Two Questions to Ask When Choosing the Tools for Your Project

Treasure map showing how to solve problemsKnowing what tools to use won’t help your project if you don’t know how to use them properly or when to use them.

Different projects need different tools.

What’s the keyword here? Need.

It’s easy to use tools because we like them. But, do you really need the tool you’re about to use?

When I’m working on a project I ask two questions:
How will the current task benefit the project?
Is my thinking on track with the project goals?

If my current task isn’t going to benefit the project then I need to rethink why I’m doing it.

Asking these two questions will help the team:

  • Understand the goals of the project
  • Identify the tasks that will benefit the project
  • Draw a clear line from action to result (task to benefit)
  • Think through the project by starting with the end in mind
  • Plan the project with the end in mind

Understanding. Identifying. Drawing. Thinking. Planning.

Autopilot doesn’t get you successful results. Thoughtful actions will give you the results you desire. Here’s a plus: thoughtful actions will pull your project through the downtime, challenges, and the difficulties. It’s easier to work through a heartache if you can see the payoff and the reward.

Demographics, Marketing, and Mojo

Clarks Termite and Pest Control Getting Rid of TermitesWhen I’m working with a company or with a client I like to think about their customer. The mojo truly flows when the company I’m working with thinks about their customers.

There’s a company in South Carolina called Clark’s Pest Control. Clarks is dedicated to kicking termites, bedbugs, and other crawling pests from your home.

Clarks Pest Control gets the ick factor of pests.

Pests Are :

  • Disgusting
  • Disease carrying
  • Destructive
  • Inconvenient
  • Costly
  • A health hazard

Pests Are Not:

  • Something you cuddle
  • Good for your family
  • A way to say I love you to your wife and child

Of course you should know your demographics and of course you should have your personas neatly established. (Hubspot has a great article on how to create personas if you’re interested.)

But, you need to know what emotionally moves your customer. For Clarks Pest Control it’s keeping the family safe. Protection. Basic and primal. It’s papa bear and mama bear protecting their young cubs.

These emotions are in all of us. What emotions do your customers experience when they use your product or service?

Why, I’ll Just Produce a Viral Video!

Human hand holding a large TV remote“I’ll just produce a viral video.” I heard these words from a friend of mine a few months ago.

Having cut my communications teeth in the television industry, I can assure you this is not how the video production and distribution process works.

Senior Digital Strategist Jon Thomas recently posted his thoughts on The 5 Myths of Viral Content.

What caught my attention was Jon’s number 4 myth: Viral means that it grew organically.

In television and film industry it’s about production and distribution.

If your film isn’t distributed, no one sees it.

It’s no different in the online video world. You have a distribution plan for your content and you need a distribution plan for your video.

Create a path for your video. Think about your industry, audience, and current content providers. Discuss with your content providers the best way your video can reach your audience.

Yes, you can produce a video. The question is, what do you want the video to do once it’s produced?

Set it and Forget it Marketing – Ron Popeil

Close up of giant chickenIn the 1990s Ron Popeil was the rotisserie king of “set it and forget it”. You’d put your chicken on the rotisserie, set a timer, and walk away. Your soon to be fully cooked chicken would slowly spin until the timer rang.

Set it and forget it works for chicken. It doesn’t work for marketing. If you walk away from your marketing efforts your clients won’t remember you.

It’s not uncommon for clients to build a website and think, ok the website is done. That’s it.

You’ve built a great website. Now you have to market it.

Feeling nostalgic? Enjoy Ron Popeil’s famous Set it and Forget it rotisserie infomercial.

Build it and They Will Come – Website Building Myth

Website Development MythSometimes clients (especially those with brand new sites) suffer from the “build-it-and-they-will-come” syndrome.

It makes sense the client is aware of his new website and thinks others are aware of it too. Just one problem. Your customers don’t think about business the way you think about it.

If you’re building a new website you’re probably thinking about your business. But, you may be missing a key ingredient: how does a potential customer see your business? What channels do they use to find you? How do they interact with you once they’ve found you?

A fundamental part of thinking about your new site is remembering who visits it. Build the site for your customer. Think how they will use the website. This will make your life happier.