Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Doctor Operates on Own Brain and Lives!

Now that's a headline.

Think of how incredibly difficult (albeit macabre) this operation would be... completely conscious of your actions while you lay on an operating table, cutting and probing into your own skull. Yet, this is completely applicable to each and every one of us.


Because as marketers, we know that we need to sell our own business ideas, yet we're reluctant to produce them for our own benefit. Not for lack of know how - we're the big experts... typically is really isn't money... it's time? We're so busy with everyone else, that we never get to the stuff we know we're supposed to do. Like the brain surgeon with mirror and scalpel in hand, we refuse to put on a gown and start the operation.

"Branding" is that all encompassing term to describe the action of making a perceptional (and tangible) name for yourself, your business or your cause. Branding is every little drip, drop and splash you can make that might positively affect how others - namely your desired audience (read customers) - come to relate to you and your endeavors. In short, everything that you can put into the public eye, the better. From the logo you create to an ad in a magazine; an embroidered polo or your company website; your county fair booth or even the cleanliness of your rest rooms... all make a statement about who you are and what you value. Your brand is built over time with consistency and TLC.

Since this is so, we've also begun to embrace social media venues because of their immediacy and their ease of use. From Facebook to LinkedIn, Twitter to Flickr and more, using "the box" to magically spearhead your branding campaign seems like it should be so easy to access. And yet, so few of us put all of the pieces together. Most of us are hardly off the dime. Maybe you've set up these tools, but you haven't maximized how you use them... frankly, you have little idea of how to use them at all.

So why are we doing this?

Because it will help your branding efforts. It will earn you new business, and your life will be transformed.

Believe that? I didn't think so, but here's the bet:

By coordinating the process, you could save time and energy, while maximizing how many times your branded messages get out to your public. Like good salesmen say, "The more touches you have with your customers, the more likely they'll be to buy what you have to sell."

I think the thing that hampers our efforts is that we're so busy working out the details for everyone else, that we never take our own medicine and work out all the sticky details so that this "social media machine" actually works. Monetizing the web is the silver bullet we're all looking for, but, making silver bullets ain't easy. Like they say, if it was, everyone would be doing it.

Lucky for you, I'm a doctor of Marketing and I have your prescription (in 9 easy steps):

1. Understand your business, it's +'s and -'s and where you know your customers come from. This is easier said than done, but comprehending this honestly may be more important than the rest of these tips combined.
2. No matter what you do, make sure you're consistent in tone from your website on down to a single Twitter. Have a focused brand message really means that you don't have to spend as much to make an impact. And that's just smart business.
3. Set up a blog of your own. Add to it on a consistent basis, but there's no real right or wrong - just that it reflects your best thinking that actually helps someone.
4. Set up an autoresponder e-mail campaign. There are many 3rd party tools you can use. Finding one that allows you to put it on autopilot will pay off in time.
5. Set up social media sites for your best people, products and/or business. Today you can set up shop right in the midst of your customers. Why wouldn't you?
6. Link as many as possible to each other. 8 words - a lot of work. Not hard work, just the back-n-forth of getting the blog to link to Twitter, the RSS Feed to reach a customer, a web form to feed into the e-mail database. BUT, do this, and your reward is a transformational leap in productivity. Write a blog/send an e-mail/post a link, and it auto feeds to your customers, wherever they are.
7. Stop "selling" and become consistent about adding value to your customer's lives. That's Carnagie, as old as dirt, but its still so true and so effective.
8. Monitor where people are connected with you and how. It would be nice to know, wouldn't it? Just keep doing those things that warrant the most connections.
9.Enjoy your transformed life. :-)

Steps 1 through 6 are the brain surgery part. The rest is gravy. In subsequent blogs, I hope to give you insights into exactly HOW it's all done. But for now, you have the template. You can readily access this kind of information all over the web. Discerning which works and why, well, as you can imagine, guys like me are all too eager to hire out their services to assist you.

But for you, just sit tight until the next JacksonSpencer Blog.

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