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Archive for the ‘Networking’ Category

5 Videos to Improve Your Networking Skills in the New Year

Posted by advantagemarketing on January 5, 2017

Casual Catering Discussion Meeting Colleagues Concept

Is your new year’s resolution to improve your networking skills? These 5 videos will help you establish lasting connections and get the most out of networking events.

How to Introduce Yourself Quickly

At networking events, you often have to introduce yourself in 10 seconds or less.This might sound easy, but many people stumble over this short introduction.  This video offers some good tips that will enable you to leave a great impression quickly. Watch Now

How to Start a Conversation

Nobody likes uncomfortable moments, especially at a networking event. Here are a few tips to kickstart a conversation and avoid uncomfortable silences with those you meet. Watch Now

7 Tips for Effective Networking

Networking goes far beyond just meeting people. Effective networking means establishing meaningful relationships with potential clients. Here are seven helpful tips that will help you after the initial meeting. Watch Now

10 Great Questions to Ask at Networking Events

Getting people to open up to you is a great first step to networking with them, but to make a stronger connection you need to keep them talking. Here are 10 questions to ask that will help you establish meaningful connections with those you meet. Watch Now

How to Make a Great First Impression

Did you know that people remember the way that you made them feel instead of the words that you actually said? To make a great first impression, it’s important to prepare yourself with positive thoughts before you even meet your first connection. In this video, you will learn how to do just that. Watch Now

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, lead generation, Networking, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Union Catholic Business Networking Luncheon

Posted by advantagemarketing on June 16, 2016

I recently had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the Union Catholic Business Networking Luncheon. This second annual event took place at Shackamaxon Country Club in Scotch Plains, NJ, and featured a panel discussion moderated by Joe Connolly, WCBS Newsradio 880 Business Reporter. It was a fun opportunity for members of the business and non-profit communities to come together.

The event was recorded, so if you want to hear all the great advice the panelists gave to audience members, check it out here: Enjoy!



Posted in Business, Networking | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

GWACC Women’s Networking Event Draws a Crowd

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 7, 2015

The Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce recently sponsored the Women to Women Networking Event at the Westwood in Garwood, NJ. This event, the second this year, was a great opportunity for women to network and visit with 20 different vendors. I was honored to be the speaker for the event and really enjoyed sharing my tips for how to create simple elevator speeches that help hook prospects.

A big thank you to all of the wonderful vendors and those who attended this event.

I would also like to thank the Chamber Women’s Committee for all of their time and effort. This event would not have been possible without them and their continued dedication to helping women achieve their personal and professional goals. Committee members include: Mariella Foley (Round Table Wealth Management), Maria Fuentes (Northfield Bank), Barbara Murphy (Sir Speedy), Irene Katz (Coldwell Banker,) Arielle Cassidy (The Juice House), and Susan Devaney (The Mavins Group).

As a GWACC member, I am continually impressed by the friendliness, professionalism and genuine willingness to help exhibited by the Chamber’s staff and board members. Big props to Chris Devine of Wells Fargo (Chamber Board Chairman) and Gene Jannotti (Chamber Executive Director) and all the GWACC staff members!


Speaking at GWACC

Sharing my tips for simple and memorable elevator speeches.

The gang's all here

The gang’s (mostly) all here! Joining me from left to right: Barbara Murphy, Gene Jannotti, Irene Katz, Maria Fuentes, and Mariella Foley.

Chris D and Mariella Foley

Chris Devine, GWACC Board Chairman, chats with Mariella Foley.

Brett_Dan_Loraine at table

At the Advantage Marketing table, with Dan Yost, my marketing intern. Chatting with us is Brett Malak of Brett Malak Lighting Design Inc.

Barbara and Jim Murphy

Barbara and Jim Murphy at the Sir Speedy table.


Posted in Marketing, Networking, personal branding, Public speaking, trade shows, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Don’t Miss out on Our Women to Women Networking Event!

Posted by advantagemarketing on October 27, 2015

women-networkingJoin me and other entrepreneurial women on Wednesday, October 28 from 6-8 at The Westwood in Garwood, NJ. This event is sponsored by the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce and is open to the public. It’s a great opportunity for networking, networking and more networking!

I will be doing a short discussion on “Clear and Simple Elevator Speeches Hook Prospects.” In addition, enjoy cocktails (cash bar), hors d’oeuvres, food stations and more. Stop by the Advantage Marketing table and enter for a chance to win my book, RESULTS! Impactful Solutions to Drive Business. The book is also available for sale at a special event price.

Purchase tickets for the event online:

$20 GWACC Members/$30 Non-Members

Posted in Networking | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Join Me at the GWACC Small Business Expo

Posted by advantagemarketing on September 11, 2015

GWACCIf it’s Fall, it’s time to start networking!

Join me at the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business Fall Expo at The Westwood in Garwood on Wednesday, September 16th from 6-9 pm. This event is open to the public and will be a great time for learning about valuable resources in the area and for networking.

Stop by the Advantage Marketing table for freebies, to enter to win my book RESULTS! Impactful Solutions to Drive Business plus a copy of the Advantage Marketing guide, “Turn Your Practice into a Client Magnet.” These resources are designed to help entrepreneurs and small business owners gain the information they need to have a successful business and see RESULTS! They will also be available to purchase.

If you are a small business owner looking to grow your business, you won’t want to miss this event. There will be hors d’oeuvres, a buffet dinner, wine, beer, and plenty of opportunities for networking. One lucky event attendee will even win 2 tickets to a Mets game! Purchase tickets for the event online: advance purchase $15 or $20 at the door.

Posted in Business, Networking, small business | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Crush Your Competition for a Good Cause

Posted by advantagemarketing on May 1, 2014

Crush Your Competition Workshop

You don’t need a fist this big to crush your competition. Just join us on May 20, at the Westfield, NJ, Crush Your Competition Workshop and support a good cause too!

New CRUSH Session: May 20th, 8:00-9:30AM!

Small business owners loved the Crush Your Competition Workshops we ran in back in March. Here’s what attendees said:

“I really found the advice from speakers with success stories
and/or failures to be most valuable.”

“I appreciated the down-to-earth discussion.”

“The topics and panelists were very much on-target with key areas
we face which drive us nuts.”

Some folks asked if we could run a Workshop session in Central New Jersey, so we’ve scheduled our May 20th CRUSH session for WESTFIELD, NJ. Register now!

We’ve asked Michael Napolitano, CPA and partner at CitrinCooperman, to join our panel of experts so that you can get accounting insights in addition to marketing, financial, legal and banking tips and tactics.

It gets even better. Now you can participate in a CRUSH workshop and contribute to a GOOD CAUSE at the same time! Profits from the May workshop will go to Imagine, a Westfield-based grief support center. If you haven’t heard about the amazing work Imagine does, check out their website.

Register now

What will you learn in the May 20th CRUSH Workshop? Here’s a sample of the valuable tips and tactics small business owners take away. How to…

  • Put more clients in your sales pipeline with the latest proven marketing strategies and tactics
  • Use business planning and bank financing to take your company to the next level
  • Better predict and protect your business from legal risks
  • Stop looking in your rear-view mirror and start planning for tomorrow
  • Take practical steps to grow and protect your business and personal finances

You will also have the opportunity to network with our EXPERT PANELISTS:

Loraine Kasprzak, MBA
Managing Director, Advantage Marketing Consulting Services LLC

Felicia Garland, CFP
Financial Planner, Greenberg & Rapp Financial Group

Jason Meisner, Esq.
Partner, Couglin Duffy, LLP

Lisa Wagner
Vice President Business Development, ConnectOne Bank

Michael Napolitano, CPA
Partner, CitrinCooperman

 Seating is limited so REGISTER NOW!

photo: The Joe Louis Fist Sculpture, Detroit, MI

Posted in B2B marketing, brand building, Business, Entrepreneur, lead generation, Marketing, Networking, small business, Small business workshop, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Leveraging Social Media – an AEC Professionals Circle Program

Posted by advantagemarketing on April 2, 2014

AEC New JerseyAEC Professionals Circle New Jersey is offering a program on social media and its potential to bring your company business. The event is called “Leveraging Social Media and Technology to Build Your Business,” and I’m so pleased that Advantage Marketing is teaming with AEC NJ as an event sponsor!

AEC Professionals Circle is a New Jersey-based organization that provides educational and networking opportunities to Architects, Engineers and Contractors.

The event will be held on Tuesday, April 8, and offers two 3-hour working sessions plus a lunch and evening networking. The folks at New Millennium Millwork are hosting the event at their Riverdale, New Jersey, facility. Frank Morales, Sandler Coach & Mentor, is the presenter and he’ll be doing a deep dive into LinkedIn and all the strategies and techniques that you can use to grow your personal network and prospect for business.

At Advantage Marketing, we’re known for helping our professional services clients craft content that positions them as the experts people want to hire, so I’m doubly excited to be premiering our Sticky Content Plan at this event. The Sticky Content Plan helps our clients build the information resources that bring customers to their doors. (You’ll be finding out more about the Sticky Content Plan in upcoming posts.)

We’ll also be running a fun social media quiz and offering prizes. We’ll be selling our guide, “Turn Your Practice into a Client Magnet” – which will soon be available online.

If you’re an architect, engineer, or contractor here in New Jersey, and you haven’t yet been to an AEC Professionals Circle event, this is the one to attend! AEC’s founder Shallon Gammon of Guiding Graphics, shared these top 10 reasons why this is a not-to-be-missed event:

10. Earn one CEU Credit while networking with decision-makers.

9. Learn HOW to build your network—online and in person.

8. Learn how to post your 30 second Elevator Pitch ONLINE.

7. Demystify Social Media channels and decide which one(s) will bring in new business.

6. Learn how you can have all of your documents, quotes, estimates, specifications, client information, and more for all of your projects with you, at all times.

5. Leverage your LinkedIn profile to promote your personal “brand” and proactively prospect.

4. Systematize attending networking events and consistently set and achieve realistic goals.

3. Find the right vendors to outsource services you’re not an expert on.

2. Acquire new customers through online recommendations, postings and word-of-mouth.

1. Learn how you can empower your friends, clients, prospects, and business associates to consistently give you referrals.

Here are the links to register:

RSVP for a Session:

RSVP for the Social Event only:

Hope I see you there!



Posted in Business, content marketing, lead generation, LinkedIn, Marketing, Networking, personal branding, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Social media marketing, Thought leadership, Word of mouth marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Crush the Competition in 2014

Posted by advantagemarketing on February 6, 2014

Small Business Workshop

Join us in March for these workshops, which will help you get your business in order and crush the competition in 2014!

Join me for an expert panel discussion and workshop to learn what you can do to better position yourself for GROWTH!

Our panel of experts will share valuable tips and tactics to help you shape up and grow your business in 2014.

You will learn how to:

  • Use business planning and bank financing to take your company to the next level;
  • Put more clients in your sales pipeline with the latest proven marketing strategies and tactics;
  • Better predict and protect your business from legal risks;
  • Take practical steps to grow and protect your business and personal finances

You’ll come away with priorities and action steps so that you start growing right now!

 Best of all – the workshop is FREE!

You will also have the opportunity to network with our experts and other business owners over complimentary refreshments. Seating is limited, so register now.

Join Us at One of  Our Three No-Cost Workshops:

March 6, 2014
6:00PM – 7:30PM
Location: ConnectOne BankRegister now
142 John Street
Hackensack, New Jersey

March 7, 2014
8:30AM – 10:00AM
Location: The Grain House
Mt. Kemble Avenue/Rte 202
Basking Ridge,  New Jersey

March 10, 2014
8:30AM – 10:00AM
Location: Commerce & Industry Assoc of NJ
61 South Paramus Road
Paramus, New Jersey

Our Expert Panel

Felicia Garland, CFP®
Financial Planner
Greenberg & Rapp Financial Group, Inc.

Jason Meisner, Esq.
Coughlin Duffy, LLP

Loraine Kasprzak, MBA
Managing Director
Advantage Marketing Consulting Services, LLC

Lisa Wagner
Vice President, Business Development
ConnectOne Bank

We have limited space, so please register in advance of your chosen session.
Register Now!

Posted in Business, Entrepreneur, Management, Marketing, Networking, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Connect Like an Entrepreneur

Posted by advantagemarketing on March 26, 2012

by Loraine KasprzakThink like an Entrepreneur

Connections are important when you’re a business owner. As a marketing consultant, I enjoy helping other business owners connect and build their networks. Not too long ago I introduced the “two Debs” in my network to each other: Deb Palacio, managing partner for, an Internet-based retailer of novelty loungewear and Deb Bailey, author, Internet radio host, and entrepreneur at DBC Communications.

This is one connection that definitely clicked. On her excellent Secrets of Success Women Entrepreneurs Radio program, Bailey interviewed Palacio about starting and growing an Internet-only business (listen to the interview). That radio discussion led to Palacio’s being included as an “entrepreneur mentor” in Bailey’s new book, Think like an Entrepreneur: What You Need to Consider before You Write a Business Plan.

Bailey wrote this book with the corporate employee (or ex-employee) in mind. “If you’ve spent most of your life working for someone else, you probably have no idea what it really takes to run a business – I certainly didn’t!” writes Bailey. The book gives an overview of things a prospective business owner should think about before planning and starting a business, and includes interviews with entrepreneur mentors who share their experiences.

In Palacio’s chapter, she candidly discusses how she got started and the challenges she faced. Before she started WebUndies, she had spent several years working for Nordstrom in the Lingerie and Women’s Active Wear departments. Palacio recounts how her passion was born, “One buyer in particular mentored me and invited me to accompany her on several buying trips… I will never forget the experience of walking into that first showroom. From that moment… I knew this was where my talent would blossom.”

One challenge she faced starting WebUndies was that suppliers didn’t want to deal with an unknown company with an unusual business model. They had difficulty “putting faith in a completely unknown, unrecognized company – and one that wanted to sell solely online, which [in the 1990s] was a completely new concept,” says Palacio.

The solution, says Palacio, “is to do your homework first and be well organized before reaching out to suppliers. You also need to believe in your venture and present it with the utmost conviction. This does help win over some of the tougher people.”

One piece of advice Palacio gives entrepreneurs is to “find what your areas of strength truly are. This will also help you to recognize your weaknesses. It is a vital step, and the sooner you can see where you need to ask for help from outside sources, the sooner you will be free to focus on developing the areas where you are most efficient.

Now that’s connecting like an entrepreneur.

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Posted in Business, Marketing, Networking, small business | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Building Local Word-of-Mouth for Your Business

Posted by advantagemarketing on February 15, 2011

Moving your business

When KC Creative relocated cross-country, owner Kathy Fulton had to do more than move boxes. She had to build another local referral network.

By Loraine Kasprzak, MBA

Kathy Fulton, owner and lead graphic designer for KC Creative, Inc., has been a friend and colleague of mine for more years than either of us can remember. She’s a master juggler – she manages her business, raises a family, and still finds time to train for triathlons. But even someone as high energy as Kathy was thrown for a loop when she had to relocate her business not once, but twice, in three years. After each move – from Chester, NJ, to Richmond, VA, in 2005 and then to St. Louis, MO, in 2008 – Kathy has had to re-establish her business in a town where her reputation and the quality of her work were unknown.

“It’s been challenging to maintain client relationships cross-country, get project work done, and establish KC Creative here in St. Louis,” Kathy told me. When old project work wrapped up and her sales pipeline emptied, she knew she needed to look for clients more actively. “I couldn’t rely on old relationships exclusively. I needed to build local word-of-mouth to get more business.”

Kathy shared with me what she’s doing to re-establish her referral network. As she rebuilds the second time, she’s learning which tactics work the hardest for her. These tactics can also work well for any service firm looking to build its own local network.

Accept invitations. Kathy started by accepting any invitation that came her way, especially to charity events and networking meetings, so that she could connect with the local community. She also saw the parents at her children’s new preschool as a resource. “If a parent invited me for coffee, I gladly accepted,” she notes. “As we got to know each other, I would mention that I was a graphic designer and share my business card.”

Volunteer your services.  Kathy found that volunteering her design services helps others get to know her and her work. She’s created invitations for fundraisers on a pro bono basis, and doing so has given her more visibility in the community.

Get on the Board. She accepted an invitation to be a Board member for a local charity so that she could further expand her network. The challenge here is to become known for her graphic design work and not just as a Board member.

Join local networking groups. Kathy joined a women’s professional networking group and attends their meetings as often as possible. “I’m starting to get some leads,” she says. “There’s an accounting firm in the group that has been very helpful.”

Tap your spouse’s network. Kathy’s husband works for a bank that sponsors events in and around St. Louis and she attends as many of these events as possible with him. “I made several good contacts at the bank’s holiday party, including the head of one of the larger local non-profits,” says Kathy. “I was able to arrange a breakfast meeting with her to discuss her graphic design needs.”

Schedule one-on-one meetings. Attending events and networking meetings is a great start, but Kathy knows she has to take it a step further. She sets up breakfast meetings with the business owners and community leaders she meets, so that she can listen, learn and help where she can. She comments, “These breakfast conversations often turn to how I can help them. It’s well worth it for me to give some free advice about how they can improve the look and feel of their marketing collateral.”

Make a conscious effort. With all the challenges of running a business and managing family life, Kathy learned she has to plan ahead to network. She schedules time each week to make follow-up phone calls, attend meetings or meet one-on-one with new acquaintances.

Stay in contact. The hardest part, says Kathy, is staying focused and following up with her new contacts. “I want to stay top-of-mind with strategic people without being overbearing. I’m creating a series of mailers to offer design tips. I also plan to send email blasts. LinkedIn and Twitter are helping me stay in touch too.”

Still, Kathy notes, it can be a slow process. “It takes time to get others to trust you and want to do business with you.  I’m just now beginning to get calls from prospects and others who will refer me for projects.”

What’s next?

Find out more about KC Creative. Kathy Fulton’s boutique firm specializes in graphic design and print production management. Stop by the KC Creative site.

Continue the discussion. What are you doing to build word-of-mouth and referral sources for your company? Please share your tips and comments below.

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Posted in Business, Marketing, Networking, Traditional marketing, Word of mouth marketing | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

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