What The Heck Is Marketing??!!

With a hat tip to the SBDC of Southern Oregon, I’ve been invited to present What The Heck Is Marketing?? today. Simply show up or register as desired. Like the topic? Need the topic? Book me now to present it to your crew, team, and audience.

Marketing is an oft requested topic. Why do you suppose that is?

Kirstin of KDRV & Ginger In The Kitchen, addressing the midday hungry market.

Kirstin of KDRV & Ginger In The Kitchen, addressing the midday hungry market.

After many years in and around marketing proper, I posit one reason is people simply have never been taught what marketing is. It’s a concept people are apparently supposed to simply understand – much like online etiquette. And we all know how well that works out….

Marketing is communication. Communication requires effort put into the why, who, when, where, how and what. It’s an active exchange and your business is reliant on successful marketing.

Join us today. Call me to set up your own session – we serve clients starting at one on one all the way to rooms of thousands.

Amortizing Consultants

How do you quantify brain power? When you hire someone, how do you wrap your own head around what their product is (brain power, knowledge, experience, enthusiasm) and what that’s worth?

As a consultant, it’s a prescient question and one every business operator needs to think about. I think about it regularly for a variety of reasons.

1. “What do I charge and why” is the beginning step. The What is where a lot of people stumble – both for hiring (how much do you cost?) and in charging (what am I worth?). The Why is where the reasoning comes in.

2. To make sure I’m on track for me and my customers. Try this on for size for figuring it out: “I am ________. I do _(specifics/tasks/skills/projects)____ for __(ideal clients)___.” A nod to Mike for his help with this bit of brilliance.

3. What does the market bear, what can I earn, and how does it all pay for my operating expenses + help me make a reasonable living? Who can use my services and can pay my rates?

4. When do I evaluate my skills & rates? Always. Adjust accordingly. Be fearless in assigning what your time and self are worth. Resentment of low fees is only a reflection of your lack to charge accordingly.

There have been and continue to be various colleagues with whom I talk about rates, fees, how to change and so forth. They’re worth their weight in gold for sharing and have motivated me to engage in money conversations with others as well.

One key insight a frolleague gave me was to amortize your fees. Figure out how the client will see tangible monetary value in what you can do with and for them, succinctly point this out, and that helps everyone realize the potential. It makes the brain power real: turning it in to sales increases, lower turnover/hiring dollars saved, and various other advantages of hiring specialists.

Get clear on what you're worth, your fees, and what you do.

Get clear on what you’re worth, your fees, and what you do.

Money’s important and I think of it as a tool. It’s not everything and it still assigns value to our endeavors. Barbara Stanny’s book is an excellent resource to this end.

Make sure you’re looking at you, what you offer, what you can do – and what to not do. Then create your services menu; assign the specific service and the value of your time and experience and brain power to execute that service. Regularly review your menu, adjust, change and send out once it’s ready. Stay up to date with yourself!

Whatever you do, you should be able to earn a reasonable living. Making money is intrinsic to helping the world go round in many ways. I tell people I’m just trying to make my husband a kept man (which I am!) which gets a laugh. Seriously, I do feel a sense of pride and a job well done for the hard work I put forth and the income I earn.

Enjoy your work, make sure you’re clear on what you do and what you’re worth and what you steer clear of. Have fun and make it all happen.

Real Estate For Your Brand

The last time you looked around, what sort of room to grow your brand did you notice?

From your email signature to your business cards, billboards to hard copy mail, there’s loads of opportunity for those looking for it.

Here’s the kicker: with so much noise assaulting us from millions of brands everywhere (literally on both counts), how do you divvy up what fits best on which real estate; where can you publish your brand image and have it matter in a positive way?

One oft modern missed opportunity is hard copy mail. Specifically the backs of envelopes and the use of postcards.

Minuteman Press, one of my printers, is getting it right - on the back of an envelope.

Minuteman Press, one of my printers, is getting it right – on the back of an envelope.

1. Envelope backs. There’s no competition for message on the back of a crisp clean any-color envelope. Generally the opener turns the piece of mail over to open, though we don’t need to. We may want to glance and make sure there’s nothing we’re missing…and in that case by putting an appropriate placement on the back side is ideal for the searching and soon to be lingering, reading eyes.

I use stamps and ink plus stickers as they fit – and have a few different ones (of both) to fit the recipient. And why not – you have all sorts of eyeballs looking at that envelope – from your mail carrier and post office personnel to the final addressee.

Just as I’d encourage a soft brand appropriate colored paper to print on, choose colored envelopes. They stand out in a sea of white. Recycled choices abound.

2. Postcards. I’ve long been a proponent of postcards and have used them every one of the 13 years I’ve had my various businesses. It’s been proven over and over again that a non fussy (read non-enveloped) piece of mail garners reading and, often, action.

Again, everyone reads the front side, and usually scans the writing side (it’s so tempting) so a business impression can impact several ancillary sets of eyeballs too. They’re highly economical per lower postage rates and no envelope expense. They’re also fun and everyone likes getting a meaningful postcard.

A simple sticker on the back of an envelope…a stamp with your logo on the back flap….a colorful postcard to great you in the mail. These are all highly affordable and effective tactics in your marketing.

Follow the footsteps of success. Real estate for your brand abounds. Reopening your eyes to see what we look at every day will lend to new ideas. Start here. Make the real estate on your mailed goods really matter. You’re already paying for the space & ink. Use it fully.