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!

 

Think Differently-Could you sell to dogs?

We all know… what we know.We also know that,  the way people do business is changing.  How people spend their time is changing.  It’s hard to force yourself to view your business in a different light to see new angles and customers.  You are busy. We are all busy. I get it.

Try this exercise to shake up your brain, get new ideas and view your business in a new way. Like those annoying ice breaker exercises at group seminars.  Annoying,  but they do really get your brain moving.  Its Monday- let’s get our brain moving.

Question:

How would you market your dog products, directly to dogs.  Dogs can now make purchases on their own.  How can you capitalize on this new furry consumer.

 

Here’s what we know:

Dogs walk on all fours– advertising should be no more than 3 feet high and ideally on the ground.

Dog vision isn’t like humans– they see Yellow and Blue best.  They do not see  red or green as well, or at all.  Re think that holiday campaign.

dogs-color

Dog’s sense of smell and hearing are their strongest senses.Dogs have 125 million to 300 million scent glands in their nose, depending on the breed.  This is 1,000-10,000,000 times stronger than human sense of smell. Maybe you could create a smell sampling truck-think about it.

Dog’s ears are equally sensitive.  Anyone who owns a dog and tries to sneak a late night snack has been busted by the thunder of dog feet coming to see what you have for them too.  Dogs hear at a frequency of 67-45,000 Hz compared to a human that hears at 64-23,ooo Hz. Radio and Television commercials should start with the sound of the deli drawer opening to get the “dog consumers” attention. Also, dogs with pointed ears have better hearing than dogs with floppy ears, also something to consider with your ads.

 

Here are some ideas to market directly to dogs:

Paint the bottom half of fire hydrants blue or yellow to attract the dog’s eye more.  Put your message printed on that. (yes we are assuming dogs can read, if you remember at the beginning of this exercise we said they could buy stuff too).

Scented stickers on the ground leading from the popular dog parks to your business.  The nose will lead them right to you.

Radio contesting idea- at the sound of the cheese wrapper crinkle, be the 10th caller to win a years supply of cheesy treats.

 

What else could you do? What other creative ideas do you have? While this example is silly and some what far fetched ( ha ha get it… fetched) its a way to view your business differently.  Sometimes, all it takes is a fresh outlook to get the creative thoughts flowing again.

If you don’t have someone to bounce ideas off of, try asking yourself questions like:

What would you change if you only did business in Europe?

How would you change your marketing, if your only customers were teenagers?

How would you tell your customers how great your business is, if it was a non profit?

 

Simple questions to stretch your mind, your ideas and help grow your business.

 

Happy Monday-Woof!

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

Facebook Live for your business

My #1 priority is to help my clients grow and attract new customers.  Right now I am talking to  my clients about Facebook Live.  As a full service Marketing Professional, I keep on top of all marketing trends to educate my clients.  Clients are  busy being great at what they do, that they miss an easy solution. Most clients want to find affordable ways to make their business stand out and Facebook Live is just the thing.

#1 its free-you broadcast a live from your business Facebook account

#2 you can do it yourself, your employees can do it, anytime

#3 it has a live interaction, so you can answer questions during the broadcast and it also has great shelf life- people can still watch it later because it lives on your Facebook page

81% of people are going on line to research a product, service or business, it is important to find ways to get noticed.  I have talked about using social media for your business in previous posts and  Facebook Live is a great new tool to build a one on one relationship with your existing  customers and potential new customers.

Here’s how you can use Facebook Live to showcase your business.

Retail Business: take a tour of the showroom, present what new merchandise has just come in.  You can create a virtual showroom to entice customers to come in.

Fitness Coach or Gym: build a relationship with potential clients. Show the work out space, demonstrate simple exercises.  Answer questions live and present special offers.

Service Business: Facebook Live can show you doing “your thing” in action.  You can invite a satisfied customer to join you and share their story to highlight real world success.

Auto Dealers: Take potential customers through a test drive of a new model.  Show people how to do the simple things they need to know-like change the time in your car 🙂

Below is a link to a local pre owned auto dealer using Facebook Live to showcase cars and do special promotions.

https://www.facebook.com/midstate.autogroup?fref=ts

Adding Facebook and Facebook Live to your traditional media mix is an affordable way to build a one on one relationship with your customers.  It costs nothing but your time and passion.

A few things to think about before you “go live”.  Think of it like television, you are speaking directly to your audience.  Think about the goal of the “live episode” and do your best to stay on course. Remember its live, you may stumble with your words and that’s ok.  You will get better and your following will build.  A little quirkiness will be endearing and work well.  My most popular video to date had a cameo of my dog in it, real can make you likable.  Give it a try and let me know how it goes…and ACTION!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes you have to re-pot yourself to grow

I have a small tree in my home that has been struggling  in the last year.  The leaves fall off, it looks spindly no matter what I did.  I gave it more water, less water, more sun, less sun, nothing seemed to make it happy again.  Until recently, it occurred to me that I have never re-potted it.  That lovely little tree has been in the same pot since the day it came home.  I don’t know how many years ago that was, but it was awhile.  And just like that,  I popped it into a new pot with fresh soil.  I could almost hear a little sigh of relief that it would now finally be able to grow again.  I was hindering its growth by keeping it in the same small pot.

Sometimes life is like that, especially personal relationships and business relationships.  We stop growing where we are planted and we need to be re-potted.  I know people that have  been fired from their jobs, or lost a business,  that is an abrupt re-potting. I have experienced both business and personal abrupt re-potting in my own life, so I know what I am talking about.  And trust me, I was one unhappy plant at the time.  But I can say from my own personal experience, from each of those uncomfortable times I grew- I grew in glorious ways.

People are typically adverse to change, they get in a comfy spot and settle in.  In business today that can be deadly. Words in today’s business landscape are: nimble, agile, evolving etc none of which says, “grab a blankie and nestle in”.  Its hard.  How can you look at your business critically and recognize where you need to grow and change. Take a hard look at the things that keep you up at night.

Here are some things to think about:

Could you focus more time on cultivating new clients, if you fired that one that drains you?

If you gave up some control and brought on a partner or investor,  what could you gain?

What growth could you see if you left your first location for a new, bigger, prime location?

What could you out source so you have more time to do ” your thing”?

What do you need to learn or get better at to be more successful?

Sometimes life will change your pot, sometimes we do it for ourselves- when we decide to grow,  we can do it anywhere!

 

Have you seen any Political Ads yet?

I am completely kidding about that title.  Unless you have been on a retreat for the past few months or on a media cleanse ( i love that, that is a thing.  People stop all technology consumption to cleanse) you have seen political ads, and heard political ads.

If you live in New England you have  seen a ton of primary ads, especially on television.  Why is this? New Hampshire is an important primary state,  so we are seeing all candidates trying to win votes for the primary.  These ads are candidate focused, both positive and negative.

Lowest rate 

During the political window of time which is 45 days prior to the primary and 60 days prior to the general election, media outlets must provide the lowest rate on their station to candidates wanting to advertising.  Bottom line, those stations aren’t making as much money on those ads as you may think, but they do ok-not to worry.  

Reasonable access

The Communications Act requires licensees of commercial stations to provide federal candidates with “reasonable access” to a broadcast station. So, stations may not turn away candidates running for federal offices (President, Senate, House of Representatives) and must provide them with some access in all dayparts. Stations may decline to carry ads for local and state races (e.g., city council or county clerk) because candidates for those races have no statutory right to reasonable access. Access for significant non-federal races (e.g., governor) should be considered under the general public interest standard, however. Bottom line, a station can’t deny federal advertising, stations are regulated   by the FCC ( federal communications commission )after all.  But stations can elect not to take smaller races. 

Equal Opportunity

Generally, whenever there is a candidate  on a station, the appearance creates an equal opportunity for the candidate’s opponent to “use” the station for the same amount of time to reach a similarly sized audience.  For example, a candidate’s appearance as a host or an anchor of a news program would be considered a “use” and any legally-qualified opponent of the candidate may assert an equal opportunity right to appear on the station. Bottom line, everything needs to be “even Steven”. 

 

Beyond a natural curiosity about how some of the political advertising works,  why do you care? If you are a small to medium size business owner looking to adverting you need to be careful how you spend your money. Over time, there is some listener and viewer fatigue.  People begin to zone out on the political ads.  You don’t want your valuable message to get lumped into those commercials.

Here are some suggestions on how to smartly spend your money to avoid the Political Landmines.

If you like to use television, you may want to  stay away from local broadcast channels during those windows unless you have a large budget. Instead, try local cable and utilize non news channels.  While all channels on broadcast and cable networks will be targeted-to reach the most amount of households possible, there seems to be an abundance of political marketing on what I would call more “serious channels”, and  channels targeting older voting adults.

Local radio is always a good resource for your marketing dollars.  When trying to avoid the political wave, advertise on music radio stations vs talk or news stations for the same reasons listed above for television.

Depending on your business, perhaps local or regional magazine’s would be a good option during this time of year.  Magazines are typically not a political candidates top choice, the creative can be difficult to change on the fly. However, for your business a fresh glossy photo spread might bring in new customers.

 

To be clear I am not advising you to stop advertising during the political times. I am merely offering some suggestions and things to think about, I want you to feel good about where you are spending your money.  Advertising works, all advertising mediums work, all it takes is the right message reaching the right audience.  I hope this was helpful- don’t forget to vote!

i voted sticker

 

 

New Adventures: Start where you are, use what you have

Good morning, I am awkwardly excited to start sharing something new.  I say, awkwardly, because I have never done anything like this before and its hard to watch yourself on video.  However, I have been doing a lot studying, reading and listening  to podcasts lately,  on how can I share  what I know and the experience I have gained. I love what I do and I could talk for hours about all the amazing people I have met, the businesses I have helped and the things I have learned.  The internet gives us this wonderful platform to share what we know.  I am starting a video series to share different topics relating to marketing, media, and sales.  I will be sharing practical advice in plain language to give people simple ideas to try.  I love to help people and I always try to lead with kindness, This first video is just a simple introduction about me, who I am , where I am , what I am going to be doing, and what I sound like.

I promise you two things: my video’s will get better, this is my first one EVER and I will give free, simple, ideas. Thank you for watching, sharing and commenting.

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