Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Social Networking Sites – Why Participate?

by David Foster-Hubze

With the extensive growth of the Internet comes the corresponding explosion of social networking sites. Netizens or those people who involve themselves actively in online social groups, would be most familiar with websites such as facebook, Friendster, and Twitter.

These are sites where people usually share viewpoints, information, opinions and other things that interest them. With these activities, they have transformed the internet from being a simple venue for static information to a dynamic social forum and resource.

But what is it that makes these websites so popular not only among the younger set but with practically all ages, social and geographical groups? Is it because people find like-minded individuals and universally-beneficial information?

Some say that it is because these social networking sites are venues where people “congregate” which means they are intrinsically social. However, this doesn’t fully describe their status since they are more than just sites where people go to for information about other people. They are sites where everyone can share almost all personal issues, their viewpoints, opinions, beliefs and get back the same and more from others. They connect people by any common ground that they find themselves grouped together on.

Social networking sites work because those who participate in them find people with the same passion about certain things in life. Any one purpose will suffice although with these sites, it is easy to formulate and identify one and get people to notice.

People give their attention to those ideas that they find doable within their sphere of influence. And if they find it online on a social networking site, then it can only be for the good of all. It is also not unusual for these online relationships to be transformed into offline connections which continue to prosper and benefit each one.

Get in line for your own HUBZE card. It's free and set to launch live SOON!

Monday, April 19, 2010

5 Ways to Break Out of the Pack and Attract More Qualified Leads

by Tammy de Leeuw
Financial Advisor Netzone

As you can imagine , I hear from advisors and agents every day...

and they are all wondering the same thing:

"How can I generate my own leads and wean myself off those frustrating, expensive "store bought" leads?"

It's the BIG QUESTION on everyone's mind, along with "How can I be super lazy and still make a fortune?" (when I find an answer to that one, I will be sure and let you know...)

Here are a few ways I have found that rich advisors and agents can go from being beggars to being hot commodities, and telling lead companies "SAYONARA."

1. Don't be afraid to try something NEW.

Change can be OH SO SCARY, I know. But if what worked in the past isn't cutting it anymore... why cling to it? That's just NUTS! The good news is that you don't have to play Lone Ranger. It's pretty easy, and I think, necessary to assemble a peer group and get their creative ideas, criticisms, and feedback.

Stop being afraid someone will steal your idea and get advice from someone who is more successful than you. Remember: the idea is just the vehicle: YOU are the real client attractor, so don't worry about your competition. Do things that show off YOU and YOUR strengths and you will make everyone forget those other guys and gals.

2.WOW is the new YAWN

You used to be told to "WOW" your prospects and clients. Bad news: WOW is no longer enough. You have to go way beyond wow and touch, touch, and touch again, and never allow a good lead to fall through the cracks. Email is still useful, and now there is ENHANCED email with bells, whistles and sounc. Try your hand at video email or "voiceover visuals" and you will see your response and retention rates skyrocket.

3. Automate, Delegate, or Die

Top advisors always do what's "closest to cash" and leave the little stuff to their assistants. If you spend half your day chasing down policies, entering in data, or doing other routine tasks instead of loving your clients, you are hurting your bottom line. Hire an assistant, even if you have to hire a virtual one, or find ways to AUTOMATE routine tasks.

4. For Goodness Sake- STAY CONNECTED

You know you need to reach out and touch
your database OFTEN in order to get and keep clients and get referrals. But do you DO IT?

Rich advisors DO... and they reap the benefits.

Top advisors tell me they do a minimum of 15 touches per year for their top clients (some do 2-3 touches per MONTH!) Again, automation plays a key role in doing this successfully and without stress. A system such as Send Out Cards can help as do things like auto responders, surveys, "lumpy" mail, gifts and premiums, and other value items.

5. Stop Slacking and Build Your Referral Business.

Take some time and PLAN OUT the steps you need to take to get more referrals. Getting referrals should be a process, not an afterthought.

You need to perfect the ways in which you get referrals: build templates that make it easy and fast to gather referrals. You can produce materials, such as booklets, reports, and videos that have information your clients can USE and for which they will THANK YOU. (refer you to a friend.)
You can have quarterly or yearly EVENTS and have your clients bring a friend or co-worker. Whatever you do- be CONSISTENT if you want to see real results

6. Hang Around with Winners
Misery loves company, I know. However, "networking" with a bunch of your peers who are as broke (or broker) than you is not conducive to learning the art of success. I am guessing that when Donald Trump wanted a breakthrough in his business, he chose to be mentored and inspired by SUCCESSFUL people, and avoided all the wannabes. Choose the company you keep carefully and their good stuff is sure to rub off on you.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Facebook: Useful At Last?

by Tammy de Leeuw
Financial Advisor Netzone

Facebook used to be one of my favorite time-sinks.

I avoided household chores by looking for old high school friends, watching silly videos (even posting a few myself) and generally just wasting tons of time.

Then I realized...

This thing COULD eventually become a source of leads for my business.

Facebook truly is the 800 pound gorilla of social media- with over 400 million members and nearly half of those using it on a regular basis.

It is just too big to ignore as a serious source of qualified business leads.

But Facebook is FRUSTRATING. Partly due to the inherent resistance of social media community people to anything even remotely posing as advertising. (They don't want ads and they don't want to pay to use how are these sites supposed to be profitable?)

Also frustrating was the fact that Facebook didn't let you have capture forms or customized pages on it- even on the "fan pages." (So, how were you supposed to gather data in order to contact leads?)

However... An advisor in Southern California turned me on to something called Hubze which promised to turn Facebook upside down and make FAN pages pay off in a big way.

At first, I hesitated to join the beta test. (another gimmick?)

Then, I started to see the potential of this brand new technology to make social media easier and more profitable.

As of this post, HUBZE hasn't even been released to the general public... But I think it is going to be big.

I invite you to try it out before all the other people weigh down the bandwagon.

Here is the link to my personal invitation:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dean de Lisle Gets His Game Face (book) On

by Tammy de Leeuw
Financial Advisor Netzone

Nearly 20 million people a year join Facebook "fan pages."

So, it's a pretty safe bet that your competition has one...

and if you don't- you are missing out on a great, free opportunity to use Facebook the right way to attract prospects.

In this two day, low-cost web class series beginning on April 22, leading social media authority Dean de Lisle will show you in real time how to build and optimize a fan page, one of the few avenues of legitimate advertising available on Facebook.

Businesses who learn to use Fan pages are seeing dramatic results in the number of online relationships they are able to create.

Going beyond the social media hype, Dean will teach you:

*All the fundamentals of setting up a business site
*What you NEED before you post any content
*How to post contents for RESULTS
*How to get your business site "FOUND"
*How to create a Social Media Plan
*How to convert online leads to offline sales...

and a lot more!

So, if you have ever thought that Facebook can't possibly be of any use beyond posting goofy videos or streams of consciousness... then this class will show you otherwise.

Included with the two-day registration are full recordings, all materials, and a bonus "Fan Pack" filled with over $100 in marketing tools.

Go here to register: