Author Archives: cwcc

The Entrepreneurial Journey ~ Enjoy the Process

By Terri Mongait, EGC, Begin Again Ranch and CWCC Member

Begin Again Ranch LogoAs we know, starting a business of your own takes risk and courage.  As a small business owner I have realized that I have taken risks my whole life.  In my early thirties I left everything and everyone I knew (including my boyfriend) and moved across the country to California.  (Yes he did follow me and we have been happily married for 21 years).  Just a few years ago I left the corporate world, pursued and received my certification as an Equine Gestalt Coach, moved us again to 6 beautiful acres in Colorado and started my own Equine Assisted Coaching business.

As we know, you don’t just start a business and immediately you are successful, at least not for most of us.  My biggest hurdle has been the need to educate the public on what I do.  I attend as many trade/health shows as I can.  I am in 3 different Chamber Leads groups and I speak whenever invited.  Making your business successful takes passion, courage, tenacity and commitment.  Every single day do something that benefits your business.  For me, right now that means getting consistent with posting on social media.  It does not mean that I must post, tweet, update my status every day.  I have attended many social media classes and am now seeing which one speaks to my business best.  Currently that is Google +.  Research shows that Google+ is the up and comer for business social media.  I am updating my profile, and posting least once a week.  I also recommend using www.KeywordSpy.com. This site helps you determine what the best key words in your industry are to enhance your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Another great tool if you are looking to create a logo is to use www.logotournament.com  I just completed my contest and received over 100 logo designs from all over the world.  You put up a monetary prize, receive new submissions, and rank them over a few days.  You can even work with your top favorites designers to tweak their submissions and when you pick the winner you own the rights to the winning rendering.  My winning designer was from Indonesia.

In my business, I also have the added “challenge” of recovering from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) 5 years ago.  I have not let my occasional processing glitches stop me.  I have surrounded myself with supportive family, friends and colleagues.  And for me, TBI stands for To Be Inspirational.  Enjoy your journey.  Smile a lot!  Be passionate and love life.

 

About Terri Mongait
Terri Mongait, EGC is a Transitions Life Coach and offers Equine Assisted Counseling at Begin Again Ranch® in Sedalia, CO.  Partnering with her horses, she takes her clients from merely surviving to joyfully thriving.  She will help you identify, accept and overcome the obstacles on your life’s journey.  Terri and the horses give everyone experiencing a life transition the opportunity to achieve a full life through equine interaction and coaching.  She also works with small businesses and offers full and half day Team Building experiences.  Let her help you and your team work better together and reach new heights.  You can reach Terri at 909-489-9654, terri@beginagainranch.comwww.beginagainranch.com

 

 

 

Digital Marketing Tips and Tricks for the New Business

By Joyce Feustel, Founder of Boomers’ Social Media Tutor, and CWCC Member

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One of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs is effectively marketing their business in the digital world. Barriers often include limited financial resources, limited time, and limited knowledge.

Some digital marketing tools, like a website, will likely cost money unless the business owner has the skills to design his or her website. However, there are many low cost and even no-cost digital marketing options.

Company Blog

One of the best no-cost (other than the value of your time) approaches to building a strong presence in cyberspace is to blog on a regular basis. It is recommended to have your blog be part of your website to increase your search engine optimization (SEO) results.

Blogging at least twice a month is necessary if you want people remember that you exist, and blogging weekly or even more often is even better – if you can keep it up consistently. Blog posts can range in length from around 250 words to over 1,500 words, with the length depending in part on your audience.

You can use your blog to help your customers solve a problem, learn about a new trend, explore a new idea, or open a discussion about something new happening in the field. However, it’s important to remember that blog posts can be entertaining as well as informative.

Every blogger needs to find his or her (or his or her company’s) “voice” and style, both of which will evolve with time and experience.

Social Media Sites

Before creating a social media site for your new business, research what your competitors are doing on social media. Ask your customers which sites they tend to use.

At a minimum, create a profile on the professional social site www.linkedin.com. Doing so will help you to create a personal and professional brand. Plus this site is a tremendous platform for connecting with colleagues in your industry and also with power partners who are likely to refer you business.

Then, depending on the results of your research with competitors and clients, consider creating using any of these free digital marketing options:

  • Facebook Business Page
  • Facebook Group
  • Pinterest Business Account
  • LinkedIn Company Page
  • Twitter Account
  • Google+ Personal and Company Pages

It is best to start with just one or two social media sites and become familiar with using them for marketing your business. Maintain a regular presence on these sites through your postings and your communication with others.

Conclusion

To help your new business be successful, you need to market your business. Considering free marketing tools such as blogging and selected social media sites to help you reach your potential customers and stay in touch with your current customers.

 

About Joyce
Joyce Feustel, Founder of Boomers’ Social Media Tutor, helps people, especially those age 50 and up, to become more comfortable using social media, especially Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter.

She works with business owners, nonprofit organizations, retired people, consultants, and many others. Find her at www.boomerssocialmediatutor.com.

 

 

Five Tips for Drafting A Crisis Communication Plan

By Ramonna Robinson, President of GroundFloor Media and CWCC Member

GFM LogoThe PR team for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling recently learned the value of having a crisis communication plan that includes a variety of potentially damaging scenarios.

Many boiling issues can become a full-blown crisis, yet some can be mitigated with a thoughtful and immediate response. Undoubtedly, how they are handled can define an organization’s future.

While the Sterling scenario, one in which a private voicemail laden with racist comments from Sterling became public, was probably never one of the scenarios included in a crisis plan, we can use this opportunity to dust off our crisis plans and make sure they are up to date. If you don’t have a plan, here are some crisis communication and issues management tips to consider ahead of time:

  1. Create a crisis communication plan that includes scenarios, sample messages and a response plan. Revisit it at least annually, and update sections that are likely to change, such as the potential crisis scenarios and members of the crisis communication team.
  2. Develop a social media policy, and share it regularly with your employees. All too often what an employee believes to be an innocuous remark on social media can come back to harm a company’s reputation.
  3. Train staff on how to respond to a crisis or issue at hand and provide them with media and message training.
  4. Be proactive and hire an agency or outside consultant—even if they don’t execute, their strategic counsel and outside perspective on the issue can be invaluable.
  5. Learn from your mistakes and understand that trying to cover up the truth instead of making real reforms will continue to harm a company’s reputation over the long term.

In the case of Donald Sterling, it’s definitely a good reminder that what you say can and (likely) will be used against you. If you haven’t already, add voicemail to the list of things to be very cautions on.

 

Watch What I Post – Social Media Tips

By Susan Allard, Audience Development Account Executive, Denver Business Journal and CWCC Member

DBJ-Logo-NameplateMedium

Using social media has been fun, especially working for a news agency. I get to create opportunities for friends, business connections and followers to learn about interesting people and the companies I work for. But how do I get people to see what I’m posting?

Making yourself stand out from the others is the most important thing you can do. A few tips:

1)      Be authentic. First time you are posting a particular message? Give it a great introduction or shout out. If you are sharing something you’ve read or seen, don’t just copy, retweet or share the link. Add your own personal touch to the message.

2)      Include other organizations or people in your post that could benefit from the information and help get the word out. Use hashtags (#) and tags. For example, on Twitter: @cowomenschamber #women #smallbiz. Find key people or businesses mentioned in the article, then locate their twitter handles, use a current hashtag, or even make one up. The more you do this, the better potential for your post to go viral and help you build followers.

3)      Include a picture. It can tell the story faster and get the follower to engage quicker. (Plus, using photos gets an increased share rate of 20-25 percent, according to social media analytics website Klout).

4)      Repost your content, especially on Twitter. There are so many feeds going through accounts, it is easy for others to miss your message. Engagement happens more often if you get important content out frequently.

5)      Track what works and what doesn’t. Most social media sites have analytics, enabling you to look at what gets the most traction.

6)      Be positive. No one likes a “negative Nelly.” Firestorms happen too easily on social media – be the change.

7)      Have fun! This is a great opportunity for people to get to know who you are and what you believe in.


About Susan Allard

Susan Allard is an Audience Development Account Executive at the Denver Business Journal, master networker and strategic connector. You can email her at sallard@bizjournals.com, find her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter, @susandbj.