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Matchmaking for Business

 

 

 

Matchmaking and February go hand in hand.  Jill McKibbin, President of McKibbin Consulting, is known as the matchmaker and connector in helping small businesses grow through matching companies with introductions through her vast network of connections.  COVID has created challenges to develop connections for all business types.  As businesses have struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic, they have reached out to McKibbin for advice and connections to new markets. National and international companies wanting to expand their footprint into the region are contacting McKibbin regarding introductions and guidance.

With a strong construction vertical, McKibbin has had people from all over the country reach out for assistance in developing connections within the Pittsburgh region and beyond.  What does that mean for those that are involved with McKibbin Consulting?  Jobs, new contracts, and opportunities for business growth.

Spending her career in business development before opening her own business, McKibbin Consulting was launched in 2010.  Through her monthly networking group meetings, Commercial Industrial Trades Services (CIST), she has helped connect engineers, architects, property managers, land developers, real estate attorneys, bankers, and contractors to one another to build strong teams of business owners. 

Minority contractors have benefited from guidance to become certified as a minority contractor – women-owned, veteran, disadvantaged business owner.  Why is this important?  These certifications enable smaller businesses to become part of larger contracts particularly when federal monies are involved.  Additionally, there is an opportunity with corporations that require diversity in their vendor relationships.  Without these certifications, smaller companies may not have these chances to grow.

Jill’s desire to help others enables her to excel in developing businesses.  As a consultant, she sees the strengths in a company and develops an understanding of how to build upon them.  Having the heart to help people she finds something that connects everyone together.  She then becomes the connector or the matchmaker to introduce that business to potential leads within her network.

Because of her success in the construction industry, other types of businesses are now reaching out for evaluation of their business and new ideas on how to pivot particularly as it relates to a different way of doing business because of COVID.

The landscape in the business and construction community is changing.  Companies are shifting employees to work from home, commercial space is being reconfigured and new businesses are entering the market.

To learn how McKibbin Consulting can make the right connections to grow your business, visit www.mckibbinconsulting.com or email [email protected]

About the Author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior-level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development strategies, website creation and management, social media management, marketing, strategic planning, and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.  Contact the Edmiston Group today to learn how we can bring fresh ideas to help grow your business.

Are You Helping or Selling?

When it comes to your customers do you know where their struggles are?  Understanding what keeps them up at night will provide insight into how you can offer assistance by way of personal introductions, what content you write, and determine how your product or service will help with their situation. 

Use your content as a way to spark friendly conversations between your business and its customers. Encourage discussion about content as it relates to their situation on social media, reply to comments, use examples.  By doing so you exhibit confidence in knowing that what you have to offer makes a difference.

In one of the newsletters we write for our client Shannon Staley & Sons, we talk about one of their core values, highlight a current project, spotlight one of their employees, and recognize employee anniversaries within the company.  This practice helps their contacts to not only see the type of work they do but also brings in a human side to their business.  Employees also appreciate the recognition the company shows for their efforts.

When you help and don’t sell in your content marketing, you also make your brand and your company more human because you are thinking about ways to assist your customers.  Why is this important?  It demonstrates your human side and increases the admiration for your empathetic brand.

Tips to make your content more emotionally gripping.

  • Write the first draft of a blog post as if you’re addressing a friend
  • Use relevant imagery that inspires smiles
  • Create your content by playing off emotions your customers are feeling – mention their fears, then how your product helps ease those, for example
  • Use a survey to ask for feedback

You can also brainstorm emotion-inspired content by thinking about what adjectives you want to describe your product or service and how it makes your customers feel. Use the stand-out descriptors to guide your content strategy, and strive to evoke related emotions with every piece.

As we prepare for business growth in 2021, companies have shifted to new ways of doing business.  One lesson learned is compassionate leadership brings about the human side of how we’ve adapted to business. 

About the Author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior-level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development strategies, website creation and management, social media management, marketing, strategic planning, and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.  Contact the Edmiston Group today to learn how we can bring fresh ideas to help grow your business.

How Social Are You?

person using computer and phone to view social media

The key to growing your business is understanding your audience and who your prospective customers are.  With the recent workplace changes, zoom meetings, and virtual cups of coffee how are you connecting with that audience?  Are you reaching out via a newsletter to stay top of mind?  Do you regularly post on social media channels where your customers are?  Are you using postcards and/or snail mail to stay in touch?

Sharing relevant content on your social channels is a great way to keep your audience abreast of industry updates, new products, and/or accomplishments.  This type of information can come directly to your inbox by way of Google Alerts.  If you are unfamiliar with the term or the process to set up an alert, here is a quick how to link

Look for your customer’s pain points.   For example, if a prospect mentions a problem they’re having that you can address, a Google Alert can enable you to quickly get involved in the conversation with a helpful piece of content or insight. If a potential buyer’s company hires a new CEO, key personnel, or expands their business, you should comment on the alert’s trigger event as soon as possible to get on their radar.  Based on your need, these alerts can easily be adjusted.

As it pertains to LinkedIn, make sure your LinkedIn profile is optimized.  Identify the groups where your potential customers are members, follow and participate in discussions.  These discussions can often reveal the current pain points a customer is experiencing.

NURTURE DON’T SELL

When developing online relationships avoid the hard closing tactic and nurture your leads.  Understanding who your leads are is key to your sales process.  Social selling is the process of researching, connecting, and interacting with prospects and customers on social media networks — notably Twitter and LinkedIn, but others certainly fit the bill. Through commenting on, liking, and sharing prospects’ and customers’ posts, salespeople create relationships with buyers and boost their credibility by taking an interest in what they’re discussing.

As you share success stories from current customers, third party validation helps build your credibility with potential buyers and allows prospects to relate to your customers’ experiences.   If you have provided a solution to a problem a potential prospect may be more likely to envision the same solution solving their issue as well.

Likewise, are you monitoring customer satisfaction within your company’s service delivery and addressing any unresolved problems and issues?  How often before hiring a company or service, going to a restaurant, booking travel, etc. do you look at customer reviews?  As a consumer, do you have a better image of the company if they acknowledge the issue and make amends?  Let’s face it, we’re not going to please everyone 100% of the time, but if your company consistently has 2 or 3-star reviews it may be time to look internally.

IF YOU’RE NOT MEASURING YOU’RE NOT MARKETING

Measure your engagement in the form of likes, comments, and shares.  The higher the engagement the more likely the content resonated with your audience. By paying attention to what content gets the most engagement with your audience, you can see what content or conversation topics are of interest to your prospects.   This is a good indication that you should seek out and share more about that topic.

It boils down to this…

  • Know your target market
  • Provide relevant information and nurture prospective leads
  • Track your engagement and provide more like content
  • Develop social relationships that allow you to close the sale

If you are unsure of your audience, their pain points, or how to engage and track performance, contact the Edmiston Group or call 724-612-0755.

About the Author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior-level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development strategies, website creation and management, social media management, marketing, strategic planning, and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.  Contact the Edmiston Group today to learn how we can bring fresh ideas to help grow your business.

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