From the Horse's Mouth

Posts about content-based marketing and relationship marketing for professional services and small businesses punctuated by occasional posts about horses.

Your 10 minute marketing plan

February 2, 2016

view from horseback of a dusty trail following other riders

Recently a friend mentioned that she relied only on word-of-mouth to promote her business, and maybe she needed to try something more. I offered to give her some ideas. After I finished writing, I thought this might be useful for other people, too.

This is kind of a paper napkin marketing plan—that cliche of business. It’s the basics, quick and dirty. There is lots of information available, and you can ask me, too.

I view marketing as common sense, but from the point of view of the people you are trying to attract. When we get outside our own assumptions, jargon, embarrassment about talking about what we love to do, or however we cut ourselves off from communicating with potential clients or people who might know potential clients, there is lots of room to experiment and explore appealing ways to reach out to and attract people to learn about what we do. read more »

How to become contagious

January 8, 2015

horses all wearing blue halters standing in a circle facing each other

In relationship marketing, word-of-mouth is golden, and “going viral,” as it’s called in social media, is the Holy Grail. But how do you raise the chances that something will become wildly popular? It always seemed like magic—until I read Contagious – Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger, the work of a Wharton professor who has gone beyond Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point and Chip and Dan Heath’s Made to Stick to study what makes some things become wildly popular.

By using scientific research, Berger sought to unlock the mystery of why some things become so popular. He has identified six ingredients in the recipe for word of mouth popularity. Using cutting-edge science about how word-of-mouth and social transmissions work, Berger identified a framework and a set of specific, actionable techniques to help information spread. The insights are fascinating and often counter intuitive. read more »

7 reasons to survey your clients

September 22, 2014

from the horse's mouth

How recently have you asked your clients, “How are we doing?”

Every business needs clients or customers to survive, thrive, and continue into the years ahead. We usually know some of the reasons why people hire us, but we often don’t learn why they stop working with us, how we could provide better service, or become indispensable to them. And who wouldn’t love to know these things?

I’ve been in numerous meetings where people talk about why this client loves them or that client doesn’t love them. It always strikes me that we don’t really know unless we ask. Directly. And in the Seattle area where many of us tend towards ‘conflict averse,’ we often don’t hear about issues until things are already going downhill, or worse. read more »

When riding a dead horse . . .

August 26, 2014

antique toy - yellow horse & jockey

While clearing out some old files, I came across this little treasure, and couldn’t resist sharing the horse inspired humor — enjoy!

“The tribal wisdom of the Dakota, passed on from one generation to the next, says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

However, in modern business, because of the heavy investment factors to be taken into consideration, often other strategies have to be tried with dead horses, including the following: read more »

If horses were people . . .

August 14, 2014

ponies watch a woman working on a laptop with great interest

It’s often remarked that kids and critters will always trump other subjects. Based on what I see in social media, this hasn’t changed. Since I began blogging in 2010, we’ve all learned a lot more about what works and what doesn’t in social media. Today I’m inspired by a couple of videos that demonstrate brilliant use of social media and also happen to include animals — one of my favorite subjects. read more »

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