Tactical

What is your head shot strategy?

Head shots are a vital part of the entrepreneur’s or executive’s tool kit. Think about it. The first thing someone looks at on your LinkedIn profile is your photo. The first thing they see at a meeting is your face. The days of the Sears portrait style are over. And, no, Virginia. A selfie won’t cut it unless you are looking for love in all the wrong places. Some of the worst offenders are realtors and insurance sales people for some reason. These hyper perky, over caffeinated gummy grins and poses don’t add credibility or make a true psychological connection with the viewer. The lowly head shot is usually considered an afterthought. Instead, it should be thought through strategically to maximize the value of your personal image. In other words, your selfie is leaving value on the table and could be harming your professional reputation unless you are a twenty-something[…]

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Final Notice. Please, God, let it be true.

You may have noticed (or perhaps you didn’t) that I took a break from blogging for a bit. OK, a long bit. I just needed to clear my head and didn’t think I really had anything of value to add. But lucky for you (or not) I’m back at it and full of piss and vinegar. (not much vinegar, really). So what hot poker of stupidity has prompted this triumphant return to the blogosphere? Idiocy in email form. I sometimes wonder what goes through the heads of people who use email marketing thinking they can trick us. Note to spammers: we are not that stupid. Note to one Eric Johnson (if that is your real name) from some joint called “D3 Intelligence” in Seattle Washington (oh irony…) I don’t know what “D3” stands for. I can only guess it’s Dumbass to the third power. So what offense has this guy[…]

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Rule #5 of Marketing: Capitalization

Ok, this is where I break your heart. Effective marketing takes money. That’s just the truth. Take a deep breath now and accept it. it’s not just a question of “how much” – it’s more a question of “how fast”.  The more money you invest, the faster you realize a return. When it comes to investing in marketing and getting a return the trick is to know your ROI Threshold.  

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Rule #4 of Marketing: Persistence

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard people say “We mailed a brochure one time and we didn’t get a single lead. That’s why we don’t mail anything anymore.” These otherwise talented individuals are breaking the law of persistence. Think about it: there is a person out there who needs your product or service and you need to reach them to get your marketing message through and, with luck get on the short list. But you have no idea when this need will become active. The rule of Persistence is key. Today’s buyer is bombarded with marketing messages and they’ve put up a wall to keep you out. They delete email without looking at it. They don’t read ads. They have gatekeepers. You are one of thousands of companies vying for this buyer’s attention. If the old adage is that it takes seven contacts to make a sale[…]

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Rule #3 of Marketing: Consistency

In the buyer’s mind, consistency = quality. The rule of consistency can be applied to many functional areas in a business. When it comes to marketing a consistent message, consistently delivered to the right people will pay dividends. Think of it this way. Drip marketing works because it delivers multiple “touches” over time. Consistent, high quality touches repeated over time. The medium might change (email, printed, on-line, publicity, advertising, etc.) but the net effect is the perception of omnipresence.  

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I hate the color blue.

Eliminating Personal Preferences in the communications development process. By Pete Monfre Evaluating creative work is one of the most difficult processes anyone faces when executing a marketing or communications strategy. The pressure comes from the fact that these decisions can make the difference between the success and failure of an entire effort. It’s not that we don’t all have opinions to contribute, but often those opinions are steeped in the fear of the unknown. Falling into this trap forces us to base decisions on the one thing we do know for sure:  our own personal preferences.

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Seriously, why bother?

What would it have taken to simply paint over the previous sign or get a new piece of plywood? Want to know why 90% (depending on who you talk to) of businesses fail? Because 95% of people who start them are idiots. (all percentages are my personal estimate). I do like the message they are sending, something like:  “We are lazy, small and don’t care. In fact, we might just leave in the dead of night so we don’t want to invest too much in a sign.”

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Marketing Schmarketing. It’s not what you think.

What is marketing? Don’t ask me. And don’t bother Googling it either. And, please don’t ask your boss, your wife, your web designer or marketing consultant. It seems that the real purpose of marketing has been lost somehow over the last few years. I’m not even going to tell you that MY definition is correct because ultimately it doesn’t matter what I think. What matters is what problem you are trying to solve. Marketing can help create and drive demand, differentiate from competing products/services, communicate value, drive the sales process and more. But at the end of the day, marketing’s real value is in mitigating risk.

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Speak Engrish Much?

A recent email from my trademark law firm got me thinking about how our own orientation and granular level knowledge of our business can make us inscrutable to our prospects. I’m sure I do it. I send something to a prospect with the expectation that they will have the same perspective, experience and language I use. They don’t know my jargon and “poof” they’re gone. Confused? You’re not alone.

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