Category Archives: Small Business Marketing Tips

5 Referral Marketing Ideas | Best Way to Get Referrals

Proactively generating sales is made that much easier when you know how to drive referral traffic to your front door.

Here’s the simple message: referrals are important. This notion has been a cornerstone philosophy in the sales world for decades. So why does asking for and getting referrals seem difficult? Does it feel intrusive? Too time-consuming? Are you out of referral marketing ideas?

The referral is one key foundational element to any good sales strategy, and learning how to get referrals is incredibly important. Start with these five referral marketing ideas to get you started if you’re feeling stuck:

1. Ensure Your Client Knows the “Real You”Personal

Many clients won’t refer you to others because they aren’t 100% sure about you, your business, what you offer, and what you don’t. You’ll want to connect with these clients and provide them with some insights into your brand and business. They should leave thinking “I have the perfect client for these guys…”

One way to keep your business at the forefront with clients is to leave behind customized promotional products that are useful, exchange hands easily, and will remind those in your industry of the importance of creating a mutually beneficial relationship with your organization.

2. Create a Referral Program

refer a friendTake the guesswork out of the process by structuring a referral program that will entice your clients to drive traffic toward your business. A referral program can also help minimize most of the jitters salespeople feel when asking for referrals, as a company-sponsored program tends to legitimize the idea of asking for referrals in the first place.

3. Create a Client-Partnership

handshakeWhen you begin treating referring clients as partners, you’ll likely receive an increased boost in referrals. These clients should feel like strategic partners working alongside your business to foster mutually beneficial results and shared success. Once they see that their business can improve when they refer to you, they’ll want to maintain close ties to your organization.

4. Be a Content Source in the IndustryContent Source

The best way to get referrals isn’t by merely asking and trying to be a good partner. You’ll also want to create information and shareable resources that can increase awareness of your brand.

Invite others to a seminar or webinar that addresses current industry topics. Then, show how your business can be a good strategic partner for these invited guests.

Make sure to include links or buttons on your social pages that encourage clients to visit pages like Yelp or Google to learn more about your brand. Who knows, you might even boost the number of positive reviews on these sites by doing so!

5. Ask for Referrals

Ask for referralSimply asking for referrals seems so obvious – yet a failure to do so is one of the biggest hindrances to building a successful referral program. Your sales or marketing team will have to position your company in a way where referrals are beneficial, either for them or the person they refer. Just ask and you’ll often receive – as long as you’ve created a value proposition that makes sense for the client.

Referrals represent one of the best ways to generate leads and land new business, yet so many today struggle to create consistent practices that can drive sales growth. Follow the referral marketing ideas above on how to increase referrals, and see just how easy it is to solicit new business when you’re on the receiving end of a quality referral.

90 Days Until Small Business Saturday – Get Marketing!

This small business-focused holiday can be just the thing to kick-start your company’s sales – what marketing do you have planned?

Whether you’re a fan of Visa, MasterCard, or American Express, small business owners everywhere should tip their collective hats to the latter card issuer, as AMEX created a “holiday” six years ago strictly focused on boosting awareness and engagement with small businesses across the nation. Today, small businesses can now utilize Small Business Saturday marketing to boost foot traffic and sales.

Small Business Saturday (SBS) takes place between Black Friday and Cyber Monday each year, and the goal is simple – let the big box retailers have the Friday after Thanksgiving, and the online sites have the Monday after Turkey Day, but then persuade shoppers to choose local small businesses for their Saturday-after-Thanksgiving shopping needs.

If you own or operate a small business, consider this day as a holiday devoted just to you. To maximize it, you’ll want to keep the following key marketing concepts in mind when November 26th rolls around this year:

1.  Plan Your Small Business Saturday Marketing

Don't Get Caught Without a Plan - Start Today!

Don’t Get Caught Without a Plan – Start Today!

With 90 days to prepare for the holiday, decide how you want to promote your business in conjunction with the holiday. It is important to realize that not all people know about Small Business Saturday, so use the time leading up to the day as an opportunity to fill them in.

Remind your customers of the day by creating flyers and handing out Small Business Saturday promotional items such as pens that can be handed out quickly and easily. A custom batch of postcards, for instance, can (inexpensively) serve this purpose and will remind the customer of your business far beyond November 26th.

Now is the time to start seeing which promotional products you want to use and order in advance for Small Business Saturday.

2.  Cross Promote Your Business

This buzzy-sounding phrase is actually perfectly suited for your Small Business Saturday marketing plan. Find complementary businesses in your area and find a way to boost awareness of both companies by promoting each other!

DoritosLocos-500x229

Picture Provided by Crown Marketers (http://crownmarketers.com/)

For example, if you run an automotive repair business, consider partnering with the car wash down the street to offer discounted washes with each oil change at your shop. You’ll both benefit, and the customers will have an opportunity to learn about both of your businesses.

3.  Prepare Your Social Marketing

Image provided by npo.io

Image provided by npo.io

Clients today are as smart as ever – especially when it comes to using social media tools to add value to their shopping experience. Well in advance of the Small Business Saturday holiday, create Facebook posts or Tweets that encourage others to share information about this special day.

Keep in mind that the Small Business Saturday Facebook page alone has more than 3 million followers. Linking to this site or using hashtags like #SmallBusinessSaturday or #SmallBizSaturday is a great idea to boost your marketing efforts.

4.  Build upon Small Business Saturday

If you’ve already participated in Small Business Saturday in previous years, make sure you promote it this year to create a snowball effect of new business. Or, if you’re already a vocal supporter of small businesses in your area, use this time to communicate the importance of shopping locally-owned companies by showing the correlation between these businesses and the local economy. Use the holiday as a means to continually remind your local area why “grass roots” is the way to go.

Small Business Saturday is 90 days away, and now is the perfect time to gear up your Small Business Saturday marketing, plan accordingly, and start creating awareness of the importance of shopping locally.

Small Business Saturday 2015

small biz satSmall Business Saturday celebrates all that is unique and important about our domestic small businesses – and it has helped to shine a light on this key component of our economy since 2010. Promote your small business this November!

On November 27, 2010, American Express decided to launch a unique and focused campaign that encouraged individuals across the nation to support small, local businesses. The day became official in 2011, with a huge outpouring of support from government officials, business leaders, and more – all with the mission to help encourage greater patronage of small businesses in America. Between November 24 and November 25, 2012, research shows that just under 74 million people went out to shop at a small business. In 2013, 1,450 local organizations formed to lend support to Small Business Saturday – creating rallying groups called Neighborhood Champions. And in 2014, an estimated $14.3 billion was spent at small independent businesses on that year’s Small Business Saturday. The impact of this program has been far-reaching and has helped small businesses to increase their viability within their market – as well as their overall visibility.

If you own a small business and want to make this year’s Small Business Saturday as lucrative as possible, make sure that you champion this day by promoting your business as effectively as possible. Create a social media campaign that encourages potential shoppers to snap a selfie in front of your business for the chance to win something of value. Or, host day kickoff breakfast to get everyone in the shopping mood the morning of the event. You can order a wide variety of promotional marketing gifts to help support this important day, or send marketing materials or gifts to as many key players within your target market as possible, several days or weeks before the event begins. The idea is to encourage as many people to visit localized, small businesses as possible.

If you are considering ordering promotional marketing gifts to help boost your visibility on this important day, first start by creating a plan. Who’s your target market? What do they value and what will help to drive them to your front door? Are they reachable via social media or will your typical customers prefer to receive a physical reminder of the event? Once you have created a plan, make sure that you create excitement before the big day by sending out promotional gifts, targeted promotional emails, or create social media posts that will drive consumers towards your business. Lastly, make your business hard to resist. Implement an in-store event or big sale, and reward new customers with promotional gifts just for stepping foot within your front door. Make sure that you don’t neglect repeat customers, so think about creating a referral prize or offer that rewards existing clients for their continued business and support.

This November 28th will likely prove to be an incredible day for small businesses across the nation. But to make sure that your business stands out from the rest, create a plan, build excitement, and make your business irresistible when compared to your competitors. Promotional marketing gifts, social media campaigns, and more, will help you to do just that.

Are You Prepared to Capitalize on National Small Business Week 2015?


Small Business WeekNational Small Business week is the ideal time to drive additional activities that can highlight your company or organization. What do you have planned?

Each year, for the past 52 years, the President of the United States has delivered an official proclamation around National Small Business week . specifically focusing on the contributions that are made each day by our nation.s small business owners. Our national entrepreneurial spirit is a large part of what makes America great, and it is important to take time each year to spotlight the innovators, growth agents, and leaders of our critically important small businesses in order to ensure that these businesses are supported and given every opportunity for growth. This year, take the time to revisit why our small businesses are so vital to our nation . and re-analyze how you can capitalize on this exciting time of year when all eyes are on the men and women who truly make our nation great.

For every three new jobs that are created in the United States each year, two of them are the result of a small business owner hiring a job-seeker. Of all of the eligible workers in the U.S., greater than 50% either work for or own a small business . and that number is growing each year. But how can you set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd during this pro-business time of the year? The answer is, focus on what has made you so great, and ensure that as many people as possible know about you. Continue to perform with integrity, partner with and hire from your community to ensure that the economic impact of your business will be felt close to home, and do all that you can to help the nation recover economically. The byproduct of these activities is greater sales, enhanced revenues, and the ability to create even more jobs.

This National Small Business week, do more than just continue to perform at a high level . you.ll want to ensure that you market your business as effectively as possible to grow your company in an aggressive but sustained manner. Whether this means investing in social media marketing, revamping upcoming sales or marketing campaigns, or reaching out to prospective clients or existing customers by using promotional marketing gifts . do something to be different this week! For those who want to invest in promotional marketing gifts, turn to the leaders in the industry . National Pen.

To honor our small business owners and to help create additional buzz around any business or organization, we are featuring a Small Business Week coupon (coupon code: PROMO20) that allows for 20% off of National Pen brand products from May 4, 2015 to May 12, 2015. This will help business owners like you to increase the volume and frequency of promotional gift giving, while driving brand awareness and opening new opportunities for sales. This National Small Business Week, make sure that you are prepared to perform during the one week of the year that is dedicated to our nation.s entrepreneurs.

eBook: How to Maximize Your Tradeshow Experience

eBook: How to Maximize Your Tradeshow Experience

Trade shows are a wonderful way to gain exposure to prospective customers or clients at an industry focused event. Those exhibiting and attending are usually intensive around one subject or industry such as technology, home improvement, and medical.

Whether you are a tradeshow newbie, you’ve gone to a tradeshow and wish it had gone better, or maybe it went great, and you just want to make it even greater, this free ebook download is for you!

Included eBook Features

This ebook is a one-year planning guide of how to be a successful exhibitor at a trade show. Having a guide like this will ensure that every deadline is met, your staff is prepared, and that you are completely ready for the big day. From travel accommodations to ordering your promotional items, this guide lays out all of the steps you need to take in a timeline format so all you have to worry about is doing your best.

View eBook: How to Maximize Your Tradeshow Experience

 

 

 

 

 

3 Ways to Boost Small Business Saturday in Your Favor

lpg paragon penLike the quote says, “Build your own dream or someone else will hire you to build their’s.”

It’s not easy to break out of the mold, quit the typical 9-5 desk job, and start your own business.  As many risks and fears, there are associated with starting your own business, there are far more gratification and satisfaction.

In general, people want to support small businesses. But when it comes down to price, small businesses, as you well know, have a hard time competing with your industries big players.

Fortunately, Small Business Saturday has gained a lot of growth, recognition, and participation over the past few years. This year you need to take advantage of everything this specially designated day has to offer your small business.

FIRST – Social Media

Use Social Media to get involved in small business groups and list in small business directories. Use social media to advertise your small business Saturday offerings. Maybe host a coffee or wine event at your store on Saturday morning or evening, or maybe it is an early morning discount.

SECOND – Stage

Make your store holiday fabulous. From Christmas music to decorations, that time between Thanksgiving and the December holidays is short – it is important to join in the festivities.  Embrace the spirit of holidays to invite customers into your establishment and engage with the atmosphere.

THIRD – Incentives for Repeat Customers

Have a special for return customers. Maybe offer 50% off one item next time they visit the store, or even if it’s 10% off their entire purchase, having this added special is bound to have customers return. Feeling creative? Put your special for repeat customers on a business promotional item. Have the Deal or Special printed on our Paragon Pen or other best-selling products!

Customized Beach Balls Will Help “Inflate” Your Marketing Results

16" Beach BallWork a sunny and fun marketing angle with customized summertime beach balls from National Pen

Promotional marketing tools are an important component of any marketing manager.s toolkit – so why invest in customized beach balls this time of year? And, how can these entertaining gifts help you to increase sales and customer loyalty? For obvious reasons, this time of year draws a distinct connection to outdoor activities like picnics in the park and days at the beach. The late spring and early summer season are perfect for getting out and moving around at parks, playgrounds, sporting events and more.

Beach balls make tremendous marketing tools, no matter how you categorize your industry or business line, and they are perfect for your upcoming, warm-weather marketing campaign. Think about a local baseball team.s summer afternoon game . a beach ball playfully dancing among the spectators. Or, consider your own family outing to the beach and the resulting good times that are had when your custom beach ball is swatted around on the sand. There are so many venues that are perfect for having fun with a beach ball, and a customized unit from National Pen will help you market your business while the recipients are simply having fun.

The concept is simple, “your brand name, logo, company title, or contact information” will be prominently displayed on the beach ball for all to see. This means that your company information will be front of mind while others are simply having fun with your custom beach ball.  This positive correlation between good times and your business will help reinforce the notion that you are the right organization to partner with.  And, since summer get-togethers are often social events, you’ll find that your beach ball will make the rounds among several guests. This also contributes to better brand recognition and enhanced market awareness for your company.

When it comes to building and sustaining client loyalty, customized promotional gifts like beach balls, coolers, caps, and other summertime focused gifts will keep your business relationships engaged with your brand throughout the busy summer season. Beach balls also make great gifts for your employees and can be brought and used at company picnics, summer group outings, or simply sent back to your team as a thank you for their continual hard work.

The possibilities are endless, but the time to strike is now. Custom beach balls are well-suited to the spring and summer months, so consider ordering promotional beach balls today . you.ll surely see a lift in your business!

National Small Business Week 2014 . May 12th . 16th

Small Business WeekIn honor of National Small Business Week – help drive additional focus towards your small business by revamping your promotional marketing plan

In 1963, the Small Business Administration (SBA) began officially recognizing the incredibly powerful role that small businesses play in our economy by launching a National Small Business Week campaign. Often held during the spring, this week is dedicated to the entrepreneurs, leaders, and dreamers that so often comprise the ranks of small businesses in America.

According to the SBA: Activities will include forums and panels discussing trends in small business, business innovation, financing, growth, matchmaking events, as well as networking opportunities and award ceremonies.

Small businesses in the US provide 120 million jobs. That.s according to a recent Forbes article that highlights the importance of small businesses to the domestic economy. The SBA reports that between .09 and .11, small businesses were responsible for 67% of the new jobs added to the market. And, small businesses currently make up more than 99.7% of all employers in the US. More than half a million new small businesses are created each month in the US, and the method in which these businesses are starting is changing, too. In 2013 alone, more than $2.7-billion was raised for new business ventures via crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter!

While many small business owners find that there simply isn.t enough time in the day to think about things like National Small Business Week, this may be the perfect opportunity for business owners to truly reflect on the difference they.re making in the lives of their employees, customers, and stakeholders.

Over the past 51 years, the SBA has chosen one week out of the year to showcase incredible businesses . so why not use this as the impetus to solidify your marketing approach? With promotional products from National Pen, you.ll be able to increase your brand awareness, strengthen your market share, and create positive, lasting experiences for your clients, prospects, and business relationships. Just three years after the SBA began recognizing National Small Business Week, National Pen was officially created!

Choose from numerous marketing options, including customizable pens. Pens are available with your choice of logo or company imprint . perfect for supporting your marketing efforts during and after this small business focused timeframe. Choose from discounted ball point pens all the way up to more luxurious desk sets. Various promotional office supplies, drinkware, home and automotive gifts, stationery, bags, and more are available to reinforce your marketing activities and help you win more business. During National Small Business Week 2014, partner with National Pen to help you grow your business and gain market share. Your customers and employees will thank you!

Shop new, lower prices on EVERYTHING!

Lower PricingPromotional items can help your company drive bottom line results by putting your logo, corporate image, or brand into the hands of customers and prospects. These items are designed to deliver a clear message that you WANT to continually earn your customer.s loyalty. From pens and stationery, to travel mugs and sports bottles, promotional items can help businesses both new and established earn more market share and increase customer satisfaction.

Most marketing managers understand the benefits of customized promotional giveaway items, but they’re constantly working against a spending budget that limits the amount of promo items they can buy. At National Pen, we’ve just made the job of the marketing manager that much easier with new, lower prices on EVERYTHING!

Customized pens are a terrific product to give to just about anyone, due to their low price and real-world usefulness. The utility of a pen is undeniable . evidenced by the fact that few people will turn away a custom pen, no matter how many pens they already have in their drawer. And now, with our new, lower pricing on a variety of custom pens, you’ll be able to either distribute a larger number of these enticing giveaway items or invest in a higher quality of pen for less money than you.d ever thought possible.

Sports bottles and travel mugs are phenomenal promotional items, as most consumers use either of these on a daily basis. Put your logo or brand name in front of a client or prospect every day, and you.ll see returns on your marketing investment. Now you have the ability to increase your market penetration by being able to purchase more promotional products, with no increase in total, delivered cost!

No matter which cheap promotional item you feel will help drive your business, National Pen has the pricing and product assortment to help support your marketing needs. With a massive inventory of pens, keychain flashlights, stationery items, bags and coolers, office items, and home and auto goods, you’ll find the promo items you need at a price that can’t be beat!  With our new, lower prices on EVERYTHING we sell, your customers will thank you for investing in these high-quality marketing products.

With our new, lower prices on EVERYTHING we sell, your customers will thank you for investing in these high-quality marketing products.