Knowledge Publishing

Compliance Considerations for Social Networking Sites For Member Companies, we just registered today, so should you!

Posted on | December 11, 2009 | Comments Off on Compliance Considerations for Social Networking Sites For Member Companies, we just registered today, so should you!

Compliance Considerations for Social Networking Sites, we just registered today, so should you!

Live Program
March 17, 2010
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., Eastern Time / 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Pacific Time

This webinar covers compliance and regulatory considerations when using social networking sites to communicate firm business. With the advent of Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Twitter, business use of social networking sites has become popular and can present supervision challenges for firms. Panelists from FINRA discuss applicable FINRA rules for communications with the public and offer practical guidance on how to monitor and supervise social networking sites. This webinar lasts approximately 60 minutes. Audience members can participate in the live, real-time version or listen to the on-demand version at a later date. Questions can be submitted in advance or during the live program. This webinar was originally scheduled for December 16, 2009. 

Registration Fees

Member

 Non-Member

 $50

 $100

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Prior to registering for this session, we recommend testing your computer system to ensure it meets the minimum systems requirements for viewing webinars. Test your system.

How to Register

Online

Register for the FINRA Webinar Live Program
($50 – FINRA member rate or $100 – non-member rate).

Note: A confirmation email will be sent to you upon receipt of payment.

If you have questions regarding this webinar, you can visit our Webinars FAQ or email us. 


FINRA’s webinars are the sole property of FINRA and the information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. The content of the webinars does not constitute any FINRA rule or amendment or interpretation to such rules. Compliance with any recommended conduct presented does not mean that a firm or person has complied with the full extent of their obligations under FINRA rules, the rules of any other SRO, or securities laws. Use of this webinar does not create a safe harbor from regulatory responsibility. This webinar is provided “as is”. FINRA and its affiliates are not responsible for any human or mechanical errors or omissions. Parties may not reproduce the webinars in any form, nor reference them in any publication, without the express written consent of FINRA.

Only FINRA’s Annual Conference is open to the media. All other FINRA conferences, pre-conferences, seminars, and other professional development courses are closed to the media.

Fast Start Your Business In 2010 by Bill Gibson

Posted on | November 25, 2009 | Comments Off on Fast Start Your Business In 2010 by Bill Gibson

You may ask..
why a fast start for 2010?
Contemplate this!

How many times have we witnessed professional sports teams making a super human effort in that last few minutes of the game and come from behind and almost win? What if they had put the same effort, energy and enthusiasm into the game in the first 20 minutes? They would have easily won with the momentum they had created. The same theory applies the first 30 to 60 days of the new year. We all need a rest, a break or a vacation to help balance and rejuvenate ourselves and connect with our families. The challenge with a two to six week break is that we lose momentum and often find it difficult to get back into the swing of things. How well we start in January often reflects on how the year is going to go. Also, how we end off our year in November and December can have a major impact on how well we “kick-off” the New Year.

Fast Start 2010

The topic Fast Start 2010 is a timely topic, especially with the festive season just around the corner. The ideas and techniques suggested in this tune-up material are based on my experience as a sales professional and from practical actions that successful salespeople I have interviewed, use to ensure that they quickly return to an acceptable level of business after a long break from work. These techniques are not based on a textbook or some academic theory. They are based on tried and proven behaviors of successful salespeople.

Based on my interviews with successful salespeople I have discovered most of them usually start with reviewing their personal and business goals and visions towards the end of the old year. Then they adjust and change these goals and visions through contemplation as the New Year approaches. Eventually the goals and visions are crystallized and are physically written down or put on their laptop or displayed where they can see it. They then kick into action with lists and steps they need to implement to achieve the results they are looking for. They also have
specific techniques to get themselves started quickly in the New Year and methods of helping themselves stay focused and above all stay positive and enthusiastic.
Then it is all about Action! Action! Action!
To help you save time and energy, (which is money to you), I have organized some of the Fast Start Income Building “Gems” from my interviews with Top Producers into a condensed format under specific headings. These headings are as follows:

We will start with Attitude and Motivation.

In an interview with one Top Producer about making the telephone pay, he said the following: “don’t use a boring script. Be unique; offer something fresh and new because people like to be part of things that are fresh and new. Display confidence and enthusiasm and don’t sound like you are begging or being a bother. You must have the right attitude and display that attitude when you get on the telephone. All the skills and knowledge in the world will not make you successful in business if you don’t show confidence, enthusiasm and a positive outlook on life!” He makes a real good point. Who would get excited about seeing a Salesperson who is timid, unconfident and unenthusiastic? You may even have to “fake it till you make it”…it has been done before! Being motivated and having the Right Attitude at the beginning of the year is vital. Here are some quick ideas from my personal experience and ones picked up from Top Salespeople during my interviews.

Newness

“Everyone likes something that is “New” and “Fresh”. Look for ways to bring some “Newness” into your New Year. Try some new ideas, look for new avenues to find prospects, talk to other successful salespeople and pick up some new approaches and look for new opportunities with new products and new markets for old products and services.
Re-look at your business and investigate new additions and changes that could make things simpler, better, faster and more fun. Do this before you go on leave and even while on leave, if it is possible. For a Fast Start it is usually better to be busy implementing and talking to clients, rather than contemplating the goals, changes and new things you want to do. That is why making a list the night before of what you want to do tomorrow is much better than making the list in the morning. The subconscious works on your list during your sleep and you wake-up “on a roll” rather than waking up “wondering what you are going to do today”.

Happy Thoughts

Make a list of all the things you can think about that make you happy. That will help you think happy thoughts. Look at situations and think “what is the bright side in this situation”. Think “there always is another way to look at things”. Remember, the only difference between happy and sad people is that the Happy People have more “Happy Moments” in the run of the day than the Sad People. Happy People do have Sad Moments, but they have less Sad Moments than the Sad People. Look for ways to increase the number of Happy Moments you have in a day and eventually you will be seen as a Happy Person. Collect Happy Stories and Situations from your holiday period and repeat them to other people. There is nothing wrong with “re-living” happy times and sharing them with others … and making them happy to.

Dare To Be Different

“Dare to be different! Even, for one day, stopping off at the Café on the way to work, buying a Red Bull, drinking it and popping a vitamin B Complex tablet, could shift your “state of mind”, giving you a Rocketing Start for the day,” claims another top producer. He said, that is the
way he kicks off his new year. “Buzz Light Years” should have been his name. What are some things you can do that you don’t normally do that may “jolt” you out of your normal routine. Sometimes we are too serious. Do you know why Angels can fly…“they can fly because they take
themselves lightly!” Loosen up! Have some fun!

Bright Lights

In the first few days when you arrive back see clients that are “Bright Lights” or “Pleasurable People” to be with. You can draw on their upbeat good nature, friendliness and energy. This can get both your mind and mouth moving.

Avoid Only Seeing Problem Clients

“Getting stuck into dealing with clients who have issues to be solved can slow down even the most senior salespeople”. Try and avoid just handling problem situations at the start of the year. It can knock the wind out of your sails (sales) at a time you need wind in your sails (sales). Even if the reality is, that you have to handle some problem situations, be sure to integrate some “Bright Light” customers and friends in there as well.

Problems Or Opportunities

With clients who are unhappy with a service or product, have a plan and face it “head-on”. That alone often keeps the client happy. If you know a client is possibly going to call you with a complaint or express dissatisfaction, then call him first.

Also look for other ways you may truly be helpful with additional products and solutions. If the client is coming to see you create a “Welcome Mat” approach from the time the client phones in, is met by the receptionist, to where he/she actually sits and receives the refreshments you offer. Be creative!

Motivational Books And Tapes

Many Top Producers start their day reading the Bible, Bhagavad Gita, Koran, Torah etc. That puts them on the right track and right frame of mind for the day. Keep those favourite motivational books, spiritual books, and inspirational aids close by and make a habit of reading or listening to tapes for specific amount of time per day. Listen to Inspirational and Skill Building Tapes and CD`s while you are on the way to work. It can help ensure a positive day.

Gratitude

Before going to bed, contemplate the things that happened that day and that are happening in your life that you are grateful for. When you wake-up in the morning, try and think of at least two reasons you are grateful. Consider keeping a Gratitude Journal and review it regularly. A truly grateful person is rarely unhappy and unmotivated.

Keep The Right Company

Some people drain your energy and some people give you
energy. Some people can destroy your reputation and others can positively help you build a good reputation. Examine the company you keep. Look closely at those friends and acquaintances. Do they motivate, feed and energise you, or do they bring you down, demotivate and drain you. Target some new or old friends and associates that you would get a good return on investment (ROI) of your time, energy, abilities, money and reputation if you had more time with them. Be with more of these people in the New Year.

Sharpen The SAW

One of your objectives must be to have a complete and proper rest during the holiday period, but at the same time don’t lose your edge. A recent study showed that a person’s IQ drops quite drastically with more than 2 weeks on vacation. Do some reading and do some planning during the quiet period as well. It could save your IQ!

Know Yourself

There’s an Old Chinese Proverb that reads like this: “An intelligent person understands others, “A brilliant person understands himself/herself” Take a look at your own personal strengths and weaknesses and identify where you can improve those strengths and reduce your weaknesses, then kick in an action plan on the most important ones.

Change

What is insanity? It is doing things the same way day after day and year after year and expecting different results. What changes do you have to make to see different results with your clients, work associates, family and friends. The “Fountain of Youth” is found in change. Older people that are full of energy and usually looking much younger than their calendar year age, have mastered the continual learning of new things and constantly welcoming change in their life. They do not do things the same old way, day after day. When you master a new task or successfully implement a change, there is a great feeling of achievement that in turn creates energy which gives you spirit! An office that takes on new changes continually has spirit. So does an individual.

Action Plan

“Put an Action Plan together for each of the points or email me at billgibson@kbitraining.com for our FREE “Checklist and Action Plan” for this section. Then put some actions steps in place to help you ensure that your attitude and motivation are “over the top” for the last few weeks of 2009 and at the start of 2010.

This section is to help you focus more effectively and in turn ensuring more return on your investment of your personal assets. The information is drawn from parts of my Complete Sales Action System and other sales, personal marketing and sales management systems and processes.

The Right Focus

Why have some of our South African clients seen such amazing results with our sales processes? They have implemented the basic principles of focusing on the right clients and prospects, with the right frequency of contact, with the right database (frequency) selling tools and with the right solutions. Let me add a few more points to think about when you are focusing. The Focusing Principles:

1. Focus on the right clients/prospects.
2. With the right frequency.
3. With the right data base selling tools.
4. With the right solutions.
5. With the right timing.
6. With the right presentation.
7. With the right skills.
8. With the right attitude.

Review the above and give some thought how you may focus more effectively when building your own sales portfolio. Do you have to focus more on your skills this year, is it your attitude or is it in the area of providing better solutions for clients? As you can see, when you focus on these principles, there is lots of room for improvement.

Return On Investment (ROI)

This coming year make a special effort to adopt the word invest rather than spend in your personal and business live. The goal is to get your absolute best return on investment with your five valuable assets. Those assets are your:

  1. Time
  2. Energy
  3. Ability – ideas/knowledge
  4. Money
  5. Reputation – you are the brand

When you first arrive back in January, invest your personal assets in those clients and prospects that will give you your best return on investment. They could be the people who don’t waste your time, they give you energy and listen to your advice, don’t cost a fortune to deal with and say great things about you as well as open doors for you in their network. Who will those people be?

Categorise Your Client/Prospect Base

Hundreds of salespeople from client companies in the past few years categorized their client base under the KBI licensed process, ABC, Retain, Develop, Regain and Gain. It helped them re-look at their base and focus on the right clients and prospects. Another approach used by some top salespeople is color coding. It could be:

Blue for the A`s
Green for the B`s
Yellow for the C`s

Or it could be gold, silver and bronze. There could be color tabs on the files or the actual color of the files. You could color code the electronic records the same way. A pile of red folders for AAA prospects and clients you are due to visit or need to confirm appointments for lying on your desk when you return, will certainly focus your efforts and get you moving and seeing the right sort of clients. Do it!

• Most Wanted / Most Potential and the Most Valued

Before you leave in December take the time to identify
the following:

3 Most Wanted / Most Potential Clients
2 Most Valued Clients
2 Most Wanted / Potential Lead Sources
2 Most Valued Lead Sources

Put a strategy together on these specific individuals on what you will do to gain or develop the business and relationship with them. Solicit input and assistance from the Sales Manager and Area Manager. These AAA people if handled properly could make a big difference in your first
quarter of 2010.

Action Plan

Put your own Action Plan together or commit yourself to action steps in the Fast Start “Checklist and Action Plan Guide”, (E-mail me at billgibson@kbitraining.com for your own FREE electronic copy) to ensure that you focus your personal assets for maximum profits in the New Year. Remember, knowledge and information is not power. Knowledge and information in action is Power!

Goal setting is one of the most important habits and abilities that an individual can have. According to Dr. Lee Pulos, Clinical Psychologist and Sports Psychologist, “having a focus on a self-determined destiny or goal, is the one quality consistently found in people who are high achievers”. There are six general categories of goals, according to Dr. Pulos, that seem basic for most people. These categories are:

1. Goals for high self-esteem.
2. Goals for happy, loving relationships.
3. Goals for mental improvement.
4. Goals for good health, energy, vitality.
5. Goals for a successful career and financial security.
6. Goals for an enhanced spiritual life.

When you are setting your goals this year, consider all 6 of these areas. They are all important. Also it is important to make sure that they are achievable goals, and targets.

One of the common reasons for depression is continually having goals that are unfulfilled. According to Dr. Lee Burke, “children that grow up to be happy children are continually given goals by their parents, but they are achievable ones”. Achievable goals create happier people. So, keep setting new but attainable goals and maybe some day you will laugh as often as a child. A child laughs on an average of 400 times a day, the average adult laughs 15 times a day. Following, are some of the tips around goal setting, target setting and achieving results.

Get Agreement

Try and come to an agreement with who you answer to or to your partner on what your targets are for the New Year, before going on holiday. That way it is in your “minds eye” while you are on leave and when you start the year, there is clarity.

Daily Activities

Before leaving or while on leave, determine what the daily, weekly and monthly activities need to be to reach your goal or target. Again, the subconscious will “kick-in” and refine those for you. Decide also how you will keep track of these and measure the successes.

Wall Chart

Like many of the top producers, have your goals visible and displayed in such a way that you can see the progress. If others also see them, it adds an extra incentive and pressure to reach those goals, because it puts you on-theline. Remember, people most often do what is measured.

Utilise Qualifications And Requirements

There could be criteria, qualifications and requirements that are already at your disposal as activities within your company or profession to help you reach goals and targets. Use these as benchmarks to take yourself to new heights. If they are not available, set your own reward or qualification or internally within the organisation create specific qualifications, trophies and certificates for specific accomplishments by the sales team.

Build A Pipeline

Make a special effort in late October, November and early December to raise the bar a bit. Work those extra hours, put in that extra effort, so there is a good ripe “pipe-line” of business ready to finalise when you get back. If you are starting late then work hard in December and January to fill the pipeline.

Action Plan

As Zig Zigler – North American sales trainer and motivational speaker once said, “If you think it, then ink it. Write it down!” Take the section Goals and Targets in the Fast Start “checklist and action plan” and write down the things you want to implement. (e-mail me at billgibson@kbitraining.com for a FREE copy). Following are a few extra tips when setting goals:

1. Define clearly what it is you want to achieve in what time period.

2. Be clear about your motivation. Make a list of why you want to achieve the goal. The why is what really motivates.

3. Interview people who have achieved a similar goal and gather stories and articles about how different people have done it. You need “models of possibility” directly (face to face) and indirectly (stories and articles)

4. Draw a picture or create a collage of photographs of what your goal is, or “how you will feel” or “what you may receive” when you search your goal. Make up a screen saver with your goal on it.

5. Develop some self-talk statements or affirmations that
support your goal.

6. Set up some type of measurement system and have
rewards at certain points of accomplishments.

Check out our offer on the Manager’s/Facilitators
Step by Step Success Training Kit for Goal Setting
and Building Personal Affirmations.

There are a number of excellent actions, tactics and tips I have used myself or learned from other top producers that did not fit under the other categories. I have also included theses additional tips because one good idea well implemented, can have a major impact.

Courtesy Calls

In December, make courtesy visits and deliver, calendars, small gifts, Holiday season Cards etc. This is an excellent way to constructively deal with the “festive” season. You can also continue to see a large number of people with this approach and set appointments for January or let them know you’ll be in contact. In early January, to get in motion, some Sales Professionals do a large number of courtesy calls..like birthday calls etc. This is a soft approach to moving to action and getting to see clients rather than sitting in the office.

Monitor Your Holiday Stories

When you return from leave, avoid excessive time spent discussing “What You Did On Holiday” with colleagues and even clients. This is not to be insensitive about our colleagues but this can stretch out and eat up a lot of valuable productive time.

Appointments

Have 3 to 5 weeks of appointments already in place for when you get back from leave. Have these appointments in place before you leave and try to always have 70 – 80% booked at least one week in advance.

Friday

Start your next week on Fridays and if the Monday to Thursday for next week is not booked, invest the Friday filling up the week and then you are off to a Fast Start on Monday.

Take Off

If your schedule isn’t booked several weeks in advance when you get back, take a few days, go home and get on the phone and book “out” your schedule 2-5 weeks in advance. This approach can put you back on track within days.

Data Base

Get your mind moving by sifting through your Data Base or contact lists on the first day back at work or before you actually officially start work. This will trigger new thoughts and opportunities. If the mind gets moving, the body will follow.

Client Files

Before you leave for holiday, put a selected pile of client files on your desk so when you walk into work on that first day, you can sit down and immediately move to action and begin to call on clients and potential clients. This way, you hit the first few days “on the run”.

Eyeball to Eyeball

Quickly get EYE BALL TO EYE BALL with clients. You are making money and achieving your goals and pick up energy when you see clients. Use every opportunity to get out of the office and in front of a client or potential client. EYE BALL TO EYE BALL will do it!

Early Bird

Get an early start each day. Many of the more successful
Salespeople are in the office early. This way they miss traffic, take care of administration and are ready to go and see clients and become productive from the start. Early morning is a great time to get things done without distractions. Again, this is a tactic you could use every day, but it is even more important when you have just got back from a break.

Action/People

Think Action! Action! People! People! Set a goal…for example, see 5 people each day. Before you go to the office try and see 1 or 2 people. Avoid coming to the office to push paper around – get out there and see clients. This should be your focus every day, but it is even more important for a FAST START.

Wow Service

Identify one client per week to WOW them with exceptional, impactful client service. Select them from your Most potential/Most Wanted and Most Valued list.

Action Plan

Put your own Action Plan together or use our Fast Start “Action Checklist” then check off the tactics you are applying OR use it to create an action plan to apply relevant techniques easily on your return from your holiday. The actions for this section will be under the category Additional Fast Start Actions and Tactics.

This article has been written and distributed to help Sales Directors, Sales Managers, Executives, Business Owners, Sales Professionals, HR Development Personnel and marketing People get a Fast Start In 2010. I have also written the article to help you gain your share of the market during the upswing. If you have found the article of benefit to you, please spread the word with my FREE OFFER of electronically distributing the article within your organisation, externally and abroad. Please, No Spamming.

Also to help you with the implementation of the ideas and tips, just e-mail me for a FREE electronic copy of your own Fast Start “Checklist and Action Plan”. Above all, remember the Boldness Statement to ensure your success in 2010.

Boldness
If Not Me, Then Who?
If Not Now, Then When?
If Not This Way, Then Which Way?

…Move To Action, Just Do It! May Health, Wealth And Happiness Be Yours In 2010!
Bill Gibson

To assist you and your management to get an even stronger start in 2010 I am also offering you and your organisation a “large discounted offer” on a specific selection of “training and sales and marketing development” training materials and Manual Self-Learning Programs. Please see the following pages.

Contact us for additional information at billgibson@kbitraining.com

Bill Gibson is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, sales specialist, executive coach, master marketer and superb communicator. He is the author of the book Boost Your Business. In Any Economy, The Art And Science Of Problem Solving audio program and the 25 Module Complete Sales Action System. He has also produced the 8 module Managing Complex Business Relationships System and the 43 Module Professional Sales Representative Career Program and the three part Business Success Series Audio CD and Manual Program.

Bill has spoken to over one million people worldwide, he is a Canadian who resides in South Africa and is the Chairperson of Knowledge Brokers International S.A. (Pty) Ltd and Vice Chairperson of intellAgent Training Solutions Ltd. If you would like to hire Bill to speak on the Fast Start topic or as a Keynote Speaker, trainer or consultant or for more information on his sales, marketing, service and entrepreneurial systems as well as his Call Centre Collections, Sales and Service programs you can contact him at billgibson@kbitraining. com.

Click here to view bill on youtube

Get A Fast Start For 2010 »
Special offer
$28.00 incl Vat/Tax (18.99 EUR or 16.99 GHP)
per team or office.
Results Based Presentation & Training Module »
Special offer
$44.00 incl Vat (29.99 EUR and 26.49 GHP)
per team or office.
Goal Setting & Building Personal Affirmations Training Module »
Special offer $88.00 incl Vat/Tax (58.99 EUR and 52.99 GHP) per team or office.

Purchase all 3 for $118 (78.49 EUR and 70.99 GHP)

Contact billgibson@kbitraining.com to order now! Please include:

Name, Email, Company, Phone Number, and what product you would like for more immediate service in your email.

Johannesburg November Tweet-Up Event www.Meetup.com/Tweet-ups/

Posted on | November 9, 2009 | Comments Off on Johannesburg November Tweet-Up Event www.Meetup.com/Tweet-ups/

Johannesburg November Tweet-Up Event www.Meetup.com/Tweet-ups/

If you are a user of twitter, come join our group for a social Tweet-Up in November, vital details:

Event: Johannesburg Tweet-Up in Sandton

Date: Tuesday November 24th 2009, 7:00 PM

Location: Mythos Greek Taverna, Map: http://www.dining-out.co.za/member_details-MemberID-3125.html

You NEED to RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/tweet-ups/

About The Event:

The event is for twitter users in Sandton and Johannesburg in general to meet-up and have a drink, and talk about what we are all up to. The focus is networking and meeting, with some simple rules.

No pitching business, we just want to hear what you are up to and who you are

You need to be a twitter user, there are 8 million South African’s on twitter, join the club!

If you would like, please add me and tweet me when you have joined, @ryanagibson

If you can’t make it, join the group so you can get invited to future events, but you must join to get invited in the future

We would like to limit this to 20 or 30 people, have a drink together and meet some awesome people in person. The type of people who will be there, twitter users, bloggers, marketers, media, web developers and me.

A demand for Social Media in order to sell Enterprise Mobility

Posted on | September 27, 2009 | Comments Off on A demand for Social Media in order to sell Enterprise Mobility

The demand of mobile workforce solutions is on the rise for 2009 according to a recent report called the Enterprise Mobility 2009 by Michele Pelino of Forrester’s Research. More importantly, they identified that the buying process is becoming more difficult as demands increase on IT departments, Line of business buyers are involved and dominating the buying process, and users for the first time are being integrated into the decision making. Due to the complicated process, it has become paramount that decision-makers are using online marketing channels, such as blogs, websites, reports, forums, and networks to gain information and advice before making the buying decision.

Thus, marketing plans must exploit the social media marketing network and the breadth of exposure offered within this sector. 

The solution providers within the Mobile Enterprise Application sector need to utilize to their full extent the interaction available online and focus on tools such as:

Investor Relations: Audit your users, build relationships, grow your influence

Posted on | September 26, 2009 | Comments Off on Investor Relations: Audit your users, build relationships, grow your influence

Online Investor relations has embraced Social Media ever since the days of RagingBull.com and the use of web forums and discussion areas. Over the last 5 years the use of analysts and web communities who publish ongoing blogs on their community websites has become the norm. The websites generally interact with a comments section or into a Forum that integrates into each blog. The use of Blogs, Forums, and email has dominated the online investor relations industry up until now. In today’s new economy and interactive market place, there are many other ways to create value for investors and companies online. Blogs, forums, and email are just a small piece of a larger ecosystem called the Social Media Ecosystem. The reality is that people are going to talk about your business no matter what, and therefore, as a public company there is a responsibility to design your own working Social Media Ecosystem and map it out to manage investors. The best way to do this is by building a communication strategy that incorporates the most well known venues for communications on the internet and then supplying leadership within those communities on your company knowledge, your industry, and your values.

The first step is to do a full internet audit of the company, and see which communities are engaged in discussions about your firm and which communities are not. It is important to document the communities and decide by a process of checks and balances, like a public company audit, whether you endorse those discussions, whether you are the thought leader in those discussions, and whether there is room for collaboration. Once the company has completed an audit of the internet uses (which can also be made into a disclosure statement) a social media marketing management plan is developed based on starting in communities of which you will be the first to enter on behalf of your company, and building on the community that may already be developing. This is truly the set-up stage, and even if your firm already uses 2-5 social networking tools, an audit will identify and prove that 90% of companies are still in the set-up phase.

Historically speaking, a community for investors such as forums is not as effective as getting investment from people who have subscribed to your newsletter or who have contacted the company directly. However, those who have communicated directly with the company via social media marketing tools often remain investors or invest. Therefore, the internet communities are effective only if there is a solid relationship built with time given to people online for educating users on your company and industry, engaging in discussions, collaboration with other groups to expand your network, and genuine assistance. The largest issue with the online investment world is the ignorance behind the model of building a relationship. Time and genuine assistance equals a relationship, however, to build a strong bond with the investors, you need to bring them along a system of relationship development to full engagement with your firm. You need to provide to them the knowledge to see you as a thought leader not just another investment, and create a tribe of advocates for your firm. If you take the wrong approach, and believe social media networks can just be jammed with messages and content on your firm, your company will be rejected and banned, “ostracized” and forever ineffective until proven worthy of being part of the ecosystem. Social Media is not about domination, it is about dominion and thought leadership. There is a process of becoming a thought leader on the internet, which is easier to explain on an individual basis, as the best analysis is that you become a thought leader one person at a time.

In this model of relationship development there are 5 stages, moving from having an internet presence to becoming a thought leader:

  1. Attraction Stage- you engage and interest an internet user either directly or by them joining your network
  2. Exploration Stage- the community begins to read your posts, you read theirs, you comment on similarities, and opinions, engage in a conversation, they begin to post supporting comments, join your other groups, networks, newsletters, etc, you may do the same with them.
  3. Development Stage- The user and yourself seem to agree and communicate in the same thought process, they read and agree with what you write, you both seem to be able to communicate together with opposing opinions and mold a relationship, at this point they are a friend.
  4. Commitment Stage- (Engagement Stage) The user begins inviting other people from their network to your network, the conversations begin to free flow between your firm and their group, and internetworking occurs where the entire network of associates now knows who you are. The user and associates are engaged with your firm, many consider investment, buying the product, referring business, as the door is now open.
  5. Unity Stage- (Advocate and Thought Leadership Stage) The user is now an investor, user of the product, a follower and refers others. The user comes to you and your group for advice, for comments, for information, and generally to chat. The user has invited their group of friends and attempts to engage them with your group and yourself to the same level. You are seen as a thought leader by this person, and this is how they communicate your involvement in their online presence, mindshare, and ecosystem.

(Based on Bill Gibson’s Five Stages of Relationship Development, www.kbitraining.com)

In the audit process, one of the questions will be who are your followers, at what stage are you with them, and which followers are you in the development, commitment, and unity stages. Moving forward, the goal is to set-up communities and begin to engage to get as many of your followers to be advocates, and interlink all of the networks you have built groups in with as many of their respective tools so that you fully engage their entire community with yours. The higher number of advocates and interlinking, the higher your ranking as a thought leader, as you benefit from the higher level of saturation with other users and networks.

We actually have a process of measuring engagement, which is part of the audit process and building the social media marketing management plan. If you are interested in having a social media audit done on your firm, and engage in the interlinking of your users with networks, please contact ryan@publishknowledge.com.

How IR and Google Adwords Don’t Mix

Posted on | September 20, 2009 | Comments Off on How IR and Google Adwords Don’t Mix

(This article is republished from the source of http://www.otclistings.com with the writers permission.)

There is a growing demand for Google Adwords by public companies and the investor relation firms that manage their campaigns. Google Adwords definitely get the traffic to the websites of the companies, and bring awareness to stock symbols often without having to even click on the advertisements.

However, many of the advertisements skate a thin line on breaking SEC regulations, especially considering the statements made without any forward looking statement disclaimer. The reality is within those little advertisements, where are they going to fit a 300+ word disclaimer? They can’t. Although, I have read many of the Google Adword advertisements and the ads scream for people to invest, comments such as “XYZ company going up 200%” up from when, how, why, etc, not there. But investors see the ads and may not even click on them, they have bought mindshare with a possibly fraudulent statement.

You don’t have to be a genius to see the possible damaging outcome of Google Adwords to investors and for companies, and why I have chosen to soapbox about the dangers of mixing online advertising with your investor relations strategy. Go to Google and search the phrase “stock picks” and I can almost guarantee you will see what I am talking about. I would post an example, but I am not sure if I would be hurting someone’s reputation, so I suggest you take this exercise into your own hands.

Of course, some of them are more blatant than being touted by a stock newsletter analyst, claiming hot stock returns, and stocks that are “about to soar” but they also appear to be from the company as the links go back to the investor relations pages. As mentioned in my other blog, if people are running your investor relations on the internet and they have never dealt with a regulator before, they can seriously harm your business and your reputation. (www.publishknowledge.com)

Investor relations is about dialogue, interest, value, and quality volume of followers, not a flash in the pan 70 character advertisement enticing people to buy stock. I honestly believe that Google Adwords will soon face the same problems with the SEC and Public companies as pharmaceutical companies have with the FDA.

In April, the Food and Drug Administration slapped 14 warning letters on pharmaceutical companies for not including risk information in their Google Adword classifieds. After two years of doing nothing, the FDA decided to protect the public from dangerous ads.

At least a majority of the Drug companies had the courtesy to have a “one click” rule which popular belief suggested being one click away from the full disclosure of the health risks and package information was ok, but the FDA took a stance against this “one click” rule due to the outlandish claims being made by pharmaceutical and alternative medicine companies in 70 characters or less.

If this doesn’t sound familiar, than you better check again. Most stock IR advertisers on the internet don’t even play by the “one click” rule, in addition, the proper use of the internet document published by the SEC, a 47-page report, clearly states that there is no space for outlandish comments like the ones made within Google Adwords on the use of the Internet for public companies.

“…companies are responsible for statements made by the companies, or on their behalf, on their web sites or on third party web sites, and the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws reach those statements.”

So why has the SEC not sent warning letters out to Public Companies and advertisers on the Internet using Google Adwords? The reality is, they most likely will or at least will form a guideline, and one complaint from an investor who made an investment through a Google Adword recommendation, and IR on Google Adwords will come tumbling down. In all respect to the wonderful use of Google to drive leads, Google Adwords is not meant for investor relations. The moment you try to make 70 characters a pitch to the public, you have just crossed the line.

In addition, Google Adword accounts carry records of the past advertisements, and even though you may not be publishing an advertisement anymore that broke the law, if you did publish it, its not hard to get access to the records, statistics, and damage caused by the advertisement.

Investor Relations is building a presence, trust, brand loyalty, and allowing for full disclosure to sell the merits of your business. Favourable research reports, articles, and press are all strong components that make the brand awareness possible. Building an interactive community of investors and analysts, fans and friends, all within social media platforms engages far more interest and appropriate investors than catchy phrases. Buying Google Adwords to direct traffic to research reports, blogs, and publications with disclaimers included is much more responsible as a public company and IR team. The evidence of how the SEC could approach this topic is foreshadowed by the reaction of the FDA.

I rephrase that Google Adwords is for investor relations, but its place in the IR world could be limited in the near future if the abuse of the system continues by damaging promises by companies who have never dealt with a regulatory bodies like the SEC before, or even a more scary thought… don’t care.

I suggest that you care, and use your Google Adwords sparingly for investor relations, build a complete social media marketing campaign with responsible initiatives that drive qualified interested individuals who will be sure to read the disclosures and full information on your company before they take investment choices or talk to their broker.

Just a word of advice, and I am not going to charge you for this word, but there are many ways you can get “charged” for a word, so use them wisely.

www.publishknowledge.com

Knowledge Publishing Corp on “Social Media Marketing for Public Companies”

Posted on | September 17, 2009 | Comments Off on Knowledge Publishing Corp on “Social Media Marketing for Public Companies”

Social Media Marketing for Public Companies

In order to successfully launch a social media marketing campaign, there needs to be a plan in place. It starts with the goal and the website, and the rest is a matter of plugging in the tools and maintaining your image.

The first question therefore is, what would the goals be of a publicly traded company for a social media platform?

  1. To communicate with its existing investors on news, disclosures, advancements, and answer questions with regards to past information.
  2. To discuss with the media and general public the goals of the company, its news, and advancements
  3. To gain more investors in the company, or investor interest
  4. To build an internationally recognized brand
  5. To be top of mind in the news, on the search engines, and in online discussions
  6. To increase the links back to your website and news to measure the results of your achievements in the public eye and your public relations efforts

In order to successfully achieve these goals we first look at the main website, which would need to have the following:

  1. An appealing graphic design
  2. Title, Meta Tags, and keywords programmed into the website
  3. A Blog or News Release page for accessing the news releases on the website
  4. A newsletter subscription service (to capture the interest of users, and communicate press via email.
  5. Possibly a section for podcasting and company videos or a part of the front page
  6. Links to social media accounts, such as Twitter, Facebook, etc., possibly with live updates from Twitter, Facebook, the company blog being posted along the sidebar of the website.

This is the simple framework of a public company website. For the most part, softwares such as Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, Xplorex.com, all have these features and capabilities. Utilizing www.publishknowledge.com we can build a website for a public company with all of the key features for under $2000.

The Social Media Scope

One the website is designed, the social media set-up is the main focus. Here are the following key steps to take:

  1. Set-up an account with twitter, facebook, linkedin, youtube, and the other 30 main social media websites. Document their user names and passwords.
  2. Build a company blog, www.publishknowledge.com can set this up for free on one of its hosted domains for the stock market, such as www.otclistings.com or www.tsxlistings.com of which you can also send press releases onto for free.
  3. Integrate the Blog and the Website with all of the social media accounts so immediate publishing occurs of the news or information across all mediums
  4. Use a Newswire service, and be sure to list at the bottom of every press release the facebook account, the twitter account, the youtube account, the blog address, the website address, and the company email to join the newsletter.
  5. Integrate all of the websites, press, and articles with all of the social book marketing websites.
  6. Publish a research report, submit the report to the many document repositories on the internet, publish links to the report across all social media platforms, and within press releases and the company newsletter.
  7. Create video’s of staff reading the press release, publish the video’s within the company Youtube account. Staff can also read newsletters, articles from third parties, or updates from time to time on non-material issues such as going to a conference.
  8. If the company has history, you may consider writing a small guide on the history of the company to where it is today, growth, changes, about management, etc.
  9. Having manuals and guides for example such as “Investing In Gold” or Investing in Semiconductors” depending on your topic are good sources of information that are often linked and referred to. Be sure to brand it with company information or references to.
  10. Integrate your blog with other blogs, creating a network of reciprocal links. Especially with those blogs that are other public companies, awareness and or newswire websites, etc. www.publishknowledge.com has over 50 websites for public companies to immediately link into.
  11. Optimize keywords and tags on all blogs, press, and tweets
  12. Utilize profile management software such as www.hootsuite.com to manage and time tweets for press releases, comments, etc. Within these systems, you can schedule for free the tweets. Blogs can also be prescheduled, therefore, many of the social media tools can be preset for the release of information.
  13. Utilize general meetings, seminars, and conferences to promote the social media tools of which your communications are coming from. Video as many of these outings as possible and publish them via podcasts and video sites.
  14. Integrate the communications of all the mediums into community websites on your industry, groups such as yahoo, google, and msn, as well as websites that have discussion forums on your company. These forums combined with all of the above tools will drive an integrated online communication and social media marketing campaign.

The SEC embraces online Communications- But its your responsibility to work with a firm who knows how to set-up the checks and balances to protect your firm.

According to the SEC, “As we have developed EDGAR to facilitate and promote electronic availability of information, we also have encouraged companies to make their Commission filings and other company information available on their web sites. We believe that company disclosure should be more readily available to investors in a variety of locations and formats to facilitate investor access to that information.”

The SEC published a 47-page report that outlines the boundaries for sharing information as well as holding companies and their employees liable for the information that they post on blogs, networks, communities, and discussion forums.

If public companies are not proactively analyzing these guidelines and establishing internal policies, frameworks, and penalties, then they are exposed to the dangers that loom where self-restraint and a concrete plan of action need to be. It is a bit more than applying common sense, this is why you need to work with social media marketing experts who have owned and run public companies such as www.publishknowledge.com and the Knowledge Publishing consultants.

Most Social Media Marketing professionals have never actually owned or run a public company, therefore, their understanding of regulations, timely publishing, and potential conflicts with staff comments is a liability. The reality is, social media marketing is a tool that needs to have more controls placed on it than just free range twittering. As appealing as that may be, it has its place, but not in public markets.

Contact us to develop a social media marketing strategy for your public company.






    Knowledge Publishing Corp.

    Posted on | July 30, 2009 | Comments Off on Knowledge Publishing Corp.

    How many manuals, research reports, blogs, emails, comments, or video’s have you seen within the last 6 months? How many of them were yours? We can make it happen for you… so the next time you ask someone have you read a research report or guide lately on our topic, they will say YES, we read your KNOWLEDGE and we want YOUR COMPANY.

    You must publish knowledge. Think, what do I know, what does my company know, what guides could help us, what information do we need to distribute, what are we doing? Then think about the effective use of blogging, twitter, facebook, social book marking, video, internet marketing, search engine optimization, manuals and guides for clients or for everything. Here is where you can publish knowledge or get your knowledge published today! Read our services and consider publishing knowledge for your firm or self today!

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    Knowledge Publishing Corp engages in opening free content up to the world, teaching businesses and individuals how to develop an integrated online publishing and marketing plan for complete exposure. "Publishing knowledge is one of the only true assets that can pay dividends and royalties forever.