Evolving Basics

Overview

Evolving Basics is a program to educate people about new technologies and trends as they become part of the mainstream.  The initial focus in on older generations that have experience in their professional lives, but have been faced with the swiftly changing landscape of the career world.  While younger generations either grow up with or adopt new tools as they emerge in various industries, older generations need to reevaluate how relevant their experience still is and temper their mindset and habits to try and converge on the new media trends that become more and more popular.

Purpose

Evolving Basics boils down all the complex concepts, trends and tools to the most basic information that is necessary to understand and adopt.  As trends change and evolve, the basic concepts are updated and disseminated to those that subscribe to the program.  This allows people to focus on streamlining their small businesses and careers, while being updated on the most important topics and tools as they become relevant.

Concept

People that are overwhelmed with keeping up with trends come from all walks of life and have varying experience using technology and the internet.  Potential customers also have varying goals for themselves and their small business or career.  We want to break down the concepts and tools into a series of materials that can be consumed based on the extent of their experience and needs.

Concepts (brainstorming)

  • Social Media
  • Blogging, Writing
  • Personal Branding
  • Community, Engage
  • Customer Interaction
  • Communication
  • Positioning
  • Trust
  • Reputation
  • Presentation
  • Multimedia, Publishing
  • Monetization, Billing, Invoicing, Payments
  • Tools, Methodologies, Strategies
  • Surveys
  • Feedback
  • Newsletters

Tools (brainstorming)

  • Identi.ca, Status.net, Twitter, Facebook
  • WordPress, Tumblr, Posterous, TypePad
  • Prezi, Slide Share
  • Google Apps, Zoho
  • Google AdWords
  • Skype, iChat, Google Talk
  • Paypal, Chargify, Recurly, iPhone payments (CC’s)
  • SurveyMonkey, Google Docs
  • UserVoice, GetSatisfaction, ZenDesk
  • MailChimp, ExactTarget

Goals

  • Have all content (including blog posts) stay on message with our product offerings
    • Don’t talk about social media or new products or any other “noise” that does not tie back into what we offer
    • Use changes in the social media/tool landscape to explain how we are allowing these things to influence and evolve our toolset and strategies/methodologies
  • Focus on the strategy and then the tools
  • Reduce cost and time/resources spent
  • Basic assumptions are that the customer has computer skills, are business-oriented, most likely self-employed or small-business
  • Create programs for various levels of experience or needs
  • Create programs with specific goals in mind
    • Self-evaluation, to find areas to focus on:
      • Where do you get your latest business information from?
      • What are the areas of the business that are successful?
      • What areas of the business are slow or do not get much attention?
      • What takes the most effort or time/manpower?
      • What takes the most funding/cost?
      • What are the tools you use to accomplish tasks related to responsibilities?
        • What do you use the computer for?
        • What do you outsource?
        • What do you do in print or in person? (manually?)
      • How do you communicate with your customers?
      • How do you know what your customers need/want?
    • Introduction
      • What is “social media”?
      • Why should I use it?
      • How can I use it?
      • Is social media all I need to focus on?
      • What are other ways to improve my business?
      • How do I create my own strategy?
    • Building Trust
      • Transparency in objectives and goals
      • Honesty in decision making
      • Consistent message
      • Customer involvement
    • Building Relationships
      • Know your customer
      • Start a conversation
      • Listen to your customer
      • Build a following
      • Celebrate your customer; testimonials
    • Effectively Spreading Your Message
      • Creating a presence (branding)
      • Disseminating your content across networks (online and in person)
      • Looking good
    • Measuring Volume & Effectiveness
      • Monitor conversations, observing where they take place and what they’re about
      • Tracking how users interact with your content
      • Following up with customers, tweak interaction, ask for feedback
    • Collaboration
      • Why collaboration is good and should be encouraged
      • Figuring out where you collaborate and where you don’t
      • How to find the right tools and streamline your conversations
  • Providing resources to make customers productive in adapting new strategies and tools
  • Providing alternative solutions (not just pushing one option)
  • Providing ways to ask questions for more one-on-one help
  • Provide case studies/real-world examples of strategies
  • Provide tool/service reviews, comparisons

Principles & Guidelines – Values

  • Create a relationship with each customer
  • Listen to your customer
  • Only give them useful information that is relevant to them
  • Be concise and to the point
  • Have conversations
  • Put your customer in the spotlight

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