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Pinstripe Supports St. Pete Glitter Queens and The Beth Dillinger Foundation

Bobbie Shay Lee and Ginger Reichl join friends at the St. Pete Glitter Queens fundraiser to benefit the Beth Dillinger Foundation
Pinstripe Marketing is proud to support the St. Pete Glitter Queens at their annual ball. The 2017 beneficiary is the Beth Dillinger Foundation.

The event theme was “Mod About the 60s”, so instead of go-go boots and Pucci prints, our team dressed as vintage Pan Am flight attendants, complete with flight bags, safety demonstrations and plenty of peanuts!

The Beth Dillinger Foundation was created in 2007 by Bob and Kay Dillinger in memory of their beloved daughter, Beth. The Beth Dillinger Foundation (BDF) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides support and education to youth in need. Bobbie and Ginger were high school friends of Beth and have worked with the Foundation on several projects to honor her memory.

Four different means of support include:

  • The Beth Dillinger Scholarship Fund, a scholarship endowment available to boys and girls who wish to continue their education, but do not have the funds to achieve that goal.
  • Beth’s Closet at PACE Center for Girls in Pinellas County, Florida
  • Beth’s Corner is a room created at “Ready for Life,” an organization with a goal to assist youth aging out of the foster care system.
  • The Hope Chest clothes closets located in the Public Defender’s Office in Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Dade City
  • Nourish to Flourish, a partnership with the 6th Circuit Public Defender’s Office and the Beth Dillinger Foundation to feed chronically hungry children in our area.

The event and St. Pete Glitter Queens raised $73,697 that evening. A match from the Pinellas Education Foundation will quadruple a portion of the funds to $160,000 in scholarships for the Beth Dillinger Scholarship Fund.

 

Bobbie Shay Lee, Ginger Reichl, Mandi Houston and Christina Xenakis as a vintage Pan Am flight attendants at the St. Pete Glitter Queens fundraiser

Glitter Queens Royal Ball 2017

Bob and Kay Dillinger - Glitter Queens Royal Ball 2017

Glitter Queens Royal Ball 2017

Bobbie Shay Lee as a vintage Pan Am flight attendant at the St. Pete Glitter Queens fundraiser

Read more about the event in Ernest Hooper’s column in his Tampa Bay Times column.

Nikki Devereux Named Tampa Bay Business Journal Up and Comer

nikki devereux tbbj up and comers_news

Pinstripe Marketing Senior Project Manager, Nikki Devereux was named a Tampa Bay Business Journal Up and Comer, Class of 2017 by an independent panel of judges. She was chosen as one of 60 of her peers in the business community, out of a pool of more than 400 nominees. This is a group who do their best to make the Tampa Bay area the best community it can be. From leadership to community service, these Up and Comers are making the world a better place. We are proud of Nikki and look forward to cheering her on as she continues to do her best in work, life and community.

View the list of 2017 Up and Comers here.

Setting Client Expectations

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You’re talking to a prospective client. How would you present the work your company does? What might you say about your company’s productive efficiency. How responsive are you to client needs? What would you say about the professionalism of your staff? How important is corporate responsibility?

We’d guess our readers always answer these questions exactly to same way, even if talking to their BFF at their favorite bar and after a drink or three. But for others, there may be glaring discrepancies between some of the answers in first scenario and those in a relaxed, non-selling situation. If that’s the case, it’s reasonable to worry that somebody’s business is off to a bad start managing client expectations.

We know the temptation to oversell. A good company that provides a worthwhile product or service and operated by a competent staff of decent people can suddenly become a socially crusading, budding Amazon, led by super heroes (but with a gentle, caring touch) and providing a better ROI opportunity than the ground floor investment in Microsoft.

Okay, that might be a little hyperbolic, but few prospective clients come away from a sales pitch expecting to frequently hear the word “no” to future requests. And when there has been too much “gilding the lily,” someone is not going to be happy. Interestingly, that someone is often the business owner and her or his staff.

Unless a company is run by true rip-off artists, most clients can walk away from bad business relationships having merely lost a little time and not quite getting what they thought their money was worth. More often, the real suffering comes to the other side of the equation as businesspeople take on unprofitable jobs that require excessive workloads. The probable outcome is a painful, ultimately fruitless attempt to hang on to a difficult client.

So how does one prevent (or handle) this predicament? Well, here are our thoughts:

  • Appreciate your own worth. For contractors and others in professional services industries there can be a tendency to take on work for too low a fee because “something is better than nothing.” Often this is accompanied with the rationalization that one can raise rates later. (Why would a client agree to that?) It can be same with willingness to accommodate abnormal business hours. Make your standard prices understood upfront and don’t give the impression that you’re anyone’s indentured servant.
  • Lead with your value proposition. You’re not exceptional at everything, because no one is exceptional at everything. If someone claims to be, you know they’re lying. When selling, make your top value proposition clear to the prospect and be realistic about other aspects of your business. Don’t be afraid; a strong value proposition should appeal to a lot of clients, and others may like enough of everything else they hear to give you a fair trial. You can’t win them all, and you don’t want to lose by “winning.”
  • Listen to what your client is saying. Rarely do prospective clients hide what’s important to them. In fact, they usually mention it quite often, especially if they’ve been previously disappointed. If their demands have been a problem for others in your line of work, they might be a challenge to you as well. Carefully and thoughtfully evaluate what prospects want and let them know where you can, and where you might not, meet their expectations.
  • Lower the bar. We joke and say that every client wants everything yesterday, but thankfully that’s not (always) true. People may be quite reasonable in their expectations—they simply don’t want to be disappointed. What if you made your costs estimates a little higher than you truly anticipate and your set deadlines a little further out than you think necessary. Then you could watch your client’s delighted reaction when you can charge less than you initially said and you get the work done faster than promised!
  • Play up the client success stories that you’d want to repeat. Testimonials and case studies make for excellent sales collateral, but be careful about how you present these stories to prospects. When you go far above and beyond the call of duty for a client, perhaps you should keep the specifics to yourself and share the client’s appreciation in a brief testimonial. And when you’ve done a great job following your normal procedures, that’s the time to go into the details with a lengthier case study.
  • If you’re having trouble competing, look for the cause and make changes. Suppose you’re regularly disappointing your clients while killing yourself and your employees, AND losing money for your trouble. Then you notice your competition seems to be doing fine. It’s time for some research. Try to figure out what advantages your competitors have and see how you can even things up. If the advantages are inherent (like a better location) find out how others in your situation have coped and emulate them. Be prepared to change your marketing strategies to better attract the available audience, rather than continuing to push the same old boulder up the mountain.
  • Be willing to give up. You may have heard the saying, “Winners never quit and quitters never win,” but we have another one: “He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day.” Some jobs and/or clients are simply not worth the effort and never will be. Don’t run yourself or your business into the ground trying to make something happen that can’t. After you’ve done your best but simply can’t make an arrangement work for everyone, thank the impossible client for the opportunity and bid them a fond farewell.

As Dirty Harry once said, “A man’s got to know his limitations” … and so does his (or her) client.

Keep It Fresh!

content marketing news

No one likes stale bread, stale news, or stale anything. Neither does the Googlebot. Savvy marketers know that the Googlebot looks beyond keywords embedded within a website. The Googlebot looks for frequent content updates to websites, often found in blogs, videos, press releases, and case studies. They call it crawling. These frequent updates increase the chances that a site will be placed higher in the search results.

It makes perfect sense if you think about it, because embedded keywords alone won’t bring the best search results. The world’s biggest and best search engine reaches around the globe for new and interesting content to fulfill their users’ search parameters. The trick is to keep your site fresh and looking new.

DIY

The do-it-yourself method of updating the company blog, special events, success stories, and general news requires planning and commitment of many employee hours. Let’s not forget, it also requires some creativity, which means you need to step away from the noise of the day and devote three or four hours to writing one piece.

Before publishing it, always remember to edit your material, either a couple times by yourself or have one of your coworkers help you. It’s hard to get your thoughts on the page to read exactly how you want them (even for seasoned professional writers), so please be careful when you do-it-yourself.

Time Is Money

Hiring a firm to do the writing also means you’re hiring them to plan, organize, and execute it. The cost may seem out of reach at first, but when you add up all the hours you would be spending on a properly run plan, you’ll see that it will make you money over the long-run. If you’re the owner of the company or head of marketing, that time spent writing could be time spent doing more pressing work and contributing to the bottom line.

Here’s a good example. In one week, your company may need to write a blog post and a press release. These take a professional writer less than 10 hours to complete. On average, it will take an inexperienced writer double that time.

Some Accounting Required

If you do the math, you’ll see how hiring a firm to handle the constant flow of updates to your site can save you money. More importantly, it will allow you to focus on what you do best, so you can increase revenue and profit.

Within a month or two of frequent updates, the Googlebot will reward your company by ranking it higher than before. Trust us. We’ve seen it happen, time and again. Let us know if we can help.

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