#Smallbizchat Podcast LIVE is a monthly video interview show where small business owners can get answers to their questions.
The focus of #Smallbizchat is to end small business failure by helping participants succeed as your own boss.
Leveraging LinkedIn to Secure Corporate Clients
Liz J. Simpson is the founder of the consultancy, Stimulyst, LLC. She is recognized by LinkedIn as one of 15 sales influencers to follow. She has been featured in NBC, CBS, SXSW, 40 under 40, LinkedIn Sales Stars and as a Hubspot INBOUND Fellow. Her firm, Stimulyst, empowers organizations and business development professionals with B2B digital strategies to accelerate revenue growth. Liz is also the founder of the accelerator, The #BigMoney Movement, where she trains thousands of women experts to secure 5 and 6-figure corporate deals. For more information thebigmoneymovement.com
SmallBizLady: Why should I leverage LinkedIn to connect with corporate clients?
Liz Simpson: LinkedIn is one of the most underutilized platforms for women in business. As business leaders we know we need to be where the market is. We need to identify where our ideal buyers spend their time, and we need to position ourselves to be there as well. Studies find that 91% of professionals state that LinkedIn is their number one trusted resource for professionally relevant content. If we look deeper into the numbers, LinkedIn represents 90 million senior level executive influencers in corporate and over 63 million decision makers.
SmallBizLady: What can I do with LinkedIn that puts me in front of my prospective clients?
Liz Simpson: With LinkedIn, you can look up an organization and identify and filter by job titles. You can connect with your ideal buyer in an instant and have direct contact with them, send them audio messages, send them video messages . . . better yet, you can gain proximity by publishing your thought leadership and being that trusted resource so that when they are in pain and looking for an expert, you are the only one that comes to mind.
SmallBizLady: How do I need to show up on LinkedIn to be effective?
Liz Simpson: Oftentimes this question is really, “Do I have permission to be my whole self and bring my full self to the marketplace? Do I have permission to bring my unique talents to LinkedIn?” You do not need permission to bring your full self to the work that you do on LinkedIn. Matter of fact, we need a lot more leaders on LinkedIn who are bringing entertaining content. Content that provides value and educates, but also that’s a little bit more entertaining because many of us are tired of the stuffy, inauthentic leaders that are showing up on LinkedIn. Your buyer is looking for you to show up authentically, so focus less on the personality of the platform and focus more on what your ideal buyer needs, what questions they have, what are their concerns, and how you can create content that helps them with their desired transformation.
How To Handle Chronic Stress In Your Small Business
Trauma Recovery Specialist, Michele Rosenthal, is an award-winning trauma and PTSD blogger, and award-nominated author of multiple trauma/PTSD recovery books. A popular keynote speaker, Michele has trained professionals and inspired audiences across the country and is frequently seen in the media in such places as CBS, NBC, The Washington Post, Newsday, Psychology Today, Ladies Home Journal, Woman’s World and The Dennis Miller Show. Learn more about Michele at www.MyTraumaCoach.com
SmallBizLady: How does chronic stress affect the mind and body?
Michele Rosenthal: We don’t talk about it this way, but chronic stress is really trauma. And, many (micro)traumas collected over a period of time. When we take the baseline definition of trauma as ‘any experience that feels less than good’ then we can easily begin to see how chronic stress functions as trauma. From this point, it’s useful to explore the neuroscience behind how trauma affects the brain, which in turn affects the body. This ranges from alterations in brain function (in three different levels of the brain), and also in brain chemistry (in the form of neurotransmitters). Since the mind and body are deeply connected any change in the mind affects the body (from immediate sensations to chronic illness).
SmallBizLady: What’s the best way for a small business owner to reduce or even eliminate chronic stress?
Michele Rosenthal: Small business owners don’t have a lot of time for stress relief! We’re so busy running our businesses that self-care and transformation often get left behind. However, chronic stress can really be seen as a habit of perception, and habits can be changed. We can approach this through two levels: 1. the repetitive practice of brain training, and 2. the overall transformation of identity. When we interrupt the chronic stress habit at the level of the brain, we engage concepts of neuroscience to help create change in ways that the brain naturally understands. And, when we shift our perceptions of ourselves from powerless (which allows fear which creates stress) to powerful then the old habit of stress dramatically alters.
SmallBizLady: What’s one thing that a small business owner could do today to reclaim control over the chronic stress habit?
Michele Rosenthal: Pulling all of these concepts together — the mind and body; neuroscience and physiology — and packaging them into a format that makes sense for the small business owner’s schedule, anyone could start with the scientifically-backed, simple process of (self-)hypnosis. There are so many research papers proving the efficacy of hypnosis in stress relief. For example, one study followed participants through 12-weeks of a self-administered program (they listened to an audio) and found that at the end of the study participants reported a significant decrease in the use of negative appraisal coping (such as, self-deprecating statements, perfectionism, and catastrophic and pessimistic thinking). The beauty of this practice is that brain training like this can be done before, during or after the workday, via an audio or even through a simple self-hypnosis process.
How to Succeed With Local Marketing
Brian Ostrovsky is a local marketing expert and author who had dedicated his career to supporting small businesses and local communities. As the founder and CEO of Locable as well as the author of “Marketing 3-4-5™: The Business Owner’s Guide to Effective Local Marketing in 15-Minutes or Less.” Brian has taught thousands of small businesses with dozens of local workshops with Main Streets and state programs around the US. For more information: www.locable.com
SmallBizLady: What are a couple of common mistakes people make with local marketing?
Brian Ostrovsky: There are a few common mistakes that we see all over the country that are quite easy to rectify. First, every small business should have a website – it’s the only thing online that you can actually control. Next, every website should have clear and bold calls-to-action (CTA). These I refer to as “do this next buttons” and they should appear on every webpage, blog post, event, etc. Finally, failing to provide examples of what you do through content. This leaves potential customers and team members unsure of how you can help them and if there’s a fit. Conversely, highlighting recent projects, customer success stories, etc. helps paint a picture of the positive impact you can have in a very tangible way.
SmallBizLady: Hiring is challenging, how can we use marketing to attract more candidates?
Brian Ostrovsky: Team building – hiring and retention – is one of the 3 reasons businesses do marketing. The other two are attracting more of your ideal customer and positively impacting your community. There is a great opportunity to spotlight your current staff with mini-articles or blog posts to highlight the employee of the month, anniversaries, and various recognition situations. In doing so, your employees feel more valued while also helping your brand tell a human-interest story. Best of all, the end of this little article can include a CTA to the effect – “Does this sound like someone you’d like to work with? Check out our current opening.” Because this content gets shared by the employee’s family and friends you may tap into an applicant pool that would be otherwise inaccessible.
SmallBizLady: How can I be more effective at marketing when I’m already super busy?
Brian Ostrovsky: There is a major misconception that marketing requires a lot of work. In reality, the vast majority of marketing activities can be done in 15-minutes or less – basically, while you’re having a cup of coffee. Here are few examples:
Drive customer reviews by sending review requests. There are many software options that will do this, and many options are free. The process of requesting reviews has the secondary benefit of driving more word-of-mouth referrals too. Creating project recaps or highlighting a recent customer success story are surprisingly fast ways to create content. The dreaded 4-letter word “Blog” sounds daunting but answering a few simple questions and including a picture is all it takes to be compelling. Best of all, you don’t need any creativity or particularly strong writing skills because you’re really just remembering something you recently did in your business.
Finally, cross-promoting with other local businesses can be incredibly impactful. This cross-promotion happens regularly in real life but seldom online, there are great options to automate this process online so that you can both reach more people and look good in the process.
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