Examples of Quick Tips (Articles Follow) Join Now!
Please note - this layout of articles and quick tips is very different to how you'd view them on the Invest In Yourself! website. I've just piled them on top of each other here to show a good variety in one place - Debbie
Take Care When Replying To Emails
When you reply to an email, Outlook preserves the format of the email you are replying to. If you get a plain text email in, your reply to them is in plain text even if your default is HTML. Don't take an Excel Table (spreadsheet), paste it into Outlook/outlook Express and send it to a large group of people. Those on Plain Text versions of Outlook (prior to 2000), Mac's or Lotus Notes will not receive the information in separated rows and columns. They'll all disappear and the text will be jumbled together.
Never Email Microsoft Publisher Files
Don't even contemplate sending a Microsoft Publisher File. Publisher files can only be opened and read by people who have that same version of Publisher (and that's not many).
Using The 'Read Receipts' Option?
Do it rarely. It really bugs people. Also be aware they can choose not to answer or they could be on a system that doesn't accept Read Receipts.
Get Your Newsletter Through The Spam Filter
Ask people who subscribe to your emails to put you on their white list i.e their approved list. You might say something like this on your sign up page “Our newsletter will be sent with me@mycompany in the "from" address. If you use a spam filter, please add this address to your approved list to ensure that you will receive the newsletter.
Get Smart With Your Contact List
Ever thought of putting photos (Office 2006+) in your contact list? One very clever real estate agent uses her Contacts to store her property information database and puts the picture of each house in the contact photo field.
Autocomplete For Speed
Don't forget about AutoComplete. It not only works in Contact (Find a Contact), it works for every email you create and send too. All you do is type in a piece of the name, company or email address. It brings up a list of suggested contacts to use. You double click the correct one. AutoComplete saves a lot of time scrolling, or having to Double click the To: column and looking for the correct email address.
Your Eight Tips for Success
1. Focus on Your Most Profitable Income Producing Activity
It is so easy to spin your wheels and spend a lot of time on activities in your business that don't provide the best return. Let me tell you a story. An acquaintance called me the other day wanting advice. I listened to him ramble on about what he wanted to do - this and that. This and that. And all of it was going to be marketed on a website. I said, "M", don't be crazy (I don't mince words). Your website is nothing more than a billboard in the woods. There are millions - billions out there. How is your NZ website going to sell music? Don't spin your wheels on every single money making activity you can think of. Your time is limited and valuable. How much energy and effort will it take you to produce a music CD for a school play (and what could you earn on each of those $10 - $20 CD's) vs. spending the time trying to get a corporate function booking where they would pay you in the thousands?
So look at all the activities you do. In 2006 focus on the ones that show you more money (ala Jerry McGuire).
2. Gain Celebrity
People like celebrities. They like being around or associated with people that are famous. So become famous. Become an expert in your field. Write articles and submit it to magazines that your target market is reading. And don't guess at that - you'd be surprised. Ask your clients. Whenever I do a workshop - one of the questions on the evaluation form is what magazines do you read. You can do it too. Let it be part of a survey you conduct.
The more your clients and your prospective clients see your name, the more famous they'll think you are, the more of an expert you become in their eyes. You see, your celebrity will rub off on them as one of your clients. This stands for every single person reading this newsletter. Financial service advisers, corporate executives, managers, entrepreneurs. The more often your name is out there (so to speak) the more opportunities will arise of journalists calling you for quotes, or more.
The more you promote yourself and get in the press, the higher your celebrity and expert status becomes. You'll get more clients, and get higher fees.
3. Market More in a Downturn
Be very clever. During slow periods in the economy, one of the first activities to go is marketing, publicity and promotion. If you're smart, you'll take this as an incredible opportunity to do the opposite, gain recognition and market share from your competition. It doesn't have to be solely through advertising in the press - it's a great time to start using email as your workhorse. Email newsletters can help you stay in touch, keep your name in front of your clients and prospects, spur referrals, give you that "expert" status I spoke of above, sell your goods and services and improve your customer service.
4. Email - You Must, Must, Must, Must do it Right
I will not harp on you about email. It is one of the most valuable business tools you can employ in 2006. But you can blow it royally by not doing it correctly. In 2006 you must:
- Target correctly
- Think customer first
- Be very, very, very, very careful about "cool" technology - it might turn around and bite you in the bum instead
- Don't inundate
- Graphic simplicity is the name of the game
- Track, measure and respond
- Be clever, don't follow the pack
- Develop an outstanding database of your own
5. Get Some New Best Business Friends
I'm talking about those with huge email databases. 1 + 1 = much more than 2 when you join marketing forces with someone with a large permission database. Think of clever joint ventures you can do, companies in synergy with you, complementary where you can cross market services to each other.
Several months ago I had a meeting with the Manager of Hamner Springs Hot Pools. I suggested that the town get together - hotels, restaurants, the Hot Pools, each developing their own databases. Then one of the activities they can do is cross promote to each others lists. In fact the last time I spoke in Rotorua I stayed at the Millennium and in my room was a voucher for a free ticket to the Royal Polynesian Hot Pools. This is very clever and very inexpensive marketing for 2006. Do it!!! And don't forget to think outside the square.
6. Anything You Want to Know is on the Internet
Use the Internet for research. Find out about your competition here and abroad. Check out your competition's websites. Grab the logo or corporate colours of your prospect to put on the quote you're preparing for them. Get a source of information to put in your newsletter. Get ideas, inspiration, information and more. Just be clever about searching. www.google.com is an excellent search engine. Use it. They also have an image search by the way. It's great.
I went to see the movie Zoolander the other day. I liked it so much I took the kids, hubby and our nanny to see it. All us girls are unanimous in our oohing and aahhhing over Owen Wilson in this movie (he's in most of the Stiller movies by the way). So we came home, went to Google and typed in Owen Wilson Zoolander under the image section of Google. Now we're looking at him every day from the great photo's we got off the web.
7. Try to Achieve Balance
I'll never forget sitting in on a session at the Harcourts National Conference when another speaker said something like - "Life is like a bank account in the sky - but you never know what the balance is". This really hit home.
The other day I read an article went on to say that You know what happens when you devote your life to a corporation for 20 years and you pass away? They go out and hire someone the next day.
A few months ago Samantha had a new friend over. This child said to me "oh hi, Sam says you're on the computer all the time" (and where was I - on the computer)!
So please, try to enjoy life a bit more. Try to spend more time with your children and partner (if you have). Kids grow up fast, people get sick unexpectedly and die. Can you honestly say right now that you're happy, you love what you do and that you're family is happy with you?
8. Be a Better Marketer of What You Do Than a Doer of What You Do
I guess this is really the summation of the seven points above isn't it?
Lets face it. There are 1,000's of people just like you out there. Running similar companies. Filling your occupation. Accountants. Writers. Marketers. Caterers. IT Consultants. Graphic Designers. Small business owners. What makes any one of us very successful? What makes you special? You can be the very best in your industry at what you do. But if people don't know about you - how can they use your services?
Success comes more swiftly to those adept at marketing and promoting their businesses. You should be a better marketer of what you do than a doer of what you do. I heard this years ago and took it to heart.
Take each and every opportunity to promote your business. For example, let me illustrate two blown golden opportunities.
Blown Opportunity One
I know a husband and wife that runs their own catering business, specialising in vegetarian food. Their food is incomparable, delicious with stunning presentation. I've had the enjoyable opportunity to be at 4 functions that they have catered. But why oh why didn't they have a table plaque with their company name and contact details? Why didn't they have their business cards on all the tables - or even one? Here in the middle of your target market, with people marveling at your work (and the chef never in sight) why is there no way to find out more?
Blown Opportunity Two
Arriving a bit early for a meeting at a Mission Bay Café, I walked in and ordered a coffee. In front of the cash register was an enormous white latte' bowl, chock full of business cards. I asked the team behind the counter "What do you do with these cards". They all looked at each other, shook their head they didn't know. Then one ventures "People go in a monthly draw for a hotel stay". "Then what do you do with the business cards" I asked. Again, they looked at each other. "Nothing" was the reply.
What a missed golden opportunity!!!! Here was a client database right before their very eyes that they throw out. They should instead start an online communication with people who have already become their clients, and try to woo them back again and again and again.
STRATEGY: Don't be afraid to promote your services or ask for referrals. Be a better marketer of what you do than doer of what you do. Develop a database of potential customers to be in contact with. Meir could have a discreet sign up sheet where he offers to email or mail recipes for all the holiday seasons. The café could offer true Internet specials - like a free cup of coffee when you dine next; they can do an email campaign to bring customers in on slow Mondays.
ACTION: What about you? What can you give
in exchange for that precious email address and the permission to email to
it? Do something likewise for your own profession. A financial services adviser
could offer economic quarterly updates to clients. IT professionals could
offer information about new software or innovations as they come on the market.
Caterers can do seasonal recipes. Florists can prompt clients back on birthdays.
Don't make - or wait - for prospects to come to you. Send "yourself"
to them. Offer something with that magic word free attached to it. Build up
a database and stay in contact at least 4 times a year.
Marketing - Working Smarter - Money Time
The triplets are in the living room watching Scooby Doo. Thank goodness the older three went off to camp on Sunday. I won't tell you what it's been like living with 6 bickering kids (plus friends) non-stop since the 21 st of December.
I'm sitting in the office with Ryan, my computer whiz college student helper. I've just given him the laborious task of taking a long list of prospects and looking them up on the Internet, getting pertinent information for me. I have him finding the information I need and pasting it into a word document.
You see rather then sit back and wait, wait for people to discover our website or somehow learn about our business, the work we're doing now is sowing the seeds for business in the future.
Fess up with your marketing.
- How much time do you put in now to pay off in your future?
- Are you so busy that marketing and finding new clients always slips to low priority and doesn't get done?
- With each new client you have – how did you get them?
- How long does it take to turn a "prospect" into a client?
- How do you nurture them along? This is a key question
Sow the seeds for tomorrow
If your referrals aren't enough to provide an income you delight in, than you must find new clients. And if you find that it takes an average of 4 months to turn a prospect into a client, then you must find a new prospect in January to create the income in May.
Debbie's Top Ten Ways To Really Screw Up (Your Email Marketing Efforts)
1. Mate, all I need is your email address
I want to send you my email marketing material. I don't care where you live, how old you are, what company you work for or what your interests are. I just wanna sell, sell, sell to you. Of course those people outside of my location are interested in my products and services. Even if I don't work or sell over there.
2. Email is so easy. I think I'll send another. And another... ....
And another. Wow, this email is great! I can send out as many marketing emails as I want and it costs me NOTHING!!!! My clients would love to hear from me more often, and all about my products and services.
3. Decide against launching an online newsletter.
"Heck, why do I want to waste my time adding value and education my customers and prospects? Why would I want to develop a relationship with them? It sounds like too much work to me.
I really only want to sell! Sell ! Sell! Sell to them.
4. I'll just email everyone in my address book.
Whoops. How did so many people get in there 2 or 3 times? Who cares? Whoops - they just reported me for spamming. Why? They once sent me an email didn't they?
5. Ignore subject lines.
Why shouldn't I write whatever I want? Why should I waste my time trying to be clever and imaginative? Why would I want to catch peoples' attention? They'll open the email. Why they know it's from me!!!
And who cares that only 35 character spaces will view in their Inbox? It's my email so they'll absolutely click it open to see the whole thing anyway.
6. It's my email. Mine. Mine. Mine.
I want to talk about me. ME. ME. ME!!! Me and my company are so interesting aren't we?
7. I'll have them click through to my website homepage.
Why bother directing them exactly to what I'm talking about. They'll hunt and search for the article / product/ sale item for sure.
8. I'll just PDF my print newsletter for online use
'Oh I just love my print newsletter. The pictures and graphics and formatting are oh so nice. So what if it's 600K? It looks cool and I want to keep it that way for my website and email'.
'What? the average consumer probably doesn't have Acrobat reader. And if they do - if they don't have the latest version (the one my PDF is created in) it won't open? So what. It's okay. They'll download it so they can read my newsletter'.
9. I just love those animated graphics. Give me more. MORE
Who cares they're distracting? Who cares the Poynter Eye Tracking Study found people don't look at graphics? Who cares most of the corporates have firewalls now that block the Active-x or Java script that they're made of?
10. Fax me or mail the cheque
I can't be bothered with online booking or secure payments. Why it costs USD $150 or so to get a Thawte Certificate. Hurrumph. I know my customers won't mind faxing me their credit card details or writing and mailing a cheque. After all, they want to do business with me - don't they?
6 Trick Questions For A Web Designer
What makes a good web designer? Ah, a very good question, because man oh man, just about every Tom, Dick and Harry is trying to get a piece of the action. The stories I hear. Kids designing sites, nuclear engineers turning web designer. The WYSIWYG technology makes it toooooo easy for anyone to buy the software and put on a new hat. Heck, you can save any word document as a web page!
- What about search engine ranking? If they say they'll submit your site to search engines and start talking metatags – run. They don't know how Google, the king of search engine work. Very few webdesigners do actually. The site has to be built search engine friendly which means ‘words', not pictures.
- What fonts do you recommend we use? If they can start talking fonts, this means they could have some design background. The answer should be something like Helvetia, Arial, Verdana etc. Fonts that every computer will have.
- Tell me how you use tables? Tables are the old secret to successful design and offer a multitude of alignment possibilities. The new thing is layers.
- Innocently ask “What about email?” I don't need to tell you what their answer should be.
- What should we use for a background ? If he says, black, textured – run!!!!
- Ask for examples of their work . Especially in your industry. Then go and look at the sites.
- Are they quick to download?
- Do they look good?
- Does the navigation make sense?
- Are there any dead ends?
- Would you like any of those sites to be yours?
Are they too busy with too many graphics?
Bonus: Ask how they use Flash. If they
start talking about loading your site with the latest and greatest in animation
and Flash - well if you've been reading this newsletter and the advice I've
been giving then you'll run like the wind. Tip from Debbie Mayo-Smith.
Business Development Tip - Converting Sales That Fall Into Your Lap
You're sitting there working, minding your own business, when someone calls, seemingly out of the blue.
The "prospect" seems to virtually ask you for your business. Your immediate temptation is to try to "close the sale" right away.
Don't . If you really want to get the business, take a deep breath, count to three and follow these three simple steps:
1. Back off and establish some kind of relationship.
Exchange a few pleasantries. Get a feeling for the type of person who has just called you.
2. Find out what is going on.
The situation might not be what it appears to be at first. Establish your surroundings, get the information. It might be too early to try to close.
3. Ask to set up an in-person appointment. It usually pays to establish the kind of personal bond that comes as a result of face-to-face contact.
By resisting the temptation to immediately close what appears to be
an easy sale, you will in the long run convert a larger number of those prospects
into paying customers.
Debbie's Top 12 PowerPoint Tips
1. Use Contrast.
Either have a dark background and light lettering or vice versa.
2. Try to have visuals to break up text.
3. Be consistent.
If you use animation - don't have text coming in from the left on one slide, the right on another, twirling in on the third.
4. Set the font, background and colours on the slide master (the slide and handout master are my best friends).
This way you only have to set up the style once instead of every new slide (master is on the view menu).
5. Always create a reverse presentation in case you walk into a very light room and your dark slides won't show up.
By this I mean if you're planning a dark background with light lettering, have an alternate copy of your presentation with a light background and dark lettering.
6. Always, always, always, always prepare for disaster.
I copy all my presentations onto CD (or floppy) and bring them with me. This way if the laptop dies, I'll still have my presentation and the ability to borrow a laptop.
7. Don't put too much text on a slide.
Tiny text is the cardinal sin of PowerPoint. 20 point should be your absolute minimum
8. Try to use a sans serif font - like Arial, Verdana, Tahoma.
It's easier to read in the large font sizes.
9. Office 2000 has really good clipart on the CD, lots of fun animated pictures and graphics.
Animation will only show up when you're in presentation mode.
10. When you're working in outline view, you can work in the outline text instead of the actual slide itself.
11. There is a black white option (the icon on the toolbar is two opposing triangles, one in colour one in black & white) that you should use when you print your presentation. Be sure to select print in greyscale too. This is a quick option to use if you arrive in a light room where your dark background won't show up well. In black and white, the dark backgrounds turn white and all light text changes to black.
12. If you're giving handouts, seriously think about creating a bullet
point list, or a bit of description text for two reasons.
First you don't give away your intellectual property which is on the slides and two, it will stop people from being a bit lazy and not listening to you. They won't have the slides to look at.
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Andrew Gardner; Investors Edge
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Darryl Hawke; Managing Director; Rivers Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd
“I attended the presentation you gave through the Council of Queensland Insurance Brokers in Brisbane. It was the best 2½ hours of training I have done in 20 years. I could have added a week to my life alone over this period had I just known how to split names across two cells in excel. Thank you!
Marita Lam; National Sales Manager; Cruiseco
In February 2006, CRUISECO had the pleasure of welcoming Debbie Mayo-Smith, as a keynote speaker at our Annual National Conference in Adelaide. Debbie was an absolute inspiration to the 150 travel agents and travel industry personnel who were present. Her 2 part seminar, focusing on “how to fight internet induced obsolescence” not only gave the audience a new confidence within themselves, but it also inspired everyone to “get with the times and enhance their marketing strategy now!”
Debbie had spent a lot of time researching the information she provided prior to the Conference – she spoke with many of the travel agents and suppliers. Debbie conducted a pre-conference online survey in order to get the information and data she needed to make her presentation unique and relative to those who attended.
Debbie was rushed off her feet at the end of her presentation. Those travel agents who attended were so revved up, that CRUISECO has invited Debbie Mayo-Smith back to Australia to conduct a series of workshops in a few month’s time.