Everyone loves a baby picture or pet picture (at least, that was our rationale). They grab attention almost immediately.
Just look at all of the pet video’s on Facebook and you’ll soon realize that there’s marketing gold with our pets.
One of the main things a small business marketer does is test concepts, creative ideas and methods. Not always what your gut tells you works.
But in the beginning of launching our small business marketing firm, we knew pretty much that featuring either of my Ragdoll cats would probably be a smart move.
Most businesses would be lucky to promote their logo to get memorable customer recognition. But many small businesses use pets, family members (kids) and such in their marketing and ads.
While not a fan of advertisers putting their inattentive kids in a TV commercial (too many times a novelty can get old), they can prove to be effective if used wisely.
Is having a small business mascot a good idea–or just something that mistakenly happens?
In the past, I’ve had clients that successfully did their own radio ads for many years–even though they sounded terrible. One client sounded like she was running out of breathe because she was so nervous–but people identified with her and it was one of her best.
And so it is with pets as mascots. As with any idea–it’s best to test. Pets can be a double-edged sword as well, in the event some prospects may hate dogs or cats–but the risk may be well worth it if used with discretion.
Particularly if used promoting your brand on social media. The images of the pet can be used to grab attention and highlight various aspects of your business–many times in creative fashion.
We first featured “Fluffy” in our fourth animated video promoting our three-part strategy for small business. In testing on Facebook, it scored very well so we thought we were on to something.
We began to experiment in promoting our strategy, podcasting, video and blogging platform services of our business.
We used the various pet pics sparingly throughout our social media posting schedule–and we did notice considerable improvement in likes, photo likes engagement.
With most pet images–linking the copy to the image promoting the brand can be fun as well as effective as in these posts:
Again, using with discretion over time I believe can be a good strategy. Maybe even mixing in other pics might prove effective as well–as they separate your business from the competition and are unique. Note this image of my mother in this post:
It’s all a part of separating your business and standing out, being unique. Mascot images are a perfect match for today’s social media and video promotion because they are different and grab attention if used with discretion.
We use “Fluffy” as our moniker in on our Facebook business page (which stays consistent to be a brand identifier):
So, for the future at least, we’ll continue to use Fluffy as a brand mascot as indeed he does provide, “a warm fuzzy” feeling!
There are basically four reasons why I believe podcasting and video promotion are the future of small business customer engagement and marketing.
In podcast #19, I’ll discuss why I believe this–compared historically to how small business were marketed years ago, and what opportunities this affords today’s small businesses to grow their business.
Today, I’m going to call it 4 reasons podcasts and video are the future of small business marketing. We could reverse that question and say, are they?
And I’m going to tell you why. Let’s consider thirty years ago. If you’re old enough to remember back then. If you had a small business, what you did to market back then.
Let’s say you had a jewelry store, in a shopping center, or strip mall type of thing. And you were going to have a grand opening. You might do a post card mailer. A letter or direct mail piece. A flyer. Inviting people to your grand opening.
And you might do that in an eight to ten mile trade area of your business. So, you have direct mail, you might take out a quarter page ad in the newspaper, which backed then they ruled. And in a majority of cities, they were the dominate media.
You probably spent good money to be listed in the Yellow Pages. I don’t know who many times I had clients put aside a good budget for the Yellow Pages. I’ve got to be listed in the Yellow Pages. Much like today, it would be like I’ve got to be listed on Yelp.
But back then, you had to be listed in the Yellow Pages to be considered a viable business among small business owners.
You had TV, you still have TV. You had radio, you still have radio. Cable was breaking into the scene back then. Cheap, very…a lot of cable channels. Very diverse. Questionable effectiveness because it was so diverse, where you’re reaching often enough. Even though it was cheap, cheap didn’t matter if you didn’t get anything back, so to speak.
So, those primarily are the options you had back then. And today, these are the four reasons I think podcasting and video will be the future of marketing for small business, at least for the for seeable future.
Because we know that virtual reality, automation, robotics—all of these things are coming into the fore.
But that will take some time to develop, just as everything else did over the last five to ten years.
Here’s four reasons why. We just talked about the typical media that small business had back then. Today, those platforms and channels have changed. I’m talking about Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram.
These were things that were a dream, weren’t even thought of back then, that small businesses can use to pinpoint and target customers—of varied interests to connect with a communicate with them.
And the platform today are smartphones. Obviously you still have desktops, tablets. Didn’t have those years ago.
That’s changed everything for small business. Using those channels to communicate. Compared to the traditional thirty years ago.
Now, the second reason I believe that podcasts and video are the future of small business marketing are because of the nature of what they are and how they communicate.
They can engage customers and prospects…and they can do it with fun content. Video content even audio content can be creative and it can highlight your expertise. Five minutes, ten minutes…a half hour podcast.
Thirty minute video. Thirty second video. Thirty second podcast. You have a range of ways to communicate. Because of the ways in which you can communicate, you can engage people.
For example, I have a large scooter. I saw a new model—futuristic of a scooter, concept scooter, the other day it was on a Youtube video. Really cool. And they were showing what this was going to look like. And guess what? That piece of content got my interest. I showed it to several people. I’d even call to see if it’s available.
That’s because it caused me to be interested. It got my attention with a concept video, about a concept scooter that’s not even been built yet, but I’m interested.
They engaged me as a prospect, just because I happened to see it on the scooter website of what’s upcoming. That’s an example of how they’re engaging with a video—a prospect that could go out and buy it tomorrow.
So they’re using that to get people’s interest. The same thing could be said for small businesses today. By using podcasts and videos to connect with your customers.
The third reason I believe these are the future is that they’re accessible. Podcasts and videos, you can listen and watch at ten at night or three in the morning. Twenty-four, seven, this content is available.
And particularly when you’re talking about your expertise or your business. For example, looking at that video, I wanted to know more about it. It got my interest. Well, your prospects and customers want to know more about you.
You’ve got their attention because of your product or service, and they want to know more, so naturally you should tell them more.
To get them and engage to do business with you, as your competition is out there, walking around and stalking like a lion waiting to devour any customer they can.
So, doesn’t it make sense, that you have the capabilities today to further your brand, further your expertise by informing prospects and customers about what you do? And not everyone may be interested in a three quarter karat diamond and how it’s made.
But if you’re going to spend ten grand on one, you just might want to know, because they “feel” like they know you better once they see that or hear about it.
And that sure may beat the competition who’s not doing anything like that. So, it’s accessible twenty-four seven.
And finally, the fourth reason—these platforms and these engaged pieces of creative content, videos and podcasts, allow you to use them in a promotional capacity.
It allows you to keep your name in front of them, so it’s on-going, everyday. You don’t have to buy a radio ad ten times a day, that costs a fortune to get your name out there.
You can do this on a regular basis through social media, utilizing those videos and podcasts on posts to promote your blog. And you do that on a regular basis.
My question is, are you using podcasts and videos to share your expertise with your prospects and customers on a regular basis on a blog to tie people to lure them into your website?
That’s how you can build your business. It doesn’t happen overnight. But you’re not having “sales” every night either. So, you’re getting to use tools that thirty years ago were a pipe dream. And cost a lot of money to build a customer base.
And I know this because I worked with a radio background in announcing, writing commercials, producing them. And I did this for clients.
The very things I’m doing for clients today, and offering, podcasting, videos…blogging, social media, I did that for my clients thirty years ago in a round about way, because they were spending a lot of money to market themselves. And I found out what they did because I did it for them.
So that’s why I know this. And that’s why I’m telling you a podcast is a great way to highlight your expertise, cost-effectively. Posting it on a blog and promoting it with video and posts on different social media.
That’s what I call the marketing platform, that’s the basic thing. But these are four reasons why I believe this is the future of small business marketing. Because not all small businesses are doing this right now.
But they know, particularly with video that it’s the upcoming thing, but they’re just not doing it. My guess is they’re a little intimidated. They don’t know how to do it. They don’t want to take the time to do it or have the time to do it.
They’re going to delegate it to their son or daughter who are familiar with social media. But they may or may not take the time to do this everyday and connect on a regular basis.
It’s familiarity. If you got a memo from someone, you might say oh yeah, I kind of know that person. But if you got it everyday for a week, you would get to know them a little more. But if you got that for a month, you’d feel like you knew them. You might say I’ve seen that person, I know how that person is because you see that memo from them all the time.
It’s the same deal. Repetition. So those are the four reasons I believe podcasting and videos are the future of small business marketing because, again—all these platforms and channels have changed and accessible on a small phone that fits in your pocket.
It engages prospects and customers with creative content highlighting your expertise, answering questions, whatever your prospects or customers need.
It’s accessible twenty four seven, they can learn about you day or night. And they allow you to have a marketing platform with on-going promotions. To be able to keep your name out in front of your prospects and customers on a regular basis.
It’s all coming down to the customer experience.
And that’s why I believe at the end of the day, podcasting and videos are a way to create a full filled customer experience. Because they’re learning all of this and once they feel good about you, guess what? They’re going to do business with you.
So, if you’re not doing those, I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have about them. It’s what we do to help our clients, and I think it would be well worth your while because they’re cost-effective, and yet they give you a base from which to work from on all of your other marketing.
Direct mail you may be doing, email marketing, radio, TV ads, print, whatever—you can lead them back to your blog and your content to access your website to get to know you.
I wanted to talk to you today about the importance of a marketing platform for your small business. I know I brought this up before in a previous podcast, but I wanted to go into more detail today.
I was at a chamber coffee this morning talking to a young chiropractor. He was a member of a chiropractic team in the town I live in. We were actually kind of talking about this, and I went in and explained to him why this is so important.
They hired a marketing person. Plan to hire myself or someone to do their social media.
But, as we were talking about what elements make up this marketing platform, and his eyes kind of lit up. When I touched on some of this because he hadn’t really thought of it. He’s on their marketing board.And they weren’t even aware of it.
So, that’s why I want to go in to this. This is something I’m seeing quite a bit, to be honest with you.
Is a lack of understanding of the importance of a marketing platform for most small businesses.
They look at it like, not everybody, but I’m seeing this as an afterthought, a luxury. Ah, I can’t really afford this. It’s kind of a hassle. An afterthought.
So, five things you need to be aware of, of why a marketing platform is so critical to your business.
Imagine that we were out west, and there was an old saloon storefront. Facade. Like in an old western movie set.
And I come running out yelling at people, come on in. Check out our saloon! People come in and they go to the saloon. As they get closer, they realize there are no walls. And, there’s nothing in there!
It’s a facade! It’s a storefront movie set facade. There’s nothing there, except this frame. Well that’s kind of, maybe not a great analogy, but your online storefront is your website.
Now, whether you like it or not, that’s how people are perceiving businesses today. Think about your own experience. When you find a product in print, an email, TV, radio…whatever. You’re interested, what do you do? What’s the process?
It used to be ten or fifteen years ago, you’d get in your car, you might call them. Get in their car, go to the store and check it out. Do you do that today? Probably not.
My guess is, you’re going to grab your smartphone, and say, Hey, Siri—show me where I can get fifty percent off pizzas. Or the closest Pizza Hut.
Because I just saw their ad on TV.
And you can probably order it through your phone. You’re not going to get up and go to the Pizza Hut. Because of the conveniences today. The technology platform
And the same is true of a lot of services. You might end up going to that site. And what are you going to do when you get to that site? You’re going to check them out. Customer testimonials, services they offer. Products featured. Does it match what you thought?
All those sort of things. That’s the online storefront. That’s why a website is so important. And a quality website. It’s got to look good, because that’s your branding.
I talk about the marketing platform, in our three part strategy. But it’s your branding that you’re selling. The image you’re selling. This is why all of this is so important.
If you’re a small business, and you don’t have one, what are people going to do? What are they going to think? Those are the two things that you have to control.
Why do you have to do this? What’s your competition doing? Do you think they’re sitting on the sideline not doing this? Or haven’t considered it?
So, unless you’ve got a line of referrals…banging on the door to come in and give money to you. You need to consider a solid marketing platform.
So the first point, it’s your online storefront. This is how people are doing business today. It starts with searching most likely. Do that or keyword search and they want to check you out, is really what it comes down to.
The second feature of the marketing platform, is a blog. Well, we don’t have a blog. We don’t think it’s important. Well, it’s real important because it’s your sales people. Now again, go back to the saloon.
Let’s switch that to say a general store. A come out and yell, hey come here and check out these axes we have. Great for chopping wood! Blah, blah, blah. They come to the storefront and they see, through the window, beautiful axes, all lined up, all on display.
Beautiful items. Goods. Whatever. Now they want to go in the store. Because it matches what I described and they get to see the product. They see it.
Ok. Well, this is what a blog is. It’s the sales people bringing in the people with stuff you know have to show them.Yes, you have pages about who you are. But not real in-depth.
That’s where the blog comes in. They see one point after another of your content of expertise. And it usually could be, should be through an engaging medium. Like a video, a podcast.
And that’s why we recommend those two things. Because it’s engaging. It grabs your attention. It’s not just one-thousand words to read.
Not that that is not important. Because it is, because Google will search things. But you want to grab and sell them your service or your product. So the blog acts as a sales storefront.
Next point, number three. I’m going to call it—it provides for a resident place to direct media to. When I do an ad on Facebook, TV, print, radio, email marketing. What are you doing? You want to direct them somewhere. Where are you going to send them? Come by our storefront, here’s our address if you get a chance. It doesn’t do a very good job of selling if you just give them a business card.
But if you give them a website, they go visit that and then they can SEE. Yeah, check out blog #5. It’s talking about what you and I were just talking about out at the chamber coffee. Oh! Now they have a chance to be sold. Because they’re engaged in the content you’re offering them on your blog.
And again, they’re going to compare this to who? Your competition. See how this makes you stand out from the crowd? You have a mechanism to direct people through your advertising.
And outreach to them to come in to your storefront and SEE everything you’re all about…and tell your story.
That’s what this is. And how many small businesses don’t have a mechanism with which to tell their story?
Point number four, and this is real important from the search engine standpoint. It allows you to provide fresh content, each week, to highlight your expertise. With engaging content.
I call it engaging…i’m referring to podcasting, videos…things that cause people to want to watch or listen and experience…as opposed to just reading.
Ok? And this separates you again from your competition! Because the probably, may or may not be doing podcasts, or even know how to produce them or even want to produce them. Or even have the resources for them.
Or produce videos. SEE the difference? You’re doing something…yeah, it takes some work. But guess what? It’s permanent.
You just have to do it once a week, and it’s there on your skeletal platform…your marketing platform to constantly promote.
You’ve got meat, flesh and bones.
And the fifth reason, it provides on-going, keyword search relevance through Google search engines.
Not that a website won’t, yeah, you’ve got a lot of words on the website. Relevant words hopefully to what you’re promoting. But the blog extends all of that. Every week you’re adding content.
And you’re doing this so that you’re selling your prospects. But you’re also getting the back end deal here.
Google is searching it…and suddenly, when people type in keywords, you’re pages of the blog start to come up.
And all of this is relevant to what they’re looking for. It narrows it down in their mind of who they should do business with.
Because now, when they visit your storefront on the web, and see your blog and all of the content that you have…they become engaged with you.
Now they want to go. You’ve ignited some passion here of your knowledge and expertise!
Do you SEE the difference? And this is why it’s important to have a good, solid marketing platform. And on-going fresh content.
It’s an on-going thing to market yourself. You’re always selling. What was that line Alec Baldwin said in Glengerry, Glenross? Always be selling! Always be selling (closing)!
Nothing happens until someone sells something! Ok, so that’s why it’s so important to have a good marketing platform.
It’s on that infographic here on the blog. You can see how it all integrates together. And this is new.
This is the new way we’re doing business. It’s critical for small businesses to get this. And don’t just through it out there as an add-on. This is critical to selling yourself for future.
It’s not always telling your unique small business story in :60 or less. However, as our Cartoon video #15 shows–using podcasts on blogs and promoted with high-testing video’s on social media, can be very effective.
Particularly in differentiating your business from the competition.
We help small business owners stand out and increase their web traffic and SEO using these techniques. It all starts with a three-part strategy customizing content for each client.
Four years ago, as I was packing to make a move after selling my home, I ran across an old Boy Scout shirt, with a burn mark on a area by the collar and on the sleeve.
The short sleeved shirt brought back a ton of boyhood memories–just as the burn mark did (was from a campfire spark–I promise).
From hiking/backpacking in Philmont Scout Ranch for two-weeks, the hours working on achieving Brotherhood Member of Order of the Arrow–one emblem stood out.
The cloth Eagle Scout badge hemmed on the front pocket still looked as silky smooth as it did 45 years ago when I received it.
It got me to thinking back when I joined Cub Scouts, then Webelos, then became an official Boy Scout.
From the peanut brittle candy sales (I won a Tensor desk lamp–thanks Kirk and my brother Ron for helping me!), to freezing cold tents collapsing in the overnight snow, to one merit badge after another…after another…
The journey began when I was in grade school at age 11. I remember going to Cub Scout meetings as our dad later became our Troop Leader or Scoutmaster. I remember receiving the Bobcat pin as my first badge in Cub Scouts and how proud I was to wear it.
I did a report in fourth grade on Tornadoes, Hurricanes and Blizzards (was given an 8×10 black and white picture of the Katherine Carpenter Tornado taken by a friend of my fathers only several miles away (April, 1966) and I used it in my report. I remember talking to Sandy Miller, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service who gave me several NWS brochures on tornadoes and hurricanes.
This experience helped me achieve the Weather merit badge and my life long love of weather (science fair weather station, teaching Weather at Camp Naish Nature Dept., etc).
The next year I did a report in fifth grade on the Atomic Bomb–and remember writing the Dept. of Energy receiving brochures about atomic energy, etc. That led to me getting a merit badge in Atomic Energy. Then on to a report in sixth grade on Apollo 11–which led to me writing NASA and receiving brochures as well. And you guessed it–Space Exploration merit badge.
Naturally–when visiting the Kennedy Space Center last fall I was like a kid in a candy store seeing the actual site of Cape Canaveral and the Saturn V rocket.
Thus began my love of science and eventually history as I began to accumulate more merit badges and rank. From Tenderfoot to Star, Life and then Eagle.
These experiences led me to consider today what are most boys age 12 or 13 doing with their lives? Playing soccer? Baseball? (I did both as well). Or video games? Hanging out?
Of course visiting Shiloh military battlefield or Springfield, Illinois and hiking the 20 mile Lincoln trail gave me a real appreciation for history with experiences that I would never have known if it weren’t for the Scouting program.
My last two summers in Boy Scouts, I taught at Camp Theodore Naish (who left his land in Edwardsville, Kansas to the Scouts after he died on the Lusitania) in the Nature Department. I taught Weather, Conservation of Natural Resources and Mammals merit badges. We had a nature building with snakes, rabbits, a de-scented skunk and a boa constrictor we called Victor.
I also was “tapped out” to be an ordeal member in Order of the Arrow. A Native American tradition of honoring their braves (Delaware basin, Lenni Lenape). I remember going through a day of “ordeal”. Camping out at night in a field with a blanket and groundcloth, working all day in the forest cutting down trees and digging mud/concrete out of a pool in 90 degree weather. Having very little food, etc.
All in the teaching of brotherhood, helping and loving one another. A year later, I received the Brotherhood Member of Order of the Arrow designation.
By teaching the last two summers of my Scouting experience at Camp Naish, I was able to achieve the Eagle Rank (of which my father achieved and my brother).
While I was fortunate enough to have a father that took interest in the Scouting program (he served as our Cubmaster and Scoutmaster)–it was one special moment that I still remember to this day and transformed my mind. It taught me important lessons I use to this day in business.
About the time I had received the Life rank (one below Eagle), I had to take Personal Fitness merit badge as a required merit badge towards Eagle.
I had to track for one month, push ups, sit ups, jumping rope, pull ups, etc. One of the requirements was walking a balance beam (which my father built with 2×4’s) forwards and backwards without falling off.
Simple enough. But my chubby self kept falling off. I didn’t have good balance. Years later, I was to learn that I had a hearing loss in each ear which could have affect equilibrium. But at the time–it was just hard. Plain frustration.
To a point, I remember being in our basement where everything was set up. I told my dad--“that’s it, I quit”!
I’ll never forget the look in his eye. Being brought up by his mother in the 1930’s and learning to play baseball (was scouted as a catcher by St. Louis Cardinals right before America entered WWII)…becoming a Seabee in WWII, getting an engineering degree at MU…becoming a project engineer as a career–all on his own. The idea that he faced his own Field of Dreams by going to college on the GI Bill and forsaking baseball to become an engineer.
But it was that look that he gave me as he pushed me up against the basement wall. I felt my right hand ball up into a fist! As he held me up against that wall…he pointed his finger at me and said, “Don’t you EVER say quit”! You get back up on that beam and finish!
I’ll never forget how mad I was at him. I wanted to haul off and hit him in the face! But gradually, I did find a way to finish.
I went on one more year getting merit badges–and then had to pass Lifesaving for my final merit badge to Eagle. At camp–I kept pulling my fellow scout, Paul Lundstrom in with a cross-chest tow, per the requirement I was attempting to pass.
Paul was tall and lean (still is at our 40 year reunion!), and kept sliding off my hip going underwater as I ferried him in. Unfortunately–camp ended and I didn’t pass.
That upcoming Fall–I took that requirement again with a Lifesaving merit badge counselor at my local high school pool. He was like 6-3 and 300 lbs! I FINALLY ferried him in moving about a centimeter every minute to pass.
Then Paul and I received our Eagles together at our Eagle Court of Honor presentation. Friends, relatives, the local Congressman all celebrated my achievement and told me that one day this will be an important accomplishment in my life.
I stayed in Scouting two more years after achieving Eagle and taught at Camp Naish–also gathering more merit badges. Besides receiving the Brotherhood Member in Order of the Arrow, I received bronze, silver and gold palms (for five additional merit badges each above Eagle). The fifteen additional merit badges I received by the time I was almost 16 barely fit on the front and backside of my Scout merit badge sash.
At the final dinner for our Troop. The Scoutmaster Arnold Waxman presented me with the final gold palm and announced that having achieved Eagle with three palms, made me the highest ranking Scout in the 27 year history of our troop!
During those five years in Scouting, I never really counted all the merit badges. I just kept doing–partly out of interest and the rest out of a feeling of accomplishment.
Looking back today–it was probably the proudest moment of my life–as my father’s been dead over 25 years now. He and my mother were proud of me.
After further checking with the national Scout council a number of years ago–I discovered that less than 5% of Scouts get Eagle–and less than 1/2 of 1% get Eagle with all three palms.
I think about many men I’ve met today or told me they never finished Scouting. Or wished they would have attained Eagle. For all those young men who have attained their Eagle rank, I salute you.
The lessons that journey teaches are the lessons many of us carry into our careers and our lives. Those lessons bring to fruition the discipline, perserverence, focus and determination to achieve. The twelve points of the Scout Law summarize those lessons perfectly:
A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.
Our businesses, relationships and world would be a better place if we all upheld these twelve points and would make our journeys in life more meaningful!
Our Services-StrategyPI recently watched a neat Youtube video that i’m going to link to for you to watch at your leisure–because it’s the subject of my podcast today.
It is a series of interviews by Sir Paul McCartney of the Beatles fame about what they did to become successful.
It was put together by Evan Carmichael and promoted as “Sir Paul McCartney’s 10 Rules For Success”! Which I think is a great idea!
I’m going to comment from my experience on each one of them in this podcast–but I do encourage you to watch the video, as it captures Paul’s actual answers in context how how the Beatles did it at each stage of their careers.
We work with small businesses to achieve their success by offering unique and innovative ways to engage their prospects and customers. It begins with a three-point strategy for success.
I was going to talk about something else today, but I saw a video that’s really cool. And it dawned on me, what if the Beatles had never made it and they had failed?
I’m sure this has been talked about in the past. I mean the timing, creativity–all the things that they influenced, hair styles clothing music poetry photography. Arts, everything. An entire culture. Even to this day we see the influence. Even the teenagers today are becoming Beatle fans to some degree.
So, but it dawned on me from a business standpoint what would the world be different if they would have failed? What would have happened? How would the world be different if they had failed?
I happened to catch on YouTube a really cool video, you’ll see on the blog a little video link by Evan Carmichael. He put together, he calls it, “Sir Paul McCartney’s 10 Rules For Success”. And I think it’s a great idea. He put together video clips of interviews throughout the years, with Paul McCartney about what the Beatles did to be successful.
And it stands to reason, maybe we could learn something for small businesses, if we could do similar things that Paul McCartney and the Beatles did to be successful. Now obviously, timing—he couldn’t really plan that. The beginning of the ’60’s, everything changed after Elvis Presley and that kind of thing.
But here are the things he basically touches on, what they did to be successful.
The first thing he said was to “do it because you can’t help it”. Whatever your hobby is..their songwriting actually started out, according to Paul, as a hobby.
They had covered Little Richard, Chuck Berry, a number of the American black artists and Rhythm and Blues artists when they played the clubs in Hamburg,Germany.
The problem was everybody else is playing those songs. So, to stand out and be different, they would do “b” sides of certain songs, or to stand out—starting writing their own. So when they got up to play, nobody would be copying them. It would be unique and different and people would stay and listen.
So, it was a hobby for them originally. And he just said, “do it because you can’t help it”.
Whatever that passion is, and that’s true with your business. Maybe you started doing something on the side, you’re good at it. You found your talents. And you just do it because you’re passionate about it.
The second thing Paul said, and this was Evan Carmichael’s favorite, was “to be different”. You know we hear about a unique selling proposition, what value do you bring and that kind of thing to small business.
But Paul was saying, the Beatles were always a little more artsy than a typical band. John and Paul had gone to grammar school. John had also gone to art school.
Actually, George and Paul went to grammar school. John had gone to art school. And so they were going to be a little different in the form of being a little more artsy than other bands. And that made them different.
The haircuts, the collarless jackets, the way they dressed. They way they kidded around. The fun they had. Made them different than typical bands. They weren’t boring.
The other thing he says is to “find your drive”. What’s that thing that drives you? Whatever that is. Is it to get a new car? A new home? They would think about these things. And that would be a motivation. Maybe it’s deeper seated. A fear you had growing up. Or whatever—but find the drive and something that will keep you motivated.
The fourth thing he said was to take it a “step at a time”. Step by step. When they started out, maybe they had a number one hit. They would just keep doing these things. Obviously, luck played a part in all of that. You begin to get a feeling for who you are. What your business is so to speak. They would take it a step at a time.
Create one it. Turn around, do another one. Keep in mind, they’re still plodding ahead doing really what you’ve always have done. As a matter of fact, George Harrison was quoted when they interviewed him about this.
Well you know, did you change after success happened? He said no, but everybody else did.
They have been doing the same thing step by step for years and nothing happened. And then suddenly, it all happened. And I think that’s something we can look at too for small businesses. You keep doing what you’re doing and you don’t know when the right thing is going to happen.
And it may take a while. The fifth thing he said is just “get out and do it”. Just do what that passion is. There are so many books I’ve read, posts I’ve read that talk about the fear of failure. You are never going to know until you try. Yeah, it is a little scary.
But if you just get out and do it, you may be surprised at what you can do. And if you’re running a business right now you know everything that Paul’s talking about most likely.
You’ve experienced this. But again, you have to be consistent. Don’t give up. Stay at it.
The next thing Paul talked about is “fighting for yourself”. They were in reference to this talking about when the Beatles broke up. Paul had to sue the other three to get rights to all of the songs.
Not just the manager they had, but the entity was the other three as well. So he had to fight for himself. Obviously it was a painful breakup with the band. But sometimes you got to hang in there, go for it and fight for yourself.
The next thing he said was “produce what you like” A lot of times we think you’ve got to do a formula. You got it go with your gut I guess it’s the best way to describe it. Something that you like. You can’t please everybody.
You can kind of try. But most successful people, artists, musicians, businesses. Yeah, you may do marketing research, product research…whatever. But it all comes down to what are you really–what are you happy with?
What can you live with that you enjoy? And that really is the extension of your passion. Your idea.You know you’ve heard countless stories of Steve Jobs who was relentless in pursuing an idea for the mac and that sort of thing.
Not all of them are going to hit. If you do what you like you can be proud of that. You can stand back and say, you know, this is my passion. I achieved it. Maybe I tested it a whole lot. But I finally found something that worked.
And that really is what he’s getting at is that you do what you enjoy. The next step, number eight, is to “find a creative process”. What is that?
Do you get up everyday and write lists of ideas? Or, ways to improve your business. Whatever that is, find that process. Discover that and stick with that.
With he and John, one of them would come up with an idea and then and then the other one might play off that—and then suddenly another idea popped out of the whole thing. That wasn’t there to begin with. Like a third person. Brain-storming is good for that. But find that creative process.
That will keep things fresh and moving and may allow you to build upon something you had already come up with.
He finally talks about, the ninth one is to “have integrity”. They talked about this when Michael Jackson bought the Beatles catalog—about how did Paul feel.
He felt bad, particularly because Michael Jackson had allowed Revolution to be on a commercial. Paul was like, that really bothered him. Because they never sold out. They never allowed commercialization. Even though it was tempting to get a huge bunch of cash, and he said they had a lot of offers.
But they felt like they’d be selling out. And he never did that. And that’s the idea of keeping their integrity. Keeping their catalog within themselves and not selling out. So having integrity.
Obviously you have to live with yourself. You wake up the next day and have buyers remorse. Sellers remorse for something you maybe shouldn’t have done. Looking back you can’t say I had integrity for doing that.
And the last point Paul says is to “have fun”. Have a good time. Enjoy your business. Enjoy doing what you’re doing. Really that’s what brings you pleasure. That’s what brings you a total reward. Particularly after you’ve achieved success, money, whatever you want to label that as.
The fact you’re having fun. And that really I guess is what the entrepreneurial journey comes down to. Enjoying what you’re doing. And if you make money at it. So much the better.
I don’t know how many times I’ve seen a social media post from a law firm, retail shop, etc that is promoting something with only a blogpost or business page to link to! Or perhaps a cheaply printed business card that tells me they don’t care enough about their “brand” or image to invest in themselves.
Promoting a brand is hard work. How long does it take to build a reputation and “trust” factor with prospects. How much advertising is spent developing and promoting it?
(This is #mydayoftherant)! Why then in the great advertising kingdom does a so-called professional brand themselves with one page on a blog or business platform?
You might as well just post it on the side of a horses’ derriere!
Our work with small businesses encourage building a marketing platform that begins with a three-part strategy to measure customer needs, create podcast content and promote via social media. This insures proper branding of your expertise as more prospects search online about your business.
Today’s video podcast discusses an issue that affects all businesses, particularly small businesses trying to get a brand and image established.
For whatever reason—businesses can become complacent in their marketing efforts which can eventually kill growth, employee morale, online presence, etc.
Last week I said I was going to rant this week and I am!
I’m going to do it–getting right to it There was a piece that I’m going to tie in some of the comments this person made. Brent Gleason had a great piece last month in Inc. magazine.
He is a former Navy SEAL and it ties in with what I want to talk about–and that is complacency in small business. Now he’s referring to complacency in larger businesses. It’s the same basic stuff.
What I’m shocked at to be honest with you, I see small businesses—and they don’t have a website…don’t have a Facebook business page. They barely have a business card. And if they do, it’s cheap-looking, flimsy.
And I’m sitting here thinking to myself, what are they thinking?
There was on Linkedin, a 500 million member platform, world-wide right?
A couple of weeks ago, I see a lawyer making a post on Linkedin, “we specialize in blah, blah, blah…legal services, etc. Click here to learn more about us.
Hashtag legal, hashtag about ten other cities in the area. And maybe he was thinking of Instagram. Or copied them from an Instagram photo because he had so many hastagged words.
But my first reaction was, what is this a joke? That’s literally my first reaction. This is a lawyer that posted this on Linkedin.
So I click on the link—and guess what I get? A one page blog. That’s it. And I’m sitting there thinking to myself, this guy is a lawyer for crying out loud. Did someone not tell him at lawyer school to make yourself look presentable and look good in your marketing?
Well I guess lawyers don’t market. They didn’t used to. But it’s so competitive today. And I’m sitting there thinking to myself, what is this guy thinking? He either doesn’t care or nobody’s told him…but that’s, that’s lazy. It has a terrible presence.
Now, keep in mind—you’ve heard this before, you may have read blog posts about this—in this new age with digital platforms, shifting from brick and mortar and we’re seeing this happen. Your storefront is now online, whether you like it or not.
And it is going to be researched and they’re going to want to know about this lawyer. And they are going to go search for him. And if they see a blog page come up, and that’s it…what do you think they’re going to think, before they even call him? Or maybe they saw the Linkedin post and they want to find out more about him.
People search and then they go. And that’s kind of the thing…they want to know about about the business.
You don’t have a web presence that looks good, looks functioning. On top of that, a blog.
Where you’re posting content on a regular basis. And this is what we talk about, that we do for our clients.
It’s critical because this is your storefront. This is the image people see. And Mr. Gleason talked about the complacency he sees from leadership on down. There’s a lack of…he says there are a number of reasons for complacency.
The lack of any real visible crisis…the wrong performance measurement criteria. Too many leaders drinking their own Kool-Aid. Too much positive communication with a fear of transparency. A culture based on self-preservation rather than calculated risk.
I don’t know why small businesses are complacent. And this may be part of it. They think they’re great. Maybe they created something where they have a lot of orders upfront and they think they’re great and they don’t need anything else.
I don’t know. But that’s a complacent attitude, and one of these days, their competitors will come in and eat their lunch. And then they’ll go, well, what should I have done differently?
And I’m saying there’s a lack of urgency and alignment that businesses are going through. And this is like an epidemic countrywide. I mean it’s amazing. It really is a leadership wake up call for anybody in any organization.
But particularly small businesses because this is it. You could be a mom and pop business and this is what you’re doing as a second gig, or maybe a primary business.
Mr. Gleason talks about this—and I love this. He talks about what they learned in Navy SEALs. And that what set them apart from their peers, was speed, surprise and violence of action.
Now, most organizations continue to succeed and innovate. They have a culture poised for positive change and taking risk. And they don’t wait for the ship to spring a leak.
They are proactive and constantly set aggressive goals, Mr. Gleason says. And I love all of that. He says they tell the good, bad and ugly—with brutal transparent communication.
Now, you’ve got particularly with a small business—you’ve got to be proactive. And that’s what I’m talking about…get things…get your ducks in a row.
Get your online presence so that when people click on to search for you, they find a website they find a blog. You’ve got business cards that match.
You maybe have a uniform—I’m a big proponent of, if you’re doing networking, wearing a shirt with your logo on it. And that’s your brand.
All of this is your brand. It’s all linked. But be proactive about it and making it work.
Promote it through social media. Advertise it. Whatever. But have a presence online. This is what I’m just shocked at. Like I say, I think there are a lot of small businesses lacking.
Sales materials, Marketing materials. Regular communication with your customers. You can do this online now with social media. It should be a given. Answer questions. Get back with emails. Whatever it is—this is all from leadership. This is all you as a leader.
So taking this proactive look critically. Of course, if you have employees—it’s your leadership from the top down. You’ve got to communicate with them, to empower them and you’ve got to reward behaviors that align with these goals. These are a few things Mr. Gleason talks about to prevent this complacency.
And if you, yourself that is a small business, or you and another person, you’ve got to take action—pro-active action to get your ducks in order to promote your business, so that when people do come to you online, they have a fluid experience.
That’s the beginning of the customer experience. And it’s critical from day one. Otherwise, they think you’re just some fly by night operation.
These are all perceptions, and we’ve talked about them in the past on other podcasts. And that’s why having an engaged marketing platform, I call it is so important because that’s the first thing they see, is online, typically. Or a business card when they first meet you.
They will make assumptions. If you’ve got a crappy looking business card, or website..i’ve seen websites that they’ve spend $8-$10k and it looked like it was thrown together.
And just did not have a good presentation. That’s really critical. That’s your major real estate investment—even if you have a brick and mortar storefront, the online search, online they’re checking you out before the waste gas and time to go to your storefront is equally as important.
Because, it they have seen you’ve got a badly-linked website. Or very little content. No blog posts. Maybe no reviews. Whatever. They’re going to make a judgment before they even drive out.
Think about how many times you might have done that in your own life. You wanted to get a new pair of shoes, so you checked them out online. And it barely showed up. So, what did you do? You probably went to the next one that had a bigger presence.
So that’s why the marketing platform is so critical and promoting it on a regular basis. So, that’s my rant!
Small business owners, have a presence. Promote it. Make it look good. I know it’s a shoestring. But there’s platforms today like WordPress.
A bunch of them where you can get websites…not that expensive. Have somebody, pay them to put it together to give you a decent online piece of real estate.
It’s critical. Your marketing materials and then your promotion. That’s pretty much it. Because if you don’t have good quality promotional things, online and in person, people are going to make judgement calls.
The thing you want to do is start off with a positive image. And it’s critical.
I’ll see you next week. We’ll be talking about ways to make podcasts attractive, to educate your prospects, to get them engaged with you before they even come out to your business or go online to your website. Because you can bring them in and draw them in.
Have a great week—we’ll talk to you later!
All podcasts recorded at Verlin Studios, Gardner, Kansas.
Podcasting itself is not new. Radio stations have recorded live shows and podcast them on their websites for years to draw digital listeners and web traffic.
Even today, you can hear great radio shows from the ’30’s and 40’s via podcasts on iTunes and other digital sources.
But when Virgin Atlantic founder, Sir Richard Branson posted a link on Linkedin about their latest podcast entrepreneur series–I took note.
In a statement from their head of marketing:
“Virgin Atlantic believes that business is an epic adventure, and we wanted to bring that concept to life by sharing some of the most fascinating business stories out there,” said Jenna Lloyd, head of marketing, Virgin Atlantic, North America. “Podcasts have intrigued us for a while; we know it’s a format that resonates with many of our flyers, especially our business travellers, and one that would allow us to dive deep into intriguing pioneers and explore what we can all learn from their stories.”
That ability to “dive deep” is what allows podcasting to provide storytelling functions for small business advertisers.
Today’s podcast talks about this unique ability for podcasts to engage prospects emotionally with memorable moments!
We use a three-point strategy to help our clients determine from their customers the best content that can be the most useful in their industry.
I was going to rant today..I posted this a few days ago on Facebook and Twitter, about what really pisses me off.
And I had it all planned out, even brought up a post from a former Navy Seal, was kind of going on about the same thing incorporate his thoughts into mine as well.
I’m going to hold off till next week on my rant. The reason is, there was a Linkedin post this morning that got me kind of excited…and it was from Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin Group. The founder of Virgin Records, Virgin Atlantic.Virgin airlines, owns a Virgin island.
I have an interesting connection with him, actually. My brother was the bass player of the rock and roll band, Shooting Star. Back in 1980 they were the first American band to sign to Virgin Records.
They were over in London and they were wondering why they were in London. They were actually there visiting a friend of ours that we grew up with. At any rate, so that’s my indirect connection to Richard Branson. Back in 1980, Virgin Records signed Shooting Star to a record deal, and they were the first American band to be signed.
Sir Richard had an exciting post that I thought was kind of cool. I put this on this blog so you can see a link to their site what I’m talking about.
By the way, if you haven’t followed me yet on Facebook, On Demand Advertising Solutions is the Facebook page. Go ahead and “like” me if you would please—and also on Twitter, my Twitter handle is johnverlin1. Go ahead if you like and follow me on Twitter.
I’m going to be putting a bunch of posts out, over the next month. All hours of the day and night. A little edgy—kind of fun. I’ll have some points about small business marketing. I think you’ll get a kick out of it.
Sir Richard put a post out about some of their new podcasts. I was really excited about that so I put this up.
They have a link, it’s Virgin Atlantic and it’s called the Venture. And they’ve got a series of podcasts for entrepreneurs and about entrepreneurs. They say for example, that behind every business maverick lies a colorful, grueling story. And they have some new podcasts
Their story, in which they are allowed to dive deep into the background of these people which is really what podcasting and can do that so great for marketing.
Because you can really get to know the company or in your case as a small business owner your customers your prospects can get to know you by getting this diving deep thing going on with a podcast.
And that’s why I love these.
Their head of marketing basically said that a podcast “we know it’s a format that resonates with many of our flyers especially our business travelers”. It allows us to dive deep into intriguing pioneers and explore what we can all learn from their stories.
And that’s what this is about. Content as podcasts that allow you to dive deep and share your company share your personality, your beliefs…be exposed. So that forms a pattern. That forms a bond.
So, it’s just a really cool thing that you can do this for your prospects, your customers and share your expertise just like these entrepreneurs with Sir Richard Branson. These maverick feature podcasts.
So podcasting can be many things. You can imagine if you’re flying and you’ve got five hours to fly, you can catch up on a lot of podcasts.
You can learn a lot, and so can your customers and prospects. It’s portable…I was listening to one the other day one of my own, on my phone as I’m sure many of you are doing now.
So it just gives you the flexibility that you can’t do as readily. You don’t even have to have your eyes open.
You could be listening to me right now and get all the nuances…as I talk softly or get high-pitched, or get all excited. That’s the beauty of a podcast.
I try to keep mine under 10 minutes because I know there are some people who have 30 minute to an hour-long podcast.I don’t mind doing that but I just think smaller segments are better because people can save those and can always go back and listen to them.
But it doesn’t take up a lot of time and we’re kind of short in today’s society for time.
People, they move on quickly.
And I’ve been entitled this podcast post: If podcasts are good enough for this billionaire, they’re good enough for me.
We’re seeing more of these. I noticed Bill O’Reilly, he was let go of Fox News…and he came back the next day with a podcast.
Sort of describing his situation as best he could. So, podcasting is becoming more and more, and in this case with this article, that they are intrigued by them at Virgin Atlantic.
And they should be because they were a record label. They started that way.
And it’s just that this portable ability to entice and engage your prospects and customer…every small business in my opinion, should take advantage of this.
I realize not a lot of marketing firms do this–and this is my background. My background was radio production, advertising and all of that. I understand they don’t have the time to do this and promote it, and that’s why they hire me.
If you have the ability or you know somebody who can do this—a series of podcasts, on-going, every week like I’m doing. Great idea. Great way to market your company. And that’s not going away.
Radio has been here forever, and radio station’s have been doing podcasting for years. You know they interview somebody, say check out our website, and you know they get a lot of traffic to their website. So it’s the exact same thing you can do for your business.
This is what I try to do for my clients.
Is provide that level of expertise that you know, you may have to go to a radio station or production company–pay a lot of money to get somebody to produce podcasts or interview you or whatever.
Or you may have to be running a radio schedule to even get this kind of exposure. But it’s well worth it in my opinion, because you can do a series of them, post them on your website, blog…promote them through video, on social media, however you want to do it.
And they’re always there to give content and engagement be able to learn more about you and see more about your business. So, podcasting, great idea.
I’ve got a link to Virgin Atlantic and their page about their podcasts for entrepreneurs that you can listen to.
You can obviously listen to this and and other podcasts that we have on our blog covering different topics.
If you have any questions, I’m at email@example.com. Like I said, if you haven’t gone to our Facebook page and “liked” us, please do so or our Twitter page and follow us. You can call us at 816-223-2105.
We’ll look forward to seeing you again next week for another podcast! And I promise, I will be ranting next week about one thing that really pisses me off about small business that I think needs to be corrected! We’ll go into it more and a former Navy Seal agrees with me! We’ll tell you more about what he thinks too!
Hope you have a great week, and we’ll see you next week!
All podcasts recorded at Verlin Studios, Gardner, Kansas.