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A few years ago I created a to-do list for my business (different from my to-do list for clients). Nearly every day I would add something to the list. Soon, I had over five pages of things to do -- tasks I viewed as important enough to interrupt what I was doing so I could add them to my list. Before long, every time I opened the document I got depressed. I was always adding to the list, but almost never crossing anything off. Why? I discovered I had a number of well-...

Your Marketing Efforts Sink, Swim Or Soar Depending On How Well You Satisfy The

Your Marketing Efforts Sink, Swim Or Soar Depending On How Well You Satisfy TheA few years ago I created a to-do list for my business (different from my to-do list for clients). Nearly every day I would add something to the list. Soon, I had over five pages of things to do -- tasks I viewed as important enough to interrupt what I was doing so I could add them to my list. Before long, every time I opened the document I got depressed. I was always adding to the list, but almost never crossing anything off. Why? I discovered I had a number of well-worn excuses: I don't have enough time. The project seems too big. It won't hurt to put it off a little longer. I feel no pressure to get it done. Maybe it isn't important after all. When I looked at the tasks I did complete, I assumed they would match my highest priorities. Right? Wrong! I surprised myself to learn that priority had almost nothing to do with it. Instead, the major factor in my decision to complete these tasks was the "Big C" -- Convenience. I could finish them quickly and easily. I could complete them in one sitting. And I felt really good when the job was done: instant gratification. So, what did I do with my 5-page to-do list? I deleted it. Now I feel much better. When your prospective clients need to hire a lawyer, do they hire you? Or are they skilled at finding ways to "put it off until tomorrow" -- or much later? I encourage you to make every aspect of your law practice convenient for both your prospects and clients -- because if they face any obstacles, they may have all the reason they need to do nothing. Now, here are 12 smart ways to make your law practice more convenient: Smart Way #1: Make sure prospects find it easy to learn about you. This includes having an education-based web site that answers their questions and explains in detail how you can help them. Also, I suggest you have an educational packet that contains articles and information about your services, which you can send by mail or e-mail. mart Way #2: Make sure prospects find it easy to reach you. Do you accept phone calls from prospects -- or do you insist that they come into your office before you'll speak with them? Do you offer a toll free number -- or do prospects have to pay to call you? Do you respond to e-mails from prospects? The more convenient you make it for prospects, the more calls you ll receive. Smart Way #3: Make sure clients find it easy to reach you. Are you available by pager or cell phone in an emergency? Can a client reach you quickly and easily on the phone? Do you return calls promptly? Smart Way #4: Make sure prospects find it easy to get to your office. Is your office on or near a major street? Is your parking area close to your building or office? Is your office at a convenient location in the building? If on the second floor or higher, is the elevator close by? Smart Way #5: Make sure prospects find it easy to meet with you. If prospects have a hard time coming to your office, will you go to their home or office? If weekdays are difficult for them, will you meet with them in the evening or on a weekend? Smart Way #6: Make sure prospects find it easy to hire you. Can they hire you without having to drive to your office? Can you send your engagement letter or contract by fax or e-mail? If you have an established relationship, can they hire you simply by calling you on the phone? Or by sending you an e-mail? Can they hire you without a retainer? Smart Way #7: Make sure prospects find it easy to pay you. Will you accept personal checks? How about credit cards? Do you offer a payment plan? Do you provide postage-paid business reply envelopes to make sending their check more convenient? Smart Way #8: Make sure prospects and clients find it easy to provide you with the information you need. Do you have a form they can fill out and send by fax or e-mail? For larger packets, do you provide self-addressed UPS or FedEx labels? Smart Way #9: Make sure prospects and clients find it easy to remember appointments and other important dates. Do you send them a calendar of upcoming dates, including what you need from them -- or expect of them -- by those dates? Do you send letters or e-mails reminding them of appointments? (A more tactful way to remind them is to ask if this time is still convenient for them.) Smart Way #10: Make sure clients know when to call you to update documents. You might provide them a list of criteria or events that should prompt them to contact you. Smart Way #11: Make sure clients find it easy to refer their friends and colleagues. You might mail to each client your referral brochure, which contains a complete listing of your services and contact information. Consider providing clients with referral postcards they can give to friends and colleagues to request a meeting with you. Offer educational seminars so clients can bring friends to meet you and hear your message in person. Smart Way #12: Make sure clients find it easy to remember you. You might provide things that contain your contact information, such as calendars and paperweights. Send cordial-contact letters. Mail them your newsletter. Don't overlook greeting cards, gifts and donations given in their name. Also, consider hosting special events like art walks and wine tastings. In summary: Convenience is a big factor in how prospects and clients respond to your marketing efforts. Don't allow even the slightest obstacle to come between your prospects and you. Instead, emphasize how easily prospects can do business with you. In this way, you melt the ice that freezes many prospects in place -- and help them realize that working with you is an easy, positive, rewarding experience.

Sports Logos As Marketing Tools

Sports Logos As Marketing Tools

Professional sports teams as well as colleges and universities use their respective logos as a way of marketing their team or institution to the rest of the world. These marketing efforts take place in a number of different ways, and have been proven effective time and time again. Just a few of the ways that sports logos are used for marketing purposes are listed below.1. Both professional organizations and colleges grant licensing rights to anybody that wants to use their name or logo on anything that they want to sell. This is most commonly done in the clothing industry. This is an indirect, cost and time efficient way of marketing for these organizations. By doing this they get exposure to millions of different people without ever having to do any work at all.2. Sports logos are also used in more traditional marketing efforts. Organizations do this because the public will recognize the logo, and then look deeper at what is being advertised. This is common in newspapers as well as billboards. How many times have you seen a billboard for your favorite professional sports team that has a huge logo on it? The teams do this so that passer bys will put two and two together and keep the team in mind. This can help to drive ticket sales, etc.3. Whenever a team knows that they are going to be competing on television they will make sure that their logo is placed all over the place. This is particularly true when it comes to college athletics. This is a great way for a college or university to get exposure to the national media, as well as interested students or athletes.The use of a logo is one of the best ways to draw in customers, and keep their attention. In addition, these logos are also a great way to keep a team fresh in the buyers mind. This can be an important aspect if the team if looking to sell something. This includes items such as team merchandise or tickets.They are banking on the fact that the buyer will remember the logo, and then buy from their organization when the situation arises.Logos have been proven as an effective and successful marketing tool in the sports industry for many years. It is safe to say that teams are always looking for a new and better way to get their logo in front of as many people as possible

Custom Packaging and Shrink Wrappings: An Important Role In Selling Your Product

Custom Packaging and Shrink Wrappings: An Important Role In Selling Your Product

When manufacturers first consider a product, they often discount the issue of packaging. They seem to think such decisions can wait until the product is ready for production. In many cases this may be true. However, some thought must go into packaging very early in the design process; because if a product requires custom packaging or shrink wrappings this could play a vital role in the budgeting and marketing of that product.Let us face it, as consumers we love custom packaging. Something unique and individual that helps pull us into the world of that product. And there is something strangely wonderful about shrink wrappings. It conveys that valuable message: This product was made for you and no one else. And ripping that shrink wrapping makes us truly take ownership of the product.However, as much as we as consumers may like these things, we as business people understand that custom packaging and even shrink wrappings bring with them unique costs that must be evaluated. Custom packaging may require the use of industrial designers, it may require extra rounds of testing; and shrinking wrappings involve an extra layer of costs which may not be required on all products.Custom packaging may also present storage and shipping problems. A custom package may not be as easy stacked on a warehouse floor, or as easily prepared for shipping. And although custom packaging often attracts consumers, it may do the opposite. For this reason, your product may need to go through focus group testing on the custom packaging alone. Another cost.But, on the other hand, we all know a square box can be dull; and we all know that products without shrink wrappings look "cheaper" to many consumers. So where does that leave us?It leaves us where we often find ourselves when faced with any business decision. It leaves us forced to weigh our options. However, we think there are series of questions you might consider which can help you weigh your options in smart and efficient manner.In regards to custom packaging, ask yourself these questions: Is your product unique? Does your product require some special understanding or explanation? Does your product appeal to an upscale market? If you answered "yes" to any or all of these questions, then we feel that custom packaging should be considered. Unique products, products which require special explanation, or upscale products can benefit from custom packaging.In regards to shrink wrappings, ask yourself these questions: Is the product perishable or viewed as perishable? Could handling the product by others easily damage it? And does cleanness or sterility play a role in the use of your product? Again, a "yes" answer to any of these questions means you should at least consider the use of shrink wrappings.We hope this brief article has helped you get a handle on some of the issues you need to confront when making packaging decisions. Custom packing and shrink wrappings can add value and appeal to your product, but they come with a unique set of costs. Only by properly examining your product and its customer base will you be able to determine if your product is worth this additional expense.

Marketing Like a Game of Chess

Marketing  Like a Game of Chess

Have you started thinking about your Valentines Day Promotion yet? It may sound like a strange question on the day before Thanksgiving but it really isnt. When scheduling your promotions it is like a game of chess. You should always be thinking at least 3 moves ahead. In this case each "move" should be one month. Therefore you should have been thinking about your Valentines, or February promotions as you fall asleep after your big Turkey dinner.There are a few reasons why you need to have your promotions figured out that early.Getting Promo Out Takes Time.By having it all worked out months in advance you give yourself enough time for the logistics. Getting the concept down, getting artwork put together, printing, and mailing all have to be done and this can take several weeks from being an idea in your head to being a piece of promo in your customers hands. You are also going to want to have the piece in your customers hands at least 2 weeks before the sale or event.Get the Message Out Multiple Times.Getting your promo out early lets you drive your message home through repetition. Take Christmas for example. If you start mailing to your customers in the beginning of November, you will be able to cement your company name in their head because you will be able to mail to them multiple times before they have to make their Holiday purchases. On the other hand if you start mailing to them in late November or Early December you will not have the time to do multiple mailings. Getting one mailing out at that stage will still be much better than not sending anything at all, but nothing works better when promoting than multiple mailings with the same message to the same list.Free Up Time for Running Your Business.Most people who own a business do their own marketing. Thankfully marketing is one of the few things in a business that you can do far in advance. By scheduling your holiday promotions ahead of time you will make yourself available to wear all of the other hats that you do around your business.Scheduling promotions can seem like a huge task, but some things are just worth the extra thought. It really isnt that daunting. Once it is done, then youll have time to put your ideas and energy on other areas that need your attention so that you maximize your efforts toward expansion.Check Mate!

The Importance Of Newsletters In Business

Newsletters are sent for various reasons like to abreast customers of the latest happenings inside the company in terms of various product launchings, new business policies and regulations, upcoming events, news about the achievements of the company and its employees and other stuffs that might be deem interesting and helpful to the customers.Most companies hire the expertise of reputable newsletter printing companies to help them in creating noteworthy newsletters. Newsletter printing companies in a way relieves busy owners of the task of creating eloquently worded newsletters. Nevertheless, there are electronic newsletters that are also being employed nowadays and can be used by some owners. But inspite of this most companies still prefer to have their newsletters created in the old fashioned way-PRINTED. Printed newsletters especially those that have undergone full color printing still creates that aesthetic appeal that helps customers in associating with the business. Nevertheless, there are also some business owners that creates their own newsletters and assign the task to their human resource department. Although this may save the company some dollars but in terms of the quality of the output one can clearly see the newsletters that have undergone professional newsletter writing from those that are just merely created by business staffs that have no proper training when it comes to newsletter creation. Poorly created newsletters would not be good especially in building the company's image because this will show unprofessionalism in the way the business conduct itself. And aside from that poorly created newsletters would just be shunned away by customers and would just be tacked away in some corner and then forgotten. And so to prevent such from happening always makes sure that you hire the expertise of a reputable "newsletter printing" company, bear in mind that potential customers may be turn-off if ever they received generic newsletters with caption TO OUR VALUED CUSTOMERS and then the newsletters just didn't show that value. A business must be able to show value and quality all throughout its business endeavors. For comments and suggestions kindly visit Newsletter Printing Design Service

The Benefits Of Branding

Branding is the process of creating distinctive and durable perceptions in the minds of consumers. A brand is a persistent, unique business identity intertwined with associations of personality, quality, origin, liking and more. Heres why the effort to brand your company or yourself pays off. 1. Memorability. A brand serves as a convenient container for a reputation and good will. It's hard for customers to go back to "that whatsitsname store" or to refer business to "the plumber from the Yellow Pages." In addition to an effective company name, it helps when people have material reminders reinforcing the identity of companies they will want to do repeat business with: refrigerator magnets, tote bags, datebooks, coasters, key rings, first aid kits, etc. Memorability can come from using and sticking with an unusual color combination (FedEx's purple and orange), distinctive behavior (the gas station whose attendants literally run to clean your windshield), or with an individual, even a style of clothing (Author Tom Wolfe's white suits). Develop your own identifiers and nail them to your company name in the minds of your public. 2. Loyalty. When people have a positive experience with a memorable brand, they're more likely to buy that product or service again than competing brands. People who closely bond with a brand identity are not only more likely to repurchase what they bought, but also to buy related items of the same brand, to recommend the brand to others and to resist the lure of a competitor's price cut. The brand identity helps to create and to anchor such loyalty. Consider the legions of car owners who travel up to 2,000 miles at their own expense to attend a Saturn celebration at the company's plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee. That's loyalty. And supposedly, more people have the motorcycle brand "Harley-Davidson" tattooed on their body than any other brand name. That's out-of-this-world loyalty. 3. Familiarity. Branding has a big effect on non-customers too. Psychologists have shown that familiarity induces liking. Consequently, people who have never done business with you but have encountered your company identity sufficient times may become willing to recommend you even when they have no personal knowledge of your products or services. Seeing your ads on local buses, having your pen on their desk, reading about you in the Hometown News, they spread the word for you when a friend or colleague asks if they know a ____ and that's what you do. 4. Premium image, premium price. Branding can lift what you sell out of the realm of a commodity, so that instead of dealing with price-shoppers you have buyers eager to pay more for your goods than for those of competitors. Think of some people's willingness to buy the currently "in" brand of bottled water, versus toting along an unlabeled bottle of the same stuff filled from the office water cooler. The distinctive value inherent in a brand can even lead people to dismiss evidence they would normally use to make buying decisions. I once saw one middle-aged Cambridge, Massachusetts, intellectual argue to several colleagues that Dunkin' Donuts' coffee tastes better than Starbucks'. So contradictory was this claim to the two companies' reputations for this demographic group that the colleagues refused to put the matter to a taste test. 5. Extensions. With a well-established brand, you can spread the respect you've earned to a related new product, service or location and more easily win acceptance of the newcomer. For instance, when a winery with a good reputation starts up regional winery tours, then adds foreign ones, each business introduction benefits from the positive perceptions already in place. 6. Greater company equity. Making your company into a brand usually means that you can get more money for the company when you decide to sell it. A Coca-Cola executive once said that if all the company's facilities and inventory vanished all around the world, he could walk into any bank and take out a loan based only on the right to the Coca-Cola name and formula. 7. Lower marketing expenses. Although you must invest money to create a brand, once it's created you can maintain it without having to tell the whole story about the brand every time you market it. For instance, a jingle people in your area have heard a zillion times continues to promote the company when it's played without any words. 8. For consumers, less risk. When someone feels under pressure to make a wise decision, he or she tends to choose the brand-name supplier over the no-name one. As the saying goes, "You'll never be fired for buying IBM." By building a brand, you fatten your bottom line.

Summary

A few years ago I created a to-do list for my business (different from my to-do list for clients). Nearly every day I would add something to the list. Soon, I had over five pages of things to do -- tasks I viewed as important enough to interrupt what I was doing so I could add them to my list. Before long, every time I opened the document I got depressed. I was always adding to the list, but almost never crossing anything off. Why? I discovered I had a number of well-...