Brittney Borowicz

Brittney Borowicz is an integrated marketing professional with a strong communications background specializing in journalism, public relations and social media. Originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Brittney has spent the past few years working with entrepreneurs and small start-ups in the Chicagoland area to enhance their marketing and social media efforts.

Prior to her current role as the marketing manager for a computer networking company, Brittney realized her affinity for all things media and marketing while working in radio and television and as a professional presenter. Later, she began working at a couple of small marketing agencies in Chicago as a Public Relations and Sales Director and Account Manager, which required her to be well-versed in coordinating specialized public and media relations strategies, creative marketing initiatives and cohesive sales process implementations.

As a strong believer in intimate consumer/brand involvement, Brittney helps her clients create content that engages and educates brand audiences while establishing each individual or company as a thought leader in their industry.

Filtering by Tag: business

How to Boost Your Business with Good (and Bad!) Online Reviews (Featured on SheOwnsIt.com)

Why do content and reviews matter? To make it simple: People want to do business with people and companies that they like and trust.

With the internet taking out the person-to-person aspect of a sale, you must find other ways to build that trust and likability factor.

Reliably publishing valuable and fun content helps build credibility and thought-leadership for your company among your potential and current customers. However, when a potential buyer is not going to read your content — either out of laziness or because they are unaware of it — the least they are going to do is read your reviews. Not every business highlights their reviews and testimonials though, which is not ideal for a buyer looking to potentially do business with your company.

Read more at She Owns It or download the PDF now.

3 Reasons Why You Are Never Too Big to Say “No" (Featured on SheOwnsIt.com)

Working in marketing and public relations has introduced me to many people. These people have operated different businesses, worked in different industries and had different personalities.

Despite all their initial differences, these people all had one thing in common: As soon as they hired me they asked, “so, how are you going to get me on *insert major news network/website here*?”

Valid question.

I am a huge proponent of establishing each of my clients as a thought-leader in their industry. To do this, I start by helping each client create cohesive and educational content that engages their audiences. Upon explaining this to clients, I find that many of them have something else in common: they want to be viewed as a thought-leader and featured in these major media sources but don’t want to do the work to get there.

Many times their reasoning lies in not having the time or bandwidth to create content. Other times, their reasoning lies in the mentality that they are too good, or even the best, and they shouldn’t have to start small just to get big.

While some people are lucky and thrust immediately into the spotlight, it very rarely happens that way. So for those of you who have not quite had your 15-minutes of fame yet, and even for those of you who have, here are 3 reasons you are never too big to say “no” to those smaller media opportunities:

Read more at She Owns It or download the PDF now.

With the Internet, the Buyer is in Control

With the influx of information available on the internet, businesses and consumers are spending more time researching the products and services of different companies before they buy. The buyer wants to know they are getting the best prices, the best products and the best services they can and with the internet, they have a choice of many different companies. Because of this abundance of information, the buyer is in truly in control of the buying process.

So when the buyer is in control, how do you make sure they choose you?

The best two sales and marketing techniques I have found to make sure a buyer chooses your company for their end product and service needs are...

  1. Reliably publish valuable and informational content about the product and/or service you are trying to sell and
  2. Utilize your customer reviews and testimonials.

Why Content and Reviews Matter

To make it simple: People want to do business with people and companies that they like and trust.

With the internet taking out the person-to-person aspect of a sale, you must find other ways to build that trust and likability factor.

With the Internet, The Buyer is in Control - Brittney Borowicz

Content

Reliably publishing content does several things for the relationship between your company and potential consumer.

  • Content should be valuable and informational with little to no sales pitch behind it. While consumers are researching your products and services, provide them with insight to your type of product or service that they might not be able to get anywhere else. Being true and authentic with your information will help gain trust from your consumer because they know you can help them solve their problem(s).
  • Publishing content helps build credibility and thought-leadership. Consumers want to know that they are purchasing their products and services from someone who knows what they are doing and talking about. This content should clearly demonstrate your knowledge of the subject, whether it be a specific product or service or even just the industry that you are in. This, again, builds trust with a consumer.
  • Don't be afraid to have fun with your content! Buyers want to do business with people they like and will often consider purchasing a product or service from a company with a higher price because they simply like that company better than another. Appeal to your audience with your valuable information, but also make sure to engage them with questions, personal stories or even just a funny picture so that they remember you.

Reviews and Testimonials

If a buyer is not going to read your content, the least they are going to do is read your reviews. Not every business highlights their reviews and testimonials though which is not ideal for a buyer looking to potentially do business with your company.

  • Word-of-mouth is still a huge thing, even with the internet. Consumers are more likely to believe another buyer of your products and services about your business than they are to trust the marketing person who publishes your content. This makes reviews and testimonials extremely powerful when it comes to building trust with a potential buyer.
  • Bad reviews aren't so bad! Businesses are constantly afraid of a bad review and rightfully so, but they won't ruin your business. No company, product, or service is perfect. Although all perfect reviews on your website may seem... well... perfect... nobody is going to believe it. So what do you do when you get a bad review? Address it and fix the problem! When a potential consumer sees that you were responsive to a problem and took the steps you needed to make another consumer happy, they are going to trust that your loyalty and interest remains with a buyer, even after the sale has happened. This ups your company's likability factor as well.

There are many things that can be done to further make sure a buyer chooses your products or services but these two sales and marketing initiatives are a start. Give the buyer reasons to trust you, like you and ultimately choose YOU.

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What are some other ideas to help build trust and likability in an online setting?
How does your company make sure a potential consumer chooses you?

Comment below!

What is Your Elevator Pitch? The Dos and Don'ts

When I speak with clients about creating a quick sales pitch, I begin by telling them to answer these four questions:

  1. What is your company?/What do they do?
  2. Who do you do it for?
  3. Why is it valuable to them?
  4. How is your company different from other companies?

Once a person can answer these questions, they can pitch themselves or their business in any situation. However, there are a few dos and don'ts that every person looking to pitch should follow:

Dos:

  • Make your pitch sound natural and conversational while also expressing personality and passion for what you do.
  • Make it short and sweet, but memorable. Eliminate any unnecessary words or information and focus on the important stuff.
  • Make sure your listener knows why they should care.
  • If possible, research who you will be pitching to so that you know what to focus on in your speech.
  • Be prepared to wrap up sooner than you expected.
  • End your speech with a call-to-action such as asking for the person's business card or telling them to check out your website.

Don'ts:

  • Sounding rehearsed is a turn-off to listeners trying to hear about you and your business. Know what points you are going to make without having to say the exact same thing every time you give your pitch.
  • Avoid rambling, or what I like to call, "word-vomit." You must hook your listener in the first several seconds of your speech.
  • Don't forget to tell your listener how you can help solve their problem(s) and why you are the best person to do it!
  • Avoid industry jargon, slang and acronyms that your listener may not understand.
  • Don't forget to update your speech based on the audience or situation your listener may be in.

What are some dos and don'ts that you follow when giving your elevator pitch?

Better yet, what is YOUR elevator pitch? Feel free to comment with it below!

Elevator Pitch

My #1 Tip for Producing a Successful Google+ Hangouts Webinar

Webinars are a great way to connect with current and potential customers for both large and small companies. People are very visual, especially when it comes to consuming content and information from companies in both B2B and B2C relationships.

One of my favorite and cheapest ways to get companies involved in producing webinars is by using Google+ Hangouts.

Google+ Hangouts are free to use and stream live to attendees, not just on the company's Google+ page, but through the company's YouTube account well.

Some successful applications of using Google+ Hangouts that I have produced with clients in the past include "How To" webinars for a company's products and/or services, educational webinars about specific topics, Q&A sessions (for example, "Ask an Engineer!") and even sharing a workshop in real-time with those who could not attend in-person.

So what's my best tip for an effective Google+ Hangouts webinar? Engagement before, during and after the webinar.

My #1 Tip for Producing a Successful Google+ Hangouts Webinar

Before

Engagement should start at least a few days before your Hangout session is scheduled by promoting the event through a company's digital marketing channels, especially through your... you guessed it... Google+ account. These promotions can be strictly informative about the webinar but a more effective strategy is to engage the potential audience with that information. For instance, announce the topic of the Hangout on Facebook and ask your followers what they would most like to learn from the presenter. In addition, share other content that relates to the upcoming webinar to get people interested in the topic that is to be discussed.

During

During the actual Hangout, continue the engagement by addressing questions from the days before the Hangout as well as questions asked during the Hangout. The presenter can also pose their own questions or polls for the audience to answer. A more creative strategy would be creating a hashtag for the Hangout so that people can tweet information they learn or find interesting. This opens the discussion to people who are not viewing the Hangout and generates more visibility for your company and the webinar topic. At the end of the Hangout, the presenter should invite the audience to continue the conversation on their or the company’s social media accounts. 

After

Following the Hangout, a company can further audience engagement by repurposing the information from the webinar into blogs, infographics, etc. for easy sharability. Because Google+ pages can be connected with YouTube, the company can direct their followers to the recording or post it directly to their social media channels. The company can then ask how the audience has used the information they learned during the webinar or they can pose other questions about the topic that may not have been discussed during the Hangout.

The goal of a Google+ Hangout should be to keep the conversation going with fans and consumers long after a webinar is over and into the sales process.

5 Social Media Platforms to be on that Aren't Facebook or Twitter

SocialMediaStress

Social media has become a huge player in business promotion and engagement over recent years. With so many different platforms to choose from, many businesses don't know where to start and therefore start EVERYWHERE.

The truth is, not every social media platform is right for your business or consumers. Rather than be on every social site, it is important to choose only a few platforms to focus your efforts on so that you can generate the most consumer engagement, and ultimately, sales for your business.

So which social media platform is right for your business? Here is a quick snapshot of five of the top social media platforms to be on that aren't Facebook or Twitter. (Although I happen to love both Facebook and Twitter.)

LinkedIn

Best business uses: Networking to reach potential clients.

How to maximize your reach:

  • Join LinkedIn groups that relate to your business or industry. Once you've established yourself in a group, work to answer questions and foster conversations, which will boost your reputation as an expert and help others get to know your company.

  • Engage with others in your network. This is obviously the best way to network with people both in and outside of your industry and the best way to find new, potential clients.

How not to use it: 

  • Don't spend too much time pitching your products or services. Instead, promote news and information about the industry your business is in.

YouTube

Best business use: Building credibility by showcasing your knowledge and skills.

How to maximize your reach: 

  • Make a list of the 10 most frequently asked questions about your industry and film yourself answering them. Think of the kind of queries that people sit down to Google.
  • Because YouTube videos show up in Google search results, make sure to optimize the videos with as many keywords as possible.

How not to use it: 

  • Don't post long videos -- keep them under a minute and a half. Focus on one question or issue per video to keep your message on track.

Pinterest

Best business use: Promoting your brand to a female-skewed audience, specifically mothers. (Although, men are increasingly beginning to use Pinterest.)

How to maximize your reach: 

  • Use good SEO practices when titling your boards and filling out Pins and descriptions. It's important to name your boards with phrases people will search for.
  • Check Google Trends. If people are searching for something related to your business or industry, create a board or Pins around the topic.

How not to use it: 

  • Keep personal Pins highlighting your favorite books, fashion, and travel photos separate from those linking to your company's URL. It's okay for both business and personal boards to reside in the same profile. For a “personal” board, consider something that may indirectly involve your business or industry.
  • Never use copyrighted pictures to create Pins.

Instagram

Best business use: Promoting your brand via stylized images to a largely twenty-something audience.

How to maximize your reach: 

  • The revenue generated by an Instagram follower is 10 times greater than that generated by a Twitter follower, according to data analytics firm, SumAll. Take pictures of what makes your business unique or helpful to its consumers. Take pictures of both products and especially of people using your products.
  • Instagram allows you to connect to Facebook or Twitter so that you can cross-post your pictures.
  • Use hashtags to help your customers find your products and services across all three platforms.

How not to use it: 

  • Don't let your account go dormant. Update it with new pictures at least every other week to keep people interested.

Google+

Best business use: Promoting your brand with Google integration – which carries significant weight in terms of SEO and organic search visibility.

How to maximize your reach: 

  • Google+ has a larger variety of communities to choose from (similar to LinkedIn).
  • Google+ Hangouts is a great, free alternative to other webinar services. You can only have 10 participants actively on video but you can stream the video to an unlimited number of viewers using YouTube.

How not to use it: 

  • Posting only about your product. Google+ encourages engagement with your customers. Only about 20% of your posts should be about your product/service while the other 80% about your customers and their lifestyles.
  • Ignoring “Circles.” Google+ Circles allow you to segment and target specific messages and posts to specific people (Ex: Customers vs. prospects vs. industry professionals vs. partners.)

Why is LinkedIn So Important? + A LinkedIn Share Guide

Although it is typically underrated among other social media platforms, LinkedIn is the most popular and largest professional networking site available today. With over 240 million active users and 3 million businesses having a company page, it's the perfect platform for getting hired, connecting with other business professionals and business-to-business (B2B) networking and sales.

So why is LinkedIn so important? There are many reasons, but here are a few that were mentioned above...

  1. Personal branding - LinkedIn is one of the few and free ways to promote yourself as a professional and/or thought-leader in your industry. Not only do you have an online resume on display, but its home feed allows you to share your work, other industry-related news, articles and so on with the rest of your network. In addition, joining groups and commenting on other peoples' posts allows you to share your knowledge with people outside of your network. This personal branding can help land you a job or even advance the career you already have.
  2. Connecting with other professionals - LinkedIn is a great place to make strong connections with other people in your industry or professionals with similar interests. As mentioned above, LinkedIn allows professionals to share their knowledge with each other. In addition, don't be afraid to seek advice from other professionals or even connect to do business with that individual in the future.
  3. B2B networking and sales - With over three million businesses on LinkedIn, it's the perfect place to find sales leads for B2B companies. LinkedIn has a powerful search function that allows a person to search within specific industries or even for people with a certain job title to do business with. Company pages are also a great way to keep track of competitors, partners and other interesting companies.

Now that you know a few reasons why this business networking platform is so important... Are you on LinkedIn but don't know where to start? Or maybe you have a profile but need some easy ways to help make your presence known.

I have included, what I like to call, a "LinkedIn Share Guide" below. I like to share this guide with people who are new to LinkedIn or want to make more of an impact on their network without doing too much work.

Download the LinkedIn Share Guide PDF here.

LinkedIn Share Guide

General Maintenance:

  • Have an updated, professional photo
  • Keep your profile updated with job descriptions, job titles, projects, etc.
  • Make sure your company description, job description and posts are consistent with Grid Connect messaging
  • Customize your profile URL

Activity:

Every day (when applicable)

  • Like, comment on, and/or share new posts from your company page
  • Like, comment on, and/or share new posts from your colleagues that are relevant to your company or industry
  • Respond to comments on your posts
  • Accept pending connections (if connections are appropriate for your business or networking purposes)
  • Check who has viewed your profile

Every week

  • Share an interesting link to an article or video related to your industry
  • Search for 5-10 people you can connect with and send them an invitation (if connections are appropriate for your business or networking purposes)
  • Send thank you messages to those who have connected with you throughout the week
  • Post to a group that is relevant to your industry

Every month

  • Share one piece of original content (e.g. blog post, case study, answering a question you frequently get, etc.)
  • Catch up with one of your connections that may foster new business opportunities
  • Follow a new thought-leader in your industry
  • Post about any events you will be attending during the month (especially if you are speaking at them or sponsoring them)
  • Leave groups that are not active and look for new ones that may be beneficial to you and your company or brand

Download the LinkedIn Share Guide PDF here.

...

Want to connect with me on LinkedIn? Click here!

Happiness in the Workplace and the Rudest Emails I Have Ever Received

Back in April of 2013, I had the amazing opportunity to hear Vishen Lakhiani of MindValley speak at Internet Prophets LIVE! 2013. While most presentations that weekend were about technology, Vishen had something a little bit different to talk about. Instead of talking about how to leverage the internet for your business, Vishen spoke about happiness in the workplace.

About 70% of our waking hours are spent at work and therefore should be a place where people can find happiness, fulfillment and meaning. This isn’t just for an individual’s sanity and well-being but studies have also shown that happy employees make more productive employees.

Because of this, Vishen stressed the Five Principles of Happiness at Work. Rather than asking a person what they can do for your business, you should tell that talent what YOU can do for THEM.

This presentation and Vishen’s message came rushing back to my mind a few months ago after I received two extremely rude emails. The worst part was, they were from a company that wanted to hire me!

Here’s the story…

A few months back, I came across a job posting for a Public Relations Account Executive. The company seemed great, the position was right up my alley and I was so excited when the owner of the company emailed me personally! Or, I was excited until I read the actual email…

Hi Brittney. Received your very elaborate cover letter! I must say I am a fan of much simpler, direct writing -- but at least it shows you have personality. If you are interested in coming in for an interview this week...

From there, the owner invited me in for an interview. I have to admit, I was a bit turned off and offended that our initial interaction included a backhanded compliment. Nonetheless, still excited about the potential position, I agreed to meet with the owner later that week.

The interview went well, however, I later accepted a position with another company that better suited the direction I wanted my career path to take.

I wrote out a letter to the woman I had just interviewed with thanking her for the interview and expressed my extreme appreciation for her time and her consideration. I then explained that I had accepted another position that better fit my career aspirations and wished her the best of luck as she continued her search a candidate.

Feeling that I had been very professional with my letter, especially since she hadn’t even offered me a position yet, I was extremely surprised to find this email in my inbox a few days later…

WOW- not weighing your options. Really? Good luck to you then... You'll need it.

I was floored. Huh? Why? What just happened?

It took me a few hours but eventually I realized that I should not be upset about an unprofessional response from a business owner who first of all, conducted themselves that way, but who also could not offer me a positive work environment.

And for those of you wondering, I never responded to that last email.

How does your company ensure happiness within the workplace? Your techniques may not be as extreme as Vishen’s but, especially after this experience, I believe that measures to ensure happiness in the workplace should begin at the first interview.

I am lucky to now work for a wonderful company that does everything it can to make sure its employees are happy and engaged. Not only does it make for a great work environment but a strong team.

Happiness in the Worldplace

37 Things to Tweet That Relate to Your Audience and Industry

The number one question I get about Twitter is, “well, what do I tweet?”

Most people tweet things about themselves… what they ate that day, some crazy thing they saw on public transportation, why they are mad at their significant other, etc.

If you have a professional or company Twitter account, those tweets are not always appropriate. So what should you tweet about besides yourself?

Here is a list of 37 things to tweet that relate to your audience and look more professional than a public breakup via Twitter.

  1. Tips to help your customers better their business and solve their problems
  2. Tips to help your audience and clients live a better life by making something easier or quicker to do.
  3. Show you are human. Be real and engaging, not a robot or obvious automated tweeting system. A good way to do this is to respond to the tweets that people tweet at you! You can also start the day with a “good morning.”
  4. Industry news. (If you are a social media expert and your clients are interested in social media… tweet about social media industry news! Duh.)
  5. Links to videos, podcasts or other materials that inspire and connect your audience to your industry.
  6. Inspirational quotes. (Did you know quotes are the #1 retweeted content on Twitter?)
  7. Quotes of famous authors, artists or business leaders… especially those leaders in your industry.
  8. Tips for starting a business within your industry.
  9. Tips for how to use a product related to your industry or even your own products!
  10. Friendly reminders of important dates or holidays… and make your professional/company content that day relate to the date/holiday!
  11. Links to your favorite blogger, writer, thought leader, business leader, and especially industry leaders.
  12. Live-tweet tips from an industry event or company presentation.
  13. Ask a question that requires an answer other than yes or no.
  14. Conduct a poll.
  15. Thank your community for following you.
  16. Ask your community what they would like you to talk about. Maybe you are a social media professional only talking about Twitter and your audience wants to hear more information about LinkedIn.
  17. Offer help to others in their business.
  18. Share your favorite content from other blogs and news media outlets.
  19. Ask for tips of where to find good content that pertains to your industry, business, or community.
  20. Do NOT be afraid to share your top competitors content. They must know what they are doing and you must be confident that you are doing it better.
  21. Progress toward goals and objectives in business and life.
  22. Celebrations and milestones of professional goals (or even just losing some weight)!
  23. Photos of your business team enjoying life both inside and outside of the office.
  24. Join a Twitter chat. (A couple of my favorites include #BareItAll and #HBRogue.)
  25. Retweets of other people’s awesome tweets and content (especially if it relates to your industry). People LOVE to be retweeted!
  26. Reviews and opinions on products and services you have tried.
  27. Statistics about products, services, industries or niches. (A lot of the statistics that I tweet get retweeted and favorited.)
  28. How-to information.
  29. Infographics.
  30. Customer service tweets to those who need help from your business or have a question.
  31. Thank you messages to your customers for stopping in, purchasing something, or simply being your customer.
  32. Connect followers to each other when their tweets may be helpful to the others business or life.
  33. Refer your followers to some of your favorite businesses, authors, or colleagues within your industry.
  34. Tweet links to good Pinterest boards, LinkedIn groups, and G+ communities that relate to your industry
  35. Start or share a list on list.ly.
  36. Teach others how to do something.
  37. Something new! Test different tweets out and see what resonates most with your audience!

What did I miss? Comment below and share some of your favorite things to tweet about that your audience LOVES!

97% of Your Ideal Clients are NOT Looking for You

Did you know that 97% of your ideal clients are NOT looking for you?

Crazy, right?

The problem that many marketers face is that they waste their time chasing prospects who are not interested, not aware, or not ready to buy.

Callan Rush, Marketing and Motivation Maven, breaks down a company’s market buying segments as follows:

  • 3% of your market is actively shopping for your product or service. These people have a need for your product or service and want to make a purchase decision within 90 days.
    • Example: You are a car dealership and someone in your market has their car break down beyond repair. This person needs a car to travel to work and to bring their kids to school. This person needs a new car as soon as possible. This person is actively shopping for your product.
  • 7% of your market is open to your product or service. These people are passive buyers who have not yet been proactive in their buying efforts but are interested in in purchasing your product or service in the future.
    • Example: You are a car dealership and someone in your market has a car. This car is getting older and this person has a growing family. This person identifies that in the future, they will need to buy a new car to fit their growing family’s needs but has not gone out shopping for options. This person is open to your product or service but is not ready to buy.
  • 30% of your market is aware of your product or service for the future. These people do not have a need for your product or service at this time but know that it is available to them.
    • Example: You are a car dealership and someone in your market drives by your lot everyday on the way to work. This person’s car is still in decent shape and they have other priorities to take care of before ever thinking about buying a new car. Because they have seen it in the past though, they know your car dealership is nearby for when they need to make a purchase in the future.
  • 30% of your market is unconscious of your product or service. These people may or may not need your product or service but either way, they are not buying. These people may not have a need or do not know your product or service exists even though it may help a need that they do have.
    • Example: You have a car dealership and someone in your market is content with their car. Maybe they just bought a new car or maybe they are happy with the car they have and therefore are not looking to make a purchase anytime soon. Marketing to these people will not yield any favorable results.
  • 30% of your market will just say “NO.” These people are not interested in your product or service and never will be. These are the people that marketers must learn to say “goodbye” to.

Once we get rid of that last 30% of people, how should marketers reach the other 67% who are not yet actively shopping?

Education-based marketing.

educationbasedmarketing

Education-based marketing provides value to a consumer before they make a purchase. Consumers like to do business with people and brands they trust. You may have the lowest prices or the best product, but if you're not perceived to be trustworthy, it's going to difficult to attract and then keep your customers.

Before you put together an education-based marketing strategy, consider these things:

  1. Who is my specific audience?
  2. What is my audience's specific problem?

From here, offer expert information and helpful tips to enhance your consumers' lives while avoiding your sales pitch. This information can be presented in a variety of ways including free white papers, blogs and videos.

The 80/20 Rule

A good value-to-sales ratio is the called the "80/20 Rule." Offer your customers valuable, education-based marketing 80% of the time while promoting your brand only 20%. This provides your customers the information they need to build trust and then reminds them that you have a product or service to help alleviate the problem they have.