Marketing Monday: Time Warner Cable

Every Monday, it’s an example of a business, non-profit, or website doing something interesting to promote itself online. Got an idea? Let me know!

Now I’m not a big fan on national cable companies but I thought how Time Warner is handling their Disney/ABC negotiations pretty interesting.

They are keeping customers informed via email.

I’ve gotten a few updates about the current negotiations via Time Warner Cable email (and yes, I opted not to receive anything extra). I haven’t unsubscribed because these emails aren’t frequent. Also in their favor is they tend to be short and all driving customers to another website if they want longer versions of anything:http://www.rolloverorgettough.com/

They are driving their customers to a separately branded website.

Time Warner needs to keep running its day-to-day operations going on their company website, and these cable negotiations are a small part of what it does. So, for this ‘campaign’ they’ve set up a different website for educational (and political) purposes. I appreciate how they have their company name in the sidebar (as in they aren’t pretending to be some third party group). But it is smart of them to keep their advocacy separate from their business, at least in terms of branding.

An informative graphic: saying more to people than they'd typically read.

These Two Weeks In Business: The Package Edition

It’s been said that hairdressers have the worst hair and the cobbler’s kids are the last to get their shoes. Growing up in a hardware family, we were often the last to get handy people at our house. Good thing my mom is pretty good with powertools!

Well, with web people, this idea translates to sometimes your web professional having a poorly maintained site (while still doing a pretty good job on yours).

While I do keep things up-to-date on my site, the list of little things to improve it end up stacking up until it reaches a breaking point.

Last week, mostly while I was avoiding creating a presentation, I did a lot of work on my own site. It’s not something you’d necessarily notice but mind if I give a little tour?

I created packages and then a chart to help understand them.

If you got to www.breakingeveninc.com/packages, you’ll notice a bunch of packages for businesses and non-profits starting at $200/month. I’ve asked a few business owners (and maybe they were just too nice to tell me) but they said the prices seemed fair and the packages were easy to understand.That said, if anything with my packages seems off/weird, please comment! If you’ve ever met me (and heck, even if you haven’t), I hope you know I appreciate it when people are honest with me. :^)

Basically, I calculated prices based on my hourly wage, since I know about how long it takes me to do something. Also by pricing monthly, I was hoping to make people understand a lot of this stuff is on-going and is something I am able to maintain/create on a regular basis that’ll add value to the business.

I am all about making things simple to regular people… so I made this handy dandy flow chart.

I was on vacation with my mom, who owns a business, when I showed her my service packages. (Admittedly, this is probably a pretty biased audience to start out with but I thought it was better than nothing!)

“These all look good,” she said, “but how do I know what I need?”

In the hotel room, I immediately began sketching a flow chart. When I got back home to Photoshop, I made the chart below and emailed it to her.

“Oh this is great!” she said.

When my friend Matt told me making an image map is ‘easy’ (i.e. making it so when you click on parts of the chart, it goes to different links), I gave it a shot. And you know what? It was. Now when you click on the package you need, poof!, you are taken to a web page with the package description and, in the future, example clients, testimonials, screenshots, etc.

So you can click on the chart to see it up close… Let me know if you find it easy to follow or if you see any improvements I could make!

My mom wanted to know how she would know what services she needed, because they all sounded good. How about a flow chart? I said. And guess what, it's clickable!

I sent out my monthly newsletter, and got tons more subscribes from it than ever before.

I got an email from my sister about a month ago about blogging software and, since I had practically written up a whole thing for her, I thought I would also send the information in my monthly email newsletter. To see my summary of some ‘free’ blogging technology out there, here’s the archive link to it. ‘You should put this on your website’ my friend Chris said. And I did, along with a way to subscribe to the newsletter. So if you want, you can subscribe on the main page of my site or on the Breaking Even Facebook page.

These Weeks In Business: Obama In Bar Harbor Edition

So the Obama family spent the weekend visiting my normally quiet corner of the world. It’s pretty much all anyone can talk about. Seeing the folks with signs sitting on lawn chairs near the bridge connecting MDI to the mainland was really sweet. Some people actually had the nerve to complain. I say the opportunities a visit of this magnitude presents far outweigh the small incoveniences to me. And I can say that with complete honesty because I live right in the thick of where the Obama family was visiting.

In case someone connected with them is reading this, thanks for coming to Maine. We were happy to have you!

These past few weeks have been really busy, which is always the case if I don’t post ‘this week in business’ one week. I’m working on several projects, most of which I can’t really talk about until they are more done so that I actually have something worthwhile to say.

For the first time ever, I have my newsletter done ahead of time.

Because I’ll be doing a little travel with my family next week, I decided to start the newsletter *gasp* ahead of schedule. It’s all about free and easy ways to set up a blog (for your business or just for you). Click here to sign up (or look right for the ‘Keep In Touch’ section)!

Our first in-person workshop in 2+ years is happening September 24!

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