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How do you keep growing?

Okay, so here is the deal, I have been working my Facebook business for almost 5 years now (however, have been working Facebook to build for about 10 years now) and can happily say that I have a really great following of people who are truly interested in what I have to offer.

So how did I do this?  Well, it was all about providing value to my audience.  Providing tips that can help them work Facebook, ideas for thinking outside the box, my personality (I like that one the best lol) and just being “real”.

Most of you are probably just starting out using Social Media and I want you to know that it does get easier to grow as you work it.  It won’t happen overnight (YES, I know there are a TON of people out there that can sell you programs that will INSTANTLY grow your business, but I have my doubts on that).  The reality is that it takes time BUT you have to give more than just what you are posting on Social Media.

Over the last 5 years, I have created my website, created FREE downloads/opt-ins, created new packages, started blogging, doing speaker engagements, being a guest writer, invested in a Mastermind program, joined networking groups…..get where I am going with this?  You can’t just rely on Social Media to build your business to the level you ultimately want to build.

If you are looking to just make some extra money each month, then Social Media can work for you and you may not have to go the extra mile BUT if you are looking for so much more, you really have to think about what else you can offer.

As I have continued to grow, I realized that I offer a TON of free elements and of course my online training but didn’t really have a package that provided value at a lower price.  Soooooo, after talking to a few people, I worked on a new package that focuses on marketing in the world of Facebook.  I have to admit, I am pretty excited about this package as it is set at a very reasonable price that will help ALL small business owners to market their business.  It has them thinking differently about how they are going to market themselves and their business within personal profiles/timelines, groups and business page.  (Watch my Facebook Business Page for more).

So my message to you here, is to always think about how you are going to continue to grow, don’t just rely on one source to grow your business.  You need to layer it, keep adding more value on top of each layer YET have them all tie in together.

 

My trip to Italy

As many of you know, I had the opportunity to travel to Italy the last week of May, with my Mastermind Group.  The Mastermind Group was an investment I made, a year ago, to relook at my business and how to move forward and implement new elements/strategies.  This was a HUGE impact to my business and it allowed me to grow by leaps and bounds, the BEST investment I ever made!!

While in Italy, there were a couple of business elements that I wanted to do (even though, I have to admit, most of the trip was all about fun and seeing this beautiful country, Amalfi Coast was my absolute favourite!!)

We don’t tend to think of how a trip can be incorporated into our business but with the world of Social Media, it can make a big impact.  I did regular Live videos, just to check in and keep my relationships building as they journeyed with me, through my eyes.  I also took a variety of photos (some were selfies) that I can use as I move forward in my business.  The idea is to add quotes, my thoughts, my tips, to these photos which can be used on Facebook and Instagram (those are the two social media sites I focus on).

BUT, the BIGGEST thing that I did, was a 4 recorded video series that I will use as a FREE opt-in.  The video series is introducing my Facebook Online Training Program.

  1. Introducing the Facebook Online Combo Training
  2. The Experience and Impact for other Small Business Owners
  3. Who I am and what I can do for you
  4. Details of the Facebook Online Combo Training

My plan is to use this video series across the world, to introduce me and what I can offer to those who do not know I even exist lol

Here is a sample of one of my videos

So, when you are travelling, think about ways that you can bring your journey into your business.  Yes, the trip can be fun, but it only takes a few minutes, each day, to bring a business element to it.

Happy travels!!

Guest Blog: 4 Email Marketing tips for your small business

Email marketing, when used properly is one of the most inexpensive ways to stay engage with your clients and prospects, increase sales and boost your profitability.

Email marketing allows you to highlight one of the best features of your small business, which is personalization.

The best part? You can track who is actually opening and engaging with your emails.

Here are 4 email marketing tips that any small business owner can implement today:

Spend Time on Subject Lines

Your subject line is the first thing your audience will see– make it attention grabbing. It should demonstrate that your email will provide immediate value to the reader.  The subject line should compel your subscribers to open the email. Be specific. Customize it. Don’t feel the need to capitalize the first letter of every word or be afraid to use punctuation.

Never use the word “Newsletter” in your subject line.

Understand spam laws

It is surprising how many small businesses are breaking some of the most critical CAN-SPAM laws relating to email marketing and SPAM regulation. Canada’s new Anti-Spam Legislation states that everyone on your email list must have opted in to receive your messages. If you don’t have permission, you can’t email them. And you must have an “unsubscribe” link on your emails. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with some of the basics.

Make It Easy To Read

For email marketing, less is more. Be concise with your text and avoid sending emails with long blocks of text.  Keep your emails visually simple.  Include an eye catching title to grab the reader’s attention. Break up the text by including images, subheadings, and read more links for subscribers to go and read larger blocks of texts (i.e. blog posts)

Be Consistent

Start a regular schedule of when you will send your emails and stick to it. If your emails become infrequent, your subscribers may not recognize your emails in their inbox. Effective email marketing entails establishing a consistency which in turn, makes you more reliable and can increase your subscribers’ willingness to read what you’re sending.

Email marketing should be a crucial tool in every small business owner’s toolkit. It’s the most efficient way to boost repeat visits to your website or store and build strong relationships with your subscribers.

About Orzala Quddusi

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Orzala Quddusi is the Founder and CEO of Make it Happen Services, a marketing firm that specializes in helping small business owners build strong online presence.  Being a solopreneur and helping other solopreneurs has been a driving passion for Orzala. In her free time, Orzala enjoys giving back to her community, participating in volunteer work through numerous local organizations, spoiling her two boys as a full time mom and enjoys the outdoors hiking in nature.

Facebook Business Page:  Make it Happen Services

Website:  Make it Happen Services

Email:  orzala@mihservices.ca

 

Italy here I come!

I am excited to be heading out to Italy on May 20th with my Mastermind Group!!  The trip will be fun but we are also incorporating some business elements into it.  I guess I never thought about how you can take a trip and incorporate business ideas while you are there, thank you Fay Chapple for getting us to think outside the box!!

While I am there, I am going to be:

  • Speak to some small business owners to find out how they use Social Media, specifically Facebook.  I want to learn how they market, what the impact is to their business, their best advice and ultimately, do they really embrace the world of Social Media
  • I am going to be recording a 4 video part series, that I can use when I get back, to help me launch my Facebook Online Training into the International market.  The idea is to create this series and put it out as a FREE opt-in that provides them with some Facebook tips, experiences of some of my clients, what the opportunity is that I can provide to help small business owners build and ending with the “sale” video.
  • Photos that captured Italy and myself of course lol, that I can use on my business page as well for sponsored Ads.  Pictures that will capture the attention of the audience.

I love the idea of doing these elements and will consider it when I do any other travel, such a great way to bring more to our business and visuals.

Food for thought……

Facebook LIVE – Should YOU be doing it?

For many of you that follow me, you know that I am currently doing a 30 day LIVE Challenge on my business page, that was given to me by my Mastermind Coach, Fay Chapple.

The whole idea is that we need to provide value and be consistent in getting ourselves out there.  What is actually AMAZING about this, is the interaction that has been created!!  Between the likes/comments/shares, my stats have increased, within the last 7 days:

  • Daily reach has increased by 114%
  • Post Engagement has increased by 69%
  • Page Likes have increased by 56%
  • Page Views have increased by 35%
  • My videos have been seen by over 5,000 people

Soooooooo my question to you is “Why are you not doing Live videos?”

I think I know the answer to this question:

  • It is out of your comfort zone
  • You will make too many errors, stumble on your words
  • You don’t know what to say
  • Worried that nobody will watch you live

Okay…….let’s address these concerns:

  • Baby steps – Start with small videos and grow them as you push yourself out of your comfort zone
  • We want YOU to be real, to be YOU, so just let it happen and laugh at when you stumble (I do it all the time)
  • What can you say?
    • Reach out to your clients, your audience, your friends and ask them for some ideas of what they would be curious to learn about
    • Talk about different tips that can help them
    • Do some “food for thought” around words and what they mean
    • Show yourself out networking
    • Talk about quotes that resonate with you and why
    • What events are coming up
    • How do you keep motivated/inspired
    • How do you organize your life
    • Show them some of your daily rituals (like walks)
  • I do my Live videos first thing in the morning and I MIGHT get 1 person but I don’t worry about it because the videos are recorded and people will watch later when they have time

There!!  I have taken away your excuses, so go out there, make a commitment and start doing some Live videos.  I am challenging YOU to do one week (YES, only 7 days) to get your feet wet.

P.S.  I would love for you to reach out to me and share what your stats are when that week is over 🙂

Importance of a Great Personal Branding Photo – Guest Blog by Mark Alousis

Hello everyone, my name is Mark and I am the owner of Mark Alousis Portrait in Toronto. I take modern, magazine style portraits and headshots. Think Vanity Fair or GQ style for the everyday men and women.   In this post I will talk about the importance of a professional head shot as well as a few tips to get the best results from your shots. 

When someone gets a contact from a friend or business  associate, what is the first thing they do?  In most cases people either Google them or check out their social media profiles on Facebook or Instagram. If they have any sort of online presence you will most likely find their profile picture. Now, what impresses you more, a cropped, grainy photo of them at a recent wedding, a “selfie” in their bedroom, or a headshot taken by a professional?  

I don’t have enough fingers or toes to count the number of times I’ve come across profile pictures of business people that are clearly from a wedding (or funeral ;-)).  You know the one… the one where they have their arm around someone who is cropped out of the picture, or the one of them in a nice suit or dress with a cocktail of some sort in hand. Not the best impression for potential clients or employers.  

 

When I first started learning about the professional headshot about 5 years ago, one thing that stuck with me was “confident yet approachable”.  That could mean a bit of a smile, a bigger smile or a certain “look”. Whatever that is, your photographer should be able to get that out of you, because that is what you are paying a professional for. 

 

Some clients say to me “ugh, I hate getting my photo done, I’m not photogenic”! My response to everyone is the same. I tell them to let me take care of that! You don’t have to know how to move, or pose, or “look good” because I will pose and move you, right down to your last finger!   

 

I advise my clients to avoid patterns and crazy colours if possible as they can be a bit of a jerry_blog (2 of 2)-3.jpgdistraction. BUT – if that is your brand or the image you want to portray then go all in on that.   When I do my pre-shoot consultation I recommend that my clients bring 2-3 outfits that we can mix and match to get different looks so they have some variety to choose from.  

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Hair and makeup? Absolutely! I recommend it to all of my clients, as it takes out a stressful step for some, but also gets you the right type of look for a photograph. I tell my clients if they are doing their own makeup to be sure to use a matte finish so there is not too much shine on the skin. 

 

My clients always get their top three shots from a session.  This allows us to get a few different looks to use across your social media or profiles. For example, you may need a  more formal image for LinkedIn, whereas Facebook and Instagram can be a bit more casual. It is also good to change up your profile picture from time to time to keep things fresh.  

 

I hope you would agree that a great headshot is key to  putting your best foot forward online. If you have any questions about Personal Branding  please feel free to email info@markalousis.com or call me at 416-278-4259 to chat.  

 

Thanks to Tammy for asking me to write this blog and I hope to see some of you in the studio in the future!  

Thanks, 

Mark 

 

Learn the Basics

We live in a world of technology and social media is one of the BIGGEST elements.  As business owners, we have an opportunity to use social media to build a business BUT it is more overwhelming for most than easy.  With the differences between the web version and the App versions, with the many changes that occur almost daily, we can give up and just forget about social media.  BUT you can’t!!  You need social media, it is where we are at and will only get bigger!!

It is important that you learn the basics of how to build your business online, how to create a presence.  When you understand the basics and master them, then you only have to adapt to the changes that will continually happen.  When we talk about the basics, we are referring to HOW you use social media.

You want to use social media to talk to people, to build relationships, to get your products/services out there, to showcase your personality, to learn, to be inspired, to be motivated by others.  Yes, this may sound overwhelming, however, it does encompass the basics.  What I mean, is knowing how to post, how to comment, how to interact.  Imagine, doing these 3 main elements and it leading you to potential clients, referrals, friendships, mentors and so much more.

Now, I am not saying this is all you need to know how to do, BUT if you do know these main elements, then you master them and learn the other pieces as you build.

The BEST way to learn, is to do it over and over again.  It is okay to make a mistake because there is a delete button.  Hands-on, personally, is the easiest way to learn, visually seeing what you are doing and the impact is how we grow.

Master the basics and you will start to see a difference in what you are doing in the world of social media.

P.S.  If you want to embrace everything about Facebook, how to understand your privacy settings, your news feed, your personal timeline, groups and business pages, in a step-by-step format, that makes it easier for you to learn, then be sure to check out my FULL Facebook Online Training Combo Package, on SALE till April 30th for ONLY $147+hst!!  This is a video format, that you get to work hands-on with and take your time in learning.  I help YOU to create your presence and understand the world of Facebook.  Check it out HERE!!