3 Tips to Stay Off Facebook So You Can Work on Your Business

If your social media posts are lacking engagement, you could be posting too much, according to nutrition business blogger Ruthann Giordano.  Staying at about 1 to 2  posts per day, 5 days a week is ideal as post engagement dropped dramatically after 2 posts per day.  So, if you really want to improve engagement on your business posts on Facebook, get off Facebook and get to work on your business.  Here are some tips that might help:

  1.  Use scheduling software life Buffer, Hootsuite, or my favorite, TinyTorch.  I like TinyTorch best because it allows me to post to Facebook events and groups.  For you direct sellers out there, imagine being able to throw a Hostess Party without doing any work.  Yeah, TinyTorch is the app for that.  Your first $10 is on me when you use this link.
  2. Uninstall the Facebook App from your phone.  Bahahaha.  Right.  But hey, use the right app for your business.  You should use the Facebook Pages app to post to your business page.
  3. Feeling lonely?  Leave your house and go to a networking event so you can meet and talk to real people.  GASP!

To recap, schedule your posts so you aren’t tempted to get sucked into the Facebook vortex, use the Pages app to post on the fly and interact with your audience, go meet people in person rather than cyber-stalking.

 

How Long to Keep Business Records

We are in the middle of a great purge as we close our custom furniture business.  We sold off most of our major tools on Saturday and today we packed seven years worth of business records into my CR-V to take to the shredder.

Of course, since it had been a while since I purged business records, I had to call my accountant and ask how to keep business records so I didn’t purge too many of them.

The answer is 7.

Seven.

Keep the previous 7 years worth of business records.

Seven seems to be the magic number today.  Apparently, it has been 7 years since I purged my files because I had boxes labeled 2003, so that last time I did this was in 2010.  Don’t be like me.  Purge every year!!

Networking Follow-Up Do’s and Dont’s

Let this sink in: 80% of sales happen after the 4th follow-up. Yet, only 12% of people follow-up more than 3 times.  You don’t have to be good at math to figure out the magic follow-up formula.

4 Follow Ups = More Sales

The folks over at Cassius Blue Consulting put together this fantastic info-graphic on the do’s and don’t of networking follow up that really speaks for itself. But, you know me, I always like to add my two cents.

Be Authentic

Not everyone is going to be your client. In fact, that’s the last thing you want!  You want to be doing business with people who know, like and trust. Just like you want them to know, like and trust you. Rapport. The word for that know, like and trust factor is rapport. Be who you a really are and you will attract the kind of clients with whom you love to work.

Have Fun

Make follow-up a game. Have fun. Connect with your prospective client on Facebook or LinkedIn. Send real paper greeting cards with fun photos from their Facebook feed. Most folks don’t have print copies of their favorite photos anymore, so they will treasure your greeting card for years, proudly displaying it on their desk. They will never forget you!  I use an app that allows me to send a real paper greeting card with real photos with a few taps and swipes for less than $2 per card including postage, you can check it out here.

Info-graphic:  Networking Follow-Up Do’s and Don’ts

Click Image to View the Do's and Don't of Networking Follow Up

Click Image to View the Do’s and Don’t of Networking Follow Up

Source: http://cassiusblueconsulting.com/2013/02/infographic-networking-follow/

Change is Good

I have always believed that change is good.

Growth is change.  Opportunity is change.

Yesterday, I received several sad face emoji after posting about closing our business after 19 years.  Turn those sad emoji to happy faces because my husband and I are facing this new adventure head on with open arms.

Embrace change.  Don’t look back.  Only look ahead.

Change is good.

Closing a Business is Emotional

Closing a business is emotional.

My daughter and I left the house this morning around 6 am with a car filled with garage sale items, and headed to the wood shop where my husband has created gorgeous custom furniture for the past 17 years.  Shane was already at the shop, getting his tools and equipment ready to liquidate.

We were at the shop for less than 15 minutes when folks started to arrive to buy the tools Shane has used for his livelihood.  One by one, an eager buyer claimed each tool:  a woman building a workshop on her ranch, an out of work engineer looking for a way to turn a fast buck, a custom frame maker needing a few more routers.

By noon we were left with some hand tools, a couple of ladders, an air compressor and an empty shop where my husband, and dozens of young apprentices over the course of nearly 2 decades, created beautiful furniture.

I am understandably filled with happiness, sadness, excitement and a little nervousness about all these changes taking place.  All at the same time.

Closing a business is emotional.

 

 

4 Ways to Prepare For Your Summer Road Trip

Yesterday, I shared a story about a road trip my husband and I took last Fall with an unexpected detour.

Road trips are fun!  If you have a few extra days this summer, one great way to spend your time is on a road trip. Taking a road trip is a fantastic way to broaden your horizons, and see your neighboring cities and states while soaking in the summer sun.

You’ll have tons of amazing conversations with the people with you in your car. You’ll get to listen to great music. You’ll get to spend a lot of time outdoors and meet a lot of amazing people.

So how do you plan for a summer road trip?

Start by Prepping Your Car

You’re going add several hundred, if not several thousand miles on your car during a road trip. Make sure your car is ready before you set out.

Get an oil change if one is due. Replace the car’s fluids. Notice if your breaks are skidding or weak and get that fixed if necessary. Notice if your car is making any strange noises. If so, have those looked at.

Before going on a road trip, it’s probably a good idea to sign up for roadside assistance if something happens.

Planning the Trip Itself

Start by planning your destinations. Try to include both mainstream tourist destinations as well as places off the beaten path. Sometimes it’s a good idea to just show up at a city and see what happens.

Plan the actual roads you’ll drive to get to your destination. Again, try to get a mix of both highways and country back roads.

Plan where you plan to sleep each night. Of course, plans can change and you can end up at a different motel. But it still helps to have a plan to start with.

Buy a couple different maps of the area(s) you plan on driving. Having different maps helps, if one is a little off. GPS is not always reliable, either.

What to Bring with You

The most important thing you need to bring to a road trip is copious amounts of great music. That, and great company. These are the two things you can’t really get on the road.

You’ll want to bring a lot of snacks. Make sure you also have garbage bags, as there will be trash generated from all the food wrappers and drink bottles.

Bring sunscreen. Driving in the sun, even with shades and sun blockers down can still cause a sunburn.

Conversational Games

If you have conversational lulls during a road trip, one great way to pass the time is through conversational games.

For example, the “Three Truths One Lie” game, where you tell three truths and one lie and the other person has to guess the lie, is a great one.

Lookup conversational games and play the ones that excite you most when there’s a break in conversation.

Going on a road trip is a great way to deepen friendships, see new places and enjoy the summer sun.

Unexpected Detours Lead to New Adventures

Last September my husband and I took a road trip to Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.  On our way home from SLC, we ended up on a detour that took us 3 hours out of our way to Interstate 70 through Manti-La Sal National Forest. It was breathtaking, and worth every extra minute it added to our trip.

Reveal how much my blogging skills need to improve, I started writing this post on October 4, 2016 and today is July 6, 2017, a full nine months later.  Even though I managed to upload a video to Facebook about our adventure, this accompanying post was never completed (until now).

Unexpected Detours

I must have hit a detour.  But, as you will read, sometime detours lead us down unexpectedly delightful paths.

As we drove through Manti-La Sal, we stopped at several viewing stations to take in the scenery.  At each overlook there were vendors selling Navajo jewelry and pottery.  A boy and his little sister sold me a beautiful turquoise necklace that I wear quite often.  My husband purchased a ceramic turtle from an elderly woman.

This story definitely falls into the turning lemons into lemonade category, because a 3 hour detour added to a 22 hour road trip could have created two very grumpy travelers.  But, we chose to enjoy the breathtaking scenery, and unexpected treasures we purchased.

Pivot and Adapt

Detours can happen in business, too.  Heck, the economic crisis in 2008 put a lot of good companies out of business.  For those of us who looked at the crisis as an opportunity to learn, pivot, and adapt, made it through just fine.  My husband and I were crazy enough to triple our prices in 2008.   Heck, we weren’t crazy, we were navigating the detour.

Next time you find yourself on a detour in your business, ask yourself, “Self, what can I learn from this detour?  How can I pivot and adapt to it?”  Allow the detour to take you on an amazing journey.  You will end up at your destination, anyway.

Transactional Marketing vs. Relationship Marketing

Transactional Marketing focuses on a single sale at a time.  It is a very short-sighted and exhausting way of doing business.

Business is a series of transactions, you know, exchanging money for goods or services.  If you don’t clients giving you money, you aren’t in business.

Business also involves an investment, usually money and a lot of time, to get off the ground.  If you aren’t willing to invest in your business, you aren’t in business.

Relationship Marketing focuses on cultivating customer loyalty, and long-term interaction and engagement.  Relationship Marketing results in more client retention and repeat sales.

More client retention and repeat sales means a faster return on investment, which means more profits.

The foundation of Relationship Marketing is follow-up.   If follow-up is your downfall, I can help.

Starting today I’m offering my completely free 7 Secrets to Effective Follow-Up training as a 7-day Facebook Event. No need to sign up for anything, just RSVP going on the event page.  If you are reading this post sometime after July 11, 2017, hopefully, the content will still be there if you click the link.  It’s good stuff, I know you’ll enjoy it, and learn something.

If you apply what you learn to your business, you will see results.