How to create a desktop video with Loom

You can make quick How-To or Instructional videos using software to record your desktop. These types of videos are great to explain how to do something by showing your desktop. We use Loom because it’s easy to use, has a free version and analytics. Using quick desktop videos are also helpful in your sales and proposal process. You can quickly give a review or show an example of how you can help a customer through a Loom video. Send a Loom video gets you twice the engagement and follow up then just a written email.

Use Loom to:

How-To Videos

Instructional Videos

Training videos

Sales and Prospecting videos

www.loom.com

How to communicate with employees about the Coronavirus/Covid-19

As a business owner and communications specialist, I’m helping many of our clients and partners craft a message to their employees about the current situation with the Coronavirus/Covid-19. Here are the top three things to do when communicating with your team during uncertain times like this.

1. Craft your message from a place of understanding

The people on your team are scared and looking for direction from their leadership team that will calm their fears. Everyone has different experiences that are affecting their reaction to all the information and misinformation being promoted on social media and in the news. You may not completely agree with everyone’s position, but if you come from a place of understanding and openness and are willing to listen to their concerns, this will build trust and understanding with your employees.

Start your message with, “I understand…. Or “The management team wants to address everyone’s concerns…” Invite employees to provide their questions and suggestions on how the company should deal with the current situation. This can be in a public or private manner.

If you haven’t already done so, schedule open office hours for employees to speak with upper management.

2. Stick with the facts

There is a lot of misinformation about the Coronavirus and how it will affect people. Encourage your team to seek out reputable sources of information such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/. If your employees have health concerns, they should speak with their family physician or nurse to seek medical advice.

Never provide your employees with your opinion or judgment on what they should do in regard to medical concerns.

Never make assumptions about the current Coronavirus situation. Refer to reputable sources such as the CDC. It’s ok to provide statics in your communications but leave it at that.

3. Address your team’s concerns with a plan

If team members are asking for remote work options or calling in sick, be sure you have clearly defined processes and procedures for these types of requests. You should be working with your HR department or an HR professional to ensure these processes are up to date and appropriate for the situation. You don’t want to open your business up to legal issues nor do you want to leave the employee unprotected by not following the right government guidelines.

The better you set expectations and provide direction on what team members can and can’t do, the smoother you will work through this unexpected situation. Clearly define the process such as Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, etc.

Make sure team members know who they should speak to and how to document these requests. Everything should be in writing. I can’t stress this enough, be sure you are working with your HR team or an HR consultant to make sure you are following the correct state and government guidelines.

Conclusion


Remember, people are looking to you for guidance and reassurance that the team will get through this together. They want to know that you care and that there is a plan to deal with the current situation that will result in everyone’s safety and success. If you include these top three essentials messages in your company communications, you will provide the guidance and trust needed for everyone in the company to get through the Coronavirus situation.

If you are still not sure what to communicate or you would like input and the review of your communications plan, please reach out to REBL Marketing. We sincerely want to help you get through this so we can all get back to building our businesses together.

Call us to review your communications plan at 858.848.7325 or reb@reblmarketing.com

When is your business ready for PR Program?

Reb Risty: If a client wants to, a prospective client, wants to start PR where do they begin and what should they be looking for?

Michelle Stansbury: That’s yes that’s a great question because at the end of the day PR still remains a mystery to a lot of people. And I think it really works better to describe a PR approach based on someone’s specific business because it can be very custom-tailored. But in general, what we start by doing is sitting down and figuring out, you know, is period right for them at this time? For example, you know a company doesn’t have a website yet, probably should hold on the PR yet because it won’t really have a place to direct them to. So, to make sure that PR strategy would be right for them and help them accomplish their goals, and then after we start working together we sit down and we really get in deep with a strategy session of what are the goals and what are the opportunities. Some people think of PR in terms of press releases and I try to avoid using that term at all costs because so many people mean so many different things when they say press release it’s a business owner’s favorite term. I like to throw that out the window. Let’s talk about what we actually mean. So when we put together a calendar we’re gonna look at a few things we’re going to look at: do we have any actual real company news happening over the next six months? Maybe a new product launch? Maybe a big conference that’s coming up? What’s actually happening? Those are going to be things that we’re going to want to put a big push behind. But we don’t just wait for something big to happen to do PR. We’re going to look at the industry and seeing what’s trending what’s happening in the industry and can we pitch out those stories to reporters with the client as the expert or the thought leader in that to get reporters to write stories about something happening in the industry quoting or using as a source, our clients so that their business gets a mention and they get positioned as an expert. So, filling in pitches about the company and then also about industry trends and sometimes even guest articles. We do a lot of that with Forbes for example. There’s a lot of articles in Forbes that we would consider thought leadership.

Michelle Stansbury: So that strategy session, out of that we create this six-month plan. And from that I start pitching reporters. Some of them I already have a good strong relationship with, but otherwise you know, we figure out who are the key media outlets and reporters and editors for the target audience for trying to reach. Then work to build good relationships with them by providing them with good content, a great source who’s an expert in the industry, and really collaborating with them on their articles, their reporting, and what they’re trying to do. Reb Risty: Yeah I think that’s a really good point about the collaboration. I think a lot of people do just think of PR as press releases. But there’s so much creativity and really relationship building that goes on behind it to make it successful and useful for the company.

Michelle Stansbury: Absolutely agree.

Reb Risty: Well thanks, Michelle. If you’re looking to integrate PR into your marketing program or just want to know more about how you can leverage PR, and if it is the right fit for you and your company at this time, give us a call and you can talk to Michelle or me and REBLutionize your marketing through PR.

PR Works Best as Part of an Integrated Marketing Program

Reb Risty: How else does PR work with marketing? You know, how does PR really as a part of an integrated program, help a client?

Michelle Stansbury: Yeah, PR’s a lot of fun but it’s really the most powerful when it is integrated into the other marketing elements. So, I mentioned social and newsletter. One of the most powerful things about PR is not just putting it out to everyone who is reading the newspaper on that day or watching the TV on that day or were tuned into the Forbes column but it’s really about sharing that with your network in hopes that they might bring you might stay top of mind and get a referral out of that, or stay top of mind with your audience and have them realize that you’re doing really cool things and that you know what you’re talking about. That’s some of the advantages. It also plays really well with SEO and people don’t often think of PR and SEO going hand-in-hand but it can be really powerful because one really good backlink in a PR article can have so much SEO juice because they’re coming from these very high credibility publications. So I’d like to work really hand-in-hand with the SEO team and on the flip side SEO so data-driven that by working again hand-in-hand with the SEO team I can learn a lot from their data-driven approach – what topics are trending, what are people searching for, what’s happening digitally that I can learn from to make my pitches more timely?

Reb Risty: I think that’s great and that’s one of the things that I’ve even learned you know, working with you is about how to look at the back end of just the articles that we’re writing and really understand what the key terms are that makes sense for the client. But also I think you’ve done such an amazing job with pitching out to the industry, their industry, and publications, getting them not only in the local industry but at national level coverage which makes them happy and feels good. We’ve seen you know, gotten clients tell us that they drive business that way too. It really helps them elevate their brand at a different level and the thought leadership piece comes into play. So it’s been amazing.

Reb Risty: Thanks, Michelle, and if you’re looking to integrate PR into your marketing program or just want to know more about how you can leverage PR, and if it is the right fit for you and your company at this time, give us a call and you can talk to Michelle or me and REBLutionize your marketing through PR.

Awards & Recognition Work for Businesses

Reb Risty: Yeah, we’ve had some really good success. I think you’ve come up with some really clever ideas for our clients, like Pawternity for example. You know, I think the media picked that up because it was a great topic and it was great for the client as they got some good coverage if I recall it was even syndicated out to LA from here.

Michelle Stansbury: That’s a great example. Yeah, so it was for a company we work with that does outsourced accounting and H.R. and we really wanted to get them on TV but TV really works best with things that are cute or fun or highly visual, that tug at the heartstrings, and that just doesn’t really work with accounting firm with and H.R. firms. So, I came up with this idea about a growing trend of Pawternity leave, so just like paternity leave except leaving to take care of a new puppy. Which of course has all the elements that TV loves and also ties back to positioning our clients as experts in the industry because they’re on top of these growing H.R. trends. How do you attract and retain top employees? What’s happening in the industry that their clients should be aware of? And as a result, of course, we got them some really great and fun segments on local TV. That was actually picked up by nationally syndicated show got them some great exposure and of course, at the end of the day some fun video content that they could continue to share with their clients around social media and newsletter.

Reb Risty: Yeah that was great. Really, I’ll always remember that one for sure, was a fun one. Thanks Michelle, and if you’re looking to integrate PR into your marketing program or just want to know more about how you can leverage PR, and if it is the right fit for you and your company at this time, give us a call and you can talk to Michelle or me, and REBLutionize your marketing through PR.

We only take referrals. Interview with Aron Bohlig with COMCAP

Reb Risty: Hi I’m Reb Risty, Head REBL at REBL Marketing, and I’m here today with Aron Bohlig. We’re going to talk about his business, how they heavily rely on referrals, and actually, they only accept referrals for business. Aaron, how are you?

Aron Bohlig: Hey Reb, great. How are you doing?

Reb Risty: Good, good. Thank you so much for joining me today. I know you’re busy traveling the world and I’m excited to talk to you because one of the things that attracted me to want to interview you, was what you have on your website, and it clearly states that you only accept referrals. And I thought that’s a bold statement and that you do this, so you’re actually saving on marketing effort and budget, which is an interesting message. Well, really quick tell me a little bit about who you are what you do.

Aron Bohlig: Absolutely, very happy to. So, I’m Eric Bolling, the Founder and Managing Partner here at ComCapp LLC. ComCapp is a boutique investment bank that’s focused on retail e-commerce. We help companies generally valued between 30 and 300 million, to either raise money or to sell themselves or in some cases help larger companies to buy new companies – that are in new product categories or new geographies for them.

Aron Bohlig: For us referrals have been really the cornerstone of our business in many cases. We are approached by new potential clients but I’d say probably, nine times out of ten, somebody as a referral is both more qualified, more likely to become a client, more likely to be an interesting prospect for us, an economic opportunity for us that kind of a blind person from outside of my network. And that’s really been a central tenet of how I’ve built the business over the last seven years, has been to expand my network and really take pride that we asked for referrals. In terms of marketing, other marketing activities, the key activity we use is content marketing. So, we try to be a thought leader in our space. We try to take a position on sometimes provocative questions. We publish lots of research on our websites. As you noted I was just traveling to Hong Kong where I was presenting at a conference about the impact that Amazon and Alibaba having retailers around the world and really positioned ourselves. As I said, as kind of thought leaders and as unique domain experts. And so that’s led itself well to our referral marketing program because, generally if we ask somebody to introduce a friend, they’re making out who’s a CEO or board member, who would be eligible for services by being positioned as an expert in our field. Generally, they’re very happy to do so. So, we find that a combination of the two things content marketing and that kind of working referral network are kind of a virtuous cycle. Some of the other marketing activities we’ve pursued over time. We do, we have tried kind of outbound campaigns especially bringing on new business development team first. And usually frankly those are just less effective in many cases the folks that we’re trying to reach out to are CEOs. They have well-established networks. So, unless we have a relationship perhaps through a board member or some member of their executive team, it’s frankly, it’s very tough to kind of come into the front door through a cold calling approach. So that’s just kind of reinforced activities related both for marketing and then to content marketing.

Reb Risty: Okay, that’s great, and I think that’s something that a lot of businesses, especially in the marketing and I know you talked to other professional services that kind of get caught up in this whole digital age and you get to drive leads and they forget their business really built on relationships. In fact, that’s how you and I met was an Entrepreneurs Organization event, and here we are you know staying connected. Who knows if we’ll ever do business together, but I think building that network and having that personality and friendship before you even talk about business is so important. So, what are – if you had some advice – there’s so many opportunities to network, how do you decide and choose? How have you made that work for you?

Aron Bohlig: Well that’s a great question. Certainly, something that’s been kind of trial and error over time. Usually, I try to focus on events with only kind of the right level of participants in my case as I’ve mentioned. Generally, we’re seeking to pitch to CEOs and board members. And so, the good news is you always know who the CEO is a company because he or she is going to make sure his or her name and bios on that company website. So, it’s fairly easy to find the right person and then it’s really a function of kind of finding the events that really are curated to go to exactly that audience. And so we tend to go to fewer kind of general industry events and only select ones where I know the right level of attendees is going to be there. And so, we’re fairly selective in terms of how we spend time with different industry events. Because in many cases it’s not some decision-maker. It just frankly not worthwhile spending time tracking network.

Reb Risty: Yeah, and I find when I’ve gone out my tactics and they maybe a little more random. But you pretty, you know pretty quickly when you attend an event. If you’re going to find the right audience or not, great. Well the other thing you mention is content and that’s something that we work on as well for our clients. Tell me a little bit. How do you decide or strategize around the content that you are going to give?

Aron Bohlig: Well it’s a great question. We do it through a couple of different vehicles. One is just in conversation our clients and other people in the industry going to be both speaking at events and I’m going to major events. We kind of usually summarize a conference and talk about the top three to five trends that speaker, other speakers and address at that conference and over time we’ll look at those trends and see if there’s an area that we should put energy into researching especially if  it’s something that’s not covered by one of the major industry analysts in our field.

Aaron Blake: Gardner Forester and others are fairly active, but they don’t cover new emerging technology segments. So we tend to focus on those areas. The other area we look for is funding activity. If we see a lot of venture capital funding going into a new area that does not have established competitors. And that suggests that in two or three years those small companies will grow into medium-sized in some cases larger companies. And so we’ll seek to get ahead of that trend research space and establish ourselves experts in that new evolving category.

Reb Risty: Okay, yeah. That makes a lot of sense. So, are you, yourself producing it, is your team producing it? Are you doing mostly articles? Can you tell us a little bit about the content?

Aron Bohlig: Yeah. We primarily do between 20- and 70-page reports with one or two these putting out a month. I write everything myself. Every word, every image is painstakingly crafted by myself. No, I’m joking.

Reb Risty: I was going to say that’s impossible unless you’re superhuman.

Aron Bohlig: I dedicate my ability elsewhere. We’ve got an editor in chief manages the production process and generally our frontline client-facing professionals of producing core content. These are people that are working in management consulting capacity basically with very large companies around the globe. We think generally we have a very unique point of view, and in many cases, the feedback we’ve gotten is that the work we do is is better than maybe the traditional industry analysts out there.

Reb Risty: That’s great. Do you also, if somebody new who has been referred to you, do they comment or mention, you know the content of the articles that they read or something that really encouraged them to follow up with you?

Aron Bohlig: Very frequently yes. In many cases it maybe we’ve started to have a relationship with somebody that we didn’t even know about because they’ve started reading our content, or they may have seen a conference presentation a year and a half before we had a first conversation. That’s where they were kind of getting to know our brand and the quality for that we produce. And then, finally, a relevant topic comes up and they’ve reached out or otherwise we’ve connected in some fashion but where we’ve really laid out a lot of pitting something, so to speak over time through this content we’ve been producing.

Reb Risty: Okay great. Well thanks Aaron. Any last thoughts on content or just marketing in general that you like to share with my audience?

Aron Bohlig: Yeah, I guess in general I’d like to say I’d rather have 10 percent of the people love me than some of the people not care. What that means is generally we do make a strong point of view suggests that other small professionals you’re better off speaking the truth to something you really know a lot about as opposed to being generic or vague or being overly expansive in covering topics that somebody else might do a better job than you would. So triple down on your strengths and be the best professionally you can, I think, guess that’s my takeaway.

Reb Risty: Great thank you. I second that and agree. Well Eric, if someone did want to get a hold of you or read your content what would be the best way for them to do that?

Aron Bohlig: Well certainly they’re welcome to visit our website at Comcast. We’ll see, if they’re a friend of yours happy to take that call. Referrals are always welcome, as you know. They’re also welcome to contact me directly, aron@comcapllc.com

Reb Risty: Thanks Aaron. I look forward to talking to you again.

Aron Bohlig: That’s great. Thanks, so much Reb. Have a good day.

Reb Risty: You too.

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