Archive for the ‘Marketing Tips’ Category
Happy Leap Day! Every four years we get an extra day to do something extraordinary. It’s a great time to learn something new, start a new adventure, help a little more, or get going on those long forgotten resolutions (how does January 1st seem so long ago?).
Why not take a few minutes today to contemplate your vision for your business? Do you have a plan to realize that vision? Are your daily actions supporting your ultimate goals or is it time to make some adjustments?
Take stock, review your first quarter, and take one action today that gets you one step closer to your goal. Maybe it’s time to create a marketing plan, get a new headshot, seek help to better balance your home/work life, or give to that charity that has been on your mind. Whatever it is, use a few of your extra 1440 minutes today to make a difference in your life and in the community–then tell us about it! We’d love to hear what you’re up to. Click here to share!
“The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time.” – Henry Ford
We had such a great time at the SDGLN Scavenger Hunt mixer last night and met so many warm and friendly people!
When we first started our business, we were terrified to go to mixers and networking events, as many people are. Who wants to be dumped into a room full of strangers and hand out business cards? But soon after we lost our salesperson, we were forced to – even if we’d rather stick a fork in our eye. Two things that changed our minds about networking were going to events regularly and finding a group that embraces you. For us, the GSDBA (Greater San Diego Business Association) and the SDGLN (San Diego Gay and Lesbian News) community have been nothing but a pleasure to be a part of. Once we started going to events, we starting seeing the same people and actually having fun! Now we look forward to going to mixers because we know we will see our friends and the business connections we make come easily because we are relaxed, confident and enjoying ourselves. Networking will work for your business, check out a few different organizations, find the ones that fit your business and your personality the best and then go and have fun!
Below: Jessy and Melissa from Lullababes at the SDGLN Mixer
Running a business is a difficult task – especially if you try to do it all on your own. It is easy to get bogged down in the employees issues, financial reports, and bills due and forget about all the things we have going for us. Being grateful for what we have and what we have accomplished is an essential part of maintaining your passion for your business. There are many things to be grateful for: clients, employees, supplier and vendors, lunch – big or small it doesn’t matter! But recognizing those things does. This month we decided to show how grateful we are for what we have in two ways: donating our graphic design services to a non-profit and by making a donation to an entrepreneur in a country where a little can make a big difference. How can you use what you have to help someone else?
Happy Independence Day!
P.S. Check out Kiva.com and find a business owner that you can help – I feels really good!
Spending less time on marketing is great, right? It frees you up to do what you do what you love (the reason your got into business in the first place!) and what makes you money (an integral part of any business!). A great way to increase your contact with past clients or prospects but not increase the number of hours you spend on it is an email marketing campaign.
Email marketing companies like Constant Contact allow you to create a multi-email campaign that is automatically scheduled to send over time. So if you have a new prospect, you can enter their email address and they would get an intro email, then a follow up email in a week and then a final email with an offer a week from then. All without you having to click your mouse!
It also allows you to do an educational email campaign with multiple parts. If your business is helping businesses become more environmentally friendly, a campaign titled “5 Tips to Make Your Business Green” sent in 5 emails over 5 weeks with the last email being about your services would be of interest to your clients and would educate them about your services. This is a great way to increase past customer and prospect follow-up without increasing the number of hours you have to spend on it!
We can help you set up one of these campaigns for your business. Everything from who you should send it to what you should say to how it should look – we will walk you through the process and design the campaign for you. Give us a call for a quote: 858-220-7478 or email email@example.com.
I recently asked a client for some feedback after designing a few marketing projects for her. She willing sent back an email:
“I think your work is superb. You stick to your professional guns when you need to. Your way of handling invoicing and proofs is very professional.
When networking, Lisa, however, I would consider that you are your own bulletin board and be more dressed up and less casual. I looked past that because I saw your work, but not everyone will.”
I was very excited about the first part (obviously!) but I was also happy to receive the critical part of the feedback. As business owners, it is difficult to see our businesses (and ourselves) with fresh eyes. In this case, asking a client for feedback – and being open to criticism – has found an area of weakness that I can improve on. That is the most valuable type of feedback you can get.
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback – even when it’s bad, it’s good!
Referrals are the best way to get quality leads, we all know that. But do the people around you know exactly what you do? If you asked a family member or friend, would they be able to tell you specifically what you do and who your clients are? Ask around and you’ll be surprised! They may know you are a personal trainer but do they know you are a personal trainer who specializes in sports injury rehab?
Your friends and family want to help you – they love you! So give them the tools they need to send you the referrals you are looking for. Otherwise you are wasting their time and yours. Don’t be afraid to ask for specific referral and when you get one, thank them! Take them out to lunch. You’ll be sure to get more.
My inner geek was overjoyed when I came across this article today (link below). Science explaining why we like design? Fantastic! Don’t worry, I read it so you don’t have to.
Psychologists who study “cognitive fluency” are beginning to be able to scientifically prove that “people prefer things that are easy to think about to those that are hard.” Duh, right? It seems like a pretty basic idea. But in terms of marketing and design, it’s actually quite difficult to boil down an entire company to a simple, concise message, visual or verbal. How many times have you tried to find out more about a company, gotten overwhelmed and given up?
Now, take a look at your business. How are you making it difficult for your potential clients or customers? Not sure? Ask them!
By the way, my favorite quote from the article, explaining why people like familiar things: “The late psychologist Robert Zajonc used to explain the evolutionary logic behind this tendency succinctly. “He’d say, ‘If it is familiar, it has not eaten you yet.’ ” That says it all!
Read the full article here: Easy = True: How ‘cognitive fluency’ shapes what we believe, how we invest, and who will become a supermodel
Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending my first roller derby match (San Diego Roller Derby). It was great fun and although the skaters all had the funny names of the old, “WWF/WWE style” roller derby that I remember – it was clear from the start that this is a real competition, bone crushing hits and all. The skaters, like professional wrestlers, have memorable names (Mistress Mwahaha was one of my favorites) and costumes so we, the audience, remember the individuals and connect with them – making us care more about the game and making it more likely that we will come back. In the entertainment and business worlds, this is called branding and brand loyalty.
Don’t believe me? What colors did Hulk Hogan always wear? What was his signature move? What was The Rock’s slogan? If you ever watched professional wrestling (and maybe even if you didn’t) these are easy to answer because these wrestlers branded themselves so we would watch specifically to see them perform and thereby making them stick out from their peers (their competition for endorsement deals, big matches, sponsorships, etc…) The most successful wrestlers stayed true to their brand by consistently wearing the same colors, using the same slogan, acting in a consistent manner.
The same principles work for small business branding. In order to stand out and make customers loyal to you specifically, you must look and act differently than your competition. Everything from your logo and business cards to the way you answer the phone forms your “brand” or the way your company makes other people feel. Your brand is constantly developing – whether or not your are taking an active role in shaping it and this can directly affect how much and what type of business you have. Marketing and graphic design are two ways that we can help you take control of your brand and make sure that you are sending the right message to your audience.
I don’t know about you, but my motivation takes a nosedive on rainy days. If I find it hard to sit at my desk, I will often get out of the office and work on an aspect of my business that always gets pushed to the bottom of my list. For many people marketing and advertising are those aspects – we have the best intentions but there never seems to be time to think about creative ways to advertise! Here are a few exercises that help me refocus my restless, rainy day energies into something productive.
I hope these ideas will help you be productive even when it is cold and rainy outside. Need help executing any of these ideas – that is what we are here for!
I just read this great quote by Von Glitschka
“Marketing without design is lifeless, and design without marketing is silent”
What your marketing pieces say (marketing message) and how they look (graphic design) are inseparable. You must have both to get your reader/viewer to do whatever it is that you want them to do (click, call, buy, etc…) If you are not sure if your marketing pieces have effective marketing AND design, let us take a look. We’ll give you feedback for free.
Have a great rainy day!