Client Success Story: Stradella Reeds Multiplied Revenues 10x through Online Efforts

I interviewed Larry Allen, owner of not one but two small businesses — Stradella Reeds and TeacherSupportInfo.com, a brand new consulting businesses offering daily support for teachers. We talked about some differences and similarities between the two online campaign launches. The full interview is available here: Stradella Reeds attracted over 50,000 hits on YouTube and grew revenues from their part-time business from $5,000 to $50,000 annually over the course of just a few years by implementing some key strategies: A few highlights: Work ahead. Since this was a part-time effort, time management was of the essence. We determined a formula for content creation that allowed for administrative work to be delegated. High Quality, “Evergreen” Content. We spent a lot of time thinking about Stradella’s target audience and developed content we thought would be highly useful. Channel Choice. Most clients I work with rely heavily on Facebook and/or Twitter; Google+ and YouTube were the channels of choice for Stradella. We go into further detail about the reasons on the podcast, listen if you’d like to learn why. Natural. Larry was a natural in front of the camera and video lent itself well to the educational nature of the content he created. Like this:Like...

Co-Creating Content: Synergistic Strategies that Make Marketing More Effective and More Fun

  I had the opportunity to interview Sue Urda, co-founder of Powerful You Publishing, about how her company applies the concept of co-creation to their business model. Sue and her partner, Kathy Fyler, have published multiple Amazon #1 best selling books, co-written by 40 different authors. They are consistently successful, in part due to their passion and commitment to their mission, but also due to the co-creation process they follow. The full interview is available here: Learn how you can apply some of these same principles in your own approach to social media marketing…and in other aspects of your life, too. A few highlights: Specialization. When team members share their diverse strengths, it allows everyone to bring their best and to benefit from others’ expertise. Removing obstacles. Marketing — much like writing a book — can feel like a daunting task. When you run into a technical glitch or encounter writer’s block, it’s easy to feel “stuck.” Support from the team helps you get past these set backs much more quickly. Synergy. Example: on book launch day, all 40 authors offer a special free gift to people who buy the book on that day. Doing this alone, a new author would likely not have a list sufficient to make this work, but by 40 working together, it becomes much more possible. Clarity. Sometimes we’re too close to our own story to be able to see how it might be most interesting or relevant to our target audience. Working with team members provides a valuable sounding board. Accountability. Being part of a team and committing to deadlines makes it less likely to lose track of the...

Success Formula for Getting Social Media Marketing Done: Interview with Paul Simkins, Leadership Trainer

I spoke to Paul Simkins, Chief Discovery Catalyst at Ah-Ha! Moments Living, about the process he uses for creating his very consistent social media posts, and has been for a number of years. As a Leadership and Personal Growth Trainer and Coach, Paul holds integrity as one of his core values and feels following through on his marketing is necessary for fulfilling his commitment to followers. Here’s a summary of the steps Paul uses in his process. You can listen to our full interview here: Planning. Paul keeps a rolling calendar with six months worth of topics planned in advance. He uses just one word to denote his intended topic for the week. Brainstorming. Paul is a certified Brainstorm Facilitator and uses brainstorming as a tool for developing his topic idea list. It’s important to set a time limit (15-20 minutes is usually plenty) and not to judge the results. Filter. Once the brainstorming is done, decide on which topics are too outside the scope of your business focus and get rid of them or put them in a “parking lot” file you can revisit later if you wish. He also looks for holidays and other seasonal events that would be a good fit for the chosen topics and plugs them into his rolling calendar. Create a Repository of Back Up Info. Paul keeps his eyes and ears open for quotes, notes and ideas that support his upcoming topics and stores them on Evernote. He uses tags with appropriate keywords for later retrieval. Create Original Content. Paul uses video to get things started. Other options are to write a blog post, host a podcast or even...

Do you know how to listen strategically to your customers?

Can you describe your ideal customer? Do you know what they want from you? Have you ever asked? If not, you’re not alone. Many small business owners feel market research is beyond their budget or skill set. However, there are some free and low cost tools you can use to help you with this important task. Gaining information from a variety of viewpoints is best, “but starting small is better than not starting at all”, says Dr. Ursula Saqui of Saqui Research in Crown Point. Saqui recommends the following strategic methods of listening purposefully and strategically with your listening. Researching market trends Provides a snapshot of customers’ landscape Alerts you to changes in industry that may effect your customers Gives you a baseline for comparing your customers’ data against the larger industry trends Tip: try trade associations, Bureau of Labor Statistics, university research departments, non-profit research entities such as the Pew Research Center. Listening to your employees (coming soon!) Listening to your customers (coming soon!) Start with market trend research and add the other two once you’ve got step one set up. Once you begin listening in these multiple ways, look for patterns where there is alignment. To listen to the full podcast with Dr. Ursula Saqui, click here:     Like this:Like...

Harvest Circle Workshop Finds Success with Twitter

This month I spoke with Apryl Niksch, Owner of Harvest Circle Workshop in Valparaiso, Indiana. She began using Twitter recently and has found it to be a refreshing change from what she had been doing. Through her Twitter outreach she connected with Riverside Market, who asked about being a distribution source for her products. She says she didn’t know about the market and would never have learned about them if not for Twitter. Twitter Tips: Begin by following like-minded Twitter folks. Look for accounts that use key words and hashtags that are similar to yours. If you’re a local business, make sure to follow popular local Twitter users, including media accounts. Keep your following to follower ratio at about 2:1. Wait for those you are following to follow you back. Use an app like Friend or Follow to help you with account maintenance. Like this:Like...
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