Thoughts for the Day

One thing I really admire is the gift of brevity, something I obviously don’t have.  The ability to make a pithy statement in a very few words is truly admirable.  While bicycling and listening to podcasts today, I came across two wonderful examples:

Never chase the money.  Chase excellence and the money will chase you.

Pat Fraley

Blogging is a game for idiots.

Anna Farmery

Lights, Camera, ACTION!

I’m a firm believer that you should look for good ideas everywhere.  That explains this link to an unlikely web site for a business blog.  It’s called Widows Quest, written by Anna Farmery of Great Britain.  Anna is also responsible for The Engaging Brand blog and podcast and is one of the three Podcast Sisters.

Anna wrote today on “Facing Life’s Problems“.  Long story short [you’ll have to read Anna’s post to get the longer version] the first step in solving any problem is to take some kind of positive action.

Whether the problem is bad weather or cash flow, it’s not going to go away until you take that first step.

A Brand Called You

As regular readers know, my iPod passed away in a tragic lawn mower accident a while back.  My thoughtful children went together and bought me a new one for Christmas.  But between the destruction of the mp3 player, Christmas, “retirement” and some other things too numerous to mention, I’m way behind in my podcast listening.

That’s why I was listening yesterday to episode 209 of Anna Farmery’s “The Engaging Brand“, dated December 19, 2008.  Normally I wouldn’t publicly admit to being so far behind, but I wanted to bring this episode to your attention.

The Brand Called You by Peter Montoya

Anna’s guest was Peter Montoya, author of a book called “A Brand Called You“.  As you can tell from the title, it’s a book about personal branding.  [Note:  I haven’t read the book so this isn’t a book report.  I’d like to hear from anyone who has read it.]

Montoya made some excellent points in the interview and I want to share a couple of them with you.  He suggests that you specialize your product/service to fit your chosen market.  For example, name an American manufacturer of high-end motorcycles.  Or, name a national chain of gourmet (?) coffee shops where people like to gather and linger over their double-chocolate mocha lattes with double diet steam sugar-free milk.  Or simply name your favorite search engine.

Chances are most of you said, in this order, Harley Davidson, Starbucks, and Google.  Those are brands that are specialized to fit their market place.

Next, build a relationship with your customers.  The combination of specialization and relationships equals your brand. When you look at it that way, it’s fairly simple.

You’re probably thinking, “Wait a minute.  I can’t afford to spend the money to become a Starbucks.”  Maybe not, but you can build a brand in your local market that’s equally recognizable in that market.  In fact, if you haven’t done that, you’d better get started right away because there may be somebody else in your area who’s looking to build the same brand that you covet.  And it’s always best to be first.

Another thing that Montoya stresses is the importance of a web site.  People are surfing the net for information before they shop.  If they don’t find you, you’re out of the race before you even start.  You site doesn’t have to be fancy.  You don’t need a lot of expensive effects.  All you need is a site that gives your potential customer the information she needs to drive her into your business.

Rather than take this any further, I suggest you listen to the podcast and hear directly from Montoya.  The podcast runs just about half an hour so you can easily listen to it while you eat lunch.

Have a great weekend!

Episode 5

Welcome to Mining the Store, the podcast for small business owners who want to mine more gold from their businesses.  This is Episode 5.

There’s no “I” in podcast, so your comments are very important.  You can leave a comment here on the show notes page.  Or, you can email your comment to mike@miningthestore.com.  If you’d like to leave an audio comment, you can attach an mp3 file to your email.

Skype users can leave an audio comment at mike.buckley3.

Our music is called “Shenandoah” and it’s by Larry Allen Brown from the Garage Band web site, find it here.

Mining the Store is a member of the blubrry podcast network, http://www.blubrry.com.

2:04   Harvey Korman
2:45   Missouri Department of Revenue–How not to do customer service.
6:57   78 million Baby boomers are a diverse group.
US boomers range in age from 44 to 62
They ARE on the internet
44% of internet users age 50+ have broadband service
They use the web for a variety of purposes.
If you’re not reaching out to boomers, you’re missing business.
10:45 Contact me on Twitter and Facebook.
http://twitter.com/michaelbuckley
11:16 Anna Farmery–Healthy Business Relationships
http://www.theengagingbrand.typepad.com
12:23 More Anna–The Engaging Brand Episode 167, Joe Medina
Brain Rules
13:12 Minor League Baseball, the Gateway Grizzlies, and good marketing.
16:34 Donna Papacosta–Adding time codes to show notes
http://trafcom.typepad.com/blog/

Direct download: Episode_5.mp3