Category Archives: Communication

Your Biz Online Rep. Should You Care?

Should Local Business Care About Their Online Reputation?

In a word: Yes. Businesses (more often than not) sink without a positive online reputation in this connected world where shopping online is the norm and information and services are increasingly sourced. A survey(1) on the Bright Local website reveals a consumer’s pre-sale experience is just as important as the sale. It also found that 97 percent of consumers regularly searched online for local businesses and 12 percent searched the online business world every day.

This means there’s a significant opportunity here for local businesses and service providers to reach their goals, but it’s their online presence and reputation that governs where the customers shop or choose a service provider.

Many Now Judge a Businesses By Its Online Cred

Keeping track of business and molding its online presence has its own term: Reputation management. And to manage an organization’s reputation, what shows up on searches, what people say in comments and what reviews are telling others has to be watched carefully.

This has to be covered on all social media platforms, and the Bright Local survey(2) also revealed that 86 percent of those surveyed read the reviews on local business websites (including 95 Percent of people aged from 18 to 34). These figures show there is a massive pool of potential clients and customers who will either recommend or condemn your product or service. It’s a wise business person who takes the following into consideration.

Gossip is Forever Online

In the past, and in the offline world, damaging gossip was and is usually forgotten after a week, and people and businesses eventually recover from bad press over time. It’s a far different story in the online world, however.

Once a piece of information, good or bad, is released into the digital morass it’s like diamonds – it is there forever. Add to this the fact that there are some loathsome, if very clever people who look for destructive posts and take them out of context, add distorted images and release them without the victim having any idea about it.

The truth is, one adverse comment or remark, let alone a post aimed at sabotage is set in concrete on the Internet and can never be removed. No amount of positive feedback or glowing reviews can guarantee that years of hard work won’t be lost by a negative post.

People Trust Online  Reviews

It’s not exactly breaking news that the business world is highly competitive, but many businesses have yet to realize that digital personal accounts are pure gold. There was a time when a family member or friend’s recommendation about a business or service was valued and often followed.

Now we can’t wait for that, preferring to leap online and read what a total stranger has to say, and trust them more than someone in real life. To say gossip spreads like a fireball in a bushfire sounds fast, but in the digital world, it’s more like the speed of light. The thing is, a review is available instantly to 3.2 billion people, which is why a positive one can be so wonderful. However, great care should be taken to ensure your business is generating useful responses.

But like a karate champion, you can deflect a negative review like a kick in such a way that it becomes positive, by responding courteously, and clearing up misunderstandings in a positive manner. The reviewer can then see that you care about their opinion and concerns.

Another way to boost your online appeal and social media credibility, is to post a customer’s testimonials which will boost your online reputation. If you can, ask someone in another company you’ve worked with if you can use their logo on your site and get a quote from them about how great you are to work with. Makes sure you display your valuable testimonials prominently and share them far and wide on the Internet.

Check Your Business in a Search Engine

To successfully manage your online reputation you should do a search online for your business to see what appears. Someone might have written an article about your business that is far from glowing, or your site may have been linked to another one unbeknownst to you. Instances such as these can be destructive, so you should sit up and take notice because it could affect your business. This is more so if the offensive content’s source appears before your site does on the search engine, so you should regularly update your site, and make it user-friendly.

As businesses close to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19, doing business online has never been more important. Having a solid online reputation not only keeps your profits healthy, but it will help people find you and do their shopping or business online rather than leaving the house. This helps people to maintain social/physical distancing which helps to stop the spread of the deadly virus and saves lives.

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References:

  1. https://www.brightlocal.com/research/local-consumer-review-survey/

Guest Author’s Bio

 Alex Morrison has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in-depth understanding of many different industries including house cleaning, business support and digital printing. As the owner of Integral Media, he is now utilizing his knowledge and experience with his rapidly increasing client portfolio to help them achieve their business goals.

 

 

 


Biz Cards Can Catch Attention

6 Creative Business Cards Sure To Catch Attention

Having a creative business card can help you make an awesome impression with our potential clients and partners. That said, there are hundreds of design ideas out there, so choosing the best one may take a significant amount of time.

Below, we’ll go over the importance of having a business card and list 6 examples of creative business cards that are sure to catch people’s attention.

Do I need a business card?

The Importance of Having a Business Card

There is no doubt that modern society is driven by technology and innovation. Although you may think that all entrepreneurs rely on digital means to exchange information, business cards remain one of the fastest and easiest ways to build a network and create brand awareness.

Instead of having to interact with a person enough to extract their contact information or spark their interest, you simply hand them a card that has all the information they need to know.

Moreover, you can even include ways to find information, like listing a social media page or having a QR code. Just remember to avoid overloading your card and always opt for a creative design that will make a lasting impression.

There are dozens of creative business card ideas you can choose from, but you need to find one that resonates with your audience and reflects your brand if possible.

skip the business cards?

Here are 6 creative ideas for your next business card.

Translucid Plastic

Translucid materials have a number of different applications. Having a translucid business card can help create a memorable impression while maintaining a sleek and elegant look. And, you can combine this effect with colorful letters, textures, and other elements to give it more personality.

Unusual Shapes and Sizes

Most people choose a standard rectangular size and shape, but you can always take a creative approach and opt for something different. Remember, regardless of the size and shape you choose, your card should not be bulky or cause any form of inconvenience for the recipient.

Cards that Look Like Something Else

Depending on the industry you’re in, you may be able to get away with a business card that looks like something else. For instance, if you are a recognized radio DJ, you could choose a business card that looks like an old school cassette.

Cotton and Alternative Materials

Traditionally, plastic and paper are the most popular business card materials. Today, you can choose from an endless list that includes cotton and elements sourced from recycled goods, wood veneer, plastics, bamboo, etc. Aside from creating different effects on the card itself, you should also try to highlight the fact that they are made from an uncommon material.

Texture Coordination

Adding texture to your business card with some of the latest digital technology can create amazing effects like silver and gold foil and 3D varnish, but combining different textures to make a particular effect can help you stand out from your competitors. You can use this combination of textures to liven up your card and focus on the elements that matter the most, such as your contact information or business logo.

Holographic Letter and Logos

Not all companies can get away with a holographic business card, but technology firms and innovative businesses can use this effect to make a statement. Design, fashion, and other creative firms can also take advantage of this style and combine it with colorful elements or different textures that give it a unique look.

Business cards are still an effective way to connect with new prospects and generate leads within your professional network. Make sure you take the time to clearly define both your brand and target market so you can create a design that will make a lasting impression with your clients and potential customers.

 Author’s Bio

Kym Wallis, the founding director of Higher Ranking has over 15 years of advertising sales, digital strategy, and business development experience. He is currently working as Digital Adviser for Colourtech.


5 Steps to Creating a Brand-Building Blogging Strategy

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Imagine you walked into a restaurant and were simply handed a long list of everything the restaurant had to offer. Appetizers were mixed in with entrees, which were interspersed with desserts, salads, specialty drinks and even beer and wine offerings. The likelihood is, you would find this highly frustrating and unless their cuisine was absolutely divine, you would likely not dine there again. The point is, it doesn’t matter how great what you have to offer is, if you make it difficult for clients or consumers to get what they need, you won’t stay in business long.

A blog can be a great marketing strategy for a number of reasons, but if your blog isn’t strategically designed and organized well, it will largely be a wasted effort. Here are 5 steps to creating a brand-building blogging strategy. 

1. Consider the need 

No business is likely to succeed if no one needs or wants what they have to offer. The same is true of your blog. Before you sit down to write a blog or contract content, you need to consider what it is your clients and consumers want and need. If you are a large business, you can conduct market research, but even the smallest of business have access to an almost unprecedented look into the minds of their clients and consumers via social media. The best way to figure out what they want is to read everything they write. You can check reviews on both competitor websites and your own as well as doing keyword searches to see what people are writing. If you want people to read your content, you need to address the actual issues they are having or meet a need that they have in some way. 

2. Create a blueprint 

Once you know what people want to know about, you want to create a comprehensive guide. Not only will you want to link to other sites, but you will want to make sure you also provide plenty of internal links to other content on your site. You also want to make sure you aren’t posting blog after blog covering the same topic, which means you will want to create a schedule for when you want to post certain blogs about certain topics. Almost all businesses and industries will have certain hot topics or controversial issues. You don’t want to simply avoid these entirely, but you do want to weigh in carefully. You should pepper in your hot topic posts sparingly with your helpful hints or educational posts. 

3. Contract or create a range of content 

Blogs don’t need to just contain written content. In fact, you can draw a much wider audience by using video, animations, infographics and even compelling photos. You may even use a wide range of sources to create your content for you. Yes, you can repost a video created by someone else, but you will get far more mileage out of creating one or having one created for you. There are a wide range of sites like fiverr where you can contract to have videos or animations made or make your own with services like Animoto or Moovly

4. Use a multi-user organizational system 

Whether you are creating your own content or working with others to create content for you, you will want to develop a system for curating your content that can also help you post, move and organize your content. For instance, you may have a blog on tap that is scheduled to post later in the month, but an industry event suddenly makes it immediately timely and relevant. If you are using a system like Office 365, you can use OneDrive to collect and store content, as well as allow multiple users to edit or curate content. You can automate emails through outlook and see in a glance what is scheduled to post in an Excel spreadsheet. When you need to post something that becomes immediately relevant, you can access it from anywhere, post it, send it out in a mass email and update your spreadsheet so everyone can see at once the changes you made. 

5. Test, tweak and develop 

A good strategy is always going to be interactive, largely because your audience is unlikely to respond in ways you expect them to, no matter how much research you put into developing your strategy. The good news is that advanced analytics can actually tell you how your content is landing with your audience. Analytics can tell you who is interacting with what content and how and where it is being shared. The best part about modern analytics is that it can actually follow content across platforms to tell you how and where it is being shared or interacted with the most. This will give you a better idea of who your target audience actually is, so you can tailor even more content specifically to that audience. You may have an idea going in of who your target market is and you may create content for that market, only to be surprised that you are an even bigger hit someplace completely unexpected. Analytics can help you see what is actually happening versus what you originally thought would happen. 

There are few things in life that will ever be effective without a good strategy. We create to-do lists because they help us effective organize how we accomplish our daily tasks. A restaurant menu is divided into sections to help you effectively and efficiently find what you are looking for. Without a good blogging strategy, you are likely to find yourself without an audience.

BIO: Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate tech enthusiast. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie enjoys reading about the latest apps and gadgets and binge-watching his favorite TV shows. You can reach him @bmorepeters


Is New Media Good or Bad for your Family

IS MASS MEDIA AND THE INTERNET HELPING OR HURTING YOU?

Since the internet, and particularly smartphones, became household commodities, mass media’s impact on people and societies has increased exponentially.

As you might expect, there is a swinging pendulum of public opinion which often shifts from decrying the ills of this trend to extolling the many virtues of on demand technology.

Whether you tend toward the former or latter opinion, it’s obvious that mass media and social media are having profound effects upon individuals and society as a whole. Many people are concerned about the implications of these effects, and find themselves asking questions like:

  • How is media affecting me?
  • How is mass media impacting the next generation?
  • How do video games change us?
  • How does on-demand media impact health?
  • Is mass media truly important?
  • How do we use mass media and social media well?
  • Is mass media a good thing?

Something Different Companies phone usage Answering these questions can help you to be smart about how you interact with the constant barrage of media being directed at you and your family.

So let’s think through the implications of mass media together so that we can come to informed conclusions.

HOW DOES MASS MEDIA AFFECT YOU?

Many are wondering mass media, and social media, in particular, is a good thing or bad thing. Of course, for every type of media, there are a host mixed opinions, some based on research, some not. Neil Postman was asking these same types of questions over the mass adoption of the television.

A positive use of technology and mass media enables people to become informed, collaborate in innovative ways, or stay in touch with friends and family. Yet, these same connections can be used for dangerous cybercrime.

Social media can help people to feel connected and happy, to connect with old friends and make new ones. However, that same social media can lead to depression or anxiety, when life doesn’t meet the expectations created by perfectly edited profiles.

The internet may be a source of motivational messages, videos, or blog posts that improve your life and increase productivity or healthy living. However, it’s just as possible that these very messages can prevent you from getting out there and living.

These are just a few examples of the vastly different ways media can impact our daily lives.

Because mass media affects each person differently, you need to look at your own life to make informed decisions.

Where do you fall on the pendulum? How does your use of social media affect your mood, productivity, and sense of well being? If you tend more toward the negative impacts – depression, anxiety, inactivity – it may be time to limit your media consumption.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF MASS MEDIA ON CHILDREN?

Television is the best researched area of mass media effect on children. It has the how is media affecting childrenpotential to help and to harm, as is true with most media types.

Many negative effects have been recorded, and kids often spend more time watching television than on any other activity. However, if the television time includes educational programming and parent supervision, the power can be harnessed to help with learning and have positive effects.

With this in mind, parents must think critically about how their children are consuming television. Are they largely involved in what and how often their children are watching, or is it more of a hands-off experience?

This is perhaps even more important to think through now that most “television” consumption consists of Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming platforms.

Making the decision to be diligent about these decisions now will improve children’s interactions with television, and prepare them to interact well with other types of media as they mature.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF MEDIA ON TEENS?

Media often is described as harmful to teens, and while this is certainly true in some circumstances, it can be best understood as having mixed effects.

The key is to be aware of how mass media and social networking affect the brain so that you can make intentional decisions about how to use it.

Some positive effects include:
  • Motor skills are improved by typing, clicking, playing games, and other tech-related finger skills.
  • Hand-eye coordination or even quick thinking can be helped. (Future drone pilots)
  • Access to mass news media can improve reading skills.
  • Social network activity is theorized to improve writing and socializing skills.

Additionally, the content of media stories or social media posts can be useful and meaningful to teens. With platforms like YouTube and Instagram, they have access to people’s stories they might never have heard otherwise. In this way, teens may learn that many others are experiencing similar struggles to their own, giving courage and confidence.

However, there are significant negative effects as well.

Negative effects include:
  • Depression or anxiety over body image
  • Normalizing violence
  • Unfettered access to pornography
  • Increased risk of obesity from inactivity
  • Decreased attention to schoolwork

Knowing about these potential risks of social and mass media consumption is important for both teens and their parents. In this respect, knowledge really is power, as it will enable both parties to be strategic about the role of media in their lives.

Read more about media communication master’s in communication options.

WHAT ABOUT VIDEO GAMES?

Video games are a frequent concern, particularly as technology continues to advance affects of video games on youthand gaming becomes more and more realistic. Research shows some mixed effects from video game use.

Though the problem solving and dexterity skills employed can lead to higher intelligence or better motor skills, the violent or other disturbing content in games is of high risk to well being. It’s established that seeing violence can desensitize one to its effects.

As with other types of media mentioned, it’s critical that parents exercise caution about what types of games their children play and how often they do so.

DOES MASS MEDIA DAMAGE HEALTH?

The proliferation of mass media and electronic devices has had profound effects on Health Appshealth. There are numerous physical problems which may arise from this consumption, particularly if left unchecked.

The effects of smartphones often first show up as eye strain and neck pain, the inevitable result of constant screen-time and often slumped positions while using these devices. Obesity is a risk if much time is spent in sedentary activity.

Some research shows links between mass media consumption and anxiety and depression. There can be a change in happiness, social skills, and peace of mind that is attributed to media and the internet.

It is most important to monitor your happiness and health and correlate them with your own practices so you can make informed decisions for your or your family’s well being.

HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY?

There are many recommendations for being wise with media consumption.

Parents must be familiar with current sites and channels, and the types of content that their children come into contact with. Ask questions and browse with your child. Set clear and appropriate ground rules for young ages, which then build a strong foundation for future responsible use.

Make sure to discuss the difference between fantasy and reality with your children. If exposed to gratuitous violence and sexuality, children and teens should know these are fantasy, and not the norm or real life. The dangers of violent and risky behavior should be a topic of conversation.

For almost any age from 1- 99, limiting media to a few hours per day is reasonable and enforceable. Discuss education, values, and the intrusion of media regularly with your family.

Conclusion

There is no definitive answer to whether mass media is “good” or “bad”. Research has shown that it can have both positive and negative effects, and often these effects are dependent on how the media is being used and consumed.

The solution isn’t to totally cut yourself off from all mass media or to wholeheartedly embrace every facet of it. Rather, it must be carefully analyzed and evaluated. If you’re a parent, you need to help your children understand both the positives and negatives of things like video games, social media, and streaming television.

Unless you plan on moving to an isolated island with no internet connection, this issue isn’t going away. The best approach is to tackle it head-on, rather than hoping things just work themselves out.

Many people are choosing to engage with mass communication head-on with master’s degrees in mass communications. It’s with this progress we are able to understand the effects of mass media and other emerging social channels have on society currently and in the foreseeable future.

 

Anna Kucirkova Guest Blogger: “Anna Kucirkova speaks 3 languages has a passion for kids and writing. While she has been to many places in Europe and SE Asia she still wants to explore the rest of the world.”

 


5 Instagram Tips You Can Glean From the Pros

With over 500 million active users per month, it’s clear that Instagram is no small player in the world of social media. There is plenty of potential for brands to leverage and broaden their outreach. But how do you cut through the noise and navigate a platform with such vast scope? You learn from the pros, of course. Here are seven Instagram tips that your competitors are already following right now. By taking these on board, you will be well on your way to mastering Instagram for your own brand.

5 Instagram Tips You Can Glean From the Pros

Are you on the lookout for content marketing advice to improve your overall strategy? Check out our previous post.

Show what your online business does in a creative way

Show what your online business does in a creative way

credit: fedex

Instagram is the perfect social channel for you to showcase the visual element of your brand. No matter what you do, there will be a creative way for you to document and showcase it. Consistent, visual storytelling cuts through the mediocre noise on Instagram. To grab people’s attention and build an audience that anticipates your next post, you need to get creative with how you share your ideas and tell your brand’s story.

Take FedEx, for example. This brand successfully uses images of their delivery service and combines it with posts of happy customers receiving parcels and flowers. This tactic not only makes an otherwise rather functional and unglamorous service look attractive, but it also serves to tell the brand’s story by giving it a human face.

Brainstorm the different processes your business is involved in, and how they affect your customers. With this information, you can create stories and come up with ways to creatively show how your brand’s day-to-day operations work.

The most successful brand storytelling involves bitesize micro-stories that tie into your brand’s values, mission and customer experience. You want to develop a strong brand presence on your Instagram feed that represents your overall brand image. Check out this post for more examples of visual storytelling.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with Instagram stories

Instagram Stories are a new function, recently rolled out across the social network, which allow you to use a slideshow of videos and images that remain accessible for 24 hours. This feature is in direct competition with Snapchat’s stories, but has the additional benefit of being linked to Instagram profiles. This means that with an Instagram profile for your brand, you have the opportunity to not only bedeck your feed with visual marketing, but to get creative with film and a story to really engage your audience.

Here are some things that you should know about Instagram stories:

  • Stories are displayed at the very top of your follower’s timelines
  • They can be used to display your behind-the-scenes content. This is often less staged and lower quality than the permanent posts on your profile
  • The story function really enables you to experiment with different types of content and see which gets the most engagement. Photos, short videos, Boomerangs, Rewind videos, and live videos are all available for you to get creative
  • The additional functionality of face filters, text and stickers allow you to really customize your posts and make your mark. It’s very easy to edit your posts on the go

Your posts will autoplay in the chronological sequence they were added, and you can post an unlimited number of times. This feature only works on the mobile app. Check out these unique brands to see how other people are making innovative use of Instagram Stories.

Take your audience behind the scenes of your business

As mentioned, brand storytelling is a really great way to interest your audience and add an extra dimension to your image. The more story you can provide, the more you open your brand up to engagement and conversation.

Some customers are naturally curious about where their products come from, and this is the perfect opportunity for you to answer their questions with your Instagram feed. For example, if you are a Fairtrade company, you could show your customers where you source your raw materials from.

Take your audience behind the scenes of your business

credit: fairtrade USA

The Fair Trade USA instagram does this to great effect. This non-profit organization shows exactly who crafts or handpicks the raw materials that go into fairtrade certified products. By doing this, their target audience can buy these products, safe in the knowledge that they are cruelty free. This kind of story is what evokes empathy from audiences and encourages them to buy products.

If you have an interesting brand story, don’t be afraid to show it off. Perhaps you started off as a hobby crafting jeweler to help keep food on the table? Let your audience know about your story and why you started your brand. Any kind of shareable information that connects you to your audience is very useful for social media. 

The power of micro-influencer collaboration

The power of micro-influencer collaboration

credit: mary orton

Another really great way to broaden your outreach on instagram is to harness the power of collaboration and employ an influencer. Micro-influencer collaboration aligns your brand with their values and mission. This often works more effectively than using hashtags, as the act of following hashtags is often more manual for the user. Banana Republic promoted its clothes to audiences that are defined by their sense of style and interest in fashion. The micro-influencers selected were fashion and lifestyle focused, and this helped Banana Republic to reach a large, but targeted, audience of consumers.

Micro-influencer marketing might be the biggest thing this side of 2017, but don’t worry – you don’t necessarily have to part with a large sum of money to hire their services. Consider offering them some free products to sample, and perhaps they will post to their Instagram feed or story without payment.

If you want to integrate micro-influencers into your marketing strategy, there are a few things you should know first:

  • You should consider whether your chosen micro-influencers fit in with your brand and values. Ultimately, you want to piggyback from their established presence and gain access to their following. You need to be sure that their demographic is the right one for you to gain maximum ROI
  • If you are a local or smaller business, consider finding micro-influencers from your local area, with a local audience. This would allow you to be hyper-targeted with your outreach
  • When searching for the right micro-influencers to work with, you should aim for followers with a similar amount of followers to you, otherwise, you may risk not being taken seriously

 For more tips on how to collaborate on Instagram, this article is for you. Once you’ve decided which influencers to target, it’s time to make contact. Consider emailing them directly, rather than direct messaging them on Instagram. Emails tend to get higher response rates, as direct messages are often overlooked.

Analyze the performance of your posts and build on them

As with any marketing strategy, it’s really important for you to analyze the performance of your Instagram posts to make sure that you’re barking up the right tree. You need to make sure that you are spending your money in the right way, broadcasting the right kind of content, and targeting the right audience.

There are many apps and subscription services that allow you to track hashtags, engagement levels and mentions of your brand on social media. Keyhole tracks all of these, and even integrates seamlessly with online store creators like Shopify. This means that Keyhole can access all of your ecommerce business’ data in real-time, and give you the most up-to-date reports. Trackmaven is another great product that puts you in the driver’s seat of your social feeds.

Whether you choose to go down the micro-influencer route, or have a go with Instagram’s new story function (or perhaps all of these ideas!) – don’t forget to consistently analyze your engagement levels. The truth will be in your metrics, and data is essential to constantly improve on your marketing strategy and make sure you’re investing your budget in the right areas.

Which of these tips will you take onboard? Let us know in the comments.

Guest Blogger: Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer.

Brand Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer. Victoria Greene is an ecommerce marketing consultant and freelance writer, working with large brands to grow their reach. She loves sharing her expertise with other entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them reach success.


6 Best Practices for Promoting Events

A well planned, well communicated and well attended event can help an organization thrive and a business grow. Yet, I receive event notifications on a regular basis that are missing information, poorly timed, and offer too many reminders. Why is it so hard to get it right? Let’s take a look at a few best practices for promoting an event.

1._Create an event fact sheet. This should include all of the relevant facts such as date, time and location, as well as who should attend, where to J.R. Atkins talks about event communicationpark and who to call or email with questions. This list can be used to develop a press release and other forms of marketing communications as well as sharing with people and sponsors you are recruiting.

2. Develop a marketing communication plan at least 90 days out from the event. Your event may require more or less time depending on the J.R. Atkins on event planningevent, but 90 days is a rule of thumb as it allows time for event publication by relevant resources and printed materials. For best results, once you have confirmed the venue, develop your marketing communication plan. It is easier to deal with plenty of time than not enough time.

3. Send out a “save the date notice” in plenty of time. The bigger the event, the more notice people will need. For a major fund raiser or “annual J.R. Atkins says send out save the date noticesevent” publish the date on your website 12-14 months in advance and send out save the date notices several months in advance. As an example, an annual charity event may announce the date 12 months out but not release the theme, entertainment and other details until just the right moment to generate excitement.

4. Use “reasonable” frequency. One organization I belong to sent me 5 or more emails about the same event during the 30 days leading up J.R. Atkins warns of too many emailto it and they were the same email. Yuck! First, once a week is sometimes too often and second, the message needs to be different in every email. I wonder why I do not receive an invitation on Facebook or other mediums? Over communication often leads people to tune out and unsubscribe. By using multiple communication channels you can stay in front of people without driving them crazy. Use your website, email, social media, print and mail for really big events.

5. A picture is worth 1000 words. Make sure to use images that tell the story of the written content. This will create the best a picture is worth 1000 wordsimpact. For an even better impact, use a short video, less than 60 seconds, to promote the event. People will share your pictures and videos if they are done well and are relevant. PDF formats are often used to share event information, but remember they are an image and the details in the image are not searchable and someone cannot cut and paste the details into their calendar.

6. Use a professional online registration tool. It is common practice to offer registrations on your website or through an event registration tool. J.R. Atkins recommends eventbriteThese tools will increase your revenue and help manage the details. If your members like a hands on approach, you can still take their information over the phone or in person then enter it into the online tool. I have used cvent and Eventbrite, or check out the list by Capterra.

I could list more but I think these are the big ones I see being missed by well-meaning organizations. I welcome your comments, suggestions and success stores.

Good luck with your next event.


Atlanta Location Added for Something Different Companies

J.R. Atkins has presented to the USMC Advertising groupIn March 2015, J.R. Atkins of Something different Companies opened an additional office location in the Hapeville area of Atlanta. Expanding to meet client needs drives the expansion of Something Different Companies which provides consulting in the areas of marketing and communication. J.R.’s specialties reside in the areas of social media, websites and mobile apps backed by a strong background in sales and marketing.

The new Atlanta location for Something Different Companies is located at 1031 Virginia Ave, Atlanta, GA 30354

J.R. Atkins speaks at University of Phoenix Dallas CampusOver the last 6 years, many clients have been small to medium sized business of 1 to 100 employee range although the company has worked with a few major clients such as The United States Marine Corps and The University of Phoenix.

As an author and speaker, J.R. Atkins speaks approximately 50 times each year at conferences, association meetings, Chambers of Commerce and private companies. J.R. also teaches social media and marketing at Universities and has published three books Success Simplified, Social Media 2.0 and Roadmap to Social Media 2.0, Author J.R. Atkins, social media ROISuccess.

Reach out via email, social media, snail mail, at a meetup, by phone or video conference. Coffee, lunch and cocktails are always good too.

To book J.R. Atkins as a speaker call 214-7070-1705 or send an email to jratkins@SomehtingDifferentCompanies.com


Creating Graphics for Business Growth by J.R. Atkins MBA

As someone delivering Social Media, Websites and Online Marketing, I find myself in need of creative graphics on a regular basis and I have found some resources you might what to check out.

1. JRA Visme ProjectVisme: Think of Visme as a perfect marriage between Microsoft PowerPoint and Adobe InDesign; ease of use meets professional design. Their clean graphic website will walk you through the three easy steps to create your first graphic image and includes a nice short video to help you get started. Use the Visme tool set to create:

  • Infographics
  • Presentations
  • Charts & Graphs
  • Web Banners
  • Animations
  • And more

The free version allows you to create 3 projects and is a great way to check it out. If you like it and want to upgrade, the Standard Plan is $4.50 per month and the Complete Plan is $14.25 per month, no too much when you consider the competition.  I’m hoping they will preformatted projects for cover images for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ as I am tasked to create these often. Below is a sample project I created in less than five minutes. Let me know how Visme works for you.

2. Fivver: If you are more into outsources than “DYI” then check out Fivver. You hire someone to do you graphic for you at very low prices, like $5.00. The prices goes up as you add requirements but you still can get graphics delivered in a few days for less than $50.00. Again, not to bad when you consider other alternatives. Here is a recent example from Fivver that ran me $5.00 and took 4 days to complete.

Social Mead posting by J.R. Atkins 

 

3. Design Class: Most class work in design requires the student to create projects for real companies. Most will have a digital portfolio to show you how their skills and talents are developing. Why not let your brand benefit from the bright minds of tomorrow’s professional designers. Just Google “InDesign Classes” in your area then contact the instructor about student projects with your organization.

This example Portfolio is from Ashley Denton at Texas State, San Marcos, TX

 Ashley Denton recommended by J.R. Atkins

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Travel with J.R. Atkins to Holy sites

 


The 25 Best CRM Apps

A friend shared this article on CRM Apps – Customer Relationship Management Apps and I thought I’d share it here for my readers and clients.top CRM solutions with J.R. Atkins Click on a category below to learn more about the strengths of those CRMs or jump to an app directly by clicking its name.

Link to the original article: https://zapier.com/blog/best-crm-app/


J.R. Atkins, thinking inside the box

Box Thinking: Inside or Outside?

J.R. Atkins, thinking inside the box“Thinking outside the box” is such an over-used term yet I still hear it used to describe looking at life, a systems, a product, a problem or an issue in a new or different way. But, to think outside the box, don’t you need to understand what is in the box? Check out the list below and see if you can think of additional material that should be in or outside the box.

“Inside the Box”

  1. Current Methods & Procedures
  2. Current Customers & Prospects
  3. Current Employees & Recruits
  4. Current Products & Services
  5. Current Information & News Sources
  6. Current Ways of Thinking & Communicating
  7. Current Locations & Resources
  8. Current Culture “The way we do things”

J.R. Atkins thinking outside the box“Outside the Box”

  1. Any New Approach, Order or Method
  2. Any New View or Perspective
  3. Any New Way of Thinking
  4. The Opposite of the “Inside the Box” Thinking

 

For one to be good at creating, innovating, inventing, developing… you must be able to suspend your current beliefs long enough to see the world in a new way. In Seth Godin’s recent book “The Icarus Deception” he writes of the balance between our comfort zone and safety zone and how we must get comfortable with new realities or our new safety zone. He goes on to say that success in the new era goes to those that “create ideas that spread and connect the disconnected.” J.R. Atkins recommends The Icarus Deception

As we enter 2014 my hope for you is that you are able to create remarkable results with remarkable ease. Perhaps you can think outside the box to new highs in your career by looking at what is already in the box.

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