Business Networking: How to Create a Stellar 30 Second Pitch

Sales people have known the effectiveness of compacting what they have to offer in a thirty second speech. This is known as an elevator speech. The name derives from the fact that you have a very limited time to pitch your sale so you need to get to the point quickly as if you’re riding on an elevator.

The purpose of a 30 second pitch is to make a powerful first impression. You want to highlight a key accomplishment and at the same time make a dramatic impact on your client. You want them to ask you for more information.

Here is a simple 4 step process that you can use to create your own 30 second pitch. Remember your purpose is to present yourself in a way that meets a specific need of your contact.

Step 1: Know Your Objective
Knowing what you want out of a relationship will help you craft your pitch. Do you need more transcription clients? Then keep this in mind while you write.

What key value, strength, accomplishment or skill do you offer that will benefit your potential client and meet your objective? Choose something that shows your expertise in a positive way.

Step 2: Give an Example
Based on your objective (gain more transcription clients) use a personal example of how you displayed this. Choose an example that is real, dramatic and that evokes emotion. You want to touch the heart of the person you are talking to.

Step 3: What was the Result
How did your skill or value help you in the situation you found yourself in? Did you increase sales by 30%? Did you supervise 30 employees? You want to use percentages, numbers or dollar amounts if possible to emphasize your claim. It helps your contact see what you do in a tangible way.

Step 4: Match the Needs of Your Client
What are your client’s needs and goals? Once you know this you can craft the pitch to meet it. This is where you make your call to action. The ball is now in their court and it is up to them to play the next move.

Example of a 30 second pitch:
I am dedicated to meeting deadlines and customer satisfaction. For example, as a virtual assistant I was able to manage my client’s customers over the busy holiday rush which resulted in a 38% increase in sales.

Now that you have an idea of what your speech looks like, it’s time to cut it apart. You need to condense this into 2 – 3 sentences or better yet, one sentence.

Your speech is all nice and compact, now it is time for you to practice it. Say it out loud over and over again until you believe it. Feel comfortable with the words as they come out of your mouth. Speak in a gentle tone yet don’t make it pitchy or high. You want to come across as a confident businessperson who knows what they want and what they can do to help others get what they want.

Next time you are in a situation where you need to introduce yourself to a potential client or business acquaintance have your pitch ready. Remember not all businesses and clients are the same. Each needs something different. Try to make more than one pitch statement so you have different ones to meet a number of needs.

5 Tips for Choosing Effective Marketing Content

Content marketing is the best way to get information to your clients or customers. This is also the perfect way to gain the trust of your customers and increase your sales. The problem is choosing the most effective type of content and presenting it in an attention getting manner. Here are some tips on choosing the most effective content for your content marketing.

1. Point out the competition’s mistakes. People, in general, want to avoid painful experiences as much as possible. Pointing out all the ways your competitors fail to make life easier for your potential customers works to your advantage. Top ten lists on this kind of thing such as “10 most common mistakes” or “10 things you don’t want to do” are especially effective in driving people to you, rather than your competitor. I’m not saying you should specify or point fingers at specific competitors here. That’s not professional. Instead, use general statements and point out what makes your company better than others.

2. Give out industry “secrets.” They are not really secrets but if you let people think they are then their trust in you grows. Create content with bulleted lists showing how to do things faster and easier or how to make something work better. People love lists about things because lists are easy to filter through and pick out those points that pertain to them specifically. They also help people retain the information.

3. Organize it for them. One of the biggest hurdles for some people is the organization of certain things. Do the work for them by giving them plans and ways to organize things to make their life simpler. If you can make something straightforward and easy for someone, they will appreciate it and repay you with their business.

4. Answer common questions. When you’re discussing a common problem or situation, people tend to have the same questions. By providing the answers before someone even asks the questions, you make them feel more comfortable. It gives them the impression your company truly cares about them and their needs because you’ve taken the time to learn what they want or need.

5. Latest trends reports. This is a way to help your clients and customers keep up to date with the latest information from your company. This type of content lists the newest information or technologies and explains them in an easy to understand fashion.

Effective content marketing is all about continually giving the client or customer whatever information they deem useful. It demonstrates to prospects your company is paying attention to the needs of their clients and responding in an resourceful and expeditious manner. If the frequency and/or quality of information begins to slow down, your client base will begin to find another source of information, taking their sales dollars with them.

Making use of a freelance writing service is a good way to fulfill the needs of consistent and effective content writing. By using writers to help create your content, you can easily continue to provide fresh, new content. Once you have the articles, reports and other documents, offer them to your customers freely through email or a blog. Not only will your customers thank you in replies and comments but, more importantly, with their continued loyalty.

Why Go Social when you’re Not?

Do you feel stressed or discouraged at the thought of having to add social media to your business advertising mix? If you do, then chances are you are one of the secret minority who have vowed never to join Twitter, and you’re sick of hearing about Facebook (that thing your teenager haunts).

Relax. Social media doesn’t have to mean huge learning curves and wasted hours, all in the name of networking. Once you realize that business networking isn’t wasting time at all, it might make a whole lot more sense. Mind you, you might have to work a little at that shift in mindset… but you can do a few things to cut down on your social media climbing without losing valuable opportunities for free advertising.

Start Small…

You can’t get much faster than Twitter for social media networking. Compare the three hours you spent writing that article; then the frustratingly glitchy load time, uploading it to your marketing directory… and waiting 4 or 5 days for it to be approved… Now write out a sentence like this (in less than 140 characters):

“10 ways to French-braid your hair”.

Add to it a shortened link to your blog post.

Voila. You’re done.

The best way to shorten that link? There’s 2 schools of thought…

Some say it’s better if you used an optimized post title leading directly to your blog, like so: “”. Keyword-wise… yes, it is.

But most people shorten their posts with, because it allows you to add a button to your browser bar, and check your click-throughs instantly. (And remember, social networking is driven by sharing, interest and need; not by carefully-optimized keywords.

In fact, in the time it took to write this post, you could have easily published several tweets to Twitter – each of them like little mini-advertisements. (Just don’t make the marketing too blatant – remember: You’re supposed to be hanging out, sharing and swapping.)

Of course, it’s best if you don’t stop there: But if you’re truly busy, Twitter is a good place to start. You can post 3 highly-relevant tweets a day, in less time than it takes to water your houseplants. And you can even send your tweet while waiting at the doctor.

Twitter is truly the place for people who hate social networking.

And it’s like having your own personal mini-advertising campaign!

Creating Your Perfect Sales Funnel Plan

One of the steps often forgotten in the excitement of creating a new online business is the planning phase. This is particularly important when you’re creating your sales and marketing strategy. Spend some time mapping out how your content, products and services, and marketing are all going to work together to build a profitable online business.

Step One: Develop high quality products. Starting off on the right foot with your customer service approach is very important for the livelihood of your online business. Quality products, from the very first freebie to your largest ticket item, will help you gradually build a positive reputation for yourself. Any future dealings you have where you can do repeat business with your customer should leave them feeling as if they were treated as well if not better than the first time around.

Step Two: Create your product line. A sales funnel is a series of incrementally more valuable, and perhaps more expensive, products or services to offer your customers. However, people are going to enter your funnel at various stages. Some may begin by taking advantage of your free offer while some may jump right in and buy a product or service. Create a plan for each type of customer. Set the stage for the next level of products you have available. Figure out which ones might be of interest to your clients, or which ones could be useful. Help them to see just how they can be helpful and how to implement them effectively into their present business or organization.

Step Three: Maintain the Communication. In addition to creating a line of high quality products and services, you’ll also want to establish consistent communication with your prospects and customers. Accomplish this by continuing the flow of valuable information in the form of blog posts, email messages and perhaps a newsletter.

Maintaining the flow of valuable information makes it easier for your customers to confidently pass your information on to others. You could soon find yourself starting the process all over again with new referrals, or other people you have found on your own who have become customers.

Planning is the key to online business success. Create your sales funnel plan, marketing plan and content plan and work to integrate the three into a seamless and efficient system. Consistency is the key, and by using the same plan over and over again with each new person, your online business will grow. And everyone will be receiving the same great quality products and services you have to offer.

Awesome Tools to Monitor and Manage Your online Reputation

Understanding what types of tools are out there to help you monitor and manage your online reputation is the first step to taking control of your online presence. If you’ve never concerned yourself in the past about how you’re perceived across the Internet those days are over. Take control using these tools.


You’re probably not surprised that Google would be the first suggestion when it comes to managing your online reputation. Every person who has a Google account has a Google Dashboard. On that Google Dashboard you can see Data Tools. If you click on the options for Me on the Web you will find some astonishing information about yourself.

Within Google’s Me on the Web you can also set up an alert to be informed each time someone mentions your name, email address, or other keywords that you choose. This is a great way to be informed immediately when a discussion is taking place about you, your brand or your products and services.

If you have more than one Google account it’s important to check out all the information in all accounts that Google has compiled about you. Correct what is wrong, and hide what you don’t want visible to the public.

Social Media

There are paid and free tools you can use to manage your social online reputation. Paid tools like Naymz can help you understand how much influence you have across social media accounts and help you establish your brand as well as help you earn influence to increase your online reputation.

But, you can also use social media free to search for information about yourself, your product and your brand. Some social media accounts let you set up alerts too. A paid option to monitor when someone mentions you is called You might like to check that out for easier results than doing it all yourself.

It’s important to do searches on all social media accounts to find out what’s being said about your business. If you have the option don’t forget to turn off personalized results. You want to know what other people are seeing and those search results could be very different when search engines personalize results geographically and otherwise. Using a service like Tweetbleep can really help too.

One final tool that has to be mentioned is HubSpot’s Marketing Grader. This can help you understand how you are doing as an online presence and a brand with your marketing efforts. Simply go to the website and sign up for Marketing Grader. You’ll get a report that is useful from the start to let you know how you’re doing in various areas like blogging, social media, seo, lead generation and more. They’ll give you a grade out of a 100 possible points and ideas to improve.

The larger the Internet gets, the smaller our world becomes. It’s imperative today to monitor and manage your online reputation using whatever tools you can to ensure that prospects and consumers get a true picture of your offerings. By ignoring your online reputation you might find out that the results you expect from all the hard work you do online are less than expected.

Email Subject lines that attract virtual event participants

When you email your list about your virtual event you want them to open it so that they can read about your awesome event, get excited about it, and sign up. Now! But, it can be difficult to get people to open email today. There is so much spam and so much information that is useless going out every single day that unfortunately, even your list members might be blind to a good thing without a great subject line.

Aside from consistently sending out good information to your clients which will create good will, enthusiasm and trust between you and your audience having effective email subject lines can help. Creating effective subject lines takes practice, trial and error. But here are a few tips to help you come up with some great ones.

The number one trick is to segment your audience. Let those who sign up for your email list to decide what type of information they want. If they only want newsletters then you’ll have to save the hard-sell for someone else. If they sign up for special offers and promotions then you have every right to hard sell to them because they signed up for it and are, in fact, expecting it.

For Regular Newsletter Subscribers:

* Include your company name in the subject line so that your list members know exactly who the email is coming from.
* Use the client’s name in the subject line to personalize it, and draw their eye to the email among all the others in their inbox.
* Be consistent in how you title email subject lines so that your audience gets used to how you impart information to them.
* Be straight forward in your email subject lines, don’t try puns or to be clever, straight forward is usually the best way to get the email to be opened and read.

For Special Offer Subscribers:

* Do all of the above except in this case it is okay to put in the subject line information about a sale or other special offer to entice the recipient to open the email.

In general, it is important that your subject lines accurately reflect what is inside the email. That might be contrary to much of what you read but it’s true. Think of the emails that you open, why did you open it? If you trick your audience into opening an email they will not appreciate it. If you get your audience to open your emails by trickery you won’t feel good about it either. It’s better to be honest and say “We are inviting you to a virtual event!” or “Enclosed is 20% off for a virtual event you can’t miss!” or “[Name] You’ll be disappointed if you don’t attend this event!”

If you’ve taken the time to build a targeted list full of people who enjoy getting information from you, and you’ve treated them honestly it is more than likely that most of them will continue to open up information from you because you provide value. We have all heard that people buy from those whom they know, like and trust. Once someone has signed up for your mailing list, they have shown trust for you all you have to do now is keep it, let them get to know you and hopefully they’ll like you enough to attend your event.

Mobile Website Branding

If you are focused on branding your business, remember that your mobile website can help – or hurt – this process.

What is “branding” exactly? The practice of creating an instantly recognizable site, logo, color scheme or any other visual “cue” that helps viewers identify it instantly with your product or business.

If you’ve set things up properly, the advantages you can expect to reap from branding are:

Your customer knows who you are and what you’re about
What to expect in quality, service and price
Whether or not he is your favored target market (and if he is, he tends to stay loyal!)

You need a strategy, if you decide to focus on branding. You need ideas and methods to keep your sites and products in front of the public eye.

Coca-Cola’s distinctive red-and-white colors are as much a part of its branding as its actual logo. Even when small details change, the overall feel stays the same.

The Coca-Cola polar bears are instantly recognizable as part of that brand. Their graphic representation taps into 2 key elements of strong branding:

– Consistency
– Repetition

Even though you don’t want heavy graphics with a mobile website, small graphic elements that instantly remind people of your brand will work well. Allowing your branding to remain even through your mobile sites ensures:

1. Potential customers think of you, the moment they see those graphic elements on their mobiles

2. Potential customers know instantly what they’re going to get – they develop either a positive or negative emotion when they see your name or logo

3 Repetition of positive feelings brings trust – and a willingness to entertain your offers

4. Trust brings purchases – and develops repeat customers, who remain loyal for as long as you remain consistent

So don’t neglect your branding (if that’s relevant to your business strategy) when you decide to go mobile.

It can help boost your credibility more than you might ever realize, or think!

Why You Should Launch Your Own Affiliate Program

What if there was a way to reach more potential customers in a shorter amount of time?
And what if you could spend more time focusing on your actual business rather than
trying to market it? What if you could make more money by spending less? Well, there is
a way, you can and you will!

By launching your own affiliate marketing program you will have the opportunity to
reach a greater audience and grow your customer base through a well-equipped team of
affiliate marketers. You can’t possibly reach your entire market on your own, but you can
certainly reach a greater percentage through the help of affiliate marketers who work for
you. Their goal is to sell your business and your product while you focus your efforts on
what’s really important like creating your product, maintaining client relationships and
building relationships with industry peers.

An affiliate marketing program is a cost-effective, reliable way for your business to
achieve exponential growth that can only occur when you have a dedicated team working
for you. And the best part is, it requires little to no investment at all. You will need to
purchase a quality affiliate management program, but other than initial start-up costs
(which are minimal) you only stand to make money. A well managed, well executed
affiliate marketing program is not only a great business tool, it is a great way to bring in
additional revenue and grow your business beyond what you have ever imagined.

Would you like fries with that?

If you’ve ever been to a fast food restaurant, you’ve been asked the following, “Would you like fries with that?” Why? Because even hamburger and milkshake makers know how important it is to follow-up and follow through on a sale.

The same goes for internet marketing. Backend sales strategies, when applied correctly, are effective ways to increase your revenue and gain customer loyalty. But you won’t be asking your customers if they want fries with their ebook. Instead, you’ll be asking them if they’d like a report on the same topic that explores some of the issues the ebook does not.

As simple as it sounds, and as deeply woven into pop culture as it has become, the question, “Would you like fries with that,” is as strategic as a multi-million dollar advertising campaign. Backend sales strategies aren’t about how much money you put into them, they are about knowing who your customer is and understanding what they want, what they need and how you can exceed their expectations… oh, and keep them coming back for more.

Don’t let the customer simply place their order, drive through and never look back. Hit them with the soft sell by asking a question, or showcasing similar products to what they have already purchased. Because in the end, they may not even know what they really need. Sometimes, when you offer them the fries, they’ll ask for the milkshake too.

6 Picks for Best Mobile Websites

What makes a great mobile website? We all have our own criteria, but basically, many of the same qualities that make good sites on PC’s. They have to be:

– Reliable
– Quick to load
– Easy to browse

This latter requirement, however, differs slightly, when it comes to mobiles. “Easy to browse” means the navigation buttons can’t be too piddly-sized; shouldn’t be out of sight, and the amount of interaction (i.e. clicking and entering data) you have to do should be the absolute minimum.

And if it’s a mobile version of a well-established PC website, as many components as possible should be the same (or a simplified version), making it familiar and friendly to use.

Here are my top 6 picks for enjoyable and easy to use browsers for most mobiles. When so many sites still haven’t caught on to
what’s happening out in the real world, these sites are refreshingly easy to access – and use.

1. Topping the list and easily bagging the gold, You can basically use it exactly the way you would on computer.

2. Next, the silver medal goes to Amazon has espoused the credo: “Keep It Very, Very Simple”. What this means in
actual fact is that (providing you already have an Amazon account set up) you can purchase goods directly, using your mobile.

3. The bronze medal goes to the competitor everyone loves to hate (secretly), – you can personalize it for your
mobile, as well as access weather, movie times, news, and local searches. (A GPS, though, it’s not!)

4. This one’s a personal favorite… Darren Rowse’s has gone mobile (using the WPTouch plug-in, so you don’t even have to lift a finger to view it properlly in your mobile screen.)

5. Don’t want to wait till you get home to log onto Twitter? Don’t want to miss any of the latest links? You can set yourself up for either on your PC or on your mobile. (Only drawback – pushing it further down the list – no Direct Messages.)

6. Last but not least, mobile Wikipedia ( – entertaining and handy if you want to look something up in a spare
moment – but it’s last in my top six because Wikipedia data is not always reliable.

Notice that these are all large, mainstream sites. It’s my hope that more and more unique, individual sites will go mobile in the near future.

And then I hope you’ll write and suggest your own “local heroes”.