Key Concept ~ Developing and implementing a comprehensive marketing communications strategy takes time, but once the seeds begin to germinate you’ll find yourself firing on all cylinders!
Back on July 25th of last summer, I wrote a blog called Seven Ways to Cut Through the Noise and Reach Your Target Prospects. Nearly a year later, I’d like to share with you how these initiatives have evolved to drive value for our business.
1. The Book ~ Published 14 months ago, The Transformational Entrepreneur has proven to have legs. It was cited by the academic Journal of Economic Literature in March of this year and it also received some really positive, unsolicited reviews. The book continues to be a catalyst for media appearances as well. What’s most gratifying is how well the book is received by those who read it. I see it helping people realize their authentic vision and purpose every day!
2. Blogging ~ I had been blogging, almost exclusively on this site, for five months last July. We had just launched Leadership Development and Team Building. Since then we’ve added Igniting Creativity in Business and have plans to launch four mores blog sites in the coming months. Each is specifically tailored to match the audience with the value proposition we deliver within the market segment. Call it micro-marketing, if you will. Nevertheless, we’ve experienced consistently growing traffic and substantial readership extending to 32 countries. Truly remarkable and I thank you all!
3. Articles ~ I was more engaged in writing for internet article sites during the early days of the blogs. While the sites do drive traffic, and were very important in the early days, we’ve migrated more into mainstream media activities. Just so much time in a day!
4. Videos ~ We continue to use HD video in a variety of ways to build value, both in communications and in content. In our online resource repository, designed for our Accretive Coaching students, we’re using training videos to support the educational process. We continue to document speaking engagements and limited demos as certain workshops are, and should, be private to the group. We will be posting a recent speaking engagement from the Southeast Regional Certified Horsemanship Association’s annual meeting, but its release will be timed to coincide with a new service launch and blog site.
5. Social Media ~ Speaking of just so much time in a day! This can be the proverbial rabbit hole if you’re not disciplined in the time you devote to it. Like everything, I had my own learning curve sorting through it all and identify where, and how, I should leverage social media. If you have something to say and are comfortable writing I highly suggest following some of the bloggers on Forbes’ website. If you say something of value they’ll call out your comment, basically highlighting what you’ve had to say in the discourse. From there people can jump to your profile which can lead them to your site(s). There’s some real thought leaders blogging on Forbes.
The Wall Street Journal still drives traffic the same way, but more from the online article discussion threads. The key is not to be too self promoting…add some value to the conversation! If you pique someone’s interest they can easily follow your profile to your blog. That’s really the point anyways, isn’t it? At least it is in our business.
The other valued companion is LinkedIn. This too has short learning curve. Be sure to ask yourself if you’re talking to your peers/competitors or to your potential prospects. It’s easy to catch yourself singing to the choir at first…think it through and look into the group membership, professional demographics. I’ve met some fantastic colleagues and customers on Linkedin and some of the discussion groups are simply enjoyable!
6. Public Relations ~ The big coup, at least for me personally, was recently being interviewed in The Investor’s Business Daily. We’ve been focused on migrating our work into the mainstream for more than two years and the IBD is right on target with a circulation exceeding 600,000 readers. Fun paper to read, too, I’ve read it for years. They run a daily section on leadership that is intriguing. We also were invited back to appear on Jim Blasingame’s program, The Small Business Advocate® and have a spot in Jim’s Brain Trust. What’s really nice is all of my interviews with Jim are hosted on the Forbes website. While all of this supports SEO, it really contributes to credibility. The key is to keep chipping away at it and good things will happen.
For example, last month, during a one week period while we were working in Missouri we were in the IBD, the local paper (above) twice, and appeared (via tape delay…do they still call it that?) on the nationally syndicated, terrestrial radio show, The Career Clinic. So much of this is due to the wonderful team at our PR firm, EMSI. They truly deliver, have incredible talent on board, and employ a unique, pay-for-performance business model worthy of a look.
7. Trade Shows ~ I’ve wondered how effective exhibiting at trade shows has really been since the late 1990s. If your prospect is a senior executive or business leader, chances are you wont find them wandering the corridors of a trade show floor. Speaking engagements at conferences are proving to be much more effective at delivering our message and reaching our target audience. We most recently presented at the Certified Horsemanship Association Southeast Regional Conference (video to post shortly) and at a private event with the VA and local Sheriff’s office in Missouri.
Just as I said nearly a year ago, each one of these initiatives supports the next. It’s circular and builds momentum like a fly-wheel. Please keep in mind, this was all done on a shoestring, meaning you can do it too! The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be firing on all cylinders!
© 2012, Terry Murray.