Pop the Champagne! We’re 6 Years Old!

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If you would have asked my 23-year-old self if I thought I would be 29 and running a business, I would have laughed. If you had asked if I thought I would be 29 and celebrating 6 years in business, I would have thought you were lying.

I was 23 in 2011 and found myself laid off from a failing company and wondering what I would do. I knew I didn’t want to collect unemployment, and that I wanted to go back to school for my masters. My dad suggested that I start my own company and work for a few people on the side while I go to school, and that idea stuck with me.

I got laid off on Friday, and filed On-Word Marketing with the MN Secretary of State on Monday. I began working for a few companies I already had connections with, and started studying for the GRE. Over the next few months I took the GRE and was accepted to Bethel University’s Masters of Communication program.

The next year and half were a haze of highlighter ink, thesis research, and social media seminars, until finally, in October of 2013, I graduated from Bethel with a Master’s Degree in Communication. While all of my classmates were wondering what they would do with their new degree, I turned my attention to my company and began devoting all of my time to growing my business.

What I started in April 2011 as a way to earn a little bit of income while going to school, was now a full-time job. I never set out to be a business owner, but 6 years later that’s exactly where I find myself.

I am very fortunate to have found success in this venture. I’ve learned more than I ever thought possible, grown as a person, and met some incredibly talented people. I have had the opportunity to help some truly wonderful companies, and I am looking forward to helping even more companies with their social media presence.

So today I pop the champagne and celebrate all the clients, family, and friends, because without you, none of this would be possible. Thank you.

How to Use Social Media in Network Marketing without Involving Your Ego– Part 2

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You’ve learned how to leave your ego at home by not advertising to your audience and providing them with interesting content. Keep your audience interested in your content and continuously coming back to your site by following these simple steps.

Engage Your Audience
The next step would be to ask questions or post comments that your audience can respond to. You could say things such as, “Listen to ((Band XYZ’s)) track and let us know what you think!” or “The singer from ((Band XYZ)) used to be the lead singer in ((Band HIJ)). Which sound do you prefer?” Engaging the audience is a key part of social media. Let your followers know that you care about their opinion and give them a chance to voice their thoughts. Using your social media sites to spark conversation may set you apart from others in your industry.

Listen & Respond
After you ask questions of your followers, don’t think that your job is done. There is one key step that many companies can forget, and that’s responding to the answers your followers are giving to your questions. Just like in conversation you don’t want to ask a question, get a response and leave it, this would kill the conversation and doesn’t make your company seem interested. Once your audience has given an answer to your question, respond back. Let them know you are paying attention and genuinely care about what they think.

Frequency is Key
After these steps have been implemented, repeat. It’s important to keep updating your content, providing new information and keep your site current. These are the things that keep your audience coming back and commenting on your posts.

Remember you can give information about your company, after all people are following your company because they like you, but just be careful the content you’re providing doesn’t sound like a sales pitch. Rather your content should be informative, but also include a place for people to learn about your industry, voice their opinion and carry on conversations with you. Having all these components may create a well-rounded social media campaign that could keep people checking your site and responding to your questions.

View How to Use Social Media in Network Marketing without Involving Your Ego– Part 1 here:  http://bit.ly/Xg0mCj

originally posted on iblogmarketing.com

How to Use Social Media in Network Marketing without Involving Your Ego– Part 1

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You’ve created a social media profile, now what? Unless you are one of the biggest brands in the world such as Coca-Cola or Apple, the general population may not have heard of you and attracting brand advocates could be difficult. This means it will take some work to get noticed and as well as keeping visitors coming back. However, with these easy to follow tips, you’ll be on your way to success.

Leave Your Ego at Home
Most sites won’t maintain a solid following base if they only put out egocentric content. Avoid this ego trip by providing current content that will allow your followers to gain insight into your business and industry without being plagued with messages and advertisements about your company.

Don’t Advertise
It may sound counterproductive, but you don’t want your postings to sound like you are advertising to your followers. Just like you don’t like to follow people who talk about every little thing that goes on in their life and never give you a chance to respond, people don’t like to follow a business that is egocentric. People log into Facebook to be entertained and to create and maintain relationships, so sending them your advertisements may make your followers annoyed. If your followers see that all you are posting are things about your company and boasting about what you have accomplished people may get bored and either block or unfollow you.

Provide Interesting Content
Instead of creating all of your posts to let people know about what is going on at your company, use this space to post about things that relate to the industry you’re in. This means, for instance, if you’re in the music industry and there is news about a band, you can inform your followers of the current event. This could also be something as simple as hearing that a band is giving away a free song download; you can let your audience know about it and provide a link to the download site. (If possible, it might be a good idea to make the link open in a new tab to ensure the customer isn’t straying away from your site).

Stay tuned– Part 2 will include the final three steps that may help bring your social media marketing plan full circle without drowning your audience in egocentric posts.

*originally posted on iblogmarketing.com

Business New Year’s Resolutions

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New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for personal use. Companies always take the time to look over their marketing strategy and then ask themselves, “Am I doing everything to help my customers?” as well as, “Are my marketing strategies working?”

This year, On-Word Marketing has 2 resolutions that will be put into play for 2017!

1. Revamp social media networks

  • Use it to better understand clients
  • Add more content from other blogs
  • Ask readers some questions
  • Showcase a little more about our company On-Word Marketing
  • Actually use them. All too often we get wrapped up in doing social media for clients that we forget to work on our own.

**Join us in the discussions!

On-Word Marketing’s Facebook

On-Word Marketing’s Twitter

On-Word Marketing’s Pinterest

2. Experiment with theblognextdoor.com

This year On-Word Marketing is deciding to focus on this blog and how it is helping the readers.

We also want to have a few guest writers on here from other industries to get their opinion about using social media and how they have seen success. (If you’re interested in writing a guest piece send us an e-mail at shannon@on-wordmarketing.com )

There will be a few more changes but we hope that you’ll stay tuned to see what they are. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact us!

We’d also love to hear what your business resolutions for 2017 are. Leave them in the comment section below or any of our social media sites!

Happy 2017!

Get Noticed; Get Hired

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Last week I was asked to be an interviewer for mock interviews at the school where I got my masters. There was a class of seniors who are preparing for life in the real world so the professor wanted some of us with different types of interview history to come in and help them be better prepared. There was a group of 5 of us who came with all different types of background in the interview process. There was one person who used to be an HR director at a small company, one who is part of an interview team, one who had to look over resumes before they were passed onto the boss, one who was in an industry for a long time and just went through the interview process in a completely different field, and me; I interview for a living.

We each had a different perspective on the interview process so it was fun to hear their tips and tricks to get noticed and get hired in this day and age. I thought that since I found it interesting, maybe you would to!

Tip 1: Be Yourself

Interviewing is the easiest thing to do because all you are doing is talking about yourself. You know your history, you know your skills so all you have to do is walk into an interview, act confident and talk about your work history. If you can stay true to who you are (or at least who you are at work) you are more likely to be placed in a company where you fit in and where the people around you are similar to you. If you walk into an interview and are outgoing and loud, but in reality you want to work in a quiet place, you will be placed in a company where the atmosphere is noisy. This will all be because the employer saw you and thought, “this person will fit in perfectly here!” Whereas if you were yourself the right company will notice that you are hard-working who likes to socialize, but knows there is a time for work and a time for chatting. Knowing what atmosphere you are most comfortable in and relaying that to an employer will ensure that you work in a place that you feel comfortable.

Tip 2: Never Put Down a Number

A lot of interviews will get towards the end and the interviewer will ask if you have a price point in mind. If possible, do NOT answer this question. Simply reply with, “it’s negotiable”. This will ensure that you aren’t saying a number that is too high or too low for the line of work you’re in. Usually they will quote you a figure and then you can work from there. If you absolutely HAVE to put a price on it, make sure you have done your work first. Look at jobs that are similar to the work you would be doing, understand why they are priced that way and take into account the company you are interviewing at. Knowing a little bit of why the job is salaried at the price it is will help you better explain why you think you should be paid $X (again, only if you have to).

Tip 3: Get Creative

Are you interviewing at a place where you will be doing something creative, it’s not a bad idea to tailor your resume to show off your skills in that area. Research creative resumes and see what other people have done, then put your own personal twist on it. Making your resume stand out will make you stand out while showing that you know the industry.

Tip 4: Dress Appropriately

Now this may seem like a no brainer, but I heard some crazy stories so I had to put this one in here. Make sure that you are dressing for the job you want. No logos on your shirts, clothes should fit properly, and try to not be too over dressed or under dressed. If possible, find a coffee shop near the business and spend an hour or so the week before watching what the employees are wearing (then get a little fancier). This will ensure that you don’t stand out and even that you would fit in at the company.

Tip 5: Send A Thank You Note

Finally, whenever possible send a hand written thank you note to the person you interviewed with. Thank them for having you and maybe even recap a point that will show why you would be  a great candidate. If possible, ask the interviewer what their hiring time frame looks like. If they are hiring that week make sure to send it the next day, but if they are hiring within the next day or two send an e-mail because otherwise they won’t get the thank you until after they have made their decision. The e-mail should really only be done if necessary. Also remember that thank you notes are not expensive so make sure that you invest in a good set because it is rather tacky to send one that looks like you fished it out of your mother’s junk drawer.

So there you have it; 5 tips on having a successful interview. What tips or tricks do you have to ensure that your interviews go smoothly?

Reason #1 Not to Hire a Social Media Manager

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Alright, I know this post may seem counter intuitive since I myself am a social media manager, but before you think I’ve lost my marbles hear me out.

I’ve been doing social media marketing for  8+ years and have heard every excuse in the book for why a company has decided not to hire a social media manager. I wanted to take this time to either help those social media marketers get past those obstacles, or help companies who are having those thoughts realize why hiring a professional is a good idea!

Without further ado… Reason #1 for not hiring a social media manager:

I can do it myself / there is someone in the office who can run the sites.

The classic “I can do it myself” excuse. I would bet that any professional has run into this excuse. People have a desire to save money and do things themselves, and that’s just fine! If companies truly want to run their own social media sites, who am I to tell them otherwise?

But, to this excuse I always ask one question: “Is what you’re doing accomplishing your goals?” This question is typically greeted with a version of “I haven’t had time / I post when I can” or “not really”. This is because most of the time people spend their energy on posting what they want to tell their customers vs taking the time to understand what their customer wants to hear.

This point and many more are what separates a social media marketer from the receptionist at your office who has some free time and posts funny memes she has seen to your Facebook page. Social media marketers take the time to figure out when to post, what type of content to post, what social media site to post certain content to, and why. Just like you wouldn’t hire an intern to create a billboard ad for you, you shouldn’t hire an intern to run your social media accounts. It’s a form of marketing just like billboard ads, magazine ads, radio ads and more.

So when you hear someone say, “I don’t need to hire a social media marketer for my social media sites, ask them, “How is that working for you?” and smile while you hear their response 🙂

 

Reason #2… next week. Stay tuned.

 

Maintain Your Voice While Selling Yourself

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Recently I had coffee with a young woman who is thinking about starting up her own marketing company. She wanted to know what to do in order to be successful while she toys with the idea of venturing off on her own.

This conversation made me revisit what I did when I started to ensure that I would be successful in my own business venture.

Now I know what you might be thinking and yes I do know that not everyone reading this has the intention of starting their own company. Luckily I believe all of these tips are applicable to a person going in for a job interview or even selling themselves to their boss in order to get a promotion.

1. Maintain Your Voice– Every company (or person) is trying to sell the same skill sets. Any marketing company can promise increased ROI, more conversations, and better results, but what makes you or your company different? Why would they choose you instead of the other guy? It’s because they like the way you present yourself and your voice. A lot of companies forget that if a client doesn’t like the person or they fade into the background, they won’t get the job. Make sure to bring your personality into work with you.

This should also be reflected in your writing. No one wants to read text while by someone who speaks like a robot. Make sure your voice is heard while getting your message across. For me this is especially true in blog writing. Anyone in the marketing field can write about the industry, but what I hope keeps people coming back is the way I deliver my message. I want to inform my readers while making sure not to sound like every other blog out there.

2. Always Exceed Expectations– Almost every company will expect a person or company to work 9-5. What will set you apart is working past those hours and giving it 110%. For a company this means solving problems before your client even knows there is one. If they have to call you and let you know something is wrong, they won’t be happy.

3. Dress– Unless you are going into a very strict office, remember that you can have some fun with your outfit. If you have something that reflects your personality but doesn’t distract from what you are doing there, a person will be more likely to remember you. The people wearing a black pencil skirt and white button will fade to the background, but if you put on a fun pair of heels, a skirt with a bow on it, or a colorful blouse you’ll stand out (again, make sure it’s the right environment, but in my experience the people in the marketing field are pretty relaxed about dress so long as it’s congruent with their image).

4. Target Audience– Whether you’re a company selling yourself to a potential client or a person selling yourself in a job interview, it’s important to know who you’re talking to. This will change the way you word your thoughts, the words you use and the manner in which you speak.

This is also true with point #3: If you are talking to a company who is very type A, don’t go in wearing a pair of high pink glitter heels (actually, come to think of it… unless you’re in a very “specific industry”, please never wear pink glitter heels to work).

5. You Can’t Win Them All– Selling yourself or your company is similar to dating; not every person you meet will be interested. This is why it’s so important to remember that just because you don’t get an account or job doesn’t mean your skills aren’t great, it just means that the two companies / people aren’t compatible. The sooner you brush yourself off and move on to the next company the sooner you’ll find a great fit.