Hello or Goodbye? Don’t Underestimate Your Newsletter

With all of these great social media tools swirling around like someone just took a broom to a dusty floor in a sun room, one should never forget the value of the old school follow-up. What do I mean by follow-up? Well, specifically in this case, I’m referring to your newsletter. 

Your business newsletter is an unobtrusive reminder to your current and future customers or members of your value to them. Your name is planted in their mind again and again. The social media frenzy calls up on the critical aspect of developing a relationship with your audience, but keeping them around is another thing entirely. Be the creator of all things worth reading and add a newsletter to your social media portfolio.

 Here are a few tips to creating a great monthly read:

1) Awareness. Your audience needs a basic understanding of your business before they will do business with you. Explain who you are. Succinctly. I’m big on saying things as concisely as possible. After all, you have about four seconds to capture someone’s attention. Tell them who you are, what you sell and how to get in contact with you.

2) Image. Man. Oh man! This matters, people. Even with the down to Earth nature of your blog, or the matter-of-factness of your tweets, or the friendliness of your Facebook profile, your customers want to know you are a professional. They might enjoy the cutesy backdrop on your MySpace page, but rest assured if they are going to donate or spend money with you and your organization, they want solid reassurance of why. Prove to them you run a credible business. Convey to them you are the expert in your space. Give them real reasons why they should choose you over the competition.

3) Call to action. Don’t leave them hanging on the last word. Tell your prospects what you would like from them. It can be as simple as passing the newsletter along to a friend or associate (build that opt-in list you dream of). Ask them to sign up for an event or check out a new product. Provide quick links to other pages.

In the end it’s about value. If you cannot provide them value, that “what’s in it for me” factor, then you’ve lost them at “hello.”

4 Overlooked Roles of the Small Business Owner


Richard Chang, author of The Passion Plan at Work , once said that “passion is the single most powerful competitive advantage an organization can claim in building its success.”  In honor of this year’s National Small Business Week, which wrapped yesterday, let’s talk about some of the overlooked roles the small business owner must play in his or her organization to regain that passion.

1) Super passionate spokesperson:  Ms. Small Biz Owner, you left a good job in the city, working for the man, to take a risk. Now you find yourself buried in the minutiae that it takes to run a business from day to day.  It can sap your enthusiasm and passion unless you stoke the fires!  Meet with key customers and clients and remind yourself that you are living your dream, building a future and solving issues for other people.  Everyone needs a cheerleader.  Be your own.

2) Chief Strategist:  Probably one of the most overlooked roles for a small business owner is that of chief strategist.  Sure, once upon a time there was a business plan and it’s now collecting dust on the shelf.  That small business plan was a living and breathing path to success.  Smart business owners consistently review their strategy and models.  If you don’t know where your revenue is going to come from next week or next year or during the next downturn, you’ve got some planning to do.

3) Student:  Bill Wagner, in his book The Entrepreneur Next Door, says that there is a direct correlation between the amount of time an entrepreneur invests in his education and his success.  But, let me be clear:  learning comes in many different forms, thanks to social networking and social media.  As a small business owner, you should be leveraging online workshops, Twitter, blogs, Linked In and a whole host of other tools to get your most pressing questions answered by people who have been there.  Those tools can build your business and brand, too, but they are just as important to you as a leader.

4) Consensus Builder:  The drive and will to succeed is part of the entrepreneur’s DNA. So should be consensus building.  Find ways to be inclusive, seek out alliances that can benefit your business, and instill a culture of passion and enthusiasm in your organization.  Nothing will kill success and innovation in your company faster than an owner ignoring or shooting down ideas and concerns from the rank and file.  Your employees will flee for the hills the first chance they get. 


Top Blogging Tips, Part 1

Join Professional Mojo every Tuesday and Thursday from 11-11:30EST as they discuss a variety of social media topics.  This week? Top tips for blogging – especially important for newbies.  Any business can benefit from learning more:

FaceSpace. MyBook. Who’s a Twit? Digg what?

Oh just call me delirious, not Delicious. With all the hype over social media avenues and best practices, where’s a business to run to first? Some might say the local bar counter, but I’ll be honest, it’s not as bad as one might think. Sure, it might take a sip of the ole mint julep to ignite your blogging creativity, but wrapping your head around these new tools is actually pretty easy.

Whether you like it or not, the world has become a more social place, and subsequently businesses better get on the band wagon. Not a threat, just a reality. Take it or leave it, but if your business, no matter how big or small, hasn’t started to engage in some form of social media, you can simply roll down the window and watch your competition race by.

Here are a few great places to start finding your social media mojo:

In coming posts, we’ll drill into some of the most useful tools to grow your business and even your career. And once you get rolling, we’ll also do our best to keep you out of that unlabeled, dark hidden room in the back where you hear the others sound off, “Hi, My name is ___, and I’m a social media addict.”


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