How to Market Your Small Business Without Annoying Your Friends

In our emerging ‘consultant’ economy, it pays to have your own gig – whether it’s on the side, or full time. But, if you do it wrong, things can quickly get pretty messy. Today’s post covers the basic safeguards you can employ to ensure your personal and work personas play nice. Establish your brand as…Continue Reading “How to Market Your Small Business Without Annoying Your Friends”

Where Most Marketers Drop the Ball: Measuring Your Marketing Results for Constant Improvement – Step 10/10

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. – Peter Drucker” There was a time, not too long ago, when the role of marketing was popularly considered a cost center. Rather than being responsible for producing revenue, it was thought of as something only successful companies could afford to do. While there may have…Continue Reading “Where Most Marketers Drop the Ball: Measuring Your Marketing Results for Constant Improvement – Step 10/10”

Knowing When You Are Done: Surviving the Hard Launch – Step 9/10

“Successful design is not the achievement of perfection but the minimization and accommodation of imperfection.” – Henry Petroski, Acclaimed Civil Engineer The soft launch process has been, most likely, a whirlwind. You have been asked to make a slurry of decisions with very little time to chew on them. With the perspective that comes each…Continue Reading “Knowing When You Are Done: Surviving the Hard Launch – Step 9/10”

Fixing the Bugs: Your Post-Soft-Launch Process – Step 8/10

Congratulations on your Soft Launch! Give yourself a pat on the back, because getting anything up and running is a challenge these days. Odds are that when you finally hit ‘submit’ or ‘publish’, you had already checked to make sure everything was right like a billion times. “There is no way,” you thought, “that I…Continue Reading “Fixing the Bugs: Your Post-Soft-Launch Process – Step 8/10”

Soft Launching Your Website & Campaigns – Step 7/10

Perfectionism is a disease. It keeps some of the best ideas in the world from being born. And if you’re not careful, perfectionism (and its infamous cousins, self-doubt and criticism) will undermine your creative flow before it even begins. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy Failure,…Continue Reading “Soft Launching Your Website & Campaigns – Step 7/10”

Using the Creative Process to Put Action to Your Marketing Plan – Step 6/10

Creativity can be a fleeting thing, and the creative process can be difficult to write about prescriptively, because of its nebulous and nonlinear nature. What has worked in the past will have a diminished effect today, and possibly no effect tomorrow. Moreover, since we all have different brains, the way that we form ideas is…Continue Reading “Using the Creative Process to Put Action to Your Marketing Plan – Step 6/10”

Case Study: Executive Succession in a Financial Cooperative

Josh Cramer, Chief Content Strategist Introduction Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union is a medium-sized not-for-profit financial cooperative that operates exclusively in the state of Minnesota. It first came into existence in the 1930s in the basement of the Minnesota State Capitol building, and was initially dubbed, “State Capitol Credit Union.” At its inception, SCCU served…Continue Reading “Case Study: Executive Succession in a Financial Cooperative”

TV, Print, Social, SEM… How to Choose the Right Channels for Your Business – Step 5/10

You’ve got your strategy. Now, it’s time to put some thought to what specific methods you will be using to reach your audience. Here are some factors to consider. Drivers Taking a look at your completed Campaign Driver Analysis from Step 4, which areas stick out to you? What are the most important drivers for…Continue Reading “TV, Print, Social, SEM… How to Choose the Right Channels for Your Business – Step 5/10”

How to Build Your Rock-Solid Marketing Strategy – Step 4/10

So far, we have determined our brand values, performed research, verified the financial viability of our business. Now, it’s time to put some of that toil to good use. I’m going to totally honest with you; this is my favorite step. The ‘strategy’ part is when things really start coming together, and the mad scientist…Continue Reading “How to Build Your Rock-Solid Marketing Strategy – Step 4/10”

Know How You Make Money: A Quick-And-Dirty Marketing Primer – Step 3/10

DISCLAIMER: This post is not intended to take the place of a consultation with a qualified business professional who is familiar with your industry and specific situation. All businesses face unique challenges, and very few universally applicable statements can be uttered.This post is intended as a primer, or conversation-starter, and should serve as a good…Continue Reading “Know How You Make Money: A Quick-And-Dirty Marketing Primer – Step 3/10”