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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*Mall questions photo by Wok on Flickr here

*Pen mightier then sword photo by feastoffun on flickr here

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Web Video: Customers as Spokespeople

“How do you take an existing customer evangelist / enthusiast and make them comfortable doing a video testimonial about your company and its services?” This question, posted on http://www.Linkedin.com, inspired this article.

There’s nothing like having your praises sung! Using testimony known as MOS, or Man on the Street, many businesses integrate real people into their commercials, infomercials and presentations. When done correctly, results can be extremely useful and cost effective.

For the inexperienced I do not recommend walking around your establishment with a camera or surprising your customers because the results usually yield video with poor lighting and more often than not, your customers will have nothing to say. At first don’t get too creative! Concentrate on getting good sounding audio with well lit video. Start with an interview type scenario in a well lit room; this may be inside a restaurant or outside a store during off hours. Make sure you have plenty of time and plenty of light.

Here’s what you do:

* You should be prepared with a number of bullet points that you are looking to get on camera. While you don’t want to fabricate answers you do want to put words in their mouth – literally. The key here is the producer… you want a producer who can get a subject to feel at ease in a conversation about their experience.
* Let your subject know they can say whatever they want as many times as they want, you’ll edit it later anyway.
This is the key: Tell them very specifically that during your conversation you will be suggesting lines or ideas to them and if they feel that they agree they are welcome to use your suggestion or make it their own.
* If you are trying this with little or no experience, over shoot this like crazy. Shoot wide and close and have your subject repeat the same lines over and over and over… the more they say the lines, the more comfortable they’ll be on camera. You are always better off having too much video! With a little practice, a good plan and enough time this will work for you.
* It’s a great idea to get everyone’s email address before shooting their video, so you can email them the final product in hopes they will spread your marketing message with their family and friends. Speaking of which, be sure to look around the web for places to upload your video where your potential customers may see it. Also, this doesn’t have to be a video project! There are creative ways to make this an audio project similar to a radio commercial! Finally, I highly suggest putting your videos on Youtube.com even if you can put video on your own website …I’ll write more about hosting video on Youtube and other ways you can utilize social marketing, and I may even include a post on “teasing” your content.

Good luck!

@richardbouchez

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