Tag Archives: business services

Impressive Marketing Campaigns

Over the years, I have had the chance – sometimes painful – of seeing many different company marketing campaigns. I have seen scans of letters that seemed like they were typewritten in the Jefferson administration. I have come upon tacky photos of business owners that would scare away Canadian geese. I have seen letterhead created with such poor-quality ink that a light rain would turn them into an indecipherable mess.

But I’ve also seen some rather spectacular campaigns. I judge a successful marketing effort by not only looking at how pretty it is or how nicely-crafted it is, but what sort of results did it get? Today I would like to discuss what makes an impressive campaign – one that achieves results. What are the common parts of a exceptional marketing piece?

First – a robust headline. Marketers have known for more than a hundred years that the most critical part of an effective marketing piece is the headline. This is the make-it-or-break-it element that hooks the consumer into the whole advertisement. You must always assume that your customer is busy and will not completely read the article – but a title is something that they can consume in a glance.

The second rule is to only send material that you are an expert in and you want to be known as an expert on. This is a common misstep that I see many marketers make. Pick the area that you wish to concentrate on and send information on that particular subject. This means that if you are a law firm, you’re not handing out cooking recipes and baseball game schedules. When you zero-in on what you want to be known for, potential clients start to remember you as the expert, the professional for that sort of service.

You must develop an expert look. Quality does count. If you haven’t taken the time to make yourself look like a true businessperson, what message are you communicating? You’re saying to the world that you are not serious. Get your business branded and your outreach printed professionally.

Include your contact information on all your outreach. Give your buyer the liberty to choose how they are comfortable contacting you. There are customers out there who will never call your telephone number, which prefer to only use email. The opposite is just as true. Always make it as easy as possible for your customers to find out more about your services and products.

Finally, include a good image. In most businesses this is just required. If you’re in a person-to-person business, your picture communicates your interest, expert appearance, and unique energy through your materials. Clients do business with companies that cultivate a sense of connection to their wants. An image is the most direct way to start this process in your marketing materials.

To put this all together – imagine you have an advertisement from two different real estate consultants. One agent’s neighborhood mailer has a powerful headline. It’s imprinted on stand-out glossy card-stock with memorable real estate branding. It includes current market numbers and commentary geared towards couples who want to live near the action of downtown. It includes a website address for more in-depth information, e-mail and telephone number and a photograph of the agent or a representative property. Now, hold that piece of marketing up against the dime-a-dozen, commonplace, corporate-branded, cheap paper ad that delivers a sports schedule like what many agents mail out. If you’re the potential client, which one are you going to remember and feel confident contacting first? That’s the very effect that you need your marketing to have.

The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones brings over two decades of experience in the real estate industry. With expertise in strategic marketing, business analysis, real estate branding development and real estate training, Denise is nationally known as the go-to for all things “real estate.”

What Are Your Thoughts When It’s Time to Do Marketing?

One thing I’ve been struck by from year to year is that the word “marketing” means different things to different people. For example, some think of a sleazy sales agent “marketing” products. Others think about robust sales systems that are far beyond their reach. Still others think of flashy trademarks, colorful graphics, and pretty letterhead.

My definition for “marketing” is direct. Marketing is “the process of getting your business recollected and wanted by the consumer.” Period.

Marketing is easily the most significant task of your business. Without it, you haven’t any business. And yet, most business owners still don’t correctly value it. Most business people have a building to work out of, a car to drive, business cards, a scheduler, and a work station. But only a few have an actual marketing plan that they habitually implement.

Too many of us hang up our marketing hats after one unpleasant experience. What we frequently fail to recognise is that marketing isn’t just an art. It’s a science as well. If something failed to work, there’s a reason. And with a database, it’s simple to test what works and what does not. Just look at your responses. What worked well? What did not?

Be true with yourself. When was the last time you sent anything to your clients on a reliable basis? When you did, what type of results did you get? If they were less than stellar, did you consider why or did you simply stop sending things? Whether or not your marketing campaign is badly designed, you’ll still find you get a little reply if you have been sending things out consistently. Consistency is king. This is why I tell new business owners “Just build a list and start sending.” Do it even if your materials don’t look like they’re from Madison Avenue. When you are able to afford to make them shine, they will.

If you’re getting repeatedly bad results from your marketing, then you may need a marketing make-over. This could be adding a signature style to your advertisements and marketing materials, making them stand out from all of the “cookie cutter” ads out there. Maybe you need to switch the content you send out, replacing it with genuinely beneficial information rather than empty pictures that say nothing. Maybe you need to find better prospects for your database and eliminate others.

Ask yourself, is my marketing unique? Open up a newspaper and take a look at the advertisements section. Does anything stand out? Mostly it’s an ocean of look-alike commercials, but here and there are people and companies that stand-out from the masses and proclaim, “Here I am!”

But it really isn’t enough to just stand-out, you must also communicate what makes you different from everyone else. What do you do best? You have got to to develop a niche. For instance, if you’re a real estate agent that focuses on working with first time buyers, then your real estate branding needs to reflect that. By focusing in on a particular audience, you will get that specific group to run to you because they will see you as “one of them” and your numbers will grow.

Never forget that you too can be a good marketer. Consistency, differentiation, and being memorable are the keys to a successful marketing plan. Marketing doesn’t need to be a headache once you have a robust plan in place. Just work the plan and you’ll accumulate results.

The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones brings over 20 years of experience in the real estate industry. With expertise in strategic marketing, business analysis, real estate branding development and real estate training , Denise is nationally known as the go-to for all things “real estate.”

Spring Preparations for Your Company – Clean Up Your Act in Time For Summer

It is that season of year. The sun’s in the sky, the flowers are budding, birds are building their nests and the salesmen have emerged from the winter to sell the new “newest and best” hand-held toys to hungry small business owners, a reliable sign of the present season.

Ah, spring. Time for rebirth. And high time for some spring cleaning, especially in your business. Here are some tips for managing the debris in your small business:

Spring Cleaning Tip 1: Look in your marketing tool box.

You most likely don’t need any new “gadgets”. Inventory your current possessions. Do not believe in the new schemes, software, and suspicious market data being sold on each street corner. Focus on gradually promoting yourself as a valued expert and work on developing your unique business brand. If you have not taken time to put together a brand, this Spring is the time to take this essential business step. If you are a real estate agent, get real estate branding, if you are a small clothes shop, get branding that distances you from the other clothes shops.

Spring Cleaning Tip 2: Update your database.

You’ve been putting this one off, but it is vital to get to it. Open up your database and lose any names that are false, have moved away, aren’t great prospects, or you simply don’t want to do business with them. At the close of the day, you want to have a clean streamlined database of your best prospects and satisfied clients.

A streamlined list is not always a huge list. You have to be sure you are sending info to leads who really want it and that can really use it, and are excellent prospects for your business.

Spring Cleaning Tip 3: Clean your e-mail box.

If our email boxes were suddenly converted into real mail boxes, the contents would fill our entire yard (back and front) with opened envelopes and junk mail. I am aware this is a pain, but it’s got to be done. Go through your email box and find everything that is significant – agreements, contracts, and legal documents. Save those in actual files on your PC (as well as print a physical copy and file it), and then hit DELETE for the rest.

Spring Cleaning Tip 4: Ask a challenging question.

Bring together all of the marketing you sent out over the past year. Sit down. Take a deep breath. Now, look at it – every piece! Ask yourself, “What has this marketing done for me lately?” Did it create replies? Did it strike the right tone for your business? Was it professional enough?

What goals do you want to get done in your marketing this year? Is it time for a totally fresh look? These are all valuable questions and the answers may very well surprise you. We typically put blinders on and “just keep going” with marketing materials that are not sending the right message about our business. It’s vital to stop and appraise whether or not you are on the right course.

Maybe you need to “simplify to multiply”, meaning less is commonly more. In other words, often we need to “simplify” our marketing so as to “multiply” our returns. Are you sending out too much? Are you sending too often? Marketing shouldn’t ever break your bank. After all, you’re in business to generate a profit. Maybe it’s time to think about what’s actually necessary and what could possibly be eliminated.

Spring Cleaning Tip 5: Dump technology you don’t really need.

I have claimed it before, I will say it again: Ditch the latest and latest “gadgets” that you might think you must have, but might be cutting a hole in your wallet and in your time. For example, do you know what I make notes on? A yellow note pad! Costs 49 cents from your local office supply store. Call me a luddite, but my yellow note pad works-with no batteries or replacement memory disk!

So, get out your brushes and mops. Scrub that business of yours. Make it shine. Dump the excess. And get outside to enjoy the weather!

The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones brings over twenty years of experience in the real estate industry. With expertise in strategic marketing, business analysis, real estate branding development and real estate training, Denise is nationally recognized as the go-to for all things “real estate.”

Why You Want a Marketing Campaign For Your Business

How long does it take to form a business? If we are looking at the paper-work to be filed then in the present online world you could be a business with only one or two hours of work. You’ve got an idea of what service you would like to perform, there is the beginning of a business outline completed, you have aspirations of how much money you may make, and you’re anticipating a bright future where you can enjoy the flexible life of being a business owner. Congratulations!

Wait a moment! You are determined not to be in that fifty-percent-plus group of small businesses that don’t make it, right? Then put on the breaks for a bit because there’s one thing that you definitely need to think about – how are you going to stand apart from the competition? If your profession is a real estate agent, then you want real estate branding. If you are a car repair shop, you want car repair branding. If you’re a catering service, your catering service needs branding. The point is – branding is what makes you distinctive, it is what sets you apart from your competitors, it is what makes you stand out.

What’s a brand? A brand consists of a look, a feel, a design, a consistent image, and something impactful to the customer. A brand visually shows what your small business is about to potential clients who know little about you and the look of your brand provdes a narrative about your business style.

Let me give you an example; you either love or hate Donald Trump, but as an example of someone who gets branding, he’s someone who truly knows what he’s doing. From day one he associated a certain image with the Trump name and he spent the subsequent twenty-five years building it up. When you hear the name, immediately you think of NY property, skyscrapers and business ventures.

On a completely different level, what quickly comes to mind when you hear the name Starbucks? Straight away, you can almost smell the dark coffee, hear the jazz music and see students with their laptops studying for examinations. Whether you’re in Seattle, Boston or Chicago, you know what to expect when you walk in the door. Starbucks is another fine example of branding.

For many small businesses, the common fear of building a brand is that they will be limiting their market. The reality is completely the opposite. When you build a brand, you open your market in ways that you cannot see now, in ways which will provide benefits to you in your business future.

Early on, Trump decided he was going to stay out of a certain segment of the market – flat out NOT SELL to them. Did this hurt him? No, it brought more business because the clients who wanted precisely what he sold – exclusive luxury residences – gathered to him for it. In a similar way, Starbucks ignored the “donut-and-cup-of-joe” crowd, leaving them to Dunkin ‘ Donuts and Krispy Kreme. By doing that the clients they wanted – professionals and scholars with eclectic tastes – ran to them.

Think about you and the customers you would like to serve. It’s more than hanging out a flashy sign that claims, “I’m the best!” The best what? What’s your specialty? Investors? Thirty-somethings? Mull it over. You may get more business than you ever thought by literally building a brand that ignores certain segments of the market. The best way to do so is with a solid marketing campaign that targets your best prospects with the right branded message, one that makes you stick out from the competition.

The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones brings over two decades of experience in the real estate industry. With expertise in strategic marketing, business analysis, real estate branding development and real estate training, Denise is nationally recognised as the go-to for all things “real estate.”

Discover the Potency of Visual Branding

Now, more than ever, we live in a visual society. From the “MTV Generation” to today’s obsession with the internet, getting spotted is all about having visuals – graphics, colors, designs, pictures, fonts and more. The old adage that a picture tells 1,000 words hasn’t ever been truer than it is today. Your business must form a visual bond in the minds of customers or it risks being forgotten and overshadowed by businesses that are able to create a visual impact.

Do you know who does not do an excellent job at visual marketing? You might be stunned because their product is something that strongly sells on sight and product display – real estate agents. All too often, real estate branding looks precisely the same because agents almost always use the same branding that their franchise makes available. They are wishfully thinking that personality and reputation will set them apart, but if their customer has not met them yet, how will they ever know what it is that makes that agent different from the rest? The successful agent is the one that exercises the power of visual marketing and learns the way to distinguish themselves from the ocean of lookalikes.

Visual marketing can be as straightforward as a color, a design, a theme or just a font. When consumers see it, they instantly think about you. Really great visual marketing is when they don’t even have to see the whole picture – just a tiny part of it makes them recognize you quickly. For instance, the main colors of Google’s trademark – blue, red, yellow, green. Take those colors and arrange them as squares in the exact same color pattern with no display of lettering and many consumers will still think of Google’s brand. The brand is so basic and powerful that it survives even outside of the context of their search page.

Who else does a good job of visual marketing? McDonald’s. Their visual marketing package is complete from the design of their restaurants, the color of their worker’s uniforms, to their smiling mascot and his gang. When you see their golden arches emblem, you right away think about their business, their product, and the atmosphere that they project. That is their brand. Starbucks also has done a phenomenal job with their visual marketing. No matter what town you are in, when you see their logo, the recognition lights go on in your head and you think of coffee. Their visual marketing efforts tell a story to you of what you can expect when you engage with that company.

A typical myth of visual marketing is that it has got to be an incredibly stunning image. True – that does not hurt – but it doesn’t need to be the best and not even the most beautiful. It needs to be seen, consistent and different for it to have traction in the minds of buyers.

So take some time and consider, “What is it about my business that makes me visually stand out?” Mull it over for a few days and forget that you may not be the top business in town. Don’t be ignored by your possible clients. Learn how to think and market visually.

The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones brings over two decades of experience in the real estate industry. With expertise in strategic marketing, business analysis, real estate branding development and real estate coaching , Denise is nationally recognised as the go-to for all things “real estate.”

The 5 Qualities Send Out Cards Needs To Have Before You Partner Yourself With Them

Are you fully aware of Send Out Cards and what they have to offer you as an independent business owner? In this article, I am going to outline 5 things they must offer you as a business owner so that you can succeed big time in your own business.

Quick Point: I am writing this article from a third party perspective so you can be rest assured that I am only writing from a place of truth with the intention that you get all the facts about Send Out Cards so you can build a thriving business of your own.

You can think of this article as kind of like a checklist for yourself – a way to determine if this is an opportunity that will allow you to build wealth for yourself in your own business.

So, let’s dive right in:

#1: Needs to have a product/service that gives people real value, even if they don’t build the business. Ask yourself this question: Would you buy their products and services even if you were not a distributor for them? The answer better be YES!

#2: Needs to have products and services that people (customers and distributors) think twice about getting off the auto-ship. This is extremely important because this is what leads to RESIDUAL income!

Residual income is the bets part about building a network marketing business. So, be sure Send Out Cards can offer you this type of long term benefit.

3: Has to be a business that is simple to get across to anyone looking at either the business or the products. Remember, we are dealing with the masses here. Everyone learns differently, so you need to make the Send Out Cards can speak to people at all different modalities.

Just make sure that you have all the facts regarding the company before you make any commitments.

Number 4: Must offer a compensation plan that is powerful enough as to reward their Reps, BUT also smart enough so they are solvent enough to stay around for the long haul.

To sum it up, ask yourself if they rewards you based on your own production as well as helping others produce and succeed?

Number 5: This is very important. Are there leaders in the field, as well as the corporate team, who are willing and able to help you with their time and resources. I personally like when a company’s corporate members are obligated to also build the business just like the Reps are. The reason I like this is because they are in the field seeing the real issues and problems going on, as well as what is working. They have perspective on the business instead of sitting in an ivory tower.

The last part of this equation is that there should also be training systems into place in geographic areas where there is lots of business growth and development.

So, there you have it my friend. These are up there as the top 5 Musts that Send Out Cards as a company supporting you and your business needs to have in place so you have the best chance at big time success. THOUGH – You need most importantly, cutting edge marketing skills.

IMPORTANT: (See below for FREE bonus training for you): There are certainly more aspects (cutting edge marketing) that a business like Send Out Cards must have in order to succeed and be a top earner in the network marketing industry.

To get your FREE access to the special training on Send Out Cards, then visit Eric Henderson’s world class Sendout Cards training needs to kick your competitions butt starting RIGHT NOW.