Want to Build Your Business – Get Involved

I believe in giving back to my local community. I'm on the board of Junior Achievement, I co-founded the Save Our Parade committee and saved the Billings St Patrick's Day Parade five years ago, I helped with our Billings Swords For Kids run at the  Pepsi Refresh grant #17 out of over 300, I help with the Yellowstone Highland Games and I give free presentations on online marketing and social media for a variety of organizations.

How do I give back?

I prefer to give back using my skills: public relations, marketing strategy and social media /online marketing and tend to do that for the different groups I get involved with. Most of the time that's simply because i have the most experience other times it's because I request to fill that roll.

I believe that anytime you can fill a roll that fits your work skills it's best. It's not that I'm allergic to setting up tents or manning a ticket booth, but I know that my skills are best suited lining up and doing TV and radio interviews. So try to fill in where your skills are best suited. If you're a carpenter, build things, if you're a graphic designer design things, if you are extremely organized, manage the projects there is no end to the number of roles that are available to you.

How do I benefit?

There are a lot of great benefits from giving back. I truly enjoy teaching kids in the Junior Achievement program. It's so much fun seeing the look in a kids eyes when a concept hits home. I also get a chance to hang out with some amazing people that I may not have met without getting involved.

My business has benefited because I've been able to get to know a number of the local reporters and have been interviewed on camera as the local social media and online marketing expert and provided commentary on Facebook changes and Cyber Monday. This has helped me get speaking opportunities and new clients without doing anything but giving free information.

So get out and get involved in your local community, you'll feel great, you'll meet some great people and you can build your business. Now I need to run the St Patrick's Parade lineup starts in 1/2 an hour.










Great Viral Marketing Strategy

I almost called this article how I found out I was a mongoose, but it doesn't Serengeti Bookmake sense until you go take the quiz. My friend Jonathan Rivera, you can find him at Real-TechGuy.com did a video and post about Surviving Your Serengeti. <– affiliate link.

The book sounds interesting and he gave it a great review I don't know much about the book beyond his review.  But their marketing has been amazing.

One of the things they are doing is a quiz that helps you determine what animal you are, that's how I found out I was a weasel. It's a simple quiz and we're all curious to find out if the quiz is "right." But on the quiz page they have three different ways you could virally share. #1 like the page on Facebook, #2 like the book on Amazon and #3 like ActiveRain on Facebook.

Once you've gone through the quiz they show you what animal you are and give you multiple ways to share your type. I'll detail three of them here:

#1 They ask you to share your results with your friends. This generates the wall post below 

#2 The ask you to share the Quiz which generates a wall post.

#3 They have Facebook and Twitter Share Buttons

That's not counting the links on the two sides of the and they have a Facebook Profile badge generator that I didn't get a screenshot of, but here's Jonathan's. He's a mongoose too. My guess is that most of my online entrepreneur friends will be mongooses because we're resourceful.

They hit it from all of the normal book launch channels as well, but how they used social media to virally promote was extremely well done. And it looks like it worked:

I'm buying my copy based on Jonathan's review, but their marketing was top-notch. You can learn a lot from this campaign.
One of the core take-away's is to not be afraid to use multiple method because you never know when someone with a large audience will share your page and drive a significant share of traffic.

Racing to the bottom is not a marketing strategy

It happened again this morning. I received an email from someone I consider to be a smart marketer and who has a depth of knowledge that I respect. She was offering new pricing for her services that are a deep discount on her past prices. Why is this pertinent to the post title? It's because I've seen her drop her prices several times in the last year and it appears that she has made a rookie marketing strategy mistake of discounting her services.

Why isn't discounting a good strategy?

discounting is not a marketing strategy

History is littered with corpses of once great companies that tried to race to the lowest price.  When is the last time you shopped at a Kmart? Do you even remember Woolworth's or Kreskes. Walmart, as big as it is is even beginning to show some kinks in it's armor.

It also sounds like shes desperate. Do you want to do business with someone who's desperate? I know I don't for a number of reasons. First how did they become desperate? Do they suck? If you're going to offer a discount you need to tell me why you're desperate for the cash. Second desperate people tend to get themselves in over their heads and end up never delivering. I've seen it many times.

You don't want discount customers

The other problem with discounting is the type of customers it attracts. Spend an hour on a Saturday at WalMart, is that who you want as your customer? Discount customers are discount customers because they can't afford better or they don't value you and your services enough to pay what they are worth. Not only will you be stuck with these customers, but you will find that they tend to be the most difficult and demanding customers as well. 

What about the customers that paid full price?

Have you ever bought something and then saw it in another store for less or an ad where it was discounted? How did you feel? Do you want your customers feeling like that? Dropping your prices can cause a negative backlash from your current customers.

But sales are good aren't they?

Occasional sales are great, but they need to have a reason and a limit on them. If she had said I just had a big project reschedule and I have time to take on 5 more clients this week at a discounted rate. That would have been fine, it still maintains her value, gives a good reason why and gets her the cash infusion she needs.

The key in any business, but even more so as a consultant is that we need to value our time first before we can expect anyone else to value it. I'll do a follow up post explaining some of the things that I have done to maintain my value.