Look At People As People

Our chamber hosts a monthly business education luncheon. This last month brought the owner of Salem company, Bob Dalton of Sackcloth & Ashes, who talked about using Instagram for business growth. He made some excellent points about the value of Instagram as well as some great tips on using it to its fullest potential.

However, what he closed with was potentially the most impactful thing he said. I asked him to give us some parting words of wisdom. What he shared with us had little to do with social media. He said the greatest piece of advice he could give is to begin viewing people as people as people. We must consider their identity, not their role in the community or the struggles they have or even their best qualities, we must consider them as a fellow person.

It may seem like semantics to say, a person who is homeless verses a homeless person. Or, owner of “business X” verses Lisa. Or drug addict versus person with a drug addiction.  Or, Republican verses Joe. But in reality, when we can think of people for who they are, we place a value on them. A positive value. When people have value in others’ eyes aren’t they more likely to respond well when disagreed with? In my experience, they are.

It may sound like I’m trying to portray a “Pollyanna” sort of reality where everyone thinks positive and the world is better. That’s not realism. But we can be real and kind. Next time you’re tempted to sling mud at a person because they differ from you, think of them as a person like you are a person. No better, no worse. Maybe, just maybe, we can take Bob’s second final word of wisdom and “start to focus on promoting solutions rather than just opposing problems.”

Best Social Media Marketing Tips

Ready to get started with marketing on social media? Here are a few social media marketing tips to kick off your social media campaigns.

  • Social Media Content Planning — Building a social media marketing plan is essential. Consider keyword research and competitive research to help brainstorm content ideas that will interest your target audience. What are other businesses in your industry doing to drive engagement on social media?
  • Great Social Content —Make sure you post regularly and offer truly valuable information that your ideal customers will find helpful and interesting. The content that you share on your social networks can include social media images, videos, info-graphics, how-to guides and more.
  • A Consistent Brand Image— Using social media for marketing enables your business to project your brand image across a variety of different social media platforms. While each platform has its own unique environment and voice, your business’ core identity, whether it’s friendly, fun, or trustworthy, should stay consistent.
  • Social Media for Content Promotion — Social media marketing is a perfect channel for sharing your best site and blog content with readers. Once you build a loyal following on social media, you’ll be able to post all your new content and make sure your readers can find new stuff right away. Plus, great blog content will help you build more followers.
  • Sharing Curated Links — While using social media for marketing is a great way to leverage your own unique, original content to gain followers, fans, and devotees, it’s also an opportunity to link to outside articles as well. If other sources provide great, valuable information you think your target audience will enjoy, don’t be shy about linking to them. Curating and linking to outside sources improves trust and reliability, and you may even get some links in return.
  • Tracking Competitors — It’s always important to keep an eye on competitors—they can provide valuable data for keyword research and other social media marketing insight. If your competitors are using a certain social media marketing channel or technique that seems to be working for them, considering doing the same thing, but do it better!
  • Measuring Success with Analytics — You can’t determine the success of your social media marketing strategies without tracking data. Google Analytics can be used as a great social media marketing tool that will help you measure your most triumphant social media marketing techniques, as well as determine which strategies are better off abandoned. Attach tracking tags to your social media marketing campaigns so that you can properly monitor them. And be sure to use the analytics within each social platform for even more insight into which of your social content is performing best with your audience.
  • Social Media Crisis Management— Things don’t always go swimmingly for brands on social media. It’s best to have a playbook in place so your employees know how to handle a snafu.

Dallas Area Visitor Center

Introducing the 2019/20 Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce Directory and Visitors Guide!

This publication is full of resources for residents, visitors and businesses alike. This directory will be distributed locally, regionally and nationally. Our national and regional focus is on chambers of commerce, visitors centers, hotels, information centers and transit stations and airports.

 

Locally, we will put several copies in our area doctor and dentist offices, restaurants, hotels, retail businesses and local attractions.

We will be delivering throughout the next couple weeks. If you’d like yours right away, please feel free to swing by the office and pick up a stack!

See you soon!

Networking & Education

Networking is one of the most significant skills that you could learn in order to make your business a success story. The majority of business owners believe that they can just start a business, and the clients will come. Any successful business owner will immediately tell you this is not the case.

Building a successful business takes a lot of time and dedication, so it is sensible to have a network of business partners and associates to draw energy from and keep you motivated. By surrounding yourself with people who share a similar passion and determination, you are more likely to move forward and achieve results. Business networking is a really valuable way to expand your knowledge, learn from the success of others, get new clients and tell others about your business.

Industries are constantly changing. Continuing education is required for workers, and owners to stay current with the latest developments, skills, and new technologies that affect their businesses and their clients. Overall, your image will increase, as will your marketability, if you pursue continuing education.

The Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce provides networking and education opportunities:

  • Wake Up Wednesday Morning Networking.
  • Young Professional’s Evening Networking.
  • Willamette Valley Greeters Networking.
  • Monthly Speaker Series Luncheon.
  • Mid-Willamette Valley Leaderships Summit.
  • Chamber 101.
  • Chamber Chatter e-newsletter.

Business Promotion

Why is promotion important for a business? Business promoting is an active process which needs to be very closely scrutinized for obtaining the best results. You can utilize the manpower that you have to the fullest and come up with strategies to promote your business and let it flourish.

Promotional strategies and marketing go hand in hand. Marketing your brand or product will include different aspects of manufacturing, promoting, and selling products to the customers. Promotion is a key element in putting across the benefits of your product or service to the customers. Well-designed marketing and promotional strategies ensure long-term success, bring in more customers and ensure profitability for the business.

Promotion is the voice of your company which sends out your brand’s message loud and clear to the audience. Various media platforms can be used to promote your company and brand. They include television, radio, shopping outlets, billboards, magazines, and social media.

The Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce promotes its members by:

  • Providing complimentary listing in the Dallas Directory.
  • Newsletter and Social Media articles about Chamber Members.
  • Online listing for your business.
  • Business referrals are reserved strictly for Chamber Members.
  • Low cost advertising opportunities.
  • Promotional materials displayed in office.
  • Dallas LIVE! Advertising for Chamber members only.

Dallas Area Visitors Center

Last week, the Dallas City Council approved the city’s budget which included them keeping the entirety of the Transient Lodging Taxes. This means that the City will no longer contract with the Dallas Area Visitors Center for marketing of the Dallas area.

So, what’s next for the Visitors Center? Simple, we are going to continue to do the next right thing! This means we will continue to work collaboratively with the City in marketing efforts and in the promotion of city events. We will continue to be involved in other civic organizations and put time into providing the best information possible to Dallas residents, businesses and visitors alike.

Most importantly, the Visitors Center is going to strengthen our focus on drawing tourism to our great city. Identifying and leveraging Dallas’s assets combined with a strong marketing plan will drive people to see what Dallas has to offer. Tourism has a wide range of economic impacts. Tourists in Dallas will contribute to sales, profits, jobs, tax revenues and overall income in our area. The most direct effects from tourism occur in the primary tourism sectors; lodging, restaurants, transportation, entertainment and retail trade.

Simply put, the Dallas Area Visitors Center is going to continue working for you!

https://www.exploredallasoregon.org/

5 Ways to Empower Your Customers to Be Your Biggest Marketers

  1. Boost Offline Word-Of-Mouth

Customers are never passionate about you, they’re passionate about what your product offers them. That’s why companies need to reach out to people that do magnificent things with their product and help show them off. Don’t use influencers (or influencer marketing) alone to put the spotlight on your product, use existing customers who are already die-hard fans of your product and shine the spotlight on them.

  1. Build Die-Hard Brand Advocates

Social media has made it pretty easy to build brand advocates for any company. With people constantly sharing their experience on social media, it’s up to you to chime in with help and get them excited about your brand.

Companies that reach out to customers with helpful information score high social points and successfully nurture brand advocacy. Real-time help can turn a negative situation into a winning customer experience and help develop a strong connection with customers. It’s the next step in making your customers become active advocates.

  1. Encourage Customers to Give Testimonials

No one enjoys reading web pages that are boring and full of dry statistics. Try using testimonials to revive them! They are a great sales technique if you don’t push it too much. Inevitably, your website contains some sales material without going overboard.

The right testimonial gains trust of customers and creates credibility with prospects. Clearly show your website visitors that other people dealt with the same issues and were able to overcome them by using your product. This way you can show your visitors that your ultimate goal is to help them.

  1. Dedicate a Page on Your Websites to Use Cases

A dedicated use cases page puts your customer on the spot to tell a story from their own perspective from customer acquisition, to purchase, and on to engagement. Just like you do offline, you’ll want to represent your business online in the best possible light. Let your customers do that for you.

A dedicated use cases page is a way of extending the brand you’ve worked so hard to create. Your website use cases page is an extension of that branding project in order to make it a seamless whole and not just an add-on feature.

  1. Ask for a Much-Wanted Review

Focus not only on your own website but widen your scope and concentrate on external online resources. Reading a positive review from an existing customer can only bolster confidence for a right purchase.

There’s no amount of advertising, tweeting, or direct mailing that has quite the same impact on customers the way an objective peer review does. What you say about your brand doesn’t matter. It’s what others say that counts!

It’s important to remember that soliciting reviews from customers should be handled with delicacy. The biggest challenge is actually getting them, and not dealing with negative ones. It’s definitely not abnormal to think it will turn off customers. So, make sure you make the reviewing process as easy as possible, or offer a small yet appropriate incentive (like a 10% discount or similar offer).

In summary, think about how you further want to leverage your customer relationships. Nothing sells your business more than great marketing for your customers themselves. Any kind of review from a brand advocate influences approximately 90% of a prospect’s buying decision. So, make sure it’s a positive one!

Tribes by Seth Godin

In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.

Since it was first published almost a decade ago, Seth Godin’s visionary book has helped tens of thousands of leaders turn a scattering of followers into a loyal tribe. If you need to rally fellow employees, customers, investors, believers, hobbyists, or readers around an idea, this book will demystify the process.

It is human nature to seek out tribes, be they religious, ethnic, economic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads).  Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. Social media gives anyone who wants to make a difference the tools to do so.

With his signature wit and storytelling flair, Godin presents the three steps to building a tribe: the desire to change things, the ability to connect a tribe, and the willingness to lead.

If you think leadership is for other people, think again—leaders come in surprising packages. Consider Joel Spolsky and his international tribe of scary-smart software engineers. Or Gary Vaynerhuck, a wine expert with a devoted following of enthusiasts. Chris Sharma led a tribe of rock climbers up impossible cliff faces, while Mich Mathews, a VP at Microsoft, ran her internal tribe of marketers from her cube in Seattle.

Tribes will make you think—really think—about the opportunities to mobilize an audience that are already at your fingertips. It’s not easy, but it’s easier than you think.

Creating a Memorable Website

It’s the goal of pretty much anyone with a website: to have users that come back again and again. They share your content; they engage with you regularly; they tell others about the website. They remember the website. It doesn’t happen by accident. A memorable design is a tool that will help create this user connection. Here, we’re going to look at seven ways to create a lasting impression with seven stunning examples of how to do it. Learn how to create a design that sticks in the long term, and doesn’t fly under the radar!

  1. Make an Impression

Users will remember the first thing they do on your website, as well as the last thing they do. It’s important that the memory is a good one. Strong visuals on the landing page and a seamless finish to an action are key.

  1. Tell a Story

A website is your gateway to the world. It’s an opportunity to tell people who you are and why you matter. Whether the story is that of a brand or a travel blog, effective storytelling is the thread that keeps users hanging on. Telling that story is a two-part process: Strong text to tell, and interesting visuals to show. You’ll need both elements to put together a complete package.

  1. Use Color Effectively

Too much color and a design can cause users to abandon the site, too little color and the design can be forgotten. Right in the middle is an interesting mix of color that will stick with users. The trick to color is to create a palette that works for your content but also contrasts with a lot of the other things users come in contact with regularly.

  1. Do Something Fun

What comes to mind when you think “fun website?” A game? A movie preview? What about design techniques such as color, imagery and typography? Any of these elements can make your design feel like fun. A smiling faces in images or video, bright, saturated colors, something to do (a game), or light, playful language.

  1. Engage the Senses

It’s all about the writing and imagery when it comes to connecting with a users’ senses.

One option is to interact with users and provide feedback. For example, a user inputs something into the website and something else is returned. Another option is to entice them into thinking about your design.

  1. Mix It Up

Some websites are designed to have new content all the time, because they do connect with a repeat user base. Changing the content or tweaking the design can provide new an interesting experiences for users that encourage them to think about your site more often and return to it. The key is that the new experiences should still feel like your content and design.

  1. Remember the Finish

You’ve got a plan to delight designers with your homepage, the visual are stunning, there’s a great call to action, but don’t forget the finish. Just as important as the first impression is the final impression. Knowing how to design this can take a little more work because users might leave your website from a different location than where they enter (at least you hope they do).

Dig through your analytics and find the page where most users are leaving and make that experience a good one. Create an offer to give users something – a good discount or printable/digital element – or lasting memory of the best part of your website.

Memorable website design is one of those tricky areas because it almost happens to users subconsciously. Do you ever stop and say “I’m going to remember that website!”? It’s doubtful. But you do tend to remember some of the elements of what makes a website good. The key is that users leave happy.

Member Marketing

You might have seen information about chambers of commerce and wondered if it was worth it for your business to become a member. You don’t want to spend money on a membership that won’t help your business. One benefit that chambers of commerce provide their members is with free marketing opportunities.

Chambers are always looking for member-related news to share with the community through their own advertising networks and social media. Chambers rarely spend money advertising the chamber as an organization; they spend on advertising opportunities that members can utilize.

Many chambers of commerce run programs that welcome new businesses into the community. Plus, members receive an online listing with a link to help people find your business through Google searches. If you want to take full advantage of these perks, consider offering coupons or some kind of other promotional giveaway like water bottles featuring your logo. This could be helpful for people who are moving into the area or other people trying to find something cool to check out in the community. That sweet coupon or promotional gift gives you an edge over the competition!

Chambers of commerce have access to mailing lists that you wouldn’t be able to access otherwise. These are especially helpful if your business is primarily Business to Business, because you’ll be able to directly contact or visit the person in charge instead of throwing darts in the dark hoping to reach someone with buying power. Also keep in mind that chambers are more likely to refer members’ products and services over non-members’, which means you’ll also gain referral opportunities. It always helps to know someone, and the local chamber of commerce will help you build a network of people who have your back.

Beyond the paid advertising options, chambers also have ways to provide additional business promotion for free through monthly and annual awards, social media, regular enewsletters, and even printed materials. Amazingly, even some member businesses do not take advantage of the free marketing opportunities provided through chambers of commerce. Make sure you get the most out of your Chamber of Commerce membership.