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“The biggest mistake a small business can make is to think like a small business.” ~Anonymous

Have you ever watched a football team collapse under pressure simply from intimidation?

How about another business?

Fear of competition should never hold you back. If anything, it should ignite your desire to fight all the more.

That’s why this week, we’re going to help you get off the sidelines and into the game with your competition. What’s more? We’ll show you how you can win!

FIRST THINGS FIRST:
TIME TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD

In football, you’d never see your favorite NFL team take on your local junior varsity team.

Why?

Because the teams have to be evenly matched. The same thing applies to business. If you want to compete with the “NFL of printers” out there, you have to up your game to be on a level playing field.

Although it’s not necessary to spend millions of dollars on TV commercials about printing like “you know who,” you do need some fundamental equipment if you’re going to stand a chance of victory.

You need a quality website with online ordering capabilities.

We talked earlier how the appearance of your website can either build up or destroy trust when viewed by visitors. In the world of business today, you have to have a website, a quality website. You have to give consumers the ability to order on their time frame, at their convenience, and be in that “order path of least resistance.”

Without the quality website and online ordering cornerstone, the rest of your marketing efforts will simply fall flat.

You need to simplify your message.

Donald Miller, the author of “Building A Story Brand,” explains that the number one secret weapon to growing your business is simplifying your message. That means making everything on your website so incredibly straightforward and easy to understand that a caveman could order printing from you.

Donald goes on to explain it like this, “People don’t buy the best products; they buy the products they can understand the fastest.”

You need a simple, obvious call to action button.

Once your prospects and customers have landed on your site, what is it that you want them to do? Buy printing, right? You have to give them the opportunity to do that, and you have to make that opportunity obvious.

On every page of your website, clear out the distractions and add an “Order Online” call-to-action button.

You need the ability to streamline your production.

Let’s say your prospect has made it to your website, they’ve understood your message, and they’ve even clicked the big “Order Online” button and placed an order. Now what?

If you are not equipped to manage and capture the customer and order information with a quality Print Management Information System (Print MIS), you’re wasting your time. All that work means nothing if you can’t cultivate a relationship with your consumer before, during, and after print production.

IT’S ALL ABOUT LEAD GENERATION

If you’ve made it this far, perhaps you’re thinking, “Yeah, I understand all that. I’ve got all the tools setup, but how do I get people to my website in the first place?”

Lead generation tends to freak a lot of people out. Most people either don’t know what it is or how to go about getting leads, so instead, they go with the “hope for the best” solution.

But, having an “if you build it, they will come” attitude doesn’t work in this case. After all, you have to let them know exactly what you built and what’s waiting there for them when they arrive at your website.

WHAT IS LEAD GENERATION?

Lead generation is a fancy name for the process you use to attract your customers (the leads). It means cultivating potential customers for your company’s products and services.

Did you notice the word “cultivate?” Cultivate is a verb, NOT a noun. If you want potential customers coming to you, you have to work at it. You have to DO something.

4 WAYS TO WRANGLE A LEAD

So, what do you have to do to cultivate a prospect or customer? Here are four ways you can drive traffic to your website more effectively.

1. Use Paid Ads

Paid search ads offer several benefits including increasing your SEO results and targeting your ideal audience. Paid ads also help maintain your reputation as a trusted company, and people who click on your ads are typically more ready to buy.

Lastly, the analytics you can get from your paid ad results can be a tremendous resource for future targeted marketing.

2. Use Social Media

Social media allows you not only to spy on your competition but to learn and understand who your customers are and what their pain points are. Use it to post coupons, create refer-a-friend campaigns, and do surveys and contests.

Above all, remember that your social media pages should be treated just like your website. They are online representations of your company, so maintain them well.

3. Use Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail marketing should be a no-brainer for printers. What other company can combine their marketing message with an actual sample of their quality product so inexpensively?

Direct mail is an excellent tool to showcase what you do best. It’s highly-targeted, personal, cost-effective, easily measured and combined with other marketing methods, and has a proven track record!

As a printer, you already know all of this, but you may be surprised by how many printers don’t take the time or effort to showcase themselves with direct mail.

The quality difference between you and those big, online competitors could be easily seen and felt by your prospects with a consistent mailing if you only took advantage of it.

4. Use Email Marketing

Once you’ve captured your lead’s email address, you have an open invitation for keeping your customers informed with email marketing. Whether sending your latest blog or offering coupons or discounts for your next print promotion, email marketing is an effective and inexpensive way to reach out.

Lay out your game plan, execute it with precision, and remember that tackling the competition takes time. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed wondering how you’re going to find the time to focus on upping your game, stay tuned for next week. We’ll show you how implementing an online ordering solution will help you Find the Time to Innovate.

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