Tag Archives: marketing your business

The ‘Wild Rumpus’ of Storytelling

With the release of Where the Wild Things Are this weekend, I found myself falling quickly back into a magical part of my childhood. Siting next to my grandfather as he transformed a $2.99 paperback book into a fantastic journey. With each page, the smell of a new book and the hope of following Max as he explored a magical forest all from his imagination, I sat motionless waiting for the wonderment to wash over me.  In only ten sentences (that is all that’s in the entire book) I was quickly transported to the land of monsters, being crowned Queen of the Wild monsters and dancing with the monsters in a “Wild Rumpus”. As I look back, the story was mesmerizing, it had a way of grabbing my attention and making me want to know more. I told every friend I had about the book and before long, my whole first grade class was reading the book.

All of this reminiscing got me to thinking about marketing for business and how the way your story is conveyed can really make the difference in what your customers believe.

Combating the Big, Scary Monster or Does Your Company Have an Engaging Story?

It’s often frightening to think what it is that makes our business stand out from others. What is unique about your company? Does the customer you serve find that your service is head and shoulders above your competition? Do you know why? These questions, among many others are often hard for business owners to define. It’s not always easy to step outside of our businesses and really experience what you provide from the customer’s perspective. Take a look at this article from Entrepreneur.com  for some story starters and begin defining your story.

Are You a Kid Hiding in a Wolf Costume or What Can Storytelling Do To Showcase Your Business?

So many business that are launching a new website or implementing a new marketing tactic fall into the same trap. “Me too” marketing. Often they take inventory of what their competitor is doing and say we do that too.

For instance. Say you own a bakery. You competitor is within one mile of you. You can’t exactly use the same wording as they are, like “Your neighborhood baker”. If you used the same type of marketing, potential clients could get confused as to which one of you was the “neighborhood baker” that advertised in the local paper. What could be worse? Well, imagine if that same potential client went to the “other” bakery and had a horrible experience. Just think how you could loose out on clients the next time this potential customer’s friends mentions the neighborhood baker. They might say the experience was awful and if you were to run an ad with the same tone, they might think it was you!

Instead of copying what your competitor is doing be aware of their tactics and  brand yourself in a different light. For instance be “that baker on the corner who makes biscotti that is perfect to dunk into coffee”. Your true customers will remember the little things you do that are different. They will talk about those little things with their friends and then their friends will talk, etc. Word of mouth marketing is great, but for it to work, you have to have something that makes you stand out of the crowd. Be the expert in your field. Be the place people are talking about favorably. Have something unique that your customers can cabbage onto and tell others to see for themselves.

Let the Monsters Romp or How Your Customers Can Help Sell Your Business

Finally, the glue that holds your storytelling together in the world of marketing effectively is utilizing the valuable chapters your customers provide for your story. Client testimonials on a web site, in a promotional brochure or even better in a television commercial are invaluable. You can talk all day about how great your product or service is, but potential clients understand your bias and often discount it. However if the average Joes and Janes rave about your biscotti and how it is perfect with their favorite cup of coffee, they’ll be thrilled to be quoted in your advertising pieces. What’s even better? Do you know a famous person or person of influence within your community that raves about your product or service? Have you approached them for their insight. It could be worth its weight in gold!

Bottom line, don’t be afraid of marketing your company’s message through crafty storytelling. Just like a good book, a well-defined marketing story can intrigue, inspire and yes, involve your customers. Getting the word out there is your next step.

Let the wild rumpus begin!

Sarah @ Dog-Eared Pages

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Filed under Advertising, Business Development, copywriting, Marketing, Small Business Solutions, Uncategorized, Writing

Advertising Innovation-Just Shake It

dockersiphoneAs a total Mac geek, I had to take this opportunity to share the latest in my two worlds converging. Apple and Advertising. Seriously, in an economy where many businesses are cutting back on their advertising dollars, Dockers is using it’s head to move forward in an exciting new realm – advertising on the iPhone. And while I am not super charged about having ads on my phone, I am intrigued to see how companies are getting creative with capturing an audience. 

I am sure creating an ad for the iPhone wasn’t cheap, but it is a new and innovative approach to traditional advertising. I’d love to hear some of the other exciting advertising venues you’ve seen. Post your comments here. 

Keep your creative eye open. New ways to market your business are out there. All you need is an open mind, not always an open wallet.

All the best-

Sarah @ Dog-Eared Pages

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Filed under Advertising, Marketing, marketing in a down economy, Small Business Solutions

Upping Your Web Presence (Web Posting Edition #1)

 

Shawn Kincade Presentation Oct-08

Shawn Kincade Presentation Oct-08

 

Last week I had the opportunity to join a group of business professionals interested in upping their web presence. Some were small business owners, while others were dealing with the red tape of big corporations.

As I am a firm believer in constantly updating your toolset, I was intrigued by what the business coach, Shawn Kincade, owner of Aspire Business Development had to tell us about marketing your business online. 

 Many of the participants wanted to learn about blogging. Some didn’t know what a blog was, while others just wanted their site to be more user-friendly. I wanted to continue to learn more about the ever evolving web arena and sat back thinking I would pick up a few helpful tips. I was wrong, I picked up a ton!!

Whether you know it or not, the world of marketing has changed. It seems that to keep up on all that changes one would need to stay up 24 hours a day just to get the latest feed on social network trends or how to get Google to recognize your website with a high page rank.

So now I have decided on one thing, I need to go to presentations like this even more.  That’s why instead of trying to keep up to date on all that is Web 2.0 on my own, I will attend at least one internet training session each month on the subject. What’s that mean to you? Well you can learn more each month in my new “Web Postings”. Shawn’s presentation is the first of many to come!

Shawn’s presentation was just what I needed. He offered business strategies that are already working. Things like:

  •  Having your website discuss one, clear benefit – Ask yourself: What is does my customer want to solve help solve their problem/need? 
  • Making your site interactive – Forget tons of words (yes I know painful to most writer’s ears) but Shawn’s right. No reader wants to read a thesis paper on your home page! Offer links, video and photos. Think as if you’re still 5-you want a picture book instead of the dictionary to read. Right?
  • Promoting yourself consistently– If you have multiple messages about yourself out there, your readers could get easily confused. So, if on your blog you call yourself the Web Wizard that Contorts Delightful Web Wizardry then say that everywhere, yes even on your home page and your business cards. Remember it’s like Nike’s “Just do it.” It creates a brand. 

And, if you really feel like you need some extra business coaching, Shawn is outstanding! Plus he’s just a interesting person to talk with about business development. Two thumbs up! Oh and if you would like to attend one of his presentations, there’s a rumor that he’s putting another one together in soon. Contact Shawn for more information.

Happy Web 2.0ing-

Sarah @ Dog-Eared Pages

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Bikers, BBQ and Better Biz

This weekend my husband and I hit the road for the annual MS-150 Bike Ride. This year I took the short route, as I really hadn’t made the commitment to train as hard this year as I did in the past. He however had been training since May and was set.  Still even with a shorter ride, people were shouting words of encouragement to all the riders, which seemed to make the ride, along with the promise of BBQ at the end, somewhat painless.

As I continued my ride I got to thinking about training and encouragement.  What was it that held me back from training this year? Starting a new business? Hills? Fear of not finishing? Or just not organizing my schedule to allow time for myself? Who was shouting out and encouraging me along the way?

While many of us struggle to make time to exercise through out the week, we know how important it is. Your business is no different.

I ask what are you doing to “train for next year”? Better yet, do you have a coach, co-workers or a mentor standing on the side cheering you all the way to the finish line? What have been some of the road blocks in the past? Share your thoughts with me.

Check out some of the following links to get your training session started for next years big race. 

Preparing for next year’s tax season.

Why plan for today, tomorrow and the next year?

Planning for tomorrow’s business-books to read

60-second guide on how to organize your biz

Have a great week and get to thinking about your plan for the road ahead.

Sarah @ Dog-Eared Pages

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