Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Virtual Marketing Program

Professionals Have Coaches

My name is Tim Polk, of Tim Polk Communications (TPC). For the past 15+ years I have been helping business owners and sales professionals launch or grow their business. To date, all of my client interactions have been face-to-face. Now, though, in 2010 I am launching a new Virtual Marketing Program (VMP). Through VMP, you can receive monthly marketing and sales coaching, guidance, and brainstorming, and direction easily and at an affordable price.

What You Receive
When you commit to VMP, each month you will receive:

* Two (2) telecoaching sessions led by myself. We'll cover the key topics necessary to grow your business, discuss your specific needs, goals, challenges and opportunities, and you'll receive my expert feedback, guidance, and support.

* Two (2) Marketing Action Plans (MAPs) sent to you via email which correspond to each telecoaching call.

* Access to me via email throughout the month for questions, review and feedback, and so on.

* Access to my network of professional marketing service providers.

Benefits to You
By having myself as your "Virtual Director of Marketing," you will receive focused guidance from a seasoned sales and marketing professional, leading to a greater ability to attract more prospects, achieve higher sales, and grow your business. I also am a great resource to brainstorm new ideas with, and will help provide "teammate" accountability to help ensure that you follow through as needed.

VMP Costs
VMP has a monthly cost of $150 per person. For a limited time, you can sign up for only $75 per month. For those who will commit to three-month increments, you will save even more, as the three-month fee will be only $199. Want to commit to a full year? Only $699--just $58 per month.

Take Action Now
To enroll in the Virtual Marketing Program, simply:
1. Mail a check payable to "Tim Polk" to: Tim Polk, 2436 Quail Hollow Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95403. (Be sure to provide me with your name, telephone number, and email address.)

2. Send an email to tpcresults@gmail.com, and I will contact you.

3. Register online using a credit card or PayPal account via secured transmission by clicking here.

Professionals Have Coaches. Make your 2010 a stellar one by joining the Virtual Marketing Program (VMP) today!

Thinking About 2010

Yes, the holidays are here, which means time for family, fun, and relaxing. But this time of year also excites me business-wises, as it’s a fun, creative time for planning for the new year ahead, too.

I’m particularly excited about 2010 after having recently completed a three-day seminar with wonder-trainer Doug Nelson, of Peak Potentials. Doug shared some amazing insights on personal missions, entrepreneurship, financial freedom, and much more. (I have it on the skinny that he is working on a book—more details to follow soon.) Here are a few of Doug’s insights that I found particularly energizing, and which I want to share with you:

Everything is one thing—energy. Do you want more sales? More revenue? A better business? Expend more energy on marketing-related things. How? Begin by creating a written marketing plan with goals, time lines, and tactics. Then create daily—and I do mean daily—marketing-related activities (even something as simple as scheduling a lunch with another professional to discuss each other’s business).

To achieve new heights, get uncomfortable. Our mind wants to keep us safe, i.e., in our comfort zone. We must continually push to move beyond our comfort zone to continue growing and thriving. What would be a risky move for you in 2010? DO IT!

How you do anything is how you do everything. What is marketing? EVERYTHING. How you answer the phone. How you schedule lunch meetings with clients or colleagues. How your email signature looks, and the information it contains. And so on. Look at every interaction as a form of marketing yourself or your business. I know this can make many uncomfortable; just remember, if you are providing a valuable service, at a fair price, why not make this known to people with problems, looking for solutions?

The first 10 people who send me an email at
tpcresults@gmail.com with “2010 Marketing Jump-Start” in the subject line, I will spend 30 minutes on the phone at no charge helping you craft your 2010 marketing plan.

To success!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holidays: Wasted Time, or Marketing Time?

I say marketing time. Here are three quick reasons why:

1. The holidays give you a great excuse to reach out and “touch” your clients.
I see many entrepreneurs so caught up trying to attract new clients that they neglect their current clients. Your best clients are your best clients. In other words, existing clients are ideal prospects not only for new business, but also referrals. Use the holiday time to say “thank you” to your clients. I suggest avoiding an (impersonal) email message, and instead sending a holiday card. Gifts can be tricky. I avoid the “obvious” (fruit baskets, chocolate, etc.) and instead try to give something of value related to my business, such as a business-building book, a marketing-related White Paper, etc.

2. People have more time…which allows them to think about their business/personal life.
Most businesses slow down during the holidays. This gives business owners time to collect their breath…and think about their business, especially as it relates to 2010. Likewise, most people know that they need to de-stress/eat better/get more exercise/get a better mindset, etc. Focus on this thought: People need your solutions—now you must simply introduce them to how they can move forward to obtain the benefits you offer.

3. Party on.

I feel holiday parties are positives—people are more relaxed, (generally) in better moods, and more open to talking. Stay positive, stay professional, and have fun. Don’t come on as a hard-sell. Instead, look for opportunities to “plant seeds”—ask a question, make a comment, etc. Your goal should be to grab someone’s interest, then receive their permission for you to contact them later. (Avoid at all costs having them contact you—this rarely happens.)

Happy Holidays from TPC!

To help jump-start your 2010 marketing efforts, or to discuss a book writing/editing/publishing project, please contact me at 707-568-7322.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Customer Connections

I just wrote about how important I believe Facebook is becoming to the marketing world. But it's really just one piece of an what I call an overall Customer Connections program, which I believe should include at a minimum:

1. An online newsletter/database

2. A Facebook page

3. Management of online client reviews (Yelp!, TripAdvisor, BiteClub, etc.)

Savvy organizations also will take advantage of these applications, as they apply to your business:

4. A blog

5. Twitter

6. RSS feeds

TPC has developed a Customer Connections program to keep your business interacting with your most important asset -- your clients -- and to outreach to new, potential clients and customers. Contact me for more information.

Facebook is for Real, Folks

I specialize in communicating with customers, and soon-to-be customers. For some reason, I had been reluctant to jump on the Facebook bandwagon in terms of recommending this to my clients (for a variety of reasons). Now, though, I’m convinced—Facebook is for real, folks.

It can be a powerful tool for the vast majority of businesses. It is particularly powerful, in my opinion, for restaurants, wineries, and businesses with a social aspect to them. I am aggressively recommending, and helping build, fun, upbeat Facebook pages for my clients, and managing them.

Managing your Facebook page becomes the key. I have developed four “golden rules” to follow in terms of how often, and what, to discuss. For more information about this, contact me.

Your business might not become as popular as Starbucks – it has, as of this writing, 3,605,413 friends – but created properly, and then run effectively, a Facebook page will help you build stronger bonds with customers, and generate new customers.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Why You Want Your Marketing Guy to Play Poker

As many of you know, I have won a free entry into a World Series of Poker (WSOP) event, which will take place next week (June 18-20) at the Rio Casino in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada. I have been playing poker for the past 2.5 years, and obviously have obtained a certain level of skill in the game. As I've been thinking of late about both poker and marketing, two things dawned on me: 1) the similarities between the two (in broad terms) and 2) my belief that it's a GOOD THING if your marketing consultant or marketing person is a great poker player. Why?

Reason 1: Both involve strategy
Both marketing and poker involve creating and then executing a strategic course of action. In the poker tournaments I play, for example, I have very specific ways I play the different tournament stages (early play, mid-level, final table, final three, heads up). Your marketing as well should be written down, and have specific elements for different phases and/or customers related to your business.

Reason 2: Both involve reading people
Poker isn't about just the cards; a large part of the game hinges on your ability to guess (called 'reading') what cards the other person has. Likewise, you want your marketing expert to be a good reader of people, i.e., someone who understands customers and prospects and, even more importantly, can quickly determine the messages they send to a business.

Reason 3: Both involve spending money to make money
In poker, you can't play a hand unless you call the minimum bet at that time (called the 'blind'). Likewise, marketing often involves spending some money (X) with the idea of making more money than your initial investment (X+Y). Good poker players --and great marketing folks -- invest money wisely, understand percentages, and have the experience to limit, as much as possible, your exposure to risk.

Reason 4: Both involve (or should!) a bit of a gambler's mentality
At some point in poker, you will be making bets with nothing, in hopes of winning a pot by having the other player fold. That's gambling. Likewise, marketing often involves trying something new in hopes that it will work out. That's gambling too (not just the money invested in the new venture, but also the time and energy required). The key is this: great poker players/marketing consultants aren't reckless gamblers; yes, they'll try something new, in hopes of hitting it big. But they are savvy enough to limit exposure and investment, and wait until something is a proven winner before going full-bore.

For quick marketing-related information, please follow me on Twitter:

If you want to follow my poker exploits at the World Series of Poker, follow me on Twitter:

See you at the tables/in the meeting room!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Great Resource

I'm excited to share that Steven Campbell's new book, Making Your Mind Magnificent: Flourishing at Any Age, is now available. I helped edit Steve's book, and as I was going through this, I was blown away by the great information on how to make your mind work FOR you, not AGAINST you. This book is particularly ideal for seniors, students, and entrepreneurs.

This 242-page, softcover book has a retail price of $19.95. To order a copy, please send a check made out to "Steven Campbell" for $24.00 (book price plus tax and shipping and handling) to:

Steven Campbell/An Intelligent Heart
P.O. Box 197

979 Golf Course Drive
Rohnert Park, CA 94928-2404

Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.

Friday, January 23, 2009

"I don't like marketing."

"(Success) is the birth of a new reality through the union of thought and action."
~ Author Dennis William Hauck

I attended a business networking lunch meeting today in San Francisco, and when I introduced myself to one business owner by saying I have my own marketing communications company, the woman quickly said, "Oooo, I don't like to do marketing." I hear this frequently. Most entrepreneurs would rather spend their time doing what it is they love do -- taking photographs, providing nutritional information, running a business, etc. -- than trying to hustle up (in their mind) new customers. My response to these folks?

You have a valuable product or service; as many people as possible should know about you/your business. That's marketing. Once a person makes this mental adjustment -- shifts their thinking that little bit to where marketing becomes a solution rather than a bother-- they usually learn to not only do, but embrace marketing: marketing that's creative, effective, and ongoing.

Post a comment here or contact me with thoughts and questions: tpcresults@gmail.com or 707-568-7322.