This is a sponsored guest post by top blogger AmeeÂ Cantagallo ofÂ MadameDeals.com.
Do you remember the last time you walked into a room and didn’t know anyone? You knew you had to meet someone, or, where would you sit? Alone?
Who would you speak with?
I often feel that way when I come to work. How will I carve out my niche? Â The answer is simple: I have to build relationships. I have to network, and I have to spend the majority of my time doing it. I have to push myself out of my comfort zone and embrace my strengths, and I have to be prepared to treat every job I have likeÂ it’s the only job I have.
I think “Wow, that sounds easy enough”â€” except that I have social media to do, writing, managing a site, paying bills, taking care of my family, trying to figure out how to get a post done, not burn dinner, and be present at two Twitter parties within 5 minutes of one another. I am reminded how fragile life is and how every moment we have is our chance to leave a lasting impression.
I am going to share the strategy I useÂ that keeps my inbox full of offers and my bills paid. I have a couple of simple methodsÂ that will increase the number of returning customers so you will not have to work as hard toÂ find new business. It is a very easy process if you think about how relationships work in the “real world.” We communicate with our body language, words, and follow-through. The same is true online, except we have to rely more on non-verbal cues and actions than onÂ being physically present. This is how I “work” a room and build a real relationship from the comforts of my couch, closet, and sometimes,Â that desk I had to have.
When you receive an opportunity from a brand, read it to make sure you can do the job to the best of your ability. Then you need to accept the job through the TapInfluence platform. Next, I see who is managing the job. I look at the email of the person and make note of who I will be working for. I have a spreadsheet containing allÂ my jobs and managers and email addresses for each. It helps me to remember what that person’s work style is,Â what makes them happy, and what they need to formÂ a successful partnership. I have some partners that like to be emailed with my progress. I have some that like to use my images as examples, so I send thoseÂ right after I take them. I have some partners that want me to pitch my ideas before writing my piece, and I have some brand partners that just expect me to let them know when my piece is done.
Once I accept a job, I email the manager and thank them for inviting me. I ask them if there is any specific content or message they need to be delivered or anything else I should know that isn’t in the assignment. I tell them a little bit about my angle on my work, and I tell them I can have the post done in X number of days even if the deadline is much longer. I do this just in case someone else fails to produce their work, so they know they have my post available. I ask if they need it sooner because it is my job to help them look good in front of the brand they work for. I also find that doing my posts so far in advance enables me to better plan my job around my life. After I have established a connection, expectations, and timeline with my “boss,” I get to workÂ producingÂ quality content.
I then send my post to my Quality Assistant or QA. This person makes sure I have done everything I was asked and agreed to in the contract, andÂ thatÂ each point the brand requested be made was made, links are working, images are correct, and the post makes sense. I usually write in Evernote, and I copy and paste all notes where I am writing including the entire job. Then I have a person whoÂ quality-assures my post by going back into TapInfluence to make sure the assignmentÂ details haven’t been updated betweenÂ the time I received themÂ andÂ when I plan to submit the work. I highly suggest having someone quality assure your work if that isn’t something you are good at. It is worth the $10 investment to have someone review your work for quality and attention to detail. Your content should only have to be touched once by your boss. It should not have to be sent back to you several times for revisions unless the brand changed their mind. That does often happenâ€”where the brand doesn’t have the right URL or keywordsâ€”and you need to make those changes without making a fuss.
Once my work is complete and accepted for publication. I work my tail off to promote it. I am not only getting paid for placement on my site; I am getting paid for interaction. I think about how I can include that content in the body of work I already have to cross-promote it. I think aboutÂ ways to include that content in the future, because your job isn’t over when you publish;Â people follow your clicks and social media blitz long after the campaignÂ ends. I find that as an Influencer, itÂ makes me more credible to my readers to talk about the same products and services I love in new ways and tie them back to the older content I have written.
The final thing I do is my reports. I do not just do the required shares, but I go above and beyond. I work for the companies that hire me like I would expect my team to work for me. I do more than I have toâ€”not because they are paying me, but because I want to make sure that my coverage was the best. I want to get more jobs, and I know the key to getting more jobs is doing the jobs that you have to the best of your ability. I treat every relationship I haveâ€”online or in that crowded roomâ€”as one ofÂ importance. I listen to the person I am speaking to, gather their needs, communicate back as often as they need, and then I perform. I also do what every person should do, but forgets; I thank them for their partnership, and I invite them to provide me with feedback. I want to know what they think I could have done better because I know, to be competitive, I have to continue to up my game.
The truth is: Treat the customer like you want to be treated and you will not only have raving fans on your siteâ€”but also in your email inbox.
~For more from Amee, visit her at MadameDeals.com.