Category: Celebrating Successes

Highlighting best practices.

What I Do

This year I was the marketing sponsor for Sterling Women, a business networking group based in Northern Virginia. In this video, leader Cindy Battino and I chat about what Kurtz Digital Strategy does.

This pandemic year has brought highs and lows both personally and professionally. But, I am grateful for my business network for helping make it all work!

How To Create An Online Event That Brings Value To ALL Attendees

Guest Post By Cynthia Battino, BHSP, Transformational Healing Life Coach, Energy Worker, Happiness Expert, Certified Vistage Speaker and Host of Sterling Women

COVID-19 made us shift, pivot, and bob and weave to keep our businesses up and running. Many of us worked virtually and found a new friend, Zoom.

There are other online platforms out there, but what I like about Zoom is 1) it’s free or relatively cheap, 2) it’s easy to use, and 3) it has some great tutorials on how to effectively use the platform.

Shifting from live events to online events can be complicated. Here’s what I have done that make our Sterling Women virtual networking events successful:

  • I make sure that my email blasts are easy to read, and they have a larger than life “Register Here” button. All sponsors are listed on the emails with links to their websites.
  • I send frequent email blasts starting at one a week and then more frequently up to the day of the event. I send one out the morning of the event and give them one last opportunity to sign up.
  • At the events they are given a program in pdf format, plus tips from some of our sponsors. (I always give a business, marketing and happiness tip – since most of the people who attend are business owners). This program also lists the sponsors and has space for them to take notes from the speaker.
  • I have someone helping me with allowing people to attend the meeting (I make them wait in the waiting room when they log on). He/she and the speaker become co-hosts. This way they can share their screen, unmute people and let attendees in after the meeting has begun.
  • We have a speaker who tells their inspiring story to motivate us to keep our doors open and do our best to be profitable – pandemic or no pandemic. This talks to the tenacity and strength of the human spirit.
  • I use the breakout rooms feature and let the attendees be chosen randomly by the software. They have 10-15 minutes to share their elevator speeches and give their contact information on the chat board.
  • I choose two people to give their elevator speech to everyone on the Zoom meeting call. I usually choose someone new to Sterling Women and someone who has been attending for years.
  • I give out some door prizes at the END of the event. This way attendees don’t leave early, and they have something else to look forward to.
  • After the event I send the names, business names, phone numbers and websites of all attendees (no email addresses are shared). They are also sent a survey they can complete so that we can receive important feedback about the speaker, format and event itself. I encourage everyone to schedule a 1:1 with at least one person from their breakout room in the next week.
  • Finally, I keep the core values of our live events the same as our virtual events. The Core Values for Sterling Women are: inclusivity, having fun while doing serious business, a sisterhood (sisters helping sisters), and making sure I give value to our sponsors and everyone that attends one of our events.

Just like I am giving you this information to use as you like, I had someone who taught me about events, and I have an assistant who has been doing events for years for non-profits. I love being the “bridge to abundance” for others. Whether it is connecting people or sharing what I have learned. We all deserve to be as successful as we can (and choose) to be.

About the Author

Life coach, energy worker, speaker, author, certified Vistage Speaker, host of Sterling Women and happiness expert; these are just a few words to describe Cindy Battino. Her coaching comes from her intensive study to become a Brennan Healing Science Practitioner. Previously she graduated from George Mason University with a degree in Economics. In 2011 she founded Transformational Healing in Middleburg, Va. Cindy is a teacher by trade and teaches relationship and life skills. These skills are the tools her clients use to transform their lives from a lack of happiness and success in one area of their life to happiness and success in ALL areas of their lives. She specializes in working with high level executives, business owners, entrepreneurs and much more.


Build a Pod to Increase LinkedIn Impact

I have used LinkedIn for years to stay connected with professional contacts. Today, it is an important way for me to market Kurtz Digital Strategy to people who know me as well as professionals who need digital marketing services.

When I was asked if I would participate in a LinkedIn pod, I was happy to give it a try. The results have been amazing, with my posts and articles reaching far more people than ever before.

What’s a LinkedIn Pod?

A pod is a collection of people who agree to comment and engage with each others’ content. My pod was created by someone who wanted to build a community of female business owners.

Here’s how it works:

  • When anyone in the pod posts to LinkedIn, the link is shared on a group message.
  • I look at the content and post a comment.

This takes time, as I need to read content from diverse professionals and understand enough to post a meaningful comment. I have learned a few things in the process!
I was feeling somewhat grumpy about the amount of time this was taking, so I took a closer look at whether the time spent was doing anything for me. The answer is a resounding yes!

Real Results

My LinkedIn posts have gone from roughly 5 views to more than 200. I now get comments, typically several per post. These results include pod members as well as people outside of the pod.

Article views are less impacted. I still only earn a handful of those on each article.

A surprising result is that views of my profile are way up. I am getting about 75 a week, up from less than 5 per week previously.

Andrea Gepner, Chief Financial Officer at Accountable CFO and member of my pod, is also seeing results. “The value to me is increased engagement across LinkedIn and increased visibility to potential clients. Also has increased my relationships with current connections. And gave me a whole new group to speak to.”

Case in Point

Maggy Sterner, Brand & Business Coach, is also a member of my pod. She wanted to be more active on LinkedIn but didn’t “want the feeling of just tossing messages in bottles into the ocean.” Like many of us, the tried that and just didn’t feel like it worked.

The pod works for her, too. “With my pod, I feel connected to a real audience of real people who respond thoughtfully to what I write. It encourages me to write more to my virtual pen pals!”

Maggy got some unexpected results. “I feel so much more creative about what I’m posting, I’m posting more, and I have a new community of people – that’s huge in this time of physical isolation.”

What a Pod Can Do

A few months into this effort, I find that participating in a pod takes time but yields tangible results. If LinkedIn is a core social media channel in your digital marketing strategy, it is worthy of consideration.

In Maggy’s words, “We’re always taking about engagement as a goal for social media marketing and this pod makes it easy to write, I have more ideas, and I feel genuinely, authentically engaged with people in a way I’ve not experienced before.”

Maggy and I both routinely advise our small business clients to be real and authentic with their online messages. The pod approach is a great way to do just that.