Showing posts from April, 2014

Be Outstanding

I became an entrepreneur at the ripe old age of 43. Before that, I was ‘corporate’, working in the chemicals industry no less. I received my management training and experience while working at BASF in the Toronto area during the 1990s.

I relished in the chance to attend an advanced leadership training program at head office in New Jersey with other managers from around the world. It was pretty intense – theory, case studies, and business simulations. Fifteen years later, here is what I remember most from that program:

“Be outstanding without standing out.”

More than anything else up to that point, that one brief line summarized for me how to be a successful (and promoted) manager at an international conglomerate, like BASF. At the time, it felt like I’d been handed the secret sauce.

I've had to unlearn that mantra since becoming a small business owner. My challenge was always the second part – I wanted to be outstanding, and also be conspicuous!

Now my goal is more like: “Be outst…

Do you want to be an eMail Marketing Campaign Manager?

Potential clients are sometimes a little uncertain about what we do as campaign managers. Others might not see the immediate value in working with a campaign manager instead of doing it themselves.

Assembling and publishing a polished, error-free newsletter is our most visible contribution. But did you know about these invisible - but critical - contributions campaign managers bring to your marketing effort? Consult with you, making strategic recommendations about content development, timing, layout, list building, promotion, extending your reach through social media, new tools, and other ways to make the most of your newsletter.Manage the schedule and keep you on track with reminders and deadlines.Review your statistics with you periodically to monitor progress.Stay current with changes to the bulk email application software; troubleshoot as necessary.Periodically refresh your design and layout to prevent staleness.Stay current with industry trends.
These contributions to your market…

eMail Marketing: Informational vs. Promotional

I often become frustrated when reading email marketing advice online. Many times I've thought, “I wouldn't recommend THAT to my clients.” Of course, while there may be a few best practices, if you want to stand out, you can’t do the same thing as everyone else.

I used to think there was a clear division between promotional and informational marketing – specific strategies that applied to one or the other. While that is certainly true, the line is somewhat blurred. After all, our inboxes are full of things we call newsletters, advertisements, announcements... and spam. What we call these things often reflects how we feel about them.

I've defined a successful newsletter as being useful or interesting, or both. I admit to a negative attitude about blatant advertising, yet I’m happy to find out about a networking event, or see the latest shoe styles. Those are products I’m interested in hearing about. And THAT is what will make your email campaign effective: finding readers w…

Is Anyone Looking You Up?

In the normal course of my day, I am constantly looking businesses up online. If I am going to talk to you, meet with you, consider buying your product or using your services, I've looked you up online. Increasingly, I am finding content that I am certain you do not want representing you.

Maybe you think you do not need an online presence. Maybe you have an old website that you think is working to the extent you need it to. And maybe you are wrong.

Think of all the reasons you Google a business:
looking for a product or servicelooking for a locationlooking for directions or a maplooking for a policypreparing for a meeting If you are using an online search to find what you are looking for, it stands to reason that others are as well. Many, many others. What do you want them to find when they look?

We've said it before and it is worth repeating. Google your business at least quarterly. Set your website as your browser's default home page so you are seeing it at least daily.…

Reusable Content Ideas to get you Unstuck

You’re stuck and your deadline is looming. It’s been a long day and you’re far from feeling inspired to write for your blog or newsletter. The more you try to think of something to write about, the more uninspired you feel.

Sometimes I feel like that too, so I came up with a list of ‘topic triggers’ that can be used over and over again. The next time you’re feeling that what-am-I-going-to-write-about stress, come back to this list and pick an item at random. All of these triggers can give you topics to write about immediately.
Use an online idea generator tool. Check this article for links to three of them.Check your blog or newsletter archive for what you wrote about at this time last year. Expand on the topic, referencing the original post.Scan your social media feeds for a post that you agree or disagree with. Embed the post and explain. (example)Search “what’s new in (your industry)?” Provide a commentary on someone else’s article or sum up views from several articles.Search “cont…

Newsletter Ideas for Real Estate Professionals

Your goal is to provide useful and interesting info which will make you a trusted resource. And you want to be top of mind when one of your subscribers decides to buy or sell property.

There are a lot of ideas you can incorporate into your newsletter strategy. Here are a few to get you started... and some of them don’t even require you to write!
Neighbourhood profiles Visit a neighbourhood and talk to people who live there. Check out the schools, shopping malls, and places to eat. Drive the main routes to understand the traffic. Take pictures and videos. You can include the best of it all in your newsletter.
Community event listings Ultimately useful, this strategy is a real winner. It’s also very time consuming. You’ll want to connect with all of the organizations in your community that put on events - this can have other benefits too.
Industry information It’s easy to include content like trends in mortgage rates, property sales, and house design. Also consider including news related …