Monthly Archives: March 2011

The art of handling “bad” news

 Oh No!

When you get bad news what do you do?  Do you look for the downside or for the upside?  It is very difficult to look for the upside in things when you lose a client, lose revenue or lose a strategic partner.  Sometimes there is no upside – at least not one that is very apparent.

I believe everything happens for a reason – even in business.

  • Sometimes a client leaves to make room for a new client or clients that you may not even know are coming down the pipeline
  • Sometimes you lose revenue from one source to gain it back thorough another
  • Sometimes you lose revenue to prompt you to cut expenses
  • Sometimes you lose a strategic partner because they were not as strategic as you thought they were
  • Sometimes things fail because you were simply supposed to do something different

No matter which role in my life: small business owner; wife; mother; volunteer or friend I try to receive “bad” news by looking for the upside or the lesson behind the turn of events.  It has been my experience that many times there is a lesson I am supposed to learn through the “bad” experiences.  I seem to learn the hard way – sometimes I have to get knocked upside the head to realize I need to make a change.

Is your head hard too?
How do you handle “bad” news in business?

-KK

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The Weight of Words

Did I Say That?

I read several articles and blog posts today about the marketing firm employee who Tweeted on behalf of Chrysler.  I won’t rehash the entire story (you can read it here).  

He meant to send a Tweet through his personal account and accidentally sent it through the Chrysler account.  His Tweet read: “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to (expletive) drive.” A horrible mistake that cost him his job and his employer the Chrysler business.

@pwilson wrote a great blog post today talking about the power of our words.  Whether you are Tweeting, talking, writing or any other form of communication your words hold power.  They have the power to harm or to help. 

– Reality check –

How are you using your words when communicating with…

  • Your staff?
  • Your clients?
  • You vendors?
  • Your family?
  • Others?

Something to think about…

-KK

P.S. As a marketing professional who manages several social media accounts this affects me on many levels.  I will save that post for another day.


Web Analytics: Carpe Data

Are you seizing the data?

Many small business owners have implemented a tool, such as Google Analytics, to monitor their web traffic. If you are one of those who have a tool in place I am so glad. 

The important question is…are you using it to make critical marketing decisions?  If you are not using it to review your performance and make revisions to improve your website and traffic flow then you might as well uninstall it.

If you don’t understand how to analyze and apply the information then educate yourself. Here are a few ways to educate yourself on how to review web analytics.

  • Look for the help feature within your package
  • Educate yourself on key terms related to web analytics
  • Read blog posts from marketing professionals (click here to read my posts on the subject)
  • Google it! – there are many tutorials, blog posts, YouTube videos, etc. that can help you understand analytics data
  • Consult with a marketing professional who understands web analytics

Using a web analytics tool to measure the performance of your web site is a key element to its success. As always, review your metric and revise as necessary.

Always analyzing…

-KK

p.s. Google Analytics is not the only quality web analytics tool. However, it is one I recommend for small business owners.


Hashtag Mash

A hashtag is the “#” symbol followed by a keyword that Twitter users use to follow a particular set of tweets.  They can be used to follow a topic, an event, a business, a person or just about anything else you could think of.

Hashtags can benefit small business owners in the following ways:

1. Create a company hashtag. 
You can create a hashtag as part of your branding strategy.  As your company Tweets under the official Twitter handle it can add a hashtag at the end.  When anyone retweets your post it will include the hashtag and you can gauge how much your company is talked bout on Twitter. The goal is to get your brand ambassadors to Tweet on your behalf and use the official hashtag as well.

2. Start a topic and follow the trend.
Just like an official company hashtag you can create a hashtag for a campaign, product or service.

3. Follow an existing topic on Twitter. 
This will save you time and help to narrow down relevant Tweets for you to read.

What other ways do you use hashtags for business? Chime in and let me know!

Need more information on hashtags?  Follow me and send me a Tweet!  http://twitter.com/KKarel.

-KK


What Have You Done for Me Lately?

 It costs more to acquire a new client than it does to retain existing ones. 

If you are doing what you do best – delivering your product or service with excellence – then your existing client relationships have a solid foundation. Telling your client how muych you appreciate them can help to strengthen that solid foundation.  I hear this talked about all the time but I don’t see it in action nearly as much.

Consider these when continually cultivating existing client relationships:

~ Say thank you ~
Letting your client know they are appreciated can go a long way (saying “thanks” on an invoice does not count). Saying thanks in person, a handwritten note or over the phone is more valuable than you might think.

~ Give a gift ~
A gift to your existing clients does not have to break the bank. You can keep it simple: a note pad, a coffee mug, a restaurant gift card, take them to lunch, etc.  Get creative.

~ Solicit feedback ~
You can learn much and strengthen relationships by asking your clients what you and your company can do better.  If you genuinely want to hear what they say and are willing to make changes, you can make a significant impact on your relationship.

~ Client appreciation event ~
If you have several important clients in the same geographic area you could produce an appreciation event.  If you do make sure you give each client specific attention at the event by you or someone on staff.  This personal touch will not go unnoticed.

There are many more ideas out there.  Hopefully these ideas can get the creative juices flowing to find one that would work for you and speak specifically to your customers.

Consult your marketing coach to get more ideas and help with execution.

If you have success stories and other ideas to share please chime in. I’d love to hear from you.

It’s all about relationships…

-KK


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