Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Preparing Your Heart for Christmas


December can be a very busy and stressful time.

The folks at St. John’s Episcopal Church in West Hartford are helping people experience peace and prepare their hearts for Christmas.

Recently, they held an Advent Procession of Lessons and Carols, featuring the adult and youth choirs at the church.

The choirs sang some Advent carols and presented music that helped the listener learn and understand more about the Advent season and also prepare his or her heart for Christmas.

Advent is a time of waiting in joyful hope for the birth of Jesus Christ, and this service was offered as part of our spiritual preparation for the wonder of that miracle.

At the service, the sequence of music, scripture, and hymns focused on longing for God’s kingdom to be established on Earth – and the assertion that in Christ, that day is dawning.

The service began in a darkened church, with the choir singing from afar, and then moved from darkness to light. The increased brightness symbolized the progressive revelation of Jesus Christ to the world.

If you were unable to make it to the service, please take the time to review the program and listen to the podcast as you prepare for Christmas.

As we continue to prepare for Christmas, please join St. John's Episcopal Church on Christmas Eve, when services will be held at 4 p.m. and 11 p.m.

At 4 p.m., a festal celebration of Holy Eucharist will include a sermon suitable for younger children and music by our Youth Choir. A musical prelude will begin at 3:45 p.m.

At 11 p.m., the music of the Christmas angels will be played and sung by our adult choir and instrumentalists and the people of God who gather in this place. A choral prelude will begin at 10:30 p.m.

For more information, news, notes, and events, please visit www.sjparish.net.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Sacred Cello and Piano Concert to be Held in November

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If you are looking for an evening of beautiful classical music, you won’t want to miss the Sacred Cello & Piano Concert at St. John’s Episcopal Church.

On Nov. 16 at 4 p.m., internationally renowned artists Tanya Anisimova and Pi-Hsun Shih, who perform together often, will play together as Duo Bona Fide at this special event.

Admission is free, but there is a suggested donation of $20.

Anisimova is an internationally renowned musician that defies categorization. This superb cellist, composer, improviser, singer, and arranger, is as much at ease performing her own cello concerto with a symphony orchestra as she is improvising in concert.

Shih is described as a pianist of “searing precision” by the Hartford Courant. Shih has performed throughout North America, South America, and Asia with ensembles such as Empire Brass and the Emerson String Quartet.
 
Sacred Music at the Red Door will present this concert as the first in a series of five concerts for the 2014-15 season. 


For more information about this concert and other upcoming concerts, please visit www.reddoormusic.org.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Show Your Customers What You're All About

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By Erin Quinlan

Many businesses have slogans or taglines that go something like, “Honesty, ethics, value, integrity.”

We’ve all seen them, right?

But would you walk up to someone you’ve never met before and tell them how sexy, charismatic, or charming you are? Of course not.

So why would you do that with your business? Why would you tell people what you want them to believe about your business and not train them in what your business actually operates with in terms of those ethics guidelines?

One recent example of a poor tagline is Berkshire Bank’s slogan of “America’s Most Exciting Bank.” There’s nothing exciting about a bank until you look at your account and realize that you overdrafted and they never set up the account right to protect you.

This is not America’s most exciting bank because America can’t have an exciting bank. Show me what you really are and how you operate!

Showing your customers what you’re all about is a far more effective method than just trying to convince them of something using a tagline or slogan.

Show-don’t-tell marketing forces you to be truly honest about the story you’re sharing. You can say whatever you want about your business, but showing it means you have to actually run your business with integrity. You have to stand behind the story you’re sharing.

Ethical business practices include assuring that the highest legal and moral standards are observed in your relationships with the people in your business community. A reputation for ethical decisions builds trust in your business among business associates and suppliers. Strong supplier relationships are critical to a successful business. Consider the problems you might have if you could not supply what the customer needs... at the time that they need it.

So, whatever kind of business you run, fix your motto, fix your tagline. Allow people to experience what your motto is through the values that you employ on a regular basis, not through what you tell them they should believe.

Need some help?


Give The Silent Partner Marketing a call at 866-432-6456 or e-mail Kyle Reyes at kyle@thesilentpartnermarketing.com and we can help you out.


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Erin Quinlan is the Content Marketing Manager of The Silent Partner Marketing, a boutique marketing firm focused on helping businesses grow in an age of exploding technology. You can find The Silent Partner Marketing on Google+Facebook, and Twitter

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Making Your Video Go Viral

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By Erin Quinlan


It seems like every day, one of the business owners we work with, or one of the prospects who wants to work with us, says they want a viral video.

Sure, who doesn’t? But just because you want a video to go viral won’t mean that it will.

You need some of the key components to the creation of something that people actually care about.

These components include, is it easy to do, is it fun, and do people care? Is it engaging, relevant, or unique? If the answer is no, you probably won’t get your video to go viral.

To help get your video to go viral, you want to tell a good story. No matter what you’re selling, the story should matter more than the product. If you have a compelling narrative, it doesn’t really matter if you’ve mentioned what you’re selling. People don’t want to share a video that explains the merit of one brand over another.

You will need to kick your video off with a bang. You need to capture the viewer’s attention within the first five seconds. This can be achieved through music, dramatic intros, or action sequences.

Once you have their attention, you have to keep them interested. Make them laugh, smile, or cry – or they will become bored and won’t be engaged.

You can also surprise – but not shock – your audience. In order to go viral a video needs to be shared, and people aren’t going to share something that is too explicit or graphic.

Once you have your video done, make sure that it is place in front of key influencers. To go viral, it needs to be put in front of the right people.

The first 24 hours of a video’s life are critical. If nobody interacts with it in this timeframe, it’s going to struggle. YouTube monitors how many times a video has been interacted with – likes, comments, shares, completed views etc., during the first 24 hours. If it’s enough according to the algorithm, the video is promoted to its country/language YouTube chart, which dramatically increases the video’s chance of going viral. 

Views are important, but for a video to go viral, it is essential that people share it. If it is shared on social media, more people will become aware of your video than if it just has many views on YouTube. Sharing is the true way of making your video go viral.

Need some help with your videos?


Give The Silent Partner Marketing a call at 866-432-6456 or e-mail Kyle Reyes at kyle@thesilentpartnermarketing.com and we can help you out.



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Erin Quinlan is the Content Marketing Manager of The Silent Partner Marketing, a boutique marketing firm focused on helping businesses grow in an age of exploding technology. You can find The Silent Partner Marketing on Google+Facebook, and Twitter

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Where Are Your Past Customers In The Buying Process?

By Kyle Reyes

What kind of business person are you?  Are you one who relies on the crumbs that fall from the dinners of other businesses...or are you the kind of agent that has a powerful customer relationship management system that allows you to stay in touch with past customers and know where they are in their lives?
There are people in this industry that make deals and move on.  Then there are others that continue to add value to past customers...knowing that they are also FUTURE customers.  The successful ones are not afraid to ask for referrals and are not afraid to ask for recommendations.  You work your butt off to help people.  THIS is one of the greatest opportunities you're all missing on social sites like Facebook and YouTube, to name a few.
I was inspired to ask this question to all of you as I think about where my wife and I are in our lives right now.  She and our four-legged kids (see one of them below) are just hours away from welcoming our first TWO-legged kid into our lives.  And in a very short period of time, we're seeing our life-circumstances change.
Although we bought our house (as cursed as it may be) just last October, we're already planning on the next home that we'll have for our growing family.
Those whom we worked with on purchasing our last home may or may not known we have a kid on the way.  They may or may not know that we hate this house and were completely duped in the buying process by the sellers.  They may or may not know...because they may or may not be asking.
The moral of the story is this.  It doesn't matter whether you work in real estate, the automotive world or just run a small business.  Be where your customers are - not just in your marketing, but in your everyday interactions in life.  Because a sale today could be two tomorrow.  Your greatest marketing strategy is only as strong as your ability to maintain relationships with the people who you've crossed paths with before.
PS- If you DO work in real estate...you should hit us up to hear the scoop about our powerful new real marketing division before we officially announce it.  You can't afford to miss this.
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Kyle Reyes is the President and Creative Director of The Silent Partner Marketing, a boutique marketing firm focused on helping businesses grow in an age of exploding technology.  You can find him on Google+Facebook and Twitter.  He's the Chuck Norris of marketing.  It's outrageous - we know.  That's kind of the point.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Does Your Advertising Method Make Sense?

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By Erin Quinlan

Sometimes, we see things that make us stop and just shake our heads.

Take for example the Big Y 18-wheeler at the Big E. Who thinks about going to the grocery store to get food after stuffing themselves at the Big E?

Not us. We at The Silent Partner Marketing made sure to eat everything in sight at the fair.

This giant advertisement probably cost at least $10,000. That’s a lot of dough to spend on something that won’t matter to people – because they’ve already eaten enough dough in the last few hours to last at least a couple weeks.

The cost and the lack of return on investment make this a poor marketing technique.

So here’s your homework. Stop and think about your traditional and digital marketing initiatives. Think about where you’re spending your money and think to yourself, “Does it make sense?”

Creating a marketing strategy without a clear understanding of your audience is a bit like setting out on a boat without navigational tools. You’re doing something, but you’re not working toward a specific goal.

You need to figure out who your audience is. Demographic profiles are somewhat limited in their potential to uncover motivations and buying patterns, but they’re a good place to start.

Once you figure out who your audience is, figure out what their most pressing issue, problem, or desire is. Whatever the issue, it’s what you’ll use to enter the discussion and make an impact in their lives.

How does your product or service solve their problem? Don’t tell them what your do or the product does, but tell them what it does for them.

You also need to figure out where your audience gets their information. Choosing the correct channels for your message is absolutely critical. See the Big Y 18-wheeler for an example of an incorrect channel.

Consumers these days are a skeptical breed who are bombarded with advertisements everywhere they go. Oftentimes, the ads are filled with outright lights. Always act with integrity, back up your claims with proof, and understand the dynamics of your market well enough to be able to identify the standard bad claims.

Trust is huge. Who do your customers trust? Hopefully, the answer to that question is you. Gaining the trust of your audience is huge. Be open, honest, and always leave the lines of communication open.

Need some help with all of this?

Give The Silent Partner Marketing a call at 866-432-6456 or e-mail Kyle Reyes at kyle@thesilentpartnermarketing.com and we can help you out.



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Erin Quinlan is the Content Marketing Manager of The Silent Partner Marketing, a boutique marketing firm focused on helping businesses grow in an age of exploding technology. You can find The Silent Partner Marketing on Google+Facebook, and Twitter

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Should Your Business Use A Group Or A Company Page On LinkedIn?

By Kyle Reyes


We recently had one of our newer clients ask us about the best way to utilize LinkedIn to grow their exposure and communicate message and events with their followers.  

Let me begin by saying how warm and fuzzy I felt that a business is looking to use LinkedIn the way that it SHOULD be used...not like so many businesses are currently using it.

First - let's break down the benefits of LinkedIn vs. other forms of social media.


1) It's where the big boys and girls are hanging out.  People, generally speaking, are on LinkedIn to do business - not to share pictures of their dog eating bacon.  That simple fact increases the quality of potential leads for your business.
2) More people are looking for a direct service.  While many social media platforms deliver information such as the cool restaurant to eat at or the best place to get your car fixed - LinkedIn backs this information with the opportunity to provide direct referrals and much more professional introductions.
3. You can separate personal from business.  With LinkedIn, the overall environment is one of a higher level of class.  You're more easily able to separate your private life or business shenanigans from your personal ones.

When it comes to LinkedIn, your "Company Page" is the absolute best way to market.  This is where you should be sharing upcoming events, blogs, services, referrals and examples of your work.  It's very easy to confuse the role of your company page with your group, as both offer similar opportunities for exposure.  You should think about the Company Page as your business website.  Use it to generate sales and provide value for your customers....and allow it to reveal the "human side of your company" as LinkedIn puts it.

With that being said, "groups" offer more control over privacy.  They should be utilized for more interpersonal conversations about industry trends and analysis.  Think of it like this.  If you are a furniture store, you'll want to use the Company Page to promote your brand and your products.  But you may want to share feedback and concerns with similar businesses in the industry across the country, and so you won't want to be discussing that publicly.  That's where a group comes in.  It allows you to discuss the shrinking economy and best practices for your business without having to list this information on the public platform.  You are in complete control and have the ability to invite professionals to the group...or kick them out.

If you're at the point where you're trying to decide between a Company Page and a Group on LinkedIn...you're way above the curve when it comes to businesses using social media.  Now it's time to fine-tune that presence and use it to represent your business.

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Kyle Reyes is the President and Creative Director of The Silent Partner Marketing, a boutique marketing firm focused on helping businesses grow in an age of exploding technology.  You can find him on Google+Facebook and Twitter.  He's the Chuck Norris of marketing.  It's outrageous - we know.  That's kind of the point.