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Social Media: Networking
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Boots on the Ground

Here in Arizona, it is my experience that networking is a very powerful tool for our clients and their businesses.  It is also my observation that most of them don’t know how to effectively achieve good results from this activity, which is the same observation that I had when I worked in New York, Colorado and California.  Why is this?  What is it about getting into and among a group of people – all of whom are there to do the same thing – that makes this activity so valuable — and yet, apparently, so difficult?

There is a very big correlation between networking and social media.  What most people do not understand is that both of these very powerful tools are the same in their basic concept – they are based upon relationship building.  The relationship must come first – then comes the business.   First comes the handshake – then comes the “hello”. First comes the trust – then comes the business.

There is an apocryphal saying “It is not what you know, but who you know that counts.”

How does one “build a relationship” with a stranger in a room full of strangers? How does one build a relationship on Twitter or Face Book with a world full of strangers?  It is the same question.  We have to find the common ground.

The common ground can be anything – your dog, your children, your love of travel, clothes, books, music, art, sports – it matters not.  Connecting does matter and becoming an individual in a sea of people matters.  Being remembered matters.  Being important to that other person matters.  Understanding within yourself that you are your business and the only thing that you have to sell is yourself, and if you matter – your business matters.  If someone knows you, feels you to be important to them and needs your product or your service, you WILL get the job or the order.

Of course, this entails that behind you is your company that stands tall with integrity and performance.  There is another saying “The buck stops here.”

Here in Phoenix, Greater Phoenix SCORE is now teaching a course on this subject – “Networking, Becoming an Expert”.  We are helping our businesses become successful by connecting with others for their advancement in credit connections, employees, partnerships, sales, etc.  And then we, as Greater Phoenix SCORE, are making sure that we are offering them opportunities to practice their new tools by hosting networking opportunities.

Maryanne Weiss, SCORE Guest Blogger
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Marketing: Establishing a Brand

Boost Your Brand Recognition

Establishing and branding your business in an important business strategy.  It would include your name, trademark and all other means of product identification.  In your business you should consider creating brand recognition so that your customers recognize and accept your company as the best company to do business with.  Your customers will remember you and your brand because of habit and a good customer experience.  It is about creating awareness and having your customers talk about your product or service to others.

So how can a firm develop a brand?  First, It must have meaning in its customers’ lives.  It must create value which is something that your customers are willing to pay for.  The goal is to create a bond between a company and its customers.

Some ways to build your Brand name:

  1. Advertising
  2. Public relations
  3. Sponsorships
  4. Supporting social causes
  5. Exceptional performance
  6. Company logo, website design, letterhead  and the company image.

A good brand name can help build brand familiarity as it tells something important about the company and its product.  Ultimately a strong brand can be a powerful asset for a company because:

  1. A brand is a promise
  2. A brand is a guarantee
  3. A brand is a pledge
  4. A brand is a reputation
  5. A brand is an expectation of performance
  6. A brand is a presentation of credentials
  7. A brand is a mark of trust
  8. A brand is a handshake between a company and its customers

Know that a good brand will reduce selling time and effort as your brand is your reputation.  It will also improve the company image because it is known and trusted.  Your goal is to have your customers choose your brand over other brands because of their positive experience doing business with your company.

Julie Brander - Business Mentor, SCORE New Haven
Julie has been a SCORE volunteer since 1997. She has 20 years of experience in business, starting a manufacturing, wholesale and retail jewelry company. After selling her business, she dedicated herself to helping other entrepreneurs start and expand their business. | @juliebrander | More from Julie


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