Category Archives: Ways to Make Money

Useful Offline Marketing Strategies to Boost Business Sales

This post is brought to you and contributed by an outside writer.

orange banners sitting in an alley that read "Yum Yum" in white writing.

Marketing a business comes next to developing useful products and services for the consumers. Without a clear and well-defined strategy, competitors can swiftly come in and capture the target audience. The Google Consumer Barometer says that 22% of target audience purchase products and services online, while the rest still depend on offline channels. This makes offline marketing strategies an important aspect.

Marketing strategies should be a well-balanced effort for lead generation, because people who do not engage with products on the web constitute a significant portion of the consumer demographics, says an expert at Print Banners, a leading provider of high-quality and affordable business banners.

It is for this reason that marketing experts advise printing custom banners and creative vinyl banners for businesses to gain a wider exposure. This has to be done in tandem with content marketing and SEO strategies.

Make your Employees as Brand Ambassadors

Physical branding is important to place the brand in the customer’s mind; opportunities for that is all around us. Customized apparel is huge these days, and they help create a sense of belonging or affiliation for employees. Products with brand logos can be distributed as gifts among employees; many companies have resorted to special web stores, where employees can choose from different products for friends and family. This is a good way to advertise the company to outsiders and create a unique brand image. You will be able to project your company as one which cares about its employees. It is important that these promotional items be of good quality and something useful on a day-to-day basis.

Trade Shows

Trade shows puts businesses under the same roof as the competitors. They also bring businesses face-to-face with customers; both existing and potential ones. Printing custom or vinyl business banners shouldn’t be excluded, along with digital marketing tools like explainer videos and social media tags. One of the oldest forms of advertising, banners are great for industry events like these. Nowadays, vinyl banners can be printed and delivered on the same day. They are highly customizable and rip-resistant.

Community Event Sponsoring

Take the lead and sponsor an industry event to gain wide-spread traction in print media and news channels. Of course this is expensive, and should be done after careful research and consideration. This is a great way to get involved with social issues. For example, sponsoring a fundraiser for the benefit of cancer patients or people affected by a natural disaster in any part of the world will make consumers associate with the brand more. You can distribute business cards, branded items, discount coupons, gift certificates and pamphlets to event participants. This will enable increased word-of-mouth referrals and visibility.

Over the last five years, there has been a paradigm shift in marketing, with the rise of social media channels. Also, the growing use of high-end smartphones have causes changes in the search behavior of the target audience. Despite these advancements, experts believe that the marketing efforts of companies should be a mix of online and offline channels. The consistency in these campaigns boosts brand recall and promotes sales.

Tips on Choosing the Best Step and Repeat Banners

This post is brought to you and contributed by an outside writer.

white tesselation of hand-drawn faces painted onto black background

Step and repeat banners and stands can be used as effective backdrops for your company’s booth at trade shows and other events. Such backdrops enable businesses to showcase their brand and increase awareness regarding their products and services. The key is to design the banner with your company’s logo, name and contact information clearly visible, says New York Banners, a reputed step and repeat banner printing service in NYC.

There are several things that you need to consider while choosing a step and repeat banner, not the least of which is your budget. Here’s a look at some key considerations.

1.   Size

Step and repeat backdrops have a standard height of 8 feet, although the width can be customized as per your needs. Whether you want a wide backdrop or a narrow one will depend on the space available and your budget. And, while designing, keep in mind that if the backdrop is a wide one, people are less likely to look the information or images in the corners. On the other hand, an entire group of people can get their picture clicked at once in front of a wide backdrop.

However, smaller backdrops also have advantages. You can fit them in small spaces, such as behind a trade show booth. And, they’re obviously more portable and cost-effective. Also, you’ll have greater flexibility with small backdrops. If you’re at a big event, you can choose a panel design by joining two or more smaller backdrops to form a wide display. But, if the space is less, you can set up them one as single panels.

2.   Logo

Your logo should be clearly visible, even from a distance. Make sure that the print is high quality, such that there is no blurring of any logo element. For this, only use pictures and graphics with high resolution to avoid pixilation on resizing. Logos in a step and repeat banner and stand should ideally be 5-7 inches tall and 9-11 inches wide and should be displayed in a repeating pattern.

3.   Color Scheme

Ink causes much more reflection than the white or grey vinyl on which it is printed. Therefore, the glare will be much less if you don’t have a colored background. However, if you want your background to be colorful, so that your backdrop looks brighter, then you should choose fabric instead of vinyl for your backdrop material to avoid any glare.

4.   Ease of Assembly

Ease of assembly is very important, since you wouldn’t want to struggle with setting up your backdrop at the last moment. A poorly set up backdrop could even fall on the people and cause you great embarrassment at the event. Therefore, when you choose a custom step and repeat backdrop banner printing company, such as those in NYC, check if they offer banners that can be quickly assembled without any hassle.

Custom banners are a very powerful marketing tool to engage your target audience. A few photographs at the right event can take your brand’s visibility to the next level. And, they can also be a great way to give a hip look to your trade show booth.

Get Cash Money for Not Giving Up on Your Resolutions

This is awesome. $60 for saving in my savings account like I'm already doing, and an additional potential $1,500 in prizes? Yes, please!

Dedicated readers with elephant memories will remember last year when we talked about SaverLife, nonprofit EARN’s program that pays you to stash money in your savings account.

If you don’t have an elephant memory, check out the post. It’s one of the easiest ways to make $60 you’ll ever come across.

The reason I’m bringing this up–aside from getting you an easy sixty bucs–is that EARN is currently running two stellar contests that will help you keep your financial resolve this year, and possibly earn a cash prize.

Pledge to Save Part of Your Tax Refund

Ahhh, I remember the days when I got a tax refund. Back in the days before my business was my primary means of income and my W-2 employer withheld money from each paycheck.

Getting a tax refund is a great feeling. It’s an instantaneously injection of cash into your life, which can help you get caught up on bills, actually be able to afford that family vacation or pay down some debt. One year I even used the majority of my tax refund to get a much needed mattress after years of horrific sleep.

It’s really tempting to spend your tax refund all at once. For a lot of people, the lump sum is more money than you’ll see deposited into your bank account all year. I know it was for me.

But when you get that much cash at once, spending it all in one place isn’t a great idea. That money can offer you some much needed financial security, and one of the best ways to assure that financial security is by saving it.

That’s why SaverLife is asking you to pledge to save at least a portion of your tax return this year. It’s an initiative I can totally get behind. To top it all off, the nonprofit is giving away $15,000 in prizes to people who pledge. Each individual can potentially win $500.

In the unlikely event I do get a refund (I’m not sure how my health insurance subsidies are going to work out this year,) I’ve taken the pledge. And I invite you to do the same here.

#SavingsResolution Photo Contest

It’s the end of January, which is a time when a lot of people give up on their New Year’s Resolutions.

But not you. You know that even if you haven’t reached your January goals, giving up in February is a sure recipe for failure. You know that you’ll get much further if you don’t give up and keep putting effort in for the remaining eleven months of the year.

SaveLife is supporting people in the pursuit of their savings goals with a separate contest. The #SavingsResolution contest is easy to enter. You just snap a picture or video representing something meaningful that you’re saving for. Then you upload it for your chance to win $1,000 to apply towards your savings goals.

How are you handling savings this year?

What are you saving for? Are you saving a portion of your tax refund? Are you pushing through in February even if you didn’t hit your goals in January?

I want to hear all about it in the comments, along with if you took the pledge or entered the photo contest!

 

4 Tips for Women Running a Small Business

This post, which is contributed by an outside writer, is in collaboration with Redfin.

Tips for when you're starting a new business as an entrepreneur.

The number of women-owned small businesses has tripled since 2011. according to the 2014 American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Business report, four in 10 new firms are started by women.

These latest numbers regarding women in business can’t be ignored. There are 9.1 million woman-owned businesses nationwide, employing 7.9 million employees and generating $1.4 trillion in sales, according to the National Association of Women Business Owners.

They’re running businesses out of their homes, out of makeshift offices or while working full time. The famous Lillian Vernon catalog was started at her kitchen table. If you’re interested in starting your own business, either home-based or otherwise, look at the next steps towards making your dream a reality.

One note: if you are going to run a  business out of your home, you may need to check with your homeowners to ensure you have proper coverage to protect yourself. You may also find yourself asking what is my home worth? Some funding sources require a home valuation if you will be using it as your headquarters.

With so many women opting for career changes and deciding to open their own businesses, it’s important that they’re as prepared as possible. If you’re a woman considering your next big move, keep these four tips in mind.

Define your niche

It can be easy to fall into the trap of doing too much and being too broad. Define the specifics of your business and focus on those. Too many business owners get caught up in the bigger picture to care about the details.

Identify your target audience

Identifying your target audience is perhaps one of the most critical tasks for any business owner. This will help with outreach and marketing efforts to ensure your message is being received by the right people.

Build a successful network

Finding other like-minded individuals can help your business thrive. Use them as mentors, investors, employees. Your network will help you grow and thrive.

Build a robust online presence

In a digital world, your online presence can say absolutely everything about your brand. Establishing your digital presence across as many digital networks as possible helps drive visibility and create coherence for your small business.  Without a strong online presence, potential customers will go to your competitors. Share content, but not too much, and ensure the information you post is accurate.

Women-Led Companies are Thriving in 2018

Employees with female CEO’s experience greater levels of employee-satisfaction as well as fewer layoffs. A recent study showed that women-owned companies experienced a 12 percent increase in year-over-year revenue in 2018. The numbers speak for themselves–women continue to be successful entrepreneurs. More women continue to pursue their own business endeavors and are experiencing great success.

 

 

Bravely Freelancer Guide

Wow, this guide is really helpful. I actually feel like I can open up my own freelancing business now!

I’ve been working as a freelancer since I was 19. There were definitely breaks in there of unemployment and W-2 employment, but it’s a business model I’ve been familiar with since a relatively young age.

I mean, you think you’re familiar with it. But then you find out a new “con” of switching to an LLC. Or realize you forgot to record expenses last month and now have to go back and pour over bank statements. Or you finally recognize that you’re worth more than you are charging.

Setting yourself up as a freelancer doesn’t have to be hard, but you should understand that you don’t know what you don’t know. You don’t always know the questions you should be asking, and you need someone to guide you through the process.

I feel like very few of us have had that mentor. Instead, we’ve just learned along the way.

Bravely Freelancer Guide

Bravely Freelancer Guide is that mentor. It was created by Kara Perez from Bravely who is making awesome things happen in the female money space, especially in her hometown of Austin, Texas.

The guide and accompanying educational videos go over oh, so many things you should know before you get started. That includes:

  • Deciding between an LLC and Sole Proprietorship.
  • What you are and aren’t allowed to do as far as banking goes.
  • How to price your services.
  • Why emergency funds are so crucial to freelancers–and how big they should be.
  • How to pitch potential clients.
  • Statements of Work.
  • Invoicing.
  • Keeping Profit/Loss Sheets.
  • The exciting world of quarterly taxes.
  • How long to hold onto business documents.
  • Lots more!

I learned some new stuff from this guide that I’m going to start implementing. Like I found out there are probably some documents I’m still holding onto that I don’t need anymore. So I’ll clear out some room in my drawers. I’m even reevaluating my pricing structure for my services once again.

The Education You’ll Be Grateful For

Almost every last freelancer I’ve talked to about getting up and running has said two things:

“I just wish I had someone to teach me all this stuff at the beginning.”

and,

“Why didn’t I take the plunge and do this earlier?!”

It’s not so much that there’s a lot to know when you start your freelancing journey–it’s moreso that you don’t know which questions you should be asking. But a lot of people get so intimidated by the unknown that they never get started.

Kara does a beautiful job of putting those questions and their answers together in a simple, easy-to-digest way. It will help you actually launch your freelancing business without experiencing that overwhelm. Highly recommend checking it out today.

 

Freelancers: What is one question you wish you had asked when you were getting started?