Monthly Archives: June 2018

5 Tips to making Social Media a Successful Selling Tool

You don’t have to be super savvy with social media to use it for your business. A lot of business owners use social media these days to help sell their goods and services. Some have great success using social media and other do not. Most people think it’s because the people having success are super smart when it comes with working with social media but that is not necessarily the case. No matter how much you know about social media you can start getting clients by following the 5 simple steps below!

  1. Determine what social media platform your target market is using. It makes zero sense spending time on Twitter when your target market doesn’t use twitter. When it comes to social media we want to work smarter, not harder so target the social medium your target market is using. Don’t know what type of social media your target marketing is using? Here are some good indicators to help you decide which social media platforms to use in your marketing.
    1. Facebook – 75% of male internet users along with 83% of female internet users. Facebook is so widely used if your target market is anyone – male or female, ages 18-65+ they use Facebook. If your target market is a consumer, Facebook will be great for your business!
    2. LinkedIn – 29% of internet users. Primarily used by people with a college education in higher paying jobs. If your business targets professional business people then LinkedIn is a great way to network with your target market.
    3. Twitter – 24% of internet users. Popular among those under 50 with a college education.
    4. Instagram – 32% of internet users. Most notably between the ages of 18-29 and women.
    5. Pinterest – 31% of internet users. Mostly women under the age of 50.Do further research if you need but now you know what social media platforms people are using.
  2. It’s best to do a really good job using only one or two types of social media than to use them all poorly. Focus on one or two social media platforms and post consistently. It takes some time but eventually you’ll see the return. Elite Scheduling Services gets a lot of business from LinkedIn whereas a friend of mine who runs a virtual assistant firm gets quite a bit of business from Twitter. These companies have two distinctly different target markets and since we’ve pin pointed where most of our clients are coming from we focus on spending most of our time on those social media platforms.
  3. Schedule posts. You get busy, we all get busy and I get it. The first thing we do when we get busy is we forget to post on social media. And this is what happens – You spend several weeks posting on social media, you get a lot of business, you spend time on that business and forget to post, suddenly you realize business is slow so you start posting on social media again. In order to streamline your marketing and create a steady flow of business you need to consistently post. Put the posts in a calendar, schedule them on the social media you use, use a social media platform to keep track of all social media scheduled posts or hire someone to take care of your marketing and social media for you. Do your research and find out when the best day and time is to post to get maximum exposure.
  4. Make it fun! People love social media because it’s fun, it’s conversational and it’s a great way to find stuff out! If people do business with you – because you are you – then be yourself on social media. Post things you find fun, interesting, educational and exciting! People are more drawn to photos and video. Video is getting a lot bigger, now! Video gives your audience a chance to really get to know you and your personality.
  5. Keep content flowing with a brainstorming session. Some people don’t have trouble scheduling posts consistently, they have trouble coming up with content. Schedule some time for research and brainstorming. What topics are hot among your target market? What do you enjoy writing about? If all else fails, hire someone to provide the content for you. Keep a file on everything you’ve posted – just like magazines recycle their material you can too. I’m sure if I look back I wrote a post on social media last year or the year before. If it’s something that’s still relevant – you can always repost. A few weeks ago, I looked back to 2017 and found my most popular post, edited it a bit and reposted. It works, you just have to be consistent!

Wholesalers: Increase Sales & Free Time This Summer

I’ve had the pleasure of working with external wholesalers/regional vice-presidents for the past 12 years and the one thing I have learned is they are certainly a very busy, hard-working bunch! You can see the drive and determination in each one of them. They strive to provide the best service possible for their clients but many of them can run themselves ragged trying to do it all. If you are a wholesaler – I’m assuming you are busy enough, but please continue to read on for some tips and tricks that will help make your life easier this summer. It’s amazing what carving out some time for planning and organization will do for your business!

*Spend some time organizing your calendar! Make sure to include every vacation, conference, golf meeting and appointment, and don’t forget to carve out some family time. Create loops or rotations that maximize your time and sales for the summer.

*Rank your clients and prospects. If you rank your contacts as you go it will save a lot of time down the road. Some rank them A, B, C, others might have a code word for each type of contact. For example rank all of your top clients A – these are people you want to see again and people you hope to continue to get business out of. Rank the promising ones B. You may not get a lot of out them or nothing at the moment but you know you can get them to sell your product in the future. Rank those that you do NOT want to waste any more time on C. This also comes in handy when working with a scheduling assistant. Your assistant won’t waste her time and your money calling people who aren’t worth your time.

*Create lists. Each week generate lists that you can call on for your appointments. Generate a list for Top Clients, Top Prospects, New Selling Agreements, Clients who haven’t dropped a ticket in 60 days, Clients you haven’t seen in 90 days, etc. These lists are a great way for you to dial away and get appointments – or if you work with a scheduling assistant have your assistant call on these lists.

*Create a great hook. What makes your product so special? Why would a busy advisor want to meet with you this summer? You need a good hook. Do you have a hot new product, is your product closing and it’s too good of a product for your clients to pass up? Is your product making headlines or had an above average quarter? Advisors are being bombarded by wholesalers so what makes you stand out from the pack? Use your uniqueness and your product’s performance to your advantage!

*Door opener gifts. Over the years, several wholesalers I’ve worked with have used door opener gifts as a way to do a drop in visit with an advisor or as an appreciation for their time. You can get creative with these – it’s summer, so think flip-flops, beach towels, golf balls, koozies, Yeti coolers, beach bags, sun visors, etc.

*Add Value. Find out what you can do to make your advisor’s life easier? Perhaps you can help them find a solution to a problem they are struggling with in their business. This could also mean sales for you! A few ideas would be a joint client event – maybe you sponsor a golf outing, beach day or picnic that the advisor can invite their clients to. Perhaps you help pay for them to have a virtual assistant that can help them in their business. Let me know if you need more creative ways to add value.

*Set goals! I am very big on goal setting. It’s a way to stay motivated, to continue to strive for more. Write down what you want and how you are going to get it. Keep your goals and plan for success in front of you every day. If you plan to succeed and follow the steps to get there you WILL succeed! Remember it’s summer, Work Hard. Play Hard!

*Hire an assistant. Who should hire an assistant?

    1. Are you way too busy selling to do anything else and your internal is either maxed out or non-existent?
    2. Do you hate setting appointments?
    3. Are you really bad at asking for the next appointment while at a meeting?
    4. Do you need help growing your territory and building relationships?
    5. Do you need more time to focus on your client meetings and less time tied up on the phone setting the appointments?

If you answered yes, to any of those questions, you could use an assistant! A professional, experienced assistant can help you schedule appointments, plan events, do your expenses, write your thank you notes and holiday cards, plan your travel, order flowers for your grandma, etc.

I hope you’ve found these tips to be helpful and that you’ll use them to increase sales and increase your free time this summer!

Danae Branson is the founder of Elite Scheduling Services. She provides scheduling and virtual assistant services to wholesalers, financial advisors and other professionals in the financial industry. You can learn more about her at http://www.eliteschedulingservices.com.

More Fun = Happier Life

It all started with a headline … Man commits crimes to go back to jail, hides money near his crotch. For some reason I got a big kick out of this headline. It’s not everyday you see the word crotch in a newspaper headline but it did make me want to read the full article. Someone had fun with this headline, why can’t more things be this fun?

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could relax just a little bit more, use their sense of humor just a little bit more and have fun just a little bit more? I really think this world would be a better place. If you want to have more fun – use it in your business … fun advertising attracts fun people. Don’t you want to work with fun people? It would make life a lot easier!

Have more fun in your life in general. I really feel that people would be happier if they carved out time for fun just as they carve out time for meetings, obligations, medical appointments, conference calls, etc. Think of how much better you’d feel waking up each morning knowing there was some fun scheduled in your day. I’m excited just thinking about scheduling more fun into my life.

So what kind of fun should you schedule?

It could be as simple as reading a book outside in the fresh air, or relaxing by the water with your favorite ice cream treat, or turning on your favorite music for 10 minutes while you close your eyes. Other ideas would be a 10 minute chair massage, a pottery or painting class over lunch, an escape room, an afternoon of golf, a movie, bowling, paddle boarding … the list goes on and on. Maybe you volunteer at a local charity, community garden or school. What makes you happy? What do you enjoy doing? Schedule it into your day. Did you hear me? Schedule more fun in your day, I shouldn’t have to twist your arm.

Scheduling fun in your day can make you more productive, you’ll feel happier and you’ll have more energy, so just do it! You may feel like you don’t have time for fun but what if fun was a prescribed therapy? Do you have time to exercise? Take your heart medication? Eat a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan diet? If I told you that having fun was instrumental in your continuing to live, would you schedule more fun? Okay, I’m, Danae Branson, F.D. (Fun Doctor) and I’m telling you that to live your best life, you MUST schedule some fun in your day.

Make it a priority. You will see results almost immediately. If people are questioning you on your scheduled fun just tell them that due to a medical condition you must schedule a few minutes of fun into each day. What’s the medical condition? Being human.

Danae Branson is the Founder of Elite Scheduling Services at http://www.eliteschedulingservices.com. They specialize in appointment setting, marketing and administrative services for professionals in the financial industry.

 

 

 

 

Improve Mental Health with a Home Office that Inspires

I’ve been working from home for twelve years and have realized over the years that a home office should be a space that inspires and motivates. You should be excited to work in your home office and believe it or not the interior design of the space you choose has a lot to do with your attitude towards that work.

My entire team and our clients work from home offices. I am super passionate about the happiness and mental health of others and since we spend 90% of our time indoors I feel that happiness starts where we spend the majority of our time whether that’s at home or in an office or both.

Ideally your home office will be a separate room with a window, but I know that is not always feasible. Depending on the number of bedrooms in your home and the number of children you have you may not have a spare room or an area with a window. In this case find a quiet corner or nook, that you can place a desk or office armoire. Armoires work great because they are a beautiful piece of furniture that you can close up at the end of the day.

I strongly feel that you should not put your home office in your bedroom or main living area. You want your home office to be a great space but you don’t want it to be something you have to look at all the time or something you go to sleep to and wake up to. Even though you work from home you still need a separation between work and play.

Once you find your space – spare room or quiet nook – here are some great ways to create an office that inspires.

*Position your desk or armoire near a window. Natural light has great physical and mental health benefits. Plus having a view of the outdoors may inspire you to be more productive – if it’s what you consider a great view.

*Be sure to have great lighting. This is a must especially if you don’t have a window. You need sufficient light to do your work. Poor lightening can dampen a mood and decrease productivity.

*Invest in a good chair, stability ball or standing desk. You want to be comfortable at your desk and promote good posture and good health. I can attest that apparently it’s not good on a body to sit with your feet up in your chair with you. Three chiropractic appointments later I’ve learned my lesson.

*Develop an organized system. Use pen holders, paper trays, shelves, a file cabinet and whatever you need to stay organized. There are so many creative ways to stay organized even in small spaces. A messy desk can cause a person to get overwhelmed and stressed. I try to organize my desk at the end of each day so each morning I can start work with an organized space.

*Add your personal touch. If your office is in a spare room paint it and decorate it to reflect your dreams, your vision and your goals. Make the office a place you love to be. Consider decorating your space to offset your business. For instance if you have a crazy, busy, overwhelming business consider creating a space with neutral and soothing colors. If your job is creative in nature or something you consider a bit monotonous consider creating a more vibrant space. I love home design and enjoy helping others design their home office spaces.

*Surround yourself with positivity. Some people love to have an office full of quotes, dream boards and pictures of their family. Others love to have books, paintings and unique treasures. Whatever you like that makes you happy and inspires you – put it in your office.

*Add some greenery. Plants make people happy and help clean the air. If you are like me and tend to forget to water your plants try a hardy plant like aloe, spider plant and dragon tree. I’ve also learned that succulents need light and water – who knew. I’ve found some amazing artificial succulents that look so real people always touch them and ask if they are real. They make me just as happy as the real thing.

Take a look at your current home office. Does it inspire you? Is it a space that you enjoy spending time in? If not, just by following a few of the ideas above you can very quickly create a space that will inspire and motivate. You never know, once you’re done your home office may just end up being your most favorite space in your home.

Danae Branson is the Founder of Elite Scheduling Services and has a passion for interior design.