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Good marketing, like good whisky, takes time

The making of Scottish whisky has long fascinated me. The simplicity of the ingredients, the patience required at every stage of the process, the hundreds of years of doing something the same way. Nothing churned out, nothing rushed. Good things take time.Conceptually, it makes sense. Better done right than done rushed. Invest well at the start with the best ingredients. Have patience. Keep going in the same direction. This applies to marketing, too. Invest big in the right places, stay the...

March 19, 2022

Planning is everything (and then it’s easy)

This week I finished the DIY project of my downstairs bathroom. When I say “DIY”, this means “I hired a joiner to completely renovate the entire room and then I painted it”, which I say counts.  But actually that was part of the problem. I figured once the joiner had come in to strip the (weird geometrical shape) tiles on the wall, put in new flooring to replace the cold black tiles, add wood panelling and re plaster the walls…my part would be easy peasy, right?  After a...

March 5, 2022

The (un)awkward silence: leaving space for people to think

We had a training session at PF this week on using more “definitive language”. Examples included “We believe” or “I get it” or “This works because…” You use them in place of vague, rambly language. The kind which expresses uncertainty:  “I think” “I”m not sure if that’s the best” “Here’s what worries me” “Just” “Sort of / kind of”  We worked through the definitive language together, and in the process discovered a bonus way to be definit...

February 26, 2022

Green flags and gold flags: looking for the good qualities, too

You know how to spot red flags. You’re not always sure how to define them, and you’re working on defining it, but when the flag starts waving, you know things aren’t going to be good. The client who doesn’t show up to meetings. The prospect who asks about price first. The applicant who doesn’t want to do the tester project.  We’ve talked about pink flags (not so obvious, and could go either way, and you tend to need more of them to be able to decide).  The obvious inference...

February 19, 2022

I don’t actually want to be polarising

The best way to get engagement is to make strong, polarising, even outrageous statements.  You’ll get more likes. More views. More haters too, but then that counts as engagement cos you can respond to them and then more people see it and that’s the point, isn’t it? More people, more comments, more visibility?  Maybe. Maybe for some.  I was thinking about it this weekend and I’m not sure I want to be so polarising.  Energy has always been precious to me (including phys...

January 29, 2022

The comparison game may kick in over the holidays

It’s nearly Christmas, so I’ll be signing off for a few weeks and writing my Notes again in January. Before I go, I wanted to send a reminder that taking a break at the holidays always opens up more of your mind to what “everyone else” is doing.  The comparison game.  For me it can get stronger either right before I finish for the year, or as soon as I come back.  The “recap of the last year” posts. The new contracts or projects or clients or opportunities someone...

December 22, 2021

Pink flags: Not quite red flags, but...

You know what a red flag is. Warning, danger, “bad gut feeling”, something was said or done which is an indicator this (whatever ‘this’ is) will not go well.  Prospective client or team member, new client relationship, business opportunity such as a merger or sale. In any of these (and many other) situations we stay alert to red flags and can often identify them clearly as such. Even one red flag can be enough to end the whole thing.  Another kind of flag which has helped me an...

December 18, 2021

The right way is the long way: in whisky and marketing

Glengoyne Whisky Distillery prides itself on having the slowest stills in Scotland. My sister and I visited a few months ago, and in huge letters on the doors to the building holding the stills and the washbacks, it reads:  THE RIGHT WAY IS THE LONG WAY Everywhere at the distillery and on their website and whisky, this particular brand proclaims proudly: we are slower on purpose. For good. To create a different kind of whisky. Even slower, even longer than the others. All good Scottish whis...

December 11, 2021

“Target audience”? You’re not shooting at them. You’re inviting them.

‘Target audience’ is one of those marketing phrases which gets used without a great deal of thought. Yes, you could also say ‘ideal audience’ or ‘client avatar’ or some other official sounding phrase, but as with all marketing terminology I prefer to question everything.  Target. Why target? Where does that come from?  A target is something you shoot at. A bow and arrow, a target with a red circle in the middle. You eye the target…you draw back…you take a deep...

December 4, 2021

Listen to that “little voice” which reminds you to do (or say) something

You know when you think, “Oh, I meant to message that person for…” (whatever it was), and you don’t, and then later on that day they message you to ask about the thing?  You think (or say) “Ahhh, I was literally just thinking of you today and meant to get in touch!” And sort of kick yourself for not taking action when you thought of it, especially if it’s a new prospect or a proposal or quote you promised to send, and you realise you lost a little of the opportunity. ...

November 13, 2021

Just get started, and just keep going

I took a break from writing these Note blog posts because I really needed to finish the content for my book. I meant to write a Note to explain, but I didn’t even manage to do that. You can tell I got serious about it because I even cancelled Netflix, and Disney+, and a few other things which are helpful and wonderful when I need a break, but super distracting when I had a big goal to accomplish.And I did it. I finished the core content of my book. I now have 14 chapters, and almost 150,000 wo...

November 6, 2021

The #pf100days video challenge: why we avoid video & what to do about it

As you may have noticed, we’re doing a 100 days video challenge for accountants who want to get better at video.  And the best video coach is….you, doing more video.  Think of a child learning about how video works. They see you on your phone, and they want to hold it. If you let them hold it, they want to press buttons and see what happens. When they see their face, they laugh and move it around and press other buttons (sometimes this moves into danger territory and you take ...

September 4, 2021

All the things, and your one thing

“We’re doing all the things right now, so I guess my question is...what do I focus on?” Had a one to one Momentum session with a client last week, and when I asked what particularly she wanted to cover, this was it. This is for those of you who ARE actually doing things. Loads of things. All the things.  You’re proud of yourself for taking action (and rightfully so). You’re thankful to be in a place where there are many things to do, and plenty of business. But...you have this sne...

August 6, 2021

There are no shoulds in this room: How "should" equals 'could' + shame

I’ve got a personal vendetta against the word “should”. It’s a shame word, a guilt word. And an unnecessary one.  I started this change over six years ago. I’d never loved the word, but there was a final kicker when my dad was terminal, and on hospice.  It had been a long road, as cancer often is: he’d tried all the medicines and tablets and even some of the research opportunities, and for several years every time I visited him in America I knew that time might be the last ...

July 24, 2021

Swearing in marketing (a brand decision)

As we keep hearing about being “real” and “authentic” in marketing, and being “more human” in the content we create and share, we have to have the swearing conversation.  Swearing has historically been considered “unprofessional”. Along with tattoos, drinking (alcohol, obvs) during working hours, and comfortable clothes which are unstarched and without collars or ties or jackets.  And yet if the past year or two have shown us anything, it’s that we can - all of us, fr...

July 10, 2021

Only take in that which makes you stronger

Last week I was talking to one of our new PF team members about what she’s been learning, even in her first few weeks with us, about the PF culture.  As a team we’ve been reading “No Rules Rules”, about the Netflix culture and how they’ve maintained it through a period of rapid and highly innovative growth. We chose this book because PF, too, has been growing rapidly - not quite at Netflix levels, but for us it’s significant. We’ve nearly doubled the size of the team in the pa...

June 26, 2021

Going entirely off sugar (and how it's not impossible)

A few years ago I cut sugar out of my diet entirely.  I remember the day I decided. I stood on a scale in my bathroom, me and only me, and stared at the number that stared back with its digital seriousness.  199.2 pounds. I’d always been thin - even “skinny”, when I was growing up. I look at pictures now and realise what my grandparents meant when they said “We need to fatten you up!” and I laughed at the idea but now realise that seeing my collarbones meant something. ...

June 21, 2021

Keep going...and the breakthrough may not look like you expect

We are not yet “post pandemic”.  Yes, most of us can…. do things now. Visit places which were closed before. See people live and in person. Go to restaurants, museums, parks. Book a holiday cottage and stay there with family. Even hug people! It’s so exciting.  But the last year to 18 months has taken a heavy toll on us all, and I am seeing it every day in every person I interact with. Online, or offline. There’s a weariness, an uncertainty, a grief we are working throug...

June 19, 2021

What will you learn? What system needs to change?

When you fail. When something goes wrong. When the conversation was difficult, or the client left, or got angry at you. When the applicant or team member didn’t work out. When you screwed up, when it broke, when you missed the deadline. When someone complains, or is upset, or doesn’t understand. There are two questions to ask:  What will I learn?  About yourselfAbout the thing (whatever it is) What system needs to change?  Those two questions protect you from being defensive,...

May 22, 2021

What’s your “puffin” thing? The big thing you must do?

As you are reading this, hopefully I am on my way to, or landed on, the Isle of Mull.  It’s my favourite place of them all. A few hours’ drive from my house, a 45 minute ferry, and...I’m literally a world away. It’s quiet. There are single track roads and few people. “Traffic” consists of Highland cows and sheep, who take their sweet time crossing the road. Or toddle along on the road ahead of you for ages (while you have sheer rock to your left and a drop off to the sea to your...

May 15, 2021

Is your problem a backpack, or a load?

Many problems we shoulder are heavy.  They weigh on us. Difficult conversations, hard truths, exhausting grief. Issues with clients, training for team members, differences of opinion with family. The impact of the pandemic on ourselves, our business, our life.  We carry them. We shoulder them, we hoist them onto our back and move slowly, step by step, bearing our own burden. Because it’s ours to carry, and no one can carry it for us.  There’s a verse in the Bible when read in ...

May 8, 2021

The accidental marathon (you are capable of more than you know)

I walked a literal marathon last Saturday.  I wanted to go walking and exploring - i have a list on my phone of places I want to explore, which I haven’t been able to travel to for the past year. And now the travel ban has been lifted I’m heading out as often as I can. But after one or two adventures the brake pad warning light went on in my car (probably because my car was so shocked to discover we now go further than Aldi’s sometimes), and since brake pads aren’t something you mes...

May 1, 2021

Keep doing the invisible work

I got distracted this week. I had brilliant new ideas about how to help our clients and a message I wanted to make sure we get across, and ended up spending most of a day working on a video and some content on this topic and all the new ideas when really...I would have done better to just keep going on the projects I’ve got before me. I realised the next day what I’d done. I thought about how I used my day, and realised I came up with a brilliant idea and told myself it would just take an ho...

April 17, 2021

Stay in your lane

When I was growing up in Arizona, we had a swimming pool in our back garden (our “backyard”, to use the American term). I remember well the day we moved into that particular house - we’d just moved from California, and it was the height of summer in Arizona - July or August. Even hotter than we were used to, and just because it was “a dry heat” (it is) didn’t make it less exhausting. The heat just sort of drains any energy right out of you.  But we got to the new house and there...

April 10, 2021

The two levels of success in work

I was listening to a podcast the other morning on my walk (this is becoming a standard thing I say now, “i was listening to a podcast”), and the speaker (Blair Enns) was talking about the two different levels of work, from your early days when you’re just getting started, to the goal level or later level where you’ve been working a long time. He said at the beginning it’s “hard work, and saying yes to just about everything”. This is how you succeed.  You’re working towards a...

April 3, 2021 Posts 1-25 of 64 | Page next
 

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