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Time2Mrkt is Proud to Announce Woman Business Enterprise Status

Time2Mrkt recently earned Woman Business Enterprise status from the State of Illinois.

After working with one of my clients for a number of years, the procurement process changed. They now require all of their contractors to be on the Illinois Procurement Guide as registered business.

Since I wanted to keep my contract viable with them, I went through the process of completing the application. This was an involved process! It took a couple of weeks from start to finish. I was totally confused but a webinar I attended about completing the application gave me enough information to assuage my trepidation with the applicaiton.

Thankfully, I save emails and documents, so gathering the information they needed was time-consuming but relatively painless. I had to  contact my attorney for copies of incorporation documentation, my CPA for some tax documentation, and get a couple of documents notarized. I happen to be a notary, but I am unable to notarize my own documents.

After everything was uploaded, and all of the questions responded to, I participated in a phone interview. They wanted tax information about our construction company and I asked why. The response made me laugh out loud. Apparently, all business in which you hold a shareholder stake have to be tracked because the total income cannot exceed $75 million. If I was making $75 million in either of our businesses…

All in all, this is a great opportunity that may open up the clients with whom I might do business. Since I have the Woman Business Enterprise certification, I am able to potentially meet quotas for business with government contracts who have to track those sort of things.  It also allows me to complete applications in other states and agencies in the state based on the documents that I have already submitted for the current certification.

If I had know that the state process was this easy, I might not have waited so long to complete it. They also have veteran owned business certification, along with minority and minority woman categories. Something to think about when you are looking for a new service vendor.

FYI – they don’t have a logo, so I created one of my own. I think I will submit it to someone to see if they would like to use. Give me your feedback on the design.

 

Interview – Sell Me This Pen

Going to an Interview can be nerve wracking!

nervous man at interviewThe interview makes or breaks your chance of getting hired. An interview is a sales pitch for you to get the job. How can you use a sales tactic to enhance your chances of getting a job?  For those of you who don’t know, I teach many workshops on LinkedIn for job seekers, and I teach a job search class for using tools on the internet other than CareerBuilder and Monster (oh there is so much more!). In those classes, I discuss resumes, interviewing and many other job search related topics.

I saw an article today (noted below) that really struck me as something that job seekers should attempt regularly. I know when I managed retail stores, I used to have interviewees try to sell me an item I had on my desk just to see how they could think under pressure. These days with the necessity of good workplace skills and customer service skills, most jobs have a sales component whether you want it to or not. Using the following ideas during your interview may help show your versatility and value, and land you a job!

These are the four components of making a sale as noted in the article I read (make sure to read the article itself – it is really good):

  1. How you gather information
  2. How you respond to the information you gathered
  3. How you deliver information to the person you are attempting to sell
  4. How you ask for something (closing)

Here is how I could see this transformed to the interview setting for a non-sales position:

  1. What are the top three responsibilities (insert another applicable word here) that you envision for the position for which I am interviewing? Depending upon what the answers are takes you to point #2 above. Make sure you take notes so that you can respond intelligently.
  2. Listen carefully to the first item mentioned, and make sure you respond to it first. Getting hired or getting a contract is all about being able to meet someones needs or solve a problem.
  3. Be prepared with examples of how you may have already solved someone else’s problem based on the list of items mentioned. Seek to understand how you might be able to go “bigger picture” on the those items.
  4. Asking if the examples you provided would remedy the situation or meet the responsibilities would give you instantaneous feedback. Once you have described a previous situation or an idea, ask “is this something that could work for your business (this position).

Once you read the article you may agree with my take or not, but at least I got you to think about your approach to your interview. Let me know how I can help with your digital job search or LinkedIn profile!

Source: Best Answer to “Sell Me This Pen” I Have Ever Seen | LinkedIn

Check this checklist to make time for your social media

Does your marketing work better when you use a social media checklist?

I know that when I have a list of things to do, a checklist makes it easier for me. Some people use a digital version. I still like a paper and pencil type of list. OR I put things on my calendar and assign it a time.

Using a checklist for your social media tasks might work best using the calendar method. That way you can dedicate specific time each day, week, month or quarter to getting the things done for your business including your social media checklist.

Some of the things you might want to do would include getting posts out for your business. I like to keep the 70 / 20 / 10 rule for social media posts. 70% of your posts should be content regarding your industry. 20% of your posts should be your own content regarding your industry (like posting this post). Only 10% of your posts should be promotional in nature. That means if you have a 5 posts in a week, 3 should be content you find somewhere else, 1 should be your content and 1 could be a promotion. If all you ever post is sales, people will tune you out. Try to post witty, useful or informative items. don’t always be selling.

Use the tools on your checklist to help you maintain your posting schedule, monitor your goal achievement, check out what the competition is doing and where you will go next.

If you have any questions, or would like assistance in setting up your personalized checklist, I would be happy to assist. In the meantime, you can download this pdf version of the image above – social media checklist

The original inspiration for this article came from this source.

WordPress Post Template

Add a Subheading to your post with the keyword from your Title – Make this Heading 2 – Image bullet 2

Differentiation between a post and page – Post is where you put content that is not Static. Meaning it is not one of your main website pages. I added this piece using the ” mark from the WYSIWIG toolbar. It creates the pull quote option that we want for social media. Image bullet 9

blog template imageImage bullet 3 – Add content here. Make sure that the keyword you selected for your Title and Heading are included in the first paragraph. The content you write should be a minimum of 280 words but 300 is better. If you exceed 500 turn it into two articles of a duo or series. Make sure to “Save Draft” regularly, especially if you are writing a long article.

Include an image. The name of the image and the alternate text needs to include the keyword as well. Image bullet 4 is where you add the image for the post.

Add another subheading of lesser importance by clicking on Image bullet 2 – No lower than Heading 3

Image bullet 5 is where you can save the draft

Image bullet 6 is where you can schedule or pre-date a post, otherwise, it posts the moment you hit the “Publish button”

Image bullet 7 is where you can select a category for your post

Image bullet 8 is where you actually publish the post.

There are a number of SEO things that you can do with the Yoast SEO, but by following a number of these steps, you will have handled most of the cautionary items that you would trigger you to have to do something else with the post.

In your template, when you are typing in the text box for the post or the page, the side bar items might go away. This can be a little disconcerting, but you will get used to it. Just hover over one side or the others to get your menu items back.

blog template image 1

Tags in image bullet 10 is how people can search your blog for articles you have written on a certain word. They can include the keyword and other principle words in your blog article.

Depending upon your template, you may want to set a featured image. (Image bullet 11). These images may not post in social media, so if you can include a separate image as referenced above, it is best.

For the Yoast SEO (Search Engine optimization) you will want to include a snippet to describe the article that includes the keyword and interests people in what you are saying. Image bullet 12

Image bullet 13 is what Yoast tells you is readable. They offer suggestions to make your blog post better.

Image bullet 14 is where you tell Yoast what your keyword is so that it helps with people searching the web.

blog template image 2
If you want to see what your post is going to look like to make sure that everything is hunkydorey, just click the “View Post” at the top of the page in the WordPress toolbar.