When growing a business, you need to streamline everything from your automated systems to the amount of information you receive from outside sources. When our inbox, news feed, notifications, smartphone, tablet, and computer are littered with unnecessary information and out-of-date apps or programs, it is time to purge.
Do you really need the distractions and time suckers?
Delete those apps you no longer use. They are taking up space in your memory and your mind. By seeing them all the time when you no longer use them, they turn into the same thing as Spam - nothing but garbage. Clean it all up, make it easier to navigate and put them in an order that saves time and energy. If you find you need it later, you can always download it again.
Shifting from working in an office to working from home, remotely, is an adjustment. Some people transition easily while others struggle to find a balance. Can you handle working alone? Do you need interaction from others throughout the day? How will you work when the housework is calling from the other room?
You Do It!
With more and more work done remotely or with virtual contract employees, are you prepared for this change in the corporate climate? Do you have an Outstanding Virtual Presence?
The ability to stay in control of your business by having a professional, inclusive, and effective virtual presence provides key leadership to your virtual team members. Whether you are hiring a contract employee or you are that contract employee, having a clear set of standards and expectations will serve both of you in the long run.
I am proud of the work I do, the skills I have, and how I help others reach their goals.
Getting my business to this point - to where I am comfortable with the skill sets I have and how I can share those with others - has been a journey. It's been self-discovery and confidence building, with technical knowledge and trial and error thrown in for good measure.
As I continue to grow my business and evolve, I further define the work I love to do, that which I can do without, and where my vision and heart live. It's not all about putting in tons and tons of hours each day, but rather fine-tuning my skills to maximize my time and energy. Taking the time for personal development and surrounding myself with like-minded entrepreneurs and soul searchers moves me to work towards new goals and keeps me in the trenches of doing the work.
We have all seen those ads for a product that just seems to miss the mark and flops. Why does that happen? Why do some ideas grow while others, that on the surface seem good, fail miserably?
It is vital to the success of your business/your product to research your intended audience. What are they looking for? How does your offer meet their need(s)? Do you offer solutions to a problem? Are you targeting the right audience?
Taking the time to complete market research provides the information necessary to create products and offers with the highest success rate. You don't want to take the time to create an offer and launch it to find out you missed the mark. Make the most of your time and efforts.
It is interesting to track what trends have arisen in the employment world. If we look at the CareerBuilder image summarizing the Harris Poll national survey results for 2017, you can see that 51% of the positions employers are adding are anticipated to be temporary or contract.
In the Virtual Assistant world, this is nothing but a positive for those of us looking to grow our experience and levels of aptitude. Reaching out to companies looking to further their goals through flexibility of contractors is a way to build a portfolio and make a VA more well rounded, and have the ability to streamline processes.
Achieving your goals takes commitment and planning. If you fail to plan accordingly, you will unfortunately flop. Set SMART (Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Timely) Goals for yourself. By doing so, you will make it possible to reach your Ultimate Goal just one step at a time. By breaking it down into pieces that you can achieve, you allow your goals to grow systematically. Just like the pyramids, you build your dreams one brick at a time. Each SMART Goal is a building block.
What is a SMART Goal?
Way to Go! You are getting new clients and need to get them on board and running up to speed as quickly as possible. However, you find yourself stumbling over the entire process which in turn diminishes your level of expertise. Getting new clients up to speed effectively and efficiently is key to better time management in a professional atmosphere. Don't leave those people excited to get going stuck in a vicious cycle of asking for more and more pieces of info that could've been gathered all at once in the beginning.
Create an On-Boarding Workbook
Whether you want to admit it or not, once you connect with someone in person, your business card becomes your calling card – the image/note that triggers a receiver’s memory of you.
What does your card say about you? Do you even have one?
If you don’t have one, you NEED one. Yes, NEED! When you network and connect with someone new, how else will they stay connected with you? It is your responsibility to make sure they have the means to reach you, by the most convenient methods, while giving them some eye candy.
Your business card serves as the first line of marketing. How do you market yourself and/or your business?
Are you bland and just run-of-the-mill when it comes to the info on your business card? Is your business card an usual shape and size that you believe is what makes you stand out?
Well, there are always two sides to every coin. Unique cards that stand out are great eye candy, but that round business card or extra tiny card doesn’t necessarily fit in card holders or folios. Be mindful of how the receiver will store your card. Will it be convenient or get lost as a result of being too unique?
Make the information relevant, not overbearing. You don’t need to include every stitch of info about you and/or your business. Make sure everything there is relevant and necessary. White space can be your friend in making information easily accessible. Trying to find a number or email address in a sea of other information can be a waste of time. Considering the number of business cards you can accumulate at a networking event, it doesn’t take much to cast one off when there are 20 more to take its place. Making your card impressive and useful is KEY to the success of having such a quick, simple marketing tool.
Is there a unique identifier to make sure you are the one who stands out in the sea of cards?
Does it maybe include your picture, a call to action, or give a quick solution to a problem? If so, great. Does it support your elevator pitch? Even better. Having it support what you share about your business is key to tying it all together. You want it to be a building block to build your business, your relationship, with potential new clients. It also provides them all the means to reach you and obtain the most information about you and your business.
Allow the white space to serve a purpose. It gives new connections a place to take note of where they met you, something that stood out to them, or to help them remember you. Having a glossy card is basically commonplace now, but having the back matte can offer an easier writing surface. Not spelling everything out by going into massive detail on both front and back can give new connections the chance to write what mattered to them. Not everyone considers the same information important.
Spending the money on a business card is an expense you CANNOT afford to forego.
You don’t need to spend a fortune to provide your potential clients with a card that can WOW them. There are many companies who
provide inexpensive business cards that you can select the card stock, fonts and colors. So, take advantage of first-time customer specials with companies such as Vistaprint, Moo, or even Staples or OfficeMax. Having a polished, professional business card can make the difference between landing that next client or not.
Don’t skimp. Make the most of this simple, expected marketing piece in your Networking B.O.B!
Lately, I have read and witnessed strong discussion on the value of elevator pitches/speeches. While they can be overused; spewed; and hurt businesses in some instances, I do think they have a place in the marketing of your business. It is all in the delivery, both how and when.
Do you have one? Do you know what it is? Do you spew when you shouldn’t? All valid questions you should take the time to answer and then implement your new found knowledge. An elevator speech has a place in building your business, your brand.
What is it?
The purpose of an elevator speech is to build excitement and anticipation around your brand/your business. It is not just a method to avoid those awkward moments when you don’t know what to say or how to approach someone. It is more of a response to an open-ended question about what you do and how you help others. It should be a form of sharing, not pitching. Therefore, I don’t call them pitches, but rather speeches.
Do you spew when you shouldn’t?
Elevator speeches are for when you are introducing people to your business, not for when someone already knows what you do and how you do it. It is not a means to build upon an existing relationship, but rather open the possibility of building new relationships. You wouldn’t approach someone you’ve worked with or someone who has been present since you started your business with your elevator pitch unless they are helping you perfect it.
Networking events are great to share and perfect your elevator speech, but at the same time, can be overused and repetitive. When there is a room full of people all doing the same thing, you need to stand out. What about your elevator speech makes you unique? Depending upon the circumstances of the interaction, it may be worthwhile to specialize your message based upon the venue.
The goal is to motivate people to learn more about your business or choose to work with you. It is not to just throw a bunch of useless statements to your audience without a clear message or intent for the listener. You want to provide detail, but also answer questions, and leave the listener looking for more, or increasing their interest. You should explain how your business meets a need with concrete action steps and results.
Confidence is Key to Successful Delivery!
Having a solid elevator speech is great, but the success is in the delivery. If you aren’t confident about your message or comfortable sharing it, you will flop. The goal is to own your speech and truly believe in your message.
You should know your speech inside and out. There should be no doubt about what you are saying or the words you use to deliver the message. This quick blurb doesn’t offer the time or recourse for “Ummm” or stuttering. You should be able to recite it forward, backward, or be able to pick up at any point therein. Someone may interrupt your delivery. You want to be able to pick up and continue the value you are providing. You might have to adjust your overall delivery based upon what types of questions the listener asks. Maybe they want more detail or information on a specific project or task you complete. You need to be prepared to expand upon your information. When someone asks for more detail, then your elevator speech worked – AWESOME!
You wouldn’t be where you are unless you were excited and invested in yourself, your business – let that shine through when you talk about it. Be confident that you are delivering a product or service that matters and is valuable. By showing that you value yourself, you show others that they should value you as well.
How Do I Build My Elevator Speech?
Identify Your Goal
What do you want people to take away from you? Do you want to pitch an idea or product, or simply explain your business?
Explain What You Do
What solutions does your business or service offer? Remember to focus on what you want the listener to remember about you and your business. You want to portray that goal with excitement and positive energy.
Communicate Your Unique Offer
Why should someone consider working with you or opting to learn more about a service or product you offer? What makes it unique and intriguing.
Engage the Listener with a Question
End your speech with a question that leaves the listener looking for more information. Make it an open-ended question that leads to further interaction. Just be sure you can answer any questions thoughtfully and with relevant info.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Once you feel comfortable with the elevator speech you’ve created, the next step is to perfect your delivery. The written word is great, but if you can’t deliver it with confidence and enthusiasm, then it will flop. You need to practice it, know it and be able to effectively use it and expand upon it. So, connect with your accountability partner, mentor, coach, significant other, bff, family or Me to work out all the kinks and own it. Make it part of you, part of what makes your business STAND OUT from the rest.
Use the mini-workbook to work through the process and if you need more guidance or want further direction, reach out to me!