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Posts tagged ‘Agents and Marketers’

Tips To Network Successfully

I’m so excited to lead a new networking chapter in Fairfax, Nexco. It was founded by a great group of businessmen whom I consider friends, and I’m honored to have been chosen to be the voice of this particular chapter.

I’ve done a lot of networking over the years, and I hear people say all of the time how much they hate networking. I disagree. I think networking can be fun, and quite beneficial if done right.  Follow these steps to not only enjoy networking, but to do it successfully as well.

 

First off, remember that networking is not about you landing a job/client. It’s about gaining information from a business and giving enough information about yours in order for them to use that as a stepping stone. It’s a means to an end, not the end.

 

When you enter the room, first go to those you know. It will make the transition easier, especially if your nervous. Plus, those you know, know you best, and may already have met someone they think would be a good referral for you.  When you meet someone, don’t make it all about you. Networking is much like dating; it’s an opportunity to get to know them and in turn, for them to get to know you. This is where you gauge whether there is a connection between your businesses, or possibly between them and one that you know.

After a networking event, reach out to those you wish to continue a conversation with. Ask them for coffee within 2 weeks of meeting. This way, the conversation stays fresh, and any topics that were hot or would be considered leads will still be warm when you meet.

Before you meet, do research on the business you’re meeting with. You want to look invested and interested in what they have to say and to offer. By being educated, they may be more interested in connecting you to other professionals as well.

 

Now, for that pesky “I hate networking” feeling of yours. Make yourself a promise to go to x number of networking events (tomorrow’s event is a great start!) and to make X number of connections, and when you do, reward yourself with whatever small thing makes you happy. Part of what makes networking so overwhelming is, well, the actual events are overwhelming. But, as I say, the only way to eat a whole elephant is to take small bites, so relax! Think of this as an adventure, and a positive path to your success!

 

Join me tomorrow at Brion’s Grille in University Mall in Fairfax from 11:30-1pm for some great networking with local businesses!

How Instagram Can Help Build Your Audience (Even If You’re a Service-Based Company)

Yes, I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog (sorry about that!) I’ve been so focused on building the businesses of my clients, I’ve ignored my home, I’ll try to be better, I promise.

I’ve been on quite a journey these past few months. Some amazing things have been happening in Chez VersaTel Solutions, which I can’t wait to share with you (soon enough). Within this journey I’ve also become aware of things that I had taken advantage of and really didn’t realize until someone else mentioned it. What am I talking about, you ask? Instagram of course!

Originally, I joined Instagram because it was new and I could see the potential of the benefits of marketing through this new social media platform-I didn’t really know how just yet, but I liked it! Eventually, my pictures became less about the food I was eating and more about the meetings I was having. I’ve received more interest than I thought I would get just for snapping pictures at meetings and events I attend. It’s made potential clients turn into real clients, and garnered enough interest to make me busy enough to well, have to let my blog go (at least for a little while).

How can Instagram work for your business? In various ways. Take a picture before a meeting to show you are out and about; snap a shot of your work environment to give people an insider’s look; if you’re attending a networking event, take shot of the event and make sure to hashtag it. If I can make office management exciting, believe me, so can you.

If you sell products, this is a great forum in which to show off your wares. Take pictures of your products being created, of your products being delivered, or, if you deliver them yourself, take a picture of your happy clients. Ask your clients to hashtag your business, or if they can tag you if they post a picture of you or your products.  There are so many ways to take advantage of Instagram; its a matter of making use of it.

Here at VersaTel Solutions we want to help you get your business, your products and your services out there to people you otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you; if you’re on Instagram, follow me: http://instagram.com/sevanastone

Or, if you’re on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/versatelsolutions

Or Twitter: https://twitter.com/Versa_Tel

You’re Using Social Media All Wrong-Here’s Why…

Social media can be scary for those who don’t understand it; those who do understand it, however, use it beautifully as the tool that it is, and excel in marketing their businesses. But, those who don’t understand it, underestimate it too, and by doing that, they end up wasting time and money-two things that are extremely rare these days.

Reading this you know which category you fit into, don’t you? Either you’re creating buzz or you’re not, and if you’re not then your strategy is all wrong! How do you know if you’re guilty of these offenses?

Consistency is incredibly important. Posting at least once a day, up to three times a day (any more than that and it can drive your followers crazy). Although there’s no rule about the times of day you should post, it is important to be consistent.

Granted you could post every day for years, and not make a dent if you’re not saying the right things. The quality is much more important than the quantity (even though the quantity is important too, but what does it matter if what you say isn’t interesting?) Think about what you would want to know or read if you were the follower of your business. Would it matter if you read “It’s a rainy day today!” No. No one cares. But, if you sell insurance and you said “Did you know you can get a $500 food reimbursement from your insurance if you lose power because of all of this rain?” See, that’s important information!

Again, when it comes to consistency and content, it’s important that these two marry. Make sure your tone and voice are consistent in the content you post. Don’t sound like a professional in one post, and like a teenager in the next. People can only read your voice, and build an opinion based on the voice they have created for you in their head. Consistency in your tone will help them build a trustworthy persona for you. If you can’t do the posting yourself, make sure you hire someone who will understand your voice, and post for you.

Social media is an important element to your marketing. If you don’t understand it, or don’t have the time to perfect it, contact us to help you navigate through all the platforms to find the ones that would work best for you, and help you stay on track to build your online presence!

Do You Need Insurance For Your Home-Based Business?

It seems these days you have to have insurance for everything: there’s car and health; homeowners and rental; business and even pet insurance. You have to make sure your bread and butter-the thing that pays for everything else-is covered tightly and securely by an insurance policy, but where do you start, and what do you consider?

First, you have to ask yourself what you would want to have covered. If you’re a photographer, you would have your cameras and other tools of your trade; a graphic designer, and all your software and computers would have to be covered. It’s important to identify what kind of business you run from your home, who enters your place of business, and what you have that could potentially be broken or stolen.

But, you have business insurance coverage, you say? Well, take a look at your policy and be certain you are covered according to the specifics of your business, not just the generic coverage you generally get with a business insurance package. Also, don’t think that if you don’t have business insurance, that surely your homeowners insurance will cover the costs; most homeowner policies limit loss of business property to $2,500 and don’t cover losses away from the home, and exclude liability coverage for business related activity.

  • There are three different types of insurance. To determine which you need you must ask yourself the following:
  • How much would it cost me to replace all my equipment?
  • How often do I take my laptop and cellphone out to meet with a client?
  • How often do clients meet me at home?
  • How often are there business deliveries to my home?
  • Do the products I sell have the potential to harm or cause someone to claim harm?
  • What would happen to my business if I were temporarily displaced from my home?

 

Types Of Insurance:

  1. Business Owner’s Policy: This includes both liability and property damage coverage, and also provides some off-premises coverage. Things like flood protection or insurance for outdoor signs are optional.
  2. Home Office Policy-this policy combines homeowners and business insurance, eliminating duplicate coverage or gaps.  It also covers general business liability, lost income and ongoing expenses like payroll for up to one year if your business can’t operate due to damage to your home. Loss of records, accounts receivable, and even some off-site business property, fire theft and personal liability are also covered.  Flood insurance is, again, optional.
  3. Business Pursuits Endorsement: This is part of your homeowner’s policy and offers the least amount of protection. Not recommended if you have costly equipment or if you have any onsite visits.

Of course, be smart about your business, and be smart about your insurance. Choose the one that fits best for you, and take the necessary precautions to keep from ever having to use it.

 

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