The Real Deal

Unique as the fingerprint on your hand, there is something about you that sets you apart from anyone, any business, or anything else you can think of that would fit in this sentence.

Check out the photo below:

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My hand is the REAL deal!

This is my hand. It’s pretty small as far as hands go, but it is my hand. And on each of my five fingers there is a pattern, otherwise known as – the fingerprint.

The thing I like most about my fingerprint is that it is completely unique to me. Not one person on this planet has my fingerprint, and nor can it ever be replaced or truly duplicated.

People can be great imitators – great at copying the facets of life that attract us, (or others if you are in business) but it’s important to note and keep in mind that nothing can replace the real thing.

With this in mind, how are you using your uniqueness to help you achieve and create your dream?

Here are a few more of my favourites, and (in my own view) just for fun, their imitators:

1. For me, it’s always Heinz…

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2. Pepsi – It’s just not Coke (but I like them both).

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Making new friends

Friendship can be a daunting process for anyone; let alone for growing business, in our social evolving world.

Today I thought that I would share three quick tips on how to build relationships, with your consumer online via your social media channels.

1. Be Real – no fakers, or haters please. I’m not suggesting ways to manipulate your consumers in any way shape, or form. If you are up front, and genuine then everyone knows where they stand, in order to appreciate, show value and respect.

2. Be a listener first, talker second – The simple recipe to making friends in any environment is simply to respond to what the other person is saying. Often listening helps, or looking for a common connector. Being real, and showing honest interest is a great way to start making friends online.

3. Be Bold – There are a few businesses out there that in my opinion that are still shying away from social media, and any of its relatives; in the hope that it will all blow away, and they don’t actually need to do anything about it. As I always say, this is far from happening any time soon, so get on it, and get talking! I understand making the first move can be daunting, but like the good old Nike ad says: “Just do it!”

You have to be a friend, in order to make a friend.

Make yourself at home

Make yourself at home… In my culture, this is an endearing phrase used to welcome guests into ones home.

I wonder how many British businesses in total have truly grasped this concept of making their consumer feel right at home? After all without the consumer, there is no business. It’s not enough to set up shop, and demand money from your customers anymore. For too long chain stores have got away with pocketing our hard-earned cash without so much of a smile, or a thank you for your custom in return – and what’s worse is that for a long time, we, the British public put up with it!

…It’s worthwhile stating that when I say, at home, I mean at home in your shop, website, or office. The line between virtual, and physical presence has become a blur over the years, and what you put on the front-page of your website matters just as much what you put in the display of your shop window.

How are we making our customers feel at home? Technology, and the way we interact online has changed our culture in such a big way that we cannot afford to bombard our websites with forced speak, technical information, and confuse our customers with false advertising.

The way we communicate with our customers is a vital as communicating with your friend, or spouse. If we get things wrong, then we should be man enough to step up to the mark, and be honest enough to fix our mistakes.

Where more and more chains are folding on the high street, this is a perfect opportunity for smaller businesses to rise up to the challenge and really go the extra mile for the consumer. Not only will you build brand awareness, but you will build a growing customer retention, just by making them feel right at home.

Here are a few suggestions that will help us stay in business.

1. Say “Hello” with a smile – Whether in person, or via a 30 second video clip. Showing our white pearly teeth is a great way to let customers know that you are a business that values their custom.

2. Be clear always – Businesses that are built on this principle will stand the test of time. Transparency is key to the success of your tomorrow.

3. Be reliable –  We must say what we do, and do what we say. It’s as simple as that. With the shifting posts of government illustrating a perfect example that people lose faith in something that cuts deep corners, and doesn’t deliver. With lack of care and attention, consumers lose interest, and businesses fail.

The great thing about all three is that they can be applied across the board, from social media, to the shop floor. This is a friendly house keeping post for all business, and marketing departments.

If you would like help with developing a social strategy for your business, assistance in training, blogging, or help transforming your brand communications, then look no further. Get in touch with a freelance social savvy copywriter, right here, or leave your thoughts below.

How good are your Macaroons?

Does your product or service stand the test of time? I purchased these macaroons on special order from John Lewis, who kindly shipped some in from their magic storehouse of magic goodies, just waiting to be dispatched.

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Tasty looking, right? Well, if you like biting in to freeze dried maltersar like sweets, then yes. I however; was less impressed. The whole purpose of me buying these rainbow looking treats, spun out of my friend’s doggy bag, which she transported home from a very special wedding, with a very special chef on hand to whip up some French macaroons.

Now I could be way off here, but I’m told the chef was very particular to introduce them as’French macaroons’, which are no ordinary macaroon; and certainly after sampling both, I would have to agree.

Given the influx in information, and choice out there, how good is your product or service? Would you fall under the average macaroon, or ‘the french macaroon’ category.

I have asked myself the same question. What is so different about The Social Exchange Blog to the other 174 million blogs out there? In this instance the answer has to be, me! Not because I wish to puff myself up, but because I am the sole author of this blog and I am unique in every way; just as you are. Without conflicting today’s post can I encourage you not to become a carbon copy. It is good to be influenced by those further down the track, and to choose those influences wisely; but there is no one else that can write like you, talk like you, or think like you. Remember this when you come to sell your product, or service. We don’t need everyone to buy into our product. At least not at the expense of changing everything about who we are, and what we stand for?

Sounds like some kind of rebel message, right? Not so. I’ll leave you with these burning questions:

What’s the french on your macaroon? Are you delivering what you have always intended? How good are your macaroons, actually?

It’s in the detail

Sometimes to make a big change, we need to make a small change.

A simple smile or friendly gesture from a waiter, or waitress goes along way in the restaurant businesses, (and this pretty much applies to any business).

When a customer leaves with a positive experience imprinted in their mind, it can be just as powerful as any other marketing tool.

The food doesn’t need to be the greatest as long as the customer has dinned well, and something of the ambience, or food has caught their attention enabling; them to create a happy memory.

Often when things don’t seem to be working we need to look into the detail, and start with the small changes first.