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Archive for the ‘Marketing & Promotion’ Category

For some reason, the topic of sustainable graphic design keeps coming up lately in my reading (I think I read too much). We’ve been implementing green practices in our design studio for awhile now. Thanks to these green resources for designers and marketers, I have lots of new ideas…

Do you know of other green resources especially for design and marketing folks? Share them here!

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After listening in on a HubSpot webinar called Marketing Lessons From The Grateful Dead, I realized The Dead were way ahead of their (marketing) time.

Brian Halligan and David Meerman Scott gave a spirited webinar inspired by the marketing tactics of The Grateful Dead. Having attended a Dead show or two in my day, I found it to be a unique and entertaining take on marketing for small businesses.

Here are a few of my favorite marketing tidbits:

  • Be remarkable—make your content interesting/valuable enough that people will want to share it
  • Watch your competition, but don’t follow them
  • Free content attracts customers—win through familiarity
  • Make it easy for people to share your content—create a community of sharing
  • Experiment, improvise, take a chance
  • Put your loyal customers in the front row—give them perks, first dibs on products or news
  • Stay on top of technology in your industry

Next up, PR tips from The Rolling Stones… April Fool’s!

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I first read about referral marketing campaigns in the book, The Designer’s Guide to Marketing and Pricing by Ilise Benun and Peleg Top of Marketing Mentor. Yesterday I listened in on an informative webinar hosted by Duct Tape Marketing called Building a Referral Engine that shared more ideas for successful referral marketing.

Below find the tips I found most useful from webinar panelists John Jantsch – Creator of Duct Tape Marketing; Bob Burg – Author, “Endless Referrals”, “The Go-Giver”, “Go-Givers Sell More”; Ivan Misner –  Founder & Chairman of BNI; and Ben McConnell – Principal, Ant’s Eye View.

Referral marketing tips:

  • Shift your focus from getting to giving
  • it’s not about you, it’s about them – take the focus off yourself
  • Add value to others – freely share your knowledge
  • Teach your referral partners what to listen for (“I can’t…” or “I need…”) – make it easy for them to give you referrals
  • Create visibility and credibility: tell people what you do and show them you are good at it
  • Establish relationships with new connections before asking for referrals
    • KNOW -> LIKE -> TRUST
  • A great networker enjoys helping others
  • Send a handwritten thank you note after receiving a referral
  • Make strategic referral alliances with fellow business owners who serve similar clients (wedding vendors are great at this)
  • Build relationships and the referrals will follow…

Do you have other great ideas for creating or maintaining a referral marketing program? Share your comments!

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Yesterday marked the first day of Make a Referral Week. The best way to celebrate? Why yes, by giving referrals.

A referral campaign should be part of all small business marketing plans. It doesn’t have to be complicated, it can be as simple as asking a client if they know someone else who might benefit from your services.

But it’s not just about getting referrals… we should also focus on returning the favor by giving referrals. Let’s see how easy it is. Grab a pencil and pad of paper. Jot down 5–10 businesses (or retail shops) that you rely on for their top-notch products, reliability, quality work, superb customer service or just overall fabulousness.

Now, here is your chance to sing their praises to the rest of the world: submit your referral to the Make a Referral Week website. It’s an easy way to help fellow small businesses (and perhaps improve your karma). And if you’re lucky, someone will write a nice referral for you too.

By the way, you can continue the referral love by participating in Make a Referral Monday on Twitter. Share your referrals each Monday using the hashtag #marm—or if you need referrals, just follow along.

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Dogs who dig design

Essie: a set on flickr

I’m proud to announce that my office assistant Essie made it onto the HOW Design Blog!

Her passion for design is quite evident in the fact that she regularly naps in front of my stack of HOW Magazine back issues, not to mention her honest critiques of my design work (woof!! = yes, it’s very good. arrooo = nope, not quite there yet).

Though she was more than happy to model the sticker on the HOW Design blog, we hear dogs aren’t allowed at the HOW Design Conference in Denver (sorry, Essie). But maybe next year…

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At the Unisource Paper Show in Chicago last year, I was delighted to discover lots of new paper stocks for digital printing—and thrilled that many of them were also recycled (30–100% PCW).

photo by jaxxon on flickr

As many small businesses are printing short runs digitally—or even printing in-house on their trusty laser printers—I thought I would share my digital paper discoveries.

Digital papers can be purchased online either directly from the paper mill or at online retailers such as The Paper Mill Store. Some papers are available at local retail stores too. Check each paper manufacturer’s site for specific purchase information.

Print no more on boring white laser paper!

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2010 Quick Peek Calendars - buy online!

I’m delighted to share that my 2010 Quick Peek Calendar is featured on the Artisan blog as an example of creative self-promotion.

After many years of sending holiday cards to clients and friends in December, I decided to start sending a New Year card and Calendar instead. The response has been very positive. I love walking into a client’s office and seeing my calendar posted on the wall. And this year, I even got several requests for calendars in advance of mailing them!

With the boom of online promotion, I think people like to get something in the mail (that isn’t a bill, that is). Not to mention the calendar concept fits perfectly with my policy of sending gifts that are beautiful, yet practical.

Thank you to my friends at Artisan in Chicago!

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