Friday, February 3, 2017

Business Stories that Appeal to Millennials

3 Types of Business Stories that Appeal to Millennials



© Can Stock Photo Inc. / kanzefar
If you’re looking to increase your business sales among Millenials improving your storytelling is a good start. Telling your story effectively imparts a more human side to your business. It’s also memorable and develops an emotional connection between your business and your audience.
Most sales gurus will admit it’s the emotional side of the brain that drives purchasing, so storytelling gets your business where you want to be.

Effective Types of Storytelling for Gen Y

The following types of stories will improve your connection to Gen Y but they should never be used disingenuously. Use what fits your business. Don’t alter your story just to get likes or shares, or customers.

Saving the World

Compared to their cynical Gen X predecessors, at least 39% of Gen Ys polled believe they will do something in their lifetimes that will contribute to the world becoming a better place. Telling a story of how your business connects others and helps them help the world will appeal to this generation.
However, if you’re going to flavor your business story with a saving the world tone, make sure you tell it by how you are helping your customers do it not by your own super powers. Taking a more humble approach will attract this tech-savvy generation. Boldly making heroic claims will turn these uber-eager world changers off.

To Thine Own Selfie be True

It seems contradictory that at the same time they claim to want to make the world a better place, they are also eagerly capturing nearly every breathe they take in selfies. This generation of do-gooders is different than the Boomers in that they see a very individualistic role of how each will save the world. It’s an I will save instead of a we. This doesn’t mean they don’t want to work in group, quite the contrary but they want their individual contributions recognized and lauded.
If you’re looking to appeal to this generation, show them what is in your business, product or service for them. Tell your business story as it involves them and their future success, beauty, or meeting of individual goals. Cast your Gen Y customer as the hero of the story. She’ll take it from there.

A Life Fit for Instagram

Millennials have a strong notion for how life should be. Studies have shown that even though many of them graduated during a very difficult time economically, and many of them remain living with their parents much longer than previous generations, they’re also more apt to spend money on an experience than things. That’s good news for businesses like coffee houses and restaurants.
Telling your business story as an exciting service or experience will appeal to this group. Lacking in a large income does not discourage them from partaking in the finer aspects of life. They want what they want, which isn’t a starter home or a starter car. Showcase your business as a means to getting the life they want, or as a part of that life, and it will draw this generation in.
If you’ve been looking to reach Gen Y, telling your business story through social media and the Internet will get their attention but you need to use a business approach that they’ll find appealing. In some ways, these young people have a lot more figured out. They know it’s important to give back, be kind to yourself, and enjoy life’s adventures while you have the time and interest, even if you don’t have the money.

Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chamber's and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and Memberclicks.
She’s just a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.



Tuesday, January 31, 2017

TED Talks

7 of the Best TED Talks for Small Business
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / ra2studio

One of the hardest things about running a business is finding the resources you need – be it human resources, financial resources, or educational resources. There's no question you know your product, service or industry but what do you know about running a business or social media, or marketing, or sales? And how has it changed since you last learned it all?
Finding good quality (inexpensive) learning resources to keep you at the top of your industry can mean the difference between success and struggle. A chamber membership is a great investment for your professional and business development as is some time spent absorbing the innovative ideas of others. TED talks are an amazing opportunity to learn (on your schedule) from a few of the brightest minds in our world. Best of all, the talks are free.
Here is a list of some of the best TED talks for small business owners:

Got a Wicked Problem? First Let Me Tell You How to Make Toast

This 10-minute video from Tom Wujec presents a basic activity with interesting insights into business teams and processes, asking people to visually represent how they make toast. He discusses how different teams approach the activity from their own center – people, process or technology. The video provides some nice insight into people’s thinking and what they consider to be the most important part of the toast-making process.  

 How Great Leaders Inspire Action

If you’ve never watched this powerful 20-minute video by Simon Sinek, turn off your email, let your calls go to voicemail, and watch. Now. In it he talks about how people don’t buy your product, they buy the “why” behind what you do. Do you know your why? You’ll be thinking about it after watching this.

How to Make a Splash in Social Media

If you don’t have a lot of time, here’s a 4-minute gem from Alexis Ohanian (Reddit) on becoming a hit in social media. Even though it’s from 2009, it’s still a funny story.

What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work?

The 20-minute talk from Dan Ariely provides good insight into what satisfies us, and it’s not money. Knowing the secret to inspiring work is something most small business owners understand but if you need an encouraging boost, check this out.

3 Ways to (Usefully) Lose Control of Your Brand

If you think you own your company’s brand, think again. With social media and public access to broad audiences, it’s the customer who controls the brand now. This six and a half minute video by Tim Leberecht reminds us of this and shows us how to gracefully accept it.

Looking Past Limitations

This video isn’t about business, per se, but Caroline Casey’s ability to get past her own limitations are sure to inspire you. It’s worth a watch just to hear about her interesting childhood.

This is Broken

Marketing genius Seth Godin talks about what works in business and what’s broken, in his unusual, funny way. His commentary will make you look at your business, and customer experience, from a different lens.

Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and Memberclicks.
She’s just a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Empower Your Business!

5 Tips on How You Can Start Using Video for Your Business

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / venimo
Video content has exploded as a marketing tool and if you’re on the sidelines wondering why, it may help to know that according to eMarketer, daily time dedicated to digital video watching (for adults) has increased exponentially over the past 5 years. From a measly 6 minutes a day in 2010, to 55 minutes in 2014, we’re certainly getting our time in front of the screen.
But it’s not just the amount of time spent that causes marketers to flock to this medium. According to a report by Unruly, enjoyment of a brand video causes intent to purchase to rise by 97%.
Getting started is often the biggest challenge. Most business owners are surprised to hear it doesn’t take expensive equipment and actors. You can create cheap videos for your company with a phone, laptop, inexpensive lighting and a quality mic. By all means, if you have the money and want to hire it out, that’s fine too.
Here on some suggestions to how to start using video for your business:

Decide the Type

Depending on the type of business you’re in, think about how you can best use video to meet your marketing goals. Some ideas include:
·               Product demonstrations
·               Tutorials on how to use your product
·               Telling your story (great way to put a face with the business)
·               Testimonials/case studies
·               Thought leadership
·               Staff introductions
·               Corporate office, facility, store tours
·               Product production highlights (for instance, videos of the produce growers a restaurant uses)

Answer Questions Improve Search Results

This type of video is wildly successful because it not only establishes you and your business as a subject matter expert but it also helps in SEO. To begin, do some research as to what your potential customers are asking.
Marcus Sheridan, of the Sales Lion, worked at a fiberglass pool company before he began his formal career in content marketing. He realized many people in the market for a pool wanted to know the basics such as:
·      What’s the difference between a fiberglass pool and a cement one?
·      How long will it take to install?
·      How much do fiberglass pools cost?
He uncovered these questions through talking with his sales people and searching the Internet. Once he found out what his potential buyers wanted to know, he answered them. This made him, and the pool company he worked for, a resource for potential buyers. Even if they didn’t ultimately buy from him, they went to his site, which drove traffic, and increased his organic placement.
One more reminder on the importance of video and search results: YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine with more than 3 billion searches a month (more than AOL, Yahoo! and Bing combined), and 100 hours of video uploaded every minute.

Make it Mobile-friendly

Facebook alone handles 4 billion video views a day, 75% of those are accessed from a mobile phone. Reason enough?

Watch the Analytics

Just as you would measure the success of different kinds of posts on social media, you want to make sure you watch the hits and watches of your video(s). Some video services like Vimeo, allow you to see how much of your video people are watching. This gives you good insight into your content and level of interest. You can even see parts that are rewound and watched again.

Keep Your Outtakes

People love to laugh. Keep your outtakes to use them at a later date. You could create a holiday video card of bloopers for customers or use it as part of a celebration or anniversary. Don’t be surprised if that video gets more hits than the original.
Video is becoming increasingly popular as forms of entertainment and education. Don’t be intimidated in entering video into your marketing mix. You can do it inexpensively and it makes a formidable impression.

Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and Event Blog.
She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.



Thursday, December 29, 2016

Recognizing Member Accomplishments

The Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce 69th Annual Meeting and Awards presents Discovering Local Treasures. 


Each year, Central Wisconsin businesses and community leaders are recognized for business excellence and community impact at the Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting & Awards. Honoring a 69th - year community tradition, the annual meeting & awards provide a unique opportunity for the community to engage, connect and collaborate. This is a special opportunity to recognize and encourage excellence. Recipients are identified for their contributions to a job well done.
69th Annual Meeting & Awards
Date: Thursday, February 9, 2017
Location: Hotel Mead & Conference Center
451 East Grand Avenue, Wisconsin Rapids

Award winners will be announced live and welcomed to the stage. 

68th Annual Meeting & Awards

Friday, December 9, 2016

Tis the end of the holiday shopping headache!

Shop smart this holiday season, by shopping locally. Small businesses within the Heart of Wisconsin area have unique items that make the perfect gift. Discover the most unique gift today! Visit www.wisconsinrapidschamber.com/list/ql/shopping-specialty-retail-23 for all your shopping needs.



No more wandering around the store gift searching for that hard to shop for someone. Chamber gift certificates are the perfect holiday gift. They are redeemable at more over 400 participating chamber members (grocery stores, clothing, restaurants, entertainment, flowers, photography, etc.). Besides, who doesn’t like picking out their own gift. There’s no greater joy than being able to buy something for yourself.


Purchase your Heart of Wisconsin Gift Certificate today! We accept checks or cash only. Chamber Gift Certificates make for a wonderful, flexible holiday gift. For further details or to purchase a gift certificate please contact us at 715-423-1830 or go to www.wisconsinrapidschamber.com/gift-certificates.
To process large quantities please call ahead and allow 24 hours to process.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Rekindle the Spirit 2016

Kick off the holiday season with a dose of hometown community spirit!



Rekindle your holiday spirit with us the day before Thanksgiving. Be part of the buy local, holiday parade celebration. Festivities include Parade, Cookies & Cocoa at Hotel Mead, and Lighting of the Holiday Decorations. The lighting ceremony will be at 5:45PM at Veterans Memorial Park, with the holiday parade to follow immediately afterward. The parade will start at J.C. Penney's parking lot, down Grand Avenue, making its way across the Grand Avenue Bridge, and ending at Fourth Street. People are invited to make their way to the Hotel Mead and Conference Center, 451 E. Grand Ave. following the parade for a visit with Santa Claus, music, and to enjoy hot chocolate and cookies.
In the event of inclement weather, the parade may be canceled.



Fees/Admission:
To enter the parade, please call 715.423.1830 for parade application or stop in at 1120 Lincoln Street and pick one up.

Location/Time/Date:
Downtown Wisconsin Rapids
JCPenney Parking lot over Grand Avenue to 4th Street is the parade route 
5:45PM    Wednesday, November 23, 2016










Friday, October 14, 2016

FISH FRY FRIDAY




Jumbo Shrimp 


Parmesan Crusted Cod


Chat-R-Box Restaurant & Catering
4231 80th St South

Wisconsin Rapids, WI

It wouldn’t be a Friday in Wisconsin without a fish fry! Catch yourself a glorious fish fry at Chat-R-Box Restaurant. The Cod is not an original dish, but this restaurant likes to think out of the box, changing their fish fry special every Friday, you will not find a restaurant this unique. During my last stop at Chat-R-Box Restaurant, I had their phenomenal fish fry special, PARMESAN CRUSTED COD with Fresh Basil Mashed Potatoes, Italian Tomato Relish, and a Dinner Roll. Any Wisconsinite would fall head over heels for the Parmesan Crusted Cod. CHEESE and FISH can this get any better? It sure can! Before being served my Parmesan Crusted Cod, I was served Cioppino Seafood Stew. At first, I wasn’t sure what I had gotten myself into but that first bite of the stew sent me into a fishermen’s paradise. Besides their authentic Friday specials, Chat-R-Box has a fantastic fish fry menu. The Six Piece Jumbo Shrimp is quite appetizing but what it’s served with will have you ordering more to go. The Hush Puppies aren’t something that should be kept quiet. You cannot leave without getting the homemade Hush Puppies served with the best Butter Milk Syrup you’ll ever eat! In addition to their authentic fish fry, Chat-R-Box has a remarkable breakfast and lunch menu. Get your wake me up right away in the morning at 7:00 AM, whether it’s the 80th Street Omelet or the Kellner Muffin, your breakfast will be outstanding. Lunchtime is best in sandwich form. Try the mouth watering Loaded Hamburger or get cheesy with the Mr. Swiss. Whatever you choose for your lunchtime meal you’ll leave full and happy. Before thinking about leaving the restaurant you must have their dessert! Don’t have any room left for dessert? Order it to go! Your sweet tooth will thank you. Their desserts are out of this world. The Caramel Apple Pumpkin Cake is absolutely brilliant. The cake has the texture of pumpkin pie and bursts with flavors of the caramel apple and pumpkin. Another incredible creation Chat-R-Box offers is the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie. Simply delicious! Other desserts they offer include Coconut Cream Pie, Bread Pudding, Apple Cobbler and more. It wouldn’t be a Friday in Wisconsin without a fish fry. Stop into Chat-R-Box restaurant for an authentic fish fry, unique flavors, and miraculous desserts.

Sweet Onion Vinaigrette Dressing

Cioppino Seafood Stew

Like Chat-R-Box on Facebook

ASK ABOUT THEIR CATERING SERVICES!

Hush Puppies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Pie

Caramel Apple Pumpkin Cake