For those who have ever been to the sea, you were more than likely fascinated by the phenomena of the waves crashing against the shorelines as the tides came in. The ocean’s tides are the manufactured from gravitational pull of the sun and the moon, as well as, the Earth’s rotation. More »
Branding is one of the most important aspects of marketing, especially for a new product just starting out. If no one knows your name, no one will likely buy your product. Name recognition is almost as important as the quality of your product; people buy all the time on impulse based on whether they have heard your name before or not. New marketing ideas are constantly being come up with, such as mobile banners and SMS advertising, to enhance their name recognition.
Another tried and true method of promotion is the use of giveaway items that have your company name on them. This is a relatively cheap way to get your name out there, and is especially effective for companies that are new and trying to gain branding in the most cost-effective way possible. People use these items and carry them around, meaning that many people will see your business name and contact information long into the future. A small business can grow quickly if these methods are used correctly.
Market competition is at an all-time high, and surviving in today’s market takes a huge amount of creativity. Promotional products let you utilize your creativity while targeting your niche effectively. Giving away the right quality items to the right people can help immensely with your brand recognition and can also help your potential clients trust you more.
Promotional items can be utilized in many different ways. You can give away items to those who are already loyal customers; these people are more likely to use whatever you give them, so that those around them will see the item and possibly ask about your company, or at least remember your brand. You can also give away items at events to those who are not already your customers; pens, watches, refrigerator magnets, and more can be given out in the hope that those who receive them will use them and help your brand. Creativity is key in getting the jump on other companies that are using the same methods.
One decent idea is to take advantage of the recent trend toward using recycled or “green” items to put your company name on. People appreciate the effort and ethics of trying to be good to the environment. One good giveaway is a re-useable grocery bag, as people will see your name every time that person goes shopping. Use your brain a little to get a jump on your competitors.
Promotional calculators make great advertising tools, as do promo wrist rests. Visit gopromotional.com for the best selection.
One great way for mortgage brokers and loan officers to market the benefits of their products and services is with a Blog.
There are many sites on the internet that allow for you to set up a Blog for free. They also make it very easy for beginners to set up their Blog allowing for them to choose their own url name and template.
On your Blog you can put a photo of yourself, allowing for potential customers to put a name with your face. You can also put a short biography of yourself to allow your potential clients an opportunity to get to know a little more about you.
This is a great way to allow for customers to find a comfort level with you.
Once you have the name and template set up, you can than begin to add information about the products and services you have to offer, and how they can benefit your customer, and meet their needs.
Than, every day, post a new topic. It can be an article you have written yourself on the mortgage industry, or just some information on a new product or promotion you are offering. New material added to your Blog on a daily basis will keep customers coming back to your Blog.
Believe me, you do not need to be a rocket scientist or have a degree in computer science to build a Blog. A Blog can be built in less than five minutes by anyone that wants to do it. It is very simple.
Once you have your Blog in place, you can add the url address to your e-mail address and you can also have it put on your business cards.
Whenever you are dealing with a new client, end the conversation by asking them to visit your Blog.
Also, blogs are a great way to communicate with other professionals in the mortgage industry. Encourage other loan officers to visit your Blog and post their thoughts, comments, or industry related material.
Building your own Blog is definitely worth looking into, so give it a shot. It is another great tool to add to your mortgage marketing arsenal.
Your time and money are worth more when you are able to concentrate on what you do best and leave the rest to an assistant. Virtual office assistants work from their own home-based offices and are highly trained in their skill areas as well as a variety of technologies. Many of them have advanced degrees as well as years of professional experience. Not only can a virtual assistant relieve you of mundane, everyday tasks, but also in many cases, s/he can even help you grow your business.
One of the biggest benefits to hiring a virtual assistant is the ability to delegate work to people who have better skills, and can do work you don’t know how to do, dont have time to do, or just don’t want to do. The next big draw (when considering virtual assistants over bricks-and-mortar assistants) is that virtual assistants only clock-in and work when you need them and use their own resources. In other words, theyre not charging you to sit there and play solitaire on a computer you purchased for them.
Top 15 Ways Solo-preneurs Use Virtual Assistants
1.Your VA receives calls routed to his/her home office phone and your prospective customers do not receive a voice mail. You pay only for the minutes that the VA is on the phone
2.You need to confirm appointments for the week. Your VA calls the appointments and notes who is confirmed and who must be rescheduled. Your VA even updates your calendar online, if youre using a mutually accessible calendar program.
3.By purchasing a software program that installs a desktop electronic billing system on the VA’s computer, billing can be done off-site. The software vendor technical support trains the VA to use the program, then you email or fax information to the VA, who then does daily electronic billing or accounting services to get your billing done.
4.You are preparing a marketing plan and need further information. Your VA can contact possible advertising outlets on the Internet, magazines, periodicals, newspapers, etc. and acquire information on pricing, publishing dates, publishing deadlines, payment policies, etc. All information is compiled into a report for you to review.
5.You are preparing a direct mailing and need to verify your database. The database is sent to your VA via email attachment. Your VA telephones each name and verifies name, spelling, title and address. All corrections are made, old names are deleted, and new names are added. The corrected database is zipped and returned to you via email attachment.
6.You need a brochure, business card or flyer for your business. Your VA can design, type and print your advertising material using your own artwork or stock art. Your VA can also make the materials ready to print by a professional print shop and simply email the file to the shop for printing.
7.You have a blog, but do not have time to update entries regularly. Brief ideas and thoughts or links can be emailed to your VA, who then updates your blog.
8.You need a website set up, either on a directory site or using a web-hosting service. Your VA can design a custom site or adapt a template, and can maintain it on a regular basis, adding current articles or information as needed.
9.You need a telephone conversation (i.e., conference call, teleclass, etc.) recorded. The VA records the call and transcribes the tape for the participants.
10.You dictate letters, reports, notes or memos on a cassette tape and mail it to your VA via overnight delivery. Your VA transcribes the tape, prints the letters on your stationery and mails them the following day. Or, send your VA an MP3 file of your recording. S/he transcribes the audio and emails the completed transcript back to you.
11.You cannot keep up with the volume of email and are missing important messages. You or your webmaster set up a general email account (firstname.lastname@example.org). Your VA retrieves all email, sorts, responds to routine requests, and forwards items of importance to you at your personal email account (email@example.com).
12.You are going on vacation, but cant let your customers wait for two weeks. Your VA answers the phone and email and responds to customers. You are called for urgent calls while you are away if you want.
13.You need bill paying services. You simply have all bills mailed to a post office box near your VA. Your VA sets up a checking account with payment authorization for both you and the VA. As the bills are prepared for payment, your VA notifies you how much money to deposit into the account. The bills are then paid. Another option, if available from your bank, is to use on-line bill payment services. Security features can be set up which make this a safe and simple solution.
14.You implement an advertising plan or promo. Your VA can monitor the plan, submits ads by deadlines, track expiration dates, coordinate payment, handle correspondence with advertising vendors, and continually update the advertising report and/or advertising budget report for your review.
15.You would like to write a book, but can’t get organized. Your VA can compile rough drafts, notes, fragments, letters or memoirs and get them into an editable form to begin the process of formatting the book, research publishers, and send out queries.
Virtual assistants are here to stay. The above shows that virtual assistants can and do work well for most small and home-based businesses and especially solo-preneurs. Over the next couple of years you can expect your conversations with regards to virtual assistants to go from What is a virtual assistant and what does a virtual assistant do? to that of Who provides your virtual assistant services?
Implementing the use of a virtual assistant, especially through a virtual staffing agency, is a low-cost, low-risk undertaking. If the virtual assistant doesnt work out, you simply request another, perhaps for a better fit. Whats more, coupling the use of a virtual assistant (or several virtual assistants) with your already up-and-coming business can catapult your income and success to the next level and beyond.
Job Applications Common Interview Questions Part 1
Questions about your present, or most recent, job can be tricky and if you aren’t careful you can ruin your chances by making negative or undiplomatic comments. So make sure you are prepared.
In an ideal world, we’d all get on brilliantly with the boss and our colleagues – and we’d love every minute of the job. If this were the case, it’s very unlikely we’d ever look for another post. In the real world, the reason you want to leave a job may well be that you don’t get on with the boss or your immediate supervisor, or that the routine has become mind-numbingly boring.
However terrible your present job, the interview is not the time to discuss it. You must be professional and dont forget, if you are offered the position, the people interviewing you will be your boss and colleagues and they don’t want to work with someone who will complain about them at the first opportunity.
What questions might you be asked about your recent work history? How do you get on with your boss? And how about your colleagues? Why do you want to leave? What do you dislike about your job?
Let’s start with the first two.
How do you get on with your boss or your colleagues?
Whatever the reality, you must give a positive answer. You could say, for example, that you have a good working relationship and that you have always found your boss helpful and supportive; there is a good team spirit and you get on well with your colleagues or that you work together effectively. If you are asked for specific faults in your boss or co-workers, don’t be tempted to run anyone down. This question is not about them, it’s about you and your loyalty. So never say anything against anyone you work with or have worked with in the past. If you feel you cant honestly give any of the above answers, really think about the people you work with and find something positive that you could say about them.
Why do you want to leave your present job?
You need to think carefully about this one, as employers dont want to think that you hop from job to job, get bored quickly or are more interested in your after work activities. If there is an obvious reason, such as the end of your contract, redundancy, or you are moving to a different area, say so. Many people are reluctant to say that they have been made redundant, but remember that its the post which has been redundant, not you.
What do you say if the truth is that you are bored to death in your present post?
Think carefully about why you are applying for the job in question. What do you think it will give you that your present job does not? Money and longer holidays are the wrong answers. If these are the real reasons, you may well end up just as bored in this job. Take a close look at what the company has to offer. Will it give you an opportunity which is lacking in your present post, for example, to develop existing skills or learn new ones? Or will you have the chance to use specific qualifications or abilities, such as foreign languages, which arent needed in your present post? Is there the possibility of advancement, receiving mentoring or taking on new responsibilities which you are unable to do now?
What do you dislike about your job?
Again, caution is needed. If you say that you specifically dislike something, it may be a part of the new job, which would indicate you didnt read the job description properly and that you’ll dislike this job just as much.
You could say that you enjoy your job but feel ready for something more challenging or that you have learned a great deal but are now ready to move to a post in which you will have more responsibility.
The bottom line – before applying for a new job, make sure you can give positive reasons for leaving the old one and clear motivation for choosing the new one – and never criticise any of your co-workers.
Waller Jamison 2005