Category Archives: Business

Two Simple Tips For Building Brand Community

What makes a community? This week I was on a social media panel at MIT Sloan, where we began the conversation with this topic – community building. How do you use social media to build a community around your brand?

There are two key words that come to mind when I think of community:

  • Helpful
  • Resourceful

It’s easy to broadcast on social media, but if you’re looking to build a community and advocacy around your brand, lead with these two values. Be helpful – post tips, tricks, and hacks – tell people how they can do things better or easier. Be resourceful – build up your thought leadership around key subjects that you know are important to your connections. Offer insights, experiences or opinions. Be thoughtful. When people know they can rely on your for quality content, they will continue to come back to your channels. You have become a resource to them.

Another simple approach is to think about walking into a party in your new neighborhood. Let’s say you’ve just moved in. If you want to become a part of the community, you don’t barge into the party loudly broadcasting how great you are and pitching people on what you do. You’d likely take the time to introduce yourself, get to know what matters to your neighbors and, if appropriate, offer up insights on things you have in common, sharing your experiences.

Online isn’t really all that different. Brands lose sight of this. Just because you can broadcast on social media doesn’t mean that all you should broadcast is information about yourself. Brands especially need to take care with how they establish and build community. It’s okay to share information about your products and services but in the end, by being a resource and offering ongoing information about topics related to your business – and to what your audience cares about – you will develop stronger relationships.

For more on this and other social media tips, check out the video from the panel. Bobbie Carleton of Innovation Women was our amazing moderator. Thank you for the opportunity, Bobbie!

 

Ladies, Join Me At The Inaugural Opening Night For MACFW

2015-opening-night-headerThe Massachusetts Conference For Women kicks off next week with its first-ever Opening Night — an evening of speakers, signings, shopping, learning and networking. The event will be held December 9th from 5-9pm at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Many of the Conference-day speakers will be participating in talks, interviews, book signings and meet and greets. I’ll personally be happy to see Tory  Johnson, contributor to ABC’s Good Morning America and #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Shift. Tory actually included me in one or her earlier books, Will Work From Home, and I was lucky enough to be invited to speak on her Spark & Hustle tour a few years ago.

Opening Night attendees can take advantage of LinkedIn profile makeover workshops, volunteer for a local nonprofit, watch live product pitches and support local woman-owned businesses in the Expo Hall. It’s the Conference experience on a smaller scale and I’m excited to attend! You can, too! Tickets are only $25 and can be purchased at maconferenceforwomen.org.

The Massachusetts Conference for Women offers the community and connection, the information and inspiration, the motivation and momentum to help you discover what you want—and go get it! The Conference features nationally recognized speakers who share their wisdom and expertise on a wide range of personal and professional development topics, helping you find clarity on your goals and what you need to accomplish them.

Unfortunately, conference tickets are sold out. But I have two tickets to the Opening Night event to give away*. If you’d like to join me there, please be one of the first two readers to leave a comment below with the best piece of advice you’ve received that inspired you to reach great heights personally or professionally. The first two readers to comment will win free registration to the Opening Night event. Please be sure that you can attend if you are going to comment!

I look forward to seeing many of you next Wednesday.

 

*Giveaway Details:

No purchase necessary

First two people to comment will win a free ticket to Opening Night

Winners must confirm they are able to attend the Opening Night event

Prize value: $25.00

Comments must be received by Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Winners must provide their email upon request – a registration code will be sent to the winners via email

Free registrations sponsored by The Massachusetts Conference For Women

Boston 50 On Fire – Thanks!

I was happily surprised and super grateful to be named a finalist in BostInno’s 2015 50 On Fire awards in the Professional Services Category. From thousands of nominations, a judging committee chooses 200 finalists that are “companies and individuals who are disrupting their industries and making an impact in Boston and beyond.” Wow – I’m flattered to be recognized in the city I love so much!

50onfire

I am grateful to my clients, staff and industry colleagues for the opportunities to work with them on such fun and interesting campaigns that allow me to be nominated for such cool awards. We’ll find out in a super fun ceremony on December 3 who the winners are. Grab your tickets, here.

Sunglass Hut: One Simple, Smart Marketing Move

sunglasses

Prada sunglasses available at http://www.sunglasshut.com/us/prada

Sometimes small businesses get overwhelmed with the idea of creating marketing campaigns. They often think effective marketing has to be expensive and intricate. But the truth is, sometimes the best marketing comes in the form of simple, smart moves. One example comes from Sunglass Hut.

When you buy a pair of sunglasses at any Sunglass Hut, they’ll ask you if you’d like to purchase one of their cleaning kits. Great. But did you know that if you do, they offer free refills of the cleaning solution for life?

Pretty smart, eh? Here’s why:

  • Doing so means you’ll come back into the store. Getting customers in the door is always key in retail.
  • By getting customers in the door, they’re more likely to make a repeat purchase – they see new merchandise, engage with sales executives, etc.
  • Offering “free for life” increases loyalty and brand stickiness.

The company offers several other smart marketing examples such as free shipping, fittings and returns. For marketers who understand the psychology of “free,” you know these are smart moves. You don’t have to be a large corporation to implement some kind of repeat business campaign. Maybe you can’t afford to provide free shipping or products, but I bet you can afford to give loyalty discounts or other creative reasons for a shopper to return to your store. Perhaps it’s a free pair of earrings with every necklace purchase during the holidays, or a Free Refill on a shopper’s Birthday. Get creative and remember, you’re trying to get them back into your store – online or off – to encourage additional engagement.

Marketing doesn’t have to mean a huge, flashy campaign. The best marketing keeps the customer in mind, and looks at offers and promotions from their perspective.

New Book Helps Parents And Educators Raise Confident, Powerful Female Leaders

I’m a big advocate for helping women in business to be bold, strong and confident. I think as the gender that was born with a big “Caretaker” sign on our foreheads, we spend a lot of time putting ourselves last in order to make others feel cared for. This doesn’t always work well in business, and is likely one of the reasons women continue to struggle with workplace equality and power. I think we will only see a sea change for women in business if we can start teaching young girls some fundamental things during their adolescent development.

A new book was released last month that can further help parents and educators of preteen girls embrace such fundamentals. Brave Girls: Raising Young Women with Passion and Purpose to Become Powerful Leaders,” is written by Stacey Radin, PsyD, and Leslie Goldman. It is being touted as “the ultimate guidebook for parents and educators who want to learn how to help their girls become confident, passionate, and powerful leaders.” Radin also runs a social justice program, Unleashed, a 12 week program where girls learn to diagnose a social challenge, dig deep beneath the surface to address the root causes, and learn to create change. Radin’s background is as a psychologist and consultant for women struggling in the professional world. During this work she “made a ground breaking realization: it all begins in middle school. Women who become successful leaders learn how to do so in the middle grades—the most formative stage in a girl’s development and self-identification.”

Unleashed’s mission is “To empower middle school girls to take a stand against an injustice they care deeply about, and advocating for animal rights and welfare in the process.” Over the course of 12 weeks, girls develop critical tools they will use to solve complex social problems throughout the course of their lives.

The program and the book cover such important topics, and key areas that need to change for our young girls to grow up strong and proud – and happy. Things that we as parents and educators need to support and help them to embrace, including:

  • Love yourself first – it will make you a better lover of others. It’s not only okay, it’s fundamental to a happy and fulfilling life.
  • Be proud of your talents – celebrate what you’re good at! “People think you’re full of yourself when you talk about what you’re good at.” Yikes. We need to teach them to be PROUD of what they are good at. That being full of self love is a good thing. Not boastful or rude, but proud – and with the knowledge that it’s okay to talk about yourself in a positive light.
  • Know that it’s okay not to be perfect – perfect is a fallacy. Don’t try to pretend you don’t fail, rather, learn from it – and share with others so they can learn, too. (I see this “can’t fail or be wrong” mentality in a certain 7 year old I know.) As a New York Daily News writeup by Arielle Landau mentioned, “That sounds drastic, but little girls are often shielded from failure. An old Verizon commercial illustrates the way they’re taught to keep their pretty dresses clean and sit still. By high school, they’re detached and uninterested. So Unleashed gives them an outlet, and Radin shows them how to make mistakes … and learn from them.”
  • Support other girls/women – don’t be jealous, be happy when good things happen to others.

I love that the Unleashed program involves puppies and helps them, too. As Landau wrote, “Radin uses Unleashed, a program that helps preteen girls build their confidence through animal rescue. Through the process of saving puppies — puppies! — the girls learn that they are allowed to passionate and organized. Perhaps more importantly, they learn they’re allowed to fail.”

I know I’ll be grabbing this book, how about you? Our girls need all the help they can get.

 

Still Time To Register! Xconomy Forum: Tech Agenda 2015

I’m excited to be moderating a panel tomorrow at Xconomy’s Forum: Tech Agenda 2015. I’ll be speaking with Ellen M. Brezniak, Senior Vice President of Customer Operations at Constant Contact, and Jennifer Lum, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Adelphic Mobile, on “Marketing in the Mobile Era: What Changes, What Doesn’t.” 

While we have quite a timely topic to discuss, there are plenty of other great speakers. From ecommerce to cloud computing, to hackers, robots and drones, to 2015 predictions, the day is sure to be energetic and informative. Join some of Boston’s smartest investors, entrepreneurs, business owners and journalists. The event begins at 12:30 and – bonus – you can take $100 off with discount code “XconFriend.” The full agenda is here, and registration is here.

Hope to see you there!

 

What Are You Waiting For?

We spend so much of our lives waiting:

  • We wait to grow up
  • We wait to graduate from college
  • We wait for the bus, train, plane
  • We wait to order food or get a seat at a restaurant
  • We wait on hold
  • We wait in lines for events, auditions, jobs

Some of these waits are unavoidable. But too often, we wait until life is “ideal” enough to do things – to get married or start a family, to quit our job and start that entrepreneurial journey we dream of, to buy something special.

Sometimes, you just have to go for it. It may never feel right until after you do! Sometimes, as the saying in my kitchen goes, you just have to “Enjoy life, this is not  a dress rehearsal.”

You have to stop waiting. You have to jump. You have to stop staring down, wondering – you’ll only get the answer when you take the leap.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s Monday. This week, don’t wait. Do something daring and go for it.

 

Photo by Andy Spearing; via Flickr Creative Commons