George Carson, Author at CarsonPR - Page 2 of 34 (2) George Carson, Author at CarsonPR - Page 2 of 34

George Carson

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Have a plan

Businesses are always seeking new clients and most companies do so without a plan or use a process to find new clients. Making 100 sales calls per month isn’t productive anymore when you consider the odds to close new business is about 1% at best. New business development programs have been around for decades. Yet we keep searching for a full proof system that doesn’t require effort.

Maybe it’s time to stop searching, and time to begin with a plan or process that will help your business today. For those who want to grow their business, use these 8 tips. You might be surprised how these tips (reminders) can help your business grow this year.

1-   Existing Clients Bring More Business.

After we close a new client, typically we move on to look for the next new client. This is time consuming and not always rewarding.

Existing clients can bring you more business. For example, ask what their goals are and see how you can help them reach those goals. In turn, they just might buy more from you. Also, when you ask them for referrals, you might be surprised to see how eager they are to help you.

2-   Go Beyond What Is Expected.

Providing the goods and services to your existing clients is the easy part. Go one step further. Show interest in their industry and learn more about it. Use your network, or contacts to see if someone might be a good match for your client.

3-   Painkillers Remove Headaches.

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Learn how to listen to your customers

It doesn’t matter what type of business or service you provide, the reason why a client does business with you is to remove their pain. So become a “listener.” Whether you are at a cocktail party, an event or other social gathering, let a potential, or existing clients vent their pain. This might sound strange, but gaining their loyalty and being there to listen will show you are interested. Who knows, you might just have a solution to lessen their pain.

4-   Power Partners.

Surround yourself with similar businesses. Ask how they built their customer base and what things they did right and wrong. Ask how they improved their sales and if they have a new business development program. You may not get all the answers you are looking for, but you can learn from their mistakes to avoid those pitfalls.

Another great business source are your vendors. Ask them who they know that could use your products or services. It’s ok to request an introduction, just make sure you are offering your vendor an incentive. It can be a finder fee after you make that new sale, or a gift card to a nice restaurant.

5-   Networking Face-to-Face.

Belonging to groups online, such as LinkedIn is fine. But the best way to find new business is through the traditional face-to-face meetings. Some people call these one-on-one meetings. The point is to meet prospects in person, while keeping your online social network active.

6-   Elevator Speech.

This is the most known term in business, the elevator speech. Unfortunately most sales people, even business owners cannot explain their business in a short 30-second speech. Probably because we want to tell everything about our business fearing we might miss something in a short introduction. One way to better understand the elevator speech is to ask your self what would you put on a billboard, or say in a 30-second TV commercial. I recommend having two maybe three different elevator speeches. They can be written for specific markets, or industries. Then use the one that is most appropriate.

7-   Get Noticed. Stand Out in the Crowd.

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Make yourself and business known

No matter how successful or popular a business or person might be, they are continually marketing themselves through all forms of media: print, broadcast, mailers, and social media. A day almost doesn’t go by without reading about Apple, UPS, Taylor Swift, or Kim Kardashian to name a few.

This doesn’t mean you have to spend millions, or invent the first smart phone to get noticed. You need to be creative. Join a local community program or offer your spare time to a charity. If you are a B2B company, or B2C, you can use social media to build your awareness. Using publicity is another inexpensive form of media that will get you noticed.

8-   Do Your Homework Before Making Any Contact.

Know what the company is selling, if they have more than one location, who their competition is, and where they fit into their market are just a few things to know before making that first sales call. Being knowledgeable about their company can give you the advantage over your competition.

These tips might sound like reminders, and they are, and you’re probably saying, “I have used a few of these in the past”, well, that’s the problem. These should be used all the time. So why aren’t you using them? Now get your team together and make this part of your new business development program.

If you need further help in growing your business to the next level, give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400 or you could wait until your competitors call him first!

As much as we all love and use Google everyday to find information, we are slowly becoming dependent upon them to guide us to what we hope is all the information.

Choices, are they getting limited?

Choices, are they getting limited?

I truly believe Google is actually controlling what information they want us to read about. Yes, you can say that about any search engine, like Yahoo as well. But if you recall when we all began using Google it was because of their ability to provide more listings of places, people, and information we were searching for.

I do like them, and Google has been perfecting their searches, but are you aware of the recent changes to their algorithms? If not, then before you plan your pr marketing strategy be sure read this blog. The past updates have hurt and destroyed many websites who rely on the traffic from the searches.

I recommend that you don’t only rely on Google alone, but use other sources, search engines, to get a good cross reference of information. Just like getting more than one doctor’s opinion, do the same with your searches.

You might recall when Google launched its Panda update four years ago. It had a terrible affect on thousands of websites. You probably noticed that Google is providing more and more content directly on its search pages. Yes, that is good, but it reduces the need for users to click over to the websites, therefore reducing traffic to other sites. To take this a step further, are you aware that Google is showing lyrics in search results? They will show part of the lyrics and then insert a link to their Google Play if you want to see the entire lyrics. Isn’t that more control Google has on us by directing you to where and who you get information from? I think this is pat of their marketing strategy and it is doing more harm than good, in many cases.

Ok, need more proof? A list of the top “Falling Stars for 2014” by SearchMetrics shows in terms of search visibility and various lyrics sites that made the list. For example, LyricsMode and Sing365 both fell 60%. That’s a dramatic decrease. The hardest hit in this category was eLyrics.net which fell 92%. Here is the link to the full list of falling stars: http://bit.ly/1uLdfHt

Many of these and other business sites can only survive with the flow of traffic. We are seeing many of these online lyric sites decreasing staff in order to survive. I am sure this is also true for other online businesses. So what is the solution? Well for now, in my opinion, I suggest when you develop a social media campaign strategy, you do more than hope you get listed on Google, but include a wider array of social media to keep your brand and message in front of potential and current customers. I also recommend an on-going publicity campaign to keep your brand highly visible.

If you are experiencing this problem, or want to prevent Google from dropping your rankings, give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400. Don’t wait until something happens, as the doctor would say, use preventative measures.

So why do we make predictions when we cannot even predict the weather correctly, and we try to do that using very sophisticated equipment?  That being said, as a public relations expert, I will challenge technology using only my brain and tell you what I see happening for 2015.

It's going to be a great year, I think!

It’s going to be a great year, I think!

And in 2015 . . . .

Business and the Economy

Yes, things are looking brighter, but where is the growth coming from next year to continue this bright outlook?  I predict far more “franchise” businesses will be started because it is an easy way to enter the business sector without the old fear beset trial and error methods.

The second area I see growing is on-line businesses. This is the least costly way for entrepreneurs to try their hand at starting a business. I see a 30 to 40% increase in new online businesses.

Overall Economy

People will be spending about the same amount of money next year, but the fact some things are less costly (such as fuel for cars and basic food stuff) people will spend the same amount of money, just in more places.

Software

This industry has been growing steadily for the past four years and will continue. What I see now are new areas of technology on how we will continue to interact using our smart phones and other devices like smart glasses and other wearable items. The “cloud” is opening up new areas on how we store our data and will become a way we can store our conversations so we do not exceed email and texting limits on our devices.

Trust me.  At least 50% of those of my predictions this year will be 50% right. Are there any other pubic relations agencies or other professionals in the public relations industry willing to take this challenge and make their predictions?

If you answered yes, then maybe you never considered blogging as a vital component to the digital world we live in. Or maybe you feel that blogging is for people, not business. If that’s the case, you are ignoring something that can increase your company’s visibility and traffic, which could lead to an increase in sales. It is still amazing how many PR Clients do not understand the power of blogging.To Blog or Not

So why am I asking such a question if the simple answer is to say, “blogging is important and not something of the past.” Well, glad you asked. There are different approaches to blogging and where your blog is located. No, not a geographical location, but where your blogs are posted. For example, is it part of your website, or just hanging out there? Blog posts are usually more powerful if directly linked (part of) to your website. PR Clients should have an on-going blog program.

Another reason to keep blogging is to stay in touch with your customers, and to build credibility with potential customers. Unlike having a Facebook (business) or Pinterest, or Instagram accounts (which I feel are all still powerful when incorporated properly into your pr marketing plan), blogs allow you to express an opinion, talk about market conditions and have customers make comments. It’s a way to keep in touch with your market and get feedback as well. Hey, this is a better way to know about your customers than having it become a negative review on Yelp.

Blogs should not be a sales pitch, nor be a bragging area about your company. The big difference from other social media where you would show and tell about a new service and products, blogs should be more informative. Talk about your industry and what might help improve it. You can mention that your new product has helped shaped a market or industry, but don’t go into a sales pitch. The content you write is important and using links to credible sites help re-enforce a statement. Make sure your content is relevant to your industry, and not political.

Another reason to blog, it can give your business an identity, a personality. People like to know that a company has “people” running the business and not robots. And of course, blogging does improve your search engine rankings.

Lastly, how often should you blog? If you are just starting out, I would recommend the first 4 months you blog at least twice a week. Then, after that, cut to once per week. If you have the time to blog more often, go for it.

So I ask, will you be blogging anytime soon, or are you still in the mindset that this too will pass?

Need help with your blog program, or how to make a social media campaign successful? Then stop reading this blog and give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400.

We all know or have heard in social media that content is king. This was to my knowledge challenged recently asking if it is still true. Well, in my opinion, it still is. Besides content in your blog, or on your website, we now are finding how to effectively use content as a marketing strategy as another form of pr marketing strategies.

Simply put, a content marketing strategy actually refers to the power of the content and Social engineering conceptunderstanding how you create the appropriate content strategy. Confused yet?  Ok, let me give an example.  In social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest you probably tell people, followers and sometimes even customers about your products or services. Take this PR one step further by now creating a “two-way” conversation.  Make your pr content be shareable, work to make it trigger a discussion to encourage your social network to continue the conversation within their social circle.

In order to be effective with a content strategy you should have a clear understanding of your objective before you begin making any statements, or starting up a conversation. This type of content is designed to build viable web content that will engage your target customers as well as search engines.  This can also help increase your visibility with the search engine rankings.

When you create conversations (content) it will usually increase your online business and generate maximum web visibility to build a strong reputation. Therefore be sure to always provide enough quality content for customers to talk about with others. This is an effective way to expand your pr marketing strategy.

Aron Agius a well-known person in the field who has helped online marketing campaigns become successful made this statement:

“The importance of content marketing strategy cannot be underestimated. Content is the foundation of any successful online marketing campaign. A great strategy is needed in order to fuel social media activity, to create high converting landing pages for pay per click marketing, and to power increases in search engine rankings for target keywords.” He continued saying, “businesses of all sizes can benefit from implementing a solid content marketing strategy. Small businesses have just as much opportunity as big business to reach an increased audience trough content marketing – the key element that needs to be monitored is consistency. Consistent content creation and marketing is what sets apart businesses from the many similar businesses jumping on the content marketing bandwagon.”

I do not think I could have said it any better.

And if you are not sure how to implement this strategy, Aron has these 5 steps that you can follow:

1) Focus your plan around being able to consistently create high quality content.

2) Ensure your content strategy covers a wide range of different content types. Text blog posts, advanced guides, info-graphics, images, video — the more types of media you create the greater the potentially reach and the number of different distribution channels you can use to get eyeballs on your content.

3) If need be outsource your content creation, but only do so once you have developed strict guidelines around tone, style, voice, and the core messages that you want your content to speak towards.

4) Identify the problems in your industry, the questions people are asking and focus on being a resource that creates content that solves problems and puts you in a position of authority within your industry.

5) Don’t forget the marketing in content marketing. This is the most important point. People are now creating endless amounts of content and thinking they are doing content marketing. You should be spending as much time in marketing the content as you are creating the content on the first place.

Now go and start some conversations to engage your customers.

How do you make the 62nd California RV Show successful?

Being the 62nd annual show makes it a real challenge to get existing customers excited about something they have known about for this many years. And finding new customers isn’t easy.

First you need to understand the audience, what it is that will create their interest to attend the RV Show and what can you do to make it more of an event than just a typical RV show. After knowing these critical facts youLogo--CA Show then build around these findings to create a successful California RV Show. It is important for the media and publicity teams to work together by exchanging information to develop a campaign that will have the greatest impact. The PR Client in this particular case is the RVIA (Recreational Vehicle Industry Association). Unlike other RV shows, this is produced by the manufacturers association, not the dealers. The RV dealers are represented by displaying the manufacturers new RVs for 2015. Interested customers can talk directly to the manufacturers representatives to learn about the RVs, while the purchasing must go through the dealers.

This year’s show had several challenges. Among them was the size: over 1200 new RVs with 21 dealers that counted for 800,000 sq ft of space. To create some excitement we wanted the customers to know more about

Gayle Anderson and George Carson

Gayle Anderson and George Carson

what to expect at the show to create the “desire” to attend. To do this we worked with Gayle Anderson at KTLA, channel 5. Her solid following of viewers and her personality to make things interesting gave the show the needed publicity exposure prior to the opening. We presented to Gayle what is different. Things like Genesis Supreme RV building a 19 foot Toy Hauler at the show, a slalom challenge by Airstream, retro RVs like Winnebago’s Brave, and how roomy a Mercedes Class B Van is with a murphy bed. The local publicity helped many RV companies create the interest among potential RV buyers as well as those who might not have considered RVing but now see how much fun it can be.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tom Gaither and Josh

A few days later we had KCAL 9/CBS chief meteorologist Josh Rubenstein report the weather live from the California RV Show. Josh was great. He interviewed Tom Gaither, director of the show and many different manufacturers from Fleetwood, Leisure Travel Vans, to 5th wheel manufacturers. Josh even went inside a custom class A motor home built by Show Hauler.

AC Green and George Carson

AC Green and George Carson

To give the show added enjoyment we had former baseball greats like Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Chuck Finley and Randy Jones do a meet and greet sessions on different days. AC Green, former Lakers player, also known as Iron Man was there on Sunday to sign autographs with fans. And to rock the show, Bret Michaels the lead rock star in the band Poison gave the crowd a fun time signing his name on most anything his fans handed him.

This is one way to create a publicity campaign and make it successful.

There are a lot of conversations (noise) in social media. If you just try to follow only a few like Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, you will get drowned in all the conversations. So if this is overwhelming to you, then lets look at how to make people listen.

bigstock-Businesswoman-With-Big-Ears-10623491First of all, building a social media network is very important for pr clients. Before starting any social dialogue, these are some of the questions you need to ask when doing your conversations. Does it stimulate your customers to do the action you desire? Is it building brand loyalty? Are you creating any dialogue for people to interact with your conversation?

Major brands are using “conversations” to further build their pr visibility and brand. Companies like Coke, Pepsi, Microsoft, Apple among many others are aggressively “talking” to their consumers. But are their customers really listening? Some of these brands use Facebook and Twitter to get people to participate in contests, or engage them into a discussion. These pr marketing strategies are good, if understood. Sometimes the results are very small when you look at the overall numbers these social media have in comparison to those people responding. Does this mean they should not continue their publicity campaign? Of course not. You need to have a plan, just like a marketing plan, or media plan, you need to develop a publicity strategy of where, when and the topics you want to start. Just because the immediate followers or those responding might be small, you are developing a massive exposure about you and your brand. And the same is true when you ran a print or TV campaign. The exposure is always greater than those directly involved in your message. This is part of building a brand.

I read a recent article by Barry Levine that sums it up  “ Social media conversations are a whisper not a shout.”

That means you need to know who are your customers, know what they like on social media, what they enjoy Social meida-penguinsdoing and how often do they engage in the social media that you want to connect with them. Seems like a lot of research, and it is. But once you have learned this about your customer, then you can begin the “conversation.” With that said, it is important to have a true conversation, not a sales pitch, nor how great your company or brand is. Just like you would discuss a topic with a friend, keep your conversations friendly, and point out the good and bad about something. Get people to interact. That’s why so many brands use contests. Unfortunately, that is now getting overused and should be done on a limited basis, not become your main reason to have the conversations.

In summary, are conversations being heard? They can be if you are active in conversation with your customers and start topics that they would like to discuss. Remember, postings are good in social media, but that isn’t building a brand unless you get people involved in conversations. Then the word will spread beyond the social platforms, that’s how to create the buzz in the industry.

If you are ready to continue the conversation, give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400.

As a business entrepreneur, it is very difficult to know if you are making good or bad decisions. Or if you chose the right type of business. So how did you get started, and how do you avoid any of these mistakes?angry-boss1

Starting a business in your mid 40’s or 50’s can be fulfilling, but has its risks if you don’t have any guidelines, especially if this is your first venture. To help you avoid being one of the 80% of businesses that fail in their first three years, review these mistakes that many businesses have made over the years.

1-    Start with a passion and keep it going. When you started the business you might have thought you had clarity and direction. Try to not get caught up in the “BUT” excuses. For example, if you are not a super salesperson or know how to generate sales leads, don say “I don’t know how to do this”, rather seek help and do some research to find how to improve your sales approach. Don’t make excuses for not knowing how things get done.

2-    Are you undercapitalized? Don’t rely on banks or other financial institutions lending you money because you have a great product/service. Banks are not in the business of loaning money to new businesses, it’s just a fact in life. So make sure you have enough capital to keep your business afloat for several months to a year before jumping in.

Before starting, estimate the overhead to run the business, consult with friends or colleagues who have their own business and ask questions on how they managed their first year and what expenses they did not expect. There are a few organizations available to help such as SCORE who can provide guidance and direction.

3-    Build it and they will come. If you want to start a business based on the fact you have a unique product and people are just waiting to buy, think again. People have developed buying habits and the only way to break into that habit is to let people know you exist and have a great product. Offer compelling reasons why they should switch to your product.

bigstock-Businessman-Circling-Success-41064631Do your homework. Identify who your customers are, and then develop a plan how to sell to them. The two simple reasons people buy are to avoid pain and gain pleasure. Not just aches, but the pain of not liking something, such as their kitchen, their clothes, or poor skin or hair.

4-    Know when to quit. This is about an exit strategy. Even though you are just starting out, knowing how you plan to leave the business will help you develop a plan to grow the business. Sounds weird, but this will help give you some clarity to building up the business.

Keeping track of your investment and what you plan to get out of it puts things in focus. Did you know that 90% of businesses that go up for sale never get sold? So have an exit strategy.

5-    Support from those you know, especially family. Starting a business is a commitment, and that will put a lot of stress on a family. In the beginning most of your time will be dedicated to building the business, and that should be clearly understood when you take this giant leap. After you get a foothold and the business becomes profitable then you need to take time off. If you are married and have children, you need to take a break from work. Vacations, even short, two day camping trips will re-energize you and keep the family supportive.

To sum all this up:                                                                                                                                 Keep the Passion, Have Clarity and Continue To Learn From Others

Give George Carson a call when you need to build more traffic to your business. A solid publicity campaign and marketing strategy can keep your passion alive! Call: 949-477-9400 today.

7 tips you need to know!

Career Bridge

You are the only person responsible for how your career turns out. Excuses are not going to change anything, if you think otherwise, then you are starting in the wrong direction to improve your career. Follow these 7 tips and you could be the next CEO.

1-    Choose a career you like. Sounds simple, but many people get into a field or career because of the money or it was their first job. If you like it great, but if you don’t then start thinking of a career change. You cannot move forward if you have a mindset that your job is only a place to collect a paycheck.

2-    Knowledge is king. If your field of work requires more education to advance, then be proactive. Do some research to find classes to help you become a better person, or to learn a skill in your field that will help you. For example, if you lack presentation skills and your company does a lot of presentations to new customers, then take classes to learn PowerPoint, or how to conduct meetings, or join Toastmasters to improve your speaking skills.

3-    You’re not alone, only if you choose to be. Networking in person is an excellent way to get outside advice and a different perspective. Surrounding yourself with people in similar fields can improve your career advancement by letting others know of your goals and what interests you. Get familiar with people outside your company; make friends with people who work for competitors. You may learn about a new position to advance your career.

4-    Make a location change. Sometimes you need to sit back and decide if you are a big city person, or prefer the small town atmosphere. This can hamper you if for some reason you cannot stand the fast pace in a large city. Jobs are not always available in every career in big and small cities, so this is important to decide before you to stick with a career.

5-    Moving on. When you got your first job, money might have not been as important until you wanted to buy a new car, or a house, or live in a more expensive neighborhood. If you feel making more money is just as important as the career you choose, then maybe it’s time to move on. That means changing careers, not just location. As you explore new options you will eventually find the career path that meets your needs.

6-    Get online in a social way. Another form of networking is through social media. Get connected with LinkedIn and build a network of people in your career, or a career you are seeking to enter. If you have a resume, post it on sites like CareerBuilder, or Monster and The Ladders to name a few. Remember, things just don’t always happen, you need to make it happen, and becoming involved with social media can improve your career opportunities.

7-    Have good people skills. You probably hear this all the time that some people just do not work well together. Or they are not good communicators. What about those who just don’t listen closely to what you are saying and ask the same question over again. These are soft skills, or people skills. Improve these skills and you can advance your career no matter the field or location. Examples of skills to help your career would be knowing how to write proper business emails, and how to treat customers. These are just two important skills needed in business today.

  • May 30, 2014
  • Posted by George Carson at 3:07 PM
  • Comments Off on How To Improve Your Career
  • General

Google and Yahoo are constantly competing with each other to prove they are the better choice. They are continually changing their algorithms and it affects the way companies are listed. Well, this has also created a lot of issues and complaints. Because just when you think all is figured out, they change it again. So now is the time to re-think your PR Marketing Strategy.web-optimizing

Ok, so what’s the secret? Actually, there isn’t a secret. Knowing the basics to search engine optimization and using these tactics can improve your rankings. Let me give you few tips to improve your website rankings:

1- Forget Keywords! Yes, that’s right. Keywords placed in meta tags, etc. are a waste and can actually cause your website to fall lower on the listings. In the last couple of years, SEO’s have decided this is no longer a valid way to rank sites. One reason (among others), many so-called web optimizers would “stuff” words and often they didn’t even relate to a company’s industry. So don’t let anyone tell you that using keywords in your meta’s is the way to go.

Ok, now that I crushed your SEO marketing strategy, let’s see how to effectively use keywords. Place keywords in your content. The website should include several of the keywords, but do not overuse them. That can also result in lower listings.

2- Titles are Key. One critical area that is always overlooked is the title of your pages. Web designers are becoming more aware of how important this is, but you should make sure that your titles are using keyword(s) to further improve your rankings. SEO’s look for titles that relate to your pages.

3- Content is Still King. Keep your content fresh. This doesn’t mean to always change your text. It means adding a blog section to your site. Be sure to keep this active. Have someone in your company blog at least twice or three times per week. And submit these posts to Google.

4- Backlinks. This still remains a positive way to show the SEO’s that your site is recognized by others. How do you get credible back links? Begin with a PR Campaign. This can be a series of press releases submitted to all the digital media in your market and submitted to Google, Yahoo, and MSN and sent through newsworthy online distributors. In addition, create a social media campaign. This should include Google+, a LinkedIn profile of your business, and a Facebook business page. These three social media combined with a pr campaign can give you the backlinks and awareness you need to get higher rankings.

The last thing on the list is a good, clean design. Why? Because as I said earlier, those little bots used by SEO’s are very sophisticated and can “see” if the site is ugly, hard to read, has poor grammar, or has too much color. The site should be easy to navigate and your home page should be clearly understood as to what services and products your company offers. If you need an SEO tune up to get more traffic and higher rankings, give George Carson a call. He will make sure you have a site to be proud of because it will get you results! Call today: 949-477-9400.