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Have You Thanked A Client Lately?

It’s that time of year. You know, top ten lists, what worked in 2010, what didn’t, the lists go on and on and …. (okay, you get the picture). Basically I call this time of year a time to reflect. It’s a time to slow down (right, you still have holiday shopping to do) and look back on the year that was and still is for a few more days 2010.

As a business owner there’s a lot to review. In my business, this is the busy time of year that includes budgeting and marketing plan development for my clients. We’ve been thinking about 2011 for several months now and I guess it has already begun to feel like a new year. However, this is the time of year to step back and thank the clients that got me to where I am today. That’s why I think a Client Loyalty Program is vital. In a recent article published by Entrepreneur Magazine they list the Four Steps to launching a successful loyalty program. Read more here.

Whether you client base is made up of physicians or maybe you’re a veterinarian that works on a daily basis with our furry friends, there’s a number of ways to say “Thank you for making 2010 successful”. What are some of the ways you’ve thanked your clients or how you’ve been thanked as a client?

We’d love to share them with our blog readers!

Thank you loyal clients of Dog-Eared Pages, you’ve made 2010 the best year yet!

Happy client appreciation –

Sarah @ Dog-Eared Pages

 

 

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Talking To Yourself, Again?

I know many of us fall into the trap of talking to ourselves. I am not speaking of those times when you’re in your car. You know who you are!  While stuck in traffic, you carry out the full dialog of how you want to tell your boss to leave you alone and how you should be promoted to the next level. As you finally have the discussion wrapped up, you realize the people on either side of you are watching your weird facial contortions and wondering who you are talking to in your car. I’m speaking of your marketing.

So many times when we craft our own marketing message, we craft it so WE understand it. Trust me, I’ve fallen into the trap using words that only ad industry people use, like ROI, target market, one-sheet, creative brief, etc. That’s why I have to share a great article I found today. If you’re looking for a good resource to help you tighten up your messaging, write clearer and with brevity, this article and the resources within it can help!Picture 2

Sarah @ Dog-Eared Pages

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20 Ways to Drive Leads Through Social Media

20 Ways to Drive Leads Through Social Media

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The ‘Wild Rumpus’ of Storytelling

With the release of Where the Wild Things Are this weekend, I found myself falling quickly back into a magical part of my childhood. Siting next to my grandfather as he transformed a $2.99 paperback book into a fantastic journey. With each page, the smell of a new book and the hope of following Max as he explored a magical forest all from his imagination, I sat motionless waiting for the wonderment to wash over me.  In only ten sentences (that is all that’s in the entire book) I was quickly transported to the land of monsters, being crowned Queen of the Wild monsters and dancing with the monsters in a “Wild Rumpus”. As I look back, the story was mesmerizing, it had a way of grabbing my attention and making me want to know more. I told every friend I had about the book and before long, my whole first grade class was reading the book.

All of this reminiscing got me to thinking about marketing for business and how the way your story is conveyed can really make the difference in what your customers believe.

Combating the Big, Scary Monster or Does Your Company Have an Engaging Story?

It’s often frightening to think what it is that makes our business stand out from others. What is unique about your company? Does the customer you serve find that your service is head and shoulders above your competition? Do you know why? These questions, among many others are often hard for business owners to define. It’s not always easy to step outside of our businesses and really experience what you provide from the customer’s perspective. Take a look at this article from Entrepreneur.com  for some story starters and begin defining your story.

Are You a Kid Hiding in a Wolf Costume or What Can Storytelling Do To Showcase Your Business?

So many business that are launching a new website or implementing a new marketing tactic fall into the same trap. “Me too” marketing. Often they take inventory of what their competitor is doing and say we do that too.

For instance. Say you own a bakery. You competitor is within one mile of you. You can’t exactly use the same wording as they are, like “Your neighborhood baker”. If you used the same type of marketing, potential clients could get confused as to which one of you was the “neighborhood baker” that advertised in the local paper. What could be worse? Well, imagine if that same potential client went to the “other” bakery and had a horrible experience. Just think how you could loose out on clients the next time this potential customer’s friends mentions the neighborhood baker. They might say the experience was awful and if you were to run an ad with the same tone, they might think it was you!

Instead of copying what your competitor is doing be aware of their tactics and  brand yourself in a different light. For instance be “that baker on the corner who makes biscotti that is perfect to dunk into coffee”. Your true customers will remember the little things you do that are different. They will talk about those little things with their friends and then their friends will talk, etc. Word of mouth marketing is great, but for it to work, you have to have something that makes you stand out of the crowd. Be the expert in your field. Be the place people are talking about favorably. Have something unique that your customers can cabbage onto and tell others to see for themselves.

Let the Monsters Romp or How Your Customers Can Help Sell Your Business

Finally, the glue that holds your storytelling together in the world of marketing effectively is utilizing the valuable chapters your customers provide for your story. Client testimonials on a web site, in a promotional brochure or even better in a television commercial are invaluable. You can talk all day about how great your product or service is, but potential clients understand your bias and often discount it. However if the average Joes and Janes rave about your biscotti and how it is perfect with their favorite cup of coffee, they’ll be thrilled to be quoted in your advertising pieces. What’s even better? Do you know a famous person or person of influence within your community that raves about your product or service? Have you approached them for their insight. It could be worth its weight in gold!

Bottom line, don’t be afraid of marketing your company’s message through crafty storytelling. Just like a good book, a well-defined marketing story can intrigue, inspire and yes, involve your customers. Getting the word out there is your next step.

Let the wild rumpus begin!

Sarah @ Dog-Eared Pages

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We’re Baaaacckkkk ….

IMG_0722After a long absence from blogging, I am back and ready to continue updating you with the latest in copywriting, marketing, business development and of course dog-related metaphoric laden stories. Hopefully everyone had a good summer and found some time to kick back and enjoy the dog days of summer (see I warned you). Durning this time I had the opportunity to refocus and make a list/fill a folder full of all kinds of information I wish to share with you.

This week’s topic up for grabs ….

Top 10 most useful website ….. let me know what your favorites are. Here’s a list of the most useful according to About.com.

Happy webbing!

Sarah@dog-eared pages

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You’ve Got … A FULL Inbox!

I just read an interesting article about email marketing which states:

“Forrester Research projects that consumers will receive more than 9,000 e-mail marketing messages a year by 2014.”

Instantly, I found myself thinking …

“Okay what filters can I set”

“What Spam settings will help”

“What will we do”

And then … I stopped. What will we as marketing professionals do? I seem to find myself asking this more an more each day. With the newest release of iPhone’s 3.o upgrade, I have received at least 4 emails from Mac with tidbits of what to expect (not that I am complaining-I so love Mac!) And, just imagine all the new apps that will be promoted with email …. oh my ….

Picture-3So back to my point- what shall we do as marketing professional with all this email marketing? Some believe advertisers will fully embrace all that is social media. While others are saying that email will over take the social media place. What do you think? I’d love to hear your comments. Share them with us.

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Time Is Money

Recently I started reading a book that has been out forever. How I missed it, I’ll never know. But a friend of mine, Shawn Kinkade, highly recommended it, so I ran out to the bookstore and settled down to read something that has really transformed the way I am doing business.

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If you’re looking for a way to help keep on task, break your day into bite-sizes pieces and actually manage your time effectively, Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy is a must.

First of all, it’s a quick, easy read. So for all of you out there that “put things off”, like I don’t know … reading … this book shatters that excuse. What’s more, Tracy discusses key concepts in why many small business owners struggle to “Eat that Frong” as he calls it. Besides the fact that you wear tons of hats, being a business owner is tiring, so the thought of actually sitting down to organize your day sounds absurd to say the least. Trust me I was with you before I read the book.

What I have discovered is that it actually takes more time to put off those big tasks we wish to avoid. So I ask what is the Frog that you constantly avoid swallowing on a daily basis? Could it be by making yourself take a huge bit of that task, you actually could be clearing your schedule, head and workspace of something that could generate a much larger return?

Here’s the most important thing I learned in this book. Instead of keeping all the tasks, goals and ideas you have as an entrepreneur in your mind, generate a list on paper. No matter what it is, write it down. Often, I would find myself keeping everything in my mind and feeling overwhelmed. Once I started writing it down, not only did I feel invigorated that I had let go of all the tasks, but now I had a way to visually cross off things. What’s more, I discovered that 80% of my time was spend on things that only generated 5-20% of successful return for my company.

All this said, no matter what business you are in, no matter what title you hold, managing your time is a cost effective way to increase business productivity. Plus, you’ll have a chance to clear the slate, start something new and actually create a plan that makes “cents”.

Go out and read Eat That Frog. I must admit it’s already done wonders for me both personally and professionally.

Happy Frog Swallowing!

Sarah @ Dog-Eared Pages

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