All the best "Seeds of Growth"

All the best "Seeds of Growth", principles that grow business, gathered from our own articles and from around the web. Just add water, plant properly, and grow your business.

Hey, look what I discovered: Animal Style!

Hey, look what I discovered: Animal Style!

Did a little substitute teaching this morning at a local high school ( Go Toros! ) Think you are a good presenter? Go volunteer at your local high school. If they're not interested, they don't even pretend to be.

As part of the lesson I played a game with the kids. I made some motions with a stick, tapped it on the ground a few times and asked the kids to guess the word I was thinking. Of course, none of them could (the word was hat). I then gave one student in the class the "decoding ring" to make sense of my stick motions and senseless babbling and sent her out of the room while the rest of the class picked a new word. The student with the secret was now easily able to "guess" the word. The really interesting thing that occured was that after a few rounds other students began to figure out the code. Their reaction was always the same, they shouted "Oh I got it!" and immediately wanted to tell the world. The first student that was given the code never had the same reaction.

Here is the principle (based on purely non-scientific data): people are more excited to share that which they "discover." In fact, you have to work hard to keep them from sharing. It was all I could do to get the "discoverers" to sit still and keep it secret. After all, what fun is discovering something if you have no one to share it with?

Do you let your customers discover anything?

What? Are you saying I shouldn't shout everything I have to offer to my potential customers?

Exactly. In-N-Out Burger is a master of this. They have an entire "secret menu" that you cannot find anywhere in any In-N-Out store nor on their website , but it is part of their process. The items are in their point of sale system and print out on the receipt.

What good is a secret menu? Have any third parties ever created web pages dedicated to your menu? You can read about In-N-Out's here , here , and here and several hundred other places. Oh, and you can download a pdf version of it (complete with pictures) here. Ever met somebody that loves In-N-Out? They've got the secret menu memorized and will describe every option for you. They've discovered something and can't wait to share.

So, what are your customers going to discover today?

More happy customers. More repeat sales. More referrals. Learn more

Whitewashing fences today...

Whitewashing fences today...

Quick, how many words can you come up with to describe this photo? If you said pool, child, kid, water, goggles or blue you and I would have just made 100 points at one of Googles latest projects.

Remember how Tom Sawyer made whitewashin' the fence so tempting to those passing by?

It seems Google might be doing something similar to label images they have indexed.

Here is how it works. You push a button and get paired up with a partner. A 90 second timer starts and you each are shown the same picture. You type in as many descriptions as you can. As soon as you have a description that matches you are shown another image. Each image you match is worth 100 points. At the end you can even hover your mouse over the images and see what your partner guessed.

I think it is brilliant. Not only are they getting free work from people, but they are discovering what people really think when they see an image. Oh yea, it is also fun.

Think of your business, is there a fun way you could get feedback from your customers helping you whitewash your fence?

(By the way my current record is 900 points in 90 seconds)

Do you remember your customers on their birthday? On their anniversary? Do you give special notice to recently acquired customers? Promoterz does. Learn more

Great Coffee--and I don't even drink the stuff!

Great Coffee--and I don't even drink the stuff!

So this morning I was scheduled to give a presentation on how to create word-of-mouth using Promoterz to new Entrees Made Easy franchise owners. While the participants were on break and I was getting my laptop set up a discussion about coffee got started. I think it started with a person asking if there was more coffee. There was. She wanted hers dark. Another person overheard and said, "Oh, you've got to try my coffee!"

"Your coffee?"

"Yeah, it's just down the street. The guy is a chemist and has traveled the world to find the best beans. You know how there is a burnt after-taste with some roasted coffee?"

Everyone nods in unison. By now there were seven people listening intently (yes, I counted them.) I was listening too, and I don't even drink coffee.

"Well this guy figured out a way to roast it so that it has no after taste."

"Oh, where is this place? We're going there tomorrow."

What a perfect lead in to a presentation about the power of word of mouth! Notice how the happy customer started the conversation by referring to it as "my coffee." There is a customer that feels like she is a part of something great and is not only willing, but excited to share.

You can't buy better advertising. Are your customers that excited about your business?

Full disclosure: I'm not being paid to write this and I wouldn't know what a good cup of coffee tastes like. But, here are the details: It is called The Village Coffee Roastery and is located in Scottsdale, AZ. Here is a review from a local paper and here is their website . Looks like you can order online! Tell them Lisa sent you...

The average American consumer discusses brands 56 times a week. Are they discussing yours? Learn more

Promoterz Gets Some Word of Mouth

Promoterz Gets Some Word of Mouth

A couple of great blogs highlighted Promoterz this week (and yes, we thought they were great before they mentioned us--now we think they are even greater).

Steve Rucinski at Small Business CEO , picked up on the Promoterz multiplying effect that enables a business owner to develop relationships with a lot more customers than they could on their own. You can read it here . Steve's blog does a great job of providing resources and knowledge to help the Small Business CEO.

Organizations that want to increase sales and visibility by creating buzz and word of mouth use Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing . Buzzoodle helps them energize and focus their advocates while measuring and improving upon the buzz created. Ron McDaniel, also known as Buzzoodle Ron, is the force behind Buzzoodle and has a blog dedicated to better understanding buzz and word of mouth. Here is Ron's post about Promoterz.

The average American consumer discusses brands 56 times a week. Are they discussing yours? Learn more

Target Flipbook Coupons

Target Flipbook Coupons

Received a little red book in the mail from Target today. It was a flipbook full of coupons. Once I showed my two young children (3 and 5) they had lot's of fun with it. Will we use the coupons? Hard to say, but they are certainly getting more attention and will have a longer lifespan in our house than a typical stack of coupons. You can watch the show here:

Kudos to Target for trying something fun and new. Now to figure out a way to tear out a coupon without destroying the show.

The growth of your business will be determined by what your customers say about it. Do you know what they are saying? Learn more

Seeds from the blogworld
We search the business blog world looking for posts that illustrate principles, or "Seeds", that if followed, or "planted", will help small businesses grow. We list them here for your convenience. Enjoy.

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