All posts by Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized marketing plans depending on the industry and competition.

Local Branding

The Best Of Corporate Twitter & Why You Should Follow Them

Clicking on Facebook, your email, Buzzfeed and then back to Facebook gets old. It’s a modernized version of Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity. Refreshing the same pages on a continuous loop expecting an update is an act of workplace futility that few can survive. Eventually boredom sets in. Before you start to go loco with ennui, it’s time to add Twitter to your list of websites. The only problem is that there are 100 million daily active users and most of them aren’t worth a follow. Lucky for you, this list can direct you to an unusual but great source of entertainment during your work day: corporate twitter.

Corporate isn’t always a sad and desolate place. These seven corporate accounts find a time to be funny in between slinging their wares and keeping their hashtag game strong.

1. Old Spice

It’s not just your grandpa’s cologne anymore. In an explosive social media campaign that included TV commercials, online videos, and its Twitter page, Old Space has catapulted itself into the 21st century as a brand to follow. Best known for its surreal viral commercials featuring former NFL athlete Isaiah Mustafa, Old Spice managed to capture the fun and fantastical branding in all its social media accounts. To use its own words taken from its bio, @OldSpice delivers on MUSCLES. SMELLS. LAZERS. COUPONS. GIFS.

Most notable tweet?

Not content to stay in its lane, @OldSpice took a break from its regularly scheduled content to chirp at Taco Bell. It took umbrage that Taco Bell’s fire sauce didn’t contain the actual fire, claiming it was false advertisement. What followed incited a Twitter “war” between the two brands. The exchange was worthy of a chuckle for those scrolling through Twitter in the hopes of wasting some time at work.

2. Denny’s

Whoever runs Denny’s social media has tapped into the uncanny atmosphere its restaurants have around 4 am on a Saturday night. Usually bizarre and always funny, the Denny’s Twitter is an irreverent page devoted to pancakes, syrup, and the dankest memes this side of the web. Half digital marketing, half shit post generator, @DennysDinerrevolutionized the chain’s online presence. With 448,000 followers (one of whom, most recently, is the always meme-able band, Smash Mouth), the brand established its cultural relevance within the youngest Millennials and Generation Z.

Most notable tweet?

@DennysDiner created its own version of the Zoom in on the Nose meme with a picture of what looks like a stack of pancakes. Completely normal for a diner that serves up breakfast foods 24/7, but the punchline isn’t what you would expect from the diner chain. Or maybe it is if you spend any time on their Twitter. Click here to see what secret Denny’s hid in its pic.

3. dbrand

Graduating from the class of under 500k followers, we move to the big leagues with a company that’s broken its first million followers. With 1.36 million followers and counting, @dbrand is the next corporate handle you have to check out. Run by @robot, dbrand’s social media page is the only bot you’ll want to follow you. Too bad that will never happen, considering @dbrand doesn’t care about us, foolish humans. When it’s not making made-to-measure decals for the hottest devices (what the company calls skins), it’s carving out a presence online with its punchy, glib, and tongue-in-cheek posts that serve The Truth™ with a side of humor.

Most notable tweet?

Last March, Nintendo released its Switch console, and dbrand was quick to create a set of Switch skins for the system that its loyal followers could pre-order. Unfortunately, within a few days of its release, the skin provider realized its adhesive didn’t play nice with the console. As a result, they posted a series of tweets to explain the situation and notify its customers all pre-orders were canceled and refunded. Despite what @robot has to say about the human race, this good guy move proves dbrand’s worth a follow.

4. Wendy’s

Don’t let Wendy’s profile pic fool you. That sweet grin and pigtails hide a sharp tongue that’s ready to lash anyone it finds lacking. After a long time spent answering complaints with sincere apologies towing the customer service line, @Wendy’s lost all its chill. Patience snapped, the social media team revealed a quick and biting wit they were willing to unleash at a moment’s notice, dragging Twitter’s worst. Its 2.46 million followers await the next roast, usually at the cost of @MacDonalds as @Wendys insults, incites, and antagonizes its rival hamburger chain almost daily.

Most notable tweet?

Though Wendy’s serves up roasts with a side of fries, perhaps the most savage one was when a Twitter user accused the fast-food chain of delivering its burgers raw on a hot truck. @Wendy’s took no time at all to respond, dragging its accuser by implying they forgot refrigerators existed.

So the next time the post-lunch boredom hits your workday, open a new tab and follow these accounts. It might not solve the fact you’re working doing something you hate, but the best of corporate Twitter might make your corporate time go by faster.

Legal Branding

Don’t Miss Out On Business In Countries With Bad Reputations

Say you’re a value-added reseller (VAR) who wants to broaden your reach and grow your profits by expanding into foreign markets. You’ve heard horror stories about the seizure of every item in Brazil. You’ve caught word that India is highly protective of their local production and has begun raising duty on certain imports. But is throwing up your hands and giving up on huge markets the wisest choice for you?

Below are a few examples of tricky nations in which it can be a challenge to do business, as well as some important tips on what you can do to expand your presence in any country – including how to reduce costs when importing items and making smart partnerships to maximize efficiency.

Brazil

South America is appealing to IT manufacturers and VARs because of its large population and growing consumer middle class. Brazil is the eighth largest economy in the world, but shoppers often complain about their goods getting seized and stuck at customs. Brazil requires multiple tax ID numbers to be registered there. Firms spend many man hours filing the tax forms required. Rumors of corruption and items ‘disappearing’ certainly aren’t encouraging, either. Hearsay? If true, is it worth the hassle?

Russia

They have some of the lowest electricity bills in Europe – appealing for a VAR pushing a variety of hardware – but it also takes businesses several months to get an electricity connection.The country has a bad reputation for the time it takes to export goods, but if you’re the seller, this isn’t a problem. American companies face troubles trying to export to the nation because of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers making it difficult to ship some goods, e.g., alcohol. In 2014, U.S. food and agricultural exports were banned after Crimea’s annexation.

Indonesia

It’s incredibly hard to start a new business here because of the 1.5 month minimum launching time for a new business. Infrastructure issues cause many new companies’ hopes to crumble. They’re begging for investors to drop billions in their bucket. They do have some appealing natural resources like coal that has caught China’s eye. Some of these issues are potential problems for new businesses to set-up shop, but are they necessarily a problem for your company’s specific expertise and products?

So what?

If a country has a bad reputation for doing business, you’re automatically going to have decreased competition because of the number of lazy companies who will check out. The nation’s problems might not have much to do with your goods, either. Often people won’t take their time to look into rules and regulations before they spread bad word-of-mouth. There’s a simple way to handle much of this –get an expert to do it for you.

Hands down, the best choice you can make if you want to expand globally into any country is partnering with an importer of record (IOR). TecEx, for example, has a long record and presence in any country where you might want to conduct business. How can an IOR help? Well, to start, you might be legally required to use one. They’ll look after all required import permits and arrange brokerage, clearance, and local delivery to your destination. There’s no need to worry about import compliance and your shipment will clear smoothly through customs. It’s also important to find an importer of record who can provide full tax recovery services for all of the indirect taxes incurred. TecEx specializes in shipping electronics and IT equipment abroad, and these items usually suffer import VAT, customs taxes, co-location taxes, and taxes on purchasing local goods.

Some nations might be tricky to conduct business in; however, if you make smart partnerships with companies who can streamline the process, and if you do some research into whether these nations are actually troublesome for your specific type of business and product, you’ll find the barriers were just a smokescreen, providing your partner with the right IOR services.

Digital Branding

Low Budget Marketing Ideas to Make Your Small Business Big

Here are some tips on low budget marketing ideas – Marketing is crucial to the success of any business, but many smaller startups neglect this important aspect due to the high expenses involved, and for any business operating on a shoestring budget; marketing is often the first expense to be slashed.

You know the old saying, “You have to spend money to make money,” and despite its cliché nature, it is still absolutely true. That said, there are ways to grow your small business without breaking the bank, and marketing doesn’t necessarily need to cost a fortune, although it does require a certain amount of creativity.

Check out these low budget marketing ideas to make your small business big, in no time at all.

Start being social

There is no excuse for not using social media to promote your business. These days, social media is one of the best ways to engage your customers and get the word out about your products and services, and best of all, it’s free!

If you are avoiding it because you aren’t sure how to use it, learn the ropes by joining social media marketing classes in your city or online. Once you get started, you’ll wonder why you didn’t jump on the bandwagon sooner.

Offer freebies

It’s no secret that people love free things, and most businesses have some services or products they can offer for free without putting too much of a dent in the company bank account.

Promotions, like giving customers a free consultation, rewarding loyal customers with a free item after a certain number of visits or handing out sample products, will put your business in the spotlight and get new customers hooked.

Just make sure the free products are a good representation of the quality you offer on a regular basis, or it may not have the desired effect of drawing in new customers.

Encourage satisfied customers to spread the word

Whether your company is a new start-up or a well-established business looking to expand, word-of-mouth advertising is one of the most powerful advertising tools there is. If you can consistently provide your current customers with excellent customer service and high-quality products, they will want their friends and family to try it as well.

New businesses can easily get away with asking satisfied customers to spread the word, and well-established companies can ask their most loyal customers to put in a good word for them.

Another way to encourage word of word-of-mouth advertising is to reward customers for every friend or family member they bring to your store or place of business. This can be in the way of a discount, gift card or freebie.

Don’t try to compete with the big companies

Even if you are hoping to one day compete with the big boys, there is no point trying to match their advertising strategies until you are on the same level.

Major companies like Coca-Cola or McDonald’s are already well-known and don’t have to prove themselves. Their advertisements and company logos are largely meant to increase name recognition and larger companies use national and even international TV adverts, which is something smaller businesses can’t afford and don’t really need.

Target your advertisements to the local market and focus on producing sales rather than just making your company name big. The best time to advertise is when you have a promotion on because it gives customers the opportunity to respond to the advertisement.

Spread the word through whatever means are available to you, be it social media, flyers, posters or billboards, but never spend more money than your promotion can hope to bring in.

Get creative with business cards

Business cards are still commonplace in the world of small business, and you shouldn’t discount their usefulness just yet. Providing customers with a quick way to contact you is an excellent way to ensure that you will be first on their list when they need one of your products or services.

The main downside to business cards is that most people toss them out before long because let’s face it, no one likes clutter. If you don’t want your business cards to end up in the rubbish bin, you have to make them useful.

Business cards don’t always have to be cards, you can have refrigerator magnets or nice looking notepads made up that show off your company name and information while serving a purpose as well.

Little post-it notes with your info on each page are sure to get some use, and the customer will see your name every time they use them to stick up a reminder. Other great “business card” ideas can include things like bottle openers, lighters or pens. Use your imagination and come up with your own functional items that can be used to spread the word.

Make your business a destination

If you run a physical store, it can be a good idea to offer some extras that make your shop more than just a quick stopover. Some stores offer free child-care or play facilities where parents can bring their kids while they shop, others offer cafeterias or coffee bars, where customers can relax before continuing their shopping.

This is a great way of ensuring that people will stop at your store, even if they weren’t initially planning on buying anything.

Author Bio:

Sohail is a content marketer and a blogger, currently, he is associated with Smiletutor.sg a private tuition agency in Singapore. His hobbies include writing, reading books, traveling and gardening.

Digital Branding

Close the Gap Between Strategy & Execution

When conducting strategic planning with clients I have a saying that I share with them, “Successful Business Execution is 20% getting clear about what needs to be done, and 80% following up to make sure it actually gets done”

I’ve written previously about the cadence of strategy execution, using the analogy of a great rowing crew in action. The boat glides through the water, propelled by oars moving in perfect rhythm. It may be the most graceful example of teamwork in the world. In rowing, the cadence drives the crew, keeping them in sync and urging them on when they may be tired and sore.

Cadence does the same thing for great companies, except that, instead of a coxswain calling cadence, leaders like you use meetings to establish the rhythm of work. The best meetings:

  • Create and update your winning strategy
  • Execute your strategy faster
  • Drive accountability
  • Identify opportunities and remove bottlenecks faster
  • Keep staff aligned and focused

On a related note, a research article in HBR explored how high performing teams spend their time, and the critical behaviors in which they engaged. Here’s my take on the research data, with some additional commentary added:

Focus On Strategy

High performing teams:

  • Spend 20% more time defining and clarifying their long-term strategic moves
  • Spend 12% more time texting or collaborating with their staff on an ongoing basis to make sure the strategic direction is understood and adhered to

That means high performing teams spend more time understanding their industry and getting their strategy right first, and they talk about their strategy more often with staff to keep everyone aligned and engaged.

one-page strategic plan is probably the best way to clearly communicate the strategy to staff and get everyone on the same page. This is especially true if your strategic goals cascade down to the goals of each team and staff member, so they can see exactly how their job contributes to the company’s strategy.

Break Strategy Into Actionable Goals

High performing teams:

  • Spend 14% more time discussing progress and making necessary corrections

In essence, once you figure out the right strategic goals to track, you would ideally make aligned performance visible on your management dashboard.

But that’s just the first step. You must follow up to make sure it actually gets done. Managers still need to coach and support their people to ensure they are achieving their required results and are meeting their deadlines consistently. Effective managers don’t procrastinate when it comes to giving people corrective feedback on their performance.

Align Culture with Strategy

The most effective managers I see in client firms are those who apply consistent pressure. They are firm but fair. That’s essential to modern management, and today’s A-players need clarity and accountability to feel satisfied at work.

High performing teams:

  • Spend 28% more time discussing behaviors that help or hinder strategy execution
  • Spend 33% more time optimizing talent capabilities

They align their Core Values with their strategy. They take talent management seriously. They provide forums for staff to share candid feedback about what does and doesn’t work, and put employee development and succession plans in place to develop a team with the right skills and behaviors.

Focus on Strategic Priorities

High performing teams:

  • Are 36% more effective and prioritizing and sequencing these initiatives, and they put a disciplined meeting structurein place to ensure the team has what it needs to succeed

Low performing teams:

  • Spend an astounding 83% more time fighting fires and dealing with issues at a tactical rather than a strategic level

High performing companies communicate in an organized way and focus their efforts on strategic objectives. That’s because strategy is about making choices. It‘s about going through a disciplined process to identify the limited set of projects that will have the biggest impact on future success. Then they focus on those projects.

Strategic Agility

High performing teams:

  • Are 20% more effective at responding to change in order to position the company for future success

In essence, changing fast to chase after opportunities is not a recipe for success. It’s a recipe for strategic incoherence and volatile performance. A winning strategy is not just about being agile, it’s about being “smart agile”. High performing companies win because they make wise strategic choices first, then they move fast to implement and build upon on those decisions.

My summary

High performing teams:

  • Spend more time strategizing and translating strategic decisions into actionable goals
  • Spend more time engaging with team members, communicating strategy, discussing progress, and making sure behaviors are aligned with strategic execution
  • Focus their resources (people, time, money) on strategic priorities and spend less time fighting fires

What steps can you take to close the gap between strategy and execution in your organization?

This post was written by Stephen Lynch from Results and it originally appeared on their blog on Dec 5th. Stephen is the author of the award-winning business book Business Execution for RESULTS & President of RESULTS.com, Lynch is widely recognized as one of the best strategic consultants in the world.

Digital Branding

How to Build a Promotional Products Business From Scratch

T-shirts. Caps. Pens. USBs, Calendars.

Perhaps, you’ve received such items with company logos many times in your life and you remember the brand name imprinted on each of these items. For you, these are the free giveaways. But for companies, these promotional products are their ticket to score exponential sales.

That’s why businesses spend billions of dollars giving away promotional items to their potential and existing customers.

The businesses themselves don’t manufacture these items, of course.

So, who are the people behind it?

Here’s the answer: promotional product companies. While this is a unique business, what makes it more tempting is the level of lucrativeness if offers.

Interestingly, you can dive into building your own promotional products business. But before you begin, you should have ample knowledge of getting into it from scratch.

Wondering how to start off?

Let’s explore.

Gain Experience

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Why step into a business when you lack exposure to its overall industry?

To avoid risking your hard-earned money, it’s wise to gain some basic insights about this business. This requires you to work for someone else. This way, you’ll understand the promotional products business without incurring any cost. Plus, you’ll be getting paid while learning the intricacies of the business.

Once you’ve put in your time and efforts in the job, you’ll be able to explore if you have a passion to run your own business in the promotional products industry.

 

Explore Different Niches And Focus On One

Is it the entertainment promotions that interest you or do you want to begin with marketing materials or promotional items such as key chains, hand bands, and eco-friendly non-woven tote bags to display your clients’ logo?

Since this industry is vast, it’s impossible to focus on all subcategories as a first-timer. Therefore, it’s crucial to select a niche and go on with it. Before choosing a niche area, conduct ample research and finalize your decision accordingly.

Analyze Your Competitors

Perhaps, your competitors have already tapped into the market you’re planning to cater to. However, you can still come up with feasible ideas to outperform them.

To begin, conduct thorough research about your competition. Find out about the factors they’re best in (e.g. pricing, design, product selection, timely delivery, customer service) as well as the areas they’re not good at. Once you’ve found their weakest point (for instance, timely delivery), you can position your brand in the same area while ensuring you excel that area too.

Search For A Reliable Investor

You’ll need finances to setup a workplace, purchase equipment, pay the staff, and make payments for miscellaneous overheads. If you don’t have sufficient funds, you’ll need to look for an investor. Begin the quest by asking around in your social circle. The next option is to place an ad on Craigslist or similar platforms.

Create Your Brand Identity

Ever thought why clients should choose your brand when they can get the same thing from other promotional products companies?

If you have a generic brand, clients will not be attracted to your business. To grab their attention towards your brand, you should come up with a brand identity – a unique identity that helps your brand differ from your competitors.

To make this possible, create an attention-grabbing yet relevant brand name. Next, hire a professional to design an attractive logo. Once this is done, devise a catchy tag line that adds value to your brand name.

After getting through these tasks, it’s time to register your business name.

 

Devise An Online Marketing Strategy

In a highly competitive market, drawing in potential clients requires conducting both online and offline marketing activities.

To begin online, start off with these initiatives:

  • Create a website: This will be the first platform your target audience will use to know about your business. Plus, they might also place an order via your website. Add content to the website related to your promotional products business. Make sure the content is written in a way that it answers all your clients’ queries related to your promotional products business.

 

  • Start blogging: A website without valuable content is just like a retail outlet without any inventory. To attract website visitors, write blog posts that are relevant to your business. When you update your WordPress, integrate the same blog posts on social media.

 

  • Write an eBook and place it on your website: The eBook should work as a guide for businesses that aim to promote their brand by using your promotional products. In the eBook, write about the benefits of giving away promotional products to customers, how to choose the type of promotional products according to customers’ preferences, and how to align these products with specific brand names. Doing this will give your potential clients an idea that you’re an expert in the promotional products industry.

Plan Offline Marketing Activities

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To carry out offline marketing activities, follow these points:

  • Design a business card and a compelling brochure: You’ll be giving these to prospective clients within various networking events.

 

  • Make a presentation for clients: Once your clients have your business card, you never know when they might contact you to place the first order. Therefore, it’s wise to act proactively. Prepare a business presentation beforehand so you can present it to them in the business meeting.

Offer A Free Trial

If this is something your competitors aren’t doing, go for it. Besides creating a competitive edge, offering a free trial will help clients figure out if getting promotional products manufactured and delivered from your company is benefiting their business.

If the results are positive, there is a high probability they’ll contact you for their next order. Besides, you’ll be getting more clients through word-of-mouth marketing.

 

Digital Branding

Why Your Business Needs a Welcome Email

Whenever someone signs up for your business’s mailing list, you want them to feel as welcome as possible. Enticing users into joining mailing lists is harder than it once was. Those of us who remember the earliest days of email, and the internet more generally, will remember how there used to be a certain appeal in signing up to mailing lists simply because an email was still such a novelty.

Today’s more tech-savvy generation, however, is not so easily impressed. As for the rest of us, we have been so spoiled by the availability of information instantly, on demand, wherever we are, that the appeal of joining a mailing list has been diminished considerably. However, despite the drop in the number of people who regularly make use of mailing lists, many of those who do still use them is exactly the kind of people that you most want to reach.

The traditional mailing list has been largely superseded by social media, however, it is still worth offering a mailing list, and it is definitely worth taking the time to ensure that your mailing list does its job as well as possible.

One of the most crucial aspects of a mailing list is the welcome email. The welcome email will be the first time that many of these people receive communications from your business and you want to create the best impression possible. Here are some of the reasons why you should take the time to craft a welcome email that will demonstrate your professionalism to recipients.

Save Time

All business owners wish that they had more time in the day to complete all their work. Time is money, after all. Therefore, any savings in time also represent savings in money. A welcome email welcoming a customer to your mailing list or to another area of your business, such as a loyalty scheme, is the perfect opportunity to present them with all the necessary information that they could want, both now and in the future.

By including information in the welcome email, you are giving your customers a document that they can refer back to later, and which will answer any questions that they might have about your business, or about specific services that you offer.

Demonstrate Your Value

It doesn’t matter what field or industry you work in. Any business operating today is going to be competing against more rivals than ever before. The multitude of complex threats and competition that the modern business faces are most effectively fought with a good public image. The welcome email that a customer receives after they first interact with your business is the perfect chance to demonstrate to the customer that your business is of value to them.

The first way of demonstrating your value is in adopting a professional tone. Make sure that the email reads like it is coming from a business who respects their customers, and who deserves their customers’ respect in return. It is perfectly possible to put together a welcome email which also serves as an introduction to your business and its ethos. Businesses who use their welcome emails to reinforce their ethos to customers will appear more authentic and sincere.

Make a Good First Impression

You only get one shot at making a first impression, so it is important that you make it count. This is not an opportunity that you want to squander. Doing so would represent a terrible waste. When you are devising your welcome email, try and put yourself in the shoes of the customer who receives it. Ask yourself what kind of words and gestures would make a good first impression on you and adjust your approach accordingly.

If it helps, then imagine that the email you are composing consists of what you would say to someone you had just met for the first time and who was considering either investing in or patronizing, your business. Think about the kind of information that they would want to know, what reassurances they might want and, of course, what you can say to make them stick with your business in the long term.

The Personal Touch

When a customer first signs up to a mailing list, or to a service that your business offers, then anything you can do to make them feel valued and not like they are just another customer, will help to solidify their loyalty to your business. Compose a welcome email which makes it clear to customers that they matter to you, include a bit of information in your welcome email about what it is that you want to do for your customers, even if it is as simple as providing them with excellent service. This is a perfect example of how a welcome email can work but for more examples of how work emails work, you can head over too Sendinblue.

The humble welcome email is, in fact, a powerful marketing tool. It is an opportunity to talk directly to customers, and if used to its full effect, can be a means of cementing their support for your business.

Uncategorized

4 Tips for Successful Metal Stamping

Metal stamping is an acquired skill to say the least. The experts at Weiss-Aug didn’t learn this process by accident overnight. It took years to hone their skills, and as technology advances, this practice becomes easier to initiate and complete on a larger scale.

Today, we’re going to talk more about metal stamping the old-fashioned way. With these tips, you can begin your journey and start taking the necessary steps to master this craft. When all is said and done, you can use this skill for your current business or possibly think about starting a new business now that you understand the intricacies of this useful practice.

With that in mind, we’ll now take a look at four effective and successful tips to use to become a true professional at metal stamping. Once you’ve mastered these aspects, you should have no trouble becoming better in this field as you continue to improve.

Tip #1: Securing the Tag

In this example, let’s say you are stamping a metal tag. This could be very difficult to accomplish if the tag is slipping and sliding all over the place before you actually have the opportunity to stamp the metal. It’s going to create a major problem for you to stamp the metal in the right place.

So, instead of keeping your metal tag unsecured, it’s best to fasten it to a flat surface first so that it doesn’t move around during the stamping process. You can fasten it a number of different ways, but one simple way is to take a piece of tape and actually tape it to the table.

Or even better, if you have a steel block specifically designed for metal stamping, it’s best to use this as the ideal option of choice. Because when you do, your metal tag is going to stay firmly in place, it will not slide around, and you’ll be able to stamp it with precision so that you have a truly professional stamped tag after you complete this delicate work.

Tip #2: Mark the Tag Prior to Stamping

Even though you may believe you’ll be able to stamp your metal tag in the precise spot without any type of marking, this is actually the foolish way to approach this process. Nobody is perfect 100% of the time, and it’s easy to make a mistake while stamping this tag.

So, we actually suggest you mark the tag first before you even consider performing any type of stamping. With a guide in place in the form of a mark, you’ll know exactly where to place the stamp and you will not potentially slip up and put it in the wrong spot. This mark is going to act as your guide and make it easier than ever to stamp this tag correctly without making any mistakes whatsoever.

Now that you’re ready to mark the tag, please realize that you should avoid using magic markers like Sharpies or other permanent markers for this task. It’s recommended that you do not use these types of markers on metal stamps for various reasons. Instead, to act as a guide during the stamping process, we highly recommend using a lead pencil to make your mark instead of any other options. You never know, you may need to erase part of the mark after stamping is complete and it’s going to be a lot easier to do this with pencil then permanent marker.

Tip #3: How to Hold the Hammer Correctly

Another potential issue when metal stamping for the first time is holding the hammer incorrectly. If you do not hold the hammer the right way, you could accidentally end up stamping the tag imprecisely and making mistakes.

The best way to hold the hammer is to grab it very close to the head and use a close but firm grip. When you strike the actual stamp into the metal tag, it will hit with less impact and more precision. By approaching stamping this way, you will have the best success because you’re holding the hammer in a way that creates the least amount of errors.

Speaking of hammers, the best hammer for the job is an 8 ounce ball pein jeweler’s hammer. This hammer is the ideal weight and perfect size to fulfill all of your metal stamping needs. Anything heavier could actually damage the stamp and the tag, and a lighter hammer might not be heavy enough to get the job done and you’ll have to strike to stamp harder which could create problems over the long run.

Tip #4: The Best Way to Hold the Stamping Tool

Finally, it’s important to hold the stamping tool in place correctly in order to create the stamp with a level of precision. By doing so, you will have the best results possible and you’ll be completely satisfied with your work.

As you take hold of the metal stamping tool, make sure you hold it with a firm grip, but you do not want to hold it too tightly. And you want to hold it with your thumb and fingers and keep it steady in an upright position. We also recommend keeping your fingers resting on the stamping base for greater precision.

During the binging process, you will be able to keep the stamp steady and in place and it will not slip as you use the hammer for binging.

Conclusion

If you are new to metal stamping, please follow these guidelines to achieve the best results possible as you learn this craft. It’s fun, easy enough to do with practice, and a skill you could master if you’re willing to put in the work.

 

 

Local Branding

4 Effective Promotional Products To Help Your Business Gain Attention

All sorts of businesses, from giant global corporations all the way down to small mom-and-pop businesses utilize promotional products in their marketing. Not only is this method of marketing tried and true, it’s also cost-effective and has a noticeable impact on sales and profits. Some businesses lately have opted to pour money into social media market, but that can’t be your only method – consumers need to respond to real-world incentives. With that in mind, here are four of the most effective promotional products your business can use, whether you are big or small, to gain attention.

Custom Screen Printed Shirts

The first on anyone’s list ought to be custom apparel, and in specific custom screen printed shirts. Giving these items out, whether at an event, fundraiser or as part of a prize giveaway is a fantastic marketing move – not only will the recipient be happy to receive a piece of clothing for free, therefore cementing their brand loyalty, but when they wear it they will be free advertising your business, creating further brand recognition. Of course, in order for this to work most effectively, you want good quality shirts with a professional screen print; visit https://www.printscanada.com for examples of how to do custom printing correctly.

Totes And Bags

As you’ll see with each of the items on this list, they’re chosen mainly for their potential visibility; the reason you won’t see a USB on here, for example, is that those tend to stay indoors, and so can’t carry branding around effectively. Totes and bags, on the other hand, do exactly that – they carry around branding. With a surge in the eco-friendly shopping, more people are using canvas totes to grocery shop, and many people get these totes from promotions, which is why giving them away is a great branding opportunity. If you’re running a gym, or other athletics-related business, consider getting a custom printed duffel bag, which is more in line with your brand.

Pens

Yes, these are what many people think of when they think of promotional products, and while not quite as effective as others on this list, pens have one main thing going for them: they get around. Pens often circulate, finding various users in their lifetime, meaning that the logo on them reaches a number of different sets of eyes. They’re also inexpensive, a fact that works both for and against them – they cost less, but they don’t offer the same incentive as either a duffel bag or shirt.

Water Bottles

Finally, we have water bottles, which again have been chosen for their public visibility. A lot of businesses misuse these, however. They don’t have the same universal appeal as a printed article of clothing or a bag, but for fitness-related businesses, or those whose core identity involves health and wellness (a clinic, for example), water bottles make sense. People most often use water bottles in public, whether at the gym or while out cycling, so they see a lot of fresh eyes.

Whatever your business, however large your budget and ambitions, branded giveaway products will help spread your brand to new potential customers while helping strengthen brand loyalty amid existing customers. They say in business you have to give a little to get a little – with these four products you give a little to get a lot!

Local Branding

MBA Application Deadlines Are Fast Approaching

The holiday season allowed many working professionals to take some much-needed time away from the office to focus on their personal lives, create resolutions, and restructure their goals in time for the new year. Part of hitting the ground running in 2018 means getting organized and creating practical plans that will take business people to the levels they’re aspiring to. If career advancement is one of the goals, or finding a better paying position with a greater amount of responsibility, then emerging professionals might consider pursuing MBA degrees to help them qualify for these roles faster. It’s important to bear in mind however that deadlines are fast approaching!

Before applying, prospective candidates should make a list of schools they feel would be a good fit along with deadlines, application requirements, and all the important supporting documentation they must collect. Deadlines for consideration into the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics, for example, start as early as February 1st for the part-time program in downtown Toronto, however admissions are also awarded on a rolling basis for the 2019 deadline. Fortunately, those intending to pursue the full-time MBA program in Waterloo this coming September have until April 6, 2018, to get their applications in; this gives prospective students plenty of time to prepare.

The key to sending off a strong application lies in careful planning. To begin with, all MBA programs demand that applicants receive an accomplished score on the GMAT test which is designed to assess certain reading, writing, verbal and analytical skills; most programs require a score of 600 or higher. Candidates can achieve top scores on the GMAT by taking practice tests, and there are a variety programs and services offering comprehensive GMAT coaching.

As well, it is recommended that those interested in applying set aside time to devise a strong statement of intent; this is what will help them stand out from all the other applicants by allowing them to share their own unique experiences and the goals they have going into the program. A solid statement will be strategic and selective about what it includes, incorporating keywords the admissions council is looking for. Those applying should also consider receiving feedback for their writing from current students or alumni of the program they’re hoping to get accepted into.

Many schools will also ask their applicants to choose an area of specialization right from the get-go; candidates should choose a stream they’re passionate about and speak to the reasons for their selection in their statements. The program above offers ten different options including accounting, marketing, finance, strategic management, operations management, supply chain management, entrepreneurship and more.

It’s never too early to get a leg up on the competition and to bring plans for the future to fruition, especially when there is much preparation to be done, including external testing or requesting letters of reference that can take applicants time to gather. With newly found purpose after ringing in 2018, and MBA admission deadlines coming up soon, there’s never been a better time to start prepping for desired career success.

Local Branding

Emotional Intelligence – Do Your Candidates Have What it Takes?

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is one of those qualities that most employers look for in their potential candidates – and for good reasons too. Not only are people with EQ empathetic and able to work with different personalities, but they will also have a better time accepting feedback and criticism. Employees with EQ also tend to invest more time into creating relationships with their colleagues and clients. Another selling point is that people with EQ tend to become much better leaders, which ultimately can affect the whole team and their performance.

That said, it’s not always easy to differentiate the people with EQ from the ones without it. This article will highlight some of the best ways you can identify EQ in your potential employees.

People With EQ Aren’t Ashamed of Their Failures

The main difference between emotionally intelligent people and those that are not is how they cope with their own failures. Failures happen all the time and if someone’s trying to convince you that they’ve never experienced the concept – they’re probably lying. Emotionally intelligent people are aware that failures play a huge role when it comes to our experience and self-growth, so they won’t have a problem publicly acknowledging their own mistakes. One of the questions that you can ask your potential candidates related to the subject is:

Can you describe a situation where you tried to do something and failed?

Beware of the candidates that blame something or someone else for the failure. Even if it’s true, blame should never be the key takeaway from such a situation, but rather something that they’ve learned from it.

Look for Natural Leaders

Emotionally intelligent people rarely stand by when their co-workers are in trouble – instead, they just go in and help them. High EQ means that they’ll be able to work well with various personalities, while also being a force that attracts people to them. Leadership skills are extremely important for any business out there, as leaders will not only boost morale and create a more positive workplace, but they’ll also have an easier time mentoring new employees. Ask your potential candidate to describe a situation where they’ve been a leader. If the candidate has a history of helping and doing things without being asked to, they are likely good leadership material.

Emotionally Intelligent Candidates are Reflective

There’s a huge difference between people who brainstorm about the impacts of a certain situation and the ones that don’t. People with high EQ tend to replay such situations in their heads and think about what could’ve been done differently in order to change the outcome. Even though there is executive and leadership coaching courses that can teach you how to be a better manager, no one can teach you to be dedicated and a natural problem-solver – which is what you should be looking for in your candidates.

Ask your candidates what it means for them to be reflective and if they can describe a situation where something went wrong yet they’ve later realized what could have been done differently.

Self-Awareness

People with EQ are almost always more self-aware than the rest and if there’s some humility included – you’re looking for a perfect candidate. To assess if your candidates are self-aware, you can ask them to explain just how their co-workers would describe the pros and cons of working with them. A good candidate will already have an idea of just how their co-workers see them since they’ve already thought about it. But even if the question catches your candidate off guard, it doesn’t have to mean that they’re not emotionally intelligent. If they are being honest about their strengths and negative qualities – they might just be the material you’re looking for.

People With EQ Aren’t Afraid to Ask for Help

Situations where people are too proud to ask for someone’s help happen all the time and more often than not it’s the business that suffers in the end. People with EQ tend to know their strengths and limitations much better than others, so they won’t be afraid to ask for help when they’re certain that they can’t pull something out. While no one likes people who can’t do anything on their own, it’s also a bad idea to hire people who are embarrassed to ask for help when they need it. When someone asks for help, they should learn something from it and the next time they might be able to provide that same type of assistance.

Ask your candidates to describe a situation that they couldn’t handle on their own and had to ask for help from someone more knowledgeable.

Bottom Line

By hiring emotionally intelligent people you’ll not only make sure that they’re easier to work with, but they’ll also create a healthier atmosphere and a better workplace overall. Emotionally intelligent people tend to be more attached to the work that they do, which will directly impact your team’s productivity. In time, people with EQ will develop leadership skills and grow to the point where you’ll be able to push your business to the next level.