This is the first of my crowd sourced blog entry ideas as suggested by Christopher Hewitt. Chris wanted to know whether providing services Pro Bono was a good idea for startups.
In a word Yes.
More important than the answer are the reasons. It says something about us as people or an organisation. It starts the brand personification process.
It says we give before we expect.
It says we have confidence in our knowledge and our skills.
It says we trust you not to take advantage of us.
It says we are prepared to a resource before we expect you to become one.
In all it creates an environment where reciprocity is likely. Reciprocity is part of the human condition. In addition, it’s the best way of providing a sample, when providing a small bottle of shampoo or a taste test isn’t possible.
Startup Blog says: Pro Bono is rad.
…… for entrepreneurs is this:
We must put ourselves in as many Yes / No positions as possible every day.
What’s a Yes / No position?
It’s a call to action.
It’s asking for something we need to get to the next step.
It’s asking for an order
It’s asking them to buy
It’s making an awkward phone call
It’s facing fear and rejection
It’s taking rejection straight into the ‘next Yes / No propostion
It’s putting momentum above all things.
The number of position proposals is directly proportional to our success – and our success rate as a percentage increases as the volume of propositions does.
That is all.
VB have just launched another advertising campaign titled ‘the Regulars’ – which is a shift from the 20 year old ‘Hard earned thirst’ campaign we all know the tune of….
Take a look – then I’ll give you my thoughts below:
I think it is excellent. If this doesn’t turn around the brand, then nothing will (FYI – the brand has had periods decline for many years now).
Why is it excellent?
Well, beer used to be a reward for effort type product in the mainstream beer category. Historically VB fit the mould for labourers, tradesman et al. As we move from a manufacturing to an information society, hard earned thirst doesn’t seem to make sense, everyday people does. The current social climate has changed and the Regulars reflects this. The execution of the idea is an absolute benchmark and manages to integrate a bit of ‘celebrity’ without alienating the Regulars, in fact – it promotes the everyday man to the celebrity.
This is clearly Radvertising.
You have a pulse – it’s important it never stops.
Your business has a pulse – when it stops your customers assume your dead or dying.
This why the following elements are crucial for your business or startup:
- Advertising frequency
- Newsletter updates
- Web page changes
- Twitter feed on your homepage
- Regular blogging
- Returning phone calls & emails the same day
- Speedy invoicing (guilty)
- Product iterations and improvements
- PR & media exposure
- Team, fan, member, evangalist get togethers
- Conversing with your people on line
- Conversing with people off line
- Acknowledging (not hassling) everyone who enters your office, retail space or workshop.
Let your customers know you’re alive, and they’ll treat you like you are. Let them think your dead or dying and they’ll ensure you die for sure.
The other day I was in the RACV club when I ran into a business I had heard about.
shineshoeshine – which as you’ve probably guessed is a shoe shine business run by bootstrapping entrepreneur Kate Kay.
I had a chat with Kate who has a permanent shoe shine location in the Rialto Towers in Melbourne – a classic corporate targeted location. But also sets up in lots of temporary locations as can be seen above in the RACV city club.
There’s a lot to like about this business:
- low startup costs (Some polish, foot stools, a chair…)
- Reinvents old world values and personal service
- Instant cash payments for service
- Ability to be mobile
and my favourite part which I’ll talk about in more detail….
What Kate is now doing is offering her services as a promotional tool. Where brands & company’s can hire her services as a special offer to their staff or customers. The cool thing about this idea is that Kate can become your personal selling agent and talk to her ‘captive audience’ about which ever topic you choose, while her and her staff are busy shinning.
I think it’s a great idea, with a cool point of difference – You can contact her here.