How on earth did we ever survive without e-bay and it’s amazingly efficient small business community?

A LITTLE STORY

I was telling a clever friend how my child was having trouble sleeping (sorry to go on about this, but lack of sleep is a subject that’s hard to move on from ) and she suggested I buy a story time CD to help him go into ‘the zone’. Within seconds I had jumped on e-bay and found what looked like to be a gorgeous CD called Little White Cloud by Tania Rose. It was being sold by a small business called Artscope Music in NSW. Perfect. Order placed. Payment made.

Within a few hours I received a lovely customer service mail telling me that payment had been received and the order would be dispatched ASAP. Here’s what they said: It’s our job now to get your package to you speedily. We take this part of our job very seriously and do our utmost to whisk it out the door and get it you ASAP. Yeah, we think it’s important to because we get excited about our own online purchases, so we understand how you feel.

That’s exactly how I felt! Sleep was coming!!!

THEN I got another mail telling me it had been posted. THEN within 48 hours it arrived in my letter box. Hooray!

THE FINAL TOUCH

The final package cleverly had a short newsletter-style welcome letter telling me a bit about the company (they are a small music company run by musicians for musicians), and a couple of flyers promoting the artist which looked great. There was also some cool (not in your face) information about how they’re doing their bit for the planet including printing in grey to reduce toner and packaging in jiffy bags that can be reused. The final touch was a handwritten sticky note  saying smiles to you, Tania. 

Because it looked interesting, brief and genuine I READ IT ALL!

Now, if only all the sales and marketing experiences I had with some of the bigger players were that simple…  I really engaged with this content because the information I received targeted my exact needs, turned me into a fan, and delivered an excellent product with pride and no fuss.

Their website by the way is www.artscopemusic.com.au and yes, my little guy slept.

Is there anyone there?

March 17, 2009

A sick child and 7 nights of zero sleep left me feeling a bit shattered last week. So shattered, that as I limped to my desk each morning to attend urgent-only work, the thought of updating my blog and miscellaneous social networking pages had absolutely no appeal.

Please note I am not a social networking addict…

Well, I thought I wasn’t anyway.

Even though I pretty much use these tools as business only (okay, my Facebook page might be more personal) my absence left me feeling strangely disconnected from the online world.  Indeed the world. Who was doing what on Twitter? Had anything interesting happened on Linked in? Would anyone notice my out-dated blog entry? When would my child sleep? (Sorry, loop thought there.)

This really surprised me!

So now I’m thinking that perhaps I do have some sort of addiction – a mild one, probably the same one that compels me to check my e-mails when I’ve told myself I’ve finished work for the day, or take my mobile to the pool when I’m doing laps.

I suspect, being a fellow citizen of the 21st century, you might know it too.

Facing the truth

March 6, 2009

If you’ve been to one of my workshops you may have heard me harping on about websites that have meaningless About Us pages. You know, the kind that you read and walk away having learned nothing about the people who work at that organisation. Sometimes not even a single name is mentioned. What are they hiding?

One thing I always remind people to do is to have a really nice photo of their key team on show to the world. Why? Because we like to see what people look like and it helps our users make a connection. Especially if they are sussing us out and thinking of picking up the phone and calling, ordering etc. Humans like looking at humans (especially  baby-faced CEOs apparently-  large eyes, small nose, high forehead, and small chin – according to  the Journal of Consumer Research).

Anyway, I took my own photo down a while ago because it was looking very outdated. Then, things got busy, a passion project got let loose, life got in the way, and despite being married to a photographer (!) my own professsional shot was never taken. Until now.

So, here it is. Up close and personal. Nothing to hide (that I can remember anyway).

libby-varcoe-website-shot