Social media solution: What’s your dream vacation?

One of my clients is Boyd Autobody & Glass, one of the largest operators of collision repair facilities in North America.

They wanted to participate in social media but there’s a problem: Collision repair is not really a topic that people think about unless they need it. And, even when people do need collision repair, it’s not always a positive experience for them because of insurance deductibles and red tape, collision-related injuries (and worse), and stress about an investment that is often the second most expensive thing they own (next to their house). In short, collision repair doesn’t provide many favorable or compelling social media conversations.

AaronHoos_businesswriter_client_Boyd_FBDreamVacationSo one solution for them has been to create a Facebook fan page that syncs with a contest they are running.

The contest is a personalized dream vacation in which the winner can go on their very own all-expenses-paid vacation-of-a-lifetime. Fans of the Facebook page aren’t participants in the contest but are simply Facebook users who have the opportunity to talk about their dream vacation. That makes more sense: We may not all want to talk about collision repair (even if it’s something we need right now) but we ALL have a dream vacation to share!

Visit Boyd Dream Vacation page on Facebook to talk about your dream vacation and to see how Boyd has overcome the social media challenge they faced.

Client Spotlight: TopStockGurus

aaronhoos_businesswriter_client_tsgTopStockGurus.com was a free report and weekly newsletter in which stock market gurus choose compelling stocks and give their reasons for the choice.

As the editor of the report and the weekly newsletter, I tracked the gurus down each week and reviewed their investment recommendations and then develop content that introduces the investment and the guru.

(The gurus included well-known names like Tom & David Gardner of The Motley Fool, Roger Conrad of Utility Forecaster, Jim Trippon of China Stock Digest, Gene Marcial of BusinessWeek, and many more.)

The newsletter was delivered to subscribers every Thursday morning.

I also monitored open and click-through rates to ensure the readership stayed engaged.

The project ended when the company was acquired by another newsletter publisher who subsequently consolidated their overlapping assets.

Angel investor article: Sarbanes-Oxley and start-ups

aaronhoos_businesswriter_venturehype

VentureHype is a blog for angel investors that I write for regularly. In my June 17th article, “What the @#$ is SOX?” I talk to angel investors about how they can prepare their start-up today for SOX compliance in the future.

Recommended reading: The Ten-Day MBA

I normally resist these “MBA-in-a-short-time-period” book because they are pretty watered down and less helpful. But this book is written by Steven Silbiger, whose work I admire. It is high quality and a very demanding read — not a light read by any means! It’s one of those books that I find myself referring to again and again.

Repurposing Failed Innovation

First, let me give credit where it is due: http://twitter.com/Brioneja put me onto this article.

Read this short but sweet article at BusinessWeek .com: “How to Repurpose Failed Innovation” about  what businesses can do to generate new revenue from failed first-tries.

Every business has these failed items sitting around. They’ve sunk money into them but they’re doing nothing. This article gives 4 good ideas to get you thinking about using these dormant investments.

And, I’ll broaden the subject matter a little for you: Don’t just read the article with that one failed start-up idea in mind. You might have half-completed ebooks, a blog that has collected dust, a bunch of employee manuals in the closet that haven’t been read in years, a website that you’ve been renewing for years even though it doesn’t actually go anywhere, and a file called “Miscellaneous Ideas for a Rainy Day” that you add to from time to time.

Here’s what I would advise: List the names and/or nuggets of ideas in one big list. Then, right beside each one, start thinking about how you can pull out the difibrillators and revive them to turn them into something that will either earn more revenue or strengthen your current position with customers.

This is a valuable activity you can perform during the Innovation stage of the Business Diamond Framework™.