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are your clients saying the right things about you?

A colleague of mine recently told me that she had been talking about me a lot with people in her life – spreading the word about my marketing work.

But . . . she wasn’t sure she was saying the right things. And this is an important piece of word of mouth marketing – not just that people are talking about you – but that they’re saying the right things. So, I thought that these questions and answers might be useful to share with you. Maybe it will get you thinking about how your clients see you and help you get to know me a bit better too.

1. You’re becoming a mainstay on a large number of people’s Facebook pages and e-mail inboxes.  What do you hope is the first thing folks think when they see your image/your name?

Ooooh! He’s handsome!

I think I just want to be a source of good things in people’s lives.

Like when they see a note, a post or an event invite they think, “I wonder what cool thing Tad has for me today.”  Some people tell me they log onto facebook just to see what I’ve posted. That feels really great.

I think of my facebook page as a channel – like a tv or radio channel. And I want to make sure the programming is always top notch. Something worth watching.

2. I saw a Facebook post by someone just beneath your recent Winnipeg ad for your seminar asking you why you’re always in Winnipeg when their improv crew goes on tour.  Do you see Marketing for Hippies ever becoming so big that you lose the freedom to be involved in your creative endeavours?  How do you feel about that?

Hrmm. Over the past year, interest in what I do has really exploded – and I feel like it’s still just the tip of the iceberg for what’s coming. I still don’t have any real products I’m selling (coming soon!). And . . . no. I won’t let it get that big. I’m really not trying to build an empire. Just a village. In fact . . . I don’t even feel like I’m trying to build anything in a way.

There’s just this community of amazing people doing inspiring things – and I’m a member of that community – contributing to it in the best ways I know how. The idea of being on the road all the time feels appalling to me. I may add staff at some point beyond my current part time personal assistant. But, for me, quality of life is primary.

I love some travel – but too much feels draining.

3.  In considering the answer to #2, divide Tad into his key components – what percentage is the innovator (the author/creator), the marketer, the presenter, the researcher, the entertainer, the private individual?

Hrmm. Interesting question. This is my initial crack . . .

innovator (the author/creator): 20%

the marketer: 20%

the presenter:20%

the researcher: 5%

the entertainer: 5%

the private individual: 50%

4. How big do you want Marketing for Hippies to become?  Do you want it to remain something that you are always in sole control of?  Do you wish to see it grow into something that you franchise?  Do you hope to see your concepts in print with CD/DVD/ publishing house backed speaking tours as part of the program?

I really don’t know. At this moment, I’m just following my curiousity.When people call for me – I try to respond. I don’t think I ever want to franchise it at all. If someone expresses interest in learning from what I do – and wanting to be a teacher of my stuff – I’d be open to exploring that – but I’d probably just encourage them to start their own thing vs. working for me.

I’ve got three books I want to write:

Marketing for Hippies: an exploration of the principles of conscious vs. gross marketing

Hub Marketing: this is my favorourite topic in the world in marketing. Hubs!

Pay What You Can: I do almost all my workshops on a pay what you can basis. And I see a number of other businesses using this or experimenting. I’d like to write a book documenting this whole thing.

And I’ve got a tonne of products I want to create. Some on Niche. Some on leading workshops. etc. I kind of like the model of Seth Godin or Chris Guillbeault. Being a thought leader. Leading the laptop lifestyle. Doing the occassional workshop. Doing lots on the phone or via my blog.

Lately, I’ve felt really drawn to critiquing marketing (especially in the workshop industry). I’m a curmudgeon.

Things seem to be growing really nicely. I feel like my next stage is not so much about focusing on growing my list (which keeps happening without me) but rather deepening my business. Getting more products created. Better systems. Creating a stronger container to hold it.

5. If ‘they’ make a movie about you in 10 years’ time, what would it be called, and what result of your efforts would be the inspiration for the movie?

Oh lord. I don’t even know where to begin answering this. Ten or fifteen years ago, I would have wanted this. Desperately. I wanted to be a Tony Robbins for Teens. I wanted to be super famous. I wanted everyone to know who I am. And  . . . I’m just so not there anymore. I wouldn’t  shun it, but I’m not courting it anymore.

So, that’s for starters.

I think it would be called ‘Marketing for Hippies’ and it would be a documentary where I interview my favourite marketing coaches and we pick apart capitalism and marketing. Or if it HAD to be about me – it would be interviews of people talking about my work? Man. I don’t know how to answer this.

I think it’s because I enjoy that a lot of my work is sort of behind the scenes. Organizing events that bring cool people together to meet. They meet and seeds get planted and they may never remember that this cool project they collaborated on came about because I introduced them – and that’s just fine.

Plus – the marketing is only one thread of my life. I also feel really called to explore work around authentic masculinity, authentic communication, I’m loving Byron Katie’s stuff, I feel an ever present and subtle draw to explore traditional Scottish Gaelic wisdom, there’s the work with www.e-sage.ca and the improv comedy I do.

And, this year, self care has been so big for me.

And my most satisfying moments always happen one on one with friends. Just sitting together and exploring life. Being there to support and listen to people as they wrestle through their struggles is so incredibly, deeply satisfying to me.

I don’t think my answer has been particularly useful . . .

6. I call you a ‘phenomenon’, followed by a brief explanation of an innovative young man who is thoughtfully bringing practical marketing advice and marketing confidence to people (read ‘women’) in holistic arts through seminars, insightful blogging and social networking, and personal coaching.  Would you wish to have anything added, or subtracted from this description?

Heavens. Phenomenon. Uhm. Gah.

The only thing I’d ammend is that it’s not only holistic types – though that’s been primary lately. When people ask me what I do – this is what I say, “You know how there are a lot of conscious, green, holistic, community minded business types who are struggling to make their business grow? Well, what I help them do is figure out strategies to attract more of the kinds of clients they’re looking for – without spending a fortune or doing things that seem gross. These days, that’s meant working with a lot of holistic practitioners, crafters, permaculture teachers, people who make green products and other ‘green service provider types’. And I mostly do that through workshops I run across Canada on a pay what you can basis.”

But I like what you say too.

So, those are my answers.

And it lifts up a few things for me.

Your clients are probably more curious about who you are than you think. They want to know what makes you tick. Where you’re heading and why. How they can help.

We often assume that people ‘get’ what we do and can articulate it. There are a number of things you can do to make sure they do.

  1. A simple and to the point URL: Having a website name that kind of ‘says it’ is great. Marketingforhippies.com works great. Or www.soldoutseminars.com – perfect. You know exactly what it’s about. Or www.cubiclenation.com – which speaks to the masses working in corporate cubicle jobs.
  2. A solid tagline: I’m usually not a fan of spending ages figuring out a tagline. But if you can sum up what you do in a way that’s funny, memorable, to the point – this can be a huge help. “Visibly clearer skin in three days. Guaranteed!” or “Overnight delivery” or “Hot, fresh pizza to your door in 30 minutes. Guaranteed.” Think about what your biggest promise to your clients is. Boil it down into six or seven words.
  3. A clear target market: This will go a very long way to helping people articulate what you do clearly.
  4. A clear ‘journey’: Related to all of the above is the principle of getting crystal clear on the particular journey you take people on.

For more thoughts on word of mouth marketing just CLICK HERE.


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