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are you listening to your audience?

Do you monitor what people are saying about your industry online? Do you use that information to your benefit?

are you listening to your audience?

Social listening (also called media monitoring) is about spending time online and on social platforms to see what’s being said about areas that have to do with your industry.

Follow other businesses that are similar to yours. Keep up with industry-specific hashtags, as well as trending topics to see what people are talking about. Listen to what your own contacts are talking about. Offer helpful advice to challenges they are facing. Then, work these topics in to your marketing strategies.

Here’s an example of someone who mastered social listening:

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online presence

This workshop is designed with you in mind. Just when it seems that we’ve figured out things to know about building the online presence of our businesses, there’s something else to learn.

Erin Sweeney Design will be on hand to explain why it is important to not only have a website that will impress your target audience, but one that is functional and allows for easy navigation. It also needs to be optimized so you get the most exposure.

The presentation portion of the workshop will give an easy-to-understand overview of search engine optimization (seo) and how your online activities affect how easy it is for your audience to find you.

We will touch upon website content, social media platforms, online search sites (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) and email newsletters – all the many tools that a small business owner can use to “Get Found”.

You may know, I describe myself as a “connector”. I think that I’ve found that sweet spot where I can patiently partner with small business owners to claim and build their online presence.

Bring your questions – Bring your ideas – Bring your curious mind.

Thursday, October 22
9:30-11:30
HarborOne U, Mansfield

There is no charge for this workshop.

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Reserve your seat or send questions to: susan@susanfinnonline.com

make the most of your networking groups

One of the most common pieces of wisdom more experienced business people will share is that business networking is the quickest and most effective way to successfully growing your business. It is commonly stated and widely accepted that “people will do business with other people they know long before they’ll do business with people they […]

Each year, HubSpot sponsors 4 days of truly inspiring events to over 10,000 inspired marketers from every industry. The conference offers over 170 educational sessions along with five pretty incredible keynote speakers. To my good fortune, the conference is held right here in Boston. I packed up my computer and a notebook, hopped on the MBTA and spent the second week of September at the Boston Convention and Event Center in beautiful Seaport.

Before I post my notes, you actually might be wondering what, exactly IS inbound marketing?

HubSpot describes Inbound Marketing: Sharing is caring and inbound is about creating and sharing content with the world. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more. By publishing the right content in the right place at the right time, your marketing becomes relevant and helpful to your customers, not interruptive. Now that’s marketing people can love.

what is inbound marketing

HubSpot illustrates Inbound Marketing

I ended up with pages and pages of great takeaways – Seriously – I could talk about this for days – so if you have some time, and want to hear more, give me a call – We can set up a time to chat.  But since less is more…. I have carved my list down to

My 9 Best Takeaways from Inbound15

 

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Reputation

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”  ~ Warren Buffett

You may or may not have visited my website enough to figure out that I have a new quote that is scheduled to post every week.  These are quotes that have inspired me or intrigued me or just ring true.  This particular quote kept ringing in my head this week.  You see, I consider myself a very patient and considerate person in my business as well as in my personal life. Generally, people treat me in kind. Last week I had a blip on my screen. Read more

Empowering Entrepreneurs

Empowering Entrepreneurs

Here are this month’s picks of helpful articles for empowering entrepreneurs.

1: Plan Your Way to Success

plan-for-successYou’ve probably heard the cliché that failing to plan is planning to fail. You can always change your plan, but you have to start somewhere. Having a plan allows you to better manage the choices you have. Do you know that the average worker only spends 35% of an 8-hour workday on productive work? The rest of the time is spent on any number of self-sabotaging things that keep us from being productive, such as looking for something needed, handling interruptions, searching the Internet, and reading email. Learn more from Tamara Myles Consulting.

2: 9 Habits for Optimal Brain Power – Key lifestyle and nutrition habits to keep your head in the game

entrepreneur powerRunning a business requires mental energy and stamina. Long multi-tasking days and critical decision-making skills are integral to maintaining your success. In order to meet these demands, you need to protect and preserve the integrity of your brain. Read these 9 important tips on Inc.com.

3: Make the Most of your Local Business Networking Group.

networkingOne of the most common pieces of wisdom more experienced business people will share is that business networking is the quickest and most effective way to successfully growing your business. It is commonly stated and widely accepted that “people will do business with other people they know long before they’ll do business with people they find through an advertisement”.  It’s the Know ~ Like ~ Trust concept.   Read more.

4: Get Over Being Shy and Embrace Talking to People You Don’t Know

shyIf you are introverted at heart, that doesn’t mean you have to be shy. The two are quite different, and realizing that shyness is a habit that can be broken is a big first step in understanding that you can develop social skills. As much as everyone hates small talk, it’s a necessary part of social interaction. For shy people, it can also be really helpful for getting used to that interaction—like practice for the real thing. Read more on Lifehacker.

It is my intent that you will find these articles about empowering entrepreneurs useful. Visit my Scoop.it page to view over 100 articles on this very same topic. You may also enjoy the articles I am recommending this month on the topic of Increasing Online Presence through Content Marketing.  I look forward to sharing new pieces with you every month.

I would love to hear from you on any of these topics.  I hope you will contact me with your thoughts and comments.

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I recently sat in on a presentation by Dana D’Orsi, business & lifestyle coach, motivational speaker and the creator of The Savvy Success System™.  She gave us so much to think about in while speaking about “Yuck-Free Marketing”.

My main takeaway?  “You are in the business of marketing your business”.  She told us that right now, there are people who need us.  It is our duty to help them find us! Therefore, marketing is not what you do to sell your goods or services, it’s something you do FOR your potential clients.

This made me think harder about how much I believe that becoming the resource is THE KEY for increasing social media success. We will want to be constantly be on the lookout for great pieces to share that relate to our area of expertise.  We want to have a way to let people know that when they have a question about anything in our realm of interest, we would have some information to share with them that might help.

I recently read an article on one of MY favorite resources, Copyblogger.  The article,  30 Ways to Build the “Know, Like and Trust” Factor that Grows an Audience shares 10 ways to get known online, 10 ways to build likeability online, and 10 factors that build trust with your audience.

My favorite takeaways from this article:

Get Known:

  • Once you’ve identified who your audience will be (buyer persona), make sure to use content and engagement to position yourself as the authority in your niche
  • Build relationships with key influencers
  • Consider guest blogging

Build Likeability:

  • Be authentic and real with your unique voice
  • Become involved in two-way conversation
  • Share content and promote others.

Build Trust:

  • Be consistently relevant and good
  • Incorporate testimonials
  • Give away a free taste of some of our best stuff

When everything else is equal, people will do business with someone who they

These kinds of results do not come quickly, nor do they come easily for most. We need to make sure that we are consistently providing value, positioning ourselves as THE GO TO.

I would like to share that I have found it so much easier and more enjoyable to market my self since I changed my outlook.  I am certain that the services I provide ARE what small, local businesses are looking for.  I have decided that I will NOT treat all of my clients the same, but will partner with each one separately to provide unique and individual care tailored to their own needs.  Once I made that commitment to myself and to my clients, everything else has become so much more enjoyable and effective.

I challenge you to do the same.  Become the Resource.  There ARE people out there looking for YOU.

Wikipedia tell us that Job Satisfaction has been defined in many different ways. Some believe it is simply how content an individual is with his or her job, in other words, whether or not they like the job or individual aspects or facets of jobs, such as nature of work or supervision.

job satisfaction

Here is a follow-up to a blog I posted last month, Our Many Incarnations, which had been written  in response to an article that reported that the majority of baby boomers have held 10 or more jobs by the time they reach the age 46. I asked folks to take a survey to let us all know about their jobs journey.  I asked about past and present jobs, favorites and least favorites, and job satisfaction.  Here was my response to the participants’ involvement in this survey.

Fascinated! I am incredibly fascinated by the many paths we take in our journeys.

Grateful! I am incredibly grateful that folks were so very generous in sharing their experiences, comments, thoughts and feelings.

Overwhelmed!  I was overwhelmed as to how to make sense of the information in any way as a coherent blog, so I decided to present it in this bulleted list form.

Here is a brief summary of what I learned about our jobs journeys. Read more

suggested reads for empowering entrepreneurs

Here are this month’s picks of helpful articles for empowering entrepreneurs.

1. 6 Reasons Why Authenticity is the Key to Success

authenticityAuthenticity means not acting like someone else, voicing your own truths. Don’t be pressured into decisions or judgments by outside influences. Trust your heart & gut instinct.
Read more on Addicted2Success. Read more

suggested reads for empowering entrepreneurs

Here are this month’s picks of helpful articles for empowering entrepreneurs.

1. The 3 Ways Entrepreneurs Fail at Personal Branding

personal branding mistakes - entrepreneursA strong personal brand will help your business, but it’s not always easy to do. Avoid these three mistakes to help ensure others know what you can contribute, and help pull you ahead of the competition.
Read more on Entrepreneur.

Read more

I had a lovely chat with Gina over coffee this morning. Gina and I are of similar mindset. We both have a passion for helping small businesses grow by providing those administrative services around their websites and social media presence that most small business owners do not have the time to do. Each of us has come to our area of expertise via varied paths and a number of incarnations.

It seemed fitting, then, after our conversation this morning, that on my way home from the coffee shop, I listened to a wonderful piece running on NPR by Kelly McEvers. Workers Should Be Prepared to Start Over in New Jobs. 

Baby boomers have held 10 to 11 jobs  by the time they reach age 46.

Baby boomers have held 10 to 11 jobs by the time they reach age 46.

Kelly had asked folks to list off some of the jobs they’ve had in their lifetime. It was evident that most of us have held many – and varied – jobs in our lifetime.  It is also evident that the folks who are willing to learn new skills, open themselves up to new experiences and make connections are the folks who will best adapt in times of economic challenges.

I am often inspired by the members and friends of the Women’s Business Network of SE MA.  So many of the amazing women in this group have re-incarnated themselves a number of times over. Many of them have left very comfortable and lucrative corporate positions in order to increase their job satisfaction. During a recent group activity, the question was posed: “Would you take a million dollars and be told you could never work in your current field again?” The woman to my left had a very strong reaction to that question. “Never”, she answered, “Aligning my passion with my business has been priceless. I can’t think of anything else I would ever want to do.”

I am reading similar stories on a blog I recently started to follow: “Career 2.0” by Amanda Orr and Lisa O’Donoghue-Lindy. Here, they share stories of women facing adversity, facing huge life changes, following their passion, helping others, and so much more.  Once again, and over and over again, I am awed by the power of women. I am awed by their ability to adapt, to support each other’s growth, to understand the value of education, networking and continuing growth.

All of this made me think about all of the jobs I have held in my lifetime (so far)

  • babysitter
  • counter help jobs (pharmacy, health-food shop)
  • visiting artists coordinator
  • dietary aide at a nursing home
  • lab tech for high pressure liquid chromatography components
  • lab tech, supervisor and quality control manager at a dairy plant
  • water testing technician – home water filtration systems
  • MOM
  • discovery toys consultant
  • nutritional analysis labeling consultant
  • personal advocate for a disabled person
  • science program coordinator at a local children’s museum
  • custom tote-bag designer
  • memory quilt designer
  • birthday party consultant
  • personal administrative assistant – realtor
  • owner – susan finn online – helping small businesses with their online presence.

I am ever so curious….  What jobs have you held in your lifetime?  Which were your favorite? Your least favorite? Which one gave you opportunity for the most growth?

Please leave your comments below or take my 8-Question Survey.  

Results will be published in a future blog.