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    Wednesday
    Sep242014

    8 Simple Steps to Becoming a Media Star - Increase Your Business’ Success with Press Releases by Klaudia Kovacs

    When interviewing successful people my press ID's can come handyVery few businesses incorporate press releases as part of their success strategy. They might feel that press releases are for the “big guns,” such as corporations. That could not be further from the truth!

    Most businesses have plenty of newsworthy information to share with the public and your business is just as important as any other entity. Even if you are a solopreneur, a non-profit, an artist, or an employee, you too should learn how to write press releases and use them to your advantage. You should also be aware of how to get your press releases to the press in a way that the given publication or media channel will, in fact, feature you.

    Here are the eight basic steps to creating a press release:

    1. Define what is unique about your business.
    2. Craft a headline that will get attention.
    3. Create a “lead” that will expand on the title.
    4. Start the body of the text with the date and your location (city, state).
    5. Construct the first paragraph that will answer the five basic w-s: who, what, when, where and how. In this section stick to the facts.
    6. Expand on the first paragraph. The basic length of a press release is 400 words; including the title, date, location, and contact info. Here you can include quotes, just make sure you indicate your sources as well.
    7. Create the “about” section where you can provide more information about your business. You are not trying to sell with a press release but draw attention to your enterprise.
    8. Last paragraph is to include contact information and name of contact person. 

    There are some seemingly obvious things you should remember, like proper grammar and spellcheck. Avoid using I’s, we’s, and slangs. Be factual and truthful to build solid credibility.

    Once you are finished, you need to get your press release to the right journalists. Having your own list of press contacts is extremely important! The moment you are in business, start building a list of journalist contacts. Local publications are the easiest to get featured in, so get familiar with them.

    You can also use a so called (national or international) wire service to send out your press release to the right outlets. This is not always a cheap step but many times it really is worth the investment.

    Learning the press release process is like learning how to ride a bike. It might take a few attempts but once you get it, you’ll always be able to do it on your own. Of course, if you become very successful, you should have your own publicist. Meanwhile, you yourself, or your assistant, can do it.

    If you are interested in becoming a “press pro” I can teach you in a few hours. My clients have been featured on CNN, AOL News, Yahoo News, The Hollywood Reporter, Dallas Morning News, Oklahoma Gazette, NPR News, and so can you! 

    If you liked these suggestions, share your experience with press releases, and forward this article to a friend.

    Sunday
    Jul272014

    3 Simple Steps to Receive Powerful Testimonials (That Will Get You More Clients) by Klaudia Kovacs

    Meaningful testimonials are vital to any business, career, or enterprise. They can, and should be used everywhere: On resumes, curriculum vitaes, websites, social media platforms, products, blogs and in press packets.  The following steps will guide you to using customer testimonials effectively:

    1. A testimonial can be as short as one sentence, and there is definitely no need for it to be longer than 2-3 sentences. Length is not nearly as important as content. The most powerful testimonials are the ones that reflect measurable results that you, your company, or your product have produced. Examples of this are frequently seen on television: A woman’s migraine was gone in 30 minutes, a man lost 10 pounds in a month, and so on.

    When asking for success stories, encourage your customers to use measurable and result-based language:

    • Increased sales ($)
    • Increased revenue (% or months)
    • Increased clients (#)
    • Lost weight (pounds or inches)
    • Gained time (hours)
    • Etc.

    2. Once you receive your latest testimonial, grab the most impactful part and use it with a larger font to make it stand out. You can also utilize different font colors for the same purpose. Be sure to let your customer know that you may edit the length of their statement.

    You may ask what would inspire a customer to write a review for you? The answer is simple: Exposure! A testimonial is also a free advertisement opportunity especially if it’s posted online. You may want to include your client’s and their company’s name, their website, as well as a preferably professional image of them. All this will make it worthwhile for your client to give you a testimonial. 


    3.
    Last but not least, it’s vital to time your testimonials right. For one, you want your clients to take stock of where they are before working with you. You can do this several ways: Simply jotting their numbers down, having them send an email, or filling out a form. Once your time working with them is close to being finished, compare the before numbers to the after numbers and point out the changes to your clients. Be sure to ask for a testimonial right then while the customers are excited about the results. 

    If you liked these suggestions, comment below and forward this article to a friend. 

    Saturday
    Jun282014

    3 Easy Steps to Finding Your Ideal Job Applicant in No Time by Klaudia Kovacs  

    In this economy, there are plenty of job applicants, however, you do not want to hire just any person. You want to find the best candidate without your HR department having to have to read hundreds or thousands of resumes, and then interviewing a seemingly endless amount of individuals. Here is an effective and time-savvy plan for making the process fast and efficient. 

    1. Discuss the ideal candidate’s skills and abilities with your key team members. Create a wish list of qualifications that you are looking for, being as specific as possible. Remember to include personal traits that match your company culture. The best collaborator are the ones who can do the job well AND are likable. Find applicants who compliment your and your team’s skills, so the work place becomes even stronger and multi-faceted.

    Include current salary details as well as future financial possibilities for the position. Some companies withhold this information until the last round of interviews but I strongly feel that is a counter productive approach. Neither the employer nor the employee want to spend time, effort and money on several interviews, just to find out they cannot come to an agreement because of the compensation, and then start the process all over again.  

    Based on your requirements, finalize the description of the position and post it on a job site of your preference.

    2. Now here is the part that will make the search extremely time-savvy. Add a little “test” to the submission process that requires extra attention by the applicant and weeds out the people who are not seriously invested. Your “test” could sound like this:

    "If you are interested in the position, send a grammatically correct cover letter and resume to: [include address here]. Mail documents via “ UPS 2nd Day Air A.M.” only, by this date: [include date here].”

    Once the resumes start coming in, discard all submissions that do not follow your requested shipment method. (There will be plenty!) Then throw out all submissions with typos. If a person cannot make a 1-2 page document perfect, just how many mistakes can you expect if he/she was hired?

    At this point, such a large percentage of applicants will disqualify themselves, choosing the few close-to-perfect ones to be invited for an interview should be a breeze.

    3. When you finally identify the best person for the job, check with your legal team whether it’s a legally viable option to hire the individual as a contractor (1099) first, for 1-2 months. If it works out, then you can make the contractor a salaried employee, and at last, throw a delightful welcome party! 

    Saturday
    May312014

    3 Important Steps to Increase Your Sales with Your Promotional Items and Giveaways by Klaudia Kovacs

    Promotional items and giveaways are one of the most powerful ways to introduce your business to your prospective clients and start building a relationship with them. These marketing items have to be irresistible enough for people to want to come back for more.

    While this may be an unusual comparison, think of your freebees the same way, you would think of invitations or gifts during dating. When potential clients accept your giveaways, they are basically signaling that they might be interested in your services. While they are not ready to seal the deal yet, they give you a chance to introduce yourself and show them what you have to offer.

    This is the time to be generous; after all who wants to go on a next date with someone stingy? If your valuable promotional items are attractive enough and meet the needs of your audience, they are likely to come back for your business.

    This business came up with the idea to put seeds into their 'lawn + property enhancement' business card1. Because most people are overwhelmed by modern life in general, you need to create unique, fun and worthwhile gift objects. Think outside the box; people don’t need another promotional pen, do they?

    Giving away items that have nothing to do with your field will not inspire your target market to stay in touch with you. Your freebees need to be directly related to your enterprise for them to spark interest. If you are a nutritionist give away a collection of recipes - not markers. If you are a coach give away a free CD with helpful suggestions - not a coffee cup. If you are a writer give away a truly unique pen - not a cigarette lighter. If you are a locksmith give away a keychain - not a candy bar. Whatever you choose to gift your clients, provide something that they already want and seek in connection with your services.

    2. The most important thing for you to include is a call-to-action item. In case your are not familiar with the term, this is what it means: “Call to action urges the reader, listener, or viewer of a sales promotion message take an immediate action, such as "Write Now," "Call Now," or (on the internet) "Click Here." A retail advertisement or commercial without a call-to-action is considered incomplete and ineffective. You can also include the following: helpful tips, discounts, information about events, coupons, e-promotions, e-drawings, e-coupons, e-advertisements, subscription links, clients’ testimonials, and specialized information.

    Coffee for Canon and photography fans3. Another thing to think about is design. Match your give away items’ colors, fonts, sizes, and shapes with your company’s logo, website, letterhead, business card, etc. Last but not least, make sure what you are giving away is quality. Nothing is more frustrating and wasteful than a gift that is useless and ends up in the trash within seconds.

    If you are still not sure what your promotional items and giveaways should be, do a little market research. Ask your clientele what would ignite their interest and make them feel appreciated. 

    If you liked these suggestions, share your unique idea of a promotional item below, and forward this article to a friend. 

    Monday
    Apr282014

    Top 7 Reasons You Need a Website by Klaudia Kovacs

    In the 21st century every human being should have a website no matter what your trade is. Besides not being virtually homeless, there are enormous benefits of having a website. In today's competitive world you need to take advantage of every opportunity to showcase yourself, your goods and your services. Unless you are a famous celebrity that everyone knows, your website can help you to portray who you are, what you do, what you know, your accomplishments, and how to contact you. In addition, it can help you to improve your personal and professional image, get acquainted with individuals who have similar interests, and display your work if you are in the creative fields.

    1. IF YOU HAVE OR ARE IN BUSINESS you need a website and there’s just no getting around that. Your website can be used to help you attract potential customers and people who are interested in what you do. Certain fields are heavily regulated as far as how one can promote one’s services, but that should not stop you from having a website.

    Also, if your competitors have websites and you don’t, you are light years behind no matter how brilliant your products and services are.

    A website can offer many details about your business instead of a simple listing in the phone book, or a periodic advertisement in a publication.

    Another advantage is that you can update and revise your products and services as many times as you want with no cost and minimal effort.

    2. IF YOU DO FREELANCE OR ARTISTIC WORK your portfolio must to be out there. Referrals are lovely but why miss out on new opportunities just because you haven’t presented yourself online? You never know who is going to see your website that could really make a big difference in your career. Your potential client will not go through pages and pages of Google search results to figure out whether they want to work with you. Even downloading attached files in an email turns most people off. It’s just too much work and your job is to make it easy for them to want to hire you.

    3. EVERYONE ELSE who doesn’t have a business, a product or a service to sell, and has a job or even a career: You should still have a website! It’s easy and inexpensive to put up your resume, bio, social media links, and pictures. If you think “That’s what LinkedIn is for.” you are somewhat mistaken. First of all, not everyone uses LinkedIn. Second, LinkedIn doesn’t cater to personalized and authentic self-expression. Having a website that reflects your style, words, and taste is far more original, not to mention cool! A personal website also reflects that you are in tune with modern times and new technologies. People will take you more seriously if you have one, no matter how simple.

    ADDITIONAL PERKS OF HAVING YOUR OWN WEBSITE: 

    4. You will have control of the outcome of Google searches that inquire about you. You sure don’t want that rather odd party picture on Facebook that you were tagged in to pop up first when someone tries to look into your professional background…

    5. Websites can also re-establish contact with long lost friends. Since many people are now making their social media platforms more private, it’s harder to locate people unless they have a website.

    6. Having a website also helps people distinguish you from another person who has an identical or similar sounding name.

    7. A website will make you easily accessible 24/7 worldwide… Or you can drive to every single networking event there is. ;- ) 

    It’s important to note, that getting a website doesn’t have to be frightening, expensive, or even complicated. You can get certain domain names for free, or for a small fee (about $15/year). Hosting a site with a company can be as little as $8/month. There are platforms that will allow you to use a template and let you do all the designing yourself. I understand that you may not necessarily want to figure it all out, but if budget is an issue and you are not in the position to hire someone to do it all for you, I can assure you that it’s not rocket science.

    If you don’t want to bother with it, you’re lucky because my company builds websites as well! If you are ready to go, contact me via my website, I’ll help you to end your virtual homelessness right now.