The Secret to Market Research-How to Find Your Killer Niche!

thinkingThis is where it all starts! The idea, the thought of going into business of your own. What are you going to promote or sell? Well if you already have an idea, that’s good. But if not-that’s okay too. Because with market research or niche marketing, I’m going to show you the secret of finding a unique brand or niche-to promote online with enormous success. Here’s how it works:
What Is A Niche?
A niche is define as a situation in which a business’s products or services can succeed by being sold to a particular kind or group of people. In other words it zero’s in to a specific group, making them special or exclusive. Weight Loss is a broad category for example, tremendous competition to compete with others. But if you can narrow it down to a special group or situation maybe like weight loss for post-pregnant women or overweight children under 12, then that becomes a niche under that broad category. And that idea will be your keyword and part of your website URL.
A killer niche is something really unique, something nobody has thought of-but you!
Market Research
Market research, or niche marketing, is simply a process of collection and analysis of data to find what people are looking for. What do everyday people want? How to create a new market, something different.
Where Do I Start?
Start by asking yourself: What is something you know about well? Something that you are passionate about? This is where you are going to start searching for keywords.
Yes the one key is keywords. The other is the competition. You don’t want to have to compete with a million other websites of your niche, and you certainly don’t want to have to compete with the “big dogs” either! So what are you going to do? Here are 4 methods that will aid you in an effective market research, to where you can find that one unique niche.
Google Ad-words
It use to be that one way of doing market research was just starting an Google Ad-word campaign with pay-per-click(PPC), and you would be able to determine what keywords is getting you good traffic, providing of course that your campaign was a successful one. With Google Ad-word you’re having to pay every time someone clicks on your ad. But the Internet is always changing and things isn’t what it use to be years ago. Now there’s a way to perform market research that is free!
Keyword Search
Once you have an idea of what your potential niche is going to be, then just do a simple keyword search. One tool you can use is Google Keyword Tool, which is a free tool. Just sign-in enter a keyword and it will show you a list of other keywords you can use depending on two things: The number of search, and the competition. You want the search volume to be high, but the competition to be very low. Once you locate a keyword with more than 1,000 searches per month or more, and at the same time the competition is at its lowest-then you may have discovered what I call a “potential website keyword.” In other words, a potential niche that you center an entire website around! But more on that later.
Amazon Bestsellers
Another market research strategy is the use of Amazon.com. Amazon has emerge to one of the biggest places online where you can find what people are looking for when it comes to information. So just go to the books section in Amazon, select a category, then select at the top the word “Bestseller.” Now you have an idea of what people are interested in. Take notice of something that you can use as a niche to promote as a product, service, or information to sell online. Now your potential niche becomes a keyword to do a keyword search as described above.
Trends.
What are the current trends? What are people talking or asking questions about? Trends can be an effective market researching strategy as well, if you can get an idea on what’s the next hot thing that people are going to want to get their hands on. Just remember, the Xbox, the iPod, and the Mac-book, as an example, were all just a trend at one time. Once you get an idea, again, do your keyword search. The best way to keep up with trends are websites like http://blogpulse.com/trend or http://google.com/trends. At http://boardtracker.com you can follow what people are talking about and  http://technorati.com keeps up with the latest technology in electronics.

Building A Site
Before you launch your site though, it’s important that you make your keyword part of your domain name. In other words you are going to build your whole brand around that one “killer” keyword, due to good research marketing. You can use your site to either sell a product, services, or information? Whatever you decide, I would suggest that you create a blog with your site and off-the-bat, write 3-5 articles on your niche-using your main keyword and start driving traffic to your new site.

Even though market research takes time and effort, it is all well-spent, because sometimes you may be surprise as to what you will decide on a niche. So get busy and go find your “killer” niche now, and be sure to leave a comment below please!

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Your Business and Social Media Advertising

In this modern competitive world of marketing, there are many ways to reach and engage customers. The “organic” way businesses advertise their products or services is the traditional methods that’s been used for centuries. Then there’s the method of targeting potential customers online with the help of social media and social networking tools. There are several reasons why to use social media to increase your business and improve your client base. Here are 5 ways in which your business can join the modern world of social media advertising.

Method Of Advertising has Changed
Businesses who use to depend much on the Yellow Page and newspaper classified ads are now finding that it doesn’t seem to be as effective as it did once before. The reason for this is because people read much of the news online and if they are in need for anything to purchase, they’ll just “google” it. Now even large industries are focusing on budgeting a large amount of their marketing expense to make their presence on social media.

Using Social Media to Find Potential Customers
A good fisherman knows where to look in order find the fish, as well as what bait to use. He goes where the fish is! Your business needs to know where to find their potential customers or client. Since millions of people now spends a lot of time on the net-on social media, you need to be where the people are- and that’s online. For example, 1.4 billion people are on Facebook and that’s just one social media channel. So learning how to leverage social media to reach potential customers is like finding that spot where all the fish are. It can certainly prove to be advertising that works.

Being More Sociable
Businesses, corporations, and industries are now learning that just throwing a good sales pitch in front of people may not be enough. The rules are different now on the net. With social media is all about engagement and mastering the art of interaction. Companies are even hiring or outsourcing social media managers to do just that-engage with potential clients. So because of social media, businesses are learning how to be more sociable, more conversational, in retrospect to “cold advertising,” and to many that’s a good thing.

Keep Up With the Competition
There’s no doubt that your competitors have already leverage the use of social media for their own advertising campaign. So to keep one step ahead of the competition is a good reason why a business would want to seriously consider using social media to promote their goods or services. There are so many tools, free and paid, that helps any business keep tabs on what the other guy is doing and how to adjust their advertising campaign accordingly.

Having a Social Networking Presence 
With millions of people searching online everyday using search engines-Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others, it’s not only a matter of how to find people online, but how they can find you. A strong social networking presence can include the following tools:

• A website (Learn how to optimize to drive traffic to your site)
• A blog (A good blog shares content that can draw traffic)
• Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Google+,Youtube, Linkedin, Foursquare, etc)
• Google Maps (Put your business on the map)

Advertising That Works!
Getting your small business one stage further, demands a new influx of promoting attempts you may not previously experimented with before. Social media marketing could very easily be this new wave that you are looking for. Whether you learn for yourself or hire a Social Media Manager-either way you will find accomplishment within your new advertising and marketing endeavors. You will  discover that it truly is advertising that works!

 

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How to Leverage Pinterest to Increase Business Sales

PinterestIt has become one of the fastest growing social media platform and one of the most popular in usage online to promote personal ideas or products to sale. Since E-commerce has been around for years and the number of online businesses is still growing rampantly, businesses or store owners tend to influence the social media idea as an avenue to grow their sales. Inclusion to these are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Among these social media platforms, it is Pinterest that raises virtual interest the most among online users, making it the “new kid on the block.”
Whether you want to increase your daily, special, or holiday sales, Pinterest can help you attain the upper hand. Depending on your marketing scheme, your sales can skyrocket from its baseline. This is made possible because Pinterest is inclined towards company’s products that combines both the ideas of vivid images of magazines and best deals of catalogs of some sort.
Before you promote your business or store, you need to probe a bit deeper on Pinterest. Nevertheless, there are ways that business owners need to undertake to jump-start their way to success.

Run a Test
One of the best things that you can do for your business is to invest time and resources in Pinterest. Simply open up an account and start building a following by following others-especially those similar to your niche. Then observe how others use Pinterest to promote. You will notice “Boards” and “Pins.” Boards are like your category and the pins are your post. Some have multiple categories, but you can be very effective with just one.
Here are some interesting facts about Pinterest.
• Pinterest users: 70 million

• Page views: with an average of 2.5 billion views per month

• Frequency of use: ranks 4th for most-used social media platform

• Average time spent by Pinterest users: 98 minutes/month

• Average amount per order: $140 and $180

The digits appear to be favorable, but letting the platform work in your favor is a formidable challenge. Just for a fact, you have to conceptualize your plans efficiently and competitively because your competitors are doing the same thing. Include in your strategy the identification of popular pins. You can do this by using a Pinterest analytic program like tailwindapp.com -a paid site that can help you track popular pins, followers, likes, and many more.

Work on Striking Visual Content
If you are geared towards marketing, you can make use of stunning images in Pinterest. Just for a fact, people love wonderful pictures as it can express a lot more than words can tell. When people get enthusiastic about your pin, users can re-pin it resulting to spread of your content.
You might be in an enigma of what kind of images can capture the hearts of the users. Of course, the bottom line here is that it should appear pleasing and worth the time. Earthy colors and reds can mesmerize your audience while a full background can give them a whole picture of what you want to portray.

Rich Product Pins
Pinterest Screen-shotDo not forget to change your pins into rich product pins. It comes in six types: app, article, movie, place, product, and recipe. It adds extra information and help the pin itself stands out from the others. With the rich product pins around, Pinterest had also came up with a rich pin validator. It is made for e-commerce sites to safeguard against fraudster. At this point, information is always updated because it is link to site.

Good Advertiser
Just like any other ads, Pinterest is also keen towards high standards. If you want your advertisement to get noticed and appreciated, you just have to follow the basic advertising principles. According to Pinterest, these include being authentic, promoting your best pins, and obeying applicable laws and regulations. When these are met and with some homework, everything else will fall as you want it to be.

Coupons
Take your daily sales an extra mile by giving coupons to your valuable consumers. Remember, people want to spend their hard-earned money wisely, so it is up to you to give them a hand by virtue of your promos and great deals. Your coupons pinned in Pinterest may contain discount, free product or service, or anything that will greatly benefit your customer.

Fiery Competition, New Approach!
Marketing scheme is not just all about the ideas. With the rise of Internet and other social networks like Pinterest, there now comes a need to employ a photographic approach to reach the desired sales of every company despite the heated competition.

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Tips on Marketing Local Businesses With Social Media

Social Media for Business

 

social media for businessBusiness oftentimes is a local competition. Especially if it’s a brick and mortar storefront and you want to promote it locally online. To get into the game, you have to ride the craze in reaching out your prospect consumers. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of options to choose from— paid advertisement and social media.
In every marketing strategy, budget has always been the primary consideration. Paid advertising can be effective, but it can cost you an arm and a leg. Moreover, there is a loophole in this scheme. The impression that you will make on your prospect consumers will depend on how you formulate the plan and execute it. This goes the same with social media marketing, but on the contrary, it is not expensive as paid advertisement. Despite the difference in digits, it can also render you promising results.
Social Media in Action
No matter what your purpose is— brand awareness, online reputation management, website traffic, or communication with your audiences, social media always has a room to cater these needs. With your goal right before your eyes, your approach to social media will depend accordingly. Here are 6 tips to market local businesses with social media!
• Devise a social marketing plan. Given that you have analyzed your target audience and your competitors, it is about time to carefully think of a plan that will blow away your rivals. In this part, consider coming up with content ideas that will interest your audience such as tips on using your products and great deals.
• Go for quality instead of quantity. There is no use in posting many articles online if it is just fluffy. Always remember that people want to read something valuable and worth of their time. For example, if you are promoting food supplements, write articles that relate to your subject like its benefits to the user.
• Maintain an open communication. Technology paved way to what kind of communication the people have today. With this advancement, it is easier for businesses to get in touch with their audience. For instance, people can exchange or share thoughts on Facebook or Twitter. As this continuous, it creates a dynamic and lively environment for people to interact. Hence, it improves customer relationship.
• Social Media Platforms. Facebook and Twitter are just some of the popular social media platforms where people interact. Despite its orientation towards online interaction, you can also take advantage of advertising your products or company as its reach is multitude. Just make it a point that you will not solely use the platform for the sake of promotion, but also for interaction. Apart from these social media platforms, you can also use Foursquare for your business. According to Social Media Examiner, it is a location-based social network that has over 20 million users. In this platform, people use to check it for locations or shops that they have visited. As people checked where they have been, it can be shared with Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Eventually, your business is noticed.
• Offer promos and great deals. Customers love promos and great deals from a company. You can offer discounted products or services, buy one take one deal, and even a game of prizes. Doing these are a sure fire to delight your consumers.
• Dress your business professionally online. Reputation greatly matters for every business. It is one of the main ingredient for success. With this, keep your social business accounts in motion by sharing good content, promotions, and fabulous deals.
Mapping your business success with social media is indeed possible. You just have to cut out the appropriate moves to market your products and services locally. Hence, delve deeper on what every social media network can offer and gear it towards your goal.

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How To Build Confidence, While You Grow Your Business

H0w to Build Your Self Confidence

 

 

7 Ways As Your Business Grows

What individual comes to your mind when you hear the word confidence? Could it be someone you know personally? Perhaps someone you knew in the past? Anyone who knows me on Twitter, @rjack55, will recognize my background image being that of the great Ali, who to me have always epitomized the word confidence-which I use to symbolize that trait in myself and my abilities as a Social Media Specialist. True, self-confidence is not an overnight acquisition. The definition itself means: “belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities.” It sounds simple but not always the case. The good news is you don’t have to be a Muhammad Ali to be successful with your business as a truly confident entrepreneur. All you need is just a little to start out with, and as your business grows, so will confidence in yourself. So here are 7 ways to build that confidence, while you grow your business.

1. Be Organized. If you are a solo entrepreneur don’t try to take on too much at one time. This will actually make you think you lack ability and as a result, you lose confidence. Be patient and build your business one step at a time.

2. Become An Expert. Don’t feel that you have to be an absolute expert in your field or niche. Learn how to promote your products or services to where you are seen as an expert. As others began to look to you for information, this helps build your self-confidence while you are still learning and gaining experience with your business.

3. Choose A Role Model. This can be someone close to you or someone famous or inspirational. It could be an associate or a former boss who you respected. Think of the qualities that the role model displays, whether physical, emotional, or morally. Work towards acquiring those traits. You will find that it may help you to become a better business person which will help you to build confidence in yourself.

4. Make A List of Your Strong Points. Focusing on your strong points helps distract you from those parts of yourself that you think are flawed. It doesn’t have to be a specific skill or activity either; it can be an approach or an attitude. For example: Are you calm or collected? Are you very patient with people? Do you always see the humorous or bright side of things? These are all strong points!

5. Work On Your Elevator Pitch. What is an Elevator Pitch? This is a concise, well-practiced description of your idea. It should end by asking for something to start a relationship. You’ll find if you get people to ask questions or build a relationship with you, this will boost your confidence in yourself.

6. Improve Your Posture. Having good posture can actually make you feel more confident. Don’t slouch or slump your shoulders when you walk. Make sure that your back is straight, your shoulders are square, and your chest is puffed out slightly, but stay loose. Good posture also helps with deep breathing, which helps with feeling calm and relaxed.

7. Think Less- Learn By Doing. Let’s say you are selling a product. Maybe jewelry or cosmetic and you want to approach a stranger with that product. If you over-analyze on what you can say, you can get negative and get caught up in all the possibility of things that can go wrong. So just do it! Preparation is good but sometimes you can actually doubt yourself. So think less, and learn by doing! Your skills will get stronger as a result, which will help increase confidence in your abilities.How to Confidence Yes more and more today are taking the task of starting their own business, either offline or online with the help of social media. If you are one of these then don’t hesitate because you feel you lack confident. No matter whom you are, a little self-confidence can go a long way in building your success.
So “Float Like a Butterfly and Sting Like a Bee!” Yes-you can DO IT!!!

By Reginald Jackson.

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10 Ways to Measure Social Media for Business

Is your business a social business? Companies that are making good use of social media should take the next step and measure the progress of their social media programs and campaigns. How do you know if you’re succeeding if you don’t have the numbers?

Today we’ll look at 10 ways that metrics can offer visibility into your business’s performance. You won’t want to chart all of these, but tracking a few well-chosen metrics — and incorporating the learning’s into your business processes — can contribute to the bottom line.

Customer Engagement

1. Engagement can take place offline and online, on your site, on your social networks and in real-world face-to-face events. By letting customers participate in conversations about your brand, you can improve your business, your products and your levels of service. Ultimately, customer engagement is key to improving satisfaction and loyalty rates and revenue.

Metrics to track could include:

  • Number of followers on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • Number of retweets on Twitter
  • Number of comments per blog post
  • Number of external widgets embedded
  • Invaluable assets as re-distributors of content
  • Customer reviews and ratings

Note: Such customer interaction can be invaluable in fostering a culture of community and in guiding product development. In addition, endorsements can be used as testimonials in marketing materials (with permission).

Sales & Profits

2. In the end, you business’s social media efforts need to not just generate customer goodwill — it should contribute to your company’s bottom line.

Metrics to keep an eye on include:

  • Track sales from Google referrals
  • Sales from paid search
  • Sales as a result of social network mentions

Dell said it made $3 million selling products to its Twitter followers on the strength of coupons and discounts that other Twitterers gladly passed along vi-rally as tipsters. And Blendtec’s “Will It Blend?” blender’s campaign on YouTube helped to drive a 500 percent increase in sales in 2010.  Just don’t expect the needle to move right away!

Search Marketing & Rankings

3. The importance of search engine optimization to your brand cannot be overstated: SEO & social media efforts should significantly increase your site’s visibility & performance in search results. It should also help you rank prominently for targeted items and increase your long-tail traffic. Identify and incorporate targeted keywords on major landing pages on your site. Strategically use keywords on social networks as well, such as Facebook. You can use links from Twitter or YouTube to claim valuable search rankings on your brand search terms. Tweets that rank for targeted keyword can lead to traffic from keywords that the site does not rank for.

Whenever someone shares content from your site on a social site, you get a link back and a submission history. Try to convert one-time visitors from Digg, StumbleUpon and other social news sites into long-term members of your community.

Traffic & Conversation Reach

4. Your business can produce the most gorgeous, well-manicured press releases in the world. But unless you get customers talking about your product or service and generating traffic to your website, micro-site or social networks, you’re missing the boat. Raw traffic is important, but you’ll want to measure traffic from segmented audiences that you’re targeting-people who are likely to follow you or more so, buy from you. Also chart the number of visitors to your social networks.

Brand Sentiment

5. The nature and purpose of public relations and external communications is changing from an industrial-era paradigm to one of facilitation and curation. Go with it — help create evangelists for your products or services among your most ardent fans. Word of mouth and the viral nature of sites like Twitter, Facebook and Digg can help shift your company’s key brand metrics.

You’ll need a more sophisticated set of metrics tools to gauge the following: Brand awareness, brand favor-ability, brand recall, propensity to buy, etc. (TV ads are measured in this way.) A positive brand associations via social media efforts can help drive clicks on paid search ads. Use a social media service to measure brand sentiment.

Public Outreach

6. The worlds of public relations, customer service and marketing are merging. Social media enables customers to interact with all channels within a company. Traditional metrics, such as column inches in newspapers and magazines, are becoming less relevant over time. Outreach to blogosphere & Twitterverse is becoming as important as outreach to media organizations. Consider creating a social media newsroom that offers bloggers and news organizations a rich set of multimedia, bullet-ed takeaways and quotes from key participants. Then track the number of mentions on social sites by using the bit.ly url shortener.

Lead Generation

7. Social media is becoming a funnel for lead generation. A number of tools now let you track business prospects through sophisticated filtering mechanisms. Use LinkedIn to connect with potential business partners and clients, and chart the rate of invitations accepted and follow-up communications acted upon. See which kinds of messaging are resonating.

Here’s an opportunity for your internal teams to work together to optimize your site for keywords and key phrases. It’s always better when potential customers come to you.

Customer Retention

8. We’re moving into an age of optimization and retention. Watch your retention rates as you start participating in social media. Over time, if your team uses social media intelligently, they should rise. Zappos, which uses Twitter, MySpace, Facebook and YouTube for its social media efforts, has exceeded $1 billion in sales. Some 75 percent of its orders are repeat customers. Make sure you monitor your repeat customers and shower them with love.

Cost Savings

9. In this age of cost-cutting, companies are looking to apply savings wherever they can. Cisco saved $250,000 by using social media rather than traditional PR and marketing to roll out its Data Center project.

Crowd sourcing has become an increasingly popular way for businesses to leverage customers and outside parties for savings. Consider how cost reductions can be applied in a way that benefits the bottom line while not infringing on worker rights or jeopardizing health and environmental standards. Then measure how each initiative contributes to cost containment.

Employee Recruitment

10. The brightest young minds coming into the workplace today live, breathe and understand social media. Show them that you’re a genuine social business and not just another company hunkering down in the wake of the social media revolution. Measure incoming employees’ sentiment about your company. What are they saying? What attracted them?

Measure exiting employees’ sentiment. Assign someone from human relations, with no stake in the matter, to conduct exit interviews. Assess their feedback — and take it to heart.

By JD Lasica of Socialmedia.biz

These are 10 ideas, but it’s not a complete list. List your ideas in the comments below.

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9 Effective Practices for Social Media Success!

Social Media Success

Every businessman dreams out to be successful in his chosen industry. The fact that you will have a lot of competitors, it would not be easy to scratch the surface of success. For this very reason, you might be betting on establishing an online presence and one of these is through social media.

In today’s technological advancement, businesses make use of social media for many purposes. These include getting in touch with their clients, driving sales, or reducing the cost for marketing. No matter what the purpose it may serve, social media success is essential to fulfill any businesses’ objectives.

Speaking of social media success, “How to be successful?” is often the inquiry. The step to victory does not end in merely creating social media accounts, but rather on how you will tailor your strategy and put them into unwavering motion? In light of this, here are some practices that could be beneficial in your online endeavor.

·     Create simple social media references. When you create social media references, make it simple and short. The simplicity of these references will warrant your prospect target ease of remembering your brand and high chances of social media success. So whenever your consumers heard the advertisement on TV or radio, the references will ring easily in their heads.

·          Do your share in offline marketing. Do not simply rely on online campaign of your brand or company. To achieve social media success, employ as well the offline strategies to influence those within your target audience. Examples of which are incorporation of your social media references on business cards, invoices, product packaging, and even broadcast materials.

·     Be genuine. When you really want to gain the trust of your clients and truly achieve social media success, be true to yourself and to them. Therefore, use your real identity or the company’s name. You should take note that people can sense it whether you are being true or just fooling around.

·       Know your audience. Having a keen understanding on your target market can contribute to your social media success. Once you know how your audience interacts in social media platform, you can then tailor schemes on reaching out to them.

·       Listen to the public. To attain social media success, having all ears is one integral trait that all businesses should possess. You should acknowledge what your consumers’ concerns and what they think about your products or services. By being an active listener, you can address your consumers’ concerns more precisely.

·         Share awesome content. In social media, do not be self-centered. Instead of focusing on yourself, share content related to your industry that will interest your consumers. You should take note in social media success; interesting topics make people hooked into it. When you do so, people will talk about you through your content.

·        Communicate your mission and vision. Whatever social platform you are using, make it sure that you effectively convey your company’s mission and vision. In this aspect, you make your business appear in imbued professionalism and high credibility. In addition to this, you give your consumers a hint of what your company is all about and for what purpose it exists.

·         Do not annoy your followers. One thing that hinders social media success is being an annoyance. If you do not want your audience to draw back, then stop making requests that will do no good in their favor. Therefore, refrain from sending more than three messages or requests in a week.

·      Be consistent and remarkable. This would be easier said than done, but being consistent and living up for excellence will bring all your actions to social media success. Hence, do not falter in sharing valuable content, updating your account, and getting in touch with your audience. These actions will make you a remarkable company in the near future.

Discovering social media will not instantly bring you tangible results. However, keeping up with the best practices in social media will earn you success in the near future. As you attain social media success, there is the likelihood that it will do the same with your business!

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How to Craft a Killer “Elevator Pitch” For Your Business

This article will explain the elements of a powerful elevator pitch and then walk you through how to craft your own.

What is an Elevator Pitch?

This is the 30-60 second business description of what you do and why someone should work with you. It’s called an “Elevator Pitch” because it describes the challenge: “How would you explain your business and make a sale if fate placed you in an elevator with your dream prospect and you only had the time it takes to get from the top of the building to the bottom?”

Why Is Having an Elevator Pitch So Important?
You only have 30-60 seconds to make a powerful first impression. The attention span of the average person is just 30 seconds before their mind starts wandering. The other reason is people have less time today. You need to grab them quickly or lose them forever.

Essential Elements of a Powerful Elevator Pitch
1. Concise. Your pitch should take no longer than 30-60 seconds.

2. Clear. Use language that everyone understands. Don’t use fancy words thinking it will make you sound smarter. Your listener won’t understand you and you’ll have lost your opportunity to hook them.

3. Powerful. Use words that are powerful and strong. Deliver the “Sis-Boom-Bang” to grab their attention!

4. Visual. Use words that create a visual image in your listeners mind. This will make your message memorable.

5. Tell a Story. A short story, that is. A good story is essentially this: someone with a problem either finds a solution or faces tragedy. Either type of story can be used to illuminate what you do.

6. Targeted. A good elevator pitch is aimed for a specific audience. If you have target audiences that are vastly different, you might want to have a unique pitch for each.

7. Goal Oriented. A great elevator pitch is designed with a specific outcome in mind. What is your desired outcome? You may have different pitches depending on different objectives. For instance do you want to: make a sale , gain a prospect, enlist support for an idea, or earn a referral.

8. Has a Hook. This is the element that literally snags your listener’s interest and makes them want to know more. This is the phrase or words that strike a chord in your listener.
How to Craft Your Killer Elevator Pitch

  • Write down what you do. Write it several different ways. Try writing it at least 10-20 different ways. Don’t edit yourself at all. You will edit later. This first step is for generating ideas. Don’t hold back. Ideas can be goofy, serious, wild, funny, or conservative. It doesn’t matter. The goal is to get at many ideas as possible down on paper.
  • Write a very short story that illustrates what you do for people. If necessary, the story can be long. You will boil it down later. Paint a picture with words.
  • Write down your objective or goal. Do you want to make a sale, gain a prospect, enlist support for an idea, earn a referral, or something else?
  • Write 10-20 action statements. This is a statement or question designed to spur the action associated with your goal.
  • Record yourself. You can use Dragon Dictation if you don’t have a recording device. Dragon Dictation is a free phone based service that translates your messages into text as well as providing an online link to the original audio.
  • Let it sit. Come back to what you’ve written with fresh eyes and ears the next day or later on in the same day.
  • Highlight the good stuff. Listen and read through what you’ve recorded and written. Then either highlight or circle the phrases that hook you with clear, powerful, and visual words. Obviously not all the words will fall into these categories. You still need connector words, but you want them to be as few as possible.
  • Put the best pieces together. Again you’ll want to write down several versions of this much tighter pitch. Tell us what you do and why people should want to do business with you. Include elements from your story if you can fit it in.
  • Do a final edit cutting as many unnecessary words as possible. Rearrange words and phrases until it sounds just right. Again, the goal is 30-60 seconds maximum.
  • Dress Rehearsal. Run it by as many people as you can get to listen to you. Get feedback from colleagues, clients you trust, friends and family.
  • Done for now. Take your final elevator pitch and write it down. Memorize and practice it until it just slides off your tongue naturally.
  • Continue to improve. Over time, always be on the listen for phrases that you think could make your elevator pitch more clear and impactful. And then test it out. Every once in a while you will probably benefit by starting from scratch because things always change: you, your business , your goals, and your clients’ needs.

By K Stone of Life Learning Today

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What Your Body Language Say About You-Professionally

Whether it’s a business or personal interaction, multiple studies show that as much as 50-90% of the communication is nonverbal. That means that people who are addicted to text messaging and e-mail may be sending only half the message, and receivers often misinterpret even that half.

Yet the use of text messaging for business purposes continues to grow, in concert with more of Gen-Y entering the workplace, and a continuing increase in the global rate of texting by everyone. This total rate now exceeds seven billion texts sent per day, according to a new mobile marketing website (more than one per day for every person on earth).

But are these text messages an efficient and appropriate business tool? Where body language is part of the message, it definitely is not.

Sure, there are many cases where a 10-word text message, or 140 character social media tweet, will communicate a simple message more efficiently than a face-to-face discussion. But most business processes, like negotiating a contract, closing a sale, customer support, or managing employees, are much more complicated than just words.

Eye Contact

The eyes are the most powerful part of our body language, and can express everything from happiness, annoyance, interest, to pain. Frequent eye contact is interpreted as honesty and forthrightness. Staring is interpreted as too aggressive. These are obvious in person, but lost in a text message.

Posture

If you are trying to appear dominant or authoritative, stand erect with shoulders back. A slumped position usually indicates insecurity, guilt, or weakness. A dominant sounding text message, on the other hand, generates anger rather than acceptance.

Mirroring

 

Most people feel more comfortable and open with people in a similar position to themselves. An example would be sitting down to meet with a key vendor, rather than standing to deliver demands. Good managers practice this one for personnel issues.

Handshake

This, of course, comes into play to signal openness or goodwill at the beginning of an interaction, and agreement at the end. Remember, a nice firm palm-to-palm handshake is important for sincerity. This cultural icon is totally missing from text messages and e-mails.

Hand-to-face

Even when the words sound good, hand-to-face movements such as holding the chin or scratching the face shows concern or lack of conviction. If a person is covering his mouth while telling you something, he may be lying.

Facial Expression

A critical message delivered with a smiling face will have a totally different impact than one delivered with an angry face. “Smiley face emoticons” were invented to simulate this in text messages, but they don’t always work, because the sincerity is lost.

Arms and legs position

Folded arms or crossed legs, perhaps turning away slightly, indicates a lack of interest and detachment. Later uncrossed arms and legs may be a sign of acceptance of your position or terms.(Top image)  An extrovert will have toes pointed out, introvert will keep them pointed in. None of these come through in texting.

Space occupied

Some people stand up and move around to be more dominant, maybe even threatening. Even sitting, you can stretch your legs to occupy more space. Standing while talking on the phone will make your voice sound more urgent. Maybe all CAPS will satisfy this one.

Overall, the most successful people in business learn to use the right tool for the right job. I’m supportive of using text messaging for agreeing on a time and place for a customer visit, but when I read that text messages are the new pink slips for layoffs, that’s just wrong!

By Martin Zwilling of http://businessinsider.com.

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