Emotional Selling

emotional-sellingEmotions drive most of our decisions, and that includes what we purchase. Nearly a third of advertisers report success from emotional campaigns, double the amount of those who report success from rational campaigns. From the smell of freshly baked cookies triggering memories of hanging out at grandma’s house to a hysterical blog post making a reader like a brand even more, when an emotion is triggered, it nudges someone closer to or farther from the direction of a brand.

Being in tune with your customer’s wants and needs afford business owners the opportunity to bundle products. For example – buy a backpack and get a lunchbox at half price or grouping a free dessert with the purchase of an entrée and a beverage. We see it all the time, but as a business owner, we need to be careful we’re not giving away the store to win the sale.

Considering content marketing’s purposes include forming a connection with consumers that inspires trust, turns them into a lead, and might even spark a sale, the more brands can humanize their content, the more likely they are to incite an emotion that fosters a relationship between consumer and brand. If you’re not connecting with your customers how do you know what they want?

With Bissell Eye Care, the practice gives away a free book to children 7 and under who get glasses for the first time. They understand the how a child feels the first time they receive glasses and have partnered with a local author to supply a resource to the child and their parent.

A professional consultant often will provide a free phone consultation or an initial assessment at no charge. The consultant is willing to offer time to a potential customer in order to establish trust and begin developing a business relationship. Sometimes consultants provide a good better best program – offering tiered services with each service level.

Service bundling can also be offered through multiple businesses. For example – a chiropractic group can partner with a fitness facility each offering a package to their prospective members. Be certain of the business partner’s reputation and service capabilities before opening up your own customer list.

Bundle business for higher revenue. Keep close attention to your financials when bundling to be certain you aren’t giving away the profits. When partnering with a complimenting business, be sure they have as solid of a reputation as you do! Get creative, bundle your services and grow your business!

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.

Thought Leader or Sales Pusher?

thought-leaderBusinesses are seeing a value in being a thought leader. When done correctly, becoming a thought leader, an individual who drives innovation and new ideas in a given industry, is a valuable path for any professional. But there is a difference between expressing an opinion and always trying to push a sale. Thought leaders are popular, well respected and connected enough to drive real value to their respective businesses.

Consistency is key in establishing yourself as a “thought leader.” Identify the specific area(s) in which your company truly has the expertise required to become a thought leader. What expertise does your company have that none (or at least few) of your competitors have? That becomes your value proposition and should be what you key into. You may be good at various things, but you’re probably best known for only one or two.

Stay abreast of trends in the marketplace. These trends will be different depending on the type of business you’re in. What is the common denominator between your areas of expertise and these trends? Understanding the connection will help you join the conversation in a meaningful way.

Know who your target audience is, where their pain points and concerns are, and how you can solve their problems will bring value to the table. You can’t go to school to become a “thought leader,” nor can you complete a one-off program and earn some kind of certificate or formal recognition as such. Instead, you must implement a series of ongoing strategies, refine your skill sets and expand your professional connections consistently. In order to do that, you must hang out in the right places to be sure you’re networking with your target audience.

Understand your platform by defining the appropriate channels. Do you have a blog on your company website? Do you have a social media presence and/or an electronic newsletter? If you are a B2B company, LinkedIn posts by your thought leadership spokespeople might be a good way to reach your target group and ultimately new customers. But remember – personality and passion are key to your success. If the content is too dry, salesy or technical it is unlikely to attract an audience. Be a problem solver, not a sales pusher.

Consistency is key. Define a schedule and stick to it. Don’t jump into many platforms just to say you have an account and not be active. Pick 1 or 2 and do them right. Whether you decide to go for a blog, a vlog, a podcast series, or a series of LinkedIn posts, you need to commit to developing and releasing new content consistently. Becoming a thought leader doesn’t happen overnight, but rather builds as new content is released. Stay focused and keep building the relationship with your readers/viewers/listeners. Audience engagement isn’t one-sided. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for feedback and respond quickly to ensure that you keep the conversation going!

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.

Creativity for Business Owners

creativity-for-business-ownersAre you finding it difficult to be creative when it’s summer? Are sunshine and fun hampering your creativity? Perhaps you’re convinced that you just aren’t the “creative type” to begin with? Hey, not everyone gets all the good genes.

With some effort and practice, creativity can be learned. The key is in the planning. Do you create “To Do” lists and follow them?

Do you have a yearly marketing plan in place that helps to spur ideas? If not, feel free to download our 2018 Marketing Calendar with dates, events and marketing ideas to grow your business.

Here are some tips to keep the creativity flowing.

  • Be still…Give Yourself Time and Space. Thirty minutes a day to be still will allow thoughts to flow.
  • Engage in brain dumps from your head to paper. These don’t need to be complete paragraphs but rather thoughts and ideas. You might be surprised what quiet time can unveil.
  • Technology overload – minimize distractions. Put the social media to the side and turn off email while you work on your project.
  • Prioritize your projects and don’t let distractions get in the way. Tackle new projects first thing while you’re fresh. here’s a saying, “If you have to swallow a frog, don’t look at it too long. f you have to swallow more than one frog, swallow the big one first. (source unknown) Tackle big projects when you are fresh.
  • Attend a seminar or take an Online Course. Have an interest in a particular topic that you want to explore? Online training sites like Udemy offer over 80,000 low-cost online courses you can take in a variety of subjects.
  • Learn new things and open your mind to new ideas and possibilities.
  • Do You Doodle? Why do you think adult coloring books have become so popular? It brings out your inner kid and allows you to be creative.
  • Keep an Idea File with you. Your smartphone can easily store notes and ideas.
  • Find Friends. You become like those you hang out with. Surround yourself with creative people who get excited about new ideas – business owners, artists, creatives, writers, web designers, etc.
  • Make Time for Exercise – I personally struggle with this one! Exercise reduces stress and clears the mind.
  • Read from a variety of sources…books, magazines, journals and blog posts.

New behaviors can become automatic through the process of habit formation. There is a simple process to Developing Good Habits:

  • Identify the habit. …
  • Make the decision, and then the commitment, to change. ..
  • Discover your triggers and obstacles. …
  • Devise a plan. …
  • Employ visualization and affirmations. …
  • Enlist support from family and friends. …

Remind yourself that creativity can be a learned skill. Schedule in some time in the coming weeks to try out the strategies above. Feel free to share your creativity with us!

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.