Synergy Aviation – Video Testimonial for InMark Media
Ahh, business cards. The small pieces of paper that are the most basic yet most valuable part of a business’s brand. They’re not only inexpensive, but they’re easily distributable, portable, and informative. Building a business, or growing a business, is like building or adding on to a house. You need to start with the foundation, otherwise the rest will eventually fall through. The foundation in your business? Branding. The best way to brand, market, promote, advertise your business? Business cards.
You can’t get more personal
Sending your contact information to a potential client or partner via e-mail or Linkedin is effective in most cases. But, it’s still impersonal. It’s simple—there are no forms of digital connection that equally compare to in-person exchanges. And, even though it may seem otherwise, not everyone owns digital devices. Even for those that do have phones or tablets, it often takes too much unnecessary time to exchange phone numbers or e-mails when one firm handshake and business card exchange can do the trick. Get personal!
Your business cards are your brand
You’re presenting the first impression of your business to your client, potential hire, or partner when you hand them your business card. Why does that matter? Well, would you want to do business with someone who hands you a piece of ripped out notebook paper with a scribbled 000-000-0000? Or, would you rather do business with a company that hands you a pristine, sleek, and professional business card with all their information, location, and social media information? You may not realize it, but the impression you give from your business card can easily determine the outcome of your connection.
Creativity equals extra promotion
Business cards are intended to introduce your business and eventually create a sale. But, just because you are handing the card to one person doesn’t mean it isn’t being shared with more. Often, creative and unique business cards will be shared with coworkers, family members, and friends. So, your initial promotional purpose is multiplied! Take this divorce lawyer’s cards for example.
If you e-mail someone your contact information, or send it via a Linkedin message, you’re more than likely going to face an issue at one point. Either the connection will fail, the message won’t send, or the person on the other line doesn’t have enough service to open your message. One thing that doesn’t depend on internet accessibility? Business cards! No matter when you hand them out, day, night, weekends, holidays, they are always available for information.
You may be more of an internet-type guy or gal, but the truth is, business cards are still as necessary as ever. If you want personal or professional growth, or even to stay relevant, you’re going to need to get yourself and your business some cards. Luckily, there are some places that make designing your business cards basically effortless—and on brand. Bottom line, if someone asks you for your business card, and you don’t have one, you’ll immediately lose their respect and most likely their business.
Advertising money is a scary thing to spend. You’re basically putting money into a theory—a theory that you’ll get more customers or increased sales. But, without proper strategy and thorough planning, your advertising program can send you straight into debt. Don’t worry though, we’ve outlined the do’s and don’ts for advertising your small business:
Out with the old
Print advertisements were once the king of advertisement, but they’re quickly losing their mantra. They aren’t worthless, but they definitely deserve less attention, and less of your business’s money, than they once did. Although most of us think of newspaper and magazine advertisements as print advertising, brochures, flyers, and direct mail all fall in the category, too.
If you decide to promote your business with print advertisements, your best bet is to focus on branding: brochures, flyers, handouts, any sort of print collateral that you can make eye-catching and engaging. These are more intimate and engaging forms that are more likely to render sales. Or, you can choose the newspaper advertisement route. But, keep in mind that circulations for U.S. daily newspapers—print and digital—fell 8%...
Someone change the channel, a commercial’s on
Okay, so people aren’t reading, but they’re watching, right? Well, not exactly. With the rise of DVR, HBO, and Netflix, advertisements are seen a lot less frequently. What does that mean for your local commercial that you worked so tirelessly to create? Well, that isn’t being seen by nearly as many people as you thought it would.
Instead: focus your time on creating a video for your Facebook or Twitter account. Not an advertisement necessarily, but an informative, emotional, funny story that is likely to be shared. You don’t have to have a crazy idea, just something that is cute enough to be noticed. Take Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine’s video that went viral for example. Low budget, funny, and cute!
No better way to waste money
You’re on your way to work, the grocery store, or maybe you’re on a 5-hour trip to visit your sister. So, you turn on the radio for a little background noise. Maybe your favorite song comes on so you jam along, but then it turns off and you zone out. You’re thinking about what you’re going to do for the weekend, or how much you have to get done at work. Or, you don’t tune out, but the station goes to a commercial break. So, you immediately switch to another station.
Yes, it happens to all of us, almost daily. Especially the millennial generation that opts for auxiliary cords over morning shows. So, why are companies still wasting money on advertising over the radio?
Radio stations have a way of manipulating small businesses into buying advertisement packages their companies just simply can’t afford. Not only are they useless, but they are also way too overpriced for their ROI.
So, if not radio, then what?
Blogging and Search Engine Optimization.
Think about it for a second. Whether you’re broadcasting on local television stations or radio stations, every time the advertisement appears, you are facing another cost out of your pocket. Yeah, you may get a few new costumers, but you also may get no new customers. That means your advertisement is just pushing you into debt.
With blogging and search engine optimization, you simply create properly written, informative content that search engines award you for. How? They’ll continuously lead consumers to your website and content over and over, even months down the road at absolutely no cost (besides the cost of hiring a blogger, of course).
The new but the overcrowded
Obviously, technology is on a bit of a take over. You pretty much can’t go anywhere without running into it. But, with so much emphasis on technology comes an overcrowded system of advertisement information. Voices are constantly fighting over engagement and consumers often view advertisements as overbearing. That’s why users, especially millennials, are more frequently tuning them out than responding. It’s true that advertisements are growing to almost every social outlet, including Snapchat and Instagram, but this clearly isn’t fooling millennials.
An alternative that greater suits small business goals? Put your time into online content and branding. As we discussed, this will help you increase sales without fearing that your ad will never be seen.
You have your branding down pat and your SEO content is continuously updating. Now you’re ready to really make your brand known. There’s no better way to do that than through supermarket advertising. Check out why supermarket advertising is the go-to for small and medium businesses.
How to Let Go of Fear and Start Trusting the Process
A motivated, determined mindset at the beginning of an exciting new journey is typical. You’re about to change your life, what is there not to be excited about? But, with instant gratification so readily expected, many people fall off when it is not received. However, many of our goals are long term and therefore will require a long term effort. Let go of your fears and start trusting the process.
Regardless of what your goal is, meditation will help you get rid of your anxieties, live in the moment, and put your trust in the process. The pains and fears you may experience throughout the process may seem detrimental, but that’s usually a conclusion of your mind. “The greater part of human pain is unnecessary. It is self-created as long as the unobserved mind runs your life”-Eckhart Tolle. Meditation will fix your perspective so those detrimental moments will appear a lot less harmful.
- Ask for help
You may be working on your own consciousness or goals, but that doesn’t mean you can’t talk to other people. If you’re struggling with your goals, whether professionally, personally, mentally or physically, you must reach out for help when you need it. It will help you through tough times that are confusing and overwhelming. Become the beginner. Let go of old habits early in the process.
- Stop doubting
Self doubt is the enemy to progress. It eats away at your goals and harms your progress. That’s obvious though. How do you fix it? Well, you can’t just switch it off. But, when you notice yourself doubting your progress, your patience, your path, stop yourself and think positively. If you practice this continuously, you’ll eventually create a habit of positive thinking.
- Experience what frightens you
No, you don’t have to go on a haunted hayride or sit in front of a taunting clown. But you do have to put yourself out of your comfort zone. Don’t let your fears and anxieties of what people will think, what will happen, or what your parents are going to say stop you from reaching for what you want. Most of those made up situations are just that—made up. If you teach yourself to push past those anxieties, regardless of their presence, you’ll experience greater progress.
- Fall in love with the unknown
This is the best part. The process is an undefined path—you really don’t know where it’ll take you. You may have an idea of where you want it to go (maybe you’re trying to lose 10 pounds or tone up your physique.) But, the little victories along the way may change your goal completely. Maybe you lost 5 pounds of fat, but now you want to add some muscle mass, so you gain back that 5 pounds. If you asked the you at the beginning of the process, regaining weight would’ve mortified you. But, you trusted the process, fell in love with the unknown, and are continuing to trust the process again. It’s a never ending cycle of progress.
- Remember fear will arise and dissipate again and again.
Fear happens. We are human. The emotions that arise naturally are a product of our chemical brain makeup. But, what can change is how we react to those emotions. When you get fearful of where something is heading, remember that those anxieties are just a fabrication of your thoughts. Instead, think about what you can be thankful for presently, and those fearful thoughts will subside.
Obviously we all need a plan. A process wouldn’t even begin if there was no plan to make the process happen. But, when we’re faced with situations you didn’t think would happen, you need to make sure that you react in a proper way. Let’s take working out for example. You have this great plan to get into shape. Maybe you go to the gym 5 days a week, eat healthy, and see adequate results. But, you begin to feel a pain in your hamstring. You either ignore the pain and stick to your plan (and most likely hurt yourself worse) or understand that the process requires flexibility and let your leg heal. That doesn’t mean your plan needs to go completely out the window, it just need a little detour.
If you follow these steps, you’ll be on a path to a rather successful outcome. But, remember, there is no instant gratification here. This is going to be a habit-forming and life-changing experience you won’t want to rush.
Small business investment is an important part of a businesses’ growth. It would be foolish to think that just “doing business” will be good enough to grow your business to the height you wish it to be.
Strong online presence:
Your online presence is like your resume. It’s your chance to promote all the best attributes of your company in as many ways as you’d like.
That doesn’t just mean a website. That means Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest accounts and just about any other social media platform that serves your business’ goals.
Your online presence reinforces your brand to your audience over multiple platforms. Unity and symmetry across your accounts will help you maintain your image as credible.
Maybe you don’t know how to brand your business on social media. Or, you don’t know how to grow your business to the multi-million-dollar business you want it to be one day.
Maybe you think you know all the skills and steps. But, let’s face it, nothing ever goes as planned, and you will probably still fail at some point along the way.
That’s why mentors and coaches are so important for small businesses to invest in. If you create a relationship with a successful businessperson in the same industry as your small business, they will know all the ups and downs and fails and successes that you can make.
They’ll guide your business to success by picking you back up off your feet and leading you in the right direction.
If you’re running your business, then you already have enough anxieties keeping you up late at night.
An investment in an administrative intern will take away the mundane office tasks that are nothing more than mere time-wasters.
Instead, you can spend your time focused on the business issues that are essential to the prosperity of your business.
This is probably the most beneficial step you can take for the overall triumph of your business. An investment in yourself is an investment in all the activities you are involved in throughout your day.
Taking 10 minutes to mediate in the morning or getting in a 30-minute gym trip after work will have immense benefits on your ability to focus and work efficiently throughout the work week.
Remember when you were younger getting upset over something you put a lot of time into, and your mom would tell you to ‘not put all your eggs in one basket’?
Well, that saying isn’t going anywhere, soon. It’s even important for running your small business. Investing in your business is the only way it will actually grow.
But, if you put all of your focus in one or two aspects of your business, that’s risking disaster. Seriously.
- Personalize your retweets
Adding retweets to your twitter arsenal is one of the easiest ways to stay on your followers’ timelines. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be looking at you. They may just be looking at the person you retweeted. Instead of retweeting, quote tweet relevant tweets and add a personal touch. This will increase engagement with your page.
- Trending topics
When something is trending, especially in your area, that means a lot of people care about the topic enough to be tweeting consistently about it. Those who aren’t tweeting may also click on the trending topics to see what the conversation is all about. So, if you see a trending topic that you can relate to the brand and goals of your company, tweet about it! You’ll most likely increase your page’s exposure.
Most people are using twitter on their mobile devices. That means a tweet filled with 140 characters may not be as visually attractive as a tweet with visuals or links. People want to interact. You just have to give them the tools to do so.
Engagement with your audience is a two-way street. You can’t expect your followers to reach out to you if you aren’t giving them the time of day yourself. Even if they never mentioned your twitter handle, reply to relevant tweets with a clever, useful, even witty response that will leave them yearning for more.
The easiest way to get responses is to ask questions. But, don’t make them nonsense questions that your target audience wouldn’t answer. Make them insightful and meaningful. Not “What’s your favorite color?” but “What is your biggest struggle for marketing your small business?” Real questions that give you real answers.
But, let’s be honest. Not everyone is comfortable replying to questions publically, especially if they are too personal. But, a good way to maintain engagement with your twitter audience is posting polls. They’re extremely easy to make and are available for 24 hours to respond to. The only downside is you can’t see exactly who responded. But, on twitter, engagement is engagement. The more, the better.
If you’re positioning yourself as a credible source, then you need to start sharing some credible, useful information. Retweeting is great, but if it isn’t coming from you, all you are doing is giving that source the accreditation you were longing for. Instead, use your own voice and share some insightful tweets.
Follow inMark on twitter
Aldi discount food store announced a $3.4 billion investment into 2,500 new store locations by 2022. According to Supermarket News, this would make Aldi the third largest grocery chain in the U.S. (in store count). Walmart and Kroger are the largest chains in the U.S. currently. This announcement comes a few moths after announcing a $1.6 billion renovation and remodeling of 1,300 stores.
“We pioneered a grocery model built around value, convenience, quality and selection and now ALDI is one of America’s favorite and fastest growing retailers,” Aldi CEO, Jason Hart, said in a news release.
The expansion has the potential to serve 100 million customers every month and create 25,000 new jobs, according to Aldi representatives.
Aldi is not the only discount store popping into the news lately. Lidl, Aldi’s German rival, implemented its first store in the U.S. this month. Lidl’s prices are an estimated 9% cheaper than Walmart’s low prices, 16% cheaper than Food Lion and about 3% cheaper than Aldi’s.
Lidl has more than low prices. Their low prices coupled with an innovative supermarket experience, premium shopping and customer service create an enhanced supermarket environment.
“The retailer seemed to steal certain aspects from various retailers, such as hints of Publix (employees were extremely friendly and even escorted the elderly around in wheelchairs), Costco (random sample stations, concrete floors, display cases on pallets and still in shipping packaging), and insert any specialty grocer name here (wood grain decor, vibrant signage, and a respectable bakery/ethnic/organic offering),” Jefferies analysts wrote.
Photo Courtesy of Jefferies
Amazon is becoming more than just an e-commerce platform. It already has a hand in just about any business you can think of – automobiles, fitness, apparel, electronics… But, if Amazon’s marketplace isn’t enough evidence, check out its recent purchase of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion.
That isn’t even all Amazon is up to.
Recently, Amazon has delved into small business lending. Their platform, Amazon Marketplace, was already a space to let small and medium sized companies sell their products throughout the globe. Now, they’re lending to those businesses.
What is Amazon Lending?
This year Amazon has issued more than $1 billion in small business loans. These loans range from $1,000 to $750,000. Amazon said many sellers have used this money to expand their inventory and discount items on Amazon Marketplace. More than 20,000 small businesses have received loans from Amazon.
How can you get an Amazon Loan?
Unfortunately, Amazon’s program is invitation only. But, they have issued loans to thousands of companies in the United States, U.K. and Japan. This innovative program may benefit many small businesses and, of course, Amazon, but it may also hinder banks and large retailers that are already struggling to keep up with Amazon Marketplace.
The millennial generation is completely different than past generations. They want quick results and quick transactions. Amazon provides this ease with their online loan program.
Many banks have yet to set up online loan applications. If they fail to update the way they do business, they can run into similar trouble that large retailers are experiencing because of e-commerce sites like Amazon.
Businesses are recruiting talent through all social media platforms, even Snapchat. Why? A lot of businesses are looking for millennial employees, and Snapchat has one of the biggest millennial audiences. In fact, about 86 percent of working people in their first decade of employment use social media to search for job openings and potential employers.
McDonald’s is capitalizing on this movement.
The fast food industry that is known for their 35,000 store locations has started recruiting talent through Snapchat to fill 250,000 open positions. This large-scale recruitment strategy may be more beneficial than it sounds.
- Snapchat sends invitations to potential McDonald’s employees. Most of McDonald’s applicants are between 16 and 24, and half of Snapchat users fall in that range.
- Users can send in a “Snaplication” which includes a ten second Snapchat video with a McDonald’s filter. Then, McDonald’s sends a link to the application page, on Snapchat, where users can formally apply to the job.
- Why it works:
- One of the biggest struggles for recruiting talent is actually reaching your potential employee pool. If you are trying to recruit millennial talent, go where they are: on social media. That’s where their attention is and where you’ll get it. Obviously, you’ll still want them to submit applications and sit down for an interview with you, but they can’t do that if they don’t know about the job opportunity in the first place.
Other companies are doing it too.
Space150, a digital shop, ran an intern application through Snapchat for two weeks. The company used geofilters to reach college students on 29 different campuses. The filters asked interested students to follow Space150’s account and apply to 10 internships in the agency’s multiple offices. The application required that interested users create a Snapchat story for one of the agency’s brands as if it were the year 2020.
- For small businesses:
- So, you’ve read this far because you’re running a small business that needs help recruiting talent. You can reach your talent on social media, as we discussed, but as a small business with a smaller budget than McDonald’s, how do you launch a project like this?
- The benefits:
- Geofilters allow you to ultra-localize your search through specific geo-locations, and they’re relatively inexpensive. You can either use the location for specific geographic areas or even specific companies. One company, agency 180LA, used geofilters to find talent that was already employed. They created creative geofilters to target employees at companies like Buzzfeed, Google and Facebook.
How to do it.
- Download the app
- Reach out to inMark Media for branding and marketing tips
- Launch your recruiting campaign!
No website means lost business. Over 2 billion people across the world use the internet, and 70 percent of them use it everyday. Still, some small businesses are failing to raise their sales with one simple fix: a website.
More people are using the internet than ever before. An average of over 3 billion searches are processed on google everyday. Of those searches, over 50 percent are shoppers. That means your market is searching for products and services online, and if you’re business doesn’t have a website, they won’t know about your business. A professionally designed website is as important as having one in the first place. It helps brand your company and create an improved reputation.
Companies will waste thousands of dollars marketing their business in out-of-date brochures and newspaper advertisements instead of investing their time in a professional website. Not a website guru? No problem. There are extremely affordable companies that will create one for you.
One of your first impressions:
Even if your first connection with a client is in person, that person will most likely look up your website as soon as you leave—whether you know it or not. If you don’t have a website, you have a high chance of losing that customer.
Websites are open 24 hours a day. There’s no closing the store or locking doors. When you have a website, your costumers have access to your business from any location at any time. You’re giving your current and potential customers the ability to review your products, services and business at their own convenience.
You can boast:
When you’re relying on word of mouth to sell your company, you’re trusting that those words are positive. That isn’t always the truth. When you have a website, you’re your own advocate. That means boasting is a given, and it’s even recommended. Show yourself off and take pride in your work.
Keep customers up to date:
Websites are the perfect platform to keep your customers in the loop. You can use it as a blog, or to update your future and current customers about new products, offers, events or other content.
On average, 139,344 new websites go live each day. Don’t miss out on one of the easiest ways to market and brand your company.