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Promotion . . . and savings!

Screen shot of the first campaign after a week.

Screen shot of the first campaign after a week.

Have you discovered Outbrain?  This service is a way to market your products and services to consumers on line. It allows you to easily create ads, target specific geographical markets, and set your budget so that you can plan your expenses as you grow your business.

HSC is testing a marketing campaign on Outbrain currently. What we are finding is that it quickly creates a large number of "impressions"--presentations of your ads--in your geographical areas very quickly. It has increased traffic to our website, created new subscribers to our email list, and produces a few sales. Not bad for a campaign running only a little more than a week and costing less than $40.

We continue to experiment with our promotion. One thing we have done is to temporarily lower our prices--to put our products on sale at Gumroad. While this places them as "loss leaders" (in other words the prices won't support the cost of providing them-marketing costs, software product costs, etc.) it will help us gage the marketability of the products themselves.

So if you have some products or services you want to sell. Check out Outbrain! It presents a very low bar to "test the water" and dip your toes into on-line ads and marketing.

Special thanks to everyone who continues to tell others about us! We are energized by your support, your comments, and your sharing!



Meeting with My Social Marketer/Graphic Designer Consultant

Andrew doing a TedX talk

Andrew doing a TedX talk

So, how does an "old dog" learn "new tricks?"  I refuse to believe that I . . . strike that . . . they, the old dogs, can't. Maybe that's why I stubbornly strive to complete my training as a fingerstyle guitar player despite having limited skills and no talent . . . or it could be just that sheer stubbornness. Anyway, I digress from the point.  How can someone . . . you or I . . . learn how to use the newer forms of marketing when we were not part of the technological generation?

Consultants. In my case a Social marketing/Graphic Designer who is 27 years old.  I know. I was there when he was born.  Yes, he is my son. But he is also someone who has developed two very successful Kickstarter campaigns, professionally works for firms in this capacity and, despite his youth, has widely read on the topic.

I know all of you don't have the good fortune of having a "kid" with this background, so, in this post I am going to summarize what I am learning.

1. Everything you do on-line should have a purpose. Is it to get traffic to your website? Get more people contacting you? Check out your free resources? Sign up for a newsletter?  You should have one goal and bend everything about your on-line connections to that goal.

2. A few simple, consistent, activities are better than a complex unmanageable plethora of activities. An active website where people can connect to your email list may be the one thing that your activities should support. So creating a blog, connecting no LinkedIn and Facebook (or your own 2 favorite venues) maybe enough.

3. Providing value is key.  You need to have good content, provide real value, and focus on helping others . . . not selling. People only buy things when they perceive that it has a value to them.

4. Having an outside consultant who doesn't get bogged down in the day-to-day fluctuations of operating your business helps tremendously.  A meeting with my consulting son clarifies what needs to be done, how to do it, and unleashes my work ethic in a dynamic way that makes the time and cost well worth it.  I'm a hard-sell on this myself (some would call it being cheap!) but I have learned to appreciate the value it provides. 

So here's how it is laid out for my business . . . 

  • Create high-quality "landing pages" on my website where people can get free ebooks

  • include links to these landing pages through blog posts, LinkedIn and Facebook

  • Add people to our email list and continue to provide them with valuable emails

  • Hopefully those who have additional needs will be interested in connecting with us at a higher level . . . through our publishing, training, and consulting

And here's the connection:  Free ebook Engaging Your Team: A framework for leading "difficult" people.  As a bonus you will get to see Andrew's graphic designs in the ebook.