Notes from Jeff York

Small business marketing thoughts from a marketing small business owner

Posts Tagged ‘passion

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Once upon a time, I ran a video production company.  On our website’s profile, I wrote that we would do the work for free if we could, but we have to pay bills.  If you love what you do, you would probably do it for free if you could.

But alas, like me, I’m sure you have bills.

One of my downfalls is that I don’t concentrate on the cash enough.  I blame that on loving what I do.  Just yesterday I was telling my wife that if I hit Powerball today, I would still do what I do.  I love it so much that there are times I forget to ask for the deposit.  Fortunately, I have people around me that keep me in line.

Do as I say, not as I do.

You may have real passion for what you do.  You may be focused on your primary responsibilities to the point that you have blinders on.  But trust me, you ability to continue to do that great work depends entirely on your ability to price your goods and services correctly and to collect accounts receivable.

First, before you can tell your clients/customers what you want to charge, you need to make sure that you are pricing correctly.  It’s OK to be more expensive than your competition if you provide more value.  Then the weight falls on your shoulders to illustrate and prove that you are worth it.  Market research and advertising are the tasks at hand here.

Then go get your customers.  You sign them up.  Get the cash.  You need cash flow to keep afloat while you’re executing.  If you’re like me and you are a service-based industry, then make sure that you have a payment schedule ready and fully understood by all parties.  Often when working on video projects, I ask for 50% up front and 50% on completion.  When working on multimedia projects, sometimes it’s 50% up front, 30% on reaching some milestone in the project, and 20% on completion.  With these examples, you can see that I’m getting at least half up front to get moving.


Written by Jeff York

August 24, 2008 at 8:43 pm

Wanted: Salesmen. Salesmen need not apply.

with 2 comments

Sales. That is one dirty word.

Everyone hates salesmen. Thanks to poor depictions of the vocation from Hollywood and our own first-hand experiences with that sleazy, only-out-to-make-a-buck sales rep, just the mention of the title turns what would normally be a potential customer into someone with full defenses up.

And what do these salesmen do for a living? Of course! They sell. And it’s called sales. It all gets lumped into that ‘hate to think about it’, ‘wouldn’t want to do it for a living’, ‘have no use for it’ pile of unmentionables.

But consider this…what business could survive without a sales effort? Look around you. Everything you see has been sold at some point. Sometimes more than once before it reached you. Without the sales effort, business today would cease to be.

So, how do you sell without selling? After all, as the adage goes…people like to buy, but they don’t like to be sold. Surely, there is no shortage of books, tapes, videos, and other media available that answers exactly that question. But since this is my blog, here’s my take on it.

I don’t sell because I’m not a salesman. But my business would not survive if I don’t sell. On a daily basis, I put myself out there. I believe in me, I believe in my business, and I believe that I can help others. In fact, I believe that so much, that to be around me, you will see that I have one quality that I think people buy into.

I have passion.

I’ve written about passion before. I believe it is the basis of making sales without selling. When you believe in you and your abilities, when you believe in your company, then that’s contagious. On the flip side, when you don’t, who would want to buy into you?

If you have the passion, then get out there and get in front of people. Talk to them about what they need and what you do. If you don’t feel like you have that passion and drive, then maybe it’s time to invest in yourself and find that position that will open yourself up for passionate living.

Written by Jeff York

July 20, 2008 at 12:52 am

Got passion?

with 6 comments

thumbs-up.jpgAs a hiring manager-type, if there is one character trait I looked for in adding an individual to a team, it would be someone who was passionate about all the right things.  I was never a manager of a widget maker.  Everywhere I’ve worked has been media related.  There is no way to work in media, either in the environment that existed 20 years ago when I started or in today’s hyperchanging, absorbing, multilayered assult that we experience today without that passion.  If you don’t have the passion for what we do, you will not be involved enough to be able to keep up with the times.  You will not be in tune enough to know which new media channels to use to help your clients to achieve their marketing objectives.  And you will not be looked to as an expert in this field providing value to your clients.

I have participated in enough recent meetings with old school marketing people that clearly didn’t have passion for today’s media environment.  They were smart enough to hire some kid that just came out of college and get it.  But as the meeting wears on, they sit back and let the kid do the work.  It’s clear that the elephant in the room is them and they are no longer relevant as marketing experts.  Old school marketing principles do not apply across the board to the new avenues that marketing professionals can use to be successful for their clients.

They don’t have the passion.  Do you?  What are you passionate about?

Written by Jeff York

March 25, 2008 at 4:32 pm

Posted in Marketing

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