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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Building and Nurturing Your Network

How to Successfully Build Your Network

Networking is defined as developing and using contacts made in business for purposes beyond the reason for the initial contact. For example, a sales representative may ask a customer for names of others who may be interested in his product.

Being able to network is one of the most crucial skills any entrepreneur and business professional can have. It is the root to developing clients and other contacts to help grow your business.

Tips when starting your networking process
  1. Be persistent
  2. Be different
  3. Be clear
  4. Make a personal connection
  5. A genuine thank you
Networking should be a priority for all of us. Regardless of or standing in school, we are always looking for internship or job opportunities and because of that we should be networking every chance we can get. Another point to add is that when we accept an internship or a job we slack and take our foot off the gas. Instead we should be persistent and network with people in the company, our co-workers, ect. and make the most of our opportunities.

Some tips to try:
  1. Set a goal to meet three to five people if you go to an event
  2. Go out of your comfort zone and attend events that you normally wouldn’t go to
  3. Always have contact information on you; business cards
  4. Sit and converse with people you have never met
  5. Be active
  6. Be friendly and approachable
  7. Be willing to give to receive
Sites to look at for other ways to network successfully

How to Successfully Nurture Your Network 

"Starting today you are a brand. You're every bit as much a brand as Nike, Coke, Pepsi, or the Body Shop. To start thinking like your own favorite brand manager, ask yourself the same question the brand managers at Nike, Coke, Pepsi, or the Body Shop ask themselves: What is it that my product or service does that makes it different?"

Does anyone remember what this quote is from?
Article recap?
...And provide us with an example about 'branding yourself'?

" It's this simple: You are a brand. You are in charge of your brand. There is no single path to success. And there is no one right way to create the brand called You. Except this: Start today. Or else." 

A brand doesn't just communicate and connect with their customers once, it is consistently engaging with customers and 'nurturing their network'. 

What the Experts Say...
The biggest challenge in maintaining your network is not meeting people but keeping contacts alive over time. You may meet a really connected individual at a conference, but unless you follow up and maintain contact, the connection will be lost. Remember, networking is, at its heart, nothing more than a personal relationship. And all relationships require some amount of time and attention.

Tips/Steps to Nurturing Your Network
  1. Everyone you know is a potential member of your network
  2. Be willing to ask for help
  3. Be willing to give help
  4. Don't use your network only for job hunting- internship contacts especially
  5. Keep in touch with your network contacts
    • Refer clients- Chris Plumber
    • Keep your promises- lunch and/or phone call
    • Announce a life change
    • Offer an interesting article- know your network
    • Simply say hello
    • Introduce a new contact- Working at a company 
James Potter: Maintaining your network is essential strategy 
  • Keep talking to them and explaining the value of talking to you. 
 My biggest tip about nurturing your network:
  • Create a spreadsheet and keep it updated
  • Store old emails an refer to them before sending a new email or meeting with someone
What are some examples of nurturing your network?
Does anyone have a tip not mentioned to help others nurture their network?
Who are some people in a network that are necessary to stay in contact with?
What is an example of a contact you wish you would have stayed connected and why?


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pitching/Presentation Effectiveness

Pitching/Presentation Effectiveness
Erika Wilcox & Leland Vogel

What is pitching?

  • The process of presenting an actionable item with the goal of swaying your audience’s favor towards it.
  • This is not merely teaching someone about the product, this is convincing them to buy it.

Introductory Video-Exemplary speaking at its finest...

  • Develop the story
    • Know what you’re talking about and organize it in a cohesive, comprehensive, concise manner.
  • Rehearse
    • Don’t get caught saying um.
  • Create a backup plan
    • Technology is great...when it works. Don’t put all your eggs in a powerpoint basket. Be prepared to for a curveball. Print out your slides.
  • Showing the story
    • People like stories. Use visual aids to engage your audience. BE AUTHENTIC.
  • Create a dialogue
    • Do you like being talked at? No. Neither does your audience. At the very least read their reactions and tailor your presentation to what they are telling you.
  • KISS
    • Keep It Simple Stupid. Avoid being overly complex and boring. Be mindful not to teach. Your audience does not want to be taught...they want to be convinced that there is a big enough opportunity in what you do that they should be interested in it.
    • Utilize the Rule of 3. Your audience will realistically
    • Be careful when using humor. You might not be as funny as you think you are. Different people have different senses of humor. Unless a joke adds to your pitch, you should just avoid it as it might take away from the audiences attention.
  • Power through
    • Shit happens. React and recover. You can’t always control when something goes wrong, but you can control what you do about it.
  • Recap
    • Remember the rule of three. What do you want the audience to remember about your presentation.
  • End strong
    • Nuff Said

A real example of an exemplary speaker:

General Tips

  • Don’t Look at your powerpoint
  • Make eye contact
  • Keep track of time
  • Be strong-don’t use wimpy statement (ex. “I believe this will do this)
  • BE PASSIONATE-authenticity goes a long way

  • Who has an embarrassing story of when a presentation went wrong?
  • Who have you seen that does this really effectively? What made them so good?
  • What specific questions about effective presenting do you have?
  • What are you nervous about regarding your pitch to the BAC?


Corporate Event Marketing

What is it?

Corporate event marketing is a promotional strategy that involves linking a company to a specific event (sponsorship of a sports competition, festival, etc.) to support corporate objectives. It is also referred to as a sponsorship.

Reasons to do it

  • Raising a level of recognition in the particular field of which the marketing is targeted towards
  • Creating relationships to people and other businesses
  • Causing social marketing through the event
  • Building a brand through particular themed events
  • Creating an experience that allows people to make memories and the company is further remembered

According to a study conducted by George P. Johnson Co., 81% of businesses are relying on corporate event marketing in order to make a meaningful impact on their customers.

Event Marketing in Action

Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival

The Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival is a community event in Avon, Ohio that gets the community to celebrate duct tape. People in the community, as well as businesses, use duct tape to create booths, sculptures, clothes, and floats. This was a great idea of Shurtech Brands because it is fun for the community, gets people to buy their product, and generates high amounts of community engagement from the citizens as well as businesses. It is also a great way for the local businesses to generate recognition within the community because most businesses in Avon and the surrounding area will have booths and/or floats that will give away free samples and information. The Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival has been around for almost a decade and will continue to be a community favorite for years to come.


Another example is something that Target did. Target created an event called the Target Back To School After Hours Shopping Event, which had a goal of creating relationships with college students. Target stayed open late and had an operating, free bus service that provided transportation to and from college campuses. Brand ambassodors met students on campus with pop-up campus maps that showed the best places to study on campus, where to watch sports games, as well as directions to Target stores. A total of 24,000 students attended this event and this resulted in a total sales increase of 11%. 

Benefits of Event Marketing

  • Ability of starting a dialogue

    • Through event marketing, you can create connections because you are talking to some one face-to-face and not over the internet or through a commercial. This allows for the company to present the best-targeted message because you are having a conversation with the person and can personally explain the product and/or service.

  • Personal connection

    • This builds trust with customers and people associated with the company. With a display of what your business is, a customer is more likely to approach the business and ask what it is all about. By creating a memorable experience for the customer, you are creating more than just a sales pitch, and the customer is more likely to use your product.

  • Immediate fulfillment

    • Booths and staff can immediately answer customer questions and provide information. The client does not have to wait for a returned call or e-mail to receive an answer.

  • Brand awareness

    • By creating a display that the customer can actually see, they are more likely to remember your brand and business in the future because they were able to physically relate with what you are offering to them. This creates awareness and this can further help spread the word about your product.

Corporate event marketing is all about experience, and if it is a fun and memorable experience for the people your company is interacting with, then that will be beneficial for the company when these people remember those experiences and buy their products later on.


  1. What are some examples of event marketing that you have experienced and what impression did it leave about the company?
  2. Have you ever had a bad experience with event marketing?
  3. How do you think event marketing could be utilized in our project?
  4. What industries do you think would need to utilize event marketing the most?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

#TweetsforTwits: Building Your Brand Through Twitter

What is brand building? 

The establishment and improvement of a brand's identity, including giving the brand a set of values that the consumer wants, recognizes, identifies with, and trusts. Values developed in the process of brand building include psychological, physical, and functional properties that consumers desire and should always identify a property that is unique to that brand.

Why would a business owner use Twitter to build their brand? 

  • There are almost a half a billion registered Twitter users, with over 100 million from the USA alone.
  • Collectively, twitter users now send over 175 million tweets a day. 
  • 69% of users follow others based on recommendations from their friends. 
  • Twitter is known to reach users that would not normally know about a business, especially for those with no prior reputation.
  • Twitter is easily accessible by mobile devices.  Many market researchers agree that people are much more likely to buy or come by the store that they see on a mobile device, as they are out and about already. 
  • Twitter is free, and if done correctly, can build a very successful brand for a business.
Businesses use Twitter for customer service, marketing, and to monitor their reputation. It is also a place where you can assess clients' needs and research social trends. 

It is a place for building and maintaining relationships. If social media was a dinner party, than Twitter is where people would socialize before dinner was served. 

How To Successfully Build A Brand Using Twitter

1. Setting up your profile
  • You twitter profile is fully brandable. Upload a picture of yourself (you are not an egg), and preferably a picture that you use on other social media profiles. 
  •  Use a custom background color scheme consistent with your brand (check out for more). 
  • In you bio show your personality, but be professional. 
2. Don’t just be casual, be personal
  • Update people about the business, but also use tweets to be personal. 
  • DO NOT SPAM- people want to interact with a person, not a robot. 
  • Must find a balance for how much you promote your product, but also adding value to your tweets by providing quality information. 
  • Create a personality. Let them see the real you. 
3. Spark interactivity: Engage, Engage, Engage!
  • Retweet, promote, and comment on other people. Engage in conversation by asking and answering questions. Responding to people who tweet at you really gives them the feeling that they “know” you. 
  • Tweet tips and advice to help your target audience with their problems. 
  • Post Pictures, tweet quotes, and funny articles. 
  • Participate in #FollowFriday and #EcoMonday 
  • Link your Twitter to your blog or other social websites rather than directly to business website.
  • Hold some type of promotional competition to spark your followers to tweet to you. 
    • Ex. Jim Irsay tweets contests, Brandon Phillips with his #BPShawtyGiveaways.
  • Ask your followers what they think of an idea, which shows them that the company values them. Some users will even retweet what you say so that it reaches all of their followers. 
4. Be faster than RSS 
  • When a news story comes out it takes the RSS feeds time to break the news. During this time is the moment to break the story to your followers. 
  •  Find a few blogs in your industry to tweet about or link articles of interest from them.
5. Track your progress
  • Intwition tracks what links are, were or will be popular on Twitter 
  • Twitterverse is an at-a-glance source for finding out what users are most commonly tweeting today 
  • Tweet Clouds tell you what a given Twitter user most commonly tweets. 
  • TweetStats provides colorful graphs on month-to-month Twitter use, daily and hourly tweets, people replied to most, interfaces preferred, for individual Twitter users.
Building Your Network
  1. Know who you want to network with. Determine who your target audience and niche is. 
  2. Use a Twitter directory, such as Twello to find people by categories. Add yourself to directories so people can follow you. 
  3. Some people follow everyone and some people don't. That is a personal choice, but use lists to manage your followers and contacts. 
  4. Go for quality over quantity. Take time to get to know the people in your netowork. 
  5. Don't be intimidated by "Big Names". If you like what they are saying then follow them. 
Zappos Does Branding

Zappos CEO Tony continues to consistently provide a great source of information by successfully implementing the Twitter brand building tools. 

American Red Cross 

Simultaneously managing two Twitter accounts could have dire consequences. Case in point: Instead of Tweeting from her personal account, American Red Cross worker Gloria Huang told the nation's premier humanitarian organization's 400,000 followers that she was about to get twisted. It was eventually taken down, but try and stay clear of tweets like this. 

Other Examples:

As we have all seen, Ms. Career Girl Nicole Crimaldi has done an amazing job at using Twitter to grow her brand. She has two separate twitters that focus in different areas, but successfully manages both of her niches by providing engaging and high quality information. 

Brick Street also shows us how effective Twitter brand building can be. Through Twitter they have been able to promote each of their specialty nights, Beat the Clock, drink specials, and the awesome concerts they have had this year. They also make sure to retweet and give out specialty promotions to their followers. Their constant stream of witty and engaging tweets have been extremely useful in reaching out to the entire campus. 


1. What kind of brands have you seen on Twitter that you thought have built their brand well or been most effective in capturing your attention?

2. Have any of you used Twitter to participate in a contest that was being promoted by somebody?

3. Has anyone used Twitter to build a brand before?

4. How can we utilize Twitter to assist us with our class project?

 Resources In depth video on Twitter brand building A website that provides twitter backgrounds or Websites that will help you navigate who to follow or Websites that will help organize your Twitter

Monday, April 9, 2012

Increasing your Awareness on the Web

Search Engine Marketing

So what is Search Engine Marketing?

DEF: Search engine marketing/optimization is a process of promoting your website in the right ways to gain visibility in search engine results.

It includes two types of listings:

PPC ( Pay-Per-Click) - When you pay, you're listed automatically.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) - You do it properly, but it's a lot more work.

All businesses do this. Whether they know it or not. People who understand and use this to their advantage are those who start to work their way up in rankings.

Companies always need to be aware of their online presence.

This is a recipe that search engines use for website rankings that businesses/bloggers should keep in mind:

1. Words Matter- words used in your posts
2. Titles Matter- title of your posts
3. Links matter- credible, valuable links used in your posts
4. Words in Links-  helps classify what your website relates to
5. Reputation- consistently providing new, accurate information in your posts. 
The better your reputation, the better your ranking will be.

This works well for entrepreneurs/small businesses because this is something you don't have to pay for necessarily but can easily help you gain awareness if you do it correctly.

There are companies that specialize in SEM. They are paid to improve businesses status and awareness on the web.

Google SEO Starter Guide

For more detailed information on SEO visit

1. Can you name any companies that use SEO heavily?
2. Do you think that PPC ads hinder a companies image?
3. Does anyone personally have a website or blog? If so, do you consider SEM at all when posting?
4. Overall, do you think this is an efficient way of marketing? Or would you chose other marketing techniques instead?