Just think about it, you never know who you will meet in an elevator. It might be your next big client or your next big investor. You don’t want to be caught stammering in front of the person who can make or break your business. That is why you should have a solid elevator pitch prepared that you can present in a pinch.
The problem is that unless you get invited to join the person you are pitching to, your elevator pitch would be limited to the time that you are, well, in the elevator. Once the door opens and your target person steps out, you should have already been able to deliver the gist of your pitch by then.
But because of the surprise and the suddenness of the situation, few are actually equipped to take advantage of the situation. That is why you should have a solid elevator pitch prepared that you can present in a pinch.
Always have a prepared elevator pitch when you step out of your home or office. To help you come up with an effective elevator pitch, here are some tips:
Make it short and simple
As said above, you have a very limited time to give your pitch so you probably have about a minute or 2 inutes max to present your case. You do not want to be wasting those precious time prepping your pitch. You want to go direct to the point with the simplest words to explain your case. Do not use heavy words and jargons. Instead of impressing the target, you might just end up trying to explain certain terms that you used which he or she did not understand.
Present a problem and a unique solution
Aside from a brief overview of your company, your pitch should include a problem that is relatable to the target. Given that problem, you can present your product or service as the solution to that problem. Explain the benefits of your solution and its difference from what is being offered by competitors.
Always have your business card ready
If possible you should bring a paper copy of your pitch that you can give to your target so that they can review it after your pitch. But since you would not have those copies with you at all times, you can settle with always having your business card with you at all times. You have to always, I mean ALWAYS, give a copy of your business card to the target before or after the elevator pitch. This way, the target has a quick way to get back to you if he or she finds your pitch interesting.
Creating an effective email campaign is no easy task. After all, email users are pretty hard to please and are usually annoyed when they receive random emails that are promotional in nature, which are what email campaigns are in its very nature.
However, the wide reach of an effective email campaign cannot be ignored. That is why even if we are not good at it we trudge on every week or every month to send those emails.
Maybe it is time to change your approach, here are some tips on how you can improve and succeed in email marketing:
Treat your email subject as a headline
This is the first words that the email recipient will see. This will decide whether your email is opened, ignored, or worse, marked as spam. That is why you want an email that is catchy. You want the reader to be so intrigued that he or she will want to open that email. So think about your email subject. Avoid generic headers and really look for something to grab the readers’ attention.
Apply great graphics
Make sure that you have eye-catching graphics that will highlight what you are offering in your campaigns. People tend to ignore long blocks of texts so do not send emails that are purely text so adding graphics that are easy on the eyes will help you deliver your message more effectively.
Do not Spam
Make sure that you are not misleading in your email campaign. All elements of your email should be in symmetry with each other. This means that what you promised in the header should also be the one in the content. Black hat email marketers usually focus on killer headlines that are not related to the content of their email. It may lead to click at first, but your reputation will be killed in the long run.
Do not send your emails on Mondays and Fridays
What is common between Monday and Friday? They are both connected to weekends. Send your email on Monday and it will come with the deluge of emails employees and entrepreneurs get during Mondays because of unanswered weekend mails. Friday on the other hand is the end of the work week and employees tend to ignore any more email especially if it is not work related. Chances are your email will just get lost among the weekend emails that are sure to come. Best days to send your emails are Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Reviews has always been a part of business success. If people say positive things about your company, it will build up your credibility and chances are, more people will patronize your product or service. But with how dependent people are to the Internet, the importance of reviews has become even bigger.
With information readily available to people at the tip of their fingers, companies with great reviews especially on Google and Yelp, will always have the advantage over their competition. As a result, there are companies who resort to questionable practices like buying reviews or creating multiple accounts to write positive reviews for their companies.
However, the best reviews are always those that are genuine. Besides, there are things you can do to increase your own positive reviews on Google and Yelp. Here are some:
The best way to get people to write reviews about your company is to ask them directly. It is one question so it should not be too hard on you or your staff to ask, and it should not be too annoying for the customer. The worst that could happen is they say no, which would have been the same result if you did not ask in the first place. But what if they say yes? You get a genuine positive review just for asking.
So next time someone tells you something positive about your company (via email, phone, or personal conversation) ask them if they can go to Yelp or Google to write a review.
Make it easy
The problem with leaving reviews is that the customer has to go through a lot of trouble just to leave a positive review. They have to search your Google profile or Yelp account before they can leave a review. You can make it easier by linking your Google Profile and Yelp account on your website, email blasts, and other customer communications.
Include it in your processes
If you make “asking for reviews” a part of your business processes, then it is more likely to increase the number of your reviews. You can instruct your staff to include it on their spiel after serving a happy customer. You can also include it on the last part of your check-out process if you have an e-commerce site. As said on the first tip, the important thing is that you have to ask.
Offer a great product or service and great customer service
None of the tips above will matter if your customers do not have a great experience dealing with your company. If you have a great product or service and you take care of your customers the way they should be treated then the positive reviews should follow.
If you are a professional looking for work, you send in a resume. But if you are an entrepreneur looking to introduce your business, a resume does not seem like an appropriate approach. After all, the resume gives possible employers an overview of an individual and not of an organization.
What you want is something that would provide possible business partners, clients, or investors a short but concise summary of what you are as a company and what you can provide.
For this purpose, instead of a resume, what you need is a business bio. But how do you construct an effective business bio? Here are some tips.
Start off with an overview statement.
Before getting to the nitty gritty of your business, you have to give the reader a short glimpse of who you are as a company. Your first paragraph should be about who you are as a company in a macro level. Give them a general description of the products or service your company offers together, your capability in producing such products or services, and the length at which you have been doing so.
Establish your expertise
After the introduction, you want to prove that your credibility and prove that you are capable of delivering what you promise. Cite major clients that you have worked with. This will show that you have successfully delivered for others in the past. You can also cite media outlets that featured your company. This shows that your business is widely recognized for its expertise.
Highlight your accomplishments
Aside from establishing your credibility, you also want to showcase that you are the best choice. To do this, you want to highlight your past successes. Review your credentials and pick the projects that gave you the most success and the most positive feedback. These are the things that you want to show off in your business bio. This goes with your media features as well. Pick the more popular media bodies that recognized you to focus on. People would care more about something they are familiar with compared to your media mention from a local magazine that no one has ever heard of.
Short for Keep It Short and Simple. You do not want to be sending out multiple page business bios. Busy people will not have the time to read 2-3 pages of self gratifying drivel that could be compared to a boring romance novel. What they want is something short, simple, and direct to the point. No need for heavy words and jargons. In fact, you should stay away from those too. Instead of impressing the reader with your vocabulary, you will just end up confusing them. My tip is to keep it at one page at 2-3 paragraphs. That should be enough to cover all bases.
Competition is fierce in the web. Your website while pretty and engaging will not do any good if you are buried in the rankings of search engines like Yahoo, Bing, and most of all, Google. After all, if you are listed in the 60s to 100s of Google results, chances are that no one will be able to see your website.
Internet users rarely go to the 2nd or 3rd page of search engine results, much less the 10th or 20th. Data also shows that websites on the first page gets the most traffic from search engine users.
The goal is to reach the first page and rank in the top 5. To do that, you have to optimize your pages.
Here’s a short guide:
On-page SEO Strategies
These are actions that you take within the website or webpage itself. The most basic steps in on-page optimizing is to optimize your metas. Make sure that your meta title is keyword centric but still makes sense. The description, though not important in rankings, can help in conversion so make sure that it is highly descriptive and unique.
Next, make sure that your H1s and H2 headers feature your primary keywords. Support those headers with strong and high-quality content.
Last, use alt text to add the primary keyword on your images.
User Experience Strategies
Each page should have an intuitive navigation to make it easy to use. Use a strong header to attract customers. The goal is to keep the customer in the page so you should have strong content as well. Add a click-to-call button at the end to make it easier for the visitor to perform your desired action.
Make sure that you use the appropriate keywords for each webpage of your website. You can use Google’s keyword planner to research the appropriate keywords and see their Monthly Search Volume (MSV). The MSV is the average number of people using those keywords in Google.
Link Building Strategies
First is internal linking. Make sure that the linking of your internal pages are on point. Search engines do not like broken links that point to nowhere. A good internal linking system not only makes it easy for search engines to crawl but also makes it easier for users to navigate your website.
External links, meanwhile, refers to links from outside your website. Google has cracked down on spammy link building so be careful. If you are not sure then it might be better to skip this step. If you are going to proceed, the key is to choose only reputable websites that are related to your own.
You want to start a massive email campaign but do not have the email list to actually start? Well, there are actually a lot of easy ways to grow your email list fast. You do not even have to buy leads from professional lead generation companies. You just got to do what they do.
Here are some examples:
Through a lead gen form:
Offer freebies where to get those, guests would have to fill up a form, which of course includes a space for their email address. Here are some sample freebies
Offer free articles
Write a free e-book, whitepaper, or a weekly newsletter. Create a page where people can sign up and get those for free.
Create something useful for other businesses out there. Of course to get it, they have to sign up a lead gen form which is similar to what is shown above.
Host a webinar:
Have a skill that you think will be of use to other businesses, host a webinar and share those skills to the world. Anybody can join; they just have to sign up with their email.
Through social media
You have a wide reach with your social media accounts, why not use it to get more email addresses.
Promote your led gen projects
Tell the world that you are giving away freebies through your social media accounts. Next thing you know they are getting their freebies through the link you featured.
Promote your own social media project
Host a contest or some other event with prizes on your Facebook account. Of course, to join, they have to leave their email addresses.
Through your email
Your email can also be used to get more email addresses. Here are some tips:
Add a link to your email signature
Use your email to get people to visit your lead gen projects. While you already have the recipient’s email address, he or she can forward your email to other people who can in turn click on your lead gen pages.
Tell your current email list to share
While not everyone will, a percentage of your email list might be nice enough to share your email to their email list or through their social media accounts. There is a chance that nobody does, but it would not really hurt if you ask.
Create excellent content
The best way to get people to give you their email address is through good ol’ fashioned content. Provide good quality content and people will read.
Elements to a Perfect capability statement
Just a few years ago, most people do not even know what a capability statement is. Now, it is one of the most important documents especially if you are going after a government contract.
But what is a capability statement? If reviewed, you will see that it is some kind of a mix between a resume for businesses and a business marketing document. Form its name, you can already gleam that it is to show the capability of the company. It is like a resume in a way because it shows your past experiences and projects that prove your capability to deliver and it is like a marketing document as well because you present it in a way that it showcases your company’s expertise.
But what are the most important elements of a capability statement? There are different takes on that, but most would agree on these:
Your capability statement should be able to highlight what your company can bring to the table. This element should show that you can deliver what you promise. Give an overview of how your company’s expertise can provide a solution to the reader’s problem.
Your past performance will serve as proof on your ability to deliver on your promise. List your major clients and the projects that you have done with them. Describe the goals set by your clients and how you achieved those. Make sure to highlight major achievements to showcase how much your company can achieve when given the trust.
After discussing your past performance to prove your capability, you also want to highlight what makes your company the best choice. You will have competitors who will offer the same expertise as your company so you want to show something that will differentiate you. Highlight what makes your business unique and why you would be the best choice.
Include supporting data that can support your claims as long as they are not confidential. These data should show that you have improved the conditions of your clients compared to before you entered the picture.
Include important contact information on the document. Some people argue that they have already given a business card or that the company already knows how to contact them if needed. While that is true, you want to give the reader a quick way to contact you as soon as they have the document with them. If they find your capability statement interesting, you want them to look at your contact information and consider contacting you as soon as possible.
If Google is the king of search engines, then Facebook is the king of social media. With millions of users worldwide, it gives your business unprecedented access to a lot of potential customers. If you really want to maximize Facebook for your business, the best way is to take the paid route.
However, even if you do not want to do that, there are still some ways that you can increase exposure for your business through Facebook.
Here are some tips:
The best way to get traffic from Facebook is to be active on Facebook. Posting everyday would help but that is not enough. It will help if you can build a relationship with your fans by answering on the comments section. Daily posts don’t even have to be about your business all the time, you can post amusing memes, helpful tips, and inspiring quotes that people can comment on, share, or like. The point is that it is called social media for a reason. You have to be social
Do not focus on your page alone
As said, you have to be social in social media and it is not all about you. You can also stay active by liking and commenting on posts from other pages. You can share posts from other pages as well. This way, you are also creating a relationship with other people on the page. By sharing other people’s posts like blogs and other links, you are showing your appreciation for their work. And social media is also about reciprocating. When you do post something on Facebook, expect a lot of these people to share your posts as well.
Customize your Facebook page
Dress up your Facebook profile by providing the right information that you think your target audience would like to know. You should also choose the right Facebook profile photo (the smaller one) and cover photo (the big one). Make sure that it is appropriate and that it represents who your company is currently. Update your profile picture and cover picture from time to time as well. Make sure that your information on the page is always accurate as well.
Join related groups
A broader scale of the second tip, joining groups that are in the same niche as your business can really expand your reach in Facebook. Aside from interactions with other businesses, you are also exposing your business to their followers as well.
As an entrepreneur, there is a lot of pressure to succeed. Sometimes it can get overwhelming especially when you think about the scope of what you need to achieve to reach success. It sometimes feel like the goal is too far.
My tip is to look forward to the future while taking it a day at a time. While that kind of sounds contradictory, it really does not. What you can do really is to manage your day-to-day activities based on what you want to achieve in the future. This way, you are not overwhelmed by the scope of what you want to achieve but is still moving towards it day-to-day.
Here are 7 activities you can do every Day for your business
Review your big goals
As said, you should look forward to the future. But be specific about it. What is your target profit each for the year? Would you like to expand your business and open in other locations in, say, 5 years? You have to be clear on where your company is headed to because a lot of the other activities you do will be based on that.
Divide to small goals
Once you know your big goals, you should divide that to smaller and more manageable goals. Rather than focusing on your ultimate goal, now you have to come up with action steps that you and your company should take towards your big goals. These are actions with a far more immediate effect to your short term goals but are still working towards your big goals.
Review your past actions
You have taken actionable steps to achieve your big goals, but did those steps actually take you closer to your ultimate goal or do you feel that you are off the course. If you feel that your actions did not really move the needle or if it is not taking you closer to what you want to achieve, then maybe you need to make changes especially on your small goals and your actionable steps
Review your systems and processes
The way you conduct your business has a big effect on how soon you can achieve your big goals. The more efficient your business systems and processes are, the more you can achieve. For me, I always look at ways to automate certain business processes without sacrificing too many resources. My take is that automation not only makes your operations easier, it also reduces the possibilities of human errors.
Networking is not always about getting dressed up for an event while exchanging business cards with other business people. Just make it part of your life. When you meet other people, find opportunities to introduce your company. You never know who you will meet next. It might be a possible client or a potential business partner.
Learn one new thing
The Internet is rife with information and you can learn something new everyday that can help your business. Watch podcasts, read online resources, join forums, or simply talk to other business owners.
Plan for tomorrow
Write down the things that you want to be able to accomplish the next day. By doing this, you are not only setting goals for your self the next day, but you are also de-cluttering your mind of needless worries. By knowing what you need to do the next day, you can sleep more peacefully tonight.
In today’s business world, not having a website can be considered as business suicide. You just can’t expect to stay competitive with other companies if you do not have your own website. With more than 80 percent of the population having access to the Internet, a company is more valuable than ever.
But having a website is just the beginning. Having one will not ensure success because the competition is very fierce. What you want is to be able to drive traffic to your website and get them to stay there until they do what you want them to do, which is either to buy or sign up for something.
Whatever your goal is in creating a website, here are the elements that need to be present for it to be successful.
Your website needs to show the visitor what is being offered. Is it information? Is it a product or service? Whatever it is, your website needs to be able to properly communicate to the visitor what it is. If the content of your website are just a bunch of words that do not make any sense to the visitor, he or she will just leave the page altogether. Remember that it just takes an average of 8 seconds for you to either get the visitor’s attention or lose it. Make sure that your content is set to the former.
Links to Social Media
Everything today is driven to social media. That is why you have to have content that is highly shareable. However, having good content is just one element. You have to make it easier for customers to share that content. That is why it is important for your pages to feature social media buttons that will make it easier for customers to like and share your content.
Make sure that your website is easy to navigate. You want to be able to organize your pages so that it would be easy for a visitor to get the information he or she needs. Make sure that your anchor texts and internal linking system are working to a tee.
Call To Action’s
Base your Call to Action buttons on the goal that your webpage wants to achieve. If they want to buy, create a button that will not only entice visitors to buy but to also be able to do it easily. A simple “Buy Now” button that automatically directs the customer to the shopping cart should do the trick.
There should always be an easy way to get the contact info of your company. This gives your company an air of credibility and should assure visitors that if something went wrong, they know where to find your company.
Internet users love videos and it is easier to digest than long and winding text. Feature a video that is useful to your customers like demo videos.
Original Hero Images
If you are going to use images, use original images and don’t depend on stock Internet photos. If possible, use your own images. Do not forget to add alt text on those images that feature the target keywords of that page.
This is a trust indicator. This shows visitors that their fellow consumers are satisfied with your product or service.
Showcase Awards & Certifications
Another trust indicator, this one shows that credible award-giving bodies have recognized your company as one of the best in the industry.