Brand Ambassadors

For those wanting and needing more clients/customers/patients, I am often asked about one of two things: advertising and business development outreach. The immediate gratification of foot traffic that can come from "Sale Ends Soon!" is tempting. Pulling in potential business with Special Events can show results you not only can count but with whom you can personally build your brand. Executing a well-planned external marketing program is certainly important but too often I find clients who have not capitalized on or even created an internal one. The strongest brands were not built by marketing departments alone. Who are your front-line brand ambassadors -- your employees! If you are not inspiring your staff -- all of them -- you are missing out. Building your internal brand will take time, effort, and some investment but the benefits are well worth it.

Before you expect them to deliver your brand promise, are you certain everyone knows what it is? Do they understand and believe in what your organization stands for and what makes it unique? Have you created a culture where everyone has a sense of worth and has trust in its leadership. Your most engaged employees, regardless of their title, can provide valuable input and support for onboarding the rest. By encouraging participation and sharing knowledge with your direct, honest engagement, you build trust that is essential for employee buy-in. Not only are you creating brand ambassadors to grow revenue, you save HR costs with limited turnover. You attract higher quality potential brand ambassadors that can sustain a formal program.

Why create a formal brand ambassador program? Keeping employees up-to-date with the latest content/product/service enhancements can benefit existing clients and well as prospective ones. The more they know combined with promoting their self discovery creates a personal identity more important than robotically repeating the corporate one. Ambassadors need to present authentic best selves, applying their unique skills to the corporate goals so they can share what resonates with them. Consider a staff meeting discussion followed up with an email highlighting social content to click and share. One step further, perhaps an award for the most active champions of your brand. With time, consistency and commitment, you can build a front-line so successful that maybe traditional advertising can take a back-seat. 

What is making your organization the best _____________ on earth? Please share what keeps you committed to caring and sharing.




Save The Spaghetti!

As I prepared my presentation to my BNI Referral Champions networking family, like any thoughtful marketing professional I considered my audience. No question that the reception would be warm but I wanted my 10 minutes to resonate beyond the early morning hours at Caragiulos. Like many of you, I, too, am passionate about my work and enjoy sharing the benefits of investing in your self/business through marketing. You might think that someone in the business of supporting business owners in their marketing would, in fact, find this preparation quite simple. It should be easy for a marketer to market themselves, right? Well, not really. 


I honestly love marketing. In one form or another I've spent more than 20 years all in, preaching the gospel. I am a true believer and I think that if you are doing what you love, you have a fair chance the room will feel it too.  The tricky part is to keep focus and know when to stop. Who wants to feel like there just may be a quiz at the end? No one. Is that what I want them to remember? Again, no. How many commercials have you seen that had a great gimmick you remember but the actual product they were selling...not so much?  Messaging in advertising is not easy, even when there is a high-profile Super Bowl audience.

Upward and onward, I thought of how my challenge was nothing compared to those about whom I was speaking. Small business owners are challenged in so many ways just in developing and delivering their core competencies. Those businesses often sprouted from pure joy and pride. It could have been those great cupcakes their friends raved about or the tradesman's skills his father taught him. I have yet to find an owner share with me their joy in those early days of creating that really kick-ass marketing plan. I'll let you all know when that happens because it will truly be an event worthy of, well, marketing.

So, like those homework projects you dreaded and waited until Sunday night to start and finish, I am telling you it is ok to let go. Really, all that grief and I am betting it was not your A+ work. This is your business. With all the blood and sweat that got you there do you want to leave anything less than A+ impressions? None of us are A+ all the time but trying is what sets you apart. Short-cuts are not a long-term solution. What you think will save you money can end up costing you more. Hire a professional, one that is as passionate about their work as you are about yours. Throwing it against the wall to see if it sticks is not the way. As I told my networking colleagues this morning, "save the spaghetti." Focus on your passionate A+ work and others (especially those potential customers) will feel it too. 




Fail to Plan-Plan to Fail

Marketing Plan Consultant H2 Concierge Marketing LLC 1532 US41 BYP S #217 Venice FL 34293

2017 is well underway and it's hard to believe a month has nearly passed by. So, I ask you, how is your marketing plan performing? <crickets> Are you doing any marketing and, if so, how do you even think of spending money without a plan?

Ok, I understand as a typical small business owner you wear many hats. You're out there every day, doing whatever it takes to get the work done and so strategy sometimes takes a backseat. Maybe it moves to the trunk for a bit. You are not alone. According to a recent survey by Infusionsoft, 49% percent of business owners are doing their own marketing without help from anyone. 46% don't know if their marketing efforts are effective and 10% know they aren't. Some of you may be thinking since you don't have a big marketing budget, planning is not essential. I can tell you two things I know to be true. One, if people don't know you're out there, don't completely get what you are selling and why they should have it--you won't be around too long. Two, businesses who take the time to strategize their marketing enjoy better results because they can review and realign to their overall business strategy and gain consistency. In short, a solid marketing plan can save you time and money. Got your attention? Good, but all that marketing strategy in your head isn't going to flow out to plan and execute itself! 

Marketing Media Planning H2 Concierge Marketing LLC 1532 US41 BYP S #217 Venice FL 34293

In that same Infusionsoft survey, business owners named "Driving sales" as their top marketing goal for 2017 followed by Retaining and re-engaging customers." The marketing plan creates a road map to reaching your goals. As an entrepreneur, you may be tempted to plow through it yourself with a DIY work ethic. After all, that got you where you are, right? Sure, given enough time and effort the Internet can serve up anything you need...and that is what got you where you are. Once you realize the learning curve involved in being a copywriter, content curator, graphic designer and website developer, knowing you are leaving out even more key skills, it dawns on you. Marketing decisions are best planned in partnership with professionals that have their own passion and expertise for it.

H2 Concierge Marketing, LLC was born of that passion. We love keeping up with marketing trends, tactics and tools to help you compete and succeed. Let's make that marketing plan just the beginning to growing better business. It's never too late to make a good investment.