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How to Promote Your Startup

As soon as you create a startup, you need to start thinking about how to promote it. There’s a lot of competition in almost every industry and you need to find a way to make your business stand out from the pack.

This doesn’t have to be expensive, but it needs to be done with a particular audience in mind and with a clear and detailed plan that covers a few different channels and a variety of media. Only that way you can be sure that your message is coming across as you wanted it to.

Customer service

Most businesses don’t see it that way but customer service is a form of advertising. Businesses spend most of their money on campaign ads and promotional tools, but customer service is the way most clients come in contact with the company. This is where you should present yourself in the best possible manner.

It should be left to professionals and used not only to solve the problems the clients are experiencing but to promote your business and its newest products and services at the same time.

Industry events

Corporate events are used to meet people from your industry. There are usually lectures, and CEOs use them to be informed about what’s happening in the industry. Besides this, most of the time is spent mingling and making business deals between the events. It’s important to attend these even if it puts pressure on your business because that’s how you get your name out there.

Once you’ve established yourself, you could even organize an event yourself. This way, you can become a key figure in your circles and use this position to get more work and gain more prominence.

Promotional products

Promotional products are a simple but effective tool to advertise your business. They should be useful items that get passed around a lot. That way, everyone that comes in contact with them will have a chance to see your contact information and notice your logo. Try to give away the products in bulk so you make sure they find their way to as many people as possible.

Pencils, planers, and USB drives are the most common way to go, but you could also get creative and order stress balls from Stressball Planet with your contact information printed on them.

Guest blogging

Every business should have a blog at this point. It’s a great way to communicate with your clients and it doesn’t cost you that much (except in terms of time and effort). You should try to make your posts relevant and engaging, but there’s more to it. Guest posting on the blogs of your competitors and peers is a great way to get traction and reach a wider audience.

It’s also customary to repay the favor and let others post on your blog as well. That way, your blog becomes a place where important conversations about the industry happen.

Cross-promotion

It’s important and lucrative for different parts of your business strategy to come together. That means that clients come from different backgrounds but still end up spending money and spreading the word about your business. It’s especially lucrative to mix your offline and online streams of income.

This is most effectively done via promotional codes and coupons. That way, your online customers get to feel as a part of a special group. At the same time, those that came through traditional channels could be persuaded to use your online services as well.

Having a clear plan for advertising could put your business on the map. You should try to use simple, inexpensive and effective methods that make the users and the customers come back.

 
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6 Tips for Retaining Customers

With a highly competitive market, especially in the Ecommerce world, improving customer retention is not as simple as it may seem. Customers are crucial for any kind of business success. The more of them you succeed to attract and retain, the more successful and prosperous your business will be.

In order to keep your customers happy and stay relevant, you need to optimize your strategies for customer retention. If your strategy is already strong, you can always tweak and improve it. This article is a guide for the best customer retention strategies to keep your customers coming back.

1. Content marketing

Customer retention strategies can be improved through content marketing, as people are biased towards products/services which they have stumbled across online or heard about from friends. By improving your content marketing strategy, you can remain in the minds of your existing clients and reach a wider audience of potential customers as well.

2. Improve customer experience

By making the consumer decision-making process better and more user-friendly, you can improve your customer retention strategy. From when they come to your website for the first time to when they experience your product or service for the first time, each step in the process impacts how much your customers want to come back. You can create a positive customer experience and increase customer retention by improving: website design (layout, color scheme, styles, fonts, etc.), loading time of your website, device compatibility, copy quality, navigation options, purchasing funnel, product packaging, shipping time and delivery, usability of the product/service, transparency, and relevance and quality of your marketing communication.

3. Maintain your good reputation

It’s in your best interest to keep your reputation good, and one way to ensure that is to guarantee the quality of your offer. Your customers will appreciate the fact that you’re not trying to cheat, but are staying true to your promises. If you want to show your customers that you’re serious about being honest, you can back your claims with a surety bond. It obligates you to protect your customers if something goes astray and you fail to deliver what you promised. Compared to the worth of maintaining a good online reputation, paying a low surety bond cost is a small price to pay.

4. Respond to customer feedback

Whether positive or negative, customer feedback is essential to any business. Respond to feedback accordingly, and it will show your willingness to make sure their experience remains positive. What can you do to improve your customers’ experience? Well, you can ask them and listen, and in that way, they’ll know that their opinion is valued. If you want to gain a better understanding of their point of view, try walking in your customers’ shoes, and leverage that knowledge to position yourself better.

5. Give special perks to loyal customers

Consider leveraging the psychological game we play with ourselves, such as job titles, fraternities and invite-only services. People simply like to be part of exclusive clubs and feel special. You can increase your customer loyalty by setting up an exclusive VIP club. It takes money and time, but it will help you stand out from the competition. Reach out to high-performing customers, be in contact with those on the rise, have a dedicated VIP page, keep it exclusive (don’t invite too many people to the club), and personalize the process by sending them emails with company news, product updates, and special promotions.

6. Leverage customer testimonials

The majority of consumers are positively influenced by reading customer reviews when making a purchase decision. Satisfied and happy customers are the secret recipe for attracting new ones. Simply, ask your satisfied customers to give you a testimonial (which you can use to boost the effectiveness of your content marketing) or write a review. Customers are more likely to give you a testimonial if you offer them a membership to your loyalty program, direct incentive, or social recognition. Customer testimonials will make other potential customers more willing to buy your products and do business with you, but also boost your digital marketing efforts, such as email marketing, promotions, and social media campaigns.

These are some of the ways you can improve your customer retention. It’s difficult work, especially in today’s competitive market, when every business is trying to do the same. Get to know your audience first, and you’ll be able to create a strategy that will attract potential customers and retain them.

 

 

 
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Most Suitable Marketing Strategies for SMBs

While it is true that major conglomerates and SMBs both need marketing, there is a huge difference when it comes to the approach. The first ones have an almost unlimited marketing budget and an already established brand name, while SMBs have neither of these things. This is why people behind their marketing campaign need to be extra resourceful and find the methods that yield the greatest ROI and are not that expensive to begin with. With this in mind, here are several marketing strategies that are universally deemed as the most suitable for SMBs.

Social media marketing

The first step an SMB must take in order to establish its online presence is get registered on several major social networks. Sure, you may already have a profile there and although personal branding may be quite useful, it is vital to also have business accounts on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and other similar networks. Using these networks is one of the best ways to ensure that your words reach the largest possible body of an audience at any given moment. In fact, at the moment, Twitter is more of a news medium than it is a social network.

Focus on your email marketing

Email marketing is still a preferred tool of communication for professionals all over the world, and it has a surprising impact in the world of B2B marketing. Furthermore, it is the strongest technique for post-sale follow-up, which is vital in generating return business. These return customers will in time start developing an astounding amount of brand loyalty and might even become brand ambassadors. Keep in mind, however, that the world of email marketing is also notorious for all the spam-bots circling around, which is why you need to learn how to write simple, effective and, above all, organic emails. Finally, due to the fact that most people access their emails through their phones first, make sure that the content of your emails is optimized for mobile.

Content marketing

Another great way to establish yourself as a figure of authority in your industry is through content marketing. By creating quality content that actually brings some value to your audience, you are A) establishing a level of trust between you and your customers and B) inviting them to visit again in order to learn more about that topic. Nonetheless, in order for this to work, you need to do two things right. First, you need to write quality content, which requires a lot of effort, skill and talent, and second, you need to constantly post so you’re not forgotten. In order for this to work, you would probably have to find a way to exploit the idea of guest posting to your benefit or look for regular contributors.

Start a contest

In the previous section, we mentioned that writing quality content provides value for your audience, but there is another way to achieve just that with a bit less effort. What you need to do here is simply start a contest of sorts and lure in more people by promising them a valuable reward. Of course, depending on the prize, this can be quite expensive, but the ROI usually makes it worth your while.

Turn towards traditional marketing

Finally, while digital marketing strategies usually require smaller investments, they are also somewhat less subtle than some of the traditional marketing methods. For instance, if you were to paint a company logo on your corporate vehicle, most of your audience would see this as a direct form of advertising but would not perceive it as invasive in any way. This especially goes for promotional products like branded T-shirts or personalized umbrellas. Due to the fact that these items actually add material value to their recipients, they are known to be quite effective in helping you create a positive public image.

Even though you may be restricted by your budget, this will only give you a chance to show your creativity and resourcefulness. By setting the right long-term goals, identifying your target audience and doing extensive research on your competition, you can easily determine which of the above-listed ideas sound the best.

 
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5 Ways to Increase Teamwork at Your Marketing Company

Your marketing company’s efforts to grow and succeed are either pushed forward or pulled back to the degree that your employees are able to work together as a team. Teamwork is something that everyone talks about, but few seem to know how to achieve it. Sure, people can be complicated, and what works for one organization might not necessarily work for yours. But there are some basic principles of fostering teamwork that seem to apply across the board. Try putting some of these team-building tips into play in your company and see how much of a difference they make.

Create a Team-Focused Culture

It all begins with leadership. As a manager, your actions, your words and your values set the tone in your organization. Everyone else takes their cue from you. So if you want to create a work environment that is more team-focused, that encourages teamwork and that builds in-house relationships, then it all starts with you.

So how can you build your organization’s sense of team identity? There are plenty of tactics and hacks that immediately come to mind. Can you picture an executive with his eyes closed, falling backwards and trusting everyone else to catch him? It sounds a little hokey, and maybe those gimmicks might not be right for your group. But they might get you thinking in the right direction.

Teamwork won’t happen by accident. That doesn’t mean you have to push everybody into it in an artificial way, but you do need to get involved. Start thinking of ways to do this. It might start out in subtle ways—maybe you could simply start using words like team, teamwork, us and our a little more deliberately. It’s a start.

Cross-train Your Employees

Once you begin shifting your mindset to be more inclusive and participatory, another great way to foster a team mentality is to start cross-training your employees. Pushing others out of their familiar roles from time to time can help everyone to see beyond their own cubicle and to get a grasp of the larger picture. This can foster greater appreciation for coworkers, and it can help each individual to make decisions that are not only good for them and their department but for the entire organization as a whole.

Allow Workers to Use Their Strengths

One of the most powerful methods for boosting productivity—especially on a large-scale basis—is to enable people in your organization to focus on their strengths. When people are able to do work that they love, they put a lot more effort into it and are far more productive. They feel happier and achieve a greater sense of satisfaction from their work.

Now, sometimes this might mean that you’ll need to give your team more freedom to explore their career paths within your company. And you might also need to empower them to make decisions without you. That can be scary for you, if you’ve never done it. But if you’ve hired good people, then there’s nothing to fear. You will unleash their potential, and your whole organization will benefit from it.

Improve Communication

There are many ways to improve communication in your company, including an overhaul of your current practices in terms of meetings, committees and communications technology. But one of the best ways to improve communication and build your team’s effectiveness can be to utilize group messaging apps. Sure, memos are great, but this isn’t 1985. There are better ways to communicate and share information at the speed of thought, so don’t limit your team to outdated, slower methods. Let them use the technology at their fingertips to eliminate barriers and work together more smoothly.

Reward Excellent Performance at the Group Level

Everybody wants to be appreciated, and one of the best ways to show your appreciation to your employees is to reward them for a job well done. But sometimes your efforts to build people up can actually work against you—and them. Instead of only focusing on individual rewards, try letting your team work together to come up with goals and rewards that they can work toward as a team. This can go a long way to cement their relationships and unify their efforts toward a common goal.

Keep in mind that many of these ideas work best as they are implemented together. Improved communication combined with empowerment and group rewards create a synergistic effect that will raise your whole team to a higher level.

 
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4 Ways Technology Continues to Improve Our Quality of Life at Home

The phrase “quality of life” can mean different things to different people. Some might equate it with wealth, or health, but that’s only two of the many factors we need to get greater satisfaction from our lifestyles and surroundings. Technology in general, however, is created to fulfill a need. It makes our work easier and our entertainment more immersive. Technical advances enable us to control our lives far beyond subsistence or even luxury. What technology has done for us is to increase our quality of life in nearly every way. Here are just four to consider.

Live More

Better healthcare and nutritional understanding has resulted a growing segment of elderly people with limited mobility or other inevitable consequences of aging. Medical technology has given our seniors more options to continue enjoying life. Apart from superior medical care, we have made-to-order prosthetics, smaller and more powerful hearing aids, and the capacity to regenerate corneas for treating eye disorders. Older as well as younger people can also enjoy all the benefits of internet surfing, video chat, streaming movies, computer applications, and much more to keep life interesting and enjoyable.

Learn Digitally

Computer-based e-learning has grown into a huge field with many real-world applications. Schools, companies, and researchers are producing interactive programs to teach, test, and analyze many types of knowledge, reactions, and skills. Aligning e-learning applications with techniques like gamification and virtual or augmented reality are making study fun and highly engaging. Trainees, students, and designers are finding that knowledge is not only easier to acquire and retain, but also addictive.

Automate Your Home

Wi-Fi and interconnected devices, or the Internet of Things (IoT) are turning our homes into easily managed networks. With smartphone apps, you can control and program lighting, thermostats, locks, and cameras. You can start the dishes or laundry from across town, or even have the fridge issue an alert when there’s no more milk. Wireless technology allows you to see who’s at the front door or what your pet is up to without leaving your office cubicle. As the technology expands and merges with AI, the possibilities are endless.

Enjoy Your Pool

The favorite haven in hot weather, the family swimming pool, is also evolving with us. Whereas it was once a chore to maintain water quality and filters, smart apps and sensors are allowing us to monitor and manage chemical treatments automatically. Custom pool builders, like KrisCo Aquatech Pools & Spas, can now provide solutions such as grottos, waterfalls, LED lighting, and more to make your pool a unique, beautiful outdoor experience customized to your tastes. You get both maximum pleasure and convenience.

There are downsides, such as unfortunate glitches or the threat of hackers. For people of all ages, however, technology continues to make life better.

 
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Top 4 Business-Friendly Tech Trends in 2017

While there are numerous traditional marketing trends that new entrepreneurs should still be using, the rules of the game have changed in the last several years. For instance, everyone knows that e-commerce is on the rise. In 2006 the number of sales made on the internet amounted to merely 3 percent, while 10 years later, in 2016, it was estimated at 15.5 percent. This is just one of the innovations that your business needs to adapt to if it’s to survive and with the myriad such changes taking place every day, you may need some high-tech help. In order to help you deal with this with great success, here are top four business-friendly tech trends that you should look out for in 2017.

The digital office

The first thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that if your business works online, it means that it is up for business 24/7. Unfortunately, this means that you need to follow this trend as well and be available even while resting at your home or enjoying on a family vacation. All of this is made possible with the aid of a smartphone, tablet or a laptop by your side. For communication, you have so many IM apps to choose from like Skype, Viber or Facebook Messenger. The same goes for the collaboration software, which can make running major projects possible even with a team that never meets in person. Add cloud storage to the mix and you will soon realize that your entire office has migrated into the digital world.

Internet of Things

Although the Internet of Things (IoT) may be a notion that is widely talked about for the last several years, a lot of experts firmly believe that 2017 is going to be the year of its massive breakthrough. The first reason for this is – the fact that the entire world of marketing (at least its more efficient side) relies on the amount and reliability of gathered data. With the Internet of Things, they will have a way to improve both of these aspects of their data gathering efforts. Apart from this, the IoT is expected to completely revolutionize the world of inventory tracking and management, as well as give your remote work efforts a significant boost.

Automated marketing

In the past, running a marketing department on your own was a much less time-consuming task. You set up a strategy, you put things in motion and then you wait for the response. Same goes with the digital marketing, with the major difference of the response arriving almost immediately and you having to make adjustments according to it.

Furthermore, an average company has at least a blog, a YouTube channel, a page on LinkedIn, a Facebook, a Twitter, possibly even an Instagram profile. Managing all of this is an incredibly arduous job but it is a job you will have to do nevertheless. This being said, one of the ways to both boost your efficiency and manage your time better is to try and automate your digital marketing as much as possible.

Investing in security

In the end, you should be aware that you need to make some significant investments in security if you are to remain afloat in 2017. Some may automatically assume that we are talking about their cyber-security, alas, this is not the case. Cyber-security is a threat scary enough, something that mass media spreads awareness off day in and day out. Unfortunately, due to the obsession over this aspect of their company’s security a lot of people have completely forgotten about the actual physical security of their company. Because of this, it would be great if you could find some room in your budget for a brand-new surveillance system, as well as a reliable HID reader.

Of course, there are many other business trends that are worth your time, money and effort and the reason why we made up our minds for the above-listed four is due to the fact that they often get overlooked. While a marketing team manager may spend countless hours developing a social media marketing strategy, the thought of automating it might not even cross their minds. Moreover, although no one forgets to install a new lock on their office they might turn their focus elsewhere once it is required to make some more serious investments towards their office security. On the other hand, this also means that these four trends are there to help you get a competitive edge.

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5 Small Business Development Strategies

Every entrepreneur starts small but garners big dreams. Alas, small businesses in the early stages of growth face a variety of different challenges, struggling to stay afloat and spur sustainable growth.  Indeed, there is a lot of ground to cover if you mean to navigate the labyrinth of growth and the minefield of key decisions. The best shot is to emphasize vital areas of operations, including marketing, customer service, employee training, and partnerships. A bit of planning and strategic thinking pays off massively in the long run.

Focus on marketing

Without a great marketing strategy, a small business can hardly hope to gain a foothold in the market. After all, the customers must be aware of your existence and have a reason to choose you over your competition. You have to boost your visibility, create buzz, and make a name for yourself. Thus, during the first year, marketing should account for the largest share of the budget. Do not fail to utilize cost-effective digital marketing channels to your utmost advantage and reach a wide audience.

Invest in your employees

Employees are the glue that holds your organization together. They are your first and last line of defense, so you better be prepared to invest in them. Provide training opportunities and let them grow professionally, hand in hand with the whole organization. Employ innovative and creative methods of engaging and motivating them and enhance productivity across the board. Foster a strong, open culture of innovation and encourage everyone to exchange ideas and knowledge.

Form partnerships

Strategic partnerships are a great way to leverage capacities of established businesses. A distribution company, for instance, could enable you to get your products in front of the customers. It is recommended to rely on organizations that complement your strengths and weaknesses. Not even your competition should be ruled out of the picture. Also, note that it’s also possible to become a part of franchises such as Oporto to gain a head start and make leaps and bounds.

Harness the power of data

Big data is a game-changer in the business world. It empowers organizations to break new ground and offer a personalized customer experience. So, dig into consumer data and uncover the patterns of behavior, including shopping habits. Figure out buyer personas and tailor your products and services to wants and needs of people and adapt to the segmented market realities. To pull it off, you will have to utilize advanced analytics and big data tools at your disposal.

Business acquisitions

It is true that acquisitions can be a risky and costly proposition. Still, do not dismiss them just because your business is still in its infancy. They could also be a way for you to become a major player and a leader in the industry. You have a chance to tap into new customer bases and revenue streams. Just steer away from bad purchases and do not bite off more than you can chew. Do a thorough research, come up with a checklist, and identify suitable targets.

Lay the groundwork for lasting success

For better or worse, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions in the business realm. Then again, you can rely on some tried-and-tested strategies to get over growing pains and ahead of the pack. Cut through the noise by carrying out smart marketing campaigns. Unlock the full potential of your manpower and let it be the driving force to success. Soak in customer feedback and make informed decisions. Strike sound partnerships and see if you can move ahead by acquiring other businesses. Finally, strive to put the customer in focus and build your operations around it.

 
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5 Tricks for Making and Keeping Loyal Customers

A great product or idea doesn’t, by itself, reap customers. Your potential buyers use social media, value relationships and desire that you cater to their wants and needs. In short, you create and retain customers through building relationships with them. These tips below can help you in that endeavor.

Employ Content Marketing

An office supply store manager blogs about study tips for students. From your auto shop comes a video post six tips car care in various seasons. To raise awareness about hunger, your social media page live streams food collection drives and distributions and includes a post of statistics on food scarcity in the community.

These are examples of content marketing. In this approach, you focus less on your brand, promotion and products and more on information and stories. Content marketing adapts very well to social media and other digital platforms, where your potential customers are less likely to feel they are interrupted from their experience. Given the volume of online or social media users, consider content marketing with video and photographs. Users may share impactful messages and content to their “friends,” thus actually spreading your business’ name.

Engage Potential (and Existing) Customers in Product Ideas

Building a customer relationship may include feedback before the sale.

Traditionally, companies rely on product samples to introduce and gauge interest in a product they have already created. Instead, consider asking customers what kind of products they want before you produce them. For example, if you’re cookie or doughnut shop, ask your customers to submit new flavor ideas or recipes and award the “winner” money, name the new flavor or selection for them, or a combination of rewards.

This and other engagement approaches afford customers a sense of contribution to, stake in and influence over your company. You’re planting the seed of an atmosphere of service and loyalty to the customer.

Get Feedback Promptly

Shortly after the sale or service encounters, ask your customers about it. As for products, how long has the customer used it? What kinds of uses? Does the customer say if it meets or exceeds expectations? Does the customer have difficulty using it? If there are problems, make yourself available to answer them or solve the problems quickly, lest the customer finds your product not worth the trouble and requests the refund.

Surveys or feedback of service encounters should collect responses about whether the service person arrived on time, explained the problem in understandable terms, fixed the problem, was courteous to the customer and any problems during the call or encounter.

Practice Customer Relations Management

Customer relations management (CRM) software offers your business email and marketing automation. These applications offer content such as knowledge bases for customers to troubleshoot and solve problems and reminders for periodic, personalized customer contact.

With CRM software, you can collect and store information about your customers. When the customer’s birthday or anniversary approaches, you can send an email or other message expressing “Happy Birthday” or “Happy Anniversary” wishes along with a discount or free gift with a purchase or visit.

Remember the Basics of Customer Service

Not all of customer retention relies on surveys, software or social media. Your customers demand prompt and courteous service. Return phone calls, emails or texts promptly or otherwise as soon as possible. Kindly explain to the customer any reasons for delays.

Effective customer service also turns on your business’ credibility. At a minimum, do what you tell the customer. In that light, avoid over-promising. For example, don’t tell the customer you’ll have the car repair finished at 3 p.m. unless that is realistic. In fact, under promise by telling the customer the car will be ready at 4 p.m., then strive to finish by 3 p.m.

To grow your customer base requires that you connect with them, both before and after the sale. Your buyers want, in addition to quality products, your understanding of their values, needs and themselves. How you speak to them through your marketing and interaction determines the strength of your bonds with the customers.

 
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5 Ways to Brand Your Small Business with Traditional Marketing

In 2017 one simply cannot deny the importance of digital marketing. Aside from giving you an astounding amount of data to analyze, a much greater outreach and far superior conversion rates, digital marketing also has the power to give you an incredible outreach. Unfortunately, it also has one significant downside.

Namely, seeing how all the interaction between you and your clients takes place in the digital world, it is much harder to establish trust between two parties due to depersonalized outreach methods of digital marketing. This is particularly troublesome when it comes to B2B outreach. With this in mind, here are five ways in which you can help the brand of your small business with traditional marketing.

1. Face-to-face meetings

Speaking of the B2B, decisions made here are usually as rational and calculated as possible, however, the impression you make in person may play a great part in this equation. For this, you may want to learn how to organize face-to-face meetings. Before you even start, you need to set some basic parameters, like the objectives of the meeting, who the attendees are and how you are going to measure the successfulness of the meeting. Once this is settled you need to focus on the execution, which starts with making a great first impression and following up accordingly. Keep in mind, however, that in order to set yourself apart, you need to find a way to make a strong overall impression on the other party.

2. Telemarketing

One of the problems with email outreach lies in the fact that its recipient has no idea of knowing if it was sent by an actual person. Even though not every mail-bot is malicious, people simply want you to set aside some time and attend to them personally. If you want them to deem you worth their money, you must first show them that they are worthy of your time and effort. Needless to say, this is exactly what you get with telemarketing. Furthermore, arranging meetings over the phone somehow seems much more professional than doing so through an IM software.

3. Promotional products

The key to every good marketing interaction lies in the idea that both parties get some value from it. For instance, when you write a great blog post, you gain an audience, while this audience gets some valuable information on the topic of their interest. In the world of traditional marketing, the easiest, and by far the most reliable way of creating value for both parties is by printing and distributing promotional products. In this way, a potential client gets something useful like a printed mug, stress ball or an umbrella with your logo on it, while you get this person one step closer to being loyal to your brand.

4. Networking

Another great idea that can help with the brand of your business lies in the notion of networking. By going to industry-related events, seminars and courses, you are likely to mingle with people from your own business niche. Even though some of them may consider you to be their direct competitor, there are also those who are willing to help a newcomer. This help can come in different forms, from redirecting additional work your way to giving you some tips on how to improve your company’s logistical infrastructure.

5. Get engaged in local affairs

Even though there is nothing that prevents you from hitting the global market right away, most startups usually start as local businesses. Here, you can go with anything from sponsoring local events to creating special promotions in your store. Be that as it may, in order to make a strong impression on the people in your nearest vicinity, you need to show them that you are deeply invested in issues and problems of the local community. Finally, keep in mind that by supporting other local businesses, you might just encourage them to return the favor. This connection stands to benefit both local market and your business.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, any list is too short to name all traditional marketing methods that are still viable in 2017. For instance, writing thank-you notes with your own hand can do wonders for your post-sale follow-up, while sending direct mail, may evoke the sense of nostalgia to work in the favor of your brand. Needless to say, when it comes to marketing, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions and in order to uncover what works best for your business, you need to do a fair amount of research.

 
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Getting Started in IT? 3 Ways to Break Into a Competitive Career

Many students graduate with IT degrees and the expectations that they’ll have interesting careers and plenty of opportunities to advance. In reality, IT roles can be just as dull and unrewarding as any other job. But like any vocation, there’s also opportunity if you go after it. Here are some strategies you can use to advance your IT career.

1. Learn to Communicate

One of the problems in many companies is that IT is operating from a different perspective. Others may rely on your technical skills, but assume that you’re clueless in understanding how business is done. You should make the effort to understand your employer’s business. Talk to general staff about their challenges and experiences, and develop an understanding of workflows and value.

You can also remove barriers by communicating well. Think about a sales course to develop soft skills that create meaningful dialog. This helps you sell yourself and your own ideas. Both staff and management will see you in a whole new light.

2. Increase Your Importance

You want to establish a reputation as the person who’s willing to do more. If you can turn failed or struggling initiatives into successes, management will come to rely on your talents. When you’re assigned a task, find ways to add a little more, such as extra functions or shortcuts in software. Remember that your end users are your customers, and if you consistently exceed their expectations, they’ll sing your praises.

You should also do your part to help others in the company, whether it’s training, providing insights, or staying late to lend a hand. By helping others, you turn fellow employees into winners, and that’s something they’ll appreciate. Those who collaborate freely become vital to many business units.

3. Become More Qualified

Acquiring new skills will increase your value to the company and your career. Find a mentor if you can, but never stop learning. Become familiar with a range of skills and step up when those skills are required.

Consider earning certifications from Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco, and other big tech companies as proof of your expertise with their products. Join organizations for IT professionals. Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date. If you’re just starting out, try to find an entry-level position with a company, such as Solarus, that will look favorable on your resume.

If this sounds like a lot of hard work, it is. It’s supposed to be that way. Yet, the sooner you get to the top, the better.

 
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