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Want your advertising to work? Sell from the inside, out.

March 09, 2015

Sell from the inside, out.

It’s one of our founding principles. Get your staff and managers behind your advertising and your advertising can’t miss. If they’re not behind it, living it — if your customer service doesn’t match your ad’s promise — then it doesn’t matter how many Kansas City Ad Club awards your creative wins or how much money you throw at it – your ads are going to give your company a split personality.

Wizards of Ads author Roy H. Williams breaks it down:

  1. What you say in your ads is your Story (your external personality and the public’s perception of you).
  2. Your Culture is created by you, your managers and your sales training. This is who you are and what your customers encounter (the internal reality).
  3. What you deliver is an Experience (what do I get when I choose to trust you with my business).

If these three don’t align, then you’ve got problems…

When Story and Experience don’t mesh, you get bad reviews… but when the customer experiences what your ads promise, you get a fan.

When Culture and Experience aren’t in sync, you have a cancer in the company… but when they align, you have high staff morale.

When Culture and Story don’t fit, you have unimpressive closing rates…

Sell from the inside, out. Get your sales training in line with your advertising and your customer service and your Kansas City small business will “need a wheelbarrow to carry your money.”

Catch me if you can.

March 02, 2015

Customers have never been harder to catch in Kansas City. Smartphones. Tablets. Streaming video. DVRs. Network TV. 500 cable channels. Video on demand. Your customers are watching their favorite programming on their time, in their own ways. They’re price shopping while standing in your store. They’re watching TV and surfing the web at the same time. What’s a KC small business owner to do?

Own something. You can’t possibly be everywhere, all the time. Don’t try. You’ll spread your budget too thin. Instead, own one thing and really own it. Smother it. Become the king of the hill. And the best part, you get to pick the hill. Pick the smartest media vechile and own it. Own one TV station. Own a billboard by your business. Own the sidewalks around your shop. Own morning drive on radio. Own Facebook. Own one day of the week. Then support your media ownership with complementary marketing and smart creative content that connects with your customers. Work on making every individual customer contact count.

You don’t have to catch all of  Kansas City in mass. Plant your flag on the hill of your choosing and let your customers come to you.

Growing your small biz in Kansas City starts with “You Suck.”

February 23, 2015

You suck (at something) and that’s your leading edge for growth. Yes. You’re good enough, smart enough and darn it, people do like you, but your small business will never grow until you look deeper and admit that “you suck.” Once you know your suck-factor, you can address it. Small business owners tend to think that they can be great at a great many things. Take the ego down a notch and take a realistic look at what you do worst. Then search for the people with the specific skills in what you suck at.

Stop telling yourself that no one can do things as well as you can. You’re wrong, and it’s impeding your growth.

Scott Elser writes more about your "suck factor" in Inc. magazine.


You. Me. All of us are only in business for one reason:

February 16, 2015

To make friends. 

It's really that simple (and complicated). But if we're not continually making friends with our Kansas City neighbors, then we're not going to be in business much longer.

Manage your social media in 18 minutes a day.

January 09, 2015

Most small business owners loves the idea of social media, “it’s free!” Then reality hits, “this takes too much time.” And so those small biz social media accounts go fallow.

Can you invest 18 minutes a day? If so, Hootsuite put out a pretty smart social media plan for small businesses:

Browse and Engage: 6 minutes

  • Check your Facebook notifications, Like posts your customers have shared and reply to any new posts.
  • Check the mentions tab on Twitter to see if you have any new interactions or followers. Thank your new followers and respond to any inquiries.
  • For Google+ welcome anyone has joined your Circles and see if any of your Google+ content has been shared.
  • On Instagram check your News tab for comments or to see if your business has been tagged in any photos. Again, thank users who have tagged you.
  • Monitor: 4 minutes
  • On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, browse your Feed to find popular stories. Search streams for your business name, any hashtags for your business or industry as well as your competitors’ names.
  • On Google+ see what’s going on with the people in your Circles.

Post: 3 minutes

  • Post any real-time content and any content you have lined up in your daily posting schedule. (Hootsuite doesn’t talk about this, but you’ll want to build up several weeks’ worth of content that you can post in your daily sessions. If you don’t you’ll spend a lot more time than 3 minutes posting)
  • For Facebook and Google+, post a resourceful article that you’ve either written or share one from an informative source.
  • With Twitter, post a customer Tweet to retweet.
  • On Instagram you’ll want to post at least 1 photo a day.
  • Analyze: 2 minutes
  • Most all of these social networks provide insights and some sort of analytics. Use them to get an idea of who’s seeing your posts, which types of posts are getting more attention, etc.

Schedule: 3 minutes

  • Use this time to curate content for tomorrow.
  • Facebook users like visually rich storytelling. Limit  your posts to 1 or 2 per day.
  • Twitter is more immediate (and fleeting). Space your tweets out and tweet different content — photos, video, text only.
  • Google+ is a place to share news from your business and other content that will be interesting to the people in your Circles.
  • Instagram is a great place to give your customers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at your business and the people who run it.

Your first few days (weeks) will take more than 18 minutes a day. You’ll also need to spend time (and it could be a lot of time) building a content library. Photos. Videos. Articles. 140 character posts. Non-time sensitive content that you can use in your various feeds. But with a stocked content library, once you get into the routine 18 minutes a day should be all it takes to take advantage of this “free” media.

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