It’s with great pleasure that we bring you today’s post by our good friend and occasional guest author Emery Scott. Emery is a self proclaimed marketer, social media wiz and serial dater. Enjoy!
How much easier would dating be if we each had signs that proclaimed our intentions? “Yes, I’m interested. Ask me out.” “Sorry, I’m taken.” “I’m keeping my options open for right now so maybe you shouldn’t expend too much effort on the possibility of an ‘us’.”
If our intentions and our communication were as clear as that, we might have less dating drama (mostly unintentionally created) and more fun. Instead we try to be subtle (sometimes a little too mysterious) and hide who we are until maybe the third or fourth date, hoping that the mystery will provide the chemistry.
Communicating clearly and effectively, and finding and maintaining customers are just as critical to the success of any small business. Both parties are benefited by the relationship.
Here are four things I’ve learned that are true not just for us in the business of dating, but also in the marketing world, as well.
Have a Plan
There’s nothing worse than being picked up for a date and having the guy turn to me and say, “So… what do you want to do?” Suddenly, I feel the pressure that this is a test of my creativity and ability to respond to change quickly. If I ask a guy on a date (which is rare…), there’s a good chance that I’m at least going to plan the activities. What happens during those activities is completely luck of the draw (and believe me… I’ve walked away from a date with a black eye. That’s never on the plan.)
In the world of marketing, you’ve got to have a strong plan. Without a plan for building your customer base or sharing your ideas, you will fail. Concrete goals and plans to measure success provide the company with a clear perspective on how to reach its target audience. We all want to be creative and to show our brilliance quickly–some people can do that. But most of the time creativity and brilliance are born of time, patience and a solid plan.
Put Your Best Face Forward
My best friend’s father gave us some advice before we went off to college: Never wear sweatpants to class and always put on some make-up. Her dad explained that you never know who you might see or who might show up. We took that advice to heart and followed through, even when we had stayed up until 1:00 a.m. (and trust me… it was hard to take the time to get ready when we had an 8:00 a.m. class).
You always want to present your best self to draw in new people. Signs are critical; they are the face of the company. Sometimes signs are the first thing a person notices when they drive by your building. Clear, classy signs will point new customers in your direction and keep your company’s name out there for people to remember. If you and your employees can’t be out drawing people in, your sign is definitely a team member you want to have.
Be True to You
There’s a catch phrase going around the business world—“be authentic.” It means that people are pretty bright; they can see through a charade. You want to get good, loyal customers for your business and you’ll find them by presenting the company’s identity with the right sign. The signs should also reflect the mission, vision and personality of the company. It doesn’t have to be boring, but your sign shouldn’t make the company look trendy if your business is conservative.
The same is true for dating, and really any relationship. There is nothing more dreadful than being stuck on a date playing frisbee golf and watching your date spend the majority of the time climbing trees to get your frisbee down. Neither of you are going to have much fun. In the midst of planning and putting your best self forward, it’s also good to let people know who YOU are so that you can find a good match for you in dating and business.
Creativity and individuality are refreshing. One of my favorite dates was sledding during an afternoon. Instead of the normal dinner and a movie, it was a relaxing time of sledding down a hill and then grabbing some lunch. Routines can be good, but doing something outside of the norm can be just as memorable (as long as we’re following the other two rules of presenting your best self and being true to yourself).
Even while you’re trying to pull in new customers and be true to your business, there’s something to be said about being creative. Look for hooks or clever ways to get people to stop and give your sign a second a look. Does it make them laugh? Do you want them to pause and think? What does your sign say about your company and your goals? Let your sign do the advertising in a new way.
The business of dating can be rather exasperating. Sometimes I would rather avoid it all together. But the best relationships are the ones that allow us to be ourselves and give us time to be creative. It takes time to build those relationships because we are always looking for the hints that we’ve found someone compatible. In businesses, signs are the hints that point the customer to the company. Customers are the key to the success and the signs need to be clear, authentic and creative to draw the new crowd.
Emery Scott may be a pro with marketing and social media, but her dating resume needs some work. Follow her adventures navigating the dating sphere and discovering the world as far as a plane (and her paychecks) will take her, “A Writer’s World”.