Being Optimistic and What’s Next

There is far too much negative news, energy and thoughts in the world right now. I believe Gary Vaynerchuk , it is not that there are more unhappy people than happy people.   But that these unhappy people are louder than the happy majority. We see and hear  those negative thoughts, theories and energy  all over the media, especially social media.  Please know that I am not talking about  people with a serious cry for help regards to health, misfortune or true struggle.  What I think we need to do is silence the negative energy from those who complain only driving a Range Rover and they don’t have a Ferrari.  I believe the new hashtag for that is #richpeopleproblems.  Those people with large spheres of influence can sway the masses.  I hope they realize their responsibility in this world and choose to see the glass half full.. See Gary’s take on this

Today I would like to remind you how talented you are, how much you have accomplished in such a short time on this planet.  The business you built, the people you have helped, the family you raise and encourage.  ALL GOOD STUFF HERE!

So what’s next? Fall can be invigorating,  cooler air gives you more energy, shaking off the summer fog.  I love next, next is always good.  The next meal, the next date, the next paycheck, the next big idea…all really good stuff. Have you ever been in a really long line, waiting and waiting,  as it moves slowly:  the tension in your shoulders builds, you text and tweet frantically about how annoying it is.  THEN you are NEXT.  The best place to be in line.  It’s you, next up, your stress fades, you look behind you with empathy to all those behind you, who are NOT NEXT.  NEXT has all the possibilities with less pressure.

So, today, on the last monday in September, let’s think about what it next.  Your next client meeting, the next marketing idea, the next meal and share that excitement with the world. Because what is next is going to be amazing!

 

Selling VS Buying

Selling has never had the prestige that  other fields of work have and has somewhat been looked down upon.  Images of used car sales men with bad comb overs in plaid suits are still in movies and television shows to punctuate this stereo type. And ironically, people LOVE to buy.

I like to sell.  I offer a product and service I believe in.  I think everything in life is about selling in some way and if you can figure that out and be good at it,  you will become successful.  You may be thinking, I don’t sell stuff and I definitely can’t be sold- I am a smart, educated customer, I only buy WHAT I WANT.

The key phrase is – THE WANT.  But how do you get  people to want things, by selling yourself, by persuading , by becoming likable and by building trust.  There are many different “sales techniques” but this is about  human behavior and building trust.  Plus  with the customer having more  control by making purchases on their phones and computers  to understand this behavior is KEY.

Let’s look at a couple simple examples that you may not view as selling.

#1 Let’s imagine you are going out to eat  with a large group of friends.  If you really want to eat Mexican food, you will persuade the group to also want Mexican Food. You would highlight the delicious meals you have had there, being sure to mention the favorite dishes that you know the group likes.  Adding in points about specials, atmosphere, parking etc..whatever would be the hot buttons of the individuals in the group. Because you have been there, are knowledgeable and they like and trust you- End result-you will be able to persuade them to your restaurant.

#2 Since it is a presidential political year, I thought I would mention that we are all being sold right now.  Everyone is being exposed to truthful and perhaps not truthful things about candidates and issues, all in the hopes that we will vote their way.

Most things are about selling and the #1 thing that turns selling into buying is TRUST.  The client or consumer needs to believe you are going to do what you say and  take care of them if there is a concern.  And in today’s world of marketing building trust has never been easier.

How to build trust and gain sales:

#1 Tell people who you are, and what you do

#2 Be clear and honest with your message

#3 Use all forms of communication appropriate for your message

#4 Layer traditional  advertising tools like Radio, Television and Newspaper with TRUST building advertising tools like You Tube, Facebook Live, Snap Chat,  Periscope or InstaStories.

BUT WHY DO I NEED BOTH- one is the engine to find new customers and the other builds trust in you and your company.

Examples:

If you own a liquor store, the traditional means of advertising has always been local newspaper.  Unless your liquor store carries specialty products, it is typically a small radius of consumers close to their home and your business. The newspaper allows you to highlight many different brands and PRICE. BIG MONEY MAKING IDEA: Then you can  create a You Tube Channel and show people how to make classic and new cocktails using the featured products from your ad in the video, let them see your passion and personality-THAT BUILDS TRUST and SALES!

If you own a roofing company and you use Val Pak and some local cable as your primary tools for advertising.  Add Periscope or  Facebook live.  Going live is the ultimate trust builder because you can’t “re-do” or fix it.  It’s ALL YOU-100% REAL! So making mistakes and not being perfect is ok, that lets people see the real you.  And at the end of the day that is who they are going to be buying.  What can you do on Periscope or Facebook Live- walk around a home and talk to homeowners about the signs they need to look for to know when it is  time to repair or replace their roof. I am going to bet that most homeowners don’t know what to look for on their roof or home and would find this valuable.  You can always offer to come out to their home for a complimentary inspection or offer  a link to a coupon or “secret word” for a discount for those who watched the Periscope or  Facebook Live. That is a reward for their time and attention and another way for you to gather information and to contact them with follow up offers.

So let’s wrap this up.

Just about everything is selling.

People want to trust who they buy from.

Help them build that trust with you faster and be more successful.

 

Happy Trust Building and Selling!

 

 

 

It’s a Snap are you using it for your business yet?

Snapchat is all the rage, people of all ages are on it.  Are you? Are you using it for business yet? Gary Vaynerchuk has been a strong voice for the success of this social media giant.  He predicted its success years ago-he was right.  It is a main stream communication tool.  I know what you are thinking- there are too many I cant keep up. I KNOW!

However as your marketing advice giver I need to hit you with the facts.  Here a few things you can use Snapchat for your business:

  1. Communicate one on one with fans
  2. Demonstrate products, share advice and information to build trust and sell  ( the fitness industry has embraced this and does a great job)
  3. Create a customized snap chat filter for a special event or promotion ( Dunkin Donuts just started doing this, go try it the next time you grab a regular -NE coffee reference)

 

But wait I don’t even know what to do with Snapchat.  Ok, let’s back up.  Go to the Ap store and download the Ap.  Create a name and profile, start playing with it.  The big button at the bottom, when you push it takes a picture, hold it down and it records a 15 second video. Once you have your picture or image you can draw something or type something-use the keys in the top right corner.  Ready for more? once you have an image or video you like you can swipe the screen to find filters.  What are filters? Some will change the image to a soft filter, black and white, Sepia etc.  Some will add a location icon, you can add the time, speed or temp to your snap.  Here is the important info for businesses: when swiping for filters – local or national companies that have targeted your location as being important to them will have a filter.  Here are two national examples from Under Armor and Lucky Charms. This is a great way to have snapchat fans in your desired geography promote and share your message in a fun way. Advertising is becoming more subtle and friendly, by being a part of peoples lives-not just to hit them over the head with BUY THIS!

 

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The last thing you will want to play with and know about is the face and voice changer filters.  People love these because they are fun, make you look attractive or silly.  National advertisers are already into this.  Taco Bell had one that turned your face into a Taco.  I wish I saved that one.  Side note- even though the premise of Snapchat is to have it disappear, you can screen shot it, download it to your camera roll and now with the new update you can save the ones you love to your memories.  Currently this weekend as I am working on this post the Olympics created  some of  these filters.  They are changing it everyday with different sports themes to encourage people to watch the Olympics on the NBC family of stations.  And that reminds me, you can now place a :15 second snap add into peoples feeds.  NBC has been doing that for a couple weeks to prep people for the Olympics.  Another smart way for them to brand their channels and encourage viewership of the Olympics.

Here are some fun filter examples: I made you a silly video to highlight some of the fun filters.

 

 

When it comes to attracting new clients and customers, it is worth trying everything, especially the tools that cost very little and have great sizzle and appeal. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat they are all tools to communicate your brand, your message on your time.

Give it a try, let me know how it works in your media mix, snap me back with your questions or feedback.

 

 

Assemble your dream team

Life and business move pretty fast these days, so having the great team is critical.  If you are an owner or manager you have a great gift and responsibility of directing and leading your business.  The greatest leaders are getting information and input from key people in their tribe. But who are those influences….

What I am suggesting is don’t settle for the tribe that is in your geography but to build your dream team.  Who are the best at what you need-ideas, strategy, production, creativity…whatever you need to keep your business moving forward. You know what you are great at- do that. Lots of that. And get people to help do the rest.

I like this quote from Reid Hoffman:

No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you are playing a solo game, you will always lose out to a team.

More ideas, more energy, more influence will make ideas and strategies better.  If nothing else than to trouble shoot the idea on the table. What if you could turn great into incredible by tapping into your team?

Some things to think about:

  • Are you hoping to expand to more locations: do you have a realtor in your tribe to keep an  eye on the market and great locations for you?
  • Are you starting to sell on line and through social media channels like I suggested in my last post?  Who can help with that?
  • Who is keeping you up to date on the latest trends?
  • Do you have someone on your team that is a great trainer and motivator, are they doing the hiring?
  • What business or spiritual books are you reading to inspire your soul?

Throughout my career I have had to assemble my own tribe, people I trust and  have great skills.  We have worked together, we have worked as competitors but they always remain a friend, sounding board and source of wisdom.

I challenge you to think about who is in your tribe, who should be on your dream team and who can help your business grow.

 

Tell Your Story

Our ancestors would pass on information through stories.  Critical historical information was passed on for years.  Why is that important? People remember stories.  When something matters to YOU and it is told in a compelling way-people remember.

 

That is what you need to do with your advertising.

First: What is your story ?Second:  How are you sharing it?

 

Your story is who you are, what you do and what makes it,  and you special/unique. This is the story you want to tell people and have  other tell,  about you.

Long version– can go in a press release, article, the about page on your website, and your mother bragging about your success

Medium version– You Tube,  newspaper, magazine

Small version– TV commercials, radio commercials, Facebook

Flash version– Snap Chat, Instagram, meeting someone at a cocktail party

If you are not sure where to start or what your story is, you can look back in my blogs for the one on USP’s, unique selling propositions. That is a place to start  to help you get clear on your story, then add detail and emotion. No one can tell your story better than you.  Work with your team and fine tune it.  Then share it with the media channels listed above- and tell your story.

When you own your own business you are always telling your story-make it great so others want to tell it too!

 

 

 

You Tube: the place to find the next everything?

I have been doing research for this post for a few weeks now because I really want to understand what is happening. First let’s begin with what Wikipedia says about You Tube:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Most of the content on YouTube has been uploaded by individuals, but media corporations including CBS, the BBCVevo,Hulu, and other organizations offer some of their material via YouTube, as part of the YouTube partnership program.[5]Unregistered users can watch videos, and registered users can upload an unlimited number of videos. Videos considered to contain potentially offensive content are available only to registered users affirming themselves to be at least 18 years old. YouTube, LLC was bought by Google for US$1.65 billion in November 2006 and now operates as a Googlesubsidiary.[6]

Now up until recently I have thought of You Tube as a visual library for stuff.  Cute animal videos, music videos, clips of old tv shows.  Then I read an article on Retail Wire talking about how Khol’s is using You Tube and “You Tube Stars” to launch its new juniors line.  I have attached a link to the full article below.  I have also included a small portion of the article to give you an idea of what they are thinking.

http://www.retailwire.com/discussion/17785/kohls-turns-to-youtube-to-launch-juniors-line

Kohl’s turns to YouTube to launch junior’s line

SEPTEMBER 18, 2014

Asserting that TV is no longer effectively reaching teenage girls, Kohl’s is using a YouTube mini-series featuring top teen influencers to launch its new limited-edition juniors line.

The first part of the S.o. R.a.d. junior’s line will launch at Kohl’s on Sept. 22, three days after “Life’s S.o. R.a.d.,” the multi-part original scripted series, debuts on AwesomenessTV, a unit of DreamWorks Animation.

The initial series stars YouTube personalities Amanda Steele and Lia Marie Johnson in an imaginative depiction of their involvement in the S.o. R.a.d. brand’s creation. Ms. Steele, 15, has racked up 100 million views across her videos on YouTube while Ms. Johnson’s videos have been viewed 64 million times. Many of the videos deal with fashion and style as well as teenage life.

While meeting with my marketing focus group, I was informed that Amanda Steele was indeed, one of the “trusted names” on You Tube. I compiled a long list of “You Tube Stars” and have spent the past couple weeks following them, watching them and trying to connect with their message.  Some I will admit were not my taste but I could see why kids liked them, like how the Telletubbies were fascinating to babies. “There was just something about them”.    There were some, however, that I found completely pointless or disturbing in some cases.  These “You Tube Stars” are clearly popular, as seen by their millions of views, likes and subscribers.  But they were NOT talking to me, as much as I would like everything to be geared towards me, I understand those  are for teens/tweens/college aged kids.

Through my research,  I did find one “You Tube Star” that I enjoyed, @Grav3yardgirl.   I have followed her the most and like what she is doing.  She has many different types of videos, v-logs (short hand for video blog). She has a series called ” Does this thing really work” where she goes out and purchases popular products, things you see advertised on TV or see in the store and tests it on camera.  It’s brilliant!  She is completely open, honest and up front about her knowledge or lack there of and shows you how “this things works-OR not”.  There has been a lot of Social Media buzz about a new mascara/long lash maker going around.  @Younique, claims their system makes you have longer more natural looking lashes.  Well @grav3yardgirl tested it, I watched every second because I was already interested and intrigued about the product.  Her video was very helpful in me  making my decision about would I buy and try this product. She helped me make up my mind-critical for potential buyers on the fence.  She was the push I needed.

Check out the video for yourself.  The video I have attached about the Younique video has over 4 million views.

BINGO-light bulb! That is what made it work for me. It was completely organic, she bought the item, tried the item and gave her personal review-all on camera. With her popularity companies and people are sending her items in the mail and she doesn’t have to purchase them, but she makes those claims clear as well.

She does a lot of different types of videos. She does videos called Hauls, where she goes shopping and shows everyone what she bought. I have seen video hauls for Sephora, Forever 21 and Ulta.  She loves make up, alligators, sweet tea, cammo patterns and pirates.  The other thing she does is thrift store hauls and shows how you can get great stuff cheap and how you can make your own style.  I like the message to young girls about shopping smart, finding your own style and trying new things. She is followed on You Tube, Facebook, Instagram, and tumbler by millions.

What I really love about this discovery is the easy and organic nature that @Grav3yardgirl has created.  I think the challenge for companies like Khols, who want to talk to young consumers in this way run the risk of it being forced.  Young consumers are very sensitive to the “pressure of advertising” more than older consumers.  I will be watching the Khol’s experiment to see if they can turn likes into sales.  That is the biggest hurdle for all major brands. They see the likes, the shares and the follows BUT does it come full circle into sales for them.  I am very interested in this right now and will most likely be sharing more on the topic so hopefully I will have some updates.  In the meantime, go check out @Grav3yardgirl or find your own “You Tube Star” and let me know who you found.

Have a great weekend!