Category Archives: Passion & Purpose

Grow Your Business Being More Human

Grow Your Business Being More HumanI think businesses have lost the concept of being more human.  How frustrated have you become when you called a customer service phone number and all you get is a recording and after you spend 5-10 minutes clicking on numbers to get the recorded message to hopefully answer your question.  How about this recording that says press 1 for ‘self-servicing actions” – what?

I believe we have come to the fork in the road of online marketing including social media and the human need for interaction.  I think it is time to ask ourselves how much can you get from a computer conversation?  Do you feel as a consumer that the company really cares about you when you receive a canned email message, or you consistently reach a recording or the only time you see people are through images on Facebook?

Grow Your Business Being More Human

Although most of us thrive on human interaction, there are exceptions like teenagers and some millennials.  As business people if this is your market you have to meet them where they are with technology.  Business has changed no doubt about that and most of us have already made the decision about what we want to buy using technology resources, the question usually is “Who will I buy from?”   I recommend a mix of both technology based interaction with human interaction.  it is time to get away from solely relying on technology to connect with prospects and customers.  Here are some ideas for bringing human connection back into your business:

1.) Pick-up the phone occasionally and speak to your customers.  Thank them for their business and ask if there is anything else you can do for them.

2.) Make an effort to speak with customers one or two times per year with the goal of learning why they do business with you.  Not only will this please them but you will gain important information about your business.

3.) Call a client and invite them out for a cup of coffee just to make a human connection and not to sell them something.

4.) Network in person versus relying on social media.

5.)  Shake someone’s hand – yes that may seem old fashioned but many important deals were made with a hand-shake to seal the deal.

6.) Personalize your marketing, let your customers know you are listening and refer back to things they have said at every opportunity.

7.) Make your goal with social media to eventually take the conversation off line. Building a deeper more meaningful relationship.

“What happened to a handshake? Business people don’t do that anymore. Trust is human, human interaction and real conversations. We need more handshake friends, discussion, business partners or handshake leaders – we won’t find our own sense of fulfillment, happiness and trust .” Simon Sinkek author of Start With Why

 

Be mindful and focus on the person in front of you

I have a twenty-something daughter who thinks it’s okay to carry on a conversation with a friend via text while talking with me at the same time.  Some of you can probably relate!  But what that has taught me is to be mindful and present to the person I am with and to listen intently.  I ask myself the question, “Don’t they deserve my full attention and not just a part of it?”

I have always been inspired by this quote from Maya Angelou

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said , people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Grow your business by being more human was illustrated in an article I read in Inc.com by HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah.  I have paraphrased one of the most important point he makes;  “Harnessing the power of consumer advocacy is the answer. A delighted B2B customer is a long-term customer: He will tell friends and colleagues, and if he leaves his job, he’ll take your business with him.  Humans don’t buy from companies; humans buy from humans, so solving for humans is every smart company’s primary goal.”

Think about how you can grow your business by being more human and pay attention to big brands that are doing it through inspiration, motivation and leaving you feeling something deep within.  One of my favorite commercials this year is from Marshalls/TJ Maxx/Home Goods company whose holiday commercial says “Imagine a world where the holidays were about people again, this Season Bring Back The Holidays – Those 4 Little Letters, It’s All About L.O.V.E  Not S.A.L.E “  You can watch is here, let me know how it makes you feel.  https://youtu.be/9wKjXpsiK3E

 

The One Thing You Have To Do In Your Marketing

This past week I attended a conference called “Social Media Rockstarsand did I ever learn from some true rock stars of social media! 

Jason Falls & JoAnne Funch, Social Media Rock Stars Sep. 2013
Jason Falls & JoAnne Funch, Social Media Rock Stars Sep. 2013

One of the great takeaways for me was presented by Jason Falls,  the founder and as he likes to refer to himself, “Chief Instigator” of Social media Explorer a strategic services agency and an information products company. His keynote was powerful and hysterically funny.  He said we all have one job in marketing today and that is to “make it amazing.”  He further went on to say that you want your audience to say “Holy Smokes” and elicit some type of emotional response from them.   If you get that emotional response than you hit a home run.

Tips To Be Amazing

1.) Assume the role of your audience or prospect

2.) Imagine what would make you say “Holy Smokes”

3.) Imagine what would compel you at that moment to; Like, Share, Comment or buy

Companies That Make You Say “Holy Smokes”

So often people say their brand isn’t compelling or what could I possibly post online about, well here are a few companies that creatively found something to talk about.

Charmin bath Tissue – check them out on Twitter @Charmin, love their hash tag #Tweetfromtheseat

Reader Sheds – never thought you could make a backyard shed interesting?  Check them out on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/unclewilco/

Makers Mark Bourbon bet you never thought you could make alcohol something to talk about – well the creatives at Maker’s Mark put a graphic on a vendor machine that got lots of people talking.

What can you do that will elicit an emotional response?

If you have some great campaigns, please share in the comments below!  I’d love to feature you in an article here on Marketing Dish.

Are You a 50+ Entrepreneur?

People over age 50 are now leveraging their experience at the fastest growing rate of new entrepreneurs!

Today I attended a workshop sponsored by the SBA, SCORE and AARP for people over 50 who want to start new businesses. SBA in partnership with AARP are promoting a program called “Encore Entrepreneurs.”  According to the SBA, a growing number of people retirement age are now embarking on new businesses, the call then “Encore Entrepreneurs” meaning the second act in life!

Leverage Your Experience

I believe many people are retiring or have been subject to layoff and downsizing – that means more and more people 50+ are now coming into a new time where they are now leveraging the years of experience, and passions for new business ventures.  Your years of experience are an essential part of moving forward with confidence.

What are the challenges?

From my years of working with small business owners the biggest challenge is technology. Adopting a new mind set into the digital marketing world  is mandatory in these times if you want to be found. As with any challenge, we can learn these skills.  Whether you want to do it yourself or hire out these skills, it is a good idea to at a minimum have a good understanding so you know what you want, where you want to go and if you hire it out have the ability to communicate the tasks you want someone else to perform.

Helpful Resources for 50+ Entrepreneurs

SBA – Encore Entrepreneurs

SCORE

AARP Resources

Web Support Team – Outsourcing company who can make your website, social media, email etc. Technology changes for you!

What’s Your Marketing Strategy?

So how will you harness your experience, communicate your message and gain targeted exposure?  I can help – schedule your Marketing Strategy Session!!  I’ll get you focused and om your way quickly,

The Power In Storytelling

The most effective way to communicate with your audience is through story

In marketing, the message you communicate to your ideal audience must be compelling and relatable. You want to connect with your audience on a level that makes them say “Oh I resonate with her or her story.” Telling a story is the best way to make a human connection.

Storytelling is not only the easiest but often the most effective form of persuasion

If you are willing to share your story your are more likely to attract and retain targeted followers who connect with you.  You’ve all probably said at one time or another “You get me” – well that applies in all scenarios including business.  If someone believes that you have a shared experience and get where they are coming from the more likely you are to gain a customer.  Simple as that, so what’s holding you back from letting your story out?

The know, like, trust factor

What you have built through your story telling is the like and trust factor.  It is a fact that we all do business with people we know, like and trust which equates to this following formula I learned from copy writer, Kevin Rogers;

  • Know – is revealing yourself in a relatable way
  • Like – wins you respect through authenticity
  • Trust – by sharing your struggles & secrets as to how you overcame something, you gain trust

How will you tell your story?

Video is a great way to communicate your story. For example, create a welcome video for your website with these four components to the video

  1. Introduce yourself and what you do
  2. Briefly state a struggle you had that your current audience will relate to and communicate it
  3. Tell them what you discovered while you were overcoming your struggle
  4. and finally convey the result you got from the solution

Have you had success communicating your story to your audience?  Please leave me a comment below and share how you turned a struggle you once had into helping others.

P.S.  One of my favorite non-profit companies here in the US who is known for story telling is STORY CORPS. They believe in the power of story as a legacy and that stories should be shared.  Check them out when you have a little time to browse their site.