Tips on Credit Card, Credit Card Debt, Credit Card Application and anything related tocredit cards.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

There's Not A Bulletin Board In Existence That My Mortgage Marketing Program Doesn't Like

Yes, I love bulletin boards. Now, just so you know...I'm not talking about "electronic bulletin boards" found on the Internet. That's a different topic for another day. I'm referring to those old fashion "cork boards" that in order to post notices require the use of push pins, thumb tacks or even staples (a bulletin board no no).

Today in some cities, bulletin board marketing is so hot that there are companies that exist for the sole purpose of providing this service to people who want their signs posted on bulletin boards. These service companies also distribute your fliers in stores and shops and post them in windows and hand them out at concerts and events. In some cases they'll help design and plan your promotion and even write and distribute a press release for you.

If a service like this is not available, the bulletin board idea is still a winner. Just do it yourself! The cost is extremely low and your investment is only your time and energy. This is still one of the all time great origination ideas for Mortgage Professionals and the returns are great.

Here are a few things to think about if you're considering about implementing your bulletin board marketing program:

1. Every townhouse and condominium complex has a bulletin board. Your job, should you wish to accept it, is to find the location of that bulletin board and gain access to it. You may find it in a common laundry area or even located within the clubhouse or pool area. If so, you may need permission to gain access and post your notice. Have no'll find that this is rarely denied. Remember, you're providing a valuable financial service to the residents and the complex itself.

2. Apartment complexes also have bulletin boards. Unfortunately, you probably won't be welcomed with open arms since you're really trying to help qualified renters move out of the complex. But, I have on occasion found a forward thinking property manager that allowed my notices to be posted. Their logic: They can't prevent qualified renters from looking at home ownership as an, why not allow the postings. Don't forget to remind the property manager that you track your leads and that you never forget the source of where those mortgage leads come from. I'm continually amazed at the good things that can happen when you just ask.

3. Bulletin boards can be found in hospitals, fire and police stations, Laundromats, supermarkets, local building supply stores (Are there any left?), plumbing supply, electrical supply, bookstores, company employee lounges, waiting areas, your local Dunkin Donuts (mine has a great one), and a myriad of other locations where people happen to congregate.

4. Every business has a bulletin board and it may be accessible by employees only. Should that be the case, ask an employee or the manager to post for you. Remember, you're providing a valuable service not only to their employees but to the company as well. All companies want to retain their good employees and home ownership and/or good financing guarantees they'll stay in the area for the foreseeable future.

5. The notice that you post needs to be on the small side. A full page flier is usually too big as it over powers and dominates the bulletin board. You'll probably find full page fliers removed within minutes of their placement, so don't even go there. Half page fliers are better and postcard size fliers (Avery postcards 4.25" X 5.5") are the ideal size. You could thumb tack multiple business cards or cards especially designed with your message however, your message size is severally restricted and your response will be low using this size.

6. The best responses come from fliers that have a multiple "tear offs" at the bottom. You've seen them and probably torn one off and placed it in your wallet or purse as a reminder to call. This extends the life of your little flier as it won't disappear with the first person interested in your offer. Yes, it's a pain to set up initially, but once it's done, it's done forever. Your little flier is ready to work for you for many months and years to come.

7. Lastly, visit your bulletin boards on a regular basis and treat them well. Replace notices that show wear (and tear :-) and those with only a couple tear offs remaining with brand new ones.

You've worked hard to gain access to your bulletin boards...maintain them well...and, you'll be surprised at how well they will reward you and your mortgage business with good solid mortgage leads.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Using the Article Marketing Net to Brand Your Business Best

Want your business to prosper – Try article marketing services

Article marketing service is one of the most successful forms of internet marketing. There is no denying the fact that internet marketing is a sure-shot way to boost up business sales and catch the attention of thousands of potential customers around the world.
Internet marketing article for small businesses is a very economical and convenient way for people who don't have enough time and resources to publicize about their business. Putting up original articles online related to the subject of the business guarantees cent percent success. There are several articles marketing websites which can be used by people to gather necessary information about any subject. These sites also serve as a platform for several budding and experienced content writers who can submit their articles on these websites and earn profits through them.

Advertising article marketing is an important step to be taken so that the articles submitted online are being read by people. Until masses are aware of a particular website, they are not going to visit it. Strategic marketing articles are mostly preferred by business companies. These articles publishes original content about a business house, its policies, products dealt with and other terms and conditions which may be desired by a reader cum potential customer.

There is a kind of article marketing net operating online which is immensely favored by individuals as an instant source of information. It will not be an exaggeration to call them as niche marketing articles as they help a particular company to advertise and make themselves popular online. This form of marketing strategy article can be used by any lay man who wants his trade to grow and earn huge profits through internet marketing.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

How to Become a Postcard Marketing Ninja

If you are reading this introduction, it's probably because the article's headline did its job. That's what you must do in your postcard marketing campaigns, and you must do it in five seconds or less. This is where direct mail headlines come into play.

What's a Postcard Marketing Ninja?

Postcard marketing ninjas are rare. At last count, there were only about a dozen of them worldwide. So while you may never actually join the ranks of the postcard marketing ninjas, you can certainly adopt some of their practices -- and by doing so, you will elevate your postcard marketing program to new levels of success.

Postcard marketing ninjas have truly mastered the art of direct mail marketing with postcards. As a result, they can achieve response rates that "mortals" like you and I can only dream about. But we can certainly emulate them to improve our own success.

Postcard Headlines - A Tool of the Ninja

Your postcard headlines are a great place to employ ninja wisdom. Direct mail postcards must grab the reader's attention with the promise of something gained. With only a glance, the reader must understand what he or she has to gain by reading the rest of the postcard. Otherwise, the postcard will be tossed aside. Postcard marketing ninjas never have their postcards tossed aside, so we must strive to be like them.

Here are some ways to sharpen your headline to a fine point, thus transforming it into a highly effective tool for postcard marketing success.

Make Your Headlines Simple and Clear

Complexity is the enemy of direct mail headlines, so keep your headline simple and straightforward. Your recipients should get your point and understand the benefit right away. They should not have to read the headline twice or scratch their heads over it. Rewrite your headline until it's as clear as possible at first glance.

Follow the Rule of Ten

The Rule of Ten suggests you should write your headline ten different ways, and then systematically eliminate the weaker ones. You can eliminate them in a number of ways. Try reading them out loud to see if any sound awkward. If so, remove them from the list. Then try showing the other to friends or colleagues (or to test subjects, if you really want to get fancy). Ask which one motivates or interests them the most, and why.

Repeat this until you narrow your list down to the top three headlines. Then put the list aside for at least a day. When you return to it, ask yourself the questions below:

  • Does my headline offer a benefit?

  • Is that benefit crystal-clear?

  • Does the headline identify my primary audience in some way?

  • Is it interesting enough to move the reader into the message?

  • Does it suggest something of value to my reader?

  • Does this headline identify my primary audience in some way?

  • Is it honest and relevant to my product or service?


Headlines have the power to make or break a postcard marketing campaign. Postcard marketing ninjas know this and treat their headlines accordingly, honing them until they are razor-sharp and on-target. Write them. Revise them. Hone them. Track and test them. And then start the process over again. You can't afford to do anything less.

* You may republish this article online if you retain the author's byline and the active hyperlinks below. Copyright 2007, Brandon Cornett.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tracking Direct Mail With PURL's

Direct mail is effective but notoriously difficult to measure. Once a project is dropped off at the post office, it seems to fall into a black hole. Until recently, the best you can do is to pay attention to how often your phone rings and evaluate the return on investment through gut feeling.

New options are available to help measure your direct mail project more objectively. Personalized URLs or PURLs represent a new way to track, test and tweak your campaigns.

What is a PURL? Think of it as a mini site devoted to your direct mail campaign. If your company has a website at, register a new domain at (or whatever else you like) and build your PURLs there. Using a company like MindFire Inc or BlueTreeDirect, you can set up a page for each member of your mail list. Then you can print postcards or flyers with your prospects' personalized URL right on it.

Once they arrive at their PURL, you prospect will be greeted by name. You can also show different content to different members of your list. This can be useful when you're introducing them to their territory representative or trying to cross sell relevant products to your past customers.

By sending them to a PURL, rather than your main site, you can view the results of your mail more closely. Using reporting features, you can see which prospect responded to your mail and when they responded. You can see what they clicked on and how much time they spent there. You can also set up triggers so that a sales representative gets an email the instant a prospect clicks on a certain link.

With so much trackability, you can test different offers and see which one gets the best results. Or you can add or remove pages based on how long users stay on the site. By fine tuning your project, you'll enjoy better results on your direct mail campaign.
PURLs usually cost $.04-$.08 each to set up so they are an affordable solution for most businesses. Take advantage of this new technology and get more control over your next direct mail campaign.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Vital Point of Joint Ventures

You've decided to enter into a joint venture (JV). That's great! If you think it through carefully and take the time to treat it like a brand new business, your JV could help your business grow exponentially.

The most important thing to remember when entering into a JV, as with any new business venture, is to think through and carefully lay out every part of the effort. The No. 1 most important thing -- and this is absolutely vital -- is to make sure that every single detail is in writing. Keep in mind that if it's not in writing, you will not have a road map to getting started on the right foot, keeping to the straight and narrow, reaching your goals for success and eventually dissolving the partnership if necessary.

These are the three essential documents every joint venture must create: 1) a joint venture agreement; 2) a business plan; and, 3) an exit strategy.

The first document, the agreement, is really a contract. You and your partner will create a legal document that outlines and defines the entity you are forming. It will list the goals of the venture, each side's responsibilities, how long the JV is expected to last or the circumstances that would lead to its demise. It also will cover how revenues and profits will be split, and everyone will want to know that up front.

Because of its legal nature, some legal counsel is advisable for both parties. You and your partner may be able to draft the agreement together. However, it's a good idea for both partners to have independent legal counsel review the document before it's signed. This will help protect the interests of both partners.

If you decided to draft the agreement with your partner, look for a good template or checklist to help you. There's so much to cover that some important items could easily be missed. Templates and checklists may be available through your lawyer or local business organizations, or you can search for them on the Internet.

Then there's the business plan. This document absolutely requires the presence and input of all parties in the agreement. Writing the document can also be fun, because it outlines all your future plans, such as goals, revenue benchmarks and what each party is bringing to the JV. The business plan will also outline how you intend to fund the venture, and how you plan to acquire loans or other outside money if necessary.

Even if you are flush with cash and don't need external funding, it is absolutely vital that you write a business plan. You and your partner will refer back to this document time and again when you are reviewing your progress and planning your future. You can also look to the business plan to watch the progress of your day-to-day operations, such as management, human resources and communication strategies.

When they're done right, business plans can be long -- and often complicated. If this is your first time creating a business plan, it is advisable that you do plenty of research or hire a professional writer. There are writers who do nothing but write business plans for people just like you, and they are easy to find on the Web. Plus, a professional-sounding business plan has a greater chance of getting funded, if that's what you're after.

Sadly but truly, you will also need an exit strategy. Don't worry, you aren't condemning yourself to failure by thinking about how it might end. The average joint venture lasts about seven years, and they end for a myriad of reasons. Your JV might have an expiration date when you write your initial contract, or someone's circumstances may change -- you might win the lottery! You just never know.

A proper plan for an exit strategy will protect both partners' assets and trademarks. If you brought a trademarked item into the partnership, you want to make sure to leave with that trademark intact. Even better, if you decide to sell the JV for a profit, you want to make sure the profit-sharing details are square from the start.

Your exit strategy must specifically state who gets what when the JV ends. It also needs to include a list of events that might signal the end of the JV, like reaching specific goals, certain changes in the market, or selling the company. Again, this is a document with a lot of legal ramifications, so it's best to have your lawyer review it.

When you go about it the right way and put all these aspects of your JV in writing, it will ensure that you walk out of the agreement with everything you had when you walked in. Creating these documents also reveals a sense of your professionalism and commitment to success. Most important, they will keep you and your business partner from fighting a nasty legal battle if and when the partnership is over.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Can You Smell Trouble

As a consultant and trainer I'm often called in to new business scenarios. On these occasions it is part of my job to help clients understand how 'big' their opportunity is.

What I have observed is that sometimes my client doesn't really understand where their service (or product) fits into the market. Or why people will want it. Or what the price should be.

To me, that smells trouble… for my client.

The Situation

One example is a fellow with a technology/IT background. He is an expert in computer network installations and problem solving.

Now he wants to launch a range of products into that field. He has asked for help to prepare a 'marketing plan'. He thinks the plan will make his product a success.

However, he doesn't really know who will be the buyer for his products, or how many they will use, or even if his expected customers will want them. At the moment he just has a "great idea". But he is ready to spend money on a marketing plan.

My advice for him is that his first step should be to understand the basics of his market – and where his product fits into it. He can do this for little or no cost.

Take Responsibility

You see, as a business owner or entrepreneur you have to take responsibility for getting your business moving. You must understand the essential elements of what drives your clients to buy and use your services or products.

Don't make the mistake of asking someone else (like a consultant) to magically do this for you and produce a marketing plan without your input. Unless you fully understand – and accept – how the plan has been prepared and the recommendations it contains, you wont be committed to implementing it.

And if you don't implement it you will have wasted your money on preparing the plan.

So what can you do?

Take a smaller step before commissioning an expensive marketing plan.

My Recommendation

My suggestions for the IT client mentioned earlier are listed below. You can take the same approach for your new business idea, new service, or new product launch. Make sure you understand:

Who will be the buyer? (not always the customer/user of the product)

Who are the competitors, and what are the differences between you?

How much are your customers willing to pay?

How will you supply/service/distribute your product or service?

Can you manage the expected level of demand?

How are you going to sell it? (Online, in person, existing client base, etc)

Sure, you might say these questions should be answered as part of the marketing plan. To a degree you are right. But you don't need to leave it to preparing an entire marketing plan to gain an understanding of how 'big' your opportunity will be.

If you can do some research first and identify these key factors, then you will be far more confident in commissioning the marketing plan. Plus you will avoid wasting money on something that was on the wrong track to start with.

Most businesses need to check many facts before making decisions to commit large chunks of resources. In this case spending thousands of dollars on production of a marketing plan may not be the first thing that should be done.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Chiropractic Marketing Changes Forever On July 15th

Have you caught wind of the news?
Some doctors are panicking about the pending price increase
hitting us on July 15, 2007.
Meanwhile, other doctors are chuckling with delight.
What price increase am I referring too, and why are some doctors
excited while others are totally bummed?
The answer in a second.
First, a quick chiropractic marketing question...
What is the worst number in the entire chiropractic profession...
especially chiropractic marketing?
Yeah... the worst number... what is it?
Do you have any idea?
At a loss?
Ahhhh, I'll just give you the answer.
The worst number in the entire chiropractic profession (and
chiropractic marketing, in particular) is the number ONE.
ONE of anything in the chiropractic profession is a bad thing.

For example:
ONE person in your office who knows how to use your computer
system... a bad thing.
ONE business in your area responsible for all of your
professional referrals... a bad thing.
ONE patient-attraction method for your office... a bad thing.
And, ONE chiropractic marketing medium used to promote your
office... a bad thing.
Think about it like this:
Anytime you have ONE of anything you and your practice are
extremely vulnerable.
What happens if the ONE person in your office who knows how to
use your computer system quits.?

Then what?
What happens if the ONE business in your area who's referring
people to your practice decides to stop referring?
Then what?
And, what happens if something radical happens with the one
chiropractic marketing method or chiropractic marketing medium
you're using right now to promote your practice?
Then what?
I'll tell you what...
And, that's what some chiropractors are doing right now as we get
closer to July, 15, 2007.
What happens on July 15, 2007, you're wondering.
The postage rates for direct mail go up again, that's what. And,
some pretty significantly.

If you have the stomach for it, you can get a quick glimpse at
these new price increases by going to the United states Postal Service website.
Frankly, for the doctors who have yet to embrace the Internet as
a serious chiropractic marketing medium, these postage increases
are just another shot to their pockets.
But, as history has shown us, this is what happens to businesses
and professional practices when they rely on just ONE marketing
method or medium.
When something happens or changes with that ONE approach they're
screwed (excuse the frankness).
How the chiropractors relying on just offline chiropractic
marketing don't see the power of the Internet to grow their
practice is beyond me!

I mean, let's look at the statistics:
* 70% of American adults already use the Internet. That currently
represents about 141 million people.
* 91% send or read email and 91% use a search engine to find
* 65% of American adult Internet users, about 92 million people,
use the Internet on an average day (that is, on any given day).
And, those numbers are certainly only going to increase as more
and more people come online everyday, right?
Add into that the fact that with the Internet it costs pennies to
reach those people compared to offline (direct mail), and,
online, those people can be reached with video and audio messages
at no additional cost, and it should become obvious why the
Internet has quickly become an explosive marketing vehicle for

This is why the chiropractors who are using the Chiropractic
Dashboard are chuckling about the postage rate increases.
Because it doesn't effect them in any way.

It helps them because they know that some of their competition
who relies solely on direct mail to promote their practices will
either stop using direct mail, reduce what they're doing right
now, or simply make less money from their current chiropractic

Either way, the docs using the Internet benefit.
The moral of the story:
1. Never rely on ONE of anything in your practice. It makes you
vulnerable. And, it's only a matter of time before that ONE thing
is changed, tweaked, altered, etc., leaving you panic stricken.
2. Start promoting your practice online today. No longer is it
the wave of the future in chiropractic marketing. It's here now!
Think about it.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Vector vs. Raster Graphics Files

Vector Files

Vector files are made of mathematically drawn vectors. These files can be scaled to any size without losing quality. Your image edges remain crisp and smooth no matter how large you make a vector file. Logos and type for print should always be sent to design companies as vector files so that they can be blown up to the appropriate size without loss of clarity. If you send raster files to a design company, your graphics will probably be sent to you with pixelation. For this reason, you always want to send vector files to any design company.

Here are a few common vector file extensions: .eps, .ai, .ps.

Raster Files

Raster files are made up of colored pixels in the same way a mosaic is made of colored stones. Digital photographs are always raster files. Raster files are more difficult to enlarge. If image enlargement is needed, there will be a risk of pixelation, which is a very undesirable thing for graphics. I recommend raster files be sent at 100 dpi (dots per inch) or more at 100% scale (the actual size your graphic will be printed) when sending your files to any printing house or graphic design company in order to avoid this problem.

Here are a few common raster file extensions: .psd, .jpg, .tif, .bmp, .gif, .png

Documents created with PhotoShop, Paint, Fireworks, and similar programs are always raster files, which are not suitable for large format print work. It is always best to have a vector file whenever possible.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

True Value Creation And Your Customers - An Alternative To Close More Sales

Communicating VS Creating Value

Sales forces have justified their existence by communicating the value of their products and services. If a sales rep communicated product/service information and functionality to customers, the conventional thinking deemed those actions as value creation in the selling process, because the customer was educated and learned how they could benefit by using a particular solution or service. The problem with this feature approach of communicating value is caused by the decline in differentiation between products and services. With prevalent commodification in many industries (let me pick in particular on the building automation industry), the communicated benefits matter much less to customers. Value migrates from the solution to the price and a competitive procurement process.

So, sales forces must go beyond communicating the value of features a company or solution provides, and finding ways to create new value by thinking outside the box. To create value companies need to find ways to increase the ability to deliver "well differentiated benefits". The problem is that a great deal of value propositions presented are canned, and unique benefits that translate into great value are uncommon. To this end, it is not enough that sales leadership commit themselves to a value creation agenda. They must know what it is that they are committed to - that is, what they must do. These obligations cannot be delegated, and action is required. Some ideas on how to work smart and establish a true value creation agenda include:

  • Target and engage customers early in the sales cycle to be able to influence the outcome, and not be reactive to opportunities at the 11th hour.
  • Train sales force on problem solving skills and proper selling approach to diagnose problems and needs well.
  • Institute account management disciplines for high potential and high penetration customers.
  • Find ways to reduce cost though Six Sigma initiatives that include the entire value chain, and not just the supply chain.
  • Implement "Lean Enterprise" initiatives to further reduce costs and translate those saving into competitive advantage, or new sources of gross margin.
  • Web enable progress, and value reports to communicate the implementation of solutions/services.
  • Invest time and resources on face-time spent with customers to build better bonds.
  • Apply Gaps Model of Quality to services marketing initiatives to further differentiate services.
  • Train leadership on common and special cause variation to gain knowledge on value creation and the removal of high performance barriers.
  • Matching Strategy to Customers

    Having a proper model for customer segmentation vis-à-vis value creation is essential, so that resource allocation is not an impediment to selling efforts. Huthwaite makes a compelling case for how value migrates depending on the customer. So, who are transactional, consultative, and enterprise customers? That is the known unknown that even well trained and talented sales forces and managers have to figure out. How many times have you seen a heavy investment in selling effort turn out to be a losing proposition? This can be the result of misplaced attention on trying to persuade a customer with very clear ideas on a transaction, where the value is low cost and no more. Time must be taken to understand how the customer defines value, and how to generate new insights by diagnosing problems and needs. The answer at times is to walk away by recognizing that you can not be everything to all customers, and using limited time and company resources to work on higher probability projects.

    Interestingly, a failure mode of sales organizations is not recognizing that different approaches to selling are needed for different customers. The research by Huthwaite points out that when there is a value perception misfit no amount of selling skill, clever strategy, or well-crafted value proposition can bridge the gap between what a customer wants and what a supplier has to offer. In today's environment customers demand more value than ever, so it's imperative that a sales force must align its values with those of the customer. Sales forces must learn to further segment customers according to the way they perceive and define value.

    Traditionally sales forces have survived well by dividing customers by geography, size, vertical market, or specific products and services. However, as the world of sales continues to evolve the advantages of classifying sales efforts under the headings of transactional, consultative, and enterprise is not an option anymore if you want to win more sales. A sales force that creates new value by addressing accurately how a customer measures value, or brings a new consultative element of knowledge that can help a customer improve their business metrics will be in a better position to win against a less sophisticated competitor. Unless the approach to creating value corresponds with the needs and value perception of customers, selling efforts will continue to languish in sales organizations lacking leadership to get with the times.

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    Tuesday, June 12, 2007

    Build Great Networks By Focusing on the Few, Quality Relationships

    It's not the size of your network that matters. What really matters is the quality of the relationships you have built. In order for networking to work effectively, you must focus your energy on building quality relationships.

    As it's impossible to build great relationships with everyone you meet, it's a good idea to start with the people you connect with and for whom you have a mutual respect.

    Focus on the Few, Not the Masses

    When you meet someone for the first time, you either click or you don't. If you do, take this as a sign to start building a relationship.

    At the same time, it's difficult to get to know all of these people. Find synergies between yourself and others and concentrate on the ones who make the most sense to integrate into your network.

    In addition, focus on getting to know the ones you believe you can provide some value. After all, helping others is one of the greatest aspects of building relationships. In time, people will reciprocate your goodwill. Nurture these relationships as these are the people who will help you to network more effectively.

    Mutually beneficially relationships are so important because you can leverage each other's resources on a regular basis. Whether you need advice, referrals, career help or a friend to talk to, your contacts should be there for you.

    If you focus too much time on having a large network, you won't be as successful in networking. Take the time to get to know fewer people very well.

    Engage Your Network

    In order to continually build quality relationships, you need to stay top of mind to people and constantly interact. Be creative and finds ways to reach out to be people. Let people know you're willing to help them.

    One of the great things about having a strong network is that you can have others help you if you can't help someone by yourself. Make sure you have good relationships with people in various industries, job functions and skills.

    The broader your network, the easier it will be to help others. It doesn't matter whether it was you or someone in your network who provided the help. The fact that you assisted will go a long way with people.

    Another good way to engage in your network is to ask people to meet you for coffee, lunch or dinner.

    It's important to have one-on-one time with people so you can get to know each other better. Make sure you get together with people on a regular basis. In fact, make it a goal to get together with one or two people each week.

    Finally, keep in touch on a regular basis by sending out an e-mail to certain people. Your e-mail should provide some valuable information about networking events, industry news or resources.

    Whatever you decide to send out, you want people to remember you. Keep in mind that certain people will reciprocate and engage with you back. When this happens, you know that your efforts are paying off to build quality relationship.

    Why the Masses Are Still Important For Your Network

    Even though you should focus much of your time and energy on building quality relationships, it's still important to be tapped into a lot of people. While you won't be able to build good relationships with all of these people, you can still benefit from each other.

    A great way to build a large network is to create an e-mail newsletter. Whenever you meet people, you can add them to your database once you have their permission.

    As long as you provide some valuable content, you will have people interested and tapped into your world. The main takeaway here is that you will have branded yourself and many people will know and respect you.

    If you ever have a need or message that you need to get out, you will be able to reach out to the masses in your network. The more people who know you, the better the chance of a favorable response.

    Also, as you are meeting people, it's good to keep their information in an electronic format. That way, if you need to find a certain type of individual (such as a tax attorney), you will be able to search your database for this person.

    Of course, it's hard to keep in touch on a regular basis with many people. However, if you have enough different types of people in your network, you will be able to connect with them when you need to. Some of these relationships may eventually turn into quality relationships.

    Final Thought

    Having quality relationships is a very important aspect for effective networking. Focus much of your time and energy on nurturing these relationships.

    It's important to constantly meet new people as some of these individuals may become great assets to your network.

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    Monday, June 11, 2007

    Copywriting Tips- 3 Speedy Headline Templates for the Super Busy

    Headlines are arguably the most important component to eye-catching copy. If you don't have a compelling headline, odds are you've lost your prospect for good.

    Ideally you should write anywhere from 50 to 100 headlines before choosing one. But sometimes you just don't have time. I have the solution. Swipe these 3 templates, fill in the right words and ta dah! Instant headline!

    1) How to ___________ (get) __________________ (the biggest benefit your product delivers) Example: "How to Make $87,000 Per Year As A Magazine Writer!" How to headlines are particularly attractive to people looking for information - which is their main activity on the Internet.

    2) Quantify it with numbers. Example: "7 Easy Ways to Save Money On Groceries Without Clipping Coupons And Running All Over Town Just For Those Sale Items!" People respond very well to finite numbers in headlines - they want to know exactly how much information they're going to get. (Note that you need to tear up the English teacher rule book here. No number is spelled out - it's all numerals. In other words, forget about the one, two, three - it's 1, 2, 3. There's something psychologically powerful to our eyes when we read a numeral that just isn't there when we read a spelled out number).

    3) If ________________________, then __________________!Example: "If You're Looking for One Convenient Source for All Your Business Needs, We Offer a Huge Selection of Office Supplies". This format almost always works because it states a problem and the solution right there in the headline. That's what people are looking for, the solution to some problem.

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    Saturday, June 09, 2007

    Effective Business Card Design for Freelance Writers

    Freelance writers need to make as many contacts as possible so they can get work to support themselves. As a result it is very important for these individuals to have an effective business card design. Business cards can be designed in a number of ways and freelance writers can really take advantage of the different options available in business card design. The following suggestions will help freelance writers determine what business card will work best for them and their profession.

    Custom business cards are one option available to freelance writers. What is important is that the right design and colors are used to create the cards. Freelance writers will benefit from making the cards look professional in addition to using graphics that relate to writing. So, a computer and keyboard is a nice graphic that may be included on these professional business cards. Any other type of graphic that you like and find appropriate may also be used. Just be creative but stick to graphics that are professional and simple. Don't get too elaborate or choose graphics that won't be considered professional by most potential clients. The last thing you want is for people to look at your business cards and think they are "cute" rather than professional. Once you come up with a graphic you like you can start deciding on the colors and fonts.

    It is best if you use a simple font so that it may be read easily. You can use a font that looks professional or fancy if you like however make sure that it is not so fancy that it is difficult to read. As long as it looks good to you and reflects your business then go for it. Try to choose colors like black, dark blue, and other similarly conservative colors. You could really use any color you want, just make sure it is professional looking. Most people will accept a variety of colors although there are some that will judge you if you don't use the traditional colors.

    As long as you follow these suggestions and include your own instinct you will have an effective business card design for your freelance writing services. If you still have questions check out different business card design sites to see what is suggested for professionals and what designs you like the most. After a little research you will surely find the business card design for you.

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    Friday, June 08, 2007

    Video Emails - "Interesting Facts"

    People remember 10% of what they read,

    20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see,

    50% of what they see and hear together,

    80% of what they see, hear and do.

    Streaming video email, LIVE video instant messaging and LIVE video
    broadcasting is the newest way to communicate over the internet.

    These products and services are predicted to be bigger than MSN, Yahoo
    and AOL. Think about this...the reason why AOL and Yahoo and even MSN
    became so big is because of viral marketing ... one person sending an email to
    another and so on. Today Yahoo has over 190 million email accounts with MSN
    close behind. All because of word of mouth. But did you ever make money from
    the products and services of these companies? Did they ever give people the
    opportunity to promote their products and services and make money? Absolutely not.

    We have a unique opportunity here. Currently about $4 Billion a year is being spent
    on streaming media. With TalkFusion we are in the position NOW. Today the
    internet is the fastest growing marketplace and video is the most effective form of
    communication on the information super highway. The internet has become the place
    where people come to communicate and find information. Video brings a whole new
    experience to keeping in touch with loved ones or meeting new people with common
    interests, business, education etc. etc. The list is endless. Studies have shown that
    using streaming videos on the internet grabs people's attention, increasing the likelihood
    that your message will be remembered.

    Please read these interesting facts again:

    People remember 10% of what they read,

    20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see,

    50% of what they see and hear together,

    80% of what they see, hear and do.

    Our product and service make it easy to use video online to effectively create powerful TV like impact online for a fraction of the cost of running an ad on TV or radio.

    Talk Fusion has developed a concept at least 40%-50% better than any other
    "competitor". No doubt about that. And very inexpensive too. Talk Fusion DELIVER Video Emails in crystal clear TV quality.

    The entire concept is EASY and SIMPLE to use.



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    Wednesday, June 06, 2007

    Networking Nuts and Bolts

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    Tuesday, June 05, 2007

    Whats Really Your Problem

    Many people that speak to me seem to have a problem. A business problem that is - not a personal one. And they're speaking to me because they want to do something about it. They want things to be better - more sales, new customers, new markets.

    "What should I do?" they ask me.

    Then comes the tough part. Doctors have to do it. Auto mechanics do it. It even happens at your local computer repair shop. It is…

    diagnosis n.
    "A thorough analysis of facts or problems in order to gain understanding."

    Most business problems are difficult to solve without an understanding of the cause. Identifying the cause, not just working on the symptom, is a critical step in creating an effective marketing process.

    Often the cause of the problem can be overlooked because of:

    Initial enthusiasm - and thinking that "we can't go wrong" when a project commences, which often leads to critical data being overlooked.

    A narrow focus - thinking that certain issues don't need to be considered, such as competitor activity, the value being offered, usage of the product/service, and trends in the business or customer environment.

    A misunderstanding of what marketing is - people are sensitive about high-pressure sales tactics and over-hyped advertising, but they're examples of poor marketing practices and are rarely suitable.

    And yes, sometimes it's hard to address the important issues. It's especially difficult when a project is already underway and there are factors to consider such as:

    Vested interests and personal ego's.

    Money already spent on research and product design.

    Stakeholders already advised.

    Potential loss of credibility, either personally or for the company.

    To really focus on the underlying challenges facing a business it is important to approach the sales and marketing function from a neutral viewpoint (as much as is possible).

    Many people find sales and marketing issues to be 'soft', with few guidelines on what/how/when particular activities should be done. In reality, many of these decisions are reliant upon the particular circumstances of the business, and a degree of subjective evaluation (sometimes called 'expertise') is required.

    But remember that good marketing practices transcend industry boundaries, and the activities implemented may vary tremendously from one industry to another, and from one business to another within the same industry. So you need to know what is best for you.

    To solve marketing 'challenges' I like the four-stage approach to problem solving advocated by 19th century French mathematician, Jules-Henri Poincaré (altered ever so slightly here for business use):

    1. Preparation - immersing ourselves in the issues, collecting and organising a diversity of data and relevant information.

    2. Gestation - developing ideas in the mind, brainstorming, analysing.

    3. Revelation - new facts are disclosed, a breakthrough insight occurs.

    4. Action - following through with plans, persisting to overcome difficulties.

    Don't forget...the objective is to find out what you really need to do to improve your sales and marketing activities. Poincaré's process itself is not the answer, but it is a path that leads to better results.

    Depending upon your situation, one or more of these stages may be quite short. But the learning that occurs through the process is invaluable. And in the hands of a skilled marketer this new 'information' can be used to refine (or re-define) the uniqueness of your business and highlight the real value for your customers.

    It is not unusual for clients to be quite surprised with the outcomes of this process. The clarity of purpose that results, and the new perspective they get on their marketing opportunities really gives their confidence a boost.

    So if you think you have a problem with your marketing, make sure you accurately diagnose the 'real' cause before you prescribe a remedy - your success depends on it.

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    Sunday, June 03, 2007

    Are You Embarrasssed To Admit You Need A Copywriter?

    It's silly, but some people are embarrassed to admit that they don't write winning copy.

    In fact, my best friend is one of them. Every time she calls me for help with a letter or her web page copy, she apologizes for needing help. She, like many others, seems to think that since she's an intelligent person, she should be able to write great copy.

    Why? I'm not embarrassed to admit I need her help figuring out debits and credits. I'm also not embarrassed to hire a mechanic for my car or a professional to cut my hair. I didn't study those things and have no talent for them. So what?

    Unfortunately, too many people who think they "should" be able to write go ahead and do it. They write their own sales letters and ad copy - with results that are often detrimental to their success. A poorly written letter can be worse than no letter at all.

    Business owners often have a second problem: time.

    In addition to thinking they should be able to write, some people suffer from thinking that they should be able to write a good letter on the first draft, or turn out a winning ad in 15 minutes -- and they should be able to do it in between other tasks that have their minds spinning seven different directions.

    When they're running a small business that might be all the time they have to devote to the task, but it just doesn't work that way.

    By the way, time is also one reason why ads produced by a newspaper sales staff or a yellow page ad salesman are often dismal. Even if they've studied copywriting and know what it takes, they don't have time to use that skill. They need to get busy making the next sale.

    The truth is good copywriting takes time, study, and plenty of thought. And after that it takes proofreading. Depending upon the subject matter, one simple sales letter could take all day to write. One classified ad could take several hours.

    It's a fact that sometimes the shortest copy can take the most time, because each word is so important. Copywriters spend hours considering words and their impact and trying to choose exactly the right ones to evoke the desired emotions in their readers.

    Quit feeling guilty because you're not a professional copywriter. Instead, keep on doing your own job exceptionally well - and be thankful that you don't have to do everyone else's job in addition to your own. Find a good copywriter who understands your business and your goals, turn the job over to him or her, and then get ready for increased sales.

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    Friday, June 01, 2007

    Modern Sticker Printing Methods

    In the custom sticker printing industry there are five types of techniques used.

    Screen Printing





    Screen Printing is a simple form of printing with a screen; originally silk which is still used, is now also done with synthetic material screens. This is a very basic and uncomplicated form of printing which is popular for custom stickers. It can be done by hand and is usually monochromatic, or limited to just a few colors. Pertaining to custom stickers, the inks used are known as ultra-violet cured pigmented colors. The image to be printed is cut out of a stencil, thus creating a positive of the image to be printed. This stencil is laid over the substrate, or the material onto which the image is to be printed. The screen is then laid over the stencil; the appropriate amount of ink is administered and then pressed through the screen with a rubber blade, also known as a squeegee. For monochromatic prints this process is only done once, for prints with multiple colors the process has to be repeated for each color after the last color has dried.

    Flexography is another name for surface printing. This process is widely used for commercial label printing as it allows for fast and high volume printing. This is done somewhat like a stamp in that there must be a reversed master image used to print. A specified amount of ink is applied to the master for each print; the master makes contact with the substrate by rolling over it and leaving the intended image. The term "flexo" comes from the flexible nature of the printing process itself. This process was initially developed for printing on uneven surfaces such as cardboard, in order to have a quality print on such a surface it is necessary to have a method of printing that allows constant and even contact with the print surface. Flexographic printing in the sticker industry is largely intended for indoor use, or limited use, such as in shipping or packaging. This includes paper, boxes, food packaging, plastic labels for bottles, plastic bags and all kinds of other commercial uses besides custom sticker printing.

    Letterpress printing is another standard of printing for stickers. This type of printing is also known as relief printing. This means that image printed is taken from a raised surface. More simply you can imply the process from the name itself; you actually press the letter to create the image. This is the technique used for moveable type printing and for set block printing as well. The Guthenberg Bible, the first book ever printed was done with this process in 1456, as Johannes Gutenberg was the one who invented the moveable type block printer. This was the standard for printing for the next five centuries. Letterpress is designed for simple, mass printing projects. This process only allows for one color to be applied at a time, so these kinds of projects are typically monochromatic or limited to two colors.

    Offset printing implies the definition of the process in its name. What offset printing means is that there is an extra step in the process. The image to be printed is not applied directly; the transfer is offset, meaning the image being transferred goes from the plate cylinder to the rubber transfer cylinder before it is affixed to the actual intended print surface. The offset printing process is used in concert with the lithographic printing process. Offset printing offers a variety of strong and vibrant colors that may be used for more eye-catching designs; this effect is produced using a four color process.

    Digital printing is the latest evolution in printing. This kind or printing allows the most flexibility in manipulation of the print image before it is printed. The print is a reproduction of a digital image. Digital printing is completely customizable from one print to the next, allowing for changes in color, editing of the image and limits the amount of wasted chemicals and paper used in the process. Digital printing inks are different from other inks used in other processes in that they are not absorbed into the print material; rather they form a layer on top of the print material.

    The inks used for custom sticker printing are specialized for outdoor use to withstand ultraviolet rays and weather changes. Digital printing allows for a wide array if colors to be used. Digital printing is easy and widely used for commercial purposes such as custom sticker printing as well as personal use and small business use. The greatest advantage to digital printing is the portability of the file and not having a need for making a master plate from which to print.

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