Archive for December, 2010

December 20, 2010

Try, try again. . .

by Kate W. Hall

Reading a great article from the Wall Street Journal digital network today on deciding when it’s time for Plan B reminded me of an important lesson that several entrepreneurial friends have shared with me:

If at first you don’t succeed, don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Try, try again.

The business owners in this article are doing just that–and realizing greater results by changing their business plans.

Likewise, so many of my clients and I work together throughout an entire calendar year for this very reason to work on various ways of marketing their messages; this works well because it’s very difficult to knock a “one-hit-advertising-wonder” out of the park. If everyone could advertise somewhere once and have huge success, that advertising source would likely be so highly-priced as to squeeze some smaller or start-up businesses out of the market.

Although the article itself focuses on the business plan and changing that up if results aren’t seen, the same thing is true with marketing.

For example, if your social media plan isn’t working for you, try something new: we’re working with a client now to tap into the mommy blogger market as she never has before and growing her Twitter presence; both are helping greatly with SEO.

If your web ads aren’t providing the desired results, try surveying customers to find out what publications they read–perhaps their answers will surprise you.

In this economy, many high-end retailers have failed: this is the perfect time to diversify inventory and focus on services if the high-end schwag isn’t moving.

Making changes doesn’t mean that you’re doing something wrong, it just means working hard to try and do the right thing. So we work hard and try, try again.

December 14, 2010

Doors open the harder we work.

by Kate W. Hall

I was talking to a friend recently who also happens to be an entrepreneur about the amazing ways in which doors open to us as business owners.

At first–at least for me–it seemed like forever until clients were approaching me about partnering with me in some way. At a certain point though, after months and months of hard work, experimentation and building our site content the tide began to turn, and suddenly we were accepting instead of just making phone calls.

If we can see it through to that day when we begin to build a name for ourselves, do great things for others by helping them along, and giving back to the community, the doors begin to open in rapid fashion. Just walk through.

December 9, 2010

Create an account, then raise it like a baby.

by Kate W. Hall

I met with a new client today that I’m really excited about working with–she’s a second-generation business owner in a traditionally male-dominated field, and with a fun and feisty personality I know we’ll get along swimmingly as we help build her brand with the mom-set in Richmond.

When the topic of social media came up, shock came over her. “Can we just set up an account and tweet once a week or so?” she asked.

I answered resoundingly “No.”

It’s just not enough to create a Twitter, Facebook, Linked In or other social media account and barely update/build/share. It’s practically not worth having at all. With determination and the fire that most entrepreneurs or marketers have in their bellies, integrating social media into the entire strategy is the only way to achieve success. On the other hand, it doesn’t mean sitting at a screen and reading tweets all day, either. Overall, as I’ve stated in a past blog post engagement in social media is the key.

Creating these accounts is a new outlet into a new world of connectivity, branding, and learning that is much like birthing a baby. You can’t just leave the hospital and expect it to raise itself, right?

December 6, 2010

I screw up all the time. Kindness is appreciated.

by Kate W. Hall

This weekend was a crazy one. Got up early to leave the house at 7:00am Saturday morning in the brrrrrrr freezing Richmond temp of 30 degrees to run the Jingle Bell Run, then not even a shower before I was off to Home Depot kids’ workshop with the three rugrats, then home to shower (finally!) around noon and off to the Winter Bash at my boys’ elementary school.

We had a blast, got worn out, headed home then dressed to go out for a holiday when BOOM! It hit me: I was supposed to be at a Richmond Rocks reading at noon that day. And guess who forgot about it. Completely.

All the time women say to me: “Wow, you really have it all together!” which is a lovely compliment but couldn’t be further from the truth. While most of the time I am organized and have everything on the calendar, there are so many instances like this when I space out: completely.

I struggled with what to do, then decided that honesty is the best policy: I called the bookstore at 7pm that night where fortunately, they were still there to answer after their big day. “I honestly am not sure how I forgot, and I hate to tell you this,” I said to the book store owner, “but I just got caught up with my kids all day.”

Her response shocked me: “You know what? I’m happy for you. That’s a wonderful reason to have missed it. And honestly, we didn’t have as many kids here as we expected. So just be glad you enjoyed your day with your children, I know they appreciated it.”

Wow. Kindness in return for my major screw-up. For that, I am thankful.

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