Archive of ‘Events & Promotions’ category

Elevate Revolution with Ali Brown

 

You may know entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown from ABC’s “Secret Millionaire”. She’s one of my most reliable resources when it comes to business success, and her insights are a *must-read* for any business owner…

Here’s what Ali says… “At this very moment, there’s a REVOLUTION happening around the world.

Women are leading it, and I guarantee you’ve already seen it in action.

Maybe you’re a part of it, and enjoying *incredible fulfillment* from it…

OR you’re *watching enviously* from the sidelines, as you witness women around the world building multiple 6-figure businesses doing what they love.

These women are stepping up to *live their best lives*… by creating a business that generates them income, supports their family, and satisfies their soul.

It’s the ultimate dream… and it’s completely achievable right now. Some people may not want to believe it, but it’s right in front of you.”

It’s the Elevate Revolution… and it’s going LIVE on Thursday, May 3.

Join Ali and marketing master, James Roche along with inspired women from around the globe for a special FREE 3-HOUR LIVE ONLINE event: http://diva-designz.net/revolution

Characteristics of a good logo

Creating a unique and polished logo should be a priority for every business. As the primary image that represents your company in the marketplace, a successful logo is the very essence of what your company represents. It’s almost as important to your company’s identity as its name. But how do you get there? What are the key ingredients of a good logo and what identity creation tools are available to companies on a shoestring budget?

Characteristics of a good logo:

Simple: Successful logos are founded in simplicity. In a marketplace filled with competitors and store shelves brimming with products, the goal is to get the consumers’ attention and convey a host of complex product or service information with clarity and speed.

Memorable: Still, a good logo shouldn’t be so simple that it’s rendered unremarkable. Balancing simplicity with uniqueness helps to strike a chord with consumers and create a visual imprint that can be recognized later. For example, The Apple logo is immediately recognizable due in part to its ruthless simplicity and how that simplicity is leveraged in a unique and memorable way.

Timeless:  Coca-Cola’s logo is an example of durable design. Since the goal of your mark is to create some equity in the marketplace, constant change and updating shouldn’t be required. As you consider and develop your logo, ask yourself, “How will this look in 20 years? Are there any elements which might not age well or could seem outdated in a decade?

Flexible: Potentially, your logo will be produced on large and small scales, in print and online. Specifically for print considerations, think about how your logo will look in a single color, in black and white, in reverse color, and reduced to thumbnail size. Can it adapt and still be clear and easily recognizable?

AdaptableWe all know businesses are dynamic and the marketplace is ever-changing. One product line might take off while another withers on the vine. Think about this phenomenon as you brainstorm your logo. The best marks communicate what your business is about today and can adapt to how it may change over time. Marks that are too specific pigeonhole businesses or become irrelevant as products and services evolve. For example, while eBay’s lowercase “e” may link the online bazaar with the early days of Internet commerce, the logo remains dynamic as ever, even as the company has grown and evolved.

Appropriate: Perhaps the strongest design-urge business owners have is to create a logo that’s too literal. A bakery owner wants a rolling pin in the logo; a law firm wants the scales of justice, etc. But great logos don’t have to be self-explanatory to be appropriate. The Starbucks logo is one of the most recognizable on the planet, but it doesn’t feature a mug or a coffee bean. Well-crafted marks use color, scale, font and image choice together to create distinction that’s appropriate without necessarily being literal.

Take a look all around you—what marks get your attention? What labels and logos are on your clothes, on your desk and in your wallet?

Let us help you create a logo that will represent your business and what it’s all about. Learn more about our logo design services. With a fundamental knowledge of good logo design and by exploring a few creative resources online, your company can develop a lasting mark that represents what it’s all about

Simple ways to create buzz about your business

You can’t control whether or not people talk about your business. Or can you?  James Clear, the founder of Passive Panda, believes that you can actually control how much buzz your business generates by addressing a few simple—but crucial—issues.

He notes that there are three primary “buzz problems” that every business needs to address:

1. Figure out what your business does. It is surprisingly common for businesses to not have one clear goal and approach. Here’s how it often happens: business owners have one good idea (the thing that will make them money), but then they have a few decent ideas, as well (things they like, but that won’t really fly off the shelves).

Because business owners believe in their ideas, they end up running with all of them. They justify this decision by telling themselves that they are now offering a range of products for different consumers and that they are supplying additional features and creating added benefit and value for the customer.

The problem is that adding options usually confuses potential customers rather than exciting them. It’s not just about product features, however. It’s about losing the core idea behind your business. With so many options, it becomes difficult to be known for any one thing. And if your business isn’t known for something, then people won’t talk about your business.

Journalists call this “burying the lead.” The lead is the number one thing that the writer wants the reader to get out of the story. If you don’t read anything past the first line or two, you should know the most important part of the story. And if you don’t? The journalist has buried the lead deeper in the story.

Do customers quickly grasp the most important part of your story? Or do they see multiple options? There can only be one lead. Don’t bury the thing that makes you noteworthy—your lead story— just because you don’t want to leave your second-best idea on the sidelines.

2. Adopt an interesting business model or approach. If you want to generate more buzz for your business, then you need to do business in an interesting way. This isn’t about finding an interesting business idea or choosing a “sexy” industry to do business in; it’s about making your business unique. In other words, it’s about making your business noteworthy.

For example, let’s say that you run a local pastry shop. You make birthday cakes, wedding cakes and so on. There’s just one problem: No one is really talking about your pastry shop. Why? Because every other pastry shop in town does the same thing you do.

You need to make your business stand out and be worthy of remark. Maybe you eliminate everything except your best-selling carrot cakes. Maybe you deliver your cakes in a cake-shaped van. Maybe you focus solely on baby showers and target all of your cakes towards that market.

The point is, baking cakes isn’t a new or sexy industry, but you can make it interesting and buzz-worthy. People will talk about “the baby shower bakery” or “the carrot cake place” or “that weird cake car,” but just another pastry shop doesn’t really stand out on its own.

3. Use your business to create stories. In December 1999, the town of Halfway, Ore., renamed itself “Half.com, Ore.” As you might expect, the name change occurred because of financial backing provided by Half.com ($100,000 and some computers).

At the time, Half.com was a budding Internet startup and was looking for a way to generate buzz. The move paid off and Half.com found itself mentioned in The New York TimesWired and dozens of other mainstream media outlets. Less than a year later, eBay bought Half.com for $312.8 million. It’s an interesting story, but the story-behind-the-story is even better.

At the time, Half.com’s VP of marketing was a man named Mark Hughes. A few years later, Hughes wrote a book called Buzzmarketing. In his book, he outlines six principles, what he calls “buttons of buzz,” that he used at Half.com to generate buzz for the business.

Hughes’s 6 buttons of buzz

  1. The taboo—sex, lies and bathroom humor
  2. The unusual
  3. The outrageous
  4. The hilarious
  5. The remarkable
  6. The secret—both revealed and unrevealed

If money is tight and you’re looking to generate word-of-mouth buzz about your business, then apply any of these six things to your business in order to start a conversation, or get people buzzing, about your company. As long as you have taken the time to address the first two points above—not burying the lead and making your company interesting—then you’ll have a business worth talking about once the story hits.

James Clear is the founder of Passive Panda.  He is an award-winning writer on business strategy and entrepreneurship and has delivered speeches in the United States, the U.K. and Switzerland.

New Accelerator for Women Mobile Entrepreneurs

There’s a new accelerator for women who are starting mobile companies and/or creating mobile products.  Women Innovate Mobile (WIM) is the first startup accelerator and mentorship-driven program designed for women-founded companies in mobile technology. WIM’s goal is provide women entrepreneurs with the guidance, feedback and connections needed to make their startups best in class companies and formidable business concerns.

Apply today! WIM is accepting applications for its first class of startups until February 1, 2012. Selected companies will receive $18,000 in funding, free office space, product development and design support, mobile-marketing promotions, and access to an incredible network of mentors, funders and advisors.

If you’re thinking of starting such a company, check out Women Innovate Mobile.  And if you apply and get in, let us know.  We’d love to share your story!

 

Offline advertising ideas for online businesses

Millions of people use the internet each day. It is a wonderful proving ground for testing new strategies for growing your online business. But, have you thought about using offline marketing strategies to promote your business?

When you run a business from a website, you are one among thousands. It is just like walking down a street and seeing many business marquees. They all look the same unless something makes one stand out from the others.

This is where you have the opportunity to distinguish your business.

Employing marketing strategies in the right combination takes time and patience. You can easily find a combination of online marketing tools to help you reach your market and keep them coming back.

But, just in case you didn’t know there are quite a few offline strategies that are available to you as too. And contrary to what you may think, they are not just for offline businesses either! If you keep an open mind, you can expand into that realm and find an untapped market for your products.

Here are six things to help get you started:

# 1: Fundraisers

Contribute products to raise money for local companies.

Be sure to place a business label on each product and also include business cards and a typed letter to the lucky winner about your products and how they can get more.

# 2: Charity Functions

Much like fundraisers, if you give money or your time to promote a charity event, your name can be included in the programs and on any other promotional items for the event like t-shirts and giveaway items.

# 3: Business Shows

Renting a booth at a business show gives you a small corner of the world to promote your business to other business people and the local market.

Stock your table with business flyers, business cards, promotional items and sample products.

Offer a contest prize giveaway to get people to sign up for free mailing lists or monthly newsletters.

# 4: Seminars

As a business professional, you may have something important to say to others.

Just like you give interviews and do webinars, create a plan to offer your services to local business fairs, college seminars and church or community workshops.

Speak about your business and offer advice to other small business owners. Don’t forget the business cards.

# 5: Direct Mailing Advertising

This is where marketing really all began!

Add a promotional flyer to direct coupon mailing packets in your area.

Use straight-to-the-point language and offer a coupon or coupon code for people to take advantage of a special offer.

# 6: Local Business Organizations

Join with other local small business owners. It doesn’t matter that you have an online business, you are still a part of the community and have something to offer.

Partner with other businesses to bring awareness of your product locally, using their client base.

Of course you will also be lending your client base to help them venture in the online arena too.

Promoting your online business offline can be a win-win situation.

You bring awareness to a new market that can add substantial dollars to your bottom line.

Pam Lawhorne is a self-proclaimed social networking junkie who has written more than 197 articles for this website. Each week she provides valuable business and marketing resources, along with easy-to-use tips that business owners can immediately begin to implement in order to start getting results.

If you would like to connect with Pam you can follow her on Twitter, watch her on YouTube and network with her on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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