The Elusive WOW Factor: 7 Tips to get the WOW

Generally, when I'm working with someone I ask what they are they looking for from their marketing and business and the answer I get 9 times out of 10 is, "I don't know, I just want the WOW Factor."

What does that mean?

My wow factor is different from your wow factor, which is different from the next person's wow factor. Use your words people. What does that mean?

Someone might look at the work I do and think, "that chick is nuts, how could anyone work with her." Obviously, they would be right but that's another post for another day. But others love it and want more of my WOW Factor. So what is that wow factor and how do you get it?

The elusive WOW Factor is that 'thing' that makes people go 'whoa.' For some it is in the look and the design, the visual. For others it is the words you use and how you make them feel. But regardless, the wow factor grabs you by the balls and makes you say, "how you doin'?"

Some tips that we use when creating the wow,

 

  1. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail: Do I really need to explain this again? You must plan and you must set goals for any project and that especially includes your marketing and branding.
  2. Be consistent: I feel like I say this over and over and over... and over. Please people, if you never ever work with us or you hate us and never read another post, please take this advise. Be consistent with your brand acorss all medias. That means no different logos that are just slightly changed to fit the piece you are working with.
  3. Be differnt: No one ever remembered the status quo. Did you? Remember, sometimes even bad press is good press. Case in point, Miley Cyrus' twerking VMA disaster. You think that was a coincidence that she had an album coming out like the next week?
  4. Stand for something: Dammit! What do you stand for? Shout that from the rooftops and hold your ground regardless of the naysayers. 
  5. Less is more: This is self explanatory. Size really doesn't matter.
  6. Know your customer's wow factor: You have to know who your target customer is and what makes them go "whoa, how you doin'?" Because that's when they buy from you.
  7. Use your words: While we are living a visual world, the word is still powerful. We still need to use bold, desciptive words like kumquat. Don't be a kumquat.

 

This WOW Factor thing isn't all that easy if you aren't clear on what you do, and more importantly, why you do it. I'll be honest. I struggle with this for B&A as well. I like to over-analyze and over-complicate things that I lose clarity sometimes. I'm currently going through that where I'm getting back to the roots of why I started this company and how I serve others with my work. I'll sit down with a glass of champagne (go figure) and work out a new plan and then go from there with all the other points to get my mojo (or WOW Factor if you will) back. It's all coming together soon.

What's your thoughts? Use your words and tell us how do you capture your WOW Factor or what brand just that somethin, somethin. Until the next big things comes along...

be cool man,

A Lifestyle Business Model

As you probably have read by now, Jenn came to Chucktown a few weeks ago for what she probably thought was a nice, relaxing vacay at the beach. Yeah, that didn't happen. We burneded the candle at both ends.

We worked really hard. Seriously!

We really did work because when you own a business it never stops. We played really hard too though. But for us, if work and play aren't the same thing then we don't want anything to do with it.

Don't you agree?

It was great to have her in Charleston for a number of reasons but as I mentioned in an earlier post, we've had a bit of a rough summer at B&A with some changes going on. So we both really needed to do the work and the relaxation. And the laughter. We needed to laughed A LOT! Laughter is the best medicine.

In the 6 days of eating and drinking and laughing and galvanting we talked a lot about what B&A is and does and wants to be. My goal at B&A has been, and always will be, to help people. Not necessarily businesses but people who work in or run businesses. In additional to helping people, I want to create my own lifestyle. I want my work in the world to fit around the lifestyle I want, not my lifestyle having to fit around my 'job'.

Jenn coming to visit was a perfect example of the lifestyle business model that I'm trying to create.

  • We had a leadership meeting on a boat watching dolphins and dipping our toes in the water (thanks Concentric! I hope we can use your boat again for something). Why can't all leadership meetings be on a boat?
  • We had a Champagne Thursday meeting with one of our favorite clients Verve Media and worked out a new marketing plan. Why can't all business meetings involve cheap champagne?
  • We talked over our strategies and to-do lists over Lavendar Martinis at Cypress. Why can't you talk over strategic ideas and innovations over martinis or your cocktail of choice? (We are equal alcohol drinkers around here)
And there were a ton of things just like these that we did but we got a ton of strategy work done.

Speaking of strategy work, I'm going to tell you now that I'm changing the B&A business model a bit. We are still going to do the great consulting work that we do for our awesome clients but we are going to start working smarter rather than harder. I'm a big believer that to be successful you have to be scaleable and monetizable. So we are looking at and developing products and services that accomplish both in conjunction with our goal of helping people. We definitely aren't giving up our Champagne Thursday lifestyle but are using that as the catalyst to be better at what we do. This is just the next extension of the lifestyle busniess model and you'll see it happening over the next 6 months.

I'm not doing this big re-brand/launch thing (I'm kinda over all that). Its more of a refining process of what we currently do and making it easier and more accessible to you. This is a philosophy I have had for a long time and have been working with clients and I think now is the time to 'put my money where my mouth is' and do it for us. You'll like it. I promise!

WORK HARD, PLAY HARD: B&A STYLE

So I just got back to WV from a week long business/pleasure trip to Charleston, SC. Boy, am I exhausted. I thought my 4 and 6 year old boys wore me out, but working for Bartles & Associates is super exhausting, yet SUPER FUN! I laughed so much and hard. Working with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs is like the best job EVER! Not only do you form a business partnership with your clients, you forge friendships.

You get great perks too!

Two days into my trip, we are out on a boat for a leadership retreat with Jim and his crew at Concentric. It was a great perk but was literally a 2 ½ hour business meeting at the same time. It was an awesome time getting to understand one of our small business clients and what they do and what they need (specifically from us).

Several days later into my trip I felt like a model. Having a uber-talented photographer/videographer as a client is exhausting. Dana at Verve Media Photo+Video took headshots and video of us at B&A for our own marketing material (so be on the lookout for our new promotional marketing stuff). Those that know me know I HATE having a camera in my face and I don’t like ANY pictures taken of me, but Dana made it fun and not so intrusive. AND I LIKED THE PICS – that she let me see so far. Dana and her team are phenomenal and so much FUN! I laughed so hard at all of our wacky antics. Oh, and if you are signed up for our Champagne Thursday Inspirations, you would know that Verve Media was a part of our Champagne Thursdays Mastermind session for this month! (Shameless plug alert coming up…) If you are not in the loop, you better go to anywhere on our site and sign up (under Bartleby’s Goodies) to get your own inside scoop on our fun way of doing business and FREE marketing (and business) advice.

Between business meetings with small business and entrepreneur clients, eating, drinking, visiting a winery and distillery (add link) (all in the same location for convenience), and many, many other adventures, my trip went by way too fast. Oh did I mention…WE GOT TO WORK ON THE BEACH TOO! Yeah, there are some AMAZING perks to working for B&A and helping our clients achieve their maximum potential and creativity!

Writer’s Block is a B*tch

If you’re reading this, then Hallelujah! It means I was able to get past my weeklong writer’s block and figure out something worth writing about… I think.

We’ve all been there, whether it’s the college paper due the next day, the proposal you promised your client by the end of the week, or even composing your grocery list as you sit in your car in front of the Harris Teeter. There’s a lot of noise in that brilliant mind of yours. However, there’s an extreme disconnect with your mind and your fingers as you type. In fact, your mind is screaming, “WE CAN DO THIS!” but somehow your hand freezes up and Googles Grumpy Kitty.

You look around, hoping that maybe that picture on the wall or the person walking by the window will send your mind into creativity overload, causing you to finish your entire week’s worth of work in one afternoon. Wouldn’t that be nice? Joke’s on you. 

Fifteen minutes later you decide to take a laundry break and throw a load into the wash. Thirty minutes later you’re still stuck, so you go for a walk convincing yourself that “fresh air” is what your mind needs. After the walk, you sit back down and work on something else. Not whatever has a deadline quickly approaching, of course, but rather the document that is due at the end of the month. This cycle continues on for a couple hours, sometimes days. You start to stress out because you haven’t gotten anything done.

Hold on…yes you have. You’ve done laundry, exercised, and possibly cleared some time toward the end of the month for a beach day. Go you! The high from this realization boosts your mood and before you know it, your writer’s block is gone. You know what else is gone? That deadline you were stressing about. Why? Because you’re awesome and overcame the writer’s block. Maybe, jusssst maybe, writer’s block is a blessing in disguise. 

Fooo... Oh, look a squirrel!

Do you ever suffer from what I like to call Squirrel Syndrome? No? You don't loose focus? You already have, haven't you?

If you're like me there is so much jammed packed into my schedule that I get overwhelmed, which in turn distracks my attention constantly. And its easy to get distracts by, say... 

OHHH... SPARKLY!

Sorry. Focus, Ronii. You are writing a blog post. Squirrel.

As I write this post, the TV is on and I'm trying to 'multi-task' and out of the corner of my eye the cat is taking a bath on the couch. Distracting, no?!?!

I think you would agree that we are a distracted society. And I think that marketing, in part, has made us this way. Everywhere we turn there is a marketing message trying to vie for my attention, time and money. I'm trying to vie for your attention right now with this blog post.

It's TOO much! I can't handle!

So, how can businesses like us 'cut through the clutter'? (I know that is totally cliched but cliches exist for a reason... becuase they are true.) We make people feel something through our story.

We all have a story. I do. You do. They do. We all have a story we want to share and hope it resonates with our potential clients. But the key is to be concise with that story and envoke a feeling so we don't get distracted by squirrels or, in my case, shiny objects.

When tellig your story, remember how you felt going through it. Use adjectives that will make your listener or reader feel those same feelings. I preach it all the time: people don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Most consumers purchase on feelings, not practicality. So make them feel something because most likely they have been in, or are in, the same spot and feel the same way. And because you have been through it you know exactly what will fix it and you are willing to fix it for them... for $19.95.

Now, time to get distracted by some sparkly champagne. Happy focusing!

~Ronii

The New Marketing Craze: Content Marketing

Have you heard? Content marketing is all the craze!

How so very hipster-ish of us to share valuable information with the world. But I thought I was already doing that? Wait, what? You mean I have to spend more time doing more stuff to get people interested in working with me?

Why, yes. Yes, you do.

What is content marketing you ask? Well, honestly, it's a lot of writing. Taking your thoughts and ideas and opinions and putting them out into the world for everyone to see and use if they so choose. Really, the concept of content marketing is quiet simple. You write a piece (articles, blogs, white papers, etc.) that is valuable and useful to the reader and the you promote the hell out of it. Easy peasy.

The theory is that as if you write good content you begin to gain trust from your audience because they view you as a thought leader beginning that ever important marketing tool called the relationship. I know what your going to say, 'but Ronii, then I give all my secrets way and no one will hire me because they have all the information to do it themselves.' Of course you know me and I have an answer to that. Yes, they do and they can go do it themselves BUT ... they won't. And even if they do, their not the kind of client you want to work with. 

The fact of the matter is, all the information for any of us in business is laying right in front of us on The Google. All we have to do is search for it. But if you are anything like me (and I know most of you probably are) you don't have the time or the energy to put all those pieces together. You don't want to plan your marketing campaign, write you copy, design your ad, negotiate and buy ad space, or promote the hell out of your content. You can. You have all the information and know how to do it. But you won't. You will hire us.

That's why it works. You gain trust with your audience and they say, 'i don't have time for this. Here's some cash. Can you take care of everything?' Why, yes. Yes, I can.

Take this blog for instance. I'm telling you that you write a 3 to 5 paragraph blog post on your area expertise. Mine is marketing, hence this article on content marketing. Then you promote it. You share it on all your social media platforms, you comment on other's social media about your great tips, you send it out in an email to your database, you talk about it with everyone you meet and tell them to check out your blog for all kinds of great tips. You know how to do all that. That's good information on telling you exactly how to do content marketing. Maybe a little over simplified but you get my drift. But will you do it? Maybe, at first.

But eventually, you'll get busy and that will go to the back burner because you don't have time or inspiration. BUT, you may remember this article from me and say, 'I know I need to do this and it's important to drive traffic, I'll call Ronii. She can take care of it. That's what she does everyday.' Voila! Content marketing!

See how easy that was? Now, call me, maybe!