What Makes a Great Event for Marketing Your Business?

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What Makes a Great Event for Marketing Your Business?

As I work with small and medium businesses, many are using events to help drive business. The events vary in type, size and purpose. Some events are designed to introduce new products or staff, while others are designed to increase awareness of the company’s capabilities. Once you know your desired outcome, follow the recommendations below and you can host a results producing event for your organization.Event Marketing by J.R. Atkins

For the event to be successful at producing results, use the three C’s: Content, Cocktails & Connections

Content, as in Social Media, is the primary driver of results. What will your guests hear, see or do at your event? The more your guests are involved, the greater likelihood that your event will create a lasting impression. Some examples of content: a noteworthy speaker, not necessarily the CEO, such as a customer or a professional presenter who can talk about you and your company so you don’t hype yourself. Have entertainment such as a musical combo playing quietly, or a comedian warming up the crowd before your speaker. Remember you want to inform and entertain the audience.

Cocktails or unique beverages such as flavored tea will help ease people into conversation. When your audience is freely talking they are usually enjoying themselves. Warning – Make sure you have a good sound system for your presentation as people often continue their discussion during your presentation. No one enjoys or learns from a presentation they cannot hear.

Connections are the second driver of results. The people we meet impacts our business and personal lives. Think of inviting “noteworthy” people for your guests to meet or connect people who should meet one another. Then tell them in advance you would like to introduce them at the event.J.R. Atkins recomend Events to grow your business

Once you have planned your event, the next task is to fill the room and to do this use the letters “ALV” or Awareness, Location and Value.

Awareness can best be understood by asking yourself “How many people know about my event.” How will you make others aware? A few suggestions to consider: Mail an invitation. Yes, “snail mail” still works. Email, 2 to 3 times leading up to the event. Send the first one at least 3 weeks out so people can “save the date.” Online tools such as Websites, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus and MeetUp are good tools to get the word out. If your event is on a larger scale you may consider advertising in local journals or trade publications that your target audience reads.

Location in itself can be a deciding factor in your audience choosing to attend your event. A new venue such as a hotel, restaurant or bar can be a big draw. Many business people don’t get to the hot clubs unless there is a special event. Plus, clubs and bars often have very light or no traffic in the hours at the end of the workday.

Value, as perceived by the invited guests, is critical to saying yes to the invitation. Value is often seen as being entertained, being held in esteem to or honored, or a feeling of being special. Another way value is viewed is “how will this help me or my business.” If the invited guests see value in attending your event, then they are more likely to go. Value can be created via the program, other guests and your presence.Professional speaker J,R. Atkins

Lastly, a few comments about “How To” and cost. If you are new to event planning, get help! You can find event planners that cost you nothing and others that charge a substantial fee and deliver startling results. Look online for best practices in event planning, write out the details with a time line, involve your staff and for peace of mind, give yourself plenty of time.

I look forward to hearing and reading your comments on using events to drive business results. You can share them by email, blog, or phone at 214-707-1705.

Events Worth Considering

06-29-30 DFW Rocks Social Media with J.R. Atkins
06-30-30 DFW Rocks Social Media
07-02-13 Fostering a Tech Startup Culture
07-04-13 Concerts at the Arboretum
07-08-13 Rena Pederson, The Burma Chronicles
07-09-13 Social Media & Your Career with J.R. Atkins
07-10-13 Facebook Basics with J.R. Atkins
07-11-13 DFW AMA Meet & Greet
07-11-13 Rolling Stones Cover Band
07-16-13 Learning from Iraq
07-17-13 Digital Dallas ~ Digital DUMBO
07-17-13 Film Screening: Not My Life
07-20-13 5th Annual Little Black Dress Event
07-24-13 LinkedIn Basics with J.R. Atkins
07-30-13 Last Tues Happy Hr @ The Ritz

Every Sunday 8:30 pm Perspective Pulse with Ashley Berges & J.R. Atkins on KLIF 570 AM and the iHeartRadio App.


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The Power of Being Linkedin

Dallas Social Media Speaker J.R. Atkins teaches success with LinkedInBy now, most business professionals have a profile on LinkedIn. Occasionally, I will meet someone new to the business community who does not have LinkedIn, yet. Or, I meet someone from an academic background or in a role in a large organization where they thought they did not “need” LinkedIn. These are short sighted folks, for LinkedIn is the online representation of our in-person network. In years past, you would see a Rolodex on a desk as a representation of an in-person network; others carried a little black book. Yet, LinkedIn is so much more than a list of contacts. LinkedIn is a robust communication tool, research tool, lead generation tool, prospecting tool, as well as a place to showcase our subject matter expertise. And yes, when we are looking for work or projects, it serves as an on-line resume. With this said, let’s explore some ways to get the most out of LinkedIn and discover The Power of Being LinkedIn.

The diagram below can serve as a road map to success when using LinkedIn. Each dialogue box represents a way to generate results with LinkedIn.

Author, Professional Speaker & Consultant J.R. Atkins tells how to harness The Power of LinkedIn

 

Daily Post – Your daily conversation with others on LinkedIn is how you build relationships that will lead to results. Don’t let the automatic updates that LinkedIn provides get in your way. I’ve heard people say the posts they see on LinkedIn are not very relevant, such as “Barry is now connected to Brittany.” I encourage you to scroll down and look for the more meaningful comments that relate to you. These posts can start a conversation and lead to a relationship that leads to business.

Groups – Groups are Golden! These are people that gather around a topic, association, industry, company, anything that provides a shared interest among the group members. Like a daily post, these posts can start a conversation and lead to a relationship that leads to business. Think of daily posts as sharing with people you are connected to on LinkedIn, where groups are people that have a shared interest yet may not be connected on LinkedIn. To make the most of groups, you want to “attend” daily, to participate in the conversation with meaningful commentary and ask thought provoking and relevant questions.

Questions & Answers – In the LinkedIn tool bar you will see the word “More” and the first option in the dropdown is “answers.” By participating in this area of LinkedIn, you can become known as a “LinkedIn Expert.” You earn this designation by answering questions and being chosen as the best answer, multiple times in a specific category. For example, my friend Marko is a recognized LinkedIn Expert on Computers as he has answered so many questions and his answers are chosen as the best answer by the person submitting the question. Again, these posts can start a conversation and lead to a relationship that leads to business. It’s all about building trustworthy and credible business relationships.

Email Integration – If you use Outlook, like I do, there is a plug in you can download to integrate LinkedIn and Facebook into your email feed.  An extra box appears at the bottom of your email inbox that will show messages, calendar dates, and more, along with a link to the individual’s LinkedIn and Facebook profiles if you are already connected. By the way, there is a Beta version for Gmail. Integration of LinkedIn and Email can drive results by making you aware of connections, opportunities and reminders of previous content.

CRM Integration – Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software provides a place for you to keep up with contacts, schedule a follow up, track opportunities, forecast sales and more. When you combine the power of LinkedIn with your CRM software, you can increase results by using LinkedIn as a Lead Generation resource; meaning people interested in your LinkedIn activity can “convert” to a lead in your CRM software. In time, Leads convert to prospects and then to customers. Now you can determine an ROI on your Social Media activity from LinkedIn.

Social Media – By forming a connection between LinkedIn and other Social Media resources you can increase your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Lead Generation. Here are a few ways to connect LinkedIn to other Social Media:

Dallas Social Media J.R. Atkins uses TwitterTwitter– Twitter and LinkedIn share integration via the “Twitter” field on your LinkedIn profile. In order to connect these two, go to LinkedIn tool bar, click on Profile, select edit profile, scroll down and look for “Twitter”. It appears between “Websites” and “Public Profile”. Add your Twitter ID here.

Facebook – You can list your Facebook individual or business profile as a “website” on your profile. As stated above, scroll down till you see “Websites” click on “other” fill in the word “Facebook” for the “other name” then key in your Facebook URL as the website.

Blog – To add your Blog to your LinkedIn profile, go to the LinkedIn tool bar, click on “More” then select “Get More Applications” from the drop down menu. This will take you to the “Applications” page in LinkedIn. Among the many Applications you will find there are two that relate to a blog: “Blog Link” and “WordPress.” Choose “WordPress” if you use WordPress as your Blogging platform, otherwise choose”Blog Link.” Once you set up this app, your most recent blog content will show up on your LinkedIn Profile.

YouTube channel for Something different CompaniesYouTube – To add your YouTube Channel to you LinkedIn profile, follow the same directions from above for Facebook but when you click on “other” key in YouTube and place your YouTube channel URL in the field.

Website – As stated in the directions for Facebook & YouTube you can list your website as one of the three fields for websites on LinkedIn. I encourage you to use one of the three for your website as LinkedIn users rely on this link to learn more about you and your business.

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Below the line in the diagram you will find additional boxes with topics and questions I often receive. To learn more about these topics follow the links for “how to” guidelines and definitions.

LinkedIn Ads – You can now separate your personal LinkedIn account from your Business within the advertising area. This allows multiple people to manage the Ad account.

Premium Accounts – “Should I get a premium account?” is something I am frequently asked when I speak on LinkedIn. For most “average users” the answer is no. But for those of us who use LinkedIn every day to build business and stay connected, the answer is yes. Think of the Law of Reciprocity, it asks for a balance between what we give and what we get.

InMail – “InMails are messages you can send directly to another LinkedIn member you’re not connected to. Any member can purchase an InMail, or you can get them with a premium account.” This can be a high pay off tool if you use LinkedIn for Prospecting as InMail has a higher response rate then regular LinkedIn messages.

Lead Generation – Is the act of drawing future prospects to you via the content you share on LinkedIn (in our case) and is considered “Inbound Marketing.” As mentioned above, your Daily Post, Groups and Question and Answer activity can contribute greatly to lead generation with LinkedIn. See this Blog post from HubSpot for a 7 Step Program.

Prospecting – Is more like Hunting and is considered “Outbound Marketing.” Outbound marketing is the activity of reaching out to prospective customers with a relevant message. Examples of Outbound Marketing are Email Marketing, Direct Mail, Cold or Warm Phone Calls and more. With LinkedIn it is the act of looking for prospective customs within LinkedIn, connecting with them, sharing information and forging a business relationship such that they will buy from you in time.

Research & SME – LinkedIn is a great place to highlight you as a SME (Subject Matter Expert) and to find other SMEs. It is this expertise that draws others toward you for discussion and eventually to do business.

LinkedIn Apps – Within the LinkedIn Application section you will find many resources to help you build your business through LinkedIn. I recommend you look at Reading List, Portfolio Display (if you have one) Box.net Files, and Slide Share.

SEO – When you build a robust LinkedIn profile with good, relevant content, then your LinkedIn profile will appear in a high position in a search by a search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo. To do this, you need to maximize each LinkedIn field. My good friend, David Lanners provides a one page .pdf on Keys to High Rankings on LinkedIn.

Connecting with a Purpose – Versus just collecting connections. Do you have a greater purpose then just to sell someone something? If not, then you may not find LinkedIn as valuable as others. When you are truly interested in helping others before you help yourself, your future is unlimited. My friend and Co-author Steven Covey said it best as habit 5 of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Seek first to understand, then be understood.

Good luck using your LinkedIn profile to build relationships that are mutually beneficial. I look forward to reading your comments, please click on “comments” to leave a thought, question or comment.

*** Please join me on June 30 for “DFW Rocks Social Media Day in Dallas 2012” where I will be speaking on the Power of Being LinkedIn with 8 other presentations on Social Media.

Events worth considering


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Changes with LinkedIn Premium accounts

Dallas Social Media Speaker J.R. Atkins address LinkedIn changesLinkedIn is shifting some functionality from their free accounts to paid accounts. Here is their announcement:

Message to LinkedIn Premium Members
Viewing full names for 3rd Degree & Group Connections

Dear Premium Member,

We wanted to let you know about a change that was recently made to the way names are displayed for certain profiles on LinkedIn. As an existing Premium member this change doesn’t affect you, however we wanted to provide you with some information just in case you have any questions.

What has changed?
3rd Degree & Group connections found from keyword search (e.g., ‘sales director’) are now only displayed with first name only. Previously, these profiles were displayed with full names for everyone to see.

How does this affect me?
It doesn’t. Because you joined LinkedIn Premium prior to this change, you’ll continue to see full names for these profiles with your current Premium Account.

How long will I continue to see full names for these profiles?
You’ll see full names for these profiles for as long as your current Premium Account is active. However, if you cancel your Premium Account this feature will no longer be available to you, as this is now only available with specific account types. To get this ability back you’ll need to purchase an Executive, Talent Finder, or Pro account – which start at $99.95 per month.

We hope this information helps. If you have any questions please let us know.

Thank you for subscribing to LinkedIn Premium.

Thanks,
The LinkedIn Team


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Are you following, on Twitter, all of your LinkedIn connections?

Dallas Social Media J.R. Atkins uses TwitterSince LinkedIn and Twitter have an alliance or partnership, the two Social Media networks are well integrated. You might notice that many people on LinkedIn also have their Twitter user name listed on their profile. If you do not, go to LinkedIn, click on Profile, chose Edit Profile, and you will see Twitter between Websites and Public Profile. Click on edit and add your Twitter user name. Also, if you have not personalized your Public Profile you can do that here as well.

Now that you have your twitter account connected to your LinkedIn account, open another window, go to Twitter and sign in. Go to Settings, click on Find People, click on Find Friends, and click on LinkedIn. This will automatically go to LinkedIn and find all of the shared connections between the two applications labeled All connections on Twitter and give you a number of connections, for example (132).

Dallas Social Media Speaker J.R. Atkins uses LinkedInYou will see who you are already following on Twitter as well as those who you are not following. Click on the follow button to the right of each persons name to follow them on Twitter. You will need to go one by one, page by page, till you reach the end of the list. This makes for a good activity while watching TV.

Warning: Do not follow more than 999 new people per day or Twitter will lock down your account. If this ever happens to you go to Twitter Help, beg for forgiveness and wait a few days from them to reactivate your account.


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