How can I help you?
Marketing communications is a blend of strategy and tactics.
People often contact me when they have a specific need — I want to survey my customers or I need to learn to use social media better, for example.
Before we get started, I ask them to talk with me about their business goals and priorities.
Because I believe business goals, actions and communications all need to be in sync to be most effective.
- Goals — Often when I talk to someone struggling with a communications plan, it’s because there’s no clear business strategy driving it. Once you understand what you are trying to achieve and how to measure whether it’s working, it becomes easier to see what you should post on Facebook or what needs to be on your website. Getting clarity around your goals can help inform which questions to ask on your customer survey, what your key talking points are … they are the foundation for all your marketing efforts.
- Actions — Have you ever heard a business tell you its top priority is customer satisfaction and you laughed because you had actually experienced their terrible service? I’m not sure if those companies are in deep denial or if they develop those generic “best in class” messages hoping they can become true. Instead, I work with clients to identify the real actions they can and will take to move them closer to their business goals.
- Communications — Whether it’s a social media strategy or an overall communications plan linking up website, email and print collateral, I advocate for keeping the focus on what your customer needs. He or she probably cares more about the value you deliver than about what you do. If you want website visitors to sign up for your email newsletter, offer an incentive. If you want engagement on your blog, share good content worth reading and talking about.
If you think you might like help with your marketing strategy and tactics, the usual first step is a conversation about your project, including your goals, your timeline and your budget. We will talk through the business problem you are trying to solve and what success would look like for you. Contact me if you would like to talk about a project.
Whether you already have a strategy and just need help executing or you are just beginning your planning work, I can help you.
Social media getting started package
You get accounts set up for your business on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Tumblr and HootSuite, all linked to a gmail email account specially set up for your social media. If you have accounts on any of these, we will update or flesh them out, as needed. All you have to do is start creating content – and I even give you 52 ideas for posts, so you can use one a week for a full year.
You get all of the above PLUS a new logo created based on your input about the image you want your business to project, and business cards and post cards using your new logo delivered to you.
Personalized help to move you toward your business goals. We work together on a plan that fits your budget and schedule.
I can help with:
Your marketing plan — what will you sell, where will you sell it, how much will you sell it for, how will you communicate it all?
This is the foundation of all your marketing work, declaring what you want to accomplish, how and when you will do it and how you will measure your results.
Many people think of marketing as business communications, but the broader definition includes four Ps: product, price, place and promotions.
We can work on a comprehensive plan that declares your business goals and how they connect with what you sell, the price you charge, the place you sell and how you get the word out. Or we can refine your existing plan and focus on specific areas where you need help.
We will create a plan that is a realistic fit for where your business is today, with room to grow into where you would like to be in years to come.
Market research — get valuable insights from customers to help make informed business decisions
Using a free online survey tool, you can go from “we should survey our customers” to seeing your first results in the same day.
When we work together on your market research, I will help you take your efforts beyond asking quick question to focus on asking the most essential questions in the right way to help inform your most important business decisions.
For example, if I create an online survey, we will trim the nice-to-know questions to make it faster and easier for participants to complete your survey and share the feedback that is most useful to you.
Whether I help you with a survey, one-on-one customer interviews, a focus group or competitive intelligence, the focus will be connecting your results with your business decisions.
Media training — prepare for interviews to make the most of your media exposure
My first reporting job was on my elementary school newspaper. Then I was editor of my high school paper, an editor on my college paper and a reporter and editor at daily, weekly and monthly publications.
I know how reporters work and what they need. I continue to do freelance reporting so my first-hand experience of what a good or bad pitch looks like is fresh.
When I did public relations for University of Michigan, I learned the other side of the equation, including writing press releases and pitching reporters. I also learned to do media training, both in classroom settings and one on one.
Preparing for an interview can dramatically improve your outcome. Much as you might prepare for a job interview through research and rehearsing questions, thinking about the questions a reporter is most likely to ask and practicing your best response can help you feel more confident.
Social media strategy — don’t just learn how to tweet, learn how to communicate with current and potential customers
Social media frustration is among the most common reasons I hear from people. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Google Plus, Pinterest, LinkedIn … there are so many places to be, so many ways to use them, with more popping up all the time and continual changes in functionality on all of them. It can be tough to keep up even for someone who does it for a living.
So instead of starting with how you can get more Twitter followers or how often you should post on Instagram, we start with a conversation about your business goals and who your ideal customers are to determine what success will look like. If you’re a business-to-business service provider, LinkedIn might be your priority, while a wedding dress shop owner might focus on Pinterest.
Social media is a tool to achieve your business goals, not a goal just unto itself. It’s like email or your phone. You use it to talk with current and potential customers.
We will build a conversational plan to get you talking with your customers. Social media is best when you don’t just use it as a one-way push of information like posting information on a billboard, but instead as an opportunity to engage your customers in a dialogue.
Marketing communications how-to
A comprehensive cookbook of strategy and tactics for farmers and farmers markets, including traditional methods like media relations and brochures and electronic tactics like e-mail newsletters, social media and blogging. Each lesson includes the basics to help beginners get started and more advanced applications for more experienced users.