Saturday, April 30, 2011

3 Keys to Getting Your Message Out into the World So You Can Make a Difference

If you're one of the thousands of heart-centered and conscious entrepreneurs, getting your message out into the world in a big way is important to you. In fact, it might even be the reason why you started your business in the first place.

The problem, of course, is how. How do you get your message out into an already crowded marketplace? How do you make sure you're getting your message in front of the people who so desperately need to hear it?

That's what I'm going to walk you through today -- the 3 main keys to getting your message out into the world in a REALLY big way so you can make the difference you were put on this Earth to make.

1. Make sure your message is crystal clear. In fact, the clearer and more specific the better. The more general it is, the less impact you're going to make.

Consider this -- "I am a healer" versus "I provide spiritual healing to entrepreneurs as they step into their own power as an entrepreneur." Do you see the difference? The first one could be for nearly anyone and because it could be for nearly anyone it has no meaning. The second one is far more juicy and it gets much of that juiciness from being specific.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself "I don't want to be too specific because I may turn some people off from my message." First off, if someone is turned off from your message, they probably aren't open to it in the first place. And second of all, even though it sounds counter-intuitive, the more specific you are, the more you'll stand out. (Don't believe me? Go back and read those two statements again.)

2. Make sure you're crystal clear about who you're trying to reach. Again, the more specific you are, the more likely you'll cut through all the clutter and reach the people who really need to hear your message.

You don't have to reach everyone -- just the ones who need your message. In fact, trying to reach everyone is a determent. All you'll end up doing is NOT cutting through the clutter and not making the difference you're meant to make.

Believe me, there's more then enough of your ideal clients to keep you very busy for years to come, so just focus on them and don't worry about the rest.

3. Make sure you're consistent with your message and you repeat it frequently. You're an entrepreneur. Which probably means you're a little (or a lot) ADD. Which also probably means you're going to get tired of your message long before you've made an impact in the marketplace.

Look, your ideal clients, the ones who need to hear your message, are not going to get tired of hearing it because:

A: They aren't living in your business so even you're most rabid fan is only going to hear your message a fraction as much as you are

B: Your ideal clients are busy people and won't hear your message unless you repeat it often.

So you need to do two things -- resist the urge to "tweak" your message as you get bored with it (and especially resist the urge to redefine or remake yourself every six months or so, that's the fastest way to cause serious confusion in the marketplace). And make getting your message out there one of your top priorities. You should be marketing yourself and your message as often as you can and in as many different media as you can. That includes social networking, articles public relations, direct mail, speaking, etc.

Above all, don't give up. It may take awhile to penetrate crowded marketplaces and make the difference you're meant to make, but it IS possible -- just as long as you follow these 3 keys and stay persistent.

About the Author:
Michele PW (Michele Pariza Wacek) is your Ka-Ching! Marketing strategist and owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC, a copywriting and marketing agency. She helps entrepreneurs become more successful at attracting more clients, selling more products and services and boosting their business. To find out how she can help you take your business to the next level, visit her site at http://www.michelepw.com/ Copyright 2009 Michele Pariza Wacek. No. of Times this article has been viewed : 438
Date Published : Mar 16 2011

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The Power of Custom Brochure Printing

Brochure printing has been used for many types of goals and business processes over the years. One of its best roles or purposes would be to generate more interest with a product or service in a local environment. Custom brochure printing does this through many interesting and potent ways. Let me convince you how precisely those prints can do it, so that you can also take advantage of brochure printing and lead your business to success. Let us start with the color brochure's basic and most effective nature,

1. Convincing power - Like many other small marketing prints, custom brochure printing has that quick but powerful convincing power. With just the right kind of headline, attractive features and a good leading sentence, a color brochure can immediately hook a potential customer and get you more interests and buzz instantly. Combine those elements creatively and you can actually get the real beneficial response that you want from your efforts. This has been proven already for many years in many places where brochures are deployed and there is no question that it still applies even today.

2. Retention power - Another important characteristic of color brochures that makes them very powerful in marketing is its power to help people retain information. Since color brochures are small, they can easily be acquired and kept by people once they know that the color brochure is something of interest to them. Since its contents are in an easy to understand format that can be carried around, people can easily refer to it and remember what was said. If you are doing some marketing or maybe an important information dissemination task, this power is crucial and would be very useful in those endeavours.

3. Reuse and redistribute power - Another great thing about color brochures is that they can always be reusable. Not only can you reuse old brochures year after year if applicable, but people you distributed to can actually just pass on the brochure to others so that they can learn about your special marketing message. When added up, this means that your color brochures do not just have a one to one correspondence to those readers, each brochure may in fact reach twice or even more people potentially. So color brochure marketing in fact can reach an addition 100% or more people than its original printing number.

4. Mass effect power - There is also the so called “mass effect” that helps generate buzz over a locale when you use your custom brochure for marketing. Distribute those color brochures “en masse”, sending them everywhere and people can't but help to read those prints. They won't be able to escape them literally and people will think that your color brochures are really a big thing because of this. So even if your designs or messages are just mediocre, that power of mass distribution of color brochures can tell readers to pay attention at least once to your marketing message.

5. Mobility power - Finally, with brochure printing, you can basically gain a more mobile type of marketing tool. You can send them anywhere, attach them to whatever material you need in any important strategic place that will benefit your marketing. This means that you can basically send all your marketing messages to the important places you need where your target markets gather. You can also adapt your distribution process quickly since color brochures are easily mobile and can be resent to another place without too much difficulty.

So those are the great benefits and abilities of color brochure printing. Brochures have proven time and time again that they can really illicit that interest and buzz easily on a local level. They are a prime investment that you should really think about going for.

No. of Times this article has been viewed : 255
Date Published : Mar 29 2011

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3 Keys To Attracting Leads, Clients and Sales to You Effortlessly

It sounds magical, doesn't it? Attracting leads, clients and sales to you effortlessly. In fact, it almost doesn't sound possible.

But the truth is, it IS possible, even if it isn't magic. It's all about good, solid marketing principles. And if you follow the below 3 keys, you'll be well on your way to experiencing that for yourself in your business.

1. Create a powerful message that appeals to your ideal clients. This could also be thought of as your Unique Selling Proposition (or USP).

So what exactly is that? Basically it's the solution you provide presented from your ideal client's viewpoint. So, for example, let's say you're a business coach. Well, those are a dime a dozen. Instead, what if you specialize in helping women entrepreneurs get over their blocks to making more money in their business. See how more powerful that is? And how it can magnetically attract your ideal clients to you?

Or let's say you're a fitness and nutrition expert. Yawn. But what if you specialize in helping women with hormonal issues lose weight. Ah, much more powerful.

In addition to attracting your ideal clients to you, you'll also notice these also position yourself as an expert. After all, if you have such a specialty, then you must be an expert. And of course, people would much rather do business with experts.

2. Be consistent with your message. Once you know what your message is (and you've tested it so you know it attracts your ideal clients) now you need to get it out into the world. Resist the urge to be creative about it.

I know, I know. You get tired of saying it. You're sure other people must be tired of hearing it. But if you're not consistent, if you tweak a little here, a little there, maybe edit it here, you're not getting the full power of it out there.

Look, even you're most loyal clients aren't going to get sick of hearing your message. Why? Because they really don't "hear" it as much as you think they do. People are busy with their own lives and they really aren't paying as much attention to you as you think they are. So if you don't repeat it and repeat it consistently, then you run the risk of people not remembering what you stand for, or maybe being confused about it, and if they don't remember or are confused, they're not going to invest with you or recommend you or anything else.

3. Be frequent with your message. You're going to feel like a broken record, but the best marketers are the ones who have a simple, powerful message, are consistent with that message and repeat it over and over again.

And don't just repeat it in the same places, find different ones. Get your message out there in as many ways as you possibly can. (Just as long as those places are where your ideal clients hang out.) Online. Offline. Networking events. Speeches. Podcasts. Etc.

In fact, here's the place where you can be creative. Find new and different ways of getting your message out there, and do it as frequently as possible. Because the more often your ideal clients stumble across your message, the more likely it is when they're ready to make a change, they'll reach out to see how you can help them.

About the Author:
Michele PW (Michele Pariza Wacek) is your Ka-Ching! Marketing strategist and owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC, a copywriting and marketing agency. She helps entrepreneurs become more successful at attracting more clients, selling more products and services and boosting their business. To find out how she can help you take your business to the next level, visit her site at http://www.michelepw.com/ Copyright 2009 Michele Pariza Wacek. No. of Times this article has been viewed : 295
Date Published : Apr 13 2011

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Sticker Printing as Your Next Marketing Campaign

Nowadays, the use of stickers is becoming one of the most popular and most used marketing techniques compared to other promotional campaign in the market. This is because this material can convey your business message and services more effectively than others and it can last for a very long time compared to other promotional tools and materials. These materials nowadays have become more popular in the business industry since it is very cost effective and attractive at the same time. They are exceptionally convenient, economical, effective, and advance in marketing efforts. They can also help improve your status in the market.

Almost all individuals and business now use stickers as part of their promotional campaign. The adhesive or sticky material used for these materials can be utilized for different purposes such as promotions, advertisements, entertainment, business demonstrations and all other activities. They also have diversified usage because of the variety of colors and designs that they can adapt. By using creative art, these materials can be more attractive and appealing to clients and customers in the business world.

It is for a fact that you can always use sticker for the publicity of a business gathering or event that you have in many different methods. Every time you will need some kind of printing task especially for your next business campaign, it is a must for you to consider several things:

a. You need to ensure that you attain good and reliable quality printing. You can always go with digital printing or screen printed vinyl that will work best for outdoor gatherings and events since they include laminated papers and plastic.

b. You can also go for plastic types as they come in multi dispose quality. These types of materials can be used up to ten times which is considered as one of the most advanced strategies in printing today.
c. Vinyl limited type, on the other hand, has glued layers on the adhesive part. These are 0.3 to 0.5 millimeter thin that usually have strong adhesion material.

d. When you are trying to reuse your weather resistant vinyl material, all you have to do is to take away the sticky layer and use the next layer adhesion for another pasting. The front side is going to attain a strong and very powerful matt coating that can resist harsh elements that it might be exposed to.

Sticker printing can make your promotional campaign effective giving you more new clients and customers and more profits. So, never underestimate the power of these materials despite their small size as they can be a forceful marketing tool that will aid you in improving your business status in the business world. Just be sure to print your materials from reliable and trusted online printing companies to ensure that you get effective and professional looking stickers.

Take advantage of the marketing power of stickers today. If you are on a limited budget, they can be the best tool for you to carry out an effective campaign without breaking the bank. Many businesses have seen and experienced the benefit of stickers; it's time you experience it for yourself. Just be sure to make the right design appropriate for your business image and you are on your way to reaching new heights with your marketing campaign.

No. of Times this article has been viewed : 383
Date Published : Mar 2 2011

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Foundations that Make Up Successful Rack Cards

Creating successful rack cards is all about setting up the right foundations and integrating the key traits that make those prints highly visible, trendy and potent to the reader. Let me teach you the right key foundations that you should put into your own color rack cards today. Just read the list below and make sure that you integrate all these in your rack card printing process. Successful rack cards should easily be in your grasp after this.

1. Accurate market research - One of the first important elements that is a key foundation for successful rack cards is accurate market research. Knowing exactly the trends in your market will help one create an appropriate rack card design that succeeds in its job. Without this crucial knowledge foundation for your rack card printing, you will basically be flying blind, creating custom rack cards that might only have a 50-50 chance of succeeding. So try to increase those chances and do some accurate market research to help you with your initial designs and content.

2. Contemporary design styles - Another important trait that your rack cards must have to succeed are contemporary design styles. While the simple and classic designs of old may still work, the audiences nowadays are so saturated with digital media that you will have to compete very powerfully with your rack cards through appropriate contemporary design styles.

Having trendy and often digitally enhanced full color rack card designs will help a lot in getting those audiences to pay attention to your rack cards and actually read them eventually. So make sure you review all the current design styles and adopt your own rack card design drafts to have a similar style.

3. Memorable image and slogan - Another crucial foundation for successful custom rack cards is a memorable image or slogan. With very unique images and a catchy slogan, the rack card can hem in its marketing message and make it stick to readers. This helps improve the positive response rates for each color rack card as people will always remember its message and eventually respond to it even after a long length of time. So make sure that you compose very memorable slogans and images for your color rack cards.

4. Highest quality printing - Of course, successful rack cards always have the best quality printing available. The best kinds of rack card printing have the best kinds of paper and ink that make rack cards virtually shine and gleam in the light. The better the quality the more impressive those rack card designs should appear. This not only helps make the rack card become durable and tough, but it also makes it look good enough and expensive enough not to throw away. So believe me, it is good to invest in high quality rack card printing if you want to succeed with this medium.

5. Astute deployment strategies - Lastly, a successful rack card marketing campaign is only possible with some astute deployment strategies. With color rack cards deployed at the significant areas where lots of target markets gather, you can be sure that almost all of those rack cards will get picked up, read and responded upon. So make sure you create good and precise plans for the successful distribution of your rack cards.

Now you know the crucial foundations and key traits that make up a successful rack card and rack card promotional campaign. Let these be your guide into your own investment in rack card printing. Good luck!

No. of Times this article has been viewed : 448
Date Published : Mar 9 2011

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Own Your Greatness: Market What Makes You as an Individual Unique

To stand out in today's busy marketplace, you need to capitalize on what makes you as an individual unique. In other words, you don't need to focus on the product or service, but on YOU, the owner, the CEO, the practitioner.
Your business is a direct reflection of you and you need to own your greatness and have that come through in your marketing. Even if you have 15,000 employees, you founded the company. It was your vision and your juice, so your energy needs to come out in your marketing.

So how do you capitalize on your uniqueness? Start by asking yourself this question: What do clients, friends and family compliment me on? This has nothing to do with testimonials; it's a whole other layer. It's capturing the essence of what people compliment you on and respect you for.

Why is this important? Because people want to know you and who they are doing business with. And your ideal clients have certain things they want to know about you.

I'm not just talking about your biography here. It's more than that; it's your story and what makes you unique and has you doing the work you are doing.

Here's an example: If I'm looking for an acupuncturist, and I have a child who is dealing with asthma, and I read someone's story who says something about that or something along those lines, I'm much more likely to give them my business.

One of the things I've really started to own and share is that I work part-time and spend Mondays and Fridays with my daughter being mom. And I've had the best year yet, tripling my income. That really resonates with a group of my ideal clients out there. They are moms and dads and think, "I want to work part-time and do that too."

Think about how you can translate more of who you are into your marketing. If you are a small business owner and you're not adding in the juicy layer of who you are, you are missing an opportunity. In this culture right now, it is more important than ever to own your greatness and stand out...

About the Author:
Lisa Cherney founded Conscious Marketing 12 years ago to help small business owners find their authentic marketing voice, attract their ideal clients and increase their sales. Prior to Conscious Marketing, Lisa worked with many Fortune 500 companies. She is a highly sought after speaker and often shares the stage with experts Jack Assaraf, Jack Canfield and Jill Lublin. Learn more about Lisa at http://www.consciousmarketing.com/ or call 887-771-0156. No. of Times this article has been viewed : 316
Date Published : Mar 27 2011

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Effective Distribution Plan for Marketing Newsletters

When businesses invest in their own newsletter printing, it can only be for one goal, and that is marketing. While it is easy enough to create great content and designs for newsletter printing, distributing them properly is a whole new and more difficult matter. You cannot sell those custom newsletters like newspapers, and of course it is hard to give them away like flyers. You will need a good and concrete plan to effectively distribute them to an audience.

If you really don't know where to start on this, then let me help you out. Here is your five step distribution plan that should make each newsletter printing you do worth it and successful.

1. Know your target market and create a profile - You will first want to know your target market and create a kind of profile of them. It is of course crucial that you do this since knowing who you will be distributing to helps you gain insights in the ideal locations and ways into introducing your custom newsletters to them.

So spend some time in discerning exactly who your target market is. Know their concerns. Know what they like to see and to read. Determine their habits in reading and the usual locations where they hang out. Each of these key data points will help you decide on the best way to give away those custom newsletters.

2. Determine the key important areas where your targets go - After getting that all important profile, you should then have enough data to determine exactly where the key important areas are that your target market or readers go to. Typically, these should be the areas where your target people pass by regularly in numbers, or hang out for a long amount of time in certain days. Take note of all of these important areas and mark the ones that are nearest and the easiest for you to get to.

3. Deploy racks for high traffic, high concentration areas - With areas set, you should now be ready to deploy. The best plan here is to deploy racks and leave your newsletters there with a sign that says “take one free”. People cannot resist taking something free, even if it is just a color newsletter so this should be a sure fire way to get those newsletters picked up in those key areas. Just make sure of course that you have permission to deploy there if needed.

4. Hire cheap labour to distribute them to mailboxes - Now, after that, to supplement your distribution, you should hire cheap labour (maybe teenagers) to give out your newsletters in community mailboxes. If your newsletter looks good enough and formal enough, they won't mind the unsolicited newsletter in their box. Just give your temporary distributors the key addresses where you think the newsletter should be welcome. The best places are apartment buildings where you can distribute those prints easily in one area.

5. Include them in kits as well as product packages - Finally, to make sure that the consumers close to you get into the action of reading your newsletters, you should include your custom newsletters in kits and product packages. Press kits or P.R. kits should be ideal deployment for your marketing newsletters, and if your products are big enough or their packaging is big enough, you can also slip in the newsletters there. The more spread out they are the better.

So that is your basic but effective plan for marketing newsletters. This should cover all the needed people in a typical marketing setting and help you gain real results from your newsletter printing.

No. of Times this article has been viewed : 400
Date Published : Mar 20 2011

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Better Marketing Without Reform... Forget It

The current state of Marketing is such that the need for change and “New Models” are desperately needed.
The trouble is the “New Models” will not prove to be financially sustainable without substantially changing the way advertising and Media services are organised.

The first thing we must do to start to tackle the problem is to embrace our lack of knowledge about the process of communication.  We must allow outside organisations to question the fundamental ideas that shape current advertising.  We must allow them to innovate and keep the money saved through innovation.  That way there is a chance that advertising and marketing will keep improving without costing more.   One thing is for sure.  We cannot carry on as we are, pretending that without reform our money will go further.  This is definitely the time for creative innovation in marketing, not the rigid belief that marketing and advertising can still show us all the answers to our problems - it never has and it never will!
Our only hope lies in a fundamental re-examination of the marketing values we have lived by in the last 30 years - Our future depends not on whether we can get through this crisis, but on how deeply and truthfully we can examine its causes.

Firstly we have to start change by facing up to the fact that the problems with the current system are manifest. The challenges faced by marketing and advertising stem largely from the institutional dimensions of both. Remove these old models from the equation and many of the existing problems of lack of sales etc will disappear.

Nowadays consumers want information that's relevant, credible and engaging, and they don't much care where it comes from.

The subject of communication has been the focus of innumerable articles in the popular press. Most of these have looked at communication through a mass-media lens, with "interactivity" reduced to advertising links and "Buy-It" buttons.

And certainly not understanding the very important fact that interactivity is the most crucial aspect of all communication. And it is certainly not determined by the expectations of media conglomerates bent on appealing to the lowest common denominator and therefore, by the inexorable and inflexible logic of broadcast, to the largest collection of passive ad receivers.

Today consumers don't like ad infested terrestrial TV what they do like is the opportunity to express an opinion, they like, in other words, voice.

All advertising is a form of learning whereby the advertiser is asking people to change their behaviour after learning the benefits of the products or services on offer. However, we all tend to filter out information, which we do not want to hear. This clearly alters the effectiveness of conventional advertising in quite a dramatic way.

Due to a lack of understanding of the communication process we have created a media society during the past 40 or 50 years, where the whole process has been de-humanised.

There is now an extraordinary reduction in interaction because conventional advertising and marketing have become a one-way practice whereby information is disseminated in a passive form...

About the Author:
Interactive Communication, properly executed, can be totally accountable, unlike all other forms of advertising! You can contact Paul at: pl.ashby@gmail.com or Tel: 01934-620047 Discover more (including research) on http://interactivetelevisionorinteractivetv.blogspot.com/ My recently published book "Television killed advertising" is now available @ Amazon Books UK. No. of Times this article has been viewed : 307
Date Published : Mar 21 2011

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Benefits of Custom Notepads to Small Businesses

Notepad printing is not the most popular kind of investment for most businesses when it comes to printing. However, you should not write off printing notepads as just one of those useless things for a business. Custom notepad printing on your own can actually benefit you and your small business in a lot of little ways. More than just a sign of pride, notepads can in fact help you become more successful in your business. Here are just a few examples of the benefits that notepad printing can offer you.

1. Subtle promotions - Notepads though subtle can actually help you advertise or promote your products and services. It is as simple as printing a small marketing snippet at the header of the notepad, or maybe just putting in a small note at the bottom.

Either way, people who will use or read the notepad will be able to “accidentally” read those little notes and then have the marketing message communicated to them. It is simple yet very effective actually, leading to more inquiries and sometimes more sales just because of your custom notepad printing.

2. Market presence building - Your notepads can also help you in building your market presence. As anyone with a business knows, having a presence in the market helps you and your products to be more easily recognized. The more this can be achieved, the more people will become comfortable with buying your products or availing of your services.

So it might be quite indirect, but giving away custom notepads with your company's logo and perhaps a small description of your products and services can help a lot in letting people recognize and accept your business as a possible trustworthy firm.

3. Market relationship building - Color notepads can also be your tool to build relationships. This is much more pronounced when you want to build great relationships with partners and potential investors. You can basically send them a custom color notepad as a gift or complimentary element in business.

In this way they can appreciate the extra benefits of being a partner with you and of course form a closer bond with your business. Do this often enough and you can build a good base of partners that you can always rely on, especially when the market environments turn sour. For the price of printing cheap notepads, this benefit is quite invaluable.

4. Functional office tool - Of course, your notepad can also be just that simple and functional office tool. As well we know, a typical office or shop does need notepads for its memos, special letters and all the other different kinds of paperwork needed for a business to run. Those custom notepads can be a good way to formalize all that paperwork, making them look like the official documents that they need to be. In fact, those notepads can also be your assurance that document is indeed from your office, giving it that element of security and authority.

5. Internal relationship building - Finally, you can also use your color notepads as a way of building internal relationships. By giving away those company notepads as gifts to your employees, you can get some positive morale boost to your staff. Your staff can find those notepads very useful in their work, and in a lot of cases they can take pride in having an official company notepad at their disposal. It is just one of those things that many employees might like to have and you can gain a little bit more trust and a better reputation from them by doing this.

Great! Now you know why you should seriously consider printing custom notepads for your business. There are a lot of significant benefits that you can get from them for a really cheap price.

No. of Times this article has been viewed : 470
Date Published : Mar 12 2011

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Interaction and The Outdated Idea of Mass Marketing

Mar 27 2011    Own Your Greatness: Market What Makes You as an Individual Unique

by Lisa Cherney

To stand out in today's busy marketplace, you need to capitalize on what makes you as an individual unique. In other words, you don't need to focus on the product or service, but on YOU, the owner, the CEO, the practitioner.


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Preparing a Draft for Newsletter Printing

Many people do not know really how to prepare a draft for newsletter printing. While color newsletters might look like a very simple to produce, there are actually a few specific settings that need to be made to make sure that the process of newsletter printing goes off without a hitch. In this tutorial, we will discuss with you the proper way to prepare your draft for printing. Follow each step one by one to make sure that everything in your newsletter draft will be okay for printing.

1. Review the margins and bleeds, folds - One of the essential things to check, review or prepare for in newsletter printing are the margins, bleeds and folds of your draft. The alignments of these margins, the length of the bleeds and the preciseness of the folds will shape the overall look and accuracy of your of your custom newsletters. The best way to make sure everything is set properly is to download a newsletter template.

Many websites host newsletter templates for download with absolutely no cost. The best places would be printing companies that offer newsletter printing online. Just go to those websites and then download those templates.

See if your own documents comply with the alignments of the templates, or use the templates themselves to make your newsletters comply at the start to the standards of newsletter printing. Either way, as long as all the bleeds, margins and folds are indicated and set right, your draft should be well ready for newsletter printing.

2. Check dimensions - Next, you might want also to review the actual size of your color newsletters. The best size for a newsletter would be a tabloid size. Many newsletter printers already accept draft documents in the tabloid size easily. Usually, the tabloid size for newsletter printing is set at 11 by 17 inches, but smaller sizes have known to be used by others effectively. However, if it gets small below 8.5 by 11 inches, then it might not be a good newsletter draft anymore.

3. Scan all text for errors - of course, you should also always scan all the text in your newsletters for errors. Check for grammar, spelling, style and even formatting errors of the text. It is best to remove all bad types of text in this step to make sure that none of it gets mass produced one the printing process starts.

4. Check images for quality and appropriateness - It is also a must to check images for their quality and appropriateness. When newsletters are printed, sometimes those images may look too fuzzy due to the use of low resolution images. So try to check if those images are at least 300 dpi or higher in terms of resolution. Make sure that all your images are like this for newsletter printing, otherwise you'll probably need to replace those with better ones.

5. Save draft in the appropriate format - Finally, you should save your newsletter printing draft in the appropriate format. You should ask your newsletter printing company the most ideal format that they take for printing. It is best as well to use image (JPG or BMP) backups as well as zipped archives to have a backup of your designs. By doing this you can be sure that the document you send will turn out the way you want to in newsletter printing.

Now you know the proper way to prepare your newsletters drafts for printing. Just remember all the lessons above and you will have a good time in printing those newsletters.

No. of Times this article has been viewed : 385
Date Published : Feb 24 2011

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Expert Preparation Tips for Rack Cards

If there is one thing I know when it comes to rack cards, it is that you should always submit the perfectly prepared draft for printing. Otherwise, your rack cards will undoubtedly have gross errors in its design and content that might jeopardize its objectives for full on printed marketing. That is why you should always think about preparing your color rack cards properly for full scale printing. Let me help you how to do this expertly with a few professional preparation tips for rack cards.

1. Check the background for the appropriate bleeds - The first thing that you should do to prep your rack card draft is to check the background. For the rack card printing to proceed properly, the draft background must have the appropriate bleeds so that any errors or inaccuracies in printing are compensated for. So the background should extend at least 1/8th of an inch beyond the main borders of the color rack cards. This should help minimize those bad type rack card prints that have backgrounds that are obviously cut badly.

2. Review, proofread and cut down rack card content - Once the background check is complete; you should also always consider prepping the text content of the rack card for rack card printing. You will want to review and proofread all the content, which includes the text and the images. Are they the most appropriate for your color rack cards? Are they big enough/small enough for your purposes? Are there no spelling errors, grammar errors and design errors? Make sure that everything is perfect, and do all the checks three times just to be sure.

3. Picture resolution checking - You might also want to take a closer look at those pictures and try to be sure that they are in high resolution. If you used images from the Internet for your rack card images, then definitely you will need to replace those. In printing higher resolution images are more appropriate as web images tend to get distorted or have bad pixels. So make sure that you are inserting high resolution images from digital scans, designs or photographs. They must be at 300 dpi or higher to work well.

4. Check margins and formatting - You should also see if the margins and the formatting of text are good for your rack cards. Sometimes, text and other content might actually have a little issue in misalignment that can make the color rack cards look a little awkward and amateurish. That is you should always review the printing margins and manage the text formatting of your rack card content.

5. Test printing - Finally, as a last preparation step, you should test your rack card draft by printing out a sample on your own. By doing some test printings, you can see how large your color rack cards will be and of course, you should be able to spot any more errors that people might have missed looking at the screen. Use this as an opportunity to clean out any remaining errors in your color rack card designs.

Great! After all those steps, your custom rack cards should already be prepared for full scale rack card printing. Remember to try to do all the steps detailed above to make sure that nothing gets missed in your design and printing options. Good luck with your new color rack cards.

No. of Times this article has been viewed : 413
Date Published : Feb 26 2011

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Commonly Asked Questions About Label Printing

Are you on the path to printing custom labels? If you are, and you are still a bit clueless to some of the important facts about producing those labels, then you are reading the right article. In this special reference guide, we will discuss seven of the most common questions about label printing and of course we will provide all the answers to them in the best, quickest and clearest way possible. Take note and remember these things, for you will have a far easier time in printing those labels once you know all about these.

1. What are the different kinds of labels I can use for business? - The basic color labels that you can use for business are promotional or advertising labels, product labels, as well as those basic name labels used for cataloging and naming. There are minute variations of color labels along those uses, but those are the main ones. Almost all professional businesses use a combination of those three main types, and you should consider it for your own business or projects as well.

2. Who prints color labels? - Almost everyone needing to add an indicator to something can of course print custom color labels. Most of the big businesses in the retail industry, and many more types of companies that need to keep track of a lot of items do print their own custom labels for great effect. So if you have anything that really needs some naming, organizing or branding, then you probably will want to do your own label printing.

3. Where can I print my custom labels? - You can easily print color labels via a color printer and some label or sticker paper. However, if you want your color labels to be professionally printed, then it is best to hire a professional online label printing company. You can find one easily by using a search engine and of course searching for “label printing company”. Just make sure that you choose wisely from the hundreds of results that you no doubt will get.

4. How can I design a good color label? - A good color label can be done, even by amateurs if it has a good foundation. That good foundation can typically spring for the use of the proper label template. Most label printing companies can offer you the use of a label template for free so that you have most of the important design structures and guidelines to help you develop a decent and effective color label. From there, all you need is your own innate creativity and determination.

5. Is label printing going to cost me a lot? - Label printing won't become expensive if you just know the right choices in the process. Typically you can easily afford printing color labels if you choose label printers that are closer to home and of course if you use the most basic materials for those labels. Do not get hyped up with those fancy materials and inks. Just use the standard high quality coated label paper, along with the typical four color inks. This should give you a standard and affordable price for your color labels, even if you do not use those fancy options

6. Is printing labels worth it? - Definitely, printing labels is worth it for any business or project. They have plenty of functionality which makes them pretty useful for most people. From organization, layouts to direct sales, those labels can be a part of the whole process. That is why it is well worth it to invest in label printing.

Now you know the important updated information about label printing. Hopefully, you can use this knowledge effectively to help your color labels.

No. of Times this article has been viewed : 333
Date Published : Mar 21 2011

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

When the going gets tough... the tough take risks

Ron Ashkenas uses his blog on HBR.org to state the case for taking risks in tough times.

He observes that the first instinct in times of stress and confusion is to stop taking risks and revert to the safest possible behaviour.

He explains: "I was reminded of this dynamic recently when I interviewed managers and key contributors in a hi-tech firm to find out what it would take to accelerate growth. I discovered that while executives genuinely wanted innovation, they simultaneously wanted to control costs and report consistent earnings.

"So while a few people had been recognised and rewarded for innovation, many others had been laid off. As a result, the strongest and most consistent message from the interviewees was that people in the company, at all levels, were risk-averse."

However, this kind of behaviour, explains the author, creates a "self-defeating pattern". If a company doesn't create an environment where people can take risks and fail, it runs the risk of stifling innovation, resulting in lack of growth and cost-cutting.

"Such an environment will create more anxiety and trigger a continuation of the cycle," explains Ashkenas, adding that "eventually, the firm will shrink itself out of existence".

The author suggests three steps that managers can take to "break the vicious cycle" and help companies grow rapidly while allowing their employees to feel comfortable about taking risks:

First, evaluate. Ashkenas says: "Take an honest look at your own company or business unit and assess the extent to which people are avoiding risks... and get it out in the open."

Second, facilitate safe idea-sharing. Establish a "safe space" forum where managers and employees can share their concerns, feedback, and ideas without fear of retribution.

Finally, experiment. Ashkenas explains: "If you have specific areas of the business that you want to grow or improve, ask a team to conduct rapid-cycle 100-day experiments to test new ways of working. Most important, make it explicit that failure is acceptable as long as something is learned."

Source
Taking Risks in Tough Times
Ron Ashkenas
HBR.org

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How to help employees meet their goals

On HBR.org's 'Best Practices' blog, Amy Gallo looks at ways of making sure your employees succeed in achieving their goals.

The author observes: "It's common knowledge that helping employees set and reach goals is a critical part of every manager's job. Employees want to see how their work contributes to larger corporate objectives, and setting the right targets makes this connection explicit for them, and for you, as their manager."

She adds: "Goal-setting is particularly important as a mechanism for providing ongoing and year-end feedback. By establishing and monitoring targets, you can give your employees real-time input on their performance while motivating them to achieve more."

Because there are serious consequences for all parties if the employee fails to meet their goals, you need to be sufficiently involved to provide support while allowing individuals room to succeed on their own.

Gallo provides some principles to follow as you balance your hands-on role:

Connect employee goals to larger company goals. Employees are more likely to become disengaged if they are not aware of the role they are playing in the success of the company. They should understand how their efforts contribute to the broader corporate strategy.

Make sure goals are attainable but challenging. You could destroy morale if goals are too challenging to be accomplished, but aiming too low will create missed opportunities and mediocrity.

Create a plan for success. Gallo says: "Once a goal is set, ask your employee to explain how he plans to meet it. Have him break goals down into tasks and set interim objectives, especially if it's a large or long- term project."

Monitor progress. Don't wait until deadlines to review accomplishments. Offer regular feedback and coaching and encourage communication.

When things go wrong. Your employees should feel comfortable in approaching you if problems arise. Ask them to find a potential solution and then offer guidance and advice.

What about personal goals? "Some managers neglect to think about what an employee is personally trying to accomplish in the context of work," says Gallo.

She adds: "For example, if your employee has expressed an interest in teaching but that is not part of his job responsibilities, you may be able to find ways to sculpt his job to include opportunities to train peers or less experienced colleagues."

When goals aren't met. When employees fail to meet their targets, hold them to account and discuss what happened. Offer your opinion of what went wrong and listen to theirs. Consider how you might have contributed to the failure and also discuss that openly.

Source
Making Sure Your Employees Succeed
Amy Gallo
Best Practice, HBR.org

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hard and soft management style

Business management has always been considered a ‘hard’ discipline. The higher a manager rises, the greater his (or her) powers of command and the larger the number of people who jump to obey the orders. Hard actions, moreover, are required of the hard managers. They have the authority and the duty to discipline their subordinates, close redundant activities, dispose of whole businesses, move people from job to job, and soon. And the existence and exercise of all this authority can easily create an aura of fear and trembling.

But the true hardness, that of the unquestioned army-style commander, began to soften some time ago, and the change in management styles is accelerating. It’s quickened to the point where the Harvard Business Review, in one of its On Point collections, can declare that ‘It’s Hard Being Soft’. Rubbing in the point, the first article describes ‘the hard work of being a soft manager, and the second asks roundly, ‘Why should anyone be led by you?’

MAJOR SHIFT

Plainly a major shift in attitudes is taking place, and not just in the HBR editorial offices. How far have you succumbed to the soft infection? Do you agree or disagree with these propositions?

• 'Soft' leadership is more effective than armour-plated command-and-controlling

• The qualities needed to be a strong leader are led by

(a) sensitivity
(b) vulnerability
(c) honesty about your weaknesses

• People start wanting to work with you when you stop pretending to be perfect

• Employees will eventually respect and support you when you reveal that you’re flesh and blood

• When you’ve established empathy, you can give people what they need in order to excel - which may not be what they want

• You encourage others to share responsibility by relinquishing the idea that the fate of the firm rests entirely on you

If you do agree with all or any of these notions or nostrums, then you face a hard question: are you putting this preaching into practice? If not, the reason is probably very simple. You are unlikely to work for an organisation which lives by such ideas. The above propositions are a Feelgood Formula, enshrining the familiar belief that the better you treat people, the better they will work. The good means automatically justify and accomplish the ends.

The difficulty for most organisations is that the ends outrank the means. I was once called in, at desperately short notice, to rescue a floundering but vital project. I accepted the possibly poisoned chalice on one condition. My word had to be law. There was no time for argument. I found this brief spell of dictatorship distasteful, but it worked: the hard regime won the hard results on which we all depended. In the end, managers - like all workers - are paid for the hard outcomes that they deliver; and their jobs are lost when the delivery falls short.

The soft ways of the Feelgood Formula are just good behaviour: you manage in human and humane ways because that’s the right way to treat your people. The fact that it’s also more effective is a bonus, maybe a highly valuable one. But effectiveness results, not from the degree of loving-kindness brought to bear, but on the competitive quality of the decisions taken, the processes installed, the methods applied, the technologies developed -and so on.

THE HARDEST AREAS

These are the ‘hardest’ areas of business management - in both senses of the word. Take a false step in any of these matters today, and it may take years rather than months to recover. Recently even Intel, the microprocessor champion, has been leapfrogged technologically by the far smaller Advanced Micro Devices, and is now running behind in the highly sensitive market for top-end chips in PCs and servers.

Too many such missteps, and even giants can get humbled, even humiliated. That possibility is built into today’s topsy-turvy world, whose markets are fragmenting on top of seismic changes in trends. Geopolitical and economic relationships are being turned upside down.

Did you know, for example, that ‘the global economy couldn’t function’ without Taiwan (to quote Business Week), because that island has taken over from Silicon Valley in key electronic sectors, one after another?

The Taiwanese lead the world in eight out of 12 markets highlighted by BW - that’s from chip foundry services (with 70%) and notebook PCs (72%) to LCDs (68%) and PDAs (79%).

The manufacture is mostly in mainland China and the label may well bear a Western, mostly US name. But once tiny Taiwanese firms have become global masters by deploying frankly superior skills of the intellect.

The traditional R and D department was detached from the mainstream business, a ‘soft’ area separated from the hard men who made the money. Today’s scientists and engineers form the core of the business, which springs and grows from innovation. Do you want to generate the exact measurements of a clothing customer without their having to undress? Or watch your favourite sports team anywhere in the world on a portable? Or power a portable music player from a single integrated chip? Or use a pack for pills that reminds you electronically when to take them?

All these and 21 other wonders come from what BW calls ‘cool’ companies. They are among those setting the pace. And among those bringing up the rear are some gigantic conglomerates which, not so long ago, were the overlords of the world economy. These Goliaths have one thing in common with the scandalous fallen companies like Enron and WorldCom. The latter had top managements which distorted their reported results for one simple reason: the true results were terrible.

The underlying disease of underperformance has persisted - and spread. Consider the case of General Motors which, according to the front cover of BW, has a corporate plan that won’t work and an ‘ugly road lying ahead’ – so ugly that a smaller company would have been bought and cut up long ago. In an age of accelerating change, those who rely on even the greatest past strengths risk creating ineluctable present weaknesses and insoluble future crises.

Yet GM, more than any other company, once epitomized the triumph of the professionally managed corporation. Is it now the epitome of the stranded corporate whale?

PROACTIVE WINNERS

The future is already being won by proactive companies, which can include giants; their failure is not ordained. Merely compare GM’s losses with Toyota’s profits, which exceed those of all its global auto rivals put together. The challenges are certainly great, but so are the prizes. The pressures are so powerful that the experts polled in the latest survey under-taken by the Global Future Forum envisage some radical changes in management philosophy - and these tend towards a ‘soft-hard’ future.

Many larger companies will become networks of outsourced resources, partnerships, alliances and contractors in order to become (soft) more responsive to market demands. Understanding the customer (soft) and superior retailing skills will prevail over (hard) straight manufacturing capabilities as the main drivers of success. And organisational adaptability and flexibility (soft) are becoming more important to success than operational performance and other traditional (hard) metrics.

Note that these are not blue-sky forecasts. The respondents are telling it like it is. As with all good futurology, sound projections can only spring from a clear understanding of actual events in the real world. All the same, the corporate pacemakers are certainly not in the majority. If giants like GM are stumbling, worse must be happening to great numbers of the lesser companies whose managements often hesitate before desired, desirable but problematical change.

The new supremacy of the customer, for example, is easy to talk about, but desperately hard to build into the business model. To put it mildly, call centres established in Bangladesh are not a customer strategy for the new age. They are a valuable, relatively simple adjunct to the complex tasks of creating and delivering customer expectations on a global scale with enhanced speed all round, increased efficiency, higher quality and superior specifications.

Companies like Dell are establishing new and very hard paradigms. A fascinating passage by author Thomas Friedman (who calls himself a ‘presentist’, nota futurist) followed his new laptop from placing the order to receiving the machine, tailored to his personal specifications, 13 days later. Each major component, it turned out, was made by a different supplier located in a different country (but none in the US). The physical supply and assembly of Dell’s components are held together in the iron grip of some highly sophisticated worldwide logistics which operate to meet complex requirements with automatic infallibility.

PERFORMANCE GAP

The performance gap between Dell and its competitors looms as large as that between Toyota and its also-rans –and is just as threatening. The sale of IBM’s PC business to China is clear evidence of the inexorable pressure that the genuine 21st Century company is exerting on formerly dominant laggards. True, the pressures could lessen if flexible networked companies become the norm, as forecast. This will surely have major impact, but the here and now is where some key battles are already being won and lost.

The struggle for supremacy certainly embraces the impact of products that are both highly personalised and dynamically priced. Throw in the role of customer service as a key differentiator with great impact, and you can see that the ambitiously athletic management will have to raise its game simply to stay in the competition. Yet the traditional corporate structure is designed for stability rather than adventure – and there’s the real rub.

Will boards of directors be looking at the wrong things? At stability rather than agility? To judge by the GFF survey, this is a backward world whose organisations, according to 77% of the highly informed sample, will be unable to effectively manage and deploy new technology ‘due to rapid change and constant innovation’. That inability is really soft - soft in the head.

The impact of this current and future management incapability is indeed certain to be great. The new ‘hard soft’ technology of management is the decisive factor in mastering change and innovation.

The key battleground is the intellect. Companies depend more than ever before on the mental powers of their people, especially the innovators. These brains need the greatest possible space to deploy and share their thinking. Here soft management holds the reins. You want freedom of thought to flourish. You need self-managed bands of brothers and sisters who set their own targets. Your model is the university, not the military camp. But in this soft habitat, paradoxically, you require a focus of the hardest military intensity.

GE is celebrated for its hard bottom-line focus: Jack Welch used to insist on his people cutting costs and raising revenues simultaneously, a double whammy which works mathematical magic. No doubt this wisdom was imparted at GE’s celebrated business school at Crotonville. GE stands out among global leaders, in fact, for its emphasis on human resources management (soft) as a prime means of manufacturing the high-class leaders that GE requires for its own (very hard) purposes.

GREAT HR PEOPLE

Welch talked to Fortune magazine about his former business’s ‘absolute belief that great people build great companies’ and his insistence on ‘getting great human resources people and making them part of the game’: an approach obviously analogous to the treatment of Rand D people recommended earlier by Thinking Managers. As also stressed, the new soft technology of management, which centres round that of people, holds the key to the effective, brilliant exploitation of all the other hard technologies on which the future depends.

In some cases, this exploitation will require intellectual activity at the highest level. In many cases, however, winning brains do no more than recognise the obvious and act on that recognition. For example, Fortune says that ‘if Welch had one key device, it was giving GE a simple roadmap and repeating it incessantly’. Can you, like one ex-GE CEO, place the company’s goals on a single sheet of people, distribute that message all over the outfit, and ram it home at every opportunity? Try it - for that is the kind of soft approach that creates the hard mastery of the GEs, Toyotas and Dells, both in the winning present and the golden future.


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