Build your Brand with a Blog

Blogging is a great way to build your brand and market your products to the masses. Writing a blog allows you to demonstrate your expertise through writing. Blogging helps to provide prospects and customers with valuable information. Providing valuable information helps to position you as an expert and a resource.

Popular blog posts formats are: How to’s, book reviews, interviews, analysis of trends in your industry and best of’s. I was approached by many people as a result of my blog. Now you are asking the question, “How did you get the idea to blog?”

I decided to write a blog while working on an assignment in the education field. This assignment required me get other people to work on their writing. One of the prompts I used asked the question, “What do you know a lot about?”

Make a list of topics, choose one and write a research paper on this topic.

This writing prompt made me think about the topics that I knew a lot about. The topics were Sales, Marketing, and Social Media. As a result, I decided to put my thoughts on these topics in writing.  I launched Dan Galante’s Sales and Marketing blog in November 2011.

A blog is very easy to set up. The major blogging platforms are WordPress and tumblr. Both sites allow users to register for free. If you want to choose a custom domain name there is a fee. WordPress directly offers domain names for sale on their site. With tumblr, you will need to go to an outside provider and redirect the site to tumblr.

The WordPress and tumblr platforms have many features of Facebook and Twitter. You can re-blog an article. Re-blogging is sharing someone else’s content on your blog; similar to a retweet. Your fellow bloggers can also like your post and comment on it, similar to Facebook.  These features are great for engagement. Articles can be tagged with relevant terms. You can then search out these terms to see all posts on that topic. This is similar to a hashtag on Twitter or SEO.

WordPress and tumblr allows bloggers to share articles on various social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. You can use badges and plugins from your social networks to build a following and community. I have used this method to expand readership.

Guest blogging and syndication is another way to share your content. I am now syndicated on The Strategic HR blog.

Once you decide to start blogging, stick with it and publish quality content. Try to set up a writing schedule to maintain consistency. I shoot for once a week.

Blogging is a great way to get your message out. This is how you can build your brand with a blog.

Market Your Expertise with Paper.li

Blogging is a great way to establish and market yourself as an expert. However, there is only so much you can write on a topic in a time period. This is where content curation comes into play. Besides writing, experts share articles and opinion of others in their field. This can come in the form of a retweet on Twitter, like on Facebook, +1 on Google plus and various other forms of re-sharing. However, if you want to curate content from multiple sources, an online newspaper comes in handy. This is where Paper. li comes in.

I use Paper.li to share content on sales, marketing and technology. This is a great way for me to engage my followers with the content and opinions of others in my field.  People who are included in my papers frequently retweet the paper and mention me on Twitter. 

Paper .li is a great site to publish online newspapers on your area of expertise. The site allows you to sign up using your Twitter or Facebook account.  Papers are generated from your Facebook or Twitter feed. Setting up is easy. Once you go on the site, you will be asked to login with Facebook or Twitter. When I started, I decided to sign up with my Twitter account. Once I granted Paper.li access to my Twitter account,Image,

I was prompted to create my newspaper. You will need to create a title and subtitle for the paper along with how often you want your paper published. Paper. li provides publishers with three options: daily, morning +evening and Weekly.

Once you decide on the paper you want to create, you have the options of choosing hashtags from Twitter, RSS feeds, certain Twitter top accounts in the news, business, entertainment, tech and science, sports and leisure categories.Once you create your paper, you can schedule the time you want it to be published to Twitter and Facebook.  

Another great feature of Paper. li is the editor’s note. The editor’s note allows you to market your product and services. This feature also let’s you provide background about yourself. I share both text and links to my various websites and blogs.

Another feature that I like is the Twitter feed under the Editor’s note. This a great way for readers to follow and engage with you on Twitter. 

You can also search for people and content on the site. Readers who really like your paper can subscribe to your paper by email as well. This is similar to blog subscriptions via email. 

Paper.li also offers a premium service where you can publish newsletters. 

I recommend that you give Paper. li a try. It’s free!

My Top 5 Articles from 2012

In my last post, I shared my top 10 articles of all time. As today is New Year’s Eve, I wanted to reflect on my top five articles of 2012.

 #1 How to Deal with Difficult Customers

In sales, we all have to deal with difficult customers. Today, I am going discuss how to deal with difficult customers. In a previous post, I discussed how to get customers to pay on time. Before I can discuss how to handle difficult customers, the situation needs to be put in context. In other words, why were the customers being difficult? Were they being difficult because you screwed up their order or service call? Are they just miserable people? Does the customer constantly cancel their orders? What kind of relationship do you have with this customer? How important is your customer to your bottom line or monthly quota. …

 #2 How to Build Your Business & Brand Using Facebook Pages

In my last post, I discussed about how to build your personal brand on Facebook. Today I am going to discuss how to brand your business using Facebook pages. Remember Facebook is the largest Social networking site which means that your customers and prospects are on the site. Your job as a business and a brand is to engage with fans, prospects and customers. The goal is to convert this engagement (marketing) to product sales. Facebook pages are a great way to do this. …

 #3 10 Things a Sales Leader Needs to Do or Have to Be Successful

Deciding to go into sales management is a very big step for a sales person. Recently, I received an offer to serve as a sales trainer or de-facto sales manager; based on my time in field sales and my blog.

What are a VP of Sales, Sales Director and Sales Manager? …

#4 How to Handle the Objection: “call me after the holidays”

The holiday season is upon us. Everyone is in holiday shopping mode from Black Friday, Cyber Monday and many other things. Also, everyone is thinking about going to parties. So the last thing on your customers and prospects mind is to make a year-end purchase; unless they receive a year-end tax advantage. As a sales rep, you are under pressure to close deals so you can earn that bonus.  Unless your customer is in a buying mood, you are going to …

 #5 How to Generate Leads for Your Business

Lead Generation is an essential building block for businesses to find potential buyers who are interested in their products and services. In previous posts, I discussed how to prospect and identify your target market. In this post, I will discuss how businesses can find leads and what mediums can be used to obtain leads.

Many mediums can be used to obtain leads. These mediums include: Direct mail, Email, Marketing, Surveys, Advertising, Social Media, referrals from current customers, business networking, trade show marketing. …

Happy New Year! Thank you for reading my blog, I appreciate your support. There are more articles to come in the coming weeks. Feel free to send me your comments, questions and suggestions. Have a wonderful 2013.

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Top 10 Most Viewed Articles

As the year is winding down, I wanted to share with you the top 10 articles from my blog. Based on the readership the honors go to:

#1 Four Basic Things Every Person in Sales Needs to Do to Be Successful

Selling is a very detailed process. There are four basic things that every person in Sales needs to do to be successful. These four things are: belief in your products and services, knowing how to prospect/knowing your target market, knowing how to engage prospects and customers with a message that is compelling and the ability to persist in the face of rejection and knowing how to get past objections. ….

#2 How to Deal with Difficult Customers

In sales, we all have to deal with difficult customers. Today, I am going discuss how to deal with difficult customers. In a previous post, I discussed how to get customers to pay on time. Before I can discuss how to handle difficult customers, the situation needs to be put in context. In other words, why were the customers being difficult? Were they being difficult because you screwed up their order or service call? Are they just miserable people? Does the customer constantly cancel their orders? What kind of relationship do you have with this customer? How important is your customer to your bottom line or monthly quota. …

#3 How to Make a Cold Call

Whether you are a veteran or if you are new in sales, you will have to make cold calls to build your customer base. Many sales people dread making cold calls.

However, if you approach it the right way; cold calling can be a great way to develop your selling skills and forge great relationships with your future customers. …

#4 The Basic Principles of Marketing have changed or have they?

Marketing in the digital age has shifted from content to context. Up until recently, many brands created the content that was used to market their products. Consumers were expected to like their products just because they looked cool or were hip. With the rise of social networking with sites such as Facebook and Twitter, this started to change. …

#5 How to Build Your Business & Brand Using Facebook Pages

In my last post, I discussed about how to build your personal brand on Facebook. Today I am going to discuss how to brand your business using Facebook pages. Remember Facebook is the largest Social networking site which means that your customers and prospects are on the site. Your job as a business and a brand is to engage with fans, prospects and customers. The goal is to convert this engagement (marketing) to product sales. Facebook pages are a great way to do this. …

#6 10 Things a Sales Leader Needs to Do or Have to Be Successful

Deciding to go into sales management is a very big step for a sales person. Recently, I received an offer to serve as a sales trainer or de-facto sales manager; based on my time in field sales and my blog.

What are a VP of Sales, Sales Director and Sales Manager? …

#7 How to Generate Leads for Your Business

Lead Generation is an essential building block for businesses to find potential buyers who are interested in their products and services. In previous posts, I discussed how to prospect and identify your target market. In this post, I will discuss how businesses can find leads and what mediums can be used to obtain leads.

Many mediums can be used to obtain leads. These mediums include: Direct mail, Email, Marketing, Surveys, Advertising, Social Media, referrals from current customers, business networking, trade show marketing. …

#8 How to Handle the Objection: “call me after the holidays”

The holiday season is upon us. Everyone is in holiday shopping mode from Black Friday, Cyber Monday and many other things. Also, everyone is thinking about going to parties. So the last thing on your customers and prospects mind is to make a year-end purchase; unless they receive a year-end tax advantage. As a sales rep, you are under pressure to close deals so you can earn that bonus.  Unless your customer is in a buying mood, you are going to hear the objection “call me after the holidays”. If you have done business with this customer, you will have an easier time than if you are making a cold call. …

#9 How to Get Customers to Pay On Time While Keeping their Business

When we deal with customers, it is important to get them to pay their invoices in a timely manner. What a timely manner means is dependent on your company’s payment policy. Are these customers C.O.D or are they net 30, net 60, net 90 or longer? This payment structure is based on the length of the sales cycle.

What can we do to make sure that customers pay their invoices on time? …

#10 How to Overcome Sales Objections & Stalls

In sales, everyone has to be able to overcome objections in order to be successful. The best way to overcome objections is to prevent them. This can be done by providing a thorough sales presentation that covers all the information about your products and services. Also it is imperative that you address any questions the prospect has immediately. However, objections will come up from time to time. Some of these objections are real buying signals and others are just stalls to put you off. As a Salesperson, you need to be able to tell the difference. This will come with experience and by reading situational cues in each selling situation. Remember the prospect is buying you. In other words, you are part of the offering. Below, I have put together a comprehensive list of objections that I encountered and overcame as an outside sales representative in New York City.

Handling Objections & Stalls from Prospects…

Thank you for reading my blog, I appreciate your support. There are more articles to come in the coming weeks. Feel free to send me your comments, questions and suggestions.

Have a great holiday season and a wonderful 2013. I will see you soon!

Happy Holidays 

What the New York Auto Show Can Teach Us About Trade Show Marketing

Trade show marketing is important for companies to build brand awareness. The purpose for trade shows is to drive sales.  As a Dental Sales Rep, I worked the Greater New York Dental meeting. This is a show where Dental Manufacturers and distributors show off current and new products they have to offer. Today, I am going to discuss how companies can drive sales at trade shows. I am also going to use the New York Auto show to offer examples of best practices for trade show marketing.

When planning for a trade show it is important to decide on the size of your booth. Also you need to decide on your message and theme. Are you going to offer free product demonstrations? How are you going to get customers? How are you going to mobilize your staff? What is the reason you are attending the show. Are you looking to build brand awareness? Are you looking to increase sales? What is your budget for the show? Also how much time do you need to set up your display?

All of these questions should be handled before you can go ahead.  Also it is imperative that you get the word out that you are attending the event. Let your customers’ know what your booth number is and where to find you. You can do this by delivering literature to customers during sales calls. I have done this many times in the past.  Make sure to share postings on social media sites such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn. Advertise in your industry trade magazine and on industry related web sites. The organizers of the trade show will do this as well but you as companies need to do your part. Make sure your displays’ dazzle your audience. All presentations need to be top-notch!

The Automotive industry really does a great job with trade show marketing. I recently covered the New York Auto show as a member of the press. The show is going on through Sunday, 4/15/12 so I suggest you head down there to check it out. At this show, I saw some amazing unveils of the Chevy Impala, Mercedes, BMW M6’s, Lexus ES350, Nissan Altima and the Dodge Viper which was my personal favorite. I saw a stunt driver burn rubber with the Viper! Ford also had an amazing display as well. The Ford Mustang’s have their own place downstairs away from the main display. The auto show is shared on Facebook, and Twitter. The automotive manufactures also promote the show on their own social media channels. Many of the unveils were broadcast live on social media channels.

What made these unveils so exciting was the showmanship of the executives along with the videos and in the case of the Mercedes display; a live band. You saw the cars on the TV screen then the executives would drive up with the cars. They engaged the audience! Every car had a story and you felt like you wanted to buy it. Every trade show could be enhanced by watching the techniques employed at this show.

On the public days, professional spokespeople present the cars and trucks to the crowds. But don’t take my word for it, go out and see the show. Still not convinced? Here are the pictures!

How to Build Your Business & Brand Using Facebook Pages

In my last post, I discussed about how to build your personal brand on Facebook. Today I am going to discuss how to brand your business using Facebook pages. Remember Facebook is the largest Social networking site which means that your customers and prospects are on the site. Your job as a business and a brand is to engage with fans, prospects and customers. The goal is to convert this engagement (marketing) to product sales. Facebook pages are a great way to do this.

Facebook has greatly increased the kinds of pages that people and brands can create. Currently there are six types of pages. These pages include: a Local Business or place page, a Company page, a Brand or Product page, an Artist, Fan or Public Figures page, an Entertainment page and a Causes or Community page. Each of these pages has their own benefits. However in this post, I am going to focus on the public figure and the Company pages; using my public figure and company pages as an example.

The first thing that you need to do before setting up a Facebook business page is to set up a Facebook account. The steps to set up a Facebook account addressed in my last post. Once you create an account you need to do the following:

1 Log in to your account

2 Scroll to the bottom of the page and find the create a page link

3 Once you click on the link, a page will come up that will list all six types of Facebook pages. (For this post we will focus on the Public Figure and Company pages.)

4 Choose the type of page you would like which in our case is the Public Figure and Company pages.

5 Once you choose the type of page you would like, you will be asked to select the category your page falls into.

6 The next step will be to name your page. For the public figure page use your name or your band’s name if you have one. Use your company name for your company page. I started with a public figure page and added a company page later.

7 Agree to Facebook’s terms and click the get started button.

Getting Started

I will start by discussing how to set up a public figure page. The first thing you will need to do is to fill in the basic information section of the public figure page. The basic information section asks for the following:

1 The category of the page, the type of person you are public figure, journalist etc…

2 Your name

3 Your Address (This is optional for public figure and company pages)

4 Your affiliation

5 Your date of birth

6 An about headline which is similar to the headline feature on LinkedIn except you need to provide the content, where LinkedIn will let you use your job title and company as a default. I would use this space to briefly sell who you are and what you do. You should be brief. My headline is: Sales & Marketing Maven who is available to meet your sales & marketing needs Contact me for a free consultation Read my Sales & Marketing Blog http://www.dangalante.me . As you can see my headline is short and to the point. You can elaborate on the headline in the Biography section.

7 Use the biography section to expand on the headline. This is the place to describe yourself, your credentials and what you have to offer potential customers. Here is an example of my biography section: I am Dan Galante, President, CEO, CMO, Sales and Marketing Consultant at Trend Setting Sales and Marketing. Trend Setting Sales and Marketing provides Sales, Marketing and Advertising services to clients across multiple mediums. Prior to my current role, I ran the New York City sales territory for Diversified Dental Sales Inc. During my time in this position, I called on Dental Professionals, selling them my company’s products and services. I helped build my company’s brand by educating Dental professionals who were previously unfamiliar with our offerings. I also hold a Master’s Degree in Education. My knowledge of Sales, Marketing and Education, gives me the expertise to teach business ways they can produce more. My objective is to use my sales, marketing and education experience to provide clients with sales and marketing consulting services. I am also interested in obtaining traditional sales and marketing positions in New York City. I author a sales and marketing blog. Also, I publish several online newspapers which focus on the topics of: Sales, Marketing, Advertising, Technology, the automotive industry and Dentistry serving as Editor in Chief of each.

Specialties:

Sales, Marketing, Advertising, Direct Marketing, Online Marketing, B2B Marketing, B2B Sales, Territory Sales, Sales Techniques, Lead Generation, Route Sales, Dental Equipment Sales, Dental Sales, Dental Marketing, Outside Sales, Prospecting, Cold Calling, Cold Canvassing, Cross Selling, Brand Building, Business Development, Account Management, Customer Service, Customer Loyalty, Customer Retention, Mediation, Social Media Marketing, Spokesperson, Trade show marketing, Event Marketing, Education

As you can see I offer a professional summary along with my specialties. Listing your specialties is a great place to list what you have done along with what you would like to do.

8 There is a section for awards, gender, personal information, personal interests, phone number and websites. I definitely would make use of the personal interests, and websites section to make your page come alive.

Setting Up Your Pages Visibility

The next thing that you need to is to decide who will see your page. Facebook allows you to decide what countries are allowed to view your pages.  You can get access to this setting by clicking the permissions tab. Depending on your content, you can set an age restriction. Facebook also allows you to decide the following: if you want people to tag you in photos and videos, if you want people to write and post content on your wall and if you want to block certain people from posting on your wall. Facebook also lets you block profanity from being posted on your wall. I recommend that you allow people to tag your photos and post comments on content you post. Also, I recommend that you allow others to share content on your wall. I recommend this because this will give you the opportunity to engage with your fans. Once you reach 25 likes, Facebook allows you to set a custom URL to your pages. I recommend doing this because it will be easier for people to find your page and it will be easier for search engines to index your page. Here are my custom URL’s. http://www.facebook.com/djgalante http://www.facebook.com/trendsettingsm  I picked one name that was my name and one that is a shortened version of my company name Trend Setting Sales and Marketing. You should pick names related to yourself and/or your business so people will find your page quickly and easily.

Facebook also allows you to use insights to see who is talking about your page and who likes your page. Also make sure to upload a professional photo of yourself.

Another thing you can do is to choose an administrator for your page. I would recommend doing this yourself unless you have a professional moderator for your page because the administrator will have full access to your page.  You can also post your tweets to Facebook using the Twitter plug-in the under the resources tab.

Getting Likes

Once your pages are complete, you want to get people to like your page. For a long time Facebook likes have been Facebook’s social currency. Likes symbolize social approval from friends and fans. In order to get likes, you should do the following:

1 Provide compelling content that engages Fans. (I share my blog posts with my fans.) Encourage them to share their stories using your product and services. This could be done through wall posts or videos

2 Promote your page by inviting your Facebook friends and sending email invitations to people who are not directly connected with you.

3 Use Facebook ads to get people to like and interact with your page. (I will discuss this at a later time)

4 Post content from your Facebook page. (Facebook allows users to switch between their personal accounts and their Facebook page.)

Remember that this takes work and it is an ongoing process.

The company page on Facebook is similar to the Public figure page. The Company page is good to promote your business if you have employees. It is also good if you want to promote your company as a brand. If you are a in a band or working by yourself, I would use the public figure page. I use both pages because I am looking to get customers and I would like to grow my idea into a large business. The difference with the Company page is that you will not have to provide a date of birth. However, you will have to provide a company description instead of a personal description. (About me) Also you can provide a mission statement and describe your offerings in the products box. These are the key differences between the pages.

Promoting your Facebook page on other Social Networks and other Platforms

1 Share your Facebook page on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google plus by sharing your pages URL on these sites; inviting your connections/followers to join you.

2 Include a link to your Facebook page in your email signature

3 Include Facebook plugins on your website and blog

4 Include your Facebook page on any printed materials that you give customers and prospects

5 Include your page in any TV, Radio or print advertisements that you engage in.

This is how to successfully build and promote a public figure and company page on Facebook.

Until next time, thank you for reading!