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Add Influencer Marketing to Your Planning

January 23, 2017 Leave a comment

influencerInfluencers are thought leaders, experts in their field, strong communicators or advocates who have strong reach or credibility with the target prospects of your organization. They can sway people to your organization often suggesting they consider your product or service.  Therefore, you need to include influence marketing into your marketing planning and activities.  This influence marketing needs to have a long term mindset as it involves creating trust with these influencer  individuals which takes time.  By engaging with the people at the top of their industries, you find credibility among their contacts.

This post will answer the following questions:

  1. Who are these influencers?
  2. What are the benefits of building influencer relationships?
  3. What are the elements of an influencer marketing plan?
  4. What are some of the action items to attract influencers to your organization?
  5. What would you like these influencers to do?
  6. How can you return the favor to influencers if they assist your organization?

Who are these influencers?
Well they could be:

  • If law firm, lawyers from other law firms that don’t have your firm’s specialty
  • Bloggers in your desired market
  • Consultants who install products related to your product
  • Speakers who are respected in your marketplace that present at association meetings
  • Current customer that is the president of a respected association
  • Media or academia persons with a focus in your particular area

What are the benefits of building influencer relationships?
There are many but here are a few that I came up with:

  1. Partnering with influencers in your marketplace assists getting your message in front of your target audience and accelerates conversions to customer / client status.  They can increase website traffic and getting new leads.
  2. The more trust influencers have within their industry, the more likely they can push your prospect further along the buyer’s journey.
  3. Influencers are great at getting your brand known by discussing, promoting and sharing content.
  4. Lowers cost of sales as their recommendation did not need an expensive campaign and prospects are found without a great deal of sales and marketing efforts.
  5. Shorter sales cycle as the influencer recommendation eliminates the first part of the sales process which involves getting known and establishing trust.

What are the elements of an influencer marketing plan?
You want to develop focused value-add relationships with your influencers which necessitates a plan including the following elements:

  1. Determine the budget, goals and responsibilities – For influencer marketing to work it needs to be made a priority including having a budget.  Document the goals that you want for this marketing program.  Make sure that there are marketing resources available to assist with the necessary marketing activities.
  2. Finalize the influencer type(s) – Brainstorm with others and determine who your target influencer types are (bloggers, media, consultants, etc.). Document your findings.  Need to know who influences your buyers.  These influencers types should be mentioned in your buyer personas.
  3. Discover specific influencers – Now that you know the type of influencer, get down to the specific persons that can impact your business and your buyer’s decision making process.  This discovery is not easy.A tool to use is BuzzSumo, where you can search keywords and discover the Twitter handles of accounts haring similar keyword-related content.    Filters allow you to sort influencers by reach, authority, influence and engagement.  This tool identifies websites and social users with serious influence.  Find the most influential content for any topic, domain, or author as well as the influential users that shared and linked to it.  Find individuals who have an established voice and social presence.  Or if you don’t want to do the search yourself, go to an outsider, such as through freelance.com, to do the search and come up with the list of influencers and their contact information.Look at their reach (blog subscribers, Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, YouTube subscribers, books sold, Instagram followers, etc.).  See how much engagement they get such as retweets or comments on their blog.  Look to see if they communicate to others and affect people.
  4. Understand the needs of the influencer types – These needs are much like what is included in buyer personas.  Monitor the community to understand them and what they need.  As you make the list of influencers, determine how you can help them.
  5. Determine the necessary action items – Brainstorm with your marketing team and come up with the list of action items.  Document these action items.  Put the necessary tasks on the marketing calendar and any expected costs onto the marketing budget.  Tailor your actions to the individual influencers.
  6. Do the determined action items – You want to build trust with high quality content and engagements.  Keep track of your efforts, just like other marketing programs, in your marketing project management system.
  7. Perform measurements and make adjustments – Measure the performance of your engagement with the selected influencers on improving your brand and increasing revenue.  Keep track of the source of your leads especially if they came from specific influencers.  Report the efficiency and effectiveness of your efforts.  Review these efforts and make any necessary adjustments.  Look for new influencers and repeat cycle.

What are some of the action items to attract influencers to your organization?
Every organization is different in how they market to their buyers, donors and prospects.  Every market is different.  And who influences these markets are different.  But here are a few actions that can be done to attract influencers:

  1. Since you might not have their email addresses, direct message (DM) via Twitter the influencers to start out a conversation.  Ask them to check out your website, check out a specific content piece of yours or check out your blog.  And most importantly ask them how you can assist them.
  2. Schedule a meeting with them at a conference they are attending or at your office to discuss how you can assist each other.  Remember they might be promoting their business or efforts as well.  Try to meet them in real life (IRL) as that enhances the relationship.
  3. Create your influence relationship management (IRM) system.  Get their contact information (including name, position, organization, twitter id, email, phone number (if possible), something unique about them (President of an organization), website URL and/or blog post URL).  You need this info so that you can contact them and to keep track of the relationship.
  4. Join associations that the influencers are a part of and that your target audience attends.  You might be a member already but increase your efforts by following the association blog, following their social networks and staying more engaged with the association.  Influencers usually appreciate involvement with associations.
  5. Attend conferences that influencers and your target audience attends.  Review the conference content and speakers.  Look for influencers at these conferences.
  6. Sign up for webinars being done by the influencers.  Gather information from these webcasts and communicate thanks to the influencers after the webinar.
  7. If you have a product and you want the influencer to recommend your product, consider sending them the product for free.
  8. Create a nurture campaign to keep them informed of your company, your services and your products.  This might be a newsletter or scheduled emails with information (blog posts, webinar mentions, ebooks, etc.) that they might find valuable.
  9. Follow their social media networks (Twitter, LinkedIn, blog, YouTube channel, etc.), monitor the networks and engage with them such as retweeting their posts.
  10. Invite them to speak at your user conference or be included in a marketing piece such as an ask the expert document.

What would you like these influencers to do?
Be creative, but do encourage them to do the following:

  1. Mention your product or service to those in the marketplace.
  2. Share your content via their social media networks such as Twitter.
  3. Retweet your organization’s tweets to their large number of social media followers.
  4. Contribute a guest blog post to your organization’s blog.  Hopefully they will share that post on their social media networks.
  5. Be interviewed for a blog post or a video for posting on your YouTube channel.  Hopefully they will share this content on their social media networks.
  6. Contribute to an eBook or an article that you are publishing including those that are asking for expert opinions.  Hopefully they will share this content on their social media networks.
  7. Ask your organization to be on a panel of speakers at an association meeting.
  8. Present in one of your webinars or at your user conference (and make sure you record these presentations).

How can you return the favor to influencers if they assist your organization?
Remember that this is a 2 way relationship and you need to thank them when necessary by:

  1. Give them a call or send them an email thanking them for their assistance
  2. Offer to collaborate on projects so that they have more ownership of the content you want them to promote
  3. Exchange an email unrelated to any content you are promoting.  For example, if you saw that their blog was nominated for an award, send a brief congratulations email
  4. Thank the influencer in a tweet for any help they offered you that week
  5. Follow their social media networks
  6. Share their content
  7. Engage with them thru their social media posts (comment on their posts)
  8. Promote their events or their speaking engagements via your social media networks

The concept of reciprocity is simple: if someone does something for you, you naturally want to do something for them.  Although every influencer is different, when developing these relationships, remember to be as authentic and personable as possible.  Respect and genuine interest are what will make these valuable partnerships last.  A blog post can become outdated and a tweet can be forgotten, but what will last are the genuine connections you create with influencers.

If you have not already done so, you need to start building your influencer network now.  Make influencer marketing a consistent part of your marketing plan.  Find the relevant people, reach out to them, and build a relationship to support your organization’s sales and marketing efforts.  Hope this influence marketing post helped.  Feel free to comment back on your influencer efforts.

Photo credit: StockSnap.io (132)

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Marketing Series for Legal Professionals

December 28, 2016 Leave a comment

This is my 11th blog post for lawyers and law firms this year and I thought I would have one post that combined the previous 10 posts into one post for easy access.  The series of posts covered a variety of topics including nurture marketing, social media, blogging, digital presence and planning.

You need to market your law firm to survive and grow.  There is a lot of competition out there.  Selling legal services requires it be a trust sale.  Marketing is different for all law firms depending on your size, your specialty and your geographic area.  Tailor your marketing to fit you.  Hope that these ten marketing related posts for law firms helps.  Enjoy.

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Nurture Marketing for Gaining Legal Clients

Client Retention for Law Firms

How Should Law Firms Measure Social Media

Gain Clients with Email and Social Media Marketing

Why a Law Firm Should Have a Blog

Law Firm’s should Review their Social Media Efforts

LinkedIn – A Few Suggestions for Lawyers on Its Use

Lawyers, Please Firm Up Your Digital Presence Now!

10 Ways to Successfully Market Your Law Firm

Time for Law Firm Marketing Planning

Hope that these posts were beneficial to your law firm.  Let me know if I can assist you in any way.

Time for Law Firm Marketing Planning

December 19, 2016 Leave a comment

At least once a year and preferably 4 times a year, a law firm needs to plan their marketing efforts for the future, in order to perform efficient and effective marketing activities, that will allow them to attract and retain clients.  And the plan should include an estimated budget, necessary resources and calendar of activities.

Make sure you adapt your plan as additional information comes in that affects your clients, your legal specialty, your internal resources or your law firm.  The firm needs to quickly respond to change so that it has a competitive advantage over other law firms. Welcome change.  Don’t be reactionary, be proactive.   This post contains my thoughts on the marketing planning for law firms.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” – Benjamin Franklin

A photo by JOHN TOWNER. unsplash.com/photos/bZXQ6zUmqkw

Communication – As always stated, communication is key.  Make sure while creating your marketing plan that you have gotten feedback from others in the firm.  And make sure you gather feedback from those individuals after you announce the plan as they might have additional information that you didn’t have when creating the plan.  You want to establish trust with others in your firm.  Living up to your plan goes a long way with others.  Also don’t forget to create a marketing plan for your marketing plan.  Do internal  communication so that others in your organization know what the plan is.  Also put the plan in a public place, like an intranet, so that others in the firm can see it at any time.

Internal – During your planning determine what tools you need to be more efficient and effective in your marketing activities.  Maybe you need to implement a marketing automation solution like Hubspot, an email tool like Constant Contact or maybe a new social media tool like Hootsuite.

Calendar – Establish a calendar and make sure that events, webinars and campaigns are listed on an estimated calendar or timeline. Don’t overload activities in a certain month.  Make sure activities are spread out over the year

Alignment – You can’t do a plan without knowing the firm’s objectives.  Have them in place as they affect budget and the activities that need to be done.  Don’t want to waste time or money on activities that won’t happen.  Make sure that plan is aligned with the plans of the firm.  Mention in the plan how the firm wants to be positioned and known in the market

Resources – Have a discussion on if you need additional resources to accomplish your plan.  Do you need a marketing coordinator or do you need to establish a relationship with an outside writer for blog posts?

Budget – As you determine the activities that are on the plan, determine an estimated cost for these activities so that an estimated budget can be determined.

Competition – It is OK to review your competition and tailor your marketing plan to beat the competition.  Who are the 3 law firms that you consider to be your 3 largest competitors.  Check out their website.  Determine what they doing for social media and blogging.

Activities – Your plan should contain brief thoughts on many items including listing the possible activities that the firm will be doing such as:

  • Events – Decide what events (trade shows and conferences) that the firm will attend, exhibit at and present at.  When finalized put these events on your marketing calendar.  Check out my post on what to do for events and my post on how to promote your event.
  • Social Media – Firm up your goals for social media activities such as how often to post and what are the objectives for each of the social media channels. Social media needs to be integrated with other marketing activities and your marketing plan should keep this in mind.  Check out my post on social media for law firms.
  • Webinars – Determine your expertise, select presenters, select when webinars should occur and get them on your marketing calendar.
  • Website – Decide on what major changes you need to make your site.  Maybe you need a new page describing a specialty.
  • Associations and Directories – Review which ones to continue to be apart of or which new ones to join.  Make a public list of renewal dates, costs and objectives of each of the associations and directories that your firm partakes in so that it can be referenced by others in the firm.  Make sure the costs for these are in the budget.
  • Collateral – Determine the major collateral pieces that should be created.  Review current collateral and see if any of them need a refresh.  Maybe this is the year to do a law firm brochure, or an eBook on your legal specialty or an infographic.
  • Blog – Finalize the frequency of posts and the types of posts.  Also determine the next few blog post topics and the writers for these posts.  Check out my blog post on why law firms should be blogging.
  • Emails – Figure out the email sends (either target or newsletter) that will done for finding new clients or informing existing clients.  Check out my blog post on emails.
  • Campaigns – Campaigns contain various marketing activities such as webinars and email blasts that are connected around a specific theme.  These campaigns need to be integrated for effectiveness and done at the proper time.  Firm up the activities for the campaigns and the appropriate call to actions.  Check out my blog post on nurture campaigns.

Additional Thoughts:

  1. An item that should be included in the plan is community involvement and cause marketing.  Have a honest discussion with others in your firm on how your firm can help others and hooking up with an organization that you can work with.
  2. Make sure that you review the past year on what worked and what didn’t work.  Make sure in the marketing plan that you increase what worked and fix what didn’t work.
  3. It is important that in the plan you have included marketing to existing clients.  Maybe it is time for a client newsletter or a client survey.  Client retention is important to a law firm and feel free to check out my blog post regarding the subject.
  4. Consider having something new from the previous year in your marketing planning.  Maybe it is time to start a blog or create a firm overview video or join the local chamber of commerce.  You need consistency in marketing but you need to be changing as well.  Keep it fresh.
  5. Make sure you have a solid foundation as continuous attention to marketing fundamentals enhances agility and efficiency.  Check out my blog post on a marketing foundation.
  6. Don’t spend so much time on the plan that you don’t execute.  I love the Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines quote, “We have a strategic plan, it’s called ‘doing things’.”

Good luck in your planning.  Let me know if I can help in any way.

Photo Credit: StockSnap.io (125)

For InBound Marketing, You Need Content Marketing

July 12, 2016 Leave a comment

ContentMarketing
Inbound Marketing requires transparency, honesty  and authenticity.  To do this you also need Content Marketing.  You need to build trust with your prospects before they will purchase from your organization,  use your services or before prospective donors will donate to your organization.  You need to convey Thought Leadership.  You need to convince them that you are an expert.  To do this you need content, no matter if you are a law firm, a non-profit organization or a B2B technology company.

Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing are connected.  You can’t do Inbound Marketing without content and it does not make sense to do Content Marketing if you are not also doing Inbound Marketing.

Before you are embarking on a Content Marketing strategy here are some warnings:

  1. Implement a system for Inbound Marketing – It will take some time to implement a Marketing Automation solution like HubSpot (90 days minimum).  During Marketing Automation solution implementation you can also be getting your content engine going faster.  You need a system to organize your campaigns and the content that goes with those campaigns.  You need a system to time your content correctly and you do this with a campaign calendar.  You need a system to measure your results so that changes can be made in your campaigns and content.  It is very  difficult to manage and measure Content Marketing without a system in place.
  2. Will take longer than you thought – Creating a content engine that is producing consistent and informative content is not easy.  It will take time.  Could be months.  There are many variables to this including budget allocated to it, your time, your staff’s time and what else is going on in your company & industry.  Probably not the best time to implement Content Marketing if your largest marketing event is next month.
  3. Will cost more than you thought – You will need help in content creation.  Might be additional staff. If you don’t have enough, you will need to hire.  Other employees outside of marketing can be used but you might not be able to depend on their content production.  You need to evaluate the content you have currently and the staff you have to create content.  You definitely will need outside writers to assist.  They cost money.  Make sure that you put in the marketing budget some money for writing services.
  4. Your involvement will be greater than you 1st estimate – You know your organization and know what you want.  You have the passion.  You will need to be the project manager working with the Marketing Team members and outside vendors.  Others will need to have access to others in the company such as Sales and Product Management.  You will need to interface with these other individuals and fill them in on the goal and the content being worked on.  You will be the evangelist for the Content Marketing philosophy and that will take time.
  5. Constant tweeking will be necessary – Not all campaigns and not all content will work.  You will be getting real-time data.  Review this data such as which content is working and what content is not working.  Make sure that you make adjustments to the content that is not working.  It could be as simple as changing an image, or changing the title, or the description on the landing page describing the content.  Maybe it is too many questions on the form submission that is scaring folks away from the content.  Or maybe you don’t have the right target audience.  If doing paid LinkedIn sponsored updates you might need to increase the impression size so that more people see the update.  Consider A/B testing to see what title or subject line works in getting more people to download the content.
  6. Some non-successes will happen – You will have failures.  Don’t get frustrated.  Don’t give up.  Review the failures and adjust for the next content piece or modify the content that failed.  Make sure that the content creation team understands that there will be failure, that they won’t be punished for these failures and that the failures will be discussed and learned from.
  7. Continuation of other marketing activities will be necessary –  Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing is not the only marketing that will be occurring.  They are designed for lead generation or demand generation.  Marketing is also about branding and community.  Don’t forget to do the user conference for your clients.  Have webinars educating clients about new product releases.  Attend events that will generate contacts for future mailings that will contain content offers.  Also don’t forget the education to others in the company about maintaining the company branding.  Make sure that Content Marketing does not interfere with the equally important other marketing activities that must occur.
  8. You need to have something that is worth while to convey in your content – Last, but probably the most important is that you will need great content.  You will need case studies.  So you better have some happy clients that will take the time to be interviewed and approve the case study.  You will need testimonial videos so again you better have some happy clients that don’t mind being filmed and will say good things about your organization and your products/services.  You will need informative and interesting blog posts so make sure that your team can get the expertise necessary for these posts and that they know what topics to do posts on.  Every company looks good at the top of the funnel.  You need to show why your organization is different and better than the competitors to move down the funnel.  Hopefully you have something to say that will help do this.

When done right, Content Marketing shows expertise.  It gets people interested for more.  When the content engine is working right with Inbound Marketing, prospects will come to you and Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) will be generated.  Content Marketing is not easy.  It will take time.  It will take money.  But when used with Inbound Marketing it is the right thing to do.  Let me know your warnings and tips regarding Content Marketing.

 

Be Nimble for Inbound Marketing Success

July 10, 2016 2 comments

SONY DSC

The key  to getting results in Inbound Marketing especially increased number of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) is being nimble in changing Inbound tactics from the marketing measurements you get.  Yearly marketing plans are now no more.  They have been replaced with quarterly plans and a more nimble marketing approach to planning.

Be nimble by doing the following:

  1. Having Shorter Term Goals for Marketing – Instead of year long goals look at setting quarterly goals after discussions with the other stakeholders (sales, product management, professional services, etc.).  Then identify the tasks to achieve these goals.  And if necessary, set monthly and weekly goals to make sure that the quarterly goals are achieved.  Everyone on the Marketing Team needs to understand the goals.
  2. Making Marketing Team More Collaborative – Better performance will occur on marketing goals, especially campaign creation, if the Marketing Team (and even outside contractors and agencies) collaborate regularly.  Make sure that everyone knows what everyone else is working on.  Together, the Marketing Team is more efficient, more effective and they will be more results oriented.
  3. More Generalists on Marketing Team – To be nimble you don’t have the luxury of knowing what you will be working on in the near future.  You will not have the time to train staff or search for outside consultants on new marketing tactics.  Therefore you need Marketing Team members who are generalists who can grab these new marketing requests and run with them.
  4. Implement a Fast Prioritization Methodology and Output – The Marketing Team should have the knowledge to set their quarterly goals.  Not Sales, not Product Management.  They  should have the input from stakeholders so that the goals will align with others.  They need to know the company goals.  And to achieve the quarterly goals the team needs to produce quickly.  Done is better than perfect.  Get content out, get data in and make adjustments.  As Seth Godin says “Ship It.”
  5. Review the Results Often and Make Adjustments – Results affect what the Marketing Team will be working on.  How many website views?  How many landing page visits?  What keywords are working?  How many conversions for this campaigns?  How many Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) did we get?  Measurements such as these are probably done on a weekly (no less than monthly) basis.  They should be reviewed by Marketing management and discussed with the team.  The team can then adjust to make the activities more effective.

Take the time to train the team on these nimble principles.  Remember that Inbound Marketing takes time to get results.  Feel free to comment on how your organization (no matter if B2B tech company, a non-profit org or a law firm) makes quick, nimble adjustments to get the necessary results in Marketing.

Attending a Conference – Make the Most of It

Attending events, shows and conferences are important for you and your organization that you are representing.  Make sure that the maximum benefit is gained by you attending.  There is a great deal of preparation work that needs to be done before an event.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here are some tips and what to do before an event, during the event and after the event:

What to Do Before an Event

  1. Determine your objectives – Before you get there (and probably need to do to get approval to attend the event) write down your goals for the event.  Your minimum goal, your primary goal and your visionary goal.   And document action items necessary to achieve these goals.
  2. Get there early and stay late – Don’t be rushed at an event.  Great conversations are before the event starts or after it ends.  People are usually more relaxed at this time as they don’t have the pressure of attending certain sessions.  Feel free to contact people that are attending the event.  Make your travel arrangements early so that you are in the appropriate hotel for the event and you are not stressing out about your air arrangements.
  3. Be prepared – Before the event, use the event hashtag (#) on Twitter to find out who is going to the event and what they are talking about.  Follow them.  Feel free to reply back to some of them and strike up a conversation.  See if you can get the Twitter user names of the speakers that you are going to their sessions.  Determine the people you would like to meet at an event including friends and presenters. Get to know them through their blog and watching any YouTube videos they have done.  Do a web search on the event and read any blog posts concerning the event.  Make a list of questions or things you want answered at the event especially after a  speaker finishes their presentation.  At meals is a great time to ask your table mates questions you have.
  4. Pack right – Don’t forget the following: business cards, comfortable shoes, jacket or sweater (session rooms can get cold), spare batteries, necessary chargers (phone, camera, iPad, etc.), memory cards and flash drives
  5. Create a folder in your inbox specifically for the event – This is where you want to keep track of everything from your hotel confirmation, airline ticket information, conference registration and any emails from people who want to connect at the event. This way, you don’t have to search all of your email at the last minute looking for something important.
  6. Plan your path – You’re spending good money (yours or your organization’s) to be there, so take a moment and review the schedule of events. Plan the sessions you will be attending as well as the hospitality events.  Socialize.  Get your money’s worth.  Make sure that you attend a session that does not tie directly to what you do.  Go to something out of your comfort zone.  Try to go to sessions by some of the up and comers in your industry. Plan on attending the sessions that are at the right level for you, and will give you the most useful information.
  7. Know your elevator pitch – It is a good idea to have a concise description of yourself and your organization to share with others.
  8. Update your social media network profiles & blog – People are checking you out before an event just like you are checking them out.  Your social media profiles or blog could be your second impression on people.If you have a blog, make sure your blog is current with new posts. If you know you’re going to be super busy around the time of the conference, just make sure to schedule some awesome content on your blog for the week of and maybe even the week after.
  9. Get your phone and tablet apps ready – Be sure that you have those apps you will need ready to go before the event so you’ll be mobile prepared the moment you get there.
  10. Check out last year’s photos and videos – Not sure the dress or the atmosphere at the event.  Well, last year’s photos and videos are a good place to find out.  Usually on the conference website.

What to Do During the Event

  1. Collect business cards – Write on the back of the card the information that you need in your reply back to them after the show.
  2. Do Social Media – Tweet about the event.  Use the event hashtag. Follow the Twitter posts about the event that use the event hashtag.  Take photos.  Post to Instagram and Facebook.  Do a video.  Post to YouTube.  Gather information for a blog post.
  3. Take great notes – Remember you want to refer back to them in your write up and for your lunch and learn session.
  4. Have fun – be social and network with others.

What to Do After the Event

  1. Update database – Get the business card information into your database (such as your CRM system) as soon as possible.
  2. Document – Write up your notes and action items from the event.
  3. Communicate – Send thank you notes to those that you met and the organizers. Send an email to the individuals whose cards you took with the promised information.
  4. Do photos, videos & blog posts – Upload your photos and tag them on Facebook and Instagram.  Get those videos edited and posted.  Write that blog post about the event and post.
  5. Monitor – Follow the Twitter posts that occur after the event is over.  There might be some blog posts written about the event of items you missed at the conference.
  6. Educate – Hold a lunch and learn to your department regarding the event to share your knowledge.

Hope the above was helpful.  Get the most out of your attendance at your next conference or event.  Let me know via comments if you have other tips and tricks on making your conference attendance more beneficial.

Last Post of 2009 – Thank You and Happy Holidays

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

I would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays and wish everyone a great 2010.  The past year has been trying for many (myself included) but I am looking forward to 2010.  A new year always means new hope.  Just like at the beginning of the baseball season there is always hope as your team is equal to everyone else and could win the World Series.  Please take some time to reflect on 2009, set goals for 2010 and do some planning on whatever it is you do professionally as well as personally.

Holiday Snowman

My, how my life has changed this year.  I have gone from a work in the office traditional marketing person to a work at home social media marketing person.  I have had to adjust from an 8 to 5 routine to a consultant where I control my own routine.  I had to learn new marketing tools and am amazed how great they are.

First of all, I want to thank my family for putting up with me while I have learned the new marketing tools.  Traditional marketing still exists, but those of us in marketing have had to learn all the new social media marketing tools and how they should be used for our clients, company or organization.

 

I want to thank my friends and business associates.  Thank you to my clients, the ones that pay me for my services and the ones that I volunteer my services for.  I am here for you if you need me.

In this last blog of the year, I want to thank all my blog readers for your readership, support, and participation.   This is my 1st year of blogging and I now see things differently due to it and other social media avenues such as Twitter.  When talking to friend or family or reading an article, I now say  to myself, “Oh, I must write a blog post about that” or “I should Twitter that”. I want to thank my readers  for reading, for sharing your experiences and suggestions, and for asking your questions. I appreciate your engagement with me.

I want to thank all of my Twitter followers and those that I follow.  Everyday I learn something new from the people I follow on Twitter.   Again, I appreciate your engagement with me.  I am looking forward to the opportunity in 2010 to meet some of the people I follow.

I want to thank all of my connections on LinkedIn.  This are my closest people to me in business.  Many of these connections I have worked with and they are a part of me.   Thanks also to the individuals that manage the groups that I partake in and to the people that submit content to these groups.  Some of it I find quite useful.

I want to thank all of my Facebook friends.  This is the tool that it has taken my the longest to embrace and one of my tools for 2010 is to do better with Facebook.

I am thankful for the great marketing hardware products such as the Cisco Flip Video camera that I use to do my job.  What a simple tool to use.  I am thankful to all the social media software tool vendors for creating the tools that I use such as Hootsuite and UberTwitter.  I am thankful for the experts that I follow to gain insight and understanding such as Chris Brogan.

I hope you have had or will have the opportunity to take a few days off over this holiday season to spend time with loved ones, with your mind cleared of work ideas and to-dos.  Downtime is vital for recharging your energy, creativity and perspective.  I want to wish you and those you care about all the best .

Next year promises to be an exciting time, as I prepare to launch a host of  new content on my various avenues (Web, WordPress Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube).  Hopefully in 2010 I’ll provide you with some good information, thoughts and comments.  I’ll stay connected with you in 2010 and many I’ll see in 2010.  Let’s make 2010 a great year.  Just Do It!