21 Oct

Blogging Tip of the Day: Commenting on a Blog Post

Commenting on Blog Posts…

commenting on blogsBlogs work – but they only work if everyone knows the rules. When you read a blog post – you’re always invited to post a comment of your own. Responding to a blog post is not only good for the blogger – but for YOU as well. When you leave a comment, you’re asked to provide YOUR website address. Once your comment is published – you have not only added your own thoughts on the subject matter,  but you’ve left another digital footprint of your own on the Internet. You’ve increased your visibility…and if the blog post and your comment are related to the industry you are in – you’ve also increased your credibility and expert status.  Now – tell me… don’t you want more visibility online?

When leaving your comments on other blog posts, make sure that your comment is in direct response to the post. Mention specific details about what the author has written, and when possible, mention the author by name. This personalizes your comment and makes the author feel as if you’ve really been paying attention. Stay away from canned comments like, “Great blog post”, or “Thanks for sharing”. Both are okay, however, IF you’ve left a quality comment.

Don’t be afraid to post a comment – bloggers LOVE comments.  And, more often than not – bloggers will respond to your comments…giving you another opportunity to leave more of your digital footprint.

Eydie :)

Do you comment on blog posts? Share with us any success stories that have come out of posting a comment. Scroll down and use the comment box below.

16 Oct

5 Reasons Why You’re Not Seeing the Networking Magic

Just add water…

expanding_towelsHaven’t you read just about 100 articles that offer the 123’s of making your business grow like one of those “magic sponges” in the science aisle of the toy store?  “Just add water, and watch it grow”, the ads read.

We all wish we could just add water and watch the “magic sponge” of our business just “grow”!

After all, we are sure that we have THE most unique product, or service on the market.  Well with this belief, then why don’t we just count a whole new roster of clients as OUR VERY OWN, every time we attend a business mixer, network, or convention?

Well, I’m going to give you 5 quick reasons why we don’t add all those new prospects to our list of CLIENTS:

  1. Do you enter a networking meeting just KNOWING that EVERYONE in that room is your next potential client? Well guess what? Most people in the room are there to SELL their own wonderful product or service.  In other words, they all came to SELL, SELL, SELL, and you came thinking they all wanted to BUY, BUY, BUY , from YOU!
  2. When you collected business cards from the people at the last event, how many of THOSE people are here at the CURRENT meeting? WE all have piles of cards from people we met once at an event and never saw again.  Do we think we were even ON the RADAR of those “ONE MEETING WONDERS”? Some people attend with the same intentions as goats in a new pasture. They are grazing their way through the event, scooping up the “FRESH GRASS”, but have no intention of visiting that FIELD a second time.
  3. If you have a product or service that is somewhat less necessary than sliced bread, chances are that most people in front of you feel that they have NO NEED of your product or service. It takes a while to create a NEED for your product in the mind of your prospect.  Just because they heard your “one minute commercial”, it does not mean that it ever dawned on them that they NEED your product or service!
  4. Look across the room. How many of those people are YOU actively thinking of referring to those who YOU know? If the answer is NONE, then chances are, many in the room have the same level of intention of using YOUR product or service.  It takes time to develop enough of a relationship with new business acquaintances to even “APPEAR ON THEIR RADAR”.
  5. In short, most people don’t do business with you unless they KNOW you. Anything you can do to make that happen, gets you THAT MUCH CLOSER to a working relationship with new prospects.  EXAMPLE: what can you do to be of service to them?    We will discuss that next time.

Do you see yourself in any of the above scenarios? How do you think you could shift your thinking when it comes to networking? Leave your thoughts and questions in the comment box below.

Susie Mierzwik, Independent LifeWave Distributor
Contact Susie for information about LifeWave.

Susie Mierzwik, LifeWaveSusie Mierzwik is a retired educator.  She received her MBA from Golden Gate University.  In 2009 she was introduced to the LifeWave company which markets a patch called “acupuncture without the needle.” After using the product to eliminate her chronic pain and allergies, she quickly saw the potential.  In 2009 she won a cruise for two from LifeWave and became a manager.  She now markets these NON- DRUG health patches to people interested in alternative health care.  She is reaching out to the Disabled American Veterans with LifeWave’s assistance program called Military Order of the Purple Heart. Contact Susie for more information about this program.

14 Oct

Designing a Marketing Email That Works

First impressions matter….even in email marketing.

email marketing that works, constant contactAnd when someone opens your marketing email for the first time, what they see is going to determine what they do next.

Find a special download link
at the end of this post.

Chances are you’ll want them to read your email and take a next step. Maybe you want them to visit your website, register for an event, or buy something. This is where a beautiful, professional-looking email designed to drive action is crucial and that’s why Constant Contact made a guide dedicated to helping you make the right impression with every email you send.

Constant Contact takes you through the reasons email subscribers delete emails and how you can encourage people to take those next steps (information provided by Constant Contact).

Because Constant Contact wants to make sure your email marketing is the best it can be, here’s their 6-page e-book called: “Designing a Marketing Email that Works: Tips for designing marketing emails that get opened and help your business grow”DOWNLOAD

Eydie :)

14 Oct

Safari Kay: The Biggest Risk I Took in My Business – Part 2

Part Two of “Sarfari” Kay’s Biggest Risk post takes us to where she needed to make some more serious decisions regarding her business. Kay has shown, though both her posts, that she’s not a woman who gives up easily….matter of fact, she never gave up. THAT’S the sign of a true entrepreneur. Read Part One here.

My driver dilemma…

Safari Kay Trotman, African SafarisAfter several years in business, I began to wonder how I could provide a more exclusive, personal and custom experience for my guests, one that would be more memorable. I sort of knew the answer, but there was much to do to accomplish it and it was a huge risk.

In Africa, your driver-guide is the ‘make or break’ person on any safari.  Over the past few years, since inception of Destined To Travel, I had several drivers for my safaris.  While all of them were good, it wasn’t always possible to have the same driver because it depended on what company the safari was booked through.  It wasn’t always the experience I wanted for my guests, so it left me thinking, what is my next step?

For several years I had been working with a driver who worked for a major safari company, he was my driver when I had occasion to book through that company or when he was ‘off-duty’.  However, that company was getting far too expensive for me to continue using.  So once I stopped booking that company I knew I would lose my favorite driver as well.

Consistency…

The dilemma was how to have a regular driver on my group safaris in order to provide a consistent, more flexible and engaging experience.  Maybe it meant having my own vehicle, hiring my own driver. Was that the answer?  If it was, that decision was major. How could I even go about that?   How could I hire my own driver and know that it would be someone whom I could trust, someone honest and with integrity in a country I really knew very little about. Doing business in a foreign country is a huge risk – especially when you’re not there all the time.

Would I….

This was the beginning of a real learning experience.  If I did this, and I had no idea how I could accomplish it, on my own, in a foreign third world country.  If I did, it would be the biggest risk I might ever take in my business.  Would I do it, would it be the right decision, where would my driver come from, would he be honest and trustworthy, would I be able to work with a man in a patriarchal society, where women are not valued the same as women in the USA, how would I ever be able to accomplish this?

 Give up?

Maybe it was an unreachable goal.  Maybe I should just go in another direction and accept that I could not provide the exact experience that I wanted my guests to have.  Maybe I should just accept that and forget about wanting to stand out in my business.  Maybe I should think of another way.  I knew how easy it was to just get lost in the shuffle of the thousands of other safari companies.  Maybe, just maybe, my ideas were too grandiose.

When out of the blue…

Months passed and my plans for growing my business were beginning to fade, it seemed just too difficult to achieve.  Then, out of the blue, the former driver who I had always thought would be an incredible asset to my business, looked me up and told me that he had left his position with the company for which he’d worked and would love to go into business together.

It didn’t take long before we hatched a plan.  Together we decided to invest in a vehicle where he would serve as the driver and thus, the main driver for Destined to Travel.  What had I done?  I had just taken the biggest risk ever, that’s what! 

Risk well taken…

Looking back now, to three years ago, I must say that the risk that at one time overwhelmed me with both positives and negatives, actually turned out to be one of the best decisions of my business career.  My investment in the vehicle, and the driver, of the trust and loyalty that I was so concerned about, in this foreign land, turned out to be the best, and the biggest risk Destined To Travel has undertaken to date.

My guests have no idea whet I went through to stand out among thousands of safari companies, to give them an experience that would be ever so special for them!  They have no idea how much I went back and forth about whether or not it was a good decision; even if it was, should I go ahead and do it.  Even I didn’t know the answers at the time.

As it turned out, the trust and integrity of the driver was the least of my concerns.  He has proven himself hundreds of times over.

 Out of my control…

Now the risk I’m faced with is just when things appear to be improving, and business has picked up, here comes the Ebola scare.  With more and more people canceling, the vehicle is not moving in the way it would have been had the outbreak not occurred.  Don’t get me wrong, there are no outbreaks of Ebola in East Africa, but each time there is a scare, it affects tourism.  Tourism is my business, and without it, the business doesn’t exist.  So we’ll just have to see where things go from here.  Right now, I’m on my way to Africa with a group – nothing is stopping me!

“Safari” Kay Trotman

With over twenty years in the travel business, the name Kay Trotman is now always associated as ‘Safari’ Kay.   In that time,  many different countries have opened their doors and that has allowed me to carefully and skillfully plan and escort many different groups to exotic, exciting and adventurous international destinations around the world.  Some of those past countries include China, Thailand, Italy, Brazil, London, France, Caribbean, Costa Rica and now Africa.  Destined To Travel is a licensed, insured, bonded travel agency, specializing in African Safaris throughout the finest safari destinations in Africa. We invite you to try us out, and we look forward to seeing you on safari!  Learn more about Destined To Travel
09 Oct

Your Domain Name: Be in Control

Unethical web designers are a threat to all of us.

be in control of your own domain namePersonally, I am sick and tired of web designers taking advantage of business owners.  More times than I can count, I get emails from people tell me that their web designer is holding their domain name hostage.

Here’s a Facebook message I received a couple of days ago:

Hi Eydie: I would like to chat with you about taking back my website from a web guy. A couple years ago he said he would charge me $199 to give me access to the website to find a new person to control it. He just really isn’t doing what I want him to. So I think your program would benefit me. Please check it out and let me know how much you charge and your availability. I would like to get this done ASAP. Thank you!

This situation really stinks, and it’s making my blood boil. After a discussion with my new client, I advised her that she needed to have a conversation with the designer. Maybe she could knock some sense into him. Well, that conversation went no where. He gave her two choices:

  1. $200 to release the domain name
  2. $400 to release the domain name and files

In the meantime, he’s taken down the site. Her business now has no presence online.

Get an attorney…

GoDaddy suggested calling an intellectual property attorney. I did. The cost would be more than the $200 to release the domain name. It’s almost worth it – just so this guy doesn’t think he can get away with this unethical behavior.  She did however, suggest that she pay him, then take him to small claims court…where she should prevail.

Stay in control…

Always, always, purchase your own domain name and hosting BEFORE you hire a web designer! OR if you nervous about doing it yourself, all the web designer to purchase it for you making sure YOU are the registered name for the domain.  Many of my clients give their credit card number, and I go in to make the purchase. I immediately send them their log-in — not just for the hosting, but after I install WordPress, I send them their site log-in.

You must stay in control of what is yours. What this designer is doing is blackmail…and last I heard, blackmail is against the law.

Have you run into issues with unethical web designers? Share your stories with us in the comment box below.

Eydie :)