Small Business Sales Best Practices

As a part of July’s month long Sales topic, tonight we will be chatting about some of the best practices for a small business sales effort.  We all know what we DON’T want our sales efforts to look like – the over zealous sales guy, the spray and pray numbers games or the sleestack conversion methods.  So we will spend the hour tonight discussing the things WE DO WANT TO DO.  And which ones get the best results.

And the rest of this week we will be publishing a few guest posts from #sbbuzz members with special insight into the small business sales process. Watch here from some creative ideas and sales tips.

Please join us tonight from 8:00 – 9:00 PM EDT to discuss best practices for your small business sales efforts.

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Sales Strategy: Chat Summary from 7/13/2010

We’re chatting about Sales this month. We discussed Sales Strategies for small businesses and how to measure the results.

  • We’re on alternate Tuesdays (in the summer) from 8-9 pm EST.  The next chat will be held on July 27, 2010.
  • You can read the instructions on how to participate here: http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
  • Invite others to join in, help them get started.  We started this chat to facilitate conversation between small biz owners.
sbbuzz: Welcome to #sbbuzz, a Tweetchat for the next hour of small biz talking technology on Twitter. Join us! http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
sbbuzz: Rules: 1)NO pitching till end 2)Be nice 3)Stay ON TOPIC! 4)Send ?s for group to me w/o hashtag 5)Use #sbbuzz in all messages 6)Have fun!
pmohara: Hi all – Pamela from @batchblue here. I’m the moderator of the #sbbuzz chat, so let me know if you have any special requests.
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Hi All – Scott Blitstein, part of the @batchblue customer experience team. Currently air-conditioning-less here in Chicago. #sbbuzz
CraigElias: #sbbuzz @CraigElias I share insights on how to get new customers by harnessing Trigger Events #sbbuzz
ginabee: Good evening Everyone! Gina from http://www.writeytidy.com looking forward to once again partaking of the communal wisdom herein. #sbbuzz
stellel: Hellooooooo! I’m Christelle and I’m on the Customer Experience team too. Nice to see everyone this evening! #sbbuzz
CraigElias: Enjoy the extra tweets about #sales and #triggerevents as I attempt to participate in my first #sbbuzz
samuraivt: Hi #sbbuzz, I’m Anthony owner of Samurai Virtual Tours. Servant helping people and the businesses they work for.
lindadessau: Hi all, it’s Linda from the Content Mastery Guide – editor and ghostwriter (intro for #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Tonight we’re kicking off month long discussion of small business sales efforts. Send me any ?s you want included. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q1 Do you have a formal sales strategy? What does it include? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @JenPowter Welcome, Jen! Nice to see you here 🙂 #sbbuzz
batchblue: @JenPowter Hi Jen, welcome! Your program sounds cool! #sbbuzz
JenPowter: @lindadessau Hi Linda – I SO owe you an email…to follow, I promise! #sbbuzz
JenPowter: @batchblue Hi, Great to meet you! #sbbuzz
CraigElias: My strategy is focused on relationships with those who are just like my best customers and those who typically become them #sbbuzz #sbbuzz
MHBoys: we have a 51-step marketing plan that works well when we have the time to follow – changes revolve around verticals and geography #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @CraigElias Well said! #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Our strategy has been to provide stellar service but we’re looking at formalizing it more. Adding some resources to support. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Every time I think of an answer, I realize I’m talking about marketing versus sales. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q1 Our sales strategy includes a great deal of customer education and service. That & my mom facebooking her friends 🙂 #sbbuzz
MHBoys: @lindadessau how do you separate the effort between sales and marketing in solo or small companies? #sbbuzz
ginabee: @lindadessau That’s a great point – I wonder what the difference *really* is? #sbbuzz
CraigElias: To make #marketing relevant to #sales, make it 1:1 instead of 1:many. It’s amazingly simple and effective #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @MHBoys I’m just starting to piece this together, but marketing is what attracts people to enter into a sales conversation. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @lindadessau a very blurry line. I think of marketing as the flirting and sales as the actual date. 🙂 #sbbuzz
lindadessau: I like how this article explains it: http://bit.ly/aZQ0iP #sbbuzz
lindadessau: I love the spiritual approach to sales (e.g., @MarkHeartofBiz), but I need more practice/awareness to bring it into the moment. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q2 from @MHBoys @sbbuzz How does a small business lower the cost of finding new customers? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: What’s occurring to me right now is that I need to have WAY more conversations (practice) than I’m having. #sbbuzz
JenPowter: I think of marketing as cre8ing awareness so people know what I do/what I offer. Sales is when they buy it & become a customer #sbbuzz
CraigElias: Focus on those who are most likely to buy in the short term based upon an #TriggerEvents that make it more important or relevant #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q2 – Creativity. Traditional methods are expensive and not even all that effective today. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @sbbuzz Q2 Finding clients is very inexpensive with social networking tools. #sbbuzz
MHBoys: we have a combo marketing/sales plan and budget – it gets expensive when we work it (especially in labor) … #sbbuzz
JenPowter: Q2: Deliver exceptional value so you’re current customers become your raving fans and help promote you & your biz #sbbuzz
CraigElias: Another favorite strategy of mine is to follow up bounced emails. #sbbuzz
MHBoys: @CraigElias looks like I’ll be learning about #TriggerEvents #sbbuzz
ImAfterdotcom: On Twitter: sbbuzz: Q2 from @MHBoys @sbbuzz How does a small business lower the cost of finding new customers? #sbbuzz http://bit.ly/dseTrP
lindadessau: @CraigElias Tell us more about how you do that, Craig – my latest campaign had quite a few bounces! #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Q2: Look at actual costs on ads, events etc. & how it converts. Surprising how much it can cost to acquire new customers. #sbbuzz
CraigElias: You can turn every bounced in email into three or even four #sales opportunities #sbbuzz
CraigElias: #1 If they were a customer follow them, #2 If they weren’t talk to the person who takes their place – they want to change things #sbbuzz
CraigElias: #3 the person who took their place where did they come from? That company also has someone new in the job who want to make changes #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Q2 (cont.) I’m reading @jaffejuice ‘s “Flip the Funnel” about creating customer fans, very relevant to this conversation! #sbbuzz
MHBoys: @lindadessau A2 I find more value in vendors and current clients than new clients with social networking tools (might be me). #sbbuzz
mriggen: @lindadessau Indeed, time is a challenge regardless of what you’re doing. Part of the problem (er…opportunity 😉 #sbbuzz
stellel: @mriggen I might need to borrow that book… 😉 #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q2 I’d also recommend @ducttape‘s Referral Engine. Awesome read. #sbbuzz
CraigElias: Another strategy is to get better #referrals. Ask people for referrals to those who just got a job as… insert ideal job title here #sbbuzz
mriggen: @stellel I’ll put it in the @batchhaus library when I’m done – it’s quite good. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @samuraivt Good point. We forget how powerful a good website is. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @mriggen I guess I meant that because most of my marketing efforts are free or low cost, it’s important to measure my ROI of time. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q3 Do you have more than one sales channel (ie a product & a service)? How do you expand to new ones? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @MHBoys Referrals sources and collaborators also – though I’ve definitely gotten clients directly. #sbbuzz
CraigElias: To expand sales channels #1 add a service to your product and sell it to your existing customers. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @sbbuzz Q3 Recently I re-branded to make sure all “channels” were housed on the same site. #sbbuzz
CraigElias: #2 Keep the product and target customer the same and expand your geography #sbbuzz
JenPowter: Q3: working on creating offerings/products at a number of different price points – great for my business, great for my clients #sbbuzz
elizabethcrouch: Q3 yes & looking for a PR/marketing/publicist person or firm 2 extend reach .. too much time spent on trying *free* channels #sbbuzz #sbbuzz
CraigElias: #3 Keep the product and geography the same but find a new market for what you sell. #sbbuzz
JenPowter: Or the reverse +serv 2 prod. RT @CraigElias: 2 expand sales channels add a service 2 ur product & sell it 2 your existing customers. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @samuraivt Totally true re: website. I’m a mentor for an incubator group, that’s one of the first things I tell ’em. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @samuraivt we love Hubspot. Great advice – and very relevant for attracting new customers inexpensively #sbbuzz
CraigElias: #4 Focus on your competition not competitors. A jewelry store who views other jewelry stores as the competition is missing the boat #sbbuzz
MHBoys: @elizabethcrouch good point – at some level when the business grows we’ll have to delegate internally or externally #sbbuzz
CraigElias: Men buy jewelry for special occasions. The other things they buy – chocolates, flowers, perfume etc. are the competition. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @CraigElias This is what we @batchblue refer to as “hugging it out” 🙂 #sbbuzz
samuraivt: @mriggen too many ppl and businesses wanting to get into social media but completely ignoring optimizing their website. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q4 How do you measure your sales results? #sbbuzz
samuraivt: Q3 developing new products we think about corresponding web pages or even new websites and URLs also FB pages. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q4 I had a great system going with BatchBook SuperTags to track where clients were coming from, but I haven’t been doing it 😦 #sbbuzz
CraigElias: You measure sales results first based upon activity and then based upon results. It’s a mistake to only measure results #sbbuzz
JenPowter: Q4: Can’t wait to hear the answers, need to get better at this #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @CraigElias What do you mean by measuring sales activity versus results? #sbbuzz
kimpagegluckie: Re: Q3 I have services (consult & classes) – trying to put a product to my service, not the inverse. Growth curve for me! #sbbuzz
CraigElias: Analyze past wins to know which activities lead to winning customers and then do more of these activities. aka #WonSalesAnalysis #sbbuzz
samuraivt: A4 Show me the money. #sbbuzz
kimpagegluckie: Q4 Money is last measure. List growth, web traffic changes, direct questioning, referrals… all midpoint measures of sales process. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @CraigElias Right, so aren’t you essentially measuring results (i.e., winning customers)? What am I missing? #sbbuzz
tiasparkles: @lindadessau @JenPowter @Elizabethcrouch I hear some bzzz bzzz #sbbuzz in my ears
elizabethcrouch: @CraigElias on Q4: how do you measure, then quantify activity that leads to results #sbbuzz
kimpagegluckie: Q4 Have a target date. Pick 3 time periods from start to then to evaluate how’s it working. If it’s not, tweak or change. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q4 Measuring sales results is looking at metrics (traffic, trials, usage, conversions, longevity) & spotting the patterns (or holes) #sbbuzz
mriggen: @samuraivt After they show it to you, they can show it to me! #sbbuzz
CraigElias: I am measuring results initially but I’m analyzing which activities lead to results and then focusing on those activities #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q5 What sales efforts/strategies would you like to learn more about?#sbbuzz
samuraivt: A4 sales and marketing isn’t just about #’s, popularity, branding it is about closing sales and making some money. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @CraigElias I see – yes, looking at all those numbers and metrics will make my head swim – need to put it in context. #sbbuzz
CraigElias: Even if you have a sales team on commission a good 5-10% of their total compensation should be based on activities completed #sbbuzz
articlemuse: Linda Dessau: I like how this article explains it: http://bit.ly/aZQ0iP #sbbuzz http://bit.ly/aJ6n5s
lindadessau: @samuraivt Absolutely – stats, etc. don’t mean much if you’re not earning enough to keep your business (and life) going! #sbbuzz
elizabethcrouch: @articlemuse thank you! #sbbuzz
kimpagegluckie: @samuraivt A4 – yes it’s about money, but some focus on money too fast & don’t know to brand, build reputation for longevity $$ #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @CraigElias Take the action and let the outcome take care of itself 🙂 #sbbuzz
MHBoys: A5 measuring social media impact on sales (but also branding and marketing efforts) #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q4 Agreed it is not just the numbers – but the stories behind #s. Why the big jump? How to replicate? #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Alas, we have come to the end of our chat. It is now Pitch Time. Please tell us a little about your business. #sbbuzz
CraigElias: @lindadessau That’s a keeper! You said it better than I did. Lots to be said for being succinct in your messaging #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: If you’d like a once-a-week e-mail reminder of #sbbuzz (including the topic) sign up at http://sbbuzz.net #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Q5 Interested to see info re: traditional sales now integrating w/social media. Who’s doing it well? Is there a difference? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @CraigElias Thanks 🙂 It’s been nice having you at our chat – I hope you’ll be back. #sbbuzz
elizabethcrouch: thank you everyone .. this goes so fast! #sbbuzz
JenPowter: Wow – that was fast! Thank you ~ #sbbuzz
pmohara: Thanks to everyone who joined in tonight – great to see some new friends here! #sbbuzz
MHBoys: On-Site Technical Solutions moves business to the Cloud for better & less expensive tech – become a fan at http://budurl.com/3bfp #sbbuzz
kimpagegluckie: @elizabethcrouch Thanks! I just discovered this just and dropped in at the end. So hello. Put it in my calendar. Great group! #sbbuzz
pmohara: I’m Pamela from @batchblue Social CRM and the lady behind the @sbbuzz bee #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Thanks for a great chat everyone, thanks @pmohara for hosting! Please connect with me at Content Mastery Guide http://ht.ly/1Z0o0. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Thanks to everyone for all the great discussion! We’ll get the #sbbuzz summary posted on the site soon at http://sbbuzz.biz
elizabethcrouch: @lindadessau is a super succinct writer! Each of you is courageous in biz! #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Thanks all! I’m with @batchblue – we make software for small business and host this chat. Great info tonight! #sbbuzz
CraigElias: I’d love the chance to apply my ‘stuff’,at no-charge, to those who participated. Text or call my cell# +1.403.874.2998 if interested #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @elizabethcrouch Thanks 🙂 #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: #sbbuzz is a small business Twitter chat hosted each Tuesday night 8-9 PM ET by the folks from @batchblue Come again soon!
JenPowter: @andreajlee Hey Andrea!! We just had a little #wtlead reunion #sbbuzz
samuraivt: Goodnight all in #sbbuzz. Pleasure chatting with you all.
kimpagegluckie: That WAS fast. Abt me – I teach part time entrepreneurs how to grow their business no matter how limited their resources (marketing) #sbbuzz
MHBoys: thanks for the RTs @elizabethcrouch @lindadessau @ImAfterdotcom @stellel @sbbuzz @JenPowter #sbbuzz
mriggen: @CraigElias Wow that’s awesome Craig! Will follow up, thanks for offer! #sbbuzz
elizabethcrouch: @CraigElias thank you! let’s all stay connected in thought, word, actions! #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Inspired by @CraigElias – if you sign up for new BatchBook account, use promo “batchfriend” for 30 extra free days! #sbbuzz

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Topic of the Month: Sales

We’re halfway through the summer and things are heating up!!  This month we are tackling every small business owner’s favorite topic: Sales.  We will be chatting about the different approaches to small business sales, channel opportunities and staffing a sales team.

Please join us tonight from 8:00 – 9:00 PM EDT to brainstorm with us the best way to improve your sales efforts.

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Focusing on the Big Picture Chat Summary from 6/29/2010

We’re talking about the Big Picture. Take a step back and to focus on the big ideas that often get overlooked because of our daily todos.

  • We’re on every Tuesday from 8-9 pm EST.  The next chat will be held on July 13, 2010.
  • You can read the instructions on how to participate here: http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
  • Invite others to join in, help them get started.  We started this chat to facilitate conversation between small biz owners.
sbbuzz: Rules: 1)NO pitching till end 2)Be nice 3)Stay ON TOPIC! 4)Send ?s for group to me w/o hashtag 5)Use #sbbuzz in all messages 6)Have fun!
sbbuzz: Start off w/an INTRO: 1 message about you and your business and whatever else we need to know. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Hi! I help coaches and other small biz owners write masterful content for their newsletters and blogs http://ht.ly/1Z0o0 (Intro for #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: Hi. I?m a web designr/developr @chaostoclarity. I show small biz & freelancers how 2 take advantage of the web. #chaostoclarity #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Hi everyone! Scott from the @batchblue customer experience team here. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Good evening, Friends! Gina w/ http://www.writeytidy.com. Content creation’s my game. I’m glad to join the chat tonight! #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: Hello! Steph from @MyScreenShare joining #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: Hi I blog about free small business tools guaranteed to save time & money (T.I.P.S) Tools for Improved Profit and Success newsletter #sbbuzz
stellel: Hi! I’m Christelle. I work for BatchBlue customer experience, too! #sbbuzz
pmohara: Hi ho Pamela the @batchblue prez here and the hostess of the #sbbuzz chat. Welcome one and all!
myscreenshare: We provide Audio/Video Broadcasting, Desktop Share, Webinar, Lucrative Affiliate Program and more! http://www.myscreenshare.com #sbbuzz
ginabee: @mentormarketing I saw that & wondered if you were just being incredibly clever… #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: @RisingStarIdeas Hello! Good to see you here! #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: Howdy! I am an entrepreneur from small town Oklahoma. 🙂 #sbbuzz
stellel: @mentormarketing That was the funniest typo ever! 😉 #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @ginabee Nope, Not clever today, dog gone tired. #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: @mentormarketing WOW! What a resume! You’ve got to be busy:) #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @mentormarketing 😉 #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @myscreenshare And I owe you stuff, and here I am not working. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Tonight we’re spending a little time focusing on the BIG picture. Send me any ?s you want included. #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: @mentormarketing You’re networking! That counts! #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q1 Are you able to step away from the daily routine and focus on the big picture? How? When? #sbbuzz
ginabee: @mentormarketing No comment. I can’t imagine anyone goofing off to join this crazy bunch when there are deliverables due soon! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q1 – It is hard to do. I think the best bet is to make looking at the big picture PART of the daily routine. #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: Howdy @bradfordshimp great to see you here! #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q1 My conversations with @charliegilkey help me step out of the daily stuff and into the big picture. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: The “big picture”, after all, should inform the daily routine. Business should be a path, not a set of random tasks. #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: Q1 I find it important to take time to focus on the BIG picture. It keeps motivation high, day to day details can be slow process! #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: A1 I try to take time out each weekend to plan the upcoming week with the Big Picture. And I look for larger chunks of time off, too #sbbuzz
Patrysha: @sbbuzz A1 It’s something I am working on as the pieces come together for me, weekly review and pondering ATM #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @bradfordshimp evening to you. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: A1 We often get caught up in daily tasks but try 2 regularly revisit the big picture when we take on new projects. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @BeckyMcCray I think taking those larger chunks is important.Just like you need a personal vacation, you need time for big stuff. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A1 the big picture for me is to be Better Faster and Smarter than those following me. #sbbuzz
pmohara: I love the big picture, but my Inbox and to-do list are insanely jealous and resort to guerilla tactics sometimes #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @bradfordshimp I took 3 full days of retreat this May. HUGELY beneficial to “big picture” thinking. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: The big pic is like climbing a mountain. Sometimes you lose sight of it, but it the peak is always on your mind. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q1 – I try – mostly I tend to forget, though & forge ahead on the to-dos du jour. Seems like a luxury to focus on big picture. #sbbuzz
lyceum: @sbbuzz I am doing that during my weekly review. I will start with a brainstorming session on a regular basis, using mindmaps. #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: I meet up with @bigbrightbulb annually in dec to plan for the next year. We follow up with quarterly check-in meetings #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @rongraham1 Well, knowing where you are going makes the tasks a lot less random. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q1 – Usually takes a crisis of confidence to get me to slow down & focus on big picture. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q2 from @mentormarketing Are there tricks to converting Desire into Experience? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @BeckyMcCray Nice. Do you do that regularly? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @mentormarketing Same to you, nice to see you. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @ginabee Very interesting. #sbbuzz
rongraham1: @sbbuzz, desire for what? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @pmohara I hear you! The day-to-day stuff can be very noisy and demanding. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @wildheart4vr Welcome! We’re talking about the “Big Picture” and how to make time to focus on it. See @sbbuzz for the ?s #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q2 – I was recently advised to “just do it” if I have pieces I want to write just because I want to. Kind of a “if I build it…idea #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A1, I would say desire for success how ever you define it. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A1, I would say desire for success how ever you define it. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @mentormarketing Could you further define that question, not sure I understand it. #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: @pmohara thank you #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: Q2 from desire to experience? Reminds me of positioning yourself as an expert as a way to learn: http://su.pr/43zOx7 #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @sbbuzz U mean making what you want 2 do a reality? #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @bradfordshimp That was my first BIG retreat, but it will not be the last. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @bradfordshimp Yeah, big picture thinking helps me focus rather rather than wallow. A way to look forward if you will… #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: Q2:I think if you have the desire to learn then gaining experience will follow #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @BeckyMcCray Well, this talk of retreats and mtns makes me want to take a long weekend in the Adirondacks. Sounds worthwhile. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: @TraceyHolinka That’s how I interpreted it. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @ginabee Great advice. I bet the trick is to get thinking about the big pic stuff quickly, when you start to lose focus. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: I mean tips on how to take big picture Desire, Health Weath or Wise and translate that into your everyday experience. #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: Q1: I have a hard time breaking the big picture into small chunks I just shoot from the hip most days #sbbuzz
ginabee: @bradfordshimp Yes, that is the best way. Not always what I do, but what I would suggest as most effective… #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @mentormarketing I think it’s like @bradfordshimp said, about making your day-to-day actions stem from your big picture desires. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q2 – You can turn a lot of desires into reality. Start thinking of the goal as an inevitable thing, then lay the groundwork. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @wildheart4vr Shooting from the hip-we’ve been there, but it never seems 2 get us were we want 2 B #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q2 – The only thing that stands in your way is time. So start working on those desires as soon as possible, even in little chunks. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @bradfordshimp Nice! I like your idea of “thinking of the goal as an inevitable thing.” And why shouldn’t it be? #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: @bradfordshimp Agree! The Desire is what keeps you going through the ebbs & flows of sm biz life! Keep eye on the prize:) #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q2 clarifiication: I mean tips on how to take big picture Desire, Health Weath or Wise & translate into your everyday experience. #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @bradfordshimp It was certainly worth it for me. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @TraceyHolinka I think I agree with you on that. It can take you in big circles when you could be walking a straight line. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @BeckyMcCray Sounds like a dream! I would love to take a retreat. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @bradfordshimp And the headache from those circles! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @lindadessau Why indeed. We rob ourselves of possibilities with our mindsets sometimes. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @TraceyHolinka LOL! For me it’s the glare from the “bright, shiny objects” that distract me from the goal I’ve been working towards. #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @lindadessau Do it! Even if it’s just one day. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @TraceyHolinka Indeed. I have personal experience with that. And it is a struggle to stop doing it!! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @mentormarketing Sounds good. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @BeckyMcCray Is that a prescription? Can I get a note for my clients? LOL. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @mentormarketing That sounds great. The mapping would spell out each step along the way & before you know it, the journey’s done. #sbbuzz
pmohara: I find best way to get Big Picture into daily routine is to communicate it to others. Whether a mentor or the team, sharing works. #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: if you can’t afford to go to a retreat you can always do one at home if you can get rid of the kids #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @lindadessau I’ll write you a prescription! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @pmohara Right on. That way it becomes inevitable as well as refined. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q3 from @risingstarideas What tools (online or offline) do you use to help you focus on the big picture? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @BeckyMcCray Awesome! #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @RisingStarIdeas Love it! I think I can, I think I can, I KNOW I can, I KNOW I can! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q3 – Whiteboard – or a blank piece of paper. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @bradfordshimp Old school! I love it!!! #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A3: post-its, and basecamp #sbbuzz
stellel: Does anyone use mind mapping software? Or other types of apps? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @ginabee I just need the possibility of the blank page sometimes!! #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @stellel I love mind mapping but I haven’t found a program I like. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @stellel I have. Sometimes I get distracted by the technology. #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: We use google docs so the team can all share, post, edit, etc. It’s great to see items checked as completed! #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @mentormarketing We love basecamp. Couldn’t live without it. #sbbuzz
ImAfterdotcom: sbbuzz: #sbbuzz chat in 30 minutes. Wondering what a Twitter chat is or how to participate? See our instructions at … http://ht.ly/17W7eg
wildheart4vr: @stellel Q3: I have a few I should use them :/ #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @stellel Yes I use mindmaps, helps me focus. I created detailed outlines, with dates and checklist too! #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q3 Don’t tell anyone, but I use a notebook. Yes, I sacrifice trees for the betterment of my business. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @stellel I have used mind map software, I have 1 thing from hlding me back – it is that I wish the boxes could look like index cards #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q3 – I make copious lists & outlines…yes, for my life & career as well as my articles. On paper or in a google doc…whatever. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @pmohara Your secret is safe with me! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @pmohara No, that is trees put to good use. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @lindadessau We use Mindjet Manager. There is also Inspiration. And for Mac OmniGraffle #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @pmohara I tried the notebook route then I end up with scraps of paper around or can’t remember which book I wrote it in. Mindmaps! #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: Q3 I also have a notebook with sticky notes outlining my big 4 goals. (way low tech) #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: Q3: I have Personal Brain mind map software #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: One thing that has been helpful is backward planning. Start at a goal and write your steps backward, until you get to today. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @TraceyHolinka I think I’ve looked at that one, can’t remember. @bradfordshimp, I also get distracted by the technology, I think. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @wildheart4vr I have that. Not actively using it, though. #sbbuzz
flabastida: If only there was an easy way for an ADHD person to use mindmaps, or other organizational & planning methods #sbbuzz
stellel: @mentormarketing I like the business card idea! #sbbuzz
kcolaco: Q3 I live by a whiteboard and Action Method by Behance. i also have begun to depend on Adobe Ideas on my ipad #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @stellel I keep mentioning it every time a mind map discussion happens, but no one has designed it yet. #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: Q3: I also have Free Mind #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q3) I’ve been using Yojimbo to store everything. With tagging I can group things together and highlight what is important. #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @flabastida ADHD is a job requirement for an entrepreneur. You are not alone! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @flabastida Haha, know what you mean. It would be better if there was just one way to do it. But I want to try them all. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @bradfordshimp Ohh…I like that! Backwards planning…hmmm… #sbbuzz
flabastida: @BeckyMcCray I like your methods, low tech but physical…you can touch, feel and see it #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @kcolaco I use Action Method, though I need to improve my use of it. It is very good. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @scoblitz My problem is remembering what tags to use. #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @scoblitz Yojimbo that’s a new one to me. I use mindmiester #sbbuzz
flabastida: @RisingStarIdeas @bradfordshimp yeah but once I try something I always seem to lose interest after a while, and that’s not good #sbbuzz
Patrysha: @wildheart4vr I have free mind too…but it just sits…foam core bulletin stuff is all I really use…everything else sits #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @bradfordshimp What is Action Method? Like GTD? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @flabastida Me too. Big problem. Haven’t figured out a solution yet. #sbbuzz
flabastida: @BeckyMcCray would love to get more detail on your notepad with sticky notes #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: @bradfordshimp I should use it, looks interesting.. combines web and mind mapping #sbbuzz
lindadessau: I use free planners from http://www.productiveflourishing.com for my weekly and monthly planning #sbbuzz
flabastida: Anybody use the “In Place” system? Bought these clear organizing folders from Staples and it seems interesting #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @bradfordshimp I keep them simple – but they sort of define themselves. The important ones get used most often. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @bradfordshimp Similar. It is by Scott Belsky and Behance. It treats projects as actions, references, and backburners. #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @flabastida It may almost be too embarrassingly low-tech! #sbbuzz
flabastida: @bradfordshimp for a while I was using Google Docs and putting goals and action plans in Google Docs folders #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @flabastida @bradfordshimp me too I get bored with repetition and routine. I like to set things up then walk away to the next thing #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: @flabastida mmm never heard of it #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @RisingStarIdeas for a PC use OneNote – its the best thing out there. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @flabastida My problem is often going back to something. That is why I like a notebook, I can thumb back through it easily. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @RisingStarIdeas I think that is the problem with free. We stick to things we have to pay for a little better. At least I do. #sbbuzz
stellel: @scoblitz I like Yojimbo, too! #sbbuzz
flabastida: @RisingStarIdeas ha ha ha, so it ain’t just me! cc: @bradfordshimp #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @scoblitz Do you use One note, It just sites on my task bar doing nothing, Do you have a tip to make it productive? #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q4 What do you consider your most important “big picture” ideas/tasks? #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @scoblitz thanks I have OneNote but never tried it #sbbuzz
flabastida: @bradfordshimp and you don’t have to be at a computer…good point #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A4 My most important Big Picture Task is to maintain a balance between business and personal endeavors. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q4 – I could tell ya – but then I’d have to kill ya. #sbbuzz
lizstrauss: @BeckyMcCray I was afraid you were going to say that … #ienvyyoureally #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q4 Using positive language to describe things in terms of what I want and/or as if I am already doing them – affirmations. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @scoblitz Do you ever collect too much stuff? My brain serves as a natural filter (forgetting things). #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @ginabee LOL! #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @ginabee World Domination is not a secret! #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @lizstrauss Come around on Wednesday afternoon; we’re rounding up calves for the sale. 🙂 #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: @sbbuzz Q4 For me I think it’s talking/painting the BIG picture for the team. Like a long drive, easier if you know where ur going! #sbbuzz
stellel: @ginabee 😉 #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: Maybe I can make a post out of my low-tech folder system. #sbbuzz
flabastida: Q4: create a content marketing strategy for my current company (@kpionline) to create content that mid-sized biz want to consume #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q4 – My big goal is to get better at doing medium sized projects to get me to my big goals. Too much time spent on little things. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @mentormarketing I’ll send you some resources I’ve collected via email. #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: @BeckyMcCray oh you definitely should I would so read it #sbbuzz
stellel: @BeckyMcCray Sounds interesting! #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @pmohara You are so cool. 🙂 #sbbuzz
flabastida: @mentormarketing @ginabee lol! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q4 – For instance, taking four hour chunks to work on writing longer material. #sbbuzz
lizstrauss: @BeckyMcCray Send me a proposal … I’ll see if I can make it. heh heh #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q4 Misread the question – we’re talking specifics, are we? Now I see what Gina meant 😉 #sbbuzz
pmohara: I love that we’re herding cattle on #sbbuzz tonight! #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @bradfordshimp I am taking the “Just In Time” approach to collecting info. Only for immediately usage otherwise its clutter #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @lizstrauss Drat. I was afraid you’d say that. 😉 #sbbuzz
stellel: @pmohara I’ve got a rather large (empty) notebook collection, too… #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @bradfordshimp At the end of some days I’m exhausted but I’m not really sure what I’ve done. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q4 Most important “big picture” item for me is to spend time looking at what we’re accomplishing to see if it aligns w/our goals #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @pmohara If I ever need inspiration, I can always flip back through the notebook. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q4 … the book will be the foundation of my next round of service offerings, events, content, everything! #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: @TraceyHolinka creating a list will help you feel like you have done somthing 3 to 5 things only do what’s on the list nothing else #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @bradfordshimp I don’t trust my brain to make those decisions – too much else goes in to forgetting something. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @RisingStarIdeas That’s Action Method meets Toyota – love it!! #sbbuzz
pmohara: @BeckyMcCray Only when I hang out with you! #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q4 – But seriously folks…My big, big picture goal is to work toward doing more of the work I want for those I want to work with. #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: in retrospect tho I know I need to start breaking down the business plan in to daily action tasks to make it a reality #sbbuzz
flabastida: @lindadessau maybe I missed something…what book? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q4 I see that this book is going to bring everything together – even though it wasn’t in the original 2010 biz plan. #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @ginabee the way you said that reminded me of the book Do More Great Work. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @bradfordshimp @stellel I keep a personal journal mixed in w/the work notes/tasks. It’s really fun to look back through. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @flabastida My first post got dropped from TweetChat window http://twitter.com/lindadessau/status/17375337993 #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: Q4 most import task is to Get out of my own way! Be more like Nike and just do it. You think long you think wrong 🙂 #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: @wildheart4vr try @bradfordshimp Backwards Planning idea from your target launch date #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: @lindadessau Sounds like you’re committed! Can’t wait to read it:) #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q4) Right now I’m enjoying focusing on the details and letting myself figure out what my next big picture will be. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @pmohara Interesting. I don’t personal journal. My dad does, especially spiritual notes, and he can look back over the past years. #sbbuzz
flabastida: @lindadessau ok, I think I need an advance copy of your book…similar to @juntajoe‘s book? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @pmohara Being able to look back is pretty cool, and probably pretty enlightening. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @myscreenshare Thanks a lot 🙂 I can’t wait to read it either – it’s been a bit of a difficult labour, LOL 🙂 #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Wow – the time got away from me tonight! We’re nearing the end of the chat. THanks all for joining in! #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: And now it is what we affectionately call Pitch Time. Please tell us a little about your business. #sbbuzz
flabastida: @scoblitz that seems a little backwards…I’m still trying to figure out how to convert big picture goals to daily activities #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: @mentormarketing well that is the problem I am not sure on a launch date yet #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @mentormarketing Only the wildest ones. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @scoblitz Sometimes you just gotta let things figure themselves out. No amount of planning or trying will facilitate the process… #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: If you’d like a once-a-week e-mail reminder of #sbbuzz (including the topic) sign up at http://sbbuzz.net #sbbuzz
americare: @pmohara agree, if it isn’t working we determine why and adjust or drop it. #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: @lindadessau I can only imagine! Picture yourself holding the final draft, that’s inspiration right there! #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @flabastida Haven’t read it – but I hope mine will be helpful! #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: Great chat. @chaostoclarity helps small biz & freelancers use social networking/media & the Web to grow their biz #chaostoclarity #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @myscreenshare Thanks 🙂 #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @wildheart4vr The backwards plan will help you figure out when you will be ready to launch. #sbbuzz
americare: @BeckyMcCray Maybe make it a video post so you can demo the low tech, ease of use #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: @ginabee, @scoblitz Sometimes the best part of the journey happens on the detour, right?! #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: Pitch: I provide a comprehensive resource for business professionals who want to learn more about strategic online marketing #sbbuzz
lindadessau: How to write a top 10 article that will demonstrate your expertise to prospective customers http://ht.ly/1Z0mN (pitch time on #sbbuzz
flabastida: @lindadessau anything about content marketing I devour..like Copyblogger, Junta42, etc. #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @americare I might do that. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Thanks to everyone for the BIG ideas! We’ll get the #sbbuzz summary posted on the site soon at http://sbbuzz.biz
ginabee: http://www.writeytidy.com Content creativity for websites, newsletters, social media & more! I use my words to tell your story. #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: I run a blog Wildheart’s Web 2.0 http://wildheartsweb20.com #sbbuzz
flabastida: I provide marketing communications to Latin American companies wanting to enter US mkt..current project: @kpionline #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Thanks for a great chat, everyone! Thanks for hosting @sbbuzz and @pmohara! #sbbuzz
Patrysha: @sbbuzz what it’s been an hour already?? how is that possible?? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: PITCHEROO: Check out my small business website – http://allbizanswers.com. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @flabastida if you know what your goals are that is a good approach. Sometimes you need to let the goals define themselves. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Pamela here from @batchblue Social CRM and the makers of a fine #sbbuzz chat near you
sbbuzz: #sbbuzz is a small business Twitter chat hosted each Tuesday night 8-9 PM ET by the folks from @batchblue Come again soon!
myscreenshare: We provide Audio/Video Broadcasting, Desktop Share, Webinar, Affiliate Program, more! Check us out! http://www.myscreenshare.com #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @scoblitz I see what you are saying. Goals do change, I know mine have. #sbbuzz
flabastida: @americare @beckymccray yes yes! Do the video post! #sbbuzz
RisingStarIdeas: . Looking for online tools to grow your biz? T.I.P.S. (Tools for Improved Profit and Success) newsletter http://101freetools.com #sbbuzz
Patrysha: @sbbuzz My pitch…I specialize in small businesses serving a local market…full service on a bite size budget 🙂 #sbbuzz
BeckyMcCray: @flabastida @americare see what I’ve gotten myself into? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: I miss the 12 question chats. #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: @Patrysha Great pitch! LOVE it! #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: that @Patrysha is a smart cookie too 😉 #sbbuzz
myscreenshare: Thanks for the great tweetchat tonight! I learned so much! Can’t wait for the next one! #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: @bradfordshimp I was never a journal person, but small biz is such a roller coaster I decided to record some highs & lows. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Anyone wanting to try out discount value cards – like Groupon – check out the offer on this post – tp://ow.ly/250UW #sbbuzz
flabastida: @sbbuzz Thanks to you and the good folks at @batchblue for the wonderful chat! #sbbuzz
pmohara: @bradfordshimp is that a hint you want to host again? 🙂 #sbbuzz
flabastida: @scoblitz @bradfordshimp I’m trying to get into visualization….visualizing my day beforehand #sbbuzz
Patrysha: @MyScreenShare thanks 🙂 I’ve been working on honing it…I know what I do, but hard to put it few words! #sbbuzz
pmohara: @lindadessau @flatbastida you’re welcome! Thanks for being so involved! #sbbuzz
wildheart4vr: @flabastida actually visualization works great I did it to survive college still not done yet but it worked #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @flabastida Getting good results? We used to do that running cross country. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @pmohara My pleasure! It’s always a great time 🙂 The extra week in between makes the chats even sweeter. #sbbuzz

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Filed under small business, summary, tools

Focusing on the Big Picture

These lazy days of summer (as if any small business owner knows the meaning of the word “lazy”) present an excellent opportunity to step back from the day-to-day busy work of running a business and focus on the big picture.  Tonight’s #sbbuzz chat will focus on the things we can do to pull ourselves out of the trees for the while and focus on the forest.  We will be discussing business planning, growth strategies, metrics and all of those other things that seem to get neglected in the daily shuffle.

Please join us tonight from 8:00 – 9:00 PM EDT to discuss the best way to keep a big picture focus on your small business.

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Finding Your Niche Chat Summary from 6/15/2010

Continuing our month long discussion of marketing your small business. How do you find and define the right niche for your product or services? When should you expand your niche? Follow along with our discussion.

  • We’re on every Tuesday from 8-9 pm EST.  The next chat will be held on June 22, 2010.
  • You can read the instructions on how to participate here: http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
  • Invite others to join in, help them get started.  We started this chat to facilitate conversation between small biz owners.
sbbuzz: Welcome to #sbbuzz, a Tweetchat for the next hour of small biz talking technology on Twitter. Join us! http://bit.ly/zb9dA
sbbuzz: Rules: 1)NO pitching till end 2)Be nice 3)Stay ON TOPIC! 4)Send ?s for group to me w/o hashtag 5)Use #sbbuzz in all messages 6)Have fun!
sbbuzz: Start off w/an INTRO: 1 message about you and your business and whatever else we need to know. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Hi folks! I help coaches and others write masterful content for their newsletters and blogs http://ht.ly/1Z0o0 (Intro for #sbbuzz
ginabee: Hello everyone! Gina here from WriteyTidy writing & content creation. I’m so happy to be here to discuss niches tonight! #sbbuzz
leoraw: Hi all! I build websites, esp. WordPress or Drupal. Sometimes I write at http://biz.leoraw.com/ about web building or social media. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Hi All – I’m Scott and I work @batchblue on the Customer Experience team. I help folks do cool and productive stuff. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Hi everyone – Pamela here from @batchblue and the host of #sbbuzz. Excited for the chat tonight!
selahsynergy: Hi everyone. Susan here from Selah Synergy, small biz consultant and coach looking forward to another chat. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Uh oh – one of those nights! Trying again – Pamela here from @batchblue and the host of #sbbuzz. Excited for the chat tonight!
TraceyHolinka: Hi. I?m a web designr/developr @chaostoclarity. I show small biz & freelancers how 2 take advantage of the web. #chaostoclarity #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @pmohara That’s okay, we recognized you in the bee suit 🙂 #sbbuzz
stellel: Hi, I’m Christelle and I work @batchblue, too! #sbbuzz
stellel: @sbbuzz: Welcome to #sbbuzz, a Tweetchat for the next hour of small biz talking technology on Twitter. Join us! http://bit.ly/zb9dA #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Tonight we’re discussing how to find the right niche for your business. Send me any ?s you want included. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q1 Are you targeting a specific niche? How did you narrow your market? #sbbuzz
smitty1966: Hi folks Jeff – Technology guy for @edupros. Hopping on for a few. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q1 Re: niche – it was natural for me to work with coaches because I’m a certified coach and I’ve been in the field since 2002. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: A1 We noticed a pattern of who our clients were and explicitly started target that group. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q1 – I started out as a generalist to learn where my talents & interests were. Looking to zero in on passions soon, though. #sbbuzz
smitty1966: Q1) Have to understand your core prospects, who they are, what they do and what they buy! #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @sbbuzz Q1 wish I could say my niche was well defined up front but it evolved over time as my exec clients became biz owners #sbbuzz
leoraw: Q1 – My niche is small to med. biz or orgs in NJ – my clients’ niches tend to be New Jersey people as well. #sbbuzz
smitty1966: Q1) Niche – Yes existing client profiles help. Need to revisit and categorize. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @selahsynergy I think that’s preferable because it’s so much more realistic, based upon your real world experiences #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: Q1a. My niche market can be from fine dining lovers to families, golfers, runners, weddings, honeymoons. #sbbuzz
dothewoo: Good question RT @sbbuzz: Q1 Are you targeting a specific niche? How did you narrow your market? #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @ginabee I am lucky – the organic approach worked for me but it’s easier with a service business #sbbuzz
dothewoo: It takes research & analysis to identify the market and discipline & bravery to stick to it #sbbuzz Q1
leoraw: Q How did you narrow your market? A – even though 1can do online, nice to be able to meet ppl in person or to know geographical area #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Q1) I target non-profits and small biz, plus some solopreneur coaching & blog set up. many have similar needs, so the targeting #sbbuzz
smitty1966: Q1) Narrowing your market, u can use of Google adwords. Great tools to understand markets and keyword searches. Test too! #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: I get a lot of help from Disney about target markets. #sbbuzz
leoraw: @smitty1966 Can you be more specific about “Test too”? Thanks. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Q1) I guess I narrowed my niche by creating content that interests my potential prospects & clients. It helps right client’s find me #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: I made the mistake of targeting a market that I really had no passion for – – BACKFIRE. #sbbuzz
samuraivt: A1 No very specific niche. When we started we thought it would be RE agents but bad market and other B2B success changed us. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Our niche is WIMs – wired, innovative, mobile small biz. Rather than go for verticals we want the cream of all industries’ crops #sbbuzz
smitty1966: With Adwords you can set up Test ads that can follow a certain demographic and then track conversions. Geography a strong feature. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @DiSnEyTRAVELmum There’s a lot to be said about where your passions lead you – hopefully the $ is there too or… #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q2 How are you making your niche public – letting customers know who IS and IS NOT supposed to buy your product/service? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @pmohara Can you say more about vertical niche versus — (how you would describe yours)? #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @DiSnEyTRAVELmum I was in a similar situation when I fell out of love with the whole corp thing so dropped exec coaching #sbbuzz
smitty1966: If the ad is not working – change parameters or just pause it or delete. #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: @ginabee I thought “Hey! I’ll target Golfing at Disney market” I don’t golf so I didn’t have passion to move forward with it. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @sbbuzz Q2 I put their name in the title of my book 😉 #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: Q2a. Example: I don’t market to teachers in the middle of the school year, but I’m a presence a couple months b4 Cmas/Summer #sbbuzz
samuraivt: A2 We do lots of in person networking. We build relationships, always try to educate, seek to refer and be referred not just sell. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: Q2 We blog about topics that our target market is interested in. Also give lots of talks at related organizations. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Q2) I’m in the process of defining customers a little etter on my site – been drafting it on paper, time 2 take it 2 the screen #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @CathyWebSavvyPR Thanks 🙂 Not too subtle, eh? #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Q2) something is working though, I get clients who find me on one SN site, read my blog, check me out & call 2 discuss proj #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Q2) But when I better define who my audience is, and further match content 2 their needs equals a fuller sales pipeline #sbbuzz
pmohara: @lindadessau Rather than targeting certain biz type (hotels, schools, etc) we target 1% of any industry that’s innovating first. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @lindadessau what is your book title? if I may ask? #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q2 – I hate to keep harping on the passion thing, but when you do what you love, you are advertising it in every interaction. #sbbuzz
dothewoo: A2 To make sure that customers know if I am targeting them: Content that is relevant to them; offers that will work for them plus… #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q3 Q Is it possible to be too focused? Has anyone needed to expand their niche?#sbbuzz
lindadessau: @CathyWebSavvyPR The Customizable Style Guide for Coaches Who Write http://ht.ly/1Z1ip #sbbuzz
dothewoo: A2 ….cont….A page on my website that describes “you”, what u are going through, what u need…So folk will recognise themselves #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: @sbbuzz yeppers #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @pmohara So would you say you focus on “psychographics” (innovative, creative) versus demographics? #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @dothewoo Seriously, loooove your biz name! #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Q3) I am not too focused, but I have just added a reasonably-priced hourly coaching option 4 solopreneurs – it’s been working #sbbuzz
m4bmarketing: Q3 Yes if there are not enough customers who will buy on a regular basis or market too crowded #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: A3 If your don’t have enough business that might be a sign Ur to focus. Tricky 2 know. #sbbuzz
samuraivt: A3 We began focused on the real estate industry just before things got tough there. Not good timing to depend on work there. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @ginabee Absolutely, Gina – passion shines through every word, spoken or written. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @sbbuzz Sorry …I guess my answer to Q2 was more about expandins services than expanding the niche – butI focused on solopreneurs? #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: I need to feel personally connect with my market [hence the bomb w/the golfing at disney idea] so I started a Weigh Loss Vlog cont’ #sbbuzz
dothewoo: @selahsynergy Thank you Susan. One of the ways of identifying my niche is the folk who ‘get it’ and can connect to it. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Just an aside – who knew – I just got my Chico’s catalog & they’re on Twitter @LoveChicos…have 2 chk em out #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: I will connect with others who share my need to loss weight. Building relationships for mutual benefits and support. #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @sbbuzz Q3 Yes, my niche expanded as biz cut consult/coach budgets. Lower price point content sells to different markets #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @DiSnEyTRAVELmum Agreed. Personal connection makes it more natural & more enjoyable. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @lindadessau Psychographics are now my new most favorite thing. Thanks! #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @scoblitz You’re welcome! Just trying to get my head around it all 🙂 #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q3 – It occurs to me that a philosophy of “focused yet nimble” might be prudent. Must have something more to offer than the core. #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: @TraceyHolinka I feel like a fake if I don’t feel a personal connection. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @lindadessau That’s what we’ve done – works well for our biz. I wouldn’t do it if I was selling Amish furniture supplies, tho #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: @KevinLyons YIKES that’s a lot of chats! #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @selahsynergy Yes, I did that 2. cosulting or coaching w solopreneurs – wish I’d done it sooner. less time intensive, lower cost #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @ginabee Amen! Flexibility, resourcefulness are essential for biz. Ford couldn’t sell black cars forever and survive #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q4 What type of criteria do you use to define your niche – geographic, demographic, industry, psychographics, what? #sbbuzz
samuraivt: A3 We expanded services as we discovered new passions and also in response to difficult economic times. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @samuraivt Nice to remember the reason we’re entrepreneurs – we get to choose who we work with – we’re never trapped! #sbbuzz
pmohara: @samuraivt DId you expand services to the same target market? Or expand your market? #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: Q4a. My niche is all over the place. Most of my business is word of mouth. #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @CathyWebSavvyPR Wish I had changed sooner. But, it keeps me learning – new techniques to market products rather than services #sbbuzz
ImAfterdotcom: sbbuzz: #sbbuzz chat in 30 minutes. Wondering what a Twitter chat is or how to participate? See our instructions at … http://ht.ly/17KOBD
m4bmarketing: Q4 All plus attitudes and behaviour #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: A3 We expanded how we delivered R services but R target audience is the same. Allows us to provide services 2 more people. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q4 So far I’ve been focused on industry to define my niche (coaches) – but I’ve been doing some thinking… #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @selahsynergy I’m working to add the prouct part of my biz 2, but I enjoy the one on one thing too #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Wondering what a Twitter chat is or how to participate? See our instructions at … http://ht.ly/17KOBD #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: RT @sbbuzz: Q4 What type of criteria do you use to define your niche – geographic, demographic, industry, psychographics, what? #sbbuzz
dothewoo: Vertical or horizontal markets.Can help 2define. RT @pmohara: @samuraivt expand services 2 same target market? Or expand ur market? #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: A4 With the reach of the Internet we don’t target geography but over 50% of R clients are local. Go figure. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q4 I’ve already answered this one, so I’ll just hum a little tune now. Hmm hmm hmm hm hm hm. 🙂 #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @TraceyHolinka Yeah, the longer I’ve been online, the more I seem to come up in local searches also. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @pmohara Can’t get that tune out of my head… #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Q4) something inbetween? I uses demographics & research to find where they “hang out” then develop content 2 meet their needs #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @CathyWebSavvyPR Same here. I am a people person so that’s where my energy comes from. #sbbuzz
americare: Q4: we are able to focus based on our service – home-based non-medical caregiving – for anyone in need, senior, new mom, etc. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @sbbuzz Q4) online geography with a demographic & phsychographic twist …2 id my audience #sbbuzz
samuraivt: @pmohara We refined our product and targeted new markets. In addition we added mew services. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q4 – Is good ol’ supply & demand a viable way to define? I have an ability that others don’t & I can supply that. There’s my niche. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q4 About 30% of our business is international. Was not a target or niche – but we are adapting (updating currencies, legalese, etc.) #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @ginabee I can relate to what you just said – “I (we) have an ability that others don’t and we can supply that. There’s our niche.” #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q5 Can you target more than one niche market at a time? #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: @pmohara My market accidentally expanded out of country! #sbbuzz
pmohara: @TraceyHolinka Sorry – I’m evil. 🙂 #sbbuzz
samuraivt: @lindadessau Agreed, remembering those things is important. Doing what you love is one of the keys to success. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @pmohara Yes, I just had an author from Australia approach me – after following on Twitter & readig my blog. Need 2 see if it’ a fit #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @sbbuzz The risk when trying to target more than one niche at a time is that one or both of them will get confused or lost. #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: Q5a. yep. my business counts on multi-markets #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @sbbuzz Q5 You bet. Of course, it may cost you to create and deliver a different message to a different target. #sbbuzz
leoraw: With social media 1 can address 1 niche in one place and another in another place – so it is possibility to market in multiple ways #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @sbbuzz Q5) It ‘s probably not ideal, but in this economy, you kinda have 2. Putting all yr eggs in 1 basket is scarier now #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @sbbuzz You want your business/website to feel like HOME for your target niche – so if more than one, it may not feel that way. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @lindadessau Q5) I know several biz owners who have multiple websites, OR several sites under one umbrella site see @TimBerry‘s site #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @leoraw Yes, exactly! That seems the way to address that – a different home base for each niche – but it complicates things a bit. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q5 – I think if they are somewhat related it is possible. Some similar skills can be generalized for different audiences & purposes. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @CathyWebSavvyPR Yes, it certainly can be done if it’s done well 🙂 #sbbuzz
ginabee: @samuraivt I agree – it would be nice to be a “purist” but we may not always have that luxury! #sbbuzz
pmohara: @CathyWebSavvyPR I think international markets are challenging , which can make it more fun. And boy can they innovate. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @samuraivt, @DiSnEyTRAVELmum, & @TraceyHolinka thankfor RT’s #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @pmohara would love to chat briefly if you have a moment sometime – follow & DM contact info? #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: And now it is what we never call Celtics Time (but it is Pitch TIme). Please tell us a little about your business. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: If you’d like a once-a-week e-mail reminder of #sbbuzz (including the topic) sign up at http://bit.ly/dlxk9u #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: I?m a web designr/developr @chaostoclarity. I show small biz & freelancers how 2 take advantage of the web. #chaostoclarity #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: I am a travel agent specializing in Disney. http://www.clickTHEMOUSE.ca & just started a Weight Loss Vlog to keep me accountable. Sandra #sbbuzz
lindadessau: How to write a top 10 article that will demonstrate your expertise to prospective customers http://ht.ly/1Z0mN (pitch time on #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: And another chat has FLOWN by – how does this always happen?? We’ll get the #sbbuzz summary posted on the site soon at http://bit.ly/1PxPjA
samuraivt: A3 like the idea some of you are mentioning re: dif online places for dif markets. Landing pages, FB pages, websites. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Thanks so much to everyone for contributing to the conversation. What a great way to learn. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Thanks for another great chat everyone! Good night and thanks to our bee-autiful hostess! #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: I also write for http://www.play2podium.com a magizine for families who have children with disabilities like me. Support, Resource. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Pitch: 20 yr PR pro who let her inner geek girl out of the closet in 2007. I help non-profits & #smallbiz w Strategy & How 2 #sbbuzz
DiSnEyTRAVELmum: Thank you everyone! It was nice meeting you all! Sandra #sbbuzz
pmohara: @lindadessau Awes shucks – you’re making this bee blush. 🙂 Thanks! #sbbuzz
leoraw: Thanks everyone for another great chat – I learn more so I can teach my clients. Love the conversation and ideas. #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: Also, if any one is in DC, I’ll be there 6/17 pm 4 @LifeTuner‘s (client) Social Media & Money panel 2 @themotleyfool & @Feedthepig + #sbbuzz
CathyWebSavvyPR: @pmohara thanks #sbbuzz
samuraivt: We’re Samurai Virtual Tours: virtual tours, websites, inbound marketing. We capture, create, communicate for your success. #sbbuzz
ginabee: http://www.writeytidy.com Content creativity for websites, newsletters, social media & more! I use my words to tell your story. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Thanks everyone for the great chat! Pamela here from @batchblue psychographic CRM for small biz #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: #sbbuzz is a small business Twitter chat hosted Tuesday nights 8-9 PM ET by the folks from @batchblue Come again soon!

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Finding Your Niche

As part of our month long discussion of marketing your small business, we will be focusing the conversation tonight on how to find the right niche for your product or services.  We will be sharing thoughts, ideas and experiences on how to identify the right niche segment of the market, how far down the long tail should we go, and how to keep evolving our business as we go.

Please join us tonight from 8:00 – 9:00 PM EDT to discuss our small business niche identification and marketing strategies.

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