The Marketing Advantage

Connecting You with Your Customers

Canada’s New Anti-Spam Law May Impact Your Email Marketing

Posted by advantagemarketing on July 7, 2014

Guest post by Laura CarterCanadian Anti-Spam Law

Canada is now taking action to control email spam. Effective July 1st, the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) requires businesses to obtain consent for sending “commercial electronic messages” to clients or prospective customers.

If you operate in Canada or are in contact with Canadian prospects or customers, you need to know the new rules.

Are you affected?

According to CASL, “if you are sending email, SMS, social media or instant messaging with commercial or promotional information about your business to existing customers or prospects you must comply with the new law.”

Review Your Email Lists

Take some time to go through your email lists and make sure the individuals you’re contacting are interested in what you have to offer. You must now have implied or expressed consent from anyone that you are contacting in Canada, and must offer a way for them to unsubscribe from your emails.

There is a 36-month transition period that allows for time to adjust and gain consent from those currently on your email marketing lists.

Provide Good Content

Think about who you are sending to, the messages you are sending and what you include in them. Provide recipients with quality content, and avoid being too “salesy.” Tell the recipient exactly why you are contacting them and why they should be interested in what you have to say. These are things you should be doing anyway, to comply with the CAN-SPAM laws here in the U.S.

Avoid Penalties

In Canada, spam can now be reported and legitimate concerns could be turned over to CASL. There aren’t any automatic penalties but there is a range of consequences varying from warnings to penalties (up to $1 million for individuals and $10 million for businesses).

Businesses that are already maintaining their email lists and providing quality information to customers and prospects, will require minimal effort to follow the new law. Embrace this as an opportunity to clean up your email lists and streamline your email marketing campaigns, one of your most valuable marketing resources.

This post was written using information from the Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation website.  For more information you can visit http://fightspam.gc.ca.

Posted in Business, content marketing, Email marketing, Internet business, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, small business | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Test Your Social Media IQ!

Posted by advantagemarketing on June 27, 2014

10025429_s

Now that it’s summertime, we thought it might be fun to have a quick quiz about social media. Let us know in the comments section how you score!

1. Who is the founder of Facebook?

a. Al Gore      b. Mark Zuckerburg      c. Bill Gates       d. Steve Jobs

 

2. Which social media uses 140 characters?

a. Facebook      b. Google+      c. Twitter      d. InstaSelfie

 

3. What should you NOT do on a social media site?

a. Comment on and “LIKE” others’ posts

b. Post inappropriate photos of yourself or others.

c. Provide interesting content such as quizzes, news or links

 

4. Which social media channel reaches more U.S. adults ages 18-34 than any cable network?

a. Houzz      b. Instagram      c. Twitter      d. YouTube

 

5. This is the world’s largest professional social network and is a fantastic place to find a job or to recruit.

a. LinkedIn      b. Facebook       c. Twitter       d. Pinterest

 

6. Which of these statements is NOT TRUE?

a.  YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.

b.  Houzz provides architects & contractors with the opportunity to showcase their work to home owners and design enthusiasts.

c.  A new member joins LinkedIn every second.

d.  Pinterest is predominately used by men looking for recipes and wedding dresses.

 

7. This social media network has features such as Pages, Profiles, Circles, Community, and Hangouts, that let you interact with customers and friends. It can also raise your Website in Google’s rankings.

a. Pinterest      b. Google+       c. LinkedIn      d. Facebook

 

Answers:  1. b    2. c    3. b    4. d    5. a    6. d

If You Got:     You’re:

6-7 correct     A Social Media Whiz

4-5 correct     Smarter than a 5th Grader

2-3 correct     A Social Media Beginner

0-1 correct     At the Starting Gate

 

Posted in Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Social media marketing, Traditional marketing, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Is Starting a Consulting Practice Right for You?

Posted by advantagemarketing on June 9, 2014

Starting a consulting practice

Are you thinking about starting a consulting practice? Get some practical tips for getting started by clicking on the above photo.

Are you considering starting your own consulting practice? If you are, then read my latest Career Corner article for Chemical Engineering Progress magazine.

Consulting can be a professionally and personally rewarding career choice, especially if you enjoy helping others. While “Is Starting a Consulting Practice Right for You? ” was written for chemical engineers who may be considering opening a technical or engineering consulting practice, the article has lots of good advice for anyone who is considering running their own consulting practice.

This article can help you get hit the ground running when you start your consulting firm. You’ll find out why it’s important to:

  • Get your license or certification
  • Plan your move before you jump from your current company
  • Establish a professional presence
  • And more!

Have you recently started a consulting practice? Tell us about your successes and challenges in the Comments section!

Posted in Business, career, Chemical Engineer, Consulting, Entrepreneur, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Twitter’s New Profile Layout

Posted by advantagemarketing on May 7, 2014

twitter-logoBy guest blogger Laura Carter

Twitter profiles now have a new look, aimed at being more eye catching and customizable. This new layout is now available to everyone and according to Twitter, focuses on an “even easier” and “more fun” way to express yourself or your business. There are a lot of cosmetic changes, but the way that you use Twitter is basically the same. The new web profile lets you use a larger profile photo, prominently display your best tweets and more. Here’s what to expect from this new web profile.

Header and Profile Photos

One of the most striking new differences is the large horizontal header image, very similar to the design on Facebook. Twitter will automatically resize your image to fit this space perfectly, but for the sharpest quality you’ll want to choose a 1,500 x 500 photo for your header. Profile photos are now bigger too, so chose a picture that is at least 400 x 400 pixels for the sharpest looking picture.

Streamlining Tweets

The new profile will highlight specific tweets and allow people searching through profile pages to find the specific kinds of tweets that they want more easily. Here are details on the main features:

Best Tweets

With the new design some tweets will have larger font than others. These are your best tweets, the ones that have the highest level of engagement. This helps make your most popular content easier for others to find. It also makes it easy for you to see exactly which content your followers are interested in.

Pinned Tweets

Have a tweet that you don’t want anyone to miss? Now you can “pin” that tweet to the top of your profile. This pinned tweet will stay at the top of your profile until you unpin it or change it. This could be useful for small businesses that are using Twitter and want to highlight a press release or promotion.

Filtered Tweets

There are several options for filtering tweets that are now easier to use since they are all together in one place, right under your header photo. They allow you to filter the tweets on your own page as well as other profiles that you view. You can choose between three options for filtering: tweets, tweets with photo/video or tweets and replies.

What do you think of the new Twitter layout and features? Let us know in the comments.

Posted in Business, Marketing, Social media marketing, Twitter | Leave a Comment »

Crush Your Competition for a Good Cause

Posted by advantagemarketing on May 1, 2014

Crush Your Competition Workshop

You don’t need a fist this big to crush your competition. Just join us on May 20, at the Westfield, NJ, Crush Your Competition Workshop and support a good cause too!

New CRUSH Session: May 20th, 8:00-9:30AM!

Small business owners loved the Crush Your Competition Workshops we ran in back in March. Here’s what attendees said:

“I really found the advice from speakers with success stories
and/or failures to be most valuable.”

“I appreciated the down-to-earth discussion.”

“The topics and panelists were very much on-target with key areas
we face which drive us nuts.”

Some folks asked if we could run a Workshop session in Central New Jersey, so we’ve scheduled our May 20th CRUSH session for WESTFIELD, NJ. Register now!

We’ve asked Michael Napolitano, CPA and partner at CitrinCooperman, to join our panel of experts so that you can get accounting insights in addition to marketing, financial, legal and banking tips and tactics.

It gets even better. Now you can participate in a CRUSH workshop and contribute to a GOOD CAUSE at the same time! Profits from the May workshop will go to Imagine, a Westfield-based grief support center. If you haven’t heard about the amazing work Imagine does, check out their website.

Register now

What will you learn in the May 20th CRUSH Workshop? Here’s a sample of the valuable tips and tactics small business owners take away. How to…

  • Put more clients in your sales pipeline with the latest proven marketing strategies and tactics
  • Use business planning and bank financing to take your company to the next level
  • Better predict and protect your business from legal risks
  • Stop looking in your rear-view mirror and start planning for tomorrow
  • Take practical steps to grow and protect your business and personal finances

You will also have the opportunity to network with our EXPERT PANELISTS:

Loraine Kasprzak, CMC, MBA
Managing Director, Advantage Marketing Consulting Services LLC

Felicia Garland, CFP
Financial Planner, Greenberg & Rapp Financial Group

Jason Meisner, Esq.
Partner, Couglin Duffy, LLP

Lisa Wagner
Vice President Business Development, ConnectOne Bank

Michael Napolitano, CPA
Partner, CitrinCooperman

 Seating is limited so REGISTER NOW!

photo: The Joe Louis Fist Sculpture, Detroit, MI

https://flic.kr/p/8j8Mhs

Posted in B2B marketing, brand building, Business, Entrepreneur, lead generation, Marketing, Networking, small business, Small business workshop, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Build Your Brand for Positive Career Impact

Posted by advantagemarketing on April 28, 2014

personal brand

Can Jimmy Buffet’s brand help you build yours? Read this article and find out!

In my latest Career Corner article for Chemical Engineering Progress magazine, I talk about the role branding plays in career success.

Consider these common situations: You are up for a promotion only to learn the position went to a more highly visible coworker. Or perhaps you run an engineering consulting practice, and you lose a big bid to a better-known firm.

Whether you are an employee or run your own company, having an authentic personal brand and communicating it effectively can help your stand out in the minds of others. Your personal brand is a snapshot of what others know about you and what they can expect from  you.

Read Build Your Personal Brand for Career Impact and find out why looking at Jimmy Buffet’s brand can help YOU become more successful.

How you have used your own brand to advance your career? Share with us in Comments.

Posted in brand building, Business, career, Chemical Engineer, Consulting, Marketing, personal branding, small business | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Leveraging Social Media – an AEC Professionals Circle Program

Posted by advantagemarketing on April 2, 2014

AEC New JerseyAEC Professionals Circle New Jersey is offering a program on social media and its potential to bring your company business. The event is called “Leveraging Social Media and Technology to Build Your Business,” and I’m so pleased that Advantage Marketing is teaming with AEC NJ as an event sponsor!

AEC Professionals Circle is a New Jersey-based organization that provides educational and networking opportunities to Architects, Engineers and Contractors.

The event will be held on Tuesday, April 8, and offers two 3-hour working sessions plus a lunch and evening networking. The folks at New Millennium Millwork are hosting the event at their Riverdale, New Jersey, facility. Frank Morales, Sandler Coach & Mentor, is the presenter and he’ll be doing a deep dive into LinkedIn and all the strategies and techniques that you can use to grow your personal network and prospect for business.

At Advantage Marketing, we’re known for helping our professional services clients craft content that positions them as the experts people want to hire, so I’m doubly excited to be premiering our Sticky Content Plan at this event. The Sticky Content Plan helps our clients build the information resources that bring customers to their doors. (You’ll be finding out more about the Sticky Content Plan in upcoming posts.)

We’ll also be running a fun social media quiz and offering prizes. We’ll be selling our guide, “Turn Your Practice into a Client Magnet” – which will soon be available online.

If you’re an architect, engineer, or contractor here in New Jersey, and you haven’t yet been to an AEC Professionals Circle event, this is the one to attend! AEC’s founder Shallon Gammon of Guiding Graphics, shared these top 10 reasons why this is a not-to-be-missed event:

10. Earn one CEU Credit while networking with decision-makers.

9. Learn HOW to build your network—online and in person.

8. Learn how to post your 30 second Elevator Pitch ONLINE.

7. Demystify Social Media channels and decide which one(s) will bring in new business.

6. Learn how you can have all of your documents, quotes, estimates, specifications, client information, and more for all of your projects with you, at all times.

5. Leverage your LinkedIn profile to promote your personal “brand” and proactively prospect.

4. Systematize attending networking events and consistently set and achieve realistic goals.

3. Find the right vendors to outsource services you’re not an expert on.

2. Acquire new customers through online recommendations, postings and word-of-mouth.

1. Learn how you can empower your friends, clients, prospects, and business associates to consistently give you referrals.

Here are the links to register:

RSVP for a Session: http://conta.cc/1fXBLLj

RSVP for the Social Event only: http://conta.cc/1cQF08r

Hope I see you there!

 

 

Posted in Business, content marketing, lead generation, LinkedIn, Marketing, Networking, personal branding, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Social media marketing, Thought leadership, Word of mouth marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How Can Your Small Business Benefit From Pinterest?

Posted by advantagemarketing on March 18, 2014

PinterestBy guest blogger Laura Carter

So what exactly is Pinterest, how does it work, and why is it important to your small business? According to the insight firm Semiocast, Pinterest now has over 70 million registered users, 70% of which are active users in the U.S.  These numbers have helped Pinterest join the likes of Twitter, Google, and Facebook in becoming a major player in the social media market.

The content on Pinterest has grown tremendously over the past year and is no longer just recipes and do-it-yourself projects. Large and small businesses alike are realizing that it is a valuable tool for promoting business and driving sales.  In fact, studies have shown that Pinterest is responsible for over 41% of e-commerce traffic from social networking sites.

How does Pinterest work?

Pinterest differs from other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, in that it is primarily an image-based social media platform. It is a collection of your favorite images, quotes, products, recipes, and more that you “pin” to a virtual pin board and can reference at any time. When you use Pinterest for your small business,  you can pin your awards, project photos, books, sales notices,  or products for everyone to see.

Here are some tips to get you started:

Keep Boards Neat and Organized

It is crucial to pin dynamic, visually appealing photos that are high quality, colorful and relevant to your business. These images also need to be organized into specific boards. For example, if you are an architect,, you should have one board for homes you’ve designed, one for commercial buildings, and so on. Be sure to add links in the descriptions of pins and use hashtags to increase visibility. Choose eye-catching images for board covers that are representative of the pins on that particular board. Take the time to build up your page and choose pictures that inspire you and contribute to the overall authenticity of your page.

Make Your Website Pin Friendly

If your business already sees significant traffic, increase your Pinterest audience by making it pin friendly. Add “Pin It” buttons to all of your content. Doing this makes it easier for visitors to pin your pages and share them with their friends.

If you want to increase your website traffic, Pinterest can be a powerful way to direct new visitors to your site.  Have Pinterest-friendly, hyperlinked content on your boards to lead viewers from Pinterest back to your website.

Engagement Is Key  

As with all social media, engagement is important. Take the time to curate and pin images that are relevant. Follow “Pinterest etiquette” and don’t pin too much all at once since this will clog your followers’ feed and look insincere. Instead, try pinning images twice a day. Morning (10-11a.m.) and late evening (9p.m.-midnight) seem to be the best times for the majority of brands to pin.

Get active in the community and like, comment, and re-pin others’ content. Also answer questions and comments that others leave on your boards.  This will create a sense of genuine networking and will help build relationships with current and prospective customers.

With its own spin on social networking, and the advances and changes made to accommodate business accounts in 2013, Pinterest is proving successful for many small businesses.

Let us know how Pinterest is working for you by posting a comment in the Comments section.

Posted in Business, lead generation, Marketing, Marketing plans, Marketing Strategy, Pinterest, small business, Social media marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lead Generation and Trade Show Marketing for an IT Client

Posted by advantagemarketing on March 11, 2014

lead generation

Aujas, our California, New Jersey and India-based client, needed a lead generation and brand building strategy for the IBM Pulse conference and exhibit at the end of February. Teaming with their practice heads around the globe, Advantage Marketing brainstormed and developed their messaging, and then created display signage and service briefs to support their brand and promote their services.

We also ran Twitter and LinkedIn campaigns to promote their show presence. Aujas garnered well over 50 leads and lots of positive attention for their brand.

Thanks to Guiding Graphics for the design work and Graphic Marketing Group for printing – most of which was completed during one blizzard or another this February!

Need help with lead generation and brand strategies for trade shows or other marketing campaigns? Contact us for a complimentary initial consultation.

Posted in B2B marketing, brand building, Business, Consulting, lead generation, LinkedIn, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Professional service firm marketing, trade shows, Traditional marketing, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Crush the Competition in 2014

Posted by advantagemarketing on February 6, 2014

Small Business Workshop

Join us in March for these workshops, which will help you get your business in order and crush the competition in 2014!

Join me for an expert panel discussion and workshop to learn what you can do to better position yourself for GROWTH!

Our panel of experts will share valuable tips and tactics to help you shape up and grow your business in 2014.

You will learn how to:

  • Use business planning and bank financing to take your company to the next level;
  • Put more clients in your sales pipeline with the latest proven marketing strategies and tactics;
  • Better predict and protect your business from legal risks;
  • Take practical steps to grow and protect your business and personal finances

You’ll come away with priorities and action steps so that you start growing right now!

 Best of all – the workshop is FREE!

You will also have the opportunity to network with our experts and other business owners over complimentary refreshments. Seating is limited, so register now.

Join Us at One of  Our Three No-Cost Workshops:

March 6, 2014
6:00PM – 7:30PM
Location: ConnectOne BankRegister now
142 John Street
Hackensack, New Jersey

March 7, 2014
8:30AM – 10:00AM
Location: The Grain House
Mt. Kemble Avenue/Rte 202
Basking Ridge,  New Jersey

March 10, 2014
8:30AM – 10:00AM
Location: Commerce & Industry Assoc of NJ
61 South Paramus Road
Paramus, New Jersey

Our Expert Panel

Felicia Garland, CFP®
Financial Planner
Greenberg & Rapp Financial Group, Inc.

Jason Meisner, Esq.
Partner
Coughlin Duffy, LLP

Loraine Kasprzak, MBA, CMC
Managing Director
Advantage Marketing Consulting Services, LLC

Lisa Wagner
Vice President, Business Development
ConnectOne Bank

We have limited space, so please register in advance of your chosen session.
Register Now!

Posted in Business, Entrepreneur, Management, Marketing, Networking, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 220 other followers

%d bloggers like this: