Tag Archives: Claremore

Embrace the Taboo: Pricing

10 Mar

Photo by Soham_Pablo

Money is a taboo in our culture. We’ve all been told, don’t ever be the first to bring up money in the hiring process. We say that there are three things not to be discussed in polite company, but money is possibly the worst. You really shouldn’t talk about money with your date either. So you definitely shouldn’t ask me how much Magic Bottle Marketing’s social media services is going to cost your business, right? WRONG!

I won’t try to explain why people think you shouldn’t talk about money, because I have no idea. I always want to see the figures up front. I can tell you why that is!

  • Money is often the deciding factor. I can either work for that amount or I can’t. I have this much money to spend, so I can either afford it or I can’t. I am already doing two volunteer projects so I simply don’t have the time for a pro bono job. These are cut and dry decisions that rest on number. I would rather know that number sooner rather than later.
  • It tells me a lot about who I am talking to. How much someone is asking for or willing to pay tells me how much they know about the market, the product in question, what type of project they’re doing, how serious and committed they are, etc, etc…
  • It saves me and them a lot of time. If I don’t like what I find out in the above two bullet points I want to know that right away so I don’t waste anyone’s time discussing a project that will never be.

So how much does social media for local businesses from Magic Bottle Marketing cost?

My pricing is similar to a restaurant’s pricing–pick two sides and an entree for $10 set-up. Your choices are…

Sides

  • LinkedIn company page
  • Facebook business page
  • Twitter

Entrees

  • Google+ company page
  • Pinterest

Appetizers

  • FourSquare venue
  • Google Places setup
  • 1 Google Adwords campaign
  • 1 Facebook ad campaign
  • FourSquare special setup

Appetizers are a one-time only fee—$50 for each. Obviously, campaigns and specials can be purchased multiple times. Your first two sides are $100 each per month, but the third is just $50 per month. Entrees are $150 per month. You can get a combo dinner (two sides and an entree) for $300 per month.

What are you paying for?

You are mostly paying for content creation and expert knowledge of how each platform can be customized to your business and its goals. Thus, sites whose content requires more time and effort (Google+ and Pinterest) cost more. Services that are a one-time only creation (campaigns and specials) cost less.

Pricing is something I thought about for months before I even bought the domain magicbottlemarketing.com. After surveying the local industry, I decided that my market niche would be affordable, customized content creation for social media for businesses. That niche was empty. Most businesses right here in Claremore either have no social media presence at all, are struggling to manage it on their own, or are being overcharged for setup only, content poor, non-customized social media accounts. And none of my competitors list their pricing up front.

You have better options! Please drop me a line at anna@magicbottlemarketing.com or give me a ring on my cell at 918-933-2303 and let’s get your business on the path to social success that’s affordable!

Antisocial Type?

7 Mar

Comic by Toothpaste for Dinner

This blog was prompted by three different conversations I had with local business owners today. All together they swirled into this question.

Are there businesses that SHOULDN’T use social media?

Short answer: no! Social media is flexible and can be adopted to any business need!

Personal answer: I personally wouldn’t contract with any company that isn’t safe for children or any doctor’s office. There are too many legal pitfalls in those two industries for them to be worth the risk with my limited legal knowledge.

So why do some business owners think their business wouldn’t benefit from social media? Here’s 5 misconceptions about social media that makes them think this.

1. Social media is only teens.

Where I run into this misconception most is in churches.  I approach them saying “Social media is simply a digitization of what you’re already doing with your members and community. It’s just another communication tool.” and they forward me to the youth pastor. Hello? Did you hear what I just said? Churches aren’t the only ones tainted with this heresy. It’s amusing to me to have people with a question about social media turn to me automatically not knowing that the middle-aged people standing around with me have smarter phones and more experience than I with anything technological or social.

What’s the truth? How about these stats? The average age of a social networker is 37. On Twitter and Facebook, minors are less than 15% of the sites’ users.

2. Social media is only women.

This perception is harder to pick up on. It shows up mor ein conversations and assumptions. I see it when people are surprised when my male marketing colleagues do more than SEO or when an automotive repair businessman tells me that hair saloons would benefit more from social media than his store. I’ve heard the term “chatty Cathy” applied to the social media profession.

How does this assumption hold up? Well, all of the major social networks do have more women than men users, but only slightly. It’s not more than 10% gap on Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn leans more toward men. Pinterest stands out in that it has the largest gender gap, heavily favoring the ladies. However,  not even that site is devoid of men!

3. Social media is only geeks.

So I should only use it if I’m selling comic collectibles or app development, right? Wrong! Who is the most followed person Google+? +Britney Spears. Is that geek behavior? Please, don’t insult us!

4. Social media is only Facebook, which we all hate.

I know I talk about Facebook a lot on this blog. That’s because that’s where most of my clients’ customers are. However, I’m not recommending a Facebook diet to anyone! And I know anytime anything changes the slightest bit on Facebook your stream fills up with wailing and weeping. It’s hard to take it seriously though when no one leaves. They can’t possibly all hate it as much as they say.

Let’s assume for a moment that you just cannot stand the idea of your business being on Facebook or you have been granted the divine insight needed to know that Facebook would not help your business in the slightest. You still have Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, and WordPress to pick from!

5. Social media is only procrastination.

Sounds like a personal problem to me. 😉

If anything this misconception is just another reason to hire Magic Bottle Marketing. If social media is distracting to you and decreases your productivity, let me do it for you!

Get Out and Vote!

5 Mar

Photo by Theresa Thompson

Even if you’re not politically active, you probably have noticed that this election cycle is different from the last presidential cycle. We’re all getting more robocalls and stories about the candidates now include pictures of them ACTUALLY in Oklahoma! Why the change?

1. During the last cycle Oklahoma’s Republican delegates were on a winner-takes-all system. Whoever got the most votes over the whole state got ALL of Oklahoma’s delegates. It has now changed so that our delegates are awarded according to majority of votes per congressional district. So, Republican candidates are paying closer attention to Oklahoma because their chances of winning Okie delegates are much higher.

2. Oklahoma has a lot of delegates to the Republican National Convention this year! We have FORTY-THREE delegates and 40 alternates. I won’t bore you with the intricacies of how those rules are set up, but let’s just say that Oklahoma Republicans’ hard work is paying off on the national party level.

3. Oklahoma’s primary is on Super Tuesday this year. We get to be part of a turning point in the whole cycle! Tomorrow will quite possibly make or break candidates.

Here’s some things you may not know about tomorrow’s election.

There is a DEMOCRAT Presidential primary too! There are at least FOUR other Democrats on the ballot, one of whom is from Oklahoma!

This is one of the first major elections under the new state law that you must show your ID to vote. So, have your passport, driver’s license, or voter card with you!

This is also the first major election to use Oklahoma’s new voting machines. These are state-of-the-art and set Oklahoma at the front of the pack in election technology and security. There are new audio ballots for voters with vision problems. The results are sent instantly at the end of the day to the state election board. At a Claremore Chamber of Commerce event I got to try them out in a mock election. It will not take blank ballots or ballots that have been over voted, despite all my efforts to trick it!

Collinsville, Owasso, and Claremore voters also have a city ballot to be cast tomorrow. I’m not a Claremore resident proper, so I’m not familiar with what is on those ballots. However, sample ballots are available on the county election board site. I strongly encourage you to look over your ballot BEFORE going to the polls. An informed voter is a powerful thing!

I voted early Saturday, so I won’t see you at the polls. However, look for me to be breathlessly watching the results on my personal Google+ and Twitter!

Get Outside Claremore!

24 Feb

Claremore Lake

Has the weather this week been beautiful or what?! I can’t seem to soak up enough sunshine or breathe enough fresh air! Here are my 10 favorite ways to enjoy the weather in Green Country!

1. Go Play at the Park

No one is too old to enjoy a day at the park. Whether you want to feed the ducks, play on the swings (my favorite), fish off the wharf, or snap some landscape photos (see my iPhonography offering to the left), the place to be is Claremore Lake Park!

2. Eat Out On the Patio

Everything is better in this weather–even the food tastes better outside! My favorite patio spot is the Hillcat Hut. Yes, even non-college folk are allowed! Tiny Cakes and Truffles also has outdoor seating. You didn’t think they were just a bakery, did you now?! Finally, don’t forget to get out of your car at Sonic!

3. Work Outside

We are a mobile society after all. Take your smartphone and notebook and work outside today, even if it’s just the smoker’s table outside your office. Or you can be lucky like my sister and get to go work at the Lake!

Remember the paper weights!

4. Ride Your Bike

I know there are a couple of bike trails around town, but I actually prefer riding in a neighborhood. I love getting a glimpse into people’s lives as I zip past. And it’s usually easier. 😉 If your bike needs some maintenance after its hibernation in the garage, drop by Bike-About in downtown.

5. Bird Watch

I’ve been able to open my windows several days this week and I was pleasantly surprised to hear a lot of bird songs! They certainly seem to think it’s spring time! One of the best places to bird watch is at the Nature Reserve on the RSU campus.

6. Play with your dogs.

Frisbee, balls, walks, other dogs–anything delights your dog, so take your pick! If you don’t have a dog—well, you’re just a loser, I guess. 😉 Sidenote: why doesn’t Claremore have any dog parks? How do we go about getting one?

7. Nap in the sunshine

In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m a dog person. However, I will say that cats have done one useful thing. Napping in the sunshine is the best thing they have ever come up with! Oh, and naps definitely have their place in the professional’s life.

This fellow was a doorstop outside the Antique Mall

8. Stroll the downtown walk.

The downtown neighborhood was designed to be walked. Park elsewhere and enjoy!

9. Do a photowalk.

You could even combine numeros 8 and 9 and do a photo walk downtown! Some of my personal favorites were taken doing this, such as the last two photos in this blog.

10.Watch the sunset.

One of my favorite places to watch the sunset is from the top of Swan’s hill on 4180 road.

Refining Your Message

16 Feb

Communicating a message effectively is both an art and science. What do art and science have in common? They both take a lot of repetition to perfect and they both progress faster with feedback! Tuesday, I edited my ‘About‘ and ‘Services‘ pages. I’m CCing it here so I can get your feedback through comments.

About

Magic Bottle Marketing provides social media management and consulting services for local Green Country businesses. Social media is like a magic bottle that conveys your message to your customers faster, cheaper, and more effectively than traditional means. It combines three types of sales leads–advertising, returning  customers, and referals—into one powerful medium.

Photo by Joel Chan

Anna Bavido founded Magic Bottle Marketing in 2011 out of a passion for her community and her own social media addictions, errr… experience. She has lived in Claremore since 2001 and graduated from Rogers State University in 2009 with a bachelor’s of science in social sciences. When she’s not teaching businesses to be sociable she is invovled in politics, family, karate, social media, and Jesus–but not necessarily in that order. Her favorite social network is Google+.

Services

Magic Bottle Marketing approaches each client every day with 3 mottos.

  1. Give the client the biggest bang for their buck.
  2. The right tool for the right job.
  3. Track performance.

The first one is an attitude of gratefulness and responsibility for clients. You don’t have to give me business and I take the fact that you did very seriously. For more explanation, see Corporate Gratitude. Second, is a messaging approach that leverages the right social networks in the right way for clients’ goals and targeted customers. This is further explained in Social Media and Angry Birds. Third, I look back as often as I look forward. If I don’t know what I did before and how well it worked, I won’t know what to do next. I blogged about this some in the post Reflections.

With this mindset, I provide tiered contract management services for the following social media platforms–

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Foursquare
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Google Adwords
  • WordPress

Service packages are customized to each client and start as low as $200/month. Discounts are available for churches, charities, and other nonprofits. Call Anna at 918-933-2303 or drop her a line at anna@magicbottlemarketing.com to find out how Magic Bottle Marketing can best help your business!

3 Needs of a Volunteer: Coach

13 Feb

Part 3 of 3: Coach

Volunteering should never be lonely work. Regularly check in with your volunteers. “How’s it coming? Do you need anything? Have we told you what a good job you’re doing?” This is where you communicate the Vision talked about way back at the beginning of this article. This is where you find out if they need any added training or tools, if the workload is realistic and balanced. These conversations are your biggest listening tool and you need to pay careful attention to what you’re hearing.Most accidents are preventable, right? If you’re not listening, you will be the last to find out about the blow up.

Staying in regular contact with your volunteers should double as quality control. When done properly quality control is actually a huge encouragement to both the checker and the volunteer. If you’re checking each completed task you get to see all the awesome things that are being done well and you get to praise the volunteers for it. But, there is another side to quality control that’s not as fun. It’s tempting for organizations to assign the ‘nice work’ of praising to the volunteer coordinator and the control side to someone else in the organisation (usually the coordinator’s boss). This is also known as good cop/bad cop and will be guaranteed to make everyone uncomfortable. Not only do volunteers get the feeling that they’re being sent to the office, it also sends a signal that the volunteer coordinator is incompetent and not trusted by the rest of the organization.

This may sound like a lot of things to make happen at once (“I’m supposed to coach the vision while making sure everything fits?”), but implementing one makes it easier to implement the others. Another tool that helps is a good old-fashioned intake interview (look for that post soon!). Don’t stress yourself out too much because volunteers are the best of your community. Their patience is nigh to boundless, so they get used and abused a lot. They’ll be thrilled to just see you making an effort.

3 Needs of a Volunteer: Fit

10 Feb

Part 2 of 3.

If a volunteer gets burned out it is usually because they were put someplace they weren’t a good fit for. Consider these points to be my burnout prevention plan.

You and the volunteers need to be realistic about what exactly they can accomplish. Too often we get the idea that we should just take the amount of work needed to be done (x), divide it by the number of volunteers (y), and thus conclude that everyone’s workload should be z. x/y=z but it also equals universal unhappiness. You will be unhappy that everything is not getting done and the volunteers will be unhappy because you’ve completely overwhelmed them. It is much better to simply ask a volunteer how much time they can spend helping you out and then following up in a week to ask “Hey, how did that feel? Can you do more or do we need to back off a little?” Most people will say they can do more. Sometimes you can end up with a volunteer doing a workload of z, but they’re happy doing it because you eased them into it by increments that they agreed to.

Have volunteers do what they’re good at. Break out of the mental rut that volunteers can only set up banquet halls, assemble yard signs, and man parking lots. The best way to find out is to ask. “What do you feel you’re good at? What do you enjoy doing?” The volunteer who works as a salesman for his professional job should not be tasked with data entry. If a volunteer is always asking “Do you have these instructions in a spreadsheet format?” take a wild guess at what she could do! I feel like I should start quoting I Corinthians 11. Finally, remember that any task that you might pay someone to do can be done by a volunteer. There can be a big overlap between volunteerism and in-kind donations.

You need to give volunteers the training and tools they need to succeed. Most organizations are pretty good about tools, but training might be the most overlooked tool in volunteerism. In my experience, a lack of training is certainly one of the biggest causes of frustration in volunteers. Nothing is scarier than being asked to do something you don’t know how to go about doing. Don’t put someone in that spot. Volunteers can come to you already very skilled, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t show their value by adding to it. A lot of times they come to you very skilled in things totally unrelated to what your needs are. If they’re willing and intelligent, don’t let their inexperience count against them–just train them on what you need them to do.

3 Needs of a Volunteer: Vision

8 Feb

I have probably spent more time in my life volunteering than I have spent being gainfully employed. I have volunteered at nursing homes and in church nurseries. I’ve volunteered for presidential campaigns and people running for city council. I’ve done volunteer teaching in karate dojos, inner-city schools in Memphis, and English camps in rural Taiwan. I’ve also recruited, trained, supervised, and run interference on (because you can’t really fire them) volunteers. I have to say, I love it all!

I’ve never run across anyone who wouldn’t admit to the extreme value of volunteers, but I have seen quite a few people and organizations who don’t know how to use them correctly. They’re like a child turned loose with a screw gun. It’s big, it’s cool, and can be very useful, but they don’t know what they’re doing with it and end up damaging the structure, themselves, or the gun. To counter that, I present 3 (basic) needs of a volunteer. This is written to those organizations who utilize volunteers and the people in those groups that supervise volunteers. Since I’ve been on both sides of the coin, I will switch perspectives between organization/supervisor and volunteer. Try to keep up. 😉

1. Vision

Sometimes organizations get the idea that you can keep volunteers satisfied with goodies. Feed them, provide a party every now and then, bring in the organization celebrity (war refugee, Elmo, whoever) for a private reception, etc.. and they’ll be happy right? Well, volunteers probably won’t say no to any of those things (tip: they’re probably tired of pizza), what really keeps people going is seeing progress towards the vision of the organization. The very fact that someone is volunteering for an organization probably means they’ve seen some of the vision already and like it. You need to tell them how their task jives with that vision. Detailed mind and big-picture mindset are not mutually exclusive of each other. Volunteers need to know how their details fit into the big picture.

If you keep yourself and the volunteers focused on the big goal, the vision you eliminate most of the drama that goes with people trying to prove themselves. Yes, this includes you. Many of us are just newly promoted from volunteers and have the insecure urge of proving yourself different from the volunteers, sometimes to the volunteers. Some volunteers want to prove their passion, their work ethic, or innate worth to you by overworking themselves, being ridiculously emotional about everything, or always trying to edge their way into the presence of the organizational celebrity (candidate, founder, rehabilitated whale—whatever the case may be). Perhaps the most irritating to me is the volunteer who feels the need to prove his experience. Every conversation turns into a recitation of his resume. These are also the volunteers who usually feel I’m too young to be telling them what to do (another post, another day!) The bottom line is that if you keep people satisfied by tying their work into the vision of the organization, no one needs to prove themselves to anyone.

As people continue to volunteer they also need a retrospective vision. Show them how far the organization has come and exactly how their efforts have gotten you there. Tell people how (method) and how much (quantity) they’re making dreams into reality. Although it sounds like I’m going there, I cannot recommend going as far as a rewards system, though. Volunteers are usually satisfied just with knowing someone noticed what they accomplished.

The Awkward Stage

11 Jan

Downtown Claremore

The awkward stage usually refers to the pimple-riddened years where we’re uncomfortably stuck between being a child and being an adult. Personally, I didn’t find my teen years all that miserable, but I think the phrase still has some merit. It’s hard to be inbetween two spots, neither here nor there. This applies to more than just adolescent development. I would humbly put forth that the city of Claremore is in an awkward stage. We are not a small town anymore, but it’s hard to be big 30 minutes away from Tulsa.

1. Claremore is not a small town anymore.

You can always go look up technical definitions on the U.S. Census website and I’ll throw a number out there: 2010 census has Claremore pegged at 18,581. Let’s talk about how it feels as a citizen and a business owner. Claremore has two high schools, 3 junior highs, and 7 elementary schools. Claremore has 3 grocery stores, 5 hardware stores, and 4 Subways. Small towns don’t even have QuikTrips and we’re getting a 2nd (which will be a QT Kitchen and significantly closer to my house than the current one. I’m excited!) Claremore has been hit by the national economic situation and that shows in our busineses that cater to middle-class luxuries. The bowling alley has shut down. We had 5 coffee shops in 2009 and in 3 years we’ve dwindled to one. However, the population size is still there that those type of businesses need–we’re all just poorer than we were before.

My alternate life that I don’t allow on this blog is politics. I can tell you that Claremore is a major player in the 2nd Congressional District and our state reps and senators are important and in leadership positions in Oklahoma City. We’re not in the political player leagues of Tulsa, Edmond, Bixby, or Oklahoma City, but we are in the top 10.

Think about how it feels living here.  How often do you run into someone you know at the store? Do you have to consider traffic in your driving plans? When you travel in the state do people know where Claremore is? Not often, yes, and yes, respectively.

We need to break out of the small-town way of thinking! Claremore leadership and citizens need to quit fighting change for nostalgia’s sake and let big things happen. Trains causing a traffic standstill might be ok in Chelsea, but the situation in Claremore is unacceptable! The city is pursuing some solutions, but they have been set back by grant rejections and they might even be pursuing the wrong solution to start with. Local businesses like the hospital and Pixley’s have put their own benefit ahead of the town’s progress when competitors like St. John’s and Lowe’s tried to move in and the city council aquiesced to their selfish ideas. Thankfully, St. John’s and Lowe’s found ways around (St. John’s settled outside of town in North Park community and I’ve heard that Lowe’s bought land secretly from the Chevrolet dealership), but how many other businesses are we missing out on because of similar behavior? Also, did you notice that neither Pixley’s or the hospital have suffered terribly since? Their hissy fit was pure fear of competition and had nothing to do with self-survival.

2. Claremore is not yet a big town

Claremore is simply not there yet. We only have one movie theater and it’s small. We only have one coffee shop, as I said earlier. We have no nightlife. We have no music scene. We work in Tulsa and drive to Owasso to shop. It’s rather frightening to be so dependent for livelihood and lifestyle on places where you have no voice in the proceedings. I don’t have a magic plan to grow our city. Decades of brilliant minds have been tossing around concepts like suburbs and bedroom communities and still haven’t come up with a best-practice list. I do believe though that Claremore citizens are the best people to solve Claremore’s problems.

In the world of marketing and social media I find myself saying over and over ‘Claremore is not Tulsa!’ Claremore is unique and the relationships are quite different from a big metro. A marketing agency from Tulsa is not going to understand that. Your customers will feel like you’re trying to shock and awe them with high-falutin’ ways. If they’re the least bit aware they’ll know that it’s better to keep money close and not to keep giving it to Tulsa. On the other hand, Claremore is modern enough that businesses need the technological tools of  social media, mobile advertising, and smart ads,unlike the rural towns around us. Magic Bottle Marketing can help you balance these two and navigate this awkward in-between scene. I’m excited to get to work with you!