Jumpstart Your Thanks

©www.skydivedanielson.com

Wrapping up the year is the best time to review your business.

Strategizing based on analytics of what you have done all year to what you returned is clearer than ever at the years end. Then you base your roadmap for the upcoming year to match your goals you want to obtain throughout the year. Start simple and don’t forget to always follow the KISS rule. Refer back to our setting goals for help.

Tracking your sources and creating your focus will be easier once you have a blueprint of what you want to achieve. Now you create your marketing tools that will help you along your roadmap.

Here is a blank sample you can use and we will go over the areas together below!

Your tool box is broken into four components: Traditional, Social, Prospecting and Break. Yes Break! Let’s go over everything that should be in these sections to get the best use out of this exercise.

TRADITIONAL

This is the area all of your traditional ways of marketing go. Your direct mail, email, follow-ups, samples of work, personalized note cards, phone calls, and face to face meetings. Each one of these should be chosen and structured wisely around your time+budget. Email is very cost-effective but if you are not going to do the work after the statistics come back than put your money and your efforts into other options. As a side note, Email DOES work for anyone who is a non believer. I had two clients send out a promo within the past month and get an immediate job! So open your mind and hit send. Anyway, for other more personalized follow ups and emails you want to order your cards based on your brand and what you want your target market to feel when they receive it. You can also go ahead and create your email templates so they can be easily accessed and used for the proper sends. Face to face is based on your dream clients and where you are traveling so this is the best time to look at your wide open calendar and start planning!

SOCIAL

All of the social marketing aspects will go here. I am not going to bother throwing stats at you of how many people are where. We can all walk out side on any given day and see people’s faces stuck to their phones. They are on social! Use your opportunities wisely and pick the proper platforms for your industry. The main ones you should be one without negotiating with that drunk monkey in your head are: Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. These are key and they have great options to easily automate things so you can spend your time doing what you do best, not social media. If you prefer to go total auto pilot consider your dashboard options now or outsourcing this work to a pro that will get a return on the investment quicker.

PROSPECTING

The dreaded area where sales and marketing collide. It has to be done. Again, whether you do it or outsource it, someone has to do it. Plan accordingly or set this up as a goal by a specific deadline to get it off your plate. Your prospecting comes from many sources. I always recommend the foundation of a list provider. These people have the grueling task of keeping this information readily available and up to date for you! There are several other resources if you choose to be a night owl researcher in your spare time. Scrub industry related websites for newest changes and follow your brands of interest wherever you can. Social is perfect for that part too.

BREAK

When you are in the set up I always (always, always) recommend scheduling your break time in. Let’s face it, as entrepreneurs running our babies we sometimes forget to grab that air mask and give ourselves a boost. I put these right into my calendar. There are several apps that will also do this for you to make it more efficient for you.  I promise you will come back stronger and more revived!

 

To Jumpstart Your 2018 and get on track contact iHeart Marketing TODAY!

See Our Current Offers to Jump Start Your Marketing

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How’d You Get That Shot with Ramon Purcell

 

A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography!

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NAME:

Ramon C Purcell
Ramon behind the Scenes
Facebook with RCP Photo
Tweet with Ramon
Be LinkedIn with Ramon

WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY:

I am a multi-faceted photographer, my specialty is being adaptive to the client’s needs and utilizing a variety of specialties to create advertising imagery.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:

Unexpectedly through the Surf industry from a friend of mine who was a professional surfer.

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:

iPhone!!!  It saves the day with all the apps that support the business.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:
I love the iPhone, I don’t have the weight of different gear, and it is great for capturing an intimate moment without interrupting.

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?

We are at a crossroads of creativity and technology that has never been seen before, it is the most fantastic moment in history and I encourage everyone to photograph with any camera they have at their fingertips.

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY  IN 2013:

I am excited to see the development of the touch screen interface cameras.  It is the next evolution in photography and I can’t wait to see the amazing changes it makes in creativity.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION:

A variety of hospitality client’s benefit from my cross pollination of photography.  Having several areas of specialization allows me to approach every project with a broad knowledge base to help accomplish the goals for the client.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:

Creek side Relaxation at L’Auberge de Sedona.

The concept of the shot is to escape from your everyday and enjoy being pampered, in their tranquil setting.   The image evokes a sense of luxurious serenity.  To create this image, I utilized a variety of equipment, a mixture of natural light, minimal strobes, reflectors and diffusers.  The use of iTechnology was extremely beneficial for the client, photographing Wi-Fi tethered with an iPad.  This allowed the client to see instantly the images being created and find the “Hero” image that would achieve the goals of the campaign.  The shot had a very narrow window of light to achieve the concept, the preparation started six months prior.  The actual time to create the image on the day of the shoot took about 4 hours, with correct placement of the model and props.  Approximately a 100 frames were taken to create the image, utilizing iTechnology allowed the client the ability to select the final image on the spot.

FREE SHOUT OUT:

I am very thankful for my creative team that assists me in exceeding the client’s goals.  I want to thank several clients for having me involved in creative projects, L’Auberge de Sedona for a new branding campaign after their renovation.  Island Hospitality for updating their marketing strategy.  Finally Blaine Warren for the USAF Reserve recruiting campaign.

 

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To check out ALL of Ramon’s work 
please go to his website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today.

How’d You Get That Shot with Michelle Kawka

 

A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography!

 

 MichelleK_Shot

 

NAME:

Michelle Kawka, photographer
Find Michelle on Facebook
Tweet with Michelle
Get Professional on LinkedIn with her
Add her on Google+
See her videos on YouTube

WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY ?

Portraits, Corporate, Events and Weddings. I shoot landscapes for my soul.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:

I studied in Italy while in college & started taking pictures.  After college, I worked for awhile in a bunch of office jobs, but I still took pictures.   My friends all got married around the same time and kept telling me that they liked my pictures better than their own photographers’.  Finally, I decided to pursue my passion and I went to photography school.  I never looked back.

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:

My Gary Fong Lightsphere.  Lightroom 4, and my Canon camera.  

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:
My Droid Bionic because I love Instagram.  I don’t really like to carry around a separate camera, I carry enough stuff around with me in my pocketbook !

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?

I don’t think that it really impacts my business much.  I feel it’s the same way Turbo Tax impacted the accounting field.  Some people are going to do it themselves, and some people are going to understand what a professional brings to the table.  We do so much more that click a button.  We have to plan the shoot, organize it and direct a crew while under time constraints.  Those aren’t skills that an amateur with an iPhone can necessarily do and get great results.

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY AS WE APPROACH IN 2013 ?

I would love to see the industry come up with creative solutions to the issues that photographers face today instead of complaining how much the industry has changed and how they wish how things used to be.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION: 
I have photographed jobs for Wella Hair Color, the United States Marine Corps and Microsoft as well as for many private individuals.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:

The techniques I used to get this shot were fairly simple.  I went to the beach as the sun began to set.  The beach itself faces North so it gets a lovely cool north light at sunset.  I shot all available light, ISO 800 at 125 at f/8 with the 17-40 mm Canon L lens set at 17mm.  I did a color balance and auto tone in Lightroom 4, then used presets to bring in the contrast and color as well as used vignetting to give a spotlight type lighting.  I shot 5 angles of the building , all hand held and decided I liked the one the best.  I also cropped in it Lightroom to make it more of a panoramic shoot.   I stood on the beach for approximately 15 minutes before I decided it was too cold and I was done shooting.
The image I have chosen is called Beauty in Devastation, which is a series of photos that I created in the 2 weeks after Hurricane Sandy.

Growing up in New York City, the beach has always been a place of relaxation and spiritual renewal for me. When Hurricane Sandy came through and wreaked her havoc along the coast on Long Island, it was a heart breaking experience to see so much devastation. However, in the cold November autumn air, in spite of the destruction, there was something eminently beautiful about how our human made structures were bent and reshaped by the force of Nature. This body of work, taken in the Rockaways, Long Beach and Hampton Bays, are a meditation on how very fragile we are.

The photo is of the Beach Hut, which is a lively restaurant on Meschutt Beach on Peconic Bay.  It is a beach I frequent often because of it’s shallow, warm water perfect for swimming or sitting in an inflatable tube with a cheap novel.

FREE SHOUT OUT:
I love taking photos and directing video.  I have a really great team and shoots are pretty chill and a lot of fun.  

MichelleK_Profile
To check out ALL of Michelle’s work 
please go to her website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today.

 

Creating Your SMART Goals

Imagine It, Dream It, Make It A Goal That’s SMART!

 

I love (love, love!) this time of the year. Not for the holidays, cooking, or family but because all business people take their goals serious. It is a time where reflections and reviews are critiqued with the utmost structure. A time for a measure of return on investments made. A time to restart a new plan based on success and failures of last year.

Whatever your return on investment was you should be planning (or have planned already) your roadmap of success for 2013. Setting goals are sometimes hard. Businesses get caught in their own catch 22 of being creatively savvy and not business smart savvy.

Most times knowing where you want to be is the easy step. Creating a roadmap and game plan is often difficult and decreases the likelihood of success. This stage is the “Getting There” stage of your goal setting. It’s easy to say “I want to make a million dollars in 2013″ or ” I want to acquire the market share in my county” but the question of “How to get there?”  is often the difficult part. Everything in life needs direction, roadmaps, or instruction. Goal setting is no different.

To set your goals you should make them SMART:

    • Specific – A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six “W” questions: Who, What, Where, When, Which, and Why

 

    • Measurable – Establish criteria tracking to measure statistical progress toward the attainment of each goal you set.When you measure your progress it makes it more rewarding to: you stay on track, reach target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement. The question “How?” is often used to insure a goal is measurable.

 

    • Attainable – When you identify goals you can figure out ways to make them come true. Developing the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that are farther away become attainable as long term goals. Goals that are easier to attain are short term goals. KNowing the different is crucial.

 

    • Realistic – To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective. A goal can be both high and realistic. You are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be.  Some of the hardest goals ever attained were attained simply because they were a labor of love.

 

    • Timely – A goal should have a lifeline of its own. With no lifeline there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to learn how to fly, when do you want to learn by? “Someday” won’t work. If you anchor it within a  time frame, “by June of 2013”, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.Your goal can then be broken down into a simple solution:  There are classes, how often, how to pay for them. To learn how to fly you will need to follow the guidelines and incorporate them into your goal lifeline. Then you can incorporate the how’s of doing it… get it? Time makes goals seem easier to reach too!

 

Sometimes setting yourself up to fail is the worse thing you can do. No matter what your business we are ALL human. Our human nature is to be fulfilled. Setting a goal and reaching it is fulfilling! I don’t care who you are. If you had a goal to close a client by February and do it it’s gratifying and builds confidence. Confidence makes us stronger and makes us persevere harder next time… challenge ourselves even! However, if we set ourselves up to fail it could be a domino affect for the entire plan.

So set your SMART goals up and don’t forget your key ingredients: imagine it, dream it, visualize it, and reach it!

If  you would like more information on goal setting and your roadmap of marketing for 2013 you can book your appointment with us today!

Happy Goal Setting!

image (c) Alex Geana

How’d You Get That Shot with Alex Geana

A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography! 


NAME:
Alex Geana
Website
Tweet Alex
Facebook Alex
Link to Alex 

WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY:
I work in fashion and still life, with a focus on fine art conceptual pieces and commercial work.  I know – vague.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:
I’ve always loved it. When I was in high school I had a really amazing photography teacher named Mr. George Talley. This was before all electives were cut. He showed me how to develop film and work in the dark room – an experience that forever changed me. It wasn’t until I got published by Gawker and started attending fashion shows that I really looked at photography as a career. I had access to an industry I loved and the moments to make good pictures were plentiful.

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:
I use a 5D Mark II and have a Leica D‑LUX 5 for my blog. I work with a variety of lights, from Impact to ProFoto, I’ve even worked with Alien Bees. Each shoot is different. I’ve really wanted to work with Broncolor but I’ve never had a chance to.  Recently I’ve become obsessed with Hahnemuhle Baryta for my fine art show.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:
I try to always keep my Leica D‑LUX 5 with me. I really want an M9, but that’s really just a dream till I book more commercial work. The small camera takes really honest photos. When you have a DSLR with you, the camera takes over the moment, people try to pose, we’re in an age of over-styled street fashion and everyone’s watching out for cameras, they’re either drawn to them or afraid of them. I really like having a small “walking about” camera. But readers on blogs are really judgmental and they need a good photo. If you can’t make a good photo for your blog, they turn away quickly.

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?
It makes educating the client harder. I’ve had clients tell me they can’t afford to work with me because they spent 4k on a camera and don’t know how to use it. They wonder why they can’t get the same pictures I do with the camera we both have. It breaks my heart, because for half that cost, we’d have enough cash to make some good photography.

Photography has really moved away from the camera, it’s just a tool we all have. It’s become more like sculpture. Michael Weschler (@MichaelWeschler ) a photographer friend of mine likens being a photographer to being a director. We produce photography. We make the picture happen. That’s what people don’t really get about photography. We need to make the photo. Then you also have to know how to record the image you’re making. It’s a holistic 360-degree process, which people don’t get. You don’t just show up, point and shoot.  Then fix everything in Photoshop. Photoshop can’t create a pixel. You need the right exposure to capture an image that Photoshop can improve on.

We can’t stop clients from thinking it’s the camera, but it would be nice if they spent more on photographers they liked, instead of gear they can’t use. It would help everyone and make better content.
Clients, especially new clients don’t understand how much time and planning photography involves. I also think this is effecting the top of the market, because art buyers seem very weary to try anyone new, unless they have proven themselves a countless number of times.

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY AS WE APPROACH IN 2013:
Have no clue. Probably the same as 2012, I don’t see technology effecting us greatly. I think their needs to be changes. Lots of changes and I see no organization. Which is frustrating. Lot’s of young photographers are depressing their own industry because they’re jumping at every “Work for Hire” contract sent their way and lowering their rate to next to nothing. It would be great to educate and figure out a way to communicate to all the “cool kids” who don’t really understand the business of photography. I was one of them. Now I really understand how to estimate and say no and build value for my work. So much of art has to do with making your own market. I don’t know if my long road will pay off. I’m hoping it does. When an emerging photographer gives in to a “Work for Hire” contract everyone suffers.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION:
My work is in two museums. The Museum at FIT and Leslie Lohman, I had a chance to work with Icon Fitness and Elisabeth Hasselbeck (she’s really sweet, smart and nice in person). Daphne Guinness is my hands down favorite subject and model, she was a joy to work with and I’m very excited to have been included in her Yale University book. I’ve worked with a variety of fashion designers and look forward to growing in that realm. I’m never satisfied with my work and always want to get better.  I also love getting published on La Daily Musto – Michael is a lot of fun to hang out with, I love going out with him and taking pictures of club kids. Daily Intel hired me because they saw my work on his blog.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:
I started applying my knowledge of fashion photography to food; I really loved the concept of manipulating and styling. So I just started making work and wanted to experiment with process and light. Finally it came together as a show, I’m trying to place it now and starting to build relationships with galleries that have a base.

I don’t know if it’s a unique technique per say, I think it’s obvious that it’s on a light table. It’s two lights above, two below. What does make it unique is my obsession with styling and creating the work. It took me two hours to find the perfect lettuce, take it home, and style it just right. Add water droplets in all the right places and redo it a few times. Eighty frames were shot. I finally chose one and spent two hours retouching and refining the printing process. All told each photo in the series took an average of eight to twelve hours to make.

Photography simply takes time, we become more efficient with it, but good pictures take time and patience and there’s nothing we can do about it. Everyone wants everything to happen quickly because of the just in time Internet culture. But to get something truly extraordinary – it’s simply, time, patience and planning and there’s simply no short cut.

FREE SHOUT OUT:
Check out my blog Making a Picture and check out my Online Portfolio.

 

To check out ALL of Alex’s work 
please go to his website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today at: hello@iheartmrktg.com 

 

 

Missing Your Target?

 What Good Is Targeted Marketing

If You’re Missing Your Target?

Is getting through to potential target clients becoming more of a challenge? If you are marketing and not hitting the proper contacts it’s almost better (and easier) to spend your marketing dollars elsewhere. Finding out contacts that WANT to receive your promotions can benefit you in the long run. Your marketing will benefit from being more effective, increase the amount of interest per promotion, and your marketing budget will be spent wisely with a quicker return on your investment. The old saying “Throwing spagetti up against the wall to see what sticks” is clearly not cutting it anymore for marketing.

Your potential clients are too inundated with numerous promotions these days.  It’s your responsibility to deliver your message in marketing not only clearly and precisely but in a manner that benefits your brand best. Additionally, your time spent on your marketing efforts is totally wasted if you are promoting to contacts that have no interest in working with you. For instance, purchased lists give you a full abundance of information. Problem with the information is it is NOT targeted to you. License agreements and purchased lists are basically public compiled data that everyone in your industry has access to. Taking the step further to target who is worthy of seeing your promotions will allow you to stand out and make sense of your market in a more intimate setting.

Targeting your potential clients can be very easy. For marketing I always recommend combining your personal contacts, dream clients, and a short generic list created from your database provider. However, after creating a list that fits your specialty you then must target that list down to your specific marketing needs. Having help with this task is great if you have the resources. If you are a hands on kind of owner or don’t have the resources you will need to spend some time with this. If not some options for assistance can be an intern, assistant, or marketing company.

Your generic list is the name I use to refer to any list created from a database provider. I call them generic because several other artists in your specialized field can create the SAME list. Going the step further will not only bring greater awareness to your brand but allow you greater results.

For more info on how you can target your market contact iHeart Marketing today! To schedule a FREE one-on-one consult please reserve your consult time today! To find out more details on our Targeted Marketing Services visit us here!

Feeling Inspired…. or NOT?

30 Ways

To Keep Your Creative Inspiration Flowing

How to keep up with inspiration is quite a chore when you are a small business owner. Adding into the mix that you are a creative business owner could almost be a recipe for disaster. What are some sure fire ways to keep yourself inspired even when your inspiration “bank” is running on low?

  1. Get off that high horse – don’t take yourself SO serious
    Half of our battle is usually within ourselves. Laughing at ourselves is great.
  2. Make a lunch date
    Whether you call up a friend you haven’t seen in awhile or take your honey out to break up the day inspiration can be found
  3. Dance like there’s nobody watching
    Not only is this in many quotes and well known inspirational sayings but it works… I do mine to Cake!
  4. Go to the aquarium
    There is beauty in sea life that can be magical
  5.  Keep an electronic notepad with you at all times
    I use evernote and it rocks! Ideas, voice notes, images, everything!
  6. Google “Get Inspired”
    Let’s face it we are not alone in any phase of life. If you’re feeling something chances are someone else has been there and you can find it on the www.
  7. Cloud watch…
    Such an under rated relaxing past time, what do you see!
  8. Read a good book
    A good book not only offers an escape from reality but it exercises  your brain
  9. Wake with the sunrise
    This is very reminiscent of a new beginning. The amazing thing…. it happens everyday!
  10. Pop some corn with that movie
    Psychological sensors in your brain will relate the smell of pop corn with fun, the movie is a bonus of a momentary lapse of reality for the length of the movie.
  11. Stretch your muscles
    Stretching your muscles will get the blood flowing to your brain and your body
  12. Take a midday stroll
    There are few words that describe leaving the phones behind and strolling midday, even if it is only for a half hour
  13. Create your own “project” that means nothing to anyone else but YOU!
    Something as simple as shooting something you love everyday keeps inspiration flowing
  14. Sing your favorite song… even if you’re tone deaf
    Music speaks a universal language, we all know it. No matter what your taste it’s easy to be inspired by singing along.
  15. Camp in your backyard and watch the stars
    Add the kids for an added lifetime memory!
  16. Un-clutter your workspace
    Lets face it if the gutters on your house are filled with clutter nothing drains, your office should flow the same way.
  17. Have a deep conversation with a friend
    I’ve been blessed with many friends that can talk about theories and the meaning of life. It never fails to inspire!
  18. Keep those visuals of your loved ones close
    Whether it’s a picture on the dash of your car or a simple photo key chain being reminded we are surrounded by love inspires
  19. Treat yourself to a berry filled smoothie
    Not only do antioxidants get your blood flowing but they are like a natural workout for your brain.
  20. Go cut the lawn
    Nothing like the smell of fresh cut grass to inspire something fresh!
  21. Listen to a friend in need
    Sometimes hearing others problems makes ours seems foolishly simple.
  22. Get to the beach
    Crashing waves, misting salt water, sand in your toes… I think my brain just left me at my laptop!
  23. Inspire someone else
    I love inspiring others, it’s like my own personal guarantee  that inspiration makes the world go round.
  24. Get involved with your community
    Walk a dog, be a big brother, touching the lives of others will reward your inspiration.
  25. Take your child to the park (and get on the swings with them!)
    Something about giggles and swings that is just contagiously inspiring!
  26. Keep a “To-Do” list
    Checking off the items on this list acts as positive reinforcement.
  27. Basque in the sun
    The warmth and light of the sun really do create happiness. Happy people inspire, it’s a fact!
  28. Take a long, hot, fully decorated bath (candles and aromatherapy do wonders)
    Even if you’re a man you know ya wanna be lavished in lushness.
  29. People watch at your local park
    We are the most amazingly, creatively, inspiring breed out there… other than dogs maybe?
  30. Visualize your final goal often
    Keeping your eye on the prize is always motivating and inspiring. 
Now there you have it, 30 ways to stay inspired. Try any of these to get out of that non-inspiration rut. I’m sure there is something new on the list you haven’t tried. If you know of some fresh ideas you don’t see, please share them with us!
~ Until we meet again, stay inspired, or better yet, inspire someone else!

It’s All About The Connections

What Exactly Are Connections?

Connections are iHeart Marketings fancy but realistic name for networking with a targeted group of people. Connections are like opportunities. There are several available to us on a daily basis but if we never make the effort then a connection will never be met. It is networking at its very best! Follow up with style! So how do you start making connections? It’s easy…. well for some it will be easier than others. 

Connections are basically follow up calls. Some call these type of calls cold calls but I like to use the phrase “warm calls” In a successful campaign these contacts should have been exposed to your brand by your promotions sent. If you are running a successful campaign connections can also serve as a confirmation that exposure of your name, brand, and work are working properly. 

So how do you begin?

Connections and networking can begin with the following:

  • A targeted sphere of people you want to connect with
  • Referrals from your sphere of influence (friends, family, past clients)
  • Contacts from groups and organizations
  • Statistics of people that showed an interest in your promotions

Rules to live by when networking and increasing your sphere of influence:

  • You never get a second chance to make a first impression
  • Be polite and courteous of others time
  • Get over yourself
  • Always ask for referrals from happy clients
  • Know your goal/s
  • Stay your eye on the prize…. more business!

Now that you have some pointers jump in and try to make some connections. If you fail, try again. Connections can be made personally or with the help of a hired hand. Sometimes having someone that is comfortable on the phone and enjoys speaking to people will get your foot farther in that door. The key benefits to this service is:

  • You can be made to appear more professional by having an assistant or manager doing your calls
  • Someone else has nothing to fear from your highly shelved dream clients
  • You can focus on other tasks in your business that only you can handle
  • Someone else may be able to obtain more details than you cause the person receiving the call isn’t on the spot

So whatever you chose make it the right choice for your business. Whether you make the connections or someone else does it has to be done.

~ Until we meet again, Happy Marketing!

RoadMap Of Marketing: 102

Roadmap Of Marketing: 102

So we’ve learned the first steps to setting up your marketing roadmap in our previous post. By now if you have not already done so you should have:

  • Defined your marketing goals
  • Have a clear vision of your budget for your marketing goals
  • Targeted the proper contacts you should be promoting to
  • Decided on a schedule that works for you (eg. January, March, May, etc…)
  • Researched email services that will suit your marketing needs

Now the next phase will require you to roll up your sleeves a bit and get bruitally honest with yourself. It is where we begin to integrate the different mediums that you will be utilizing as your avenues of exposure to your market. There are several avenues and they should consist of all or some of the list below:

  1. Website
  2. Foliosite
  3. Managed database
  4. Email
  5. Direct mail
  6. Phone calls (aka: connections)
  7. Meetings/appointments
  8. Social networking
  9. Maintaining past clients
  10. Special promotions
  11. Contests

My advice here is to choose what works best for you! Obviously doing all of these methods will increase your exposure and benefit your company the most but, that is not always feasible when reverting back to your budget. Utilize your budget as a guideline that will allow you to integrate what you want to do, with what you can afford to do. Marketing is not supposed to make you feel stressed. You should set up a plan that you can time manage into a set schedule throughout the year. A year is the perfect amount of time to run your campaign and gain the maximum exposure through consistency and hard work.  A good example of an integrated campaign based on marketing for a commercial artist with an annual budget of $ 5000.00 might look like this:

  • Website ($ 500)
  • Database ($ 1,000)
  • Email Marketing Services ($ 250)
  • Direct Mail ($ 1,500)
  • Phone calls ($ FREE!)
  • Social Media ($ FREE!)
  • Appointments ( $ 750)
  • Special Promotions ( $ 1000)

 

Keep in mind the amounts of the mediums will vary depending on what options you chose. The important options will be a balancing act of your budget. Weighing the best exposure with your budget will allow you to get the most out of your budget. Remember, just because something is FREE does not mean it will not cost you something. Social Media and Phone calls obviously will take your time. Decide what your time is worth and manage it wisely. Incorporating social media into after hours is a BIG save on your budget. Working one hour more a day can allow you to set up your social posts and make 25 calls to potential clients. The payoff can be HUGE! I find working before or after office hours run gets you the best focus time with less interruptions!

Now that we have laid out a great sample sit down and try to put your own together based on: your own goals and your personal budgets. For steps on getting started view Roadmap of Marketing 101 here. To set up a FREE marketing consultation with iHeart Marketing today click here. Your FREE marketing consult is only one click away!

~ Thanks for taking time out of your schedule to read and Happy Marketing until we speak again!

RoadMap of Marketing: 101

 

ROADMAP OF MARKETING: 101

So you’re wondering what all this “roadmap” chat is? It comes from the process of having an aid in finding your way. Think about it, what is the first thing we do when we make major decisions in life? We map out a plan. For a vacation we need a map (or now in 2012 a gps on our smartphone), when buying a house we research and map out our direction, in relationships: “Where are we going?” often comes up as a topic because there is no written directions. The need for a map in life is a neccessity. Think about how great it would be if your newborn came with a map of personal directions! Why should your business, your baby, require anything less!

So Marketing Roadmap 101 here we come!

The first step in creating your Roadmap of Marketing should begin with two key elements: knowing your goals and where you would like to get to and then knowing how much budget you have to get you there. Afterall your budget is the fuel that will drive you closer to your goal. If your goal is to be the BEST and highest level pro at what you do GREAT, but how do you get there… However, I will just get this off my chest now – setting unrealistic goals will put you out of business quickly. Knowing your expectations of where you WANT to be is great but the great wall of China was not built in a day if you know what I mean.

So once you know your goal/s and budget you are almost there!  Now you need to create your marketing mix. These elements will be crucial in determining your products/services unique selling point. They can be easily defined by answering the following questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What are you selling?
  • Why does it matter?
  • Why are you better?

Targeting your audience through the proper mix of your marketing is key. You may want to ask yourself some of the following questions to figure out where your target market can be easily saturated with your exposure:

  • Where does your target hang out?
  • Are they twitter freaks?
  • Do they scan through facebook daily?
  • Do they drop everything for a fresh plush direct mail promotion?
  • Can you contact them easily?
  • Should you be packing a bag for some face time?


Once you know WHO you are and WHO you are selling to you are ready to merge your goals and budget! This is when things get very exciting. Remember to always follow the KISS rule. ( Keep It Simple Stupid).  When creativity and campaigns are combined it’s easy to want to promote yourself everywhere, to everyone! Throwing spagetti up against the wall is NOT for everyone. Stay within the borders of your criteria. A simple campaign is all you need. One that consists of your marketing timeline. I find it easy to follow the every other month set-up. For instance, if email promoting is in your mix you will start with an email every other month. So your email schedule would be:

  1. January
  2. March
  3. May
  4. July
  5. September
  6. November

I like to integrate direct mail as an email promotion follow up. It’s an easy, cost effective way to gain maximum exposure to the people that are paying attention to you. With email tracking you can see WHO showed an interest in you. If you are utilizing an email service that allows tracking it will be easy to cross reference them. If you aren’t I recommend checking them out. It will allow you to market smart and narrow down your potential sales to a smaller tangible group. Some of the good email services out there are:  

These are only a few. If you want to take your email marketing to the next level and have an extensive personal list you may want to consider exact target, sugar crm, or hubspot. These email services are integrated with your crm (customer relationship management) software. This to can be added to your “goals” in a realistic manner to get to this point. 

 So without any overload we will end this post today and look forward to the next series of the Roadmap to Marketing next time! 

~ Thanks for taking time out of your schedule to read and Happy Marketing until we speak again!