Vancouver Webfest & Stories

I was honoured when Vancouver Webfest sent me a message on Twitter asking if I’d like to cover their event with a Press pass. I went for all three days to get as much content and story as I could for my Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram profiles. It’s been a few days since this years event ended and I have reflected on my time there.

Webfest

Vancouver Webfest is a festival of short films that are released digitally online and not through traditional channels. The submitted episodes played in three theatres, with free bags of popcorn, through out the first two days, giving judges time to determine the winners for the various categories.

Along with the screenings were workshops, panels, and keynote speakers comprised of producers, business leaders, and influencers. What I found most impressive was the amount of women leaders who were there to share their stories and offer support to the webfest’s 5th year.

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The Press

When I first arrived, Regina, their PR person, asked if there was anyone I wanted to interview. My first reaction was panic. Interview? I’m supposed to interview people? I don’t know what I thought I was expected to do, but interviewing people had not crossed my mind.

I’m a promoter. An observer. A storyteller. Not a journalist.

I started by recording a live Facebook Video that people engaged with and did another selfie video to post on social media. I Tweeted a lot. I used my social media platforms to tell people about the event, show what was happening, and promote it as much as I possibly could. After all, they’d been kind enough to ask me and gave me a press pass to boot, the least I could do was my absolute best to spread the word.

New Advertising

During my time in workshops, listening to keynotes, and taking in the various panel discussions, I realized that there is a huge opportunity for marketing professionals who embraced the Webfest’s attendees online short story telling skills.

Traditional advertising on TV media channels will have to change as people turn away from cable for the convenience of online streaming subscriptions. With less people watching mainstream programming on the big networks, the ROI of commercials is decreasing, while the pricing goes up to cover the increasing costs of running a traditional media business.

Those companies who turn to web based series storytelling will benefit from lower costs and better messaging through storytelling. Whether they sponsor an influencer or create a web series around their product, service, or industry stories, they will find an audience who engages with their programming.

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If you are an Independent Professional with some personality, you could create yourown channel and web series to tell stories about your industry, clients, products, or services.

For example: A Realtor could host his own List it or Love it type show with a stager then add drama, cause that is what reality TV does, and voila your own Real Estate Channel starring you. All you need is a bit of cash, a camera man, and a writer who understand how to write for Reality TV, that is to start… If you start seeing success, then you can decide if you need a director, producer, better equipment etc.

Vancouver

They hosted it at the Vancouver Convention Centre with floor to ceiling windows displaying the panoramic view of Burrard Inlet, Stanley Park, and the North Shore mountains and all. It was a reminder about why we pay high prices to live here. There were people from Toronto, the US, Australia, Malaysia, South Africa, Japan, Mexico, and I’m sure other places I was unaware of, at the webfest. Vancouver did not disappoint with two out of the three days being clear and sunny to show off it’s jaw dropping views.

Digital Storytelling

Video is one way to tell stories online and considering that YouTube is the #1 actively used social media site in Canada, it is a huge opportunity for anyone who can create quality and interesting stories. As a writer, I am overwhelmed by the collaboration, planning, and resources it takes to create a quality short film. The attendees are passionate about creating videos and anyone who wants to use video to promote themselves, should consider a more creative storytelling method, which these folks are experts at.

The Gala

The red carpet gave everyone an opportunity, if they wanted it, to get their photo taken in Hollywood style. The MC was hilarious and kept everyone on their toes with his antics. The love and support in the room created a positive energy where everyone supported winners and losers alike, at least the laughter, applause, and congratulations coming from everyone made it feel that way.

Conclusion

IMG_0878I was impressed by the organization of the event, the attendees, and the speakers. They showcased women leaders in the industry, the speakers were well spoken and provided great tips, advice, and insights. The quality of the movies from all over the world was eye opening and the ability to connect with various financiers, producers, and talent is valuable for anyone who wants to work in the film industry.

Webseries enable people who want a career in film making the ability to show their skills, talents, and personalities, which will sell them to those in the entertainment industry at a fraction of the frustration. By building personal brands through content these film makers are making a name for themselves and the future is opening up opportunities for them. This Festival gives them the awards to stand out and the connections to help get them to the next level.

Thank you to Vancouver Webfest for inviting me to cover the event and I hope that you will continue to grow your festival for years to come.


Shannon Peel is a Professional Marketing Manager and Storyteller. Her company, Shannon Peel Marketing, helps Independent Professionals and Small Businesses define their personal brands and tell their story through different channels. Click to find out more:  Shannonpeel.com

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When Connection Works

As a startup solopreneur with few connections I decided to try networking meetings. I went to as many as I could find and guess what… I wracked up my credit card with breakfasts, lunches, fees, etc. I thought I was wasting a lot of money and a lot of time, then something happened.

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One week, I started getting clients through referrals from a person I met at a networking group, Tammy of Boljuncic Financial. I have been helping her stay focused, motivated, and define her brand, along with developing a strategic plan of action to move her business forward. She loves networking in the real world and I am fortunate that she ‘loves’ me so much.

I found cheerleaders in a small business owners like, Robin, and Lisa, a client in Karen, and so many wonderful people who are connecting with each other in the real world. Some people are friendly and want to genuinely help others to shine, others are connectors and are passionate about being able to be a resource of introductions between people. Unfortunately, most people are pushing the business card industry to high profits by throwing theirs around and collecting as many as possible. They don’t get much more than a larger card collection out of networking.

I have found a few groups that work

Andrew is a friendly older man who runs a networking group in Coquitlam and has asked me to present to the group a couple of times about topics on social media. My presentations are filled with stats, questions, advice, tips, and ideas so everyone in the room can leave with value. I am fortunate to have met Andrew because he likes to help others shine.

Then there is the super connector – George, he is a passionate networking individual who runs my favourite networking group. This group has a long list of wonderful people who actively connect with each other. The group itself is casual, fun, and entertaining, a great start to my Friday morning.  George promotes a healthy referral and networking environment by using technology and leading by example, because he actively connects people on a regular basis.

Then there is Marilyn.

When I first met Marilyn, she reminded me of my grandmother. My grandmother was a remarkable woman, a journalist, a model, a business owner, and actively involved in developing the social organizations in our small town of 2 000 people, in an out of the way place. She was elegance and class all rolled into one. So trust me when I say, that anyone who reminds me of her, has something extra special about them.

For some reason Marilyn and I both wanted to connect and find a way to work together. It took a few weeks, but we finally met for coffee, we were in for a surprise. We started talking and it was like talking to an old friend. I loved her stories of being a single mom in Vancouver, starting a business that she loves, and connecting with people. Then she asked me where I grew up.

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I grew up on a mountain and a lake 20 – 30 minutes out of a small city of 2 000 people. Why do I call it a city? Because it was incorporated in 1906, the year my great grandfather built his fancy Sears catalogue house behind my other great grandparent’s home. At the time it was the economic hub where the Shuswap met the Okanagan in BC’s Interior, however, due to the railway being built and a Native Reserve placed around half the town, trade and industry moved south. The city emptied and to this day, Enderby remains the smallest city in the Okanagan.

Considering the size of the town and that a large portion of the population has stayed there, you can imagine my surprise when Marilyn told me she grew up in Enderby a decade before I was born. She went to school with my dad’s cousin and knew a lot of my family’s life long friends. She knew my dad and my dad remembered her and where she lived, I don’t think my dad ever really forgets anything.

We sat and talked about this small town and what it was like living there during two different times. She left for Vancouver around the year my mom’s family came to town and took my mom took her place within the class.

Finding common threads in our story created a stronger connection than trading business cards and giving each other a wave each week. It takes extra effort to be vulnerable enough to ask to meet for coffee and then spend time sharing your story to someone you don’t know. However, once you find that common thread, you build the most important part of connection – trust.

The common thread that I share with Marilyn created a connection that is leading to a project and a strategic partnership between us. I’ve been able to introduce her to a couple of my clients who share the same target market and am hoping together they can find a connection to their shared target market.

Networking in the Real World Works

In a world where everyone is focused on digital connections and getting the largest following possible, it is important to remember that real connection happens in the real world. Using digital marketing to tell your story, develop credibility, and make virtual connections is important, but don’t forget to take the next step by connecting in the real world.


Shannon Peel is a Professional Marketing Manager and Storyteller. Her company, Shannon Peel Marketing, helps Independent Professionals and Small Businesses define their personal brands and tell their story through different channels. Click to find out more: Shannonpeel.com

Talented at Connecting

IMG_0653I hang out and work out of a coffee shop called The Good Sunshine Cafe here in South Surrey.

There are plenty of good coffee shops in the area to choose from, I live in Canada’s version of Seattle after all. The Good Day Sunshine Cafe isn’t the easiest place to find, it isn’t in the main part of the larger shopping areas, you don’t drive by and see it on a regular basis because it isn’t on any main road. It’s not well known. There is nothing from the outside that makes you think, “I have to try out this place and make it my destination location.” However, it has one thing that no other coffee shop in the are has – It has Kris.

After my first encounter with Kris, I knew that I was going to host all my South Surrey #MarketAPeel Brainstorms and drop ins there. It was going to become my coffee shop hang out

The other day I was sitting with a group of women talking, because you know thats what we do, and I mentioned that I was going to be talking about Kris in my connection series. A wonderful lady immediately agreed that he was amazing. She goes to the coffee shop for paint nights and the women, love Kris.

She thinks some show up just to see him.

What he has is the ability to immediately connect with the customers and make them feel welcome. He is happy to see them and naturally wants to enhance their experience. He knows his product and can describe his favourites to you in a way that makes you open your wallet and buy even though you know your waistline doesn’t need any extra treats. It’s that extra. He naturally gives the customers an ‘extra’ experience that feels tailored to them. He remembers you, suggests new things to try, and gives that extra bit of excitement to the transaction.

The biggest difference I see is his natural ability to talk to people and describe the food and drinks he serves, as if he were telling a story. He is genuine, knowledgeable, positive, and friendly. He doesn’t shy away from eye contact. He fills the space he occupies and welcomes you to share in an experience of coffee, treats, and community.

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In contrast, I have been to coffee shops where the staff makes you feel like you are wasting their time, causing you to feel unwelcome in their establishment. This discomfort has the opposite effect of connection because your defensive barriers instantly go up. I don’t know if these people are truly unfriendly or their shyness comes across that way.

For example, it is hard to make a connection with my daughter, she has been told that kids think she is either a snob or mad at them for some reason. My daughter is neither, she is a true introvert who listens more than she talks and is shy when people she isn’t comfortable with are around. However, once she knows you, she is the hoot of the party, funny, smart, and the one her good friends seek out when in crisis. In contrast my son is the complete opposite. He is a true extrovert who is the life of the party the minute he walks in and he knows a lot of people because he instantly connects to them and they trust him immediately with their problems.

I don’t know if it’s something you can learn or if its all about personality. Maybe by the end of the month I will have figured out Kris’ secret.

Do you know anyone like Kris?

If you are ever in South Surrey on a Wednesday morning drop into the Good Day Sunshine Cafe and have a latte with me so we can brainstorm about why some people make instant connections, while others struggle.


Shannon Peel is a Professional Marketing Manager and Storyteller. Her company, Shannon Peel Marketing, helps Independent Professionals and Small Businesses define their personal brands and tell their story through different channels. Click to find out more: Shannonpeel.com

What is Connection?

In today’s world we are more connected to our devices than we are to the people around us.

Connection at it’s core is the spot where two things join to complete a circuit. Electronics can’t work without strong physical connections between all the parts in the circuits. If one connection is broken, the whole device doesn’t work. I want to take a deeper look at this word to find out how people connect in a technological dependent world and how we can form better connections to become successful in business and life.

April is about Connection

I’ve been thinking a lot about connection again, so I am dedicating a month to exploring the word, the concept, the action. I will be writing about connection here and linking other posts about connection to this post for you to use as a resource on the topic, scroll down for links to other posts, articles, podcasts, videos, and books that explore the idea of connection, what it is, why we need it, and how we can get better at making it.

I will look at our connections to family, friends, coworkers, and the people around us. Our connection to media, technology, and the things around us. Most importantly, I will dive into our connection with ourselves and how connection effects our health.

Follow me on social media to be part of the research process and I encourage you to be a part of the conversation too by engaging with your thoughts. Connection is too important to ignore.

Resources:

Social Media – I will be posting questions about connection for us to explore this idea and learn from each other. Drop by and be a part of the conversation. – Comments may be used in future blog posts, podcasts, or social media posts.

pexels-photo-267350.jpegMarket A Peel Facebook Group

Shannon Peel Marketing Page 

Market A Peel Twitter

Market A Peel Instagram

 

Blog Posts – I will be writing about connection as I dive deeper into it’s meaning and why it’s so important to us as human beings.

person-woman-apple-hotel.jpgDisconnected in a Connected World – Are we connected or disconnected in today’s tech connected world?

 

 

 

Podcast – I will be talking about connections and interviewing people about their thoughts and how they use connection to become successful in today’s world.

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Instant Connection

 

 

 

 


Shannon Peel is a Professional Marketing Manager and Storyteller. Her company, Shannon Peel Marketing, helps Independent Professionals and Small Businesses define their personal brands and tell their story through different channels. Click to find out more: Shannonpeel.com

Sales – Oh God Shoot Me Now!

There is only one reason small businesses fail — NO SALES.

Without sales there is no cashflow and without cashflow there is no business. Most small business owners and entrepreneurs are not professional sales people, they are better at doing what they are selling, not selling what they do.

Smile n Dial

My wonky career path has included professional sales, the smile and dial numbers game sales. I was kicking butt good at smilin and dialin, finding the decision maker, and getting in the door to meet. I had no problem making 40-60 dials a day, regardless if the product was Advertising, Online Review Platform, Financial Planning products, or Chinese Pump Jacks and Oil Pipe. I built qualified lists, found business, and even closed sales.

Today, I am standing on the cliff edge knowing that the only way my business will succeed is if I get on the phone and make appointments to talk to people about their personal branding to help differentiate them from their competitors. I know what my target market looks like, I know where to find their contact information, I know how to build a CRM database to manage these cold leads and guess what —

I’m frozen.

It’s not the sub zero temperatures that have gripped the Vancouver area that have me covered in ice… It’s fear. OMG – I’m scared to pick up the phone and ask someone to meet me.

How did I go from a kick butt cold calling appointment setter to frozen solid on a cliff’s edge? What’s different?

Well, the product I am now selling is – me – and I’m not confident enough.

Selling myself, sounds so dirty, like I should have a 1-900 number or be working some corner in DT East Van. I know I’m not the only woman to have an issue with self confidence and selling her services in a crowded marketplace. It’s one of those things we were taught not to do as young girls – “Don’t be too loud.” “Don’t toot your own horn.” “Don’t be so full of yourself.” Little boys were to cultivate confidence, we were to cultivate coyness and virtue.

My confidence has taken a hit from all the rejection, broken promises, disappointment, and crap life has heaped on me the last five years.

I know I’m good at what I do. I know I’m smart enough. I know I’m qualified. I know I have the credentials. I know that I work hard to ensure my clients succeed. I know I have a service Independent Professionals need at a price they can afford… I know all of this and more – However, I don’t want to hear “no” when it comes to selling myself. I’ve heard you aren’t good enough too often the last five years.

The Big Thaw.

Time to get over myself and stop coming up with excuses about why I can’t get on the phone and start calling my target market. It’s the only way small businesses can start, by knocking on doors and making calls.

The only way to cure myself of this affliction is to do it. To create a list of targeted Independent Professionals, pick up the phone, and dial. Once I’ve made the first appointment, I know I will be back, kicking butts and taking names.

All I need

My time is limited and what I sell is my time, so, I only need the following:

4 Monthly Marketing Management Clients
5 Personal Branding Consulting / Coaching Clients
12 Grape Peel Marketing Group Clients
The odd project management client would be nice too

So, I won’t have to smile n dial for long.

The time is now and now is the time.

UPDATE: I did not cold call… I advertised free brainstorming sessions on certain days and people came to me. My confidence is increasing and soon I’ll be back to kicking butt while smiling and dialling.


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Shannon Peel is a Professional Marketing Manager and Storyteller. Her company, Shannon Peel Marketing, helps Independent Professionals and Small Businesses define their personal brands and tell their story through different channels. Click to find out more: Shannonpeel.com

On Social Media Marketing

Justine is a character in the novel, 40 Something and this is an excerpt from the novel.

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About Social Media Marketing

Gary left for work and dropped the kids off at school, leaving me home alone.

I work from home. I’m one of the so called lucky ones.

My daily task list pops up on my computer. Today is my day to analyse the data from last week. I like analysing the data of campaigns to see what’s working and what’s not,so I can efficiently allocate resources. It’s a lot of work testing, analysing, trying to figure out what people will engage with.

It’s a game.

I reserve Mondays and Tuesdays for content creation and scheduling it to automatically post. Wednesdays are for analysing, so that on Thursday, I can plan next week’s content. Fridays are for research. There is so much information online it can take all day to read it, analyze it, and decide what is relevant and what is complete BS.

Most of it is BS.

The noise online is deafening at times. Everyone is screaming look at me at the same time, it’s easy to miss relevant information and hard to get a message in front of eyes.

People share the dumbest things and ignore the most intelligent information. The amount of fear based posts and articles going viral, shows just how stupid the populous is. Most of the facts in these articles are made up, rumours, gossip, and lies. Still gullible people believe it and pass it around as if it’s gospel, just because someone wrote it on the Internet.

My least favourite social media posts are the ones about celebrities and their stupid lives. They are just people and they can’t even get a cup of coffee without someone making up some meaning about it.

A-list celebrity was seen alone buying a cup of coffee, does this mean splitsville for this Hollywood powerhouse couple?

God, who cares?

I guess the majority of those wasting time on social media because sites capitalizing on high traffic don’t offer up good content. They offer up sensationalized content, celebrity gossip, and complete mind numbing click bait garbage. People click on it, the sites get huge amounts of traffic to entice advertisers to pay the big bucks.

It makes my job harder.

I had one client suggest we attach a celebrity to his product by photo shopping the product onto a celebrity pic, which he stole off the web.

“Think of the hits we’ll get and the sales.” He said.

“We can’t do that.” I said.

“Why not? Just take this pic, paste the product in and viola, instant celebrity endorsement.”

“The photo is copyrighted, you can’t use any photo you find online. It has to be a photo you either took or bought.”

“Buy one.”

“It’s not that easy or cheap. Sure I could buy a stock photo for ten bucks, but a celebrity photo, that’ll cost thousands.”

“No one is going to care.”

“The celebrity will because they will want a fee for using their image and the photographer will sue you for use of his property. That’s two law suits.”

“The publicity will be great.”

My head began to hurt.

“It’s illegal, unethical, and bad taste. I’m not going to do it. And if you do, it’s time we rethink our arrangement.” I told him.

“What? You thought I was serious? I was just kidding, Justine. I know we can’t do it, but can you imagine the traffic if we did?”

He wasn’t kidding. I finally cut ties with him over another hair-brained scheme to use cat photos. His product has nothing to do with cats. I hate it when companies start using cat gifs and photos to attract attention, it’s inauthentic and screams desperation.

Clients like him, end up finding someone who will bend the rules, find the loopholes, and, for the short term, it works. Thing is, these same clients are calling me crying about how their website and profiles are blacklisted by search engines and the social media companies. They beg me to take them back, but by then, the damage is done and it will cost way too much to fix.

The only thing they can do is start over.

It’s like authenticity and integrity got lost on its way down the information highway. Everyone wants quick overnight success and my clients expect me to get it for them. They don’t look beyond last week to see the years of work that it took for big names to get overnight success. Not to mention, the foresight and luck.

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Phone Rings.

“Hello, Justine here, how may I help you?”

“Mom, I forgot my Math book and I need it for next period. Can you bring it?” It’s my son, Harper.

“I can, I’m totally able to get up, find the book, get in the car and drive it to you. The question is, will I?” I ask.

“Mooooom. You know what I mean. I need the book for class or I’m gonna get a detention.”

“Maybe you’ll remember it next time.”

“You know, other moms bring their kid’s their books.”

“Do they now?”

“Pleeeeeeease?”

Why do I go through this farce? I know I’ll end up taking him his math book. It’s what good moms do. We save our children from the evils of detention. We save them from their mistakes, just like Gary saves me from mine.

“What time?” I ask.

“In an hour. I’ll clean my room when I get home.”

“Riiiiiiiiiight.”

“No really. I will. Cause I won’t be in detention.”

“Alright. Meet me out front in an hour.”

“Thanks mom.”

“So, where is it?”

“Where’s what?”

“The book.”

“I don’t know. I think it’s in my room somewhere.”

“Be out front.”

I download the analytic data onto my computer, I’ll head over to the closest coffee shop and work from there today for a change of scenery.

Harper’s room is a disaster area.

I don’t even know where to start looking for the damn book. I put the dirty clothes, which are acting as carpeting, into the empty basket. I put the books on the shelf and carry all the dirty dishes into the kitchen. Where I discover the dishwasher needs to be emptied before I can put the dishes in it.

Always something.

Fifteen minutes have gone by and I still have to find the book and drive to the school. I rush back up to his room and look under the bed, on the desk, in the desk, and in the closet. I find lots of things I’d rather not, like the science experiment behind the desk that once might have resembled an apple or maybe a pear?

I make a quick trip to the bathroom to get some paper towel and cleaner, it takes me all of five minutes to clean up the mess. The carpet will have to be cleaned properly, another thing to put on my to do list.

I have to find that book.

The room is tiny. They build kid’s bedrooms so small these days that there isn’t any room in here to loose anything. OK, if I was a math book, better yet, if I was Harper‘s math book, where would I be? I strip his bed and then remake it. There are plenty of items that don’t belong in a bed, like video games and crumbs, but no math book.

Where the hell is it?

I’ve got fifteen minutes left to get the book and get it to the school. Maybe Gary knows where it is. I dial his number.

“Hey hun what’s up?” Gary’s chipper voice.

“Do you have any idea where Harper’s math book might be?”

“Math book? We were doing his math homework last night in the family room. Did you check there?”

“No. He told me it was in his room.”

“It should be on the right side of the computer screen on the corner desk. There might be a notepad on top of it and if he forgot his math book, his socials books might be there too.”

“Thanks, I really appr–.”

He hangs up before I finish my sentence.

I run down to the family room in the basement and there, on the right hand side of the computer screen, is a pile of textbooks. Math, socials, and science. I have ten minutes to get to the school.

 


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40 Something follows the lives of 5 women trying to figure out life in the 21st Century. Do you have any insights or stories you’d like to share?

For more about the series go to www.shannonpeel.com 

 


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In her new Chicklit novel, Shannon Peel is exploring what it means to be a 40 something woman in the 21st Century. Each of the 5 women are personalities that we as woman are made up of in various degrees. We are too complex to be just one. 

For more about this novel and her YA Novel, THIRTEEN, go to www.shannonpeel.com 

 

 

Round Out Your Target Market

As a novelist, I create characters out of thin air and put them into different situations to tell a story. The more I know about the character, the more believable I can make their reactions, the more believable their reactions, the better the story. By using the same process as a novelist does to create a character, you can define your optimal target market.

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How do you create a target market?

First leave the fear of missing out at the door.

Don’t chase every lead. Most you don’t want. It’s your business you get to do the work you want with the clients you want. Yes, money is part of the equation but you only have so much time to work, don’t fill it up with the wrong thing.

Understand your business, product, and service

To determine your target market, you will need to completely understand your product, service, and business.

  • What does your business do?
  • What problems does your product or service solve?
  • Why should a person buy your product or service?

You must know your unique selling feature. I am always surprised when a business owner does not know why someone should buy from them and even more shocked, when they don’t know whom they are targeting with their marketing message.

Next, know thyself grasshopper.

Use the characterization method outlined below, to understand how you fit into the market and why you would buy from yourself. What do you, as a person, bring to the experience? This will help you to understand how you interact with your target market and why someone would want to buy from you personally.

Ask any business owner whom the best customers are and they will say, the referred ones. Similar people get along best with each other and it is easier to trust someone when they are like you rather than extremely different. By knowing yourself, you will be able to determine what characteristics in a customer are more likely to result in a positive experiences and referrals.

Now you can start asking questions about whom you want to do business with.

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Using the Characterization Method

Some characters are based on arch types, which are two dimensional and limited by expectations of the reader. They are made for a certain roles in specific story genres and for the most part are not based on real people and rarely grow or change.

In some stories the characters feel real, you can relate to them, you understand them and can see yourself being friends with them. They are flawed, learn and grow as the story progresses. These are the well-rounded characters that are created through a process of asking questions, creating back stories, and drawing from people in the real world. This is the kind of process you want to engage in to define a target client.

Start by identifying your favourite clients. If you don’t have any yet, think about the kinds of people you get along best with.

Traditional Demographics are Not Enough

Let’s start with the easy stuff, the obvious part of target marketing – demographic stats.

These include, Age, gender, race, profession, married, single, kids, homeowner, address, and income. Write down the general demographics your ideal client fits into, then take it one step further by asking why do you want to target that age, gender, etc and how will your product or service help them?

Now, round them out a bit more by looking at what they do. What hobbies does your client have? Where to they shop? Is it Walmart or Bloomingdales? Where do they like to eat, go for drinks, exercise, and vacation? Ask all the questions that will tell you what kind of buying habits they have, their recreational choices, and how they value their status or image.

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Dig Deeper

What values does your ideal client have? Values encompass things like, honesty, courage, leadership, and vision. The Internet has lots of lists to help you define a person’s values.

What does your client want most of all? Wants that are common are, security, fame, adventure, happiness and love. Once again you can do a Google search to come up with a list to help you.

What about your client’s morality or belief system? Things people passionately stand for are charities, causes, political views, religion, and world order. This is a starting target for your core ideal client, so though you may think this isn’t important, it is, because it will help you identify where your clients are.

What is the main problem your client has? This is where your ability to solve that problem comes in. Look deeper into the problem though, why does he have it? How does he communicate that he has it? Does he even know that he has it? When does your client’s problem become so critical they need your solution, yesterday? Understand how this problem fits in your target client’s life and what it looks like when he needs your solution.

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A novelist is determining the detailed characteristics of one character, not a group of identical ones, unless his book is about clones that is. The point is, don’t get so detailed that you will only target five-foot-nine, blue eyed, blonde haired, bombshells with great bodies. You want to keep your characterization general enough to describe a decent sized group of people. If you find your target market is too tight, loosen up your criteria, if it’s too large, tighten up your criteria. This is your target market and the size of your budget will help determine how large of a target you can afford to start getting your story in front of.

Now that you have your target market, how are you going to get your message out to them?

I have some choices for you:

Follow me on social media – I’ll be adding more posts to answer marketing questions.

Google – “Getting in front of a target market”

Let’s chat about your business and see if I can help you get your message out.

If you are in the Vancouver, BC Canada area, let’s have a coffee to brainstorm.


Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PM

Shannon Peel is a Digital Marketing Specialist, writer, and novelist living in the Vancouver area of British Columbia.  Follow her on social media where she writes about marketing, writing, novels, single life, divorce, parenting, and adventures with her Mini Cooper named Tori.