Tag Archives: social media

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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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.

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.

Laser-focus Always Beats Mass Marketing

5 Jul

Of course I would say this because I don’t mass market and believe it’s like playing darts.  However, let’s break it down and see why I believe niche marketing or “laser-focus” beats mass marketing.

1)  The growing relationship between technology and people.   It is required now to create innovative customer relationship building such as social media consumption.  Technology has changed how people shop, how people buy and how they’re influenced in their buying decisions.

2) What is the driving force?  The power of online marketing has been global for a while, but after all the hype, local can capitalize with mobile marketing and social media.  The key is find where your market is at and go there.  Once you make your presence known, you will be able to extend beyond your initial effort with loyalty incentives and buy in from your fans and followers. It takes time but your margins will be so much higher than traditional mechanisms.

3) What is attraction marketing?  Basically blogging and social media. Blogs should be more personal and not quite as professional as a website or business announcements.  Once you attract a following, convert those valuable and loyal fans to consumers of your service or product.  Why is this necessary? Because there is soooooooooooo much to choose from. It’s that simple. There are tons of companies that do what you do more than likely, so what sets you apart?

4) Imitation is NOT the sincerest form of flattery.  It is the sincerest form of ignorance.  Faking it til you make it using the new social technologies will not bring you success.  This time last year, I know of so many business owners who jumped on twitter and facebook.  Go look at their accounts now and they haven’t posted in 6 months or post once a week on their facebook, claim it doesn’t work and they get no response.  Ok.  It’s hard to even blink on that one, but the answer is this: you are not creating a relationship with anyone you are just advertising.   Really there is no understanding of  the tool and how to use it for their particular business.

5) How are you found? If you are a dentist, how do you advertise?  Typically a dentist advertises in magazines and small local newspapers.  How do you add the technology piece and more specifically social media?  They could do pay per click and facebook advertising but the key is the current client base.  Have them “like” you on Facebook and reward them for it.  Giveaways such as products, fun family days like baseball tickets are great as well. Also, make How-to videos and informational videos to post on the website and social media.  Having your current customers send fans your way is the best!

6) Speak their language. Don’t go in as an outsider trying to get in. Learn what is unique about the buyer or client and jump in on their wave length.  If you want to introduce something new to a “set in their ways” group, start where they are first and extend the conversation.  Don’t throw it in their face.  I learned this lesson quickly when I launched my Nosey Parker business in Spokane Wa.  Before launching, I had always worked with corporations, not small businesses.  I “assumed” the small business was up to date on technology, social media and niche marketing.  I was soooooo wrong to the tune of 3-5 years behind.  The other assumption I made was that owners of businesses were business people.  Many of the businesses I reach out to are more hobbyish than serious business people.  I had to change the conversation and the level of assumed understanding.  Education was the new theme.  In my OKC market, the opposite was true.  All the stores were jumping on the social media bandwagon and because the city is bigger with more competition, more stores were willing to niche market instead of traditional mass marketing to get ahead of their competitor.

Any comments? Tips, Advice? Please enlighten me. 

Is Human Intellect 95% Feelings?

7 Apr

My background is information technology – 23+ years actually.  When I had to study advertising and marketing to write my business plan for Nosey Parker, the goal was to help small business quantify buyers.  So I needed to know how they currently track results from traditional advertising methods. The first question I ask was “Show me your stats. Give me some evidence of how this works.”  As a past systems engineer, I was very into fact-based discussions.  What I learned is that no matter how much evidence you have that something works or doesn’t work, if a mind is made up for whatever reason, this type of fact -based salesmanship is pointless. There is also a comfort in staying with the same old thing because it’s been around along time.

I was talking to a boutique once and ask them the results they achieved from a print publication.  They said that over the years it’s been hit and miss but that the opportunity to be seen by 75k+ people was the biggest enticement.  However, they could not tell me how many clients they had gained over the years from all of their ads.  I called it playing darts, which they thought was slightly insulting. I also made the mistake of pulling in my own personal preference and behaviors in regards to looking at advertising.  I don’t look at ads online or in most publications to be honest … except in InStyle Magazine  … my mindless pleasure.  I watched an Ignite Video once called “A Barbie Girl in a CS World” – that’s me, kinda.  When speaking with the boutique, I was assuming everyone was me.  They are not.

It is hard to associate comfort, relationships and the “nontechnical factors” when you are a statistics based person.  Give me the facts not your feelings.  Guess what?  I am quite sure now that the human intellect is made of 95% feelings for the most part.  Ignoring it will get you nowhere fast.

I was reminded this week of the selling game, gaining clients by permission, building relationships when my 18 year old son text me the following:  “Mom, a pacemaker company brought all the doctors and nurses here in the ER lunch today from Caruso’s!!! So cool, right? I can’t wait til I’m a doctor!”  I am sure that if you just read the stats and information on results from this pacemaker company, you could make a decision on whether you should put it in a human body.  However, with lots of competition and everything being equal … who to use?  The one who brings us lunch that’s who!

According to permission marketing guru Seth Godin “evidence isn’t the only marketing tactic that is effective. In fact, it’s often not the best tactic. What would change his mind, what would change the mind of many people resistant to evidence is a series of eager testimonials from other tribe members who have changed their minds. When people who are respected in a social or professional circle clearly and loudly proclaim that they’ve changed their minds, a ripple effect starts. First, peer pressure tries to repress these flip-flopping outliers. But if they persist in their new mindset, over time others may come along. Soon, the majority flips. It’s not easy or fast, but it happens.”

So true. Press on and go buy someone lunch.

You Can’t Please Everyone! Niche It!

16 Feb

I like the word “Optism” almost as much as I like “Perketing”.  My word goes beyond just “opting-in” to include marketing – so that’s why it’s better. 🙂  That being said, I read articles on “Optism” a lot, not only for my own business but to understand all that goes into it … like putting customers or readers at the heart of what I write.  I am still working on that because we are taught to educate the masses and get a percentage of the masses to pay attention.  My competition for Nosey Parker is in big cities… like New York and Seattle.  I stay away because even though it may make my life easier in the short run, longevity and competing with the next best thing comes into play too much.  My goal for Nosey Parker is to be highly “nichey” – if that’s a word.  69% of my subscribers read my newsletters from Nosey Parker.  I’d love it to be higher but for now, I am very happy with that number because I know everyone’s email box is bombarded.  I receive approximately 10 emails an hour over five email addresses in a 16 hour period everyday.  A lot of the emails are social media notification of fans/followers as well but many are not and have to be read and responded to.  I sympathize with you and of course, me!

What should you do?

  • Ask for permission for anything you don’t already have permission for.
  • Be Friendly.
  • Only ask once.
  • Be honest about what you are doing with their information you collect. No surprises or illegal uses!
  • Opting out should be easy.
  • What is your reason for getting permission?  Is it a good one? Great content, interesting information, etc.  Otherwise… why get another email?

The permission marketing guru of the world says “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. – Seth Godin

What do you think? Was that good info? If so, may I ask your permission to go opt in to my RSS feed! http://feeds.feedburner.com/Perketing

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.