Five Points for Planning your 2014 event or fundraiser by Toni Earls

Five Points for Planning your 2014 event or fundraiser

If you are planning an event for your business in 2014, now is a great time to get started. Whether it is a networking event or a fundraiser, staying on top of your planning with a checklist will aid your efforts immeasurably. Keeping yourself organized is fundamental to the success of an event. Consider these suggestions when planning yours.

1. Be clear about the purpose of your event, whether it is a fundraiser, a networking opportunity, or something in between. The Fundraising Authority recommends: “Before doing anything else, you must decide what the purpose of your event is. Is this truly a fundraising event? Or does it have other goals?…details for your event will depend on knowing what goals you are trying to achieve.”

2. Begin preparations early on, at least 3 months out for a large event, according to Marriot. Their comprehensive checklist includes these beginning steps: “…develop the program and budget. Book meeting site and support services. Check calendar of local events to avoid conflicting or inappropriate dates.” You can also use this time to contact attendees and if necessary, make travel arrangements. The more thorough and detailed you are at the start, the less likely you are to encounter problems closer to the event.

3. The importance of your marketing is highlighted by the Fundraising Authority’s checklist. “You need to convince your supporters that your organization and event are worthy of their time and money. Draw up an entire marketing plan for the event.” Whether you are a small business looking to network or a non-profit hoping to fundraise, it is imperative that you orchestrate a persuasive marketing campaign to entice people to your event. “ ‘Getting the word out’ [methods] include…mailed invitations, direct mail, phone banks, word of mouth and the event host committee.”

4. Remember, people won’t come and/or they won’t donate if you don’t ask. Event 360’s advice is applicable in a fundraising or a networking event planning situation. “The golden rule of fundraising is: You raise money when you ask for it. You don’t when you don’t. ASK! Make a list of everyone you know and everyone you come in contact with during the course of a day – everyone is a potential donor.” There are also many potential guests for a networking event in this pool of people. Be judicious about your requests but don’t hesitate to cast a wide net.

5. Finally, remember that the influence of your event doesn’t end when the tables are cleared away and the lights are shut off. It is important to follow up with clients or donors, and to thank them for their attendance. Fundraising Authority advises: “Make sure that the organization takes the time to send thank-you notes to everyone who is involved in your event, including contributors, volunteers, staff and vendors.”

In short, be purposeful in your event design. Plan ahead and keep abreast of the situation throughout the events planning stages. Market your event like it is a new product and don’t be afraid to ask people to attend or to donate, depending on the situation. Most importantly, remember to say thank you when it is done.

SOURCES: http://www.thefundraisingauthority.com/fundraising-basics/fundraising-event/

http://www.marriott.com/Multimedia/PDF/check_time.pdf

http://www.event360.com/assets/files/Event-Fundraising-Checklist.pdf

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Are LinkedIn Endorsements Taken Seriously? By: Britney Balg

LinkedIn introduced the endorsement feature last year as a way to appeal to people who use their site on a mobile device and have limited time. It offers a recommendation feature, but this can take 10-15 minutes to complete and requires real knowledge of the skills you are validating for your connection. On the other hand, the endorsement of a skill takes one click of a mouse and you can even add skills that your connection doesn’t list on their own profile. So what does this say about the value of this feature? Opinions vary as to the value of endorsements. Those who don’t like this feature object to how mindless it is to endorse someone. It doesn’t require any thought or real knowledge of a person’s skills. Another reason people don’t like this feature is because they may get bombarded with notifications about being endorsed by someone. When you go to see what they endorsed you for you are then prompted to endorse them back. On the other hand, some people think this feature is wonderful and a great solution to making the site more on-the –go friendly.

Everyone is busy these days, and more and more people are using their smartphones to do their social media. These are the people who think the endorsements are a great idea and really convenient. And they are right, they are very convenient because it only takes two seconds. LinkedIn users just need to realize that there is a right and wrong way to use endorsements, so follow these guidelines when using the endorsement feature.
• Hide endorsements from people who have no real knowledge of your skills.
• Only endorse people for skills that you have witnessed first hand
• Don’t have too many endorsements for skills that don’t pertain to your current goals.
• Remember that just because someone endorses you for something, doesn’t mean you have to endorse them back, it makes it less meaningful.

IMAGE: LinkedIn Logo ( Published on 01-07-2010 0:00 a.m. )

Why Should You be Using LinkedIn Groups? by Britney Balg

Many business professionals have started tapping into the resources that LinkedIn has to offer. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, you can use LinkedIn to make direct connections with potential customers. Whether you are an Open Networker (you connect with anyone) or a Trusted Partner Networker (only connect with people you actually know), LinkedIn groups are a very good way to create quality connections with real potential clients.

You may already be involved in a LinkedIn group and find yourself contributing more than a lot of other members. If this happens you should think about starting your own group. LinkedIn groups are the most powerful aspect of the whole site if used correctly. If you start your own group you can actually direct people to your company blog or other website. Being the group leader makes you a very desirable connection, someone with proven knowledge of whatever your group is about. The more valuable connections you can make, the more your business will grow.

Just like every other aspect of social media/networking, there are rules to how to use groups professionally. You don’t connect with groups to bombard the group connections with advertisements or spam, that’s not what the groups are meant for. Groups are about community contributions, relative information to the group subject, and general knowledge or tips to help others grow their business. The idea is that everyone contributes valuable and appropriate content, which adds to the group’s credibility as being a group of real professionals. So unlock the potential and get your group started, it could do wonders for your business.

Linkedin

4 Things to let your Virtual Assistant Handle by Britney Balg

If you have elected to use the services of a Virtual Assistant (VA) you have thought through how much it will save you over having an on-site assistant. You’ve probably thought about how nice it will be to not have to deal with the hiring/firing process or having to carry all the insurances associated with a full time employee. But what can a VA actually do for you? Every VA offers different services but these are 4 things that most Virtual Assistants can do.

Bookkeeping:  It’s one of the easiest things to hand over to your Virtual Assistant. You will have to relinquish some of your control but if you find the right VA it won’t stress you out because the job will get done right. Having your bookkeeping needs taken care of will allow you time to focus on bigger parts of your business.

Online Research: Online research can  time consuming and difficult to some. Outsourcing this task to your VA will free up a lot of time for you.  The results can be put into a simple format for you to easily take the information you want from it.

Database Creation/Maintenance: Creating a database is easy if you know what you are doing but can be difficult to get going if you are inexperienced at it.  You can give your VA your information and in no time they can create a database to meet your needs. If you have already made your own database from time to time you will need to update and maintain it. You could even set up scheduled maintenance with your VA so you never run into any problems accessing and using your database.

Social Networking:  Social networking is one of the most important things when it comes to promoting yourself or your business. Like anything else though, it is very time consuming. It is 24-7 networking. So it is nice to have someone to help you keep up with it. Multiple usernames and passwords, remembering to update, re-post, tweet, and doing it all on time are all things a VA can take care of for you. It takes away a lot of the stress of social media.

Remember, every VA is different. They offer many other services that may be advantageous to you.. Look at what things seem to cause stress or cause snags in your daily business and let your Va take over. Learning how to utilize your VA will make the most of your time and your dollar.

Making Twitter Work for You by: Britney Balg

There are so many options for promoting yourself or your business on the internet. Twitter has become a top choice for business professionals to network with minimal effort and time. However, just because it’s a top choice doesn’t mean it’s easy.  Just like other networking sites, there are certain rules and etiquette that must be followed to make your twitter account worth it. First thing to remember is that you have to post valuable tweets. Tweeting about how the office ordered Chinese food for lunch isn’t going to cut it. Post things that are meaningful and important to your business and its goals.

Links are the way to go when trying to get people to visit your company website. You should put links in your tweets so that when your potential customer reads that you have a new type of wood flooring they can just click on the link right in the tweet and it will redirect them to your website with a picture of that flooring. By getting them to your site, you have gotten one step closer to that person buying your product or telling a friend about it.

One other thing to remember about twitter is that it is all about who is following you and who you are following. If you don’t have a good ratio of followers to people being followed by you, twitter can actually delete your account. It also doesn’t look good to potential customers if you don’t have a lot of followers but you are following everyone under the sun that has anything to do with your business.  A good rule of thumb is that if you are going to follow someone they should follow you back. There are exceptions to that rule though, for example if you are following a tv show don’t expect them to follow you back.

Follow us on Twitter! https://twitter.com/mccluresolution

NETWORKING: WHICH TYPE IS RIGHT FOR YOU? by Britney Balg

Networking is one concept of business management that can really make or break your business objectives. There are two types of networking; person to person or through the internet and media. Which one you choose will depend on your own style of running things. If you are very good at small talk and like meeting new people constantly, then you would benefit from person to person networking. There is some truth to the statement, “It’s all about who you know”. It’s not literally all about who you know but once you start putting yourself out there and making new connections, you will be surprised at how much business you can stir up.

On the other hand, maybe your time is better spent networking through social media. Perhaps your target audience is more involved with social media than going to business fairs or conventions. A really appealing aspect of social media networking is that it can be done at any time of day or night and allows you to reach a much further audience. On the flip side though, you may find it a bit time consuming to keep up with all the posting and following and tweeting. A lot of business professionals employ some sort of assistant to help them keep track of all their social media outlets. A bigger business is more likely to hire someone to do this out of an office. A cheaper and just as efficient alternative to this, especially for smaller business owners, is to hire a virtual assistant. A VA is able to communicate with you through email or phone call and then from their own home they can update, repost and blog for you. Which option you choose will depend on your current business situation and neither is necessarily better than the other, it’s just up to you to decide what works. 

Referral Program

To start the new year out right, McClure Virtual Business Solutions, LLC wants to expand our network. We value our current connections and are always looking to build new relationships. Our team at MVBS, LLC also understands that time is money and with that in mind, we have designed a referral program applicable to most businesses in the hopes that our new-found business connection can also be lucrative. More simplified, you refer clients in need of our administrative services to us and make a 20% commission off each client we acquire via your efforts. In exchange, our team will devote our resources to finding specified clients for your applicable businesses, in exchange for a 20% commission fee. We are looking to refer clients to CPA’s, Web Designer’s, other Virtual Administrative-Based Businesses, and more! For more details Comment on this blog or check out MVBS, LLC Contact Info below,

Thank You Respectfully For Your Time!

Catie McClure/ CEO and Founder of McClure Virtual Businesses Solutions, LLC

PH: 1978-514-4604

catie@mymccluresolutions.com