Sunday, April 24, 2011

What Prince Taught Me

Everything I learned that was of any value, I learned from Prince... back in the '80's. I didn't think that his wisdom would be as profound now that I'm climbing up through my 40's, but I was wrong.

As luck would have it, I was blessed with a VIP ticket to Prince's concert at The Forum this week. I call it an early birthday present. It was my first time at this venue and I walked in on purple carpet into the VIP Lounge. Upon entering the stadium, the nice lady in a yellow jacket pointed to where I was to view the show - at a table right next to the stage.

I was a fan once, never seeing Prince in concert but loving his funky, danceable music since I was a teen. Now, as I watched him on stage from 12 feet away, I fell in love with him all over again. He is truly an amazing artist and performer. I'm not telling you this to make you jealous. I have a point, really!

As Prince walked around the stage, he left my line of sight for a moment - and I heard his melodic voice say...

"If you don't love what you do, you have no business doing it."

(pausing for dramatic affect here)

How many times have you heard that it's important to love what you do? Many times, right? But have you heard anyone say that you have NO BUSINESS doing something you DON'T love?

I know many people who are doing something they don't love... and they are miserable. They complain constantly, have little to no energy, kinda depressed and aren't all that fun to be around. Bottom line: they aren't happy. Plus, when you're doing something you're not passionate about, you don't put all your effort into it. How can you be proud of something you didn't pour all of your heart into?

Prince took something we all "know" and made it profound. It was like a declaration. So, I challenge you with this: Take a look at your life and ask yourself if what your you're doing today is worth it. Because life is too short to be held back by fear. Take a chance. Make a change. Be happy.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

How Social Media Fits Into Your Marketing Strategy

You may have asked yourself, "How can I implement social media into my marketing mix?" Many business owners like yourself are considering social media as a marketing strategy for their business. However, they wonder if it is worth their time and how much time will it take.

Here is a model marketing mix that may help you put social media in perspective:

Social Media: 11%
Email: 19%
Pay-Per-Click Advertising: 21%
Website: 27%
Search Engine Optimization: 10%
Online Display Advertising: 6%
Other - Blogs, PR, etc.: 6%

While social media helps to brand you and your business and generate interest, it should only be a small part of the marketing pie. The key is to experiment in various types of media. Try posting a banner ad on an industry website. Spend the time to update your website regularly with promotions and new offerings. Dedicate time to creating a monthly newsletter for your clients.

It is important to leverage all of your marketing efforts by tying them all together. For example, if you have a current promotion going on, make sure it's on your website, social media sites, in your newsletter and your online banner ad. If you have a Facebook business page and/or Twitter profile, make sure you have that link posted on your website, banner ad and your newsletter as well.

How much time does social media devour? Think of it this way: It's free - you're spending time instead of money. You should be promoting competitive offers on your products and/or services weekly. You should be posting mentions of you and your company on a daily basis.

Social media makes promoting offers, events and your brand very quick and easy while reaching people that want to receive your information. Therefore, it should be a part of your marketing plan.