Tag: communications.

Sally just got done reading Manage Your Day-To-Day. The subtitle of this book is Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus and Sharpen Your Mind, edited by Jocelyn K. Glei. Here’s some of the best business take-aways from the book:

If you find you’ve been working hard and hardly getting ahead, this book is for you. It focuses on how our work day and work world has changed. Too often we’re reacting and not working on our daily to-do list. The first thing to do is schedule your creative work first and schedule it at a time when you work best. This may take a little time to find – but instinctively you may know this already. Set routines and stick to them. If a project isn’t complete one day, calendar it and move it to the next day. Your capacity is limited. Schedule your renewal or “sharpen the saw” time. Stick to it. Schedule thinking time or alone time to plan. Plan blocks of time to work – calendar it and stick to it. Stop multi-tasking – it doesn’t work. Work on one project at a time, focus and finish it. Understand your temptations and resist them. In other words stay off Facebook and quit texting. Keep your workspace organized. Protect your DO NOTHING time. Your brain needs some R&R. Send really short emails. There is magic in a six-word email. Schedule your social media time and use it effectively to promote your business. Sally does hers at the same time she’s updating client posts. Sometimes your soul needs to rest – take a long break from being connected. Finally, stop thinking everything must be perfect. We are human. Only God is perfect.
Get the work done, do your very best and let it go.

“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.”  – Warren Buffet

Here are some quick tips to get your press release published.

1. Make sure it’s news worthy – if it’s not it won’t get published.

2. Take the time to develop a catchy headline that will attract attention.

3. Write in a concise, news-style with the most important information first and the least important information last. When editors cut an article, they cut from the bottom.

4. Find a photo that complements your release. It is much more likely to be printed with a photo.

5. Include your complete contact information: name, title, business, address, phone, email, website. The media needs to be able to get in touch with you to do a larger story if they have time and space. Make it easy for them.

6. Find the right person to send the press release to. You can usually find this on the media’s website.

7. Send that person an email with the press release in the email and attach a PDF or WORD document of the release too.

 

8. Realize that you may have to send the press release more than once. Editors are busy people and your release will only be publicized if there is space or time. This week might be too full of news to print your release, but next week might be great.

If you need help writing and sending press releases, give Poole Communications a call at 800-900-3635. We’d be happy to help.

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Rose Anne Huck, manager of our Poplar Bluff office brings you today’s book review.

Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers.
By Seth Godin

Internet marketing pioneer Seth Godin says we must change the way almost everything is marketed today. 

Our author, Seth Godin, speaks to us about the demise of the age of interruption Marketing with the arrival of Permission Marketing. In this groundbreaking book, Godin describes the four tests of Permission Marketing:

  1. Does every single marketing effort you create encourage a learning relationship with your customers? Does it invite customers to “raise their hands” and start communicating?
  2. Do you have a permission database? Do you track the number of people who have given you permission to communicate with them?
  3. If consumers gave you permission to talk to them, would you have anything to say? Have you developed a marketing curriculum to teach people about your products?
  4. Once people become customers, do you work to deepen your permission to communicate with those people?

With case study after case study, Godin walks us through good and bad examples of using the power of Permission Marketing to grow a business and customer base.

We are encouraged to follow-up with a full “suite of follow-up messages” for permission given. The suite of messages is a leveraged sequence of communication designed to strengthen our position and build trust.

You can easily do the math. Drive traffic to your site to collect their contact information. For every x percent who give you permission, you’ll generate $Y in sales. To finish the equation all you need is your conversion rate which you may be able to pull from your sales and marketing records.

The key is not to focus on permission acquisition on-line but rather build to it into what you’re already doing in your marketing efforts.

Think of it this way: an Interruption Marketer is a hunter. A Permission Marketer is a farmer.

Seth Godin uses a charming analogy to demonstrate the differences between Permission Marketing and Interruption Marketing.

First Scenario: A man gets a new suit, shoes, all the accessories and heads to a singles bar. He has an engagement ring in his pocket. He proposes marriage over and over hoping for someone to take him up on his offer. As you can imagine, he suffers many rejections.

Second Scenario: A man chooses a likely prospective date. Asks her out to dinner and a movie (appropriate incentives). They spend time together. Go out again. Meet the family. Eventually he proposes marriage and gets an emphatic  “Yes!”

This approach is about building quality connections where there is mutual trust which in the long-term should result in greater sales per contact than any other system.

When we look at it this way, it is hard to imagine doing marketing any other way. It is also obvious that Permission Marketing requires a greater investment of time and resources. Permission Marketing results grow over time. They is measurable. These are the opposite of Interruption Marketing.

One hundred years ago small businesses ruled the world. They were responsive, trusted and capable. They offered samples or use of products before purchase and the company owner or sales person spent extra time with customers before the sale. It would not have been unusual for the company owner to be your neighbor. Oh my, how times have changed for most companies.

The KEY to Permission Marketing is in building a series of steps designed to get prospects to take the next step in the process. Let’s take a look at this example: Camp Arowhon

  1. Permission Marketing for the camp starts with an interruption message using an ad to order free information in the form of a brochure and video.
  2. The brochure and video are designed to sell a personal meeting – not sell camp registration.
  3. The visit sells the camp. After attending camp for one summer, campers are sold on the camp for an average of 6 summers plus referrals. This nets approximately $20,000 per family.

At each step the goal is to expand permission, not to make the final sale.

By not focusing on the sale, marketers are able to get far more out of their expenditures. Response rates to free samples, an affinity program or birthday club is 5 to 10 times higher than responses pushing for the sale.

When you are making your offer, the less you ask and the bigger the bribe, the more likely the consumer will bite. This guarantees your chance to deepen the permission with the next level.

Three important keys to keep in mind:

  1. Be personal.
  2. Be relevant.
  3. Be specific.

The first sale is the beginning of the relationship, NOT the ultimate goal. The Ultimate Goal is mutually beneficial – a relationship which grows over time. You supply their need. They pay you. You provide more. They buy more and so forth and so on.

If you find need to start with high cost interruption marketing, you want to leverage the cost of the first interruption across multiple interactions. In this instance it definitely pays to approach your audience in as many ways as possible.

TRUST is EVERYTHING! Without trust there are no sales. Trust means the prospect believes in the product and the company. Think of it this way, you have a different level of trust with a high-end jeweler versus the guy on the street with a briefcase of jewelry.

Building trust is a Step by Step process which requires time, money and commitment. Frequency builds familiarity and familiarity builds trust. When you first run your ad 10% of your market will remember it. If you run 30 days in a row, by the law of averages, eventually everyone will remember your ad. Frequency causes the consumer to focus on the message. Like repeating yourself to a 4-year-old helps get the point across – or training a dog or horse.

Statistically when you increase your frequency by 100% you increase your effectiveness by 400%! Frequency and trust outweigh reach and its glamour.

This book is packed with the fundamentals needed to connect with you audience in a way that resonates with them and will lead to relationships that are beneficial for you both.

One of my favorite examples used in the book is the LL Bean catalog company. Their inventory stays relatively unchanged year after year. There are a few tweaks but nothing extensive. LL Bean sends out catalogs over and over again even though the last book you got probably has not changed very much. Their loyal followers welcome these new books and peruse them and continue to buy from them year after year. This is the relationship we all need. Customers and prospects who are happy to receive our sales message and who trust us to deliver quality.

Permission Marketing was written in 1999 but remains an authoritative source of information. Many if not most of Godin’s predictions have come true. He was and is so far out front that even now, we are still working to implement what he preached then.

One last suggestion: Read it and read it soon.

To find out more about Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing book, visit http://sethgodin.com/sg/

Today’s review comes from our owner, Sally Poole.

Enchantment
by Guy Kawasaki

Build your company by building trust.

“The best overall treatise on interpersonal relationships since Dale Carnegie wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Michael Gartenberg, Research Director, Gartner 

If you haven’t read anything by Guy Kawasaki, it’s time to start. His books are entertaining and filled with usable information you can apply to your business or organization right away. Guy started out as the chief evangelist at Apple and he knows business and marketing.

In Enchantment, he talks about winning over people to your company, product or service. It’s much more than persuasion or influencing. It’s about providing a lasting benefit to others that transforms people and relationships. It cements customers to you. And the process is outlined in this book.

A few of the chapters include: How to Achieve Likability, How to Achieve Trust, How to Prepare, How to Launch, How to Overcome Resistance, How to Make Enchantment Endure.

I’m going to highlight pertinent points from a few of the chapters. Kawasaki talks about how to align yourself with others by becoming more likable through smiling, acceptance of others and even dressing in similar ways. He talks about building trust by being transparent and fully human. That means admitting mistakes and acknowledging personal flaws and passions. He suggests giving for giving sake.

He gives examples of products and companies that enchant, such as Virgin America, and Apple Macintosh. What makes them different is that they are deep, well designed, intelligent, complete, empowering and elegant. I personally love design and to me this is what great work is all about. Thinking a product or service through so that it provides the best possible experience.

I love this book because of all the working examples and the tools he gives you to succeed. One important part of the book is about giving to others. He suggests you give with joy, give early, give often and generously and give unexpectedly. This is part of what builds trust and relationships in business. He even gives you ideas of how to use technology in a better way. For

Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki

instance, the six sentence email. Many emails are too long and don’t get read. I’ve even heard of a SIX WORD email. Try it and see what success you have.

Finally he talks about enchanting your employees, your boss and even how to avoid enchantment! Guy Kawasaki covers it all and you’ll enjoy his style and information. It’s a quick read and it will help you, your business or organization.

To find out more go to: http://www.guykawasaki.com/enchantment/

Newsletters

Your customers may know about your business, but do they feel like they really know you and your staff? You can share a lot more about your company with a newsletter. Tell everyone about your wonderful employees. Explain a new product. Brag about that recent award. Share your accomplishments. Offer helpful advice. It’s easy to do with a newsletter. It’s a great way to stay in touch with your customers on a regular basis. Monthly, quarterly or semi-annually – It’s up to you. I like quarterly because it’s a little easier to maintain. You have lots to share and great stories to tell. Get started on your company newsletter today.

Customer List

There are so many ways to promote your business. It may seem overwhelming trying to decide which marketing tool is the most productive. You may be surprised but the answer is right in front of you. Your customer list and email list is the most valuable marketing tool you own. Are you using it in the best possible way? Can you even find it? Look at your customer list today and start adding emails. It’s important to ask for permission to communicate with customers through email. This is the best way to stay in contact with customers – at no cost. With a good list you can communicate better than ever. Send out invitations, announcements, and updates. Just remember to make all your messages beneficial to the customer.

You want to give all the information you can to a potential customer about your company. Hours you’re open. Your unique services. Specials. Telephone. Web site. Email. Location. You get the idea. you also want them to be able to keep this information for reference. A simple brochure highlighting your company is the perfect way to do this. You can tell your customers everything they need to know in a handy, usable format that can be looked at whenever needed – and maybe even passed on to another customer. Make your brochure stand out with a fresh, new design. Color printing is more affordable than ever before. Today take a look at your company brochure. Give customers information they can use, keep and share.

Social Networking

Unless you’ve recently returned from a long stay on a deserted island, you’ve heard about ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’. These are just two of the many websites specializing in social networking. Social networking isn’t just for staying in touch with family and friends. It’s a powerful tool helping you connect people to your business. It’s really simple to set up a personal account or an account for your company. And just like your personal account, your business account is a totally free tool. After you’ve signed up for Facebook and Twitter, visit Linked In. Linked In is a great business to business networking site. With a little bit of effort, you can help build greater credibility and stronger business relationships.