Don’t Miss this Marketing Opportunity Like Most Small Business Owners Do!

by Luis Rey on June 27, 2016 No comments

I was talking to a friend the other day, and she was totally miffed when she told me, “I was at the grocery store, and the new state laws are allowing them to sell alcohol starting July 1.  They have this entire section of rows already filled with wine bottles, ready to sell.  Why would they do that?  Why wouldn’t they just wait until July 1 to put the wine on the shelves?  Seeing the wine makes people want it, and then it’s frustrating that you can’t buy it yet.”  And VOILA!  The beauty of marketing!

I’ve talked to hundreds and hundreds of potential clients.  Of those clients, the vast majority are small business owners who don’t have a budget to compete against larger brands.  Social Media levels the “field” for brands, because there are ways to build a substantial brand presence over time, without having to compete with major brands and their large marketing budgets.

I’ve worked with numerous start-ups and organizations that have new products that they’re releasing.  The problem is that many of them come to me with the product already produced, sitting on the shelf (so to speak), and now they need a marketing plan to achieve sales.  They’ve had no brand development, they have no online marketing initiatives, and they need to make money fast because they’re paying for warehouse space or they owe on net-30 terms.

I won’t go into my thoughts of entrepreneurs who produce mass quantities of their product without having any sales, that’s for another topic.  But what I will say is that when someone has a product, event, app, grand opening, or almost anything else that has a “launch” date, there is a window to market the product BEFORE it is launched, that most small businesses miss.

There are 3 windows of opportunity to market your launch:  Before it Happens, As it Happens, and After it Happens.  If you don’t spend some time creating a buzz about what’s coming, then when you have your actual launch, you don’t have anyone to market to AS it’s happening.  So out of the 3 available windows, you’re now left to market in only ONE window, the After It Happens.

Many business owners don’t consider the investment on the front end to build and begin engaging an audience before their product or service is launched because they’re solely focused on the product, and understandably so.  But truly successful launches that move at a high rate of momentum often happen because those brands focus on their audience over their product.

If you can step back and allow some time to build up the “buzz” around your brand, product, or service, BEFORE it actually launches, then the day that it’s available, you will have a real audience to announce what you’ve been working on so hard to bring to market!  And then you open the opportunity to use all 3 windows for marketing.

Take the time to build, develop, and engage your customer base before you launch.  Even if the gathering is small, it will give you the opportunity to bring people on the journey with you, so when you launch, your followers and supporters will be there to buy AND help spread the word.

Start a little buzz, strike a spark…that’s how you get a blaze started.


read more
Luis ReyDon’t Miss this Marketing Opportunity Like Most Small Business Owners Do!

Hiring on The Right Side of Culture

by Luis Rey on June 8, 2016 No comments

I’m not sure how many times I’ve heard IT, but it’s enough to have at least a couple of milk jugs full of nickels if I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard IT.  What is “IT”?  It’s the idea that a hiring manager, executive, or coach has to bring someone onto their staff who doesn’t quite fit their values, but they believe that they have a culture that will shape the one joining the team into the team member they want.  This is no doubt, a red flag that you’re looking at the wrong side of culture.  Skills can be taught and learned, but someone’s personality is set in place.

I’ve heard it often with companies who are desperate to find someone to fill their job opening.  They need that extra set of hands to hit the deadline, so they hire someone with the skills, although there are concerns that they won’t play well with others.  You hear it throughout professional sports, of an athlete who comes in with a troubled past, but they sign him to the team because they believe that they have the leadership in the locker room (or the culture) to make this guy do what no one else has been able to do.  They bring him in because he produces results on the field, but there is tremendous concern about his influence on the overall program.  And like a sweater that keeps knitting and knitting and knitting, the one who doesn’t fit either gets fired, gets released, or makes everyone else want to leave.

When you make a hire based on skills over personality, you are looking at your culture from the wrong side.  People make the culture, culture doesn’t make the people.  Maybe go back and read that last line again.  Certainly culture can influence, shape, and move things, but it all begins with the people who are in place to develop that culture.  One of the greatest ways to dismantle your organization’s culture and work- force morale, and not to mention your overall production, is to hire people who don’t already fit the culture.  So you have a braniac who has all the skills to find solutions, but he can’t communicate effectively with your team or your customers?  How’s that working for you?  He may be working for you, but more than likely, it’s at the expense of the overall momentum, effort, and mental well-being of the team.

If you want a culture of friendly people in your customer service department (which I would highly recommend), then hire friendly people who either already have the skills or display the ability to learn them.  Don’t hire the one who has all the skills but only smiles at pictures of dead puppies.

Build and protect your culture by hiring people who ALREADY have the personality traits that you want, then train them as necessary for the skills they need.  Wait for the right person…even when you’re desperate!  Of course, it’s a big win if you can get the teammate who has the personality AND the skills required.

Your culture is your brand, so hiring the right people protects your culture…and the future of your brand!


read more
Luis ReyHiring on The Right Side of Culture

Hello my friends…Welcome to The Stratosphere

by Luis Rey on June 1, 2016 No comments

Hello my friends…welcome to The Stratosphere!  We are so excited to announce the launch of our company, Stratosphere Media Group.  We have a small crew with many years of experience to serve as your outsourced, digital marketing team.  We have served businesses of all sizes, non-profits, personalities, and organizations all over the world.  We help brands develop their “story”, create a strategic marketing plan, and then execute that strategy to increase brand awareness and influence through the power of social media and content marketing.

read more
Luis ReyHello my friends…Welcome to The Stratosphere