Archive for the ‘Business Communication’ Category

Who Are You to Your Prospective Clients? The Answer May Be More Complex Than You Think.

Monday, September 28th, 2009

What do you represent to your clients? The answer has been sitting right under your nose, but perhaps you have been too busy trying to sell to actually see it or think about it. For many business owners who haven’t been seeing the results they desire, they have not truly discovered how their clients and prospective clients perceive them.

For example, if you own a travel company that specializes in family vacations, you may think that your clients view you as simply a family vacation provider. Au contraire.

When people are looking for a family vacation, they don’t view a travel company as simply a vacation provider. They view the travel company as a facilitator. In the clients’ mind, a travel company has the ability to provide their family with a time and place to spend quality time together, on a safe and fun vacation, as well as a great price for their trip. See the difference?

Your target audience isn’t coming to you because you provide family vacations—they’re coming to you because they believe you will fulfill their family bonding needs, provide them with a happy and stress-free experience, and meet their vacation standards and criteria. The more specific you are with what you are actually providing for your clients, the easier it will be to connect with them.

Here’s a challenge for you:

1. Analyze your website copy, social media site profiles, past press releases, blog posts, and print marketing materials. Are you speaking to the needs and desires of your target audience? Are you reaching deep down into what you are truly providing them? Remember that you may perceive yourself as a travel company, but that’s not necessarily how you want your prospective clients to see your company—if this is how you’re projecting your company to your target audience, you may find you have no clients.

2. If it appears you’re simply trying to make the sale and not hitting your target market’s sweet spot with your marketing materials, you may be spending tons of precious time with no results—running yourself into the ground.

3. Step back, take a deep breath, and start brainstorming. What exactly do you provide to your audience? How do you satisfy their needs?

4. Now, the trick is to touch your prospective clients with the right marketing strategies and materials. Once you’ve hit the sweet spot, you’ll start to attract more clients, build online exposure, and have a clear brand message that speaks volumes to prospective clients.

Did you like this post? Feel free to share it with your friends on Digg or Stumbleupon.

Build Online Relationships through Real-Time Marketing

Friday, September 18th, 2009

More WebProNews Videos

Marketers now have the opportunity to analyze customer relationships and promote their business in real-time to prospective clients. Will you take advantage of real-time marketing?

When You Get Clear, You Get Clients

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

I’m sure clients, colleagues, and you, Dear Reader, are sick of hearing me harp on how critical it is for companies to really understand their target market.

Call me a broken record. I don’t mind.

Before I take on a new copywriting project, one of the first questions I ask a prospective client is, “Who is your target market and how do you serve them?”

Not having a clear idea of whom you’re selling to or who your prospective clients are is the number one marketing mistake you can make—online or offline. If you don’t know whom you are speaking to, you won’t know the right message to communicate.

Identifying and knowing your target market—inside and out—requires you to look at yourself, at your company, and look into whom you serve and why. Too many companies have a general idea. Some have no idea at all.

Stating a target as “anybody who needs my product” won’t cut it (believe it or not, I hear this answer all the time). Defining your target as “people in the medical field” won’t help much either. Trying to be everything to everyone isn’t going to get you the sales you want.

If you want more customers, you have to know whom you are selling to. And you should know as much about them as you can.

Let’s say you own a high-end clothing boutique. You sell products to women, but identifying your target as “all women” is much too vague because most of your inventory is designed for a younger crowd. Look closely at your clientele, and you may find most of your patrons are between 32 and 45. Look even closer, and you may uncover a majority of your clients are young professionals who make over $80,000 a year.

Keeping with this example, now that you’ve identified your target, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and brainstorm. Make a list of questions you’d like to know about your target, then answer the questions to the best of your ability. You want to define their lifestyle, hobbies, profession, anything you can that will help you speak to their needs and wants.

Be specific. Where do they shop, dine, drink? What do they read? Did they graduate from college, have a bachelor or master’s? Are they active in their community? Do they bike on weekends, or do they spend time with family? Don’t limit yourself. Keep asking questions until you feel you know these people.

It’s important to note that it doesn’t matter if this is business to consumer or business to business, you are still dealing with people at the end of the day. So, if you are business to business and your target is a CEO, you need to know everything about who that CEO is so you can connect.

The more you know, the better you can target the group, speak their language, and give them what they want. And if you know all the above, it will help you further define the business message you want—a message that will attract your target audience to you.

Once you start mining to find out who your target market is, it has been my experience that many businesses find that their message isn’t clear, effective, or targeted to the correct market. It can be extremely difficult for businesses to project an accurate message, one that encompasses a combination of their company’s products, beliefs, mission, and goals if they don’t have a clear vision of their target market.

If you’re uncomfortable with the message you’re sending potential customers online, it’s time to change this message and solidify a strong brand image.

Just remember, speak to everyone, and you’re likely to get no one.

What Not To Do On Your Blog: Learn From My Mistake

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Yesterday, I was messing around with my blog, checking the stats, adding a new widget, and answering comments. Something prompted me (or perhaps it was plain old procrastination) to click on page three and four of my comments.

I was happily reading through comments that were months old until I discovered six comments that I had not approved.

I didn’t even know they were there.

I make it a point to reply back when people leave comments because I like bloggers to write back when I comment on their blogs. Also, we market blogs for clients on a regular basis and actively market our blog as well. My number one rule is: leave comments and comment back. It’s the polite thing to do and it helps build relationships.

So, you can image my shock when I stumbled upon these unattended blog comments. To make matters worse, someone had left a message asking to expand on the topic. And another person left me a message on a post that was about how communication is the key to business success. Talk about embarrassing.

How these comments managed to slip past me isn’t important. What matters is that not only did I miss an opportunity to connect with other bloggers, but I may have also lost readership as a result of my neglect.

Let this be a lesson to those of you who blog: stay current with your incoming comments. Reply back in a prompt manner. And it wouldn’t hut you to check comments from months ago. You never know what you might have missed.

I’d love for you to leave a comment. Oh, come on, you know you want to. Or share it on Digg or StumbleUpon.

Are You Missing Out On Connecting With Potential Customers?

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

In an exclusive interview with Shannon Chitayat, graphic designer and owner of inkportfolio, Shannon discusses the importance of sending the right message through effective marketing materials. inkportfolio, a full service graphic design and print management company, prides itself on its ability to portray an accurate business message for each client through effective design and business materials. inkportfolio thoroughly examines each business’s primary visions, target market, and competition before creating effective marketing materials and designs.  

Sūmèr: How do inkportfolio’s services benefit businesses?

inkportfolio: As a full service graphic design and print management company, our services are powerful tools for businesses—not only in helping businesses look great, but also in the success of a business. Our team has specialized design skills, techniques, and experiences that are used for the purpose of attracting people and increasing business activity.

It’s vital that the marketing materials used to promote a business look professional and send the right message. Every logo, brochure, advertisement, and business card that is seen plays an important role in establishing a company’s image.

It may not seem obvious, but design adds credibility. Think of the products you buy or the stores you shop at. Have you ever made a purchase choice because of the way something looked? I know I have.

inkportfolio’s services are not just about making a business look great. It’s also about consumers choosing one business over the other—we play a crucial role in that.

Sūmèr: What’s the number one thing you see businesses struggle with in regards to their graphic design?

inkportfolio: I think a lot of businesses consider graphic design as an expense rather than an investment in the potential growth of their company. This is a major problem since some of these businesses don’t invest the proper amount of research and time into the identity / brand of their company. When businesses neglect the brand image of their company, it often creates an unprofessional, inconsistent look on their website, sending the wrong message to perspective clients about their business.

Sūmèr: What are the top three benefits inkportfolio brings to companies?


1. Improves businesses’ images and strengthens their brands.
2. Makes their business stand out from their competitors.
3. Sells businesses’ messages to customers more convincingly.

Sūmèr: What steps go into creating graphics for companies?

inkportfolio: We first conduct an interview / questionnaire with the client to get a better feel for the project and their goals. We then research the company, the industry as a whole, and the competition in greater detail.

With the interview / questionnaire and research information in mind, we go to work on the design concept (or concepts depending on the project size and scope). Once we have a concept, we ask for feedback to ensure the idea is on target with the client’s vision.

After completion of the concept, inkportfolio presents it to the client and receives feedback. At this point we make final changes if needed and the files are off to final production!

Sūmèr: What makes inkportfolio unique to other graphic design companies?

inkportfolio: I have had the great fortune to experience all aspects of the design and print industries. From client services—as an art department manager—to a graphic designer to a business owner, I’ve seen it all. Having these experiences helps me approach design from many different perspectives.

Also, my years in the print industry, have shown me the ins and outs of the printing process—something many designers aren’t familiar with. I feel that for a designer to have this knowledge is priceless. This knowledge helps me make better choices for our clients, helps streamline the process, can help make more cost effective design decisions, and in the end, we create a result that everyone is happy with.

Visit inkportfolio’s website at and contact them via phone at 843.324.0931 or via email at .

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Twitter

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

More WebProNews Videos

The above video taken from WebProNews is a fantastic illustration of just how powerful Twitter is in real-time news. In this video, Brett Tabke founder of WebmasterWorld, shares his expert insight into the world of social media and Twitter, and provides useful Twitter statistics that support the rise in social media marketing.

Google Voice: The Future of Communication

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Watch the video below for an informative insight into Google’s upcoming invention: Google Voice.

More WebProNews Videos

Avoid the Top 10 Clothing Mistakes at Your Next Networking Event

Friday, June 19th, 2009


In an exclusive interview with Lee Heyward, style expert and owner of Charleston Style Concierge, Lee provides ten helpful tips on dressing for success:

Networking is one of the most important activities you can do for the success of your business. Your appearance is a big part of your networking success. You are your brand, and your look is your logo. Your look will help you sell your product or services. Before you can sell anything, you have to sell yourself. A polished appearance is no longer considered frivolous or egotistical. In the business world it is a requirement for success.

Before your next networking meeting, take the time to make sure you have put the same attention and detail into yourself as you do for your company.

Top Ten Clothing Mistakes Commonly Seen at Networking Events

1. Dowdy or outdated clothing:  If your clothing looks old or outdated, people will automatically assume your way of doing business is also outdated and will be more likely to pass you by.

2. Clothing that is too revealing:  It is hard to appear professional in clothing that is too revealing. Even if the networking event is at night, a plunging neckline (this goes for both men and women) may not be appropriate.

3. Too casual or comfortable of clothing:  Dressing too casually often translates as lazy. You may be the hardest working individual in the room, but your clothing says the opposite.

4. Forgetting that details matter:  The details of your clothing paint a picture about the character of both you and your business. Wrinkled pants and scuffed shoes will not give a potential client the confidence to believe they can handle the details of your complex business.

5. Wearing clothing with slogans, logos, or prominent brand names other than your own:  After all, who are you working for?

6. Clothing that doesn’t make sense for your audience:  Think about who you will be networking with before getting dressed. Will your audience respond better to your branded polo shirt or a very classic and professional button down?

7. Clothes that don’t fit or flatter:  Clothing that is too tight can look trashy and cheap. Clothing that is too big looks sloppy and unprofessional. Discover how to dress your body type and wear clothing that fits.

8. Ultra trendy clothing:  Clothing that is ultra trendy can look costumey at a networking event. Unless you are in the fashion industry, stick to classic pieces that are infused with elements of your own personal style.

9. Clothing that doesn’t make sense for the industry you are in: Your clothing should make you look as if you are a credible member of your industry. Your clothes tell potential clients that you belong and are successful at what you do.

10. Clothing you don’t feel confident in: The right clothes will make you feel invincible, allowing you to sell your product or services with confidence.

Below, Lee Heyward weighs in on the importance of dressing for success in the workplace on a segment from ABC 4 News:

Goodbye, Memo—Hello, Social Media

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Once upon a time, the dreaded memo was a popular way to communicate with the business workforce. It’s safe to say sending out a memo was a gamble. Perhaps half of the employees briefly skimmed, and the other half asked the skimmers what the memo was about. This one-way communication tool appears to be highly endangered, if not extinct.

If you’re looking to find a free and easy-to-use online communication tool for your employees to be motivated and engaged, social media sites are excellent platforms. Not only are social media sites being used by businesses as a website marketing and promotion tool, but they’ve also proven quite successful with fostering interaction among the workforce.

In a survey conducted by the International Association of Business Communicators and Buck Consultants, researchers studied how businesses are keeping employees engaged and productive through communication.

Communication is one of the most vital components in keeping businesses thriving and successful. Without proper communication from all members of a company workforce, it’s extremely difficult to keep a solid business structure from crumbling.

The IABC and Buck Consultants’ survey took a deeper look into what type of vehicles businesses use to communicate with their employees and keep them motivated to achieve company goals. Guess what? The memo wasn’t one of them.

Of the 1,500 survey participants, 79 percent say they use social media to communicate with employees and facilitate result-oriented behavior, compared to 75 percent who say they use email to communicate. Blogs take the top spot in social media popularity with 47 percent of participants using blogs as their main social media tool at work.

Using blogs to communicate is an excellent way to encourage employees to comment and read other employees’ comments. This type of communication is collaborative and engages readers, since it’s usually a more informal approach than a memo. Brief chunks of information on a blog can be digested easier and facilitate more conversation and interaction among the workforce than a long, formalized memo.

Other social media sites currently being used among business employees are Twitter, Yammer, and Facebook. Twitter at 21 percent, is the runner-up to blogs.

If you’re using social media sites for your website marketing and promotion, try using it for communication among employees. If it works for website marketing and promotion, it might just work for bringing your workforce closer together and more motivated.

Take Advantage of Social Media on Your Website

Monday, June 1st, 2009

In an exclusive interview with James Smith, Chief Revenue Officer for the Huffington Post, a popular social news site, WebProNews uncovers the importance of the social element on traditional-news websites. The video below is an excellent illustration of how news sites are evolving from simply providing viewers with news to becoming social media platforms. This social aspect draws viewers into the topic more and allows them to be actively engaged with news and lend their opinions on the matter with others. Also, the Huffington Post site has utilized polls that allow people to actually archive their opinions and become a part of an entire online community. They can participate in a large discussion and vote.

It is apparent that our society has become much more social, simply because technology has allowed us to do so. We can share information with the world within seconds of receiving it. Over the years, people have taken advantage of this social aspect, and it is inevitable that technology, as well as society, will continue to evolve in this more social direction.

Using social media on your website is by far the way to go if you want to stay up-to-date with society, your target market, the new generation, and your competitors.

View the entire article and video here: Comments Make Content More Valuable

Pages: Prev 1 2 3 Next