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This is the second in a series of articles we will be publishing relaying thoughts and ideas from the Internet Retailer Conference in Chicago, which occurred June 5th through June 7th. Peter Kosciewicz, Director of E-Commerce for the Eastwood Company, and Chris Saito, Senior Director, Shopping Products for Yahoo! Shopping, delivered a presentation entitled "Social Networking: The Peer Pursuasion Marketing Tool."According to Kosciewicz, the Web today has grown into an "arc...

Profiting From Online Social Networking

Profiting From Online Social NetworkingThis is the second in a series of articles we will be publishing relaying thoughts and ideas from the Internet Retailer Conference in Chicago, which occurred June 5th through June 7th. Peter Kosciewicz, Director of E-Commerce for the Eastwood Company, and Chris Saito, Senior Director, Shopping Products for Yahoo! Shopping, delivered a presentation entitled "Social Networking: The Peer Pursuasion Marketing Tool."According to Kosciewicz, the Web today has grown into an "architecture of participation" that facilitates social networking through devices such as blogs, wikis, RSS, podcasts, and more. Forrester Research has published studies that show that traditional marketing is continuing to lose credibility. For example, in 2002, 78% of respondents in a survey said that ads are a good way to learn about a new product. In 2004, that number had dropped to 46%. In 2002, 14% of respondents agrees that companies generally tell the trust. As pathetic as 14% is, in 2004, it had declined even further - down to 7%. Social networking as a means of marketing overcomes this lack of consumer trust because it relies on the word of the consumer rather than the word of the producer. Research from Datamonitor reported that 85% of repondents in a survey indicated that word-of-mouth from friends, family, or colleagues is more trustworthy than corporate-generated content.So how do you take advantage of social networking to sell more product? Simple - you open yourself up. You plant the seeds of a community to grow up around your site by using devices such as blogs, customer reviews, and forums to give a voice to your customers or prospective customers. The caveat is that you must be high quality. You must have high quality service and a high quality product. If not, avoid this marketing method.Kosciewicz outlined four important rules for using social networking on your web site:1. Guide but don't control.2. Never censor.3. Don't be afraid of the negative.4. Don't be paranoid.If you open up a forum on your site but then restrict what people are allowed to say, such as removing posts that are negative toward your company or that mention your competitors, then you will do more damage than good to your reputation. Use negativity as a way to improve your business. If people are negative, look at that as feedback and act on it. Make changes, and then let your community know about it. Don't worry about your community talking about your competition. Your attitude has to be that you are the best, so why worry about it?As a community develops around your web site, certain members will establish themselves as more influential than others. They will be more outspoken, and will be the ones who often respond to others. Cultivate these members, because they can be powerful allies. Once you have identified the more influential members of your community, contact them regularly, give them free product, become their friend. Feed your influencers information, and they will distribute it for you. But do not make it appear that you are only interested in them because they can help you sell stuff. You need to be genuine.Measuring the impact of social networking is difficult. Unlike other forms of marketing, there is no direct connect between social networking activity and sells. What you will want to do is track traffic to pages such as customer reviews, referral links, etc.Social networking can be a powerful marketing tool, if you have a high quality product and are not afraid of an open dialogue with your customers.If you would like help implementing a social networking strategy for your web site, call Work Media at 1-888-299-4837 or email info@workmedia.net.

Local networking events

Local networking events

Have you ever been invited to a networking breakfast? Or a networking lunch? These may should sort of strange to the person who has never been to one before, but these types of situations are key to moving yourself to talk with others about what you do, how you do it, and what you provide in the form of services and products. Many areas have their own type of networking events These include business meetings to talk about the economy, or business meetings to set new ordinances for the local surroundings everywhere you have people; you have the opportunity to do additional networking. The more people you know and talk with the stronger your network of business contacts and customer contact is going to become. The first step to successful local networking is going to involve doing itYou need to get out there, and be where other business owners are, or at least where large groups of people are going to be found. Next, you need a good opening question. The best question you can ask a person when you are networking is, what do you do? This is not only going to open the door to talking with another person, but also it is going to open the door for that person in turn to ask you what you do which is just what you want them to ask you!Networking should be done in conversation when you are in situations where you dont know someone all that well. Business cards are often given out, and passed around. If you are heading off to a club meeting, or a networking business affair, you should also have marketing materials with you, such as a brochure or some type of printed matter to show and tell others what you do. As others find your materials handed to them, or presented on a table of information, they have something tangible to take with them, read later, and to think about later. Collect phone number, emails and information about other businesses. As you collect information about others, you will soon learn that you can use this information after you are back at the office, back at your own business. Create a marketing package for each individual that you have met. Mail out the information with a personal note from you, that it was great talking with you, and you just wanted to share some additional information about your business with them, in case they ever have a need for a product or service that you provide. This is very straight marketing, after the initial networking event, make it work for you!

Networking Terms: Educating the Client

Networking Terms: Educating the Client

It is very important to educate your small business prospects and clients on key small business networking terms and buzzwords. After all, in order to "win them over," you need to be speaking the same language. In fact, you may even want to prepare a "cheat sheet", based on the below definitions, to help you in your prospect and client pre-sales activities. If youd like to order a license to reproduce these "networking terms" for client sales literature, please contact questions@ComputerConsulting101.com and put "Licensing Your LAN Buzzwords" in the subject line.802.11a wireless Ethernet standard that allows for data networking transmission at up to 54Mbps; operates in the 5-6Ghz range.802.11b most mature of the widely available wireless Ethernet standards that allows for data networking transmission at up to 11Mbps; ; also commonly referred to as a WiFi; operates in the 2.4Ghz range802.11g newest in-progress wireless Ethernet standard that promises to allow for data networking transmission at up to 54Mbps, operates in the same 2.4Ghz range as 802.11b-based Wireless Ethernet networks.CAT5 (Category 5 Cable) copper, unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cabling that can support voice and data communications at speeds up to 100Mbps and 1000Mbps for Ethernet networking.Client/Server Network a network in which a dedicated server is used to share resources.Ethernet Network Adapter due to the market dominance of Ethernet networks, an Ethernet network adapter has become largely synonymous with the more general term network adapter or network interface card.IDE (integrated drive electronics) is a more mainstream, lower-cost interface (than SCSI) for connecting internal peripherals -- generally hard drives, CD-ROM drives and tape backup drives.LAN (Local Area Network) set of computer systems and peripheral devices connected for sharing resources and providing near instantaneous communications; todays small business LANs are typically physically connected using Ethernet network adapters and Category 5 cabling; when extended to one or more additional geographic locations, can become a metropolitan area network (MAN) or wide area network (WAN).Network Integrator a computer services business that designs, installs and maintains heterogeneous computer systems and software; many computer consultants are also network integrators (and vice versa).Copyright MMI-MMVI, Small Business Computer Consulting .com. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}

Learning How To Get Free New And Existing Mls Home Listings In Your Area

Learning How To Get Free New And Existing Mls Home Listings In Your Area

When you are in the market for a new home, the key is to be able to see as many available homes as possible. However, driving up and down the streets is not an efficient way to gauge the housing market in your area. A better way to do it would be access the MLS listing sites that many realtors use. Knowing how to get free new and existing MLS home listings in your area can be incredibly valuable in helping look at a large number of homes and narrow the market down to the ones most suited to your wants and needs.Though you may be able to find homes by using an internet search engine or directory, your best bet is always going to be to get access to the multiple listing service (MLS) that realtors often use. One suggestion as to how to get free new and existing MLS home listings in your area is to check your local newspapers website. There, they will often have a link to real-estate where you will have access to homes that are listed on MLS. Using this method to get access will generally allow you to see homes that are for sale by owner as well, which rarely get into MLS at all (due to high listing costs on for sale by owner).Another piece of advice on how to get free new and existing MLS home listings in your area is to use http://realtor.com. This website actually is made up of all the board listings from the local MLS. The virtual tours, pictures, and listings are all there for you to see. You also know the best listings are there because realtors pay to get listed on the site. It is an incredibly popular site that gets such traffic that realtors consider it a must to be listed there. The only real problem is that while you do have access to the MLS listings, they are often 3 to 5 days behind the MLS listing date.Another method for how to get free new and existing MLS home listings in your area is a little bit of a cheat. If you know someone, have a family member, or are acquitted with a realtor, they can get you on to the site. The problem is that if you are not using them to shop for or buy your new home, they may not be as willing. However, if you can call in a favor you can see all of the listening in your area and detailed information about all of them. That is, you can do it all without actually becoming a realtor or finding backdoor websites.Finding how to get free new and exiting MLS home listings in your area is a challenge, but oh so worth it in the end. By knowing everything listed, you give yourself a larger pool to start with when you narrow down to the homes you want to actually see in person. The more options you have the more quality you will end up with.

Do You Get Attention With Your 30-Second Introduction?

I went to a networking event the other day where the meeting leader said, "Were going to skip doing the 30-second introductions today because mines so bad and it doesnt work that it nauseates me." I thought to myself, WOW! Id skip the next networking meeting until Id worked out a new introduction.Do you get attention with your introduction? Are you prepared to introduce yourself at your next networking event or for when someone ask, "What do you do?" Consider these tips for developing an attention getting introduction.1. Start With The First 10 Seconds. What if 10 seconds is all you get? Does your first sentence tell your listener enough so they understand what you do and inspire them to want to know more? Heres the simple, but effective approach. "I work with [type of clients] who have [these types of problems, issues or challenges]." Thats it. Dont try to sugar it up or make it real catchy.2. Avoid the What You Are Approach. "Im an accountant" or "Im a marketing consultant" or "Im a financial planner" or "Im a growth coach". Youve heard them time and again. Youve probably even done it yourself. The problem is your listener(s) may not understand what the title means or even worse they may fill in an incorrect definition.3. Avoid the What You Do Approach. "I do small business accounting including sales tax and payroll" or "I provide business owners with mentoring and training in comprehensive strategies to improve bottom line results..." Tends to be boring and doesnt help the listener(s) understand what they get as a result.4. Say How You Solved a Problem or Served a Client. Reinforce your first 10 second sentence with a second sentence that shows how you solved a problem or overcame a particular issue or challenge. "I help mid-sized accounting firms plan big conferences on a small budget. I just recently lined up free live entertainment for a firm that hosted 500 people in town last week."5. Tell Them Why You Are Unique. What makes you stand out from the crowd? Maybe its a unique model or approach for better results, focus on a specific niche, a guarantee, or extras that others dont provide. There are many ways to define your uniqueness that will help gain attention and make you memorable.Make your introduction an attention getter. Start with the first 10 seconds. You can always build from there once it starts getting attention. Actually write it down and practice out loud several times until you can just say it naturally.

Network Marketing - Why is it so great?

If you've ever heard of Network Marketing, you've probably heard it said that it is essentially a people's business. Some have also labeled it a people's franchise because of the similarities between the business models of network marketing and franchising. Advocates of the industry name it as the ultimate people's business and say there is nothing quite like it. People that are in "network marketing" will immediately respond positively to this.One of the unique characteristics of the network marketing type of business is that every individual distributor is in business for themselves but never by themselves. They will always be part of a larger organization and the compensation models are designed in such a way that every person can count on some form of support from their upline. It is no secret that fortunes can be made in this type of business and many have done just that. Of course this is not the majority of network marketers, but every individual distributor does have the same chances. Success or failure in network marketing is not dictated by politics, race, age, background or gender, but always by results. In that respect it is probably also the fairest business model in the world. For many people however the true value of their home based business is not directly in the financial return. The lessons a person can learn while building his or her own network marketing business are truly priceless. Many people are totally transformed through the personal growth they experience as a direct result of their challenges in their MLM businesses. It forced them to get out of their comfort zones, grow, and in many cases become a better person. So what is so unique about network marketing in this respect? Doesn't every entrepreneur have to deal with challenges? The answer of course is: Yes, they do. And they also experience personal growth as a result from this. However there is a significant difference. Most entrepreneurs are self made and many of them learned their trade largely outside of formal education. Either they were taught by a family member, a mentor or perhaps they learned everything the hard way: by trial and error. Very rarely will you find an entrepreneur that has an extensive library of books and tapes on personal development. Most businesspeople don't attend seminars and motivational trainings. They think it's all a bunch of hype. While in some cases this can be true, there are many trainings and seminars that teach the principles of success better than any textbook found in business schools. One of the great things about network marketing is that this type of education is built into the training systems of all good companies. There is no business on the face of the earth that places such a strong and direct emphasis on the importance of personal development as the network marketing industry. Many companies might argue that they spend a great deal of their budget on education; training employees and as such assisting them in personal development but in most cases what they are actually talking about is personnel development. Although the words are almost identical, their meanings are vastly different. Network marketing is all about building people. It is probably the best school on the planet if you want to learn about what it takes to be successful in life and you don't need rich parents or some kind of scholarship to enroll.

Summary

This is the second in a series of articles we will be publishing relaying thoughts and ideas from the Internet Retailer Conference in Chicago, which occurred June 5th through June 7th. Peter Kosciewicz, Director of E-Commerce for the Eastwood Company, and Chris Saito, Senior Director, Shopping Products for Yahoo! Shopping, delivered a presentation entitled "Social Networking: The Peer Pursuasion Marketing Tool."According to Kosciewicz, the Web today has grown into an "arc...