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Brielle Bullard
moderator

Building Relationships  - 
 
RSVP and submit your questions for our #SocialMedia month live video Q&A with LinkedIn: https://goo.gl/LrV3eb

With 300 million users (and growing), +LinkedIn is a perfect platform for small businesses to build relationships with new, existing, and potential customers. Find out how you can use your presence on LinkedIn to build a trusted perception of your small business. 

#FromtheModerators
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duche jaja basahuwa

Introduce Yourself  - 
 
Hello there, my name is Duche am 24 and recently finished from university, am an entreprenuer in nigeria recently joined this Google community and it has been of help, thanks to +Brielle Bullard​...
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G. Guerrero

Building Relationships  - 
 
I'm building a business that focuses on helping businesses turnaround from struggling to success by tackling cash flow, referrals, motivation, etc. Basically everything that you need to do a complete turnaround.

What type of free offering would you like to see? What would help get your businesses thriving?
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Gil Pac

Building Relationships  - 
 
#SmallBizTips   #TheElevatorPitch   #BuildingRelationships  

The Elevator Pitch: How to Talk About Your Business
Be Interesting and Create a Conversation Using this Approach:

All of have been there.  We are standing face-to-face with a person of influence in an elevator, at a conference, a networking event or a social event.

The question always comes up: "...and what do you do?"

Do you say:

"I'm an accountant." or "I'm a web designer" or "I'm a (say your job title)."

Your job title does not take you very far as the other person says, "That's nice," and that is the end of  the conversation.  Develop an effective way to communicate what you do and how your product or service helps others to stimulate a conversation.

Of course, it's not always "all about you" as you must also reciprocate as a skilled conversationalist to express a genuine interest in the other person.  But for the moment, however, the spot light is on you and take full advantage of it.

So, what is an "Elevator Pitch" and Why is it Dubbed the "Elevator Pitch?" An Elevator Pitch is made up of several elements.  It is called an "Elevator Pitch" because you usually have only 20 seconds or so of the other person's attention which is about the length  of an average elevator ride. 

There are two parts of the Elevator Pitch, the Guideline and the Elements:

Guideline 
- Speak Natural - NO Speeches or Commercials
- Be Concise - 15 to 20 seconds to convey  your message
- Be Specific - Do not be vague or use a teaser line or slogan
- Create a Conversation around your Elevator Pitch

Elements of Your Elevator Speech
- Mention Your Ideal Customer/Client: Who do you work with, serve or help?
- What Problem You Help Solve or Goal to Achieve
- State the Benefit - Simply say how your service or product solves a problem
- Be Credible - Mention your credentials  and/or experience
- Success Story of a Client You Helped
- How are Your Different: Your approach or process
- Success Story

This is not an exact science but the key is to craft your Elevator Pitch so you are consistent every time you say your Elevator Pitch.  Practice it in the car, in front of the mirror or even in the shower.  Practice it with your friends or co-workers for feed back.  Practice and modify it so it sounds natural and unrehearsed.  

Keep in mind that you never know how that person of influence is and they can lead you to the decision maker and he/she may be the decision maker you need to speak too.

Once you create interest and the  interest is genuine, be very careful not to deliver a sales presentation (which is another topic).  You goal is to create interest and depending on the situation (you are in the driver seat to make the judgement call) to either set an appointment for a follow up or exchange contact information for a follow up.

EXAMPLE

SCENE:  You and I are riding an elevator to a network meeting.  

We start a brief chit-chat and you ask me, "So Gil, what line of work are you in?"

I say,

"Thanks for asking, Mary.  I work with small business start-ups  and troubled business who need help organizing the functional areas of their business.  Most start-ups or entrepreneurs are masters at their craft or profession but need structure in setting up an efficient system with their operations, management, people or marketing.  Some need help in only one area while others need help in all four.  So the goal is to create an efficient organization that is manageable and profitable.  As an MBA, I have been helping small business for the last ten years solve their organizational challenges.  What sort of challenges does your organization face in areas such as accounting, human resources or marketing?"

(I could have added a success story but I said a mouth-full here and want to create a conversation.)  So Mary will reply with something like, "Oh yeah, we have a tough time with keeping employees as our turn-over rate is high."

This is now open for a meaningful conversation so depending on the situation, I can ask her to elaborate a little more then ask to exchange contact info with business cards or mobile phone and invite to do a follow up or offer to send some info by e-mail.

There is no one right way but if you plan for the "Elevator Pitch" your results to obtain a new lead will greatly increase.

Again, it takes practice and you will modify your Elevator Pitch from time to time until you become comfortable and deliver the "right" message.

Resources
There are two resources that may help you create an effective Elevator Pitch:

George Kao Consulting 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNR9Drrp-fU

Elevator Pitch Essentials by Chris O'Leary (2008)
http://elevatorpitchessentials.com/buy.html

I hope you found this information helpful.  Please post your Elevator Pitch or comments.
        
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Hilltop Consultants

Running Your Business  - 
 
Are you using a Web Developer?  Then make sure to read these tips!
Over the past year, Hilltop Web Services has become one of the fastest growing divisions of our company. Our Web Services team offer a wide range of services and solutions from cleaning and securing hacked-Websites, to rescuing Websites from lazy (and horrible) Web developers. The team thought it would be good to share the following insights to hel...
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Sandra Wojcieszak

Running Your Business  - 
 
A  SWOT analysis for the small business: COFFEE SHOP http://goo.gl/RkvG6n  

Do you dream about opening a Coffee Shop? 

Do not hesitate for a moment and make the first step right away!

Check out this SWOT analysis for a Coffee shop and verify Strengths and Opportunities of your idea. 
In CayenneApps, one of our main goals is to help small businesses to start up efficiently. Previously, we showed you how to create a SWOT analysis based on examples of enterprise commercial giants ...
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Vanessa Esquivel

Working Smarter  - 
 
The Best 4 Tips to Write Inspiring #AdWords Headlines
Writing ads for your AdWords campaigns sounds simple, but it is one of those things that can take a long time to get right.
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Giscard Khoshaba

Introduce Yourself  - 
 
I run my entire business with a nexus 6 and nexus 9 tablet. I have my web forms, emails, voicemail come through gmail. Invoices/Payments/finances through freshbooks and square. Run analytics through googles app and yelp for business. And finally all my social media is done from my mobile apps. I run an IT business by myself with a few employees. I rarely use a laptop and business is doing well. #my2cents
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Benson Thinji

Running Your Business  - 
 
To be successful one need to possess analytical minds ,be action oriented  and be persistent.This formula  will shift the business from one level to higher level .More details on this formula to follow.
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George Kao

Getting Found Online  - 
 
Honorable Marketing Practices

Don't just copy what other people are doing in marketing "because it looks like it might be working"... ask yourself what would you want them to do? And then do that instead...

When you find a way to market your business that feels honorable to you, you enjoy marketing more, and become more effective at it.

So what is honorable and ethical marketing?

Here is a simple, effective question to ask yourself:

"What would I want my competitors to do?"

More specifically, what do you want your competitors to do in their marketing?  How would you want your competitors to treat their audience, especially if your own beloved clients were part of that audience?

Whatever your answer is, do that in your own marketing too.

And what wouldn't you want your competitors to do?

Similarly, don't do that in your own marketing.

This is such an effective method of ethical behavior, and you probably recognize it as The Golden Rule.  It's a principle that has proven for thousands of years, from many cultures, to bring virtue and happiness to those who practice it.

Let's apply it to marketing. Here are some examples:

I don't want my competitors to use hype and manipulation to get their audience to buy.

And therefore, neither will I do that to my audience.

I do want my competitors to make honest offers: to clarify whom their service is actually helpful for, and whom their service is not helpful for.

Therefore I will do the same: make clear the specific types of people, in what stages, are most likely to benefit from working with me.

I don't want my competitors to use deception and shady shortcuts to market their business.  It pulls down our whole industry.  I don't want them tricking people into doing things.

Therefore I will be careful not to use such practices in my marketing.

I do want my competitors to freely give useful content -- without requiring email addresses -- so that all can more easily benefit, including my clients and myself.

Therefore I will make my complete content freely available without email opt-ins, via social media.

I don't want my competitors to play the SEO game (search engine optimization).  Besides doing the basic best practices everyone should do, I don't want them focusing much of their time on it.  SEO is supposed to be a meritocracy: the best -- most helpful and entertaining -- content is supposed to float to the top, not the ones who are best at manipulating keywords, links, or other tactics not encouraged by Google, Facebook, etc.  

Instead, I do wish my competitors would focus their energies and time on creating truly helpful content, in service to the public, in such an honorable way that I (and others in their audience) would proudly share it forward. 

And therefore I will do that as well.  I will focus my time not on SEO but on creating better content, so that over time I earn the respect (likes & shares) of my audience, and thereby naturally rise in the search engines.

I wish my competitors would gain much of their business from word of mouth simply by getting more effective at the actual service they provide, not primarily at getting better at selling.

So that's what I will do: keep improving my service over time, so that my clients would naturally love talking about my services.

I wish my competitors would openly share what is working for them, in providing their services, and their marketing.

So that's what I will do: openly share what is working for my clients and for my own business too.  (That's what many of my videos are about!)

Feel free to borrow any of the above for your own business principles too.

And if you have anything else you wish, and don't wish, your competitors to do in their marketing, comment below.  (Just don't mention any names!)

**

The best of these articles, delivered monthly, for free:
http://georgekao.com/email

#GeorgeKaoVideo
#consciousbusiness   #authenticmarketing   #ethics  
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Finally got a selfie stick... this is my first video using it :) http://j.mp/1N7uxWZ  (this is not an affiliate link... just a shortened one.)
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IMS Cloud

Running Your Business  - 
 
Small businesses, consider collaboration to your mutual benefit...
IMS Cloud originally shared:
 
Small Business Lesson: How to Collaborate ©

Small busy owners are extremely busy.  My partner and I work many long days, into the night and up before dawn to complete a project, presentation or proposal.  We are not alone.  When you are busy, it is difficult to “find the time” to reach out to others and collaborate. But in this day and age, when BIG companies are getting bigger and gobbling up smaller companies, your survival as an enterprise may depend on you collaborating in order to achieve economies of scale.  In this way, you can have a “voice” to compete with larger corporations.  There is power in a collaboration and your business can tap into this to move forward.

Seek out collaborations with other small businesses wherever possible.  Build this relationship with other small businesses, formally (e.g. the chamber of commerce) or informally (e.g. a social held in your office building) and look at each other as partners and not competitors.

If you are a web designer and you meet up with a copywriter, you have a natural collaboration.  If a realtor recommends a building inspector, the referral can foster and build businesses.  In my town there is a florist, totally unaffiliated with a funeral parlor, but located next door to one another which provides a natural referral.

If you have a Twitter following, organize a Tweetup to build on your following through a face-to-face event.  

Consider BNI, although membership requires a fee, each chapter will only permit one business from your sector to join.  Members are encouraged to collaborate with each other.  Here is a selection of BNI chapters here in Silicon Valley.

Consider the Small Business Web – This is an alliance of software companies that work together to serve small businesses who have easier access to multiple tools.

If these organized groups do not fit your business, consider forming your own group.  Start with your LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+ followers and build an alliance from that.  Start by offering to trade a guest post and see what develops.  This might be a perfect opportunity to expand your viewer base and perhaps gain customers.
What is your company’s culture?  Do you buy from small businesses or the BIG-Box stores?  Consider the message you could be giving to your staff if you seek out opportunities to develop relationships with other small businesses.

Remember, collaboration works in both directions.  You have a responsibility to look for opportunities for your collaboration partner. But in the final analysis, by cooperating, you can become much bigger than you are on your own. Through the power of collaboration can share the risk…and reward while expanding your business opportunities by keep your eyes open for opportunities that benefit not only your business but those of your non-competing partners.
Look around you…How many businesses do you know who can work with you in a non-competitive manner while expanding your mutual market reach? How many of your non-competing partners can move customers in your direction while you do the same for them?

For more information on small businesses, click here to subscribe to our series or contact us directly at info@imscloud.com.

IMS Cloud- 2015©
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Karen Lee

Introduce Yourself  - 
 
I am the independent contractor/ owner of Mystic Guardian Psychics. I am a Tarot Specialist with a Doctorate in Metaphysics. 
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2 comments
 
Mainly by word of mouth or posts from satisfied clients. I have not been active for the past 4 years, so if you have some suggestions to help me get back up and running I would much appreciate it.

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About this community

September is #SocialMedia month in the community. RSVP and submit your questions for our events: LinkedIn for Small Business: https://goo.gl/z2tkUY YouTube for Small Business: https://goo.gl/AGPfMp Pinterest for Small Business: https://goo.gl/o0rmQB Twitter for Small Business: https://goo.gl/MWTAsa Welcome to the Google Small Business Community—a place where businesses can get the help they need to succeed on the web by connecting with experts and each other. We provide ongoing trainings, compelling discussions and insider tips. In addition, our certified community advisors offer their expertise to answer your toughest questions about business and the web.
Mountain View, CA

William Siebler

Working Smarter  - 
 
Do you know how much of your marketing spend generates a positive return? If you're not sure I would be happy to share a simple system you can use to start finding out.
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Karolina B

Running Your Business  - 
 
Learn how you can maximize the value of those leads you worked so hard to earn! http://insft.co/1KgWICo #leadgeneration   #leads   #smallbusiness  
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InovationMachine.Ltd

Introduce Yourself  - 
 
Hello Everyone!, We are a small Company That Makes Different Entertainments Softwares,
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Antonel Neculai

Running Your Business  - 
 
That's how I feel sometimes as a small business owner...
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Explicit...
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Cherub Clay

Introduce Yourself  - 
 
Hi! We're from the Philippines, this is our business, we make unique and personalized gift items and souvenirs. =)
 
Macxene's Baptismal Souvenir and Personalized Candles =)

#personalized   #items   #baptismal   #binyag   #godparents   #giveaways   #souvenir   #cherubclay   #philippines  
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Welcome to the community, +Cherub Clay; your products are quite cute. Do you sell them online or just locally?
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Michael Heiligenstein

Working Smarter  - 
 
Are customers leaving your pages in frustration, confusion, or disgust? You might be making an easily solved mistake, such as not clearly communicating what your company does or what your prices or services are.

Or maybe you need a more complete redesign – either way, you don’t want to lose opportunities because of problems on your website. Here are five common website mistakes and what to do about them.
These five business website mistakes make website visitors leave a business site in disgust or confusion
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Emma P
 
Can you do a graphics design of my game for me?
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Lizz Porter
moderator

Working Smarter  - 
 
This #SummerBizTip from +Wil Martindale is a good rule of thumb for engaging with customers on #SocialMedia

Note: Summer Biz Tips have been edited for clarity. 

#FromtheModerators
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I don't think I understand.
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Voicemailtel Inc

Working Smarter  - 
 
The answer is yes!—now what’s your question? is the secret, the creamy nougat centre, of creating a culture of customer service excellence.

Read more in our latest Blog post:
http://www.voicemailtel.com/the-answer-is-yes/?utm_source=Posts&utm_medium=SM&utm_campaign=Communities
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