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Finding Your Next Great Employee

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” – Doug Conant, CEO of Campbell’s Soup

Great companies need outstanding employees in order to grow. The problem is finding and retaining that caliber employee. Most small businesses don’t fully understand the process of hiring top-notch employees.

“Effective organizational leadership is simple: 1. Have a vision of where you want to get to. 2. Clearly and persuasively communicate that vision to employees. 3. Be consistent in your behaviors as you strive to achieve that vision.” – from A Roadmap for Employee Engagement by Andy Parsley

Many make the mistake of hiring an employee without clearly thinking the process all the way through. They neglect to think about what they actually want from the new hire. Hiring in this way sets the new employee up for failure before they ever walk in for their first day of work. This turns out to be a waste of time and resources for everyone.

To help avoid this, you need to go through the interview process. The first and most critical step is to write an advertisement that attracts great people in the first place — one that encourages the kind of candidates who want to work for your company.

Thinking this through will also make you consider the short-term and long-term responsibilities and tasks required for this position.

The challenge of finding great job candidates starts with the ad itself. Mediocre job ads attract mediocre workers. To improve your placement ad, you should incorporate the following in the description.

    • Make your company sound innovative and interesting. This will help attract more dynamic applicants who want to work for a fascinating company.
    • Let the applicant know with whom they will most likely be working. Candidates will look forward to learning from someone who is the expert in their field.
    • If the location of your company is a plus for applicants, make sure to mention it. The more benefits you can mention in the ad, the more attractive your ad becomes.
    • Make sure to mention that the position offers growth for the right candidate. Everyone wants to know that they can grow with the company. This also implies that they will be able to make more money as they grow.
    • Include the total compensation and benefits in the offer. Paid holidays, flexible hours, and other perks can be very attractive.
    • Mention that the position requires hard work and dedication. This can help filter out the lazy applicants before time is wasted with the interview.
  • The ad should stand out from all the others. If you want creative, superstar applicants, the ad should be creative, too.

Finding and retaining top talent is one of the most important tasks for any growing company. A strong recruitment ad is just the start but one that can’t be overlooked. Include these tips in your next ad, and hopefully you will attract the type of superstar employee you desire.

copywriting

About Your Copy

Before we start, let’s get one thing clear. This post is not about the copies we make for you on our copy machines. It’s about the copy (text) that appears on your website and in your promotional materials. No matter what type of business you run, copy affects every part of your business. It’s the cornerstone of your marketing, and it affects the executive team, the HR department, and every aspect of the organization.

How?Computers86489256

To answer that question, let’s first take a look at what copy is and what it is not. Copywriting is the act of producing written text (copy). It’s not the same as “copyright,” which refers to one’s legal right to produce and publish content. Wikipedia explains copywriting as “writing copy (text) for the purpose of advertising or marketing. The copy is meant to persuade someone to buy a product or influence their beliefs.”

That second part is especially important because it’s the key differentiator between success and failure in copywriting. Weak copy will be thrown in the trash, while good copy will move the recipient to the desired action you want them to take. This applies not only to advertising and marketing but to any type of business and even personal communication.

Effective copywriting is sometimes referred to as “a salesman in print.” It can be seen in brochures, billboards, websites, emails, TV and radio ads, catalogs, and many other places where the goal is to move someone to a desired action. That action might be purchasing your product, engaging with your company, or picking up the phone to request more information. In short, copywriting is all about making the recipient move and act.

Copywriting dates all the way back to the nineteenth century, when the newspaper industry was beginning to boom. At that time, copywriting referred to the words written by journalist being copied from their desk into the newspaper. Times may have changed, but copywriting is as crucial now in helping to sell your products as it was then in helping to sell newspapers.

Good copywriting answers the problem of how to get more sales.

Two big buzzwords today are content marketing and inbound marketing. Both essentially refer to copywriting. While effective copywriting is part science and part art, the fact is that anyone can create copy that moves people to act. Well-crafted copywriting doesn’t need to be full of hype or written with bold typefaces and capitalization that beats people over the head.

There are three basic steps you can take to create compelling copy.

1. Know your audience. It should be a given that you know exactly who you’re creating the copy for. The more you know about your target audience, the easier it will be to create powerful copy. A demographic profile can help you not only create your copy but also know who you will be sending that content to. The following are some examples of data you’ll find in a demographic profile:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Family Status
  • Income
  • Occupation
  • Interests

2. Focus on them, not you. Everyone wants to be the center of attention. This applies in copywriting as well. The focus should be on the recipient, not how great you are. Your copy should answer the question: How will the products and services you offer benefit your customers and make their lives easier? Your copy must be able to answer the #1 question in every recipient’s head: “What’s in it for me?” In terms of copywriting, your product or service is far less important than its ability to fulfill your customers’ needs.

3. Always include a call to action. Always. No matter what marketing medium you use to send and communicate the copy, there should always be a call to action. Never assume that the recipient will know what you want them to do next. Tell them exactly what the next step should be. Should they call, fill out a form, or visit your showroom? Make it crystal clear.

It takes time, skill, practice, and patience to become a master copywriter. For businesses that want to produce effective copy that moves people to act, following these three simple steps can go a long way toward achieving that goal. Communication tools may be expanding and evolving, but one thing will never change: the need for good, effective copywriting. Bad content produced across multiple marketing channels will work just as poorly as it did across one.

Change the words used to communicate your uniqueness and to tell your story, and you will change your business.

Do You Have Customers or Clients?

Most business owners and company executives use the terms “customers” and “clients” interchangeably without fully realizing that there is a meaningful difference between the two. Understanding the distinction and setting your plans accordingly can help you build and grow a more profitable business.

Let’s start with the definition of each term according to the dictionary.

As a business owner, how do you perceive "customers or clients"?

As a business owner, how do you perceive “customers or clients”?

Customer: “a person who purchases goods or services”

Client: “a person or group that uses professional advice or services”

Examples of companies with business-to-customer relationships include Wal-Mart, Apple, and your local grocery store.

Examples of companies with business-to-client relationships include service-oriented professionals such as accountants, attorneys, advertising agencies, architects, and the like.

There are pros and cons to catering to each type.

Customers will typically do business with you based on convenience, value, and price. They’re loyal as long as you meet those parameters, and they don’t require as much personal interaction as clients do.

Clients, on the other hand, are looking for more. Clients are seeking professional advice on how to get something accomplished in the best way possible. They’re willing to pay more for that type of expertise than a customer would, but in return for that premium, they require more attention and hand-holding. A business-to-client engagement is typically a longer-term relationship than a business-to-customer scenario.

Every business has customers. Fewer have clients.

So, is your business built around customers or clients?

There is no right or wrong answer. It matters only that you know the difference and set up your business to serve whichever type you are seeking.

What Does the Fortune Inside Your Cookie Say?

business-success-fortune

A fortune cookie has an average taste at best. So why do people look forward to eating them? Because of the little piece of paper inside the cookie. You know, the one that tells a story: your fortune.

The text on the fortune is rarely profound, yet we still excitedly break open the fortune cookie to see what it says. Why? Because those simple and sometimes silly words illicit an emotional response.

Your products and services are like a fortune cookie. In your mind, they are second to none, but to your audience, you may be one of many.

Your values, vision, and especially your story are like the fortune in the cookie. Your prospects and customers want the fortune as much if not more than the cookie itself because that’s how they connect and how they will remember you.

Strive to make your services and products the best they can be. But don’t forget to tell the stories behind them, so you can connect with your clients emotionally. That’s the key to what will make you unforgettable.

The Secret to Selling to Someone Who’s Not (Yet) Ready to Buy

how_to-sell-to-someone-printcopyfactory

There was once a man named Charlie who sold insurance for a living. Charlie was a salt-of-the-earth kind of guy who enjoyed what he did. Charlie had a friend named Steve. Steve was in his late thirties and happily married, with a wife and two kids.

Charlie and Steve would play the occasional round of golf with some friends. Charlie would tell Steve about the importance of having life insurance for someone in his situation, but without being pushy.

Steve had his reasons for not buying at the time and would always put it off. Charlie, being the good, persistent salesman that he was, would bring up the topic regularly without being annoying.

One morning while Steve was at work, a colleague who was about the same age, with two kids and in seemingly good health, had a sudden, unexpected heart attack and was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Guess who Steve called that very afternoon to get the paperwork started for the life insurance policy he had been putting off for years?

What’s the moral of our story as it pertains to your business? You can have the greatest product, the best service, and a great price, yet some of your prospects will still not buy. The reasons are many, and some are a mystery that you won’t be able to solve right away.

While you’re scratching your head trying to find those answers, your real job is to continually market your services by educating your target audience about what you can do to help them achieve their objectives. Why? Because one day soon, your prospect will be ready to buy, and she will remember the persistent, but pleasant person who has been looking out for her best interest all along.

Charlie knew that secret, and now you do, too.

The Power of Lists

Lists are more than just an effective way to grab attention. They’re also great at getting key points across quickly and increasing readership. Here are a few tips to help you use lists more effectively in your marketing:

    • Use abbreviated or partial lists on marketing pieces, such as postcards and email campaigns, and encourage readers to visit your website to learn more.
    • Promote your company’s competitive advantages with a “top 10 reasons” list.
    • Popularity sells. Use a list to advertise your biggest selling products, such as “Our Top 5 Most Popular Products from 2012.”
    • Use a list to announce or introduce new products or services.
    • Use a list as an alternative to long paragraphs of text, and enable readers to quickly scan your key points.
    • For greater effectiveness, keep your lists brief, such as “10 Ways to…” or “15 Tips to…”
    • Structure your list logically (largest to smallest, most to least popular, or simply your strongest tips first).
    • If your list includes more than just a few words for each key point, consider using bold sub-headers with brief descriptions behind them.
    • For “top 10” style lists, always number your entries, so readers can easily follow along.
    • Be sure to include a source whenever appropriate, especially if your list contains hard facts or data.

No Apologies, Please

In order to be successful in business, you must portray confidence. If you aren’t confident in your abilities or the quality of your products and services, why should a prospect or customer have confidence in you?

The words you choose in sales and marketing are very important and should portray a positive, confident image of your business. That’s why you should never start a marketing or sales pitch with an apology. If what you have to say is important, you should always say it confidently, with no apologies.

Starting a conversation with an apology (“I’m sorry to both you…”) suggests that what you have to say isn’t really important and may influence prospects or customers to think the same.

Rather than apologizing or downgrading your approach, try showing confidence by saying, “I have an exciting new product I’d like to share with you, and I need a few minutes of your time. Do you have a moment to discuss this now, or can I make an appointment with you at a later date?”

If you’re promoting a product or service of value, you should never apologize for getting in contact with prospects or customers to promote it. So, if your sales pitch isn’t important, don’t use it. If it is important, don’t apologize for using it.

Appreciation Marketing

Everyone likes to feel appreciated. That’s especially true when it comes to your customers. Appreciation marketing can help you develop lasting relationships and make customers think of you the next time they’re ready to purchase.

Print & Copy Factory Thank yous and that'a boys

Here are a few ways to show customers your appreciation:

  • Send a hand-written thank you card every time someone does business with you.  Larry and I remember purchasing a suitcase at a smaller store in the mall years ago, and they sent us a thank you card, for a suitcase no less!  We thought that was pretty darn cool, so Print & Copy Factory started sending thank you cards to our customers.
  • Reward repeat customers with special deals, exclusive discounts, and coupons. You should be tracking what your customers are purchasing from you, and use this to sell add-on services or products as a form of up-selling.
  • Send holiday (we have a large selection), birthday, or anniversary cards. These simple, pressure-free greetings will help increase top-of-mind awareness throughout the year.
  • Offer useful information and helpful tips to educate customers and promote your expertise via blogs, newsletters, social media, and the like.
  • Invite customers to an exclusive appreciation event designed for existing customers.
  • Collaborate with non-competitive local businesses to create a coupon book or discount program across a range of industries – check with the local chambers, some of them have welcome packets that they give to new members that include your marketing items – I know the Ferndale Chamber has one).
  • Create a customer loyalty program, such as a loyalty punch card, upgrade offers, or cash rewards after reaching a specific purchase level.
  • Respond quickly to customer questions or requests, and follow-up to be sure all questions were thoroughly answered.
  • Ask for customer feedback in the form of surveys and response cards. (we also do this, using a pre-paid postcard, encouraging the correspondence)
  • Send out a voucher or postcard for a free gift, redeemable at your business.
  • Send out re-order cards.
  • Send discounts and coupons “just because” to thank customers for their business.
  • Include statement stuffer coupons with bills not only as a thank you but also to encourage customers to make additional future purchases.
  • Give away free-bees, such as coffee mugs, pens or even hats with your logo on them, they stay with the customer longer and help you advertise too!

If you’re interested in any of the above print marketing ideas or need help brainstorming the perfect promo to show customers your appreciation, our creative team here at Print & Copy Factory is eager to help. Give us a call today!

Marketing with Posters

Poster marketing has been a popular way to spread the word for more than 200 years, dating back to posters for everything from World’s Fairs, recruitment, and war propaganda to bicycles and bullfights. Today, posters continue as a flexible marketing tool for publicizing upcoming events, promoting ideas, and advertising new products and services. Here are a few benefits of poster marketing:


Versatility. Posters can be printed on a variety of surfaces, protected with  laminating, and mounted or framed. As a result, they can be used either indoors or outdoors in any number of ways.

Simplicity. Because posters are created for viewers on the move, some of the best posters don’t say much. Effective posters capture the viewer’s attention immediately — often with large, eye-catching graphics, a catchy headline, and a web address that is easy to remember. You can then provide more detailed information on your website and entice readers to join your mailing list for additional updates.

Any size you need. When creating posters, think about where you plan to display them. While the most popular posters are 24″x36,” this large size would be overpowering on corkboard displays (which would be much better suited to an 11″x17″ poster).

Fresh factor. Because posters offer a high-quality, low-cost marketing solution with fast turnaround, replacing posters frequently with new content is a great way to prevent your advertising efforts from going stale.
Give us a call if you need help creating posters that will make an exciting addition to your marketing materials. Our creative experts specialize in bringing great ideas to life!  360-738-4931  or email:  service@printcopyfactory.com

 

Don’t Forget the Finishing Touches

Even if your marketing document is coming together perfectly — with compelling copy, a stunning layout, and quality photos — remember it’s not complete until it’s “finished.” A document’s finishing touches help portray its overall quality and importance and can take it to the next level.

Here are a few finishing touch options that will help you create a marketing piece you and your customers will love:

    • Spot varnish is available in gloss, matte, or satin finishes. Gloss varnish is often used to enhance the colors of printed photos and make ink colors throughout the piece appear more vivid. Matte varnish is used to reduce glare and improve the readability of small text. Satin varnish offers a blend of both. A contrasting spot treatment can really make a logo or other information pop (such as a glossy logo on a matte background).
    • Metallic inks are available in a variety of colors and are a great way to add interest with a shine and luster not available in standard inks.
    • Foil-stamping is an easy way to create focus on text or imagery, such as enhancing a classic, elegant logo.

      Finishing touches

    • Die-cutting is used to create a unique shape, outline, or edging.
    • Embossing involves creating a raised 3D impression using a custom die under high pressure.
    • Laminating can greatly increase durability and offer water protection. In addition to protecting a printed document, lamination can also enhance its appearance.
    • Other finishing options include (among other things) collating your pieces into sets, separating, folding, stapling, punching or drilling, padding, scoring, numbering, index-tabbing, packaging/shrink wrapping, and spiral, wire, comb, saddle-stitch, or perfect binding.

No matter your finishing need, from simple to spectacular, we can help you determine the perfect finishing touches to help your product really stand apart from the competition.

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