watched the Star Wars & Indiana Jones Trilogy more than a 100 times (ok, I watch too much TV)
  3. I have memorized the lines for the Movie: Grease 2 (Yeah, yeah I know the movie flopped)
  4. I am afraid of heights
  5. I love fishing on the lake, but have a fear of drowning (come on people, you know black people don’t swim!)
  6. I have visited just about every National Park in Northern California.
  7. My Favorite TV show is the Are You Being Served?
  8. I want to travel to Fiji, Egypt and Alaska before I die.
  9. I hate when people talk too much (sometimes knowing when to shut is up good)
  10. Exercise keeps me sane.

Your turn: tell me what the 10 Oddest and Unique things about you are!

Thanks everyone for playing along, I want this to be fun and just let it roll.