Webcast Wednesday - The Visibility Equation: Social Media + Video

Are you really still wondering whether or not you need Social Media as a part of your Marketing Strategy?

Please allow me to respectfully submit the following theorem to you -- 
The time for wondering is over and the time to incorporate Social Media into your visibility toolkit is now. 

There are several variables in the Visibility Equation. Two factors that are givens, however, are: 
  1. Social Media
  2. Video
That is clearly illustrated in the informal treatise in the video below. Michael Stelzner walks, drives, and talks about why Social Media is here to stay.

"It's a lot like fax machines when they first came out... Every business is going to have to have a presence in Social Media."
Michael Stelzner Creator of Social Media Examiner

Social Media Drive 2 from Michael A. Stelzner

Oh, yes... Michael is advertising a virtual Social Media summit which starts in May 2010. I'm sure it will be great! 
How would you like to get a jump start on your planning process, though? Just keep reading below... 

Social Media for Business Webinar Series

Why don't you join us on a journey toward using Social Media to help you build your business? 
It comes in small, manageable, evenly spaced, virtual bites - i.e.: webinars. Click Here for details and to register, if you decide that this series is for you.

Comments are welcome. Tell us what you think.

© 2010 DMMI Associates LLC – All rights reserved


Tough It Out Thursday - on Perseverance

There usually is no blog entry from me on Thursdays. Tweets yes, with several hash tags for "#TIOTh" -- blog entries, no.  

The main reason Tough It Out Thursday is included in the topics calendar is simply this: 
For many of us, it is the most challenging day of the week. Maybe you've had three days of business bliss, but it's much more likely that you have met -- and overcome -- one or more challenges every day this week. A small percentage of us may even have "hit a wall" or worse yet... gone SPLAT! 

A few days ago, I came across a paper I'd saved. It was from the owner of a local printing company, who always included a cover letter with the monthly company newsletter. In it was a story that is familiar to many, but bears repeating. In fact, I read it to my son the day I found it.  

This little story is called "Giving Up Too Soon"
A man meets a guru in the road. The man asks the guru, "Which way is success?"
The berobed, bearded sage speaks not but points to a place off in the distance.
The man, thrilled by the prospect of quick and easy success, rushes off in the appropriate direction. Suddenly, there comes a loud "Splat!!!"
Eventually, the man limps back, tattered and stunned, assuming he must have misinterpreted the message. He repeats his question to the guru, who again points silently in the same direction.
The man obediently walks off once more. This time the splat is deafening, and when the man crawls back, he is bloody, broken, tattered, and irate.
"I asked you which way is success," he screams at the guru. "I followed the direction you indicated. And all I got was splatted! No more of this pointing! Talk!"
Only then does the guru speak, and what he says is this: "Success IS that way. Just a little AFTER the splat."
Author Unknown

Maybe you haven't gone "Splat!" -- perhaps you never will. But just in case you do, remember to keep going in the direction that your objectives, plans, and strategies are taking you - just beyond the next obstacle
I'll do my best to continue bringing you a little inspiration on Thursdays to help keep you going. 

Comments are welcome. Tell us what you think.

© 2010 DMMI Associates LLC – All rights reserved


Manage Your Money Monday - Visibility on the Level Playing Field Called Internet

Last week, we looked at your need for a viable business model - the road map for the journey to managing your money well. This entry for Manage Your Money Mondays focuses on how a strong visibility arsenal can help both the top and bottom lines of your income statement

Promoting your business is a basic requirement for its survival. How you promote it spells the difference between surviving and growing faster than your competition. More and better visibility content and visibility venues can give your company an edge. 

You must have an edge. What's yours?

"Whether you call it a commercial, elevator pitch, or 60 second presentation ... it's a must. If you have a product or service to sell, you must let others know who you are and what you offer."
Victoria Trafton, owner of Referral Institute of Central Arizona

I have referred to the internet as the great "playing field leveler" in other posts and presentations. This is borne out almost daily with an seemingly endless stream of web-based tools that can give smaller businesses their competitive edge. They are ever more flexible, often customizable, and most importantly AFFORDABLE.  
The service used to deploy the video below is an ideal example of an edge builder.

<h1>Video Visibility Tool - thinkVAULT | thinkVISIBILITY</h1><p>thinkVAULT, visibility, video, video marketing, blog, vlog, e-marketing, sales, website</p><a href="www.veeple.com" alt="Veeple Interactive Video">Veeple Interactive Video</a>

Disclosure: I was so impressed with the capabilities of this service that my company is now an affiliate. What do you think? Could this be the edge you need? 

However you decide to invest your marketing dollars, just make sure you get the best available set of benefits. Find tools with features that you will use to generate revenues or minimize costs.

If this thinkVISIBILITY service may help you to build your business, click here to sign up for a free trial.
Comments are welcome. Tell us what you think.

© 2010 DMMI Associates LLC – All rights reserved


Business Model Focus on the Top Line - Revenues

This entry for Manage Your Money Mondays focuses on the top line of your income statement: REVENUES. 
You have probably read and heard about the need for a good business model for your company.
It isn't as mysterious as it could sound. That's just a strategist's way of saying to ask yourself a key question: 

How will you make money?

A business model describes how an organization creates, delivers, and captures economic value  or social value.

Typically, for-profit businesses focus on adding economic value and not-for-profit organizations focus on adding social value. The case can also be made that the ideal position for each lies in a hybrid entity; i.e.: profits with social consciousness and social missions with fiscal responsibility.

Viable Business Model must come before you install that great marketing cotter pin: Visibility.
Too often, a business has a great product or service, coupled with reasonable pricing, but little or no business modeling. It leaves a big gaping hole in the viability of the business. 

What do I mean by that? You, business owner, have identified a marketable product that you believe will sell -- there is need in the marketplace. You have calculated your income needs, factored that into your pricing, and decided this can work. You venture out into the sales jungle and do "all the right things" -- or so you thought. The results are disappointing, however. Thus, a piece of the planning puzzle is missing. You can only conclude that your business model and key parts of your strategies are flawed.

The easiest way to build a Business Model is to 
Ask and answer the 5Ws -- the ones you learned in English or Language Arts class: Who, What, When, Where, Why. Apply the answers to your Business Model. Then make sure that your price points, your packaging and presentation [branding], and your placement match up accordingly.

For example: If you provide high-end bathroom remodeling, you need to market your services in venues and to prospects that are likely to spend upwards of tens of thousands of dollars on that set of products. Develop plans for finding and connecting with those prospects so that your time -- and marketing dollars -- are invested well. Find people who are already connected to your market niche; that makes a great starting point.

If you would like a little help with strengthening the viability of your business, E-mail us with your questions, or leave Comments below, about your challenges in reaching your business goals.

© 2010 DMMI Associates LLC – All rights reserved


Visibility: Don't Run Your Business Without It!

What one thing does every business need to stay in business?
Put simply: The one big common factor is visibility!

"A business with no sign is a sign of no business."
A common tagline in the sign-making industry

This widely accepted concept for brick and mortar businesses applies equally well to all businesses. 

Why? The great playing field leveler The
Internet has made it so. You may not have a storefront at the corner of Apple Lane and Orange Boulevard, but you still must have a visible presence. Otherwise, no one knows where to find you.

Furthermore, in today's Web environment, no one has a plausible excuse for lacking a Web presence

With just a little bit of research, a savvy business owner can find free hosting, free design tools, free domain registration, free blog sites and certainly free social media communities.

The caveat is, however, that a zero cash outlay does not necessarily mean "cost free." Some of the hosting sites will display your website for free, but that comes with banner ads -- of their choice, not yours. Visitors could get so distracted by other companies' ads that your message is buried in the busyness.
Design tools are also limited. Your choices for page templates, layouts, and colors -- if there are any choices -- will be limited.

Still, there are many other choices that offer very serviceable options for carving out your corner of business visibility. 

One of the easiest ways to build visibility is Blogging.
Among the group of visibility tools that require creating content, blogging takes the least amount of technical knowledge. Dressing up your page with colors, bold characters, and graphics takes just a few mouse clicks. The real "work" is in the writing. In a blog post on the Mashable site, Mark Suster - a venture capitalist - published an article called HOW TO: Create a Successful Company Blog. He clearly details Why you must blog, What you should blog about, and some Right and Wrong ways to go about it. 

It's my fond hope that this blog is an example of a "right way" to go about it. Let me know what you think. 
In future entries, we'll take a look at some other visibility options, including a newly emerging concept called Vlogging - no that's not a typo.

If you would like to have higher visibility for your business, start by checking out one of the services we offer to our clients: A Webmercial. You can see an example -- and place an order --  in this post "How Visible Is Your Business?"

© 2010 DMMI Associates LLC – All rights reserved