Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Recognizing the Power of the Business Card

business card, marketing

In the technological world of social media, smartphones and internet marketing, there are those who believe the old ways of physical networking are long gone. Gone are the days of personal meetings, door-to-door sales and even chance encounters. Hello to the days of quick messages, email signatures and, of course, the “like” button.
But despite everything the world of technology brings with it, there’s one marketing tactic that will never go out of style: the business card. The business card is an important tool that’s useful for companies and individuals alike. But just how powerful is the business card? Let’s find out.
Business cards promote your brand.
Whether you’re an individual employee or the CEO of a small enterprise, a business card is always a vital necessity to have on you when out and about. There are limitless possibilities and ways to design your business card, so whichever way you choose, make sure it is true to your personality and your personal brand.
Whether it’s paper style, font or size and shape of the card, the choice is up to you. Be careful in choosing a shape that’s toounique; lots of people still have card holders, and if yours doesn’t fit, the likelihood of it sticking around is slim. Make your card creative and unique, so it stands out from the crowd and catches people’s attention. Then, no matter where your card goes, you can be sure it will be promoting your brand and image to everyone who sees it.
Business cards show you’re serious.
You may be thinking, “I’m just an average person; I don’t meet a lot of people. What do I need a business card for?” Well, for the few people you do meet, business cards show you’re a serious candidate for all potential professional relationships. With today’s work connections being almost entirely online, a business card shows you care enough to go the extra step in person and on paper, too.
Whether you’re interviewing for a position, networking at a career fair or simply having a conversation with someone you met at a restaurant, a business card shows you take yourself seriously and you take your work seriously. Employers and business associates will see that and appreciate it even more.
Business cards build relationships.
Of course, one of the largest advantages to having a business card is it builds a relationship with everyone you encounter. By handing out your business card—intentionally, don’t just go all willy-nilly—you’re telling the individual you want to continue this encounter in the future. Obviously, your business card will have all your basic contact information, so recipients can continue to reach out to you and further the relationship even more.
Business cards establish connections.
Finally, while business cards are part of the physical world, they also establish connections through the online world, as well. Make sure to include your LinkedIn information on your card, and encourage others to connect with you. This helps build online connections, so you can continue to reach out to them later on, without having to remember, “Oh, dang, who was that person again?” So, to recap: (1) build relationship in real world, (2) connect in online world.
The business card is a powerful little marketing tool that’s great for individuals, companies and brands. If you don’t already have a business card, now is as good a time as any to make your own, go out and start networking.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Why your business should be on LinkedIn

marketing, printing, social media, Minuteman Press

We all know about Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram, and hopefully your small business is on at least one of these social media outlets.

However, there’s one platform that can sometimes be overlooked, but is the most beneficial to your professional brand: LinkedIn.

LinkedIn provides a valuable tool for individuals and businesses to connect, generate leads and build their brand. It allows your company to network current and potential employees, as well as interact with other businesses in your field and beyond.

If you want to grow your business and market through online communication, here are a few reasons why you should implement LinkedIn into your social media strategy.

Other companies are using LinkedIn.

First and foremost, your business should be on LinkedIn because other companies are as well. According to the 2015 State of Marketing report, LinkedIn is the third most commonly used social network for business owners.

At least 62 percent of business owners reported they use the platform, and an additional 22 percent said they intended to use it in 2016.

For business to business marketers especially, LinkedIn has surpassed Facebook as the No. 1 most important and used social media platform.

If your company wants to tap into a wide-reaching number of businesses and establish potential networking relationships, then LinkedIn is the way to get your name out there.

Employees can find you on LinkedIn.

According to Forbes, over the past five years, the use of social professional networking sites for recruiting has exploded. According to LinkedIn itself, these sites have seen a 73 percent increase in job recruitment usage, compared to only a 15 percent increase for internet job boards and a 16 percent decrease for staffing agencies.

For employees currently in the job market, LinkedIn is the place to go in search of new opportunities. If your business is on the hunt for fresh new talent—or even if you just want to throw your name into the hat—LinkedIn is where you need to be.

Your brand is more visible on LinkedIn.

At the very least, LinkedIn provides another outlet for your brand to be visible on. Logistically, LinkedIn helps to increase your business search visibility online.

An optimized LinkedIn company page increases your chances of ranking in Google’s search engine, which boosts your business’s website and drives more lead generation.

Businesses, potential employees and customers are easily able to find your business on LinkedIn, which showcases your brand and can even promote your products or services.

You have a professional outlet on LinkedIn.

More than any other social networking outlet, LinkedIn gives your business a clean, crisp and professional image.

While consistently updating your website can be daunting, sharing mission-driven content on LinkedIn can easily become a part of your social media marketing strategy.

Post news updates, share blog entries and even promote sales at your location, all through a professional and engaging lens—with specifically targeted consumers.

If your small business really wants to upgrade its marketing performance, jump into LinkedIn to see just how far social networking can take you.

Grow your company and promote your brand visibility with a professional, optimized LinkedIn account.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Five lucky St. Patrick's Day marketing ideas

St. Patrick’s Day is this week, which means businesses and storefronts everywhere will be decked out in green decorations, shamrocks and pots of gold.

Of course, the holiday does provide a significant opportunity for marketing and advertising.

How can your small business get in on the action of marketing during St. Patrick’s Day? Here are five ideas to get you started and bring in the luck of the Irish.

1. Go green on social media.

Enjoy free marketing and advertising for small business by turning your social media green this holiday. Share a St. Patrick’s Day quote, meme or picture to show a lighter side of the company.

You can even try out different posts on different media, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, to see which drives the most engagement. Have fun and don’t be afraid to show your goofy side when sharing and promoting on St. Patrick’s Day.

2. Host a St. Patty’s Day giveaway.

One easy way to drive traffic to your website or storefront is through a St. Patrick’s Day giveaway. Whether it’s hosting a social media contest, website challenge or in-store promotion, giveaways are an awesome tool to bring in consumers and turn them into customers.

Choose something desirable to give away, but still be sure to tie it into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit. For example, a restaurant may offer a chance to win a supply of green beer. Whatever your small business decides, have fun with the holiday and promotion.

3. Hold a leprechaun trivia contest.

Everyone loves a good ol’ fashioned trivia contest, and St. Patrick’s Day is no different. Host a holiday trivia contest either online or in-store to see who can get the most answers right, or can answer a tough question correctly.

Winners can be entered for a prize, or enjoy a small sale to celebrate their victory. The first step is finding humorous fun facts about St. Patrick’s Day. Second step is advertising the contest and letting your customers do the rest.

4. Give green day deals.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a holiday without some great deals to take advantage of. Promote your small business this week by giving good green day deals. Tie the deals into St. Patrick’s Day as much as possible and see how many customers come streaming in.

5. Get in the storefront spirit.

Finally, get in the spirit of things this St. Patrick’s Day by decorating your storefront with green shamrocks, leprechaun hats, rainbows and pots of gold.

Create some unique store signs and displays for the holiday to draw viewers in and engage them with your business. The more unique and creative, the better turnout you will have.

This St. Patrick’s Day, promote your company by trying out some of these lucky marketing tactics. Go green this week and grow your small business with a little bit of luck of the Irish.

Printing and Promotional Items

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Class is Out: Marketing to college students on Spring Break

Minuteman Press

Ah, the elusive college student—every marketer’s dream. Difficult to engage with, even more difficult to identify with, but once you find an in to the college student’s world, you’re practically guaranteed consistent business from an unwavering source.

In just a few short weeks, every college student will be enjoying spring break, a week of relaxation, rejuvenation and free time for shopping.

How can your small business tap into this time and get noticed by college students? Check out these tips for how to market to college students during spring break.

1. Give away free stuff.

If there’s anything college students love, and we mean really love, it’s free stuff. Free gear, products or services draws students in and makes them inclined to buy from your business later on.

This is pretty powerful, considering the college market brings in about $208 billion annually (OnCampus Advertising). Reach out to college students during their spring break by offering promotions or giveaways for them to get involved in. Once they’re engaged with your business in a positive light, they’ll like the products and be more excited to buy from you next time.

2. Use social media.

A 2015 Pew study found that 92 percent of teens and college students go online daily. The majority of these online hits are through social networking platforms, e.g. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 77 percent of college students alone go on Snapchat every day.

When it comes to small business marketing during spring break, this is a huge opportunity just waiting to be tapped into.

If your business wants to engage with college students, you need to be where they are: on social media. Use social platforms to promote your products, services, new sales or even just to engage with consumers and potential clients.

Especially over spring break, social media can be used as a tool to market your business to younger generations.

3. Play on spring break survival.

One fun and lively way to market to college students over spring break is to promote “spring break survival.” Spring break is often known as one of the biggest party seasons of the year, and your business can play off this by offering “survival gear.” For example, Her Campus Media created a “Spring Break Survival Kit” which included popchips, nail polish, lip conditioner, razors, shave gel, perfume and gum. Even things as simple as these can turn into a huge hit with the right marketing spin.

4. Go non-traditional.

College students are bombarded by advertisements and sales on a consistent basis. If your small business wants to get through the hubbub and reach potential customers, you need to think out of the box with a unique, non-traditional method. Consider guerrilla marketing, word-of-mouth and especially direct social media campaigns. The more creative, the better it will spark college students’ interest over spring break.

5. ...But don’t forget the classics.

While creativity is king, classic media can be as well. According to StudyBreaks College Media, 84 percent of college students surveyed redeem coupons or specials they see in magazines or newspapers; 90 percent have read a magazine or newspaper in the last month.

Don’t be afraid to test out a print ad as well in reaching out to college students, which will also prompt viewers to research online and via social media.

This spring break season, make sure your business is ready to tap into the huge potential market that is college students. Try out some of these tactics to get your business noticed and generate customer revenue. Enjoy the sun this spring break by promoting your business.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Should your business take a stand on controversial issues?

In the world of small business, it can be difficult to avoid controversial or offensive topics. You definitely don’t want to isolate consumers, but you may also have a specific customer in mind for your business.

After watching companies like Apple, Starbucks and Chick-fil-A, the question remains: should your business take a stand on controversial issues? Today we’re going to talk about pros and cons.


When it comes to taking a stand on a controversial topic, there are definitely some pros that could help promote a small business. This is probably the greatest positive of a brand taking a stand: it shows your company’s conviction.

Current customers and potential consumers can know that your small business has values and that you stand by them. Whether they agree or not, many consumers may appreciate your decision to take a stand regardless.

Secondly, controversial topics are popular. If we look in the media, we can see controversial issues being discussed in depth all over the place. When your business puts its name into the mix, it increases your chance of being seen and—more importantly—heard.

Capitalizing on recent events gives more visibility to your brand and can boost engagement simply because consumers are more aware of what your company stands for.

Finally, many customers who do agree with your company’s stance will probably deepen their relationship with your business when they find your position. For example, according to Forbes, 20 percent of adults between 26-35 years say they’re more likely to shop at companies whose social-political stances mirror their own.

While your opinion may isolate some consumers, it may engage even more, and build up positive relationships with customers you’re more interested in working with.


Of course, with the positives comes potential negatives of your small business taking a stand on a controversial issue. Because for every customer who agrees with your position, you run the risk of customers not agreeing with you, and therefore writing off the business all together.

According to Entrepreneur, people don’t separate individuals from businesses. As a small-business owner, your thoughts and opinions are in the public sphere, and for every opinion you express, the business is automatically linked to it.

And vice versa.

If your small company takes a stand on an issue, your employees could be adversely affected, because they are seen as part of the business, rather than simply connected to it.

In addition, the public never forgets. If your small business has an opinion now, chances are it will be brought up again… and again… and again.

Once your stance is open to the public, it’s out there for good. This can have especially negative effects if at some point in the future your business tries to work with a new partner, find a different employee or get involved in something that may seem “hypocritical.” When it comes to the sphere of public opinion, consumers can be unforgiving and they don't forget.

Finally, your message may even be misinterpreted. Perhaps you want to take a small stand on an issue, but it somehow ends up out of proportion, and consumers see it as a big stand.

This can have far-reaching negative consequences you could have never predicted. In a world of technology which lacks tone and nonverbal cues, it’s easy for your position to end up appearing more radical than even you considered.

When it comes to getting involved in current events, there are lots of pros and cons to consider for your small business. While taking a stand on an issue can have negative consequences, there are also some worthwhile positives.

No matter what your business decides, be sure to think carefully before sending anything out, because chances are you’ll never get it back.
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