Attentive Space – what is it (and are you giving it to your customers)?

If you stand at your local craft store, as I was doing last Sunday, you’ll witness the pull-down, put-back of product — reflective of people thinking about starting projects. Pot holders kits. Holiday wreaths. Candy molds.

Here they are, in a store (a store, mind you, is by definition a physical place to get sales) evaluating something new. Evaluating whether the new thing will fit into their current (or future) reality. Several people walked away empty-handed.

Does the person behind the counter panic when someone walks away without making a purchase? Do they loathe themselves?

Nope. They ask the customer if they need help, but oftentimes the customer is “just looking” — they’re gathering information around whether (or not) they’re ready to take on something new. It takes a ton of effort to start something new.

If the customer isn’t ready, they let the customer leave. Thanking them to come in.

When and How to Give (Attentive) Space

As you look at your customers coming to you, give them what I call Attentive Space: the freedom to “just look” around and ponder. Customers will do this whether or not you give them the space. They’re going through a complex decision making process of whether they want to start a project – projects that may involve you or your offering.

People likely “just look” by reading your website, your blog, or by looking (or picking up products) at your store or booth at a trade-show or table at a craft fair. All the while, they’re evaluating whether or not you’ll fit into their current reality, and their desired reality.

When and How to Inquire

It’s normal to provide the opportunity for interaction via a contact page.

But if you really want to know if you can help, make sure that your contact page truly reflects the fact that you care (and will get back to them!). There’s little more ridiculous than a contact page that’s neglected and boring… when all of the other parts of a site are well developed. It’s like asking “How can we help?” and walking away, directly, before the customer can form a sentence.

Process, Interrupted

During this time, they’re also being interrupted. At my local craft store, interruptions looked like tugging children, buzzing phones, and the obnoxious overhead PA announcements.

Your customers have emails, text messages, and calls arriving. They may be waiting for their turn in line at the DMV and you’re actually a distraction in someone else’s transaction.

Bottom Line
Your customer has a process and even when they show up a the place of conversion, they may still not be ready to buy. No one runs around with their credit card above their head, ready to swipe. They’re gathering information and we want to give them the Attentive Space to learn. They’ll thank you for it.

Easily fill your next workshop

Do you ever go to events? To get out of your rut? To learn something new? To meet like-minded people who pep you up and help you spiral upward?

It’s pretty common for entrepreneurs to see the benefits above, and it doesn’t take much time until they want to host an event or workshop to generate new leads. Business owners I meet often have workshops or events on their list of things “I should be doing” for their business.

And absolutely, they can be great avenues for exposure.

If you’ve never hosted a workshop before, or if it’s been a while since your last one, the surprising fact you may not know is that it’s way easier to come up with content than it is to fill the room.

No matter how interesting your topic, you can expect to get about one percent of people who see your free event in a general listing service (in San Diego that’s the SD Reader, the Union Tribune, Craigslist) to sign-up. And 2/3 of those who sign up for a free event don’t show up.

That’s the effectiveness of cold advertisements: .0033% chance you’ll get someone in the door. Or let’s put that another way: you need to guarantee that 10k people to see your event for 33 people to show up. For a FREE event that you’re trying to advertise yourself.

Don’t give up on this tactic, instead find creative ways to have someone else help you fill the room.

Partner with Someone who has a Mouthpiece

Invest in a local organization and after committing to volunteering and getting to know their operation, ask if they’d be comfortable co-creating and co-promoting a topic for you to teach.

Partner with Someone with a Space

Additionally, if there’s a location where your target congregates, consider partnering with them. Learn how you can help educate the bodies they already attract, adding value to their mission, along with gaining experience.

In each of these potential opportunities, you’ll want to make that their audience is has enough similarities to your target market.

To go to a bunch of effort to partner with a local library may not provide you with the audience who is likeliest to buy, as there is a fine line between making compromises with an organization with a qualified audience and talking for free to people who have no need or ability to buy.

Approach these events with a willingness to start at the beginning – we are drawn to restaurant moguls who started out as the dishwasher, right?  So know that sometimes being at an intro event is exactly where we have to start.

The cool thing is that opportunities unfold quickly once our presentation skills are tested and ready and we’re out there in front of people.

Before you EVER work with a marketer, make sure they ask you the RIGHT questions.

There are legions of business marketing companies perched to work with entrepreneurs.

You’ve probably felt it: for any business marketing need you have, a search on Google will provide you with a litany of marketing companies eager to provide a solution.

This is one of the beauties of capitalism. Variety.

As an entrepreneur, maybe you sought a marketing company out, received referrals, or maybe they found their way to your front door (or inbox).

And it’s my hope that you received a great match AND great results.

But sometimes (unfortunately, all too often), things don’t quite work out the way you’d hoped.

With three decades in the small business marketing arena, I think I figured it out.
The simple reason business marketing companies fall short for entrepreneurs is that
they don’t take the time to pre-qualify clients.

Why is Pre-Qualifying Important?

  • Pre-qualifying clients makes amazing business sense, as it’s the foundation of building a relationship (something proven to be the most profitable way to market).
  • Pre-qualifying gives both the marketing company and the entrepreneurs a moment of space to ask important questions, see the whole picture and agree on the best solution/next steps.
  • Pre-qualifying occurs in nearly every business.  Without pre-qualifying, a personal trainer would have you do push-ups without knowing about your back injury.  A contractor would bulldoze your home, not knowing you only wanted a room addition.  The person working behind the counter at your local sandwich shop would put mayo on your sandwich, unaware that you despise mayo.

Pre-qualifying is especially important when tailored solutions are needed.  And most challenges for small business aren’t solved by “set-it-and-forget-it” tools.

Pre-qualifying is about research, investigating, and most of all, listening.

These things take time, and in the rush-rush marketing world, many business marketing companies don’t have time.

They’ve built a business where it’s more efficient (i.e. less expensive) to run on assumptions.

How many times have you worked with someone who ran on assumptions?  How many times have you made assumptions, thinking it’d be easier than listening?  And in both scenarios, how many times have you had to go back and fix the errors?  (Example: this is the reason it’s taken 4 years to finish my backyard.)

You can see the perfect storm brewing: a marketing company running on overload (and assumptions), and an entrepreneur who doesn’t know what “right questions” they should be asked by the marketing company.

Maybe you were caught in the aftermath of a storm like that.

Feeling bewildered or confused, a little wary and off-course.

What Questions should a business marketing company be asking me?
(AKA How to know if I’m being appropriately pre-qualified)

Depending on what they offer, a marketing company should ask you some mix of the following things:

  • What are your goals?
  • What have you tried in the past that’s worked?  What have you tried in the past that hasn’t worked?
  • What else are you doing right now, and how is it working?
  • What kind of resources do you have (time, money, energy) to devote to your marketing?
  • What length of time do you have to devote to this facet marketing?  Do you anticipate a quick win, or will your goals take some time to reach?
  • When they ask you these questions, here’s what they should really be listening for:
  • What are your goals?

They should be listening to hear what you want to happen for your business’s marketing and sales.  They should piece together an idea if you’re on the same page philosophically.
What have you tried in the past that’s worked?  What have you tried in the past that hasn’t worked?

This question gives them a bit of your history.  They should be listening to hear about the lessons you’ve already learned, along with your experience with your target market.

What else are you doing right now, and how is it working?

This question is CRUCIAL.  If they don’t ask this, RUN (don’t walk) away.  They need to be respectful of what you’re currently doing and have a very clear understanding of the landscape they are walking towards.

What kind of resources do you have (time, money, energy) to devote to your marketing?

Sure, this might feel uncomfortable for everyone, but this is the only way to understand if you’re looking for a hands-off solution, a hands-on solution, or something in the middle.  This also makes sure that you’re not overlooking some strength you’re carrying in your back pocket that you could fully utilize yourself.

What length of time do you have to devote to this facet marketing?  Do you anticipate a quick win, or will your goals take some time to reach?

The basis of this question is are you looking for a one-time event or an ongoing relationship with the marketing company.
And as you start becoming more aware of this type of questioning, you’ll be inspired to bring your best questions to the table.
While sometimes some of the pre-qualifying is done online by the marketing company, in advance of your meeting.  Sometimes their sales pages will support this process.

But know that as a business owner, it’s in your best interest to ensure that a marketing company is asking you the right questions, listening to your answers and doing due diligence on their end to make sure their product or service really is the best fit for your business based on your goals, target market, history and resources.

Because it’s you’re responsibility to steer the course of your ship and not let anyone, now matter how smart they are or how polished their tools, take the helm.

Knowing you’re being intelligently interviewed and pre-qualified is a great beginning step to ensuring you’re on the path towards marketing success.

Want easier sales? Quit ‘giving it away’ in this one crucial part of your process.

I have a brilliant client who estimated she gave leads six times more attention than what was average in her industry.

SIX times.

When it came to converting leads into clients, she over-delivered in every way you could possibly imagine: from information-packed presentations to laser-targeted follow-up, and incredible, hand-curated research for potential clients.

Yet her phone was quiet. And try as she might, she was converting at an astonishingly low rate.

We operate under the myth that if we go the extra mile, we’ll win the contract, secure the client, make the sale.

Yet, there’s something fundamentally flawed with over-delivering your valuable knowledge in the pre-sale.

The pre-sale process should be about analyzing the needs of your potential client and seeing if you’re a fit. That’s right: it’s about you thinking on behalf of them and being decisive.

Its marketing’s job to convey your value so that you don’t feel the need to ‘prove’ anything during the interactions with the lead.

I suggested to my client to consider giving less in the pre-sale process.

She said it sounded stingy. Penny-pinching. Miserly.

I get it. She wanted to give leads her all, in order to set the stage with a spirit of generosity. But her dismal conversion rate was showing the all she was giving was too much of the wrong stuff.

Leads walk away over-whelmed and under-served. The business owner walks away tired and confused.

It’s inefficient to use your time with your lead proving your smarts. No one pays a professor.

Rather than striving to prove your value via a knowledge fest, save your over-delivery for when they hire you.

So we simply channeled her efforts.

Instead of proving credibility during the valuable sit-down time with a potential client, prove it via marketing.

Because your marketing can speak to many (while you’re doing your work, delighting your clients, and taking action on opportunities).

With this client, adding well-written testimonials and beefing up referral relationships were two solutions.

The sales process, then, became about identifying needs, helping her lead identify their challenges and then offering up tailored solutions.

Her conversion rates have since soared and she’s no longer running herself ragged with nothing to show for it.

What my client felt at first pass was stingy, she now understands is economical.  There’s only one of her (that’s not going to change) and we’ve re-distributed her delivery efforts efficiently.

She’s now delivering in a way that’s appropriate for her leads’ knowledge level and is palatable, meaning her lead identifies their need much more effectively (with my client at their side, naturally).

Unsolicited Generosity, Trades from Hell, and Dealing with Bartering

When I was a new-ish business owner, I’d be approached by people (largely people I met at networking events) who’d want to work with me… and they’d want to do a trade.

Why not?, I reasoned. They seemed nice. I wanted the experience. Plus, I thought, maybe they’ll refer me.

The absolute worst experience, though, was with a woman named Wanda.

I’m not sure how it happened. Walking into our meeting, I was under the impression she wanted to learn more about my services. A precious hour and a half later, I walked away being booked to work with her, in exchange for her service. A service I didn’t want or need.

Caution: chance of trade ahead

I was gobsmacked.

I’d been hoodwinked! I’d been had!

I was LIVID. And too scared to do anything about it.

Days later I realized what happened: Wanda offered her service and she was so nice that I felt like if I didn’t accept, I’d risk being insulting and unappreciative.

So I reciprocated.

And it was painful.

All Work is Not Equal

Delivering the services were painful. She wasn’t my right person and we weren’t having the level progress that I normally see with clients.

Again, I was reminded, that committing myself to some one who obviously wasn’t a “fit” with my approach was painful.

Plus it was exhausting.

If your work involves prep time, drive time, re-caps and client communication, you’re ‘trading’ that ON TOP OF the actual interaction. And it’s a sunk cost.

Trades are a time investment in which you cannot do anything else, including generating revenue from paying clients.

As our trade progressed, I began to question my competence (and my sanity).

Halfway through this trade, it dawned on me:

Generosity is a two-way street. To be true generosity a trade needs to be received in the spirit in which it was given.

Someone who doesn’t want what you’re offering but takes it anyway isn’t receiving your generosity.  And you cannot accept someone’s generosity if you don’t want to take it wholeheartedly.

I quickly learned that when it comes to trades, low-investment meant low return.

The whole shebang with Wanda felt like an exercise in white-knuckling and contorting.  I didn’t feel my work was valued. And I didn’t value Wanda’s services, which made me judge myself as unappreciative.

If there isn’t an equal value of services, fundamentally, no one will be doing their best work.

And here’s the kicker: if you’re not doing your best work, you’re not going to be referred the way you want.

I white-knuckled through my time with Wanda. One result from our interaction is that I’ve learned to set strong(er) boundaries.

I’ve learned to put the brakes on my knee-jerk reaction to generosity.

Accepting and reciprocating are no longer my only options.

It’s as simple as preparing for the possibility and taking a breath after the moment someone makes the suggestion.

I’ve practice saying the following with a smile: “I find that trades can get messy, I’d like to avoid any hassle and figure out a better solution. How about…”.

What about you? How have trades served you and where do you steer clear?

From agencies to interns, choose the RIGHT marketing for your small business

I recently got the following question in my inbox:

Q: How does a small business decide when to hire a marketing firm on a part time basis? Full time? Or hire an employee with a marketing degree?

A: When a small business starts to look for outside help, the possibilities seem limitless and the potential costs can appear both over-whelming and uncapped. You’re smart to take a few moments to weigh your options and get more information.

I’m a fan of keeping marketing in-house for as long as it makes sense because you can control, learn, and grow on your terms.

The question is, when does it stop making sense to keep your marketing in-house?

When a small business is looking at outside help, it’s usually for one of three pivot points:

marketing pivot points

  1. Whatever we’re currently doing isn’t working… maybe someone else knows better.
  2. Our marketing worked for where our business was in the past, the trouble is, we’ve outgrown it and need something to take us to the next level. But we’re not sure what.
  3. We are way too busy serving customers and being profitable and we know marketing is important – we just don’t have the bandwidth to stay ontop of it.

Marketing Pivot Point #1: Whatever we’re currently doing isn’t working… maybe someone else knows better.

If your company is in the “whatever they’re currently doing isn’t working… maybe someone else knows better” stage, then it’s time to get a new perspective.

If it’s an issue around a specific tactic, then you may find yourself working directly with a graphic designer, developer, or copywriter.

If you’re looking for tools to be created, you’re not happy with your current flier or business card, website, you’ll be working with a professional who specializes in that specifc tactic.

However if it’s more strategic – if your answer to “what isn’t working” is either “everything” or “I don’t know” then I recommend you meet with someone trusted who can help you untangle what really is the current situation from a strategic standpoint, not from a tactic standpoint.

I’m a strategist (so that’s what I do best) and there are many flavors marketing consultants can also help you decide where you are and what the real challenges are.

It’s important that whomever is helping you with perspective and strategy is asking the questions to help you determine whether what you have on your hands is a marketing challenge, sales challenge, or a process challenge.

A challenge with people not understanding what you do is different that someone not understanding how to buy from you or how to buy from you in the future.

Once you’re clear on the challenge, you’ll want to be smart in building a solution – the solution can likely come from in-house, if you have the talent, or from independent contractors who help you create the pieces. Sometimes your consultant can oversee this. Together you develop a few key systems or pieces to help solve the problem efficiently, getting you to the next level of business – a correlation between your marketing and sales.

Rarely would I recommend an agency at this stage because costs are high and control is low. At this point, you want low costs and high control so that you’re able to efficiently oversee your own process.

Marketing Pivot Point #2: Our marketing worked for where our business was in the past, the trouble is, we’ve outgrown it and need something to take us to the next level. But we’re not sure what.

First, congratulations on getting to this point! It’s not always ever easy.

If you’ve outgrown your marketing and need new pieces developed, you may want to return to who helped you get here before.They already know you and you save time in ramp-up.

If you weren’t happy with them, ask for referrals for a strategist or consultant who can help you outline what is next in your marketing. If you’re looking for a referral, you’re welcome to contact me directly and we’ll see what we can find for you.

If ongoing marketing support is needed – for instance, you’ve correlated that Google AdWords is an important part of your business (aka it works for you), then you will probably still find it less expensive to hire someone indepdent to oversee the process and report back to you.

However, if you have seven or eight of these independent people working for you, it may be time to start looking at bringing in a part-time person to oversee your marketing.

The challenge here is finding a someone who has the individual talents of the different providers at a price point you can manage. Usually, I find what can be taught to a part-time person and pay the provider to train them so that the skill set is now in-house.

I’ve trained in-house marketing coordinators to think strategically, so there’s no limit to what the right candidate can be taught.

Marketing Pivot Point  #3: We are way too busy serving customers and being profitable and we know marketing is important – we just don’t have the bandwidth to stay on top of it.

When this is your challenge, it may be time to get help with making your process become more efficient and the first step is often deciding whether to make your part time person into a full time person or to go with an agency.

Agencies are wonderful options for companies who have more important (and profitable) work to do than run their marketing.

The brilliant shift in today’s world is that there are different types of agencies for different budgets, usually that involves a flat-rate retainer fee for a certain number of service hours, with you paying for any analog (paper) or digital materials developed, or specific services outside of the scope of the retainer.

If you have questions on this process, or are looking for some help navigating, definitely reach out – you’re welcome to schedule a chat with me and we can outline what’s needed, what’s next, and what’s unnessciary for where you are today.

Have a marketing question? Send it to me straightaway on the website or send it to me Rebecca@Tri-LineMarketing.com

 

How I got my inner-12 year-old to stop sabotaging my marketing.

The first six years that I oversaw the marketing for the family business, my inner 12 year old was in charge.

Our marketing ‘strategy’ (if you could call it that) was absolutely guided by my insecurities.  I was afraid to put anything up. Afraid someone would disagree (and publicly air their disapproval).

Maybe, if I just bury my head in the sand, this will all pass. {via}

How Insecurities Take Charge

It all started with one guy on our newsletter list.  He would reply to every issue with edits, comments, and critical feedback.  My 12 year old self loathed him.

My 12 year-old self quickly learned to balk and put off ever triggering his replies: messages never went out.

In addition to procrastinating, I was so afraid of making mistakes, that I obsessively studied our competitors for better ways of doing things.  The trouble with that, though, was that their work seemed 1000% better than anything I could come up with.

Thus, began the downward spiral of avoiding creating anything.

The boss (my father) had no idea the extent of insecurity that was running the marketing: he was busy with the scores of other things he had to accomplish. Plus, as a 12 year old, it was easier to bear your dad’s frustration than it is to field responses from strangers.

It’s easier to put things off than it is to face the discomfort around exposure.

When Pops would ask me about deadlines or deliverables, I’d make up all kinds of stories that I knew he’d never follow up on: issues with printers or the website and challenges around getting things to look “just right”.  I began to believe those stories myself.  Getting caught up in details was easier than chancing my actions might actually stir things up.

And when I had no choice but to get the message out (like when we had time-sensitive offers or events), I procrastinated until the very last minute possible, scrambling to get things up.

Like Rushing over Hot Coals

My attempt to avoid discomfort by procrastinating was like rushing over marketing hot coals, leading to exactly what I was afraid of: making careless mistakes and typos (especially on dates and times!).  Quite the cycle.

Looking back, they weren’t careless mistakes. Because (boy, howdy!) did I care.

But like most 12 year olds, I cared way too much about the wrong things.

My uncertainty, doubt, and anxiousness crippled our ability to reach people.  It stunted our potential and effectiveness.  It caused confusion for customers and totally justified frustration from the boss man.

Worst of all, it set up the limiting behavior in me that there was something wrong with the way I did things. I gave away my autonomy (as 12 year-olds are known to do).  This was especially caustic because I was the only one available to do the marketing.  If I didn’t do it, it didn’t get done.

Four Things My Inner 12 Year-Old Needed to Know About Marketing

Ideally the marketing would have been sherpa’d by a less emotionally volatile person.   But since that wasn’t an option, here are four things I wish that my 12 year-old self could have realized:

1) One lone critic isn’t something to get overly concerned about.  Particularly if he’s got no experience in what you do and no platform.  People who criticize have nothing better to do. They guy with the newsletter? He’s retired and this is how he gets his shits and giggles. Take his spelling and grammar advice and defer the rest. If you heard this from three different people, then I’d worry about it. But one person? Notworthit.

2) You think that monitoring and berating yourself will keep you from making mistakes?  In truth, the pressure you put on yourself is stopping you from doing anything: making mistakes, yes, but it’s also stopping you from doing anything valuable. In trying (even though it sometimes feels like failing), you’re setting yourself apart.

3) Give yourself massive credit for trying because a) you deserve it, and b) giving yourself credit will make you want to do more.  One thing successful people know is that you have to DO in order to get better.  And getting better at anything marketing related requires doing and testing.

4) Have fun. There will never be another time just like now: you’ve got a whole world of industry knowledge at your fingertips, a boss who can’t fire you, and the title of student on your side.  Have fun. And remember that even though it seems inconceivable, the process is just as important as the outcome.

Now it’s your turn. Where have you seen your inner 12 year-old running your marketing? How have you helped him/her push past?

Simple statistics that get people to take action

Photo by Penguin & Fish

Is there a little kid in your life?

Chances are, they almost always have something in hand: a blanket, action figure, ball or a stuffed giraffe.

Comfort items change as we age, but our urge to “hold” the tangible in-hand continues: children like holding stuff. Adults, you’ll find, carry fistfulls of tangible facts as a comfort item.

Why a Statistic?

Think of all of the concise, catchy bits that pass your way each day—via quotes, blurbs and terse blips of wisdom.  The best facts we hold on to are true, practical, unpretentious and easy to recollect during a cocktail party (or on a social networking platform).

These bits and bites anchor political candidates, brand non-profits and launched the bumper sticker industry.

At one end of the tangible-fact spectrum you have mnemonic tricks, rhymes and catchphrases.  At the other end, analytical number-oriented “did you know…” facts.

If you want your marketing to have strong recollection that mobilizes, good, clear facts are the way to go.

One Intelligent Marketing Strategy is boiling down a passion, story, mission and action into ONE can’t-argue-with fact that sticks.

Case Study: Cinda Baxter, the 3/50 Project

One of my most favorite statistics comes from Cinda Baxter, Founder of the 3/50 Project, who eloquently fact-ized the fiery topic of supporting small businesses.

The retail consultant and speaker has lots to say on the topic, but has pared down her knowledge one point: 3/50.

Pick 3 businesses, spend $50 a month and save your local economy.

The 3/50 Project

The 3/50 Project’s homepage first has you contemplate 3 small businesses you’d miss if they were gone.

Using numbers to connect with you on an emotional level.  

Because numbers are comfort, there’s power in tying them to story.

The 3/50 project does just that.

What three small businesses would the reader miss? Perhaps it’s that ice cream parlor your kids love, and you loved when you were their age.  The hardware store where the owner knows every trick in the book.  The cute yarn shop that your mom calls her second home.

Use facts to mobilize – challenge readers to act

Her next request is to spend $50 at these three small businesses.

Don’t spend money you don’t have, but if you do have money, spend it at a small business.

Here comes the next beautiful, tangible fact (the comfort items continue to roll out)…

68% of money spent at a local business goes right back into the community (compared with only 43% at chain stores).

By taking a strong “what’s good for community is good for me” stand, the 3/50 project does amazing work with numbers and statistics.

You can read more – like how Baxter’s site provides the reader with so much value – FAQ, fine print, details, logos, ways to become a part of the cause as a shopper, business owner or simple caring citizen.

The site empowers those who connect with badges, icons, stickers and posters that bridge both the online and offline world.

Facts, used well with story, are like a delicious dinner accompanied by good conversation. It sticks to your ribs and gives you something to think about long after the table is cleared.

You’re hard-pressed to forget the simplicity of fact.  It rears it’s head when you talk with a local business owner about the economy.  Each time you choose to do some specialty shopping at an independent store, you’re connecting with the 3/50 Project, the store and more-importantly, you’re not clashing with your newly acquired information.

For more information on the 3/50 Project, check out http://www.the350project.net/home.html

Feel less naked in your inbox with Streak {Free Tool}

This week’s featured free tool is the genius-inducing power email add-on named Streak.

Streak email send later function

The problem it solves: Email and Timing
If you’ve ever put off writing emails because they have to be sent in the future, or written drafts that you’ve had to write and re-write, Streak is going to change your game… for the better.

What it does
Streak works inside Gmail and allows you to send emails at a later time and date.

Three Practical Ways to Use Streak:

  1. Write meeting reminders each Friday (at the end of your work week), but schedule for send on Sunday morning (for the start of your recipients work week).
  2. Writing a month of birthday emails early in the month when you have some time to really think and reflect on how much they mean to you… and schedule for send on the eve of the birthday person’s special day.
  3. Writing a detailed follow-up email to someone who you’ve just heard speak… knowing that they’ll be bombarded with emails right in the 12 hours after their talk, with virtually no  chance to reply to them all. Write your email while you’re on cloud-nine, but schedule it to send for the following weekend when they might have more time to read and reply.

How it works
1) Install Streak
2) Refresh Gmail
3) Write an email… notice the blue clock – the “Send Later” button that now comes with each email.
Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 5.55.37 PM

4) Click the button and schedule the email for the time you want it to send. Click “Schedule for Later”.

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 5.54.24 PM

5) You’re all set! If you’d like to edit your email, change, or remove the send time, simply go into your “drafts” folder.

Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 5.55.18 PM

But wait! There’s more…
Streak is a CRM (customer relationship management tool), which means it does plenty of amazing things – and ‘horrifying’ things too ;)

Personally, I’ve found that this feature is all I need right now, but I’m curious to play with the other functions Streak offers in the future.

Never forget: I want to hear from you!
If you find these tool tips useful, do shoot me an email saying so {Rebecca@Tri-LineMarketing.com}. Keep those comments and feedback coming – my heart soars when you do!

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Three lists with the power to revolutionize how you use Facebook (Twitter too).

Finding your time (and mood) is being dictated by what is (or isn’t) happening for your business on Facebook?

I curated these three lists for Facebook and they’ve absolutely revolutionized my experience with the tool.

Plus, in my time tracking, since building these lists, I’ve decreased time spent on Facebook by six hours each month.

The Three Lists

My three lists are:

Custom Facebook Lists

  • “Daily Goodness”,
  • “Close Friends”, and
  • “Professional Interests & Inspiration”

How it Works

The Daily Goodness List

My “Daily Goodness” list is comprised by a handful of people who I find inspiring. People who I look up to. Folks who remind me of Why I Started.

Inspiring Leaders

Funny enough, no one would categorize these folks as ‘business related’. Authors, meditation experts, yogis, and even an astrologist or two, this group helps guide me each day with sweet posts and compelling ways of staying present, maintaining perspective, and loving whatever is.

If (more like when) I’m tempted to check Facebook the first thing in the morning, this is the list I set my computer and mobile to go to. If I’m going to consume, let’s consume quality.

Close Friends

This list comes standard for all Facebook users.

But I doubt many of you have taken time to customize.

I have a few dozen of my most inspirational and amazing in-real-life friends and colleagues on this list and they never fail to delight and amuse me with their wit, their bravery, and their pretty awesome photography skills.

The *only* people who make this list are the ones who I can answer a resounding YES about when I ask myself this question: “Do I want to grow up to be like them?“.

When I want the dopamine hit Facebook offers, this is the list I go to. It keeps me up to speed with the amazing hearts I’m lucky enough to actually have ties to.

Professional Interests & Inspiration

It’s pretty clear from the title who and what I keep on this list.

Inspirational thinkers. Thought leaders. Brilliant minds. Ass-kickers, do-gooders, and movers-and-shakers.

Professional Interests and Inspiration

These include my amazing clients, non-profits, and yes, the occasional world-traipsing Brit billionaire who comes up with clever and awesome things to share (looking at you, Alain de Botton, and you, Sir Richard Branson).

The KEY RULE is that I’m not allowed to include ANYONE who makes me feel bad about where I am in my business. If (for whatever reason) I feel triggered, off they go from the list.

Do try it out and let me know how it works – happy curating!