12 Ways to WOW Your Customers, Inside and Out…

cartoon by @gapingvoid

cartoon by @gapingvoid

OK, so on the road to Birmingham tomorrow. Another day of filming for a client project there.

But whilst engaging in some pre-trip planning with my traveling colleagues, we got to discussing some additional tactics that are in the works long-term for this client/project.

One of those is setting up and helping this client execute their very own radio show…

As you know, my business partner Stone Payton and I co-host the High Velocity Radio Show. It has been an amazingly successful show that has helped connect us to a lot of talented people, and given us a lot of wonderful content and stories to share with our audience.

Now hosting a radio show isn’t for everyone. But I’d be hard pressed to find a business, large or small, that couldn’t benefit from hosting something like this.

But in doing some preparatory work in laying out the future steps for this client, my partners-in-crime and I brainstormed on how best to leverage a radio show. Here are a few things we came up with:

1. Podcasts. SEO pop. Enough said. I don’t have to tell you about the strength of the content generated by producing relevant podcasts, blogging about it, and achieving some powerful SEO oomph from it. Nothing new here – you already knew this…

2. Gravitas. Our client had NO IDEA what a radio show would look like for him and his company. But was aroused by the idea. Why? Because in his space? It was uncommon. And that made the idea rock.

3. Plus it makes you look cool. I mean look at Stone and I for goodness sakes…

4. Cross-Pollination. It is amazing how RIDICULOUSLY EASY it is to take content generated on the radio show and use it as an endless stream of specific content for your blog…

5. Content generator. Duh. Get some people on the radio talking about things that matter in the organization? And poof, you get some great sharable content!

6. Spotlight Veteran Rock Stars. Got some All-Star Veteran talent in the organization? Feature them. Let them teach. Demonstrate. Motivate the others who need to see leadership…

7. Make New Rock Stars. Got young up and coming talent? Feature them on your radio show. Make them push the envelope. Make them push their limits. Make them realize what they really can do.

8. Training | Education. If you need to teach a sector of your world something, whether they be internal members of your organization and/or your prospects and customers, setting up a radio show is BRILLIANT. They can learn from their peers, the members they respects and admire. I am thinking call-in radio show here…

9. Inspire buy-in on new ideas. Do you have a constituency within your organization that needs to buy-in to a new program? Well, they don’t want to read white papers. They don’t want to be force-fed lectures. Or be told to read boring brochures. But if you can get them engaged in a radio show dialog with their peers, engage them in a medium where they can revel – and shine – in that interaction? Well, you tell me…

10. Passion. Tell me a better way for your customers to see your passion about what you do, what you sell, and what you care about most…

11. Come on. I am waiting…

12. Simple. Now the cool thing about radio shows and podcasts? The tools are easy to set up and execute. A workable strategy to make it work for you and your organization? Well, that requires a little thinking, execution and some work. But, in this day and age, don’t let technology be your excuse.

What did we miss? Any other ideas that make sense?

My Intrepid Goals for 2010. What Are Yours?

cartoon by @gapingvoid

cartoon by @gapingvoid

This is the time of year when you should be laying out your goals for 2010. It should be a very serious part of your year-end routine. And it should be something with which you invest a lot of thought, energy, and time.

What I find is that most small business folks and entrepreneurs don’t do this. And this is a mistake. The main reason to decide upon some goals? Well, gives you something to shoot for and plan around. Without a destination, you cannot plot the course to get there.

And like me, I think it is a good idea to jot them down on your blog. Make it public. You know, we’ve all been told a thousand times to not only set goals, but to WRITE THEM DOWN. This makes them real. Better yet, publish them to your blog so that others know your plans. They will help hold you accountable. And maybe even offer to help you achieve them.

And once you do this, THEN you can generate the step-by-step plan to achieve them.

So, here are my initial FIVE main business and personal goals for 2010. I will add more as the year progresses. Let me know what you think!

2010 BUSINESS GOALS:

  1. Double subscriptions to this blog. I made some progress this year, but I really want to kick it into a higher gear. Problem is, I currently don’t have a plan to do this. But now that I have made it a goal, I will research and develop a strategy to get it done.
  2. Double the listening audience to my radio show. To be honest, we have not done a very good job tracking our current listening audience for the High Velocity Radio Show. That will change. And once I set the bar, my goal is to double the audience in 2010.
  3. Add five long-term clients to my roster. My plan for 2009 was to evolve from a business with LOTS of clients doing small projects, to a business with fewer clients doing more comprehensive projects. I am still on this journey. My goal is to add five of these, which should get me to capacity.
  4. Achieve a rolling enrollment of at least 100 members to my online school. Stone Payton and I have just launched Speed School a week or two ago. We haven’t formally made any large announcements, more or less testing and collecting feedback. And although we have more ambitious long-term goals, 100 to start would be a great first step.
  5. Successfully launch Top Chefs Atlanta. Having done some marketing work for a local restaurant – and then featuring them and a few other chefs and owners on the radio show, fueled this idea. The first draft of the new website is up. Will be launching officially and going to market in January!

 

2010 PERSONAL GOALS

  1. Run two half-marathons. I am already deep into my training. You can follow my progress RIGHT HERE!
  2. Write a book. I already have plans to write a book with my business partner Stone Payton. It will center on this idea, CircleNomics. We had ideas to get it done last year, but didn’t. That won’t happen in 2010…
  3. Get my passport and travel out of the country. I have no idea what the heck I want to do, or where I want to go. Maybe I will find some cool conference out of the country, and go to that…
  4. Launch an online fundraising effort for my non-profit. I have the pleasure of serving on the Board of the Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta. I had good intentions to launch this effort in 2009. Didn’t happen. My plan doesn’t call for raising one million dollars. Just want to launch a creative idea that starts building a community around what we do and helps raise a little cash to serve some people.
  5. Improve my skills and knowledge on WordPress. I currently blog on a total of six wordpress blogs. And I know more than the average bloke. But I still have A LOT to learn. First step? Attending this

 

For additional reference and guidance, I am a fan of Chris Guillebeau. On his blog, he does a superior job of laying out his year-end review process and goal-setting and planning process for the upcoming year. I’d recommend checking it out. Here is a good starting point.

Todd Schnick + Stone Payton On Dream Job Radio!

Todd + Stone

Todd + Stone

Yesterday, Stone Payton and myself had the pleasure to be guests on Dream Job Radio! The show, hosted by Stephanie A. Lloyd, explores HR issues and workplace issues. It features job candidates and business leaders…

On the show, we talk about our dream job, and how we help others build their dream job. We spent time talking about all the exciting ventures going on at the High Velocity organization. Topics included social media, blogging, building community, marathon running, among many others…

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE!

Discipline + Process

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P41MWJoZcwg]
Gareth Young was a guest on today’s High Velocity Radio Show. He uttered one of those lines that just spoke to me. Nothing revolutionary or earth shattering, but just one of those things that I found profound. And I wanted to share it with you here…

Those that are achieving success, are doing it because they are practicing the combination of two simple things: discipline and process…

Be Intrepid.

He Said She Said, Round 7 | On The Air!

In round 7 of He Said, She Said, Todd and Stephanie discuss the different ways they go to market using their respective radio shows.

Stephanie is host of Dream Job Radio, and Todd is co-host of the High Velocity Radio Show

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7T9P_8cv0aU]
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQNRGQOiKe4]

To see the original post of Round 7 on the He Said, She Said Blog, click here!

To see Stephanie’s Radiant Veracity version of Round 7, click here!

Lead Your Revolution…

Enjoy this video by Stone Payton and myself. It is some raw and human thinking about what CircleNomics means to us. CircleNomics is the set of disciplines and natural laws which govern one’s capacity to draw quality relationships and profitable business into their “circle.”

If you believe in the old school method of interruption marketing, then you should probably NOT watch this video…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE4mEyTYP9Y]

How Did You Make Your Customers Feel?

Cartoon by @gapingvoid

Cartoon by @gapingvoid

We had a way cool guest on the High Velocity Radio Show today by the name of David Eckoff. The focus of his message was on the customer experience, and what some companies are doing to make it a truly “WOW” experience.

But tonight, I wanted to talk about a quote that David referenced on the show today. I have heard it before, but hadn’t thought about in a while. It goes something like this:

People may forget you say, people may forget what you do, but they will never forget how you made them feel…

The simple purpose of this post is to remind you of this profound statement. It was very important for me to hear it. I suspect it is important for YOU to hear it. Again.

You know the feeling. You experience something so amazing, that you can’t help but tell someone about it. Pause for a second, and recall when you last felt that way about a customer experience you had…

…ok, that’s the feeling you are trying to achieve for ALL of your customers. Every day. How? Every member of your organization MUST ask these questions each day:

  1. What are you doing – with every decision and action – to make your customers have a wow experience?
  2. What was it about their experience with you that was and is memorable? Do you know what you want to your customers to feel?
  3. Will they tell people in their circle about you?
  4. And if so, what will be the story they talk about?
  5. Are your employees EMPOWERED to make the customer experience one to remember?

 

Challenge yourself and your organization with these five questions EVERY day. I promise that I will. We all need to do this, even the best of us. In fact, it’s the best of us that ARE asking those questions. And taking action on the brainstorms they generate from that discussion.

What are some things you are doing to make your customers say “wow” – please share!

Be Intrepid.

Todd Schnick Now Co-Host of High Velocity Radio!

HVRlargeReaders of this blog have been hearing me say for a long, long time to do something exciting and different with their marketing.

Well, I have taken my own advice. I have accepted the invitation of original host Stone Payton to join him on the mic for The High Velocity Radio Show!

Stone and I have big plans for the show. We will have guests that will talk about bringing fast, innovative change to their business, who get better business results in less time, and who practice the art of CircleNomics – bringing quality relationships and profitable business into their circle.

But stay tuned as we grow and evolve this show!

So, not only do we get to interact with a wide collection of fascinating, innovative, and successful business leaders, we get to share their valuable insights with our own community. And that is the best part about it!

But what a great way to meet people and interact with them in a serious way. One could continue to cold call and/or spam people with interruption marketing tactics in hopes of getting them to respond… Or you could invite them to share their knowledge on the radio. Hmmm…

I’ve chosen my new approach. But as I’ve said, it isn’t about Stone or myself. It isn’t even about the guests on our show. It’s really about our listeners – and providing them with helpful and valuable content that helps them learn, grow and become better business leaders.

Comment below if you are interested in being on the show, or want to suggest a future guest for the show. Or use the “Ask A Question” form to the immediate right. We would love to hear from you!

Thanks Stone, for the opportunity to join you on this adventure. It’s gonna be a wild ride!

Tune in to The High Velocity Radio Show Monday mornings at 1000AM Eastern time! As Stone says, see you in the fast lane!

Innovation = Implementing Creativity

create-or-die-jpeg-thumbBe An Intrepid Marketer – Recommendation No. 24

I had the distinct pleasure of participating in a workshop featuring Jatin DeSai, one of the nation’s leading innovation consultants.

Because I have a client active in the innovation space, I am slowly getting myself up to speed on innovation, but something clicked today with Mr. DeSai.

There are a lot of definitions of innovation – it is one of those overused words in the business world, and I think a majority of people use it incorrectly.

But until today, I never really considered innovation as part of the creative process. Oh sure, now I couldn’t see it any other way, but I finally had my “ah ha!” moment today.

Here it is:  “Creativity is generating original, novel ideas. Innovation is putting those ideas to work and getting results.”

That’s it. If you understand this, you get innovation. Now, applying that to my marketing world…

Above is one of my favorite drawings from gapingvoid.com, Create or Die. This is another way, in my opinion, of saying the same thing as DeSai. You must be creative and implement value-enhancing ideas – or your organization will die.

This is a must with your marketing. Without it, your marketing will not distinguish you from your competition. But don’t be intimidated. While it isn’t easy, it isn’t impossible. As DeSai said in his presentation, you need to dedicate time for clear thinking, generate lots of ideas, identify a few of those ideas that make the most sense, and implement them. The hard part is deciding to start the process in the first place.

While innovation is considered a success when those ideas produce positive results, know that you won’t always achieve success. But you’ve got to keep fostering an environment where you can be creative – and you might land on the one idea that could prove to be the life-changing, industry-changing innovation you’ve been dreaming about.

It all starts with a little creativity…

Add TweetUps To Your Calendar!

stone_todd_tweetupBe An Intrepid Marketer – Recommendation No. 17

Tonight was my first official TweetUp. These are regular gatherings of people who are active participants on Twitter.

I had heard that these meetings were like networking on steroids, being that you already had a “relationship” with a lot of people.

And they are right. But actually, I found that most people I met tonight were new to me, individuals that I hadn’t even connected with on Twitter…

…yet.

But I can see that over time – as I get to know more and more people – these TweetUps are going to be money – great opportunities to network with great people.

And I even walked out of there with a few business leads (It’s always when you are NOT looking for leads that a few drop in your lap). And a great possible joint venture partner…

The beauty of these TweetUps is that you already have a bond with these folks. It makes it real easy to connect and talk with people – you almost feel like you know ‘em. You can move past the “establishing rapport” phase – and move right into friendly banter and/or business talk phase.

Building community with as many connected people as you can – makes you an intrepid marketer. Having a ton of followers on Twitter is one thing, having a bunch of followers on Twitter that you also know personally – can have a dramatic impact on your business.

Have you been to a TweetUp? What’s your opinion?

[photo credit Steve Burns]