Money Momentum

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We talk a lot about building your brand, developing the right strategy and many other things to get your self set-up for success.  These are all necessary things and very important.

The problem that can happen is business owners and entrepreneurs can take this too far by waiting to launch something when it is exactly perfect. The sooner you can launch and create momentum the better.

If you have a large product line or a complex service, look into how you break it up in to modules or phases. If there are levels of service can you launch one level and then add more levels as they are set to roll-out.

This is a big deal. If you can create new revenue or increase revenue with a new marketing plan, even if it doesn’t sell everything you want right away, it is key to start the money momentum.

If you are already in business and you are working hard to make refinements or maybe you are re-branding… Work extra hard to keep momentum going. You will not want to stop everything unless you can afford to. It is like living in the house you are remodeling…. it’s best to remodel one room at a time. If you are going to go all the way all at once, you have to be able to afford a hotel and eating out everyday, while your house is completely re-done.

We will always look to build things in the best way and we always want to have everything in the best shape possible for our Brand’s Website and any other front to our businesses. With that said we need to equally look at how to keep the momentum if you are already up & running and looking to expand and/or improve.

If you are just starting and looking to kick things off right, you really have to look at your budget. How far you go initially with your brand development, website and other foundation items will also need to be paced out by your budget. Your budget will need to dictate your up front investment. This can mean time and money. What is enough to launch, knowing you can always improve later.  It is great to think of the long term and where you want to go. This will aid in your short term decisions. Other then that outlook planning you really need to get the minimum done to launch and build cash-flow as quick as possible.

Money Momentum is your businesses lifeline.

There are some business out there that are spending all there time preparing or being a perfectionist and they never launch. This is a killer. I have even caught myself in this pattern. Get to market as quick as possible and then keep upgrading.

What’s your Brand Perception?

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Branding, branding, branding… do most people really know what it is and if they do, how’s their Brand.

Branding is what other people think of you or your company. It’s not what you say, it’s what they feel. It’s not just your logo (Mark/Logotype) it’s everything! From the time anyone comes in contact with you or your company…

  • Who answered the phone? How did they answer it?
  • What does your website look like? What does it say?
  • What happens when someone buys from you? What happens when the work is done?
  • How do they FEEL working with you or using your product?
  • What is the biggest VALUE they got form you or your product? What was the emotional value for them?

Do you know the answers to these questions?

This is huge. Knowing these answers will allow you to get on track. If there is a gap between what they think and what you want, you can start to bridge that gap. Not knowing is the worse thing and doesn’t help your brand.

How do you find out…. simple… ASK!!

Start with some of your best customers/clients.  Ask them some of these questions. The key questions to ask if you have a short time:

  • What was/is your feeling when you come in contact with my company?
  • What has been the biggest value from working with us or using our product?  And how does that make you feel?
  • Where have we fell short?  How can we do better?

Ask those that you ask to be honest. The tough stuff for them to say will be the most help. It is super important to find out how it made them feel emotionally to work with you.  It is these emotional feeling that drives our gut reaction to BRANDS!

Go call some current and past clients and start knowing your Brand Perception. It’s the best way to improve your brand quickly.

Don’t Build your Social Mansion on Sand

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I see many business jumping into social media with out first looking at their Brand and more specifically what value they bring to their audience. In most cases, this causes very little results.  If you first align, your brand your results will be much greater.

It is critical to ones success that a solid foundation for your business be set before spending much time in social media.  Time is so important and worth so much.  With that being said, grinding away in social media with out a good plan, that presents the businesses brand and value, it can be a huge waste with very little results.

You have to ask yourself, what makes you distinct to your audience, what makes you relevant to your audience and what makes you memorable to your audience. There are more questions to be asked, but this is a good starting point.

Start aligning the answers to these questions with the value you have and bring more value to your social media.  Give some of that value and wisdom away. It will come back to you tenfold. Social media is largely about sharing. Share your value.

2011, Social Media and Samll Businesses

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I hope everyone had a great 2010. In closing the year today, I wanted to share what 2011 will look like for us.

We will continue our creativity, branding and social engagement for our clients.  We will continue our consulting around Branding, Marketing and Social Media. What we’ve ramped up this fall and will launch into 2011, is small business coaching around marketing. We’ll be speaking more, doing more webinars, teaching courses and adding educational products.

Why is this important for you?

Being in marketing and communications for going on 15 years and having had jumped into social media 5 years ago, we’ve seen how this new media truly levels the playing field.  No matter what size your business or organization is, you can start utilizing social media to reach more impressions, greater traffic and most important increased revenue.

We look forward to sharing more with you and helping more businesses grow in 2011.

Happy New Year!

Why going BIG works better SMALL.

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Things have gotten so big in some cases, that the time has come to get SMALL.

Some people think that the best way to grow business is to keep getting bigger, but in a lot of cases this causes more and more generality to reach the larger group and intimacy is lost with your audience. Today, in the social world, Brands need to be smaller and relate in more specific ways to each of their target audiences.

This may even mean to break your target audiences into even more specific audiences.

There are hundreds of valid social networks and many of them cater to a very specific audience.  When things get so big that they no longer relate enough to the people, it has become to general.  Basically, trying to reach everyone.  This is the time to run the opposite way. Be specific and seek out those networks that reach those curious in that specific item or thought.

Here is a great example of a Brand thinking in such a way. Miller, #2 in the world of beer at 11.8 percent global share, is push to grow business, but has chose to build smaller more intimate brands in many of the countries it servers global.  Read more in today’s Adage article: SABMiller Thinks Globally, but Gets ‘Intimate’ Locally.

As information continues to be easier found, people will continue to crave what they want in a very specific ways. Meaning there is so much information, products and services, it is plausible to find exactly what you want. Filling those niches will lead to great success.


Crisis! What happens to Brands in Social Media?

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We are seeing more and more Brands come under tough times when dealing with their Brand Crisis.

Johnson & Johnson & BP are good, current examples.

With the age of digital media, it is and will continue to be more difficult for brands to hide from the consequences of their mistakes. Obviously, we all want to know the Brands we buy are doing all they can for our safety.  As sustainability continues to grow in awareness, what Brands do for the environment and how they reduce their impact to the world is also important.

With that as a standard, even the best of companies will have errors or mistakes. Things happen.  These things can be greatly reduced with great operations, but are not foolproof. So what happens when things go wrong?

With the opportunity for us to all communicate more and with much more speed, we can all be heard by the world. Digital mobilization can happen very quickly by angry consumers. The more honest Brands are, the quicker and better they will recover. Brands that hide things are much more likely to get caught and that just increases the problem.

The quicker Brands say, “Yes, we have a problem and here is what we are doing to fix it…” and then do it, the better they will fair.

Also, I think we are all seeing and hear more about these Brand problems, again because of the increased opportunity to communicate on large scale. Consumers are speaking out and if Brands are not honest and show that they are doing everything they can to correct the issue, they will lose ground quickly in digital media.

Digital Media can Launch your Brand. Are you Ready?

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Building Brands is not a new subject.  The end-goal of engaging consumers or business is the same.

What has changed?  The Tools….

Social Media (the big buzz word,) will come to be know as Digital Media.  Digital Media will encompass online and mobile.

Some people think that social media is for teenagers to swap photos or tweet about what they had for breakfast, but actual it is being used to grow brand engagement at a rapid pace.  If you just connect with your target audience in digital communities with the right content you’ll get the most engaging conversation you’ve had with your audience.

This is Explosive!!

Digital Communities allow you to have 2-way conversations with your audience and allowing many conversations at one time.

Referrals have always been one of the most powerful marketing tools and remains the same today.  With Social Media the opportunities for referral are so much easier.  This can exponential increase referrals to your brand.

We are helping our clients solve the mysteries behind Digital Media to improve their Brand Value and most important… Increase their Revenue.

Are you Ready?

Knowing your Target Audience.

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Seth Godin’s discusses the success of Steve Cohen, who makes a million a year doing magic.

Seth brings up some points that make Steve successful.  I agree knowing his craft is huge, but then from there it comes down to his narrowed target audience and knowing that audience very, very well.

The better you know your target audience the better you can provide to them and the better you can sell to them. I think too many people brush over their target audience and don’t give enough thought into the matter.  If you truly take the time to deeply understand your target audience you will have a much high chance of success.

The knowledge you get from doing the research and digging further will allow for much better answers to the questions of what you should say, how you should say, when you should say, where you should say and much, much more.

These items tend to seem simple and in some ways they are, but if you force yourself to peel back another layer and then another, you will find great communication with your audience.  Better Brand Building!!!

Think of it as writing a script without knowing the characters.  That sounds ridiculous… doesn’t it?  And it is, so is not knowing your Target Audience the best you can.

Dig deeper and you’ll find the gold.

Quality = Savings.

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Higher quality design and production will allow your brand to more quickly build impressions into the minds of your target audience.

By maintaining and enhancing your Brand you can actually reach your audience fewer times, with a more memorable impression.  This can save you money.

This is the same for getting video to spread digitally.  If it is produced well, it will be spread by your audience. This saves you money from having to pay for distribution.

Again, just to be clear, quality is not always about being flashy. Quality, to me, is the right content, presented in the right way, in the right place to the right people.

Up front, you may spend more to have better produced content, but the long-term savings will far out weigh the cost.

In the end, quality will build higher value for your brand and provide a better ROI.

Quality = Savings.

Quality is key in the digital world.

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Quality is a key piece to getting more out of what you produce.

As digital marketers, we are working hard to get others to spread what we produce. Much like Public Relations… When you are creating a press release the goal is to create the best release you can, so that editors and program directors will run with your story (passing it on… in masses.)

Going viral with a video is much the same.  We are creating quality Ads & content that cause those that watch it to pass it on.  This can grow to masses, as it is continued to be passed and passed and passed.

Quality is key. Quality content is a must.  Once you get someone to your site, blog or YouTube channel it will be the content that keeps them or causes them to click away. Quality is not always about being flashy. Quality, to me, is the right content, presented in the right way, in the right place to the right people.

Design is in the same line. Better design helps close the deal in stores with better packaging.  Better design helps build better brand impressions.  Better designed layout of content could be the difference between people reading or not.

Quality with everything you do… design, content (video or written) and all other things you release to the world, will make all the difference in what you are communicating.