Category: February 2012

People are creatures of habit. They come to rely on you – or, at least, they rely on the information you provide that fills some need they have. If you have a blog or other form of communication, my advice is to be consistent in the timing of your message. If you post daily, post at the same time every day and don’t miss a day. (Personally, I prefer to have this type of information waiting for me in my inbox in the morning.) If you post weekly, monthly, or quarterly, make sure the information hits at the same time each time. You want your readers to depend on hearing from you – and, after all, aren’t you positioning yourself as a thought leader?

Offering your subscribers consistent communication helps with:

� Developing a sense of loyalty between you and your readers
� Interacting with your subscribers via postings and comments
� Increasing the overall interconnected nature of your community
� Ensuring your position as a go-to resource
� Learning more about their needs or interests
� Creating enthusiasm about your service offerings, and
� Keeping you out in front of your subscribers.

Here’s a personal and timely example of what can go wrong:
I have been a subscriber to a famous person’s e-newsletter. It is witty and covers pop culture through a particular lens. I always read it – or at least I always used to read it, until the communication stopped. When that happened, I figured maybe this individual had done away with it. Well, to my surprise, I recently started receiving communication again, almost every day. And, wouldn’t you know, the uptick in messages just happened to coincide with a new release of this person’s latest product. But because there was a lull and a gap, the news doesn’t impress me as newsworthy anymore – especially since it seems to me like pure self-promotion. Now, the e-mails arrive and remain unopened. I have moved on. Thousands of other e-mails, tweets, and postings have taken the place of the communication sent by this person. Don’t let this happen to your message. Stay consistent. Hold on tightly to your base.

Just as scrupulous chefs select only the best ingredients for their secret sauces, so, too, should the best organizations, marketers, and campaign managers be particular when it comes to developing their target lists. What you put in, impacts the final outcome.

Once you hone in on your target group, you can precisely identify their needs, speak their language, serve the group better, and penetrate into the audience further. This will help save time and money, too.

How specific can you get when it comes to identifying your potential clients? It depends on you. Keep filtering your list further. Use all the available tools within your reach, including:

– Assessing client and revenue stats within your firm. Who are the most profitable clients? Are new buyers exhibiting definite trends? Who are the largest revenue-generating clients? Do certain clients buy certain goods?

– Using your website’s analytics. What information is most highly read? From what practice area? Are there higher engaged groups of readers? What information is sought after, by whom, and for what reason?

– Taking advantage of social media search tools to uncover additional intelligence. Many social media sites have search functions. Use it to search for data relative to your target list. What titles do you want to pursue? Are there other individuals who maybe don’t have that particular title, but whose roles are very similar? How many people in a certain industry or business are engaged in that particular medium?

– Utilizing local, regional, and industry associations’ information to assess the numbers of participants, either in an area or in an industry. Does the association’s knowledge base present interesting facts about the target audience? Is this a source for rich data-mining?

Use the information gleaned from the research above to help delineate your marketing campaign’s audience. Once you’ve adjusted the list to include the most defined target group, everything in the campaign should align with that specific group – from design to language, and everything in between. If you offer rich content, you will increase your opportunity to engage with your audience. (This, however, is a subject for an upcoming blog entry.)

Finally, remember this: if you pick a different ingredient, in this case the target, you’ll get a different outcome – just like with any recipe. So, what’s in your sauce?

If you believe your current logo is already the best it can be, ask yourself the following questions:

-When was the last time you assessed your logo?
-Does it align with your clients, target audience, and organization values?
-Have you asked anyone else what they think about it?
-Can you read your logo in all mediums and formats?
-When was the last time you reviewed your logo with an expert?
-What has your gut told you about your corporate identity?
-Have you bothered to think about this oh-so-important symbol and name?

Time marches on and things change, including the way your clients and prospects regard the world and view your brand. If your logo is stuck in the past, if it was created with the only resources you could afford at the time, or if it seems a bit stale to you, chances are other people have thought the same thing for a long time. And that reflects on you and your business.
Your clients will not tell your look is out-of-date, but your prospects may dismiss you because of it, without even saying a word. People and companies want what is credible, something they can identify with or that fulfills their needs. I imagine your business has evolved, but have you neglected your logo? Bring the symbol of your business in from the cold. Assess it. Ask whether it is still relevant. Update it, if need be. Your most public id deserves some time in the sun.

Dare to dream big. Want more. Deliver more. Bring your clients to a new place. Offer customers what they never thought possible. Good should not be good enough. Seek to deliver the I-Never-Knew-This-Could-Exist-Like-This experience. Break through. The rest will follow.

Take everything higher – not only for the benefit of your client or company, but for the collective good. Dream of offering a new level of expertise, of service, of care. It is through dreaming that we are able to develop models that may take us there, or at least get us closer. Build around that vision. Set the bar high – high to the point that it scares you. And guess what? You will rise.

Where is your bar? Can you push it higher?