What is a referral, by definition?
Here’s a great description, from HubSpot:
A business referral is when someone in your network recommends your business to a new prospect. This may happen spontaneously during organic conversation or as a result of conscious referral marketing efforts.
Referrals are an important part of any business. I grew my business strictly on referrals and the strong connections I built through nearly 20 years of networking. I have two binders full of business cards that I can sort through and use to connect people. Personally, I feel like there’s nothing better than making an introduction that results in a partnership!
Do you have a hard time ASKING for referrals? You don’t technically have to say the words, “Please refer me to a friend,” but it never hurts! And, if you’ve done a great job for someone, you SHOULD ask them to refer you.
Here are my top 5 ways to get referrals:
1. Go Above and Beyond
Go the extra mile for your current clients. This can be done in many ways – get creative! When your current clients are happy, they’re going to tell people. And remember… When they’re not happy, they’re also going to tell people!
2. Have a Rewards Program
Create a rewards program for when a friend makes a referral that becomes a client. It doesn’t have to be fancy or break the bank – it could be a “Wall of Champions” in your office where you list their name and company, or a simple coffee gift card per referral.
3. Provide a Template
If you build it, they will refer! Provide the information for people to simply forward or copy and paste. Send what you already have for your marketing pieces in a simple format that’s easy to share. No one wants to spend time recreating the wheel!
4. Leverage Your Social Networks
It’s so easy to provide referrals via social media. A photo of a product you are happy with, or a description of a service that was top-notch goes a long way. Tag the person or company who provided your excellent experience and simply say how important referrals are!
You must be active in referring your friends and colleagues, too! Make sure it isn’t one-sided and you’re doing your part to help them grow their business as well.
Let’s hear it from you!
How do you make a good connection?
What is the best referral you’ve ever received and what did it lead to?
And, most importantly, what’s the best referral you’ve ever GIVEN to someone – and what happened?
WHO are you looking to connect with?
Who are your clients?
Share with me via email, or in the comments, and let's see if there is a biz card in my binder that will make a good referral!
XO - Kel
The official Webster... okay, the Kelli Komondor... definition of Time Suck is:
Tasks you do daily, weekly, or monthly, that suck up time - and drain the life out of you.
Have you ever recorded the time it takes you to do anything in your business? I use Clockify.com to track EVERYTHING I do. That includes reading my business email, marketing tasks for my business, blogging and creating newsletters... and all client work - whether they're on a monthly retainer or billed hourly.
WHY? Well, it keeps me accountable for how I'm spending my time - and it eliminates Time Sucks.
I recently had a conversation with someone who kept telling me how BUSY she was. She rattled off a laundry list of "things" she did every day to run her business and the only thing I kept saying (in my head, of course) was "TIME SUCK!"
Being busy and being productive are two different things.
She was wasting time chasing press and media leads for her business and REALLY wasting a lot of time on social media - quite possibly the biggest Time Suck of all time. We've all been there. We’ve had good intentions of posting for our business, or just scrolling for a bit to get caught up… and getting sucked in - for hours, am I right?
🆘 So, I asked how I can help.
❓ She asked what I offered.
✅ She's now a client.
It’s really hard to focus on what you SHOULD be doing for your business and what you COULD be outsourcing. We all fall into Time Sucks, but it doesn't have to happen as often as it does.
Here is some advice and examples of how I'm learning to avoid falling into Time Sucks:
1. Schedule everything. If a client contacts me and it's not emergent, I'll ask to create an appointment / meeting to talk about what they need. I find that dropping everything, or at least stopping work on one thing to shift to another takes up time. If you're hyper-focused on something it takes a bit to change direction. You're better off saying, "Ok, I'm free at 3:00 - can we chat then?", instead of disrupting your groove.
2. Eliminate distractions. When I'm really "heads-down" on something I will put my cell phone in another room and log out of my email. Did you know you can go into your iPhone settings and see how often you pick up your phone? It's in settings - screen time. And as a side note, I'm down 33% from last week - YAY!
3. Get up and get out. I try to stand up, walk around the house, or go out in our back yard at least 2 - 3 times in the morning and in the afternoon. I know this sounds like I'm breaking stride - but when I feel the need for a pause coming on, or if I'm stuck for words when writing content, I feel as if this stretch and fresh air helps bring me back. And having an almost-ten-year-old dog who is nearly blind AND spending lots of time puppas-sitting granddog Maggie helps. Mags would lay in the sun all day, every day if we let her!
What are your biggest TIME SUCKS and what are you going to do about them?
Send me an email and let’s talk about it – email@example.com.
Yours in productivity!
XO - Kel
Listen, I’m not really a “woo woo” kind of person. I question(ed) this whole mindset, energy, universe thing for a while now.
💯Can good things happen to you just by believing they will?
💯Is there such a thing as good karma?
💯Will you attract the right things when you eliminate the wrong ones?
The short answer, to all, is YES.
Within about a 2-week time span, some really crazy Mercury Retrograde stuff was happening to me... right before it was actually IN retrograde, which is a whole other thing... but for now:
💢It started with a negative – and completely unnecessary - back-and-forth with a colleague from my past,
💢got a little more intense when I walked out of a car dealership when we didn’t receive the deal we were promised,
💢and then came to a head when I decided to put the brakes on the Biz Bevs & Bites podcast.
Yeah, I know – that’s a lot.
I’ve always been one to wear my heart on my sleeve, stick up for the underdog, voice my opinion, and be very strong about my beliefs. I’ve always been a “yes” person. Then something clicked in 2020. Was it the pandemic? Was it just me getting “older and wiser”? Was it that I had time to reflect on everything I had been doing for others and saying “yes” to – and realizing how little I got in return?
The short answer, again, is YES.
I made a whole new group of friends over the pandemic – mostly from curating the book Twenty Won - and many of them are believers in the universe and positive mindset being the key to success. Some of them make a living by following and sharing these beliefs. So, when I determined that I wasn’t going to let that old co-worker get under my skin, when I walked out of that dealership (And went back in less than 30 minutes – long story, but we compromised.), and stopped production on the podcast – that was me saying “no” to doing things that I should not, could not, or did not want to do.
Don’t get me wrong, the podcast was FUN, and I learned so much from each guest. I truly appreciate each person for taking the time out of their crazy, busy lives to record with us. And I encourage anyone reading this to listen to the shows – you’ll learn something too, believe me! But the work involved was way more than I had anticipated. The hours I was spending on it were much better spent on building my business. I took that time and redirected it to networking and giving virtual presentations and within the first week my team and I signed three new clients … and a fourth is in the works.
Universe? Mindset? Positive energy?
Yes, yes, and yes!
I'm realizing that the best part of this isn't the time I've freed up... it's the amazing SUPPORT I've received from friends and colleagues. It's the feeling that I'm inspiring someone else to be brave and to let something go that might not be right for them.
👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 A simple email message can do SO MUCH for someone who needs a little lift. This someone was me and once again, my tribe showed up. 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻
"And that is how success and happiness come to fruition—when you know what a good fit is and what isn’t. Cheers to you for being courageous enough to try to yet something else completely new and adventurous, while also being humble enough to let it go when it gets in the way of family and personal time. 😊 Love ya, girlfriend! Keep on keepin on!"
"You never cease to amaze me with your professionalism and how you are always building others up. You are so inspiring to me!"
"Thanks for sharing the news and being so candid about your experience. From what I have heard podcasting is like having a PT job. Kudos to you for giving it a go and having the courage to reel it in when it no longer worked for you. I still think you’ll make a great host….of something 😊"
👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻 THIS is what it's all about. 👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻
You have very few choices on how to stop doing something that's just not working for you, whether it is taking too much time, costing too much money, or just not making you happy. There are two choices, as far as I’m concerned.
✅ You can outsource it. I did it with my bookkeeping and it was one of the best business decisions I ever made – and I made that decision early on. I "in-source" with K2 Creative & PR’s social clients. My team is on the ready to take on any new social accounts and both Colleen and Melissa do a FANTASTIC job. If there’s something you can pay someone else to do in your business, GO FOR IT. This is how you scale your business and keep your sanity.
✅ You can end it. Just say “no” and move on. Change direction (Everyone is so tired of PIVOT.) and MOVE ON.
When you change your mindset, good things happen.
In closing - remember:
❤ Be kind with your words.
❤ Be helpful with your heart.
❤ Remember that self-care is so very important!
❤ Always be supportive of others. It comes back.
❤ And... read up on this "woo woo" stuff!
XO - Kel
PS: If you need someone to coach you through the whole mindset, universe, future self, make positive changes - I have a few very close friends who I can refer you to. Colleagues who, unknowingly, helped me make a big business decision and in turn, a big life decision.
People are listening to what you're saying, and reading what you’re sharing (social posts, blogs, etc.)... even if you don’t think they are.
In short - EVERYTHING.
But for real, the long answer is not as complicated as you may think. Podcasting should (and does) come naturally to me. I love to talk. A 7th grade teacher told my parents that if I worried about school work as much as I did playing relationship therapist and "Chatty Cathy" in the halls, I'd be getting straight A's. So maybe a gig where I get to talk is the right fit?
It is, however, a lot more work than I expected. It's not just chatting with an interesting person and handing it over to the producer to get it tweaked and uploaded. There's show notes, run of show notes, transcripts to decipher, blog posts to write, social media posts to create and schedule, guests to be scheduled, "thank you" emails to be sent, restaurants and wineries to visit...
Wait... rewind. What is this Biz Bevs & Bites?
It's a podcast where that digs deep into business topics like (the BIZ) marketing, public relations, networking, and branding with entrepreneurs and professionals from across the globe! For real - we have a dear friend from Sydney, Australia! You’ll also get the inside scoop on the best restaurants and beverage providers in and around the city of Pittsburgh (the BEVS and the BITES).
The first set of episodes are all with other podcast hosts. I'm talking DECADES of experience wrapped up into 6 shows.
My biz partner Cindy and I spent two episodes with our producer, Rob Oliver - Your Motivational Speaker; two episodes with Jeremy Shere of Tribal Knowledge Podcasting; and one each with Ingrid Thompson of So You Want to Start a Business and the Healthy Numbers Podcast; and Jess Branas of Drinks with Jess, Podcast Penetration, and BE The Voice.
WHEW! That's a lot of talking!
I encourage you to check out the blogs linked to their names and by all means, please subscribe to Biz Bevs & Bites on your favorite platform. We're just about on all of them!
So grab a Bev and a Bite, and sit back and listen to some pretty interesting Biz chat with Biz Bevs & Bites! And shoot me an email if you'd like to be a guest or if you have a suggestion of a restaurant, winery, brewery, etc. you think we should visit!
XO - Kel
Everyone wants more website hits, more social media followers with higher analytics, and ultimately - more business. With virtual options still being the best way to reach people, one must be creative in how they "get out there" and connect with potential clients.
Here are some ways you can promote your business – without ever leaving your home office!
When it comes to media attention, it’s hard to know where to start.
And if you need help, K2C & PR is just a click away!
- Kelli Komondor
I am here to talk about connecting - or in our circumstances - RECONNECTING. For all of you who do not know me, my name is Melissa. I’ve known Kelli, president and CEO of K2 Creative & PR, since 2004. That was the year I started as the receptionist at the Pittsburgh Business Times. I was 23 years old. I was a BABY.
As the receptionist, I was answering phones, directing calls, etc. I eventually went on to do more things with this amazing company, but at this job, I met Kelli. She was loud and in your face, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. She was inquisitive. Asking me questions about where I was from. Did I know so and so? What did I want to do? I was 23. I had worked a few random jobs and done most of my college work, but I was at the PBT because I needed a job and money.
The receptionist job was wonderful, as were the people I worked with. I was able to advance my career there, while meeting SO many people through networking events around Pittsburgh. I was able to wear suits and heels and attend events way out of my league. And let me tell you, I had fun. However, I had no clue what I was doing.
There were several women I worked with who could own a room. And, trust me, I can and have done that in different, laid-back settings. But these women, they shined in a business atmosphere. For me, I just never felt the need to do so. Because I didn’t understand.
Flash forward 17 years and here we are. I am working full time at David Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Center in Mt. Lebanon as the receptionist (after a glowing recommendation from my first boss at the PBT so many years ago) and I handle content creation and social media accounts for K2C and Kelli Komondor - the girl who sat at the desk a shout away, the girl who would bring me coffee in the mornings, the girl who became my best friend, but ALSO, the girl who I would follow around networking events like a little puppy - and watch her SHINE.
Tonight I am sitting outside on my deck catching up on everything amazing she’s been doing and soaking it all in. This past year has been extremely awful for everyone - regardless of your situation - and it is amazing to me to see the people who have come out of it on top.
Kelli and I had a call over the past weekend about business and everything she has going on. I, per usual, cried. Because Kelli, per usual, built me up. She is that girl and what she has to say is legit.
If you listen to a story about someone who has built something from the bottom up, you’re inspired. For me, Kelli was just that. And not only was I privy to her success. I saw the failures, the struggles and the determination she had (and found) to succeed.
Ok, so back to me. I am sitting outside - on a cool night FINALLY - and I am listening to her latest podcast from her most recent endeavor, Biz Bevs & Bites, a podcast she created with Cindy Ellek, which digs deep into business topics like marketing, public relations, networking and branding.
As a 23 year old being thrown into the networking world of Pittsburgh, it was nice to have Kelli by my side. Now, you get to as well. The words and wisdom these women have to share…well it’s just amazing. I invite you to follow along their journey and learn everything you need to know, not only about networking, but also the food and drinks Pittsburgh has to offer.
So, grab a drink and your favorite snack. Let's settle in and follow these ladies around the beautiful city of Pittsburgh.
- Melissa Pravlik, Social & Web Strategist
Anyone who has watched the television show "Friends" is probably chuckling right now. If you're not familiar, please watch this clip from the iconic episode with Ross, Rachel, and Chandler moving a couch in a stairwell.
I mean, he had a sketch - why didn't it fit?
Sometimes the best laid plans just don't work. Being flexible and willing to pivot is important, in moving furniture and in life.
The past 12+ months have been nothing but pivoting for me (and most of you, I'm sure!) - personally and professionally. Who leaves the corporate world and starts their own business, then pulls together an anthology of 21 female entrepreneurs - during a global pandemic? 🖐🏻🖐🏻🖐🏻 *raises hand*
Now I'm sort of pivoting again with a slight rebrand to K2 Creative, LLC.
I caught the public relations (PR) bug and it made me realize how much I love promoting others, and apparently I'm pretty good at it too!
From this point forward K2 Creative, LLC is K2 Creative & PR. It just makes sense to include the public relations portion of what I do in the company name. Right now, I'm representing five entrepreneurs (including myself) as their publicist. My success rate is pretty darn good too. I'm forming relationships with podcast hosts, print and digital media outlets, and others who are in search of great stories and great guests and interviews. My clients make my job so easy - they're all educational, entertaining, and inspiring. I'm thankful!
Here's what I've learned:
📣The definition of public relations is the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company or other organization, or a famous person.
📣 A publicist is responsible for shaping the image of the person and/or company they're representing. Publicists help build the brand and spread the organization's message. In other words, they "Make Their Message Matter" with positive press.
📣 BUT... PR isn't just about the shaping and branding by the publicist - it's about getting clients in front of the right media outlets so they can shape and brand themselves. It's about giving clients an opportunity to shine with podcasts, with in-person and livestream speaking engagements, and by providing their expertise to print and digital publications.
📣 Public relations is really about human one-to-one connection. Sending out a mass email isn't the way to go, but a well-crafted email specific to the outlet is. The easier, faster route doesn't work.
📣 It's truly investing in my clients by being a confidant, a cheerleader, and a dedicated part of their team.
So, while it's not a huge change, it's enough to share with my connections. If you need a press pitch or a press release - yes, they are different! - or a media sheet, let's chat! If you're asking what any of those three items are, PLEASE let's chat! I'm offering a PR Special for a limited time. Check it out!
PS: Thanks to Colleen for the super quick turn around on the logo refresh. She never disappoints! Maybe you should work with her for your company branding - or rebranding...
by: Kelli Komondor
Ever since I was young, I have been obsessed with quotes. I'm not going to lie and say the quotes were anywhere near worldly, important or life changing. First, they were sort of the mushy, my first love, "Hallmark" quotes, which got me through my teenage years. After that, I was probably into what I would call "wisdom-y" quotes because, hey, I was in my 20's and knew everything about the world. These days, I wouldn't call myself a quote connoisseur, but when I see a good one, I can appreciate it. I mean who doesn't respect something worded so articulately that it hits a nerve or a feeling directly on the head?
We could go into deep detail about my first loves or my "wisdom-y" years, but we will save that for another day. Today, I want to share with you (drumroll please!), a few amazing social media quotes, which at this point in my life, hit the ball out of the park (sports, right?).
“Social Media can provide a conversational extension to a B2B company’s nurturing programs. Social Media gives us the opportunity to humanize our communications and make our companies more approachable.” - Ardath Albee, CEO of marketinginteractions.com
So simple, right? It is literally a virtual conversation. Before the Internet, consumers knew nothing about the companies they were dealing with. It's hard to even imagine a world without reviews, comments, likes, etc. From a lawn care business to a clothing store to a bank and even a medical office - the reviews are out there - and not only that - but you can also interact with actual human beings at these companies.
“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.”
Jeff Bezos, CEO at Amazon.com
I am old enough to remember The Telephone Game. If you're not familiar, it involves a group of people whispering a phrase to the person next to them. Most of the time, this phrase gets so messed up along the way, which leads to a hilarious outcome when the last person says the phrase to entire group. Oh, such simpler times. Anyway... think of this game when you think of your customers. Happy Henry might say his experience was ok, but he had one small issue. When he tells Miserable Mary about his experience, well, she focuses on the negative. Miserable Mary then tells Talky Theresa and next thing you know, the whole town knows! Online reviews and comments can make or break a deal for any company.
“Social Media puts the “public” into PR and the “market” into marketing." Chris Brogan, President of New Marketing Labs.
Social media is how a business communicates to your people. K2Creative knows how to take all the right steps to get you there. K2 offers PR services and social media services, and we are ready to help. The best part, we will work with your business to design a specific plan (and price!) that works for you.
With that being said, I am going to leave you with one quote I can relate to more than anything...
"Don't use social media to impress people; use it to impact people." — Dave Willis.
Now, tell me how you (or your business) are using social media to impact others.
- Melissa Pravlik, Social and Web Strategist, K2 Creative
Creativity is defined as “the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work”. That’s pretty powerful if you stop and think about it. Your brain can create something new, something original, something no one else has done before. There is a rush involved with creating something new. It’s something I can’t quite pinpoint, but it’s something I crave.
Creativity for me comes in the form of painting, social media, websites, and even this blog. I started painting wineglasses years ago, which led to painting home décor, then canvas painting and even watercolors. Social media is a simple creative outlet for me, which involves simple phrases, crafted graphics and nerdy analytics. Websites provide the same type of outlet, while keeping my brain sharp. And writing, well, it’s something I’ve loved my entire life.
The problem with creativity is it’s not always there. I can have an entire day to myself and experience what I call a dull brain. Or I can be standing in a grocery store with a million other things on my to-do list and have the urge to draw, write, or paint. It’s not fair, actually. We are all so busy. Sometimes it’s hard to spark that imagination. When I experience a lack of creativity, there are certain things that help me snap out of it.
So, now I want to know, what inspires you? What do you like to creative? And, most importantly, how do you trigger that incredible imagination?
- Melissa Pravlik, Social and Web Strategist
Ahhh, summer. Warmer weather, longer days, pool parties, outside dining, and less interactions for your social media posts.
Unfortunately, it's true. A lot of people like to step away from social media in the summer. They want to focus on their families, their friends. You know, live in the moment?
But there are still products to sell, services to provide and stories to be told! A good social media plan is ever evolving. It needs to change with current events. It needs to focus on growth, goals and gaining new followers. It also should change with the seasons.
If you think about it, what you're posting in December shouldn't be the same thing you're posting in July. And this doesn't just apply to clothing brands. Seasons impact how all businesses run. If you're worried about falling behind this summer, there are ways around that.
1. Use current events to ignite your content
News never sleeps, and social media has made it easier to share new articles, feedback, and opinions. Associate your brand with what's happening in the world. Take a stand on a controversial topic. Just a few years ago “no comment” was the standard response to controversial issues, but now it seems like brands can’t join the conversation fast enough.
2. Focus on the fun!
Summer is full of fun and your social media should be too! Focus on fun things going on in the area. Share what you did over the weekend. A lot of times companies shy away from this. Trust me, people love seeing the different characters who make a company what it is.
Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, and our personal favorite, Social Media Day, all take place in the summer. When brainstorming content, don’t forget to focus your efforts on the big days throughout the year. Another fun trick? The National Day Calendar gives us something to celebrate every day and it is great for generating interaction on social media.
People love a good contest. And who doesn't like free stuff?! Running a contest is always a great way to generate buzz, but it can be especially effective in the summer months. Ask people to submit photos, videos, or content. Hype up the contest all summer. It will give you great content to share and lots of engagement.
Whatever you do, remember to have fun with it! And head on over to our social accounts to see what we're up to this summer!
Here's where to find us:
~ Melissa Pravlik, Social & Web Strategist