As a small business marketing agency, sometimes we tend to spend way too much time behind the computer building logos, doing invoicing, helping to create brands, websites, editing photos, or doing other graphic design work. Anyone who’s an entrepreneur knows how much there is to do behind the scenes, and it’s not always glamorous stuff. Every now and again though, we do get out and about. This was one of those weeks.
We started this past week off by attending the SCORE Westmoreland County, PA Christmas luncheon at the Fred Rogers Center in Latrobe, PA. As new SCORE members ourselves, it was great to meet all of the local mentors, clients, and others affiliated with SCORE. For those that don’t know, SCORE is a national organization that helps to guide and assist current and prospective business owners towards success. If you’ve got an idea to start a business, this is one of the first organizations to get ahold of. The mentors selflessly volunteer their time, resources, and experiences to help improve, or get your business off the ground…at no charge! We love being a part of this organization and appreciated the invitation to the luncheon.
Next, we had the honor of instructing a local Catholic church’s staff with our own proprietary Social Media Training program. We sat with the Monsignor and his team for a few hours and taught them best practices, why, how, and when to make posts so that they can hopefully increase their parishes social media engagement. This was a great training and a few in the room were already pretty familiar with social media, so it made our training much more effective. Everyone in attendance asked great questions and had fantastic input throughout the training. We had a lot of fun explaining the benefits and practices of social media to them.
2019 is going to be a HUGE year for 77 Design Co as there are already many big projects on the books. We look forward to the challenges of helping local businesses and organizations prosper and grow!
Entrepreneurs-It’s that time of the year again, and some business owners may be planning their marketing efforts for 2019. Top business owners know their goals, and more often than not one of those goals is to increase sales and reach more customers. If this isn’t in your plans, you potentially risk your business slowly fading into oblivion. Even if you are really busy, there should always be future plans for when the business decelerates because at some point…it will. Peter Drucker once said, “Business has only two functions-marketing and innovation.”
One of your best ways to reach new customers is by implementing an effective and solid marketing plan. This could be through 1 or 2 specific tactics or utilizing dozens of separate marketing and advertising outlets. Ultimately, it’s up to you (or your staff) to decide what works best with your budget and what produces the best results. We’ll add that these 4 plans are just the tip of the iceberg on what all you can do for your business when it comes to marketing. There are a host of other advertising and marketing actions you can take to get the most bang for your buck. Really, there’s almost limitless possibilities to what you can do for your business. The following are pretty popular though. Let’s take a look at some ways you can make more money by marketing your company better.
1- Social Media.
Yep, social media, deal with it! Whether you like it or not, social media is a huge marketable platform and it looks like it’s here to stay for the foreseeable future. The trick is to take advantage of it, separate yourself, and stay ahead of your competition by creating an attractive and wide social media presence. How do you do this? Consistency.
Consistently posting to one or more of your social media outlets will ensure that you are ever changing. You can keep customers and potential customers up to date with industry news, products or services you offer, and engage them with what you do. Show your audience what makes your business different by consistently posting great photos and videos, articles, blogs, or even creating humorous posts. There are a few outlets that you can direct your time, energy, or money to and that could be Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter. You will have to work a little to see which attracts the most interest best for your business. Inconsistency or substandard posting will actually hurt your presence.
The company website should be constantly updated. Whether that is by adding images/videos, blogs, new content, offers, or just updating information about the business. It’s not really a marketing tool per say but it does give you that online presence that is almost certainly required in todays world of business. Google will drop the business listing for sites that sit stagnant and you always want to try and reach the pinnacle of page 1, if possible, so your business is more easily found. Besides, you owe it to your customers and the colleagues that you work with to keep your online presence fresh and professional looking. You don’t want that site looking and feeling like it’s from the 1990’s.
3- Direct Mail.
A direct mail campaign can be extremely beneficial to touching new customers and getting in front of past customers again. It can also be a horrid waste of money. It all depends on the look and feel of the mail piece, and the sale or call to action that is offered. Statistics show millennials actually enjoy direct mail when it is directly addressed to them. If this is a demographic you are trying to reach, you may want to set a budget aside and look into creating a fantastic mailer campaign that could seriously boost sales. Again, make sure the mailers are designed properly, have some eye-popping photographs, and present your offer in the best possible manner. Here’s a Forbes article by Steven Pulcinella from Forbes Communications Council and some stats from the United States Postal Service that discuss this.
This is more of an all-encompassing plan. Where are you going to put your hard-earned monies? How much are you going to budget? What sources will you use (billboards, mailers, social media, hand out flyers, networking etc) when you coordinate your marketing efforts? How is every printed piece or digital version going to look overall? We highly suggest contacting a reputable marketing firm when planning such a process. If they are good they will be able to help brand you correctly and implement creative ideas when strategizing.
If you need any help planning for 2019, drop 77 Design Co a line. We’ll be happy to help with a free marketing analysis.
Owning and managing a marketing agency can be stressful at times. It requires a lot of running around, meetings, expelling of a lot creative energy, fixing problems, and confirming that clients are happy with the work. Hell, most business owners understand this pretty well. This week though gives us all a chance to recharge and take a small break. Our own Holly Saville shares a great pie recipe on this weeks blog:
This time of year we are busy running around, catching up on errands, and hustling around for the holidays season to come. We are working hard to afford all the right gifts for our kids and family members and all the extras for everyone else. But for a small moment during this time a year we ACTUALLY GET TO SIT DOWN, relax, and be thankful for what we have. So take a break, enjoy the holiday and snag your mama’s best recipe! EAT, DRINK & RELAX. “Back to work” will be just around the corner. Happy Thanksgiving from all us at 77 Design Co. Enjoy a piece of pie on us!
Shhh….My mama’s Secret Apple Pie Recipe!
The Best Apple Pie:
6-8 BIG Tart Apples (or more if you want more apples) Peel, Slice and Core Apples
1 cup of sugar 2 TBSP flour 1 tsp of ground cinnamon Dash of Ground Nutmeg Mix with Apples and drizzle 2 TBSP of melted butter over the apple mix. (you can uses a bit more butter or sugar to your taste…)
Pie Shell: 2 cups of flour 1 tsp of salt 2/3 cup shortening 5-7 TBSP COLD (colder the better) water
Add Flour and salt to bowl then shortening mix until lumpy, then add the COLD water. Mix until dough like. Split the dough to make a top and bottom crust.
Roll out crust with a rolling pin. Make sure the bottom crust is bigger than top crust. Place bottom crust in pan and fill with apple mix. Put top crust on, seal edges with a fork Brush some milk on top crust, sprinkle with sugar. Poke a couple of air holes in the top crust
Bake at 400 degrees for about 50-60 minutes.
Best scent you’ll ever have in your house….You’re Welcome!
77 Design Co isn’t just a small (and in some instances, large) business marketing firm, we believe in constantly evolving ourselves and the businesses that we work for. Sometimes this requires taking a step back to find the roots in how/why you got started, where you want to go, and how you differentiate.
This week, it was suggested at one of our professional networking groups, that members create a list of “20 topics about your business” that can be shared with the other members for the following weeks meeting. Immediately, this seemed like a delicious idea. Why not create a solid list of items that differentiate your business from others in your field? It really wouldn’t take that long, especially if you know your business well. Sharing these ideas could easily lead others to better understand what it is that you do, how you do it, and also to better arm them with information about your professional field. We have followed this advise and constructed a list of 20 things, that we feel, make 77 Design Co stand out:
Local marketing vs national marketing firms (having a local firm who understands the area, population, demographics, and is readily available, could be hugely advantageous versus working with a firm across the country that doesn’t even know you.)
Diverse backgrounds in the creative marketing field (between the members of 77 Design Co, each of us have worked within varying aspects of marketing and have established a wide range of marketing skills.)
Communication (HIGHLY IMPORTANT! Actually this should be at the top of the list. We believe consistent communication is the key to success in every level of any relationship. Not sure how many other firms emphasize the importance of this…or just take it for granted.)
Creative (Nobody in the world can think creatively the way that you do. We are all in our own heads, and nobody else knows exactly how we each think individually which is what makes us all unique. We are all pretty right brained here so creative comes pretty naturally.)
Education (At 77, again, there’s a diverse range of degrees that have been obtained through higher education. Education is extremely important to success as well and helps with knowing and understanding many situations.)
Insured (77 Design Co carries several forms of insurance covering just about any problem that may arise.)
Responsive (We have a 24 hour return email/call/text policy. Usually we’ll respond as quick as within an hour or 2. If you don’t hear back from one of us…there’s a major emergency.)
Innovative Ideas (This could be lumped into Creative, but there’s way more to what we do than JUST creative. Often there’s a lot of outside the box thinking that is required to put a plan together. Each client differs and we’ll innovate and establish new ideas for each.)
Print (Want those colors to match on your mailers or brochures? Our backgrounds in printing will ensure all printed marketing materials turn out the way they should look.)
Psychology of Marketing (Constant research is always being done at 77 to better understand how consumers react to images, colors, fonts, design layouts, etc. We are always evolving our knowledge in this subject and it’s imperative that a marketing firm knows how people will perceive your brand.)
Easy to Work With ( Come on, who doesn’t want life to be easier? We are a pretty mild mannered, laid back, and relaxed organization. If you have ideas, we want to hear them! We work WITH others not against them.)
Works Within Budgets (Every company differs, and every company only has so much to work with. We get it. After our free marketing consultation, we’ll determine what fits in your budget and do our best to help your business succeed in its goals while staying within that budget.)
Honesty (No bullshit here! We tell it like it is and answer any question you have to the best of our abilities and as truthfully as possible. This dynamic helps us build very close relationships with our clientele base.)
Cost Effective (Just take a look around at what other firms charge. Enough said.)
Experience with Differing Businesses (Our experience with helping businesses of all sizes and professions allows us to offer assistance to a variety of industries. We have worked with 1 man sole prop construction companies up to large manufacturing firms…and even religious organizations.)
Years of Experience (Just between the 2 owners, not including our staff, 77 Design Co has over 20 years experience in marketing and similar fields.)
Program Experience (On a daily basis, we work within multiple different programs and softwares from the complete Adobe Suite, to Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, Word, WordPress, and a host of other photo editing programs. Plus, too many more to list here.)
History (We are well aware of the artists, advertisers, sales and marketing gurus that came before us. We study what has worked in the past and fuse this with what works now. Art history and literature also play major roles here and we’ve studied works from the all the way back to the Ancient Greeks, to current contemporary artists, and as much as possible in between.)
Love Helping New Business (As entrepreneurs, we love hearing new ideas from newer business owners. We also love to help guide them towards a successful venture in their profession and help increase sales. This also applies to already established business and we enjoy re-branding projects or just creating new and fresh marketing strategies that will work for them as well.)
Analyze. Create. Achieve. ( Our slogan. At 77 we analyze the situations many business owners face. We then assess the best possible course of action to improve upon existing strategies. Next, we create solutions, artworks, online strategies, or plans of action. Finally, we help the business achieve its goals to the best of our abilities.)
So when is it OK to recycle old content for marketing purposes? Is it even OK to do this?
YES!!!! Resoundingly YES!!!! Just not every other week. Create content of your own occasionally to show others that you are a thriving and forward thinking entrepreneur that can come up with new ideas on your own too, instead of only recycling.
Give New Life to Old Data. Maybe your marketing budget is small or non-existent. Maybe you simply just cannot afford professional content writers to whip up new content for your blog or social media posts. Whatever your reason, whether it’s due to budget or writers block, instead of making something new, breathe new life into something that already exists on the web. There are a ton of data studies and stats available on the internet regarding a wide range of topics from any industry.
Do an internet search for a study within your own business and revise it. Certainly DO NOT STEAL it, but craft it to be part of your story and make it relatable to your readers and customers.
Highlight the Most Important or Interesting Parts of the Study, add images (preferably your own,) crank out some charts, and make your own thoughts and predictions based on the data. Always be aware of copyright infringements though. You should also cite your sources when necessary.
But I’m Not a Writer!
No worries! You don’t have to have a degree in writing for this strategy! The data will do most of the heavy lifting for you – a content success story! Again, just be sure to cite your sources and give proper credit. Have a friend, colleague, or family member do a proofread to make sure everything looks and sounds as professional as possible, then share it with the world!
That’s our piece of free advice this week on the 77 blog. As always, feel free to contact us for a free marketing analysis, or any help in making your business better through marketing!
Hi, I’m Holly Saville, from New Alexandria, PA. I have over 15 years of experience in the sales & marketing business. My initial love and passion was to have my own successful small business(s) while also starting a family and being able to work my own schedule around them. After finding out that I couldn’t just be “mom” of 2 children, and having the work ethic to achieve more, I began to dive into my dream and opened up a small Massage & Wellness Institute for 6 years. After time had passed along with my business, and trying to balance the work and home life, I closed those doors years ago and I’m now a mom of 5 great kids, (3 girls and twin boys) ranging from middle school to kindergarten.
As an entrepreneur, I now run different businesses. Two small businesses to be exact. Both are managed out of my home, while still juggling the children’s schedules. I’m also very involved in my church as the kids/family coordinator at Bridge City Church in Murrysville. As a young mom at first my hobby became a means to earn extra income for my family years ago. Currently, I now run a small yet thriving custom cake business out of my house and take select orders. I’ve also worked in global sales during the open cracks of my day from my phone.
In my spare time when I am not working or being a full-time mom and wife, I still love to play volleyball and spend time with family and friends. I also love to serve others in my church.
My work ethic and desire to help people achieve their goals has never changed. With that said being said, I have teamed up with 77 Design to help them expand and help the companies that they work with grow and do the same. I can say without a doubt that their clients are of the most importance to them and I’ll put my best foot forward as well to help.
I’m now a part of the 77 Design Co team assisting them in administrative duties, social media marketing and sales. I believe I provide efficient and quality service in everything that I do. I’ll also pay great attention to detail and put a lot of my heart into anything that I work on. I look forward to serving the 77 team and their customers to the best of my abilities. I feel that I’m a great addition to 77 Design Co because although I’m a hard worker, I also like to have fun, love to laugh (which the 77 guys also love to do,) ENJOY the work, and I’m easy to work with. I have a great attitude and outlook on life, am easily coachable, but also have a strong work ethic and an easy-going personality. I’m excited to get started and help others properly market their small business to watch them grow!
“Always deliver more than expected.” — Larry Page, co-founder of Google