Category Archive for: ‘audience’

The Cost To Your Brand: Customer Acquisition and Customer Support

1358856_10905934The longer I live, the more I think about what it really means to support others and be of service to them. Where along the way do we lose that magic touch of support and service to others?

I think about this topic more lately because of the larger number of service providers we hire at work. It seems like we pay so many companies monthly for something. The latest hire really made me laugh.

This company gave a 14-day free trial offer so I could test out their software. I found myself scrambling like a maniac to really use and implement their software and test it fast. Why?

My past experiences with similar vendors have conditioned me to believe that companies will give me good service as long as I’m not a client yet. In other words, while they are wooing me in the “dating” phase, they’ll give good support and answer my questions. Once I pay up, they stick me in line with all the other customers who need support and then I won’t be able to get help with their product anymore. Even if me and my company have paid a premium to use their service.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a real life example we’ve actually tested out.

We evaluated Demand Force, a company we have used. Here are the results:

It took Demand Force ten seconds to answer sales calls- when they thought we were prospective clients wanting to buy their service. In contrast…

We were on hold 29 minutes when we became a client and had a question regarding their service and product.

Do you see a problem? I do. Does it now make sense why I was scrambling to see if I really liked my potential new vendor while they were wooing us? Sadly, yes.

What does this mean for you? Stop and think for yourself:

If you are in the role of working for one of these types of organizations:

  1. what kind of pre and post acquisition support do you offer clients? If it differs, by how much and why?
  2. What does the difference in treatment do for your overall corporate/business brand? Does your target audience get a clear and consistent brand message? Do they really get to know your company values this way?

If you are an individual working on your own brand:

  1. what kind of support do you offer others?
  2. Do you offer consistent support to those you serve?
  3. Or does your level of support vary? If so, how and why? 

Top 3 Ways To Build Your Brand As A Musician

0

denverphotoI was recently watching the 2013 BBC John Denver special on PBS.  I hadn’t thought of John Denver for years!  I’m not that old, but I do remember listening to his songs when I was around 10 years old.  His music always seemed so effortless, kind, gentle and meaningful.  His fan base was huge.

According to his website, Denver was one of the most successful entertainers of the 1970s with sales over 33 million to date, including eight Billboard Top 10 RCA Albums in the U.S. (three of which hit #1). On the BBC special, as they interviewed various people connected to Denver, I started to really see why Denver had been such a lovable musician with such a distinct brand.   According to one interviewee who played guitar in his band Denver, “put people in the palm of his hands”.  Wouldn’t you love to do that as a musician?

It also became very clear why Denver had critics that were so nasty.  While it seems like the norm these days, sadly, these critics really aimed to take him down for being happy, communicating his talent through song and wanting to share it with others.  Apparently, Rolling Stones Magazine defined him rather ludicrously in 1976 as, “…devoid of all human characteristics.”

I chuckled when I heard that last quote. It was a sad commentary on parts of society believing that happiness is not a valuable human characteristic.  As I always teach, 75% of everything you and I buy is based on how we feel about it, not the content and happiness is the only emotion that sells. So you better have a happy brand!

But I get it.  Sometimes it is easier to poke fun (or just be downright mean) to those who are happy and successful because it is hard to conceive that it could be so easy.  Jealousy does that to us.  I know that every once in while I can feel the critics eyes on me when I preach happiness as a brand necessity.  It never feels comfortable when I get weird glances like I must be nuts.  However, I know my truth and try to hold steady- like John Denver did.

So what does this mean for you as an artist?  Build your musical brand as:

1. Genuine– Be yourself and make sure you stay true to who you are. Otherwise, your real audience will sense the dissonance and shrink.  You will then be stuck with a fickle audience that is not loyal. 

2. Fun & Happy– I’m not asking you to sing the Blues and be jumping up and down with joy.  That’s dissonance, too.  Happiness can show up in so many ways.  Always remember the only emotion that sells anything- including music- is happiness. Are you happy? If not, get happier and make sure I feel that from your brand.

3. Self-Expression– don’t ever let anyone tell you that you must alter your brand and music to fit a niche that is not you. It won’t work, plain and simple. It may sell records and make others wealthy in the short term, but it will not work for you long term as an artist.  Trust me, but if in doubt see #1 above.

Email me with any questions you have.  

What About You Is Compelling- How To Track Leads With Your Brand

0

I have the same conversation at least once a week with a client.  It goes something like this: they tell me they met a wonderful potential client OR they tell me that they got a great new client.  Fantastic, right?!

So I always ask them what they did to get that client, i.e., how did the referral come to them?  Why do I ask them this basic question?  I often find that folks don’t stop and really think and assess how they retained business.  All they care about is that they got new business or met a “hot lead”.  While it may seem to make sense to focus on the final outcome and move on with business, it’s really not ok.

Why?  Because you need to figure out how the client came to be.  You shouldn’t be hoping and praying each time you meet someone who can possibly be a client.  You must have a plan and thus, be in control of the outcome – and your brand.  There is absolutely no sense in recreating the wheel each and every time a new lead or referral pops up in front of you.  When I say ‘have a plan’, I mean a branding plan where you know who you are, what you do and how you can tell them all this about you in a compelling way.

In my world, knowing who you are is key because if you don’t know yourself and your brand well enough, then how can you tie it well into what you do?  If you can’t get that far, there’s no way you can tell a referral or lead all this about yourself and “how” you can be of service to them- at least not in any compelling way for them to remember you and want to get to know you better and then hire you.

So next time you get a client or connect with a great referral, stop and think what about:

  • Who you are is clear and concise?
  • What you do is tied into who you are in a compelling, rational manner?
  • What about your overall brand is communicated well and with emotion to move me to get to know you and hire you?

Djokovic Won Wimbledon But Did His Brand Win, Too?

0

I’m a huge tennis fan. I used to play.  When I stopped playing, together my father and I watched Wimbledon, the French Open and the US Open.

Djokovic beat out Federer in a fantastic match yesterday to win Wimbledon.  Both were fantastic athletes and both handled the win and loss very well on camera.  The on-camera interviews went really well- right in the middle of Center Court.  

While Djokovic is very likable and spoke eloquently and with emotion when interviewed, I do wonder if Djokovic could have spoken a bit more smartly.  I’m a big advocate of being genuine and speaking from the heart.  Djokovic at some point in the interview said something to the point that Wimbledon is his favorite tournament and that he loves it there best.  It was certainly genuine and sincere. However, I winced.  The first and only thought I had was what about the other tournaments- US Open, French Open, etc!?  Is he not planning on ever playing anywhere else in the four Grand Slams?  

In order to keep the “love” flowing to the fact that he is a man all about tennis and to develop the brand that does not alienate other tournaments and fans, Djokovic could have worded his feelings and statement a bit differently and still been genuine. Perhaps he could have kept his comments to something like, “winning Wimbledon means so much to me” or “I love being at Wimbledon”.  Same effect, just as genuine, less alienating of the other Grand Slams and fans.  

Just some thoughts on brand development of a great athlete.  Not the end of the world or the brand and certainly doesn’t take anything away from the beauty of the match.  My point is to make sure the fans recognize the athlete’s contribution and love of the sport in general, not just one venue.  That’s what keeps a great brand (and endorsement deals?) thriving.

Who Do You Want As Your Audience?

0

I was working with a band last week and this issue came up again- so I thought I would address it again.  The reason I love working with artists and musicians on their personal brand management is because I like to see them in control- of their music, talent and business growth.  So often artists who “just want to make music” or “just want to sing” forget that they can and should be responsible for the entire brand they project.

So my question is always the same:  who do you want in your audience?  The initial response is always something like, “whoever wants to come listen to us perform”.  That’s the same as when I ask lawyers who they want as clients and they respond with, “anyone who can pay me”.  Wrong answer, in my book.

After all, do you really want to cater to anyone and everyone?  Even if you did, do you really have the time and/or money to spend on marketing to every one of us on the planet?  Where do you start and where do you stop?

The answer always rests within yourself.  What do I mean?  Well, in the example of the band mentioned above here’s how it went:  after about 20 minutes of asking the same question, the lead singer finally said that he wanted himself in his audience.  Bingo!

If the personal brand premise is to connect with people who like you, “get” you and want to be around you, then your target marketing/audience goal should be the same- you should aim at getting people in your audience who are like you or share your similarities and personal brand value.  They can look different but in general be “like” you.

How do you figure out who is “like” you, so that you can market to them as your potential audience?  Well, that’s why your Personal Connection Story is so important.  Once you figure out your story- who you really are and why you are an artist (fill-in the blank with any profession), then it becomes so much easier (and more fun!) to get your perfect audience in place.  I promise!

First, Know Yourself So You Know What To Market.