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4 Tips for Crafting the Perfect Elevator Pitch

Author April 3rd, 2014 by Heather R. Huhman

Imagine yourself as a recruiter at a networking event.

It’s in a behemoth of a room and there are hundreds of eager job seekers clamoring for your attention.

You talk to person after person after person for hours at a time about a similar topic, getting handed resume after resume until they start to form an unmanageable stack of hopes and dreams.

Having a creative resume is great; but even if it’s unique, it’s still just another page in a stack that may not even get read.

The only way to really stand out when networking is to have an interesting and memorable conversation. And at an event with hundreds of competitive people waiting to talk to the same person, you have less than a minute to get your message across in a fashion that makes you stand out from the rest.

This 30- to 60-second speech, deemed an elevator pitch, is critical to networking efficiently.

So to stand out from the pack and advance in your career, here are four tips for helping you craft the perfect elevator pitch:

Related: 3 Ways Introverts Can Boost Their Personal Brand

1. Have a clear goal

The key to any successful elevator pitch is to have a concise goal that helps a potential connection learn what you want from them so they can better tailor the rest of the conversation to your needs.

For example, if your goal is to find a job and you’re talking with a recruiter, explain exactly what kind of job you’re looking for so they can give you more information specifically about that concentration, as well as let you know about any career opportunities their company may have for you.

2. Include a call-to-action

Having a goal is great, but if you want to follow up with a connection, a specific call-to-action is important. If you’re looking for a job, asking a recruiter if they can speak with you further about the industry, their company, and any opportunities they may have; lets them know you’re serious about getting a job, makes you stand out from the competition who simply asks for a business card. The call-to-action should be the very last thing you say in your elevator pitch.

Giving a specific time and place to meet up causes the recruiter to give you an answer on-the-spot which, if they agree, could mean everything in terms of building a strong relationship that could help you clinch your dream job. If you’re hesitant to ask for a lunch/coffee meeting, just ask yourself: what have you got to lose?

Related: How a Personal Assistant Can Help You Be Even More Awesome

3. You are not a robot

Recruiters hear elevator pitches all the time, and many of them sound so similar, it’s difficult for them to put a face to each one. When crafting your pitch, making it professional is important, but using down-to-earth language that reflects your personality gives potential connections a sense of who you are as a person.

Practicing your elevator pitch is critical, but people often start to sound robotic and unauthentic in an effort to recite it perfectly. Instead of memorizing your pitch like a script,have an outline and structure of what you’re going to say and touch on each point. You may think you’ll be too nervous to pull it off, but talking about yourself is much easier than you’d expect.

4. Don’t make it about you

This may sound like strange advice, seeing as an elevator pitch is literally supposed to tell someone about yourself, but many people forget that networking isn’t just a one-way street –hiring managers want to know what you have to offer their company.

Telling a recruiter you want a position at their company is one thing, but concisely explaining your experience and skills in a way that lets them know you can be an asset to their organization is something completely different.

Putting all the aforementioned tips together to create an effective elevator pitch lasting 30-60 seconds may have sounded impossible before, but putting a little time and effort into the structure and content of your pitch to make sure you’re getting everything you need to get across will prove invaluable when making connections and establishing your network.

What other tips do you have for crafting the perfect elevator pitch?

The Underrated Marketing Machine Entrepreneurs Should Be Using

Author: Jeff Davis

Despite YouTube’s undeniable popularity among consumers, marketers seem to be less familiar with the platform. Market-research firm eMarketer expects that just two in five U.S. companies, or 40.5 percent, will use YouTube for marketing purposes in 2014. The brands that are participating on the platform are giving cat videos a run for their money. Indeed, in 2013, three branded videos cracked YouTube’s top 10 most watched videos of the year for the first time.

Still, for more than half of the companies in the U.S. to not leverage the world’s largest video platform as a marketing opportunity is inexcusable, especially now that more digital media is consumed than TV. And YouTube is no small potato.

With more than six billion hours of video consumed each month — almost an hour for every person on Earth — its viewership continues to skyrocket. It’s also not just a video hosting platform — it’s the most popular search engine after Google, ahead of both Bing and Yahoo, according to an infographic by Mushroom Networks.

Here are three reasons why marketing on YouTube should be a top priority:

Related: The 7 Secrets to Shareable Content

1. Ability to generate sales (not just awareness or leads). The top goals for social media marketing campaigns are to drive web traffic, to generate leads for future sales and to speak to brand fans, according to Chief Marketer’s 2013 Social Marketing Survey of U.S. marketers and agencies. Notice anything missing from that list? How about to sell something? YouTube is not only a social platform for engagement but a powerful tool for sales conversion that allows you track the consumer path to purchase from viewer to customer.

At Orabrush, we’ve been able to sell millions of tongue cleaners for humans and dogs and build a global brand using YouTube, proof that you can reach consumers for just about any product on the platform. That said, YouTube, like other social media channels, does require a company to create engaging, entertaining content that captures consumers’ short online attention spans.

2. Provides the best bang for your marketing bucks. YouTube builds brands effectively and cost-effectively. In my opinion, while cost per 1,000 impressions (CPMs) varies for traditional and digital advertising, YouTube carries more value than any other impression. Instead of a hopeful glance at a static display ad, a YouTube impression on an in-stream ad is 5 to 29 seconds of someone viewing your ad. At 30 seconds, it becomes a view. That’s real ROI for awareness and brand building. If you don’t put content on YouTube, you are foregoing significant opportunities to create organic awareness on your brand.

Related: 9 Ways to Reach Customers on YouTube

3. It’s where your target audience is. With more than one billion unique monthly users, YouTube’s audience encompasses practically every demographic your brand wants to reach. According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more U.S. adults ages 18-34 than any cable network. In addition to that crowd, brands that want to reach a younger or older crowd can easily cater to those consumers as well.

I’ve made it this far without a single mention of going viral, and that is intentional. Exclusively pursuing a viral video strategy is misguided — creating sustained engagement to retain viewers and building a dedicated, loyal following should take priority. That being said, if a branded video is making the rounds on social media, don’t be shy to promote it to accelerate viewership and conversion.

When I parted ways with Procter & Gamble, after more than two decades with the company, I thought I had a pretty good grasp on advertising. Now, everything I learned at P&G, I do in reverse. Instead of building a traditional marketing and media campaign first and leaving digital as an afterthought, I start with digital at the center of the plan and then expand to traditional. It is much more efficient and effective.

More marketers looking to build brands can experience a similar awakening to mine and stop underrating YouTube. It’s every marketer’s dream, so wake up.

Say Goodbye to Guest Blogging for Your SEO Strategy

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Author SitePro News

When Google talks SEO, the whole digital world listens. And when Google says a popular SEO tactic should cease and desist, the demise is inevitable. So say goodbye to guest blogging.

Earlier this year, the notable Google engineer and search expert Matt Cutts wrote a personal blog entitled “The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO.” In it, he doesn’t mince words about the diminishing SEO viability of this prominent blogging practice. Cutts writes:

“Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.”

While a post on Cutts’ blog doesn’t automatically signal the end, it’s close to enough to warrant a shift in perspective. Google is on to the declining value of this content, and with no indication of a reasonable shift, guest blogging has seen its heyday. It’s time to employ other SEO efforts.

The Rise of Guest Blogging

You know those summarized write-ups at the start of various books, usually written by a prominent author or expert in the given field? That’s what guest blogging used to be. Years ago when the practice first hit the scene, it was a supreme honor for a popular blog to ask a writer to contribute as a guest. A request like this indicated the writer held prominence or talent in the field, and it wasn’t so much an SEO move in the beginning as it was a way to amass quality content quickly and easily.

Guest blogging became a successful SEO maneuver because of the emphasis Google placed over the years on fresh, quality content. And as most of us know, once something proves to be viable in the world of search rankings, the masses adopt the strategy almost overnight.

The Fall of Guest Blogging

Fast forward to 2014, and guest blogging has become a spam-ridden, borderline shady practice. The vast majority of sites now employ “guest bloggers” to submit content for free (or pay extremely low rates), simply to garner content for content’s sake. The result is a plummeting commitment to quality, and an oversaturated amount of content that almost completely lacks value.

Nowadays, accepting guest blogging content can truly diminish a site’s rankings. It tarnishes credibility and value. One practice in particular has landed guest blogging in hot water – authors have actually started paying prominent publications to post their blogs, which some sites naturally spied as an easy source of revenue. The posts, however, were normally link stuffed advertorials with little to no value to their readers, and thus to Google. Just as vile, some sites literally steal posts from other blogs, citing them as guest submissions.

It’s easy to see how the lack of integrity and commitment to quality has rendered guest blogging a near-useless tactic.

Cutts Tried. He Really, Really Tried.

The recent backlash against guest blogging is hardly a surprise to anyone who has been observing the trend. Cutts posted a video last year called “How to Guest Blog Without Spamming“, clearly indicating that Google was on to the declining trend in quality. But despite repeated warnings and requests for a change in strategy, guest blogging has worsened. In turn, Google’s viewpoint has therefore strengthened.

Ignorance is Not Bliss for Site Owners

One of the more despicable aspects of guest blogging lies in the ignorance around the lack of quality. Site owners are mesmerized by content in general, convinced that they need plenty of it, and fresh pieces at that, in order to be a Google darling. While this is not incorrect, the vast majority of blog posts are just marketing-centric drivel littered with links. As Cutts states:

“. . . we see a lot of business owners with small blogs getting tricked by spammers. If you’re doing really high-quality guest blogging to get exposure or branding, that’s great, but the majority of guest blogging offers these days are sliding into scuzzier and spammier areas.”

If a webmaster isn’t staying current on SEO trends, they simply do not know how much these posts are damaging their site’s rankings and credibility. The logical move then is for Google to stop rewarding the practice on any level.

Is There Still Room for Quality Guest Blogging?

Cutts does make one additional point very clear – guest blogging is not dead overall. If you’re using it as an SEO strategy, that should cease and desist. If you’re using high quality guest blogs as a way to increase brand awareness, community reach, and overall exposure, there’s still a great benefit in continuing the tactic.

In addition, sites that use multiple authors in a large meta-blog, like SiteProNews, will be supported by Google in their efforts. Cutts emphasizes that these kind of sites are not targeted for a decrease in rankings:

“I’m also not talking about multi-author blogs. High-quality multi-author blogs like Boing Boing have been around since the beginning of the web, and they can be compelling, wonderful, and useful.”

The final word is very clear: guest blogging is no longer a viable part of an SEO strategy. Quality content is always essential to content marketing, SEO, and branding in general, so if you’re doing guest blogging the right way, there’s no reason to stop all together. You will, however, need to broaden your SEO plans and include more of Google’s top tips to stay competitive.

Has guest blogging helped or hurt your SEO efforts? It’s something to closely evaluate.

Content Syndication, Spread Your Words Quickly and Easily

Content Syndication — Spread Your Words Quickly and Easily

MARCH 15, 2014. SHARON REMEIKIS-CONTENT SYNDICATION

Now that we (properly) have a renewed emphasis on content marketing, we thought we would share a tactic that is somewhat little-used. Content syndication is a marvelous way to get your best content spread around the internet with relatively little effort. The reasons why you’ll want to dive headlong into content syndication are numerous.

First off, the authority, traffic and backlinks derived from this type of marketing can be profound. Add the social media aspects of these sites, and your own efforts with letting your social channels know about postings, and you’ve got the recipe for a flood of benefit.

5 Excellent tips for syndicating your content!

Paid content syndication sites – If you’ve got a bit of a budget, (but not a lot!) content syndication sites like Outbrain and Taboola are great choices to help you get your content viewed on major websites like Time, The Washington Post and CNN, and a host of others. These are convenient to use, and welcome smaller marketers.

Industry specific blogs – Free solutions are plentiful within your own market. You simply need to search them out. Sites that are relevant to your audience, but not direct competitors, (we should be so lucky!) are always interested in quality content.
Doc sharing sites – Document sharing sites like Slideshare, Scribd, DocStoc and a few others are terrific databases for your content. They get a ton of traffic, and rank well in Google. On top of that, you can accomplish this in minutes yourself, and the traffic and backlinks are there for the taking.

Submit to content aggregators – There are actually sites that aggregate content from around the net, and a few of these have grown into some of the biggest sites out there today. Think Mashable, TechCrunch, etc. You’ll be a little more likely to get your content submitted to the likes of AllTop and 9Rules.

Submit to blogging networks – Submit your blogs posts to blogging networks like BlogEngage and Bloggersbase. These sites get a ton of visitors, and your content can find many new readers here. Which is what we’re all after, right?

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How to Build a Profitable Business Blog in 20 Minutes a Week

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Guest Author Michael Schein

Blogging is essential to modern business success, but it can also be very time consuming. Here’s how to do it without overloading your already jam-packed schedule.

You hear it all the time. In order to stay relevant and grow your customer base, you need a truly awesome blog. Not only does it have to be interesting and original, you’ve got to post new material almost daily.

The problem with this well-intentioned advice is that it usually doesn’t take into account that you’ve already got a “day job.” When a huge client order or major project rolls in, it can be almost impossible to keep the posts coming. It’s the main reason many business blogs are inconsistent. It’s also the reason most of them fail.

Fortunately, there is a way to maintain the kind of blog you need without sacrificing the attention your other activities demand. Here’s how.

Front-Load Your Time Investment

Building a blog that expands your company’s profits requires time and work like anything else that’s important. The difference between successful and unsuccessful business bloggers is that the successful ones know where and when to invest long hours for maximum impact. Instead of sitting down to a blank page each day, plan everything out far in advance. Build blueprints for every article, blurb, and video you’ll use. Work hard on your content up front so you won’t have to do it each day.

Appeal to Your Readers’ Neurons

If you’re going to apply a structured approach to blogging, it’s important to know which structures to use. The good news is that people are more alike than they are different and respond to the same stimuli in fairly predictable ways. In every culture on earth, there are stories that follow identical plotlines with only a small difference in the details. When it comes to blogging, the same is true for everything from headlines to calls to action. Using time-tested structures will make all the difference between whether you’ll have success at efficiently producing blog posts that generate hard business results or your drive yourself crazy with no return.

Customize Your Material

Taking advantage of universal storytelling structures isn’t the same thing as churning out generic schlock. Take the blueprints you’ve decided to use and plug in specifics that establish your point of view as novel to members of your target audience. Make sure you give readers actionable tips they cannot get elsewhere. The outlines of your blog posts should tell the entire story all by themselves.

Rely on Available Resources

Now that you’ve got the bones of your blog set, it’s time to flesh out each and every post. But don’t try to tackle it on your own. If your company has a staff of any considerable size, distribute actual writing duties among staff members in every department. If you’re a solo-preneur or mom and pop business, contact other bloggers in your niche and ask them to contribute. You’ll be surprised by how many are willing to share. Maybe everyone contributes once a week–or even once a month. When many people chip in a little bit over a long period of time, a lot gets done quickly without anyone feeling the burden.

Remember, blog posts aren’t feature articles. In fact, the best ones are limited in scope. If you establish the right infrastructure, plan properly, and provide adequate instruction at the outset, there’s no reason that creating profitable blog posts should take longer than twenty minutes apiece.

How Often Should You Post Social Media Updates?

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Guest Author Caroline Melberg

One question that business owners new to social media ask us often is this one: How often should I post status updates to my social media accounts? The answer is, it depends. Keep in mind that all social media is different. Facebook and Twitter are very different from Google+ and LinkedIn. Before you start posting to any social media site, you should take some time to understand the expectations of its current users. Social media communities are all different, and each of the popular social media websites are a unique community with distinct differences. Twitter users, for example, don’t mind seeing your posts several times throughout the day. Twitter streams are so full of messages that fly on and fly off your screen so fast that you can miss most of the updates one of your followers posts and you won’t miss a thing. You can always go back and review those posts if you want. Facebook is a little different. You want to stay relevant and visible, but not post too much. Typically one to two posts per day can be enough for Facebook. LinkedIn users, on the other hand, expect that you’ll be too busy to constantly post to your LinkedIn profile. On LinkedIn, a couple of times a week is generally enough. So to answer the question, there’s no definitive answer. Post to your social media accounts as often as you have something useful to say, but keep in mind that each community is a unique community and has its own set of standards and expectations. Learn what those are and see how you – and your unique business message – fit in, and you’ll find the recipe for your social media posting frequency that works right for you. http://socialmediatoday.com/carolinemelberg/1836006/how-often-should-post-social-media-updates

Shooting Straight with Pay Per Click Advertising

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The goal of almost any business is to become an easily recognizable name that their target audience will recall and trust implicitly for whatever product or service it is they offer. The biggest hurdle that business owners encounter with this goal however is the question of how they plan to even reach their audience in the first place. SEO is a two way street – you can build your website to work with search engines, and you can ask search engines to help your business along as well.

To put it as simply as possible, Pay Per Click Advertising is a platform where in which you, the business owner, will pay X amount to a search engine for people who visit your website through advertisements strategically placed on the engine. Because PPC eliminates a good portion of the guesswork and delay that often comes with search engine optimization tactics, it can deliver results with the quickest possible turnaround time.

While there isn’t a universal payment model for PPC advertising, most of the more utilized search engines use a bidding system to determine which company gets the slot. Many business owners who are new to online advertising might feel that this means that the only way to win the PPC game is to simply have more money than their competitors. There are several other criteria that are looked into to determine who gets the winning bid:

1) Relevance – One of the most important things that allow search engines to provide a better user experience is the overall relevance of your content. If you’re in the automotive repair industry but want to capitalize on a rising pop star but your content has absolutely nothing to do with the search query, your bid gets severely penalized. Search engines want to give their users quality content and they’re quick to prune abusive bidders.

2) Landing Page – Your first thought when it comes to working with PPC is to send visitors straight to your homepage. While this makes sense in a traditional way, the goal of PPC is to direct possible buyers to something they’re already interested in buying. If you sell car brakes, and your customer wants to buy car brakes, then is it smart to send them to a page that isn’t car brakes? By streamlining the process for your customer, not only do you make them happy, you also increase the chance of converting the visit into a successful sale.

3) Click Through Rate – This is a ratio of how many people actually use your ad in comparison to how often it gets aired. A well-worded, informative ad that captures your target audience is important, otherwise you’re paying a premium for something that won’t work.

However, Pay Per Click isn’t the silver bullet to solve your online marketing woes. In fact, it’s probably more accurate to think of it as your 24 karat golden bullet. While you have extensive control over your budget and can choose to bid as high or as low as you want, this still involves shelling out a certain amount of money on a regular basis.

It’s important for your business to utilize the strengths of PPC while organically and steadily growing with a smart SEO campaign. When these things work in tandem, visits, sales, and repeat customers are sure to follow.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait To Address Bad Press

If there’s one marketing statement that many first time business owners know without understanding the truth behind it, it would be “There’s no such thing as bad press.” While it’s quite possible for many businesses to thrive in spite of a scandal, more often than not this results in a significant drop in their customer base that can be hard to recover from. Online reputation management isn’t an accessory when it comes to online marketing – it is its own department altogether.

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Social Media Marketing: More Than Just A Gimmick

Let’s face it, one of the most difficult things to properly implement for many smaller companies is a proper marketing strategy. One way to circumvent this unfortunately all too familiar scenario is to make use of a platform that requires next to no capital to utilize while reaching out to a nearly unlimited customer base. Make no mistake, social media marketing isn’t just the next big thing; it is THE big thing and failing to embrace this means lost opportunities and even more lost profits.

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