Marketing Idea: FourSquare Venue Plugin for WordPress

Aside

So I added a widget to my blog sidebar to show where FourSquare thinks I still am. Useless perhaps, but a little neat. While poking around the vast reaches of the WordPress Plugin Repository, I found the Foursquare Venue Plugin for WordPress, which looks interesting. If you have a venue that people may check into, you can extend your WordPress site to show a real-time display of who’s there and who’s the mayor. Add an incentive for whoever the current mayor happens to be (free refills, fries or a discount of some sort, whatever) and you may just encourage more FourSquare users to turn up and check in. Nice. Very Guerrilla, and social too.

Why Your Campaign Won’t Go Viral

I was reading The Viral Marketing Cheat Sheet from KISSmetrics, which turns out to be not a bad guide to viral campaigns. Analyzing as I read, I came to the graph of the top ten viral campaigns of 2010, and noticed that the list consists of generally well-known brands. Ones who can afford to drop some coin on a campaign that doesn’t adhere to an age-old formula, and have it flop. They can afford to experiment.

What about the rest of us, the smaller brands with less name recognition? When those brands spend money, they want some assurance of return. They want something tried-and-true, and don’t want to pay the cost of experimentation. As a result, it’s pretty hard to hit it out of the park. It just doesn’t happen.

Letters of Reference

It should be an obvious tactic, but for most people it’s just an afterthought that occurs too late. I’ve recently started asking each of my clients for a letter of reference that I can use in my portfolio. All are willing and most are even eager to provide one, which is for me a sure sign that the client is happy. If ever one weren’t this would be a good way to uncover and address an issue… another reminder that a wrap-up meeting is a good idea at the end of a project. This is the natural time to review what’s been done, do any training necessary, and plan future steps. My favorite email response though, was this one:

Three-Percenting

Generally 3percent when you work on something that matters, you find yourself making a little extra effort to get everything just right. I may only be addressing the perfectionists in the crowd, but there are enough of us out there that it’s worth saying. Now, I don’t know if there’s an 80/20 rule for this, but there seems to be an 80/20 rule for everything else. So let’s suppose it takes 80% of your effort to get the last 20% “just so.” And it’s worth it, that striving for perfection. It’s what puts you above the competition, makes you stand out. It’s what keeps you from being singled out for having errors in your copy, for example. Shoot for perfect, right?

Don't Overstate, Don't Overpunctuate!

This time exclamation_mark it’s all about the exclamation points. I once suggested to a staff member that perhaps she should use fewer exclamation points in her emails to clients. I’m of the opinion that most people think the exclamation mark conveys something that it doesn’t actually convey. Men With Pens elaborates well on this theme. In regular correspondence, this punctuation doesn’t make you sound chipper. It just looks forced. Consider what this article is saying about exclamation marks in website copy — it applies equally in any kind of marketing copy. More often than not, I suspect they tend to make the message lose credibility rather than successfully prompting the reader to action.

Three Keys for Exchanging Business Leads

Being in business and networking rolodex_card_holder for any length of time inevitably leads to referrals, and these are the best form of business leads to convert into clients. It surprises me at times how nonchalant some people can be about giving or receiving these recommendations, so here are three solid tips for exchanging leads:

  • Get the Ball into Your Court. When someone is telling you about one of their contacts who needs your services, don’t just pass along some business cards and wait for the phone to ring. Pass on the business card, but get the name and contact information so you can initiate contact and ensure the initial conversation actually takes place.