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October 2017
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Keeping In Touch With Your Clients for Little or No Cost

Here’s a little money-saving branding / public relations tip:

Keeping in touch with your current customers occasionally and letting them know you are thinking about them is a great way for them to remember who you are.

Sending an anniversary, birthday or some other occasion card that might even relate to what your business offers is always a great idea.

Also, sending thank you cards immediately after they have received your service or purchased your product(s) is a wise gesture for the savvy business person.

The best way to do this is to mail them a note card with of course, all of your contact information in it just in case they lost or tossed out your business card or ad. Be sure to include a new business card or two or three so they can pass some along to their friends and family; and a coupon or discount of some type to encourage them to use your products or services again, preferably with a “use by” date to create a call to action with urgency. Do give them a fair amount of time, such as 30-60 days to use the discount by, otherwise you will have wasted your time and theirs.

~ * ~ ~ * ~ ~ * ~ ~ * ~ ~ * ~ ~ * ~

You CAN Contact Your Customers For FREE Too

Nowadays, we have the wonderful option of eCards. You CAN save a bit of time, money and trees using eCards for this important part of your marketing plan. They are fast, many are free, and sometimes even better than a tangible card because they can come animated with sound effects and music.

The only drawback is that you cannot include your business card in them, so you may wish to physically send a note card via Postal Mail once in a while to get your business cards redistributed.

But you can still include a discount or special offer or coupon code, just type it in the message area after your full name, business name and full website address. It will need to be short and sweet because eCards don’t usually allow much room for a lot of text. Your website should have all of your other contact information on it so no need to clutter your card’s message area with any additional contact details.

Also, be sure to preview the card after you compose your text and before you send it in case some of your text was cut off for being too wordy.

Plus some eCard sites save your email addresses to an address book to make it easy to send to the same people over and over, some send you an email confirmation when the card has been previewed and some even allow you to pick a date ahead of time to send the cards so you can stage them, or send them while the idea is fresh on your mind.

Here are a few links to several places to send free eCards to get you started. There are of course many more companies that offer eCard services, a quick Google search will present you with scores of options to choose from. They have styles and occasions for everything:

The Nature Conservancy = share your love of God’s great gift to us = Christian themed cards

Animal Rescue Site = increase awareness for homeless and abused pets

Jacqie Lawson eCards = beautiful, animated and set incredible tones and moods

Dover Books eCards = show the art enthusiast in you by sending one of these

Evite = cards, invitations and planning ideas

Have a favorite eCard company that you use regularly? Tell us about it right here in the Comments section for this post, I would love to share your business suggestions with our readers.

Wishing you affordable and effective followups! :)

Air Flight-Takeoff10


How to Spread the Word About Your Business

Learning the Terminology of it All

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But how to make your business seen by others to accomplish this is a daunting task to most home-based and small business owners.

Whether your business is online or offline there are some basics every business owner needs to cover to get these customer$:

You need to make it:
• easy to find
• stand out in a crowd
• memorable
• easy, manageable, understandable
• attractive/pleasant/professional so that it draws in visitors who want to stay and browse and $hop

“Okay, great!” you say, “So where do I start? What works best?” The questions go on and on…

A great place to start would be to know your types of options available to spread the word about your business. Your basic list of terms to learn about as a business owner includes, but is not limited to (sorry to tell you that!):

Public Relations (PR)/Publicity

Following are descriptions of these terms to give you an understanding of the basics of the various business promotion methods available to you. It’s a good idea to include several techniques from this list, if not all, at one time or another.

Once you read this entire article you will see the light and hopefully feel positive and excited to promote your business! I encourage you to print out this article and keep it next to your appointment calendar. This will help you create a To Do list to help you address your weekly business promotion tasks & goals.

~ ~ ~

Promotion – The dictionary defines it as: 1.) the act or fact of being raised in position or rank; advancement 2.) the act of furthering the growth or development of something, especially: the furtherance of the acceptance and sale of merchandise through advertising or publicity

Promotion is the overall umbrella to all of your efforts to keep your product or service in the minds of your customers, and to gain potential new customers, clients and sales. It is an ongoing process and includes a variety of activities. This usually encompasses your overall company vs. a specific product.

~ ~ ~

Advertising -The dictionary defines this as: 1.) the action of calling something to the attention of the public especially by paid announcements

To a business owner, this means to communicate your informative, influential and persuasive message, usually focusing on one particular product or service.

This is done in the form of announcements which are the specific item chosen to promote your business and come in a variety of media such as print advertising like magazine ads or billboards, or electronic media such as banner ads. Other advertising opportunities are brochures, direct mailings or emailings, and even personal contact which would include networking. It is also television and radio commercials, which also are sometimes considered public relations.

~ ~ ~

Branding -This is defined by the dictionary as a noun: 1.) a trademark or distinctive name identifying a product or a manufacturer 2.) a distinctive category 3.) a mark indicating identity or ownership as a verb: 1.) to mark (with) to show ownership 2.) to publicize 3.) to impress firmly

Specifically for a business owner this would be to identify and differentiate one’s products or services from others by means of a name, term, symbol and/or design.

This is the public’s perception of your business. Good branding will confirm your credibility, connect your prospects to you in mind and heart, motivate them to buy and create user loyalty.

Branding should be instituted at every point of public contact. This is the cornerstone of your communication to the public, therefore it is very important to invest the time to research, define and build your brand.

~ ~ ~

Marketing – The dictionary defines this term as: 1.) the act or process of selling (or purchasing) in a market 2.) the process of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service 3.) an aggregate (mass) of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer

Marketing for a business owner consists of going through the process of a variety of activities to meet the demands and needs of their targeted market thus turning their prospective customers into satisfied buyers.

Precisely, this includes such steps as market research, pricing, distribution and promotion to satisfy these objectives.

~ ~ ~

Public Relations – The dictionary defines this term as: 1.) the act of establishing and promoting a favorable relationship with the public 2.) the methods and activities employed to establish and promote a favorable relationship with the public

Publicity – This is defined in the dictionary as: 1.) the quality or state of being public 2.) an act or device designed to attract public interest; specifically: information with “news value” issued as a means of gaining public attention or support

Publicity is one of the few things that a business owner can generally receive at no cost to themselves. It is a result a business owner aims for, but cannot be guaranteed, and once achieved it has great credibility.

It is information about you, your company/business and your products or services which appears in the media. Yes, it is hearsay and testimonials, reviews and comments. The good… and unfortunately, can be the bad.

To keep your public image a positive one, always offer something for others in a pleasant, positive and professional manner.

With the advent of the internet, business owners have a wealth of resources to gain free publicity and do it quickly. From submitting articles to websites, to posting comments on blogs, plus there are forums, networking sites & groups — the list goes on. You can also get yourself profiled or interviewed relatively easily because many other website owners are always looking for new content for their own websites.

And the great thing about all these techniques on the internet is that most of them stay published for the life of the site they appear on. So eventually the search engines begin picking up on “you/your business” making you even more in the public’s view.

Some offline publicity techniques include getting interviewed by television or radio news reporters, or newspapers, magazines or other publications. Also, attracting attention by the media through public endorsement or sponsorship of others’ products or services, publicity stunts or hosting news conferences are among other ways of creating public awareness of your business. Donations, community participation, volunteering… this list goes on too.

Basically any positive thing you do in front of others, in the public’s view, is a public relations act creating publicity for you/your business.

~ ~ ~

Prior to beginning any business promotion endeavor, you need to research your market to understand the needs and wants of your prospects. Jot down notes as you think about who is buying your products and services, where will they be most likely to look for your goods, what income range are they and what are they willing to pay for your offerings.

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