Big idea? Itching to execute? Now what?

You’re sound asleep in the middle of the night. You wake in a cold sweat because you’ve got it! There it is, the golden marketing idea that will bring the masses to your door! So, where do you go next? Who’s going to execute it? Is it even realistic?

I’d like to introduce you to mFormer.com because I think their concept could help a lot of people get started on marketing projects big or small. Their new online resource for locating a wide range of marketing services and vendors could be especially helpful for business owners and marketers who lack they’re own marketing departments. mFormer.com also offers a free referral service, you can submit your project and they will get you started with vendor suggestions. If you’re a marketer you can create a free listing in their directory here.

SHOP AROUND: Whether you want to start at Facebook community, flyer a neighborhood or spread viral videos, don’t be afraid to schedule face to face or phone interviews with numerous marketers. Even seasoned marketers learn more about  projects just by requesting bids and occasionally you may find out a project is more affordable than you thought! If you  can’t hire out an entire project it’s a great idea to hire an experienced marketer as a project manager. They can help shape your idea, evaluate the folks you want to involve or simply layout guidelines and directions for you follow.

AVOID “DIY” MARKETING PITFALLS: Like many projects, marketing projects are often more complicated that initially thought which makes them more expensive in time & dollars! Let’s face it, everyone’s trying to save a buck and most don’t have a choice, but many projects are better not done than done “on the cheap.”

avoid marketing mistakes

Try to avoid:

  • Taking on too much. Whether it’s you or your staff, everyone makes this mistake and it’s an opportunity killer! You can get sloppy, distracted and so can your staff. Be fair to yourself, can you really make this project a priority?
  • Recruiting your sister, cousin, uncle or the next door neighbor’s kid for “skilled labor.” Even if they are Photoshop experts, for example, “free labor” tend to miss the big picture. Designs tend to lack brand consistency or worse.
  • Handing over Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn accounts to interns! This is your identity & reputation we’re talking about. It’s also an opportunity for you to listen to your customers!

What’s your story? Got a horror story from a project you should have hire out or tips on hiring the right company for the job? Please share in the comments.

While I have no direct affiliation with mFormer.com and I have not used their services myself, in the spirit of “transparency” I want to point out that you will find InovediaMarketing.com listed on their site in the Social Media Marketing category. We offer new & traditional media marketing services such as  multimedia project management.

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Good luck!

Richard (@richardbouchez)

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What would they write about you?

This morning I ran across a nice article pointing out creative ways small businesses are “unique and different” which prompts me to ask “What would they write about you?”

Let’s finally admit that we’re often too geeky about our product, ads and ideas to see that the differences we’re selling may just be too subtle to be noticed by average Joe Public. Other times we may fall into the trap of putting  a lot of effort into selling product differences that, unfortunately, few folks care about. Write down a couple of your products / businesses differentiators and email them out to your colleagues, staff and friends (not your family – let’s not try to sway the vote). See what they have to say. You might just find some new unique and different facets about your own business.

So what would the local paper, a blogger or trade magazine write about your business? If they’re not writing anything… write it for them and send it to them! Well, I’ll save that advice for another day, another post.

Check out Small Hands Big Ideas here to see how some small businesses are actually standing out from the crowd. I ran across it on BackRoadsBusiness.com, which has great marketing information for and about Mom & Pop shops. Photo by Gonzalo Barrientos

-Richard

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6 Random Rules for Owning a Website

Your Website Tips & Tricks:

  1. Own your domain name: Domains are cheap and even if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re better off to own your domain name and have someone else manage it. Note: make sure you alone have access to the “password change” email to ensure you cannot be denied access to the domain (if you need to quickly switch web folks for whatever reason).
  2. Own your web hosting account: Same rational as mentioned above. You absolutely need full control and access to your hosting account… you might give someone a spare key to your home, but you still need to be able to change the locks!
  3. Use a large, well known, web hosting provider like GoDaddy: I learned this lesson about 10 years ago when I had a hosting account with an unknown, but very cost effective, hosting provider. They actually served my needs well for years and, without warning, my sites went down one day and the message boards were lit up with angry customers who lost their data and were struggling to get back online. I was fortunate to have owned my domain name so I could quickly switch to a new hosting provider and get my sites up quickly. I’ve been with GoDaddy ever since and, while I’ll admit that their UI (user interface) is cumbersome and confusing, I give them major kudos for their 24/7 tech support which is always prompt. Anyone you might hire to build or maintain your site can certainly work through GoDaddy or any other large provider. Let them gripe about it, I also advise against using small or unknown hosting providers and I highly recommend not using your “web service person” for hosting services.
  4. Advertising tip: If you’re a plumber – phone book and basic website… if you’re a bar, drop the phone book and build a website that rocks. Then go crazy with social networking!
  5. Blog “off your site:” using WordPress or Blogger (for example) you will increase your name & business ranking in Google because blogs show up higher in search results and as an added bonus your blog will now get marketed by the host you’re using (WordPress, Blogger or whomever) through all the other blogs as “related articles,” popular tags, etc. You will also link heavily from your blog to your main site helping to build your linking credibility.
  6. Avoid an “all flash” website and big flash introduction: Although flash sites are now “searchable” most are not up to date and therefore may not be searchable which (as a small biz owner) should send you running. Flash won’t show up on many mobile devices, will take too long to load and many flash sites are often filled with unnecessary distractions such as sound effects, transitions, etc. Unless you are also running an identical mobile site, have an amazing product selection that requires an all flash, you’re a flash designer or you’re really really really confident I’m wrong… avoid the “all flash” website. I’m not saying don’t use flash components, when utilized properly flash can be an amazing asset for your site! If you have an all flash site, see the previous tip!

Comments are welcome, we appreciate advice, stories and other suggestions! Please share this article by clicking the + button below.

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-Richard

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