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Go the Extra Mile

I started thinking about this topic this morning when I received an e-mail from Bluehost.com, the hosting company where all of my websites live. They had sent an e-mail earlier in the week, telling me that they would be working on updating a particular Worpress plug-in that had been compromised by hackers. It could allow those hackers to do dastardly things to the site you are now reading.

I was unable to respond immediately, due to other commitments. Later, I checked on my Worpress dashboard for this site.  The kind folks at Bluehost had already completed the update.

I though that was mighty nice of them. I was also relieved that my site was protected. Thanks, Bluehost.com!

This morning, I received another message. A second plug-in had been hacked. This one adapts my website for mobile users, since the template is not “responsive” on it’s own. Yeah, that’s important, since about 50% of the traffic on my site comes via mobile devices.

I checked IMMEDIATELY to see if I could update the plug-in. Bluehost had already done it. This is very proactive work by a company that only receives about $120 a year from me. I appreciate it so much that I’m telling you about it today.

So…

What can you do for your clients today that might save them some work, preempt a major headache, or even save the day? What about their world has changed recently, that would be an opportunity for you to step in and make their life easier, safer, cheaper, or more productive?

Maybe you choose a single client, or a small group of clients, or perhaps even potential clients. Don’t charge them, and don’t make a big deal about how nice you are, and what a great company you work for, that would take care of them like you are.

Some people would call this “paying it forward”. Whatever you call it, great customer service can make you legendary among your customers and their networks. But don’t do it for fame or recognition. If it’s self-serving, maybe you should try something else.

I ask again – what can you do for someone today?

The “Likes” You Like – Clean-Up Time?

(Post updated on 9/29/2016 to reflect changes Facebook has made since originally posted. Thanks for reading!)

Do you use a Facebook Fan Page to promote your business or organization? On your page, there’s a panel on the right that shows the Fan Pages where you have clicked LIKE. Coincidentally, it’s called “Likes.”

Have you clicked LIKE on the Weird Al Yankovic fan page? Are you personally interested in beekeeping or origami?  Are you a fan of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders?thumbs up

I’m not judging. I’m simply here to ask you if these pages reflect the professionalism and personality of your business? Does that include everyone at your business?

I’m also not saying that you should take a vote among your co-workers. I’m suggesting that the LIKES that your Fan Page displays be focused on pages that would be appealing to the largest number of your customers. Visitors to your fan page should only see items that are consistent with YOUR brand image.

So, if your brand image is all about fun, you might actually click LIKE on Weird Al’s fan page, and show that goofy mug on your page. But if your brand image is about helping homeowners save money, you might restrain your LIKES to DIY fan pages, big box stores like Lowes and Menards, and financial services.

What if you’ve already clicked LIKE on the “horrorcore” hip-hop group, Insane Clown Posse? Again, I’m not judging….

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Bring On 2013! Tips for Snow Day Success

bring on 2013 - happy new yearYou’ve got little to fear in the face of the developing blizzard in Indiana and the Eastern U.S. states on December 26, 2012…

You’ve already beaten the End of the World predictions based on erroneous interpretations of the Mayan calendar.

You’ve also just come through what’s arguably the most hectic, taxing, financially draining time of the year and had a (hopefully) safe, joyful, and successful Christmas.

Way. To. Go.

In fact, you may have some virtual office time at home, due to the storm. I’m going to take the liberty to make some suggestions for an easy-yet-productive Snow Day to help get your 2013 (snow) ball rolling!

1) Watch the multi-tasking! Freedom can bring the temptation to overdo it.

2) Make a list of the things you would LIKE to accomplish today, and place a star (★) next to the three most important items. Work on those first. Actually, Read the rest of this list first – it will probably give you some task ideas.

3) Recharge needed devices, like your mobile phone, flashlight battery, and laptop. Make any other needed preparations for a potential storm-related power failure, including fresh water.

4) Organize your tax information for 2012. Won’t it feel great to beat the tax deadlines by weeks or months?

5) Clean off your desk.

6) Purchase a training resource that will give you a boost for the start of 2013.

7) Write your thank-you notes for Christmas gifts or other holiday festivities.

8) Update your Internet browser or any other software, if needed.

9) Make a plan for a healthier lifestyle in 2013, including exercise, diet, and relaxation. Why wait until New Years?

10) Read your Bible.

11) Search YouTube for a business topic in which you’ve been wanting to make improvements. Watch one video, and bookmark two more.

Many of these have probably been on your “mental list” for a while. Now they’re on your paper list. What other items are you considering that will help you get a great start on 2013?

Feel free to contact JR, the Marketing Mercenary, for help with your 2013 marketing calendar: jr@marketingmercenary.net. Thank you for reading my blog in 2012, and have a blessed and safe New Year.

 

Keys to Mobile Marketing Success – Part 2 of 4

This week’s “Key to Mobile Marketing Success” is item #2 – “Offer it to them first.” Keys to Mobile Marketing Success - Part 2 of 4

 Last week, in Part 1, we defined success in mobile marketing, and we talked about how to make the subscribers to you mobile marketing keyword lists feel like they’re getting the best you can offer.

This week, we’ll spend a few moments on how to give them the earliest opportunities to connect with your brand and spend money!

(For a very brief overview of how mobile marketing can help your business, please watch the video about our LocalMobiDealz platform!)

Give It To Them First

The primary reason behind “Give It To them First” is to give your subscribers the feeling that they have the earliest opportunity to

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Hard-Core Networking: 4 Tips for Being Unforgettable

Hard-Core Networking: 4 Tips For Being Unforgettable

Networking is about starting and building relationships. And, about getting referrals. Yes, it’s also about giving referrals. But for the next few moments, we’re going to talk about making an unforgettable, share-able impression when you attend networking functions.

These can also be used when you make initial contact with someone in a business or social arena. The main point is your first impression, and each subsequent one, being as strong as possible. Now, the faint of heart, please return to Facebook at this time. For the brave, we forge on.

1) Know your company, your product/service, and why YOU are in the position to acquire customers. This knowledge is power in any business conversation.

2) Give a brief, hard-hitting introduction that covers all three.

3) The “Tight Ask”* – make sure you ask for something or someone specific enough that 80% of the people in the room think of a specific THING or PERSON to which they can refer you the INSTANT you say it.

4) Make it DROP-DEAD easy for people to contact you:

  • A great business card
  • A memorable website domain name
  • A memorable e-mail address (based on that memorable domain name)
  • A freebie that folks will use, like a bottle opener, pen, or flashlight, imprinted with your name/number/e-mail

When I say “memorable” it could be funny, clever, or just really, really easy to remember due to it’s clarity or simplicity.

You don’t have to do all these things at your next opportunity. I don’t do them all, but I have seen all of them done to great advantage. I’m confident in this: when you start adding these strategies, you start seeing better results.

You want better results, or you wouldn’t be reading this, now would you?

If you would like to find out how on-line and traditional tools can give even greater impact to the strategies above, contact J.R. via jr@marketingmercenary.net. Subscribe to my forthcoming newsletter by clicking HERE.

*I first heard this phrase used by Tony Scelzo, founder of the Indianapolis-based networking organization called Rainmakers. You can find him at www.tonyscelzo.com.