Tag Archives: marketing

Your Marketing Needs Your Support!

Visibly Media Marketing | Tucson Festival of Books | chicken sandwichesSupporting your own marketing is a demonstation of believing what you’re selling. Business owners: did you know your marketing needs your support? Not just those of your staff, contractors, or suppliers, but also your own? Yet, all too often, business owners find themselves limited on time and make choices about their marketing they may come to regret. Let me give you an example:

This past weekend I attended the Tucson Festival Of Books with my author, Keith Mueller, to meet fans and sell his new book, “Journey To The Black City”. We were handed a hot pink flier from one of the food purveyors; on it was a short menu of choices and prices for food and drinks, and a short paragraph at the top written for those stuck in their booths: send a text to their number (on the flier) with your order and booth number, and they would bring it to you.

What a great idea! We could stay in our booth and talk with new fans, sell his book, and still get food and water! I put this new concept to the test around 11:15 Saturday and ordered 2 bottles of water. I received a reply straightaway, confirming and indicating someone would deliver right away. So far, so good.

Unfortunately, this is where the good news stops. Keith and I waited almost 3 hours, then gave up on the idea someone was coming by. We had actually left the booth, one at a time, picked up lunch and drinks, and came back during this time. Ultimately we decided if this person did finally show up, we would politely decline the order.

What are the takeaways here?

  1. Support your effort(s). Whether it be in print, blog, video or social media, your business should support your efforts, period. In this case, the food purveyor should have hired more help to meet a potentially critical demand, and clearly failed to do so. I don’t know if anyone else tried to order anything from this tent, but, if they did, hopefully they got it in a timely manner.
  2. Get buy-in. Give your employees a copy of your ad or flier and make them aware of what the special is, especially when it’s time-sensitive (both in delivery and over a certain number of days). Make your expectations clear.
  3. Stock up. If you’re offering a tangible good, like a sandwich, make sure you have enough supplies to make enough sandwiches, plus extra for buffer. Additionally, in this case, the business owner should have hired at least 10 temporary workers to run deliveries during the festival.
  4. Roll up your sleeves. If you’re short-handed, dig in and do some of the work yourself. If you’ve run low on supplies, go pick up more. Not only will your employees thank you, your customers will know you really care about the quality and timeliness you advertised.
  5. Own your word. Stand by and deliver what you’ve promised. This is so critical, yet so overlooked, and goes directly to supporting your plan. Protect your business’ – and your own – credibility.
  6. Do a “lessons learned” sit-down with everyone involved. Talk about what worked and what didn’t. Make needed adjustments before trying again.

Business owners may be in the business of risk, but strategic planning can help reduce the amount of risk involved. If this local eaterie can learn from its mistakes and try again in the 2018 Festival, they stand to make more money by capitalizing on both need and demand with a captive audience. That is, of course, assuming the other food purveyors don’t pick up on this idea first.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

Image courtesy of a Fox News article.


7 Tips For Sexy Customer Service

Have you noticed customer service seems to be losing its sex appeal? I have. I don’t mean everyone should dress like the ladies from The Tilted Kilt. Instead, businesses should focus on what made and keeps them successful: 1) a great product or service, and 2) sexy customer service.

It used to be you could walk in to your favorite shop (for example, J.C. Penney) and be treated as a V.I.S. (Very Important Shopper). The experience would include a warm welcome with an offer to help find what you were looking for. In some shops, you might be shown the latest and greatest, test-drive a new gadget, and escorted to the checkout. Nowadays, with so much stress about, it’s becoming harder to not only find sexy customer service, but harder to give it.

Here are seven tips to keep your customer service sexy:

  1. Smile! A smile is contagious. It can disarm even the most disagreeable customer with a sincere flash. The key is to be sincere. If you show you’re glad to see your customer, they will feel welcome and smile back.
  2. Smile Into The Phone. You can hear if someone is smiling or having a bad day, right? Guess what? So can your customers. They don’t care if you didn’t get enough sleep last night or if you’re behind on your work. All they care about is whether or not you care about them.
  3. Be Sincere. Say hello and welcome your customer to your store, and truly mean it. Some people may be offended (yes, this actually does happen!) but overall most will say hello back. Offer to help should your customer need it.
  4. Be Honest. If you can’t help your customer, be ready to refer them to someone you trust. Not only will you have a customer for life, you’ll be creating a stronger relationship with your customer because you were honest enough to admit someone else could help them better.
  5. Be Transparent. Be clear in what you offer (no pun intended). While it’s true you may attract a smaller market, you will be attracting those who actually get what you do, want what you offer, and will pay for your expertise.
  6. Be Knowledgeable. Simply put: know your stuff. If you chose to work in the industry you’re in and you’re not the expert, shame on you. Do what you need to increase your knowledge and expertise so you customers will benefit more.

What tip(s) would you add to these? Please share your comments below and let’s start the conversation!

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.


Learn How To Build Your Business Using A Hand Mower

hand mowerYes, I’m learning how to build my business using my hand mower. You’re probably thinking I spent too much time in the sun mowing my yard (and I live in Phoenix!). How in the world can using a hand mower help me build my business?

  1. Power up! Pushing a hand mower is very different from pushing a power mower. A power mower is started, mows through the grass, and you’re done. A hand mower takes more muscle and sweat to run, so you want to stay in tip-top condition. Stay hydrated, rest when necessary. The business lesson: Embrace hard work. Get started and pace yourself so you don’t grow too quickly, don’t tire easily and don’t stagnate. Keep yourself physically strong, mentally sharpened and conditioned to run your business. Remember to eat well, exercise and rest. The better care you give to yourself, the better care you give your business.
  2. Stay sharp! Pushing a dull-bladed hand mower through your grass is like trying to run a business without a business or marketing plan. You have to sharpen the blades of the mower every so often to make sure it can cut the grass effectively. The business lesson: Your business and marketing plans are the blades of your business. Sharpen these blades often. For a business plan, revisit each year before the end of your fiscal or calendar year and ensure you’re following your road map. For a marketing plan, revising every 3 or 4 months to make sure your goals and objectives are on track with your road map. If not, make strategic adjustments either to your objectives, or the goals themselves.
  3. Strategize! It is possible to just go out and cut the grass. A better approach would be to figure out where the tallest, thickest grass is and how to divide the yard so you can see measurable progress. The business lesson: Find out where your target market can best be found vs. the “low hanging fruit” you can easily get, and plan how you would divide not just your marketing/sales activities, but also your marketing/sales tools to make the best approach with measurable progress.
  4. Go over each area often! Sometimes the grass is too thick for just a pass or two. In order to get a good cut, you have to go over each area often. The business lesson: Visit each target market more than once and review the follow-up process and product or service offered at that time. They may have passed on your offering before due to a number of reasons: timing was not right, not in budget, not aware of a problem/issue, etc.. Ask each prospect if they would like to subscribe to an email notice about sales and new products or services, and ask how frequently they would like to see the notices.
  5. Don’t spin your wheels! With a hand mower, you can cut taller, stubborn grass by passing the mower quickly, then stopping abruptly so the blade wheel spins for a bit. The business lesson: Spinning the wheel might work for the hand mower, but it is nearly the same as beating your head against the brick wall to see if it moves. Remember: marketing is a process; it can be an instant attraction but not an instant reaction. Think of a way to reintroduce a common approach in your industry with a different phrase. Try a different marketing tool or a different time of the year. If something in your marketing or sales plan is not working, re-evaluate each quarter and stop using what’s not working.
  6. Ask for help! You can mow a yard with a hand mower all by yourself, but at the end of the day you will be exhausted. Ask a family member or friend to lend a hand. The business lesson: It’s okay to ask for help! Hire out your weaknesses so you can stay focused on your strengths. Ask your current and former clients for referrals. Brainstorm with a trusted mentor family member, partner, or colleague on new ideas to keep your business ahead of the competition. Evaluate your business plan with an advisor to help you stay on task. Defer to a local print shop or your graphic designer on suggestions for design layouts, types and thicknesses of paper stock and coatings.

It’s never too late to spice up your marketing plan! Call me at 602-423-2106 or email me to schedule a free 1-2-1 to talk about strategically incorporating both social media and inbound strategies into your current marketing plan.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.



3 Goals For The New Year

Happy New Year 2015Happy New Year! It’s time to set our goals for the new year! By now you have made your business plan and marketing plan and are ready to implement both for business growth in this new year. If not, it’s never too late to get started! Plan your action, and work your plan!

Most people like to make resolutions about the changes they want to make during the New Year. For business, I like to make goals and commitments. One of the challenges I have is trying not to make too many goals! Think about it: many business owners have a lot of facets of their business they would like to change. If they stop to really analyze their business, they might find that by changing three critical points, some of the other facets may fall into place. Too often, however, there are so many things a business owner would like to change, it becomes an overwhelming, daunting task, with no real opportunity to follow through on those changes. Remember: A goal without a strategy is just a wish. What commitments are you making for the new year?

  1. In making a goal or set of goals, realize everything has its own purpose, its own goal. That being said, if you make a goal that may be unrealistic or not focused on what you want to do for your business, you likely will not follow through. Accordingly, if you set the expectation bar too low, you may not follow through because it will seem too easy, allowing procrastination to set in. You have to decide if you are looking for business growth, survival, customer retention, improving skill sets, et cetera.
  2. Once you set your goals, commit a time frame for completion and share with a trusted colleague, mentor or friend. This is a bit like going to the gym alone vs. going with a buddy. This creates a sense of urgency, a sense of “gotta get it done now!” in your mind. Share your ambitions with an accountability partner and stretch yourself toward success!
  3. Finally, as you achieve each goal, reward yourself! It doesn’t have to be a raise; it can be taking an hour in the bath, an extra Starbucks, buying yourself that new book you have been eyeing, or spending an extra hour learning about social media. Make sure your reward compensates the goal you have set. For example, say you have set a goal to make one cold call each day for three months. Your reward might be to treat yourself to Starbucks at the end of each week for completing the weekly task, thus moving yourself toward the three-month goal. The three-month reward might be picking a day to sleep in, taking a day off, having a picnic, going to a movie, et cetera — you get the idea.

Here are my 3 goals for 2015:

  1. Making 10 cold calls each week. I’m going to match these results to those achieved via inbound marketing and see who wins!
  2. Create one amazing blog article each week. This doesn’t mean I’m not blogging more than once weekly, heavens no! All this means is, of the articles I create this year, one article each week will be as remarkable as possible to help others move their business along.
  3. Write my book! It will be about social media and business, so stay tuned!

Also, I’m going to add a newsletter component shortly to my website. If you’d like to test-drive, please email me at lisa@visiblymedia.com and I’ll send you a link. If you enjoy it, please sign up for more!

Now it’s your turn! what three goals have you decided to make for your business? Yes, only three! You can make more goals as you move forward in the year; by keeping the initial number of goals to a low number, it’s easier to achieve and maintain, thus inspiring more goals as you move through the year.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.


Is Your Customer Service Sexy?

smiling phone operatorHave you noticed customer service seems to be losing its sex appeal? I have. I don’t mean everyone should dress like the ladies from The Tilted Kilt. Instead, businesses should focus on what made them successful and keeps them successful: 1) a great product or service, and 2) sexy customer service.

It used to be you could walk in to your favorite shop (for example, Wal-Mart or J.C. Penney) and be treated as a V.I.S. (Very Important Shopper). The experience would include a warm welcome with an offer to help find what you were looking for. In some shops in the past, you might have time to be shown the latest and greatest device, test-drive a new gadget/car, or ask for recommendations for that beautiful blouse, and be personally escorted to the checkout. Nowadays, with so much stress about and so many people seeming to be in a rush, it’s becoming harder to not only find sexy customer service, but harder to give it as well.

Here are 5 tips to keep your customer service sexy (and keep your customers coming back!):

  • Smile! A smile is contagious. It can disarm even the most disagreeable customer with a sincere flash. The key is to be sincere. If you show you’re glad to see your customer, they will feel welcome and smile back.
  • Smile Into The Phone. You can hear if someone is smiling or having a bad day. So can your customers. They don’t care if you didn’t get enough sleep last night or if you’re behind on your work. All they care about is whether or not you care about them.
  • Be Sincere. Say hello and welcome your customer to your store. Some people may be offended (yes, this does happen!) but overall most will say hello back, or at least, smile. Offer your help should your customer need it.
  • Be Honest. If you can’t help your customer, be ready to refer them to someone you trust — even if it’s your competitor. Not only will you have a customer for life, you’ll be creating a strong referral partnership while deepening the trust factor with your customer.
  • Be Transparent. Be clear in what you offer (no pun intended). While it’s true you may attract a smaller market, you will be attracting the right people looking to buy your product or service.

Now it’s your turn! What customer service tips can you offer? Please keep it clean, no ranting! Let’s get the conversation going!

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.