Marketing Tip #13 | Creating the Perfect Business Card

Business Card Marketing

Creating the Perfect Business Card
 
Business cards come in many styles, colors and textures. To create the perfect business card for you and your company, there are several best practices you should consider.

The perfect business card:

  • Reflects your business attitude — playful, trustworthy, competent
  • Showcases your name, your company name, logo and tagline
  • Serves as a mini billboard for your company, products or services
  • Includes a Call To Action
  • Gives people a reason to hold on to your card

Here’s how:

  • The tagline should speak directly to your customer and help distinguish your business
  • The information should be in a color and font that are easy to read
  • In addition to your company logo, consider including logos (with permission) that might lend credibility to your business, such as trade associations, chamber of commerce, or Better Business Bureau
  • Add value to your business card by including a discount or coupon code
  • Print your cards on a paper stock that can be written on
  • Use the back side to hand write a personal note or print something unique to your industry, a calendar, or list of your services

Click here for a free 10-point Business Card Checklist and our free analysis offer.

This is the third in a series on Business Card Marketing. Read the first two by clicking here.

Marketing Tip #12 | What Your Business Card Says About You

Business Card Marketing

What Your Business Card Says About You 
Take your business card out and have a good look at it. What does it say about you?

Anyone can plunk down $20 at the local office supply store and purchase a batch of business cards.  But your business card should do more than state your name and contact information. Your business card is a vital part of your marketing effort.

Here’s how:

  • First impressions are lasting impressions. Your card is your brand.
  • Use “white space.” Don’t cram so much on your business card that everything runs together.
  • A card that’s ugly, dirty, printed on perforated paper or has another company’s website on the back screams unprofessional amateur.

Effective business cards are:

  • Clean
  • Creative
  • Professionally printed
  • Visually attractive
  • Two-sided

An effective business card containsaccurate, powerful words which describeyour business, products and services. It entices people; it doesn’t bore them.

How does your business card stack up?

This is the second in a series on Business Card Marketing. Be sure to watch for the next tip which will include a link to a Business Card Checklist.


Marketing Tip #11 | Build Your Network with 5-Step Business Card Marketing

5-Step Business Card Marketing

 Increase the Power of Your Networking

The practice of swapping business cards at networking events is a great way to make an introduction and to leave a lasting impression. Learning to use these cards effectively can increase the power of your network.

Step 1: Ask those you meet a simple question: “Do you have a card?” Chances are, they will offer you their card and ask for your card in return.

Step 2:  Always have a supply of your business cards with you, whether attending a networking event or even a kids’ school function. You never know where you might meet someone who can increase the power of your networking.

Step 3: After the event or at the end of the day, review the cards you’ve collected. Jot notes on the back of the cards to remember key information about each person.

Step 4: Spend the next few days building your network by inviting each of your new contacts to connect with you on LinkedIn. Personalize the connection invitation with a note about your previous conversation and mention the event where you met.

Step 5: As your new network accepts your LinkedIn connection requests, be sure to send them each a quick email to thank them for joining your network.

As for the physical cards, use a Rolodex or simply bind with a rubber band and a note indicating the date and location where you obtained the cards.

This is the first in a series on Business Card Marketing. 


Marketing Tip #10 | How to Identify a Qualified Lead

How to Identify a Qualified Lead

  In Marketing Tip #9 we discussed the difference between prospects and leads.

Marketing and networking, whether it be traditional or online via your website and social media, attracts prospects. When someone first visits your website, calls, emails, or approaches you online or at a networking event, he is a prospect but not necessarily a qualified lead.

You will be more efficient and save time and money if you learn to group those prospects who can’t/won’t end up being customers and may only want free information and advice into the Prospect category. Those who met your custom lead criteria become your Qualified Leads and are actually worth pursuing and spending time and effort trying to convert.

How can you identify a Qualified Lead?

Develop a quick 4-question survey to evaluate prospects. Click here for a template to get you started. 

If you implement a quick analysis survey before accepting coffee or lunch meetings or entering into lengthy phone calls or email exchanges, you may find that, while you are spending less time on fewer leads, you are able to close more business.  And won’t that be wonderful?

This is the second in a series on prospects vs. leads. Click here to read Are You Wasting Your Time on Prospects?

Who is Generation C? And why you need to care

Who is Generation C?

Research powerhouse Nielsen released a new study on Feb. 23, 2012 identifying power users of mobile devices. As many have guessed, this group are Americans aged 18-34. Neilsen has dubbed this new group, Generation C.

While 18-34 year olds make up just 23% of the U.S. population, they own 33% of the tablets and account for 39% of the smartphone usage.

According to Neilsen, Generation C takes their personal connections to new levels with devices and experiences unmatched by any other age group. Small business owners who wish to reach members of Generation C need to understand how this group interactions with technology, with businesses, and with each other.

Here are several other interesting graphs and charts from recent Neilsen studies:

Why you need to care

Understanding and addressing the communication habits of customers and potential customers as well as potential influencers such as the newly-dubbed Generation C will provide organizations with an important advantage in today’s competitive marketplace. Knowing and addressing “how” customers want to interact with your organization will provide valuable insight resulting in increased engagement ultimately leading to business growth and profitability.

Promotion Idea: 31+ Unique March Holidays

You’ve mailed out discounts, offered repeat customers free services or products, and now you feel stuck. How do you reach new people and keep your current customers coming back? Relax. We have something you can try. Holidays.

You may be saying to yourself, “What? That doesn’t make sense!” But it does. Use traditional holidays or create new holidays to offer your customers coupons and discounts. Both can give customers a good ol’ laugh and you a reason to connect. The result? Customer satisfaction and business growth. Win. Win.

Here are some examples:

  • March 2 is National Dress in Blue Day. Give customers the ability to wear blue, snap a picture, and submit it for 5% off their next order.
  • The blues got you down? Try March 14 instead. Pi Day opens up the communication lines with your customers as you can share and swap pie recipes or offer “berry good deals.”
  • Don’t have a sweet tooth? Don’t fret! March 26 is Make Up Your Own Holiday Day. Use this to your advantage to create a holiday geared towards your industry or ask your customers what holiday they would create.

Here are some existing holidays to use as idea starters:

Month-long celebrations

Red Cross Month

Employee Spirit Month

International Ideas Month

National Frozen Food Month

Holiday Weeks

National Write a Letter of Appreciation Week (March 1-7)

Universal Women’s Week (March 8-14)

National Spring Fever Week (March 18-24)

Daily Holidays

1 – National Pig Day

2 – National Dress In Blue Day

3 – What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs? Day

4 – Cadbury Chocolates Birthday (debut 1824)

5 – Namesake Day

6 – Michalangelo’s Birthday (1475)

7 – National Be Heard Day

8 – Organize Your Home Office Day

9 – Panic Day

10 – First Telephone Message (Sent 1876)

11 – Daylight Savings

12 – Napping Day

13 – K-9 Veterans Day

14 – Pi Day

15 – Absolutely Incredible Kid Day

16 – Freedom of Information Day

17 – St. Patrick’s Day

18 – Awkward Moments Day

19 – Let’s Laugh Day

20 – First Day of Spring

21 – National Common Courtesy Day

22 – As Young As You Feel Day

23 – World Turtle Day

24 – National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day

25 – Pecan Day

26 – Make Up Your Own Holiday Day

27 – Quirky Country Music Song Title Day

28 – Memorial Day

29 – National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day

30 – I am in Control Day

31 – Earth Hour – 8:30 PM

The possibilities created by using holidays as a marketing theme are endless. Turn each day into your own, and keep your customers coming back for more. Come back next month for some April holidays that will have you hopping to new heights!

Marketing Tip #9 | Are You Wasting Time on Prospects?

Are you wasting your time on prospects?

There is a fine line between wasting time with a prospect and spending quality time pursuing a lead. Understanding the difference will save you time and money.

Think back to math class where you learned that all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.  In much the same way, all leads are prospects, but not all prospects are leads.

A lead is only a lead if it is qualified. To be qualified, a lead must be the right kind of client or customer for your business. In addition to having a need for your product or service, a qualified lead fits your business model and is able — from both an authority and budget perspective — to purchase your offering.

How many coffee meetings or phone conversations have you accepted hoping they would turn into business when, instead, they turned out to be a waste of your time?

This is the first in a series on prospects vs. leads. Learn how to identify qualified leads in Marketing Tip #10 in early March. Additional free Marketing Tips are available by clicking here.

Marketing Tip #8 | What does your email address say about you?

Whether you realize it or not, you have an online identity – and an online reputation.

Even if you have not registered on many of the social media sites, the email address you use already says a lot about you. Does your email address reflect who you are? Is your name part of your email address? Should it be? It depends on you and the image you want to portray.

If you plan to use email and social media for personal reasons, it’s okay to use your pet’s name or hobby as part of your online identity. The more professional the reasons for your foray into social media, the more professional your email address and online identity should be.

If you are trying to find a job or using social media for business purposes, an email address that includes your name like YourNameh@YourCompanyname.com congers up a much more professional image than ScootersMom@yahoo.com.

If you have a work email address, you’ll need to decide if you want to use it for your social media endeavors. A word of caution: since you will not be employed at your current job forever, before you leave the company, you will need to change your email address on sites you want to access afterward. This could be a hassle.

Click here to learn more in our blog posting “Who Do you want to be online?”

Marketing Tip #7 | Creating a Winning Brand

Creating a Winning Brand

The success of a small business relies, in part, on the company’s ability to create a winning brand. In order to be successful, you must create a memorable reputation — and part of that reputation lies in your ability to successfully brand your company, products and services.

The idea of branding is not new. Branding dates back to 2000 B.C. when inscriptions on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs indicate that cattle were branded. What has changed is how you create a winning brand in today’s online-intense marketplace.

Successful companies create strong brands around colors, images, logos, shapes, slogans and taglines.

Coca-Cola has been called the world’s most iconic beverage.  The company consistently and very deliberately, uses their trademark red, the distinctive Coke glass bottle figure, their script logo, and targeted slogans.  Below is one of their latest videos. When I posted this, the video was less than 2 hours old and had 306 views.  It will be interesting to see how many views it has when you read this.

Free Branding Assessment Tool

Coke’s consistent branding has resulted in a strong consumer following. You can do the same with your branding.

To learn how to brand your products, services and company as consistently as Coke, start with a quick branding assessment. Click here to download Reciprocate’s free branding assessment tool. You’ll also receive an exclusive offer to receive a free company branding of your Constant Contact emails. But hurry, the Constant Contact branding offer expires Feb. 29, 2012.

Marketing Tip #6 | Marketing to your Customers’ Pain Points

How to Market to your Customers’
Pain Points

Once you have identified the Pain Points, you can identify the solutions available from your product/service.

In your marketing messages, reinforce that you understand what your customers really need. Illustrate or demonstrate their pain point and how your product/service can take away their pain. Clearly define the Pain Point that your product/service is addressing.

When you market your products or service directly to solve those pain points, your customers will respond.

To help keep your marketing efforts focused, create a Customer Pain Point Analysis document. Click here for a Customer Pain Point Analysis template.

This is the third in a series of Marketing Tips on Pain Points. Click below to read previous posts:

Click here to sign up to receive weekly Marketing Tips from Reciprocate LLC.

What small business can learn from chocolate

Business can learn a lot from chocolate

Pricing

  • Some customers will pay more for the prestige of owning/using your product/service (Godiva).
  • Some customers will buy the cheapest version available (generic chocolate-flavored baking chips) because quality just don’t matter to them, because a premium price point is higher than anticipated, or because that is what they can afford or chose to afford. 

Packaging

  • Sometimes it’s how you package your products and services that encourages purchases. (How many colors of M&Ms can you think of? Trust me, the green ones taste just like the red ones!)
  • Sometimes it’s how you bundle your offerings (individual Cadbury eggs or a 3-pack). Encourage “add-on” purchases by making it easy for customers to buy more without having to think.

Creative Marketing

  • The Milk Chocolate Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hand
    Use a tagline that will emphasizes your Unique Selling Point (USP) and is memorable. 
  • Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t
    Know your audience and adapt your marketing message and product/service offerings to the media — postings appropriate for your business Facebook wall probably shouldn’t be used as LinkedIn updates
  • Gimme a break…Gimme a break…Break me off a piece of that…
    Make your brand more than just a product or service. Tell your audience how your product can transform their lives and attitudes, if only for a moment.

What have you learned from chocolate?

Promotion Idea: 29+ Unique February Holidays

Marketing can be scary for some. It means planning and putting yourself and your business out there. Don’t fret! Marketing can be fun! Try this technique to bring in a few customers and a few more laughs. Unique and wacky holidays can create a marketing strategy to keep your customers coming back for more. Take these days for example:

February 4 is Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. Create a poll to find out what ice cream your customers like best! Or, better yet, hide an ice cream flavor somewhere on your website. Customers who find the flavor can enter it as a coupon code and save 5 percent.

If ice cream is too cold of an approach for you, turn February 12 into your own Grammy Awards Ceremony, presenting your customers with $5 off their next purchase.

If the Grammys don’t have you running down the red carpet, For Pete’s Sake Day is a great time to have customers share their favorite verbal phrases of frustration (appropriate for all ears of course!)

Here are more unique February holidays:

Month-long celebrations

Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month

International Expect Success Month

Pull Your Sofa Off The Wall Month

Holiday Weeks

Freelance Writers Appreciation Week (Feb. 6-12)

Random Acts of Kindness Week (Feb. 13-19)

National Entrepreneurship Week (Feb. 18-25)

Daily Holidays

1 – Change Your Password Day (declared by Gizmodo)

2 – Groundhog Day

3 – Wear Red Day

4 – Ice Cream for Breakfast Day

5 – Super Bowl XLVI

6 – Pay a Compliment Day

7 – Ballet Day

8 – Laugh and Get Rich Day

9 – Read In the Bathtub Day

10 – Umbrella Day

11 – Be Electrific Day

12 – Grammy Awards Ceremony

13 – Get a Different Name Day

14 – Valentine’s Day

15 – National Gum Drop Day

16 – Do A Grouch A Favor Day

17 – World Human Spirit Day

18 – Thumb Appreciation Day

19 – Chocolate Mint Day

20 – President’s Day

21 – Mardi Gras

22 – World Thinking Day

23 – Introduce A Girl to Engineering Day

24 – National Tortilla Chip Day

25 – International Sword Swallower’s Day

26 – For Pete’s Sake Day

27 – International Polar Bear Day

28 – Floral Design Day

29 – Leap Year Day

While we have listed some holidays to get started, feel free to create your own. Or, check out the previous calendars Reciprocate has provided. Make sure to do some quick research on your holidays though. From year to year, some holidays change dates. Regardless of your methods to marketing, creativity and a little fun can take you and your business a long way!

Marketing Tip #5 | Identifying Customers’ Pain Points

How to ID Your Customers’ Pain Points

Try to understand your customer in terms of the Pain Points they are experiencing. Learn to recognize these Pain Points by asking questions and listening. Here are a few ideas:

  • Imagine a day in the life of your customer
    What problem does your product or service address?
  • Ask current customers about their lifestyles and goals
    How do they perceive themselves?
  • Ask customers what motivates them – and what doesn’t.
    Find out what the customer really needs
  • What is the true source of pain?
    Sometimes, you’ll need to read between the lines and listen past the immediate requests
  • Who sees the most value in having that pain removed?
    These will be your best customers
  • Who will ultimately pay for a solution?
    The end user of your product/service is not always the one who pays i.e. child/parent or pet/owner

Example Pain Points

Imagine you own a restaurant. You might be addressing not only a customer’s Pain Point and need for nutrition but also the Pain Point for a place to gather with friends without having to clean the house, a place to watch sports on multiple screens, somewhere to escape from work or home, or a place to celebrate. And the type of food you offer – healthy, inexpensive, ethnic – also might address your customers’ Pain Points.

This is the second in a series of Marketing Tips on Pain Points. Click here to read Understanding Pain Points. Additional posts, including a Customer Pain Point Analysis Template, will be posted in the next few weeks.  Click here to sign up to receive weekly Marketing Tips from Reciprocate LLC.

Marketing Tip #4 | Understanding Pain Points

Understanding Pain Points

Do you understand why your customers buy your product or service?  I mean really understand what makes them buy?

Nothing motivates a person quite like pain.

While that might sound harsh, one of the best ways to increase sales is to identify your customers’ Pain Points and then position your company to deliver solutions that relieve these issues.

Customers with a burning need for something – their Pain Point – are highly motivated to alleviate this pain by buying what you have to offer.

What Pain Points do your customers have?  Sample Pain Points include:

  • time pressure
  • social pressure
  • work pressure
  • family pressure

Pain Point Solutions

  • Do you provide fast service?
  • A status symbol?
  • An efficient way to do business?
  • A solution for a busy parent?
This is the first in a series of Marketing Tips on Pain Points. Additional posts, including a Customer Pain Point Analysis Template, will be posted in the next few weeks.  Click here to sign up to receive weekly Marketing Tips from Reciprocate LLC.
Receive Marketing Tips for FREE

Marketing Tip #2 | Check Your Online Reputation

Check your Online Reputation

Do you know what others are finding when they look for you and your company on the internet? Do you know what is really out there?

To check your online reputation, Google your name, your company name, your product name, your industry, and your competition.

You can easily discover your online reputation by clicking on all the links you find. Are you pleased with what you read?

  • Claim company listings on directory and review sites. Add information and your logo.
  •  If you find negative reviews, address them immediately by positively responding using your real name. Don’t ever create false reviews.

Here’s a link to a Google Search Results template to help you track your online reputation.

If you would like help turning around a negative online reputation, contact Reciprocate LLC today for a free consultation.

Click here to sign up to receive weekly Marketing Tips from Reciprocate LLC.

Receive Marketing Tips for FREE
Page 3 of 6123456