Social Selling in 2015: A Look Into The Next 12 months [Infographic]

Social Selling in 2015: A Look Into The Next 12 months [Infographic].

Business projectSocial selling has proven to be both popular and effective. According to a 2014 study by DemandGen, 72% of B2B buyers used social media to research their purchase decision in 2014. High performing companies like Oracle, IBM, SAS and ADP among others are already reaping the financial and brand benefits of empowering their sales teams with training in social selling and access to the best tools available.

So what does 2015 hold for this quickly evolving space? From consumer trends to effective social platforms and content types, 2015 will be a big year for social selling. Take a look below!

SocialSellingInfographic

– Source: http://www.salesforlife.com/social-selling/social-selling-in-2015-a-look-into-the-ext-12-months/#sthash.tNjeItUN.DVSEV2kO.dpuf

Feeling Entrepreneurial Doubts? Try These Tips for Pushing Through.

BusinessWomanFrustrated

A few years ago, I wrote a post about overcoming entrepreneurial fears and doubts. As a small business owner myself, I understand how important your mind-set is in overcoming challenges, and in the last two years, I’ve had to draw upon my own advice. And I’ve learned a few more lessons along the way.

It’s a given that your success depends on your ability to handle ongoing challenges, however, often times the biggest obstacles you’ll face come not from the outside, but from within.

“Successful entrepreneurs and small-business owners alike routinely note that overcoming self-doubt, fear and procrastination are three of the greatest challenges they face.”

They have very real effects on your business, including crushing your drive and compromising your ability to play it big, or even at all, for that matter.

Here are some tips to help you push through:

Feel the fear, act anyway. Almost all business owners experience fear. Fear of making mistakes, fear of rejection, fear of failure – the list goes on. What separates those who are successful from those who allow fear to hold them back is willingness to feel the fear and to act in spite of it. The best way to get over fear is to face it head-on – it’s never as bad as you think.

Failed again? Forgive yourself and fail forward. We’ve all been there; it’s not uncommon to screw up a project or to fail repeatedly until you find your way in business, however, you have to be able to let it go and move on to what does works Being able to forgive yourself and failing forward is crucial to your success. I’ve personally experienced the awful feeling of realizing that I’ve taken a misstep with a project that I’m working on; it’s painful and can be immobilizing. When that happens, I quickly focus on what is working and shift back into that direction. Which leads me to the next tip…

• Move into your momentum. One of the best ways to overcome fear of failure is to remember past successes. If you’re fixated on failing, put that energy into revisiting past successes and accomplishments. How did it feel? If you can tap into your past successes and relive how you felt in that moment, you’ll feel more confident facing new challenges. This will also help you to get past failures.

• Break through your comfort zones. Most people tend to avoid uncomfortable situations. If you want to succeed, learn to be comfortable even when you’re outside your comfort zone. It can be scary, but it won’t kill you. Really, it won’t

• Find what motivates you. It’s important to remember your “why.” Passion trumps fear and when you focus on your dreams (and not your fears), you’ll shift your momentum and eliminate procrastination.

• You’ve just got to BELIEVE. Having self-confidence and belief in yourself and your business is hands down the most important aspect of achieving success. Boost your self-confidence and belief by having a solid foundation and staying current on best practices in your industry.

• Focus on relationships you have. Fear shrinks your perspective. Participating in small business groups or meet-ups gives you access to ideas and experiences beyond your own and can help you focus on the big picture. Also, surrounding yourself with like-minded business professionals will remind you that you’re not alone, which in itself can go a long way toward conquering your fears.

April Neill is a brand strategist, lifelong entrepreneur and founder/CEO of April Neill Public Relations, a boutique public relations firm serving small businesses and non-profits in Chicagoland. April is also a guest contributor to NBC Chicago’s Inc. Well Blog where a version of these tips first appeared.

Feel Good PR Tips for the Holiday Season

BoostPRHolidayImageThis holiday season, if you’re looking for new ways to boost your brand exposure, drive sales, and garner media attention while also fostering a sense of goodwill, try mixing up your marketing strategy with feel good PR initiatives.

Below are some quick tips for boosting your PR during the holidays.

Campaign for a Cause

Increasing numbers of brands are mixing social good into their marketing and PR programs. Not only is it smart; it can reap big rewards as well!

Studies show that consumers are more prone to make purchases and seek out services from businesses and brands that give back and do good for the world. As a matter of fact, in a recent survey, 87 percent of consumers said they would switch brands based on a connection with a good cause.

As with any marketing initiative, holiday PR requires a clear, compelling message. It’s also important to target the proper audience with a relatable, easy to follow offer and mission. Potential customers need to know specifically what or who their purchase will benefit. So host a toy drive or a coat drive to benefit a local charity and attach it to an offer for your business! Not only will you boost your sales, garner media attention (don’t forget to send a press release to your local media announcing your campaign and one after reporting on results) but you’ll also be perceived as a company that cares.

You can also support a charity during the holidays with a campaign that doesn’t attach a specific offer to it. One of our favorite promotions of all time is Macy’s ‘Believe” Campaign that invites kids to mail letters to santa to benefit the Make-A-Wish foundation. What makes it awesome? While there is no purchase necessary, it drives traffic to their stores and keeps them top-of-mind with their customers. They also always get a lot of press during the holidays as well, which is important for any business trying to stand out in a crowded marketplace. This year, the department store is making their campaign even more interactive, giving their customers an experience outside of the store with a mobile app that takes pictures of Macy’s holiday characters to further promote their campaign. How cool is that!

Share Holiday Tips

Another great way to give back is by providing helpful holiday tips that help your potential customers solve problems they are facing during the holiday season. Get creative! You can write a blog post, send a tips-related press release, pitch and/or contributed article to your local media outlets, post an article on your LinkedIn page, or post on hyper local news sites. You can even host a free workshop! Not only will you establish your industry expertise, but you’ll be providing a valuable service to the community while potentially driving traffic to your business, website, or blog.

Whether you host a holiday outreach effort or craft seasonal tips to share, don’t miss out on a great opportunity to build your brand awareness while also celebrating the season of giving.

Chances are, you’ll boost your sales while also generating positivity and goodwill in the world.

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Google +: The missing link?

There's No Crying in PR

The Google+ launch has the social media community in a frenzy! An enormous demand prompted the lucky invitees of the new social media program to open the flood gates on invites, which was eventually suspended by Google. Everyone wants in (including me) and here is why:

Is Google+ the Missing Link in social media?

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6 Tips to Turn Your Boring About Us Page Into a Lead Generation Machine

How effective is your About Us page? Does it convince your website visitors that you are the right company for them or does it bore them to death?

If you think yours needs improving take a look at this infographic from Referral Candy which gives you 6 tips on how to acquire customers using your About page.

6 Tips to Turn Your Boring About Us Page Into a Lead Generation Machine.

21 Ways to Create Compelling Content When You Don’t Have a Clue (Infographic)

 

Courtesy of Copyblogger, this infographic demonstrates how to repurpose existing content in a different media format, get more bang from your archives, and reach new and different audiences in the process.

The graphic is based on 21 Ways to Create Compelling Content When You Don’t Have a Clue by Copyblogger guest writer Danny Iny. Copyblogger re-imagined the way to present these content-creation tips, while adding a meta-fabulous #22 (you’ll see why). Enjoy!

Courtesy of April Neill Public Relations, a boutique PR firm serving small businesses and non-profits in Chicagoland. April Neill PR offers FREE 30 minute phone and in-person consultations. For more information, visit AprilNeillPR.com, call 815.651.0656 or email info@AprilNeillPR.com.

22 Ways to Create Compelling Content - Infographic
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

Inside the Newsroom:  What Reporters Like About Newswires

As a small business owner, whether or not to use news distribution services, aka Newswires, to announce your news is a growing concern. Is it worth the cost? According to a recent survey conducted by Business Wire Media, it is. Read on to find out what reporters like about newswires.

BusinessWired - Business Wire Blog

By Hannah Kelly, Editor, Business Wire Paris

Commercial news distribution services (aka Newswires) have been in existence for over fifty years, their durability proving their utility. Business Wire’s latest mission was to investigate the ‘why’ behind the popularity of newswires, particularly as far as reporters are concerned, and here’s what the 2014 Business Wire Media Survey concluded…

Why do reporters continue to use newswires?
Simply put, newswires make reporters’ lives easier. An overwhelming 68.2% of reporters surveyed stated that their job would be harder if newswire-distributed press releases were no longer available. (Tweet this!) Newswires make for reliable news sources providing reporters with ongoing, instantly accessible information on a wide variety of news subjects, from technology to pharmaceuticals.

How often do reporters use newswires?
An astonishing 89% of responding reporters referred to newswire copy within the last week.  (Tweet this!) 3.3% of reporters surveyed use newswire…

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