Sometimes Less Really is More

25 09 2012

“There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Your mother probably admonished you as a youngster: “You need to finish that plate of food because there are children in Africa starving right now.” So we have been conditioned to eat even when our stomach is full or even if we don’t really like the taste of the food. The negative side effects surround us everywhere.

Living in this age of access to unprecedented amounts of information, we must be careful not to overindulge there, too. Just as it is harmful to overeat, it is perhaps even more detrimental to consume the incessant amount of unrelated and useless information that fills the web, the airwaves (TV and radio), and print. Just because it’s free to access doesn’t mean it comes without another kind of cost.

This type of cost is more precious than the monetary kind. It’s your valuable time. Unlike money, time can’t be replaced once it’s gone. Like the youngster who becomes conditioned to eat too much, we are becoming conditioned to consume too much information, most of it the useless variety. Many of us need to go on an information diet! How many minutes and hours are wasted daily on email, Facebook, and various news/entertainment websites? Too many.

“Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.” -Albert Einstein

Not all reading or information is harmful, of course. But it is time to stop reading negative and time-consuming information that is not helping you advance toward your goals. If you start reading an article that turns out to be less useful than you thought, no need to keep reading it. Do you have to constantly check your email? Not really. Start taking your time back by going on an information diet today. You will be much more productive and will like the new you the next time you look in the mirror.

Be a Drama Queen!

21 09 2012

Yes, being a drama queen is typically a negative. But there is one instance where it is actually a big positive.

Imagine you are in a stadium filled with your most ideal prospects. You have one chance to present and pitch your product or service. Say the right thing, and every one of them will become a client. Say the wrong thing, and you’ll lose them all. That’s the potential power of communication.

There are many ways to get your message across. You can bore them to death, or you can entertain them. The chances that a prospect will stick around and listen are much better if you do the latter.

People are drawn to those who can share, teach, and even sell something useful. They are most attracted to the ones who can entertain them while presenting.

Like it or not, we live in a society that needs and wants to be entertained. If you want to stand out and succeed, you have to be able to give them what they want.

This is where injecting drama into your sales copy, blogs, direct mail, social media presence, and sales presentations has a powerful and magnetic effect. The best drama has some action and intrigue to draw the audience in. The same is true in business communication. If you take the time to package your thoughts and ideas in an entertaining way, you will be better received. Your audience will want more. The cycle of attraction, conversion, and consumption will begin. And it will continue as long as you are able to inject enthusiasm and some drama into your messages.

Why Should I?

18 09 2012

The average person gets bombarded with more than one thousand advertising messages daily. When it comes to marketing your business, the pressure is on to convey your message quickly and concisely, including benefits that give you a competitive edge. Here are a few reasons customers may choose your business over the competition:

  • Money back guarantee. Give customers a reassuring reason to buy today without the fear of tomorrow.
  • Industry-leading warranty. Increase peace of mind and perceived product value with a comforting warranty.
  • Specials or promotions. Offer savings or advertise upcoming promotions that are too enticing to pass up.
  • Customer testimonials. Let your customers do the selling for you by providing engaging customer success stories.
  • Business milestones. If you’ve been in business for 20 years or sold 10,000 products, make sure everyone knows about it.
  • Popularity sells. Share the names of other relevant businesses in your community who also purchase from you.
  • Free. Whether you’re talking about delivery, shipping, assembly, or samples, never underestimate the power of free.
  • Industry awards. If your business receives an exclusive award, spread the exciting news.
  • Local ownership. Remind customers that the money they spend in their community stays in their community when they buy local.

PB&J Marketing

11 09 2012

It’s easy to see why peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a nationwide favorite. After all, PB&J offers creamy, sweet, smooth (or crunchy) goodness that is fruity, satisfying, filling, inexpensive, and fairly good for you to boot. Sure, peanut butter is delicious by itself (as is jelly), but when they are joined together, they create a flavor-packed, winning combination that can’t be beat.

When it comes to marketing, a blend of print and electronic media can easily be compared to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. While they can both function effectively on their own, they pack a more powerful punch when joined together.

For example, print promotions — such as postcards, newsletters, flyers, or brochures — are a great way to grab attention, increase awareness, and encourage readers to visit your website for in-depth information, product ordering, survey completion, webinar and event registration, and more.

When it comes to combining print with electronic media, the options are endless. If you’re in need of unique print ideas to supplement your electronic marketing, give us a call today. You just may think some of our creative ideas are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Encourage the Customer Voice

7 09 2012

One of the best ways to promote your business is to get your customers talking about you, whether on the streets, via social media, or in product reviews. Here are a few ways to encourage customers to voice their opinions:

  • Create a message board, chat forum, or guest book where customers can create an online community and share their opinions and feedback.
  • Ask key customers to participate in a “customer spotlight” section of your newsletter. Use this feature to help customers promote their business and elaborate on their relationship with your company.
  • Add product review capabilities to your website that allow customers to rank and review your products or services. Send customers a link to an online opinion survey they can take shortly after making a purchase.
  • Start a blog and encourage feedback, questions, suggestions, and sharing of your posts.
  • Offer valuable incentives (coupon, discount, free gift, etc.) as a reason to fill out a survey, and keep surveys short and sweet. This will encourage customers to complete your entire survey… and to answer future surveys when you ask them to.
  • Encourage customers to contact you any time they have questions, comments, or suggestions — and make it easy for them to do so. Include your contact details in your email signature, post your phone number prominently on every page of your website, and send a business card with every letter or mailing.
  • Engage with customers every chance you get. Ask them about their experience, seek their opinion on industry-related topics, and garner their feedback and suggestions regarding your business.
  • Don’t discourage negative customer comments. Negative feedback provides credibility and tells customers the business is confident enough to show a range of customer opinions. Honest feedback and suggestions can also help improve your business.

Invite Them and They Will Come

4 09 2012

Some companies think that a beautiful new website will instantly attract visitors like a moth to a light bulb. However, unless you turn the light on and direct them where to go, your visitors may wander aimlessly into your competitor’s backyard. Here are a few mixed media marketing tips to draw visitors to your website:

  • Create a “web card” that highlights your site’s benefits and entices readers to visit. Mail them as postcards, hand them out at trade shows, distribute them with purchases, and so on.
  • Create videos and post them on YouTube. Not only does Google index your content, but viewers can embed your videos on their blogs and share them via social media.
  • Offer free original content or blog postings to other publications in your niche market. Be sure to include a link to your website to draw new visitors from these high-traffic sources.
  • Distribute news releases to print and web periodicals in your industry. Your website link will remain in news databases for several months and may improve traffic to your site and increase link popularity.
  • Create a short but sweet email signature that encourages readers to visit your new website.
  • Ask partnering or non-competing businesses to link to your site, and do the same in return.
  • Post your website on trade sites and in specialized directories.
  • Include your URL on everything you can think of, ranging from business cards, stationery, and marketing materials, to pens, shirts, hats, mugs, and more.
  • Promote an exciting contest or giveaway, and direct people to sign up on your website.
  • Encourage customer feedback through a survey on your website.
  • Increase your SEO by editing existing content, removing barriers to the indexing activities of search engines, and increasing the number of links your website receives from other web sources.
  • Create a Facebook or Twitter post announcing your website, and offer prizes for the first XX people who visit your website and sign up for your newsletter.
  • Encourage repeat visitors by offering a bookmark button on your website, such as AddThis, a free content-sharing platform that helps you integrate sharing tools into your website, spread your content, and increase social traffic.