Reaching Beyond Who You Think You Are

6 Jun

It’s been three months since I posted.  Wow! I do have an excuse though.  BUSY!  Not only do I own Nosey Parker, create all the products and services for this entity, I also write copy for websites, helping businesses create action oriented messaging.  It’s something I do just for me because I really enjoy it.  Recently I’ve picked up a “music industry” account and it’s really fun, so totally different than all the businesses I’ve worked with in the past.  I’m reaching beyond who I thought I was and expanding my reach.  Getting into the mindset of a hip hop artist and their fans or a jazz musician and his fans, is not anything I would have imagined.

Here are a few tips everyone should keep in mind to ‘Reach Beyond Who You Think You Are” – whether you work for yourself or someone else:

  • Talk to everyone about what you do, it speaks to the passion derived from doing what you love.
  • Expose your talents to different people and types of companies you don’t typically work with or imagine.  It’s a great way to stay innovative.
  • Increases your marketability.
  • Totally makes you spit out a great elevator speech because the person you are reaching out to may have never heard of you or the type of work you do.  Nosey Parker is a perfect example.  Typically, men do not understand it at al, however they look at my work, see that it is highly creative and along with the rest of my resume, assume correctly that I can branch out to their business as well.
  • Deciding to quit a job or close a business is traumatizing, but it can be easier if you have branched out and created connections to use your talents in other venues..

I hope this was helpful.  Love to hear your tips as well.

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3/14/2013 7:55:30 PM

14 Mar

http://www.rockbrudar.com/hiro/wft.uemsl

3/14/2013 7:55:30 PM .

Nosey Parker

Everything You Need To Know About Anything Is Where?

15 Mar

The answer … in a package you can buy now or the price will go up.  HURRY UP!

Today I received an email that said “click on this link and learn everything you need to know about text messaging!”  On the page, a listing of all the packages you could get to use or sell mobile messaging platforms .. include 5 disks to watch.  All for $27 TODAY..  Not tomorrow because then it will $267.  Oh, but wait … there is an exclusive bonus if you act today.  Did I buy?  No.

I am sure that there is valuable information in this package, however, it reminds me of the onslaught of “become a social media guru and get tons of fans on Facebook” NOW.  So, we now have  tons of people calling themselves social media experts, guru’s, visionaries, etc.  It was the latest “title” for anyone to give themselves that could read a bullet point list and follow instructions.  (Who cares about ROI, right?)

I’ve been using permission-based marketing (PERKETING!) for four years now as an add-on to my technology experience.  Nosey Parker came about because a friend, who owned a high-end boutique in Beaumont, TX, was frustrated by the lack of tracking in traditional print advertising.  Although Nosey Parker is a catchy brand, it’s all about increasing margins for small business that market to women who want retail-relationships.  I define retail-relationships as those women who want to invest their money in quality products and service, not necessarily price point and convenience shoppers.   Two years ago, I was approached about adding Mobile Marketing to Nosey Parker but again, it was not about me texting whoever constantly.  As many clients as I have in three markets, I would wear out  my welcome promoting those businesses.  I studied it and decided that if I used this perketing mechanism, I would need to own my own platform.  I studied it and wrote down the pro’s and con’s, the “highly cheap, get an account in five minute platforms” vs the multi-dimensional platforms that address different needs.  Of course, I went with the latter.

“Everything You Need To Know About Anything Is Where?”  In your own research … that is where.  Yes, there is something to be said about paying for others research but I am sure there is a catch as well.  I don’t like the idea of selling experience and then using it as your own… calling yourself an expert.  I’d rather hear “I’m new at this but in my experience and success, this is what I have learned”.

When did actual experience, paying your dues and paying as little as possible (expecting HUGE results) go to the bottom of the list when you decide to do business with someone.  In the city where I live, there is a business who is known for replicating everyone.  You are almost afraid to come out with something because in five minutes, they have added it to their list of services.  Recently I ran into a former client, who decided not to renew with me because she was offered what she believed to be the same service … for free.  I said “hey, haven’t seen you around or on facebook, twitter .. anywhere for that matter”.    She  no longer believed that any social media worked because she was sold a bill of goods called FREE and because that didn’t work, we all were scamsters.  Sigh.

“Everything You Need To Know About Anything Is Where?”  On a downloadable package that will make you a gazillionaire and guru over night.

 

 

8 OBSERVATIONS FROM WE2 – #1 Risk & Scalability

24 Jan

I’ve never had an issue with taking risks.  However, in my business (Nosey Parker), I meet women constantly in the small business sector who feel it was a big risk to just open their business – and it is.  Soon after the open sign is up, the fear of failing causes them to fail .. they stop taking risks immediately.  I also find that women mimic other women … if she can do it, I can too.  However, “do it” with a different product or service or audience.  Opening one more brick and mortar clothing boutique may be your dream but is it needed?  Are you solving an issue?  There is a difference between taking risk and just having the “I can do it better” attitude.  Many men and women do this because they think the person they are mimicking took the risk already by testing the market place (e.g group buying sites).

An overarching theme at WE2 was scalability, which implies that the underlying business model offer the potential for economic growth.  I get it and I can write volumes of my ‘potential’ scalability.  It’s necessary to show it in an attempt to predict failure, but the reality is that there are risk factors to predicting economic growth as well.  I am asking myself these questions:

1) Customer Behavior – Do they care? Are they retainable?

2) Recurring Revenue – is money being made while you sleep?  If not, then what is the plan to get them in while you are awake?  My model is transactional and I am now adding recurring revenue.

3)  Resources – Are they assets?  What is the value of these resources to growth?  Provisional assets will define your experience and delivery.  I learned the hard way  that there are “Ponzi Schemers” in the resource field.  Truly be careful, especially when the economy is on the skids.  When businesses need money, they will promise you anything to be your partner.

4)  Rank your daily activities – which ones are crucial? As Seth Godin says “time spent doesn’t equal success”.  I struggle with this.  I have been told by one of my partners that my value is needed in growing the company, not the daily grind.  I admit though that I am afraid that if I turn my back on the daily grind, what I have built so far may lose its position.

5)  Reliability – this is the nail in the coffin if you don’t get it right regarding partners and suppliers.  I receive resumes and business offers quite frequently.  In the interviews I conduct, I have started to ask “please give me your definition of reliability, examples of how you are reliable and three business references who can back up your reliability.”  Reliability = Accountability in my book and it’s a lost character trait.  I say bring it back!

6) Cost – Initial, ongoing, future.  I run a cash business.  It is a service and it pays for itself as long as I personally am involved.  The problem is expanding.  Planning the cost of growth was somewhat delinquent on my part, however I’m working on it now.

7) Change – this is vital.  No one ends up using their initial business plan. Are you flexible? There are aspects to my business that I am firm on because of the niche, however, over the last year I have made a few changes that give the business a bigger audience.  I know quite a few brick and mortar business who change their location frequently.  I’m guessing their leases are short term.  They blame lack of traffic 100% on location.  Women will drive up to two hours to shop at their favorite stores.  I’m guessing they need to spend some time on redefining how to reach.

8)  Confidence or Aggressiveness. Which one pays the bills? Being aggressive I say … ask Jennifer Hyman of Rent the Runway.   I loved her story about turning objections from clothing designers into creating a new market for them.   My “scalability” for confidence is off the charts.  This is a kill or be killed business world. I live in the Inland Northwest where aggressiveness is seen as bitchy, networking is opening yourself up to theft and being highly professional is not looked at as a good thing.  However, when I was at WE2, I had to laugh out loud at the aggressive behavior of the women attending.  I loved it … for real.  I was also wishing for an IV hook up to a few people – their blood type transferred to mine, not just for the aggressive gene but the luck and “who they know” quotient.  As I was waiting my turn to speak to Arianna Huffington, no less than 10 women stepped in and interrupted when it was my turn.  Being the southern gal I am, I just tolerated it and ended up walking out with her.  She was polite and informative … worth the wait and at the end of the day, I was aggressive enough and received the information I needed.  Yes … I’ll take aggressive over confident, some may argue it’s the same thing but I don’t think so.

WE2 IN NYC HERE I COME

8 Dec

I am super stoked about the WE2 Conference in NYC in January.  Being one of the “250” is amazing and I can’t wait to meet the other 249.  There will be so many successful women entrepreneur’s who will be there that I can’t wait to talk to them.  Here is my choice for the sessions:

KNOWLEDGE MAKERS

Sara Chipps, Girl Develop It
Anne Dwane, Zinch.com
Pooja Nath Sankar, Piazza
Sarah Elizabeth Ippel, Academy for Global Citizenship
Jennifer House, Red Rock Reports

TASTE MAKERS
Katie Armour, Matchbook Magazine
Doni Belau, Girls Guide to Paris
Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan, Apartment Therapy
Jennifer Hyman, Rent the Runway
Emily Olson, Foodzie

INVESTORS PANEL

Shana Fisher, High Line Venture Partners
Sarah Tavel, Bessemer Venture Partners
Joy Marcus, DFJ Gotham Ventures
Jenny Fielding, BBC Worldwide
Nancy Peretsman, Allen & Company

The keynote is Arianna Huffington, which should be very interesting as well.  It feels great to be acknowledged with this group, although I am not technically  “just starting as an entrepreneur”, I’m glad they saw fit to invite me.  Maybe next year I’ll be on the panel!  🙂

Optism

14 Oct

One more post on mobile permission marketing.  I like this video interview with one of the leaders of Optism.  I love what he says “stop sending out information to those who don’t respond just for the numbers.  Find out what they want to see and send them that.”  Well, duh but for real, you know it’s done incessantly.  It takes time and effort to find out what someone really wants to know about.  However, once you have that trust and interest, it rarely goes away.

Direct VS Mass Marketing

13 Oct

I have a new product coming out for Nosey Parker.  It’s fabulous, however, I  have to decide to Mass Market or Direct Market.  The decision is difficult because I can see all different types of women enjoying the product, however, typically Nosey Parker is geared towards a higher income demographic of shopper.

Seth Godin says ‘A mass marketer needs to reach the masses, and to do it in many ways, simultaneously. The mass marketer needs retail outlets and fliers and a website and public relations and tv ads and more more more and then… bam… critical mass is reached and success occurs.  The direct marketer, on the other hand, must get it right in the small. That pitch letter can be tested on 100 houses and if it gets a 2% response rate, then it can be mailed to 100,000 houses with confidence.  The mass marketer is betting on thousands of tiny cues, little clues, and unrecorded (but vital) conversations. The direct marketer is measuring conversion rates from the first day.  Get it right for ten people before you rush around scaling up to a thousand. It’s far less romantic than spending money at the start, but it’s the reliable, proven way to get to scale if you care enough to do the work.”

You would think that would help with my decision.  The issue is that his opinion is great when you are trying to get business.  I’m not.  I am relaying information for clients.  So, I am helping them get business.  Do I want to create a stir with everyone or do I only want to hit those who would shop with my clients?  I won’t create buzz as fast if I don’t mass market.  However, creating ROI for my client should be of utmost importance. I think I answered my question. 🙂