anitaginsburg@gmail.com on November 18th, 2013

A typical market has to rely on constant streams of web pages, articles and brochures. However, you must place unique methods in your marketing plan. At times, you may want to branch out and do something differently. Consider these five ways you can promote a creative marketing plan.

 

1. Text Message Marketing

Take advantage of mobile marketing is being able to stay connected with modern customers. With the growing use of mobile phones, advertising and staying connected with your customers through their phones is essential. As a marketer, use texts to do various tasks like announce new products and send special offers.

 

2. Hold Webinars

You may have never thought about hosting a webinar, but it is a cost-effective tool that provides new information to customers. Whenever you want to promote new products and services, host an online seminar. Try a free trial before you invest in the project. To avoid wasting people’s time, make the content as informational and interesting as possible.

 

3. Make Videos

Making videos is a new trend that anyone can do, but it benefits businesses most of all. You do not have to buy expensive equipment. There are companies that can make professional videos for you, or you can create your own. People respond to visual advertisements, and videos are a great way for your company to be creative and get out the content that is most important in and entertaining way.

 

4. Use Promotional Products

Promotional products are needed to promote your creative marketing endeavors. Make your company slogan and logo stand out in unique ways. Common promotional products include shirts, tote bags, pens and backpacks. Take advantage of lesser known items like zipper pulls and HALO custom keychains to stand out from your competition. People use practical promotional items for a long time, which will help them remember your company.

 

5. Include Discounts and Special Offers

Popular brands always have steady streams of discounts and special offers. Remind customers that your company is still relevant and innovative. Target specific customers for different offers and see who responds the best. Many people go out of the way to look for savings, so provide constant updates on a blog or website.

 

Creative marketing means you have to stand out from your competition. The marketing field is always changing, so continue to think creatively so that you get your company noticed. Following these tips will get you on the right track for a successful and creative marketing plan that will pay off.

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brionnakennedy@gmail.com on November 16th, 2013

Your brand is the face, definition and representation of your company all in one. Branding is extremely important because it tells people what your company does as well as what it stands for. However, branding is often overlooked by business owners and pushed to the bottom of the priority list. Below are six reasons why branding is very important to your company’s success.

 

Branding Shows

Branding shows people what your company is all about. It puts you in front of the world and your prospects, and visually demonstrates what it is your company is all about. If your branding and your services or products are mismatched, it will give customers the idea that you don’t really know what your business represents, and they will look elsewhere.

 

Branding Tells

If you pay attention to slogans used by many major brands, you’ll get a good idea of what the company stands for. Your business slogan – and you should have one – is a part of your branding efforts, and it tells your prospects and customers what to expect from your company in a brief statement.

 

Branding Influences

The way you brand your product or service directly influences whether or not your prospects will buy from you or utilize your services. Come across as rude and “in your face” and they will go elsewhere, but come across as unsure and scattered, and they won’t take your business seriously. However, if your branding positions you as an authority in your field and as someone there to help them, you’ll go far.

 

Branding Brands

Perhaps the most obvious part of branding is the logo, which should be on everything you print, from business cards to promotional products. Make sure your brand logo is something that represents your company well and casts your business in the appropriate light, because it’s very hard to change it once you put it out there.

 

Branding Promotes

Providing useful promotional products to tradeshow attendees, people you meet, friends and business associates is very important. These promotional products can be imprinted with your company’s logo and contact details so every time they are used by current and potential customers, you gain marketing exposure. Business cards are important, but they get thrown away or damaged. People hold on to useful items, particularly if they’re free and functional. HALO tradeshow products is a great company if you’re looking for promotional items, and their personalized bags are very popular.

 

Branding Inspires

Emotions are very important in business, at least where marketing is concerned. If you can make people feel good, you’ll very likely boost sales. Branding helps convey those happy and positive emotions.

 

Keep branding to the point, make it simple and easy on the eyes, and make sure you’re representing your company well. Your brand is your company’s face and reputation; make it count!

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jo@morganlawaustin.com on November 14th, 2013

Maintaining a relationship takes dedication and perseverance, but when that

relationship has the added complication of being miles apart, the task becomes even

more daunting. However, if those involved are truly willing to do what it takes to

make it work, there are things that can be done to make the situation less strenuous

and give the relationship a chance to grow despite the distance.

 

  • Using the Telephone

When two people in love must be apart, hearing each others voice takes on greater

importance than usual. Find a phone plan that allows for unlimited calling so that

financial restrictions do not limit talk time. Arrange times when it is convenient

for both partners to talk and do not miss scheduled calls if at all possible. Make

talking every day a priority.

 

  • Other Forms of Keeping in Touch

As with any relationship, communication is the key to success even when a great

distance separates those involved. Certainly this can include handwritten letters,

but also sending heartfelt text messages is a great idea as well. Anything that lets

your partner know you are thinking of him or her is always a pleasant reminder of

your love.

 

  • Keep Expectations Realistic

While staying in touch is important, it is critical that both participants in the

relationship keep in mind the reality of the situation. There is a reason that you

must be apart and whether that reason is a job, school, a sick family member or

something else, that responsibility has to be attended to. There will be times when

this will interfere with staying in touch, so expect these times and take them in

stride.

 

  • Treat Each Other Fairly

Be sure that all the responsibility for the relationship does not fall on only one

partner. If only one person is making calls, sending texts and working at keeping

things going, it will quickly come to seem unfair to the partner doing all the work.

Be Romantic

 

Do not let the distance between you take away the romance. Send flowers and gifts,

write love songs and poetry or send lunch to your loved one. You can even do things

like share a dinner together by having the same meal at the same time even though

you may be in different cities halfway around the world.

 

Keep It Spontaneous. Perhaps the hardest part of all this is keeping it genuinely spontaneous.

You do not want to send a text just because it is the time you usually send a text but because

something made you think of your partner. Having dinner together on a certain night

each week might be a good idea but don’t let a schedule dictate everything you do.

Spontaneity shows your partner that they are always on your mind.

 

About the Author
Jo Harris is the Outreach Director for the Morgan Law Firm. She is a frequent
blogger on a variety of subjects. The firm is located at 4101 Parkstone Heights
Dr., Suite 250, Austin, Texas 78746 and can be phoned at (512) 551-0807.
Additionally you can find more information on the Morgan Law Firm website.

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assistant@absolutelovepublishing.com on October 29th, 2013

A few years ago I was sitting at my desk surrounded by positive affirmations, crystals, and my career vision board, focusing on the greatest good. I asked the universe to help me discover the “highest and best use” of my natural talents. After a few moments, I had an idea for a book. I wanted to explore the concept of love without conditions. Absolute Love. Love in its highest incarnation.
I wanted to hear other people’s stories about unconditional love, and to share them with the world through my book. As soon as I cemented this idea in my mind, individuals of stature (speakers, singers, musicians, baseball players, and other celebrities) started appearing. It started with one person who wanted to share her journey on learning to love herself. Then another would contact me out of the blue, and so on and so forth until I had more essays than I knew what to do with! My intention became a compilation of essays, Love Like God: Embracing Unconditional Love.
My latest book, Women Will Save the World, came together in a similar fashion. I came across a quote from the Dalai Lama, “The world will be saved by the Western woman.” I kept churning the words over in my mind, and one day I announced to the editor of my publishing company that I wanted to create a book that would explore this profound statement. I stated my intention and soon after I had stories pouring in from these remarkable women, highly-esteemed women—celebrities and experts in their fields, who were open to sharing words of inspiration on a variety of categories: collaboration, creativity, intuition, nurturing, strength, trailblazing, and wisdom. The finished product is exactly what I had hoped it would be.

As my business expanded, I hired an assistant. After a few months, she quit unexpectedly. Within two hours an email came through my website’s Contact Form from a young lady who was relocating to the area and was searching for a job in the publishing industry. I knew I would hire her before we even met for an interview. Just like that, the universe gave me what I needed at just the right moment!
I use the Law of Attraction constantly in my business and I encourage those who work with me to do the same. I always make sure to ask for my highest and greatest good, in whatever I am trying to attract.

A few examples are:

– Always word in the way of the positive, whether speaking or writing. Even when writing a blog post or Facebook comment, we avoid using “don’t” or “can’t,” and instead lead with a positive intention.
– Envision exactly what outcome is desired and meditate on it. We open ourselves to receiving positive things, and then they happen. While receiving, we release our thoughts about how things will happen and give them up to the Universe. Thoughts about “how” pull energy in the wrong direction.
– Make our intentions clear to the universe.
– Have faith. We have to trust that wherever or however we are at any time is how we are meant to be in that moment.

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madysongrant@gmail.com on October 24th, 2013

Getting in trouble on the job is easier than most employees think. Even without trying, a conscientious worker may inadvertently cross the line and do something that is against company rules. Below are four tips for staying out of trouble while on the job.

 

Be truthful.

 

Although most of us try to tell the truth most of the time, sometimes it is tempting to leave out important facts or change things around slightly. But when discovered, these untruths can lead to serious consequences with employers. Let your supervisor know if you are having problems with equipment or coworkers, and ask for help if needed. Always be honest about job-related issues, including reasons for absenteeism.

 

Be diligent.

 

It’s perfectly fine to take lunch breaks and maybe short restroom breaks during the work day. But arriving early, leaving late, and being negligent on the job amounts to stealing from the company. Talking too much to coworkers or customers or doing personal things on the job, like making personal phone calls or cleaning out your wallet, is inappropriate. Provide a full day’s work for a full day’s pay. Anything less is unfair and unethical.

 

Be safe.

 

Follow company policies and procedures. Don’t take shortcuts to save time or money. Check the work area daily for potential problems, and report broken equipment or safety hazards to the proper officials. Failure to do so may result in injury to the employee or others. If a possible safety issue becomes evident, even if there is no policy to manage it, let the supervisor know so protective steps can be taken.

 

Be compliant.

 

Sometimes, whether asked or not, you may be willing to work overtime on a special project or rush delivery. Although your intentions are good, working beyond the position’s stated hours in the job description may violate company policy or applicable labor laws. For example, there are mandatory Connecticut labor laws on overtime, and it is likely that most states have similar laws. Check with a supervisor before working additional time beyond the usual workday schedule.

 

Being competent at your job requires attention to all rules and guidelines. Failure to follow company policies or local labor laws can lead to serious problems for the company and you. To ensure continued success at your job and to build a promising future, always play by the rules and give your best efforts. Your cooperation will be noticed and apprciated.

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Thomas Stone on October 24th, 2013


Image courtesy of ivanpw

Attracting new customers is certainly an essential for any business, but in all the effort to reach new audiences, business leaders often forget to address existing customers. In many industries, return customers account for the bulk of a company’s success, so it is only right that potential returning customers are treated just as enthusiastically as the newer crowd.

Unfortunately, keeping older customers engaged can be a bit of a more complicated process than attracting new customers. Simple flash may be enough to bring on a new customer or client, but it won’t work on its own in the long run. Instead, you will need to utilize a combination of techniques. A few of the more effective methods for retaining customers are detailed below.

Social media

Social media is a proven, effective tool for building a community of dedicated customers. Through sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, you can keep customers interested in your company and excited to engage with you on a regular basis. Social media will not bring back return customers if you fail to use correctly, though. Your social media pages need to be consistently updated at least once per week. Anything less and customers begin to lose interest. Additionally, when your pages are updated, these updates need to add value to the viewer’s social media experience. A page that only includes reasons for shopping at a company’s store or making a deal with a particular client is very boring. Add something of value, whether it’s a link to a well-written blog post or a funny picture. Obviously, it’s best if this content relates to your main product or service, but it should still have intrinsic value outside of the sales pitch.

Web design

Social media is a helpful tool for keeping your customer base interested, but you should avoid the common mistake of heavily investing in social media at the expense of your company’s website. Although seemingly archaic compared to today’s flashy social networking sites, a professional website is still an effective tool for both recruiting and retaining customers. However, while your social media page comes pre-designed for the most part, websites don’t. In order to attract and retain customers, you will need to present a vibrant and organized design space. If design is not your forte, hire a graphic designer.

Retargeting

You’ve got a website and you’re attracting visitors: mission accomplished, right? Not really. Take a look at your visitors’ browsing habits. How many people add an item or two to their cart and then leave without checking out? Find those people and the ones who view multiple items and start retargeting them. Maybe they left to go check out another site and forgot to go back or are still trying to decide whether they really need that blue sundress with pink polka dots. Keep reminding them that their items are still available and they have a better chance of coming back and completing a purchase.

Online coupons

At one time, coupon clippers were viewed as unfortunate souls from the working class. This perception may still exist to some extent, but it is no longer true of those utilizing online coupons. In fact, electronic coupons are most commonly used among those with high incomes, and they are becoming more popular by the day. In a 2009 survey from eMarketer.com, coupon use was revealed to be at an all-time high, with 47 percent of respondents claiming to use coupons on at least an occasional basis.

Hanging on to customers is not impossible, but you can’t attract return customers the same way you find new ones. You have to show them they need to come back and that it’s worth their time. Don’t just show them pictures, give them a deal or let them know when the product they recently viewed drops in price. If you find the right mix for your customers, you’ll have happier, repeat business and a more stable customer base.

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emily@superdream.co.uk on October 14th, 2013

A great advertising campaign can really make a new brand, or turn around a failing one. Get it right and your slogan could be infamous and effective for decades to come. Here’s our pick of the brands that did it right:

 

Old Spice – The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

The Old Spice brand was basically forgotten before this campaign launched in 2010, debuted at the Super Bowl. The campaign was phenomenally popular; with a 107% increase in sales of the body wash within 30 days of its beginning. The campaign showed how choosing a humorous character that appeals to both sexes to represent your brand can really work to give it some personality and appeal.

Mini Cooper – Let’s Motor

The Mini Cooper has always been loved in European countries, but in the US, where a larger style of car is preferred, it was fairly unheard of. This is where ‘Let’s Motor’ came in. The ad cleverly played up the fun element and pros of having a small car, and within ten years the US was the brand’s biggest selling country in the world.

Nike – Just Do It

Nike tapped into the fitness craze of the 1990s with this infamous campaign and slogan, and from 1988 to 1998 sales soared from $800 million to over $9.2 billion. Previously catering mainly to the marathon runner, Nike succeeded by tapping into a feeling we can all relate to when exercising, appealing to the average person.

Apple – Get a Mac

Apple’s Mac or PC debate campaign turned out to be one of their most successful, with a 42% market share growth in its first year. It cleverly played on the difference between a Mac and PC user, and made people feel that they knew the kind of person that used Macs, and of course would rather be him. The relatable nature of the ads really appealed to the audience.

Clairol – Does She or Doesn’t She

This 1957 campaign completely changed women’s attitude to hair colour. When it debuted, the amount of women colouring their hair in the US was 15 to 1, and 11 years later 2 to 1. The campaign was so successful some states stopped requiring hair colour to be declared on driver’s licenses! It made women feel they could have the hair colour they wanted, and it would look so natural people wouldn’t know if it was real or not.

 

Emily Bradbury is writing for Digital Marketing Agency Superdream, meeting all your graphic design needs in the Midlands, UK.

 

 

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I have been Facebook friend with Olga Kostrova, serial entrepreneur, marketer and wife of Jan Hutchins for years now. Since Olga and Jan married and started SocialAgenda Media, a thought leadership marketing company that they run together, I’ve had a chance to observe the palpable joy in their social shares and photos that represent their life adventure. They exude love and radiate a sense of fulfillment.

Jan Hutchins social agenda media speakerJan’s career had interesting twists and turns. Emmy award winning TV producer, 20 years as a sports and news anchor on television and loved by the SF Bay Area audience, 4 years in politics serving on the town council and as a Mayor of Los Gatos, he now travels the world speaking, coaching executives, consulting on thought leadership marketing and helping to launch other remarkable people.  I interviewed Olga a while back when she ran another company. This time I ask Jan a few questions:

Deepak: Is it easy to be a celebrity? Fame is promoted by media, but is fame something for us to strive for?

Jan Hutchins: It was easy for me to become a celebrity. I broke into major market TV when I was just 23. Living the life of celebrity, at least the modest kind I experienced, was seductively confusing for someone still forming an adult ego structure and produced distortions I eventually had to recognize and reframe. I can recommend striving for accomplishment, but not fame and the loss of privacy and increase in ego that come with it.

Deepak: How is what you’ve learned during your political career now applied in practices of your thought leadership marketing agency?

Jan Hutchins: As a “politician”, and I put that in quotes because I consistently refused to do anything political when running for or serving in office, I practiced “seek first to understand, and only then attempt to be understood”. The art of marketing is done best on a canvas that can absorb the message and reflect it into the world in a way that enhances the message, so giving is necessary to receive, learning is required before teaching, hearing should be practiced prior to speaking. I also discovered John Gardner’s “learning communities” modality teaches a modern truth, that people today come to most situations unprepared to learn, so ideally one must consciously create a learning environment for constituencies before seeking to communicate with them.

Deepak: You have also recently launched a speaker’s bureau? What inspired you to represent other speakers?

Jan Hutchins: We were often asked by existing clients to help them evangelize their message. Public speaking is a powerful means of doing that and forces our clients creatively craft and clearly express their ideas. Speaking also provides immediate, visceral feedback that is almost impossible to produce otherwise.

Deepak: As a speaker, what are the messages you advocate in your speeches?

Jan Hutchins: I speak to businesses, non-profits, associations, and institutions and offer messages about the inner challenges necessary to face in order to meet the outer demands being experienced by individuals or organizations. By living as a Black man in a White world, journalist trained to have perspective on issues, political servant charged with representing and being responsible for a community, community builder and fundraiser or elder, yogi and teacher to individuals in intense somatic settings, I’ve developed practices and understandings that empower and inform my audiences whether I speak, coach or consult. The insights serve in discussions about leadership, teamwork, health and fitness, community service, and handling the pressures of modern life. I expect people hearing my talks to leave having remembered who they really are, recognized themselves and having seen new perspectives for themselves from my stories and able to relate to their world in a way that feels more infused with love, power and possibility.

Deepak: You run your company together with you wife? Is it difficult to mix work with pleasure?

Jan Hutchins: Yes, and yet, it’s a challenge we profoundly enjoy and appreciate. We both thrive on the inevitable tension of co-creating. It forces us to consciously choose to stay “inside the circle of love” in our relationship, and we get to experience the joy of sharing our blessing with clients and the world. I’m surrendering into new ways of being. I’m learning what it’s like to love and be loved unconditionally, and what it’s like to interact adult to adult to create win-win relationships.

Deepak: People seem fundamentally afraid of aging and you in your soon to be 65 represent something we all want to believe in – love, vitality and success. What words of encouragement can you offer?

Jan Hutchins: Make every day a new beginning. A commitment to fitness and health is the best investment anyone can make. Realizing life is dynamic rather than static and developing the physical and emotional flexibility to ride the inevitable waves of change is essential to aging gracefully.  Because I’ve done this, I’m able to fully receive the blessing of this most wonderful adventure of my life.

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antioninternk@gmail.com on March 6th, 2013
Tom Antion

Tom Antion

As a speaker, you want to do more than just speak to your audience, you want to engage them so they experience your message rather than just receive it. In order to do this most effectively, put your audience first, know their needs, and meet those needs.

One major need of any audience: a presentation that caters to their style of information transfer whether it be auditory, visual, or kinesthetic. While the audience will alternate their emphasis frequently, each individual will default to one of the three styles.

Some of your audience members will be predominantly auditory, they will react best when they hear the information, others will be predominantly visual, they will react best when they see the information, and then some will be predominantly kinesthetic, and they will react best when they feel the information. When you incorporate delivery methods throughout your presentation that cater to all three styles of information transfer, you significantly increase the interest level of your speech. When you spark interest among your audience, you engage them.

Those in your audience who are primarily auditory will best receive your message just by hearing you speak, but don’t stop there. Engage them further by looking for opportunities in your presentation that could be enhanced with the use of a sound bite, music, or a recording.

Throughout the portions of your speech when you are only using words to convey information, the audience members who are mainly visual may be daydreaming. They will quickly tune in when you use a visual aid such as an overhead or prop. This will catch their attention and have them engaged.

The members of your audience who are mostly kinesthetic become engaged by powerful words that evoke emotion; the words that people tend to feel, not just hear. They respond to a handshake or the invitation to come on stage with you.

When you disburse techniques throughout your program that appeal to all three styles of information transfer, you set in place the foundation that allows for connectivity and engagement between yourself and your audience.

About the author 

Tom Antion, president of Antion & Associates,  is a highly respected professional speaker who is a veteran of more than 2700 paid speaking presentations. He has helped thousands of other speakers, authors, business presenters, executive and trainers learn how to be top platform performers.

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