online marketing

How to feed a squirrel (with or without a man bun)

By Tricia Allenson

Unless you’re a 16th Century sumo wrestler or David Beckham, the man bun is dead. A few males can pull the look off but most just appear like they’re trying too hard to be noticed and cool. Some guys will experiment with this, they’ll take their man bun out for a test drive and try and get a sense of their public fashion acceptance. They pick up clues as they strut along, seeing who's noticing them, who's responding favorably and who else might be sporting a man bun before they make the decision to keep it or kill it.

Marketing can be that way also, you can try too hard to make a point or to be selling. People don’t like to be sold to, they want to be flirted with and wooed. Trying hard is usually a very admirable thing, like the sports team that gets behind and won’t give up, but when it comes to self-promotion and marketing it can make you look desperate, and that’s not a look anyone can pull off or wants to have.

Take this “squirrel in the park” example, which also works for ducks and pigeons. Squirrels like to be fed, they’re always hungry, and a few breadcrumbs would make their day. You put your hand out, they kind of walk around getting closer and closer but pretending not to notice you too much. You continue to tempt them in a very nonchalant kind of way and before you know it they are within arms reach and making themselves comfortable in your trusted presence. You extend the offer (your hand) to do business with you and they accept. The transaction is done. The next time you offer breadcrumbs they are much quicker to respond because of your growing relationship.

Now comes along the kid with a loaf of bread, he chases the squirrels and they scatter in every direction. It’s still bread, they still want it but there’s a huge difference in the way it’s been offered. Are you a squirrel chaser? Does your marketing have a man bun? Have your marketing efforts resembled any of these scenarios? If so, it’s time to re-evaluate your approach. Need some direction? Call for a FREE consultation with one our talented marketing strategists. Visit http://www.limelightmarketingsystems.com for more information.

These 3 Marketing Mistakes Could Cost You Big Time

Let me tell you the very real story about Stanley Save-a-buck , the CEO of a small company that produced some fabulous new “cutting edge” products.  His newest invention was the “Blue Suede Unisex LED Flashlight Slipper”.

How often have you had to get up in the middle of the night to use the washroom, grab a snack or let the dog out and you haven’t wanted to wake up the rest of the household by turning on lights everywhere?

Stanley was thrifty, which in itself is not a bad quality, but in business can spell disaster.  The biggest problem is in making budget cuts to the wrong areas, especially things like advertising and marketing.

Stanley had dabbled with advertising and marketing before with some of his previous inventions like “Edible Socks” and the “Electric Fork”. They had some limited success but Stanley clearly didn’t like marketing and had no background or education to support it.  He also thought marketing agencies were out of his price range so he never really explored the options there. He was wrong…

As it so happened, Stanley’s nephew, Donald, had just finished a 4-week online course in marketing from the University of Make-a-Buck (University name changed, but you know these pseudo schools exist). Donald had received an award for perfect online attendance so it seemed a no-brainer for Donald to be named the Marketing Manager.  It came with free coffee, an employee discount, and a corner cubicle.

Any of this sounding familiar? Most marketing mistakes are made with the intention of saving money but they really ending up costing more. Here is where Stanley and many other well intentioned but misinformed entrepreneurs have gone wrong.

1.     You think that YOU are the marketing expert.  The reality is that very few really understand marketing when it comes to an overall strategy that will create a predictable cash flow. Putting money into the wrong short-term promotional vehicles and without a long-term plan is going to cost big bucks with very little return. If the thinking behind this is that an employee can be trained and is going to be a cost savings, think again. Marketing agencies have experts in social media, on and offline advertising, website creation, graphic design, and the list goes on and on. These are experts after all who don’t need to be trained so your time to market is much faster and mush less expensive then training internally for all those different marketing functions. An agency also doesn’t require your office space or benefits and can leverage existing relationships to save you money on printing and other direct go-to-market purchases.

2.     You are really just guessing when it comes to spending your marketing dollars.  From an online media assessment source (Capgemini), 90% of companies surveyed felt their lack of digital marketing skills was costing them big money. Over 50% were planning to invest much more in digital marketing help in the near future. A marketing budget that takes into consideration your market size, your future growth plans, and a host of other business decisions is essential. The SBA says that you should spend about 8% of your revenue on marketing and advertising. A good marketing company is going to help you put a short-term plan together. A great marketing agency is going to invest in your long-term growth and success, and plan accordingly. If you’re not keeping up with your competition, then where does that leave you?

3.     You are just now catching on to last year’s marketing trends. The latest technology and industry trending knowledge is likely the most difficult thing for most businesses to get their head around. Just when you think you’ve got a finger on it, BAM!  it all changes overnight. It used to be fairly simple - buy some newspaper ads, get listed in the Yellow Pages or maybe take out a billboard or two, you know, like that show MADMEN.  That’s 1960’s thinking. The Internet changed all that. Today you need to be clickable and mobile friendly. You can’t be expected to keep up with the changes in technology and industry trends. It’s virtually impossible unless you’re a full time marketing agency with extensive resources and the people to make it happen.

Don’t be a Donald. Worse yet, don’t be a Stanley that hires a Donald. Do your homework and see where the real value is. Invest in experience. Call a marketing consultant.

Know This About LinkedIn Publishing or Get Left Behind

By Tricia Allenson

Do you remember life before LinkedIn?  It consisted of finding the bulletin board at the local Publix and tacking your business card to it. You probably had to jockey for space between other cards like the local Commodore 64 tech support guy or handwritten ads with tear off telephone numbers. This was how you made sales or networked with other local businessman prior to the 1980’s, and in it’s day it was probably moderately successful.

LinkedIn arrived on the scene somewhere in the early 1980’s and changed the way business works forever. Assuming you know the basics of creating an account on LinkedIn (something by the way that 430 million people have done), then here I’ll talk a little about how publishing articles on LinkedIn may lead to fame, success and financial giddium (giddy from making money - seriously, look it up).  

Like Blogging or posting articles on Facebook, LinkedIn publishing is all about finding a following and establishing yourself as a “thought leader”. That’s a term that shouldn’t be confused with people “lost in thought”, that’s just another name for daydreaming. “Thought leaders” are recognized as individuals or firms that know a lot about something of value and who take a leadership role encouraging you to deeper levels of introspection. If that’s you, then read on, if it’s not you, read on anyway, this could change your life. 

 LinkedIn has already found for you your greatest potential readership base through the “connections” feature. These are those people already linked to you through invitations (either yours or theirs) by some common theme, usually related to a specific industry, geographic location or whole host of other similarities. If you post good original content or repost other author’s content, you might establish yourself as someone worthy of being followed and that’s when good things start to happen. 

If you like to go up to strangers and start a discussion, then you’ll be a LinkedIn natural. Similar to just about every other social media platform, LinkedIn is about starting conversations.  Even if you’re not particularly comfortable with strangers it’s always easier over the Internet.  And here’s one more bonus, if you publish regularly and engage readers consistently there’s a chance LinkedIn might pick up your content and publish it on their “Pulse“ page. This is LinkedIn’s newsfeed that goes out to millions and getting published on their page could make you an uber celebrity. 

This used to be a feature only reserved for the “LinkedIn Influencers” but now anyone can be published; that means great opportunity for you.   

 

10 things you need to know about publishing on LinkedIn right now 

  1. Write about things that your followers are interested in, remember this is all about them not you.
  2. Make sure your titles command attention; use this acronym for creating memorable titles:  B. E. S. T.  (Beneficial, Extraordinary, Specific, Time Sensitive)
    “City Council Runs Out of Time To Discuss Shorter Meetings”.                                             
  3. Provoke comments and stimulate discussion (not arguments).
  4. Follow up with people that “comment on” or “like” your posts - these are your “tribe”. 
  5. Comment on other people’s articles and maybe they will follow up with you.
  6. Invite people to connect with you for something mutually beneficial, or offer to assist them with something, that way you don’t come across as someone trying to sell to them.
  7. Publishing keeps you foremost in people’s minds and when they eventually have need for your services, Voila! a new client.
  8. Publishing helps people to categorize you and then be able to recommend you based on your area(s) of expertise.
  9. It definitely puts you ahead of the pack if they are not publishing.
  10. Maybe most importantly, publishing makes you familiar to others and hopefully likable. People like to do business with other people they like. 

 

2012 Consumer Electronics Report announced that 49% of LinkedIn users have a household income of over $100,000 and more recent stats have shown us that it’s 277% more effective for B2B lead generation than Twitter or Facebook (take that Facebook). 

Those are some heavy stats. How will you use them?

If you need a LinkedIn expert for your business contact Limelight Marketing, We Make You Look Good!