Lessons From Crazy Heart

It’s funny I’ve fallin’/Feels like flyin’/for a little while

Note: This post contains some spoiler content…

A few weeks before I went to the theater to see Crazy Heart I saw the trailer. I instantly became interested in the story of the movie. The setting of country music instantly attracted me. I was also intrigued by the soundtrack – it had a ’70s outlaw country music vibe. I’ve always been a fan of Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Steve Earle and others.

After seeing the movie I have to say that it is everything and more than I built it up to be.

It’s a great story for viewers to connect with. Music fans can connect with the outlaw country music. The themes of the songs on the soundtracks cross musical boundaries (I think it was Willie Nelson who said, “There are only two kinds of music: Good and Bad.”). The story of a hardened outlaw singer and songwriter connects well with young and old alike.

The best part of the movie and the biggest lesson I was able to pull out was how the story related to entrepreneurship and life in general. The setting and circumstances may vary in detail, but the ups and downs and unexpected turns are what connects us all as humans.

Let’s take a closer look at the Lessons from Crazy Heart

The Ups and Downs of Life and Business

Crazy Heart opens up with the sight of Bad Blake traveling the American Southwest in his ’78 Chevy Suburban. He’s getting by day-to-day living on the cash he makes playing at small bars and even bowling alleys. His devoted fans remember his hits from 30 or so years ago and come to see him stumble through drunken performances to get a taste of nostalgia.

Bad’s his own business. He sells what his fans are still willing to buy and he puts on the best show he knows how.  He is able to get by in life by drinking and treating his body like a dumpster. He has the perception that his fans want a hard-drinking, fun-loving outlaw and that’s exactly what he gives them. It pays enough to just get by, but the business model doesn’t pay nearly as good as it once did.

Just as Bad found in the movie, most businesses find  that the typical model has a lifespan. Businesses reach a peak of profitability and then ride out the lifespan as long as they can. If the concept doesn’t change much profits will slowly diminish. New models will come along and slowly the demand for products wears off.

The successful businesses are those that adapt to change and have a progressive nature.

Bad knows that his old business model of touring is what pays his bills. He just doesn’t know how to reignite the excitement in himself and his music to get more people to come to his shows. He also doesn’t know how to broaden his audience and expand his fan base.

There are two interesting points in the movie where Bad discusses songwriting.

The first has Bad talking with his agent about new albums and new songs. The agent wants Bad to write some new material (update his business model) while Bad wants to remix his old hits and repackage them for fans to purchase (old business model).

Bad and his agent both have the feeling that Bad’s career is going nowhere. They both work hard to make a few of the remaining bucks Bad is worth. They keep fighting and hoping for some inspiration to strike and one day it does.

Bad’s agent is able to work with rising star and former Bad disciple, Tommy Sweet. Tommy learned how to play, sing and entertain from Bad and now is seeing his own success. Tommy gets Bad to open up for him at one of his shows. Just before the show the two have a chat about business and Bad is eager to get together to record duets on his old songs. Tommy says he loves working with Bad, but that such an album is not in high demand.

Tommy offers Bad the opportunity to write songs for his upcoming solo release. Bad brushes off the idea and the two go about their way.

Eventually Bad is able to find inspiration (love interest) and writes a great song. This song reignites his star and he finds a new business that he can sell. Over the next 18 months or so Tommy takes the song to the tops of the charts and Bad is bad in demand as an entertainer. His old music is finding new ears and new folks are coming to his shows as a result of the new song.

All businesses that expect to continually succeed need to be progressive in nature. Business leaders can work a successful formula to death, but to expect to have it ride a peak forever is signing a death certificate for the business.

People involved with kick and scream at the suggestion of change, but for the sake of continual growth and prosperity it’s necessary to find new models and new products that consumers demand.

The Impact of a Soundtrack

Lead actor Jeff Bridges credits Ryan Bingham with saving Crazy Heart. The importance of soundtrack in movies is understood by all involved. For this movie, Ryan Bingham was able to take the script and capture the mood in the song The Weary Kind.

The song became the theme during production. The mood of the song is perfect for setting viewers up to understand the life of the lead character.

The songs in the movie parallel the life and business model Bad Blake follows. The songs he wrote that made him an outlaw country music star take him through ups and downs and as we first see him the songs are finding their last bit of interest with Bad playing them in broken down venues.

Then Bad finds inspiration and pens The Weary Kind and interest is renewed in the entertainer.

The soundtrack of Crazy Heart sets the tone for the movie. As a viewer, I was captured by the authentic sound of the “classic” Bad Blake songs. I was also swallowed up by The Weary Kind as the song connected me with the story of Bad Blake.

Credit goes to T. Bone Burnett, Ryan Bingham, and Stephen Bruton for putting together the Crazy Heart soundtrack.

Summary

Crazy Heart, the story of Bad Blake, parallels the life of a business.

Business models go through their life cycles and it’s important for business leaders to be progressive focused. People involved with the business will want things to remain the same, but without change there cannot be growth.

Successful leaders push through the resistance and change their models to give consumers something they demand.

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How Influence Shapes Your Marketing Strategy

The people that influence you affect the way you perform marketing

Think of the folks in your life that most influence your decisions.

Who comes to mind?

Parents?

Older siblings?

A star athlete?

Your boss or mentor?

There are lots of people that influence the way we are, the way we lives our lives, and the decisions we make – professionally and personally. The people we look up to as role models are typically the same people who inspire us to succeed and do good in the world.

Let’s take a closer look at the impact of influencers in our marketing lives…

The Origin of Influence

While I was growing up the people that influenced my life the most were typically older brothers of friends, professional athletes, and men in my family (not my Dad in my younger years since immature kids typically don’t look to their Dad for influence).

As I grew up, the people I looked to for guidance changed to more meaningful influencers. These were people such as my Dad, business leaders I both knew and didn’t know, and a few actors and musical artists.

Looking to my Dad for personal advice and insight seems to make sense since he was very successful at being a father.

Looking to business leaders for insight into business success makes sense for me since my long-term goal is to become successful in all aspects of entrepreneurship.

The Sociology of Influence

It’s logical for people to take inspiration from those that are successful in the fields we want to be successful in ourselves.

Those that are driven to succeed in their professional lives in various fields will seek out the insight of successful people in the same industry. It’s common for influence to come from the leaders we work with at our daily jobs. These folks are successful and are usually willing to comment on their own path of success. Seek out the most articulate leaders you work with directly and ask for their continuing stories of what it takes to become successful in your chosen field. It’s likely these folks will still be driven to a higher level of success and they may even discredit the amount of success they have had up to the current point in their professional lives.

In today’s world of information, there is a easier access to the success stories and blueprints with the Web.

Business leaders often have their stories published online. Some leaders maintain their own blog where they share their insight on a regular basis.

It’s easy to find interviews with influential business leaders with a simple search. Favorites quotes from interviews and articles can often provide the inspiration to take our own success to the next level.

There are sites dedicated to finding the best of Inspirational and Motivational Quotes and using images to share their meaning: Slice Quotes.

In a connected world, influence is infinitely available.

The trick is filtering out the noise while paying attention to the people and insight that can have the most impact.

How Influence Shapes Marketing Strategy

Something I struggle with almost daily is the balance of Influence and Marketing Strategy.

I read hundreds of blogs and articles each week. I like reading about marketing strategy as it relates to direct marketing.

I work both in the direct to consumer marketing industry as well as in the business to business industry. It’s even difficult to understand the various needs and wants of each type of customers (consumers and businesses).

The insights I read from business leaders that blog do shape my marketing strategies and decisions. I look for case studies and examples of success in various industries and try to relate the stories to strategies I can utilize for my own growth as a business professional.

I think the most important thing to note about influence is that all actions should revolve around focused strategies.

I’ve done things in the past where I’ve read something insightful in a blog post from a marketing industry leader and have jumped right into implementing the strategy. Sometimes it’s worked and other times it hasn’t.

There is nothing wrong with experimenting and I think it can actually be positive. But to save time and effort, I’ve found much better and more effective (and efficient) success by always asking the question: How does this influential insight relate to the overall marketing strategy?

Having the focus on the defined marketing strategy has allowed for more growth and impact on the businesses I’m involved with.

Influence has been great for me and I continue to seek out the advice and insight of the leaders in the world. Having a focused strategy and vision has allowed me to better utilize the influences in my life.

Suggestions for Influence

Here are a few suggestions for seeking influence and using it to further your strategies and visions:

  • Seek influence from family and friends
  • Seek influence from industry leaders
  • Recognize influence from unexpected sources
  • Form strategies
  • Apply relevant insight to your business strategy

Influential People in My Life

  • Parents
  • Uncles
  • Business associates
  • Co-workers
  • Marketing leaders (typically those that blog)
  • Successful CEOs and business owners
  • Experiment

Who are the influential people in your life?

Have the people with the most influence on your life changed over time?

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You Can Succeed At Everything (Vince Gill proves it)

How can you fault a guy with mainstream marketability who’s also a talented session guitar player, songwriter, and the owner of one of Nashville’s best voices? Johnny Loftus – All Music

If you’ve listened to country music in the past 20+ years it’s likely you’ve heard the unmistakable buttery soft voice of Vince Gill.

Vince Gill has been one of favorite artists for as long as I can remember. When one of his songs comes on the radio I will usually reach for the knob to turn up the volume.

His collection of hit singles and excellent album cuts cross the entire spectrum of human emotion:

Hopeless RomanticismWhen Love Finds You, Let’s Make Sure We Kiss Goodnight, Feels Like Love

Relationship IssuesDon’t Let Our Love Start Slippin’ Away, A Little More Love, I Still Believe in You

Family and DeathGo Rest High on that Mountain

Love and LossTryin’ To Get Over You

Fun and ForgivenessOne More Last Chance

The amazing thing about Vince’s success is his ability to perform multiple tasks at an extremely high level.

Vince Gill is one of the best at:

1| Singing

2| Playing Guitar

3| Writing Songs

The combinations of his talents lead to some of the best songs in country music history.

It takes successful multitasking to become a successful artist. And if you’re a business owner, marketer, or manager you are an artist. The decisions you make, the people you work with, the skills you use to drive your business to success are what make you and artist.

Let’s take a closer look at Vince Gill, his ability to multitask and how it can make you a great business leader…

Multitasking and Artistry

Vince Gill had a vision for his life. He knew he loved music and he knew what it would take to have success in the country music industry. He honed his skills as a singer, guitar player, and eventually a songwriter. It was a combination of these skills that lead to his emergence as a country music superstar in the ‘90s.

He started out early as a session guitarist and background vocalist for album work and backing band work for touring artists including Ricky Skaggs and Rodney Crowell.

Gill eventually joined the Pure Prairie League in the late ‘70s for an album and sang on the group’s biggest hit Let Me Love You Tonight.

His success and talent eventually led him to solo success. He released three albums from 1984 to 1988 that featured a few successful singles, but it wasn’t until the dawn of the ‘90s and the 1989 album When I Call Your Name that Gill found star success.

And ‘91’s I Still Believe In You catapulted Gill into superstar status when the album went multiplatinum with five hit singles.

Gill had found his niche in the music industry.

His blend of smooth, easy listening vocals together with crafty melodies and meaningful lyrics were a successful formula that lead to multiple classic hits that will last generations.

Without his ability to multitask, Gill likely wouldn’t have been able to reach the longevity he has had as an artist.

Many artists are successful at singing, songwriting, and playing and some even have a brief shot at superstardom. However, the star seems to fade on those who are great at one thing.

The truly successful artists, the ones that have the uncanny ability to work at multiple tasks to broaden their expertise are the ones that find ways to succeed and inspire awe among people for a lifetime.

Vince Gill is one of those special artists that has the self want to succeed and continually improve in his craft. Music is his art and he seems to do whatever it takes to expand his understanding of the things that make great music.

And to top it all off, Vince Gill was a great host of the CMAs for many years. His charm and wit made him a great host for the millions of country music fans that watched the awards each year.

Even with all of his talent and ability, Vince Gill seems to be one of the most genuine people in the world. He remains humble even with all of his accomplishment. He often sings background vocals for up and coming artists. He credits the great artists that came before him and sang on his first records as his reason for continuing to sing background vocals.

Vince Gill is an artist. His ability to multitask and continually improve at his art make him great. And I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of great songs from Vince Gill.

Business Artist

In today’s world of uncertainty and insecurity, it’s important for everyone to have multiple skills in the workplace.

If you work for a boss, make sure you have an understanding of what her expectations are of the job you’re performing…then go beyond those expectations. Figure out the social nature of your boss and learn the things that make her excited about the work you’re doing.

Look for tasks that are lacking at your company and fill the need without being asked by anybody. Make sure to get your expected tasks finished, but once those are done as best as they can be move on to multitasking. Want to learn. Want to continuously improve.

If you’re expanding your own company you’re going to have to push past your expectations.

As a business leader, you already understand the importance of multitasking. Now, the key is going to have to be understanding the art of cutting back on the tasks that have no chance of paying off. Ever. Cut back on tasks (even if you have a lot invested in them) if there are signs of no hope. Move on to tasks that show more promise and become an expert.

Just as Vince Gill worked for many years without real success, it may take you some time to find the formula that takes you to superstardom of the business world.

Multitasking pays off and Vince Gill is living proof.

Summary

Vince Gill is a great success story.

It’s a testament to the art of multitasking and continuous improvement that he and other artists were able to achieve long-term success.

Multitasking is a necessity for success. It’s important to continually focus on the skills that will allow you to achieve your visions for success. You’ll need to leave a few things beyond even if you’ve invested a lot of time in them, but it’ll be worth it as it’ll free up time for you to focus on the things that are paying off as well as leaving time for the things you can learn that will add to your success.

Vince Gill is a talented singer, guitar player, and songwriter.

It’s almost unheard of in music. Other artists may not have that exact combination, but if they’re successful they likely have their own combination of multitasking skills that make them great.

What is something you could learn today that will add to your success tomorrow?

Bonus

What to read next on Hunting Business Marketing

As I was writing this I was reminded of George Strait and how he is typically known for being a great country singer. He doesn’t write many of the songs he records (he released a single he co-wrote in 2009 – his first in nearly 30 years), but he is a talented singer, actor, and he has an uncanny ability to pick hit singles.

The George Strait Guide to Lifelong Success

The George Jones Successful Career Guide

The Merle Haggard Guide to Everlasting Success

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You Are Surrounded by Blogging Ideas

And you didn’t even know it

Sometimes when you’re looking for ideas to blog about you can search and search and seemingly nothing with come to you.

If you’re a business owner you may get the feeling that you’re hitting on the same topics over and over again. It’s possible that your readers are looking for a different perspective to change things up on the themes you cover with your blog.

There is good news for you, blog writer!

You have a wealth of insight and knowledge available at your fingertips. And the best part is that these resources are likely to be anxious to contribute and help.

You just have to ask…

Employees and Co-workers

When it comes to writing blog content that your audience finds engaging, you likely have some great resources in the employees and co-workers working right beside you in your office.

Stop by the office of your merchandiser and ask them about upcoming trends this season. Ask them for their thoughts and insight into what is happening in the industry.

Use their information in your posts and give them full credit.

Offer to write the content for them so they don’t have to feel obligated to sit down and feel pressured to churn out great content. Ask them for their thoughts on various topics you think your audience will find interesting and take notes. Then gather the best thoughts and put them in a blog post.

If you have other guides and hunters on your staff then ask them about their top five tips for the upcoming season. Ask them if they are going to try any new techniques this season.

Find the interesting things that you and your readers are curious about.

Ask your secretary for advice on topics. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions. People will often surprise you with their unique perspective on life. You’ll probably learn something and that extra knowledge will translate into some killer blog content.

Ask your employees and co-workers for their insight. You’ll gain killer blog content and probably learn and grow closer to those you work with daily.

Family

Most people go to their family for advice on happenings in life.

If we’re looking for advice on love, loved lost, how to shoot a free throw, how to purchase a house, or what to do when the baby starts crying, parents are likely the first place most go to find answers.

It’s no different when it comes to blogging.

Your parents can offer sound insight into the questions you have about certain topics you blog about. Perhaps you need a different perspective on what’s happening with the Department of Natural Resources – your mom or dad may have the perspective that can connect with another part of your audience – one that you can’t reach simply because of your unique outlook on life.

Also look to your siblings and kids for insight. Every one of us grows up in different worlds and each of us has a different perspective on reality. The more you can use several perspectives to form a consistent stream of communication the better you’ll be able to bring in lots of people to see things as you see them.

And don’t forget about significant others.

They usually (99.9% of the time) have the correct perspective and will often knock some sense into your argument.

Friends

When I need an honest perspective on something I’m having trouble writing about I’ll often ask one of my close friends.

I have a small group of friends that I trust to give me honest feedback no matter what the subject. I don’t have to worry about either of us getting angry for a response because it’s expected that we’re all adults and can take any criticism or feedback that comes.

Sometimes it’s good to be told that you’re an idiot.

And on a good side of friendship, you can ask your friends for their insight into topics you’re writing about. Find friends that have careers in different or similar fields and ask for their take on the topic. You will probably find some interesting perspective you can use in your next post. And some of your readers will probably relate to what your friends are discussing.

Clients and Business Partners

Clients are often a great perspective for blogs.

It’s very beneficial to write about the relationships you have with your clients – good and bad. You can have your clients write their own posts, you can write case studies revolving around your clients and you can ask clients for their perspectives on certain industries.

If you have a client that specializes in a certain area of hunting, ask them for their insight on certain topics as it pertains to topics you’re interested in writing about for your site.

The more you can engage your existing clients, the more your future clients will want to do business with you.

People want engagement. Give it to them.

Summary

Do a little searching around your world and you’d be surprised at the knowledge you’ll find right in front of you.

The people you see and interact with every day are full of great ideas and insight. Give them a chance to share it with you by asking for their opinions on topics. It’ll make for great blogging content and you’ll probably form some great and more meaningful relationships as a result.

Have you ever sought out insight for the topics you blog about with your co-workers, family or from others in your life?

Please share in the comments.

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Your Business Needs to be More Like Coffee

Coffee kick starts the morning for most people in the world

“Each year some 7 million tons of green beans are produced worldwide. Most of which is handpicked.” Coffee Statistics

People love coffee. There wouldn’t be a demand for people to handpick millions of tons of coffee each year if there wasn’t a strong demand for the little beans that turn morning zombies into day workers, artists, bloggers, and innovators.

Without coffee in the morning there would be a lot of people struggling to wake up and commit to working on the things they love.

Somehow, over many centuries, coffee has become a ritual. The ritual knows few boundaries including ethnic, geographic, or demographic. The power of coffee as a product is its ability to become part of people’s routines.

When mornings begin, coffee is often the first thing people think about.

So the question is…

What makes your product as necessary to the daily lives of your audience as coffee?

Asking yourself what makes your product or service like coffee is simply a way of restating the ‘So what?’ question each entrepreneur needs to ask themselves at some point.

What about your product is going to make people think about reading your insights and observations all the time?

What is going to make people think about you and your business when they come across a problem in their life?

When people are frustrated with aspects of their lives they look to sources of insight and innovation for answers. Companies often fill the void left by frustration by having a proven track record of creating products and services that add value to the lives of consumers.

How can your company be a company that answers the frustrations of consumers?

Finding Frustrations

When a passionate hunter wakes up in the early morning of the archery deer season and heads to the woods only to miss on a shot at a trophy buck, he’ll often look for answers as to why he missed?

Did the arrow come off the rest?

Was the draw length not set properly?

Was the trophy further away than originally thought? Was it closer?

Did the sight come loose sometime in the ATV ride to the truck?

Could there have been better preparation?

Frustrations lead to questions about all aspects of our daily lives. When companies are able to answer the frustrations of target customers they have formed a profitable connection.

Answering Frustrations

When people needed an arrow rest to hold their arrows in place no matter what the condition or situation, the innovators at Trophy Ridge came along with the Whisker Biscuit as the answer to the frustration.

With effective marketing and positive reaction to the Whisker Biscuit, hunters began waking up each morning feeling like they needed to have a Whisker Biscuit on their bow in order to successfully harvest trophy game.

Just as people need coffee before they can be successful each morning, hunters felt the need to have a Whisker Biscuit arrow rest in order to be best prepared for any situation required to harvest their trophy of a lifetime.

Convincing Consumers

Once you have successfully found a frustration and found a way to product a product that answers your customers’ frustration, the next step is convincing your customer that you are here to add value to their lives.

In its original form, coffee is bitter, black, and unappealing.

What would make a person believe that consuming a hot, black liquid each morning would somehow give them energy to perform?

Over time, people were convinced by marketers, friends, and family to consume coffee. And as each person tried the wondrous brew they became convinced of its power to transform them into super humans.

You need to show your target audience that your product has the ability to make them super human.

Reach out to the influential people in your target audience and get in their heads. Ask them questions about their frustrations. Innovate and test products that attempt to solve their frustrations. Ask for feedback and once you’ve convinced them that you have helped to make them superhuman, use the relationship to build a long-term marketing strategy that will build the buzz around your new Super Coffee-like Product.

Summary

Coffee ingestion is about a third of that of tap water in the US and Europe.

People wake up each morning feeling the need to brew at least one cup of the bitter elixir as a way to fuel them through their day. The power that coffee has over a large audience is amazing.

Every business has to pass the ‘So what?’ question before seriously considering the chance of making any profit. It is possible to copy processing and products, but in the long-term, customers are still looking for the one thing that puts you ahead of your competition.

The companies and products that are successful over the long-term are successful at:

Finding frustration

Answering frustration

Convincing consumers

What makes your product like coffee?

What makes you stand out ahead of the competition?

You don’t have to be entirely different than your competitors.

You do need to find the aspect of your business and product that makes people need you first thing in the morning…

Your business needs to be more like coffee

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Hunting Product Manufacturer Website Design Trends and Examples

With over $10 million spent on hunting equipment each year you can bet that hunting product manufacturers are constantly working to make their Websites stand out as signal amongst the noise on the Web.

Buck Knives Home Page Image

Every business is fighting for the valuable attention of hunters on the Web. Website design is important for capturing that valuable attention. And Web designers and developers are constantly working with the managers and owners of hunting product manufacturers to come up with Website elements that capture the attention of hunters, capture subscribers and potential customers to blogs and updates, and most of all – show off the products these companies manufacture the best way possible.

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the trends and examples of hunting product manufacturer Websites

Communicating the Benefits of Hunting Products

The number one goal of any product manufacturer Website is to communicate the benefits of their products to their customers – wholesalers, retailers, and the end user (hunters).

Some of the things companies are doing with their Website to showcase these product benefits include: images, videos, and effective copywriting.

Images

The first way to showcase the benefits of your business’s hunting products is to have remarkable photographer and images of the products.

Site: Lone Wolf Tree Stands

Lone Wolf Stands The Solution

Another great way to use images and photos to effectively communicate the benefits of your products is to showcase your end users using your products successfully.

Site: Bear Archery

Bear Archery Photos

Videos

Video has been gaining popularity on the Web in recent years as many Web users have upgraded to connection speeds that allow for fast video viewing.

And while amateur videos have and will continue to be popular on the Web, professional videos will stand out above the rest as professional videographers make effective videos that connect products and customers.

Businesses have a variety of video formulas available for making videos that will communicate the benefits of their products.

You can do interviews, show the products in action, or showcase the manufacturing of the products.

Site: Mathews Inc.

Mathews Inc Video Gallery

Effective Copywriting

Product descriptions can get a little on the long side.

There is definitely a place for long copywriting when it comes to effectively communicating the benefits of products.

But the truly effective copywriting comes in few words.

Site: Trophy Ridge

Trophy Ridge Product Description

Testimonial Showcase

Most hunting manufacturers will showcase client testimonials to give social acceptance credibility to the products they are selling.

It’s important for companies to showcase testimonials in a way that really highlights what the customer is saying. Companies don’t want to come off as being showy about their products or by showcasing unrealistic testimonials.

Believable, yet remarkable testimonials with effective design and showcasing are what’s best for companies.

Simple is important for design. Put the emphasis on the customer and what they have to say about the products.

Site: Cuddeback

Cuddeback Testimonials

Site: River’s Edge

River's Edge Testimonials

Corporate Blogging

Blogging is beginning to emerge as a must for hunting product manufacturers.

Maintaining a blog is the best way for hunting businesses to communicate with their audience while providing quality content for search engines. A crucial part of successful search engine optimization is to maintain a constant stream of new content for the search engines to crawl.

Web users, including hunters using the Web, also are looking for a constant stream of quality content they can digest for their entertainment and education when it relates to hunting.

Blogging will continue to be an emerging trend in hunting manufacturers as companies put together plans that allow them to utilize the opportunities that come with blogging.

Here are some examples of hunting manufacturer sites with blogs:

New Archery Products

Blog: New Archery Products Blog

New Archery Products Blog

Wildlife Callers

Blog: Wildlife Callers Blog

Wildlife Callers Blog

What to Blog About

Something companies tend to find difficult when starting a corporate blog is what to write about?

The obvious answer for most companies is to highlight the success of the end users of your products. Seek out the users of your products and share their stories of success on your blog. Blog readers love to see people like them having success doing the thing they love most – hunting. And hunters love to discover the tools that make other hunter successful.

Here is an example of New Archery Products highlighting the success of an end user getting:

Blog Post: The Blood Runner Brings Another Big Buck Down

Bloodrunner Blog Post

Potential Issues with Blogging

The biggest issue for corporate blogs is not creating an outline for the blog.

Each blog needs a focus, a goal, and an execution plan to make the blog successful in the eyes of the business and the eyes of the customers.

When plans are laid out for corporate blogs, posts are updated on regularly rather than the blog being left dormant. Also, remember to have a focus on the formula when it comes to the topics of your blogs posts. You don’t have to always highlight the success of your end user customers, but remember to keep the focus on things your blog readers and customers will find valuable.

Test different posts and find a formula that works for you.

Trends in Hunting Product Manufacturer Website Design

There are some great hunting Websites out there.

And more are being launched and re-launched every day.

Today, there are some good trends in design when it comes to hunting product manufacturing company Websites.

Big Product Images

Companies are doing a great job of highlighting their products with big, vivid images that show off the features and benefits of their products.

With people having better Web connections at home and being able to load sites faster, companies are taking advantage by putting the best images they can on their sites. This allows customers to get a good look from all angles at the products they need to make their hunting trips successful.

Site: Mathews Inc.

Mathews Big Product Image

Good Use of White Space

Successful companies and their representative Website designers and developers know the importance of using white space effectively.

Site: Danner

Danner Site Details

Appealing and Subtle Color Scheme

Color scheme is important.

It’s important to have the right colors to draw the right kind of attention to the products and the goals of the site. Too much crazy color and visitors will lose focus. Not enough effective color and the visitors will not be drawn in.

And if your products have effective color feel free to let them take the focus.

Site: Buck Knives

Buck Knives Color Scheme

What to read next on Hunting Business Marketing

50 Best Hunting Website Designs

8 Little Details That Make Big Differences on Websites

Successful Business Highlight – Smashing Magazine

What to read next on the Web

Corporate Blog Design: Trends and Examples

The Importance of Whitespace

35 Truly Dramatic Examples of Animal Photography

How Will Your Customers Discover You?

The underserved rarely speak up – they usually just leave

Guitar

Today I was driving in my pickup when a Taylor Swift song came on. I hit my preset button to change to another local country station and another Taylor Swift song came on. I hit one more preset, this time for local pop station, and yet another Taylor Swift song came on. I finally had to turn on the CD I had in the player (Diamond Rio – 16 Biggest Hits).

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift

Now, I happen to respect Taylor Swift as a singer and songwriter. As a marketer, I can appreciate the work she puts into not only creating songs that her audience loves, but also the work she puts into marketing her brand so that she can grow a large audience.

However, as a young male, I can’t particularly relate to the topics Taylor Swift sings about. Nor do I relate to the melodies she writes.

Who is serving me today in country music?

Uninterested Customers Change the Channel

Your customers are out in the world right now not even realizing that you exist.

When people are listening to the radio and they consistently hear music they simply don’t like they will just change the channel.  People won’t complain or make a fuss. They simply change the channel in an effort to find something that satisfies their desires to feel emotions – to connect with singers, lyrics, and melodies.

Just as people change the channel on the radio, your potential customers are searching for the right way to connect with a business such as yours so they can answer their questions and have their problems solved. They may not even know that they’re looking. We don’t give much thought to what we’re doing when we change the channel. Often we look for certain stations that have played some quality music in the past, but we rely on the disc jockeys to bring us new music that will satisfy us.

Who are the disc jockeys that can take your story to your customers?

Marketing is the art of connecting your business with the customers who don’t even realize that you exist. All great markets have a knack for finding target customers, but there is also an area of marketing that requires the art of discovery.

Discovery

Some of the biggest jockeys in charge of spreading the word about quality businesses on the Web are bloggers.

Bloggers are a business’s most valuable resource for spreading the word on the Web. Bloggers have audiences that rely on them to bring quality information and perspective consistently. Over time, bloggers build their loyal audience and look for sources of consistent information and content to provide that audience.

Businesses that come forward with fresh perspective that adds value to a blogger’s audience is an extremely valuable resource.

It’s important for businesses to seek out the influential bloggers in their niches as well as in niches where they may not expect to find their target customer.

Many businesses today are discovered in blog posts as bloggers review products and services and give trusted information to their audiences. People read blogs to learn and to be entertained, but most importantly, people read blogs as a way to discover something that satisfies their needs – needs they may have not even known they needed satisfied.

Bloggers are like disc jockeys in a way because they are trusted by their audience to bring new and exciting content that satisfies needs. Bloggers are important for businesses and customers alike.

Find the bloggers that are influential both in your niche and in related niches and allow them to tell your story. Give them all the resources they need to effectively allow their audience to discover and connect with your business.

Summary

The other day I heard a song on the radio that caught my ear.

I was on my way to work, riding in my pickup when a smooth country song with a sweet, rolling melody came across the radio waves. I’m a Little More Country Than That was the name of the song and it instantly made me wonder who the singer was.

I found out that the song was by Easton Corbin. He’s a newcomer in the country music world. He has smoothness in his delivery that I haven’t heard since George Strait (one of my all time favorite singers).

Without the discovery nature of radio today I may have never heard I’m a Little More Country Than That.

Easton Corbin
Easton Corbin

Marketing is about making connections with others in the world. The goal of any business is to take its products and services to those who need or want them. It can be difficult to find your customers and while targeting continues to improve, discovery will always play a huge role in the nature of connecting business with customer.

I don’t fit Taylor Swift’s target audience, but because the radio station played a variety of good country music along with hers I was able to discover Easton Corbin.

It can be difficult to find people that want and need your products and services. Take your story to the voices in the industry and allow them to take your story to those who can discover you and become your customers.

Easton Corbin – I’m a Little More Country Than That


What to read next on Hunting Business Marketing

10 Inspiring Country Music Videos

Grow Your Followers Like a Country Music Singer

Give Away Your Knowledge for Free

What to read next on the Web

Now, Any Business Can Tap 53 Million Facebook Users (For Free)

Companies: Be Good in the Social Web

How to Reach Out to Bloggers

This is How You Pitch a Blogger

Image courtesy of Wouter de Bruijin

Starting a Hunting Business – Foxfire Outdoors

Does your business pass the ‘So what?’ test?

Water Drop

Rick Kratzke of Whitetail Woods introduced me to a group of hunters from West Pennsylvania that are recording and producing their own brand of fair chase deer hunting.

Jeff, Josh, and Anthony make up the team that is Foxfire Outdoors.

The Foxfire Team has great ambitions to turn their passion into a successful hunting business. When individuals show the drive to take their passion to the next level it gets others excited and even though the road is difficult, people will join the passionate team in pursuit of success.

Foxfire Outdoors

Foxfire Outdoors

Website: Foxfire Outdoors

DVD: Keystone Madness

According to the Foxfire Team and Rick via his blog post, Go Hunting With Foxfire Outdoors, the team has been filming their hunting adventures for a few years, but have recently made the decision to produce professional videos to sell with the eventual goal of turning Foxfire Outdoors into a major hunting industry brand.

Suggestions for Success

After taking a look at other similar businesses and thinking about ways Foxfire can find success I put down a few suggestions for the team…

Unique Marketing Angle

New businesses need to determine why hunters and potential customers should care about their product. They need to pass the ‘So what?’ question that customers will ask when they see your product on the shelf or on your Website.

Foxfire will need to determine what it is about their unique brand of hunting and hunting videos that will make hunters want to watch. There are millions of videos and lots of written content on the Web and all of the content creators are vying for the limited attention of Foxfire’s targeted customer.

My suggestion, after watching a few of the videos, would be for Foxfire to take their existing videos and try adding a few extra segments that add value as a way to test with their audience the ones that attract the most attention.

One of the possible things to test with the videos would be a short terrain analysis of the hunting situation.

Foxfire could have a sit down style segment where they take topo and aerial maps and dissect their strategy for each of their hunts. I would also suggest going through the video of the hunts while pointing out terrain funnels, feeding patterns, time of day, scrape activity, etc.

The fall deer season is also the season for football. One of the popular segments on NFL shows is to analyze the video tape and even draw X’s and O’s of specific plays so the viewers at home can gain and understanding for how the play developed. This allows the viewers to learn about how the game is played and they’ll be better prepared the next game and have more fun as they are able to see the plays taking shape.

Now, only the most passionate NFL fans find this type of analyze enjoyable.

It’s also true that this type of strategy will only attract the most passionate of hunters, but that OK. In the online world it’s the passionate people you want as loyal fans of your business.

Strategic Partnerships

One of the things Foxfire is already doing is creating strategic partnerships.

Foxfire is reaching out for sponsors who manufacture products and offers services that fit with the business at Foxfire Outdoors.

It’s crucial to the success of any business to create partnerships that allow businesses to share the interest in the success. When a business like Foxfire enters into a partnership with a sponsor such as Deer Ridge Innovations, Inc., they are creating a relationship where the success of one company is important for the growth of the other. Because the businesses are associated with one another there is interest by both parties to push the other onto success. This can be through the form of operational strategies to simple tips on ways to market products and services.

Foxfire is on the right track with their strategy to gain strategic partnerships. Staying on this track will lead to sustained success.

Email Newsletter

Successful businesses understand that consistent communication with customers is important for building loyalty and trust.

Loyalty and trust are the keys to lifetime value when it comes to customers who are willing to purchase your products and services for a long period of time.

Today, email newsletters are great ways to consistently communicate with your customers and even potential customers are you discuss the important and valuable aspects of your business.

For Foxfire, starting an email newsletter would be a great way to build buzz about new video clips, upcoming DVDs, upcoming contests, and other ways for the subscribers to interact with the company and the team.

Communication is crucial for building loyalty and trust. Loyalty and trust will lead to long-term customers, which leads to a successful business.

Blogger Outreach

Foxfire is taking a great step by forming relationships with hunters and bloggers. They are using communication tools such as CamoSpace. This is how the Foxfire Team met Rick of Whitetail Woods. As a result of this relationship, the two parties were able to help each other. Rick was able to get a good story for his blog by writing about the things Foxfire is doing to leave their unique mark in the hunting world.

Since bloggers are a business’s best resource on the Web, it’s important for Foxfire to continue reaching out to bloggers such as the outdoor hunting bloggers at the Outdoor Bloggers Summit.

The key is to approach bloggers in a way that shows you have something of value to offer them. Be prepared to offer something of value first. This could be in the form of offering a DVD for a blogger so they can run a contest on their site. Or to potentially write a guest post about hunting video production.

There are lots of ways businesses can reach out to bloggers to form mutually beneficial partnerships. Get creative with the things your business can offer bloggers and then reach out with a friendly hand.

Summary

Foxfire has some exciting hunting footage. The team is definitely on the right track for hunting business success.

It’s exciting to see passionate hunters working hard with their passion for video production and hunting and turning it into something hunters find entertaining and educational.

Communication is crucial for Foxfire as they’ll have to reach out to influencers in the online hunting world in an effort to reach a larger, but passionate audience of hunters.

By working toward building relationships with bloggers and honing their craft for video production, Foxfire will find success in the hunting industry.

What to read next on Hunting Business Marketing

Successful Business Highlight – Smashing Magazine

Sportsmen of North America and Magnum Hunt Club

Successful Business Highlight – Camofire

What to read next on the Web

White Knuckle Productions NEW DVD Coming Soon; An Interview with Creator Todd Pringnitz

If You Don’t Embrace the Web, It Shows You Don’t Care

The Pros and Cons of Using Video in Your Site or Blog

Image courtesy of mescon

The Top Marketing Posts of 2009

Some of the best marketers in the world wrote valuable content in 2009

Cougar

You may have noticed that in each post on HBM I link to a few posts from around the Web that I find relevant and (hopefully) interesting. It’s my little effort to share some quality content from around the Web. All of the articles are worthwhile and while your time is limited, it’s definitely worth it to read some of the most compelling articles as they relate to your business.

With the end of 2009 here, I thought I’d go through the HBM Archives and complete the top 50 marketing posts.

Enjoy.

1| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Be a Disrupter

Appeared with HBM Post: Disrupt the Hunting Industry

2| SEOmoz

Website: SEOmoz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 10 Tips for When Startup Life Gives You Lemons…

Appeared with HBM Post: If You Want to Be Creative, Why Do You Structure Your Life?

3| Copyblogger

Website: Copyblogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 5 Steps to Going Viral on Twitter

Appeared with HBM Post: The First 4 Days of Your New Hunting Blog

4| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Social Media, Web 2.0 And Internet Stats

Appeared with HBM Post: 4 Lessons Learned from the Movie Catch Me If You Can

5| Dosh Dosh

Website: Dosh Dosh

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Everyone Uses the Internet for a Reason

Appeared with HBM Post: Why Hunters Use the Web

6| Seth Godin’s Blog

Website: Seth Godin’s Blog

Top 2009 Marketing Post: How to Send a Personal Email

Appeared with HBM Post: Give Away Your Hunting Knowledge for Free

7| Problogger

Website: Problogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 5 Ways Blogging Can Make a Difference for You in This Economy

Appeared with HBM Post: Give Away Your Hunting Knowledge for Free

8| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: A Creative Commons License Is The Ultimate Music Promotion Tool

Appeared with HBM Post: Give Away Your Hunting Knowledge for Free

9| Twitip

Website: Twitip

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Think Like a Toddler to Find Your Voice on Twitter

Appeared with HBM Post: Think like a Buck in Rut and Find your Blogging Voice

10| Problogger

Website: Problogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: The Essential Guide to Growing Your Blog on Minimal Time

Appeared with HBM Post: 3 Viral Video Ideas

11| SAMBA

Website: SAMBA

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Hamster Burial Kits & 998 Other Business Ideas

Appeared with HBM Post: 40 Quick Tips and Ideas for Growing Your Hunting Business

12| Chris Brogan

Website: Chris Brogan

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Cafe Shaped Business – The Roger Smith Hotel

Appeared with HBM Post: 10 Things Every Hunting Website Needs (Plus a Few Extra Ideas)

13| Damn! I Wish I’d Thought of That!

Website: Damn! I Wish I’d Thought of That!

Top 2009 Marketing Post: You already have a word of mouth topic

Appeared with HBM Post: 10 Things Every Hunting Website Needs (Plus a Few Extra Ideas)

14| Zen Habits

Website: Zen Habits

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Bad Habits Slap Us Down, but a Theme Encourages

Appeared with HBM Post:

15| Manage Your Life

Website: Manage Your Life

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 9 quick ways on how to manage work stress

Appeared with HBM Post: Staying Power – Why Some Businesses Have It and Some Don’t

16| SEO Book

Website: SEO Book

Top 2009 Marketing Post: True Internet Marketing Icons / How Online Marketing Works

Appeared with HBM Post: Take Note of What Every other Hunting Business is Doing – Then Do the Opposite

17| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 77 Insights From More Than A Decade On The Web, Daily

Appeared with HBM Post: Web Users Take the Path of Least Resistance – Just like Deer

18| Seth Godin’s Blog

Website: Seth Godin’s Blog

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Solving a Different Problem

Appeared with HBM Post: Web Users Take the Path of Least Resistance – Just like Deer

19| The Way We Watch

Website: The Way We Watch

Top 2009 Marketing Post: What Do People Remember After the Video Ends?

Appeared with HBM Post: 50 Viral Videos (and how they spread)

20| The Business of Blogging and New Media

Website: The Business of Blogging and New Media

Top 2009 Marketing Post: How to Release Your Web Marketing Potential

Appeared with HBM Post: The Impact of Online Video in the Hunting World

21| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 10 Secrets for Creating Viral Content

Appeared with HBM Post: The Impact of Online Video in the Hunting World

22| Copyblogger

Website: Copyblogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Persuasive Online Video Strategies That Prompt Action

Appeared with HBM Post: The Impact of Online Video in the Hunting World

23| Chris Brogan

Website: Chris Brogan

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Social Media Needs to Become a Team Sport

Appeared with HBM Post: The Sports Agent Guide to Marketing

24| Specky Boy

Website: Specky Boy

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 50 Impressive Magazine and Newspaper Styled Web Designs

Appeared with HBM Post: 50 Best Hunting Website Designs

25| Noupe

Website: Noupe

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Web Design Trends: Testimonials Design

Appeared with HBM Post: 50 Best Hunting Website Designs

26| Six Revisions

Website: Six Revisions

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 16 WordPress Sites to Help You Build a Better Blog

Appeared with HBM Post: 50 Best Hunting Website Designs

27| Murray Newlands

Website: Murray Newlands

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 10 Elements of a Successful Twitter Landing Page

Appeared with HBM Post: The Top 10 Twitter Landing Pages

28| Problogger

Website: Problogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Getting Over the Blogger’s 6 Month Itch

Appeared with HBM Post: What Daylong Deer Hunting Taught Me About Blogging

29| The Way We Watch

Website: The Way We Watch

Top 2009 Marketing Post: What Do Chris Brogan and Michael Caine Have in Common?

Appeared with HBM Post: What do Chris Burget and Garth Brooks Have in Common?

30| Fathom SEO

Website: Fathom SEO

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Google Analytics Benchmarking: Turn it on!

Appeared with HBM Post: Use Bounce Back Offers to Get New and Old Business

31| Online Marketing Blog

Website: Online Marketing Blog

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 7 Considerations for Tracking Social Media Success

Appeared with HBM Post: 10 Remarkable Hunting Business Blogs

32| Outdoor Media Resources

Website: Outdoor Media Resources

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Appeared with HBM Post: 10 Remarkable Hunting Business Blogs

33| Conversion Rate Experts

Website: Conversion Rate Experts

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Conversion Killers – Does Your Site Contain Any “Nuke Buttons”?

Appeared with HBM Post: 25 Tips for Web Conversion

34| Chris Brogan

Website: Chris Brogan

Top 2009 Marketing Post: How Does This Share

Appeared with HBM Post: 25 Tips for Web Conversion

35| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 19 Reasons You Should Blog and Not Just Tweet

Appeared with HBM Post: 25 Tips for Web Conversion

36| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Shutterstock Gets Social – Digital PR Case Study

Appeared with HBM Post: Sponsorship Case Study – Team Huntress

37| Copyblogger

Website: Copyblogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Beyond Headlines: How to Get Your Audience to Read Every Word

Appeared with HBM Post: Sponsorship Case Study – Team Huntress

38| Chris Brogan

Website: Chris Brogan

Top 2009 Marketing Post: The Beauty of Collaboration

Appeared with HBM Post: How to Choose a Hunting Business Directory

39| Daily Blogs Tips

Website: Daily Blog Tips

Top 2009 Marketing Post: How to Optimize Your Site for Local Search

Appeared with HBM Post: How to Choose a Hunting Business Directory

40| Online Marketing Blog

Website: Online Marketing Blog

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Influencing the Social Web: Agility is a Factor

Appeared with HBM Post: How Small Businesses Can Beat the Big Competition

41| Lateral Action

Website: Lateral Action

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 9 Ways People Respond To Your Content Online

Appeared with HBM Post: How Small Businesses Can Beat the Big Competition

42| Online Marketing Blog

Website: Online Marketing Blog

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Strategic Link Building for SEO

Appeared with HBM Post: How Small Businesses Can Beat the Big Competition

43| Copyblogger

Website: Copyblogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 5 Things Sesame Street Can Teach You About Breakthrough Blogging

Appeared with HBM Post: How to Find Your Lucky Break

44| SEO Book

Website: SEO Book

Top 2009 Marketing Post: The Search Taxonomy: Getting Inside the Mind of the Searcher

Appeared with HBM Post: 8 Little Details That Make Big Differences on Hunting Websites

45| Zen Habits

Website: Zen Habits

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Feng Shui On Steroids: Design Your Space to Achieve Your Goals

Appeared with HBM Post: 8 Little Details That Make Big Differences on Hunting Websites

46| The Fugure Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: No Niche is Ever Too Crowded for Fresh Thinking

Appeared with HBM Post: Befriend the Best Hunters and Businesspeople on the Web

47| Daily Blog Tips

Website: Daily Blog Tips

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 8 Tips for Aspiring entrepreneurs

Appeared with HBM Post: The John Mellencamp Guide to Success in the Hunting Industry

48| SEOmoz

Website: SEOmoz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: The Real Power of Twitter

Appeared with HBM Post: What is the Point of Twitter

49| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Clinging to the Past is Not a Strategy

Appeared with HBM Post: What is the Point of Twitter

50| Louis Gray

Website: Louis Gray

Top 2009 Marketing Post: It’s Not Too Late to Spring Into Reading 5 New Blogs

Appeared with HBM Post: Write Better Blog Headlines: Tonight at 6

What to read next on Hunting Business Marketing

The Top 50 Hunting Blog Posts of 2009

What to read next on the Web

The Top 50 SEO Posts of the Year – 2009 Edition

Image courtesy of jurvetson

Social Media Strategy – Levenger

Levenger mastered the social media game before social media became a buzzword

Levenger Pen and Paper

Today I received my email notification about the new blog post by Levenger CEO Steve Leveen. The post was a great list post of gift ideas for the holiday season – all available from Levenger.

I clicked on a few of the items I thought were interesting and eventually made my way to the customer reviews and comments… Shirt Pocket Briefcase®

Levenger Shirt Pocket Briefcase

After reading a few comments and watching a few of the video reviews customers have submitted to the Levenger site I realized something – Levenger understood the most important rule – connecting – of social media a long time ago.

Since their inception, Levenger has worked to form long-term connections with each of their passionate customers. The passion and connection he company and its customers share is what leads to amazing results in what is today referred to as online social media.

Levenger’s customers love giving feedback on the products they purchase. Customers even take the time to add photos to their customer reviews. Some of the most dedicated customers even take the time to create video reviews.

It isn’t only on their site that Levenger is having an impact. On the popular connecting site, Twitter, Levenger’s customers rave about their new Levenger products. They rave about the way they are treated by the company and how happy they are with their purchases.

This is a situation most companies dream about and strive for.

So how was Levenger able to accomplish such social media success?

Let’s take a closer look…

Connections

On November 2, 1995, Mrs. Kathryn Bricker of Sarasota, Florida, called to order a Slim Shirt Pocket Briefcase. She was our one-millionth order.

Stories such as this are plentiful in the history of Levenger. The people in the company believe that they are forming respectful relationships with customers rather than simply selling products for serious readers.

For Levenger, the business grew out of the connection and understanding they share with their customers – serious readers and writers.

Since the inception of Levenger in the mid-eighties, through the nineties, and through today, Levenger has used the available tools and channels to connect with their customer. They’ve accepted the Web even when others may see their products as being ancient in relation to digital.

As the digital age came, so did the age of connection and accessibility.

Rather than reject the new technology, Levenger understood the need to enhance their connection with their most passionate customers by continuing to provide the best tools for serious readers while using emerging communication tools to enhance the customers-business relationship.

Social media strategy begins with a connection. A business that focuses on building long-term, valuable connections with individuals will naturally understand social media – no matter what the latest technology is.

As long as there is acceptance and yearning for enhancements in connection, companies will find success.

Telling a Story

Levenger, like many companies, tells a story.

They form a connection with their customers by telling compelling stories. The major difference, however, with Levenger is that they focus on the stories of their customers.

It seems like a simple concept, but most business are quick to tell their own story. Telling your own story is important, but highlighting the stories ahead of your own is more powerful than putting yourself and your business as the main focus.

Levenger benefits from being genuinely interested and enthused to share the stories of how customers use Levenger products to do remarkable things.

What are the stories your customers can tell?

How can you highlight those stories in a way that connects with others who share the same passions?

Target Audience

Something Levenger has always focused on is their core target customer.

Levenger found a group of passionate readers and writers that enjoy their tools for writing and read more than anything else in life (when it comes to disposable income). Levenger uses their customers’ passion to guide the decision to create innovative products that satisfy the dedicated reader/writer’s needs and wants.

Levenger Tweet

As I mentioned in 2010 | The New Normal Hunting Economy, consumers revert to what they are most passionate about when their disposable income decreases. It isn’t that consumers don’t want more things, their ability to supply their demand is limited.

In today’s economy, successful businesses use their connections with their passionate customers to learn and grow while continuing to satisfy existing customers while continuing to attract other passionate individuals. It likely won’t lead to extreme short-term growth,  but it can lead to sustained growth.

Levenger seems to be succeeding at this growth strategy.

Long-Term Strategy

Connecting is a long-term strategy – not a short-term tactic.

From their inception, Levenger has been working to make connections with passionate readers and writers. As a result of this company mission they have always been able to find success with the changing social communication tools.

I often see posts today on Twitter or Facebook. These posts often have tips and tricks for finding success. My favorite posts on technology tools like Twitter and Facebook, however, are the posts that discuss the communication and connecting benefits that the tools provide while looking at connecting and communication in a larger perspective.

Companies that succeed with social media today do so because of their long-term outlook and strategy. Successful companies approach social media tools by looking for the long-term advantages of the tool as a way to add value to their business-customer connection.

Levenger gains long-term customers one at a time.

As a result, they are successful with social media today.

Summary

If I haven’t said it enough, social media is a long-term strategy.

A business can try short-term tactics for connecting, but a long-term strategy of working to build connections with a passionate target audience is the best route for sustainable success.

Levenger has set out to provide the best products for passionate readers and writers since its very beginning. There have been periods of growth in demand from others who may not be the most passionate about their products, but sustained growth over a long period is possible at Levenger because they look to acquire passionate customers one at a time.

Focus on your customer’s story and giving is the key to success for sustainable success in social media.

Short-term focused strategies can be successful…in the short-term.

But to stay up-to-date with the latest communication tools, it’s best to start a long-term connection strategy today to prepare for tomorrow.

How is your company working to build connections with passionate individuals?

What to read next on Hunting Business Marketing

Use Bounce Back Offers

8 Little Details that Make a Big Difference on the Web

10 Remarkable Hunting Business Blogs

What to read next on the Web

Accentuate Your Differentiation Point

Give Before You Get

How Your Do It Yourself Attitude Is Keeping You Poor

Image courtesy of KRSPO