Thursday, May 28, 2009

Don't go Naked on the internet!

Yes, you read the title right. And what does that mean you ask. I heard the term from a friend of mine and she was referring to the signature field when you send an email and not using this area to include your contact information, business name, and maybe your tagline.

There are several reasons to do this. Below are some that I thought of and I've also listed some other information about general posting to the internet. If you have others, please share.

1. Include a phone number. Don't assume the person you are communicating with has your number at their finger tips or programed in their speed dial. Many times I have had the need to call someone back and one of the places I look for their number is a recent email. I did this the other day when I was suppose to meet with someone for coffee. Yes, shame on me for not asking for and writing their number down. Anyway I checked the last several emails we had exchanged about our meeting and no phone number, so I resorted to sending an email to confirm our meeting. Luckily the person received it and it all worked out well.

2. List your company information, i.e. website, tagline, etc.. Someone might be interested in your products or services. That's how I found the greeting card business. I was surfacing the web looking for information on 'The Laws of Attraction' and read a post that had a signature line about sending a greeting card. So I did, now it's part of my business.

3. Post a photo, not a cute avatar, company logo, etc. especially on social networks. How can someone warm up to you or get to know you when they have no face to relate to. And make it a recent photo. Everyone now a days has a digital camera or camera on their phone. Take a few minutes and have someone take your photo and post it. I have a business associate who has a massive following on Twitter, but she will not follow anyone that doesn't have a photo. And what about Facebook! Have you ever searched for someone on FB? You might get several of the same names and with no photo, how are you suppose to know which one is the right person! What do you have to hide?

4. When you join a social website, put some information out there. Let people know who you are, what you do, what your interests are, etc. Again it's a
S O C I A L network. If you don't have any info out there, then you're just a lurker or stalker.

5. Participate. It doesn't take hours, but it can become addictive. Post a status, a comment, an opinion, a compliment, say happy birthday, congratulations, etc. Just like you would if you were at any other social gathering. Don't be a wall flower.

So if you want to get to know people, whether it's for personal or business reasons let them know something about you, The REAL You. Don't go naked on the internet.

Happy Networking!
Painted Lady Enterprises
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"

Monday, May 25, 2009

Father Knows Best

Did you watch that show when you were growing up? I guess I'm telling my age by admitting I did. Robert Young always had the right answers and solutions. My Father always told me, 'Don't do as I do, Do as I tell you.' I lost my father at a very young age. He was only 53. I was a 'Daddy's Girl.' Growing up I thought my Dad could do not wrong. Honor your parents. Hold them close. Ask them all the questions you might want to know now, because you never know when they won't be around any more. Remember Dad this Father's Day. Send him a greeting card with my compliments.

When I think of June, I think of Father's Day, weddings, and the beginning of summer. What do you think of when you think of June?

Listed below is the list of holidays for June along with some real funny quirky holidays too. Hope you Enjoy!

June-6 - Child Health Day

June-6 - D-Day

June-7 - Boone Day

June-8 - Best Friend's Day

June-11 - King Kamehameha Day (Hawaii)

June-14 - Flag Day

June-17 - Bunker Hill Day

June-19 - Emancipation Day (Texas)

June-19 - Juneteenth (Milwaukee, Wisconsin & Texas)

June-21 - Father's Day

June-28 - World War 1 Day

Month Observances

Vision Research Month - Prevent Blindness America
Fireworks Safety Months - Prevent Blindness America
Light the Night for Sight Months - Prevent Blindness America
National Candy Month - National Confectioners Association
Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month - A.S.P.C.A.
Cancer in the Sun Month - Pharmacy Council on Dermatology
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Month - KQED
Dairy Month - American Dairy Assoc
National Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Month - United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Assoc.
National Iced Tea Month - The Tea Council of the USA
National Pest Control Month - National Pest Control Assoc.
Safety Month - American Society of Safety Engineers
Scleroderma Awareness Month - Scleroderma Foundation
Zoo and Aquarium Month - American Assoc. of Zoos & Aquariums

First Full Week

National Fragrance Week - The Fragrance Foundation
Canadian Environment Week - Environment Canada

Second Week

Aphasia Awareness Week - National Aphasia Assoc.
Brain Tumor Awareness Week - American Brain Tumor Assoc.
Headache Awareness Week - National Headache Foundation

Third Week

Hug Holiday - Hugs for Health Foundation
Lightning Safety Awareness Week - National Weather Service
National Little League Baseball Week - Little League Baseball

Here are the Quirky Holidays for June

June 2 - Yell "Fudge" at the Cobras in North America Day -- Anywhere north of the Panama Canal. In order to keep poisonous cobra snakes out of North America, all citizens are asked to go outdoors at noon local time and yell “fudge!” Fudge makes cobras gag, and the mere mention of it makes them skeedaddle.

June 14 - Family History Day -- Every summer family reunions are so busy with bingo and volleyball, most of us forget the true purpose: to share the folklore, legends and myths that bind us together. Each participant is expected to share at least one good recollection (fact or fiction). Don’t forget the hot dogs and lemonade.

June 22 - Stupid Guy Thing Day -- Women are always talking about it, so here's the day to commemorate it! Women everywhere are to make a list of "stupid guy things" and pass it on!

June 23 - Let It Go Day -- Whatever it is that’s been grabbing your gut or your psyche, let it go. Just let it go. It’ll be a better day afterwards.

June 24 - Celebration of the Senses -- Treat yourself to a stimulation of the 5 senses—taste, touch, scent, sight and sound—and you will experience the elevation known as the elusive sixth sense.

Send a free Father's Day Card

Happy June,
Painted Lady Enterprises

"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Why do Women Travel in Twos?

Did Noah start something? Women travel in twos, even to the bathroom. I know the obvious answer to the title of this blog is 'safety' and yes I agree. And I guess you're asking the question, what does this have to do with networking, business, relationship marketing, etc. that I usually write about. Well something happened recently that brought this topic back to the surface. I won't bore you with the details as to why the reason for the this writing.

So I muse, why is it that some women don't feel comfortable going to some places by themselves. Is it a question of safety, lack of confidence, or just an excuse? I asked a friend of mine this question and she said because girls are taught at an early age the 'buddy system.' My friend is a Girl Scout leader. She said they teach the girls to always travel in pairs. Here again I can understand this, but I guess being raised as an only child and given my age and life circumstances, if I had always abided by this, I would have lost out on a large portion of life. I don't go to places that I feel are unsafe, however I don't wait around or depend on someone always accompanying me to events. As an adult I made the decision a long time ago that if I wanted/needed to go somewhere, that I could go alone and it would perfectly OK. I've traveled by myself, went out to restaurants alone, went to weddings, social functions, funerals, etc., however I always take the necessary precautions.

So my question is, how does a business woman function who doesn't feel comfortable going to a business meeting alone? Given that it is at a public location in a safe neighborhood. Is it a question of safety, lack of confidence, or just an excuse for not showing up?

I would love to hear your comments and feedback.

In gratitude,
Painted Lady Enterprises
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"

Saturday, May 9, 2009

And How's That Working for You!

I recently attended a networking event. It was a 'business after hours' type of meeting. There were probably between 200 to 300 people there. Saw lots of people I knew, re-connected with some people I had not seen in a long while, and I met some new people. Did some 'netweaving,' i.e. introducing people I knew to other people I knew. After all that is the point of going to these types of events, right?.

One person I met, let's call her Sara, was certainly there to do some 'speed networking.' I was talking to a business associate when she came by and stuck out her business card, interrupting our conversation we were having. OK, we introduced ourselves and exchanged cards and she gave me a short description of what she did. Later as I was making my rounds to the various display tables, we met again and again she gave me another business card.

Overall it was a good evening, possible new business, some follow-up appointments, referrals made, and some information provided.

I have to give Sara credit. I received a phone call from her the very next day. However, Sara had not done her homework. I think the conversation started out with her asking me questions about how I market my business. After each question and my response, she would make the statement, 'How's that working for you?' After about three questions, it finally got on my last nerve, so I interrupted and asked, 'Sara, what exactly is it you're selling?' And she told me about her product and then she asked, 'Do you paint interior as well as exteriors?' RED FLAG. Obviously she was just calling phone numbers. She had not read anything on my business card, had not been to my website, let alone taken the time to ask me anything about my business. I just chuckled and said, Sara I don't paint anything.' I went on to explain what I did and the origin of the name of my business. I told her I specialized in 'relationship marketing' and provided products and services to that effect. I then tried to offer Sara some other alternatives for networking. She had not heard of BNI or The Joy of Connecting. I gave her some suggestions and told her about the list on my website that listed some networking opportunities in the area. Hopefully she'll check it out and read some of the articles on my website about networking and relationship marketing.

Here are some of my suggestions to build your network and build relationships:

1. When you go to networking meetings, make a goal to meet 5 good prospects to follow up with. Not just collect as many business cards as possible.

2. Do some 'Netweaving' - introduce people to other people who would be good referral partners. - Zig Ziglar says 'If you help enough people to get what they want, you'll get what you want.'

3. Do your homework. Look over the business card. Check out their website before you make the follow-up call. Determine how you can be of help to this person.

4. Follow up with those that you met. With a phone call, email, a card.

5. Arrange a meeting, (meet for coffee, lunch, etc.) with those that you want to further the relationship. You can start the conversation like this, 'I would like to meet with you to learn more about your business and how I can be a good referral partner for you.' Remember 'Givers Gain.'

6. Make the follow up conversation about them, not about you. Ask questions and let them talk about themselves and their business, learn about them, their wants and needs. They will then in turn ask you about you and your business.

7. Stay in touch. Add them to your Contact Manager, connect with them on Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Find appropriate reasons to follow up, i.e. when there are events that you think might be of interest, training, referrals, etc. Send them a birthday card, congratulations, (when appropriate) etc.

Believe it or not, everyone doesn't want or need what you are selling or they may need it but don't have the funds available at the moment. Or they need to get to know you before they change from their current service/product to yours. Make it about building the relationship. I heard a description recently that as we meet people and put them into our contact manager to look at it as a funnel. Some will come out the other end as great clients and customers. Does it take more work to do it this way versus Sara's 'speed networking' way? I don't think so. I would like to think that over the long haul that I have met more people, made more positive business connections, and even if they perceive they don't need my products or services, that I have built the relationship so that they will refer me to their business acquaintances who do need and can use my products and services. Isn't that what networking is all about?

I would love to hear your thoughts on how to build great relationships in business.

Happy Networking,
Painted Lady Enterprises
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"


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