Blog Archive

Talking about a business blog is likely to incite dread in the eyes of many business owners.  Who has the time to maintain a professional-looking blog on top of everything else?  Won’t quick posts on the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn suffice for your marketing strategy? For most businesses, the answer is no.

 

Why a Blog is Critical to Your Marketing Strategy

A blog, while indeed time-intensive, has the potential to generate far more value than other social media channels put together.  And once started off on the right foot, the work of writing original posts can easily be outsourced to a number of blog content providers.  So why is a business blog, that doesn’t directly sell anything, so important to your overall marketing strategy?

It builds trust in you and your brand

When consistently posting content that is helpful, topical, and not solely promotional, you will begin to develop credibility with your reader base.  Soon you will be looked to as an expert in your niche, the go-to person with the answers.  This translates into consumer trust which translates into increased sales – without having to pitch a thing.

It drives traffic to your website

Readers who have found answers or useful information on your blog are more likely to click onto your primary website to learn more about your company and products or services.  Blogging allows your SEO opportunities to remain virtually limitless – as long as you’re developing engaging content, you can organically weave in keywords that will continue to drive new readers and internet-answer-searchers to your site.

It humanizes your brand

All successful salespeople know that people buy from other people – not from a faceless company.  A high quality blog allows you to inject your personality into your posts so that readers begin to relate to you as a person instead of just a company.  This cultivates trust and credibility, leading you to be the person and brand that readers think of when they are in the market for your product or services.

For these reasons and so many more, a high quality blog should act as a foundation for your larger marketing strategy.  Managed correctly, it will support and improve the effectiveness of other online and offline marketing channels while developing a pipeline of consumer interest.  It furthermore helps you to distinguish yourself as a leader in your field, building consumer confidence in what you have to offer.

Give us a try! The Sherwood Group can help you double and triple your business
through our skills in advertising, graphic design, and website design.

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If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

How to Implement Effective Minimalist Marketing
Humor: The Key to Better Video Marketing
5 Tips for Texting Clients Properly (Part 1)
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
3 Steps to Successfully Screen Freelancers, Partners and Contractors
5 Tips for Successful Business networking
Simple & Easy Marketing Ideas That Work
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?

This article is published by The Sherwood Group: Creative Agency, Graphic Design, Web Design:
The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Livingston, Texas.

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

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With commercials, web ads, websites, print ads, pop-up ads and more, consumers are constantly being bombarded with marketing messages, yet the majority of that information is instantly forgotten. With all the noise, standing out is hard, but here are several examples of effective minimalist marketing:

 

How to Implement Effective Minimalist Marketing

Many brands have adopted a minimalist marketing strategy to create more impactful campaigns. The goal of the minimalist approach is to convey a message as concisely as possible while still entertaining the audience. For visual advertising, this means simple, clean images that represent the brand, product and customer. With content, a minimalist message is short and succinct; think tagline rather than a paragraph.

Examples of Effective Minimalist Marketing

Ideally, a minimalist marketing campaign will reach the brand’s target audience by simplifying choices, establishing trust through a confident approach rather than a hard sell, telling the story of the brand and providing valuable information to the potential customer in an easily digestible way.

1. Apple. The company most experts point to when discussing the minimalist approach is Apple, which is credited with popularizing minimalist marketing. The Apple website is stark, with beautiful photos and limited copy describing the products, its logo is instantly recognizable and its ad campaigns sell a feel or lifestyle rather than providing a huge amount of information about the product (think of the 2003 Silhouettes campaign for the iPod).

2. Driving-Tests.org. Driving-Tests.org shows how a smaller business can employ a minimalist approach to its design and message. With one bold image and limited print, the brand’s website is not visually crowded. The company simplified its message and avoids over-explaining the fine details of their services. Instead, the website focuses on key points to tell the story of their business and product and by limiting the number of topics and buttons.

3. PixelCraft. PixelCraft is a Irish company that employs a minimalist design to great effect. The PixelCraft website features interesting illustrations with key bullet points of information that both succinctly tell and show the customer what the business does (SEO, web design, web hosting and digital marketing).

What to Consider When Implementing a Minimalist Campaign

Although quite popular, all minimalist marketing is not created equal. What works for one business may be ineffective for another. The key to implementing a successful marketing strategy is to understand which elements and knowledge will be most useful to your target audience. If you are boiling down your message to only a few images and pieces of information, these must speak to your customer.

Users comes to any brand with a preexisting schema, or mental shortcut, that helps them to understand and react to information in the world around them. Understanding your ideal customer’s schema will allow you to choose words and images that your customer already has a positive association with.

To connect with your target audience, you have to familiarize yourself with its culture. A common misstep made by many brands is to market from their own perspective, rather than truly understanding the language and schema of the target audience. This is called the curse of knowledge, which means the more familiar you are with a topic, the harder it is to explain the basics of that topic to people unfamiliar with it. Aaron Griffith, on the site UX Booth, suggests combatting this by reading what your audience reads to understand their tastes and vocabulary and then soliciting feedback from your target audience.

Armed with a clear understanding of your ideal customer base, use this knowledge to effectively minimalize your marketing strategy with simple, impactful images and quick, clear bursts of useful information.

Give us a try! The Sherwood Group can help you double and triple your business
through our skills in advertising, graphic design, and website design.

Subscribe-ISS_1183_0212-v2

Sign up for our monthly email newsletter of the best tips of each month!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

Humor: The Key to Better Video Marketing
5 Tips for Texting Clients Properly (Part 1)
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
3 Steps to Successfully Screen Freelancers, Partners and Contractors
5 Tips for Successful Business networking
Simple & Easy Marketing Ideas That Work
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?

This article is published by The Sherwood Group: Creative Agency, Graphic Design, Web Design:
The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Livingston, Texas.

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

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Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

 

Do you think your product is funny? The good news is it doesn’t matter anymore. Your customers don’t care if your product is cool or funny or brand new. They want to know what your product can do for them and where to buy it.

 

Humor Is the Key to Better Video Marketing

Humor breaks down barriers. It’s one of the easiest ways to connect emotionally with another human being. So, stop spending big money on producing boring videos. No matter what business you’re in, laughter is the best sales technique, and these examples prove it.

Old Spice: Take a Look at My Son

Old Spice’s body spray ad campaign is the perfect combination of off the wall yet relatable humor. Every guy loves his mom. Moms love to buy toiletries like body spray for their sons. Boys like girls. Moms want their sons to have a girl, just not one they love more than their mom. Cue the hilarious lyrics, “Old Spice, look what you’ve done, make a man out of my son,” and moms crashing their sons’ dates sobbing and singing. The funny part is how the moms actually crash the dates: hiding in trees, rolling down the gutter at the bowling alley, riding a laundry basket like a skateboard hanging onto the car bumper with sparks flying. The over-the-top humor, not to mention the ridiculous visuals and song, make this ad campaign a shoe-in for water cooler conversation.

Esurance: Offline Over-Sharer Beatrice

Who can forget Beatrice’s delightfully literal confusion over how Facebook works in Esurance’s “offline over-sharer” ad campaign. Beatrice posts her vacation pics to her wall. Not her Facebook wall but her living room wall. When her friend exclaims, “That’s not how it works!” Beatrice doesn’t bat an eye as she says, “I unfriend you.”

So what does insurance have to do with two elderly women and Facebook? Insurance might be the least exciting thing to talk about, second only to tax season. What Esurance did was smart and engaging: they drew a parallel. Their message was simple: The other insurance companies are outdated, just like Beatrice’s idea of how Facebook works.

Esurance also hit another home run with this ad by remembering the most important thing about humor in advertising: Don’t be rude or alienate your audience. While they poke fun at Beatrice’s age, they didn’t make the voice of reason her young daughter but her equally aged friend who informs Beatrice she’s way off the mark.

Oreo: The Daily Twist

This concept from Oreo was mostly image-based, but it succeeded for these two reasons: “What’s trending” is an invaluable resource for driving traffic, getting clicks and new visitors, and consistency is key. Oreo mastered the art of relevant ad content with the celebration of their 100th year with 100 Days of Oreo ad campaigns (usually a single photograph, but some were GIFs or short videos). Each day, a production team reviewed current events and created a new Oreo-themed take on what was trending that day. For marriage equality, it was a seven-layer rainbow Oreo. For the release of the new Batman trailer, it was a batwing-shaped Oreo.

Granted, this campaign was not only time consuming but also costly. The takeaway is that Photoshop is a godsend and trending topics drive crazy amounts of traffic. Make your product feel relevant to what is going on in the world and watch your brand’s perception and your click-through ratings soar.

Morphsuits: The Mannequin Mob

Combine two things that are already popular and take your enthusiasm out in public. That’s the idea behind this mannequin mob in Morphsuits that took over a Manhattan Gap store. Morphsuits have been popular for years. Who can forget Charlie Day from the hit show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” in his infamous green Morphsuit? Flash mobs are also popular activities that often get above-average views on YouTube.

This Mannequin Mob took it one step further. Although all they did was stand still, they caused quite a stir. The video shows customers taking pictures, some totally creeped out and many giggling. The fake mannequins even surprised Gap employees.

Contact The Sherwood Group if you’d like
more info on how to make your business goals a reality.

Subscribe-ISS_1183_0212-v2

Sign up for our monthly email newsletter of the best tips of each month!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

5 Tips for Texting Clients Properly (Part 1)
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
3 Steps to Successfully Screen Freelancers, Partners and Contractors
5 Tips for Successful Business networking
Simple & Easy Marketing Ideas That Work
Three Reasons You Should Be Using Email Marketing
5 Simple Ways To Improve Word-Of-Mouth About Your Business
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?

This article is published by The Sherwood Group: Creative Agency, Graphic Design, Web Design:
The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Livingston, Texas.

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

google-plus-jpeg      linkedin-logo      fb-logo      Twitter_Logo      pinterest-logo

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

 

As time goes on, more of your clients will prefer to be contacted by text. As this happens, you’ll need to be sure that you are careful about writing each text just as if it was an email or other form of communication. No matter how informal texting clients may feel, you still need to protect your professional image.

 

4 Tips for Texting Clients Properly (Part 2)

Here are some tips for texting clients properly.

  • If a client calls you, do not text them back. Return their call with a call. If they wanted a text from you, they would have texted you.
  • Important things, such as meeting times, should not be done in texts. You would hate to miss a meeting if someone didn’t get the text. Important things like this should always be done over the phone so nobody misses it.
  • The same can be said for bad news. Bad news should never be sent in a text. It should always be done in person or over the phone.
  • Don’t put your name at the end of every text automatically. Though it can be nice to have your name at the end of your texts, if you are sending multiple texts to one person, it can get annoying to the recipient.

It is important that you treat each text properly and make phone calls when necessary. When a person calls you, it is important that you return their phone call instead of just texting them. Important things and bad news need to be done over the phone, if not in person. Texting clients has a time and a place, even in business.

Contact The Sherwood Group when you need help with your
advertising, brochures or for refreshing your website.

Subscribe-ISS_1183_0212-v2

Sign up for our monthly email newsletter of the best tips of each month!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

5 Tips for Texting Clients Properly (Part 1)
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
3 Steps to Successfully Screen Freelancers, Partners and Contractors
5 Tips for Successful Business networking
Simple & Easy Marketing Ideas That Work
Five Tips For Successful Business Networking
How To Build Better Customer Relationships
How Graphic Design Can Increase Your Bottom Line
Three Reasons You Should Be Using Email Marketing
Blogging: The Google Way to Succeed
5 Simple Ways To Improve Word-Of-Mouth About Your Business
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?

This article is published by The Sherwood Group: Creative Agency, Graphic Design, Web Design:
The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Livingston, Texas.

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

google-plus-jpeg      linkedin-logo      fb-logo      Twitter_Logo      pinterest-logo

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

 

As I age, I realize that...

 

1. I talk to myself, because sometimes I need expert advice.

2. Sometimes I roll my eyes out loud.

3. I don’t need anger management, I need people to stop pissing me off.

4. My people skills are just fine, it’s my tolerance of idiots that need work.

5. The biggest lie I tell myself is “I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it.”

6. When I was a child I thought nap time was punishment.  Now it’s like a mini vacation.

7. The day the world runs out of wine is just too terrible to think about.

8. Even duct tape can’t fix stupid, but it can muffle the sound.

9. Wouldn’t it be great if we could put ourselves in the dryer for ten minutes; come out wrinkle-free and three sizes smaller.

10. If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would’ve put them on my knees.

11. When the kids text me, “PLZ” which is shorter than please, I text back, “NO” which is shorter than “YES”.

12. At my age “getting lucky” means walking into a room and remembering what I came in there for.

If you enjoyed this article, check out these others:

Fun advertising at its best
From love to bingo in 873 images
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The Sherwood Group, Advertising, Graphic Design & Website Design:  The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  Give us a try!

Sign up for our monthly email newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

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Is It Professional To Text Clients? Since we live in a world of smart phones and texting, the debate is on as to whether or not texting clients belongs in the business world. Many wonder if it is professional.

 

Is It Professional To Text Clients? Five Tips to Text Your Clients Properly (Part I)

(Read part 2 of this article by clicking here.)

More and more clients are preferring texting to other forms of communication. This is leading business owners and employees to figure out the best way to text their clients without breaking proper etiquette.

Here are 5 tips for texting clients properly:

  • Only use text if that is their preferred way of contact. Be sure to ask all of your clients the way that they would prefer to be contacted. If they want to be contacted by text, then it is fine to text them when you need to reach them.
  • Only use text messages for short messages. If you need to talk to a client and it is going to take quite a few messages back and forth, it is probably going to be a lot easier to make a phone call.
  • Do not use any shorthand abbreviations. When texting, you should never use any abbreviations, such as LOL, BFF, or anything similar. These are not considered professional at all.
  • Always use full sentences with professional text messages. You should always use capital letters and punctuation when sending professional text messages.
  • Always double-check your text before you send it, especially if you are using the voice-to-text feature. One misspelling can make a big difference in a text so be sure to double-check your texts before you send them. The voice-to-text can be wonderful but it can also make a lot of mistakes.

As a business owner, you want to be available to your clients and many will prefer to text you. However, you are going to have to make sure that your texts are professionally written in sentences and no abbreviations. You also need to double-check them before sending them so you don’t make any careless mistakes. It is still an important communication between you and your client, no matter how informal it may seem.

Contact The Sherwood Group to help you grow your business.

Subscribe-ISS_1183_0212-v2

Sign up for our monthly email newsletter of the best tips of each month!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
3 Steps to Successfully Screen Freelancers, Partners and Contractors
5 Tips for Successful Business networking
Simple & Easy Marketing Ideas That Work
Five Tips For Successful Business Networking
How To Build Better Customer Relationships
How Graphic Design Can Increase Your Bottom Line
Three Reasons You Should Be Using Email Marketing
Blogging: The Google Way to Succeed
5 Simple Ways To Improve Word-Of-Mouth About Your Business
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?

This article is published by The Sherwood Group: Creative Agency, Graphic Design, Web Design:
The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Livingston, Texas.

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

google-plus-jpeg      linkedin-logo      fb-logo      Twitter_Logo      pinterest-logo

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

 

Ignore every stigma you’ve ever heard about cold calling. People still love hearing from a real person! Here’s how you can turn your COLD calling into GOLD calling, and in the process create a lucrative source of new business for yourself and your company.

 

Cold-Calling

Why should you consider cold calling?

Some years back, I interviewed master graphic designer, Debbie Millman. I asked her how she started her business. Here’s what she said:

“To get clients, we cold called. I’m a master cold-caller as a result of that experience. We were fearless about asking people for business. And our company really got big within the first couple of years.

What about rejection?

“When I was cold calling, a lot of people weren’t interested, but I never took that as a personal rejection. I just got immune to the rejection. I began to realize it has nothing to do with me.

Basic tips to start your cold calling efforts:

  • Start with your target industry. Public annual reports, product descriptions and press releases are a great place to find prospects to add to your calling list. Also, hoovers.com is a great source of prospects.
  • Call outside normal hours. It’s not enough to call several times a day; that’s annoying. Instead, call early in the morning, during lunchtime or after work.
  • If the person that answered the phone isn’t the one you wanted, act like that person IS the one you’re trying to reach. Instead, modify your strategy for that person. If they try to direct you to the correct person, thank them.

Add the phrase “Can you help me?” and many people will!

First off, try NOT to sound like a salesperson. You’ll have 10 seconds to catch their attention. Don’t waste it making it all about you. Say”, Hi (name), my name is (your name) from (company). I’m hoping you can help me. If I wanted to provide (your product or service) to your company, who would I need to impress to get that business?” Remember, if you sound salesy, you’re guaranteed to get a dial tone.

How do you get good clients?

More from Debbie Millman:

“Get a lot of clients. Because it’s impossible to know which of them will be good.

“Some of my best clients have come from jobs that I would have considered to be the worst. And some of my worst clients have been with jobs that I would have considered to be the best. So I think it’s very hard to determine who’s going to be a good client and who’s going to be a bad client. There’s going to be good clients and bad clients anyway, and there’s no way to project.”

Finally, shoot for the stars.

“Seriously. So many people start out by thinking about all the things that they can’t do and once you take that path, it’s very hard to get off of it. The only person that can make every dream that you want to come true is you. And if you start out with limited dreams, you’ll only achieve limited dreams. And that’s really sad when that happens.”

Contact The Sherwood Group if you’d like help
making your business goals a reality.

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Sign up for our monthly email newsletter of the best tips of each month!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

The Correct Way To Use LinkedIn To Grow Your Business
Grow Your Business With Email Marketing
How to Keep Your Messages Out of Your Customer’s Spam Box
Why Should You Care About Starting A Blog?
Combining Blogging and Social Media into a Truly Effective Strategy
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook

This article is published by The Sherwood Group: Creative Agency, Graphic Design, Web Design:
The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Livingston, Texas.

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

google-plus-jpeg      linkedin-logo      fb-logo      Twitter_Logo      pinterest-logo

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

 

If you’re a small business on the internet, it’s a constant uphill battle trying to outrank the big guys. This article includes some good tips to assure that you’re getting the most from your blog posts!

 

If you sell electronics, Best Buy takes the first result. If you have a local pizza place, Pizza Hut will dominate the front page. Getting attention online to a small business takes a lot of finesse, cleverness, and persistence, but one of the easiest things to grow your visibility online is content marketing.

Writing content that caters to your customer’s searches is not only going to please your visitors and be interesting to read, but Google is going to take notice of your content, and if there’s one thing Google loves, it’s regularly posted fresh content. The simple task of posting to your blog once a week can have a dramatic effect on your authority and your search engine traffic, which is why small businesses are making an effort to post to their website whenever they can.

That being said, what does it take to get a blog post to rank well on Google?

This study, conducted by Blogpros.com, goes through a dozen or so different areas of some randomly chosen high ranking blog posts to give you an idea of what the big guys are doing, so you can emulate them (or even do it better).

Let us know what you think of this infographic! It may change your blog posting habits forever.

infographic

 

Author: Will M. is the business development manager at Blogpros.com, and frequently writes about content marketing and blogging tips for businesses. When he’s not helping out with the Blogpros daily operations, he’s building websites and making the world a more exciting place.”

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

Why Should You Care About Starting A Blog?
Will Your Website Be A Success Or A Failure In The Coming Years?
Grow Your Business With Email Marketing
Combining Blogging and Social Media into a Truly Effective Strategy
5 Ways You Can Benefit By Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

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Excelling in the workplace is more than just doing the job correctly and on time. It’s about how you carry yourself professionally. It’s how you behave around co-workers and management. It’s how you co-exist as a team. It’s about your creativity, drive and strategy.

 

How to increase your credibility image

The tips in this article will help you increase your credibility as a reliable worker/contributor in the workplace:

Positive vibes: the must-have accessory for increasing credibility.

It’s a trend that makes everyone feel better and there’s plenty to go around. Positivity isn’t about having a smile on your face 24/7 and talking to everyone (even if they creep you out). No one feels like this every day. It’s about how you treat everyone — with respect and courtesy.

Push the envelope at work.

Take the initiative and find new ways to be productive at work. Find new strategies to get the work done faster while maintaining quality. This is not to be confused with “know-it-alls,” the people who know so much that they don’t feel the need to learn anything new. Taking the initiative creates a learning experience of trial and error to find ways to improve your efficiency in the workplace.

Handle constructive criticism with grace.

At work, the words “constructive criticism” is intertwined with “criticism.” Hearing any kind of negative feedback is considered bad by many folks since no one wants to hear it. That’s because most people can’t handle it (although many claim they are ready for it). Take the feedback given and apply it toward your work. Yes, there are nit-pickers, but most are trying to help.

Stay away from gossip and water cooler conversations.

The rumor mills at work (true or not) must be avoided. While you cannot get away from gossip you can stop it by focusing on the work and not on what you hear about an employee or boss. Getting caught in this vicious web will hurt everyone’s business relationships.

Learn something new.

It’s never too late to learn a new skill. After being in the same job for a long time you start to feel like you’re in a rut. That can stop you from doing well at work. Break free by auditioning yourself with training, college courses (a degree perhaps) and volunteering.

It’s great to be a good worker on the job, but excelling in the workplace is about personal growth. The ideas included here can help you gain the personal accomplishments that you can feel confident boasting about.

For more information on how you increase your credibility either as an individual or as a company, feel free to contact us.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

4 Common Social Media Mistakes and How To Avoid Them
4 Ways To Grow Your Business Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
4 Ways Business Blogging Helps Build Trust In Your Business
Grow Your Business With Email Marketing
Combining Blogging and Social Media into a Truly Effective Strategy

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

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Word-of-mouth is the most effective marketing tool of all times. It was recognized in 1950’s, when Bill Bernbach noticed, that “word of mouth is the best medium of all.” The statement still true and valid, even after 60 years.

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Although the world of business changes rapidly, with new technologies and innovations appearing every day, word-of-mouth has not ceased to be one the most powerful and important ways of promoting your business and gaining (or losing) new clients. The first rule to have in mind when working on your WOM is that you shouldn’t start campaigning, if you don’t have fully developed customer service. You need to create a unique experience that your satisfied clients would simply love to talk about. Having established that, we can get into details on how to improve positive word-of-mouth about your business. Below you can find our selection of the most effective strategies.

Give something for free

Everybody likes to receive a goodie bag or a selection of freebies once in a while. They all show you are willing to go the extra mile to satisfy your customers, without being too pushy. Remember however, that nobody likes to get some poor quality mugs or lanyards and be to told to appreciate them. If you really wish to improve your WOM you have to put some effort into getting to know your most loyal clients and actually provide them with some great quality freebies. If your company deals with computer applications, why not give early, free, even time-limited access to your newest product to a group of your most devoted customers? You will not only promote your product, but by doing so you business will receive great WOM. To give even more personal attention, you can organize exclusive events showcasing your newest products or technologies. Invite your most devoted clients to show appreciation for their loyalty. Get to know your fans and figure out what kinds of events or promotions will make them especially happy – it can be anything from social media contests to structured loyalty programmes.

Get involved in the community

One of the biggest struggles that companies face is lack of recognition. To boost your chances of being noticed, and afterwards encourage your clients and business partners to get more vocal about your activities, you can establish a network of professional bonds with recognized and trustworthy non-profit organizations. You will devote your time, money, products or services, and, above all, your expertise for the greater good, which will surely get you more fans and followers, as people tend to value selfless entrepreneurs. Obviously, we shouldn’t immediately become a non-profit company ourselves, but helping the community even a little bit will greatly influence the recognition of our company. In addition, to stimulate your businesses’ word-of-mouth marketing traffic you can also establish partnerships with other companies willing to promote your website and refer to your services.

Have strong social media presence

Hundreds of recommendations are carried out via Facebook and Twitter every day, yet there are still many ‘entrepreneurs’ who shun those social media in favor of more typical marketing campaigns. Trust me when I say you want to be an active part of those two communities. Having a well organized personal page on social media will deepen your relations with customers and show you as a responsible, trustworthy and modern entrepreneur. Just make sure your content is top quality and easy to share and you won’t have to wait long to see the results.

Fix issues with dissatisfied clients

Ah, dissatisfied clients: we’ve all had them, we would all want to forget about them. However, a dissatisfied client should be treated as an opportunity, not a burden. By gracefully handling complaints, you have a competitive advantage to turn mediocre customer experience into loyal cooperation. Once dissatisfied client, whose issues were solved in more than satisfactory way, will be happy to spread the word about your business ethics.

Ask for it

The simplest and, at the same time, the most effective way to improve WOM about your company is to ask your clients for referrals. Let’s be honest – have you ever done? It is the most discreet and unobtrusive way to get people talking about you, so don’t hesitate to try it. Many customers will be happy to send you referrals straightforwardly, but some of them just need a little reminder.

It is a well-established fact that people are more likely to choose a business they were referred to. Word-of-mouth is earned, and it takes effort and time to build sufficient strategy for your business. Just remember that when you achieve a positive WOM, nurture and develop it for even greater benefits.

Author: Monique Rivers is an Australian tech blogger who also loves good food and fashion. She works at ninefold.com. Ninefold is a company providing efficient and powerful virtual servers for all those occasions when a business needs to move their ideas into the cloud.

Contact The Sherwood Group if you want help growing your business.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

15 Commandments for a Dynamic Sales-Marketing Process
Tips To Help You Decide How Much To Charge
5 Social Media Mistakes That Will Get You Unfriended/Unfollowed
5 Tips to Get More Visitors to Your Website
7 Steps to Help Your Business “Get Found” on the Web
15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?

The Sherwood Group, Graphic Design & Website Design:  The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, California.

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Would it surprise you to learn that 46% of LinkedIn users have a college degree and 36% earn more than $100,000 per year?  LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and it’s definitely a good place to grow your business.

 

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Whether you are considering using this social network or have been a member for some time, let’s discuss the correct way to use LinkedIn to grow your business.

1. Effective Marketing Begins With A Customer-Focused Profile

Be sure you include the answers to these questions, and avoid these pitfalls:

  1. What was your biggest accomplishment last year?
  2. Have you updated the summary section of your LinkedIn profile?
  3. Are you using the special profile sections to highlight your areas of expertise?
  4. Are you using action words instead of adjectives to describe your accomplishments?
  5. Are you using some of the most abused buzzwords in profiles? These include creative, strategic, effective, expert, driven, innovative, analytical, organizational, responsible, and patient according to LinkedIn.
  6. Are you using verbs to describe your accomplishments? Try using words like accomplished, achieved, acquired, engineered, enhanced, or generated.
  7. Are you using specific calls to action throughout your profile to encourage others to engage with you?

2. Are You Making Quality Connections?

You will make little progress by connecting to people who don’t use LinkedIn often. Before sending a connection request, look for a professional profile photo, a summary of their career history, and check the number of their connections. Making connections with people who have a higher number of connections will expand your network much further and help you build long-term relationships.

3. Are Your Connection Invitations Personal?

If you are using generic messages to invite someone to connect with you – STOP. It will more than likely come across as spam. If you really don’t have anything in common with the person, you probably shouldn’t be messaging them in the first place. You should let the person know that you have an interest in their specialty and that you are not trying to sell to anyone who will listen.

Do you need help growing your business? Click here to check out our website design and marketing communications packages. We will help you achieve your business goals and in the process, leave your competition shaken and wondering, “Now, what do we do?”

4. Personalize your LinkedIn communications:

  1. Tell them what you know about them, why you want to connect, and how you can help them.
  2. Be friendly and let them know what you have in common.
    Show you have read their profile and briefly explain the benefits of a connection.
  3. If you have visited their blog or website, tell them how much you enjoyed the experience.

5. Give More Than You’re Taking!

The primary goal of LinkedIn is to make professional connections that will not only grow your business and advance your career, but will also allow you to help others advance theirs:
  1. Avoid getting in the habit of using this network just to sell a product or service.
  2. Instead, try to come up with ways you can help others succeed in their businesses.
  3. Help them get in contact with your connections.

Your LinkedIn experience will be more successful and you will make more meaningful connections if you will find ways to help your connections and not just focus on your own interests. It’s all about being social in a professional environment and remember, it’s not Facebook.

Contact us today to learn how you can increase online traffic and correctly use targeted social media campaigns.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

Grow Your Business With Email Marketing
How to Keep Your Messages Out of Your Customer’s Spam Box
Why Should You Care About Starting A Blog?
Combining Blogging and Social Media into a Truly Effective Strategy
5 Ways You Can Benefit By Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook


This article is published by The Sherwood Group: Creative Agency, Graphic Design, Web Design: 
The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

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Do you need help growing your business? Click here to check out our website design and marketing communications packages. We will help you achieve your business goals and in the process, leave your competition shaken and wondering, “Now, what do we do?”

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

Memes are photos or images with a pithy or cute comment that spread through email, Twitter, Facebook and so on. They are famous among social media users. The best images and videos are converted to memes simply because people like them and they can help you grow your business.

 

The world isn't fair

How memes can best be used to grow your business:

Memes are not just for sharing with friends on social networking sites, but can be used for promoting small business. Usually, they are posted on social networking sites to draw large number of people and share content with others. Before you start making memes for promoting your company, you should know that they are not immortal and have a life-cycle. Using a meme that is nearing its end would not probably work for your business.

There are four stages of memes that include – Birth & growth, Peak, Decline and Death. You should always use it during Growth or Peak stage to get desired results. So, if you are planning to integrate it into your marketing routine, you should make sure to focus on the latest.

Proper branding:

Before you jump on any meme quickly, know about its origin and the humor behind it. Knowing them is a very useful step that helps you to use the memes properly.  The next step is to analyze the effectiveness of the meme and check if it is related to your business or not. Make the meme funny and relevant to your products and services. Though you are using meme for promoting your business, it doesn’t mean that you have to give it a serious tone. You should think of a humorous concept that describes the products and services of your company. The key to get more shares and feedback is being relevant. Think of some common jokes in your industry. When people are passionate about something, they get excited to see the things that convey the same message and values.

Regulate the memes:

Keep a watch on the amount of memes you use and try to regulate them if they exceed the content marketing strategy. They should be like a flash that appear only to provide a break from the actual content. Using relevant ones in your social networking posts and updates can be the best way to drive more traffic to your website. There are tons of memes available online from which you need to choose the best one for your business.

Include a call-to-action:

If you are using a trendy meme, throw in your call-to-action by including the URL of your website. By doing this, you can make the viewers curious about your business. Coming up with a meme is not an easy task, but it is the most valuable and cost effective tool in your marketing tool-kit.

Set the right budget:

Memes can benefit a lot in marketing, but that doesn’t mean that you should rush into creating one without considering your financial condition. If you want to create 2-3 memes per week, it might be within your financial constraints. However, if you are planning to create them on a large scale, it might not be beneficial as you may need to hire a professional designer. Hence, always try to use it on a small scale to get huge returns.

Generate great exposure:

In order to get great exposure, it is better to get in front of your target audience. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, etc are the best platforms to get more shares and views. Always make sure to use embed share buttons to make the content more visible. This not only enhances your social signals, but also helps you advance your search ranking.

Many businesses achieved marketing success by using memes, because they describe your business in an interesting manner. An effective meme sticks in viewers’ mind and people spread it among friends and colleagues.

How to make memes and where to find them

Making your own meme ensures that your brand image is added to it. You can include the web address of your business so that there is always a link back to your website. It is easy to produce your own meme. You need not have to be a graphic designer or professional. You can make them by using a variety of different meme generators that are available online. There are a number of sites that allow you to design memes by providing a variety of tools and services. In order to use memes to promote your business, you can upload an original image or add own text to an existing meme. Regardless of how you approach, they are the best way to spread messages quickly.

The most popular memes are single panel images and four-image comic strips. Think about how you can use them to help your business grow as it is a bit tricky but fun to do. To find unique memes that are relevant to your business, visit website of different companies that offer meme creation services for free. You can find an appropriate one related to your business, which you can post on social networking sites or share them with colleagues, friends and other business acquaintances. If you are planning to use this innovative tactics for promoting your business, then you should have a clear understanding of the below points-

  • They usually attract people who are young because of their visual aspect. They cross the language barrier and convey a lot of things that are beyond content.
  • To give yourself a boost, look for common threads in popular marketing memes. Choose a phrase or idea that best suits your business. You can use video, email, social networking posts or blogs to plant your meme in the minds of your community.
  • Think about what you want your audience to do after seeing your meme. Remember that, your control over it ends once it goes viral.

As said above, memes are hilarious images or videos that refer to any concept or idea that spread across the internet. You can use them to promote new products, services and conversations that engage your audience.

Author Bio: Meme member: Memes lets you effortlessly share funny pictures that help small business owners to attract customers and grow their business. The author of this article is a seasoned online marketer.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

The Correct Way To Use LinkedIn To Grow Your Business
Grow Your Business With Email Marketing
How to Keep Your Messages Out of Your Customer’s Spam Box
Why Should You Care About Starting A Blog?
Combining Blogging and Social Media into a Truly Effective Strategy
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?


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