Your 10 minute marketing plan

February 2, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

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

7 reasons to survey your clients

September 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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

If horses were people . . .

August 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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

Where’s the beef?

February 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

white horse viewed from behind as if it was looking over its shoulder

A friend of mine with a successful, established chiropractic practice has begun a small marketing campaign on Facebook. In the first update I saw, he posted about a movie with a chiropractor as the lead character and then pointed out that a well known movie rental store was across the street from his office.

So what?

There was nothing offensive or stupid about my friend’s post, but it left me saying, “Huh?” I see a lot of posts like this: self-promotional posts disguised as status updates that ask for our attention (which is big currency) without offering any real content that would connect us to him or to his business. The post was a throw away, and it bothered me because it could have been an effective, brand-building post. That’s what.

I’m getting on my soapbox now because this is a frequently misunderstood aspect of marketing among do-it-yourself marketers. And it doesn’t have to be. Read more

The gentle art of persuasion

October 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 


horse and pig meet in a pasture

Do you consider yourself to be a persuasive person? Do those you persuade remain interested in what you are promoting, or do they avoid you when they think you’re going to ask them for something?

Persuasion is not just a part of marketing, it’s a big part of day to day communication.

“Honey, would you do me a favor?”

“Dad, can I borrow the car?”

“I’m so forgetful!”

“I’d like your thoughts about how our team can meet this deadline.”

Each of these statements represents an attempt to gain the cooperation of another person or people, and to get them to take an action that we want them to take (like believing the story we’re telling them about ourselves). That is what marketing is about, and why I believe that everyone is involved in marketing whether they are aware of it or not. Read more