Community Involvement Equals More Business – A real Win/Win!

In today’s tough economy small businesses need to be creative in generating new clients.  Here’s a thought – give back to your community!  By getting involved in your community through non-profits, your local chamber or government; you would be getting word out about your company and products while helping your own community.

Whether you choose to sponsor, participate in or organize an event, you are generating positive word of mouth.  You are generating goodwill within the organization you are helping. Positive word of mouth and goodwill leads people to begin to know, like and trust you and your company – the cornerstones of any referral growth strategy.

Within any non-profit, you are exposed to and can network with people who work, own a home, own a business, have children, have friends, etc., making them likely customers too!

Most community organizations also have an online presence – and are constantly looking for good, local content. Offer to write an article for their web site or newsletter to inform their subscribers about something you are an expert in.  Remember you are writing to inform not sell, however, this is a subtle way of selling your abilities and you company.  Some examples:

  • If you are an accountant, write information on new tax laws or changes on filing tax returns.
  • If you provide pool cleaning services, write about the different ways to keep a healthy and clean pool.
  • If you offer marketing services, write about how different marketing venues work together.
  • If you are a florist, write about planning a wedding.

As a small business owner, you know you need to “advertise” to let people know you exist, but some of the traditional ways of advertising can be cost prohibitive.  Getting involved in your community only costs you your time, generates good will, positive word of mouth and best of all, it will make you feel good too!

Get started today by researching your community organizations, area non-profits and causes you are passionate about. If possible, get your employees involved as well. The more the merrier! And your company will get the more visible impact from the larger presence.

Video Marketing, Why You Need It

Video Marketing is a very hot topic now and is growing rapidly. Cisco Systems estimates that 90% of web traffic will be driven by video by the end of 2013 and must be incorporated into your website’s content marketing strategy.

Your website’s content and your blog gets your message in front of your potential customers and you can be found via Long Tail Keyword search in Google.  However, Video is much easier to syndicate and will get that video in front of as many eyeballs as possible.  There are several ways to post syndicate your videos, here are a few resources:

  • YouTube
  • Video Aggregators, e.g. Veoh, Blip, Metacafe
  • Post Link on Your Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, etc.
  • Place Video on your website or blog
  • Ask other websites to post your video
  • Post your video on iTunes as a video podcast

As you can see, website content is important, but one video allows you dozens of places to post and get you more exposure.

Creating videos is simple and inexpensive.  You don’t need a director, professional equipment, editing skills or software.  You just need a video camera or smart phone to get started.  Find the best person in your company to be your star and then deliver information people can use and enjoy.

Think about it, as a restaurant owner, wouldn’t a video of patron enjoying your venue and raving about the Chef’s Special have way more impact than pictures on your website? You bet!

If you’re a landscape company, a video showing the transformation of a customer’s property as well as the customer enjoying their new yard is far more impactful than just before & after pictures.  And as an added bonus, a clients’ testimonial on video will carry far more weight than one that’s written.

Another advantage of Video marketing is its ability to establish your company’s personality even faster than writing articles or blog posts.  On video your personality comes through to viewers and gives them an opportunity to like and share you with their social community, expanding your reach even further.

Even though video is established in most market areas, the number of companies using it effectively is relatively small. So the use of videos to discuss your products and services definitely sets your company apart from your competition.

The growth of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets accessing the internet is phenomenal. Video plays very well on these mobile devices.  As your Blended Marketing Solution provider, Direct Etc. will help you to integrate your online marketing, including videos with your direct mail and email campaigns to ensure all channels perform at their best!

Contact us today to see how we can help you.


Is Your Business “Personality Challenged”?

People enjoy doing business with people, especially people they like.

If you could walk around all day just meeting people, telling them all about you and your wonderful business, you might pick up some customers.

Unless you’re an obnoxious pain in the backside!

Of course, this approach is not very practical. While you’re out gallivanting around town shaking hands, telling stories and whatnot, who’s minding the store?

Back in the day, marketing was more plainly about selling products and services. It wasn’t too hard to get noticed either. One or two newspapers, thirteen channels on the TV and no internet. (darn I’m old!)

Drop a full page ad in the local fish wrapper with a screaming headline like


In flocked the masses! People with money to burn, rushing through your door.

Ahhh, the good old days!

Today, customers are bombarded with marketing on TV, Radio, Social Media, Email, Direct Mail, Bus Wrappers, on their Smart Phones – the list goes on and on.

In order to stand out in the crowd, your business needs a personality.

One that will make a positive, lasting impression and make your business seem more like a person that customers will like.

I’m not talking about a personality like Lady Gaga or Justin Beiber wearing a sandwich board in front of your business (though who wouldn’t pay to see that!) – I mean a business personality.

Think of it like this, if your business was a person interested in dating your daughter (or son!) what sort of traits should they possess?

You’re Business as a prospective suitor.

Is your business?

SMART – You’re up on new products and services that benefit customers. You offer practical solutions to customer problems. You are knowledgeable about your industry.

SINCERE – You’re so honest, you’re willing to miss out on sale by telling a customer “I don’t think this widget isn’t for you” or “that outfit does not work for you” or “I think you should wait until the new version arrives in a few weeks” – You honestly believe in the quality of goods and services your business provides.

FUNNY – Have you ever rewound an E-Trade baby commercial? Under the right circumstances, you employ a charming sense of humor to customers – even at your own expense.

ATTRACTIVE – You’re easy on the eyes because you keep your business well maintained and you’re concerned with physical appearance. Aside from venturing into some backwoods roadhouse to enjoy a little rough & tumble on a Friday night, most people prefer dealing with a business that is clean & neat-appearing.

STABLE – Are you intending to stay around awhile, in for the long haul? Long term relationships are important to customers. They want to know you’ll be around through good times and bad.

Enough of the Dating Game, I think you get the point!

Now What?

Build your business personality into all your marketing strategies and communications.

Rather than telling customers what you want to sell them, show them how well you listen and respond to their needs. (Yes dear, I’ll take my own advice!)

Identify problems, offer solutions. Try delivering your marketing message as helpful, educational content. Show genuine enthusiasm and personality.

This approach is more subtle than outright selling and will lead customers to their own conclusion to buy something from you.

I say, add more of a personality to your business that customers respond to, remember and will happily tell their friends, family and business associates all about!

Check out to see how we can help you build business.