Creative techniques to strategically attract audiences.

Archive for the ‘Strategy’ Category

Science-Backed Methods for Connecting with Your Audience

Posted by Ella Grace

Source: Pixabay

In order for a brand to be successful, they need a good marketing strategy. And one way that marketers are doing this is through incorporating tactics from the field of psychology. Fast Company notes how marketers draw from psychological tactics to understand consumer behavior and attraction. When done properly this allows them “respectfully to attract and engage consumers, and compel them to buy.” One reason that marketers are able to do this so effectively is because the field of psychology has expanded over the years to incorporate all aspects of the human mind. Maryville University observes that psychology now encompasses different branches of knowledge from social studies to biology, which has provided extensive insights into how audiences think. Drawing from psychological methods and practices, this article will look at different science-backed methods for connecting with an audience.

Understand your target audience

One of the most important roles of psychologists is empathy: putting themselves in the shoes of their client to understand their actions. In creating a good marketing strategy, we also have to understand our target audience with the same depth. Alex Rodriguez recommends writing a list of the specific criteria that defines your target market, such as their age, location, income bracket and specific interests. This helps in determining what your target market values and what they deem important. In learning what’s important to your audience, it becomes easier to position your brand to suit their needs.

Provide social proof

Humans are social creatures. We value other people’s opinions and use them in making informed decisions. Entrepreneur cites a study in which public service announcements tried to convince locals to use fans instead of air conditioning. The study found that telling people that 77% of their neighbors used fans was more effective than telling them they could save $54 a month. Groupthink is a psychological theory in which people set aside their own beliefs to adopt the opinion of the rest of the group. Thus, peer pressure is a powerful tool in shaping people’s perceptions around your brand. You can do this through the use of product reviews and testimonials. This shows how popular your brand is, which will encourage others to purchase it themselves.

Use the power of storytelling

Storytelling is an essential aspect of engaging people. Storytelling helps us convey our product using narratives and imagery, tools which captivate the mind. Good stories release oxytocin, a neurochemical that enhances trust and empathy. The power of storytelling is a persuasive tool especially for getting people to join in with a cause or make use of a service. For example, people are more likely to buy preventive medicine not when they are presented data on the prevalence of a certain disease, but when they are told how that medicine has changed the life of one person for good.

Build scarcity and exclusivity

Psychology Today looked at research done using two identical glass jars containing the same kinds of cookies. One jar contained 10 cookies and the other held just two. The results showed that people valued the cookies in the fairly empty jar more. This goes to show just how much scarcity affects people’s perception of value. One of the most effective means to grab people’s attention with your product is to package it in a way that shows how scarce or unique it is. This can be done through holding limited releases of a certain product for a brief period. More people will want to buy your product for the fear of missing out.

Money Talks — Are You Listening?

Posted by Alex Rodríguez

One thing I love about entrepreneurship is that money tells hard truths — although you have to be willing to listen to them.

Money tells you whether what you offer has market appeal or not.

It tells you whether your expenses are out of whack or in balance.

It tells you when it’s time to shake up those accounts payable.

It tells you when it’s a good time to re-invest into the business.

It tells you when to get serious about closing a deal or walking away.

The thing is, if we just blame external circumstances — like the economy, politics, nobody likes me, etc. — then those important messages are left as whispers into the wind.

The arrival of Phase III, and why you should pay attention to it

Posted by Alex Rodríguez

Phase III is here, and it’s my main prediction as a continuing trend for 2019.

What is Phase III ?

Well, first of all, I admit that Phase III a name I totally made up.

But I think it makes a lot of sense, so allow me to explain.

Technology based companies begin at Phase I with the development of new products, which are then tested in the market. Some fail, others succeed, and most likely you know only about those in this latter group.

Phase I is innovation.

Then comes Phase II, which is when these products become viable alternatives for older yet more established tools and resources.

AirBnb was an alternative to clunky hotels.

Amazon Web Services was an alternative to clunky proprietary servers.

Uber was an alternative to clunky taxis.

Phase II is Disruption.

And we all thought this was the end, but no.

Phase III has begun.

Phase III is Revolution.

This is when these technologies become more than an alternative, and actually go on to create entirely new categories, where the older horses in the race cannot even compete in.

Examples of Phase III:

— AirBnB just announced that they will not only be a platform to rent easily, but will actually begin building low-footprint living spaces. (source)

Result: More options for low-cost living, particularly in urban areas.

— Amazon just announced that beyond traditional web services and cloud computing, they will roll out development and storage environments for blockchain and other decentralized applications. (source)

Result: More validation and adoption for decentralized applications, with all the benefits to the end user (security, speed, etc.).

— Uber announced that they will roll out vertical takeoff and landing vehicles, for urban transit via airspace. (source)

Result: More decongested urban areas, quicker transit times, among others.

See the trend?

Make no mistake, every player in business and technology is looking forward on their Phase III plans.

Phase III may not completely materialize in 2019, but you will certainly see movement in that direction from some of the brands you know and love.

How is your business outlining a Phase III in its plans?

The Crypto Mindset – Making Good Decisions With #Cryptocurrencies

Posted by Alex Rodríguez

Aside from tips that may help you to trade and invest in cryptocurrencies — including technical analysis, knowledge of each token and their technologies, among others — I believe it’s massively important to enter into this world with the right mindset.
The world of cryptocurrencies is so new, and in many ways, without precedence in history. This is why it is so necessary to instill the right ideas to make sure that you are making proper decisions at every single moment.
Here is a list of fundamental ideas to plug into our brains both before and during our activities with cryptocurrencies.

1) Don’t invest more than you’re willing to lose

This is just tried and true advice, and I didn’t make it up. But let’s just begin with this one as it’s so critical.

Of course, nobody puts their money down expecting to lose it. Yet in the face of high volatility, the uncertainty around whether certain tokens will survive technological adoption and even regulatory measures, there is absolutely no way to know whether our reserves will remain as valuable, if they will increase in value, or in the worst of all cases, we will end up in the negative.
The best way to avoid the emotional rollercoasters is to invest an amount that in the worst of cases and in the face of a massive loss will not affect our lives drastically.
I’ve heard of crazy stories in which people are plunking down their whole life savings, selling their homes, or taking out loans to place on cryptocurrencies. Not only is this an enormous risk, but at the same time there will be no peace to invest under the anxious burden of knowing that any loss — even temporary — will place your finances at risk… and even the lives of your loved ones.

2) Take a pause

Before clicking that button to make a trade or transfer funds from one wallet to another, think and triple-check what you’re doing to make sure that you are inserting the right information in the right places.
There have been countless errors reported by people who have lost a lot because, for example, they transferred funds of one type to the wrong wallet. This usually happens because they rush to get things done quickly, and unfortunately in most cases — if not all — this error is irreversible.
And whatever you do, never, never, never send funds or make trade decisions under the influence of alcohol.

3) Forget the past, act in the present

So many people I speak to say they are frustrated because they would have liked to have invested in BTC when it cost only $100.
Should’a. Would’a. Could’a.
You know what? That train has already left the station and won’t ever come back. 
Even if you have a bit more experience to know this much, this regret from that past could still bite us. ¿What would’ve happened if we would have invested in this or that coin before that nice bull run upwards?
Staying stuck in these ideas doesn’t help us one bit. Moreover, the so-called FOMO — Fear Of Missing Out, in case you’ve never heard of the term — is precisely what makes us take sudden decisiones and place our money right when the price of a coin is at its peak and just about to drop.
If you couldn’t take advantage of an opportunity, release the thought, accept that this one passed you by and observe to see if you can catch up to the next one.

4) Play your own game

It really doesn’t matter how much other people’s portfolios have increased, whether they’re your friends, acquaintances, or YouTube celebs. The only thing that matters here is where you began, and where you’re at now.
If your friends have increased their portfolio by +1,000% but yours is only up by 13%, well guess what? You’re still winning!
Don’t feel that all of a sudden you need to make risky decisions to somehow “catch up” with your friends. Of course, you’ll want to take advantage of opportunities to increase your own growth percentage, but think about this number relative to what you have made up to now, not constantly comparing yourself with others.

5) Never decide to lose

Many times, you’ll by into a coin and its value will instantly diminish. This is normal! At that moment, you need to be armed with patience and wait until it rises again.
Whatever you do, don’t get desperate and sell, just to jump on another coin that you believe is about to rise. This would be a terrible mistake. You will end up reducing the over all value of your portfolio without the assurance that you’ll recover it.
Look for a tool — an online alert or a mobile app with alert functions — and set up an alert at the price in which you bought in. Then forget about it completely. Don’t check in on it on a daily basis, you probably have much more valuable things to invest your attention into!
When your alert fires off, you can go back to your favorite exchange and decide whether you want to sell right then at a break even, or in the most ideal scenario wait a bit until it rises and you can sell it profitably.
• • •
I hope these ideas will help you make good decisions, and support you to have peace with your decisions.
If you have any question or I can help you in any way, just let me know.  😀


Should Businesses Get Involved In Social Media? (Plus 10 Other Questions… Answered!)

Posted by Alex Rodríguez

When they think about social media, most businesses leaders just want to check it off their list. When asked why they are looking to get their company on social media, it is not uncommon to hear them respond with one of the following (Spoiler alert: these are all wrong reasons to invest resources into social channels):

Then why should businesses even consider investing their attention, resources, and/or budget into social channels?

Below I’ve taken on some of the most frequently-asked questions by business leaders, and answered them in my usual non-conventional —yet absolutely sincere— manner.

1) Why do businesses need to embrace social media today?

Quite simply, because sales (yes, even B2B sales) begin with relationships, and social media grants businesses a way to accelerate valuable relationships.

This occurs mainly in two ways:

  1. By opening the opportunity to generate new connections, in a much more scalable manner than relying solely on face-to-face connections.
  2. By allowing leaders to nurture and deepen these relationships further, while their brand and leaders’ philosophy remains front and center to their communication.

2) Do you think social media marketing is a useful tool for attracting leads and providing customer service?

It can be a useful channel, provided the correct guidelines and procedures are set beforehand.

The way to attract leads via social media is more of an inbound nature than anything else. In other words, businesses are first active on the proper channels, and then they are able to open other avenues for these leads to reach out and connect further with the brand.

Social channels can be used for customer service, but I would recommend limiting the amount of interaction on social channels, particularly in B2B industries. The proper response to comments or criticisms on public social channels is to invite people to engage further within a private channel, such as chat, email, or even a phone line.

3) What advice can you share with business leaders on how they can better leverage social media?

The first and primary action to take is to deeply understand the reality of the business’ market, their offer, and their competitive landscape. This will help business leaders avoid appearing as if they are disconnected from the mindset of their intended audience, and on the contrary, they will show up as deeply connected to their desires and needs.

4) Many business leaders operate on a lean staff, so they can easily get overwhelmed with social media. What advice can you offer to help keep them on track and engaged?

My brief advice is this: Keep your channel selection to just one or two at the most, until you are able to maintain traction. It does not help to open profiles on all channels just to leave them abandoned.

After selecting these channels, agree with your team on a content schedule, both with regard to frequency as well as topics. Consistency will always be better than high frequency. In other words, it’s better to post some valuable content once a week, than to end up burned out just because you felt like your company needed to post something 3 times per day.

5) Is it necessary to have a dedicated social media manager on staff or would outsourcing this work be better?

Actually, neither approach is preferable. The absolute best approach is to empower your existing internal staff to share their ideas, struggles, experiences, and philosophies according to a set strategy.

Social media should not be seen as a function nor as a department, but rather as an additional means for key members of your team to utilize to expand your brand further.

6) What are some ways that a company can connect and interact with social media influencers?

There are two main channels that have worked for us. The first, quite obviously, is to engage with them right through social media. Assumedly, they are already quite active on these channels. Provided you reach out to them in a manner that builds the relationship (i.e, not absolutely weighed towards your own corporate interests), they will usually respond cordially.

The second means is via a private channel such as email. A company can pitch ideas, partnership opportunities, and other means to collaborate further. Once again, the pitch cannot ever be beneficial only to you and your company; there has to be something “in it” for them.

7) What social media management tools would you recommend?

Hootsuite seems like the most complete tool these days, but there are many others, and I would vary my recommendation depending on the goals and nature of the business.

8) What kind of impact does social media have on search rankings?

Theoretically, social shares form a very small percentage of search ranking factors. However, I would not recommend relying exclusively on social shares and impressions to produce a significant rise in search ranking.

9) How should companies audit their social media marketing initiatives?

The main way to audit your social media marketing actions is to measure whether it has produced the objectives you have sought out. If you have not set any objectives before investing into social media, then an audit is unnecessary: your investment in social media has already failed.

In business, be strategic about everything, set goals (and I mean business goals) and then determine online and offline actions that will help meet those goals.

10) How should a company or an individual select the different social media channels they should participate in?

By describing their audience with as much detail as possible, and then researching which channel this audience is mostly present and active in at this very moment.

Once again, for most businesses I would recommend starting with only one or two channels.

11) What would be the one message about social media that business leaders absolutely need to hear?

The main idea that I’d like people to understand, and the one idea that will prevent business leaders from making costly mistakes, is that social media is not a free advertising channel.

Social media can be a means to create and build relationships with specific audience members, by providing value to them before any monetary transaction occurs. However, there will always be an investment required; at the very least, the investment of attention from your internal staff.


Any other questions you can think of? Feel free to post a comment, and I’ll do my best to respond.

Why It’s Essential To Have a Mobile-Friendly Website

Posted by Alex Rodríguez

Raise your hand if you’ve ever visited a website from your phone… only to find out that it’s not mobile-friendly. How fun was it to have to pinch, zoom, and constantly scroll sideways to be able to read a single sentence? Not fun at all! In fact, it’s quite frustrating.

It’s also one of the easiest ways to lose a potential client.

Failing to develop a mobile-friendly site for your business is not only unwise, it’s also probably making you lose sales. Here are some of the reasons why:

You might not show up for online searches

In addition to being uncomfortable to read, your business might not even come up in search results when potential clients perform online searches from their phones.

Taking into account that the majority of consumers perform online purchases from their mobile devices, this is a mistake you can’t afford to make.

It frustrates potential clients

Today, more than ever, people are used to instant gratification. When a person has the option of waiting to get home to check out a business from their home computer, or look for another alternative from their phone, chances are they’ll go with the latter option.

There’s no sense in upsetting potential clients right off the bat over something that has such a simple solution… Especially if your competition has mobile-friendly websites.

It’s fairly simple to have one

When you log into your Google account, you have access to a Mobile Usability Report. You can utilize their tools to figure out how long it takes for your page to load on different devices — whether mobile, tablet, or home computer. It will also tell you how to fix the portions that need improvement, such as optimizing pictures. It’s one of the best types of user insight you’ll invest time into.

It’s convenient

Even people who prefer to use a computer’s bigger screen might need to take a quick glance at your website when they’re away from home. Make it easy for people to like you! A happy client is one who will refer you to their friends.

So there you have it! One of the most simple ways to improve your brand, from which you can reap many rewards, is to ensure people can see everything about your business clearly from the device that is inside their pocket right now.

How To Establish Yourself As An Authority

Posted by Alex Rodríguez

Quick: Think of one or two people in your industry whom you consider to be an oracle of wisdom? The type of person you would love to do business with.

Why did their name come to mind? Chances are that this person has reached that position through their experience and success. And what do those two factors automatically give them? Credibility. When they speak, we listen.

If you want to position yourself as a leader, you have to pay attention to things you do as well as the things you don’t do.

Provide quality content

Whether it’s through weekly blog posts, podcasts, a very active and engaging social media account, YouTube videos, or even better, writing a book, you will be letting people know that you are an expert in your field.

Consistency will keep you relevant. Answering questions and providing information that’s truly useful will keep people coming for more. Don’t just write nor record fluff pieces for the sake of putting something out there. Clients are smarter than that. Produce quality content that really demonstrates why people should listen to what you have to say.

Keep your focus on your goal

Don’t get distracted by pettiness. Facebook arguments are entertaining for a few minutes, but someone’s impression of you may last a lifetime.

You’re online to work on your own personal brand. That’s your number one priority. Everything else is noise. This is a crucial point to remember, considering that what you post online will live on forever.

Keep up with the Joneses

With the Joneses in your industry, that is. Just because you’ve learned a lot throughout your career, doesn’t mean you get to rest in your laurels.

Set up Google Alerts, stay current with new developments both within your field and within technology. Be aware that every day brings new advancements, and new solutions along with them. Accept this as part of your professional development and adapt accordingly.

All of these items take a lot of time, mindfulness, and effort from your part. So make sure you like what you do. Invest your energy wisely and keep going up that proverbial ladder.

The view is much better from the top.

How To Properly Cultivate Your Digital Footprint

Posted by Alex Rodríguez

You reap what you sow. We’ve been hearing that phrase our entire lives, but have you really internalized what it means?

Do you have one or more social media accounts? How often do you go on them? Considering we have easily accessible apps on our phones, which we carry everywhere we go, it would be a safe bet to guess that you are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social sites and networks on a daily basis.

Did you know that with every single interaction on social media, you are leaving behind a digital footprint? And if you have a digital trail, you are cultivating your brand, whether you intend to or not. Think about your friends online; chances are, off the top of your head, you’d be able to pinpoint who follows each political party, who is into spiritual development, who would have no problems going to Star Wars conventions dressed up as an ewok, and who thinks a selfie should always be accompanied by a famous quote (whether they penned the quote or not).

What do you want people to think about when they see your name?

If you’re a consulting professional, everything you post sends forth a message that will be associated with your business. Every single action we take online paints a picture of who we are. If the portrait you’ve been working on already makes you proud, congratulations… You’ve been doing things the right way!

How do you raise awareness of your digital footprint?

It’s easy to think that someone who has a million followers is more successful than someone with just a couple hundred, but we need to look beyond the numbers. How often are social media followers becoming engaged with what you post? Do they reply to your comments? Do they share your content?

One way to get your target audience to participate more often in discussions of your product is to make social listening a priority. Taco Bus is really good at this. Leave a message on their Twitter account, and you will get a response and a solution to your issue within minutes.

We get notifications on our phones about how long the commute to work will take based on current traffic conditions. We receive targeted ads every time we log in to our emails or social media accounts. Large corporations are always watching, but so is every single person who is quietly observing you, and forming an opinion of who you are before they reach out to you.

Establishing a brand is as unavoidable as utilizing the Internet. You might as well cultivate those crops well, so that when it’s time to harvest, you receive exactly what you intended.

The Importance of Marketing to your Target Audience

Posted by Alex Rodríguez


Let’s talk about marketing. If you were a vegetarian and saw ads on your Facebook feed announcing an upcoming Bacon Festival, would you go? Or let’s say you support one political party, and a representative of the opposing party handed you a flyer about an upcoming fundraiser, would you attend? If the answer to these questions is a big, resounding NO, why are you advertising to people who don’t want your services?

Figure out exactly who’s your target

Make a specific list of desired criteria. What’s your market’s location, age, income bracket, and anything else that might be relevant to your product. Do your homework by studying statistics and survey results. Visit discussion forums such as Reddit. You can use their search box to type in any topic related to your business and see what online users are discussing. It’s a nifty way to get insights into their thoughts. By learning what’s important to your audience, you’ll be able to better tailor your services or product to their needs.

Keep your ads within your arena

Social media makes it so easy to create targeted ads. With Facebook for Business, you click through icons, stating what your specific goals are. If you want to generate leads, the website will guide you through the process of customizing your target audience. Twitter offers a similar tool, in which you can specify what your perfect customer would have as their interests. Consequently, you’ll get much better results than blindly releasing advertising material.

Be mindful about your advertising. You must have a well-researched strategy. Casting a wide net when you send ads will have the same result as sending junk mail to your mailbox: it will go directly into a recycling or trash bin, unread. All those trees, torn down for nothing. Don’t let the same thing happen to your marketing budget.

The Importance of Developing Your Niche

Posted by Alex Rodríguez

Have you seen the movie The Social Network? If you haven’t, here’s a quick recap: It’s about how Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook and eventually became one of the most notable entrepreneurs of his generation.

When he first started his venture, Zuckerberg’s goal wasn’t the current world domination he has achieved within social media. Originally, he created a website so that students at Harvard University could rate each other’s level of attractiveness (he was a college kid back then, after all).

Fast forward to today. It’s unnecessary to describe how much his little experiment has grown. However, we can still learn a lot from how it was started. Mark Zuckerberg began with a niche, and that was his first step towards developing what his business has become today.

So how do you develop your niche? Let’s take a look:

Make sure you like what you do

We spend most of our waking time doing our jobs. If you own your own business, you have an around-the-clock gig. If you don’t love what you do, when the going gets tough, you’ll be tempted to quit.

Steve Jobs made it clear when he addressed the Stanford class of 2005. He encountered many hurdles and hardships on his way towards becoming a legend. What kept him going was that he loved what he did.

Don’t pick a hot trend that could end up being a flash in the pan. Carefully study areas that make you want to immerse yourself in them.

Decide with whom you want to work

What’s the purpose of your business? Doctors and lawyers tend to specialize on specific areas of health or law, which patients and clients with clear-cut issues appreciate.

Nobody wants to hire a jack-of-all trades. Narrow down your target market so that you can focus better on their specific needs. If you don’t want to work with people who can’t rub two pennies together, make it clear that your target client makes XYZ amount in revenue per year.

What are your competitors failing to offer?

Once you establish your target, zoom in on their needs by doing some market research. For example, you can go to discussion forums and see what people are complaining about. Is it that their cordless headphones have a short battery life, or stop working while it’s raining?

Go ahead and figure out how to solve those issues, then market your long-lasting, waterproof headphones for long distance runners. (Or something along those lines… You get the point).

Once you have these three items down pat, don’t fall asleep thinking you’ve made it. Keep your eyes out for new developments, new technologies, new ways to improve your product or service, and ways to adapt to new trends as they come along. Stay hungry. Stay foolish.