5 Tips to Reduce Photo Shoot Stress

5 Tips to Reduce Photo Shoot Stress

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Does the thought of a photo shoot make you cringe and want to hide? I know it can be a daunting task. But trust me, if you follow these tips it will be much easier and you might actually enjoy the process. It’s time to take a leap, and have your photos professionally done. You’ll be so glad you did. Let’s get going and talk about how you can manage the process and take the stress out of your photo shoot.

Planning

The key to a successful photo shoot is all in the planning. There are a lot of details to consider and organize. The sooner you have all of the details laid out, the easier it will be. Nobody wants to be worried about what they are going to wear the day before a shoot. I love to use Pinterest to help with my planning. I make private boards with outfits I love, location inspiration and celebrities that always look camera ready. I look at how they pose, their clothing and the general feel of the photograph. Pinterest boards are great to share with anyone involved with your photo shoot. Share with your photographer, makeup artist, stylist…

Make a List (or two)

I am a big list maker. I use Evernote because it helps me stay organized and I can access my lists on all devices. I am never without a list. But, use what makes you comfortable. If you make a list with good old fashioned pencil and paper, good for you. If you like to use Notes on your phone, that works too. I highly suggest that if you are a paper note taker, when you are finished with the list, take a photo of it. Lists can get lost, and you don’t want to stress about that. You have enough to worry about. Here are some lists I make for photo shoots;

  • Locations
  • Outfits
  • Schedule for the day
  • Playlist
  • Props
  • Types of photos
  • Mood of photos

If you are having photos taken for your website or to use on social media, consider shooting in multiple locations. You don’t want all of your photos to look the same. Also choose multiple outfits. This includes jewerly. Mix it up, especially if you are wearing statement necklaces. I shot quite a few in my house, moving furniture around to get the right light and vignettes. Don’t be afraid to mix it up. When the lighting was right, we went outside to shoot. For my most recent shoot, besides my house, we went to the beach, Downtown district and a park. Have fun with locations. Look around your town. Go down streets that you never travel. You might be surprised when you find some hidden gems. It could be as simple as a great brick wall with ivy, an old barn with weathered wood, an historic courthouse or library…

Photoshoot | Sonja Pound | Gramercy Social

It’s important that you are in the right mood for your photo shoot. That’s where music can help. Make a playlist that you can use when on location. For me, I use Pandora. When I was home prepping for my shoot, I listened to an 80’s Rock station that plays lots of Guns ‘n Roses and Bon Jovi. I also really love Adele, especially Rolling in the Deep and Hello. Not sure why, but as soon as I hear her raspy, deep voice, I am instantly singing along and in a great mood.

Communicate

The most important decision you will make is your choice of photographer. You should connect with her and have confidence that she will help you through the process. Your photographer should understand what your goals are for the photo shoot. Are you looking for horizontal website images? Full body shots? Lifestyle/action images? What is the feel of your brand? Do you want to come across as strong yet approachable? Or are you playful and casual?

For the day of my shoot, I printed out a few pages and put them on a clipboard. This was to help us stay on point and not forget anything. My clipboard list included a few possible logos, my brand colors, details about my brand, location ideas, ideas for props, photos I needed and the moods I needed to express.

Photoshoot | Sonja Pound | Gramercy Social

An added benefit of communicating with your photographer is that you will feel less stress on the day of the shoot. I don’t have a great track record with photo shoots and I’m not exactly excited about being in front of the camera. I’d much rather direct clients that are in front of the camera. My last professional photo shoot was four years ago. There was little to no planning involved other than what I was going to wear. The photographer showed up, I was dressed and ready to go. One of our last stops was a nature center. The photographer was directing me where to stand. I kept moving and eventually stepped into a bees nest! I was stung dozens of times and ended up at an urgent care. I had sprained my ankle and the doctor was concerned that I could now be allergic to bees since I was stung so many times. For two years I carried an epi-pen, just in case. The visual was straight out of an ’80’s cartoon where a character is being chased by bees and ends up running into a lake.

My recent photo shoot was, thankfully, not as eventful. Although I did end up with a frog in my house. After a super long day of shooting, I was taking off all the makeup. I looked to the right of my sink and saw a frog plastered against the backsplash! I guess it’s better than bees.

Back to communication. With all of the pre-planning that my amazing photographer provided, I was not even a little stressed. I felt completely at ease. In fact, the morning of the shoot, I even had time to go to the gym. I’d highly recommend you consider using Heidi Hapanowicz for your next photo shoot. When you buy one of her packages she gives you Personal Branding Photography Course, a $499. bonus for free. It is pure gold! In this webinar series she teaches you how to;

  • Define your brand
  • Choose locations
  • Find flattering outfits
  • Pose
  • Understand your body language
  • And so much more!

Can’t travel to your shoot? Don’t worry! Heidi does the traveling for you. On her schedule this year, she will shoot in Miami, NYC, Greece, Paris, Italy, Cannes/Nice, London and Chicago!

[I am not an affiliate. I do not benefit in any way if you purchase a photo shoot with Heidi]

Organize

Pick a location in your house where you can lay out all of your clothing, shoes, accessories and props. I ordered a garment rack so I could have all of my outfits clearly organized and ready to go. You can get them for around $24.00 here.

Before my photo shoot, I was easily able to line up all of my items, make sure they were pressed and make sure that I had all needed accessories. Looking at everything nicely organized makes it easy to see if something is missing.

Photoshoot | Sonja Pound | Gramercy Social

If your brand colors are grey, navy and green, you probably don’t want to have your photo taken wearing purple or orange.

Photoshoot | Sonja Pound | Gramercy Social

Take a Deep Breath

If you are stressed it will show in your images. Remember throughout the process to take a deep breath. Sometimes it helps to just look up at the amazing sky and to think about all the things you are thankful for. It also helps to think about something funny. Lighten the mood a bit and have a great time.

Remember that social media and your online presence should reflect the real you. Not a made-up, fantasy you. If you want to connect with people on a personal level, build their trust and eventually work together, you need to be real and show your personality. People like genuine, down-to-earth, likeable people. Be you, not somebody else.

Bonus: Read this for more helpful tips on having a great profile image and why it matters.

When was the last time you had your photos taken for business? Tell me what it was like. Where you happy with the final images and the process? What could have been better and why? Lastly, if you loved your photographer, let me know. I’m always happy to meet people that are great at what they do.

Sonja Pound | Gramercy Social

Social Media Manager ★ Second Opinion ★ Your Virtual Partner

Let’s focus on what you need and how I can help. Whether it’s Facebook management, a review of your website, testing of a new product, critique of packaging and shipping, undercover customer visits or anything in between – let me know. My goal is to give you more time to focus on your business and clients, while I handle the rest.

Who is Your Ideal Client?

Who is Your Ideal Client?

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What? You can’t find new clients? I bet I can help. There are some basics you need to understand first. Let’s start with a story about knowing your ideal client.

I have a 16 year old daughter. If I send her an email, it would sit in her inbox for eternity. She doesn’t do email. Neither do her friends. What if my ideal client was a teen girl? I can further define, saying my ideal client is;

  • in high school
  • has many friends
  • spends hours on her iPhone
  • has 100’s of selfies on her phone
  • loves fashion and makeup
  • is active and only wears LuluLemon
  • plays multiple sports
  • knows the words to all songs on her playlist
  • is focused on succeeding in school
  • she gives 100% with everything she does
  • has many online only friends

Who Are You Marketing To?

Let’s say my company sells a monthly subscription that includes all things fashion and fitness, geared towards teens. Each month, subscribers receive a workout outfit and a sample of makeup and hair products. If I wanted to reach these teens, would I try and build my email list and send them lots of emails? NO! I’d find them where they naturally spend time. I would figure out what social apps are hot at the moment and spend my time there trying to connect with my ideal client in their usual, comfortable spots.

My daughter recently told me a story about one of her friends asking another friend about Facebook. One said to the other, “I think I’m doing this wrong. You need to teach me Facebook.” For me, that is where most of my friends and peers “hang out’ on social media. It was funny to hear her say that Facebook is basically “foreign” to them. They don’t understand it. They don’t spend time there. They are not interested. They just don’t get it.

But, they are interested in other social networks. I would likely find them on Snapchat and Instagram.

 

Ideal Client Tweet | Sonja Pound | Gramercy Social

 

Yes, they both sell coffee and food. But there is a HUGE difference in the way they market and in the customers they attract. For the usual customer at Dunkin’ Donuts, if they can go there and buy a medium coffee for $2.09, why would they go to Starbucks and pay $3.95? As you know, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts each have very loyal followers.

How Do You Connect?

Back to the teen girl. How do I find her? How do I market to her? I definitely would not email her if I expected any response. So, how would I reach that target market? Simple. You need to know your ideal client avatar. Let’s do an exercise to figure it out.

According to Laura Kinoshita (published on Hubspot), “A customer avatar is a fictional character that represents your ideal prospect. When complete, it will help you understand the motivating beliefs, fears and secret desires that influence your customer’s buying decisions. Your customer avatar will help you fine tune your marketing efforts and help you understand why some products sell better than others.”

Knowing your ideal customer is key to understanding your business and your potential clients. Start by printing this workbook (sign up required) and then let’s work together to fill it out.

An Ideal Client Avatar is a way to get into the mind of your ideal client. I want you to think about who your ideal client is. Think about her life. Figure out as many details as you can. You can’t market to everyone. You can’t please everyone. An ICA is a way to narrow your focus and figure out how to market to the people that you can help the most. If you didn’t already print the worksheet, do it now.

Here’s a excerpt from my workbook:

Ideal Client Question | Sonja Pound | Gramercy Social

Do you know someone that could use help defining their ideal client? Share it to your social accounts so they can easily find it. And, don’t forget to comment below and let me know what you learned by completing the Ideal Client Avatar Workbook.

Download it here.


Related Post: 3 Ways to Build Customer Relationships

Social Media Manager ★ Second Opinion ★ Your Virtual Partner

Let’s focus on what you need and how I can help. Whether it’s Facebook management, a review of your website, testing of a new product, critique of packaging and shipping, undercover customer visits or anything in between – let me know. My goal is to give you more time to focus on your business and clients, while I handle the rest.

Facebook Group Etiquette 101

Facebook Group Etiquette 101

Blog business tip social media

When someone wants you to attend their event, whether it’s a first birthday party, a 50th wedding anniversary or a business networking event, you likely receive an invitation. Facebook Groups, however, are a totally different animal. I’m not sure why, but people think it’s perfectly acceptable to add people to groups without inviting them. Would you do that for a real-life event? I don’t think so. Here’s something to think about.

That’s how it feels when I am added to a group without being asked. It’s just not the right way to do it. There is a right way to invite people to your Facebook Group. Etiquette isn’t only for the dinner table.

Here’s what you should do:

  1. Ask them if they would like to be added with a simple text, email or phone call. When you ask, tell them a little bit about the group. Don’t overwhelm them with paragraphs. Give them the Cliff’s Note version.
  2. When you ask, make it a conversation with ONLY that person. It should NOT be a group chat or group message. Nobody likes getting endless notifications all day long. And, it makes it less personal if you are “saving time” by messaging 20 people at once.
  3. You can also post on your Facebook personal or business page, inviting anyone that wants to be added, to comment or send you a personal message.

If you made the mistake of already adding them without permission, before you read this post, I suggest you send them a personal message and tell them you did not know it wasn’t great etiquette to add someone without asking them first. Tell them you’d love it if they stayed in your group, but that you understand if the group isn’t for them.

And, PLEASE, if you added someone and they left the group, do not add them again. They have left for a reason. I was added to an MLM group four times! I kept leaving, she kept adding me back. People don’t leave groups by mistake. They leave for a few reasons:

  • Group was nothing more than a place to SELL, SELL and SELL
  • It is a group that they are not interested in (yes, it’s possible)
  • It provided no value for them
  • Group does not align with their lifestyle, beliefs or goals

Bonus Tips:

1. Welcome

As new members join your group, make them feel welcomed. Say hello and ask them to introduce themselves. If you know them, then you can do the introduction. In my groups, I like to occasionally tag members just to let them know I am paying attention. If I have a group member go silent for a while, after usually being active, I will check in with them. I like to know that they are ok.

2. Complete

Make sure you complete the Group Description area and add a header image that’s appropriate for the content of the group. Meaning, if your group is for solo business owners that are; female, 25-50 years old, in the USA, online business and public speaker… you might have a header image related to marketing or online business. You would not have a header promoting fitness, skin care or DIY crafts.

3. Ask

Are group members dropping like flies? Think about your group. Have you changed focus? Changed your posting style? Started selling too much? Consider asking some members that left what their reasons were. Be genuinely curious and be thankful for any feedback they provide. It can be a great learning opportunity for you, if you take their feedback as constructive criticism and not as a personal attack.

[Not sure who your ideal group member is? Download my Ideal Client Avatar Workbook to help you know exactly who she is.]

facebook | sonja pound | gramercy social

Just like email marketing, adding someone to Facebook Groups should be permission-based. People are so busy, often overwhelmed and overloaded with information. Let them choose where they would like to spend their time and energy.

What tips would you add to the Facebook Groups Etiquette list? I’d love to know what your most valuable groups are on Facebook. Share a link below.

Social Media Manager ★ Second Opinion ★ Your Virtual Partner

Let’s focus on what you need and how I can help. Whether it’s Facebook management, a review of your website, testing of a new product, critique of packaging and shipping, undercover customer visits or anything in between – let me know. My goal is to give you more time to focus on your business and clients, while I handle the rest.

Are They Telling You the Truth?

Are They Telling You the Truth?

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Are your trusted advisors telling you the truth? When you ask for someone’s opinion about your business, do they say things like,

  • It’s great.
  • I love it.
  • Perfect.
  • Sounds good to me.
  • It looks amazing.

But, do you know deep down that it’s not “perfect” and things just aren’t working? I received an email a while back from a client that was frustrated with her business. She said,

I hate getting feedback from most people because they always say, yes, it’s nice! That’s great! Wonderful!… BUT, I know it’s not… and it’s not working.

How Do I Look?

It’s a bit like when you ask your husband, “how do I look in this dress?” If it’s not your best look and he’s honest with you, you’ll likely be mad. On the other hand, if he says something like, “you look fine” and you later catch yourself in a mirror and KNOW you don’t look fine, you’ll be mad at him for not being honest. I know better than to ask those types of questions and instead opt to trust myself and my own opinions. But what do you do when you have a business and NEED another’s opinion and constructive feedback?

That brings me to the point of this post. Who do you trust to give honest feedback? It’s a tough position to put family and friends in. They want to support you. They want to maintain a healthy relationship with you. So, they are likely not going to tell you the honest truth. Simply put, they don’t want to hurt your feelings. It’s also possible that they just don’t have the background or understanding of what you do to provide constructive criticism. So what do you do? Who do you turn to when you have no team?

That’s Where I Come In

I collaborate with business owners that have no team, or just want an outsider’s honest feedback. Rather that get frustrated with your family and friends, leave them out of your business and seek outside help.

Sonja Pound | Gramercy Social | Truth

Connect with me here if you need honest feedback on your business. I will look at your website, social media sites, landing pages and more to see how you can improve to reach your ideal client. It can be something as simple as your site isn’t mobile responsive, your graphics are not professional or your message is unclear. Time to stop wasting your efforts on things that are not working.

Related: Join my newsletter community and receive my latest e-book, “How to Create a Contingency Plan When You Have No Team: A Guide for Solopreneurs”.

 

plan | Sonja Pound | Gramercy Social
Together, let’s figure out what’s not working and make it right.

Social Media Manager ★ Second Opinion ★ Your Virtual Partner

Let’s focus on what you need and how I can help. Whether it’s Facebook management, a review of your website, testing of a new product, critique of packaging and shipping, undercover customer visits or anything in between – let me know. My goal is to give you more time to focus on your business and clients, while I handle the rest.

Three Ways to Thank Your Clients

Three Ways to Thank Your Clients

Blog business tip Customer Service small business

I am big on the value of a thank you card. As a business owner, it doesn’t matter if a person is a one-time or a long-term client. Nor does it matter if they spend a few hundred dollars or a concierge package for thousands. I think each client deserves a thank you. Clients are not dollar signs. They are people that like to be appreciated. They are people that like to recommend what they love to their family and friends. They are people that will talk if they are not happy with your service. They are people that will be loyal, if you build and nurture the relationship. One of my favorite quotes is:

As a consumer, I really appreciate it when someone takes time from their busy day to thank me. This post was prompted by a card I received today. Months ago, I sent a thank you card and restaurant gift card to an optician that my family and I have appreciated for years. I was so surprised today to receive a hand-written note from her. She went to the restaurant and was writing to thank me again and to tell me about her night out. It MADE my day.

On the flip side, recently I have spent a considerable amount of money at a few local stores, including a family-owned furniture store, a local appliance dealer and an outdoor furniture store. As I said earlier, it’s not about how much money is spent. But, if I owned a business and had a customer that I wanted to keep, I would hope for a few things;

  • That they were happy with their purchase and think positively of their experience.
  • That they will recommend me to their family and friends.
  • They will return if I can help them in the future.

I think businesses often react in a time of crisis, rather than plan for any bumps in the road. What if your business suddenly starts losing money? Wouldn’t you wish that you had taken the time to build relationships with your customers? Do it now, before you are scrambling and wondering where all of your customers went. Here are three simple ways to thank your clients and build a relationship with them.

Send a Personal Note

How often have you received a thank you note? Not an email, but an actual note in the mail. Doesn’t it make you smile? Make your customers smile and send them a simple thank you note.

 

Bonus Tip: Make the note personal. Use their name, mention something positive about working with them, compliment them and be genuine.

 

Invite Them to Coffee or Lunch

If you have already established a bit of a relationship with them, ask to take them out for coffee or lunch. This is a great way to continue relationship building. You will have time to learn more about the person and connect on a personal level. It goes without saying, but I’ll mention anyway – your personal safety is foremost.

 

Send Them a Gift

Do you ever order from One Kings Lane? Almost every time I receive an order, there is a small token gift in the box. Typically it’s a candle with One Kings Lane logo on the cover. It smells great and I appreciate it. If you own a retail store, consider a small token gift that announces a new line you are carrying. It’s a great way to promote new products and to let your customers know they are valued. I know it’s old-fashioned, but if you know they love cookies and you are a great baker, creatively package some cookies and deliver them with a short note.

 

Bonus Tip: Likely one of the nicest ways you can thank someone is by recommending them. If you are happy with someone’s service or product;

  • Share a review or a post on social media and tag them.
  • Share images of what you purchased on social media and tag them. Did you buy a great dress and went to dinner? Take a photo and use that to let them know how much you love the dress and your experience in their store.
  • If you worked with them, share some images, tag them, and talk about the experience.

One of my favorite posts to share on Facebook and Instagram are ones where I thank people and businesses for their amazing service, products or general experience. Here’s one example:

 

 

Have you received a hand-written thank you note from a business? Tell me about it in the comments. If you own a business, how do you thank your customers?

If you need ideas about how to show appreciation for your clients, post below. I’d love to help.

Social Media Manager ★ Second Opinion ★ Your Virtual Partner

Let’s focus on what you need and how I can help. Whether it’s Facebook management, a review of your website, testing of a new product, critique of packaging and shipping, undercover customer visits or anything in between – let me know. My goal is to give you more time to focus on your business and clients, while I handle the rest.

How to Use Evernote When Building Your Team

How to Use Evernote When Building Your Team

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You likely have an emergency list of people to call if anything goes wrong with your house or apartment. You know a plumber, an electrician and a handyman. But, what about your business? Who are you going to call in an emergency? It’s time to build your team. I use Evernote to keep track of people I consider part of my team. What does that mean? Simple. It’s a list of people that I turn to when I need help with any parts of my business. They are trusted partners that I know I can rely on when I need them. They are all over the world, but are connected with my via email, Skype, social media and texting. I can 100% rely on them in an emergency, when I need a break or anything in-between.

What if you woke up tomorrow and had a launch planned for your amazing new webinar, and your website was down? Initially, I’m betting there would be a fair amount of *&%#,  followed by sheer panic. When you have a team in place that you completely trust, you know exactly who to call when there’s a small hiccup or an all-out emergency.

Brick & Mortar?

The same goes for your business in you run a brick and mortar location. You wake up and have the flu. You can’t possibly get out of bed let alone get dressed and make it to work. You have meetings, projects to finish and leads to follow. Who do you call? Does your business just close up until you are fever-free? Of course not. You call some of your trusted team members that always cover for you in a pinch. If it’s done with enough preparation, your “team” will run the business just as you would. Your customers will barely notice. Your replacement will know how to open your business, process transactions, find customer orders, receive deliveries and more. Why? Because you will have trained them BEFORE you are in a pinch and need their help.


Bonus: Join my newsletter community and you will get a FREE guide, How to Create a Contingency Plan When You Have No Team: A Guide to Plan for Emergencies, Vacations and Everything In-between. I include printable PDF’s, worksheets and more that will help you plan for the unexpected times when you are away from your business. Sign up here.


Team | Sonja Pound | Gramercy Social
[Sample Page: Click image for Complete Guide]

Now It’s Your Turn

Who is on your team? Who do you need to add to your team? It really doesn’t take that long, but will save you a huge amount of stress when and if you are needing a support team. Trying to deal with an emergency in the heat of the moment is not ideal. Take the time to sit down and write your plan – or better yet, add it to Evernote. Each business is different, but for me those team members include;

  • WordPress expert
  • Graphic designer
  • Video production
  • Youtube expert
  • Photographer
  • Brand Strategist
  • Business Coach
  • Logo designer
  • Social media support
  • Virtual assistant
  • Mailchimp certified trainer
Once you complete your list, clip it and save in Evernote for easy access on all devices.
Do you know who would and should be on your list? If not, it’s time to start planning rather than reacting when the need arises. Start with my free guide (get it here), and then if you need some help, let me know.
Social Media Manager ★ Second Opinion ★ Your Virtual Partner

Let’s focus on what you need and how I can help. Whether it’s Facebook management, a review of your website, testing of a new product, critique of packaging and shipping, undercover customer visits or anything in between – let me know. My goal is to give you more time to focus on your business and clients, while I handle the rest.

3 Ways to Build Customer Relationships

3 Ways to Build Customer Relationships

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What if your customers disappeared tomorrow?

Would you wish that you had nurtured those relationships instead of taking them for granted? If you’re like most of us, you didn’t open your business and have hundreds of customers knocking down your doors. You worked hard for your first customer and likely continue to work hard for each and every new customer. Building a lasting relationship with your customers is much like working out. While it would be great if we could go the the gym once and be fit for life, sadly that is not the reality. If we want to be in great shape, we need to work at it everyday. You need to lift weights, take a spin class or two and make healthy choices in the kitchen. The same goes for building customer relationships. You might be the most energetic, magnetic, memorable person on the planet, but you still need to establish, build and nurture those relationships. It’s time to do some heavy lifting and marathon training where your customers are concerned. Here are three ways to build a relationship with your customers.

#1: Thank Them

I am big on the value of a thank you card. As a business owner, it doesn’t matter if a person is a one-time or a long-term client. Sending a thank you and letting each customer know they are appreciated might turn them into long-term clients. And they will be more likely to recommend your business to family and friends if they have had a positive experience. A thank you is like icing on a cupcake. You would likely have enjoyed the cupcake all by itself, but with the icing it’s that much sweeter. Just this week I received a hand-written note from a person I have only met once. We are connected via a private Facebook group. A note from her was completely unexpected and greatly appreciated. Receiving this note furthers our relationship and makes me feel more connected. People like to feel appreciated. It doesn’t take much effort, but can have measurable, lasting results.

#2: Express Genuine Appreciation

Do you ever receive mailers offering “new customers” a special price or savings? When I receive those, I wonder why new customers are more important than loyal, existing customers. Do you know what it costs to acquire a new customer? If you’ve ever looked into it, you’ll know that is a lot cheaper and easier to keep existing customers. According to an article on Entrepreneur.com, written by Lon Safko,

One miscalculation that many business owners make involves the ease with which they will attract customers. This is called field of dreams marketing. Small-business owners are generally experts in some other areas and somehow they believe that if the core message of their marketing is, “Hey! We are selling XYZ, and we’re now open!” people will start pouring through the door.

When I was researching data for this post, I found many articles all with widely varying statistics about how much it costs to acquire a new customer versus keeping an existing customer. Some sources say it costs 4 – 10 times to acquire a new customer as it does to retain current customers. Other sources say it’s as high as 30 times more! If that doesn’t make you appreciate your current customers, I don’t know what will. They are valuable – make sure they know it!

#3: Connect With Them, As People

This can be as simple as an email. We have all heard the old adage, out of sight out of mind. It’s never a good thing to be “out of mind” of your customers. Do you ever send a message to an existing customer just to say hello? I’m sure you send your usual funnel of emails and offers to purchase your latest products or services. But, do you ever really just send them an email that is completely for them? It could be a free download, a webinar series or other piece of information that would benefit your customers, without benefit to you.

For those of you that work from home, this next one can be tough, but trust me – it’s essential. Networking. Yes, I said it. You need to get out and network. While I’d hope your customers would be happy to receive your emails, I bet they would still prefer to see you in person. Have you ever been friends with someone on social media and then you get the chance to meet in real life? I have and it was amazing, on many levels. Here are a few stories.

Thank You | Gramercy Social | Sonja Pound

In 2013, I decided to attend a Mari Smith event. I had been following and learning from her for years. The event she was promoting was for an intimate group of people (I think it was 20) to spend two days with her to learn about Facebook and online marketing. As an add-on, I chose to spend a third day with her and only 5 other people. For years I knew all about the online Mari, but I had never interacted with her face-to-face. She is genuine and caring online, but meeting her in person and spending real time with her allowed me to get to know more about her. It allowed us to connect on a personal level that had nothing to do with Facebook. We found that we had more than just social media in common.

Have you ever heard of Lisa Larter? She is another woman I had the privilege of meeting in person. I noticed her Facebook group one day in my sidebar. I don’t know if it was an ad or if I had friends that were in the group. Something compelled me to click. I joined one of her private Facebook groups and began interacting with her and the group. I learned a lot from her and months later found out that she lives not too far from me. We arranged to meet in person just a few months ago. She was delightful. I really appreciate strong women that tell it like it is. That’s how I describe Lisa.  She is incredibly smart, giving, thoughtful and savvy. Again, meeting her in person, allowed me to see if the online Lisa was at all like the real person. I couldn’t have been happier that they are one in the same. Her personality really comes across on Facebook Live, her posts and in her book. But if you ever have the opportunity to attend one of her events – hurry up and register! If you aren’t already following her, start here.

You can also connect with people you know online that sell products. I connected with Vickie MacFadden who owns PromoRX, a company that sells upscale promotional items. We have only spoken on the phone once, but we refer work to each other, knowing that we both have the same quality standard and work ethic. We continually build our relationship by referrals, emails and providing feedback for each other.

These three women know exactly how to build and nurture relationships. Just this week I received a wonderful, hand-written note from Lisa. Small gestures like that are meaningful and will make your customers see how important they are. I have probably read the note she sent to me, somewhere in the neighborhood of five times. It makes me smile every time. And, a few months ago Vickie sent me a water bottle that her company sells. Each time I use it, I think of her and it makes me smile.

These two meetings with Mari and Lisa would not have happened if I sat home and decided not to network. Nor would they have happened if they didn’t value relationships. Sometimes, you need to get out of your comfort zone and push yourself. I would not have built relationships with these two women from my home office.

Do you have other ideas for building customer relationships? How do you thank your existing customer? Have you received a thank you that reminded you that the business appreciated and valued you?

Social Media Manager ★ Second Opinion ★ Your Virtual Partner

Let’s focus on what you need and how I can help. Whether it’s Facebook management, a review of your website, testing of a new product, critique of packaging and shipping, undercover customer visits or anything in between – let me know. My goal is to give you more time to focus on your business and clients, while I handle the rest.

Instagram Has a New BFF

Blog social media

…and you’re going to be so happy they met! Instagram is a great tool. Not only is it fun to see what people choose to share, it’s also a great way to build relationships while marketing your business. But, if you aren’t using certain shortcuts, it can be a HUGE time commitment. Watch this short video or follow the steps below to make posting faster and easier.

Quick How-to Guide

  1. Sign in to your Evernote account on your laptop.
  2. Create a NOTE for hashtags. Here’s what mine looks like; Evernote | Instagram | Sonja Pound | Gramercy Social
  3. Breakdown hashtags you use for certain posts. For instance, I use the same hashtags when I post about design, and a different set of hashtags when I am posting a business tip.
  4. Create another NOTE for all of your blog posts. I create a post for each new blog and keep it in this section so I can easily copy and paste if I want to share it on any social network. It’s also great if you have a potential or existing client that is looking for certain information and you can easily send one of your blog posts to them. Here is what that looks like; Evernote | Instagram | Sonja Pound | Gramercy Social
  5. Ready to post on Instagram? Simply go into Instagram, add your photo, write a caption, choose a filter, add a location and tag people. Then go to your mobile Evernote app and open the note that contains your hashtags. Select and copy the appropriate group of hashtags.
  6. Go back into Instagram and paste those hashtags at the end of your post.
  7. Not sure how to do that? On an iPhone, you can double click on the HOME button and see all of the windows/apps you have open. Scroll using a swiping motion to find Instagram and then click on it. When you are done, if you need to return to Evernote, do the same thing again.

How much time do you spend on Instagram?

If you spend just a short amount of time setting up an Instagram notebook on Evernote, I’m positive it will save you time every time you share a photo on Instagram. Try using Evernote with Instagram and let me know how much time it saves you and if you find any other time-saving ways to use Evernote.

Here’s a bonus tip…

You can use the same steps to save time on Facebook and when sending emails. If there is any content that you routinely share, create a notebook and populate it will any information you might need to share. Are you often sharing affiliate links? Make a note that includes all of your links so you can quickly share.
Leave a comment below with any tips you love when using Instagram or Evernote. After you do that, say hello on Instagram.
Looking for more tips on how to be more productive, optimize social media, create amazing websites and graphics and how to create a team to collaborate with? Then join my newsletter community. At the moment, I only send a newsletter once per month and ONLY with information that I think will help you and your business. Join me here.
Social Media Manager ★ Second Opinion ★ Your Virtual Partner

Let’s focus on what you need and how I can help. Whether it’s Facebook management, a review of your website, testing of a new product, critique of packaging and shipping, undercover customer visits or anything in between – let me know. My goal is to give you more time to focus on your business and clients, while I handle the rest.