Community Trial effort for AdvancedAgSolutions. Working on building a non-traditional user community/blog for Optmzr customers. 
December 17, 2013 VIEW POST

Website work for a great local company who offers catering and cleaning to Greater Lafayette. 
December 17, 2013 VIEW POST
Park Patrol - Facebook page and MailChimp integration. 174 likes in 3 days and still climbing! DCT Powersports needed a Facebook page and a way to create mailing list fast in preparation for an upcoming event. We got them all taken care of!
October 21, 2013 VIEW POST
October 21, 2013 VIEW POST

Creating Lifetime Customers Through Content Marketing

Creating content might seem like a simple task at first glance, but after working with many clients over the years I can assure you that creating good content is no easy task. The key word being “good.” Many businesses understand that in today’s fast- paced, instant-update era, having an Internet presence is a requirement of business. However, more often than not, business owners don’t understand what that really means. Simply having a Facebook fan page, twitter account, or Yelp! Location isn’t enough to truly impact your business.

Whether you are selling a product, a service, or both, you are doing so for a reason. What’s more important than talking about what you do, is who you are, and why you are. The average consumer doesn’t just give their money away because your message reached them first. This might be the case sometimes, but by and large the most successful businesses reach their customers by identifying with them and providing prospective customers a reason why your business is going to make them feel better. When consumers feel a connection with a business they are more likely to come back a second time. Most businesses who track their churn, or the average life span of a customer will notice that often times you aren’t truly making money off of a customer on the first transaction. When you consider the costs associated with bringing a customer into your store for the first time, their initial purchases usually don’t balance out. You might even say that the first transaction a customer makes with your business is simple a test.

Social networking and content marketing, when managed properly, are the simplest (and cheapest) methods to engage your customers to share your message and ensure the first transaction isn’t the only transaction. Engaging your customers through social media, blogs, and other social platforms allows you to share with your customer on a more personal level to help them understand your who and why. Successful content marketing isn’t just about posting articles about your industry and status updates about promotions. Find your voice, and be genuine with your audience. Let prospective customers experience your business on a personal level and they will naturally feel more compelled to do business with you.

The last and potentially most complex piece of the puzzle is how to avoid the dreaded over-share syndrome. When it comes to connecting with your demographic, there is a very fine line between connecting and annoying. While owning your business identity is critical, it is equally important to remember you are still a business. You prospective customers will appreciate getting to know you better and will certainly connect more with you, but that isn’t a pass to go creeping through their photos and clicking that “Like” button as if you just started dating a new person. It’s important to respond when you are spoken to, and it’s important to speak directly to your prospective customers through posts, but don’t over do it. At the end of the day the idea is to engage your customers through channels that make them feel comfortable, not to hound them or force your business on them. Content marketing is about letting your customers identify with you, not the other way around.

At Strong Productions we pride ourselves in our ability help you find your voice and enable you to engage your customer base. Whether you are looking for help finding that voice, need help understanding a particular platform and if you should be using it,  or need someone to help you get your message out and manage your content, we can help. We value our local community first and foremost, and our prices reflect that. After nearly three decades of experiencing the Greater Lafayette community our desire is to utilize our unique understanding of the ever-changing social climate to help businesses grow. Our services are priced to be affordable to the small business that might not normally have the money or time to implement a full scale content marketing strategy. We provide consultation, training, and content management at a price that is affordable. For more information contact Aaronthestrong@gmail.com  

September 30, 2013 VIEW POST

Project Preparedness - Lessons from Le Tour

Originally posted on Info.Passageways .com

Hailed as the greatest race of all time, this year is the 100th Anniversary of this incredible bicycle race across the French countryside. Each year this massive event receives an incredible amount of coverage, which is why I have decided not to talk about it. I am instead going to talk about the lead up to the tour, the preparation these athletes go through to be ready, and how we can learn from their example to conquer our own races and mountains within our organizations.

As with any great undertaking the preparation begins months in advance. The first step a professional cycling team must do is consider who amongst them will get the honor of fighting for the Yellow jersey at Le Tour. Contrary to popular belief, no amount of performance enhancing drugs will allow a cyclist to win the race all on their own. Lance Armstrong may have cheated on some fronts, but he never would have come close if it weren’t for those on his team who selflessly fought to bring him to the finish. Choosing the right team is critical for the success of your mission. Recognizing strengths and weakness and equally important, natural synergies are vital. It’s the same within the cycling world as it is with any project. Any team can work together to accomplish something, but the right team can accomplish it faster and more efficiently.

Once a team of riders is assembled the real work begins. These cyclists go out nearly every day with each other to practice. They learn the way their colleagues ride and react. Teammates learn to put trust into their cohorts, which is critical when what is on the line is so important. In the case of a bicycle race what is on the line could be your life, in the case of your organization what is on the line could be the overall success or failure of an implementation. It’s important to know that you can rely on your teammates to pull their weight and the only real way you can grow that trust is by working together and communicating.

Cycling teams are made up of more than just a coach and a gaggle of cyclists. Most cycling teams also employee the aid of specialists to ensure the areas they haven’t thought of for the race are considered. From nutritionists and cooks to physicians and physical therapists. Having the support structure for your team is critical to their viability and sustainability throughout the race. Likewise, it is critical to ensure that you have contingency plans in place to support your project team when things get hairy…and they will. Project implementation support is one area that is typically overlooked on many RFP questionnaires and often forgotten about all together by many buyers. Missing support systems is often the difference between projects failing before they ever get off the ground and success. During the Tour de France cars full of doctors, coaches, specialists and more follow behind the massive peloton ensuring that, should a cyclists need anything, they the right person there who understands the problem and can fix it immediately.

80% of the difficulty of cycling is attributed to wind resistance. A cyclist will exert most of their energy just fighting the breeze. This is why cyclists ride in such tight groups and so closely together. These groups can easily reduce the drag coefficient by several percent, and when you are traveling over 100 miles in a day as fast as you can, this is important. Your teams can learn from this by making an effort to stay close and communicate regularly with each other. Plan regular meetings to make sure that your group is staying tight and no one is falling behind the pack. In cycling, when a teammate drops back for some reason, at least part of the team will intentionally drop back to help that weak man fight back. If your teams are really engaging well and working together then no one should be allowed to fall behind.

The teamwork involved in participating in The Tour de France and pro-cycling in general, is on a whole new level from most team activities. The trust and hard work that these teams put together is something that everyone can learn and take inspiration from.  If we could model our teams and projects based off of these models then we would be unstoppable.


July 10, 2013 VIEW POST