Archive for the Tips & Tricks Category

Picking Teams for Sports or Business: The Same Strategies Apply

79073938
Pickup games are the basis of many fond childhood memories — or nightmares, depending on who you ask. Whether the neighborhood children preferred to play games of basketball, baseball, or hockey, standing in line while waiting for the ‘captains’ to select you could be pure torture. Those with a bit of athletic prowess would eagerly wait to see if they were going to be on the same team as their friends. Those with a bit less skill crossed their fingers that they wouldn’t be picked last.

What made picking those teams so stressful

Children understand that the team you choose matters. The team will decide whether you’ll emerge victorious or go home to dinner with your tail between your legs. Growing up, being picked first was an honor. It meant the other kids respected your abilities. Being picked last was something to be avoided.

Team captains would fight to fill out their teams with people who could successfully fill each position on the court or field. Even a casual game, like a snowball fight, needed players who had certain skills. No captain worth their salt would pick just anyone.

While those picked at the end might rather repress these memories, they do have to admit that the captains tended to know what they were doing. Those of us in business can learn something from them.

Why the team matters

Whatever the sport, the teams would work together to devise some kind of strategy under the leadership of their captain. Yet, no matter how talented that captain was or how genius their game strategies were, they couldn’t win on their own. They still needed the talents and help of everyone else on the team. The same goes for business.

Countless startups get so wrapped into their vision and dreams for the future that they neglect building their own team to help them get there. However, just like a childhood sports team, a business won’t succeed if it relies solely on the grand plans or talents of one person. As important as developing the ideas and plan for the company may be, carefully picking the team to get you there is just as (if not more) important.

Picking your team

Captains of sports teams pick players based on where they can play on the field. They work to get a variety of skills on the team. In baseball, it doesn’t do much good to have a team of hitters if no one can field. Similarly, in business, it’s important to pick members with various talents and strengths to create a complete picture.

Begin by outlining who is needed to help the business grow. Find people who share your vision and can help fill in your own gaps, so you can work on building your company’s future. Different people will bring different ideas to the table, which will challenge you to develop and grow as a team.

Success for startups (and even more established companies) often depends heavily on the types of people the company founders surround themselves with. Fresh people bring fresh ideas, and no person can fill every role.

Rather than trying to be everything for your company, focus instead on building a strong team that can work together to take your company to the top. Just like the kids from childhood sports games understood, strategy and big plans will only get you so far. Sometimes who you pick will make the most difference.

When you’re ready to build your marketing team, we can help you make smart decisions about your strategy and how your team will work to reach your customers.

Date: 22nd April, 2014 | Under: Marketing, Tips & Tricks | No Comments

Add Pinterest to Your Marketing Strategies

177385623
As a savvy business owner, you’re probably already using multiple marketing channels — such as printed media, ads, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter — to get the word out about all that your company has to offer. But you may be overlooking one of the most popular and fastest-growing social sites of all: Pinterest.

If you think of Pinterest as simply a place to “pin” cute pictures of your dog or the handmade decorations from your kid’s latest birthday party, think again. A 2014 consumer trends report from ShareThis shares a few (very) interesting Pinterest trends that should make any business owner who wants to take advantage of all possible marketing channels stand up and take careful notice, such as:

  1. Pinterest users grew by 58 percent in 2013, making it the fastest-growing sharing site, even beating out Facebook and LinkedIn.
  2. Pinterest is the third-largest social sharing platform.
  3. Sharing on Pinterest has outpaced sharing through e-mail, an especially notable development given that the platform has only been around since 2008.

And if that isn’t enough to convince you, consider a 2013 study from Piquora that found that:

  1. Pins are 100 times more likely to go “viral” than tweets.
  2. The average pin drives $.78 in sales, a number that’s on the rise.
  3. Pins continue to drive sales for 3.5 months, much longer than Facebook posts or tweets.

Piqued your interest yet? Here’s how you can incorporate Pinterest into your print and digital marketing strategies and use this up-and-coming platform to drive traffic to your website, enhance your brand’s online image, and boost sales.

Get Verified

First step: Verify your business. Not only does Pinterest’s simple verification process prove that you are, indeed, who you say you are (i.e., adds to your trustworthiness), but it also allows you to take full advantage of Pinterest’s on-site analytics features. Analytics provide an easy way to track what your customers are looking at and repinning, as well as what’s getting repinned from your website. These metrics help your marketing team determine what’s working and what needs improvement.

Visual Marketing

Using the right images is key to Pinterest success, so choose your pins carefully. Choose visually striking images that grabs viewers’ attention and inspire them to repin. And think twice before using images that include faces; studies find that users are almost 25% more likely to repin a brand-related image if it doesn’t include a face. Also of note, users tend to prefer images that are:

  1. Colorful
  2. Predominantly red, brown, or orange, rather than blue
  3. Of medium lightness, rather than very dark or mostly black

On a similar note, keep your pins focused on images you know will appeal to your target audience. One way to figure this out? Use analytics!

Targeting the Audience

Speaking of target audiences, another easy way to figure out exactly who’s out there is by doing a bit of sleuthing on those who follow your business. What else are they pinning? What types of content are generating comments and conversation? These trends make it easier to pinpoint your ideal audience.

Another great tool: Following other boards with the same images. Pinterest allows you to “follow” other users that pin the same images on their boards — and prompt them to follow you, too. Remember, the more you pin, the greater the chances of this happening.

User Friendly

Focus pin content on information that’s useful to your target audience. Whether this is an industry infographic, a well-done video presentation, or even a great marketing book that you just finished, providing your audience with content that offers a solution or helps your customers will keep them coming back for more.

Finally, provide easy ways for your users to interact with you. Adding questions to your descriptions fields, such as “What could this be?” or “Have you ever used one of these?” opens up a conversation with your potential clients and helps build brand recognition and loyalty.

Date: 4th April, 2014 | Under: Marketing, Tips & Tricks | No Comments

Honest Abe, A Cherry Tree, and Running a Successful Business

155308989
Quick: Name two of the most popular historic U.S. presidents. The first names that come to mind for most people are George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. These two presidents are well known for their leadership during tumultuous times in American history. But they’re also known for their place in American folklore. Specifically, they have both gained reputations for being exceptionally honest.

George Washington and the cherry tree

According to the popular story, young George Washington was playing with his new hatchet when he killed his father’s favorite cherry tree. When his father confronted the household about who had hurt the tree, young George quickly confessed, telling his father that he could not tell a lie. His father forgave him, reinforcing the importance of his son’s honesty. George Washington carried this lesson about the importance of telling the truth with him the rest of his life.

Honest Abe

Before Abraham Lincoln became involved in politics, he was involved in a number of businesses. He bought a small store, was a lawyer, and served in Congress. In each of these positions, he became known as ‘Honest Abe.’ Stories abound about young Abe returning a few cents of change or tracking down customers to complete their orders if their requests were mis-measured. He carried this reputation as a reputable businessman with him to the White House.

What these two men can teach us today

Many people couldn’t tell you the date the American Civil War ended, when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, or when George Washington died. Despite these gaps of knowledge, most people would be able to tell you that these men were known for their honesty. Why is that? Because people value honesty in their leaders. They want to be able to trust the people they elect.

This also applies to their business leaders. When customers are looking for companies they want to work with or buy products from, they need to be able to trust that the company will provide them with the quality service they’re expecting. They want to trust that the advertising they see is accurate and that if they have any kind of problem, they’ll be able to get the situation addressed by a quality customer service team.

How you can show your honesty to potential customers

Since we all know customers are looking for honest businesses, it’s important to display this characteristic in all our dealings with customers, especially online. Social media and websites make customer service and customer opinions very public, for all potential customers to see. This makes honesty and quality customer service even more critical.

As a business leader, it’s important to monitor the web for discussions about your company to see what people are saying. If customers have legitimate complaints about the quality of service they received, make sure you do everything you can to make it right. This may include issuing refunds, providing coupons, and addressing other concerns.

Similarly, when you come across positive reviews, it’s a good idea to send notes of appreciation or coupons to encourage repeat business and as a sign of thanks. Above all, you should strive to be above reproach when it comes to honesty.

People like knowing they can trust their leaders, whether presidents or business owners. Stories abound in the collective consciousness about the honesty of some presidents in particular. When you (and your company) gain the same reputation for honesty, you can also live in the public consciousness as someone worth following; and that’s how customers are gained.

Date: 1st April, 2014 | Under: Marketing, Tips & Tricks | No Comments

Building a Strong Foundation

467453105
If you sit down with nearly any preschooler, they can probably tell you the story of the three little pigs. According to the story, there once were three pigs. Each set out to build themselves a home. The first built his home out of straw. He was done very quickly because of the material he chose. The second little pig chose to build his home out of sticks. Building with sticks might have taken the pig a little longer than using straw, but he was still done rather quickly. The third pig, however, built his home out of bricks and mortar. This house took the longest time to build, and the pig was forced to keep working, even when the other pigs were already relaxing and enjoying themselves.

Not long after the three pigs had finished their homes, the big bad wolf came looking for something to eat. He was able to quickly blow over the houses made of sticks and straw, but no matter how hard he tried, he was not able to blow over the house of bricks.

Building a strong foundation

The third little pig didn’t take the easy way out. He saw the other two pigs finishing faster than him and having the time to laugh and play, but when the chips were down, his house was the only one to stand up. The strong foundation made all the difference.

In life, as in business, it’s tempting to take the easy way out; to use the easier material that takes significantly less time. The problem comes when we discover just how quickly a weak foundation can fail us. Those who are looking to grow their businesses must keep this idea in mind.

Growing a business the smart way

There are a variety of ‘tricks’ companies can use to try to grow their businesses quickly. So-called ‘black hat SEO,’ which refers to techniques such as artificial keyword stuffing and using link farms to grow backlinks, may help companies achieve their objective rather quickly. They may rise quickly in the Google search engine ranks and see the number of visitors to their site rise as well. But Google has been cracking down on sites that use artificial SEO. Some companies have found their sites severely penalized, which has deeply hurt their businesses.

In marketing, companies may be tempted to blast every known platform all at once, without taking the time to develop a company message and brand. In these cases, the effects of the campaign typically fall short. A group that tries to go nationwide with a campaign too quickly might find that the effort exhausts their resources, placing the entire company in jeopardy. Starting local and growing as a reputation spreads is the way to achieve success.

Growing a business correctly means taking the time to grow organically. It means working to develop a quality website that is naturally optimized through a quality blog and well-written content. Marketing campaigns and customer reach goals should be built on a firm foundation that leaves room to grow. We can help customers develop marketing plans to appropriately meet new customers.

There’s no easy way to be successful. It requires perseverance and hard work. Like the little pigs discovered, however, there’s also no replacement for doing things right the first time. Instead of looking for shortcuts, invest time in learning about techniques to maximize investments and tools for saving time. We can help. Building a solid business foundation means your company will have something to grow on, rather than a flimsy foundation that can blow over. And that’s irreplaceable.

Date: 14th March, 2014 | Under: Tips & Tricks | No Comments

Increase Awareness About Your Products

92826435
One of the biggest reasons many people don’t buy quality products from businesses is because they simply aren’t aware of what products are offered. Here are a few ways to increase awareness about your products and services:

  1. Consider creative marketing avenues you haven’t tried before. These may include table tents, lumpy direct mailers, door hangers, event flyers, bag inserts, statement stuffers, social media posts, chat forums, industry publications, tradeshows, and more. Test your marketing results via coupon codes and targeted promotions.
  2. Create a regular product spotlight postcard campaign that highlights various products or services you offer.
  3. Create a customer referral program that encourages loyal customers to spread the word about your business and do the selling for you.
  4. Showcase happy customers who are using your product. Consider testimonial stories or brief customer quotes.
  5. Team your marketing efforts with an established business that complements your offerings. Offer discounted promotions when purchasing both.
  6. Create a goodwill marketing plan to increase name recognition and drive business while also giving back to your community. For example, you might sponsor a local charity event or donate a portion of your profits to a charity (e.g., “10 percent of all sales in June will be donated to XYZ charity”).
  7. Provide a risk-free trial offer and satisfaction guarantee to take the worry out of trying a new product.
  8. Utilize social media by creating a company LinkedIn and Facebook page, and build your audience through employee connections.
  9. Differentiate yourself from the competition by offering value add-ons, educating customers about industry trends, providing helpful tips, or simply having a live person answer your phones instead of a confusing, automated system.
  10. Build your customer base by offering exclusive first-time customer promotions.
  11. Learn from others. Collect examples of marketing materials or creative ideas that caught your attention, and combine some of your favorite features into customized ideas for your business.

If you need help creating the perfect marketing materials that are sure to get noticed and remembered, give us a call today!

Date: 11th March, 2014 | Under: Marketing, Tips & Tricks | No Comments

Top Tips for Generating Customer Reviews

177596217
If you own a business, you probably know how important great online customer reviews can be to your bottom line. In fact, one 2013 study revealed that eight out of every 10 customers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.

So how do you go about generating online feedback? Here are some simple things to get you started:

  1. Get social: If you don’t have a Facebook page and Twitter account, now is the time to get one. If you already do have Facebook and Twitter accounts, make sure you’re checking them regularly for comments. You need to keep a close eye on your social pages and respond to customer comments — good and bad — as they arise. And of course, you need to make it easy for people to find your social sites, so include links on your website and in your emails.
  2. Make it easy to be nice: Sure, you may like to go on and on about how great your product or service is, but your customers may not be that chatty. For the verbally shy, make reviews easy by adding non-verbal options like multiple choice options or a star-rating system.
  3. Get your game on: Ever heard of gamification? Basically, that term refers to websites that incorporate some sort of game play into their design to make it more fun for customers to engage. You can get as complex as you want, but even a simple thing like adding virtual badges or trophies for customers who leave reviews can increase feedback.
  4. Be generous: Everyone likes to score something for free, and offering a free sample or free trial period can be really effective at getting customers to leave reviews.
  5. Follow up: A customer just made a purchase. Is that the end of the transaction? Not if you want to generate some (generally positive) reviews. Once a purchase is complete, touch base with the customer to discuss both the item they purchased and the purchase experience in general. When you get positive responses, ask if you can share them as testimonials on your site.

OK, so those are just a few ways to generate reviews and feedback, but what should you do if some of that feedback is negative? First, set aside your anger and indignation, and don’t stress: Every business is going to catch a little flak once in a while. Don’t ignore negative reviews; instead, reply politely to deescalate and help soothe the customer. Try not to get into a debate on your social page; instead, invite the customer to contact you by phone or email, or offer to contact them. Be sure to thank them for their feedback and apologize for any inconvenience they’ve felt. And of course, if the feedback is on target, use it to make needed improvements.

Engaging customers and generating positive reviews takes work, but it’s work that can yield big returns. Take a few minutes today to think about how your business can improve feedback and start building its own base of dedicated fans.

Date: 5th March, 2014 | Under: Tips & Tricks | No Comments

The ISBN, not as boring as you thought it was.

I guess the title of this blog should’ve been “ISBN, stuff you should know, but never cared enough to ask”. The truth is, if you are a self publishing author, the ISBN is either useful to you or it’s not. It all really depends on what you expect your book to do. In order for your book to be sold by most retailers and tracked, you need an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and a barcode.

Why Should I own my ISBN?: It’s recommended that you, the author, are the owner of your ISBN. There are publishing houses that offer to sell you an ISBN at a cheaper rate, but the fact is that you don’t own it even if you pay for it. If you haven’t signed up for the ISBN, you are not the owner of the number and thus don’t own the rights to the book it is registered for. Long story short, it’s better to buy your own.

Where can I get my own?: You can sign up for an ISBN here. This website also has everything you need to know about ISBNs and can answer any questions you may have so rather than regurgitate all of that information, I will recommend you go there. Fill out the documents, pay the fees and you will be good to go. It is a rather lengthy process so prepare for that. You also want to have all the information about your book ready.

 

 

 

 

Date: 27th June, 2013 | Under: Tips & Tricks | No Comments

The very versatile Poster

 

There are a plethora of uses one can think of for Posters, but sadly it seems that people consider them to be a huge expense. Thankfully, this is not the case, not anymore. A large photo print of special family moment, a movie style poster of an upcoming event or even a printed piece of art produced to sell or give away can be created in small quantities for affordable prices.

Some places like PrintPapa.com, off large Poster minimums as low as 1. That special and very thoughtful birthday, anniversary or just because gift you were trying to find, you can just create yourself. It’s as simple as printing it out.

Like most printed products, the uses and applications are only limited to your own imagination so don’t just think outside the box, re-invent the box altogether :)

Date: 28th May, 2013 | Under: Tips & Tricks | No Comments

Don’t order blindly, get the swatch!

How many times has this happened to you? You order a banner or a poster or any printed materials online for what you think is the greatest price ever, only to receive your order and the material is all wrong. Don’t worry, it’s a common occurrence…well, common for people that don’t order from PrintPapa.com :) You can order a sample Swatch Deck for every stock, material¬† and paper type used at PrintPapa and they are all FREE! That’s right, shipped to you at no charge. Large Format and regular prints, check paper thickness and compare stocks.

Date: 17th May, 2013 | Under: Tips & Tricks | No Comments

Direct Mail…it’s kind of a big deal.

One of direct mail’s biggest advantages is its ability to make personal one-to-one contact with your prospect. The ideal items to use for this correspondence are Postcards & Brochures.

Other Direct Mail advantages include:

Quick to produce. You can prepare and mail a small promotion within days or weeks. Direct mail is perfect for quickly testing prices, offers, and potential audiences. You have complete control over the media, the audience, and your offer.

Quicker response. Not only is direct mail quicker to prepare, but response time to direct mail is usually quicker as well. You can project the final results of a mailing quickly and accurately. You can build an advertising campaign with more confidence by testing small lists, then building to larger lists.

Highly targeted. Using carefully developed lists, you can target your mailings more selectively than you can with most other media. You can reach almost any market segment, buyer profile, or area of the Treasure Coast you feel is most appropriate for your business.

Less competition. Your advertising message does not have to compete with other advertising messages. And, your competitors are less apt to know your current strategy.

 

More personal. Not only can letters be personalized via mail-merging techniques, but you can use more informal language in writing your letter and you can direct your letter to the specific interest of the reader.

Enhance newspaper advertising. Build on customer awareness by complimenting your print advertising with the impact of targeted mail.

Easy to respond to. The inclusion of an order card and return envelope makes it convenient for the consumer to respond to direct mail.

List of loyal customers. Direct mail allows you to build and maintain a list of prime prospects for your future direct mail campaigns.

Date: 7th June, 2012 | Under: Marketing, Tips & Tricks | No Comments


 

McAfee Secure sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams PrintPapa is PayPal Verified AmexDiscoverE check
Master CardVisaPay Pal
Our Reviews at
Click to see Yahoo Reviews (Opens in a new window)
100% Satisfaction Guranteed Adobe