Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Have you sent your resume?

Without marketing, your business is taking the risks of potentially losing customers and revenue. Think of your brand, website, or artwork as a resume. You spend hours or days writing and designing it to perfection and years building it through experience and education. After you’ve culminated and beautified your resume, what next? What’s the next step to ensuring that you land that dream job?

The appropriate response is to send your resume to employers.

In the case of business, that is considered marketing. You need to market yourself to gain the employer. A terrible resume sent to potential employers has a higher probability of landing the job over a superb resume sitting in a drawer. Without marketing, you will waste time and money creating a great brand for no reason at all.

Creating a Personal Learning Network

PLN stands for Personal Learning Network. A PLN consist of a few friends you met at college with whom you shared ideas and resources, then after adding in a few of their friends and coworkers, the PLN grows (Digital Learning Team, 2013). Having a PLN is important because it offers up an opportunity to connect with individuals or businesses that could help in developing insight and a difference of professional opinion. A PLN works through sharing experiences and knowledge amongst members within the group. Through a PLN connection, the members can get answers to questions and take advantage of opportunities provided by those within their PLN.

A Personal Learning Network (PLN) reaches its most potential online through social networking platforms, twitter, facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. Through these networks, professionals within a PLN can share personal and professional experiences through short status updates, blogs, photos, and videos. This information can be used as resources to followers and subscribers who have opted to stay connected with the individual or business (Digital Learning Team, 2013). PLN’s began with building relationships with the people that we meet face-to-face. It has however become most prominent in online social platforms where networks can grow tremendously by following or commenting to a friend or professional. Not having a PLN would mean missing valuable information and resources for career or personal knowledge.

Creating a Personal Learning Network

In creating a PLN, the creator must understand the audience. Once the audience is determined, the individual can decide how to create either a professional or personal brand image. In creating a PLN, it must be determined whether you are promoting yourself or your professional knowledge. In my PLN for personal use, I prefer to mention that I am married with kids, I like certain sports, my education background, what I like to do for fun, and I like to talk about religion and politics. With my professional PLN profile, I include a professional photo, and a history of my career and education. With this network, my conversations focus around my industry experience, trends, technology, and education. Each of my networks presents a friendly and inviting tone. My professional pages include selections from my resume and website. My personal profiles include information on what I like and believe.

A Personal Learning Network is a valuable resource that can be used by anyone from a friend to a stranger. A PLN is not only helpful for gaining information, but it is a great opportunity for individuals and businesses to network and share their professional knowledge and experience with those that are interested. With so many opportunities to develop skills and knowledge, having a PLN is essential to advancing and strengthening one’s understanding and education.



Digital Learning Team. (2013, April 3). What is a PLN? (and why would I want to know?).

Retrieved October 15, 2014, from http://digitallearningteam.org/2013/03/14/what-is-a-pln-and-why-would-i-want-to-know/


Setting Your Price

Setting and presenting your price may be the single most important thing to get right in your business. When determining the value of your product or service, keep in mind that pricing low will lower your revenue, introduce a new lower quality customer, and could damage the growth of your business. Low pricing also creates low motivation from you or your team and will often prevent you from going the extra mile for the customer. However, pricing high may give your competition the upper-hand with customers looking to spend less.

How to Price. You should set your price based on the true value of the product or service, which, in addition to the cost of producing any tangible product, includes the cost to cover the tools, software, electricity, employees, etc. In addition, the cost should easily allow you to reach your break-even point. The goal of your price should be to generate sales in excess of 50% above the break-even mark. Never make it a habit of charging your customers based on your lack of knowledge or technology. Your customer should never pay because you don’t know how to do your job properly or efficiently. However, if the customer has a unique problem that involves research and no easy solution, which may include a system hack, training, or simply writing a document or tutorial, you should charge based on the time it takes you to research and resolve the issue. Your customers should not be concerned with the time it takes for you to complete their request. They care about the value you bring. If they believe that you are the best, then your price may not be relevant. If you have tough competition and the customer doesn’t care about the quality you bring, then the price is very important and you will need to also consider the competition and brand reputation when setting prices.

Real vs. Perceived Value. Value pricing attracts value conscious customers. The actual cost of product production determines the real value. In addition, the real value is dependent on the usefulness of the product to the customer as well as the value of the product components. Ultimately, the perceived value is based on how much money the customer believes the product is worth.

For example, in the context of higher education, the perceived value of a college or university among individuals looking to invest in higher education tremendously affects the institution’s price. Students and their families perceive the value of the institution to be within the quality of the education. Consequently, the higher the perceived value of quality, the higher the cost of tuition. Research, however, has not proven correlation between institutional cost and actual quality. Additionally, it was found that perceived value of an institution did correlate with a student’s likelihood of enrollment. Perceived value of an education has three main factors which include, quality, cost, and emotional attachment. Failing to satisfy either of these could jeopardize the student’s enrollment potential as it will affect the student’s perceived value. In marketing, generating excitement can also generate a sale and loyal customers. If a customer is excited about a product, they may ignore the cost and quality factor. If an individual truly believes in the quality and value of a product or service, then the perceived value becomes more valuable than the real value.


Internet marketing is key

Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is key when making sure that customers find your website. Without marketing, your website may randomly be found once everyone couple of months, but it will not generate high revenue for your business. You need to create as much exposure as possible to gain more clients. Just like a great job resume, it’s no good if you don’t send it out to employers. The same goes with creating a great website and not marketing it. If you can’t be found, you will not gain the customer. That is how simple it works.

Internet marketing is relatively inexpensive. Your business can reach a wide audience at a fraction of traditional advertising budgets. The nature of the media allows for consumers to research and buy your products and services at their convenience. Internet marketing gives your business the advantage of appealing to consumers in a medium that can deliver results quickly.

Brand Development

Your brand is often your business’s most valuable asset. A strong brand can generate loyal customers and positive sales. The brand should be seen by customers as both positive and valuable. For your brand to be valuable to customers, it needs to simplify the decision- making process and reduce any perceived risk for your customers.

Social Media Branding. The personalized brand for your business should include a presentation of your unique benefits, knowledge, experience, and expertise that help make your business memorable. These unique assets influence customers to make a purchase and professionals to want to work with your brand. To expand brand awareness, start by creating, or cleaning up, your online presence and social media pages.

On your social media pages, you should not post or subscribe to anything that does not enhance your brand. This includes both text and images. In addition to social media pages, you should create digital image galleries and a website showcasing the best of your brand.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

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