Every Small Business Owner Should Attend This conference!

Are you sick of attending conferences that lack energy, enthusiasm, effective content, and passionate speakers? If you have a small business and a passion for success, you belong at #ICON14. Year over year Infusioncon has grown in size and it is because of what Infusionsoft offers during this 3 day event. Not only will you learn about automating your business, but you will be engaged during the many breakout sessions offered, guest speakers that give you real life results, partners that you can work with hands on and other small business owners to help you brainstorm on what you need to do to get your business to the next level. This conference offers best practices for success and marketing strategies that will be sure to improve your daily functions in your business. Infusionsoft spends countless hours preparing for this event so that they know they are delivering the best bang for your buck.

As a Certified Infusionsoft Consultant/Reseller, I am telling you that this is the best networking and small business building event you can attend this year and I strongly recommend attending this conference.

 

-Lacey Parise

Posted in Uncategorized

How to Wave That Social Media Wand

If you’ve had to rely on social media to drum up business, you know how Harry Potter must have felt when he was living under the stairs, or how useless Tinkerbelle must have been before Mr. Disney discovered her.  Both were eventually given magic wands that could convert things instantly, whether pumpkins into carriages or rattlesnakes into jelly beans.

Many small business owners use social media; however very few know how to convert their ‘Likes’ into customers.  The conversion gap lies somewhere between the social media silos, and sales and marketing automation software like Infusionsoft.  Just imagine what it would be like if you could take all your social media followers and actively market to them through email, text, voice broadcasts, and direct mail.

Well Tinkerbelle, now you can.  The magic wand you can use to convert your social media Likes into solid customers is called GroSocial.  It allows you to create contests and spread promotions through your pages with ease.  The best part is that you can capture your leads through opt-in forms on the GroSocial pages!

In addition, GroSocial lets you schedule Tweets and Facebook posts.  Keeping up with daily messages was always a hassle for me, but now I schedule posts a month in advance.  Every day my content is automatically posted and I can increase my social media engagement without even having to log in!  You’ve invested time on social media networks. Now, it’s time for those networks to start working for you.

GroSocial has been a tremendous asset to me, and to my clients.  In fact, through the use of GroSocial, one of my clients was able to increase their page Likes by 30% and converted 10 sales in the first month!  Social media marketing has never been so effective for small business.  Since GroSocial bridges the gap between social media and converting leads, GroSocial is my favorite Infusionsoft Marketplace App.

As an Infusionsoft Certified Consultant/Reseller, I strongly recommend GroSocial to any small business owner using social media.  Click here to view the Infusionsoft Marketplace and check out more GroSocial features.

Attracting your fans, capturing new leads and growing your business.  GroSocial makes it easy to look good on social networks.  As easy as…waving a magic wand.

Nicole Barainca, MBA
Infusionsoft Certified Consultant (ICC)

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Posted in Infusionsoft

The Differences Between Managing and Leading

We’ve all been there; watching somebody work on a project in a way that we knew could be more productive.  “Here, let me show you …” and before you know it, the project has been completed – by you.

We’re all tempted to do something ourselves, either because we know we can do it better, or we can do it faster, or we can do it differently.  But that doesn’t help the other person learn.  It helps the other person to be more dependent on you to get the job done, which in turn, makes it harder for you to effectively manage your team.

There is a big difference between managing and leading and the outcomes can be detrimental to both you and your team.

Managing

Webster defines managing as “the act or manner of managing; handling, direction, or control.”

In short, managing is the act of controlling.  Controlling a person, controlling a project, controlling a decision.  Managing leads people to submission, which doesn’t produce the results that leading produces.

Leading

A definition of leadership is “to show the way, to guide, or to direct.”

A leader is not all knowing, but knowledgeable.  They speak with a purpose but also listen to others.  They set an example of trust, compassion and corporate values.

Leading and managing do go hand in hand.  Good leaders are also good managers, but bad managers are those who are bad leaders.  Leading is focused on influencing people, while the other focuses on ‘resources’ in addition to people.  Without one, leading or managing, the other can’t do its job properly.

Choose to Lead 

The unspoken message of the managerial style, whether intended or not, is that staff are submissive. In other words, unless they are clearly told what to do they won’t know exactly what to do, or they may not do it at all. On the other the side of the spectrum, people who follow a leadership business style lead more by communicating and encouraging. They share the reasons for what must be done and motivate their teams to see their roles in reaching the goals.  A leader shares credit with the team when a goal is accomplished.

Making the choice to be a leader needs to be an intentional choice if you are more of a managing type person.  The practice of managing and leading is learned by habit and as we all know, habits are sometimes hard to break.

Start by taking a self assessment of yourself.  Are you more directive then influential?  Do you listen to your team members or do you tell your team members?  Do you value the opinions of your team members or do you feel that your way is the only way?  Your answers will help you determine where you need to make changes.

When you have determined where you need to change, you can implement a plan.  Start with small step goals that you can easily implement.  Perhaps something as small as “choose a team idea rather than my own within the next two weeks”  would be your first goal.  Changes won’t happen overnight, so patience with yourself is key.  But with the right attitude and the desire to be a more effective leader, the changes in yourself and in your team will be worth the effort in the long run.

Posted in Leadership/Management Strategies

Feast, Famine, or Perfect Customer Lifecycle?

Every business sets out to sell a product or service to their customer.  And usually the sales begin to happen and the owner becomes so busy fulfilling, that they forget to attract new leads and nurture existing customers.  This leads to a vicious cycle of the business feast or famine.

During the feast, your business is putting out daily operation fires and struggling to keep up with the increased demand.  Unfortunately, once you have fulfilled the orders, your business has neglected to find new leads and all of the sudden the famine begins.

Preventing the Deadly Feast or Famine

By following the Customer Lifecycle you can ensure your business has a steady predicable increase in sales.

Examine the diagram above and ask yourself, “Where is my business losing sales?”  We understand the Customer Lifecycle may be a new concept and most business owners overestimate the time it takes to successfully implement each phase.  By implementing a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, you can automate each phase so that potential leads are not being forgotten.

Click here to receive our 7 email series on the Customer Lifecycle.  In each email we discuss one phase of the Customer Lifecycle, giving you tips and tricks to implement that result in higher sales!

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Posted in Implementation, Infusionsoft, Small Business Technology

Hire So You Never Have to Fire: Recruitment Tips for Small Businesses, Part 2

After investing so much to start and run a company, the thought of investing in a new employee can be daunting. But small business owners have a unique opportunity to recruit stellar workers. Here’s Part Two (click here for part 1) of our How-To…

Now that writing the right kind of job description and figuring out where to post it are behind you, the really fun part of recruitment starts.

How to Apply
A basic application helps you gather important relevant information, but beyond an address and the quality of handwriting, it’s really not enough to give you a good idea of who the candidate really is. A resume goes a step further, a cover letter even more so. What they choose to say about themselves can be quite interesting. Just make sure that the application method suits the style of your business. A small Sub Shop owner I know would give applicants a blank sheet of butcher paper. He figured that if they could work out what information was most relevant and do it in a creative way, they were probably a good fit for his rather “laissez-faire” management style.

Make the Most of the Interview
There’s so much out there about how to effectively interview someone, but it really boils down to this: An interview is a first date. What’s your goal on a first date? To figure out if you want really want a second date!

You have to use conversation between you and your potential new employee to find out all you can about who they are and how they will work for you. What exactly do you get out of a standard question like, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Does it give you any real insight? Not really. So ask them what you really want to know. Are you looking to fill a customer service type of position? Ask them if they like people. Do you need someone who will work with little supervision? Ask them what motivates them. If their answer is feedback from the boss, they may not be a good fit.

It doesn’t make sense for an interview to be one-sided: You may think it’s all about what the candidate will do for your business. But trust us; it’s not all about you. The people you hire bring their own needs to the table, too. Take time to understand what those needs are before you hire. What do they look for in a workplace? Do they enjoy stability or prefer spontaneity? Seek those who are likely to support your company culture—and fit within it.

What you get out of an interview is totally up to you. The only parameters, of course, are to stay within the law. Do yourself a favor and totally avoid questions regarding marital status, age, children, race, or nationality.

Follow Through
The recruitment process can be a long one, so save a little energy at the end to follow through with applicants. Respond with an email to applicants who didn’t get an interview. Give a courtesy call to people you’ve interviewed who didn’t get the job. Let your new employee know quickly that they’re hired. A little good will goes a long way—especially for a small business.  Good luck!

 

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Posted in Employee Engagement Strategies
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