small business

Small Business: Grow Your E-Mail List

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October 21  |  meeting and event planning resources  |   Andrew Maxwell

Grow Your EMail List | WTTC Weblog

E-mail is still the lifeblood of many companies in the marketing and events industry.

Even so it’s easy to let an e-mail list stagnate, which is why I was happy to find this article by Wendy Lowe on MarketingProfs, one of the top online resources for marketing trends and tactics (Note: subscription required).

Wendy has some valuable tips on how to keep your e-mail list growing and customers listening.

Here is just a sampling of what she recommends:

1. Request email addresses at the point of sale. If customers purchase from you once, and you do a good job, there’s a high likelihood they’ll purchase from you again.

2. Offer valuable information—for free. You can entice customers and prospects to give you their email information by sharing a little bit of your business expertise for free.

3. Encourage Twitter followers and Facebook fans to subscribe. If you already have Twitter followers or a Facebook fan page, ask your followers and fans to sign up for your email alerts.

4. Ask recipients to recruit their friends. Every email you send has the potential for a ripple effect—if you encourage the people who are already on your list to pass your emails along to their friends.

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Small Business: Ideas To Help You Make The Most of Your Next Networking Event

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August 19  |  small business resources  |   Andrew Maxwell

Networking Event | WTTC Blog

Brad Closson of Connective Management has some great ideas on how to make the most of your next business networking event.  For success, he advises that spending a few minutes thinking about these six elements:

1. Your introduction. Be sure to change up your introduction from time to time.  Keep it short, clear and interesting.  Remember to add in something about yourself that others can connect to, in case they do not relate to your business this week.

2. Your request. Take a few minutes before you arrive to decide on your request for the group.  This specific call for help should be concise.  “I’m looking to meet roofers this week.”  “Can anyone introduce me into the XYZ company?”

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Small Business Resources: Surviving In A Tough Economy

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August 18  |  small business resources  |   Andrew Maxwell

Tough Economy | WTTC Blog

Business Coach Kellie D’Andrea has written an excellent article for the Elymedia Frenzy Blog on what small businesses can do to survive in a tough economy. We liked it so much we posted it here!

1. Become the ultimate deal maker. With everyone pinching pennies and looking for new ways to save money, this is a great time to offer excellent deals for your products or services. Now is the time for you to be strategic about making deals with your customers, vendors and service partners. In fact, try bartering for services, ad space or product. Every business is looking for ways to save money so do not be afraid to renegotiate contracts with your current vendors and to offer more value to keep your current customers.

2. Look for efficiencies. Take a look at all of the processes in your business and see if there are ways to streamline and become more efficient. Look for areas that are manually heavy tasks and see if there is an opportunity to automate. Look for areas that are paper heavy and duplicated and see if you can tighten up. Combine like tasks for greater productivity and do not shy away from investment opportunities that may reduce your overall labor in future periods. For example, investing in technology that could would reduce labor by 50%. Although there is an upfront outlay of cash, the investment will pay for itself.

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Small Business: Videoblogging

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April 11  |  small business resources  |   Andrew Maxwell

Video for Business | WTTC Blog

In this virtual age, video is a common communication tool.  Inexpensive and very portable cameras have made video production a snap.  And everyone is doing it.

The catch?  Not everyone is doing it RIGHT.  There are a ton of horrible and ineffective videos out there.

Here are 10 tips that will help you create excellent footage – not just add to the visual clutter:

* Format is important. Keep it short — 3-5 minutes will hold your audience’s attention.
* Commit to some frequency — a weekly or bi-monthly series will build momentum.
* Use established third-party sites and services for delivery (examples: YouTube,  blinkx.com, Vimeo and others) along with posting videos on your own site.
* Test for compatibility with all Web browsers, plug-ins, and operating-systems.
* Record several takes and edit the best parts of each one into a single video.
* Smile!
* Vary the tone and pitch of your voice — do not speak in a monotone.
* Move your head when speaking to help emphasize your words. Use subtle movements of your head when speaking to help emphasize what you say, along with eyebrow movements, widening your eyes, pursing your lips, and other facial “punctuation marks.”
* Look at yourself in the mirror beforehand and make sure you look good, that your hair is in place, and that you don’t have a collar or a tag turned up or worse. Don’t trust the image on the screen — use a mirror and look at yourself closely.
* Learn your editing software and be reasonably proficient in it. You should be able to:
– Cut and rearrange clips
– Add titles, transitions, and effects
– Blend or overlap scenes
– Add separate audio tracks
– Modify audio levels

Video has many applications for the meeting and event industry.

To see how one CVB is using video to enhance its communications efforts, visit the Lexington, KY Visitor Planning Guide.

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