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Stress

I woke up at 4.30am with my heart pounding, completely disoriented and with no idea why I felt such panic.

Then I remembered, it was the big day. The day I had been planning for for over 9 months, it was the big event.

I tried to fall back asleep but realized it was useless. I started visualizing my day and felt the pain in my stomach intensify.

It was excruciating. I was sick with fear. And yet excited and happy and ready to take to the stage.

I had prepared more for this than anything I’d ever done before. I had spent weeks walking the story, telling it to anyone who would listen.

I had been coached, received a ton of feedback, written and rewritten, recited and practiced.

If not now, I would never be ready.

And yet I was sick with nerves.

Now, let me tell you, this was not unexpected. I mean, it’s not like it had never happened before. I had spent years as a sufferer of stage fright where it had gotten the better of me and I never performed. And years since, that I had handled it quite well and managed to even enjoy the stage.

And this was a tough one – it was hitting me hard.

So I started my routine.

And as I felt me pulse ease and my excitement and nerves channeled to where I needed them – I began to cherish my process, seeing how beautifully it worked.

So here are the 5 secrets to feeling the fear and knocking it out of the court!

  1. Get Moving! – stretch, walk, dance, jump – do whatever gets your circulation going and makes you feel good. Be careful not to exhaust yourself but make sure you whole body feels the movement.

  2. Get Thinking! – review your notes, practice a few last times, remind yourself that you know this stuff really well, and for sure, a lot more than your audience knows.

  3. Get Looking Good! – take a shower, put on your nicest and most comfortable clothes, arrange your hair and face, smile!

  4. Get Food! - don’t forget to eat something small, light and preferably really fresh (fruit, salad, protein – keep away from carbs. & fats)

  5. Get Help! – call the person that loves all you do and all you are – tell them you need a boost, tell them you’re nervous, ask for reassurance!

So, I called my love. He said, ‘Lis, you’ve gotta get over this’ – I thought at first that wasn’t so supportive. And then he said, ‘because I know there is so much more of this scale of work coming your way, and no one deserves it more than you’.

That worked!

Last but not least. I got on the stage before the audience arrived, to check it out, to get into the atmosphere, to practice. Something was missing. I didn’t feel as connected as I wanted to feel.

As they announced my name and invited me on to the stage, I took off my shoes. Barefoot, deeply connected and channeling all the nerves and fear into being of service and with great respect and love for my audience, I started the story.

It was one of the best performances of my life!

Lisa Bloom

About Our GE Network Expert - Lisa Bloom

Lisa Bloom is a highly professional and accomplished Storyteller, Professional Certified Coach (ICF) and Training & Development Expert with more than 20 years experience working in public and private sectors, high-tech and financial services environments. Lisa helps entrepreneurs de-stress the marketing, build their business with confidence by finding their success story at http://story-coach.com.



 
  


Ecommerce Product Description Writing Driving You Nuts Here are 6 Ways To Describe Almost Anything

There I was – stuck, staring at my computer screen and gritting my teeth. “All these calculators are virtually the same. All calculators add, subtract, divide and multiply.” I huffed, “How am I supposed to write different copy for 25 calculators that are all pretty much identical?”

Ever been there? Ever had several catalog or ecommerce descriptions or pages of copy to write that deal with products that are the same, but different? What’s the biggest problem? Knowing how to identify those all-important differences!

Strategy #1 – Create a List of Methods Used Before

One way to get around this would be to make a list of the different ways you have described products in the past. Then, you can simply refer back to your list for ideas. If you’ve written about USB speakers before, check your copy to see how you described them. Can some of that information be repurposed for current descriptions? Create your own cheat sheet.

Strategy #2 – Problem/Solution

What problem does the product solve? And for whom does it solve the problem? Here’s one example from Sauder:

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Strategy #3 – Inspire

What provided the inspiration for this widget? This plays into storytelling which is a huge factor in persuading people. Look at this copy from LL Bean:

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Strategy #4 – Impress

Did this product impress someone (or a group of people)? Copy like this from Everything Sportsman is a good example.

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Strategy #5 – Celebrate

Is there something to celebrate about this product? These ASICS athletic shoes deliver information that boosts consumer confidence while describing the benefits of the shoe.

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Strategy #6 – Why You?

Why should customers buy from you? With so many choices available online, you need a way to answer this question fast. Dropping hints within your product descriptions can go a long way to building confidence. Here’s an example from Marvolus.com.

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I’d love to take credit for all these product description methods, but I can’t. You see, they come from a well-worn ebook I bought a while back. You can thank Marcia Yudkin for this dose of brilliance.

Marcia is author of the ebook “73 Ways To Describe A Widget.” I bought the ebook on a whim because it was inexpensive and the title intrigued me. Doing that was definitely a smart move! I printed the ebook and took it with me when I went to a local sandwich shop for lunch. I thought I’d flip through a few pages there then read the rest later. However, by the time I’d finished my sandwich and fruit, I’d also finished the book!

Karon Thackston

About Our GE Network Expert - Karon Thackston

Karon Thackston is President of Marketing Words (http://marketingwords.com), a full-service copywriting agency specializing in web and search engine copywriting. She has over 25 years combined experience in marketing, advertising, copywriting and SEO copywriting. Karon has a strong understanding of the processes involved with creating successful advertising strategies.


linkedin_link

Article Contributed By Kristina Jaramillo – GetLinkedInHelp.com

Strategy is the biggest difference between a B2B sales and marketing team that drives demand and enjoys consistent sales leads and revenue opportunities and one that just has a presence and lots of connections that they are not engaged with.

I’m sorry to say – but most sales and marketing leaders on LinkedIn do not have a strategy. They have a shopping list of tactics that need to be completed. But, there’s no cohesive strategy.

There’s no thought behind the connections they’re making. There’s no thought on what happens after that connection is made – how are they’re going to turn that prospect into a client? There’s no thought about the content they’re posting and how it’s going to position them (if they did, they wouldn’t be posting reminders on the LinkedIn content platform that do not differentiate them). There’s no thought about the discussions they’re creating and how they’re going to get prospects to move from the discussions to their blog to learn more. And, there’s no thought about what happens next once they get prospects to their blog. There is no strategy for integrating LinkedIn into their everyday sales and marketing activities and programs.

The Strategies Sales & Marketing Leaders Need to Think About When Engaging on LinkedIn

#1 – Your Social Media Presence Strategy

Look at your LinkedIn profile. Did you really take a strategic approach to creating your LinkedIn profile? I bet you that your profile is not case study driven marketing tool and that it’s simply a cover letter and resume that talks about your sales achievements (which only shows that you care about making the sale instead of providing value and building a real relationship). I bet you that you’re not speaking to different targeted audiences with different needs and showing your value to them. It’s because you took a tactical approach rather than a strategic approach.

If you treat your profile as a cover letter and resume, you’re missing a prime lead generation opportunity. Brynne Tillman from Social Sales Link points out that prospects don’t care about what you’ve done—they want to know how you can help them. To convey your worth, find out what kind of value your prospects are looking for and optimize your LinkedIn profile to woo them.

#2 – Your Thought Leadership Strategy

Many sales and marketing professionals are using LinkedIn groups as a newsfeed for their blog posts that are mostly reminders. They’re just using the LinkedIn publishing platform as another place to put their blog posts. So they’re just pushing out content instead of having a strategy to use content to pull prospects in. You need to plan out what type of content you can provide that will have decision makers thinking twice about the approaches they’re taking. You have to think about the discussions that you can create that makes you stand out as a thought leader. You have to think about whether the content inspires prospects to want to take further action and if the content is relevant– and who is it really relevant for.

#3 – An Intelligent Prospecting Strategy

Take a good look at your connections and see how many of them are “long shot hopefuls” that can possibly introduce you to so and so.  If you’re like many sales and marketing leaders that we have helped, then most of your connections are irrelevant to your business because you were focused on quantity instead of quality. You’re taking a scattershot approach hoping that someone can help you instead of focusing your time and energy on the key decision makers and influencers that can positively affect your bottom line. Your intelligent prospecting strategy should be defining who your main and secondary prospects and influencers are and a strategy to get them to open their closed doors – and keep them open.

#4 – Community Building and Engagement Strategy

It’s not about how many connections you make or followers you have on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. It’s about how many people you reach and engage with. The best way to engage is to create a social media community. Inside my LinkedIn group, Get Help with Linked Strategies, I’m engaging with 400+ sales and marketing leaders through regular content and discussions. One of my technology company clients has a community of more than 900+ decision makers from companies like Walgreens, Dannon, Target, Walt Disney Store, Pfizer and many others.

Remember, B2B buyers are looking for quick access to trusted experts and relevant content that helps them with their business issues.  Your custom, niche LinkedIn community is the perfect way to give your buyers what they are looking for. Because my client with the 900+ group members was giving their buyers what they want, they received more RFPs.

So you need a strategy for how you’re going to build your community and how you’re going to keep prospects active in your community so you can build a relationship with them.

#5 – Lead Generation & Lead Engagement Strategy

For most of the prospects you connect with on LinkedIn and other social media platforms, they don’t realize how and why they need you yet. You need to nurture these connections and provide them with relevant content (which gets them to raise their hand. You need a strategy for how you’re going to use case studies, white papers, 3rd party research that supports your claims. You need a strategy on how you’ll use webinars, webcasts and other thought leadership content that piques your prospects curiosity and gets them wanting to talk to you about their options.

You need a strategy for how you’re going to intrigue prospects enough that they are curious on how you achieved results. Then you need a strategy for how you’re going to move them into your pipeline and how are you going to get them to engage further with you.

Now, I just scratched the surface. Start with my ideas and then dig deeper. Really get strategic on how you use LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Stop just completing a list of tasks.

About the Author

Kristina Jaramillo, Managing Partner and Chief LinkedIn Strategist at GetLinkedInHelp.com has generated more leads and opportunities for tech companies, professional service firms and other B2B organizations using LinkedIn (than all of their other marketing initiatives combined). Her best practices are featured on Forbes, MarketingProfs, RainToday, Social Media Examiner, Salesforce.com and many other top publications.  You can learn more about her prospect development approach with her free webinar at: http://FreeLinkedInMarketingTraining.com/webinar


How To Get More Website Visitors To Your Green Website

After you’ve set up your green website and written blog posts for a month, you may be surprised to find that the world is not beating a cyber path to your door.

You might be tempted to think it is something that you’re doing wrong.

Perhaps your recent posts on changing the world one ecological step at a time were a little too casual in its style; or perhaps, the problem was just the opposite, a bit too scholarly.

However, before you accuse yourself of being either irrelevant or pedantic, there is something that you need to understand: the idea that if “you build it, they will come” is a romantic myth perpetuated by the Field of Dreams movie.

If people are not showing up, enthusiastically commenting on your blog, subscribing to your newsletter, or buying your eco-friendly products to improve the world, it’s not personal. You just haven’t done enough to catch their attention and stir their interest.

So, after you’ve developed your business model around your green business idea or permaculture design and fine-tuned it, the next order of business is getting the word out.

Get the Ball Rolling with Social Media

You will get fast results by using popular social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, and Google+, you will find your tribe.

Unfortunately, however, marketing is not as simple as merely connecting with other people on social media. There is a lot more to it.

What is Marketing?

Marketing is a process to tell people about your goods or services. I basically coordinate four things:

  1. It describes your product or service.
  2. It determines your prices based on the value you offer,
  3. It finds ways to deliver your product or service to the consumer.
  4. It continually informs a select group of people (your target audience) that you’re in a business that can help them.

After people show an interest in your product or service, then you can begin selling them. Sales, however, is not always about money; it can be simply persuading people to do something, like signing up for your newsletter or volunteering to help out a cause.

However, marketing, too, is not enough to develop your business; you also have to focus on branding.

Branding is not Marketing

There is a lot of confusion about the difference between marketing and branding. Marketing is more about push while branding is more about pull. Marketing is about doing. Branding is about being. Perhaps, this is a bit of an oversimplification, but you get the idea.

In an excellent article on the difference between marketing and branding, James Heaton on the Tronvig Group blog offers the following distinction:

“Branding should both precede and underlie any marketing effort. Branding is not push, but pull. Branding is the expression of the essential truth or value of an organization, product, or service. It is communication of characteristics, values, and attributes that clarify what this particular brand is and is not.”

While people often associate branding with things like logos, colors, names, spokespeople, mascots, and so on, these are symbolic of something deeper—a company’s values. Hence, branding is more about ways of being rather than doing. For instance, a good brand projects you and your company consistently and authentically. It is also niche-focused and people can relate to its values.

4 Promotional Tips

Here are four ideas to help you get more visitors to your eco-website:

  1. When it comes to social media, your main order of business is to sign up at the top social media websites and find a way to offer value there. On YouTube, for example, you could have a series of video tutorials explaining how people can go green in simple, practical ways. On Facebook, you may want to engage people through a Facebook business and personal page.
  2. You could improve your website in the following ways: optimize it for search engines, make sure it loads fast, and make sure that it is easy to navigate and read.
  3. Once, you’ve got your website set up, you need to figure out ways to engage with other people. Some ways to do this include blogging, creating an email newsletter and participating in link exchanges.
  4. You could try advertising both online and offline to engage people. Online advertising might be buying banner ads, Facebook ads, or Google Pay per click ads. Offline advertising might include classified ads in the newspaper, using custom brochure display holders on the counter at a local flower shop with tips on going green, or posting small flyers on public display boards, like those found in supermarkets.

Frankly, the only difference between you and the success you desire for your business is not taking the necessary steps to get the word out there. You have to tell people about your business!


5 Unusual Industries Worth Billions

Many successful entrepreneurs found their success though a somewhat unusual product or industry. Just take a look through any of the success stories from the TV show Shark Tank. The list consists of all sorts of strange products from cleaning sponges in the shape of a smiley face to bed bug traps. The products may be strange, but they’re obviously fulfilling a need in the market. It’s that kind of need that all entrepreneurs are trying to fulfill. That’s the key to bringing in consistent revenue.

Strange products aren’t just a niche market. There are entire industries doing billions of dollars of revenue each year that you probably never think about.

Here are 5 unusual industries that consistently bring in millions or even billions in revenue.

1) World Wrestling Entertainment

You’re probably familiar with the cheesy television show or live events, but did you know that World Wrestling Entertainment is a public company that does more than half of a billion dollars in revenue each year? Their growth is accelerating too. Revenue in the first quarter of 2015 was 19% higher than the previous quarter.

Revenue comes from television, pay-per-view, and live events, merchandising, licensing and more. Others have tried to capitalize on the sport, but none have been more successful than Vince McMahon whose Word Wrestling Entertainment has a market cap well north of $1 billion. Wrestling is a billion dollar industry.

2) Patent Litigation “Insurance”

Patent litigation costs companies millions if not billions of dollars every year. With the rise in this form of liability, a need in the market was created. Companies needed a way to protect themselves from costly lawsuits. There are now firms that amass large portfolios of patents that then charge an annual fee to protect their clients from these lawsuits.

They are able to protect their clients by effectively licensing the patents within their portfolio as well as by using them as leverage if threatened by another company.

3) Transportation of Biological Materials

Obviously transportation is a massive industry; however, not all cargo can be shipped by standard carrier. There are a number of hazardous materials that require special care. Biological materials is one of these special cases.

Would you want infectious biological materials just thrown in the back of an 18-wheeler? This type of material requires special equipment and expertise to transport. There are a number of companies that focus entirely on the storage and transportation of biological material and the associated equipment. The site pbmmi.com list biostorage options and why biostorage is important in cold chain management, scientific transport, and lab relocation.

4) Treasure Hunting

Odyssey Marine Exploration is an interesting company. With a market cap over $50 million, the company’s sole source of revenue is bounties from shipwrecks. The company uses their expertise and specialized equipment to find a recover lost ships. The company is most notable for its find of a treasure worth more than $500 million off the coast of Florida. Unfortunately, the company lost its claim to this treasure in a heated court battle; however, the company continues to operate, recovering and selling treasure that it finds.

5) Museum Exhibitions

It’s not unusual for traveling exhibits to visit museums. What is unusual is a publically traded, for-profit company that owns and operates exhibits of this nature. Premier Exhibitions Inc. creates exhibits such as Titanic, Bodies the Exhibition, Real Pirates, Pompeii, King Tut, Cleopatra and Extreme Dinosaurs.

Visitors typically pay a premium in addition to the standard museum admission to see the exhibits. The company’s strategy is working with annual revenues of more than $30 million.

Entrepreneurship isn’t about creating a groundbreaking product or service. It’s about finding a hole in the market and filling it. There’s billions to be had out there, even in odd industries that involve biological waste, dinosaurs and fake wrestling.



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