Live Q&A: Overcoming Overwhelm

overwhelm-blog

Catch me on Periscope tonight at 6:00pm PST for my live Q&A addressing the questions that I posed to my personal Facebook audience last week. My goal is to figure out how best we can support entrepreneurs, so I asked some questions to figure out what challenges were plaguing my entrepreneur friends and getting in the way of their success.

So… tonight I’m going to address some of my findings, more specifically, OVERCOMING OVERWHELM. Some of the responses were:

  • I have so much to do… where do I find help?
  • I work a full-time job, and I want to be an entrepreneur… where do I start?
  • What should I be doing to get more customers when I have a business to run?

If this sounds like you or someone that you know, I hope that you can join me for our Q&A. This will be a high level conversation, and my hope is that we close the session feeling more empowered to get through the rest of the week with a solid plan of action and the confidence to do so with reduced stress.

If you’ve never used Periscope, here is a step-by-step easy for you to read through: http://bit.ly/2ckDW2b

All you have to do is follow me on Twitter @amarareps to receive the notification when I’m LIVE.

See you this evening!

PS. I encourage you to answer the questions that I presented to my group before the call. If you’d like to answer the questions click here to fill out the survey!

How Do I Handle Online Reputation Management?

How to handle online reputation management is a question that plagues both businesses and individuals alike.  A negative sentiment can cause a business loss of both revenue and trust.  Whereas the wrong perception of a person can strip them of job security or even bring retaliation from others.  About 5 years ago, many Facebook users were changing their real names to nicknames in an effort to keep any “negative activities” from potential employers.  The case of Lindsay Stone is a severe one, in which a single picture ruined her life.  What started as an inside joke between friends became a public controversy with many sensitive layers, finally resulting in a lost job and hate mail from veterans and their supporters.  Similar things have happened to huge companies, where the opinion of an individual created a PR nightmare for the corporation (ie. Chick-Fil-A scandal).  In addition, websites like Yelp are thriving and a common point of reference for consumers, a negative review can destroy a hard earned reputation.  The major takeaway is that if you do not monitor and maintain your brand’s image then it is at the mercy of the masses.  Here are some tips to keep you and your company in a truthful, positive light.

1. CLAIM IT – Gather all urls similar or even close to your name.  This tactic will hinder imposters from acting on the behalf of your company in an effort to ride your coat tails or simply damage your image.  Value and urgency of this process increases as you gain notoriety, also be sure to remember social media platforms, review sites, YouTube and other video sharing sites.  These efforts will keep your brand, customer loyalty and satisfaction in high ranking.

2. MANAGE IT – Make sure you have consistency in your voice, verbiage is key, and also be clear on the use of each platform.  Twitter is primarily to field client questions or concerns, while Facebook is used for reminder advertising, client interaction and company updates.  Set up canned responses so if there is any negative interaction, it gets resolved appropriately.  Also, make sure everything posted is of high quality.  This sets the tone of professionalism, giving current and future clients insight on how you run your company.

3. WATCH IT – At this point you cannot only pay attention to what you are putting out, you must be cognisant of your five W’s: Who, What, Where, Why and When.  Have you ever googled your own company?  You should, it will allow you to keep tabs on anything brewing online that isn’t in line with your brand.  You may find people complaining about you or your product/service and you will be able to rectify the situation, creating a better experience for that client and other potential clients.  Companies can also find knockoffs of their product just by looking up the hashtags they have created, so it is great practice to monitor those as well.  All of this will enable you to be proactive vs reactive to potential threats, which is essential in global business today.

Some people are unsure on how to do online reputation management, or just don’t have the time for it.  Drop us a line and we can help you out!

Diversification & Growth in Business – Part II

Continuing with our thoughts on which way to grow your business, let’s take a look at horizontal growth and see if it is in the cards for your empire.  If you haven’t read it already, take a gander at our article on vertical integration.

Horizontal integration brings in other companies in the same industry and/or increases the products and services offered to current markets.  Creative entrepreneurs love this.  Why?  Play.  Creating new experiences, solving problems, developing products and seizing opportunities is exciting, and often necessary, for those with short attention spans.

A great example of this is the Virgin Group.  Officially incorporated in 1989, they now hold approximately 400 different subsidiaries and have started, sold or closed over 30 more subsidiaries.

There are 3 keys to succeeding well in this model:

  • Strong branding:  With branding, you have to be known for creating a positive experience for existing clientele to try a new venture.  If they feel you don’t have your patrons’ interest at heart (cough, cough McDonald’s), be prepared to see your market value take a dip.
  • Strong ideas: When it comes to new ideas companies need to be clear on their purpose, who they are serving, and have an executable plan to make the idea concrete and viable.
  • Strong staff: Your team needs to be able to rely on one other to provide cross support in any field, as well as buy into your vision for the long haul.  That way, no one is quick to abandon ship if you come across some rough waters.

Choosing which way to grow is important for both the short and long term image of a company, however, the people you must keep in mind are your clients.  The support you will get, or not get, is largely dependent on your company’s reputation and public image.  If you are not taking care of your clients, they will not take care of you.

Diversification & Growth in Business – Part I

When companies get good at what they are doing, I mean really good, I imagine the next viable step would be to expand vertically.  Introducing you, Brand X-traordinary, to the markets that have eagerly been anticipating your arrival, so they may experience that one SUPERB thing you do that makes you special.  However, for some, expanding horizontally seems to be the new course of action.  For example, the crowd-sourced taxi cab company Uber is testing a delivery system for groceries, couriers and meals in select cities.  So how do you know which course of action to take?  Today we’ll take a quick look at the pros and cons of vertical growth, with a follow up on horizontal growth on our next post.

Vertical integration is where a company envelops or creates departments that they have previously outsourced so they are less dependent on outside companies.  This allows the company to cut costs and have more control overall.  It can include various resources such as production, distribution, logistics and marketing.  The company’s best bet to expanding the business is to dig deep into their existing clientele and contacts, while also sharpening their skills and becoming a specialist in their industry.

This is where a lot of entrepreneurs that run on structure and repetition succeed.  They do what they do well, so well that they become known for that one product, service or experience.  Expansion within their market share is key.

An example of vertical growth in recent years comes from Boeing.  They chose to purchase a factory that was making parts for their 787 Dreamliner.  That move will help to reduce the amount of supply and assembly issues that has knocked the Dreamliner more than two years behind schedule.

Vertical growth isn’t for everyone, stay tuned to learn more about horizontal growth and see if it’s the next step for you.

3 Reasons to Blog for Your Business

Writing a blog can be a tedious task for those entrepreneurs who are always busy, running around at breakneck speed, and attempting to build their business. BUT, being a consistent blogger has great benefits for your business, and here are 3 main points to help you consider making time for such a rewarding task that pays off in the future:

1. Reputation, Credibility and Relevance

Frequent blogging proves, to people looking for your products or services, that you are active and expert within your field. Writing about current projects, clients, events and updates in your business also allows people to have a “sneak peek” into your company.  This is important because it gives potential clients an opportunity to check you out and see the results you are creating for others. They will also be able to see if your company can service their needs and what kind of results that they can expect from you. If you can prove that you know what you’re doing, people are more apt to trust in you.

2. Search Engine Optimization

Having a consistent stream of new content allows your site to be indexed more by the search engines. Google and other search engines are looking for websites with a lot of content, so that they can better understand what makes sites most relevant to the people searching for that content.  Why not give them what they want?  PLUS, adding pictures, videos and interactive content will keep people on your website longer, which is also great for the user experience, and supports your goals of improving your ranking.

3. Lead Creation

If you are ready to expand your business but don’t want to rely on doing a ton of time-consuming networking, dredging for referrals or paying for leads, then this is for you. With frequent posting, leads to increased traffic, increased traffic begets a greater chance that you will generate qualified leads that want more information about what you specifically offer. Don’t be shy, put a call to action within your posts.  If people like what they read, encourage them to reach out for more information, share with others, or engage in some way with you or the content. People that like what they read are more apt to download your free e-book, schedule a consultation, or sign up for your mailing list.

Branding guru, Simon Mainwaring, states “brands, and their advertising partners, must wake up and define themselves with clarity, consistency and authenticity…otherwise they just might find themselves shouting in a ghost town.” Luckily for you, amaraREPS is well versed in all the above.  If you don’t know where to start, and need some help, contact us for a free consultation!

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