Archive for the ‘Marketing services’ tag

Seven Creative April Newsletter (12th April 2010)

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A note from the editor

The newsletter this month arrives from a long way away – a very long way away – the 1950s. Mrs C and I are currently sunning ourselves on the ancient isle of Vectis in preparation for what is shaping up to be a very busy few months!

Luckily here on the Isle of Wight, the Gin flows freely and the weather is glorious, allowing us to momentarily take our minds off the impending rush.

In the news at the moment; as YouTube recently reaches its 5th birthday, I take a moment to reflect on its success – it’s grown from a simple video sharing .com start-up business into one of the cornerstones of internet culture in just 5 years!

There are many reasons why YouTube continues to be so successful – obviously, there was a niche in the market for a good method for easily posting videos online and YouTube have also never lost sight of which side their bread is buttered.  However, the number one reason for their success – and the lesson we can all learn from them – is that good content is king. That is to say, if you’re content is good, your website will attract visitors. If it’s bad, you won’t.

In this issue

  • Grown-up Instant Messenger
  • Building your personal brand
  • Virtual marketing department

Grown-up Instant Messenger

I love Skype. I’ve been using it in a business context since it was launched in 2003 and have become very reliant on it. In fact, if we had to stop using it, it would be painful!!!

On the face of it, Skype offer a similar service to MSN Messenger, however, there are some very useful features besides ‘instant chat’ that can be used for both business and pleasure and even save you money!

Skype charges a nominal fee for calling landlines and mobiles in the UK, however, if you need to phone abroad, it can also often be a very cheap alternative. If memory serves correctly, the connection between your computer and telephone exchange local to where you’re calling is free as it uses the internet. The only part you have to pay for is the connection between that local exchange and the phone you’re calling which is normally a lot cheaper than calling from your home phone where you pay for the whole thing. You can also SMS worldwide from your desktop, which can come in very handy sometimes!

Other free features include worldwide video conferencing or video chat – useful for keeping in touch with relatives abroad, and file sending – great for small documents like Word or Excel.

If you’re travelling abroad, why not save money by taking advantage of free internet access and use Skype to keep in touch and make and receive calls for a fraction of the price your mobile provider would charge? You can also get Skype on many of the newer mobiles and hand-held devices.

Skype is available to download for free from Skype.com and if you’d like to add me as a contact, start the application, click on ‘new’ then ‘new contact’ and do a search for ‘chris-day’

Building your personal brand

If you’ve ever ‘googled’ yourself it’s pretty likely that, like me, you’re no where to be found. Surely this doesn’t accurately reflect your lifetimes’ achievements so far? Why should a 14 year old with the same name as you, venting their unusual views on modern music, appear high in the rankings but you’re in the metaphorical desert of the search engine world? And anyway, does this even matter?

Spending years running your business, living and breathing your vocation will inevitably start to turn you into an expert in your field. Your personal business worth (in an hourly-rate sense) is based on other people’s perception of your knowledge, ability and experience. If you love what you do and you’re an expert in your field, surely your ‘hourly rate’ should reflect this and increase proportionally?

Differentiating yourself from the amateurs or those with less ability and experience is the thing that will allow you to command a higher hourly rate; however, this is sometimes very difficult to do!

Culturally, self-promotion is often something that is often looked down on. Derogative words and phrases like ‘big head’ or ‘bragger’ are used to deride those that talk proudly about their achievements. Victoria Wood summed it up well when she said ‘we don’t  flaunt, we tut’; however, shouting about your achievements and what a great job you’ve done is perfectly acceptable when done by someone other than yourself such as a grateful client!

Letting people know how good you are at what you do is not bragging – rather it’s an important and vital exercise if you are going to move forward (and upwards) in your field. It will not only help you command a higher rate but also open new doors and opportunities for you. As such, it’s worth spending time investing in your personal brand by making a name for yourself. For example, speaking at colleges, universities or events may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but, it will often lead on to work. Writing articles for websites and collecting testimonials for your website will also help promote you and your services. Why not write a press release when you’ve got an exciting bit of news? There’s a good chance you can get it into at least the local paper!

You’re only as good as people perceive you to be – you need to make sure their perception is correct.

Virtual marketing department

This week here at Seven Creative’s country retreat, we’re taking a well earned break from the rigours of work. Earlier in the newsletter we mentioned that we’re looking towards a very busy few months which, as I’m sure you’ll already know, is one of the nicer problems you can have in business!

After the events of the final few months of 2009, we resolved to put our money where our mouths are and prove we know what we’re taking about. Now in 2010 we’ve already beaten all previous years’ records – which is quite an achievement (even if I do say so myself!) – And we’ll be almost certainly continuing our record breaking year.

This is something we can do for you too.

Business is a fine balance between ‘working on’ and ‘working for’ your business.  However, the majority of small to medium businesses spend the majority of their time working ‘for’ their businesses. One is a short-term activity and the other is a long-term investment.

The recession, for example, took many businesses by surprise and those without a strong enough business model have suffered!

If you’re interested in talking to us about how we can boost your business by providing a virtual marketing department, give us a call or drop us an email

In the next issue

  • Business promotion – blogging
  • Creative advertising revenues
  • Simple SEO

And finally…

As we reach the end of Easter and we resolve to make sure we’ve got Sky boxes in more than one room next year so that Day Jnr can watch Spongebob and Disney films far away from our ever hurting ears, I’m reminded of a quote I once heard on the subject of sharing:

“Hedgehogs. Why can’t they just share the hedge?” – Dan Antopolski

From all of us here at Seven Creative’s island getaway; we wish you a continuing happy and prosperous year.

Written by Chris

April 12th, 2010 at 10:06 am

Seven Creative March Newsletter (17 March 2010)

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A note from the editor

Spring arrives

Spring arrives

With the snow just about gone, Spring finally arrives a few weeks late and, in an amazing coincidence, so does the the Seven Creative Newsletter!

In the news today, the marketing geniuses, Dominos Pizza, strike again with an astonishingly simple affiliate marketing-type scheme to exploit the recent social networking explosion <takes a breath>. The new advertising tool allows social network users to display an advert for Dominos Pizza on their Facebook page (or blog) which, when clicked, tracks whether the ‘clicker’ goes on to buy a pizza. If so, the person who displayed the advert earns 0.5% of the order. Genius!

Dominos pizzas might not be everyone’s cup of tea – even described as decidedly greasy and mediocre by some (not me, of course) – but you have to hand it to them when it comes to marketing, they’re way ahead of the pack! The original ’delivered in 30 minutes or your pizza is free’ advertising campaign was revolutionary – it caused people to order a pizza delivery, willing it to arrive late – which is incredible, however; it helped to create one of the largest brands in the world and gave us one of the first examples of viral marketing. With the impending launch of their new revolutionary marketing campaign, they’re now set to become one of the first companies to truly make social-marketing work for them!

In this issue

  • Marketing avenues you may not have considered
  • Very cost-effective direct mailings
  • Wireless network security issues
  • Free business promotion

Marketing your business – avenues you may not have considered

YouTube

YouTube

I did a little exercise recently examining exactly how Ebuyer conduct their marketing activity and it returned some very interesting results! Ebuyer have grown to become a big player in a very difficult and competitive Market through difficult economic times so must be doing something very right if they are still able to compete on a level playing field with the really big players!

When you’re thinking about your business and wondering what the best options are in terms of sales and marketing, a very good idea is to examine your competitors. You can quickly establish what they are doing that is different to you and how much of an impact it is having on their business. This can often be cheaper and quicker than trying new ideas your self but, more importantly, you may be surprised at what you find out!

One of the surprising marketing activities and revenue streams that Ebuyer use is an Ebay shop. This might at first sound counter-productive; however, there is a certain section of customers who are time-rich and money-poor who will shop around for the best price before buying. Ebay is a buyers’ market and many people who regularly use it believe that it will allow them to always get the best price. Ebuyer are able to access this potential customer base by association and therefore widen their potential customer base significantly.

One of the other surprises thrown up when examining Ebuyer’s wider marketing activity was their YouTube channel. You’d be forgiven for naturally assuming that a computer hardware retailer has no place on this video sharing website, however, they are in fact very active here.

Savvy internet users will use YouTube for product reviews and tutorials as the video element adds an extra dimension to the traditional instruction booklet or written review. When choosing, for example, your next mobile phone or notebook computer, you can see on your computer screen how it looks, feels and works. Once you’ve made your mind up, the next step is to find a supplier! The logical choice when watching a YouTube video provided by Ebuyer is to visit their shop. This again allows them access to another potential customer base.

In summary, the lesson learned is that when planning your marketing activity you need to be creative and open minded. Potential customers could be where you least expect them to be!

Direct mailing

Post box

Direct mailings

Did you know it might be a lot easier and more cost effective to send a direct mailing than you would have imagined!

Over the past few years, Spam has turned from a tasty meat-based product to a four-letter-word as our dependency on email increases. Direct mail, on the other hand, is currently going through a resurgence!

From 40p per letter including printing, envelope and postage, direct mail can also be surprisingly cost-effective!

Here at Seven Creative, we’re offering a new service where we’ll take all the hard work out of a direct mailing campaign. Simply tell us which business sectors you’d like to target, what you’d like to promote or sell and we’ll do the rest.

We’ll provide you with a marketing list (including primary contact name), design a full colour and fully branded sales letter and post it out.

Prices are one-off £100 for sales letter design and 40p per letter including full colour printing, envelope and postage (no minimum).

Contact us for more information.

Wireless network security

Government legislation that may be introduced within the next few months will place wireless network security responsibility with the person whose name is on the bill. If your network isn’t secure you may be liable for illegal downloads, which, in turn, may lead to broadband service loss, legal action or worse! Many wireless signals can be picked up easily from neighbours’ houses or by wireless devices nearby so it’s never been more important to make sure your wireless network is properly secured.

All modern routers allow you to create secure password protection in order to connect to the wireless network securely; however, many allow connection without a password as default. As a rule-of-thumb, you’ll need to connect to your router directly using an Ethernet cable to change the password and the control panel is usually accessed via a web browser.

For further information, PCWorld.com provides a good article on wireless network security including explanations of terms:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/130330/how_to_secure_your_wireless_network.html

if you’re still concerned you can get an on site visit from our resident computer hardware wizard, Kristof; give us a call to arrange.

Promote your business for free

Promote your business for free and drive extra traffic to your website

Promote your business for free and drive extra traffic to your website

One of the best steps you can take from a search engine optimisation point is to create contextual inbound links to your site, or to put in another way, links to your site from within an article relevant to your website and using your keywords and phrases.

As a newsletter subscriber and customer or friend of Seven Creative you’re invited to write an article or business profile about your business and we’ll publish it on our blog site. This will help with your search engine indexing and bring extra visitors to your site

Email us for more information

In the next issue

  • Building your personal brand – how and why
  • Grown-up IM for business and pleasure – saving you money
  • Virtual marketing department – working for your business

…and finally

This brings us to the end of another newsletter and towards the start of Easter. This time of year is a time for friends and family and naturally reminds me of something I once heard on the subject of friendship:

“Friendship is like peeing on yourself: everyone can see it, but only you get the warm feeling that it brings” – anonymous

From all of us at here at Seven Creative, we wish you continuing success and a prosperous year.

Seven Creative December Newsletter (12 December 2009)

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Introduction

Seasons Greetings! In this issue; AVG update time, steps to avoid spam, Seven Creative affiliate scheme and a very useful Outlook utility.

Is your Anti-Virus software up-to-date?

If you’re using AVG free edition version 8.5 or earlier on Windows, you will more-than-likely need to upgrade to version 9 in December. To check which version of AVG you have, double-click the AVG icon in your task-bar (the red, blue, green and red square at the bottom right corner of your screen) then look at the bottom-left area of the AVG window when it opens.

To upgrade to version 9, follow the links from the AVG window or click here to go straight to the download location: http://tinyurl.com/cbe7be (I’ve shortened a very long URL here if the address looks a bit unusual!). When installing, watch out for the ‘Yahoo toolbar’ option. If you don’t want it, be sure to un-tick the box – it’s not a mandatory element of the AVG software.

Making money with the Seven Creative affiliate scheme

Did you know we have recently rolled out an affiliate scheme? Send someone in our direction (make sure you let us know to expect their call) and you’ll receive 10% of the value of the services they purchase including business stationery, leaflets & flyers, websites & blogs and marketing campaigns. We save time and money from doing less marketing and you could receive a nice cheque in the post. Simples! Please contact us for full terms and conditions.

Getting spammed?

Unfortunately, Spam is fact of life at the moment for all email users. The best we can hope to do is cut the number of spam emails we receive by taking some simple steps.

If your website is hosted on our Namesco hosting facility, you can blacklist persistent spammers by logging in through your control panel, selecting ‘email & ftp’ then adding an email address to the ‘blacklist’. Emails received from that address will in the future be automatically rejected. (Conversely, adding names to the ‘white list’ will mean they are automatically accepted).Also, you can change the sensitivity of your spam filter. The anti-spam software rates each received email according to how likely it thinks that its spam. For example, if the rating is more than 6 they are accepted. If the rating is less than 6 they are rejected. Change the threshold to 5 and the sensitivity is increased. Go to your control panel, ‘email & FTP’ then select ‘spam filtering’.

Websites hosted on our Zoom facility, log into your control panel and enable ‘Spam Assassin’

Things you may not know

Seven Creative offers the full range of business marketing services including websites and email accounts, however, you may not know we also offer:

  • Social network marketing
  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Print media advert design
  • Email marketing and mailing list management
  • Regular website backups
  • Plus much more

Please call us for more information

A useful utility for Outlook

If you use Outlook on a Windows computer, you’ll no doubt either already regularly back-up your emails or at least, it’ll be on the to-do list. It’s a simple procedure; select ‘file’, ‘Import and export’, ‘Export to a file’, choose the format for the backup (personally I use Personal Folder File (.pst), select ‘Personal folders’ (tick the ‘Include subfolders’ box) and the click ‘Next’ to choose a location for the back and begin). The problem comes when you have a lot of large attachments. Your backup file may end up being huge and take an age to complete. A quick work-around is to remove all the email attachments saved in your Outlook and put them all in a separate file on your computer. A free utility that does this for you is available from www.kopf.com.br/outlook/. Download, install and you’ll get a little toolbar along the top of your Outlook window called ‘Attachment remover’. Click it, follow the instructions and hey-presto, all your attachments are neatly put in a separate folder and replaced with short-cuts in your emails meaning your Outlook backups should now be a whole lot quicker.

That’s all folks

This brings us to the end of the Seven Creative December newsletter. From all us here at Seven Creative Towers, we’d like to wish you all the best over the festive season for the New Year.

Written by Chris

December 12th, 2009 at 9:00 am