Category Archives: Marketing

How Do You Create a Range of Luxury Carrier Bags?

Luxury Carrier Bags

Luxury Carrier Bags

How do you create a luxurious carrier bag?

Many of our clients think that creating a luxury carrier bag is simply a case of spending lots of money.

This is completely wrong.

I have seen carrier bags that cost £4 per bag and look awful. I have also seen bags that costed £0.40 and they look amazing.

The key to creating a luxury carrier bag is about getting the right balance of elements. Of course, the more you spend the more likely the bag is to look luxurious but it is not guaranteed.

The most important part of creating a luxurious bag is the paper that is used. It should be a long fibre paper which means that it feels crisp and tight. This paper is hard to tear and has the feel of a really good quality material.

Leaving the paper un-laminated gives the bag a natural feel and it’s what most luxurious brands are doing with their carrier bags. They are also adding a texture to the paper but this does add quite a bit to the cost.

If you do decide to laminate the bag, generally a matte lamination looks more sophisticated than a gloss lamination. A lamination also protects the bags from dirty fingers, grease marks and the rain. However, it does mean the bag is less environmentally friendly.

The next stage to creating a luxury bag is as important as the paper; The design or graphics. Most brands choose to have something simple on the front and the reverse of the bag. This can look really nice but only if the print technique is a bit special. Simply printing a logo onto the front and the bag will probably look quite cheap.

I always recommend a foil embossed logo which gives a nice contrast against the paper of the bag. Be careful about the foil colour that you choose as some foils can look really shiny and cheap. Satin or matte foils are the best.

So now you have a nice carrier bag, made from beautiful paper and an embossed logo on the front. The carrier bag is starting to look quite luxurious and hasn’t cost much. But this is where lots of brands and their appointed factories or designers fail; the handles.

Carrier bag handles need to reflect the quality of the paper. Too often, we see a nice bag but with some really cheap plastic handles. Don’t do this! Instead go for a nice cotton handle with PP inside. This means the handles feel strong and the ends can be heat sealed. Make sure the handle length is tested before placing the final order.

Finally, think about how the handles are attached to the bag. If the bag is designed to carry quite light items, choose to have the handles threaded into the top turnover. This is a bit more expensive but it does gives the carrier bag a really minimal, sophisticated look.

Finally, make sure the base board and especially the top turnover of the bag uses string reinforced card. The thicker the better. This will make the bag feel nice and sturdy.

For that X factor – think about a little detail that makes your bag unique. Consider having metal eyelets where the handles go, perhaps a little swing tag off the handles, a message on the base board, a printed ribbon to tie the bag….there are so many options to choose from and it doesn’t add much to the cost.

And that’s it. This will guarantee you a really nice carrier bag. However, once you have done all this, don’t go onto Alibaba.com and find the cheapest factory to make it for you then complain that China or wherever is rubbish at Quality Control..yawn…yawn…yawn.

You need to find a manufacturer that understands how to make luxury carrier bags and has a good portfolio of clients they have made bags for. Most factories THINK they can make luxury carrier bags but in reality they can’t because the devil is always in the detail!

So to summarise:
1) Choose a really nice paper that doesn’t need laminating
2) Make sure the design looks sophisticated
3) Foil print and emboss the logo on the front and back of the bag
4) Choose your handles carefully
5) Add a detail or something unique to make the carrier bags different

Good luck!

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Developing Your Marketing Voice

Marketing Voice

Marketing Voice

Three Tips for Developing and Using Your “Marketing Voice”

The first hurdle one needs to overcome – before gaining the ability to market or sell anything – is getting the people you interact with – your potential customers; to “know, like and trust” you. And without question, the quickest and easiest way to leap that hurdle – is to be yourself.

The following quote while directed at the internet, is equally applicable to any kind of marketing.

“Authenticity, honesty, and personal voice underlie much of what’s successful on the Web.”

– Rick Levine / The Cluetrain Manifesto

I’ve quite often questioned this advice myself, considering I come from a long line of sarcastic S.O.B.’s. And while frequently tempering my opinions and writing style to suit the wider audience, I’ve learned many of my readers enjoy the sarcasm and would be disappointed if it I left it out altogether.

To get the most from your marketing efforts it’s important your potential customers get to know the real you – not some artificial made up persona you think best represents your business.

But many people struggle with this “letting go”, constantly feeling the need to edit “themselves” – as though what they as an individual think or write – is somehow unworthy.

Tip #1 – Write with Abandon

The best advice I’ve ever read for training yourself to write as you speak, to write as yourself, is to just write. Whether it’s a blog post, a sales letter, a newspaper ad, a Facebook status update or a Twitter tweet – just write – without editing.

Many of us have never moved past eighth grade composition. We sit down to write remembering cranky Old Maid Johnson leaning over our shoulder, prepared to chastise should we place an errant comma or smack our knuckles for a dangling participle.

I’ve never tried this but some suggest writing with your computer monitor turned off. That way, Old Maid Johnson – sitting on your shoulder like some grammatical devil – won’t be able to see what you’re writing.

If you can train yourself to write without constantly editing, your real voice will come through.

“Remarkable social media content and great sales copy are pretty much the same – plain spoken words designed to focus on the needs of the reader, listener, or viewer.”

– Brian Clark / Founder – Copyblogger

Tip #2 – Go Back and Polish

The key to writing with abandon – without editing yourself, is to get all your thoughts down on paper. It’s at this point – in the editing process – that the real writing begins.

Ernest Hemingway once said;

“The first draft of anything is $h*t.”

And that was Hemingway. Is there any reason to believe something you or I might write is going to be the best it can be, first time through?

But remember to stay true to yourself and your personality when you edit. Don’t sterilize yourself or you lose the personality. Look for situations where a more powerful word might better convey what you’re trying to say. As Mark Twain wrote,

“The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the same as the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.”

We’ve all read emails dashed off in rush of impatience or Twitter posts that make no sense because the writer didn’t take the time to polish.

Do I polish Facebook comments made in response to something my son might post, or a comment my niece makes on my wall? Of course not.

Do I bother to edit a two sentence comment I make in response to a post made by a client. Absolutely. I have painfully experienced multiple times – the necessity for editing what you write.

When it comes to a long-form sales letter the editing process can take many times longer than the creation of the first draft. Now is the time to develop incomplete thoughts – to choose the exact word that will make your copy come to life and your customers react.

Tip #3 – Let it Age

Like grass fed beef and a fine bottle of cabernet sauvignon in a five start restaurant – your writing will improve with age. So let it.

The immediacy of social media doesn’t really lend itself to the aging process. But it certainly wouldn’t hurt to double and triple check what you’ve written before hitting the “post” button.

If you’re working on a sales letter or a newspaper ad or radio script; stick it in a drawer and forget about it for a while. It’s best to wait for a final review until you can’t remember what it is you’ve written.

(For those of us past 50 this isn’t a particular hardship. Years ago I’d have to wait a couple of weeks for a sufficient memory lapse to develop. Now all I have to do is go upstairs, turn around and come back down to my desk. I just have to remember what drawer I put it in.)

Be Yourself

Never has this advice been more important than in today’s world of social media. Do not try to be something or someone you aren’t. You don’t need to develop an artificial “persona” you already have a real one.

Whether you’re writing blog posts or sales copy, Twitter tweets or status updates, always be yourself.

Stay true to your own voice making it easier for your potential clients to begin to “know, like and trust you” – and that can only lead to more business.

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Why You Need a Client – Getting White Paper

white paper

white paper

One of the most fundamental tools for financial services marketing is a white paper. Your white paper (or report) will do five important things for you. It will:

  1. Attract new leads.
  2. Encourage your current clients to send you more referrals.
  3. Make it easy for professionals to refer you.
  4. Position you as an expert.
  5. Gain you media exposure.

A client-getting white paper lets you leverage your time. It’s created once, and then brings you clients week after week, month after month. So, let’s talk about how you can use this powerful document.

More leads with your white paper
The first thing you should do with it is post it to your website and start giving it away to everyone who signs up for your list. You’ll want to let website visitors know why it’s so special-tell them straight up what value they’ll get from reading it.

The easiest way to give away your white paper to new subscribers is to put the download link in their welcome message (the email they receive, automatically, once they’ve signed up for your list).

Of course, this alone will help increase the number of leads you’re currently generating. That’s because, right now, people visit your website and click away before they get in touch. They may get distracted, or they just aren’t ready to pick up the phone and they think they’ll remember you later. But, we all know what happens next-they forget.

Most visitors, once they click away, are unlikely to come back on their own. That’s why you need to get their names and email addresses-so that you can keep in touch with them and bring them back to your website again and again.

That your report means you’ll be able to stay in touch with website visitors would really be a big enough benefit all on its own to justify having one. But, there are a number of other benefits to having this powerful white paper, too.

What are some of these other benefits?

Referrals from your clients
The first is that it encourages your current clients to send you more referrals. Many financial advisors have trouble coaxing their clients to send them as many referrals as they’d like. And you may find that you don’t enjoy having to constantly ask in order to receive those referrals. A client-getting report can change that.

Here’s how this works. You have your white paper professionally printed and bound. It looks great. Powerful. Engaging. Then, you either mail or hand-deliver a copy to each and every one of your current clients. Whether those clients are currently AUM clients or they’d just hired you for hourly services, they all get a printed copy of this white paper.

(By the way, the more white papers you can hand-deliver, the better, but for the ones that you simply have to mail, make sure to include a hand-written note.)

For those clients you know are likely to talk about you, give them an extra copy and encourage them to give it away. You can even say, “Please give the extra to a friend-and let me know when you need more copies.”

Giving out these printed copies of your client-getting white paper to your current and past clients will get them talking about you. That’s because the paper is written specifically to give them something to say about you. They’ll be excited to share what they’ve learned with the people they know and this will mean that they actually do talk about you. (Instead of just meaning to.)

Referrals from your network
You’ll also get more referrals from the professionals in your network. Make sure you give these professionals ten (or more) copies of your printed paper and ask them to give them out liberally. Set this up as a way for them to add value to their own clients.

So, for instance, if you have an estate lawyer in your network, you’d invite them to give out this white paper when their clients come in for a meeting. You’d tell them exactly why your white paper will be a “value added” report for them to give away. Because your white paper will look professional (and be chock full of excellent content), that estate lawyer will feel good handing it out, knowing that their client is going to get great value from it.

This is a win-win situation for the professionals in your network-they’re giving away something of high value that they don’t have to create themselves; their clients will get lots of value from reading it. And, what’s more, those clients are receiving it from a professional they trust so they’ll be all the more likely to pick up the phone and set up an appointment with you.

Position you as an expert
Having a high-quality client-getting white paper positions you as an expert. It makes it clear just how deep and wide your knowledge goes and what’s more, the process of writing your report will help you see (sometimes for the first time) just how much you know and just how valuable your services are.

That’s because it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day of offering your services, and you can forget how far you’ve come, and how much you know. (Sure, you know you’re the expert, but trust me, even you’ll be impressed by just how expert you are.)

This white paper will amp up your confidence levels and will let people see you as the expert you are without you having to sell yourself or brag about your accomplishments. In that way, it’s perfect for people who are modest by nature because it builds your credibility but it doesn’t require you to shout “Look at me! Look at me!”

Your client-getting white paper also makes a great tool for taking out into the world to get speaking gigs. If you want to do speaking, send your white paper to the person who does the hiring. You’ll be surprised how often you won’t need to write a specialized proposal-they’ll just hire you on the basis of your white paper alone.

Get media exposure
In addition to using your report to get speaking gigs, you can also use it to attract the attention of editors and reporters. When a reporter reads it, they’ll see clearly that you’re a financial expert. What’s more, it’ll give them context for the article and likely help them to ask really smart, engaging questions-which makes it that much easier to give smart, engaging answers!

You can send your white paper as a way to introduce yourself to editors at trade publications-though they’re not likely to print it as is (although that has been known to happen, if it’s what you want!), it’s very likely to be a helpful piece for them to use. You can also use pieces of it to introduce yourself to editors at consumer interest publications (who usually have less time to read proposals-so you’ll want to just excerpt the parts they’re most likely to be interested in).

What’s more, going back to the credibility it will give you, editors and reporters tend to look for experts who have done a lot of writing when looking for someone to interview. So, having it for free on your website will let them see that you have plenty to say on the topic.

White papers are a fundamental marketing tool
A white paper is a powerful way to market your financial services practice. It will help you attract new leads, encourage your clients and professional contacts to send you referrals, position you as an expert, and bring you media exposure. That’s a pretty amazing ROI for such a short document. Of course, all of this assumes you’ve written it correctly. If you’re not sure how to write one (or if you just want to make sure you do that right) listen to our free teleclass on how to write white papers.

Remember, this report can be leveraged in many useful ways that will help you attract more clients and grow your practice. It’s well worth the investment to get it done right.

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Growing Number of Customers: Get a Pager System

Pager System

Pager System

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that the number of people in Australia has gone past 22 million. It may not seem big in some people’s standards but 22 million is a lot of people. Just think about what would happen if these people eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner in your restaurant every day.

As the population increases, so will the demand for basic needs such as food. As a restaurant manager, you are responsible for making sure that every hungry customer gets an equal share of fish and chips. If you cannot meet their needs, they tend to walk away and look for another restaurant. As a result, you lose a couple of dollars of potential profit because you kept him waiting.

How do you handle an increasing number of customers every year without faltering on service? You employ an age-old piece of technology that, over time, has undergone an extensive change in function: the pager. However, today’s pager is no longer the iconic pager that revolutionized the telecom industry in the old days.

Today’s paging system helps restaurants manage people more effectively by taking advantage of its technology. It still uses radio waves to transmit messages from pager to pager, but it no longer transmits strings of text and numbers. Instead, the pager is designed to ring and vibrate when it is prompted by a central control unit.

When the host asks a customer to wait for a vacant seat, he will give the customer a pager, typically a flat disc. While waiting, the customer can freely roam around the premises for a while, which prevents him from getting bored. When a vacant seat is available, the host instantly presses a button to let the pager ring and vibrate. The modern pager systems call the customer, letting him know that his table is ready.

Pager systems are useful for handling large volumes of customers as efficiently and quickly as possible. Waiting times are drastically reduced because the pager alert comes almost in an instant. You can prevent customers, as well as potential profit, from walking away even if your restaurant is already full.

It may be safe to say that the pager is not yet dead; instead, its makers just gave pager systems a total makeover to assume an entirely new function. With this asset for your restaurant, not even population growth can stop your business from flourishing. Contact a pager system provider to know more on how the new and improved pager works.

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The New QR Is Here

QR codes

QR codes

With the inexorable march of technology that we’re all very much aware of, many people are always asking about the “shelf-life” of today’s latest-and-greatest technology. With the amount of information that we have growing at an exponential rate, are we warranted in abandoning our new technology after a few years? Should we always be on the lookout for the next great thing over the horizon?

While this question cannot be answered in any cut-and-dried way, we can look at a specific type of technology: QR. Quick Response technology is used in all industries, and is quickly becoming more and more ubiquitous in our modern world. At its most basic state, a QR code brings someone to a website landing page. But this is far from all this technology does. In fact, using QR technology to just bring a customer to a website landing page is rather myopic. There are actually a variety of uses for QR technology, and we’ve only begun to scratch the surface.

Specialty QR codes can fulfill a multitude of purposes. When people scan a QR code, they are able to:

  • Watch a video
  • Place a phone call
  • Listen to a song or audio message
  • Enter into a contest
  • Download a PDF file
  • Enter their contact information
  • Download a virtual business card
  • Fill out a survey
  • Join a scavenger hunt
  • Make a charitable donation

 

And more!

It’s plain to see that QR codes can be used for much more than simply bringing a user to a static landing page. The technology can be likened to a real-life hyperlink. Just as hyperlinks on the Internet can have a multitude of effects, so can real-life hyperlinks fulfill a multitude of purposes.

QR codes can be programmed to do a variety of things, and once someone scans that code, the technology will spring to life and work its magic. Marketers have been abusing this technology to such a grand extent that people are getting bored of QR. This is because people are still using QR technology with only its most fundamental usage in mind. Marketers need to really pick up the pace if they want to make full use of this efficient technology.

If you haven’t been using QR technology to its full extent, you have not been reaping the benefits of this effective way of marketing. Contact a mobile solutions company today to see how QR technology can help improve your marketing.

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