Why it's good business to embrace your so-called competitors: 5 reasons

By Kathleen Rake

I am not competitive in business; at least, not competitive in the traditional sense.

I don't believe I have to beat YOU in order to win ... to be successful. Rather, I like to embrace those who are considered my competition for a number of reasons.

And I think you should, too.

Scroll down to find out why.

LET'S WORK TOGETHER

I don't worry about what my so-called competitors do—I am aware, but not worried. I am too busy dedicating my energy to growing my own company and serving clients.

At Click Media Works, our focus is relatively narrow, especially when you consider the huge worlds of marketing, corporate communications, and public relations.

We are writers and editors.

We string words together (cleverly and effectively, I might add) for commercial and industrial enterprises, non-profit and charitable organizations, public figures, and educational and government agencies and departments. 

Our clients hire us to write the words that build the messages used to serve their respective business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) needs, and deliver those messages using various vehicles: Blog posts, web copy, case studies, social media posts, video or audio scripts, press releases, advertorials and advertisements, and whatever else needs words. We consult on the content we deliver and help our clients fit the words into their larger marketing, public relations, or corporate communications (internal or external) strategies.

But—and this is important—we are not a full-on marketing or public relations firm. Here are some of the things we do NOT do:

  • create graphic designs
  • shoot video or record audio
  • build websites or blogs
  • develop and execute comprehensive marketing or public relations campaigns
  • organize events

So, back to the title of this blog post and the purpose of writing it, here are the five reasons it is good business to embrace your so-called competitors.

1. WE REFER BUSINESS TO THEM (AND KEEP OUR CLIENTS HAPPY)

Since our clients often need some of the services I noted above, I am grateful to have developed strong relationships with people and agencies who provide them. And yes, they provide writing, too, which makes them, in effect, my so-called competitors. But, I prefer to call them my strategic alliances, my colleagues, my friends.

I know their work, their character, and that I can count on them.

If a client needs graphics or a design layout, I can send them directly to Camilla Coates, Linda Horn, or Denée VanDiermenIf they need a branding package or comprehensive marketing and PR plan, I call Leanne Froese. If they are looking for an integrated digital marketing plan, then Allison Markin is my go-to [ahem] competitor. If a client needs a PR splash, I connect with Summer Dhillon-Giesbrecht. And for video, Gilda Diaz or Keith Dobie get the call. 

The bonus, as I see it, is that I don't leave my client to whirl in the wind wondering who to hire to get "that other part" of the project done.

Customer Service 101 ... Yes?

2. WE HIRE THEM DIRECTLY (AND KEEP OUR CLIENTS HAPPY)

Sometimes, if circumstances call for it, we contract the other firm—we pay them—and manage the project for our client. Then we become the so-called competitor's client.

And, occasionally, we need their services for our own company's branding, marketing, or PR purposes.

3. THEY PAY US TO DO WORK THEY CANNOT

One of the benefits to developing relationships with these other people and firms, with our so-called competitors, is that they often get too busy to effectively generate and deliver the writing for their clients' projects. That's when they call on us. Three-way win, again.

4. DIRECT COMPETITORS SEND WORK, TOO

What about direct competitors? Other writers?

I don't worry about them, either. They are, in my opinion, my greatest asset. I was a member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) for more than 12 years. During that time, I developed good, strong relationships with a number of other professional freelance writers. I don't know of one who would try to steal a client or mess up another writer's relationship with a client.

It's worked out so that I have referred writing jobs directly to other writers, and they to me, simply because of schedules, preferred projects, and areas of expertise.

I don't like writing proposals or government grants, but I know my friend and colleague Heidi Turner does. So, I'd rather refer a client to her for one of those projects and keep that client extremely happy, while I remain free of frustration.

Ronda Payne has a busy schedule, so she refers certain clients and projects to me (and others) rather than suffer through them.

5. MORAL AND PRACTICAL SUPPORT

I don't think it matters what industry you are in, you need to have some strong alliances set. Sometimes you simply need to vent, but other times it's fabulous to be able to celebrate with someone who really knows what goes on behind the curtain.

And, what happens if you take ill? Suffer an emotional set-back? Or, [knock on wood] get hit by a bus? If you've set it up, you know you can count on these others to support you (read: do the work for you, without taking the credit or client) when you need it most.

I'd love to know what you think. Please connect with me in the comments here.

I'm easy to find on Facebook and Twitter, too.

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Copyright © 2016 Click Media Works. All rights reserved.

 


Why we call it a campaign cycle

By Kathleen Rake

A quick word about campaign cycle vs. sales cycle.

Why we call it acampaign cycle, not a sales cycle

When we work with our clients, we write, edit, and create content designed to help move them through particular campaigns. What we've created then becomes integral to the campaign cycle.

The content we create for these campaigns often includes:

  • eNewsletters and advertorials,
  • media releases and newspaper articles,
  • case studies and white papers,
  • social media and blog posts,
  • website copy, and more.

I use the term campaign cycle rather than sales cycle with purpose.

Cogs-213655

Every campaign has a beginning, middle, end with a goal, and several important points and moments in between.

Bring the end to meet the beginning, and you have a cycle. Now, think of that cycle as a gear—just one gear in a complex series working together to move the sales cycle, which in turn drives the engine we call the organization.

It is important, I think, to emphasize that not every cycle is a sales cycle and not every campaign is meant to sell stuff; at least, not directly in exchange for dollars. Governments, charities, and non-profit organizations, as well as industrial and commercial enterprises have campaigns to change a point of view, accelerate acceptance of a new idea, or repair public-perception damage quickly.

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Copyright © 2016 Click Media Works. All rights reserved.

 


Writers, artists, musicians: Is this too cheeky?

Good-Fast-CheapBy Kathleen Rake

Are you a business writer, poet, graphic artist, web designer, painter, musician, photographer or another creative soul who makes a living selling your expertise, art, ideas, and the expression of same?

Here is an infographic I created. Let me know if you think it is too cheeky or not blunt enough.

When you view this infographic with your critical, professional eye, please kindly remember I am a writer/editor/publisher, not a graphic artist.

And, consider this my "express written permission" to share it, if you like it.

Download the PDF.

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Copyright © 2016 Click Media Works. All rights reserved.


Unicorn, empower, overwhelm: Hamish Thompson's top-10 list of annoying jargon

By Kathleen Rake

At Houtson PR, author Hamish Thompson shares his "list of the most annoying pieces of jargon." Of the top 10 he listed, #7 has been in my top 3 since the 1990s. My #1, which has no mention anywhere in the article, is the word overwhelm, when used as a noun.

And while unicorn was not on the top-10 list, I was sorry to see it cited under the "Other (please specify)" category because some may confuse the beautiful mythical creature with the other one.

Green-unicorn
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Copyright © 2016 Click Media Works. All rights reserved.


You Want WOW: An introductory writing workshop for small business and the solo-preneur

By Kathleen Rake

I am looking forward to presenting You Want WOW! on December 4 to the Self Employment Program clients at South Fraser Community Futures' Abbotsford location. 

You want wowAre you ready to move your target audience to action with words that are meaningful, compelling, and value-packed? If you think your organization would benefit from this workshop, or if you simply want to know more, please connect with us by phone or email.

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Copyright © 2015 Click Media Works. All rights reserved.


My Wine-soaked Quest for Success

BPW - Mission, BCMany thanks to the Business & Professional Women's Club of Mission, BC (BPW) for inviting me to speak during their AGM this week. I know there will be lots of familiar faces, but many new ones--I am looking forward to seeing both!

BPW gave me no parameters (except the time limitation) but I understand the members like to hear personal stories about why and how women arrived at their professions and how they navigated nay-sayers and road blocks to continue on their respective paths to success. So, that's what I am going to share in a talk titled My Wine-soaked Quest for Success

If you'd like to join in for lunch, please contact BPW Mission directly to reserve your seat. You have until midnight on Monday, April 20. BPW appreciates that people's schedules often have last-minute openings; however, they are unable to accommodate walk-ins.

What
BPW Mission Luncheon and AGM

Where
Rockwells Bar & Grill, Chapel Room
32281 Lougheed Hwy., Mission, BC

When
Wed., Apr. 22, 2015
11:15 - 1:00 PM-Lunch served at 11:45

Costs
$20 Members
$25 Guests

Contact
BPW.Mission@gmail.com 

 

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Copyright © 2015 Click Media Works. All rights reserved.


Economic development moves & grooves in Mission, BC: March BIZeNews online now

Lots of information in this edition of BIZeNews about the new technical centre in Mission, BC: SRCTec, a place to develop "technology expertise," especially in the agri-food sector. Also, a profile on the long-serving Mission fixture Symons Tire & Automotive Centre, and a quick word or two about the Mission Economic Development office's move and North Fraser Community Futures' brand-building exercise.

Go ahead! Click on this image to read the March 2015 issue of Mission BIZeNews!

 

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This issue:
Stories researched and written by John Laing.
Story/page layout by Karen Laing.