Run with me!

I’ve signed up to run a 5K and raise funds for Laurel House, an organization that supports and provides resources for victims of domestic violence. Our Femfessionals‘ team has already raised over $2,500 (and counting)! But I am a rookie runner and have less than 5 weeks to prepare for the race on Sunday, October 19. So I asked my husband, an avid runner and accomplished marathoner, to put together a super simple plan to get me ready for the race. Want to join us but don’t know where to begin? Copy my training schedule below and adjust the days to fit your schedule. You can still join the Femfessionals team and/or support our fundraising efforts here.

5K simple training schedule

My 5K training schedule begins.

 

80/20 online networking strategy

Do you network online? Are you using social media platforms to promote your business? If so, a good rule of thumb is to use the 80/20 rule when it comes to your online networking efforts.

Aim to spend 80% of your social media time and posts on relationship-building. That includes offering good content, sharing the content of others, paying attention to what others are saying online and providing supportive commentary without promoting anything. Be a part of a variety of communities and discussions relevant to you.

That leaves 20% for sales efforts. Offer something for free such as a free sign up, e-book, or a discount offer.  Mix it up often so that your followers don’t always see “buy, buy, buy.”

Don’t become a person or brand that your online audience considers “sales-y” or pushy and wants to tune out.  Instead, be present, involved and engaging, just as you would with any in-person relationship that mattered to you.

80/20 networking

80/20 networking

Make your business cards unforgettable

Do people ask for more than one business card from you? I often hear, “Wow, I love your business card. Can I get another?” Here are my tips for making your business cards unforgettable!

  1. Use both sides — it’s often unused real estate. Take advantage. I see this all the time and it makes me wonder why the back is blank.
  2. Bright colors – please don’t let your card drown in a sea of beige and white. You and your business are brighter than that so let your cards reflect it.
  3. Get visual – include a recipe, a sticker, a drawing, a photo of you or another image that represents your business in addition to your logo. People like visuals and they’re memorable.
  4. Size matters – try an oversized or undersized card, or rounded edges which will all help it stand out in a stack.
  5. Quality stock – resist the urge to be frugal. Low quality paper (or worse, an advertisement promoting a website for “free” cards on the bottom of your cards) will not help your credibility. Invest in your #1 marketing tool with the most luxurious, high quality paper you can afford.

Most importantly, don’t treat your business card like it’s simply a piece of paper with your name and contact information. It’s your most important business marketing and networking tool. So make it count.

Cheyenne's business card

Cheyenne’s business card

Sizzle up your business in 4 ways this summer

Does it seem like everyone else is leaving early, headed to the shore, or embarking on a cool vacation while you’re stuck in the office? Don’t let the heat get you down. Use summertime to your advantage and stir up some sizzle in your business. Here’s how!

1. Sizzle up your introductions. You can still keep it professional while chatting about what you’re up to this summer. Work/play getaway? Gearing up for a corporate retreat? Celebrating a career milestone? Opening up may get the conversation flowing in a fresh direction and help you build a deeper relationship.

2. Host a sizzle. That means hosting a get-together and summertime is a great time for socializing. You can kick your profile up a notch by hosting or organizing a get-together. Everyone loves an invitation! Make it an all-out backyard BBQ, an easy margarita mix & mingle, or an invitation to an outdoor cocktail hour near the office. Invite your best clients, prospective clients and future collaborators (think way beyond your close friends). If you’re hosting at your home or office, don’t feel pressure to do it all yourself. Ask guests to bring an appetizer or a beverage that everyone will enjoy. Alternatively, coordinate a happy hour for your industry peers, customers, colleagues, or other businesses in your neighborhood. Pick a great spot, ask the manager to come up with a signature drink special (suggest something that integrates your company colors), arrive early, help facilitate introductions and enjoy. Be sure to thank everyone for coming.

3. Volunteer with sizzle. Summertime can bring a lull to many non-profit organizations who may often see an uptick in engagement around the holiday season. Joining a volunteer committee can provide powerful networking opportunities while doing great things for your community. You’ll meet other movers, shakers and do-goobers, which can help put you in a good position as the weather cools down. Try helping out with a 5K walk/run or a summer concert in the park. If you’re worried about the heat, get a small group together to help with an office mailing (hello, air conditioning).

4. Sizzle right into fall. NOW is the time to plan for the fall season. New fiscal calendars will begin, new budgets will be set for 2015 and you want to stay top of mind. Get in touch with decision makers now, make appointments for September, and ask how you can be helpful as they aim to reach end of year goals in the coming months and/or develop strategies for the New Year.

Cheers!