Once you meet Sondra and Allyson Ames, you understand why their cookies made it to the White House.
So you better be prepared to compete if you are going to move out here from the East Coast and set up a practice.
Give yourself at least five years to make a dent.
Unless you are Dr. Nirav Savalia.
Then you can make it two.
Finesse Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery is growing in a down economy for two reasons: they go above and beyond customer care and their work is high quality.
In short, you get what you pay for and more.
What is this guy doing right?
First and foremost he is delivering on his promise to provide a great service.
Secondly, he is going out of his way to provide that service. How many plastic surgeons provide chocolate chip cookies from the local bakery post-surgey? Or make themselves available 24/7 by offering up their cell phone number? (yes, he actually answers the phone)
Let’s say you opt not to use that cell phone number post-surgery. Not to worry, because Dr. Savalia is going to call you daily for the next few days to see how you are doing.
This is a guy who wants to build a remarkable practice.
And he is doing it by caring about the people who come to him.
Way easier said than done.
As a matter of fact, cosmetic surgery goes overboard on its claims to care about its patients, making most prospects suspect at best of any new players.
But when you deliver on your promise, go above and beyond on customer care, positive word of mouth kicks in.
And positive word of mouth in plastic surgery circles, is the Holy Grail of practice building.
You can have the beautiful print ads and the photo-shopped before and after pics and all the fancy office amenities, but in the instant-feedback and connected world we now live in, you will not last if you do not deliver.
Word will spread and you will be pummeled online and off.
You have to be the real deal.
Promising AND delivering.
Then they will find you.
Then you will grow.
There is a big time commitment involved if you are going to start with the basics:
Creating a blog.
Getting on Twitter.
Being active on LinkedIn.
Social media success demands that you are engaged.You can’t just put up a Facebook page and forget about it. You can’t not respond to people who are reaching out to you. You can’t blog once a month.
But a lot of businesses do and it’s a mistake.
They do it because it sounds easy.
But to do it well is not simple and chews up a significant portion of your very limited time.
And what is cited above is just social media 101. There are many other ways to strategically approach web 2.0 and the new world of marketing.
Any marketing expert reading this would huff and puff, that’s what you recommend? Starting a blog? Creating a facebook page? Duh…
But 95% of small businesses are not doing even the basics.
They are too busy and strapped for cash, trying to make it through the next quarter. And always they want to know what social media will do for their bottom line.
Well, it all depends…on how committed you are to the specific outcome you have identified.
And that is the first place to start to make things a little easier on you.
What is your goal? What exactly do you want to get out of your social media plan?
Do you think it is going to increase sales immediately?
Alot of experts will write a big fat goose egg on the whiteboard if you ask them the ROI for social media.
They will tell you to expect nothing but indirect sales and relationship building. That the new marketing is relationship marketing, interacting with others, coming to the cocktail party and talking, not selling.
As a matter of fact “it’s a big party” has been a favorite catchphrase for social media.
But it’s not a party. It’s work. There’s a reason why it’s called “working the room”.
Networking in the real world is work and social media networking is no different.
And now you can see how it works. You meet Joe at a party (on Twitter) and talk to him a bit and three months later when he is looking for an event planner, he remembers meeting you and gives you a call. A month later – sale.
So be sure you know what you are getting yourself into and have a clear goal in mind.
Ask for help.
Cause many hands make light work.
And social media is work.
OK, Twitter is going off the deep end.
Ashton , Oprah, P Diddy.
The hype machine is out of control.
And some of us are as well.
We need to curb our enthusiasm.
And think a little before we tweet.
Because what you put out there will come back to you.
So if you decide to engage with someone and criticize them, be sure that your more careless tweets are not so easily accessible.
Because someone will find them.
And who you truly are will come through in those seemingly meaningless 140 characters.
Don’t think your personality doesn’t show itself to the world when you tweet?
Bet your bottom dollar it does.
And the prejudices and baggage and thoughtlessness you may believe resides in others, lives right there in you.
Carl Jung called it the Shadow.
He claimed that most people go through life projecting onto others the worst part of themselves. And that not until they assimilated their Shadow persona into their own being, would they be able to truly become an individual, separate from the scripts assigned to us from birth.
Bloggers, marketers and entrepreneurs like to think of themselves as separate from the herd.
But many are just following and projecting their Shadow onto others.
So if you have an issue with someone, be careful you don’t leave a trail of evidence as to how long and dark your own Shadow is.
Because someone will find it.
Our family got lucky on Sunday when our beloved Boston Red Sox came to Orange County to play the Angels.
Confession: I love SoCal, but I’m a native New Englander.
Thanks to our friends, we got to experience the dugout suites right on the field.
When it comes to watching pro baseball, it doesn’t get any better than this:
It was a terrific game, which the Angels eeked out by a single run. It even featured a bench-clearing brushback pitch that led to a couple of ejections.
Our family had a great time:
And we were not alone.
Red Sox Nation regularly generates the largest visiting team fan attendance in major league baseball. When you go to an Angels game and hear “Let’s go Red Sox!”, it is LOUD, due to the thousands of die-hard Sox fans who scramble for tickets.
So you buy all the gear and that overpriced soda for your daughter…
and hope it will be worth it.
If you are lucky, you’ll leave the ballpark with an empty wallet but some great memories and a warm and fuzzy feeling from experiencing America’s National Pastime.
Because chances are if your team loses, you will not be happy.
It is a game after all.
There is a winner and a loser.
And the bottom line is…
Everyone loves a winner.
Nothing does more for the marketing and goodwill of any team than delivering on the field.
You have to have a great product.
And the Red Sox are a great product.
But it didn’t happen until new ownership came along and decided to pay for quality players, resulting in one of the highest payrolls in baseball.
Great products make us all great marketers
Mostly because of the amazing weather.
Plenty of opportunities to don your favorite t-shirt and get out of the house.
And when you wear that shirt, you are communicating a message.
And it’s the kind of message that gets sent in about three seconds and locked into people’s brains far more powerfully than anything you say.
That is just the way it is.
You see someone and you make a judgement about them.
And a lot of it has to do with their clothes.
What do your clothes say about you?
Do you think about your clothes and what they are telling people when it comes to your business?
Do you think it matters?
You bet it does.
What you wear says a lot about who you are.
It communicates your lifestyle and beliefs.
It says something about your aspirations.
Putting business aside for a minute…
What if you could communicate to people your belief that we are all connected because we all come from the same place?
Wouldn’t that be cool?
That is what Liz Pagliarini of Mission Viejo is doing with OriginOne.
Liz is a seasoned entrepreneur who discovered a mission and a passion after the adoption of her baby girl.
You can hear it in her words.
“We all came from the same place. We all share a common origin. We believe that understanding our one origin will unite us and promoting our collective birth will bring us closer together.”
The point of OriginOne and its shirts is to promote the concept of human oneness.
“Human oneness is about looking past differences that don’t matter. Human oneness is about giving everyone the benefit of a blank slate upon which you can form an opinion after you get to know them.”
In this new cooperative economy, where helping other people goes a long way toward helping yourself, that is a pretty important concept to understand.