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Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

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Is your marketing running circles around you?

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Ok time for a blatant plug. If you need some help with your marketing then book your place now:

Join Just Too Busy for a FREE Marketing Workshop!

* Do you want to promote your business to get more clients but aren’t sure where to start?

* Do you have lots of ideas for your marketing but don’t know which ones to focus on?

* Do you have a marketing plan but never seem to find the time to do it?
You need to come to the FREE Marketing Workshop with Alex Stone of Just Too Busy!

This FREE workshop, presented by marketing and small business expert Alex Stone of Just Too Busy, is being run in conjunction with Robyn Hatley, Regional Director of The Athena Network (Richmond Borough). It will take place on Thursday 25th June at the Dysart Arms PH in Richmond, Surrey from 9am until 2pm.

During the hands-on workshop Alex will:

* Take you through some key marketing strategies that work well for small business and don’t cost the earth

* Provide practical advice on how to implement these ideas and…

* Give you a general understanding on how to use your marketing and your brand to its best effect (i.e. Your benefits versus your features, how to effectively communicate what you do and how to market what you do the right way

At the end of this workshop you will have:

* A practical marketing plan ready to go

* Specific ideas to promote your business

* A better idea of how successful marketing works for small business and…

* The opportunity to book some one-on-one marketing strategy/mentoring time with Alex at a discounted rate.

If you would like to reserve a place on this workshop – limited to 20 places… then please email Alex on alex@justtoobusy.co.uk. (Hurry – 13 places already gone!) We are expecting demand to be high and this workshop will be marketed to both Athena and non-Athena members.

Please note: That although Alex is providing this workshop entirely free of charge there is a small cost of £25 towards the room hire, refreshments and lunch. This will be payable in advance, to secure your place. You will receive booking and payment details once you have requested your place.

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Marketing Basics: Your business card and what you SHOULD be doing with it!

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

business-cardWhen starting a business one of the first things everyone says they need is a business card.  But how many of us actually think about why we need one?

What do you really use your business card for?  Well, you can give it to people who you think might be interested in your business so that they can keep in touch with you.

But did you think that you can use your business card to actually encourage those people (or prospects) to “make that call”? (Or send you an email….?)

Yes your business card is a compact delivery method of your key company and contact info, but it is also a marketing tool.  You can use your business card to deliver one of your key marketing messages; to get people to visit your site and sign up to your mailing list; to purchase and/or download a (free) report from you; to refer you to other people they know or to come back to your business again for a discount.

Yes your little 95mm x 50mm piece of card (with TWO sides) can do all that!  Well, in that space it can certainly do one of the above as well as conveying your key company and contact information.

But first things first…..

When was the last time you updated your business card?

old-business-cardWas it when you started your business?  Was it when you moved house or office?  Was it more than a year ago? If so, have a think about getting your card redesigned and reprinted.  The design, if you have a logo in place, doesn’t have to take a huge amount of time and you should be able to get a redesign done in approximately 2 hours or so.

So you can see it doesn’t have to cost a fortune and it will be the ideal opportunity to refresh your business look as well as make your business card more effective.

Your card as marketing collateral

Have a think about what you could do, discount or give away to encourage people to call you, email, sign up to your list or refer you to others. Just be careful not to use anything time restricted or stock limited.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Discounts: Offer a discount on their next visit to your shop on production of the card or a discount on your website if they quote a reference on the card.
  • Referrals: Design your card so the recipient can put their name on it and their friend’s name on it, so they can claim their referral reward from you.
  • Giveaways: Promote your free report or ebook on your card along with a reference number they need to quote when claiming it from your website.

Note: using reference numbers on your promotional marketing collateral means that you can track where the lead or customer came from and specifically which piece of collateral, from which specific marketing activity, brought them to you.

Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up…

follow-upNow that you have thought of your marketing strategy for your business card, had it designed and printed and have started giving it away to all and sundry!  What do you do next?

What most people DON’T do when they give someone their business card is follow up.  In fact, most people who do any marketing for their business don’t follow up at all.  Following up is key and it is really simple.

When you meet someone at an event, a meeting, a networking gathering etc, and they ASK for your business card (key point: don’t force your card onto people – they won’t use it and you will have wasted another small portion of your marketing budget) all you have to do is:

FOLLOW UP!

It’s not hard.  When they ask and receive your card – ask for theirs back.  Make a little note on the card to follow up (and any other info that might be useful) and then all you have to do is either send them an email the next day or give them a quick call a couple of days later.

What do you say?

Just that it was nice to meet them, if you can be of any further help etc etc.  But the key thing?  Reiterate whatever it is your business card asks them to (sign up/refer and get a discount etc) and leave it there.

They will either get back to you or they won’t.  If they don’t you can choose to pursue them (I wouldn’t do this too much though) or you can call it a day.  I would suggest that an additional follow up by email with a reminder to sign up to your mailing list or whatever it is you want them to do is sufficient.  If you don’t hear anymore then fair enough.

But the point is that your business card is now working harder for you and your business.  You are using it properly as a marketing tool and it will contribute towards your overall lead generation.

If you want to talk about how to make changes to your business card or want some ideas on what you could do with it then feel free to get in touch.  You can email me on alex@justtoobusy.co.uk or you can call on 01932 219069 and ask for me.  I would be delighted to hear from you and to help if I can (and don’t worry – I don’t bite!).  :)

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Marketing Basics: Promotions and Competitions…

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

And using them the right way to raise your profile

OK…. I have run competitions before. In my newsletter and in the ‘real’ world. And to be honest they don’t always work. But when they do, they can be very powerful for your business. They must be, otherwise why would so many companies, including the ‘big boys of the bottomless marketing budgets” use them? (They may have money to spend but they don’t often waste it!)

So running a promotion or a competition seems like you are just giving stuff away. Wrong. You are using promotions and competitions to gain information about your target audience. And that phrase is key – target audience. The reason why many promotions and competitions don’t work, is because they are aimed at the wrong audience for the business involved, or the offer or prize being supplied just doesn’t interest them.

I know I have talked about your target audience before but this is just another example of why it is key; why it is crucial to know and understand your target audience. If you don’t know who you are selling to, and why, and what, then you’re marketing efforts are going to be sporadically productive at best.

If you don’t know who/what your target audience is, then you need to do some research and thinking about your product or service. If you don’t know who your target audience then you have more thinking to do. If you do have a good idea then well done! You are in the minority probably. But let me be clear it is a target audience. Target, as in pinpoint. Not general, but focused.

A target audience is not: “all small business owners” no matter how much you think it is or want it to be. With approximately 4 million small businesses in the UK you can’t be possibly be targeting them all in the same way. You need to focus down.

Moving on…

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Twitter: what’s it all about then?

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

The Essential Twitter Dichotomy…twitter_logo_header1

It’s quite funny.  The amount of tweets on Twitter I see that say, “Just joined Twitter, what’s it all about?” or “New to Twitter – help!”. I do have to laugh because that was me about two months ago.

I had heard of Twitter – I think the first time I heard about it was last summer – say August 08. But apart from knowing it was some kind of social media tool I had absolutely no idea what it what was, what it was for and why on earth I should care!

Oh the beauty and benefit of hindsight! I wouldn’t be without Twitter now, but the question is still posed by many – both newbies and veterans and me on occasion – “what’s it all about then?” And by that I mean some people are still struggling to understand the uses and benefits of Twitter; others are having ‘discussions’ on how best to use Twitter or what it’s greatest strengths are.

twitter_birdie1I say… IT DEPENDS! Just like any other marketing strategy in the stable, Twitter and social media at large, does what you need it to do – if you know what that is! Those people who join because they think they should are the same people who have a blog but no idea why (or what to do with it). On the flip side those Twitterati, the IM gurus, the 10k plus followers people have a vastly different viewpoint.

This post examines what Twitter means to different people and how it can be used to suit both different marketing strategies and different agendas – i.e. what they hope Twitter will do for them.

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Marketing Basics: Public Relations – how to shout about your business success!

Monday, March 16th, 2009

istock_000004351322xsmall2

OK so Public Relations – or PR – was one of the alternatives I suggested to advertising in the last Marketing Basics post.  It is also something we should all be doing to promote our businesses.  There is so much to write about PR that this could be the longest newsletter ever.  But I really don’t want to bore you – ok – I really want to try not to bore you!

There are three main things I think you should know and remember about PR and they are what I lovingly call the Three Cs:

Content

Contacts

Consistency

Here is the explanation of the 3 Cs in what I hope will be an illuminating fashion.
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