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advertising

rants and ramblings

Being liked is overrated

The most overrated thing in life is being liked. Worrying about likability is partially what has brought us this miserable state of political correctness that we suffer through each day in the United States.

If you’re going to break new ground and do great things, face it…you’re not going to be liked or understood by the majority.

I have clients that hate me, but they stay with me because I’m painfully honest about every aspect of their business that I’m engaged in. I don’t tell them a bad idea that they’ve invested in can be saved if it can’t.  I don’t lessen the blow with flowery words. I simply tell them they have an ugly baby and look for new ways to dress the baby or recommend they start over and try making a prettier baby.

Worry about making a difference in the world, but don’t worry so much about being liked. Let people like the results, that’s even better.

advertising marketing public relations rants and ramblings

I Make Stuff Up, but NOT all Marketers are Liars

Public Relations, Advertising, and Marketing. The lines blur at times, it’s hard to distinguish between them some days. Luckily, no matter what the task of the day is, I Make Stuff Up.

However, contrary to Seth Godin’s book title, not all Marketers are liars.

At no time do I fabricate lies on behalf of anyone. I do, however, look for creative ways to reach audiences with a story. I look for new ways to share stories. I make up creative ways of reaching people. I make up events that didn’t exist so that clients have a fun way to reach intended publics and everyone has a great time doing it.

Hell yes, I make stuff up. However, I don’t lie on behalf of clients to sell products or services. Not only would I not do this, no client I have would want me to.

advertising branding marketing

Happy F’ing Black Friday

This one is a few years old, but will still provide a chuckle to those that haven’t seen it. Those awesome Japanese folks opted to have one incredible sale. A sale so good, what else would you possibly call it?

This brings up a fairly important thought, be careful with the message that you’re sending this time of year. Make sure that all of those holiday ads and last-minute promotions stay true to your overall branding strategy. If you’re a high-end retailer, don’t hurriedly cobble together holiday promotions that look like they’re tied to an entirely different company. BE TRUE TO YOUR BRAND.

Along the same lines, which would apply to the image associated with this post, if you’re known for having really fuckin’ good deals. Don’t be shy in telling people.

rants and ramblings social media

Every Client is the Most Important Client You’ll Ever Have

We’re all human, so there are certainly clients and projects that we get more excited about than others. Times that we wake up motivated and want to redouble our efforts to be the best we can be. There are also times that we would rather give a bath to a wildcat than deal with the client walking through the door.

Regardless of how excited or demotivated you are, you have to approach each client like they’re the most important client you’ll ever have, because they are.  In a world of instant communication (Yelp, Google reviews, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), we have to consider just how quickly someone can tell the world how wonderful their experience was. A few years ago, you had to provide service to a news anchor to suddenly have 1000s of people see how talented you are…now, almost every customer can share satisfaction (or lack of) with the world.

Clearly, social media reputation management is not the only reason to treat clients like they’re the wonderful creatures they are, but it’s a strong enough motivator to keep it top-of-mind. Personal pride in your craft and a goal to move the industry forward are your driving force — just think of social media activity as those little bumps on the side of the road that alert you as you drift off the sides of the street. They aren’t the motivation to not die in a fiery crash, they’re the reminders to keep your ass in the road.

[originally published for Salon Today]

marketing public relations reputation management social media

It Ain’t Rocket Surgery: 7 Basic Steps to Marketing Success

Odds are, you’re great at something.

Marketing, however, may not be your comfort zone. Nearly every day I speak with some of the best hair dressers and salon owners in the world, but they don’t always know how to let the rest of the world know just how good they truly are.

Don’t let marketing scare you, it ain’t rocket surgery!

If you have no marketing plan, follow these 7 simples steps to get yourself moving in the right direction. This isn’t the answer to all your problems, but it can start clearing the path.

1. Make a plan. It doesn’t have to be a fancy plan, but you can’t move forward unless you know where you’re going. Write down some basic goals and some of the basic steps to help you reach those goals.

2. Make a budget. It’s easy to spend too much, and it’s easy to spend too little. Make a budget so that you don’t lose sight of how much (or how little) you’re investing into growing your brand.

3. Make sure your social media activities sites are active, and representing your salon the way you want them to.

4. Be engaged in the community by supporting local causes that can also draw attention to your salon, look for a win-win situation.

5. Befriend the media. Local media is your friend, and they need content. Communicate with them regularly about trends in the industry and your community involvement. Offer to show the new seasonal hair-styles for the morning news.

6. Service your current clients before worrying about getting new clients. Make sure you are doing all you can for those that already love you. Reach out to them, treat them like you did the first time they walked through the door, and get them back in the door more often. These are the clients that pay the light bills and keep the salon open.

7. Plan the holidays in advance. Look at the calendar, there’s always a holiday around the corner. Plan your specials and your promotions in advance so that you can pre-promote them instead of scurrying last-minute to promote gift ideas. Also, pre-plan to extend hours for the holidays, don’t leave anyone looking for someone to make them beautiful.

Of course there are many more simple ideas, and many more complex ideas to grow your business. But if you don’t have each of these covered, be sure to focus before working on other projects. Cover the basics before reaching for more.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN SALON TODAY.

marketing social media

How would someone reach you with an advertising message?

You may not be the demographic you need to reach for your business, but humor me for just a moment. How would someone reach you with an advertising message? In less than 2 hours, advertisers tried reaching me in the following ways (and many more ways, these are just the ones that I actually noticed).

  • Facebook ads
  • Facebook promoted posts
  • Facebook business page
  • Promoted Twitter post
  • Ads on Drudge Report
  • Sponsored Instagram post
  • Google/Bing/Yahoo adwords
  • Electronic newsletters via email
  • Ads on Yelp while looking for a coffee shop
  • Ads blocking the computer screen on local news sites
  • Video that loads while waiting for a YouTube video that a client asked me to watch
  • Pictures hanging in business windows and at every corner of the coffee shop and counter
  • A couple postcards sitting around from recent mail
  • Ads on my phone via my digital music application
  • Billboards as I drive along
  • Print ads in the local newspaper
  • Print ads in the Wall Street Journal
  • Television ads on local news
  • Television ads on cable news
  • Magazine advertisements
  • Radio ads on Sirius/XM
  • SMS pushed to my phone
  • Word-of-mouth

This post is about providing the answer, it’s just to spur thought. I know several business owners that work countless hours, 7 days/week, and they often wonder why people don’t know about the products/services/events that they’re working so hard to promote.

You can’t just post something to Facebook or buy and ad. Having 1000s of Twitter followers doesn’t mean you can influence action.

Again, you may not be your own demographic, but think through the process. How would someone actually reach you? Do you even notice Google ads? Do you remember any of the ads in the last magazine you read? When did you even last read a magazine? Realize how hard it would be to influence you to do something before you start committing funds to influencing others. And before you invest in advertising, invest in a proper communications plan so that you have a strategy and cohesive message proper for each way you reach folks (more on that at a later time).