Tag Archives: copyblogger

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.

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ATTENTION CAPTURING: CAN YOU DO IT?

2 Feb

I find it very easy to just start writing and get all technical.  Sometimes I just feel that most people are interested in the content of the subject matter, not in me personally but I guess it’s not true.

The following tips are from Copyblogger, one of my favorite information gathering sites on attempting to be a good blogger and one that does it right.  I fail frequently because of time constraints with my real job, but that being said, I’ve gotten new clients because of what I have done so far… so that is good!  An example of “Attention Capturing” success is a post that was written for a client for facebook.  One of my proprietary packages is writing copy to get fans/followers to respond to clients post.  The client is an import furniture store and they frequently posted pics of new furniture and would list the price point.  One of my favorite pieces in their store are the custom frames that were built by a family friend.  They look like a piece of furniture.  The post that was written that grabbed a lot of attention was this: “Frames so nice, even your ex-husband will look good.  If you don’t have one, you can borrow mine!”  The store owner approved it and it was posted.  That post generated 18 responses within an hour.  Another post: “We love Norman and we love Swadley’s BBQ!”  Amazing response to that one and of course, you have to cater it in after that.  I have a 1 in 5 rule when I write post.  For every 5 post, only one better be advertising.. the other need to be relational statements ending in a question.

That’s my attention capturing story … hope it worked!

When blogging or writing email newsletters, here are a few tips from Copyblogger I found to the point and concise:

  • Perception is everything. Make your point crystal clear. Tell stories, describe personal experiences.
  • Make it personal. Immediately get attention by telling about yourself or comparing a life lesson to your topic.  People are voyeurs.  They want to know your business.
  • Be emotional.  Yes, it’s true. Give a client a reason to talk about you and your business.  Forget logic.  Tell people how you feel and why.
  • Don’t take chances with attention

    You only have a few seconds to capture someone’s attention, so don’t take chances with clever, cute, or insider language or visuals, which are often lost on people. Don’t use inside jokes or industry terms, either, unless appropriate for narrow niche marketing. These tactics only tend to confuse audiences, if only for a few seconds, which is all it takes to lose them — and a confused mind does not pay attention.

    Follow up with a strong second

    Once you’ve managed to capture your reader’s attention, don’t waste it. Getting your reader’s attention is like the first strike of a One-Two punch — if you don’t land the second part, you’re not going to knock them out (and I mean KO in the good way).

    Make sure your second punch, the actual information or message for which you grabbed her attention in the first place, is worthwhile.

    If it’s valuable, you’ve paved the way for easy entry into her attention with future conversation.

    If it isn’t, it’ll be that much more difficult to capture her attention the next time, as your prospect’s brain has already filed your information under “not worth our attention.”

    Read more about this topic at Copyblogger.

Comprehensive Blogging Checkoff List

10 Jan

I really like Copyblogger. The information they put out is excellent and although most of the information they give I implement already, I always fine something I need to do or add.  Looking over their week in review, the post on “125 Tips for Building an Irresistible Brand” was particularly interesting because for any beginning blogger, it’s a detailed check off list.  For a seasoned blogger, tweeking and “omg! why don’t I do that!” is the thought.  I learned that one of the things I don’t do for my Nosey Parker business is seek feedback.  So, I am going to implement five different ways to do that because sometimes you solicit it and don’t get a response.  My categories for seeking feedback are my audience, my clients, my industry peers, other bloggers and mobile marketing professionals.

Thanks Copyblogger for yet another useful post.  So do you “know yourself, know your audience, know your competition, building a brand experience, and know how to implement?”  Check out the list at http://www.copyblogger.com/irresistible-brand/

RSS Subscribers The Cornerstone of Permission Marketing

17 Dec

This is one of the best posts on Permission Marketing that I’ve seen.  Most of the information I come across is common sense and super re-iterated across the internet by everyone who calls themselves a permission marketer or produces a email marketing software system.

Are RSS Subscriber Numbers Bogus?

The post is from Brian Clark , the founding editor of Copyblogger, and co-founder of Teaching Sells and Lateral Action. (Get more from Brian on Twitter). My favorite statement isMy whole goal is true engagement through true opt-in subscribers”!  Yes!!!!  Me too and in my other businesses not just my blog.  My Perketing Blog is new and I am still deciding exactly what I will post to set myself apart.  Perketing is a word I created and I would love for it to turn into an industry word, so I think my blog needs to reflect why it should be used.  My company Nosey Parker is all about pulling in a niche market … so RSS subscribers and serious email subscribers is important to delivering shoppers to my clients.

To be honest, in the past I didn’t understand how these heavily followed social media posters had such huge numbers .   The more I researched into retention, I figured it out.  However, I want real followers, not just numbers.  I started using an app that told me when a follower was last on twitter. What an eye opener!  I like to follow anyone who follows me because I think it’s good karma and a honest way to conduct yourself – NOBODY gets to where they are on their own. I bet if a report was run on someone who had 150k followers on twitter, less than 1/2 would be those who were on twitter within the last 15 days.

Brian Clark ask the question “Would you rather enjoy the benefit of higher subscriber numbers in trade for lower overall engagement (such as having 100K subscribers and three comments per post)?”

My answer: NO  I would rather not … why? because it gives a false sense of success.