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In recognition of Martin Luther King Day, our Support Centers will be open with limited hours on Monday (1/20) from 10AM ET to 6PM ET. Visit our Help Center to see all of the ways you can find answers to your questions.
Let's roll the clock back to Marketing 101 and define the true meaning of branding. " Brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's goods or services as distinct from those of other sellers " - American Marketing Association.
What is a logo? A clear graphic design creating a visual clear concise image and message to consumers. How will consumers recognize your brand?
Mobile friendly responsive website with clear explanations of products and services with calls to action.
Even though we all live in the digital marketing world. Print copies are still essential. Consumers are visual and like to still read business cards, brochures, card stacks, signs, sandwich board signs, flyer's.
Direct Mail with the "Every Door Direct Main Program" from the USPS extremely cost efficient for small business owners and nonprofit organizations. Include a QR code to " Join Our Email List"
Which Social Media platforms do you currently for your business? Be sure to keep all Social Media platforms updated across the boards. Include your logo on all Social Media platforms.
* Facebook Business page
* LinkedIn personal page
* LinkedIn company page
* Snap Chat App
6. Email Marketing creates brand awareness, generates revenue and profit and repeat business
7. Create a blog educating consumers on your products and services
A few thoughts to keep in mind. Always be authentic and remember it's your brand reputation. Speak from your heart. Maintain a clean online presence. Turn a negative into a positive if your business should receive any negative comments on Google Reviews or Yelp.
" The future of communicating with customers rests in engaging with them through every possible channel: phone, e-mail, chat, Web, and social networks. Customers are discussing a company's products and brand in real time. Companies need to join the conversation." - Marc Benioff
" Define what your brand stands for, its core values and tone of voice, and then communicate consistently in those terms." - Simon Mainwaring
Cheryl Henchar from Cheryl's Creative Services is an Authorized Local Expert Speaker and Certified Solutions Provider with Constant Contact. Cheryl conducts weekly seminars and webinars on the values of email marketing for small business and nonprofit organizations.
If would like to learn more about Cheryl's Creative Services, please contact Cheryl at (203) 249-0487 or via email: email@example.com
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We live in a diverse society in communicating with an array of people. There are different touch points in reaching out to your clients, customers and prospects.
How do you communicate to your audience during inclement weather?
Do you text them?
Do you post any announcements on Social Media?
By crafting a short concise email announcement which can " Save you time and money for your Business". Email marketing will keep all of your clients, customers and prospects on a happy note.
Here are some educational tips for email marketing for your business:
Creates brand awareness
Generates profit and revenue
Helps to improve repeat business
Provides educational tips and valuable information for consumers
Effective communication for example: ( Business is closing early due to inclement weather)
Newsletters and announcements can posted on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter
To enhance your learning about the values of email marketing and integrated online marketing tools with Constant Contact. Please sign up for our monthly newsletters for educations tips, local seminars and weekly webinars. Just click on the button below.
Cheryl Henchar, is the founder of Cheryl's Creative Services and is an Authorized Local Expert Speaker and Certified Solutions Provider with Constant Contact.
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The new year has begun and time to start focusing and revitalizing relationships with prospects and current clients. Last weekend during the monstrous Blizzard. While sitting in my office looking out the window and seeing all of the beautiful snow falling. I decided this would be a good day to start organizing all of my business cards and database full of contacts from various events.
When being an entrepreneur we all seem to have an extensive list of contacts from various organizations and industries. There are various touch points in reaching out to clients and prospects such as email follow ups, texting, face to face conversations and traditional phone calls.
Here are my recommended strategies to be more organized and aggressive with follow ups.
Identify your business cards: Whenever, I exchange business cards with other business people. I always make a notation on the card with the date and event. This helps me to remember how I had met this individual.
Sorting: Review the pile of business cards and organize them by networking events. While reviewing the business cards. I look to see when the last contact this individual or organization was made. If there was a gap, since touching base with them within a few months. I put them into a pile to give them a phone call or an email.
Reviewing the database: Download all the contacts into a master spreadsheet. Sort them by individual names and organizations. Create seven columns within the spreadsheet.
Send an email
After the spreadsheet is organized, put a checkmark or checkmarks in the appropriate column.
Plan of action: Setting monthly goals by organizing my calendar in coordinating phone calls email follow ups,schedule face to face meetings and utilize Skype.
I hope this blog has inspired you to be more aggressive with your follow ups to customers and prospects in 2016.
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I was sitting in my office today sipping on a hot cup tea and reviewing all of my accomplishments, new learning experiences and acquiring new skill sets. Having a small business is extremely challenging and rewarding for me in many ways. There are always peaks and valleys including roller coaster rides regardless the size of your business.
Now, I would like to share a few of my business milestones in 2015. I was selected to become an Authorized Local Expert Speaker (ALE) with Constant Contact on the NY Metro Team. This is an elite program with only approximately 175 people are selected for this program within the United States. I truly enjoy public speaking to an array of different groups at various ventures. I cherish the interaction with diversified business owners. Becoming an ALE has opened many doors for me professionally. It has given me opportunities to develop strong leadership skills in educating consumers the values of email marketing and integrated online marketing tools for their businesses or nonprofit organizations. If you enjoy speaking to the public. I strongly recommend it for your business if it applicable. Its definitely challenging in finding various associations and ventures to host speaking engagements.
Another skill I have acquired is hosting webinars on a weekly basis. Conducting webinars are very challenging, because there is limited interaction with people. It really takes a few times to develop your own style of teaching. I execute webinars once a week with various topics discussing the values of email marketing with Constant Contact. I've had attendees participate from around the globe in my webinars. In hosting webinars has really expanded my global horizons.
Another extraordinary milestone for me was achieving my 4th quarter goals to qualify for You Are One in A Million special program with Constant Contact from January 4th to January 15th presenting to consumers "Power of the Inbox". "Since 2008 Constant Contact has reached and educated one million consumers about email marketing through their educational program."
I had the opportunity to attend the third Constant Contact Annual One Con conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was an excellent conference and returned home with a wealth of information. It was great spending time with alumni’s and meeting new faces from around the globe. I strongly encourage people to attend businesses conferences whenever possible.
This past year, I have developed new business partner relationships,friendships and business colleagues. Whenever, I hit a stumbling block with a difficult situation. I can always pick up the phone give one of my business colleagues call for some advice. Life is such a learning experience each day.
It's essential to set realistic goals to achieve for your business in 2016. While preparing my new marketing plan for 2016. I was evaluating all the different industries within my business to see how profitable they were for email marketing in 2015. This will help measure my demographics and industries for 2016 to be more efficient.
I recently analyzed my negative experiences this past year and have incorporated them into new goals for 2016. It's important to review your business marketing plans on a quarterly basis to make any proper adjustments. I hope you have found this blog to be beneficial for you in setting realistic business goals in 2016.
Founder of Cheryl's Creative Services
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Thanksgiving is all about feeling blessed and recognizing people who are important within your personal life and business career.
It has been a wonderful and thankful journey in 2015 for Cheryl's Creative Services. I left Corporate America in June 2012 and founded Cheryl's Creative Services in May 2013. There are many peaks and valleys when starting a brand new career and branching out on your own as a small business owner. I have been thankful to many people in 2015 to help Cheryl's Creative Services gain growth.
Built new business relationships by attending local networking events and business conferences.
Opportunities in finding new clients.
Continuing building stronger working relationships with current clients.
The opportunity in becoming an Authorized Local Expert Speaker with Constant Contact. I really enjoy my speaking educational events on email marketing and integrated online marketing tools. I have conducted educational seminars in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. This has provided me with new opportunities in meeting an array of business owners within different industries.
Being an Authorized Local Expert Speaker with Constant Contact. It has opened the doors for Cheryl's Creative Services to host weekly educational webinars. It's been a great experience with attendees globally participating in the webinars.
This past year, I have met a bundle of business colleagues who have guided me along in different areas of running a small business.
A special thank you to the Authorized Local Expert Speaker Metro team business colleagues and Constant Contact team leaders.
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I just recently attended the Constant Contact National Solutions Provider Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was an excellent conference with a wealth of information. I enjoyed seeing alumni's and meeting new faces globally. This conference was all about " Learn, Share, Inspire" from each other. One of the key highlights for me was the importance of a sales funnel for a business of any industry and size. Building healthy business relationships and engaging with people generates inquires, qualified leads, opportunities, revenue.
Let's review the funnel process.
Online-presence with the prospect calling on the phone or sending an email
A referral from a client/customer
Direct mail response
Received a response from a brochure or a flyer
Ask the prospects specific questions
What is your current marketing budget?
How long has the organization been in business?
What are your goals?
Networking at Chamber events and Business Groups
Meet up organizations
Local community events
Monthly, quarterly yearly goals
The benefits of reviewing the sales funnel on a quarterly basis
Keeps focus on inquires
Review the revenue to see where adjustments can be made on pricing for goods and services
Nurturing qualified leads
Reviewing new business opportunities
Helps to project reasonable goals and obtain them for the internal and external sales team
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It's essential to stay connected with your clients and prospects for many reasons. If you have a disconnect with them, one of your friendly competitors will take them away from you. Once you lose a customer. It's very difficult to win them back to your business. September is a busy month for various networking events. Most businesses start planning their holiday season during the summer months. Now is an excellent time to start reviewing your database. Which prospects or clients the sales team hasn't touched base with recently. Reviewing and updating your business database is a great job for a college intern or high school person to help keep the database organized.
Why is it essential to stay in touch with clients and prospects?
Generate business and increase income
Creates engagement (out of sight out of mind)
A great referral source
Who should the sales team keep in touch with?
Current prospects and clients
Vendors and resellers
Prospects from various networking events and meetings
Ask your prospects or clients which is the best way to communicate with them?
Do they prefer to text message?
A phone call
Communicate by email
What are your business and team goals?
Generate new business from current clients (such as offering a new service or product to them)
Convert prospects into new clients
Revisit previous clients to rejuvenate business
Increase referral sources (set up a referral program)
Introduce new products and services
Organize your database
Various groups and organizations
What type of lead "Hot, Medium, Warm, Cold"
Create lists for email marketing
Keep active notes regarding cold calls, meetings, follow up after an introduction
Schedule and conduct meetings with prospects and clients
Coordinate convenient times for a follow up process
Create introductions for referrals
Review clients wants and needs
Show your expertise and knowledge
Create a "wow experience"
Email Marketing Strategies
Create various list by clients, prospects, industries, networking groups
Generate a short concise newsletter utilizing a Mobile friendly template
Create buttons for people to click on
Provide value and educational tips for the readers
Be consistent in communicating bi-monthly or monthly
Post newsletter, events, coupons all on social media vehicles
Text to join
Great communication to a large audience all at once (especially during inclement weather closings)
Sharing Valuable Content with Everyone
Share industry news by clicking the social share button
Post and share articles on social media vehicles
Subscribe to Google Alerts for various daily industry articles
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As a small business owner, I really enjoy hosting Constant Contact educational seminars. I elected to incorporate weekly webinars during July and August twice a week. One day in the morning and another day in the evening. Consistancy is one of the key ingredients when hosting a webinar. Attendees start to follow you and sign up for your future webinars immediately. Webinars help to build relationships and create engagement with people. Webinars are definitely challenging in many ways. It honestly takes a few times to develop your own style of teaching a webinar. It's a different way of learning and communicating with people. We all learn on different levels. In the beginning, my goal was to create engagement through out the whole webinar. I learned very quickly this was not going to be very effective. When unmuting all the attendees there is a lot of noise distractions in the background. I have developed my own stye for teaching webinars. I run the whole show in the beginning. Then, at the end of my presentation. I unmute all of the attendees. I ask everyone if they have any questions. Sometimes people will speak or they will type me a question. The objective is to create some kind of engagement with everyone if possible. I always feel we can all learn from each other. During the webinar, I take notes as a reference for my follow up process. The benefits in hosting a webinar: Convenience at your office or home Opportunities in connecting with other business owners Learn from others globally Beneficial with inclement weather Flexiable work schedule From a business and personal aspect, hosting these webinars have been gratifiying to me. I have had opportunites in communicating with people from the US, Uk, Cananda and Africia. I really enjoy hearing about an array of businesses from around the world. After hosting a webinar the follow up process is essential. It provides an opportunity to speak directly with an attendee to inquire if they have any additional questions. Here are a few helpful tips: Review notes taken Prepare and send out an email to attendees and not attending attendees List a few educational and value tips Include an upcoming webinar schedule
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There are many benefits of "Cause Marketing" regardless size of the company and industry. Cause Marketing demonstrates social responsibility and strong leadership skills for a company and their employees. It helps generate brand awareness for consumers. What is Cause Marketing? Cause Marketing is a working relationship between a business and a non-profit organization with mutual benefits in helping each other. Consumers are more willing to purchase products or patronize local restaurants who help support local and national charities. Cause Marketing helps to develop customer loyalty with your brand. When I sit down with my clients and discuss an array of marketing strategies. I will always suggest Cause Marketing. I will ask the client. What are their favorite charities? Which non-profit organizations would you like to develop a working relationship with? These are essential key elements when wanting to build a relationship with a non profit organization. There are so many non-profits organizations to choose from. Many people tend to decide on a particular non-profit from a personal experience and would like to give back. It's a win win situation for everyone. Here are some simple steps a company can take with their employees. 1) Ask your employees which non-profit organization would they like to develop a partnership with. 2) Create a marketing campaign which is the right affiliation for your products and services 3) Donate products or have employees volunteer their time. 4) Cross market with email marketing campaigns. 5) Determine marketing strategies how to promote the fundraiser, public relations publications, print advertisements and etc. 6) Be sure to educate your target audience about the non-profit organization your company is currently partnering with. 7) Creates team building skills. 😎 Generate employee incentives and recognitions. 9) Be sure to post all the marketing campaigns and the results on Social Media. Consumers like to hear the final results of fundraiser campaigns. 10) Make this Cause Marketing experience fun for everyone by celebrating with a party at the end of the fundraiser event.
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We all live in the digital 24/7 world. The art of handwritten notes has been lost within the business industry. Clients and prospects like receiving a handwritten note of thank you, happy birthday and sympathy. By taking a few minutes and crafting a hand written note using professional business stationary goes a long way of showing appreciation with your clients and prospects. Here are a few reasons why it's important to still mail out handwritten notes: Handwritten notes demonstrate as a business person you truly care about your prospects and customers. Authenticates as a business owner you appreciate their business. Demonstrates personalization It also helps to build and keep strong business relationships Handwritten notes benefit by retaining clients I would like to share a personal experience. I just recently received a handwritten note from a new client. They were thanking me for teaching a Constant Contact Email Seminar at a Connecticut Business Summit. I was absolutely touched when receiving this hand written note in the mail.
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Recently, I have been attending many local networking events. I have been noticing many people are unaware the importance of branding themselves as business owners or personally. Everything we all currently do on a daily basis creates some type of brand image without even realizing it. As technology, continues its rapid growth each day. It's essential to be sure all of your branding tools are always updated especially with social media. Let's roll the clock back to Marketing 101! What is branding? The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products. Resource: www.entrepreneur.com. Here are some simple steps to help guide you in maintaining an online healthy presence. 1) Creating a 30 second elevator speech to convey short and concise message to everyone. Simply introduce yourself to the audience with quick highlights. 2) Design a logo where people can identify your brand immediately. It must be concise with a clear message to match your website. A logo paints a clear picture of your branding to the public. If you aren't a creative person, be sure to hire a professional graphic designer to create a logo for your brand. Here are some simple steps: 3) Have a professional updated portrait picture of yourself. If you don't keep an updated, profile picture. As a business owner you will not have creditability with people. It portrays a completely different brand image. 4) Always keep an updated online profile picture on all of your Social Media vehicles. 5) Be thoughtful of posting pictures online. Once pictures are posted online. They can't be removed from the internet. When people Google your brand a picture may appear and loss creditability to your brand. 6) Be sure to post current information on your social media vehicles. When there are gaps in posting information and articles. It sends a mixed message to people either your business has shut down or too busy and not looking for anymore business. 7) If you receive a negative online posting, respond back with a positive comment. Maybe you can offer some type of small reward such as a gift certificate to use your product and services again. 😎 Create engagement on all of your social media vehicles. Consumers like to engage with businesses. Engagement helps to build strong relationships with people. They will then begin to trust you as a business owner. 9) Cross market with other business to build business relationships. 10) Engage with non profit organizations which is called "cause marketing". It demonstrates your brand image in giving back to others who are in need of assistance. Consumers mostly will support a brand who are connected with nonprofit organizations. I hope you have found these tips to be beneficial for branding professonally and personally.
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The traditional way of marketing any type of business has changed drastically, especially with technology improving all the time. Networking has become a valuable tool in creating engagement with customers and prospects. As a Marketing strategist, I always recommend to my clients you need to have a slice of the content marketing pie. In today's society we are all communicating to people in so many different channels and levels. These are all very essential Marketing tools and should be incorporated into Marketing strategic planning. As my role as an Email Marketing specialist and Marketing strategist, I higly recommend these various Marketing tools in helping my clients to grow their business. Print Advertising: Is still valuable to all businesses. It helps to bring in new customers and the old customers back. There are still consumers who enjoy reading the local newspapers and magazines. Be sure to have your website and email address included on the print advertisement. Direct Mail: Helps to generate new customers into a business for a few reasons. It brings exposure to consumers who are new to the area and introducing your products and services to them. Creating a post card with a coupon and including a QR Code to sign up for your email list is a great way of building up list. Great exposure for new businesses within a community or surrounding areas. Website: Be sure to have a clear concise website and mobile friendly. SEO: Hire a professional web designer to generate SEO Video: Create an informative video about your products and services. Be sure to direct people to your website and sign up for your email list. Inserting videos into a newsletter and announcements is extremely powerful marketing. Establish an YouTube account, because Google owns YouTube and it will help increase Google page rankings. Business listings: It's important to claim your business with an online presence with Yahoo, Google Places and Bing. Social Media: There is an abundance of Social Media choices for all businesses. It's very time consuming in maintaining them all. It's highly recommended to choose a few and stay current with them. Possibly hire a college intern to help with this particular task. Be sure to always update with current information on all Social Media vehicles. When business owners neglect updating their Social Media pressence. It draws a picture to consumers a business maybe failing or too busy to keep up with the customer engagements. Email Marketing with Mobile Devices: Studies are currently showing over 50% consumes are opening their emails on some type of mobile device. Email marketing is a very efficent and cost effective on ROI for small to medium size busineses and non profit organizations.
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When a snow storm or a blizzard rolls into a region. Many small to medium businesses take a substantial financial lost for a day or somtimes even more, because they need to close early or the entire day for the well being of safety. There are several marketing strageties where businesses can leverage the use of email marketing during inclement weather. Take advantage of utilizing Social Media vehicles. Review posts to see which businesses are booming during inclement weather. Keep a strong presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. When people are snowbound they will be engaging on some type of Social Media.
This past week when I was home working in my office, during the "Blizzard. I was online reviewing my LinkedIn connections and ready various business owners post and the same routine on Facebook. When ever any type of storm hits an area. There are always opportunites to market and capitalize on certain industries during inclement weather.
I had reached out to one of my LinkedIn connections who was promoting his services during the "Blizzard". I sent him an email and expressed there is a golden opportunity to reach out and follow up with his customers after the storm by using email marketing. My prospect was very pleased how I had connected with him during the storm. Later, in the afternoon I had received a phone call from his Marketing person. We had discussed and mapped out some marketing strageties to determine what type of email campaign could be created.
Another advantage of email marketing during inclement weather. Businesses owners can send out an email announcing their store or restaurant will be closing early or being closed. This keeps the communication with customers and adds a personal touch to a business.
Retail establishments who have a website with a shopping cart can capitalize by offering a special promotion with online shopping. Business owners can generate a quick short email about a "special SNOWSTORM promotion". It's another way of generating sales from around the world even though your physical location may be closed due to inclement weather.
If your business has a sales team working remotely, ask them to review their customer data base. This is an excellent time to follow up with people by picking up the phone or sending a quick email.
Leverage in using all of the Social Media vehicles by engaging with customers online. Create a special "SNOW" promotion on Facebook. Ask consumers questions what are their favorite products or services about your business. Send out a few tweets with a "SNOW" promotion. Even know your location maybe closed, because of inclement weather. Engaging on Social Media gives business owners an opportunity to still communicate with customers and prospects and possible generate some business.
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We are all closing out the business year of 2014. Take a few minutes to review your Marketing stratgeties and determine what had worked and not worked for your business. Setting goals is essential in growing a business, but they should be realistic and attainable. While sitting at your desk and enjoying a cup of coffee or tea. Take a few minutues and review some business stratetgies that might have been sucessful for your business in 2014. 1) How efficient was your business in following up with prospects? 2) Did your business celebrate any special milestones with your customers or employees? 3) Did any business associates attend business events? 4) Did any sales respresentatives visit clients monthly or quarterly? 5) Did your business support your customer businesses? 6) Did your business promote and prepare for the major holidays early enough during the year. 7) Did your business hire any college interns to help increase business? 😎 Did your business do any cold calling? Stragetegy Goals for 2015 1) Create a journal notebook with calendar dates to write down important events and holidays to help execute Marketing strategies efficiently 2) Meet with clients in January to map out Marketing strageties for the first quarter of the year 3) Brain storm with clients to share ideas together 4) Introduce new products and services 5) Participate in local events 6) Network with local organizations and chambers 7) Participate in the Constant Contact monthly webinars 😎 Revew current client accounts and determine whether or not their business would beneift in upgrading to toolkit 9 Research and reach out to local new businesses and industries 10) Create shorts videos and post them on You Tube 11) Reward clients and employees for special milestones through out the year 12) Be sure all clients are using Mobile friendly templates and Mobile websites 13) Build partnerships with other small business owners Have a wonderful holiday season with your family and friends!!
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Marketing has changed dramatically over the years. Business owners have a variety of options how to Market their business effectively. Networking has become such a vital tool for everyone. Become a strong net-worker by joining various groups and organizations within your area. Networking helps business owners to develop a rapport with prospects which can turn into a paying customer. I have learned this in the past year in a half building a warm friendly relationship with a prospect can lead to a hot customer for your business. Sometimes it may take 4 or 5 months by the time a prospect becomes a paying customer. Networking is not always an easy task and can be very challenging at times for everyone. It takes a strong effort and diligence in reaching out to people. The more business exposure as a business owner you can get the stronger you will be able to build your business. Out of sight and out of mind. If people don't see you at any networking events. Here are two schools of thoughts. First, they may determine you are too busy for any more business. Second, you have shut the doors permanently. Also remember to carry plenty of business cards with you. You never know where your next prospect or paying customer might be. Do you belong to a local Chamber? I am very active in the Stamford, Connecticut Chamber of Commerce. I have built some wonderful and meaningful business colleague relationships. I found it helpful to join the Ambassador's committee. It's a core committee and an excellent way in meeting other business owners. I am also a member of the New Canaan, Connecticut Chamber of Commerce. It's a smaller chamber than Stamford and offers different events through out the year. It's another avenue of networking in a local community. Do you belong to a neighborhood association? Joining a local neighborhood association is another avenue to network with your neighbors and other business owners. Normally these groups only meet monthly or quarterly. Do you belong to a specialized group? I joined the Females Over 40 Group. It's not only a women's group. Men can also have the opportunity to join or attend an invite. I have built some solid business relationships within this organization. I attend educational networking seminars or casual networking events at a local restaurant. Have you been invited to any Holiday Parties? This is another great avenue to network with other people. Be sure to bring plenty of your business cards with you. You never know who may be your next prospect and or a new paying client for your business. After attending and investing money in various groups, it's time to put an action plan together. It is very important after meeting people at any type of networking events to follow up with them immediately with a quick phone call or an email. For example, ask when is a good time to have a cup of coffee or a lite lunch. We all live a very busy schedule. People will forget who they had met very easily after an event if you don't follow up with them immediately.
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