A Kernel of a Marketing Idea. Or, Why Are You All Wearing Sparkly Clothes?

8 08 2010

My “little chorus” had a gig last week. I sing with a large Sweet Adelines chorus, The Melodeers, that’s right near my house and a small Sweet Adelines chorus, Riverside Chorus, that’s an hour or so away. My large chorus doesn’t sing out very often all together, but the small one does gigs fairly regularly, especially in the summer. My sister Amy is also in both choruses. (And, she’s the bass in our quartet.)

Riverside actively seeks out opportunities to sing in the community. First of all, it’s part of our mission to be a community chorus. Also, we find that it’s a good way to solicit members. Sometimes we get paid, sometimes we just do it for the opportunity to go out and show people who we are and what we have to offer. Also, we like to sing! Sweet Adelines love to perform.

So we had a paying gig last week — a 90th birthday party at a very busy, big local restaurant— Linos, in Rockford, Illinois. We actually performed downstairs in a party room, but as always, when a bunch of people stand around in the same sparkly outfit, wearing “heavy street make up,” you attract a lot of attention. Lots of people asked us if we were going to sing.

Jeffrey, guy from the restaurant who seemed to be in charge of the party was very attentive, brought us glasses of water while we were warming up, made sure we had everything we needed, etc. He told us afterwards that he really enjoyed our singing both during the warm up and during the performance.

On the long drive home from Rockford, Amy & I talked about how we could motivate restaurants to give out our flyers to people who are having parties in their party rooms. What if we offered to sing around the restaurant for free for every three or four gigs that we do for their party patrons?

Could we do it for Riverside out in that neighborhood? Could we try it for our quartet in our own neighborhood?

What do you guys think about this? Has anyone else tried this strategy? What works for you?

:)Sj





Don’t Click Here! Or, How to Use your Links Effectively

30 06 2010

As I was driving up to Summerfest with my sister Amy, I read to her from a Sweet Adeline chorus’ home page (gotta ♥ the iPhone!) about a unique method they were using to solicit new members.

“Blah blah blah,” I read, “and for more information click here.” And “click here” were the words that was the link.

I told her that you should never make “click here” the link!

She asked me why and I proceeded to explain it to her in some detail.

That’s when she told me that I should be blogging. And I told her that I wasn’t sure I had anything new to contribute. And she told me that I had the opportunity to reach out to people in my own “community” who need to understand today’s technology. Like that chorus that had a great idea for a promotion and just needed some help in promoting it…

So, with that long-winded introduction, here’s why you should never make “click here” the link.

Two reasons, actually.

1) Accessibility. A person with poor vision, no vision or dyslexia will often utilize a piece of software called a screen reader to read his computer screen out loud to him. When a screen reader reads a website, it starts at the top and reads everything on the page. This person may “skim” through the page by just tabbing through the links of the page, to see what the page has to offer. If the only thing that’s linked is “click here,” the person will have no idea where “clicking here” will take him. See the video to the right to see/hear an example of what someone might hear by using a screen reader.

So, what do text do you link to? Link to a description of what he’s going to when he clicks.

  • Register for the class instead of Click here to register for the class
  • Find more information about our director, Wolfgang Mozart instead of More information

2) SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Folks, you stick with me and you’re going to wish you knew as much about SEO as I wish I knew!

SEO is what we do to our websites so that people can find them. I’ll talk a lot about SEO on these pages, but right now, let’s just agree that if we have a website, we want people to be able to find it.

Search engines believe that one of the things that determines what a page is about, is what it links to. So, if your page is about a class that you’re offering, it will help the search engines if your links look like this

  • Register for the marketing class
  • Learn more about the teacher
  • See the class itinerary

Bottom line? Don’t “Click Here”  or “Read More.”  Put useful, meaningful words on your web pages.

Comments? Questions? How am I doing?