Monthly Archives :

December 2017

You Are Your Brand

You Are Your Brand 900 600 WildFigAdmin

With our amazing Figstory event fast approaching, we thought we would let you hear from the speakers that will be presenting at this amazing event on January 25th. Here’s a blog by Carol Little of The Little Training Company. Join us on the 25th to hear more from Carol on growing your business!

A guest blog post by: Carol Little, The Little Training Company

Here’s the secret successful marketers know: customers don’t buy a product, they buy you: your personality, your experience, the unique qualities only you possess.

There was a time when “branding” meant a corporate-looking logo and a slick catalog but in today’s online marketplace, the real value is not in appearing to be a big company, but rather in just being you. And your personality shines through in a variety of ways.

Your Authentic Voice

How you speak and write and even how you act on camera or in an audio interview has the power to instantly identify you to your audience. You can see this in action if you scroll through your Facebook feed. It’s easy to know who has posted a particular image or status update, just by recognizing the voice with which they generally speak.

Here’s an even more important aspect of your “voice” though: it has the power to attract a specific audience. In recent years, a few high profile coaches and product sellers have become celebrities of a sort, largely because of their harsh, “don’t hold back” language. Ash Ambirge over at www.TheMiddleFingerProject.org makes no apologies for her use of offensive words, and her fans love her for it. And those that don’t? Well, as she says right on her home page, her site and services are “not for humorless bores.”

Snarkiness and foul language are not the only way to go, though. Carrie Wilkerson has built her brand almost entirely on her ability to be kind and generous. She always has a nice word, never appears defeated or overwhelmed, and is an inspiration to her fans and clients.

While very different in their approaches, these two women have one thing in common: authenticity. It’s clear that if you were to meet either of them in person, they would speak and act exactly as they do online. And their brands are stronger for it.

Your Story

How did you get to where you are today? The backstory—which to you might seem boring and uneventful—is a powerful tool that can help solidify your brand and attract just the right audience.

Melissa Ingold tells of being a struggling single mother, and of creating an online business rather than simply choosing to work one dead-end job after another. Her success is an inspiration to her audience, and is a huge part of her branding.

Kelly McCausey often speaks of how she got started online when she was looking for a way to earn just a few extra dollars every month to keep the lights on. Creating graphics at $5 each quickly turned into a full-time online career.

Your story doesn’t have to be dramatic, and you certainly don’t have to share more than you’re comfortable with, but it does have to be yours. Be your true self, and you’ll never have to worry about attracting the right audience. They will self-select, and your perfect client will find you.

Speak up * Speak easy * Speak often!

A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story 900 600 WildFigAdmin

It all began on Christmas morning, December 25, 1987. I’ve always been a morning person and Christmas morning was no exception. Our family always exchanged presents on Christmas Eve, however on Christmas morning Santa would visit and fill our stockings with all kinds of goodies and usually one big toy as well. That year, I had been pining for another Cabbage Patch Kids Doll and was so excited to see which one Santa brought me. You can imagine my surprise when I jumped out of bed, ran down the hall and stopped in front of my stocking. There was no Cabbage Patch Kids Doll under my stocking, however there was one under my 4 year old brother’s stocking.

I was so upset. Why didn’t Santa bring me the doll? What was my dumb brother going to do with it anyway? That’s when a devious thought entered my brain. What if I simply moved the doll under my stocking? After all my parent’s wouldn’t know because Santa was the one that brought it. After much debate I decided there must have been a reason that my brother got the doll and I was not going to tempt fate or the chance that I’d get coal next Christmas. Disclaimer: I’d like to say that my angelic conscious caused me to not take the doll, but that wasn’t exactly true. On top of tempting fate, I figured since the doll was named Rufus Brent (Brent is my brother’s name) it probably would be obvious that he was meant for my brother and not me.

Looking back I think…wow, what a predicament I would have placed my parents in. Especially since I was still a strong believer in Santa. Would they have had to tell me? Whew…they definitely escaped a sticky situation there.

Why in the world am I telling you this story?

The reason being is that stories help us connect and build deeper, more meaningful relationships. For example, some of you reading this story might have a younger brother as well, or thought about swapping stocking stuffers with your siblings. Now we have something in common, which is often the basis for starting or building a relationship.

Why don’t we share more stories?

Unfortunately, I think we’ve been trained to keep our home/work life separate and therefore, feel like we’ve got to be uber professional at all times. However, think about the last time you met someone new. What is one of the first things you naturally do? Ask them questions and try to find something you have in common. If you are able to do this, the conversation naturally flows smoother and you find it easier to talk to this person vs. someone you have nothing in common with.

How can we tell more stories and build deeper relationships during the holidays?

It’s easy. The holidays provide tons of opportunities to share and further cultivate relationships. Here are a few ways you can do it:

  • Incorporate a holiday video greeting in your next eNewsletter and share a holiday memory/story
  • Engage your family, fans, friends and followers on Facebook with a fun holiday question, like what’s the best Christmas gift you ever received? Or what’s your favorite holiday show or movie to watch?
  • Write a blog like this and incorporate it into your business
  • Add a little touch of the holidays to your logo, email headers and social media
  • Use your holiday images in your newsletter and social media channels
  • Host a Toys for Tots collection
  • Ask your employees a holiday-related question and post their answers along with their pictures in your newsletter

As you can see the options are endless and it really is pretty simple too. What will you do this holiday season to connect and cultivate deeper, more meaningful relationships with your clients and prospective clients? We’d love to see what you come up with. Feel free to tag us on your social media posts and show us what you’re doing this holiday season. Cheers!

PS…Did you know that marketing can actually be fun? It’s true. If you are suffering from a lack of fresh, new, innovative ideas, please give us a call. We’re here to help make marketing your business fun and profitable too!

Made In Minnesota – Bent Brewstillery

Made In Minnesota – Bent Brewstillery 900 600 Kari Switala

Welcome to our new blog suitably titled Made in Minnesota where we will explore different Minnesota-based businesses and learn some helpful tips along the way! The blog format will be a Q&A, conversational style that allows you as the listener to lean in and get to know some great Minnesota business owners on a personal level. You will hear stories of big dreams turned reality, obstacles encountered and how they were overcome, things business owners would love to go back in time and change and fun little tidbits you wouldn’t otherwise be privy to! Sound like fun? Pull up a chair and get ready to meet Bartley!

Today’s featured Minnesota business owner is Bartley Blume, owner of Bent Brewstillery. Bent Brewstillery is a brewstillery headquartered in Roseville, MN that specializes in you guessed it! brews and booze.

Q. Hey Bartely! Thanks for being here today. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how Bent Brewstillery came to be?
A. Sure! In 2007 my wife, Brenda, gifted me a Mr. Beer kit and what started as a hobby quickly attracted a cult following among family and friends. After a long stint in the aerospace industry, working both for a St. Paul-based aerospace engineering firm and previous to that, NASA, I went to work one day in 2012, turned on my computer, sighed and then walked across the hall and quit my job. I wanted to shed the shackles of corporate bondage. I went home early that day and told Brenda I had quit my job. She didn’t talk to me for a few weeks. After terminating my corporate career I shifted my focus and energy into developing a craft brew start up. In 2013, what became Bent Brewstillery merged with Twin Cities-based Pour Decisions Brewing Company, taking Bent to the next level and paving the way for the significant operation we run today. We have 8 full-time and 6 part-time employees . We are, in fact, the ONLY brewstillery in Minnesota.

Q. What do you love about what you do?
A. I love the creative aspect of my craft and being a part of a high-tech industry that is rich in tradition. Brewing and distilling combine science, process control, experimentation and creativity. I also love working hard and meeting so many great people.

Q. What is the biggest challenge you’ve encountered in your business and what did you learn from it?
A. The biggest challenge would definitely be working with the ebb and flow rhythm of supplier reliability. Our business has a lot of moving parts and an interruption in one part of the process can break down the entire process from production to packaging. I’ve learned to order what we need well in advance to allow for supplier delay.

Q. If you could start your business all over again what is the number one thing you would do differently?
A. I would start Bent Brewstillery three years earlier. I wrote the business plan in 2008 and in 2009 the 6th brewery opened in Minnesota. I was logistically ready but wasn’t quite mentally ready to pull the trigger.

Q. Being an entrepreneur requires a lot of juggling. How do you manage to stay focused or re-focus when necessary?
A. I don’t know that I do. I just keep juggling. I’m very organized and have an incredibly detailed to-do list. My current list is 600 items long which can be pretty overwhelming. I start each day with a couple small to-dos to create momentum before tackling the bigger items.

Q. If you only had $500 to spend on your growing business where would you spend it and why?
A. I’d spend it on marketing. I’d put it into brand image and social media. Marketing is how you win in the beer and liquor industry. If you take a more grassroots approach it takes longer to get the traction that bigger producers get.

Q. Technology is revolutionizing how we all do business. What are a couple of your favorite apps or software tools you use within your business?
A. Besides the social media apps I utilize My Notes on a daily basis. I also love Zoho for invoicing.

Q. If you could start any business today what business would you open?
A. I’d open a doggie daycare.

Thanks for your time, Bartley! Best wishes for continued success in all your brewing and distilling endeavors at Bent Brewstillery!

If you’d like to learn more about Bent Brewstillery you can visit them online at: www.bentbrewstillery.com

And if you’d like to be featured in an upcoming Made in Minnesota blog, or you know of a cool business that would be a great addition to the series, contact us and tell us why this business would make a great Made in Minnesota feature!

5 Ways to Measure Client Satisfaction for People Who Love Data (and Those Who Don’t!)

5 Ways to Measure Client Satisfaction for People Who Love Data (and Those Who Don’t!) 900 600 WildFigAdmin

If your business is anything like Wild Fig Marketing, your sales team is split 50/50 between people who LOVE data and those who would rather poke themselves in the eye than look at a spreadsheet. It takes all kinds to build meaningful relationships with clients and prospects and grow your business. At the end of the day, what matters is how satisfied your clients are with their experience working with you.

Here’s the deal: 91 percent of unhappy clients will never buy from you ever again. Thus, your mission is to increase the number of clients who love working with you and continue to develop relationships with the clients who already love you. Measuring customer satisfaction is one of the most powerful ways you can increase sales.

How do you measure something as touchy-feely as customer satisfaction? We’ve got five ideas for you, presented with a datahead score of 1 to 5 (5 being peak datahead).

1. Customer Satisfaction Survey (3 dataheads) 
Businesses have been sending customers surveys for ages, but automation has made sending surveys (and getting responses) fast and easy. If you’re looking for a 10,000-foot view, in-app surveys are a good choice. They live on your website and ask customers to rate their experience and maybe answer a question or two.

But in-app surveys give you a limited view of customer satisfaction. For more valuable insights, we recommend sending an email survey, ideally one that is automated to send immediately after you close business with a client (we can help with this!). You may get fewer responses than with an in-app survey, but the data you receive will be much more insightful and actionable.

2. Monitoring Social Media (2 dataheads)
Love building client relationships on social media? Then this customer satisfaction measurement idea is for you! Social media platforms are potential gold mines of customer satisfaction data. To avoid spreadsheets, add a weekly task to your calendar to check and respond to your Facebook reviews, Twitter mentions, and LinkedIn comments. You’ll get a valuable look at how satisfied your social-savvy customers are with your service or products. If data is your thing, most platforms offer exportable data on your social media relationships, too.

3. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) (4 dataheads)
This measurement tool asks your customers to rate how satisfied they are with your business on a scale of 1 to 5, then averages them to create an CSAT score for your business. CSAT surveys are simple, but they leave little room for nuance and feedback (unless incorporated into an email or other survey). But if want to assign a number to your level of customer satisfaction, this is a solution for you.

4. Customer Effort Score (CES) (4 dataheads)
Instead of satisfaction, CES measures the effort it took customers to work with you. Like golf, you’re shooting for a low score. A high CES score often correlates to lower loyalty, as it means customers must put in a lot of effort to make working with you successful.

5. Net Promoter Score (NPS) (5 dataheads)
We’ve saved one of the best for last. An NPS survey asks customers how likely they are to refer you to their friends and family. Answering this question doesn’t require any emotion at all to answer, and it helps you identify the customers who are your promoters. Your promoters are the most valuable customers you have, so treat them well!

If these ideas have you ready to get number crunching or have your head spinning, Wild Fig Marketing can help! We’d love to talk with you about how you can harness customer satisfaction data to grow your business. Contact us or schedule your 30 minute consultation with our resident data expert, Kevin!