It’s not Business. It’s personal.

Posted on September 30, 2010. Filed under: Advertising, Communications, ecommerce, Human Business, Jazz, Marketing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This post is about human business. The musical post isn’t directly related. It’s a song I love, Don Quixote, a beautiful song by Brazilian composer/singer Milton Nascimento. I guess I hope that the concept of human business isn’t tilting at windmills. Hope it catches on.

I want to share with you a current project of mine that will be the role model for all of my future business development. And I hope for yours, too! The project is incredibly challenging and complex from the standpoint of strategy and implementation. It is joyous from the standpoint of trust, collaboration and respect among my client and business partners.

I launched this client’s bricks and mortar business 16 years ago. Her successful business model was based on quality, service, community and charity. Since the launch we have both evolved. I am now helping her to expand a spin-off division of her company online. We’re building an ecommerce site and planning a robust online and traditional marketing kick-off.

My partners in this endeavor are Bernadette Nelson and Dave Lostracco. Bernadette is a highly talented graphic, brand identity and website designer who codes as well as designs her sites. This is pretty rare. She was born in Paris and is a fearless sportswoman and good friend. She and I co-author a monthly column, Working the Web, for the Fairfield and Westchester County (Conn, NY) Business Journals.

Dave is a Renaissance Geek. (My new coined phrase.) He is a sublime techie, a veteran high-level operations guy for Group W, a musician, a recording studio owner, an SEO and Google AdWords expert and an incredible human being.

As a marketing team we are intensely focused on creating a seamless experience for our client. We want her to feel that we have her back so that she can relax and enjoy this new chapter in her business.

Our client, who will go unidentified so we don’t spill the beans before the launch of her site, is the perfect collaborative client. She is extremely excited about the expansion of her business and the opportunities it brings – albeit with a touch of normal anxiety. She recognizes that she has a role to play in the success of this project. Certain things can only be done by her. And she does them in an engaged and timely fashion.

We vendors so appreciate that our client appreciates us and trusts that we have her best interest at heart. We do! Her overt recognition makes us even more dedicated to her success.

We have communicated to each other – client and vendors – that we feel like friends. This makes the quality of our interaction so enjoyable. There’s a lot of positive emotion that we’re all putting into this. Personal makes business so much more rewarding – and successful!

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Welcome to the Promised Land: 7 Online Opportunities

Posted on June 28, 2010. Filed under: Communications, Inbound Marketing, Internet Traffic, Jazz, Marketing, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Today’s musical post is ‘Ac-Cent-Tchuate the Positive’ sung by its creator, the great American composer Harold Arlen in a rare recording. Hope it gets you in the mood to consider this:

The best way to move out of a recessionary mindset is to consider and embrace new opportunity. Projects I’ve been working on lately point up the many ways that today’s web has become a promised land of opportunity for businesses. Let me share a few.

  1. Get an edge on the competition. Several current clients are upgrading websites that were state of the art online brochures when they were built five or more years ago. Their owners have come to realize that these sites fail to deliver value in our Web 2.0 world. These clients are getting way ahead of many of their competitors who haven’t awoken to new online capabilities for driving business. They are breaking from the pack and gaining a competitive edge in the process.
  2. Become more relevant. A bit of keyword research can reveal the shocking reality that none of the words you’re using on your website correlate with how your prospects are searching for services like yours. Paying attention to your meta data – that behind the scenes code SEO stuff – can help them find you at last.
  3. Be a content hero. Once they finally find you in the promised land, those hungry searchers will reward you as they consume the delicious info manna you’ve prepared for them.
  4. Start a business or expand the one you have. The ease of launching eCommerce is a boon to the budding entrepreneurial spirit or to the bricks and mortar retailer looking for a way to expand without more bricks and mortar. It still takes smart strategic planning and excellent marketing, but technology has leveled the playing field for the mom and pop store.
  5. Defend your small bricks and mortar business against huge online competitors. This is the flip side of the #4 opportunity above. My SEO/PPC partner Dave Lostracco specializes in using online tools to help small businesses compete with the big boys. You don’t need as much traffic as they do because your overhead and business objectives are at a different level. You can rank for long tail search terms and get your fair share of online business.
  6. Become a good corporate neighbor. Social networking – the most vaunted aspect of online marketing these days — is about shared interests, shared concerns and shared solutions – ‘shared’ being the common adjective. The communities you build and nurture will help you to grow your business.
  7. Look great in your customers’ eyes. Business has never been more competitive. Put a few online tactics into your customer service tool kit. Servicing customer needs via Twitter tweets and other personally interactive methods can definitely win and keep friends.

 Take-away: Look at the online technology world as THE place to catapult your business into economic recovery!!!

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