How Networking Drives Business

Effective networking is key in business today. Your networking strategy can generate referrals and help your business grow without having to pay for advertising or marketing efforts.

The main goal of networking is to discover what others’ concerns and problems are. Instead of spending all of your time listing off your credentials, make sure to focus on the other person. A good way to make a lasting impression is to ask interesting questions and to provide a solution to their problems.

If you know someone with a problem you cannot solve, you should put him or her into contact with someone who can. This will be beneficial for two reasons. One, you will be seen as a problem solver, and two, the people that benefit from your introduction will be more likely to send referrals your way in the future.

Since people have short memories, follow up with contacts on a regular basis. If you contact them frequently, they will be more likely to remember you for future projects. It is also important to have an effective data management system. You could make notes on when you contacted them last and when they contacted you back.

Make sure that you take advantage of networking to help your business grow.

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Tips for New Bloggers

Be Consistent
Readers are fickle. If your material is not coming out on a regular basis, they will lose interest. Make sure you provide posts consistently. Even if you’re new at blogging and your first posts aren’t the greatest, keep going.

Write What You Know
Make sure you know what you are writing about. Whatever you are interested in, do a little research, keep track of current events, and become an expert in that topic. Use your knowledge to provide your readers with up to date and relevant information.

Be Yourself
Write with your own style. You might not want to write exactly the same way you speak, but you still want to be you. Do not try to copy a personality from a different blog. Find your style and stick to it. If you are continually changing your style, your readers might not be loyal readers.

To reach your goals and become a great blogger, make sure you practice! Happy blogging!

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3 SEO Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid irrelevant incoming links

While it is a good idea to have lots of relevant incoming links, irrelevant links can reduce the ranking of your website in search engine results. Instead of gaining as many incoming links as possible, it is smarter to focus on gaining links from high-ranking websites. You should also link to websites with similar and relevant content.

Avoid low quality content

When you are starting a website, sometimes people forget that content plays a major part in search engine rankings. Do not copy and paste content from other websites. If you are unable to write high-quality content yourself, it would be beneficial to hire someone that specializes in search engine optimization.

Avoid too much or too little keyword density

The content of your website relates closely to your SEO results. Around 5% of your content should be filled with keywords. Don’t fill your content with only keywords or no keywords at all, otherwise you might not get picked up by any search engines.

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3 SEO Benefits of Blogs

Link Building- Blogs can link freely to each other, which they do more frequently than websites do. This is a powerful source for link building. Blogs have become a main source of many posts to social news and social media websites. The more media accessible, the more likely your blog will attract incoming links.

New Content- Fresh, new content will be rewarded with repeat visits. Your site will become more visible in search engine results the more your content is looked at. Fresh content is an essential tool for SEO.

Active Community- Trackback features and comments encourage interaction between the blogger and the readers. With an active blog community, your blog posts will be linked to other sites, social media pages, etc.

These links help to create visibility which will lead to SEO.

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Social Media, #NBD, right? Wrong.

Social Media is becoming an easy and efficient way to disseminate information throughout the public. However, using social media incorrectly will not benefit your small business. Here are some tips on how to use your social media outlets the best way possible.

1. Pitch to your Target Audience

Ever hear of quality not quantity? This applies to social media accounts. Having 1,000 followers on Twitter that do not belong in your target audience does not really benefit your company. It may create more exposure, however some call to action such as lead generation is the primary benefit of creating a twitter account.

Pitching to your target audience will allow more people to actually read your updates. If an update does not interest an individual, it will not be read or paid attention to. Aiming for your market is a great start to developing more interest in a product or company. Other tools have been developed to gear you towards the right person. An easy way to find the right people is through joining other networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn and involving yourself with various groups in your business category.

2. Do not fall for “If you tweet, they will come.”

Tweets need to be relevant to the promotion of your brand and product. Constantly re-tweeting articles from others within the same business category will not help you build an unique brand identity.

Interactions with individuals on social media websites will assist with building brand identity. Involve yourself in Twitter Chats, LinkedIn Group Discussions, and Blog! There aren’t many better ways to build awareness and create conversations between your company and possible affiliates.

3. Don’t Overpost

The debate remains on how many postings are too many. Posting an immense amount of updates can be a nuisance to followers. Overposting can decrease your amount of interested followers. With the emergence of twitter, facebook, and other social media outlets going mobile, users receive notifications regarding new postings and other notifications constantly. Can you say annoying?

An easy solution to the temptation to tweet is to schedule when your tweets are posted through websites such as HootSuite.

4. Don’t Leave Followers Hanging

Businesses need the golden mean of overposting and underposting. Again, the debate continues of how much is too much and how much is not enough? The number of relevant and worthwhile tweets depends on the business itself. Technological companies should be tweeting everyday. If your business does not require everyday tweeting, then don’t do it.

So what’s the lesson here? Social media can benefit any business if used correctly. A business must research which people to attract to their social media pages. Once you figure out the WHO figure out the HOW to engage potential clients or partners even further through interactive media- videos, dialogue, conversation, blogging etc. In addition, the amount of postings will influence the number of followers you have.

Social media is the perfect and FREE way to reach out to a number of people in a matter of seconds. But remember the most important lesson; it’s all about quality not quantity.

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5 Inexpensive Ways Small Businesses Can Reach Their Target Market

1. Know your audience

As a small business owner, you might not have all of the resources of a larger organization, so make sure you use every resource you have to your advantage. Knowing your target audience is necessary before embarking on any sort of market activity. By knowing the demographics and psychographics of your target audience, you will be able to create a more targeted and efficient campaign.

2. Spread the word

Word-of-mouth advertising is a great way to reach your target market. Use your satisfied customers as brand ambassadors. If you provide some sort of incentive for referrals, your happy customers will benefit and so will your business.

3. Be goal oriented

Set goals for your business. Make sure you have a timeline associated with your goals. If you do not have a clear path, you will never know how you are doing. Put together a comprehensive business and marketing plan to track and maintain your success. If you plan and are prepared, you are more likely to be profitable.

4. The customer is always right

Even if the customer is wrong, the importance of good customer service is invaluable. Make sure you treat your customers well, provide solutions for their problems, and listen to their concerns and feedback. If you are respectful to them, they will appreciate you, come back, and will be more likely to become brand ambassadors for your business.

5. Be a social butterfly...a social media butterfly that is

Social media is a great resource that allows businesses of all sizes create a two-way conversation with their current customers. It is also an easy way to generate new customers and interest. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn are just a few sites that provide incredible value to small businesses with limited budgets. Refer to "Social Media #NBD Right? Wrong! for tips on improving the efficiency of your company's social media accounts.

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eIntelli Helps Salons and Spas Find Success Through The Web

It's a well-known fact that a word-of-mouth marketing strategy is by far the most effective, but have you ever caught yourself in a situation where someone is suggesting a business and later you find yourself trying to recall the name of that business? These days the internet is perfect for these memory lapses. If someone cannot easily find your business with through a key word search, you can guarantee that’s potential business lost. The bottom line is: in today’s digital world, if your business doesn’t have an interactive website to display the business and its services, you’re losing customers and money.

Whether you have a current website or no website at all, now is the time to re-consider leveraging the web with eIntelli Catalyst. Currently we have a solution exclusively for Salons and Spa owners to cash in on web success cost effectively and without compromising quality or functionality. Our premium template allows us to offer Salons and Spas a website that is sleek in design, easy to use, and rich in functionality allowing the new website to market for you. Our goal is to save your business time allowing the website to focus on new client retention, existing client engagement, and client referrals so you can focus on providing great service to your customers.

Aside from award winning designers creating a design that fits your business’ personality, the benefits delivered by our eIntelli Catalyst platform are priceless. The website will offer: social media integration, so your clients and referrals can see your latest deals through Twitter, like you on Facebook, or promote you through Four Square. Automated e-mail marketing so you can send your clients birthday wishes, promotions, and appointment reminders. Detailed analytics of site traffic and business transactions so you can track how your website is working for you. E-Commerce functionality so your clients can buy spa packages, services, and gift cards/certificates directly through your site. Photo gallery to show off your salon’s personality and style. Live Chat function so you can offer the best customer service to your clients. Referral tracking system so you can be sure you’re not missing out on valuable new clients, and much more. A small investment in your business’ website may be the difference between success and mediocrity

Imagine your salon with a personality all it's own projected through a sleek and easy to use website

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Five Ways to Make a Successful Email Marketing Campaign

E-mail marketing is a cheap and easy way to communicate with clients, potential partners, and anyone else that has opted in. It allows you to drive traffic to your website, share information about your organization, and so much more.

One way to distinguish your e-mail marketing campaign is to be creative! Here are five ideas for campaigns that will be valuable to your clients and yield results for your business.

1. Birthday Offers
You will make your clients feel extra special if you send them a special offer on their birthday. This is also a great option for you to drive clients to your e-commerce store.

2. Blogging and Events
Blogging is a great way to share information and knowledge, but a lot of blogs are lacking in readers. To get more exposure for your blog and events, make sure to include links in your emails.

3. Gift Card Sales
One way to drive gift card sales is to promote them in your emails. If you offer specials on gift card that are only available through your e-mails, a lot more clients will opt-in for your e-mail marketing campaign!

4. Bestselling Reminders
An easy to way increase sales is to promote your bestselling items in your emails. If you have an awesome product, make sure your clients know about it. E-mail marketing provides a convenient way for clients to forward information to their family and friends, so even if they already have your product, they can always forward your reminder to a friend!

5. Contest Announcements
The people that opt-in for your e-mail marketing campaign already love your product, so create a special contest just for them. You can increase the amount of clients that opt-in while rewarding them for doing so!

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The Path to Small Business Marketing Success

Small business owners are well aware of how important marketing efforts are to gain customers and referrals, but even more important is tracking these leads and referrals once they present themselves. Without a customer management database, you can be sure you’re business is losing money quickly. Many businesses starting out don’t realize the benefits of having a web-based CRM (customer relations management) database, but it’s a necessary tool for the growth of your business.

1) Web Forms
The ability to determine your customer’s needs is key in not only organizing the scope of a project, but also determining qualified leads for your business. Most sales people know the first rule to sales is gaining valuable leads, and following up on those leads to determine if they are worth spending time and effort on. It is essential to have a web-form that allows you to receive and process information and project needs as customers are enquiring. With a CRM management program, you can upload these web forms to a page on your website, and some programs even allow you to set up e-mail or SMS notifications when a new web form has been submitted (eIntelli Catalyst for example). These web forms should be thoughtfully planned out to include the most important questions for your client to answer. No one wants to fill out an hour long web form just for a consultation. Therefore it is helpful to write out a list of information you feel is necessary to evaluate a project.

2) Information Tracking:
Aside from the potential client enquiries, it will also be helpful to determine what information you might need in the future to make sure the project goes along smoothly. Would you like to track when a payment has been sent and received? Or where and when to contact your client? Project specificities? History of communication? Or maybe all of these questions are important to you? It is important to think ahead to keep your business organized and running efficiently. It might also be helpful to allow your client’s to access their previous enquiries so they too can keep organized with how the project is developing. Tracking information will not only be useful to a sales person, but also for other members of a project team including design and marketing to keep track of project goals and time lines. Sometimes an application, such as BaseCamp, will also help you consolidate all of your tracked info into one large collaborative project management tool.

3) Referrals:
Often times word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective type of marketing, and can lead to some of your biggest clients. Therefore, it is always a good idea to have a referral tracking list that allows current clients to offer referrals to you directly. You can then contact the referral, or if they make contact first, you have previous knowledge on the lead. Nothing impresses a customer more than when a business knows more about them than they do about the business.

While there are other important aspects to customer management databases, the most important thing is to keep organized and plan ahead to get what you want out of your business and your clients. Try looking around at your options, there are many out there. Whether you decide to build your own database, or hire a programmer to do the work for you,you should know what you want and implement it right away so you avoid losing valuable customers and possibly your reputation.

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Offering the Best Features as a Business Catalyst Partner

eintelli Catalyst has a premier partnership with Business Catalyst that allows us to offer you the best features for your online business at a great price. BC boasts that 90% of their partners are meeting the needs of their clients, and we share this with you because eCatalyst attempts to exceed these needs in every possible way. We know that most small to medium sized businesses are looking to build their online presence in various ways and this is why we offer the ability to begin with a basic web hosting plan, upgrade at any time, and build up to a full fledged online business with an ecommerce store. Because of this BC partnership we are able to offer multiple facets to your online business including content management, online marketing via email, website and user analytics, a complete online store, and more.

The key is that we design the online business that works best for you and then incorporate business catalyst modules into this. Our design experts have developed great business in a box designs that can suit any company. We also offer customization expertise in which designers will implement top quality design into the custom online presence that you have been looking for. When looking into great design with top quality features, we invite you to visit and contact us at eintelli Catalyst.

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Contact us

eIntelli CatalystHello everybody! We are eIntelli Catalyst and we specialize in websites that use the Business Catalyst Platform. We’d love to hear from you. Take a look around, let us know If you have any questions.

407 S. Dearborn Stree, Suite 1401 Chicago, IL 60605
Phone: 800-540-4165
Email: info@eIntelli-Catalyst.com

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