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14 Let's Do eLunch

eLunchAs more and more people work virtually, acquire clients globally and scramble to get it all done in a day, the concept of “a meeting” has changed. Of course much of this change is due to technology that enables us to interact in somewhat human ways while around the world or, for that matter, around the community.

Phone meetings, webinars, and now eLunches are a common and terribly efficient way to meet (maybe save a little piece of the planet too). I think the idea of doing lunch virtually adds a little more creative differentiation to your pitch.

The idea behind an eLunch is much like a lunch meeting you might do at the local deli, but both parties meet while sitting at their desk. In order to pull this off in a way that gives it some authenticity is to use a web video meeting technology (yes, you’ve got to get out of your pajamas and smile for the camera) such as Skype Video Chat, DimDim or iLinc Video Conferencing and food.

Because your guest might be anywhere in the world a safe bet is to set-up an account with a national chain such as Pizza Hut and send a pizza to your guest to enjoy during your eLunch. This might be a good way to get the meeting and stand out a bit.

Now I understand a chain pizza might not be your idea of way to impress a potential client so if you want to take this up a notch you can go for a more upscale chain that delivers, or if you want to really score points, see if your meeting prospect has a twitter account, blog or other social profile your can access and scan for mentions of local favorites or vegetarian leanings. Imagine how impressed your prospect will be when that shitake mushroom sandwich from their local vegan hangout shows up for your lunch.

Everyone needs an angle to get to the table and an eLunch just might be yours.

Photo credit: Joshua Rappeneker

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13 10 Small Business Lead Nurturing Tools

lead nurturingLead nurturing is the act of following up with leads in a consistent and, hopefully, logical way moving them gently along the path of becoming a customer.

In some high end, long decision process selling environments it’s the only way a sale is made. “Hi, glad to meet you, call me when you’re ready to buy,” isn’t a very nurturing approach.

In today’s marketing world smart companies are tapping powerful nurturing tools and technology to help their prospects get to know, like, and trust them, make sales when competitors can’t get past the front lobby, and charge a premium for their products and services.

In some cases it’s a matter of automatically dripping more and more information, in others it’s case of knowing exactly when your prospect is showing interest and in still others it can come down to gaining greater knowledge about your prospect by simply using technology to understand their behavior. (Don’t worry, none of this need be done in a creepy way, it’s all a matter of using technology and the information your prospects willing share.)

The secret is to stay top of mind and continue to educate, but do it ways that have impact.

The following ten tools are ones that I would suggest to most any small business owner to use in tandem with a cadre of education based marketing content in the form of ebooks, audio, video, newsletters, surveys and seminars.

1. BatchBlue – a lightweight CRM tool with a twist. BatchBlue makes it very simple to add your prospect’s social media profiles thereby having access to their blog and twitter feeds right at the point of interaction. Really great for your journalist target market too!

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29 Twitter for Business Essentials Archive

I conducted a live webinar billed as Twitter for Business Essentials.

twit1You can listen to the recorded audio by clicking on the this link – Listen to Twitter for Business (or right click and Save As to download to your desktop – warning: 53 mgs and about an hour long)

In addition, you may want to pick up this handy guide that has all the links and resources we discussed. Click here to download the 20 page guide – Twitter for Business Guide

Here’s the agenda for the call so you get an idea of the content – we started very basic but escalated to some more intermediate topics and tools.

  • What is twitter?
  • Some basic stuff
  • Why use it
  • Who do I follow?
  • What do I say?
  • Search is the thing
  • Managing twitter
  • Misc tools

And, as if that weren’t enough . . .

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9 How to Be More Interesting

Stick Yourself Out ThereFor a recent episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast I had the chance to chat with The Nametag Guy, Scott Ginsberg.

Scott has a great story to tell and is one of the most creative folks you will ever come across. This interview was sparked by a post Scott wrote a while back called – 30 Ways to become the Most Interesting Person You Know

The problem is boring just doesn’t work for many industries and I’ve talked about this many times right here on this blog. In fact, I’ve often stated the three primary rules of business are – don’t be rude, don’t be boring, and give to get.

Marketing celebrity and frequent Duct Tape guest Seth Godin had this to say about boring when we last chatted: “If the marketplace isn’t talking about you, there’s a reason,” Seth says. “If people aren’t discussing your products, your services, your cause, your movement or your career, there’s a reason. The reason is that you’re boring.”

Scott is anything but boring and this interview will give you some practical tips on ways you can stand out and get your business noticed by becoming more interesting in every aspect of your business.

So, can you do to make your business, your products, your services, you – more interesting?

iLinc Web and Video ConferencingThis episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by iLinc – Web and Video Conferencing that’s easy to use, affordable and powerful enough to make your online meetings really come alive.

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2 The Referral A Team Heads Up Make a Referral Week

Ivan MisnerBob BurgBill Cates

Join me Tuesday, March 10th at Noon CST for a live web panel discussion featuring Bob Burg, author of the Go-Giver, Ivan Misner, founder of BNI and Bill Cates, author of Get More Referrals Now. In my opinion this group makes up what may be the worlds greatest single collection of thought leaders on the subject of referrals. This is the A-Team when it comes to teaching the strategies of referral! Register here for this event.

The conference is the headline event of the educational component of Make a Referral Week. More info on the entire week can be found here.

iLinc Web and Video ConferencingThis session is brought to you by iLinc – Web and Video Conferencing that’s easy to use, affordable and powerful enough to make your online meetings really come alive.

10 Raising Your Visibility Online

Increasing your visibility and raising your expert status via social networks is the subject of a recent episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. My guest is Nancy Marmolejo, CEO of Sizzibility, who I fittingly ran across on several social networking sites.

Online branding, reputation management, content publishing, networking and other social media strategies are quickly becoming required elements in marketing. The ability to find one’s way around a Twitter like tool will become course work in corporate and education classrooms in the near future (one can only hope.)

Nancy shares a very direct, step-by-step approach for anyone wanting to raise their visibility using today’s rich set of Web 2.0 tools. Check out her list of online pr resources too.

We ended this chat with some thoughts on Latino marketing strategies and agreed that the topic would make a great “panel of experts” kind of discussion – more on that later!

iLinc Web and Video ConferencingThis episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by iLinc – Web and Video Conferencing that’s easy to use, affordable and powerful enough to make your online meetings really come alive.

7 Twitter for Business Live Webinar

I get a lot of requests for more information about how businesses are using the hot social media Twitter for business.

Chris BroganSo, I’m teaming up with social media rockstar, Chris Brogan, to present a live webinar called aptly – Twitter for Business. We will cover basics, strategies, tips, tools and tactics for business folks wanting to explore and enhance the use of this powerful networking and publishing tool.

The session is Thursday, Dec 11th, Noon CST and you can register here at the Duct Tape Webinar Center

I have also recently partnered with iLinc Web and Video Conference for all my webinars (thus the commercial message below) – while at my webinar center you might want to click on the system test tab to make sure you won’t have any issues logging in on the day of webinar. iLinc is very light weight from a user standpoint and both mac and PC friendly. As part of the iLinc sponsorship they have offered to host a totally optional demo at the end of this session for anyone who would like to take a test drive of the system – again, totally optional.

iLinc Web and Video ConferencingThis episode of the Duct Tape Coaching Excellence Series is brought to you by iLinc – Web and Video Conferencing that’s easy to use, affordable and powerful enough to make your online meetings come to life.