Tag Archives: building better business

Building a Following: Attraction Rather Than Promotion, Part II

davidreneetennessean2001 copy

We are continuing this month with David Bates of Bates Nursery and Garden Center, indeed my better half and a very bright light.  Photo: Renee and David Bates, circa 2001.

When I asked David how he prepares for writing the newsletter each week he said, “I rarely know what I’m going to write about. I schedule time to write. I sit down and some thought comes or I think about what has transpired over the week and I begin typing. As the type goes onto the screen, that’s where I become inspired and, it’s important for me to have a deadline.”

People often tell me that they get several newsletters but David’s is one that they always read. David’s late friend, Rebecca Bain of Nashville Public Radio, told him that his articles were good though he needed to keep them brief. Mark Twain once said, “I apologize for the length of this letter as I did not have time to write a short one.” Writing with brevity takes time. Most weeks David keeps it to 350 words as his homage to Rebecca. He also tries to keep the self-promotion aspect low in newsletters. Topics are generally informational and not about promoting specific items.

Tracking outreach, he notes that about 1,500 people open the email within the first hour. People sign up for the newsletter through his website, www.batesnursery.com, or when they check out at the register and sign up for Bates Rewards, a loyalty program.

Regarding social media, Bates’ has Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr sites. David also co-hosts a weekly radio show, At Home with Josh Cary and David Bates, on WWTN 99.7 FM. He tries to coordinate all aspects of promotion across these formats.

Bates’ Twitter account has over 81,000 followers and Facebook has close to 3,000 likes. The Twitter following has more of a global audience and when he began in 2009 he said he didn’t really have any idea what he was doing. He spent an average of 2 hours a day for 2 ½ to 3 years building it.

He is committed to keeping viable content on social media. “Keep people engaged,” David offers. “Facebook has a decidedly more local audience. The up to date information is posted more to that site.”   When I asked him about whether he had delved into paying to promote on Facebook he replied, “Not yet.”

When asked what advice he would give someone who was just starting out with social media, he said that he would take his father, Earl Bates’ advice: “If you are going to copy someone, copy someone who has been successful. Don’t try to make someone else’s failure work for you.” David looked at what others were doing successfully and emulated their practices. Apparently it works.

About Renee Bates

Renee is an artist focused on growing a newfound ability to express herself through oil painting, recently leaving her role as executive director of the non-profit Greenways for Nashville to pursue art and product development. Renee likes being in nature, hiking, birding, and working in the garden. Married to David Bates of Bates Nursery and Garden Center, she appreciates that the legacy of the 3rd generation business was begun in 1932 at the height of the depression by a savvy woman, Bessie Bates.

Like what you’ve read? Feel free to share, but please… Give HerSavvy credit. Thanks!

Leave a comment

Filed under Business Savvy

Effective Leadership – Building Trust

Effective Leadership-BuildingTrust

It’s a basic necessity for good relationships, so it makes sense that trust is a key contributor to a leader’s effectiveness.  Think about it… Would you follow someone you don’t trust? The trust that is critical to being an effective leader involves much more than honesty, though. Leaders usually act a little shocked—act as if their character has been assaulted—when I ask whether people trust them. They hear the question as something akin to, “Do you lie to people?” I ask leaders whether they are trusted so that they will focus on the following key questions. The answers to which all need to be, “Yes.”

Do people trust that:

  • You have their best interests at heart?
  • You will follow through on your commitments?
  • You know what you’re doing?
  • You will make sound decisions?
  • You’ll keep your cool?
  • You’ll be honest with them?

Recent psychological research provides a key pointer toward what leaders can do to earn the trust of the people who work with them: people begin to trust you when they see you demonstrate self-control, i.e. avoid doing what is not beneficial and do more of what is, even if there will be a little pain involved. People look for clues about your trustworthiness in all that you say and do. If you tell everyone you are on a diet, but snack on the office goodies routinely, people will file that away as evidence that you either don’t mean what you say or you don’t have the strength to make hard choices…neither behavior being very leader-like, of course.  Imagine if you also then tiptoe around a difficult team member who is not carrying her weight on projects. Once again, others will conclude you can’t make tough decisions for the ultimate benefit of the team.

Earning trust can take time, but it’s possible to speed things along a bit if you put your mind to it. If you’re in leadership, and wondering what proactive steps you can take to earn others’ trust sooner rather than later, try out some of these:

  • Seek out information that can answer questions or ease concerns your team has expressed and pass that information along to them.
  • Start and end meetings on time, and if you must deviate from the stated agenda, make it clear why.
  • Take advantage of opportunities to advocate for your employees with others in the company.
  • Pay close attention to what you tell people you will do—even the trivial things—and do them or tell them why you can’t.
  • Keep a lid on your emotions when reacting to news, situations, etc. Besides not throwing tantrums in the office, we’re talking about keeping your less-measured editorial comments about people or events to yourself.
  • Admit when you don’t know something and demonstrate a commitment to learn it.

Obviously, none of this is rocket science; you just have to decide you’re going to take these steps. After all, building trust is as simple as staying away from the cookies when you’re on a diet.

About Dr. Debra Fish

Dr. Fish is a consulting psychologist whose writing and work focus exclusively on helping individuals and teams lead more effectively. Her firm, Fish Executive Leadership Group, LLC, counts among its clients everything from Fortune 50 corporations to small, privately-held professional service firms.

Like what you’ve read? Feel free to share, but please… Give HerSavvy credit. Thanks!

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Business Savvy

Social Media And How To Build Your Authentic Personal Brand

Social Media 3

The  women of HerSavvy met recently to learn more about using social media to build and enhance our business brands.  The session was led by a young adult, or digital native, who walked us through the process of using Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and the like.  To us digital immigrants, it was a bit overwhelming, but there is no denying the importance of social media in today’s world.  We all understand the need to, if not master it, at least know the basics.  And when it comes to business there are professionals to help us navigate that world.  The bigger issue for many of us is how, or whether, to use social media for our personal lives and where personal and business identities intersect.  The question also came up of how to be our authentic selves while at the same time creating a brand and where and when to set boundaries on our use of social media.  Just like Hollywood celebrities (or Barbara Mandrell) all of us are now under a bit of a microscope and can be photographed, quoted or otherwise “captured” by this wild new world.

Listen to our discussion on our latest podcast and let us know how you manage to balance your personal and business identities and remain your authentic, best self.  And thanks for tuning in!

About Barbara Dab:

Barbara Dab is a journalist, broadcast radio personality, producer and award-winning public relations consultant. She currently hosts two radio shows locally in Nashville, TN. Check out her website athttp://www.zoneabouttown.com.

Barbara is also creator of The Peretz Project: Stories from the Shoah: Next Generation. Check it out at http://www.theperetzproject.com If you, or someone you know, is the child of survivors of the Shoah, The Holocaust, and would like to tell your story please leave a comment and Barbara will contact you.

Like what you’ve read? Feel free to share, but please… Give HerSavvy credit. Thanks!

Leave a comment

Filed under Business Savvy, Self Savvy

First Impressions


Business Handshake

We all know that first impressions are important and that we never get a second chance at making one.  I think about that adage each time I drive past the store of a local business owner.

It all started several months ago when I joined a business networking group and began to contact other members.  My goal was to ask for a brief meeting to introduce myself, to learn about the other business’s product or service, and to explore how we can help each other grow our businesses.

One of the first businesses I contacted had a new owner who said he was also new to the networking group.  I set a time to meet him at his store. Two weeks later, I showed up at the appointed time.  The guy wasn’t there.

The woman at the store said the owner had left to run an errand.  She didn’t know where he had gone, when he would be back, or that he was scheduled to meet me that afternoon.  After a few minutes of chatter, I left my business card and went on my way.  Sure I was disappointed because my time was wasted, but I’ve screwed up appointments too, so I was willing to give this guy the benefit of the doubt.  What happened?  I never heard from him.

Here’s where first impressions are important.  Missing an appointment is minor; it happens to all of us at some point.  Not following up to apologize and perhaps reschedule is major.  My first impression of this business owner is that he’s sloppy and uncaring about details.

Based on my first impression, I know that I will never buy this guy’s product or service.  I also know I won’t ever recommend his business to anyone who could use his product or service because I’m not going to burn my contacts by recommending someone who doesn’t care about how he treats potential customers.

I think about what sort of first impression I want to make on the people I meet. They may never need the service my company offers, but they all know someone who does and I sure don’t want to blow all those future potential relationships by making a lousy first impression.

About Norma Shirk

Norma started her company, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor, to help employers create human resources policies for their employees and employee benefit programs that are appropriate to the employer’s size and budget. The goal is to have structure without bureaucracy.

Like what you’ve read? Feel free to share, but please… Give HerSavvy credit. Thanks!

Leave a comment

Filed under Business Savvy

HerSavvy…The Beginning: Our First Podcast!

496065AX.TIF

Today’s post is a bit different, and it introduces what we hope will be a regular feature.  We want to share with our readers what we like to call “the magic of HerSavvy.”  What do we mean by that?  Well, you’ll just have to listen to find out!  During these periodic podcasts, we’ll be discussing business, sharing ideas and doing what we do best: having fun.  So listen to our very first HerSavvy podcast and let us know what you’d like us to talk about next.  And when you’re done, hit us up with questions, comments or ideas and don’t forget to subscribe so you won’t miss a single post!  Thanks for being part of our savvy world!

About Barbara Dab:

Barbara Dab is a journalist, broadcast radio personality, producer and award-winning public relations consultant. She currently hosts two radio shows locally in Nashville, TN. Check out her website athttp://www.zoneabouttown.com.

Barbara is also creator of The Peretz Project: Stories from the Shoah: Next Generation. Check it out at http://www.theperetzproject.com If you, or someone you know, is the child of survivors of the Shoah, The Holocaust, and would like to tell your story please leave a comment and Barbara will contact you.

Like what you’ve read? Feel free to share, but please… Give HerSavvy credit. Thanks!

Leave a comment

Filed under Business Savvy, Fun Savvy, Self Savvy