I have always said that working as a server (it was called waitressing back then) was one of the best learning experiences of my life because it taught me important skills that I use in my job every day.
Serving was a desirable job in my youth because you had the opportunity to make money instantly by earning tips. But little did I know that slinging hash would set me up for success all these years later. Below are some of the ways waiting tables made me a great consultant.
Getting slammed. This is restaurant lingo for having multiple tables sat in your section at once. It’s never ideal, but when it happens, you must jump into action and take care of every party with a smile. This taught me tremendous project management skills, including stress management and prioritization. The funny thing is, I still have nightmares about being slammed to this day.
Recovering from mistakes.
I recently attended a webinar by one of my favorite marketers and authors, Chris Brogan, and this advice was hands down the best takeaway. I am grateful to Chris for reminding me how important email marketing is for building business. We easily get caught up in finding new customers, learning new apps, using the right keywords, and over analyzing blog titles, that we sometimes forget about tried and true practices like email marketing.
Since that webinar, I have been reminding all my clients to go back to their lists and nurture them. We are getting reacquainted with a practice most of us have done since the beginning – snail mail, then email. It’s actually been fun coming up with fresh ideas for content, catchy subject lines, and good old-fashioned personalization.
Think about how many marketing emails you receive. Chances are good you open several a week, and it’s likely that some of them prompt you to take some kind of action.
To Yelp or not to Yelp.
That is a question we get all the time from frustrated clients. I think we all can agree there is value to user reviews but we know all to well that Yelp is easily manipulated by users (and sometimes Yelp themselves, but that is a blog for another day.)
I use Yelp often to find service providers, restaurants, etc. But I also know enough about the platform to question reviews that seem suspicious. Interestingly enough, the businesses that speak to me are the ones who get bad reviews and actually respond in their defense. This is something I help clients with on a regular basis. It’s to your advantage to respond publicly to bad reviews (as well as good ones) because your future customers will see that you pay attention and that you are willing to solve problems for unhappy customers.
Today, however, while I was searching for a service provider in my neighborhood, I came across one of the best replies I’ve ever read.
Lindsey Morando is the co-founder of The Marketing Co-op, a company that helps female entrepreneurs simplify the marketing process. I am incredibly proud and excited to share this next Leaper’s story because many years ago Lindsey accepted an internship with my team at House of Blues Entertainment. I have had the good fortune to watch her career blossom ever since and trust me when I say, I take no credit. Lindsey is an enthusiastic force of marketing magic. After you read her story, you’ll understand why her big leap was no surprise to those of us who know her. Way to go, Lindsey!
What is The Marketing Co-Op?
“It finally feels like I am making an impact and my gifts and talents are fully being utilized.
It has become easier and easier to stay in touch with clients, colleagues and customers. Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, Google+ shares, and numerous other channels enable us to share our thoughts as fast as we can think them. We are constantly staring at a screen, fingers flying in a mad dash to update the world.
The most effective social media messages, though, do more than just remind your readers you exist: they engage the audience. It’s not enough to just have views, you want people to think about, comment on, and share your content.
Photo Courtesy of Olympus Board Shop
One way to generate interesting content is to do interesting things. As our country celebrates its independence, I encourage you to free yourself from your computer, tablet, and phone and go out and DO something! Find something that inspires you, interests you, or try something new – whether personally or professionally.
We are always coming up with social media tips and tricks for our clients, so we wanted to share some here on our blog. These are just a few suggestions to help build your following and engage your audience.
Initiate connections. Add your social media handles to your email signature and business cards. By making it present in your communications, you will give others the opportunity to connect with you and network further.
Tap into Trending Topics. Check out what’s trending on Twitter throughout the day because there just may be an opportunity for you to join the conversation and bring awareness to the organization.
Update your Profile Often. Don’t shy away from updating your social media profiles. Add personality with topical thoughts, motivational quotes or give a shout out to your favorite sports team. People want to connect with people, so be sure your personality is as apparent as your professional resume.
In this digital, hyper-connected world, you must give your professional website the attention it deserves. Even if you just updated your website last year, you’re probably already in need of an update.
Don’t let this happen to you.
Here are three ways to monitor your website in 30 minutes or less:
Monitor your website daily. Visit the site every day from various browsers (Chrome, Safari, Explorer and Firefox) to make sure all the pages load correctly and the site is live for that matter.
Visit your site from your phone or tablet. If you visit your website on your phone and you can barely read the text, you are not optimized for mobile and are likely losing visitors instantly. No visitors means no new customers.
Search for your business.
We are huge fans of digital content and we have been armed with small video cameras at client events for years. Here’s one we just completed for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles to highlight the 2013 National Women Build event held in Long Beach on May 9th. If you like it, please feel free to share it.
Time for ACTION!
For years I have been advising businesses to stop begging media to write about them and instead focus on a digital content strategy. Please understand the media is an important piece of the P.R. puzzle, it’s just not the only one. Today there are fewer opportunities for traditional media coverage and an infinite number of opportunities for you to talk directly to your customers.
In a digital world, that is increasingly more interactive and user driven every day, digital content is the best way to reach your customers. Your website is critical and should be updated constantly, daily if possible. Include a photo gallery, a blog and news section that is in your control (unless you can afford to employ an agency to do this for you.) A combination of videos and photos that tell your story is a powerful way to attract new visitors to your website. Create content that is useful for your customers and can be shared easily.
How often does a company you buy from do something remarkable? Has your hair stylist, dog groomer, dry cleaner, sushi chef or dog sitter ever sent you a hand-written thank you note? I am guessing not, or at the very least, not very often.
Today, I received a thank you note from the most unlikely source and it blew my mind. It was sent by a woman, named Deb (@Debng on Twitter), who is the Director of Community for New Media Expo, a conference I will be attending in January. In her own writing, Deb told me how glad they are that I registered and will be attending this year. She also offered to help with any questions or feedback I may have about the show. Deb understands what community is all about.
As a marketing geek, I couldn’t wait to shout this to the world and as an attendee I feel valued.
I met Deb briefly, about 2 years ago, and we are connected in social networks, but I knew this was bigger than me.