get to know me….

as we enter the brave (and not so new anymore) world of social marketing you may find yourself asking, “what’s the point?” i guess the point is – “get to know me.” this is your opportunity to reach out to your current clients and find new ones. lets look at a few ways you can reach out.

1. video on your web site. this is probably the most effective way to show who you are and what you are about. it’s easy to get video on your website. tweedee productions recommends an episodic approach: send out a monthly or quarterly video newsletter or profile piece about your business or clients. its not a hard sell as much as its a reminder that your are still around and doing great work. make sure to tell your story in your own words. it’s a perfect chance for you to show your fun side, that you are an expert in your field or for new clients to meet you & see your work. the badger chapter of the american red cross does a good job of reminding their friends they are doing good work year round.

once you have video on your site think about how to place that video on other sites. if you have a product or service that needs to reach a specific audience tweedee productions can help you find those sites and we can help you determine the type of storytelling that may be the most effective there. a little bit of research can go a long way. take a look at this video for inspired bicycles. it went viral shortly after hitting youtube and some bike specialty sites. what does it say to you about their bikes? cool? freedom? self-expression? or does it just leave you feeling amazed & inspired?

2. blog. yes – blog. don’t complain about the time it takes to blog – just do it. make it your space to be and expert in your biz. make it fun. make it serious. just make it you. this is something you have complete control over – your thoughts. share them. your current and future clients will read it. believe me, people you don’t know will read your blog. its amazing how far the blogging world reaches. use it effectively and regularly and it will work for you.

3. FB, twitter & linkedin. you may already have personal accounts on facebook, twitter and linkedin, but don’t forget about your business. set up facebook fan pages and/or friend pages, a twitter biz account & a linkedin biz page. updating them won’t take a ton of time if you use the right tools. tweedee productions can help show you how.

ok, you have the basics…. now get out there and build relationships, build trust and build your bridge to new clients. give us a call today – we’d be happy to help you get started.

sandy kowal - gets a grip on being social

sandy kowal - gets a grip on being social

Get the Message

The other night at the dinner table I was thinking about noise. Basically, because there was a lot of it. Pretty typical for many families, right? Everybody wanted to say something, had to say something, or just wanted to hear themselves say something. (That’s usually me.) And, everybody has their own style of getting their point across. Some of our kids yell to be heard, some never stop talking, some never stop butting in, and some pick their moments. It’s a snapshot of the world we live in now. Communication is constant – Facebook, Twitter, websites, texting, phones, blogs, email, and even ol’ fashioned mail. They’re all just different tools to do the same thing…communicate. Some work better than others at different times.

As I sat there eating my chicken pot pie and listening to the hubbub, I noticed a couple of things. I found myself tuning out “The Loud Talker.”  (He knows who he is.)  I was also getting impatient with the person at the table, who shall remain anonymous, who kept interrupting to get his point across. (In his defense, he’s much younger than the rest of us.) Although, I’ll admit “The Interrupter” does give us some belly laughs with his non-sequitur comments. Then, something happened when the “Non-Stop Talker” took a breath. (She knows who she is.) That’s when one family member I’ll call, “The Quiet One” (with apologies to George Harrison) spoke his piece. We all listened to his story about what happened when an argument broke out in the hallway at school.  It’s like we were all being let in on the secret of Area 51. He had a good story to tell. His timing was right. We all got the message. “The Quiet One” went back to his chicken pot pie. He’ll have another story in due time.

For me, it was a perfect example of great communication. It’s kind of a mantra around here – tell good stories that people want or need to hear. And, don’t let the “noise” or “babble” of over-production get in the way of the message.  Keep it authentic, well-timed, and simple. Sounds like an internet video.  Stay tuned for more on that in future blogs.

Dan tries one form of communication

Dan tries one form of communication

Now, if you want to warn people about a fire in a crowded building, “The Quiet One’s” approach probably isn’t the best option. Try shouting. Like I said, some communication works better than others at different times.

Five Ways to Create Hype with Viral Video

I’d like you to get to know “Gentlemen Broncos”. This film is coming out in October and it looks very funny. It has drama, comedy and great visuals. I don’t get to movie theaters a lot, so watching trailers and finding out about films typically are done online.

The trailers not only tell a story but they lead to creating opinions. They help build anticipation for the movie event! Hazzah! Buzz is built!

Like movie trailers, you can build HUGE buzz by making a video invitation viral. People pass it around, they tweet it, they facebook it, and so on. But it should have the right elements.

I believe that there are a bunch of viral videos that get hype created and we can learn from movie trailers!

1. Know your voice. If you don’t have footage or photographs, you can make a short film that gives you the “flavor”. When “Spinal Tap” was originally teased, they didn’t want to give away the joke, so they ran this trailer.

2. Keep it simple. It’s easy to throw every message in the world into a teaser but the great ones know how to produce indelible images that stick with you.

3. Create contrast. I used to work for an agency in Kansas City and the president of the company used to tell media buyers to place our client’s spots where they could not only target the market but also create CONTRAST. It helps bring attention to your very effective message. In 2000, “X-Men”, “Gladiator” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” were big movies that had blaring, super sonic speed trailers. Meanwhile, M. Night’s trailer for “Unbreakable” was simple and quiet while it slightly unfolded the mystery of Bruce Willis’ character. I distinctly remember seeing this trailer and being stunned.

4. Call to Action. I made this trailer for a buddy of mine who was competing in this year’s Ironman Wisconsin. I started off without pulling any punches, “MARK YOUR CALENDARS”. And the end gave you the date. Bookends.

5. Have Fun with It. Mock your competition. Have fun with what you’re doing and who’s part of it. Make fun of your own business. If you’re not enjoying it, then it will show in your work.

Viral videos create stunning visuals and make things real. It makes me wonder why we don’t do this more…? I’ve made a few and they’ve done a great job at making an event come to life. Here’s one last video that I created for The Aquathon racing series.

Donovan Delivers Viral Video for Tweedee Productions

Donovan Delivers Viral Video for Tweedee Productions

Go Team Go!

Hurray!  The football season is finally upon us!  I can smell the brats sizzling on the grill now!  Let the hitting begin!

I love football and team sports in general.  I like to analyze why some teams are far superior than their competition.   To me if a team plays at a high level year after year it usually means that in addition to great players, they have a great management team.  There’s more to it than just, “we score more points than the other guys, that’s why we’re better.”

However, I usually cringe when the owner of a non-sports related business uses sports analogies to rally the troupes.  Saying things like, “We’re in the fourth quarter and it’s fourth and goal.  We need to punch this one in to go to the playoffs!”  Talk like this usually sounds phony coming from a guy in a suit who has never played a down.  You just know there’s an employee in the back of the room rolling their eyes.  Or how about the employees who don’t understand sports cliques and have no idea of what the boss is trying to communicate.  Nonetheless, I read a quote last month from University of Wisconsin’s head football coach Bret Bielema that I could apply to our “team” here at Tweedee Productions.  Coach Bielema was talking about what he wants his team to focus on this upcoming season.

“We talked about details, how every day matters and about trying to take care of their business in that today is going to affect tomorrow but, more importantly, it’s going to affect our first game just as much as our last game,” Bielema said.  “And about being highly accountable not only to yourself but to each other.”  – WSJ August 12, 2009

As I read the quote, I thought of how easily all of these principles could be applied to our business.  In our industry, we have to sweat the details or we won’t be around for long.  What we do every day does make a difference to how successful the business will be.  I’ve told my team many times that it matters more what you do for the company when you’re not busy with direct client work than when you are.  In other words when business is slow it’s easy to get complacent, but it’s also the most important time to work on the business.  Then when business picks up, you’re better prepared for the next client related project.  Like coach Bielema says, what we do today will affect tomorrow.  We may not win our first game, but we will be in a better position to win our last, and ultimately have a more consistent “season”.

The last line was the clincher – “being highly accountable” to ourselves and to each other.  Just as in a business-client relationship, the members of a company have to trust and be accountable to themselves and to each other.  A business will become extremely dysfunctional if there is mistrust of management, contempt of the employees, and if the partners or owners aren’t loyal to or trust each other.

So take some time to ponder these thoughts the next time you’re throwing the ol’ pigskin around.  Stick to your game plan, play within yourself and win one for the Gipper!

Oops.  I guess those are all sports analogies.  Feel free to cringe.

Win this game!

Win this game!