Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Two Truths and a Lie

Published by Suzanne Evans   |   August 20, 2015   |   1 Comment

No one gives a shit about the things you like.

Or I suppose I should say something like…six people care about what you’re passionate about, and the rest probably don’t like you enough to pretend that they do.

Wow, this is coming off as more abrasive than I had intended. Okay, let’s start over.

I want to talk about presenting content through video, and to make it a little sexier, I’m going to do it through the ever-popular “two-truths-and-a-lie” format.

TRUTH #1: Video is your most effective means of sharing your message or product. Dr. VideoImageJames McQuivey estimates that a 1-minute video holds the persuasive power of 1.8 million words of copy. That’s insanity. At my pretty average typing speed of 65 words per minute, it would take me about 19 days straight to type that many words. In that amount of time, I could listen through American Pie roughly 3272 times or just wait for my girlfriend to get ready to go out.

TRUTH #2: Video is your most popular method of conveying information. Over 100 million people will watch online video this month. Humans are visual creatures, and it shows. We watch more video, and we respond better to video marketing. Hell, having a video can reduce opt-out rates to newsletters by “up to 75%” (See https:// www.oracle.com/marketingcloud/products/cross-channel/marketing-to-businesses.html).

THE BIG LIE: Your specific message is intrinsically interesting to people. Here’s the thing: people generally don’t buy products. People buy ideas, concepts, and personalities. For example, I very recently bought one of those machines that carbonates water and allows you to make soda at home. If I were to think about it rationally, I would come up with about ninety thousand reasons why I don’t need that machine in my life. But I wasn’t buying the machine, see? I was buying the life the marketing promised me–a life with more free time, less waste, and probably more sex or something. (As an aside, I’m really digging making my own soda so far).

You get the point, I hope. When you’re creating your opt-in or strategy session videos, you don’t need to focus on the specific message you have to give. I don’t want you to convince me that I need your five points to do X. I want you to tell me how my life’s going to be different by working with you. I want you to captivate me with your energy and performance to the point that I can’t wait to talk to you. I want to believe that you can fill a hole in my life.

Selling rarely works; entertaining and inspiring almost never fails.

 

David Vance, Editor at Hell Yeah Studios 

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Planting Seeds in Your Own Backyard

Published by Suzanne Evans   |   July 30, 2015   |   1 Comment

Recently, a very good friend of ours came to visit my husband, Kevin and I in our home in Oregon. Our town is known for a jet boat experience called “Hellgate Jet Boat Excursions”. Kevin and I did the ride about 10 years ago when we first starting coming up to Grants Pass, but it wasn’t until we had a tourist to take on it did we do it again. It is a 4 hour experience like no other — we did the dinner excursion — 19 miles down river to a beautiful lodge with a sit down dinner — then 19 miles back to Grants Pass all along the Rogue River. I loved when the boat captain said, “This is not a train ride, it is a jet boat ride and you are going to get wet.” That was an understatement as the boat captains raced each other, slammed on the brakes and sent water covering all 58 of us on the boat about 6 times on the ride back.

I thanked our friend as we got off the boat for coming to town so we could have such a fun time. I said to him “We wouldn’t have done this if you hadn’t come.” His response was “It is in your own backyard, why not?”

That got me thinking. What are you not doing in regards to marketing your business in your own backyard? Most people say “I can work with people around the world.” That’s great but what opportunities are you missing in your own city or town?Untitled

Most, if not all, entrepreneurs who do best in their local markets are masters of effectively marketing themselves. Here are some tips to help you market yourself in your own backyard:

• Define your geographical market— What is in a 1-mile radius of your business? Is there a community center? A yoga studio? A library?
• Be visible— Identify opportunities to get “seen” especially when events allow for many people to be in the same place at the same time. Go where your ideal clients gather in numbers.
• Get involved— Join associations or groups of business owners in your area. Ask them to be your referral partners especially if they are already service your ideal client
• Ask clients for referrals— After working with your clients successfully for a period of time, ask them for a testimonial and referrals.
• Promote your business — Create a gift certificate for a complimentary session (or free sample or your product) to share with local businesses where your ideal clients hang out.

There are no short cuts to establishing yourself and building a local following. Make calls, have meetings, and spend time in all the right places and in front of your ideal clients. Remember over time, the seeds you plant will grow to great success in your own backyard AND you may have just as much fun as we did on the jet boat ride.

 

Cathi Harley, Sr. Vice President 

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Color Palettes and Comic Sans

Published by Suzanne Evans   |   July 16, 2015   |   1 Comment

If you’ve had a VIP day at Hell Yeah Studios in the past year or so, you’ve most likely had a conversation over the phone with some asshole who hounded you about why color palettes are important and why using comic sans throughout your videos is probably a bad idea. I am that asshole.ColorPalette

Most people know–at least in an academic sense–that the way they present themselves is important, but, a shockingly high percentage of the time, business owners unknowingly lace their video marketing with visual detritus that makes every designer on the planet cringe simultaneously. If you have the opportunity, I urge you to meet with a branding expert. In the meantime, I’m going to give you a few basic tenants of video design choice that will make your editors’ lives easier and lead you to more clickthroughs.

1. Don’t just pick your favorite colors.

Entrepreneurs wildly misunderstand color choice in relation to their brand. A good color scheme should always serve a purpose. It should tell the audience something without them even noticing. The colors should complement each other seamlessly. I guess what I’m saying is the next time a client sends me a color palette that was assumedly scraped together from some personal favorite colors, I’m going to kick every puppy I can find.

Unless you’re a Christmas-focused company, it’s best to not even touch bright green and red. If you’re dealing with a particularly emotional subject, soft hues might be the bill of fare. The colors should complement each other so that they look great when used in graphics.You get the gist. Check out these color selections taken from Converse:Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 9.16.46 AM

That is the Indiana Jones of color schemes. It’s straightforward. It’s rugged. My girlfriend thinks about it while we’re having sex.

2. Fancy fonts are not better fonts

Like your color selections, your fonts send a message about your business. First of all, you should only use a couple different fonts. If you can find a compelling argument as to why your brand needs a cursive font, a big blocky headline font, and a slanted “fun” font, I will give you every dollar I made this year. Secondly, don’t assume that a font comes off as high-class or interesting just because it looks hand-written. And finally, for the love of all that is holy, please understand that Comic Sans should only be used by drunk, blind squids planning the world’s worst party.

3. Bigger is better

If I had a quarter for every time a client has sent over a file labeled “logo” that, when opened, turns out to be a 200×200 screenshot, I would have like six dollars. When sending materials to an editor or designer, a vector graphic is ideal. Essentially, a vector graphic allows the image to be enlarged without losing image quality. You should be able to get such a file from your designer. If, for some reason. you are not able to obtain a vector file. It is crucial that you supply the biggest image you can find. When a client asks me what size I need in order to us it in a video, I always respond, “As big as you can find.” A good key to remember is that you can always make an image smaller, but you can’t make it bigger.

David Vance, Editor at Hell Yeah Studios

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Being Changed

Published by Suzanne Evans   |   June 25, 2015   |   No Comments

My first day at Suzanne Evans Coaching was day 1 of the Be The Change Event in Orlando, Florida. Talk about a baptism by fire! The energy and enthusiasm was pervasive and contagious. The sessions were fantastic, the breakout sessions were illuminating, the Run, Walk, Cheer event was inspiring. But did I come away changed?

The critical thing about this event, is spelled out in the name – BE THE CHANGE. It’s very easy to go to an event and fully expect to be radically transformed, but change doesn’t work that way. There is a moment in time when change is affected in a person’s life; that moment of inspiration, of frustration or even hitting rock bottom. But that has to be just the beginning. Real change (for most) doesn’t just happen in an instant. Excellence, as they say, is a habit. A series of decisions, which over time, develop into a habit. Being the change is more than a slogan or a slick title. It’s something far more profound.bethechangeevent2015

So how effective is the event? I have seen first hand people whose lives and businesses have been transformed. They aren’t doing what they’ve always done. They’ve honed in on their “why” and are using this new focus to improve their personal and professional lives. For some of you this is old hat. You’ve been to the event and you’ve seen and experienced the change. For me, being new to the event and new to the company, it was eye-opening and inspiring (in equal measure). Part of what is fascinating is to see veterans of the 10k Club and Be the Change Event providing leadership and inspiration to newer folks. Individuals who were struggling last year, are now providing mentoring and leadership. As Brian Stark, Vice President of Coaching, says, “To every 3rd grader, a 4th grader is a hero.” You don’t have to be very high in your climb up the ladder of success to realize that there are people following in your shadow.

Take Aways

Aside from the obvious, gosh this is a high-energy group of folks, there were a few key takeaways that I gleaned from the event:

  • Don’t let fear (alone) dictate your actions – Fear can motivate, or it can debilitate. You’ve got to get past your fears: Fear of failure. Fear of not being liked. Fear of the what ifs.
  • Indecision is decision – By putting off making a decision you’re not delaying the inevitable, you’re eliminating the possible. Opportunity can be a very perishable. Competitors can seize the very opportunity you’re considering. Market conditions can rapidly change leaving you with nothing.
  • Believe you’re worthy of success – what you have to offer is worth something. You’re worthy of  being paid for your time and effort. You’re worthy of being successful, so act like it.
  • Being hated isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you – What’s worse than being hated? Being ignored. Being irrelevant. As Winston Churchill famously said, “ You have enemies? Good! That means you’ve stood for something.” Nothing breeds contempt like a little success.

What were your takeaways? I’d love to hear away your thoughts and the valuable lessons you gained from this year’s Be the Change Event.

Frank Geric, Director of Digital Marketing

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My Experience With Customer Service

Published by Suzanne Evans   |   June 18, 2015   |   1 Comment

The phrase customer experience is what everyone is talking about these days. It’s all about how the company interacted with the customer, whether it be online or offline.

While on my way to see my brother and his family a few months ago, my car broke down on the side of I-95 in the middle of the night. We were stranded without out AAA or any kind of roadside assistance. At this point I was a wreck. Then my partner had the grand idea to call AAA and see if we could get same day service if we signed up with them, and sure enough, they allowed us to sign up right then and get a tow truck out to us. A few hours later we were picked up, the car was taken to the service center and we were taken to the nearest hotel. Then we hit a snag, the tow truck driver only took cash and we didn’t have any on us, he then went on to say that he would drive us to the nearest ATM at no extra cost. He was our hero that night! Going forward to the next day, we received a call from the service center saying that since my car was under warranty and there was a Hyundai dealership right beside them they would drive the car over there and not charge us for the work they did to figure out what happened. Another stand up person! Within 30 minutes of us getting to the dealership they called Enterprise and had us in a rental car.

However with all of the great customer service that we received, I did have to help push the process. What I didn’t explain in the previous paragraph is that we waited 2 hours before leaving our hotel and walking in the rain to the dealership to find out what was going on with my car. The car was at the dealership, but we received no notification.

So why am I explaining all of this to you? To show you that even with great customer service the customer still has to take action to get the results they want. So think back to whenever you’ve had good customer service with out taking action yourself and comment on when and with who this has happened.

Sarah Herbaugh, Marketing Manager 

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