I was very thankful to receive a feature article in the CT Post/News Times by Rob Varnon.  He did a great job understanding what we do at Creative Concepts.  After having that article published last Sunday in the business section, we received numerous inquiries both from potential clients, potential team members and then those generally wondering what social media is.

One such call was from a local business that I’ve frequented with my family.  They were interested in working together, but they also wanted to learn more about social media.  I’m familiar enough with them to know that they have no marketing spend and are fighting to stay open.  While we try to remain flexible and work with a variety of budgets, this one was a stretch.

So, I decided to provide my fellow community businessperson with some pro bono advice based on my own experience with her service.

The owner said that advertising had done nothing for them, and only a handmade sign on the street and word of mouth has helped them build their customer base.  When they first opened, I had personally received some emails from them so I knew they had tried that method as well.

After understanding more about the owner, who said she was not comfortable doing “techy” stuff on the computer, I knew that a blog, Facebook and Twitter were out of the question.  (It’s always wise for any business to simplify.)  But after hearing that they had 4000 people on their email list, I suggested revisiting the option of email blasts — only this time around, she might do things a little differently.

  • I advised that she should brand her emails more clearly, so a reader immediately knows where the information is coming from.
  • I suggested that she send out more emails, more consistently — maybe two emails per week, at different times of the day, focused on a different target groups.  For example, at 10:00 am she might catch the attention of local seniors, while at 3:00 pm she might appeal to busy moms with a subject line reading, “Need Help?”
  • I also suggested that she keep the content minimal so as to not overwhelm the reader.  And because this business owner is already busy doing what she does best for the store, it might work well to hire a new college graduate — or even an intern — who could be dedicated exclusively to this effort.

Along with the email blasts, I also thought she should co-brand herself with a strong partner in the community.  I gave her a suggestion of providing content to a local business who was successful at sending out emails to her perfect target market.

So, one good deed (a great article by Rob) begets another one (marketing advice for a local business), which is really how things should work, right?

I hope it all works out!

Valorie Luther

Founder, Creative Concepts