Archive for April, 2008

A Little Known Secret for Chamber Success

April 29, 2008

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Making your chamber of commerce work for youI am sure many of you are chamber members or members of trade and professional organizations.  As a member of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce I am frequently asked, “does the Chamber work for you?” Because I know a secret most don’t, I usually surprise my discussion partner with an enthusiastic, “Oh yes!”

Professional business groups, Chambers in particular love to host educational seminars and if you deliver your seminar as a web video the Chamber will feature the video on their website positioning you as an expert in the minds of thousands of prospective customers.  What’s even better, the Chamber will promote your seminar for free, wow!

Now why would the Chamber do all of this at no cost (free facility, free web feature and free marketing); just two words, member value.  The Chamber only functions when it has members and members only stay when they realize some value for their involvement. Believe me, information that can help a business grow is quite valuable.

Because you are not charging the Chamber for this service (that’s right, you “give” this away), don’t forget to include a return link to your site and a quick 30 second or less ad for your business at the front or end of the video. Ok, now that you know my secret; find your local video pro, schedule your seminar with your Chamber and watch as site visits increase, newsletter subscriptions rise and new leads emerge.  If you want an example, watch my business networking video on the Charlotte Chamber’s website (click to watch).

Related Topics:

  1. Sponsor Your Videos
  2. Collaborative Video: The Cure for Sticker Shock
  3. Sure You Want to Sell Your DVD?
  4. For hundreds of ways to get customers to call you, subscribe to our newsletter

A Tip That Could Help My Vet and You

April 27, 2008

Marketing your veterinarian business

Until recently my dog Ginger had been mildly suffering from a number of ailments.  That’s Ginger above with our vet, Dr. Gary White from Catawba Heights Animal Hospital; a great vet center by the way.  When I took Ginger to see Dr. White, like most offices I visit these days I could not help but observe the way the office was organized to attract and manage customers. 

I listened to the clamor of voices outside our examining room; mostly attendants instructing the owners of discharged pets on how to administer medicines, change bandages and manage injuries.  A thought came to me that providing an instructional video either online or on disc would be a great way for Dr. White’s staff to simplify the process of teaching the most common tasks. 

In a 20 minute video production Dr. White could visually present just about every common task that his staff now has to demonstrate.  I personally have asked Dr. White at least 3 times the best way to give Ginger those pills that she quickly figured out are not Scooby Snacks. 

In addition to significantly reducing the number of “how do I do that again” service inquiries, Dr. White can add a few plugs to market additional items like regular checkups, specialty foods, collars or any other item that his office sells.  What’s better is that his customers will probably forward the videos to friends possibly turning some into new customers for Dr. White. Hmmm…smarter customers, product cross sells and new business; this must be what they call business nirvana.

Well, if it works for Dr. White’s veterinary service the strategy could work for any business.  We all have customers and clients who need a little help.  Why not make training easy and do a bit of good marketing at the same time.  We would all love to read comments from Dr. Whites universe (click to comment).

Related Topics:

  1.  Sure You Want to Sell Your DVD?
  2. Marketing Instructional / Special Interest Videos
  3. Video Production That Solves Big Hair Problems

CAABJ: Little Known Ways to Improve Your PR

April 24, 2008

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CAABJ PR EventWhether you are a public relations pro, marketing plan expert or a pr novice the Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalist’s (CAABJ) “Accessing the Media” workshop was well worth attending.  If you couldn’t attend in person, don’t worry you can view a video recap below or watch the recap on our streaming video channel Broadcast Charlotte.

The expert panel featured WBTV reporter, Steve Crump, Hope Paasch the Regional Editor for The Charlotte Observer and Joy Scott the New Media Editor for The Shelby Star.  The group discussed the industry insider’s perspective on what works and what doesn’t when reaching out to the media.  The CAABJ team even Download the media handoutput together a great document with a useful media contact list and diagrams of the news flow through various media organizations (click here to download). There was lots of great discussion around the importance of building relationships with reporters and editors, how to follow up with reporters and the big no-no’s to avoid but as an ardent publicity hound myself I thought the most enlightening comments focused on opportunities for video and copy feature on newspaper and TV station websites.  

Watch the Accessing the Media Workshop Video

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The panelist’s comments reinforce trend data pointing to the reality that print and television media is migrating (fast) towards the web where low distribution costs allow for the delivery of stories that might not make it to network broadcasts.  Print publications are even moving to video-based content; creating an opportunity for savvy business owners to bundle video with their message which can value to the overall pitch. CAABJ team, the only thing I would suggest for the next go round, is to add one or more citizen journalists (bloggers) to the panel.  Popular bloggers are becoming prolific news and information sources in their own right and business owners need to know how to approach social media in addition to traditional outlets.

Related Posts:

  1. The Power of Your Press
  2. The PR Refresh Video
  3. Other Broadcast Charlotte Features
  4. For hundreds of ways to get customers to call you, subscribe to our newsletter

Place is Everything! Entice Prospects Like These MMA Experts

April 22, 2008

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You have probably seen or heard of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, UFC, mixed martial arts or some of the other names martial arts go by these days.  Well my good friend and mixed martial arts expert Ryan Hoover over at Ryan Hoover’s Extreme Karate, a mixed martial arts academy is one of the savviest marketers I have come across and I want to share with you a strategy Ryan uses to create  “buy-me-now” opportunities anywhere his team set’s up shop.

Ryan had us insert some great testimonials to expand a 30 second television spot into a 2 minute promotional video that his team plays wherever they appear.  Ryan and the boys (ladies too) recently showed up at their local theater (video in hand) for the premiere of The Forbidden Kingdom where they engaged martial arts enthusiasts with their video display and walked away with a fistful of new registrations.  The video also plays as a loop in their studio lobby, consistantly delivering the Ryan Hoover Extreme Karate experience to prospective customers who happen by. 


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Ryan’s strategy can be used anyplace a business has a presence; in the lobby, at a trade show, as part of a public speaking engagement, even as a kiosk at a partner location.  The beauty of Ryan’s strategy is that the more he shows his video, the lower his cost per impression (view).  Try to realize the same with television advertising and you are in for a rude awakening.

I am sure Ryan would appreciate your thoughts on other ways he might use his video (click to add your comment).

Related Topics:

  1. So I Have a Marketing Video, Now What?
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  3. Avoiding the Broke Zone
  4. For hundreds of ways to get customers to call you, subscribe to our newsletter

How Netoworking + A Cell Phone = Referrals!

April 18, 2008

I was recently invited to speak to members of the National Sales Network on the subject of generating leads and referrals through effective networking.  I focused on the point that networking is first and foremost an exercise in relationship building.  Once a mutually beneficial relationship is established you must empower your networking partners with information about your company and easy to manage tools that will assist your allies in telling your story. 

Speaking of tools all of you BNI pros, entrepreneurs and sales professionals remember this. Your Blackberry, iPhone, windows mobile device or smartphones is one of the best networking tools on the planet. A phone equipped with your company’s promotional video can lead to explosive networking success.  Below are several ways you can use your cell phone to increase your networking effectiveness.

  1. Show off your video at networking events:  Watch the eyes widen and the heads around you turn when event attendees see and hear your company’s story on your phone.
  2. Web downloads:  Allow your networking partners to download your company video for use on their cell phones and smart phones.  This will turn your networking partners into walking commercials for you and unleash an army of evangelists to sing your praises.
  3. Invite fellow partners to networking events:  Imagine the impact of having 2-4 people at a networking event showing your video to event attendees.  Your message will be in front of exponentially more prospects than you could meet on your own and you are sure to be remembered.
  4. Video testimonials:  Even if you are a sales representative for a firm, you can establish credibility by adding video testimonials to your phone that speak to the worth of the company’s products and to your personal merit.

The bottom line is your referral partners are only as effective as their ability to tell your story.  Today’s cell phone technology can enable your networking partners to become an indispensable extension of your sales force. I am sure our readers would love to read your networking success stories (click here to submit yours)

Related Topics:

  1. John Easton talks networking with the Charlotte Chamber
  2. Use Your iPhone for More Referrals
  3. So I Have a Marketing Video, Now What?
  4. For hundreds of ways to generate business leads, subscribe to our newsletter