If you want to annoy prospects or clients, do this with your email!

Have you ever sent an email to someone and instead of getting a response, you learn that the email you’ve contacted doesn’t accept messages?

It’s called a “no reply” email and in my opinion, it should be banned!

 

You might get one when you join someone’s email list or receive  a link to a free report.

You might get it when you pay for a service and they send you a welcome note.

 

Hint to companies who use them… they are annoying!  Let alone that, consider what message you’re sending to prospects or your clients.  “I want your business but I really don’t want to hear from you”.  ERRRR

 

ACTION

1) Go into your ezine (online newsletter) account or autoresponder and send yourself a test.  Make sure that you receive an email what you can actually reply to or respond to should you have a question.  If not, go into your control panel or dashboard where you can add your email account.

2) Do the same with your shopping cart.  In this case buy some thing free and see what happens. If you don’t have something free, create something for this test.  (Your newsletter or free downloads are in your shopping cart right?)

 

 

 

 

 

Google+ (Plus) Changes: Good or Bad?

As you may have heard, Google+ will be torn apart.
Find Us on GooglePlus

There are two sides to the “coin” of course. Will it make Google+ better or worse for the business and executive communities?

Technology firm new stands out as it does because these firms often takes risks and try out new things.  Google and Microsoft often do this when they put programs in BETA.

As humans and professionals — either business owners or careers minded individuals — we are in charge of our own destiny.  We run the most important “company” on earth. The company called “YOU INC”.  As a continuous or life-long learner (I’m presuming that since you’re reading this you are both) chances are that you’re taking daily risks of various sizes and proportions.

The more risks we take each week, the more growth we’ll see. It could be positive growth or positive growth through the lessons learned by failing and then either coming back stronger and better or moving on.

As a geek*, I see a promising online program and participate early on in their existence.  Originally they were called BBs (Bulletin Boards) and then changed somewhat to being called Forums, before they became “social networking sites”.  Some of the forums started in the mid-1990’s are still thriving like Warrior and HTML forums.  Ryze, which was to me the first social networking site was so promising, still exists and I always wonder why some company hasn’t taken it over add fixed it.  eAcademy, LinkedIn, Alibaba, and the list continues.

Google+ has the start of something good happening in it’s community platform. I hope it make changes to expand and make that area of Google+ more discussion and networking oriented.

As Google SVP Sundar Pichai told Forbes  “I think increasingly you’ll see us focus on communications, photos and the Google+ Stream as three important areas, rather than being thought of as one area.”

I hope that the communications Mr. Pichai speaks to includes changes to the Google Communities, we’ll all have to wait and see.

For now, get involved in the financial advisor and investment advisor communities on Google Plus and LinkedIn, too.

Here are a few good resources this subject:

Google+ Site Today : https://plus.google.com/

Google+ Communities: https://plus.google.com/communities

Forbes quote is from this article:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/miguelhelft/2015/02/26/exclusive-sundar-pichais-plan-to-keep-google-almighty/

 

Other good articles on this subject:

Wired:  http://www.wired.com/2015/03/google-knew-dead-google-still-social-network/

MarketingLand: http://marketingland.com/google-plus-will-die-may-change-82377

Why have people been using Google+: http://dustn.tv/social-signals-and-google-plus/

An alternative community for professionals currently on Google+
https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Elevating-Your-Financial-Business-Exclusive-4624383/about

Keep with with trends and financial news at: https://www.fatoday.com/splash.php

 

(c) 2015 Maria Marsala.  Like this article?  Get our article sent  to your inbox.  Join the Elevating Your Business Community at www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com

 

 

*Maria was an early user of technology.  Think 1973 at Merrill Lynch (Pierce, Fenner and Smith).  She started using a computer in 1975 at Reynolds Securities when she entered trades into a company database.  Used a computer on the trading desk in 1976 at Bear Stearns.  She purchased her first computer in 1980, got onto the Internet in 1994, created her first website in 1998, designed her first ebook in 2000, and has been called one of the “pioneers of article marketing online.”

 

How Often Should You Update Your Website?

Being an early user of computers (1973) and having coded my first website in 1998, I’m regularly asked how often a website “should” be updated.

You want your site to look as professional as you and your firm are.
You want your site to look as professional as you and your firm are.
To keep up with current trends or near-current trends, it’s important to write “update website” on your marketing plan every year.  That doesn’t mean you spend $5K to update it!  Instead, look at polishing the text a bit every year and tweak or revamp the look every two years.

Small changes
Sometimes, updates are small.  In 2001, I removed music from my home page that was popular in 1999 but had become annoying.  In 2003, I added a logo created by a pro and removed pop-ups.  I also updated all my marketing collateral (printed materials) to match my website.

Mid-level changes
Mid-size changes might look like adjusting the dimensions of a website to reach across the entire screen, creating a border around the pages, or updating the font.  In 2005, I started reducing text, since the general trend was to say less on each page.

Huge changes
Every 3-5 years (and no more then 5), your site will seem outdated and huge changes will be necessary.  Maybe you’ll find a better hosting service, like I did in 2007, which saved me nearly $500 a year.  That year I also hired graphic artist and web designer, Nancy Owyang, and changed my niche from working with women business owners back to my “career roots” — working with financial professionals. My website got a new look and updated content, too.

 

What determines which changes to make? 
Feedback from clients and colleagues, what you feel might work best for your visitors to self-qualify themselves, and having a yearly marketing budget.

And let’s not forget best practices and current trends.

In 1999, we were told to put subscribe boxes (to our newsletter) on all our pages to provide as many opportunities for visitors to join our e-list as possible.  According to the latest research by LeadPages, this changed as of 2014.  Now, it’s recommended to remove the subscribe boxes from every page of your website and instead provide a subscribe graphic on each page of your site that links to a page that contains the subscribe box.  Why?

Today, with zillions of websites available, people don’t like to be “sold to” right away when they visit a new website.  In fact, they’ll leave a site quickly that tries to hound them to sign up or register for something.  What they want to know immediately is that they’ve reached the right site and to learn if the firm behind the site can help them.  They like to read, THEN subscribe to learn more, knowing that the reason you’re providing free information is to woo them as a potential client.  People no longer want “in the face” selling, and that subscribe box is just that to the masses — you selling you and your services.

A good example of monitoring your site
I put off making my site responsive for three years because it wasn’t a necessary expense.  Responsive websites are easily viewable digitally.  The costs of making a major changes to a website run from 3-6K for a smaller business.

So watching your website’s trends is imperative.  My website traffic reports indicated that the browsers used to view my website didn’t require updating the site.  However, by the end of 2013, I noticed an increase in the number of people viewing my site with smart phones.  That trend is now 1 out of 4 of the 5000+ people who view my sites monthly.  That trend is higher if I look at which browsers people use to visit my LinkedIn profile.

By June of this year my website will be responsive.

 

How to save for your website updates — small and huge

I recommend that advisors budget 2-3 thousand dollars each year to update their site.  In the years you make a handful of changes, roll over the marketing funds to the following year’s budget.  The time will come when you’ll need all those funds to keep your site as professional looking as you and your services are!

(c) 2015 Elevating Your Business.

Like this article?  Read more website and technology tips, including “19 Ways To Make Your Website Trustable and Credible” here

Get tips sent directly in your inbox here: www.CoachMaria.com/

Advisors: Fast Track Your Success in 2015

Business Accelerator Inner CircleWould you like to attract more of your most profitable clients, have more time to spend with your clients, and re-energize your practice?

This 6-month intensive provides the arena and accountability you seek to implement positive change in your practice with direct feedback and support.

Sharpen your practice management skills and get ahead of the competition with this virtual workshop.
With business best-practices and proven systems, you will become a sought-after specialist in 2015 and for years to come.

How you will benefit:
• Discover how to attract more of the right clients
• Distinguish and focus on income-producing priorities
• Leverage your time and increase productivity
• Implement time- and money-saving systems for your back office
• Breathe easier as you create more time for the things that matter most

What you will cover:
• Conduct a business and life audit for clarity and focus throughout the workshop
• Define your client niche and how to attract them to your practice
• Create a comprehensive One Page Business and Marketing Plan®
• Execute your plans with accountability and feedback from your peers and Coach Maria

See the full Course Curriculum and a Week-by-Week Course Description here

Who should attend:
• Financial professionals – advisors, planners, managers
• Business owners who work with advisors
• Founders of advisory firms or service businesses

It benefits financial professionals to attend courses with owners of other types of businesses and vice versa. That’s why we’re opening this program up to non-financial professionals. However, financial professionals receive priority at registration.

 

Special feature:
Whether you live in the United States, Canada, or Europe we’ve made attendance convenient by offering the live sessions at two different times,
To learn about the program go to the Business Accelerator Inner Circle website

LinkedIn Tip: Save your connections!

You’ve worked hard (or not) to gather your current list of LinkedIn connections. How would you feel if you attempted to log in to your account and found that it had been closed?

Don't let your valuable connections disappear from sight!
Don’t let your valuable business connections disappear from your sight!

True story.

One day, back in 2007, I (tried to) log in to my LinkedIn account and received a message that my account had been shut down. I had no idea just how long it had been closed — or why.

It took me another four days to find a way to contact LI and learn what happened.

Ended up that I had unknowingly violated the LI User Agreement, someone had complained, and my account was closed. What had I done? I’d put the word “Coach” in my name. Yes, in the first name area of my LinkedIn profile, I had written “Coach Maria”.

I had to fix my error and send an email to LI saying that I’d never do it again.

My profile was offline at least 14 days.

Many business owners have had their social networking profiles shut down or banned. Often they aren’t able to get their profiles reinstated (I’ve heard that Facebook is the hardest site to get reinstated).

The worst part of having my profile shut down was the worry of losing my connections (luckily, they were reinstated when I got my profile back). But having this happen once showed me how important it is for ME to control MY connections.

Any social networking site can get hacked or shut down. I do have more stories! So, I no longer take chances with my connections.

A Few Solutions

LinkedIn
Using Outlook’s calendar to remind me, I schedule an export of my contacts (including email addresses and other information) into MS Excel (the option is to download it into a cvs file, but I change the extension upon saving it because it may contain characters that cvs doesn’t recognize). There is also an option to download your connections into Outlook. Here’s the link to get you started: https://www.linkedin.com/people/export-settings

Since recently subscribing to Outlook 365, part of this subscription includes “Downloads”. And the only download in the system right now is Outlook. I recently downloaded my LI files into Outlook and am currently unsure if it updates itself or if I need to update it monthly (stay tuned).

Facebook
My Facebook account contacts are easily uploaded into a yahoo.com email account.  You’ll find the feature to do this on the right side of your email account. Additionally, once your contacts are imported, you’ll be able to email your FaceBook contacts, too. If you know other types of email accounts that have this feature, please share!

Twitter
I haven’t figured a way to export my Twitter connections. If you know a way, won’t you share it with me and my readers?