Archive for client centered marketing


101 Marketing Strategies: Celebrate A (Unique) Holiday

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Celebrating a holiday is a standard 101 marketing strategy you say?

Well, you would be right, but I would recommend you get creative with this very ‘standard’ of 101 marketing strategies… either choose a unique or obscure holiday, or even create your own.

I passed a bar a few days ago here in NYC, and when I saw this sign I just couldn’t resist sharing it. It’s a terrific way to create a unique reason to celebrate – and in their case, a unique way to bring in the customers (which is what you should be trying to do too…)

So, if you usually send out Holiday greeting cards in December, wishing people a Happy Holiday Season and Happy New Year, you might very well be wasting your time. People receive SO many cards they may not even notice who they’ve come from… but, if you send a card for Halloween or even Thanksgiving, your card will stand out because it will be the only one in the mail at that time.

Consider what you can do for a unique communication with your prospects and clients – even if it means creating your own. And, if you are looking for some unusual holidays to consider, here’s where you can find a great list (and if you Google ‘unique holidays’ you’ll find many more): Holiday Insights

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Internet Marketing Strategy: Blogging

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Finding Time to Blog is an Essential Internet Marketing Strategy

This question about a great internet marketing strategy came up in my recent marketing strategies Q & A ‘Ask Payson‘ teleseminar (you can enter your question and sign up here)

How do you find the time to blog with all the other activities in Social Media?

The Answer:

To me finding the time for anything, particularly things I know will help me grow my business is just as essential as brushing my teeth and making sure I make time to exercise. You just have to choose to make it a priority. I will say that when I get a question like this one there is usually something else behind it – like perhaps it’s hard to find the time to blog because either you don’t know what to blog about or you don’t really enjoy writing. There are many ways to deal with both. Since blogging is such an essential internet marketing strategy, I choose to make it a priority – and you should too.

Before you figure out WHAT you want to write about you need to figure out WHEN and HOW OFTEN you are going to write. To use your blog as an effective internet marketing strategy, the absolute minimum number of times you can blog is really about once a week. Ideally you want to build up to blogging 2-3 times a week or more, but if it’s a challenge for you, start with once a week and then consider increasing it. One way to add another entry a week is to do a weekly special entry, like motivation Monday or Inspiration Sunday – something like that where your readers will come to expect it from you and you will have a specific type of topic to cover. That works as both an easier topic to generate and keeps you on a schedule, holding your feet to the fire. You can consider doing a weekly review of something, share a video you found interesting, share something funny, something personal, a book review – whatever works for you. The idea is to make it a ‘regular feature’.

Once you decide how often, then schedule writing time for yourself every week – figure out if you are better in the morning or afternoon, and then just set a timer for ½ an hour or an hour and write on one of your topics. Remember, blog posts don’t need to be long to be effective – some people who blog regularly sometimes only write a paragraph or a few sentences on some days. Let the topic guide the length, and if it starts to get long, make it a two-part post. If the topic is a good fit for your keywords and you have a lot to say you can create a 3 part series – or perhaps even more.

Now, if you are looking for topics, one of the best ways is to set aside ½ an hour and brainstorm – make a list of everything you can think of and then start using that list. You can ask a fellow entrepreneur to brainstorm with you, you can look around at other blogs or magazines from your industry and see what people are writing about. When you find a topic you like, put it into a file – either digital or physical – and save the idea for later, that way you are always building a series of ideas – a blog idea folder. When your scheduled writing time comes up, if you aren’t sure exactly what to write about, grab your file and leaf through until something looks interesting, then get started.

The other thing that really seems to keep people from being able to use this internet marketing strategy regularly is that they don’t enjoy writing. If you are someone who doesn’t enjoy it, then don’t force yourself… if you don’t like writing, most likely you do enjoy speaking. In that case you can either do videos on your topic and put them up on YouTube (another GREAT internet marketing strategy) and then post them to your blog with a short write up or even a transcription of the audio.

If you don’t want to do video, you can record yourself speaking into an mp3 recorder or during a teleseminar you host for prospects, then send the audio file to a transcription service and get it transcribed. Then all you need to do is a little editing and post it on your site (many transcriptions services will also edit for an additional fee). You could easily record several blog posts in a ½ hour to 1 hour spoken segment, and then post them on your own schedule.

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What’s In A Niche?

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The answer? EVERYTHING.

Your business is dependent – completely dependent – on your niche. If you don’t have one, you are effectively shooting yourself in the foot.

There’s a saying in marketing, “If you’re for everyone, you’re for NO ONE.” It’s time to pay attention to that…

Most entrepreneurs, particularly when they are starting out, think that their product or service is good for everyone… if you are one of them, go back and read that previous sentence again. Making a decision to be FOR someone is absolutely essential to the success of your business. You must learn niche marketing, targeting your product’s or service’s message to a specific niche.

Here’s an example of an excellent niche… Goddess Boudoir Photography. The very talented Jessica Morrisy – who is an outstanding photographer, put together a niche for her business doing boudoir photography for women. It is abundantly clear that not everyone will want to use this service, but for those who are interested, she stands out as a great option. No worries about asking some random photographer if s/he is willing to do it – here’s someone who’s standing up and saying, “Hey, over here – I do exactly that!” Very smart, Jessica took the time to learn niche marketing, she selected  a niche that would work well for her, and went for it. From what I understand, it’s working VERY well for her.

For most entrepreneurs, choosing a niche is like pulling teeth – they just don’t want to do it. I suggest that you take some time, look around you at the success of the small businesses and entrepreneurs and see who’s growing fastest. I can almost guarantee they have a clearly defined niche – in fact, they may have multiple niches – which is a great option, but let’s just start with one. If you aren’t sure, take a look at where most of your clients and customers are coming from – see if something has already begun to stand out. If not, then go back and do some research on which niche is most likely to respond best to your product or service. It doesn’t mean you can never work with other people, it just means you are going to stand up and say, “I’m FOR dentists,” or, “I’m for dog owners,” or whatever your specific niche may be.

Take some time to learn niche marketing – it will make a huge difference in your bottom line.

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Great video of a Space Shuttle launch and then camera footage from one of the falling solid fuel tanks…

Earlier today, while walking down the sidewalk I started thinking about how ‘launching’ a business seems to be very much like ‘launching’ a space craft. A huge amount of the total fuel needed to accomplish the mission is required at the very beginning in a tireless, intense, speedy thrust.

When you are just starting out it’s important to remember that you will need to be intense, persistent and pour tons of energy, passion and creativity into igniting your business. Once things are moving steadily along, it will still require fuel and energy to continue movement, but it will have some momentum and will be easier to keep it going that it is to start it.

So, when you have one of those days where there is so much to do you feel overwhelmed, when you are running out of steam and you aren’t sure you can keep going, think about the Space Shuttle, and remember that keeping that intensity going for a bit longer may be all it takes to help you reach orbit – where you’ll need to steady direction and continue on your mission, but you won’t need that huge expense of energy to keep things going.

And, if you are struggling with feeling overwhelmed or are feeling tired, you may need to take a break to re-fuel. Listen to what you need, take a walk, go to bed early – do whatever you need to replenish, and then come back and pour your energy into that launch again. Eventually, the ‘launch’ phase will end, you’ll need to continue to work hard, but some things will stabilize and you’ll be able to focus on different aspects of creating a successful business.

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No Options = Lost Sales

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coffee Waves / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A few days ago I was on my way to what turned out to be a FABULOUS seminar on money and my relationship to it (for more information on that, visit the exquisite Lora Sasiela’s website at – amazing woman, fabulous work – absolutely recommend her and her programs/products. To read more about my experience at the seminar click here). As it was early on a Saturday morning, I stopped to get a special ‘coffee treat’. I don’t drink coffee too often, but occasionally enjoy a decaf, and particularly like to have a mocha, or something like it, everyone once in a blue moon. So, I was walking past a specialty shop – a ‘chocolate’ restaurant just south of Union Square (I don’t want to name names at this point…) and figured I would get one of their amazing hot chocolates. Once inside I asked if they did mochas because I wanted something a little less-sweet. The answer was, ‘Yes,” and I was excited. (Yes, sometimes it’s the little things that get me excited.)

Now, I knew I was going to a 2+ hour seminar, and I wanted something that would last a little while at the beginning, so asked for a medium size. The reply?

“Sorry, we only have one size.”

“Excuse me?” I said, totally flabbergasted.

“Only one size,” the guy said again, holding up a very small cup.

I glanced up at the board, it was $4.95 for that tiny little cup, and just one price listed, because there was only one size available. Now, under normal circumstances, I don’t care about price when I’ve made a decision to have a treat, and would have easily spent up to $6 for what I wanted; A MEDIUM sized decaf mocha.

“That’s it, only a small size?” I asked again, incredulously.

Now, the place was open, but didn’t have many customers. There were 5-6 staff members standing right near by, listening to the exchange.  When the guy, now a little irritated with me, replied, “Yes,” again, to my query, I said, “No thanks, I wanted something bigger,” and walked out. I wondered how many of them heard, and if they would do anything to suggest a change to management. I thought, “Huh. How odd. In this day and age, where everyone gives choices and people expect ‘customizable’ options, to only have one size.”

So, I went to the big cafe next door and got a MEDIUM sized decaf Americano (espresso with hot water added to ‘thin’ it out – like a regular coffee, with a more intense flavor), saved $2 (it was only $2.95) and didn’t have all the sugar. In the end, I was happy, the ‘chocolate specialty’ shop lost a sale, and the store next door benefited from the ‘specialty’ shop’s lack of options.

As a marketer, I thought about it a bit. Tried to come up with the ‘up side’ of that choice on the part of the ‘specialty’ shop. I could come up with only one – they don’t have to carry stock in a different sized cups. Not much of a benefit, and certainly NOT a benefit for the consumer. That company recently had to shut down their first location here in NYC, and, if I had to guess, the second location will also close sometime soon. As consumers, we want options, we want customizable choices and we’re gotten used to it. The market is, right now, most certainly, a ‘consumer market,’ meaning, consumers are in charge.

Imagine, as a business, that shop could have made a different choice and charged $1-2 more for a larger size, it takes no longer for the person to make it and would only use pennies more of the same product they already have on hand. Yes, they’d have to carry the cups, spend more on storage and carrying stock of one or two more sizes, but customers like me wouldn’t walk out dissatisfied. What is that worth? And, what’s wrong with making 20% more profit (or more) on the same sale?

Are you doing anything in your business that is ‘You’ centered instead of ‘Client’ centered? How can you change it? If you asked your clients today, what would they tell you to change? Is there a reason you haven’t asked?

It is not always true that no or limited options will mean fewer sales, but in this type of instance, where the consumer is used to having choices, it definitely will.