Archive for Networking
Advertising Ideas: Why Be Normal?
I believe God wants you to know…
…that normal is not something to aspire to, it’s something
to get away from.
Jody Foster said that, and she was right. Never settle
for normal. Never. Normal is not natural. Extraordinary
is natural. Who do you think you are, anyway…?
What will you do today that is extraordinary? Plan it.
Think it through. And do it. All the angels in heaven
are waiting. And even if you ‘fail’, it will have been an
extraordinary effort. That qualifies as extraordinary.
As I reviewed my email and the above message I began to think why be normal? As I began to think how this related to business I thought about those who are above the norm in their marketing and promotion and those who are still conforming to traditional methodologies. I have found those that stay ahead of the curve and are forward in their thinking are the ones who have the most success while those who conform to the norm lag behind and try to play catch up. If you truly want to grow your business and increase your revenue you must be willing to take risks and stand out while getting away from what is considered normal.
Many that read this blog on a regular basis know that I am a proponent of doing things differently. An example of this is my wearing this jersey with the purple Chuck Taylor Converse All Star Sneakers that say BEAT CANCER With the New Era Relay Cap. I do this so I stand out and can start a conversation that will lead to people want to do business with me and supporting the cause. Today at WRPBiTV while taping my TV Show, The Anything Bucket, which airs on www.wrpbitv.com on Tuesday at 6:30 PM a guest commented about my sneakers and I was able to share with her the story behind the sneakers and The American Cancer Society Relay For Life. It is when you stand out that you can open up doors that other wise would have been shut. As you step outside of the norm and do thing differently you will begin to see that you grow both personally and professionally. I was wearing my purple sneakers out one day and a young lady stopped me to ask where she could get a pair and I said I made them at www.converse.com and I told her my story and she gave me a $5 donation for The American Cancer Society Relay For Life. I gave her my card as well and told her about me working at Sinbad Sports located at 2164 S. University Drive in The Tower Shops next to Best Buy in Davie, FL a few days later she was in the store buying a hat for her dad. This is why you must find different ways to share who you are and what you do with others for you never know how sharing will lead to business. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Do You Have Plans?
I am always amazed when I ask a business owner what their marketing plan is and they say I don’t really have on. I am amazed because when you begin a business you must be prepared to advertise and market your business. Once you make your plan and you implement the plan you also have to evaluate the plan. So many business owners are missing opportunities and leaving money on the table because of their failure to plan. I recently encountered a business who hired a sign spinner to direct people to their location but did not have a physical sign visible from the parking lot on the building and wondered why the foot traffic was not as much as he anticipated. If you are going to effectively market your brick and mortar business you must make proper signage a priority so people can find you. In all you do in your business especially when it comes to marketing you must plan your work, work your plan, and make adjustments along the way. In my 25 years of working with businesses I have seen many owners who did not plan and as a result did not succeed. As you open your business daily ask yourself what will I do today to let people know who I am and what I do and why they should do business with me today.
When you open up your business daily ask yourself how am I going to build brand awareness and how will I increase revenue. In today’s evolving market where the consumer is more and more educated you need to have a plan for them to do business with you instead of with your competitor. It is when you create brand awareness and stay on top of the consumers mind that you increase your revenue. The more you know about your target audience and the area you do business in the more successful you will be. The key is to stay one step ahead of everyone else so that when people here your name they do business with you instead of with your competitor. Having brand awareness and good visibility in the market place is crucial to driving business. There are many elements to plan for in order to be profitable in business.
Advertisement Ideas: Building Revenue!!!
If you are in business the first thing you should be concentrating is in building revenue. Everyday you should be engaged in income producing activities for your business. Each aspect of your marketing strategy should include how the marketing will positively impact the revenue while increasing your brand awareness. I have worked with many companies over the last 30 years and many have had general managers and owners who did not see the importance of marketing with a goal to increase their revenue. I have seen many businesses over the years fail or lose money because they were not willing to invest in activities that would produce income down the line. Sometimes the initial outlay for a promotion may seem exorbitant but in the long run it will produce revenue while building brand awareness so that you attract more customers and as a result increase your market share.
In all of the business classes and seminars that I have attended this is a recurring theme. The idea is to understand that marketing is an investment in your business. The key is to spend your money wisely so that it leads to an increase in revenue. In my over 30 years of working for businesses I have seen those willing to spend money and invest succeed while also witnessing those who would not spend money or spent money incorrectly and failed. When spending money you must look at what you want the money you are spending do for you. You must have a plan that will create a return on your investment over time.
If you are to build revenue you must have a plan and you must work that plan. Before you even open your doors and build out your business you must know the demographics of the area, how many competitors there are in the area, and what the sales of comparable businesses around the area are doing to see if there will be enough residual support to support your business. If you are to build revenue you must know who your client/customer is and where your customer/client is and the buying habits of your client/customer. This is where have a promotional budget and plan comes in handy. Sometimes as you work your plan you need to make adjustments along the way so as to achieve the ultimate goal of building revenue. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Constant Communication Is The Key!!!
If you are a regular reader if this blog you know my commitment to The American Cancer Society Relay For Life and my many successes. In 2016 I was involved with The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Boca Raton and raised $1688.05, http://main.acsevents.org/goto/jdogg4 is my donation page for this relay. I also was involved in The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Sunrise and raised $1235.35, http://main.acsevents.org/goto/jdogg3 is my donation page for this relay. My secret to my successful fundraising was that every day I communicated and shared my story with people as to why I relay and asked for donations. In going out into the community I was able to share Relay and where the money goes and the positive impact with others. I was able to recruit a team for The Boca Raton Relay that raised $155. I share this with you to stress the importance of communication. In you business it is important to be out there in the community sharing who you are, what you do, and why people should do business with you. Over the years I have found that the facts they sell but the stories they sell. In building relationships and communicating with people on a regular basis you will have success. The more people you share with the more people know about you and the more money you can raise or the more sales you will have.
I was bit surprised when a People Lead and a Community Representative from The American Cancer Society told me that teams would not be contacted over the summer. I thought wow this goes against every rule of engagement that exists. I have always been one to plan the work and work the plan and keep the already existing participants informed as it is proven your best client/customer or participant is someone who already exists in your data base and by keeping in constant contact and making them feel appreciated they will continue to do business with you or support your organization. When you communicate on a regular basis people feel as though they are part of your business or organization and will support you. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: There Must Be 50 Ways To Drive Traffic!!!
As I listened to Simon and Garfunkel’s 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover I started to think about 50 ways to drive traffic to your business. The following is a list of 10 effective ways that I have found to drive traffic to brick and mortar businesses.
1: Slip in strategic marketing – Know who you want to attract and what they are tuned into and then market accordingly. A Good example of this is Sinbad Sports who just opened a second store in The Tower Shops in Davie to compliment their location at The Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, FL. As they were getting the store stocked with inventory they put in motion two autograph signings so as to drive traffic to the store.
They have posted these on their website, on their social media pages, had hard copies made up to physically hand out in the community, sent these to those on their email list. The key is to have a plan to drive traffic to your business.
2: Advertise in as many places as possible to reach your target audience – Come up with ideas that will create a buzz about your business with the proper promotion.
Everyone loves balloons and everyone loves to get a prize so why not pick up a helium tank and 50 balloons and before you blow each one up put a special offer in each one like a $5 gift certificate, a 30% off coupon, or a free item. You then require people to spend a minimum amount and they then qualify to pop one of the balloons and can collect their prize. You would include this in all your social media, print media, electronic media, and on all in-house advertising. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Don’t Be In A Rush To Close!!!
How many times have you been working and it has been approaching time to close up and go home and you could wait to leave? Many times we are is such a rush to get out and go home that we leave money on the table and instead of turning a customer on and having them buy something we turn them off. I have found that as long as you have a retail operation you can not be in a rush to close. This came to fruition yesterday (4/30/2016) when I was finishing up an 11 hour day at Celebrity Sports located at 1825 N.Pine Island Road in Plantation. I had been posting specials being run during the moving sale all day on Facebook on The Celebrity Sports Page but sales were lacking. At about 9:45 PM a family came in and started to look around and like many potential buyers asked how much something was. In this case it was The Dwayne Wade signed Jersey that normally sells for $999. I told the customer it is normally $999 but because we are moving I could sell it to him for $750. I went back to interacting with his kids and he came over and said If I can do it for $725 he would take it. I called my manager to get approval and the manager said yes. I sold the piece did all the paperwork and as they were leaving his son saw The Dwayne Wade Finals Jersey Swatch Piece it wasn’t in the system so I called the manager who told me it is normally $99 but I could sell it for $65. I told the customer he said I’ll take it. In not rushing the customer and staying open about 15 minutes later than normal I sold $790 worth of merchandise. I share this with you so the next time you are dreading working a long shift and rushing to close that you stay a bit longer as you never know when that browser will become a buyer. As the customer was leaving he asked about any Marino Items we may have as his business partner has a birthday coming up. As a result of not being in a rush to close I not only made 2 nice sales I am confident that I will have future sales.
Even though Celebrity Sports is moving from its current location and having a moving sale I have learned that it is important to be nice to everyone even those who are only taking pictures and browsing as you never know what will lead to a sale. In not rushing to close and taking time to know who is walking into your retail establishment you will begin to drive more business as people will begin to speak highly of your business and bring you future business. Though you can not live on be backs and empty promises you must not be in a rush to close. I have learned over the last several months that it is important to create a good feeling for everyone who comes into the store, calls you on the phone, or stops by your booth at a special event. I have learned that whether in the store or representing the store at a special event that is imperative to stay till the end and sometimes work past closing if necessary.
As Celebrity Sports transitions and moves to a new location I hope the lessons I have shared here will translate to your business and show you that it is important to market, deliver outstanding customer service, and not be in a rush to close. Look for other lessons learned from Celebrity Sports like the importance of networking, paying it forward, using social media, having a great tagline and creating urgency. remember to be consistent in your message and not to rush to close and you will have success.
Advertisement Ideas: Learning From Outsiders!!!
Many times when we are in positions of authority we miss out on opportunities that could have strengthened our brand, increased our donations, and most importantly increased our cash flow. As many of you are aware I am an avid supporter of The American Cancer Society Relay For Life. My passion runs very deep and I event went as far to design sneakers using www.nikeid.com. The sneakers above were designed for The 2015 Relay For Life of Boca Raton. After designing them I thought wouldn’t it be great if Nike rolled out a BEAT CANCER Sneaker Line where they could do different colors corresponding to the different types of cancer and compliment them with matching shirts. I was thinking they could sell them and give The American Cancer Society a percentage from each shoe sold. I was told they have enough partnerships and aren’t taking any outside ideas. I though wow NIKE thinks their too big to listen to a customer who has a built-in network of over 300,000 volunteers who participate in Relay for Life that would buy these sneakers.
In 2016 I designed the sneaker below and they have received some great feedback mostly where can I buy a pair? I stated you can design them at www.nikeid.com. People said you should mass produce them, I said I am working on it but Nike Turned me down. They said wow they are missing out on a great opportunity.
Advertisement Ideas: Proper Promotion Is Priority!!!
This past weekend (4/16-4/17/2016) I had the opportunity to participate in The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Boca Raton and also represent Celebrity Sports at The Ft. Lauderdale Coin and Collectibles Show. The one thing I observed about these tow events was the lack of turn out. I know as a participant and Team Captain in The American Cancer Society Relay For Life that I did my best to promote the event and to secure donations by getting out into the community and working it into all my conversations. I made it a point on Tuesday’s after taping my TV Show, The Anything Bucket, which airs on www.wrpbitv.com on Tuesday at 6:30 PM EDT to select an area in The Boca Raton Area and to promote and collect donations. I did this by planning my work and working my plan and making adjustments along the way.
While I was at The Ft. Lauderdale Coin and Collectible Show I thought what more could they have done outside the banner posted on the main road leading to the event that has been there for months announcing that there is a coin and collectible show every 3rd Sunday of The Month. I though ads in the condo newsletters , posting collectible groups on social media, and having the dealers promote that they would be at the show could have helped. As I manned the booth for Celebrity Sports I made it a point to engage everyone and let them know tat we are located down the street from the show and that we were open until 9 PM. I did manage to sell 2 8 x 10 Prints for $20. Many would say that was a waste but it wasn’t as more people now know about the store located at 1825 N. Pine Island Road and that we are moving which will translate into sales.
Advertisement Ideas Way To Make Proper Promotion A Priority!!!
If you desire to make proper promotion a priority you must find a way to reach your audience with your message. If you want the world to hear you must share your message and build value while providing excellent service. I have found the following ways to be the most effective in driving sales and increasing brand recognition.
One of my best result with my fundraising and in promoting businesses has been to use a face to face, eyeball to eyeball, flesh to flesh, approach. I have found that when you get from out behind the computer and get out in to the community sharing who you are and what you do with others to be the most effective way to promote. Make sure you have a purpose and plan. Sometimes it is as simple as being at a Starbucks, Panera Bread, a Dunkin Donuts or other location where people are and simple listening to what people are talking about and then finding a way to interact with them. I have done this when I hear someone talking about business and have gone over an handed them a card and invited them to be a guest on my TV Show, The Anything Bucket, which airs on www.wrpbitv.com on Tuesday at 6:30 PM. Over the years I have done this I have picked up guests for my TV show, secured marketing and media consultation work, secured announcer gigs, and raised money for charity. One of my favorite stories is the day I was at Starbucks and a friend of mine came in with her friend who I haven’t met before the conversation turned to being of service and value and I shared Relay For Life and the friend of my friend put a $100 bill in the collection canister for Relay. This week make it a point to get out into the community and share who you are and what you are doing.
Social Media cam be a great promotional tool, however to really make it work you need to have frequency and consistency with your message. This week use social media to promote and engage people.
Make sure you have multiple avenues to utilize when promoting your business. When you choose to do electronic or print media make sure you are choosing the platforms that reach your desired target audience. The key to remember with advertising and marketing is to have a defined purpose with measurable goals.
There are many components to Public Relations and it is important that you promote something about your charity or your business daily. each day Find something to promote that will be relevant, entertaining, and resonating so as to touch your desired target audience and drive business or donations to you. Stay Positive!!! Namaste!!!
Advertisement Ideas: Stand Up And Succeed!!!
This week I had a challenge as a so-called business professional took umbrage to the fact that I was using LinkedIn to ask for support of The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Boca Raton. He replied that no one cared about my cause or my opinion. I then did a reply to the 11 people in the conversation including this gentleman and I use that term loosely as he turned out to be anything but a gentleman. He wrote back saying he didn’t have time for my bullshit. It was at that point I called and told him all he had to do was remove himself from the conversation instead of saying okay he got very angered calling me an idiot, an asshole and telling me to go fuck myself. I told him sorry he felt that way and I would do as he requested and lose his number. I did my best to rectify the situation he complained to LinkedIn who has restricted my account and as I write this I am appealing the decision. It was at this point I decided to let go and let GOD and to continue to stand up for what I believed in and to move forward in my efforts to plant the seeds of hope and healing for cancer patients, their friends, and their families. By standing up and continuing to speak out and advocate for people touched by cancer and raising funds for research, education, advocacy, and services I have raised $935.83 for The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Boca Raton, which will be held on April 16, 2016 at Omni Middle School from 5 PM – 11 PM. By standing up and speaking out I finished with $1235.35 raised for The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Sunrise which was held on April 1, 2016. I am very passionate about helping those touched by cancer due to the fact that I have lost so many to cancer including my mother who was called home to GOD on July 5. 2012.
In responding to people and explaining your reasoning in a kind way you will create a respectful dialogue where everyone feels good about the outcome. You never know how your response will impact your business. Think about it if the gentleman who replied in a disparaging way would have simply stated thank you for reaching out to me however I share a different viewpoint than you do and will not be donating to your cause. I wish you much luck in your efforts. In the future if you or anyone else needs my services please visit my website and connect with me how he could have tapped into the connections that I have and perhaps obtained more clients. Now do you really think that I am going to even think about him and his company. He probably doesn’t care as he made it clear that he doesn’t want and doesn’t believe he needs my help. It is his loss because I have stood up for many businesses even when they have said no and sent people to them. Remember that every interaction you have can lead to building your brand and increasing your client base so do your best to be nice to everyone even if you disagree with them.
Think about it if you made someone feel bad they are going to tell people about the negative interaction they had. I have always taught that one oh crap ruins a thousand at a boys so I do my best to show respect to people and to check my ego at the door for the day I think I know everything is the day I begin to loose everything. In all that we do be it soliciting for donations, advertising our business, or attending networking events we must look at how are we making people feel and how are we responding to them.
One does not have to be mean spirited and try to tear one down they simply need to be kind and learn to move on as some will, some won’t, so what, some waiting next. The gentleman who responded negatively most likely will have some experiences that are not pleasant because karma is the greatest equalizer. He most likely will not change and it is not my job to change him it is my job to stand up, speak out, and shine my light and illuminate the world by being of service and value to others. I would recommend that before you respond negatively to anyone that you look at The Four Agreements. Stay Positive!!!
The next time you are unsure of what to do when communicating with someone remember these four agreements. It is when we are kind that we strengthen our business.
Advertisement Ideas: Keeping Your Doors Open!!!
I was out collecting donations for The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Boca Raton on Wednesday (3/23/2016) when I went into OXXO Cleaners and the gentleman said he wasn’t in a position to donate and was giving me a sob story about how he was putting money from other businesses into this cleaning business to keep it afloat. I began to ask him questions and give him some solutions.He said you know what I am going to give you a donation and he handed me a $20 bill. W discussed further ways that we can be of service and value to one another. I share this story to illustrate to you that messages are coming to you and it is time to wake up and heed the messages as things are happening for a reason. The idea is to be in a position to keep your doors open and to make a profit. I have often said and I teach that if business isn’t coming to you go out and find the business. I was an assistant manager at a Footlocker Store in Wellington, FL and I managed to beat all the projections because everywhere I went I would hand out my Footlocker cards. When we did a Friends and family promotion I would ask for 1000 of the coupons because I knew if I walked the mall and the area around the mall and went to the high schools in the area we would see a return on our investment. When I did this the first time I was told by a district manager that is not what the promotion was intended for. I answered did we or did we not just increase our year to date sales by 200% by doing it this way. I was told yes but that was not the intention. I started to wonder if you are not increasing your sales then why are you keeping your doors open. I often wonder how people get into a position without a vision of growth. Sometimes to truly be successful you must do things differently to keep the doors open. Every where I have ever worked I have been sales oriented and have done things a bit differently. My first retail job at Oaktree Men’s clothing in 1988 was quite the experience as I became the top salesman in the country.I was asked how I did this and I answered I simple shared who I was and where I worked with others and when they came to the store I asked questions and was able to find what they were looking for and as a result made many sales. The answer to keeping your doors open is being proactive in the market place and doing things a bit differently than others.
I have always thought of myself as a problem solver. I have found that those who put judgement and EGO aside and listen to me become successful as I come up with practical solutions. In today’s market place if you do not have a web presence you need to develop one by defining your target audience and giving them a reason to come to your store. I have found that those who think they know everything stat to lose everything because they are not open to outside thinking. The solution is to see what is working in the industry you are in and find a way to be a step ahead of everyone else. If you are a sports related store you should be doing things that are sports related in your marketing for example You know every March that The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Takes Place and is referred to as March Madness so why not do a special March Madness promotion that appeals to those who follow the tournament. Every day there is a special day designated on the calendar so look up the special days and do promotions around the day. A great resource for marketing ideas is Heidi Richard’s Mooney’s Book Quirky Marketing Ideas.
The idea is to stand out from everyone else by being creative so that you can keep your doors open. When you come up with an idea it is important to implement it and promote it accordingly with enough lead time to make it effective. You can just say oh let’s do a 20% off sale today and put a sign in the window. You must plan the work and work the plan. It is paramount to go where you customers are and give them a reason to do business with you so that you can keep your doors open.
A few years ago I partnered with Skyline Chili and did a monthly fundraiser that brought additional business to their Sunrise Location. I had a comprehensive plan which included making videos the night of the event to show people what we were doing. I would post these videos across social media and as a result over $5000 was raised for the charity which was 20% of the sales. I would also do shout outs on my radio show that I hosted at the time, Get Motivated with Jonathan JDOGG Lederman. If you want to keep your doors open you must be willing to do things differently. In this world there are two types of people action takers and excuse makers. Which one are you?