When you hear the word Profile, do you think Facebook or Company?

When you hear the word Profile, do you think Facebook or Company?

I noticed something very interesting lately and I have this feeling that I am not the only one.

As soon as I meet someone new, or hear a name, or something intriguing, I search for his or her social media profiles. Strangely enough, though I know nothing else about them, this has made meeting new people so much more comfortable.

It’s a fact that social media has also caused obstacles in actual, real, face-to-face socializing; but it can also be a tool, where you can relate and engage with someone before an interaction takes place.

You kind of know what to expect!

Well, today I am not just talking about Social Media.

All over the internet, you find all kinds of profiles. And the more of them you have, the better.

Our minds have been conditioned to relate any kind of profile to what we would find on Facebook. So the question is, does your Company have a profile.

The benefits of having a Company Profile

A Company profile is a professional way of introducing and informing an audience of a business and its products or services.

Having a professional company profile does not mean that it needs to be filled with jargon and overflowing with big words. The objective is to build trust, engage, and ultimately bring in new customers.

Everything depends on designing a profile that is unique and symbolic of all your company stands for, what great things you are achieving, and the innovation you employ to continue to do even better.

Here are some of the returns you will enjoy by investing in your company profile:

  • People don’t like to feel like they’re just a number. Whether your company is massive, medium or small, a company profile will engage with the people who buy from you.
  • It gives you the ability to tell your story. Every businesses and achievement has a story – with a company profile you get to tell it your way
  • It’s great for promoting yourself as a brand. Whether your aim is B2B or B2C, you can alter it accordingly, to emphasize the relevant factors and as a result to make you a “household name” at the end of the day.
  • If you target the right people, your profile will bring in the bucks! They get it free and it looks good!
  • If you have no other direct marketing strategy, your company profile will work wonders. Use it to engage with people through direct mail, social sites, and face-to-face meetings.

Mirror Marketing knows exactly how to design the perfect profile for you. Don’t lose potential clients to competitors when all you need is a profile they want to engage with.

Do you already have a company profile? Tell us about it, we’d love to hear!

Deliberately Childlike – Picasso understood, do you?

Deliberately Childlike – Picasso understood, do you?

“It took me four years to paint like Rafael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” Pablo Picasso

This is one of the most famous quotes in the art world, from one of the most iconic painters, but what on earth does it mean?

Does it mean painting with immaturity or naivety? Does it mean painting rainbows and unicorns…? It’s funny when you think about this statement and compare it with Pablo’s actual paintings. Many of these are for mature audiences, wouldn’t you say?

The art world is in a buzz about this – because there are so many different views. But here are a few points I could relate to.

Painting like a child means to paint without favouring one sense

Children tastes, smell, try to hear, touch, and see everything they can. It is not about one specific thing alone, but the entire experience to them.

Each factor excites them!

Painting like a child means to embrace curiosity and questions

Children don’t create routines. They don’t ask a question or heed a warning and obey. They are filled with questions and get attracted to the unknown and foreign.

What do we do?

We cling to our comfort and run in the opposite direction of anything new or foreign.

Painting like a child means to say what you really think and see – No Hypocrisy

Children have no filter. They say what they see and experience. When they don’t like something, there is no hiding it. (Ask any mother, when the kid begins to cry…Phew…Not fun!) But, when a kid is happy, he can make everyone around him feel just as happy!

What’s this got to do with anything?

Sometimes we go around thinking we need to copy Coca-Cola’s marketing efforts – and sure, they are doing something right! However, the real magic comes in when you are yourself. Simple and straightforward marketing that doesn’t shy away from new things like social commerce and that doesn’t fear being outspoken about your identity and about what makes you different.

Yes, this could be challenging for you – get a team to help you!

I know just the right one 😉

The good, the bad and the ugly of starting a business.

The good, the bad and the ugly of starting a business.

I felt the need to write this blog because of a question I was asked recently when visiting one my dearest friends and her sister. As new-ish mothers we were sitting together with our three babies, when the sister asked me: “How do you do it? You make it seem so glamourous and easy. You made the front page of the Montreal Gazette and McGill University repeatedly invites you as a motivational speaker.”

I almost dropped my child, literally. Glamorous? OMG. This is the furthest from glamourous I think my life has ever been. “Honey, I’m in marketing,” I said. “That’s my job. Nothing is what it appears to be.”

A part of me is glad I guess I’m doing my job right, but the bigger part of me is thinking “do you realize the highs and lows I’ve experienced? And how unpredictable things can be at times?”

You have to be somewhat crazy to start a business.

Maybe not crazy, but driven and utterly fearless. Whatever the motivation, you definitely don’t decide this overnight. Owning and running a business feels less like glamour and more like construction and demolition. More of the latter, actually.

I won’t get to the part where I started Mirror Marketing full-time, nearly two years ago, while 6 months pregnant. I’ll save that story for my next article titled: “Raging hormones starts business”

When you hear people claim running a business is ‘glamorous, fun and super easy,’ they’re either lying or not in a real business.

The kind of business I’m referring to is the one in where you have employees and bills to pay and clients who demand a quality product or service (yesterday). You’re always ‘open’ and everything rides on customer satisfaction. No one gives you a steady pay check. There’s no goofing off, paid holidays or sick leave benefits. You’re on your own.

So let’s start with the first part:

 

Employees and bills

Top priority, no matter what. Make sure you have money put aside or a credit card/line of credit that you can rack up. At least enough to cover running costs for 5-6 months. Whether you’ve made money that week or not, your employees must still be paid. At the beginning, I had weeks where I had to pay wages using money from my husband’s line of credit. (We are surprisingly still happily together).

Then there’s bills. Office expenses, programs, computers, internet, phone, advertising, plugins, file transfer services and lots of coffee. The list goes on and on and on. Most of these bills are due monthly. You’d think that a service industry would have low overhead, but that’s far from the truth. Business is also like a roller coaster. You can feel on top of the world one week, flush with funds and a great outlook, only to find yourself down the bottom shortly afterwards, with minimum income and maximum stress.

So here’s a little secret for when you start out: you may begin with smaller clients, who are usually great and pay their bills straight away. You get accustomed to pay your own expenses up front and develop the trust of other businesses. As you start to grow and gain some larger clients, your expenses will also increase. But those larger clients now have 30, 60 and even 90-day billing cycles. So, while developing that website for them, you’re still paying your employees weekly. You’re also paying upfront for any necessary programs, plus other associated costs, and you may even be incurring interest charges on your line of credit.

However you’ll only see payment for your work one to two months on average AFTER you’ve completed the project and submitted your invoice. This is where I recommend staying small if you don’t have credit or money to fall back on. In this case, keeping your overhead to an absolute minimum and sticking with smaller clients as a freelancer is a really good way to go.
It’s a gamble. The bigger your company grows, the bigger the expenses and the more you have to lose. Or gain.

Which brings me to my next point.

Working “five” days a week.

You may be ‘open’ five days a week, but you’re never really closed and will need to make sacrifices. I missed a lot of time with my daughter and my mind is constantly preoccupied with outstanding projects. Honestly, you’ll work a 12-18 hour day, including the weekends. The bigger you grow, the more work you attract and the more deadlines you need to meet. Often, you’ll find yourself in that in-between stage where you should hire an extra hand, but realize you probably won’t make anything after paying them. So you take on the extra work by yourself.

Vacation? No! Business trips are now my vacation. And they’re far from relaxing. One advantage in my field is that technically I can work from anywhere. But ask my mother about my last trip to Mexico. I don’t think she’d consider it a vacation for anyone. I had a great view though, I’ll give it that. And I guess tapping away on a laptop in a bathing suit outside wasn’t too bad either. But still, it was a full time job.

Work doesn’t just stop and take a break, unless you’re employed by someone else. Having experienced both sides of the desk, I can say it was really easier to work a 9-5 day, come home to the family and enjoy evenings and weekends. Even the nights I brought work home don’t compare with being self-employed. So if you’re looking to start a business because you’d like ‘free’ time, you’re deluded.

Customer Satisfaction.

You’re 100% accountable for absolutely anything that your employees do or don’t do. If they miss a deadline, it’s YOU who’s late. If they messed something up, it’s your businesses reputation on the line.

At Mirror Marketing, we strive to excel at customer service. We offer 24/7 support (from me, not my employees) and we don’t leave people hanging. I pride myself on always being the main contact with my customers.

However, we’re far from perfect and have made mistakes. I’m eternally grateful to one loyal client who’s stuck with me despite some serious blunders. It doesn’t matter who made the mistake, it’s on me. When it’s your business, you need to oversee absolutely everything and you are accountable for it all.

That brings me to the next misconception

Being self employed means being your own boss

I get exasperated when I hear people claim to be their own boss, or say they’re in charge. I don’t like to call myself the CEO of my own company, because I’m actually not the boss. I’m completely owned by my customers, employees and service providers. Without a satisfied customer, I have nothing. Without a customer, I have nothing. Without my employees, I cannot have a customer. And without my service providers, I can’t run a business. So you tell me, who’s the boss?

Although this may all sound depressing, I don’t want to discourage anyone from launching their own business. In fact, Mirror Marketing has started a new foundation that helps entrepreneurs get a head start and set them up to succeed. But I’m here to tell you it’s hard. Especially at the beginning, for at least a year, which is the period when many startups fail.

Do I regret it? No, I don’t. I can honestly say that I have never felt so fulfilled. There’s one thing though. You really have to want it, more than anything and it takes a certain type of driven masochist to succeed.

But it does get better. A lot better. It’s such a thrill and a real feeling of accomplishment, when you start getting clients you believed were out of your league and they’re happy to work with you.

You also get to decide the working conditions for your employees. As an ex cubicle slave, it’s very rewarding to enable people to work from home so they can have a better quality of life. It’s great to know you’re helping them put food on the table and highly gratifying when their efforts show that they love working for you. My employees are the reason I’m here today and they make it all worthwhile.

I’m fulfilling my childhood visions of being a successful woman. I didn’t dream of pretty wedding dresses or life as a fairy-tale princess. When I was a young girl, I fantasized about wearing a business suit and walking down Wall Street with my hair in a bun, wearing serious glasses. (Fortunately, you can buy non-prescription frames to give yourself that look, if that’s what you want.)

Whatever your idea of success, whether it’s a happy family life, running a business, working for a good company or even not working at all, as long as you feel fulfilled, that’s all that matters. With or without glasses.

Miranda Flaig

Owner, Mirror Marketing Inc.
Founder, Miss Notable (non-profit organization)

This is not about Christmas …

This is not about Christmas …

It’s 1 December 2016 as I am writing this and Christmas is around the corner. Before you judge me and think that my article is premature, just like all the decorations you see everywhere, this is actually not about Christmas at all… (or maybe I’m trying to trick you into reading this!)

This article is about yesterday.

The No-Nonsense-November month ended…Or was it Movember, the month where all the Tom Selleck’s roam the world, lips held high…
No, in fact, following the massive trend of big, beautiful, blow-dried beards, November has turned into No-Shave-November.

Being the team player that I am (and of course the fact that I can grow one handsome beard) I didn’t touch my beard this November. It was fun for a while…

Nonetheless, this morning when I took a pair of scissors and trimmed off the first bit – it was like a wildfire that could not be tamed.

It felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders – all the shampooing, conditioning, beard oil and wax; it was too much for a humble ol’ fellow such as myself. What a relief it was to wave my beard goodbye for a while.

It reminded me of that famous and utterly relevant expression that change is as good as a holiday.

Some people are dreading that Christmas time is here. They complain about the ads, decorations all over the place and the money-guzzlers looking for another way to get into your pockets.

I’m not going to be a hypocrite – I admit, I used to be one of them. But something changed – The holiday is good, because of change.

This isn’t my normal kind of article. It’s more of a merry, jingle, jolly carol.

Christmas time is about more than what we see, or buy, or hear… It’s about a time where you can trim the weights you are carrying and enjoy life without any bells or whistles (no pun intended).

If you’ve ever had a beard that was long and full, or hair that hung right down to your bum, you’d know it isn’t easy to part ways with it. To remind you – It has literally grown on you (okay, so this time the pun was intended)! Don’t let that stop you from having a great time with the family and loved ones this season.

Rest, relax and keep an eye out for Rudolph!

Should this have been the real definition of Socialism?

Should this have been the real definition of Socialism?

The consumer and his behavior are changing, as we know it. Yes, for a second time.

They have changed from consumers buying only from physical locations and businesses to the consumers who buy online and internationally, and now, to consumers who no longer waste only time on social media, but maybe money too… (Unless of course, they buy your products)

This is the social media shopper and experts say he is here to stay.

Are we there yet?

If you don’t have the option available on your social media accounts for consumers to click and buy, then yes, you are behind.

We’ve slowly seen consumers become more comfortable with the idea – and now they might even begin to demand it.

There are already a fair amount of conventional and startup companies that have created apps that focus on mobile and social commerce. This has been indicative of the trend. However, something has changed.

Instagram joined the cause, and now there really is no time to procrastinate.

With Instagram’s new app, Giftagram, social shopping exposure has increased to more than 500 million people per month.

Why is this good?

Looking at all the changes, it’s safe to say that the trend in consumer behavior is that they want to be switched on 24/7 and be ready to buy.

This is great news for the people that have something to sell, because if executed correctly, your sales are bound to increase.

Canadians have shown an increased interest in Social shopping

According to a study recently done by Paypal and Ipsos, the very social Canadians, are doing more than just browsing each other’s news feeds. There has been a tremendous increase in social media shopping in Canada.

The main motivators have been the following:

  • Consumers could not resist the discounts and promotions offered when you buys via a social ad
  • They saw some great holiday gifts and tried it – now they’re hooked
  • Being a loyal and satisfied customer of the brand, they embraced the new way of buying from them.

Keep in mind what consumers are doing. Make sure that you are using social media effectively as part of your marketing efforts. Ensure your success tomorrow.

Toasted Cheese and Tomato is the way to go…

Toasted Cheese and Tomato is the way to go…

After a long day of working and sitting in traffic, I got home to the comfort of a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich on my plate.

How did they know?

I really love toast… I really love toasted cheese sandwiches… Toast and meat, is there anything that could beat that? (My sincerest apologies to all the vegans reading this)

So I admit, I’m being bias – but I get crazy passionate about these things!

Why does it feel like I’m in love with my sandwiches? Why do we love food, in general, with such violence and passion? (yes, apart from the fact that we need it to survive)

I took a moment to think about that, when suddenly it hit me: When I discuss all the ingredients necessary for that perfect dish – it doesn’t really do it for me. But, when I imagine it, smell it, taste it; my tummy starts a’ rumbling.

The moment I stepped into the room and took in my first whiff of toasted bread and melting cheese, it was as if I already had it on my tongue.

We were designed for experience. We have five different senses made JUST for experience.

Intellect and understanding, alone, is not enough to engage with us as people. We want experience.

What’s the practicality behind this?

To have clients do our marketing for us – word of mouth –  and (more importantly still) to have them coming back for more, we need to have something they sense as soon as they walk into the room; something irresistible and intoxicating.

Your product, your people, your Facebook page, and your vibe need to be toasted cheese and tomato to the hungry tummies entering your site or building!

I admit, I’m not the greatest chef; heck I mess up eggs most of the time. That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy great food…

At Mirror Marketing you get highly skilled chef’s, with a passion for excellence. They know exactly what ingredient you need in your marketing campaigns to have clients drooling for a bite. Get in contact with us 🙂

Let them leave satisfied – this is the best kind of marketing there is.