Are Company Newsletters Really Worth Your Time?

hot-news-2-1411510-mThe best newsletters today are e-newsletters. Why? Because they can arrive in your clients’ inboxes quickly, with maximum convenience and minimal effort, for both you and your clients.

If your e-newsletters offer something of value that pertains directly to your clients’ needs, they are more likely to respond and you will have a successful medium through which to share information.

BREVITY IS A VIRTUE

Keep your e-newsletters short and to the point. In today’s busy global marketplace, the saying “time is money” has never been truer. Attention spans are short; grab them with enticing headlines in bold or large font. Many people enjoy the use of color, as well, so make them colorful. It doesn’t cost any more to add color to an e-newsletter. Ensure whatever words you choose have the meaning you want to convey. Readers won’t be happy if you waste their time, and they most likely won’t read your e-newsletter again.

INVITE – DON’T SELL

An e-newsletter shouldn’t be about tooting your own horn, but rather an invitation to your clients to consider how your services can complement their business needs and help them be more successful. Offer quality services, and they will pay attention.

QUALITY LINKS

Don’t forget relevant links: links to your web site; links to pertinent and valuable information. These days, it’s all about quality, quality, quality. If you send an e-newsletter written with honesty and integrity, your clients will pay attention. With responsible links in your e-newsletter, you’ll be helping them gain access to the products/services they need that you can offer them. Again, don’t waste their time with irrelevant links.

PRINTED NEWSLETTERS

Printed newsletters can also be of value, but you need the right kind of circumstances for them to be useful. They are more demanding in time and money, and you will need them to be successful to offset the associated expenses. If you are exhibiting at a particular forum that relates to your business, printed newsletters (again, keep them short and to the point) can be good hand-outs.

Most paper products today, though, end up in recycling containers. Utilizing e-newsletters, your clients can store them on a variety of electronic devices and refer back to them, if so desired. They can also be deleted at the touch of a button, so make them worthwhile to your clients and valuable for them to retain and re-use.

Three Ways Your Business Can Use An E-Book

communicate-4-1162225-mE-books have become the norm for reaching a target audience with your message.  Why?  They are electronic, first and foremost, which is nearly crucial these days to finding success online.  An online e-book can reach many people very quickly.  What can it do, specifically, to help grow your business?

ACT AS AN INTRODUCTION

An e-book can be a handy introduction to your company and your services and/or products.  Like e-newsletters and e-guides, they can provide a short, quick reference to who you are and what your company has to offer.  Seconds matter: getting a prospective client’s attention with a well-written e-book that is concise and to the point can prove extremely valuable to growing your client base. Offer them free on your Facebook page; that’s a great way of introducing your services – plus, you can grow your list of email addresses which might have marketing potential.

MARKETING COMPANION FOR BUSINESS LIFECYCLES

E-books are easier and more cost-effective than traditional publishing methods to produce. They can also reach a vast and wide audience, quicker and more efficiently than traditional books.  As your business moves through different phases (i.e., lifecycles), these short information messengers can help spread news about changes, products and services, recent content surrounding your industry, etc.  EPUB-style e-books should also be a priority as they can be uploaded from iBookstore, as well as Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.

ANOTHER SOURCE OF INCOME

As well as being a source to spread messages about your business, your services/products, and your industry, these short electronic books can also become another source of revenue for your business. You can easily add an interesting and informative e-book to your line of business tools by growing interest in a subject and then charging a small fee so others can download it straight from your web site.

E-books can be profitable in a number of ways. Select topics with care, using intuitive thought, and combining images and graphics with refined text that is concise and to the point. Many suggest using colors in a complementary fashion, as opposed to just black and white text. Done on the computer, this is a very easy and cost-effective solution. However you choose to promote your business, using these brief marketing tools can be very beneficial.

 

 

Is LinkedIn Sucking Up Your Time?

linkedinIt’s easy to get lost in the world of social media management. There are so many platforms and so little time. Sure, a social media management service like ours can help (read: Shameless Plug for More Business), but for some companies, managing those feeds is an essential part of what they do. The problem? They often take more time than they’re worth. LinkedIn is little different from the others in that regard. Is it actually paying off? One article suggests it’s not, at all.

Is LinkedIn a waste of time?

Is LinkedIn really linking you in? With more than 238 million members, including 4 million in Australia, a profile on LinkedIn is like the modern-day equivalent of a business card.

But how many of those users have benefitted from LinkedIn?

Leadership expert Paul Lange was an early adopter who began using LinkedIn when it launched in 2003.

Paul Lange says LinkedIn has become less relevant.

“At the time it was a great way of finding people,” he says.

“It became like an online Rolodex.”

In the past 10 years, Lange says he has gained about $3000 in work from LinkedIn. This compares with an $80,000 contract he scored from a connection on rival business networking site SunZu (previously Ecademy).

Lange says LinkedIn has gradually become less effective and relevant in the business landscape.

Check out the full text of this article, because it makes some pretty interesting points. That said, though, be careful with your time. Social media is an important part of any marketing interface today, but there are lots of other marketing methods out there that may prove slightly less time consuming.

Who Has Time for Time Management?

time-1428951-m

It’s our busy season. Lots of clients are trying to spend those 2013 marketing dollars and frankly, all of us are ready for a few moments to breathe with our families as the holidays approach. Many small businesses hit crunch time at some point during the year, and the age old wisdom of simply managing your time better doesn’t always work well. It’s what makes this Forbes post by Paul Brown so incredibly attractive.

 . . .the problem I have with time management systems is that they assume everything is predictable and that you are going to know how your day is going to go from the moment you walk into the office until you turn off the lights at night.  The business world of an entrepreneur is never predictable.

Now, this doesn’t mean you respond immediately to every new thing that comes across your desk, or drop everything every time the phone rings. You always need to stay focused on what the most important things are you need to accomplish. You can’t let the urgent overwhelm the important. Otherwise you will just lurch from crisis to crisis.

I completely understand why people do, however.  In a funny way, it is simply easier. Someone is yelling about a minor crisis that they think needs to be resolved immediately; you deal with it, and once you have you think you have accomplished something. But, you really haven’t. You are simply back to where you started, before you knew the problem existed.

It is just another example of confusing activity with accomplishment, much like the constant meetings some organizations have. There’s the monthly staff meeting; the weekly department meeting and the daily “check in” with your immediate reports.  These things sure do fill up your calendar; but no creativity comes out of them. There are, to keep with our theme, a waste of time.

But I don’t have a lot of meetings.  And I can tell the different between something that is urgent and something truly important. I don’t believe I need any more rules than that.

Instead of following hard and fast rules, I would prefer to stay alert to possibilities that I can grab quickly to help my business grow.

And by making that decision, I have freed up a lot of time,

If you’re having trouble with your own time management, we might be able to help. It’s not a hard and fast rule that you can outsource everything filling up your plate, but we can at least handle your blogging and social media management for you. Give us a call or drop us a line if you’d like a little help this holiday season or beyond.

Creativity Issues? Check Out These Ideas

light-bulb-1433914-mSooner or later, that well is going to run dry. It happens to the best of us. When it does, though, where are you supposed to turn? What do you do next? We can help with some of it, thanks to our social media and writing services, but sometimes, it’s key to get your own creativity started. Lindsay Broder recently presented some ideas in Entrepreneur. Here are a few.

1. Check in with your mission statement. Mission statements are often written and then forgotten. Keeping yours on hand for regular review keeps your mind focused on the “why” you’re in business. When you’re clear about the why (i.e., why your customers need what you provide), then it’s easier to come up with the “what” (i.e., what you provide, generated through creativity). If you don’t have a mission, now’s a good time to write one.

2. Find inspiration from your clients. I recently heard a couple of successful entrepreneurs talk about where they find inspiration. They each said that when they are feeling stuck or frustrated and feel that they can’t come up with a single ounce more of creativity, they call their favorite clients and spend a few minutes chatting. Doing so reignites their creativity.

Related:Change Is Good. Now, How to Get Employees to Buy In

3. Read. Personally, I don’t read anything that doesn’t serve my ability to better serve my clients, simply because I don’t dedicate the time to pleasure reading. And often I find inspiration in my daily practice of reading interesting pieces on the web. However, sometimes that’s not enough and I have to read outside of my comfort zone to ignite my creative spark.

4. Schedule a meeting with employees to bounce ideas around. Your employees know your business from a different perspective than you do. Having regular idea-generation powwows keeps the flow of inspiration and creativity going. This also gives your staff a sense of ownership and lets them know that their voice and ideas matter and are vital to the enterprise’s success.

Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230276#ixzz2n2iw4u76

Your ideas are the lifeblood of your business. Find a way to get that creativity flowing. Need to chat a bit about your ideas? Contact us today. We’ll be happy to listen (for free), and we may even have an idea or two that could be helpful. Sure, we want your business, but we also know that a listening ear from another company just trying to make it out there actually matters in this world.

Are You Keeping Up With Us?

mailboxObviously you’re reading our blog, and that’s an amazing source of information on new stuff, tips, and tricks. There are more ways to keep up with Unreel Media, though. Like many of you, we’re on Facebook. You can also find us on Twitter. Coming soon, we’ll be working on other social media profiles as well. We get a little busy handling social media management for other clients, though, as well as blogs, articles, newsletters, and more, so bear with us while we try to find time to meet your needs and our own marketing needs at the same time.

Meanwhile, if you need something, drop us a line via our site or just send us a note on one of our social media platforms. We’ll be happy to help.

If you’re not getting our newsletter yet, be sure you let us know. We’d be happy to add you to our monthly mailing list! Whatever you do, just be sure you keep up with Unreel, and we’ll keep working to keep up with you.