— Company Story &Brand (@CoStoryBrand) July 1, 2014
— Company Story &Brand (@CoStoryBrand) July 1, 2014
In my unofficial poll of the people in my circle more than three-quarters have made a negative remark about Reality TV. Which suggests that not only should the Reality TV stars be concerned about their brand and image, but so should the people producing these shows.
I actually watch very little TV, so it’s surprising to some that when I do turn it on, that I actually choose Reality TV as part of the lineup. I’m fascinated by it all because I learn so much by studying people. But I also watch with a pragmatic eye. I’m aware that it’s mostly about business. And while I do see many opportunities for improvement; by wholly condemning the medium we end up throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Sherri Shepard from The View said recently on Twitter…
Sherri raises a valid point but I think it’s important to take it for what it is – Reality TV is a medium which will always attract some viewers through drama, nonsense, violence and tragedy. Maybe some producers think that is the only way they will get us to watch. There is another side however.
The discerning can glean the positive aspects of Reality TV. Not just for branding and launching new ventures for which I take special note – but topics around relationships, communication, health and wellness, friendship, family ties, and tenacity of spirit. I acknowledge the value in all of these things and remain hopeful that Reality TV isn’t tempted to sink to the negative depths of the nightly news.
Let’s tell a better story.
Nerd and techie alert! Micropreneurs who are creating strategies for their online advertising spend should really take a look over here at Google ThinkInsights. It’s a FREE tool that lets you determine how you enter new markets, determine optimal times to create advertisements and the search terms you should be using to correlate with your particular brand. As I write this note to you, I am reminded of my colleague Peter Marino over at Reel Web Design who has been testing Google algorithms for a while to see how to optimize his SEO/SEM results – and it seems Google has become a bit trickier to set up your website to send you free traffic based on your keywords. I can’t help but think Google is making it that much more difficult because they want to capture more revenue.
Maybe it is, or maybe it isn’t time for us to forget the hunt for the elusive optimization and focus on smart advertising spend. But in the meantime, check out what this free tool offers to micropreneurs – a great deal of data to use as you search for the answer to your search and advertising solutions.
My father is joining the ranks of retirees starting online business ventures and he’s in his 70’s. When you think about it, being a micropreneur is a perfect way to share his many years of business knowledge without having to leave the comfort of his home office – if he so chooses. And it’s a perfect way to create additional revenue to supplement his retirement.
At his age, though he has seen and done a great deal and if you’re in the same boat – it may be hard for you to pin down a particular area on which to focus your new company. I believe it is a waste of time to write out an entire business plan if you’re still not sure about your business concept – instead try what I call the Affinity Marketing Proof of Concept Phase.
This Phase occurs before you write a business plan. You start with an idea and the goal is simply to test your market and prove or disprove and refine your marketing message and concept.
To launch a business you need to determine if you can make any money at it. Otherwise it’s simply a hobby or pastime. If you want to see if your business has merit with a Proof of Concept Phase, you’ll need a:
You then simply set up your accounts and begin talking about your concept about 2 – 3 times per week and do a bit of announcing and cross posting on all your social media platforms. Watch to see the audience that shows up to hear what you have to say. Tweak your content every once in a while to see what people respond to. (Hint: People hate the oversell, so make the Identity all about them – NOT YOU)
At first things will likely be slow to take off – with Facebook, there is a tipping point at around 200 people or so. If your idea resonates, this is when the page “Likes” will take on a life of their own – even if you’re not posting new content very often. At this point, you’re simply collecting names and analyzing the common threads amongst who shows up.
I recommend spending a bit more time on Facebook than on Twitter because Facebook “Likes” have more long-term value. Just follow these ideas for engaging your audience and if you find your page taking off – and reaching in the 3, 4 or (*gasp*) 5 digit Number of “Likes” – begin working on your business plan and main site. You may just have something there worth pursuing.
Keep in mind, you can launch multiple Proof of Concept Facebook pages to test your market, but the key is to listen to what people begin to talk about around your particular concept and to capture the characteristics about your perfect customer. Not everyone who presses “Like” will be a perfect customer to you.
This is one of the fastest ways to:
Technology and the ease of social media make the Proof of Concept Phase one of the fastest ways to the money, and one of the smartest ways to find the details you need when you write out your full blown business, sales, PR and marketing plan.
At the end of the Proof of Concept Phase you’ll know what the market pain points are, what skills you need to have (or hire) to help your target market and the price they’d be willing to pay. And depending on your skill set, YOU can do all of this with less than $100.
It never fails… publicity, press release generation, and media placement topics are the first things my new clients want to discuss with me. But I have yet to find a new client who is actually ready for PR the first time we meet.
It’s easy to understand the thought process and the lure of publicity though… They think “If I get enough visitors to my website, I’ll be famous and rich.” But so much more goes into the virtual business process ahead of engaging the press.
Here is my condensed list of the top 9 areas that need to be on point before sending out a single press release:
One of our most recent projects reminded me about the never-ending layers of bureaucracy and the slug-like speed at which things are sometimes accomplished (if that ever happens) in large corporations. This sort of thing can be frustrating for a virtual company proponent. Nevertheless, it has inspired me to keep a running list in my mind (and now here) on the slow & stodgy traits of the big boys vs. those of the small and nimble. Which area describes your business?
Slow & Stodgy Traits:
And on the flip side – we find the Small & Nimble who
Growth and profitability does not always mean that a company becomes weighted down. Start now to build organizations that stay lean and smart.