Books for Business and You

April 27th, 2017

Here are a few of the many, many books that offer incredible information and insights to help you grow your business.

Getting to YES with Yourself and Other Worthy Opponents, by William Ury, Published by HarperCollins, 2015.

  • Put Yourself in Your Shoes
  • Develop Your Inner BATNA
  • Reframe Your Picture
  • Stay in the Zone
  • Respect Them Even If
  • Give and Receive

The New Rules of Marketing & PR, 5th Edition, by David Meerman Scott. Published by John Wiley & Sons, 2015. How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly.

Guerrilla Marketing In 30 Days, 3rd Edition, by Jay Conrad Levinson and Al Lautenslager. Published by Entrepreneurial Media, Inc., 2014.  This book gives you:

  • “Disciplined 30-Day Plan: One Action/Day
  • “Bonus Days and Actions for Maintaining Momentum
  • “Proven Tactics Adapted to New Customer Demands, Markets, and Technologies.”

Workbooks and other resources are also available.

The 25 Best Books for Entrepreneurs

“If you have your sights set on building a massively successful company where you call the shots, you might want to start with the following books.” by Jenna Goudreau, Inc.Magazine, First appeared in Business Insider, http://www.inc.com/business-insider/best-books-for-entrepreneurs.html

If you want to suggest your favorite books or resources for business, please do.

Want to start a website without using a designer? Consider WordPress

March 27th, 2017

 

If you want a website but don’t have the budget for a designer and don’t know how to create one yourself, then consider WordPress. “It is a common and popular web design solution, and most web-hosting companies offer it as an option,” notes Christopher Merrill, Christopher Merrill Web Design, www.christophermerrill.com

“I caution people to use WordPress through a web-hosting resource such as GoDaddy, Network Solutions or DreamHost. but not a free version. These web hosters usually provide a simple way to create a WordPress website offering many templates and design options. WordPress acts as a content management system that helps you create and manage digital content. So, with WordPress you can add text, images and links to your menus.”

Christopher also suggests that if you have questions about WordPress, you can also type that question into Google. For example: How do I create a website page in WordPress? Or, How do I add images in WordPress? Search engines are smart and understand the full question and your goals, leading you to answers.

“If you want to create a template yourself, then you must create a ‘child theme’ based on that template,” Christopher explains. “A ‘child theme’ is a universal theme in WordPress that you select, and it’s the only theme you will use.  And, once again, Google the question: How do I create a child theme in WordPress?; and up comes an  explanation. If you’re not comfortable doing it, then you may need professional assistance.

“On another note, you will need to learn how to upload files from your computer to your server, where your files are stored, using the file manager that comes with your account, or an ftp (file, transfer, protocol) program. You might need a professional’s help with this.

“If you’re the adventuresome type, you might want to know the difference between a widget and a plugin and other ‘fancy stuff.’ They may not be necessary, but WordPress offers the basic plugins you need. And, of course, you can Google: WordPress Plugins vs. Widgets: What’s the Difference?

“Finally, when WordPress asks you to update your website or your plugins, do it. This is important for keeping your WordPress site secure. This also reflects the importance of the “child theme.” Without it, you will lose updates. WordPress and your website can give you power and can be an exciting and rewarding adventure.”

 

 

 

How to Grow Your Network and Your Business in 100 Days

February 17th, 2017

“When growing a business, networking can be an effective part of our marketing and public relations strategy because it can expand our sphere of influence and extend our message to an ever widening group of individuals,” explains Reno Lovison, owner of Reno Lovison Marketing, who introduced the100 DAYS Challenge to Grow Your Network & Your Business:  http://renoweb.net/100DAYS

“I have a networking connection,” Reno says, “who I met several years ago when I first did this challenge. Over the years he has referred me to several companies who have used my video services. These included two very nice pieces of business this past year. This became my inspiration to repeat the challenge because I realized that the concerted effort I put in over four years ago was still paying dividends. So this time I invited a few people to do it with me. I thought I would be happy with ten participants but I ended up with19 including myself.”

The primary goal of the 100 DAY Challenge is for each of us to meet 100 new people in 100 days. This is accomplished through the regular course of business, referrals, as well as attending networking events and other business related functions.  As a group the 19 people involved gather at various business locations every 10 days to check in on each other’s progress, share ideas and strategize. “People need to be challenged in order to move out of their comfort zone.” Reno notes, “If you’re not a little uncomfortable during the process, you may not be as engaged as you should be. When meeting new people it is essential to share contact information, typically a business card. Then have a plan to follow in order to develop new relationships and explore potential opportunities.”

Reno Lovison Marketing provides marketing services including web video production for businesses, authors, and artists. Mr. Lovison is the author of “Turn Your Business Card Into Business” and offers a self-directed online course designed to improve your networking skills.

Isn’t it time to grow your network and see what you can do to grow your business over the next 100 days?

Resources:

Effective Face-to-Face Networking:  www.BusinessCardtoBusiness.com

Video for Authors & Book Lovers:  www.AuthorsBroadcast.com

Web Video Marketing: www.RenoWeb.net

Presentations and Interviews — Actor’s Advice: Memorize and Rehearse

December 13th, 2016

If you are giving a presentation or getting ready for an interview, and want it to be a mutually rewarding experience, consider actor Jim McCance’s advice. “Actors have to memorize their parts and rehearse with other actors for a performance, which is also similar to public speaking and customer service.”

Jim’s more than 40 years as an actor and voice-over pro includes his current commitment as an understudy for the title role in King Charles III at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. “We have to memorize all of the lines. It’s challenging and engaging.”

Presentation

Your first step in a presentation is to make an outline of what you want to say and what the audience would appreciate. Discuss it with the program director. Does it respond to participant expectations?  Try to engage them with a story or experience.

“Even though you will have a written presentation that you can refer to, memorize it and, if possible, rehearse it with colleagues or friends to help you stay on track during the actual event…especially important if something unexpected should occur…as it can in a theater performance,” Jim McCance notes.

Interview for job

Whether your interview is for an internship, temporary or permanent position, do your research about the organization so you’re knowledgeable about its activities, customers and goals and can respond or ask questions during the interview.

Then, Jim adds, “memorize small portions of the interview, and prepare your points. If you and the interviewer get sidetracked, take the conversation back to the focus. Always be ready with a story that reflects your experience.” You might also rehearse an interview with a friend or relative who can act like a prospective employer.

An interview and an actor’s audition are similar. Be clear about what you want to accomplish, enjoy it, and learn from the experience.

Jim can be reached through the Stewart Talent Agency at 312-943-3131.

Your First Person Public Relations

November 15th, 2016

For various reasons, every so often most of us re-evaluate our lifestyles and explore possibilities that might exist and offer new opportunities in our lives. In our explorations, we may discover a new road and our next chapter, or we may confirm that we’re doing exactly what’s right for us.

Here are a few personal and professional suggestions that offer insights that could help you with your First Person Public Relations goals.

►When Strangers Meet, book by author Kio Stark

http://www.citylab.com/navigator/2016/09/the-case-for-talking-to-strangers/499376/

►“Ink Factory graphic artist shows that doodling can be your career,” Blue Sky, Chicago Tribune

http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/originals/ct-ink-factory-inside-job-bsi-20161031-story.html

►“To Be a Lot Happier, Stop Doing as Many of These 11 Things as You Possibly Can,” by Jeff Haden, Contributing Editor, Inc. Magazine.

http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/to-be-a-lot-happier-stop-doing-as-many-of-these-11-things-as-you-possibly-can.html

►“Dream Job or Sweatshop? 12 Things to Look for When You Interview,” by Jessica Stiillman, contributor to  Inc.. Magazine

http://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/dream-job-or-sweatshop-12-things-to-look-for-when-you-interview.html

We would appreciate your suggestions and comments.

 

Millennials & Marketing

October 11th, 2016

As we know Millennials are introducing us – Baby Boomers and Gen X – to new opportunities, ideas and approaches. Marketing is one example.

Marketing to Millennials – You’d Better Learn to Keep up

https://www.allbusiness.com/marketing-to-millennials-youd-better-learn-to-keep-up-16697426-1.html

Keeping Up with the Millennials

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/linda-lightman/keeping-up-with-the-mille_b_8431768.html

10 Brands that got Millennium Marketing Right

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/trillion-dollar-demographic-10-brands-got-millennial-marketing-right/135969/

How Millennials Are Changing the Way Companies Build Brands

http://www.forbes.com/sites/under30network/2016/05/16/how-millennials-are-changing-the-way-companies-build-brands/#3dcdfb333b4a

5 Ways Successful Brands Win with Millennials on Social Media

http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurenfriedman/2016/01/26/5-ways-successful-brands-win-with-millennials-on-social-media/#3109212a1ae0

Retail for the Generations: How to Market to Baby Boomers, Gen X and the Millennials

http://www.datamentors.com/blog/retail-generations-how-market-baby-boomers-gen-x-and-millennials

These findings about how millennials and baby boomers shop may surprise you

http://www.businessinsider.com/sc/how-millennials-and-baby-boomers-shop-2015-4

In a “Web World” News Releases Can Reach Consumers Directly

September 13th, 2016

In The New Rules of Marketing & PR, Revised & Updated 5th Edition, author David Meerman Scott explains “How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Blogs, News Releases & Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly.”

While journalists, mainstream media and trade press “remain critically important…your audience is millions of people with Internet connections and access to search engines and RSS readers.”

However, of the online communication options, many people may not fully understand a news release’s  potential, and how to write them “direct-to-consumers.”

David Meerman Scott presents “The New Rules of News Releases.”

  • “Don’t send news releases just when big news is happening; find good reasons to send them all the time.”
  • “Instead of targeting a handful of journalists, create news releases that appeal directly to your buyers.”
  • “Write releases that are replete with the keyword-rich language used by your buyers.”
  • “Include offers that compel consumers to respond to your release in some way.”
  • “Place links in releases to deliver customers to landing pages on your website.”
  • “Link to related content on your site such as videos, blog posts, or e-books.”
  • “Optimize news release delivery for searching and browsing.”
  • “Point people to your news release from your social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.”
  • “Drive people into the sales process with news releases.”

For more complementary information in First Person Public Relations, read “Pitch Letters – Media Appreciates Targeted Information”: http://sallychapralis.com/blog/?p=902

 

Books for Business

August 16th, 2016

Here are just three of the many, many books and other print and online resources that offer incredible information and insights to help you grow your business.

Guerrilla Marketing In 30 Days, 3rd Edition, by Jay Conrad Levinson And Al Lautenslager. Published by Entrepreneurial Media, Inc., 2014.  This book gives you:

  • “Disciplined 30-Day Plan: One Action/Day
  • “Bonus Days and Actions for Maintaining Momentum
  • “Proven Tactics Adapted to New Customer Demands, Markets, and Technologies.”

Workbooks and other resources are also available.

The  25  Best Books for Entrepreneurs

“If you have your sights set on building a massively successful company where you call the shots, you might want to start with the following books.” By Jenna Goudreau, Inc.Magazine, First appeared in Business Insider, http://www.inc.com/business-insider/best-books-for-entrepreneurs.html

The Secret Sauce to Freelance Writing on the Side, by Jodee Redmond, is a new eBook published by Freelance Writing Jobs (FWJ): www.freelancewritinggigs.com.  To learn more about The Secret Sauce and other resources: https://payhip.com/b/kR7i

If you want to suggest your favorite books for business, please do.

Business Cards still great for marketing

July 25th, 2016

To help you present a positive first impression, Bea Lipski, manager of Minuteman Press in Morton Grove, IL,  explains the do’s and don’ts of memorable card creation. In fact, a recipient of your card may ask for more to share with other connections.

“The front side of your business card should clearly state the name of your business and services, as well as your name and job title. Contact information must be easy to read: phone numbers (direct and cell), website and email.”

If there’s room on the front side, you could include your logo and/or a photo. The photo may be a sample of your work and not your real picture, unless you want it there.

While the back side of your card can remain blank for notes, some people also insert a QR code.

Card design should be engaging. Your font size should be a 10 or 12 point, but not less than 7 to 8 points, so that it’s easily read. You might consider professional help from your printing service or a graphic designer. While design is critical, it should enhance the information and not overwhelm it. Before final printing, approve a sample.

As you consider price, remember that the business card is often your first impression, so avoid paper and printing that looks too thin, cards that have rough edges and do not present a professional appearance. They may be cheaper, but they often look that way.

Once your cards are ready for prime time, consider how you will carry them. You should always have some with you even if you’re not formally networking. One convenient option is a card-carrying case that fits into a purse or pocket.

Business or personal cards have not been replaced by digital, online or email exchanges that may be convenient but are impersonal. Yes, while these options offer lots of venues and opportunities, exchanging cards in person is great for marketing and building your brand. Business or personal cards are also great first impressions that continue to prove themselves in marketing and engage recipients – who can copy your information to their mobile devices.

For more information, contact Bea Lipski at Minuteman Press:    minutemanpressmg@sbcglobal.net.

“Conversation cleanup – The way you communicate at work may be hurting you.”

June 21st, 2016

We may have some annoying communication habits “that are driving people crazy.” It’s probably time to address them. Author Kat Boogaard (Inc.) discusses “eight common faux pas” in her article, “Conversation cleanup.” Here’s a brief intro to each one, and you will find more information in the article itself at: http://digitaledition.chicagotribune.com/tribune/article_popover.aspx?guid=ac32ff11-f660-4dc2-bd29-c98aefaf117b

  • Constantly Interrupting. We all have one thing in common when talking. We want to be listened to. So if you’re one of those people who tend to jump in and interrupt or – even worse – try to complete people’s sentences for them, you need to…”
  • “Multitasking. Conversations deserve your full attention, not the halfhearted glances you’re willing to give them when you manage to rip your focus away from your iPhone screen. Multitasking is a habit we’re likely all guilty of, but…”
  • “Using Qualifiers. ‘Don’t take this personally, but…’; This might be a bad idea, but…’; I know what you’re thinking, but…if you tend to overuse them, you may be driving people up a wall. Why?”
  • “Equating your experiences. Someone is explaining a difficult problem he is currently facing. You immediately respond with ‘I know exactly how you feel,’ and then launch into your own long-winded tale … that’s not really relevant. It’s important to remember…”
  • “Floundering. We’ve all had to deal with those people who seem to just ramble on endlessly without a point and appear to be talking simply because they like the sound of their own voices. … When you decide to speak up, make sure…”
  • “Avoiding direct contact. …The never-ending assortment of communication tools available today has made us less willing to actually talk to one another. So before hitting send on a message, …”
  • “Waiting instead of listening. As my mom always loves to tell me, ‘There’s a big difference between hearing and listening!’ And when you’re having a conversation with someone, you should be actively listening. That means…”
  • “Using filler words. ‘Hey, Jason, Umm, I’m just checking in on that, uhhh, report to see if you think you’ll, like, have that done by, like the end of the day.’ This is perhaps the toughest bad verbal habit to break. … But…”

 

It’s time to tune in and address our conversational issues. For great advice before your next conversation head to:   http://digitaledition.chicagotribune.com/tribune/article_popover.aspx?guid=ac32ff11-f660-4dc2-bd29-c98aefaf117b