Fall is Coming… Marketing in Baby Steps to Meet It Head-On

Posted by dscaringi on August 29, 2018

School is starting, pumpkin spice lattes are appearing on coffee-house menus and the tips of a few trees are starting to turn a golden hue. Even though it is over 100 degrees today, Fall is coming. And with Fall, comes a resurgence of activity.

I find September to be like a mini-new year for many people. A time to give the year it’s final boost so that you finish strong in December. But, perhaps you are having a hard time getting back in the groove? Here are a few things you can do to help jumpstart your September frame of mind.

  • Review your marketing plan to refresh yourself on your goals or set some new ones. Identify easy-to-achieve actionable items that will help get ball rolling again.
  • Reduce the clutter in your workspace. Archive closed files, sort through old emails and give your desk a scrub down.
  • Reassess your website, including its content and images.  Does it still reflect your business goals and speak to your desired visitors? If not… change it up!
  • Use social media to keep top of mind. Schedule yourself 10 minutes a day to catch up on what people are working on, sharing and thinking about. Quick tip: Set a timer so you don’t get sucked into the adorable back to school photos everyone is posting around now.
  • Update your contacts and make sure they are in your database in useable form. Delete any contact you don’t recognize.
  • Email your top prospects, clients and referral sources to check in before things get busy. Book lunches, coffees and other touch points.
  • Write an article, blog post or other content you can use on a current topic.

This is a beautiful time of year to rejuvenate yourself. Remember that marketing plans only work if you use them. You will earn a successful fourth quarter if you push through into September with the right frame of mind. Get started now with baby steps.  And don’t forget to take time to assess where you have been for the first 8 months of the year… mark your progress and note what you have left to do.

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Can You Hear Me Now? Practicing Social Listening

Posted by dscaringi on March 15, 2018

Listening is a critical tool for successful business development. You know what I am talking about… not just hearing what someone is saying, but rather soaking in the detail, understanding where it can lead and giving back to conversations appropriately. There are many tools for listening to your potential buyers, but social media leads the way.

Social media is a huge player in telling stories. There are billions of images, videos, comments and posts pushed out every single day. And people now appreciate that social media is more than a means to broadcast information about ourselves. Social media provides a powerful platform for listening to industries, markets and individuals. So, what do we do with this information? Dig into it.

Social listening is the process of digesting digital conversations to understand what customers are saying about a brand. Why is it meaningful in a business development context? Social listening allows us to extract important insight into our networks and their vetting processes. It allows us to figure out who the influencers are in our target markets. Social listening allows us to find better ways to develop relationships, build a presence and differentiate brands.

How do you social listen? There are many ways to listen through social media. But start with a healthy mix of monitoring social media using analytics, carefully following notifications and actively engaging your networks in conversations. Remember to keep track of what you hear so that you may connect the dots across an industry and use the information you decipher to your advantage. Finally, once you understand the topics that are important to your buyers, create content this audience wants to consume and in the format they wish to receive it. Then keep listening for more feedback so that you can adjust over time. There is no secret recipe, but maintaining a balance between broadcasting your content and listening to your consumers will become more clear over time.

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Developing Trust: The Key to Success and Happiness in 2018

Posted by dscaringi on January 2, 2018

If you carefully examine your relationships, what separates the good ones from the really great ones? What is the secret sauce that makes the great ones really sing? What makes you feel good and comfortable with an other person? What hurts so badly when it is betrayed?

I am going to be bold here… trust.  I see the common denominator to all successful relationships as this simple (but emotionally complex) 5-letter word: trust.  Some of the definitions are particularly interesting:

TRUST

  1. reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc. of a person or thing; confidence.
  2. a person on whom or thing on which one relies.
  3. the obligation or responsibility imposed on a person in whom confidence or authority is placed.
  4. to believe.

Trust is the characteristic upon which respect and loyalty are based. Without trust, there is negative tension that erodes possibilities. Trust is critical for both personal and business relationships.

For our purpose today, let’s talk about the business context. People want to work with people they connect with and like. They also want to work with people whom they can trust to help them. In the spirit of the new year, let’s set the intention of trust in 2018. Easy to say, but not always easy to accomplish. So, let’s outline some tips to earning someone’s trust.

  • Be Honest, Always.  In our current sad time politically, Americans are understandably becoming less trusting. However, we must stay the course. It is up to us, as individuals, to keep the spirit of trust alive. The only way to do this is to be upfront and honest. How do you show someone that you are honest?  Always tell the truth. I am not saying to be brutal and hurt feelings, but rather find ways deliver the truth in a constructive, helpful way. Simply put:  don’t lie.
  • Be Available.  Being available also means being present in whatever way your client needs, whether its’ physical, emotional or virtual. They need to know that you are reliable and looking out for their greater good.
  • Be Consistent. Always deliver the best products and results you possibly can. By modeling consistent behavior, you show people what you are made of and what they can expect to receive.
  • Be Helpful. Ask thoughtful questions and clear pathways to help people reach goals. Genuinely help people because it feels like the right thing to do. If you nurture mutually beneficial relationships through open and honest communication, helpfulness will always come back to you in spades.
  • Do what you say you will do. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver. However, you should strive to go above and beyond whenever possible. This goes back to the honesty rule. Unrealistic promises will always hurt you. If you continually do what you say you are going to do, people will come back when they need your help again. If you can’t deliver what you thought you could? Be honest. Tell them how you miscalculated the task and tell them what you can do.

There are so many good reasons to build trust, both personally and professionally. Building honesty, consistency and helpfulness into your daily existence is an excellent way to lead your professional business success.

Happy New Year! I wish you all the very best 2018  has to offer!

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