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Posts Tagged ‘strategy’

Attracting the ideal

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!

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Posted in communications, MarComm, marketing, messaging, networking | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Reversing the energy

Posted by Vicki Moulton on November 12, 2009

autumn leavesI’ve been struggling all week with a nagging feeling that I’m about to become overwhelmed… by work piling up, by unhappy news headlines, by crappy weather, by everyday life hassles like a tropical storm blowing so many leaves down on my nice clean yard that it looks like I didn’t spend hours raking leaves into big piles last weekend. (All of us in the mid-Atlantic region are feeling that pain right now. Thanks a lot, Ida.)

We’ve all woken up feeling so overwhelmed that we just freeze, unmotivated and unable to get anything done. The tendency to buy into feeling overwhelmed is tremendous in our fast-paced, need-it-now culture.

So how do we get unstuck from the world of the overwhelmed? By taking the energy used to churn with indecision and flipping it into productivity.

Notice those negative thoughts in your head, but be determined to refute them literally and firmly (silently, aloud, in writing–whatever works):

“I can’t do it” becomes “Yes I can!”
“I don’t know where to start” becomes “I’ll start here!”
“I feel overwhelmed” becomes “I will get something done!”

Start with one negative thought, turn it into one positive action, and see how quickly your mood picks up. In the time it takes you to turn your thoughts around, you’ve made a tiny investment in positive energy that can kickstart a day filled with productivity. You might even get some of those leaves raked to the curb.

Full disclosure: I’ve been reading about mindfulness lately, which I interpret to mean taking any negativity floating around in your brain, noticing it for what it is, thinking about it rationally, then turning your attention to something positive to overpower the negative. I haven’t mastered this yet, but it helps to have a strategy.

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Posted in communications | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Managing social media time

Posted by Vicki Moulton on November 4, 2009

social media face_cr2As a small business owner, I can attest to the incredible time-draining potential of social media sites like Facebook. If you’re not careful about managing time spent on these sites, a quick updating session can turn into an all-day marathon.

Here are some great tips (from SmallBizTrends) for getting the most out of social media tools to help market your business:

*Be purposeful. Make a list of what you’re trying to accomplish with social media, and identify the actions that will help you achieve those goals. Don’t just click around on shiny baubles. That’s a neverending game with no winner.

*Focus your attention. Figure out where it makes sense for you to engage–Twitter, LinkedIn, a local listserv–and limit your time and energy to a handful of useful sites. Then outline what, how, and when you’ll be engaged beforehand to help maximize your time.

*Avoid overload. Use tools to help you manage the stream of information coming in. For example, if you’re using Twitter, a 3rd-party tool like Tweetdeck can help you manage conversation and schedule tweets ahead of time.

*Set limits. Schedule social media time the same way you schedule in all your other commitments. Set aside time to talk to people, to tweet fun things, to connect with your audience on Facebook. This helps users learn to trust that you’ll be online regularly.

Small business owners have an advantage over big companies because they already know how to talk and engage their customers in a more personal way, making communications more human and relatable. Social media sites are a perfect fit for small businesses.

Don’t be afraid of jumping into the social media pool. The water is a lot warmer than it looks.

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Posted in communications, MarComm, marketing, messaging, networking | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Working can be fun

Posted by Vicki Moulton on August 14, 2009

ferris wheelEver heard of something called “free work”? It’s a freelance-style, resume-building type of career move that is completely different from the traditional unpaid internship, according to a new eBook I came across today called “The Recession-Proof Graduate” (by Charles Hoehn).

While this is written from the Gen Y, new-grad perspective of an early 20-something who clearly had enough cash on hand to work for free that first year out of college (which most don’t, especially in a recession), I must admit that there’s something intriguing about the concept. Who wouldn’t want to do work that’s fun and interesting, on your own terms and your own schedule, without the stress of competing with the faceless masses to become the next underpaid, overworked office drone?

Been there, done that.

Here’s a good intro to this concept, along with a link to the interesting eBook:
Seth Godin’s Blog

P.S. Many thanks to my always-resourceful college classmate, colleague, and good friend Louise Griffin for passing along this great link!

Posted in freelance, marketing, networking, writers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Networking can be fun!

Posted by Vicki Moulton on February 4, 2009

Today I was invited to join a networking group of women entrepreneurs in my county who meet monthly to share ideas, strategies, success stories…and perhaps complain a bit about clients. I am already a member of a (mostly) virtual networking group of freelancers in the greater DC area who communicate primarily via email and Facebook. Professional in-person networking, an essential self-marketing tool for freelancers, is a permanent fixture on my career to-do list, and yet I never seem to make enough time for it. So this seems like a great opportunity, and it’s right in my backyard. I think I’ll RSVP yes.

Posted in communications, freelance, MarComm, marketing, networking | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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