Thursday, November 27, 2014

Lessons We've Learned...

This is our first post of a new series entitled Lessons We've Learned. This week, we are featuring the business lessons we've learned from Bender Rodriguez. We've assembled quotes from Bender that we love and explain how they relate to business.

1. "Bite my shiny metal ass." If you've ever watched Futurama, then this is the quote you are most likely to remember. Yes, it does have a business principle that you can apply. When you're in business for yourself, you'll attract a lot of people who have ideas on how you should run your business. We don't mean the people you go to with a business problem who then offer you a solution. We mean your friends and relatives who, although they are not in business in their own right, somehow know exactly what you need to do in your business...and they forcefully tell you how to run your empire. You must learn early how to run your business in the way that best suits you. While you don't have to be quite as direct as Bender, you should certainly let it be known that you will be making the business decisions...but thanks so much for your input.

2. "Shut up, baby. I know it." Bender is not known to mince words. You're wondering how this phrase could possibly help you. Well, simply put - it can serve as a reminder to stay confident. Often, you'll give ideas and suggestions to clients. When they are implemented and your clients gain success, you will hear from them (you'll hear from them if they don't work, too). Don't live and die by their compliments and criticisms. Always remain confident in your work.

3. "I'll start my own religion! With blackjack and hookers!" This Bender-iffic saying can get you through planning and executing your business. We've used it as a guide to expand our business offerings. Don't look so shocked. This quote has a great business lesson. If you don't like the way something is happening, improve it. Keep Bender in mind during your analysis stage when you are beginning your venture. You need to know what sets you apart from the competition.

4. "Anything less than immortality is a complete waste of time." You won't live forever. However, there's a chance that if your business is successful that it can continue on long after you're dead. You need to make sure that you always keep your brand and business image in mind. Anyone that you bring on to work with you also needs to have the business image in mind. It's the only way to ensure success after your dead.

5. "Another pointless day where I accomplish nothing." In this particular episode, Bender is seen relaxing and drinking. Business moral: it's okay to occasionally do nothing. It's possible that when you first start out that you'll have several days where you have nothing to do. In our opinion, there's always something that can be found to do...but the moral here is that it's okay to occasionally take some time to relax.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Don't Make This ONE Twitter Mistake

Most people love to tweet. I have a Twitter account. It's a mix between just me being me (including my personal opinions) and sending out helpful information about SEO, business, writing, or something I found to be a very interesting read. I don't have thousands of followers...and that's okay to me. I don't need to be Twitter famous. I don't do the whole "follow back" thing simply because then my timeline would be filled with stuff I don't want to read. That's not the mistake I'm referencing.

If you use Twitter for business, there's one huge mistake that you could be making that can and will drive your potential customers and prospects away. They could mute you....or even unfollow you. It's something that I've recently noticed several of my small business tweeple doing recently...and it even annoyed me.

This is the worst mistake you can make on Twitter with your small business: sending the same message and link over and over and over and over and over.

There are only two exceptions to this rule. If you are looking for the best time to tweet that specific message then it's at least understandable why you're sending out the exact same message three or four times per day. We all want to tweet at the time that most of our followers are online. The other exception is for A / B testing. Certain words have more power than others. So, if you are trying different versions of your ad or message then that is a good reason to send the same message.

If you send the same tweet multiple times per day, your engagement will decrease in two ways. First, you will lose followers. No one wants to see the same message 52145 times per day in their timeline from you. It doesn't matter how awesome your product or service is....your followers don't want you to overwhelm them with ads. They will mute you which means they won't see ANY of your tweets. It's like unfollowing without actually unfollowing someone. It's like they want to break up with you, but they don't want to hurt your they'll tell you that your relationship must be a secret. Then again, they may just unfollow and block you. Congratulations - you annoyed someone and drove them away.

If you want your followers to interact with you, click your links, and stick around then you need to do more than sell on Twitter. I know, I know. We are all in business to make a profit, but guess what? People like to buy...they do NOT like to be sold.

  • Offer content of value. Yes, I know you think your product or service is the most valuable thing out there, but it isn't to all of your followers. They have no idea how it can solve their problems. You need to provide content they want to read.
  • Reword your tweets. There are lots of guides out there about how to write a tweet that converts. Remember, conversion on Twitter is getting them to click your link. "Buy my super awesome book that will change your life by visiting this website!" isn't going to get many clicks or retweets. It's not offering any value. I recently wrote a tweet for a client about her natural supplement that has shown some promise in treating ADHD. So, what I wrote was something similar to "What if you had a more natural treatment to manage your ADHD symptoms?" Of course, I included the link. I hope you see and understand the difference.
  • Interact with people on Twitter. Respond to tweets from your followers. Get involved in conversations. Come up with good search terms and go talk to people. It's a great way to organically grow your followers and learn about the needs of people that you want to provide a service or product to. 
  • Follow industry leaders. They won't necessarily follow you back, but you can find great content and ideas to create your own content to share with your followers. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Why You're Losing Sales

I have a lot of Facebook friends. Okay, so granted most of them are business people and I don't have as many friends as some other people on Facebook...but I do have a lot of Facebook friends. Since I add a lot of people who are starting a business, I get this message quite a bit:

How would an extra $750 a month change your life?

The short answer is...who doesn't want extra money, right? However, you shouldn't fall for hype. You shouldn't use it as a marketing tool, either. You lose sales with this type of technique.

First, you aren't properly qualifying your prospects. If any one who sent me this message had taken even 30 seconds to look at my profile, they would know that I'm not a network marketer. I don't need "multiple revenue streams." I have those in my business because my business offers a lot of different services. I stay on the leading edge of what is needed and what is wanted. Then, I make it happen. So, I'm not even a qualified prospect for the people who send me this message. You want qualified prospects. I know that a big downline or more business sounds amazing to you. You're thinking more people equals more money...because since you're super dedicated, surely everyone is super dedicated. Wrong. Most people that you sign up want easy money. When they figure out that there's work involved, they come with excuses on why they can't do it...and then they will blame you or the business for failing. Do you want 100 people who ultimately quit or ten dedicated people who produce consistent results? 

Second, don't talk about benefits until you know about the problems of your prospect. If you really want to make sales and sign people up you need to spend time talking and building a relationship. You can learn a lot about a person by reading their timeline or saying hi to them once in a while...without mentioning your business unless they ask what you do. Once you've established a relationship and you start hearing about their problems, you respond with empathy. Then you can say something about how something similar happened to you (be truthful) and how you were glad to have the extra money that your small business provides. Just keep the comment simple. If nothing else, it plants a seed. 

Finally, if someone says no don't send them a follow up message about how they are making a mistake because:

You're missing out on residual income.

You don't know this person from Adam. For all you know, they are a devout Dave Ramsey listener and they are totally debt free and have money invested in mutual funds and retirement accounts. They don't need your claim of residual income. You're going on hype again...and using a psychological tactic of trying to scare someone into thinking they're missing out on something. Don't do that. Don't play mind games.

You lose sales when you bombard people. You lose sales because you don't look for qualified prospects. You lose sales because you care more about money than people. You lose sales because you play mind games. Put people first. Your business will grow in an organic way that offers more long term results (more money, more sign ups) because you took the time to put people first.

Who is LeNoir Communications, LLC and Why Should I Listen to You?

LeNoir Communications, LLC is a single member owned corporation. Hi. I'm Robin Bull...and I am that single member. First, this is the official blog for LeNoir Comm (as the company is more commonly known on Pinterest). You should also know that the blog will use terms such as "I" and "we" interchangeably. Old habits die hard. Again, this blog is for the corporate entity. If you are looking for my personal blog, you can click here. So, even when the term "I" is used, I am speaking in capacity as CEO (more commonly known as the Dark Countess of Communication) of LeNoir Comm and not as an individual. There. That's my disclaimer.

LeNoir Communications, LLC is a digital services agency. That means that I provide web content (including articles, blogs, and landing page content), website traffic, and can help you manage your social media accounts. If your website needs it, LeNoir Comm can make it happen for you. We offer a la carte services and custom packages. You receive top notch service from native English speakers at a ridiculously affordable rate. You can see my writing portfolio here. Please know that this is by no means an all inclusive portfolio of sample work. I've written close to 500,000 words from January 2014 through September 2014.

You should listen to me because just like you...I built my business from the ground up. My help consisted of well meaning (mostly) people telling me how I should run my business. They didn't have any experience. Some had good ideas, but most of the ideas were not sound. I learned early that supportive people are the ones to surround yourself with and to not talk to negative people about my business. I was very lucky: my husband was and is my biggest cheerleader. He's amazing. You should check out his music here.

I have a BS in Paralegal Studies. I graduated with an overall GPA of 3.8. You're wondering why you should care, right? Well, I worked full time while attending school full time. My two older sons were in elementary school, too. I'm able to balance multiple demands and deadlines. I've been where you are...and I know how to take your life experience and turn it into a valuable business trait. You just need to be willing to learn.

I have college teaching experience. I won't list all the classes I've taught. You can go to my portfolio and get a glimpse. It's important for you to know that I've taught research and writing. I take new information and put it into terms that you will grasp.

I give out a lot of free information that you won't get anywhere else without paying for it. I remember the first time the lead singer of the band my husband is in said to me, "I just don't do the Twitter." I giggled at the use of "the" before Twitter. You will learn good information here about social media, business, and even sales. If you have a business now or you're thinking about starting a business, it is so very important that you have a social media presence. Yes, I do manage social media management for clients...and I'm much less expensive than the majority of the people online (and I know what I'm doing).

My brain is almost always in business mode. Some people think that's a terrible way to live. For them, it might be. I love it. You should listen to me because I do a lot of reading and a lot of thinking. I'm also a highly experienced freelancer. I've done my fair share of network marketing, too. By the way, Dave Ramsey does approve of MLM / network marketing businesses that offer a legitimate product. You can read all about it in his newest book EntreLeadership.

You should listen to me because I know that people are complicated. I understand how psychology and sales link together. Once you learn that, your business will get -much- better. My "why didn't I finish it" Master's degree is in Forensic Psychology.

Listen to me because you will learn to be self assured in your business decisions. I will teach you to be self confident. Never let your confidence be given to you from someone else or be diminished because something didn't go the way you hoped. Your confidence should always come from within. It's great to get excited over new things. I do it all the time. I'm easily excitable. I'm easily excitable because I can see potential in almost anything (but I will tell you the truth at the same time). Yet, you need to understand that you are the one responsible for your happiness and your confidence. Positive thinking really is an asset...if you do it right.

So, that's pretty much it. That's why you should listen to me. Make sure that you save this page. I'll get RSS or some form of sign up set up soon for all of you. You definitely do NOT want to miss out. You're always free to comment or ask a question through the comments. I'm happy to hear from everyone. Yes, I even love hate mail. Just be aware that if you send me hate mail, it will be published publicly and I will most likely embarrass you. So, if you don't want to be might just want to stick with constructive criticism. Okay? Okay! Let's get started!