What’s Your Best Offer?

highest grade

Is “on time and within budget” the first few lines of your marketing message?

If you had to remove those words, what would your story be?

Everyone worries about spending money, even those with deep pockets. And if someone hires you they hope you’ll finish on time. Both are universal concerns.

They’re also the least a customer can expect. A built-in feature. And when you’re not the cause of a ballooning budget or a blown schedule, your best offering is now shot.

Even if you’re serving the fast and cheap crowd, you still need to stand out among all the other businesses using the same line. Read more

When Naming Does Come Easy

I am yoga

Company naming is no easy task, unless, of course, it falls from the sky and lands at your feet.

Most often, it involves pouring over the company’s how, why, what, who, where. It involves word collecting, list making, searching, listening, vetting and playing.

Does it sound good? Will people like to say it? Not always possible but it doesn’t hurt to start with high standards. I created a brand identity for a climate initiative with a seven-word name. Try to say the name and you stop after the first few words, hoping the person knows what you’re referring to. The acronym is its own tongue twister. Did the committee that selected the name say it a few times aloud?

Is the name easy to remember?

Does it look good when written out?

Will it have longevity? Does it need to? Read more

A Whole-Self Work Life

Body of Work: buy the book!

”In the old world of work, we described specific career paths, such as doctor, lawyer, entrepreneur, or writer. In today’s world of work, due to either personal choice or circumstances outside your control, there is a great chance that you will change your work mode at least once in your career. More likely multiple times.“

Pamela Slim, Body of Work

That means cultivating the ability to adapt. But more than adapt, we can go a step further and find overlooked treasures in our personal and work history to weave a whole new narrative.

In Pamela Slim’s new book, Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together, you are likely to locate yourself on its thoughtful question-filled pages. Award-winning author, business coach and speaker, Pam has touched a nerve at at time when people are eager to use all of themselves in their work. Read more

Walking In Their Footsteps: A Customer Journey Exercise

footsteps

Have you ever received a followup call from a doctor asking how you were feeling? I haven’t.

But what if that happened?

What if you tweaked some part of your customer’s path that allowed you stand out from similar businesses? What if it delivered unexpected delight?

Who or what could you emulate that has already nailed one of those steps? And could that become part of your brand? Read more

Making Your List, Checking It Twice

List of names

If you use an e-mail service to send newsletters or blasts, how did you build your list? If the answer is that you invited people or they added themselves via a form on your website, three cheers for you! No coal in your Christmas stocking.

Email is still one of the most powerful ways to connect with customers or prospects short of having coffee together, even if automated (because you can personalize it with the recipient’s name). You’re not competing with a stream of cat photos in Facebook or random Twitter chatter. It’s a great way to further your brand and personality, and become a go-to person in your field.

But you don’t want people scratching their heads when your third e-blast of the week arrives in their in-box, wondering if they forgot they signed up for your list.

There are three types of emails from businesses: total spam, almost spam and not spam. If you invited people to your list or they signed up (knowing what they were getting), that’s not spam.

We all know what total spam is.

Almost spam is everything else, such as adding people to your list, even people you know, even good friends, who might very well have said, “Yes, sign me up Scottie!” if only you’d asked.

But they can delete emails, right? Trust and respect rule here. The burden shouldn’t be on the recipient. Your goal is to inform, inspire and delight. It’s a sign of respect to ask permission to add someone to a list, even a client. Read more