Building Big Connections

June 30th, 2016 by

10-Tips-to-double-your-LinkedIn-connections

We use social media like LinkedIn to make connections, establish business contacts, and build mutually beneficial relationships.  Often, we must reach out to people blindly, so to speak, without any formal introduction or direct connection.

I’ve acquired these tips through experience and hope they will work for you as well as they have for me.

1. Persistence

If you reach out to someone and they do not respond back, first do not take it personally. Popular and successful people receive hundreds of messages daily from people looking to connect, get advice, need help, and everything else under the sun.

Mr. Louis David Spagnuolo, whom I’ve had the great honor and pleasure of meeting, is one of the most popular and inspiring people on LinkedIn, and he get’s flooded with inquiries 24/7, so start thinking about how you can stand out from the crowd.

Reach out as many times as it takes to establish a contact that you truly believe should be made… just don’t go overboard chasing after one contact because there are many others that you may click with sooner.

2. Timing

If you reach out and you get a response or your invitation is accepted immediately… this is great!  This means your timing was right and the context of your message was on point.

However, if you do not get an immediate response or connection, you will not give up because of rule #1. Now, you must focus on the timing and context of your next message. Do not send a second message right away and do not wait too long either.  One idea is to get to know their social media schedule so the next message you send will be at a time when you are fairly confident they may read it.

It took three years of effort before I connected with Mike Mann, a king of the domain name world, and it was largely due to persistence and timing.

Today Mike is a great collegue, I’ve worked with him personally, and was honored to serve as CTO of his company DomainMarket.com for a period of time.

3. Context

Take the time to learn about each person you want to connect with.  The key is to findhow you can provide value to your contact.  Compare their business and services with your skills and your experience.  Think in terms of what you can do for them and not what you can receive.  Think about how you can differentiate yourself and stand out from the crowd of other inquiries they receive.

As Mr. Louis David Spagnuolo puts it, “If you want a seat, first bring something to the table”.

This is where context comes in.  If you explain yourself well, and within the context outlined here, and within the criteria your contact is looking for, then you will have done the work for your contact and they will instantly be able to acknowledge how you may be of immediate value and put your expertise to use.

Therefore, you must craft your message in the context of the need or desire you can fulfill.  Your message should be about helping your contact to fulfill that need for free (gratis, pro-bono) if possible or on an introductory (trial) basis.  Only then, with the right timing and the right context, are you most likely to get a response.

Once you establish your new connection, work as quickly as you can to iron out the details of your offer and then to fulfill the terms of your discussion or agreement.  You may have one foot in the door but you are only one step closer to your goals.  Once you have made a new contact, it is up to you to work even harder now to cultivate that relationship in the spirit of mutually beneficial success. 

BONUS TIP:  Pick up a copy of Napoleon Hill’s “The Wisdom of Andrew Carnegie As Told To Napoleon Hill” and study the 17 Principles of Success that many of your big contacts probably follow.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below and I will be pleased to reply.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sener Korkusuz is the Founder and CEO of EarthSkater.com, dedicated to helping small business owners succeed online with custom tailored eCommerce solutions.  He is the Co-founder and CTO of the LinkedOpinions.com, a free tool used to survey your LinkedIn connections and the co-founder and CEO of the A7FL. The American 7’s Football League, The Game America Wants.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Web Design

June 27th, 2016 by

Let’s start with the basics.  What do people look for when they visit a website? If your website is too bland and filled with details which will take too much time to read, your visitor may quickly close the browser tab and move on to the next website.  This may be the case when the website design is not attractive, doesn’t look like a market leading website, enough to keep your visitors interest. This is a mistake that we at Earth Skater always aim to avoid.

Designing a business website or online store is not such an easy task. When creating an online store website, a good e-commerce webhost helps the website owner understand the available services and gathers information to get the best results for the website.  A company’s website is often the first and only place clients will see and be presented with all the information they need about the business.   You cannot show your customers a webpage that their they will not be interested in. Here, we are going to note down just some of the common mistakes you should avoid if you want to enjoy a successful web design.

·        Incorrect Use of Color

Color is important. Color schemes are generated for a reason and with so many online tools helping you choose the right match for your business, choosing the wrong color can create a very distracting image for the visitors. Not only does the wrong color make your website look unappealing, but it also makes the text unreadable.

·        Content Layout

Haphazardly placing the content on your website prevents the visitors from quickly zeroing in on what they need from your website. Disorganized and messy layouts not only make the visitor believe that you have not put in sufficient time in the designing stage, but it also makes your business look unprofessional, and thus unreliable.

·        Inaccessibility on All Devices

We live in the age of technology, so creating a website which cannot be accessed by all devices, can really hinder the flow of online traffic to your business. When creating a website for a business, you have to think about mobile friendly responsive web design and all the aspects, including a diverse audience, different operating systems and even screen sizes so that the website is properly displayed.

·        Too Long to Load

Too much animation, video, outdated Flash animation, and large image files can add an element of excitement to the site but using them excessively can make the website load slower.  Also, not everyone has Flash or the bandwidth to support it, and that can create a very irritating experience for a customer as the website would take too long to open up, and if it finally does, the customer will not be able to see what the graphics are, because their system does not support flash.

·        Installing Separate Software

No one wants to install a software program just to be able to can use content from your site. Most internet users also block software installations from websites for many reasons, chiefly among them being that they simply do not want to install software from unknown sources. Although many people already have programs such as Acrobat and Flash, asking potential customers to install additional software will only make them open a tab to a different website.

Ask any of the best website design companies in the business and they will give you long lists of even more mistakes which are still being made in web design. With the help of these pointers, you now know that when it comes to creating the best online store software for your business, it is better to know what NOT to do, so that you have an even better chance of creating a successful website.

Consider These Points Before Starting your Website

June 18th, 2016 by

For your business to have the greatest chance of big success, your online store software should feature a top notch design as well as be super user-friendly.  Your online store website needs to be more than just a basic catalog of your products, it needs to compete with your markets leaders in terms of functionality and web design

Here, we are going to give you a few tips which you should consider while creating your online store website.

Domain and Host

A domain is your identity. You can either make it very simple or be creative with it; either way, it has to be something that sticks to memory but is also easily accessible. Take our domain name, Earth Skater. We chose a name which created intrigue for our customers similar to Web Surfer.  When choosing a domain name for your business, remember that it needs to click for your customer so they stay and explore your business.

Minimalist Design

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when creating your website is overcrowding it.  Messy websites can dilute the value of your call to action message (for example, your buy now button or lead generation form).  With a clean design which not only gives the proper information but also, does not overwhelm the senses, you can give customers a positive user experience and encourage their return.

Colors & Theme

Colors make all the difference in the world. There is a reason why many popular websites use specific shades of blue, and that is because blue has a calming and comforting influence for the user, and thus, the user of the website feels more attracted towards the site. Color schemes are influenced by many factors such as the target audience, brand logo, company’s message and chosen scheme. So if you want to create a successful website, then taking time out for some color based research can make a big difference in how visitors perceive your website.

Easy Access

If the customer finds the website difficult to navigate through, then they will leave. Along with keeping a minimalistic design, if you want to create a positive customer experience, then you need to make sure that your website visitors can access all public areas of the website at will. If the site is user friendly and has a mobile friendly responsive design, then your potential customers will be more likely to venture into the other tabs of your website, and even read the blogs you’ve written to help them out.

Appropriate Loading Time

This is a mistake many web designers make and flaw many online store software’s suffer from. Testing your website can give you a chance to look at some of the issues that may be prevalent on your website.  Page or slideshow slow loading time will only make customers frustrated, so by making sure that everything loads quickly to efficiently service customers.

SSL Security

Customers will not shop on your website if the site does not have security measures like SSL security and/or a name brand merchant account in place.  Customers want and need to be sure their transactions will be safe and secure.  A secure website is a trustworthy website to your customers.

The best online store software comes with real service behind it, Earth Skater uses all these tips and more to its advantage when servicing our clients websites.  We strive to provide customers with services that will ensure success for their businesses.

Social Networking: Making The Right Connections

June 16th, 2016 by

astronaut_with_laptop_in_space_hi

As an entrepreneur, networking plays an important role in building your business.  Even if you could do it all on your own, you would still need to network, and the sooner you start building your network, the better.

Building a network of entrepreneurs both in and out of your field starts to tell a story about who you are professionally, what opportunities you are seeking, and what inquiries you may have interest in hearing.  You can connect with everyone from industry thought leaders and influencers to potential partners and clients. First making the connections and then following your connections puts you in the position to reach out proactively so that you are prepared when a perceived opportunity arises.  The best networkers research their connections to understand them better so that they can take the right action, at the right time, with the right contact.

What does it tell you when someone does not accept your connection?  Maybe they did not get to it yet… that’s unlikely.  What is likely, is that they researched you, checked your profile, and not accepted your connection.  This can give you valuable insight as well.

Your hopeful contact chose not to accept your connection which can mean multiple things.  I’ve listed these red flags in the order of likelihood based on my experience in not connecting.

  1. Spammy looking profile (no photo, few if any connections, red flags are going off when googling you)
  2. Your approach may have been at the wrong time or if you sent a message it may have been off target  (were you soliciting first or were you bringing something to the table first
  3. You may be perceived as a direct competitor and potential threat
  4. They may see themselves as a valuable contact and not want to lend you the credibility of the connection

BONUS TIP:  If you didn’t make the connection the first time around, and you believe it is an important connection to make, don’t be afraid to try again, build your value, pick your timing, adjust your message, and try again.

Personally, I accept almost all of the connection requests I receive, but I definitely avoid #1 almost always (sometimes it’s hard to tell so I give the benefit of the doubt)… so with that, please feel free to leave your comments and questions and I look forward to connecting with you!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sener Korkusuz is the Founder and CEO of EarthSkater.com, dedicated to helping small business owners succeed online with unbeatable web design, web hosting, and online store service.

Becoming an Influencer by Blogging

June 6th, 2016 by

achieve-success

As a CEO, you are already the thought leader of your organization.  Your thoughts drive the actions your company takes.  Ultimately, you are the ONE responsible for leading your team, or pushing yourself, to continuously take the necessary actions to achieve success.  The goal is to increase the scale and range of your influence as a thought leader and to leverage your following and network of connections to create new bigger opportunities.

You are already the thought leader of your organization.

At this point in your career, your mind may have already shifted towards the bigger picture. Using your thoughts, your expertise, your experience, to gain influence in your market to attract new clients, partners, and opportunities.  On the other hand, you may just be beginning to get started with social media, social networking, and even the idea of blogging, let alone becoming an influencer.

JUST DO IT!

In either case, the solution is the same, as the slogan goes, JUST DO IT!  The point is to start blogging… PERIOD.  You have the passion to promote your business.  You have a likeable personality and will increasingly become more  effective in networking and making business connections.  Lastly, you have built up the feverish obsession to become successful in your business and blogging and becoming an influencer will only help you to achieve greater success.

Do not expect to, nor will you, become a national or global thought leader overnight.  But, take comfort in knowing your unique perspective holds true value to those in your industry, whether to potential clients, partners, investors, or other interested parties like press and media.

That which you are seeking is causing you to seek.

You should already be thinking about things you could blog about related to your market.  As you get involved in social networking and make new connections you will get additional ideas on what to blog about relevant to your community.  You will attract the opportunities you are seeking.  As the saying goes “that which you are seeking is causing you to seek”.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sener Korkusuz is the Founder and CEO of EarthSkater.com, dedicated to helping small business owners succeed online with unbeatable web design, web hosting, and online store service.  He is the co-founder and CEO of the A7FL, American 7’s Football League.  He is the Co-founder and CTO of LinkedOpinions.com, a free tool used to survey your LinkedIn connections.