Monthly Archives: October 2014

Because of information overload, our attention span has decreased drastically. This is why marketers like Seth Godin, are going creative about moving strangers into fans and one day into clients. Seth coined the term “Permission Marketing” in contrast to “classical Marketing” where we just blasted the product or service information out there – without the permission and often to the annoyance of the viewer or reader.

Permission marketing means that you have been given the privilege of delivering messages to those who actually want to get them.

In return, you get their attention. Attention is the key to unlocking the mystery of permission marketing. Permission marketers are well aware of its value and they know that they can’t get it back once people stop giving attention to them.

They focus on the concept of acquiring “Real Permission” which is based on your friend or customer or lead to give you their email ID voluntarily.When you have permission your potential clients will  want your message. They will except and wait for your updates and news.

Methods for Successful Permission Marketing

...readers will love your stuff...
If you have permission…

Now there are many creative ways to conduct Permission Marketing. Below are few which we found useful:

1) Subscription

The easiest way is to make people subscribe to your content. It is an act which people do by their own will, not forcefully, thus they are more interested in reading or watching it. Like if you subscribed to a health magazine, don’t you love it when you get it every month? Once you have successfully established your content with your readers or viewers you might be able to charge BUT be careful. You might lose trust if you raise a fee without a good explanation.

2) Free Trial

Another thing that can be done is to show others that it works for free! Find a way to show people exactly what the product do for free. Many products are promoted this way online. Haven’t you tried a free trial of something and ended up buying it because you loved it? Giving free trials do increase the cost of marketing so make sure you are doing it to only your target market.

3) Good Cause

Give your clients something to be proud of! If you can link your product or services to a good cause they will feel like they are contributing positively to the society. It is good for your promotion as well because then selling things doesn’t look like you are bragging. However, your good cause has to be genuine.

4) Blogging by using 80/20 Rule

Create a way of giving away 80% of what others want to read with 20% of your own marketing. This way the content you share gets more shares and it keeps circulating into different circle. But yes, don’t forget to add 20% of your marketing into blogs so that you can overall benefit through it. Here it depends what you “sell”. If you sell your expertise you might not even need to market. You can just shine by showing your expertise in your blog and adding real value to the knowledge of your readers.

5) Ask your Fans for Help and Support

Try to take help of your friends. By friends I mean all those prospects who gave you permission. Give them incentive to spread your information on to their friends so that they also start feeling like a part of what you are selling. Sense of ownership and incentive creates awesome marketing.

Homework: Please work on your marketing and communications plan and tell us what your experience with permission marketing is. What are your struggles?

►Shipping unfinished work

Artists are never satisfied with their work.
Feedback…not always easy to take.

Recently I published a book chapter to a circle of clients before official publication mainly to help one or two people in the group for whom I thought it could be helpful. What happened next is that I got a message from an old friend. He offered his feedback on the chapter.

I immediately felt discouraged, knew that everything was wrong and wished I had never put the document out there. I quickly skimmed through the document. “What has he found? Structure, spelling, grammar, meaningless content, wrong entry into the topic…” I had the full horror scenario in my mind. I was about to hit reply “Thank you but the document was already edited professionally. I did not ask for feedback.” I was angry and emotional.

Then I read the comment again with which I published the document and noticed that I might have solicited the feedback. Was I even fishing for compliments? Did I not ask people to tell me if they found the chapter helpful?

I muttered that my friend should not have given me feedback on my work. I did not ask him for a proofread. I did not want to have a Skype conversation with him.

Then I remembered my words from a training I recently gave. Most people give feedback and advice without permission. I advise clients to assume positive intentions. I thanked my friend for the offer and pushed the date for the Skype conversation. I wanted to hear his ideas but only when I feel secure, professional and ready. I almost asked him to send the feedback in writing. Then I remembered that he was not paid for it. I remembered that he is in fact a great logical thinker and proofreader and that I might be able to get a perspective that only he can provide.

►Ignoring critical feedback or waiting until you are ready

Being ready for critical feedback is the key. I am a sensitive person. I have a very high standard for my work. I do not like criticism. I only like appreciation. I do not like to read seminar feedbacks. Even if the feedback is positive I “hear” the negative feedback more. Most of it is positive and constructive. I get great advice from clients and seminar participants.

However, my own insecurities get in my way.

Recently I heard a podcast. One very successful writer said he never reads reviews from readers because all that does is asking for permission. He says, that critical reviews often gives you a reason to procrastinate. It is one of the most common reasons not to ship your work. As an artist or writer it is essential though that you ship. You have to publish in order to be heard and in order for your products to be recognized as your work.

It’s one reason why I keep postponing the publication of my workbook for Global Mobility Professionals. I am genuinely worried that the content is not good enough.

I already procrastinated the reviews for months. The feedback I received is generally positive and appreciative. The suggestions for improvement were helping me to put a better structure to my work. Writing a book is humbling already but self-publishing a book gets me close to wanting to live in a psychiatric clinic (i.e. it drives me nuts). As a publisher you have to consider everything from layout to editing to the right pricing.

►Maybe it is time to let go of an old belief

In  order to make progress I needed to hear what my friend had to say. So, a few weeks later we finally had a call. I tried to keep calm and professional but I also told him that I was quite anxious about what he had to say. At the end of the call I seem to have looked shattered and tired. It was tough to listen. I knew I could do better. I knew I had to improve the work but I felt sincerely demotivated.

►Taking the lessons from feedback

The feedback actually was helpful but it also reinforced my belief that nothing I will ever do will be good enough for the world to see. I will always find a flaw or a chapter that could be written better. Also it is a lot easier to use a handout in a coaching session and give a lot of background information orally than it is to write a workbook where all the instruction should be self-explanatory. Keeping a reader engaged in self-study in our current times of constant distraction is near to impossible. I believe I will go back to classroom training. I want to be old-fashioned about everything I do. I want to stay in my comfort zone.

Assuming positive intentions...
Assuming positive intentions…

►Feeling the fear, staying humble and doing it anyway

As I am writing this I am one month away from publishing the workbook without the help of a big publishing company. While I feel that we did well there is still a doubt about the project. But then I read an article about how great artists were and are never happy with their work. Some were even poor during their lifetime. I guess it’s the way it is with art.

 

Does this resonate with you? Are you procrastinating to show your art out of fear of failure? Tell us about it in the comments.

by Maria GorskiMariaMaria 2013_21-2-1 (1)Maria

We are still unpacking the remains of our container, which arrived from Zurich last week. This is our third international move and we have arrived back in Denver, Colorado after almost 7 years abroad. When we decided to move back to the US, I was prepared for a bit of “reverse culture shock”. My initial mixed feelings are slowly waning as life returns to some level of normality.

Reflecting my experiences

As I adjust, I am reflecting back on my experiences of new cultures from Sydney and Zurich. Both have taught me so much. Sometimes I have a tough time pin pointing exactly what I am feeling because the changes in my perceptions are so subtle. For instance, the first time I spoke to my sons’ elementary school principal, I was shocked that he had referred himself as “Chris” and not “Mr. Goydin”.

Of course, he called me by my first name as well. It took me a few minutes to figure out why this seemed so odd. I had to get used to talking to someone with this level of informality, which wouldn’t necessarily happen in Switzerland. After that experience, I really began to appreciate a certain level of casual friendliness amongst people here. It just makes the daily chores and errands less stressful.

Kai
my son in the boxes

Finding Patience and Kindness for oneself and others

Emotionally, I think the key to adjusting is patience. Finding patience and kindness for oneself and others, especially those closest to you can make all the difference. Unexpected problems will inevitably come up. When multiple “little problems” keep cropping up day after day, the point might come when you are pushed into a rage over a relatively minor thing, like the garage door opener not working. It is times like these when humor can save the day.

Keeping a sense of Humor

Looking for the positive in situations and keeping a sense of humor also goes a long way to ease the stress of starting anew. As the cliché goes, “every cloud has a silver lining”. Lots of rain makes for lush green scenery and lots of rules make for a predictable, well-functioning society. After it’s all said and done, I have to say “it is good to be back”. It has been great to slip back into old friendships, feel free to chat with strangers, and enjoy my new community. Though we are still finding our way around the area, as the place has changed.

I love tricky issues of my clients.

Solving them in seven Steps
Solving them in seven Steps

Actually, this is a wacky part of my personality and according to a test I had this ability already in grade 3. The school told my parents that I make mistakes when I have an easier task in math but when the task is difficult I solve it. I like challenges and I like to find solutions to situations that seem hard to sort out. That’s probably why I enjoy Global Mobility.

Often you need to look at an issue from various angles (technical, relational, cultural and legal) in order to find a good solution. Recently, I was asked to solve an issue, which was tricky for the person involved. So, I thought about this a bit more and came up with the seven-step process below.

The issue seems profane but I will use it here for illustration purposes. My client moved from the USA to Switzerland. He wanted to bring his car over. We knew that the car would need a few technical changes before it would pass the Swiss emissions and technical test that is a precedent to have the car registered. Without registration the car cannot be insured and without insurance the car could not be driven in Switzerland according to the relocation service. The part that did not seem to work out was the question how to get the car from the warehouse (where it would be unloaded) in Spreitenbach to the car dealer in Waedenswil who would take care of the technical changes. The available interim insurance would only cover damages to the car but was not going to cover any third-party liability damages. So if my client had an accident he would be in a very risky position. Also, the police in Switzerland is very strict so they would probably fine him if they saw him drive with US number plates.

The seven Step Approach to solving tricky Issues:

Step 1: Get the full picture and sketch it on a piece of paper

I thought we might have overlooked something critical in the process so I started to call all the involved parties again (relocation agent, insurance broker and garage owner).

Step 2: Add all the involved parties and how they relate to each other

I knew these people were not competition technically so that every one would provide one part of a service in a chain. I asked all of them for ideas to solve the issue and got a good hint from the insurance broker.

Step 3: Open up any closed communication channels between involved parties or play the communicator between all of them.

As three parties did not communicate with each other I had to ensure that they would all communicate with me now instead of my client. They all trust me so that was easy. I also asked the garage owner if he could give additional support and how much he would charge for picking the car up with an interim license plate.

...you don't really need cars in Switzerland.
…you don’t really need cars in Switzerland.

Step 4: Design a solution

After I had spoken to all of them I gave my client advice to change the process so that the garage owner could actually pick up the car for him in Spreitenbach. My client liked the idea. He will also save about 400 CHF for the company.

Step 5: Pilot it

In real life there are often little details we overlook so I am a big fan of piloting new processes and projects before implementing them. In this case I just have one chance to get it right but the risk is a lot lower now as the garage owner will use his own number plates and he will be able to speak to the police. What we learnt in the pilot is that there can be capacity issues and that planned processes need a bit of buffer time. (Here the container was delayed and as it was the middle of summer holidays we did not have the capacity to get everything done fast.)

Step 6: Develop a process

After the pilot we will use this method to solve similar issues. Once you apply the same method you basically have a process or methodology in place.

Step 7: Review and improve until it becomes a routine

Every year you should review all your processes. In the meantime there might be better technological developments or you can take out complicated steps in.

Which issue did you recently solve with the seven step plan? Tell us in the comments.