Are you missing prospects on social media? Easy steps to grow your database.

 

Need more and better leads? Would you love to engage those that already are familiar with your company?

In this video you will learn:

  • How social media can provide leads
  • How to grow your prospect database
  • How to see social engagement with your content
  • How to expand your reach into the organization chart of prospects and customers alike

You’ve done the hard work. Content has been developed, posted on social media and targeted to multiple manufacturing channels. You are seeing all types of engagement from likes to comments and shares.

So, now what? Well, watch this video to see just how to garner more prospects.

Check out this Video

 

Questions? Want to discuss further? Send me your thoughts at RobFelber@felberpr.com. And, if you try it I’ll give you a shout-out on our channels. Just think who might see your success story!

Also, see these articles for more tips:

How to Increase Manufacturing Sales with Social Selling

How to Increase Social Selling with LinkedIn

 

 

The #1 Mistake Manufacturers Make at Trade Shows & How to Fix It!

 

In this week’s episode of Tactics Thursday, I delve into trade show marketing strategy. Manufacturing salespeople do an incredible job of connecting with prospects and customers, deepening relationships, and closing sales at trade shows. However, they are missing out on a major step that could make a huge impact in their sales and marketing success: engaging with the media that are attending the show.  Media attend industry trade shows to find stories to tell for the next year. Why not have them tell your company’s story? Not only is editorial coverage in industry publications a great way to build your reputation, but it is also a great way to drive traffic to your website. I discuss the method we use at Felber PR & Marketing to get the media’s attention and book appointments at our client’s booth at the show.

Interested in discussing your trade show strategy? Email me at allisonmiller@felberpr.com.

Related articles

How to Make This Year The ‘Year of Content’

This week’s Tactics Thursday video is all about how to make 2020 the Year of Content! I walk you through the steps of creating a strong content plan to release one piece of content a week. Here are some simple ways to create content topics that are relevant and engaging for your prospects and customers.

 


 

  1. Review Social Media & Website Form Submissions– Jot down common themes and if you don’t have content on each of these topics, develop it!
  2. Repurpose videos and webinars– Webinars and videos can be repurposed! Consider including the video of your latest webinar and transcribing the script or creating a blog or ebook which includes your video!
  3. Review your manufacturing network on LinkedIn– I’m sure you’re following influencers in your industry on social media. See what they’re talking about, write down common themes, and consider taking your own spin on hot topics.
  4. Set Google Alerts– Google Alerts allow you to stay up-to-date on industry news. Consider writing an opinion piece while the news is fresh!
  5. Showcase industry research and case studies– White papers and case studies offer third party credibility to your brand. They show customers that you are legit, knowledgeable, and a company worth considering as a partner.
  6. Recap industry events– Take a video at your next trade show and create a recap video of the trade show or write a blog on what you learned at the industry conference you attended.
  7. Highlight giving back- Remember, your customers do not want to buy from a “vendor” they want to buy from people. Making the public aware of the company’s volunteering brings a human aspect to your brand and helps you develop deeper relationships with your prospects.
  8. Survey prospects and customers– If you’re stumped for content go directly to the people who are consuming yours. Create a simple 5-minute survey about your content to gauge if your prospects and customers like your content or if not, what types of content they would enjoy seeing from you in the future.

Once you have a strong list of content topics, create a plan to make sure you have a clear understanding of what content is going out each week for the next year. Our blog Why Manufacturers Need a Content Map for Inbound Market Success walks you through how to take these content ideas and create a strategy to execute developing strong content.

 

How to Incorporate Video into Your Manufacturing Sales Strategy

This week’s Tactics Thursday video is about how to incorporate video into your sales strategy! Developing impactful videos doesn’t take a hefty budget or fancy equipment! There are so many free or extremely affordable video platforms on the market that allow people to produce short, simple videos. We use a free video platform called Vidyard internally and for our manufacturing clients throughout the sales process. It allows you to take videos through your computer webcam or your phone on the Vidyard app. When using Vidyard on your computer, you have the option to record just yourself, yourself and your screen, or just your screen.

I use Vidyard to create the following:

  • LinkedIn Videos- Such as these Tactics Thursday videos, company announcements, or announcements for Women in Manufacturing Ohio, which I serve on the board as Communications Chair.
  • Client Tutorials- I often do tutorials when clients ask questions showcasing how to perform tasks in HubSpot or walking clients through email campaigns and workflows
  • Prospects Meeting Follow Up- If I have a strong meeting with a prospect, sometimes I will opt to do a video recap instead of a lengthy email follow up. This cuts through the clutter and adds a personal touch.

This video specifically highlights how to use Vidyard to develop LinkedIn videos. Video is an excellent way to promote yourself and highlight your company’s products and services. As long as you are providing value and keeping the videos short, sweet and to the point, you’re golden.

For more information on video strategy, check out my blog “Why Video Should Be Part of Your Sales Strategy

How to Get Stronger Manufacturing Referrals in 2020

Ever have a strong meeting with a manufacturing colleague that results in them promising to refer you to a few companies but then weeks go by and the referral never happens? Manufacturing referrals open doors to new business opportunities but getting your business colleagues to introduce you is easier said than done. While I’m sure most people have great intentions when agreeing to refer you to a contact in their network, oftentimes, they get bogged down with work and forget or keep putting it off. By using this method, you are taking the pressure off your colleague and making the referral process as easy as copying and pasting!

Deep Search Your Business Connection’s Network on LinkedIn

Have a good relationship with a business connection? Why not ask them for a referral. Instead of asking them blankly for a referral, it’s better to see who they are connected to and ask for specific referrals, by name. I always take a deep dive into who my colleague is connected to on LinkedIn, what professional organizations they are involved in, and what schools they have attended to identify any opportunities for referrals they may have. I try to come into our business lunch with 3-5 contacts I think could be a fit for my services.

At the Meeting and Follow-Up Post Meeting

At your business meeting, say the following:

“Hi [Business Contact], I see you are connected with [Name] on LinkedIn. After reviewing their website, I think they could use our products/services. Would you be willing to introduce us?”

If your contact agrees to refer you, send a follow-up email immediately after your meeting saying something along the lines of the following:

“Thank you very much. Below I’ve attached a draft email introduction which you can use or tweak as you see fit.”

Sending a draft intro is helpfulfor a few reasons:

  1. You are taking the pressure off your contact to draft an introduction.
  2. Your contact will be more likely to refer you in a timely manner since it’s as simple as a quick copy and paste
  3. You can control how you are introduced and ensure that the first introduction to you and your company is as strong as possible.

Drafting Your Referral Intro

Stumped on how to draft your intro, here are some tried and true tips and tricks I learned from Caleb Townsend, co-founder of Factur—Manufacturing Referrals Network.

  1. Keep it short and sweet 4-6 brief sentences. Nobody has time to read a novel so keep it straight and to the point.
  2. Make your name a link to your LinkedIn profile and your company name a link to your website.
  3. Don’t bury the lead- keep the ask at the beginning of the intro. People shouldn’t find out that your contact is looking to refer you to the last sentence.
  4. Put a sentence about your differentiating factors in the paragraph.
  5. Any notable awards or industry certifications? Include those in a sentence.
  6. Soft-close that puts the ball in their court and gives the person being asked the ability to say no.

 

The #1 Lead Qualifying Tip for Manufacturing Websites

In this week’s Tactics Thursday episode, I break down my #1 lead qualifying tip for manufacturing websites. While this tip is very simple, it makes a huge impact! I implore you all to take an inventory of all the forms on your website and asking yourself, “are our form doing a good job of qualifying leads on the website?” If not, ask yourself how can we ask more poignant questions that will help us determine if this is a good, qualified lead.

Below, is a list of some common questions the Felber PR & Marketing team has implemented on our clients’ websites that may be valuable for you to implement as well!

  • Drawing file upload
  • Do you require an NDA?- include a file upload with this question
  • Estimated annual usage?
  • Does your part require ‘difficult’ alloys such as aluminum or copper?
  • What is the end-use of your product?
  • How would you like to be contacted- drop-down question where someone can select email or phone

When we onboard new manufacturing clients, we always ask what are the top 5 questions you ask every prospect when you first engage them? These qualifying questions can easily be placed in a descriptive form that, when filled out by your prospect, provides your sales team with a more detailed image of the prospect’s potential to turn into a customer. Strengthening your forms is an easy tactic to refine your lead generation strategy. Enhanced forms have the ability to empower salespeople with knowledge of who this prospect is, what they require, and how your company can best serve their needs.

Related Articles

How to see who is on my manufacturing website if they haven’t filled out a form yet

A common question we hear at Felber PR & Marketing is, “how do I identify who has been on my website”? Unfortunately, without someone converting to a contact (meaning they filled out a form on your website), we really have no way to see who that person was, just that someone from that company visited the website anonymously. In this video, I delve deeply into LinkedIn prospecting when you can see what company has viewed your website through IP tracking on your inbound marketing platform, but you’re not exactly sure what person at that company is viewing your website. This approach takes some research on the company (combination of looking at their website and LinkedIn) to get a sense of which team/person might be the appropriate contact and then reaching out via email or LinkedIn. I walk you through a basic tutorial of how I do this in this quick video. Hope this helps!

 

How to Write Manufacturing Job Descriptions That Attract Superior Talent

With the new year around the corner, manufacturers are looking for ways to grow their talent pool and set up their plants for success. A major component of attracting the right talent is developing strong job descriptions. Today’s guest blog post is brought by recruiting expert Glenn Levar, President and CEO of  Shared Time Human Resource Management, Inc. Prior to starting Shared Time Human Resource Management, Inc., Glenn was employed by Fortune 50 and entrepreneurial companies as human resource manager. During his corporate career, Glenn was a key contributor in reaching corporate goals and objectives. He built trust and empowered employees and management to greater success.

glenn-levar

Guest author Glenn Levar

How Manufacturers Can Develop Job Descriptions to Attract Superior Candidates

In its purest form, a position description indicates the work to be performed by the candidates for employment. The objective of a well-written position description is to attract the highest number of talented candidates and, from that list, hire the best one. Listed below are approaches to writing a position description and the elements required to develop a better position description.  These include the position summary, the position’s essential functions and the competencies, skills, education and work experience required to be successful in the position.

Approaches to Writing a Position Description

As a supervisor or manager, you can take several approaches to write a position description. Remember, a position description’s purpose is to define the position’s critical responsibilities and accountabilities broadly. Depending on your management style, you may choose any of the following methods:

  • Talk with employees about their work and ask for their input.
  • Ask employees to develop their position descriptions.
  • Share the position description with other managers the employee will work with to determine if there will be interference or issues with another departments’ work.

The final position description should validate and explain the position’s relevance within the organization and it should inform applicants of the work they will perform once hired.

The Position’s Summary

The position’s summary should explain what the candidate needs to be successful. For example, a company’s Sales Representative’s purpose could be to increase revenue in the territory by 10% from new and existing accounts, make prospecting calls, follow up on leads, prepare quotes, and answer customer questions.

Essential Job Functions

Essential functions are the primary job duties that an employee must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodation. You should carefully examine each job to determine which functions or tasks are essential to the employee’s performance.

The issue of job descriptions has received significant attention since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is true that job descriptions can be helpful in supporting an employer’s position as to which job functions are essential.

Competencies and Skills

Mainly, these are the characteristics the company believes a qualified candidate should have to be successful in the position. They can be measurable knowledge such as degrees or certifications, hands-on or technical proficiencies, abilities, or even personal attributes like outgoing or friendly. A position description’s list of competencies may include communications, leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving skills.

Skills include the specific knowledge and abilities required to succeed in a job. The skills needed for a particular position may consist of computer programming, operating machinery, carpentry, plumbing, web design, typing, accounting, writing, or mathematics.

Writing a position description with assorted or different skills can make the recruitment effort complicated and lengthy. Finding one person with all of them may prove difficult, or worse, may result in hiring someone who is not as qualified for the position. Should this situation arise, it is advisable to re-examine the position description and consider splitting it into two or more jobs.

Education and Work Experience

The education and work experience section accurately describes the formal education and training the candidate may need.

For example, a machinist may need a general education degree (GED) or a high school diploma with five to seven years of experience, but a machinist does not need a Ph.D. A mechanical engineer usually requires a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree with fifteen years of experience designing aviation landing gear and not a GED.

Position Descriptions Next Steps

Position descriptions are living documents that evolve with each hiring cycle, changes to the way the company does business, position duties, or new equipment purchases.

It is recommended that once a year, the manager and employee sit down and discuss the position description as part of an annual review. Together, they can determine which essential functions, competencies, and skills remain necessary and eliminate those attributes which are no longer applicable to the position.

When both parties agree with the revisions, the manager may make formal changes to the description and both parties sign and date the new document. A copy of the signed and revised position description should be kept by the manager, given to the employee and shared with the company’s human resources department.

In Review

Position descriptions are necessary to define an employer’s expectations for the job, outline the job’s essential functions, identify the competencies and skills required for the job, and minimize ADA violations. The goal of a well-written position description is to attract and hire the most qualified candidate available to fill your open position.

Shared Time Human Resources Management, Inc. (STHRM, Inc.) provides human resources consulting services that solve our clients’ complex human resources issues. Since 1993, we have helped our clients recruit employees, retain staff and reduce costs. We work with entrepreneurial start-ups and established Fortune 500 companies in Cleveland, Northeast Ohio, and across the country.

Put Shared Time Human Resources Management, Inc. to work for your company. Contact Glenn Levar at 440.979.1046 or by e-mail at grlevar@sthrm.com.

 

Diversify Your Manufacturing Business to Rock the Next Recession

We’re excited to have Jonathan Slain, author of  ‘Rock the Recession: How Successful Leaders Prepare for, Thrive During, and Create Wealth After Downturns’ as a featured guest blogger. The following article is adapted from his book.

Diversify Your Manufacturing Business to Rock the Next Recession

Every recession plays out differently, and you never know which industry or geography will be hit the hardest. By diversifying to spread your business between multiple industries and markets, you minimize the impact any single industry has on your bottom line.

 

If the next recession hits manufacturing especially hard again, for example, you won’t be completely sunk if your business spans multiple industries and markets. You can make up for losses in one area by shifting your focus to others until the recession ends.

 

Let’s take a deeper look at how you can diversify your business in three ways—your customers, your products and services, and your industry—to bolster it against the next downturn.

Diversifying Your Customers

Before you take the ambitious step of diversifying into different markets, take a close look at your current customer base. To minimize the damage losing your biggest client would cause, make sure that no single customer accounts for more than 10 to 20 percent of your revenue.

 

Run through your customer list to understand how your portfolio will fare in a recession, and then be proactive in diversifying. If you discover you have serious customer concentration in your business, start reaching out to new customers immediately. You need to spread the risk around so your business isn’t at the mercy of another’s success.

Diversifying Your Products and Services

It’s not enough to diversify geographically and simply pick up new customers; you must diversify your products and services, too.

 

Work with your leadership team to figure out what you can add to your portfolio. How can you pivot to a product or service that has more demand during a recession? How can you provide more robust solutions to retain your current customers when they’re forced to make cuts?

 

Analyze and anticipate your customers’ needs and develop new offerings to keep your business cost-effective and relevant before, during, and after a recession.

Diversifying into New Markets and Industries

Finally, think big-picture and consider which new markets and industries you could serve to cover your bases during a recession.

 

If we look back at the Great Recession of 2008–2009, we see certain industries got pummeled: manufacturing, finance and insurance, travel and tourism, and certain segments of the construction business. New car sales plummeted. Four-year university enrollment declined heavily. Casinos, hotels and motels, jewelry stores—all of these businesses took a big hit.

 

Then there were other industries, like healthcare, that grew during the Great Recession, or at least held steady. Community college numbers went up. Grocery stores did well. Guns and ammunition, veterinary services, correctional facilities, multi-family housing, storage and warehouse leasing, remediation and environmental cleanup services—all of these were winners.

 

According to one recent IBISWorld report, all of the following industries are projected to grow: “tortilla production, wineries, vitamin and supplement manufacturing, software publishing, VoIP, IT consulting, video games, marijuana growing, and a host of online retailers.” Some of these industries may be off the beaten path, but if there’s an opportunity for you to start a relationship with a company in one of these fields, why wouldn’t you?

 

You can find up-to-date information on end markets and industries that will grow or be stable in the future if you take the time to look. The secrets are out there, but they’re not always free.

 

Here’s a pro tip: purchase a subscription to the IBISWorld database, which will give you access to hundreds of different industry reports. Research firms, like IBISWorld, also put out newsletters with information about which industries are hot right now and which are forecasted to perform poorly. Seriously, it’s like having the answer key to a test before you take it!

Don’t Let Your Defenses Drop

Diversifying your customers, products and services, and markets takes continual outreach, research, and maintenance, but by putting in the work and spreading your risk around, you’ll protect your business—and even position it for growth—during the next recession.

 

Jonathan Slain and Paul Belair founded Recession.com to give entrepreneurs a free tool to assess their recession readiness at Recession.com/Ready.

Interested in preparing a recession plan but don’t know where to start? Use the coupon code “felber” at www.recession.com/shop to get 50% off the Rock the Recession workbook to create your business recession-proofing action plan. 

Extend the Reach of Your Media Hits with Social Media

The Additive Manufacturing Media team at a video shoot with Fabrisonic in Columbus, Ohio

Congratulations! Your company has received multiple media hits with the industrial trade media you have been targeting. These stories will live forever on the web, impacting your search engine optimization and manufacturing company’s reputation. Third-party endorsements such as articles, videos, and blogs really move the needle. Check out our client Fabrisonic’s press room here. Below, learn 3 ways to promote your media recognition and drive leads to your brand.

fabrisonic

  1. Share your Media Recognition on Your Company’s Social Channels

Want to extend the reach of your press articles? Post media hits to your social media. If you have the big three social channels for manufacturers (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter), you can reach many more of your followers, fans and prospects by sharing your new-found recognition. Important: When posting, make sure to thank the publication to their social.  By tagging them, you reach their audience as well. Use industry-specific hashtags to reach a larger audience who may be searching for a similar topic.
New call-to-actionmedia-factory

  1. Share in LinkedIn Industry Groups

Post the story to industry groups on LinkedIn. We view these groups as if they are a seminar audience. They’re interested in the field and captive. Time after time manufacturers can track lead generation all the way back to a LinkedIn post.

Also, remember to thank the media when they visit your factory.

  1. Create a Press Room on Your Website

Add a press room to your website where visitors can marvel at just how many editors and reporters were impressed with your operation. As I’ve stated before, industry media writing about your company adds third-party credibility to your company. Prospects and customers alike want to work with a successful company with a track record for success. Showcase your media recognition prominently on your website so people can see what makes your company great!

There you have it. Extending reach and the impact of your media stories is just a few clicks away.