Before we watch the ball drop to kick off 2015, let’s take a quick look back at the year that was. My helper monkeys, Mojo and Penelope, have prepared an end-of-year report for the CCC blog. Thanks to you, what a year it’s been!
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,500 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.
We shared 69 new posts this past year, usually sticking to our Tuesday and Thursday schedule. You came early and often, culminating on November 20th (Mexican Revolution Day?!), our most popular day with 54 views.
Along the way, we hit two notable milestones: 200 followers and 500 likes. Thank you!
Loyal readers, you came from near and far. The United States, India and Brazil were our most represented countries, and we had visitors from 91 countries around the world. Some of you found us through Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, our top referrers.
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. -Dr. Seuss
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads. And Mama in her ‘kerchief and I in my cap, had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, gave the lustre of midday to objects below. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers* they came, and he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! On Donner and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricanes fly, when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky; so up to the house top, the coursers, they flew with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof the prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, and the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath. He had a broad face and a little round belly that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself. A wink of his eye and a twist of his head soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, and filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk. And laying his finger aside of his nose, and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, and away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight —
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
-Attributed to both Clement Clarke Moore and Major Henry Livingston, Jr.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of our loyal readers and supporters! Thank you for all of your likes, comments and shares in 2014. We appreciate every one of you and look forward to a tremendous 2015.
Social media. This ever-changing, real-time world is unbelievable — both in the marketing opportunity it presents and in trying to stay on top of the constant changes. Are you utilizing the new features that popped up in 2014? Let’s take a quick look back…
What’s on your list for Santa this year? A new computer? Fancy office digs? Or new business? Let’s go with the latter.
Referrals. We all want them, but how do you encourage your clients and supporters to provide them?
How can you entice more referrals from Santa (or the Grinch)?
Gift Cards – It’s no coincidence that gift cards are the top gift year after year. Starbucks, iTunes and a plethora of other options are available, including local spots. Be creative, and deliver with a hand-written note of appreciation. A cup of joe for referring Bob Smith. Referrals are music to my ears.
Freebies – Free trials, add-on services and swag can all entice folks to keep your business top of mind. Offer a free design consultation, month-long trial membership into your VIP Club or imprinted promotional items. It’s amazing how you can tie a product into what your company does, so you come to mind immediately when needed.
Loyalty Program Points – People are familiar with loyalty programs and enjoy ‘earning’ prizes. Reward referrals with points — more points based on how much business the referral does — that recipients can redeem for cool prizes. Make sure to offer a decent selection of prizes and point levels. If participants have to earn an unreasonably high number of points, they may not feel motivated. You can also tie other actions into your loyalty program, such as reaching specific milestones (i.e. 1 year as a customer, $1,500 in business).
Join the Referral Conversation
How do you encourage and/or reward referrals?
What would encourage you to refer qualified prospects to a business?
Gift cards or swag: what do you prefer?
p.s. CCC appreciates all of our clients, customers and supporters. Thank you for working with us in 2014, and we look forward to doing more business in 2015. If you’d ever like to refer someone to us, check out the contact us page.
Writing, social media, marketing and more! Join the discussion:
My favorite show on TV is Criminal Minds, which is far from just another show on law enforcement. FBI agents in the Behavioral Analysis Unit (B.A.U.) profile suspected serial killers and hardened criminals in order to solve difficult cases. By reading clues at the crime scene and studying an unsub’s (perpetrator’s) life, the team can learn to think like the criminal to catch him (or her). You’re probably thinking, ‘What’s this have to do with me?’
When you bring on a new client, you probably ask them lots of questions. Some of these questions may not have answers, which could be why you’re there. But your goal is to understand your client as much as possible — his target audience(s), the essence of what he provides, why he does what he does and how he stands out from his competitors. In essence, you’re profiling him to capture who he is and how you can best help him.
I realize that profiling has received a bad rap in some circles lately. However, it’s important to realize what it is — and isn’t. Profiling isn’t about perpetuating stereotypes. Behavioral profiling can help us better understand people, and why they do what they do. Could it possibly be dangerous if put in the wrong person’s hands? Sure, but most things are. That’s why it’s important to learn to use it correctly.
One of my favorite classes in college was Consumer Behavior, which dissects consumers’ purchasing decisions and how they come to those decisions. There’s more science involved than you may think. From people’s personality types to how grocery stores stock their shelves, we’re constantly adding to our knowledge base on people’s behavior and how it affects the world we live in.
“Don’t forget that I cannot see myself — that my role is limited to being the one who looks in the mirror.” -Jacques Rigaut // quoted by Jason Gideon on Criminal Minds
Join the Discussion
Is behavioral profiling helpful in any environment?
The big discussion on social media revolves around selling. Is it for hard selling? Creating and maintaining relationships? Building a community?
Social media creates opportunities. It’s up to you to close them.
Social media is one tool in your marketing mix. The confusion lies in the merging of sales and marketing — two separate functions (that need to work together). Marketing, including social media, should bring you opportunities, but it’s up to sales to convert them. Does that make sense?
If you’re receiving (qualified) leads, then social media and your other marketing tools are doing their job. If you’re not, adjust your marketing methods that aren’t working.
If social media isn’t working for you, ask yourself:
Am I on the correct social media platforms?
Is my strategy designed to bring in qualified leads?
What are my calls-to-action (CTAs) asking?
If you’re bringing in qualified leads but not closing them, that’s a sales issue. Perhaps your website isn’t user-friendly, your pricing doesn’t work for people, or they’re not buying the value of your products or services. Regardless, not converting your opportunities isn’t a marketing or social media issue. It’s not about pointing the finger. It’s about achieving results.
That’s my take; I’d love to hear yours!
What’s your take on the sales and marketing conundrum?