Listening, Marketing & Your Customers


sleepy-dayThere have been a bazillion and one blogs lately on what to do in 2009 to make your business better.  This one by Frank Martin of Marketing Magic is the best so far.  It goes with my philosophies and thoughts on how to be a better business owner and conversely how to be a better consumer (aka: don’t put up w/a bad experience, someone out there wants & respects YOU as a customer).


The sooner companies realize, internalize & react to the fact that the power is in the hands of the consumers now more than EVER, they will be a success-no matter what the market. 

Enjoy the read & if you are on Twitter, do follow him – great articles.  And his wife is really funny too!

Happy 2009 friends!

When Opportunity Knocks…or Calls

This morning we learned that one of our new sales queens, Britney Menzel, was offered a job with the Department of Labor. Funny thing is, she wasn’t even looking! How many people do you know have been offered two jobs in five weeks…especially in this economy!
She was like the rest of us, interviewing for as many jobs as you can, hoping & deciding to get one call back that would lead to at least one job offer…she was of course offered a job here at TSheets & she took it, then she received the call back from the Idaho Department of Labor & decided to take that yesterday.

We wish her all the luck & know that she will thrive in her new position!

How to Turn 36

I remember by dad turning 35. I was 8 or 9, he was OLD.
Is it weird to say that I don’t feel like I am 36 today? I don’t feel like the person I remember my dad looking like…you know, because they were so….OLD!
You are the age you feel “they” say. I have no idea what age I feel, because I love the way I feel & I think 36 should feel like this (thank you P90X). So maybe a little crazy has set in…but in my defense, I have 2 year old twins who have my number. Nuff said.
So how do you turn 36, 37 or 38?
Shot (or seven) of whiskey? Well, you are so NOT 26, 27 or 28 – so keep it to one – ok, maybe 2 if you get to sleep in the next day.
I am going to keep turning these numbers as if I don’t care. Because in reality, I don’t. If I can play tag with the kids (and still catch them), play volleyball (and keep up with the fresh faces), and not give in to the Botox (and why IS that add showing up on my FaceBook site?-damn targeted marketing) life will be good.
Maybe a shot of Chai in the morning, a shot of espresso at 3 & some good sushi at 6 will kick off a good year of family, friends, a killer job. Long live 36.

Top 10 Reasons Why Unemployment Doesn’t Suck

lovin-chocolateYea, that’s right, I said it, unemployment doesn’t suck.  
And here is why.

1.  I had time to get my teeth cleaned
2.  I had time to talk to my dentist about his marketing practices
3.  He had time to tell me that what he was doing, and what he was spending was a big waste
4.  We had time to chat about what they had done in the past (when they didn’t have any money) and who those customers are and why they have stuck around from the beginning
5.  I had time to think…wow, I should start my own gig!
6.  I had time to think of the possibilities of what I could offer to companies
7.  I had my ego lifted by those wanting advice (in exchange for lunch!)
8.  I had options
9.  I had the confidence to know that I could succeed on my own
10.  I had the ability to say no to job offers because I had figured out and knew to my core what I was good at & that I could make it.

What did I do?  
I decided not to go on my own.  
I decided to make a difference to clients wanting to build their business in a tough economic time AND make a difference with a product I believed in could be part of that equasion.

But…I do know that if unemployment strikes again, I will be just fine.

Tip of the Day
If you believe in a skill that you have & know that you can change one persons life, you can change many.  
Jump & ye shall succeed.

How to Get Kicked Out of a Community

imagesYep, I broke my own rule & pimped TSheets too much in the Intuit Online Community and almost got the boot.  I was called to the carpet by Amy on Tuesday & I about cried.  That is just not what I am about & not what I stand for.  I am constantly telling people not to sell on Twitter, FaceBook etc…yet somehow I got caught up in stretching how I should “advise” people on time tracking.  So sorry Amy.

I appologized to Amy up and down & she invited me to still contribute, but where it is more appropriate.  Yes, anything…let me preach not only the fabulous time tracking system that is TSheets, but let me teach others about how to use social media.  I contributed to a great post today that someone asked “how do I set up online networks”.  Golden.  I didn’t just give .02, but more like $3.50.  I have been wanting to write how I use the big 3: LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter & I did so on this community.  

I really, really hope it helps people out.   I love this stuff & I want others to reap the benefits of it too.  My frustration lies in there are a ba-zillion people saying “get on”, “get communicating”, “be here”, “be there”…but for the common business owner, they don’t get the nitty gritty of what to say & how to say it.  It’s about the value-add that you are giving to people.  We know you have a product to sell, we get that…but how else can you contribute that will make my life easier & better?

So this tip of the day?  Don’t sell.  Contribute.

Be True to Your Twitter – the Auto DM Question

What is an Auto response on Twitter?
There are quite a few Twitter tools out there that make your first response to a new follower (usually through a direct message, or @ message) hands off (see: canned) and make the first conversation be from a bot & not “you”.  Can you tell that I am not a fan?…hence why I am not giving you any links to them….bad news sister…read on.

Who uses the auto DM (direct message) and should we expect it?
My husband recently received an auto DM from a former collegue of mine that has his own conuslting gig now.   As soon as he got it, he said “yea, as funny as “X” is, that is just wrong”…and he immediatly stopped following “X”.  Is the auto DM’r a busy guy?  Sure, but so are the likes of @jowyang & @guykawasaki and a LOT of other people out there who I feel respect their audience and would much rather connect with them on a 1:1 basis.  If you get what reads like a canned message, know that you just got put on a mailing list, and no 1:1 conversation will take place.  You are just another notch on the Twitter-belt of love.

How do I respond to new followers that follow me back?
Check them out or course!  
See what they have been saying the last 10 or so Tweets (if those are in the past 10 minutes, I usually pass: no TwitterWhore following here!). 
I read their blog, see if we have some common interest (business, sports, coffee, mothering, more coffee)
What is their Following to Follwer ratio?  Are they going to care if I say something that could be relevant to them?  Or am I following them to get their info that is relevant to me? 
Great thing about Twitter?  It is what you make of it.  

Why NOT have an Auto DM?
Breanne Potter  listed it as #2 in her Ten Commandments of Twitter that it shalt not be done (and the other 9 are really funny too).
It is the general consencious (71%) that an auto DM or @ message is just plain spam.  You are not contributing to the conversation right from the start & because you had an auto DM set up, you really don’t care what my contributions are either.  Again, this is my take on those that auto DM…you as an auto DM’r might possibly disagree with me due to your busy and time consuming schedule (which we all hear about….on Twitter….hmmmm).

But I am a Marketer.  I don’t have time to respond to every follower.
Ok then…don’t.  But know who your audience is.  Take 15 minutes every morning & find out who wants to hear you speak.  Find a few every day & thank them – personally!  Find something interesting in them that might actually spark a dialog between two people (or more, if others are listening) and take value in the quality, not the quantity.  Have a personality out there, not a campain slogan.

Now in the case of my former collegue and his auto DM, pretty funny guy & he does contribute to the local Twitter flair that happens here in Boise…but I bet he would have a lot more responses and conversations if his new followers heard from him right from the get-go, not a bot. 

Have I changed your mind?  Are you going to use an auto DM now, or are you going to disable yours right away?
If you are still looking for some do’s and do nots of Twitter read: