Posts

CURATION
Nick Unsworth, a local social media expert, speaks of content ‘curation’.  This means finding and sharing ‘refined’ information your desired audience wants to know about.

This could be as simple as creating a tweet on Twitter that references an article you know your people will find useful and . . . likely to share with their networks.  That’s just one way to grow your awareness and attraction factor considerably; there are many other options and that’s why being clear about your goals is so important to using social media effectively and efficiently.

CONVERSATION
Look, it’s called ‘social’ media for a reason!  Traditional marketing (i.e. advertising) was, necessarily, a one-way rather than a two-way conversation with prospects. Social media invites you to engage in a ‘dialog’ or ‘conversation’ with your prospects, clients and centers-of-influence.  And social media is perfect for that.

A blog not only invites people to engage in the conversation with you, it also provides the basis for helping interested people to find you in the first place!

KEY POINT:
Quality content invites and sustains an ongoing conversation!

INTENTIONS
Social media requires setting goals for using it to support your business objectives.

Because using social media is easy, it’s a two-edged sword.  Yes, it’s easy to open an account on facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. and ‘get started’.  At the same time, the options of what you can do vs. what you must do to achieve your goals for using social media is not as easily discerned or taken. In general, social media can help you to build awareness of your business, attract traffic to your website, grow you followers and (lest we forget)

CONTENT
Unlike traditional marketing media that was a one-way communication, ‘social’ media is more of a two-way dialog.  And what makes you / your business attractive and interesting?  Relevant content — information that the people you seek to attract to you and keep with you will find useful enough to achieve your goals.

KEY POINT:
Effective use of social media requires GOALS for using it and attractive CONTENT whenever you do, too

You love getting referrals, right?  So tell me, “Are you getting as many as you’d like?”  Most people tell me they A) love referrals but B) want more than they’re getting now.

Can you relate?   If so, I bet “too few referrals” isn’t reflecting a lack of desire on your part.  It’s more likely you lack a SYSTEM for getting referrals. Here’s what a ‘system’ for generating referrals will do for you . . .

Like Attracts Like. No one understands and values what you offer better than your existing business relationships.  Leveraging your existing business relationships is the most effective and efficient way for attracting new ones!

“Trust Me”. With all the hyperbole in advertising, credibility is hard to establish.  But if someone who knows, likes and trusts your client hears your client say your business is ‘The Real Thing’, you’re golden!

“Pay Me”. Yes, that’s correct.  Financial incentive generates referrals better than anything else.  You can do this without selling your soul — just see yesterday’s post for a creative way to generate referrals that is actually socially acceptable for all parties involved.

Control Costs. Whether you offer a ‘free dinner for two’ or a “25% discount” on a future purchase of your products or services, you can establish a ‘cost-per-customer’ you can live with and, best of all, you only pay for when someone (new) is paying you.

KEY POINT:
If referrals matter to you . . . Use a SYSTEM to generate them!

Key 2 of 3:  Get Ready BEFORE They Arrive. Expect that your promotion will work.  Probably very, very well.  Social media and a ‘killer’ offer’ is a perfect storm for generating response.  But, if you’re not ready for it, it may be a storm disaster!  And be sure your staff know what you’re doing and how to handle all the new opportunities.  If they’re in-the-dark about what you’re doing and how to make the most of it . . . they probably won’t!

Key 3 of 3:  Up-Sell, Cross-Sell and (please God!) RE-Sell. The new inquiries and customers you generate are only worth the effort if you get them to return after their initial promotion redemption and buy . . . AGAIN.

The purpose of most daily deal promotions is to generate new opportunities that you can develop into long-term relationships and revenues.  This won’t happen by accident.  You must plan to make this happen or  . . . it almost certainly won’t.  Can you afford that?

KEY POINT:
Involve Your Staff . . . Plan to Up / Cross and REEEEE-Sell

MAN ON PHONE

Ever wonder about the frequency of your posts and the potency of your blog?

Technorati, the search engine and directory has indexed over 1,000,000 blogs and is a recognized authority on the subject of blogs and blogging.

The More Often You Post, The Better
Technorati found that the more frequently you post on your blog and the longer you’ve been blogging the greater the ‘authority’ or potency you have.

Authority means you’re more likely to be picked up in searches and Google will be your friend in the organic search world.

KEY POINT:
Frequency of posts and longevity of your blog is a potent combination that builds your authority as a blogger

“Should I attend a business event?”
Business events — a chamber meeting, a BNI open house, etc. are prolific.  So the issue isn’t where do you go to meet prospective partners and clients.  It’s DO you go to meet them, isn’t it?  And yes, it’s a choice.  You don’t have to go.  But I suggest you do.

Our Breakfast Club — New Haven, CT
Today I got up early and drove 45 minutes to attend a monthly business meeting.  As I left there, I was reminded why I need to take an obstacle course and get over myself — especially when I find myself debating whether I should go to an event, or not.

Lunch, Article, Prospect, Insight, Introduction, Social
These are all things that came from a morning meeting.  I scheduled a meeting for lunch with a prospect whom I also introduced to two people later in the day, I found the basis for a great article for my monthly column at TNNW, I gleaned great insights from the speaker, Joe Grushkin of InLineAdz and for social affiliation, I got a hug from one of the best there is at that — Peaches Quinn.  All this because when I had a chance to say, “No” . . . I said “Yes!”

KEY POINT:
Say “Yes!” and watch the miracles happen!

I was recently reminded that my worldly wisdom reflects a certain amount of insight into the ‘basics’ of what makes marketing effective. In this online, Google + world it IS nice to remember some of what makes the world go around and business happen.

The Offer Matters!
One basic of direct marketing is that you simply MUST . . . include an offer — an invitation to take some action assuming, of course, that your message is sufficiently relevant and provoking to generate a response.  Ernest Nicastro, a renowned copywriter and direct-marketing expert suggests some thoughts worthy of your consideration:

Reducing Risk Increases Response
Any offer that is both valuable and ‘FREE!’ is better than one that isn’t.
Marketing is a Two-Step Process
Seek first to generate a response, then seek to generate a sale — especially in a B2B world.
An Offer to Make Money Works Better than an Offer to Save Money
Especially true if you’re marketing to businesses more than consumers
Limited-Time Offers . . . Work!
Given a choice, qualified people will prefer to respond than lose out
Make Your Offer Compelling
You have little time and one ‘shot’ — make both count

KEY POINT:
Effective marketing invites ACTion from your prospects

There’s a two edged sword to being a ‘marketing’ consultant.  The up-side is that it makes you very likely to be engaged in a conversation about (what else?) ‘Marketing’.  The down-side is the same thing.

Here’s my challenge with this –– to truly address a marketing symptom — e.g. “insufficient sales”, you usually need to go beyond the obvious.  Far too many small business owners believe that a ‘Magic Bullet’ (i.e. a tactic) will cure their symptoms.  It won’t.

First, file ‘Magic Bullets’ with ‘Santa Claus’ and the ‘Tooth Fairy’ — they don’t exist in reality.  Second, accept that most marketing ‘issues’ have their roots in bad management.  Why?  Because inept management does encourage and support bad marketing practices.

But the basis of the consequential damages . . . ‘insufficient sales’ is often not cured by making a better call on some marketing tactic.  It’s more likely to be fixed when the management team begins to manage the business more effectively.

KEY POINT:
To fix bad marketing . . . fix the way you’re managing — it’s more likely to work!

I just saw a short video that reminds me of the importance of telling a ‘good’ story. It’s compelling.  It keeps your attention ALL the way through to the end (where the ‘point’ is made).


CLICK the above image to view the video.  It’s worthy of 60 seconds of your time.  Oh yes, it’s funny.  And if you think it’s not, you need a vacation — enjoy your July 4th holiday!

KEY POINT:
Storytelling is a ‘practical’ art but you can learn to do it — practice!!

I attended a social media workshop today.  Local marketing gurus were assembled by Eric Lopkin, President of The Modern Observer Group.

Joel Leyden, the first speaker, asked a great question . . . “How did you learn about this program?”

In spite of using ‘Meet-Up’ to promote the event, the bulk of the people were in the room because someone they knew had shared the ‘news’ about the event with their ‘network’

Power of The People (We Know, Like and Trust)
While the topic was social media, I wonder how often, in our digital, nano-second mentality online world, you take the time to reflect on the most potent social medium available to your business . . . word-of-mouth?

KEY POINT:
Your Social Network is both online AND offline — leverage them both!