Posts Tagged ‘communications’
Posted by Vicki Moulton on April 6, 2011
It’s always fun to find a blog that imparts wisdom. Today I found out about a great blog from a company called Talent Grow.
For many of my colleagues, the idea of fostering creativity is something completely natural. For some of my clients, it’s completely alien.
One of the Talent Grow blog posts hit home for me today, and I’d like to share. Here is an excerpt from a January 2011 post called “Creativity is for Everyone“:
What can everyday, ordinary people do to become more creative?
- Exposure to creativity begets more creativity. The more people are surrounded by or allowed to witness creative thinking, creative ideas, and creative problem-solving, the more likely they will be to model that kind of divergent thinking.
- Positive emotions and lowered risk-aversion increase creativity. The more positive and uninhibited they are, the more likely people will be to think more creatively. If they feel like they have to act very seriously and be perfect and error-proof, the less likely they will be to take risks or let down their guard. Their creative thinking will be stifled as a result.
- Take yourself outside of your comfort zone. Being in a new and different environment, or using things in ways they weren’t meant to be used, can help creative break-through thinking and spark new ideas.
Posted in communications, MarComm | Tagged: branding, communications, creative thinking, creativity, divergent thinking, marketing, small business, taking risks, Talent Grow | 4 Comments »
Posted by Vicki Moulton on March 4, 2011
I’ve noticed a disturbing trend toward rudeness among business contacts, and it’s time to stand up and say something about it.
Would you expect a client to wait more than 30 minutes for you to show up to a meeting? How about a good friend or maybe a member of your family? It’s considered good manners, and good business, to show up on time to your appointments. If you are unavoidably detained–accident on the highway, family emergency, stuck in another meeting–then at least send an email or a text message comunicating the delay. Don’t just leave your client, vendor, or friend twisting in the wind, wondering what the hell happened to you.
I’m not the most punctual person in my personal life, it’s true. If you are one of my friends and we plan to meet for coffee, I am likely to be running about 5 minutes late (or more, now that I have a new baby). But I do not show up late for business appointments or conference calls. I am prompt and professional enough to expect the same from my clients and associates. Making someone wait more than half an hour to hear that you’re running late is just rude. And if you’re the client, and you do this repeatedly, you should expect to be billed for that time.
Just because you run a small business does not make your time any less important or valuable than your client’s or colleague’s time. Be clear about your expectations for professionalism, and your reputation will reflect that. And if your reputation is solid, that’s great PR for your business.
Posted in communications | Tagged: clear expectations, client, communications, customer service, great PR, late for meeting, professionalism, punctual person, reputation, rude behavior, small business | 2 Comments »
Posted by Vicki Moulton on September 28, 2010
You see them everywhere, those little taglines designed to bring a company’s purpose to life. Some have even been set to music (remember “plop plop, fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is”?).
If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably been through the exercise of creating your own slogan. But have you ever stopped to think why some slogans stick with you, even after just one viewing?
The slogan’s job is to raise a question, touch a nerve, or identify a need. The slogan is not your only marketing tool, and therefore it does not need to be all things to everyone.
The slogan IS…
- an enhancement to the overall brand
- focused on the customer benefit and/or key differentiator between you and the competition
The slogan IS NOT…
- a definition/explanation of the company name
- an explanation of the logo design
- a literal statement about how the company functions
Think about some memorable brand slogans and how they say a lot with very few words (and remember that all of these companies hired big ad agencies to create these slogans–all trademarked and used here for illustration purposes only):
- Nike: Just do it
- Kaiser Permanente: Thrive
- Avis: We try harder
- MasterCard: Priceless
- GE: Imagination at work
- Allstate: You’re in good hands
- ING: What’s your number?
- Weight Watchers: Watch yourself change
- Capital One: What’s in your wallet?
- Taco Bell: Think outside the bun
I particularly like that last one. There’s something clever about how it takes an overused business term and turns it on its head while slamming the competition. (Or maybe it’s just time for lunch.)
Posted in communications, MarComm, marketing, messaging | Tagged: brand enhancement, branding, clever slogans, communications, customer benefit, key differentiator, MarComm, memorable slogans, overused business term, slamming the competition, slogan, small business, taglines, the slogan IS, the slogan IS NOT | 1 Comment »
Posted by Vicki Moulton on August 5, 2010
Hey, still here… Just on the other side of the country. And P.S.: the weather is great!
It’s official: Movick Marketing has moved to the west coast! The family made the move to Oakland, California, and so did the business.
Here is the new office number: 510.530.1580. The blog, Facebook fan page, and Twitter feed have been on summer vacation while we’ve been completing the move and getting set up in the new location. Look for increased activity this month… and continue to keep us in mind for all your marketing communications projects!
Posted in communications, MarComm, networking | Tagged: Bay Area, blog, business move, communications, Facebook, marketing, Movick Marketing, Oakland CA, Twitter, website | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Vicki Moulton on June 17, 2010
I received some unexpectedly enthusiastic feedback from a new client today. I didn’t count the number of exclamation points after the word “spectacular,” but there had to be at least 10. Now that’s a happy client!
As I was posting that nice comment on my Testimonials page, it got me thinking about how hard it can be sometimes to believe it–to truly accept it–when someone compliments your work.
We women tend to downplay compliments in general, and that can spill over into our business lives. It’s never smart to walk around like a proud peacock 24×7, bragging about how awesome you are. And neither is it smart to disagree with someone who takes the time to tell you that you’re awesome. It’s always better to make an attempt at accepting compliments graciously–even if it doesn’t feel right, act the part.
Take a moment to think of yourself as worthy of a nice compliment. Allow yourself to let that feeling wash over you. Remember it the next time you hear someone says something nice about you, and be gracious.
Posted in communications, MarComm, marketing | Tagged: accepting compliments, client, communications, customer service, enthusiastic feedback, happy client, proud peacock, relationships, small business, Testimonials | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Vicki Moulton on April 16, 2010
What’s the difference between an excuse and an explanation? The answer depends on what you’re trying to achieve. If you need to buy more time, maybe build up a little sympathy for your situation, then that’s an excuse. If you need to clarify misinformation with a matter-of-fact statement, then that’s an explanation.
My excuse for not blogging recently has to do with a whole host of changes happening in my life, which have turned my attention away from the blog as a business marketing tool… but only temporarily. (Fear not: I’m still here, ready to work!)
When changes started happening about a month ago, I originally intended to take just a few days off from blogging, Facebook, and Twitter. A few days turned into a week. One week turned into two. And now here it is, mid-April already, and I’ve let myself fall out of the loop entirely. My good intentions were completely dashed to hell. Clearly I wasn’t coping well with the changes happening around me. And while all of this was going on, I had two computers crash and burn, culminating in the loss of three weeks’ worth of data and email. (Insert angry, frustrated expletives here.)
Sprinkled throughout these weeks filled with challenges were emails and phone calls with potential clients, meetings with colleagues and collaborators, and successfully completed projects for steady clients. So actually the work didn’t stop–just my means of communicating with the wider world.
Where does that leave me on this warm Friday afternoon? Feeling motivated to get back into the groove, glad to have posted something new here and on Twitter before the weekend, and intending to embrace those life changes instead of letting them derail me. Change is good. (Yes, it is.)
Posted in communications, MarComm, marketing, networking | Tagged: back in the groove, blog, change is good, client, communications, computer crash, coping with changes, excuse vs explanation, Facebook, fall out of the loop, good intentions, MarComm, momentum, motivation, relationships, small business, Twitter | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Vicki Moulton on April 1, 2010
If you’re having the kind of year I’m having so far, then you’ve probably been struggling a bit trying to find the right kind of client for your business. You know, the kind that appreciates what you have to offer, wants to work with you right away, and remains loyal for the long term. In other words, the absolute ideal.
I found this article by Angie Segal of Action Coach very inspiring. It’s reprinted here (in edited form) with permission.
“What Kinds of Customers Are You Attracting?”
How do you get the customers you want and deserve? Are you randomly stabbing at the marketplace, or do you have a plan for getting the type of customer you want to work with?
Here are some tips for planning to attract the ideal client:
First, decide who your ideal client is and write it down. What size are they? Where do they operate? What do they look like?
Next, describe this ideal client to everyone in your sphere of influence. Communicate this clearly. Then ask your partners and alliances to describe your ideal client. How they answer this question will tell you whether you’ve been specific enough.
Find out where you can interact with people who fit your description of the ideal client and attend those functions.
Finally, look at yourself and make sure you present yourself in a fashion that would attract those people. In other words, dress for the job you want.
Clarity is a key element in finding your ideal clients. Once you are clear on whom you are trying to meet, and your actions are in line with that, it’s easy to find your ideal!
Posted in communications, MarComm, marketing, messaging, networking | Tagged: Action Coach, Angie Segal, attracting ideal clients, audience, client, communications, dress for the job you want, law of attraction, marketing, networking, planning to attract the ideal client, relationships, small business, sphere of influence, strategy, target | 1 Comment »
Posted by Vicki Moulton on February 25, 2010
It’s not just people working in traditional office environments who must navigate the snarkiness of colleagues and clients. Those bad attitudes can exist–even thrive–in the faceless, expressionless, contextless world of email.
Take the example of a vendor of mine who emailed me to complain that one of her competitors had been invited to work with me on an upcoming project. The message contained words and punctuation–no images, video, or audio to simulate a face-to-face conversation–but the attitude was palpable. “Is this an official plan now, using both of us? It’s fine… I just need to be kept in the loop!”
First of all, I wanted to shout at the email on my laptop, whom I decide to work with and how often I work with them is entirely my decision. You don’t have an exclusivity clause in our verbal contract. Dial back the attitude, missy.
Of course, I did not type this into an email reply. I want to maintain professional communications at all times. But my initial reaction to this brazen display of bad attitude got me thinking: how would I have handled this confrontation if it had happened in my office instead of on my laptop?
Protecting the reputation of my company is a priority, and so is maintaining civility in any discourse with vendors and clients. No matter how rattled I might get on the inside, it’s important to keep a cool exterior. My professionalism demands that I show everyone at least some measure of respect, even when they misbehave. Having the veil of email between us actually makes it easier to think before responding… something I might not have done so effectively had that vendor been standing in my office whining about not being chosen first.
Deep breath. Count to 10. Engage brain before speaking. This is all good advice–for both the personal and the professional in all of us.
Posted in communications | Tagged: bad attitude, brazen display, civil discourse, client, colleague, communications, confrontation, contextless, cool exterior, count to 10, engage brain before speaking, expressionless, faceless, kept in the loop, maintain professional communications, measure of respect, rattled on the inside, snarkiness, veil of email, vendor | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Vicki Moulton on February 17, 2010
Ever have one of those days that just feels “off,” right from the moment you open your eyes in the morning?
I had one of those days yesterday. And even though I’m aware that some of the folks I met at a networking event last night might be reading this today, I just have to be honest: I wasn’t in my usual rah-rah-let’s-go mode. In fact, I almost didn’t show up.
It would’ve been so easy to just stay home, avoiding the crowds, the hand-shaking, the quick room-scanning, the u-turns to avoid running into certain people. But I knew I’d regret that decision eventually. I also knew that this was an opportunity I could not afford to pass up, even if I was in the wrong state of mind to begin with.
As a small business owner, I’m particularly susceptible to feeling overwhelmed with a long to-do list and crossing stuff off just to give myself a break. There are no staffers to send to networking events on Movick Marketing’s behalf. I am my company’s chief ambassador. I can either accept that responsibility, and all the gripping-and-grinning that goes with it, or I can go take a nap and let my company drift away.
Pushing past that feeling of near-paralysis–getting yourself out there, keeping your commitments, honing that elevator speech–is critical to keeping the momentum going, especially for small businesses just getting started with word-of-mouth marketing. It’s never okay to give up just because you’re not in the mood.
After about 45 minutes at the networking event, I woke up and started to get into the spirit of things. By hour 3, I met some really interesting people, gathered some promising business leads, and wondered why I’d ever felt like staying home.
Posted in communications, marketing, networking | Tagged: communications, elevator speech, marketing, momentum, networking, networking event, not in the mood, off day, small business, small business owner, word-of-mouth marketing, wrong state of mind | Leave a Comment »