Tag: marketing

“Goal Setting to the Now”

Goal Setting to the Now_Business Rewritten

As many firms begin the sometimes arduous process of end of the year planning, the inevitable question arises as to “What are our goals for 2017?” – cue crickets chirping amid the silence as everyone’s eyes dart around the conference room. I find myself in the same position looking towards the new year and pondering how to grow my client base while maintaining a personalized level of service.

goal-setting-for-the-now_The ONE Thing by Gary Keller with Jay PapasanI draw once again from the book The One Thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan, that introduced me to this domino-effect of goal setting which the author coins as “Goal Setting to the Now.” The premise is basically to help you think big picture then break this down into smaller tasks in order to achieve your goal. This concept is not groundbreaking when it comes to business plans, but the word NOW adds priority and purpose to the process.

“Purpose has the power to shape our lives only in direct proportion to the power of the priority we connect to it. Purpose without priority is powerless.”

Once the volume of employees’ discussions overtakes the crickets chirping in the conference room, several ideas for the firm’s goals in 2017 will emerge and be placed on sticky notes on the conference room wall. The challenge firm owners and managers face is to determine which of these goals takes priority – the ONE thing – each department/team can achieve in 2017. Once the priority (notice how it’s singular and NOT plural) has been identified, then each group can engage in the “Goal Setting to the Now” process to identify the steps needed along the way to accomplish this one goal.

How will your firm line up its dominoes to identify the one thing they can do right now that will help achieve the priority goal for 2017?

Written by: Julie Wanzer, LEED AP

Image extracted from the book The One Thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan

Manage the Details

Manage the Details_Business Rewritten

Paying attention to the smallest of details may seem obvious to some, but all too often overlooked by many. Take the time to manage the details in your marketing or hire someone who can.

Manage the Details_Business RewrittenT. Harv Eker is attributed with the quote, “How you do anything is how you do everything.” This saying has been re-quoted several times over and can be applied to various occurrences in life, but in marketing, this can speak to the importance of being detail-oriented. Another way to say this, is to employ the age-old adage “The devil is in the details,” which can be used to emphasize the small yet crucial components of a larger task.

Marketing, in and of itself, is a huge task and can cover everything from proposals to website maintenance to social media to public relations to conference management. Yet, how a firm takes on the smallest of marketing tactics, can be viewed as a reflection of their overall marketing strategy and company values.

Although marketing and project deadlines can be overwhelming, I encourage my clients to hone in on the smallest of details when preparing a marketing product that will be sent out to a potential client. For example, when preparing a proposal for a building project, be sure to take the time to thoroughly proof-read the document, make sure the graphics are of high-resolution and relate to the accompanying text.

Due to the increased level of competition for design and construction projects and the vast amount of proposals submitted for any-one job, owners and proposal review teams are looking for any reason to throw your proposal to the bottom of the pile. A spelling/grammar error, obvious cut and paste oversight referencing the wrong project name or a missing photo, are all reflections of your firm and how you manage your marketing efforts. In the owner’s mind, if you cannot manage the details of a proposal team, how you will manage the details of their multi million-dollar project team?

Paying attention to the smallest of details may seem obvious to some, but all too often overlooked by many. Take the time to manage the details in your marketing or hire someone who can.

Written by: Julie Wanzer, LEED AP

Embracing the 2% Mindset in Business

Embracing the 2% Mindset in Business_Business Rewritten

How can liking change, embracing the unknown and exploring new things not only raise your employees’ moral, but also increase your firm’s market value by approaching a proposal or a project in a new way?

I can still recall the outcry of protests and rallies being held across the country during the socio-political Occupy Movement in 2011, where being a member of the top 1% was synonymous with death threats. Despite the negative connotations of being associated with the top 1%’ers, or in this case, the 2%’ers, the 2% Mindset can be used as a tool for motivating young entrepreneurs to reinvigorating firm’s employees to exploring new means of business development and project methodology.

Embracing the 2% Mindset in Business_Business RewrittenThis 2% Mindset includes tenets of:

  • Embodying confidence
  • Having the courage to explore and try new things
  • Choosing happiness
  • Daring to take action in spite of fear

For me, starting my own marketing communications firm set the wheels in motion to embrace this 2% Mindset. A workaholic by nature, I was spending too many hours in an office environment where I made little time to explore various marketing strategies. Opening Business Rewritten, provided me the avenue to research and apply new marketing techniques and offer them to my clients.

I challenge the firms I work with to set aside time, whether during a Lunch ‘N Learn hour or a whole day retreat, to explore how we can all embrace this 2% Mindset. How can liking change, embracing the unknown and exploring new things not only raise your employees’ moral, but also increase your firm’s market value by approaching a proposal or a project in a new way?

Written by: Julie Wanzer, LEED AP

Authenticity and Relevance in Social Media Marketing

Authenticity and Relevance in Social Media Marketing_Business Rewritten

mobile-internet-trends-mary-meeker-2015-1

You want your firm’s social media posts to be authentic and reflect your core company values and areas of expertise that your firm offers.

As we head into the fourth quarter of 2016 and look towards planning ahead for your 2017 marketing strategies, social media has become more of an expectation than a nuance for almost all companies and associations, regardless of industry type. According to the 2015 YTD statistics from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), American adults are spending 51% of their time per day on mobile digital media. In addition, the 2016 Business Insider Intelligence Social Engagement report found that 20% of the total time spent online per day in the U.S. is on social platforms. In order to reach your potential client/customer/membership base and capture a percentage of their time spent on social media, companies must establish a social media presence.

One of the first questions my clients ask me once they have recognized this need for a social media presence, is “What do I post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, etc?” I then spend the next twenty minutes or so asking them questions such as:

  • What are your core company values?
  • What areas of expertise does your company focus on?
  • What do you want your potential clients to know about you?
  • Describe the demographics of your ideal clients/customers/members

The answers to these questions obviously vary given the type of company or association sitting across from me in the conference room, but all of these answers relate to authenticity and relevance in social media marketing.

Authenticity and Relevance in Social Media Marketing_Business RewrittenYou want your firm’s social media posts to be authentic and reflect your core company values and areas of expertise that your firm offers. As a construction firm, you do not want to be posting about the latest brain surgery tactics or trending cat videos – rather focusing on innovative building techniques, your firm’s philanthropy in construction and the latest statistics influencing the construction market.

You also need to ensure that your firm’s social media posts are relevant to both your firm and to your potential client/membership base. As an engineering firm, what do you want to portray to your clients?

  • Your firm’s reliability?
  • Flexibility in a team structure?
  • Ease of use for design document collaboration?

Then take the time to define your ideal client to ensure your target social media demographics align with your ideal client/member demographics.

Written by: Julie Wanzer, LEED AP

Lessons Learned from One-Year Anniversary

Lessons Learned from One Year Anniversary_Business RewrittenAccording to the latest statistics from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), 21.5% of new businesses failed within the first year. In addition, the SBA found that entrepreneurship among Millennials is lower than compared to previous generations with less than 2% of Millennials reporting self-employment, compared to 7.6% for Generation X and 8.3% for Baby Boomers; with entrepreneurship growing much more slowly for Millennials as see in the figure below.

As Business Rewritten celebrates its official one-year anniversary this September, we are humbled to be a part of the outliers in these SBA statistics. Taking the plunge to start my own marketing firm at the age of 33 conjured up a number of fears and anxieties, but also ignited a flame of passion and determination to build something of my own.

Working in corporate America for the past 12 years holding various marketing, sales and business development positions, helped lay the foundation for Business Rewritten. Below are some of the lessons I learned that have helped Business Rewritten celebrate this important milestone:

  • It’s better to say NO to a client and be honest about your workflow, then to say YES and not deliver the best level of service
  • Relationships matter more than you think because at the end of the day, people like doing business with people they like
  • Referrals are the best compliment you can receive
  • Don’t forget to celebrate the small victories, but also learn from and evaluate the circumstances that led to the pitfalls

Written by: Julie Wanzer, LEED AP

Graph from SBA.gov

The Anti-Juggler

Marketers all too often find themselves wearing several hats, especially in the AEC industry where everything from proposals to press releases to social media to conferences to graphics to website maintenance all fall underneath the marketing scope of services. Having worked in-house for AEC firms since 2010, I remember constantly striving to perfect my juggling act and keep all of the marketing tasks floating mid-air.

The Anti-Juggler_Business RewrittenHaving now read The One Thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan, I challenge marketers to accept that “Multi-tasking is a lie.” I can attest to the face that I used to boast about my multi-tasking capabilities and that I even thrived on juggling multiple marketing activities at once. But as the author so aptly points out,

“Juggling is an illusion. To the casual observer, a juggler is juggling three balls at once. In reality, the balls are being independently caught and thrown in rapid succession. Catch, toss, catch, toss…it’s what researchers refer to as task switching.”

According to researcher Dr. David Meyer featured in the book, task switching costs 25% more in extra time lost for simple tasks to over 100% more time lost for more complicated tasks. The graphic below illustrates this point.

Instead of striving to be the perfect juggler, marketers should work with their principals and managers to determine the greatest priority for the day and give it your undivided attention. For everything else, consider delegating to resources in-house or plan to budget for additional outside support to ensure none of the balls get dropped in your marketing and business development plan.

Written by: Julie Wanzer, LEED AP