So the giant, GoDaddy has been hacked and their customers are left in the dark? The world’s largest provider of domains and one of the largest web hosts is not above being taken down. Anyone hosting with GoDaddy has their website down. In addition anyone with their domain name registered with GoDaddy will also have their website down.
We checked and various of our clients websites are down. These clients are either hosting with or have their domains registered with GoDaddy. We did, however, notice that not all domains registered with GoDaddy appear to be down as we have several clients whose sites are still up who are registered with GoDaddy.
We have no idea when it could come back up. This is unprecedented. Thousands (or is it millions?) of people trusting their sites were safe with the hosting giant, GoDaddy now have no service. Big companies are an easier target for cyber-crimes like this one and this event proves it.
Don’t panic. GoDaddy will most likely get everything back up and running, but again, there is really no telling how long that will take and how vulnerable they might be for future attacks. It may be a good idea to connect with your web provider to ensure everything comes back up smoothly.
Word is other hosting companies are taking advantage of this down time and offering discounts on hosting and other services. HostGator is targeting GoDaddy directly with coupon codes such as “godaddyisdown”. See their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/HostGator.
GoDaddy says they are working “feverishly” to get it back up.
How many times have you missed an opportunity for a sale, simply because you did not follow up?
We all do it. We take the time to attend events, we network, collect business cards, shake hands, kiss babies (well, some of us), spend money on sponsorships; but then fail to follow up on the leads we received or and stay in touch regularly with the contacts we made at these events.
Even worse, we fall into the trap of quoting a project, then not calling the potential client if the client does not call us… or, we get discouraged if the client does not show tremendous interest right away.
Just because a client does not go for your proposal now, does not mean they will not in the future. They may be pressed for time; under stress; the budget might not be there; they may just not be ready.
People change their mind. Circumstances change. Needs arise. Other suppliers fail. Budget becomes available.
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF FOLLOWING UP.
Be persistent until you the prospect says flat out NO, or you get the client on board.
SET YOUR GOALS
Set aside time for following up every week. Set up an organizational system in your office where you and your staff can see it and help you. Prioritize followups on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and bi-annual basis. Schedule time to follow up via email, a phone call or (if necessary) a visit to their office.
You should never give up on a lead or quote without consistently pursuing at intervals over the year.
I am surprised at the number of projects quoted, that we assumed were rejected, which later turned into sales because we followed up with the client months later.
DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY.
Don’t Forget…even if you don’t get that particular project, your persistence will make you very hard to forget.
Creative Impact Solutions has been awarded the 2011 Service Industry Champion Award for service businesses with 1-15 employees.
We were pleasantly surprised to be awarded with this honor in the service industry this year at a wonderful event.
Creative Impact Solutions thanks our loyal clients and everyone at the business resource council of the Cocoa Beach Chamber of Commerce for making us NUMBER ONE!
The following is the information contained in our packet which we submitted upon request after being nominated:
Creative Impact Solutions is a marketing agency owned by two partners who merged their respective companies (Creative Techniques and SWT Web Design) almost two years ago to form this agency. They provide services from branding and graphics to printing and promotional items to web design and internet marketing. Their mission is to provide high quality, out-of-the-box marketing services done right.
Creative is dedicated to providing a level of service for their clients that goes above and beyond expectations by only providing the highest of quality in both products and services.
Business Strategies and Practices:
After looking back over almost the last two years of operation, we have come to the conclusion that our company operates most efficiently and is able to provide the best service by providing monthly marketing campaign service to our clients that encompasses their entire marketing plan.
Though we still service smaller projects, we have begun to offer more combined marketing strategies using our various resources, products and services to build effective campaigns that are results oriented and goal targeted.
Our vision is to provide these services to large and emerging companies, effectively managing their marketing for them and becoming their marketing department or an extension of their existing marketing department.
In the past year we have launched organized graphic design, logo design and web design packages as inclusive products which has streamlined the quoting process and increase production speed and we are currently in testing with various marketing programs such as our Credibility Campaign program which entails building the credibility and the expert status of a client by providing a base website, article, case study and other content development, search engine optimization, list building, email marketing, lead generation tactics, client appreciation, surveys, and other strategies, products and services.
We are also developing our ongoing marketing campaign programs that are based on the client’s yearly budget. A list of products and services is customized for the client and then as their monthly payments come in, those planned services, products or programs go into effect.
We have hired a Marketing Director this year in addition to a part-time project manager. We have also added half a dozen new freelancers to our list.
We offered free printing for business cards to new businesses this year.
We always kept a representative from Creative active in the chambers of commerce.
Services were provided at cost for the Air America Foundation and Historical North Brevard websites as well as being heavily discounted for the Bridges website which is still under development.
We also offered 50% discount to the HELP and North Brevard Coalition of Human Services non-profit organizations for their services which resulted in free marketing materials to assist in achieving their mission.
We provided website development for WRDJ, a Christian radio station, at no charge.
We hosted various speaking engagements teaching attendees about marketing fundamentals, online marketing , search engine optimization and social media marketing.
“Joshua created a terrific website for us! He listened well and the site reflects the personality, integrity and environment I wanted to express. I was actually stunned to see how beautiful it actually turned out! I had many complex requests and he always handled them with calm assurance and expert ability. I love his can-do attitude” – Kasey Claytor
“Anna Trenary and her company, Creative Techniques [Now Creative Impact Solutions], has been a great source for us. When we needed things in a hurry, she made it happen. Anna and her staff has always been a pleasure to work with, and Anna always contributes a gift to events that our organization, Nation Association of Women in Construction have. We depend on Anna and her staff and are very pleased with all their work” -Kathy Ogle, CIT (PEAK Contracting, Inc)
“Joshua is doing an outstanding job for my company. Though I have been a bit slow in getting Joshua content for my web pages, he has been very patient and supportive”. –Ralph Golson
“It is with great pleasure that I recommend Creative Impact Solutions. We have worked with Anna and Creative Impact Solutions for over 5 years now. They were instrumental in helping us create a new identity for our 25 year old business. They were able to create an entire image for us that flows from our business card and stationary to our print ads and marketing messages. I have worked with several other “creative firms” in other capacities during the past few years, but no one comes close to capturing the essence of who we are like Anna and her team. I highly recommend Creative Impact Solutions for all of your marketing needs.”-Holly Manus (Robert R. Burks, D.D.S., P.A).
“Joshua Adams and the Creative Impact team designed my business website…” “…The process was extremely pleasant from beginning to end. They not only were open to my suggestions but listened and kept me involved throughout the process. In this way, they created a website that represented me and my company, not just a generic site. I highly recommend them for any business project” – Jenee Wagner
What is it that you are offering to your clients that is of value? What are they getting in return for giving you not only their hard-earned money, but their time as well? Just what is this value they can get with you, but not your competitor?
Each business owner must stop and consider what exactly is that and why is it well worth the price you are asking your customer or client to pay in both time and money?
Consider the problem you may be solving. Consider what your product or service will be adding to your customer’s life. How can you most clearly and efficiently communicate this?
No take that thought and think about how you can incorporate that into your marketing. Now that you have a clear value proposition, add it to your marketing materials; your business cards, brochures, catalogs, website, social media pages, etc.
Clearly communicating the value of your product or service is really a critical step to a successful marketing campaign.
Our value proposition here at Creative could easily be communicated as such: “Our knowledgeable team provides creative and marketing services to our clients that generate results by providing them not only with a powerful image, but with exposure for that image using proven methods and techniques.”
Google Calendar is a great way to keep your schedule organized. It’s highly accessible, capable, and customizable. This results in a very powerful calendar that has helped this writer tremendously. And best of all, it’s free.
Not only does Google host a very intuitive calendar interface online, but can be configured to sync with desktop calendar programs like iCal or Outlook as well as apps on mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad, Android devices and Blackberries. Events are brought to attention via reminders through the above programs and/or emails. Google will even send reminders as text messages if one can’t run the calendar on a smart phone.
Because Google allows for multiple calendars within the same account, it can be used for many different things. One could have a professional calendar, a personal calendar and another for recurring tasks, all within the same account. There are different colors assigned to events in each calendar to help differentiate things. Recurring events can be automatically repeated, just as easily as it is to create a single event.
A professional calendar can work wonders on your productivity; it can be shared with colleagues who are using Google Calendar so they can see when when you are free or that you are busy, all from inside their calendar. Digital invitations can be sent and replied to with a few clicks. Deadlines can also be tracked using Google Calendar, using the system to help keep you on track with daily agendas automatically created from what’s in the calendar and sent to your inbox.
One could keep birthdays and anniversaries in a personal calendar, setting it up to send email reminders a few days before. Or use it one for dates with your honey, the kids practices, tasks around the house, changing the cars oil, ect…
There’s no charge for a personal account. Even with everything mentioned above, Google doesn’t charge. There is a commercial package available, that includes many different web based tools that aren’t necessary for the everyday user.
Head to Google to set one up using a Google account, or to sign up for a new one.
Ever lost your iPhone and wish you had a tracking device to find it? Well here’s the next best thing!
The ‘Find My iPhone’ should be the very next thing done after unpacking a new iOS device. It’s service costs nothing more then a few minutes of time, and can prove to be invaluable. With it’s native interface, locator abilities, and data protection tool it should be top of the list.
Apple knew what they were doing when they built the ‘Find My iPhone’ app and service. They gave a free tool to iOS users that can be run from an iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or at iCloud.com/find. It is capable of not only finding a lost device, and displaying it’s location with Google Maps, but one could use the app to play a ear-ringing sound through the misplaced device’s speakers while displaying a custom message, remotely locking the devise with a unique passcode. Or even wiping the device, permanently deleting all data.
In every industry, marketing is everywhere. To be memorable and stand out from the crowd, your company has to be unique. Constant visibility is the key to maintaining a strong marketing presence in your specific industry. The more your company logo is seen on a daily basis by consumers in your industry, the better your chances are of winning their interest and ultimately their business.
GRAB SOME ATTENTION when you are out there!
Marketing can be fun and there are a number of ways to affordably enhance your marketing.
Offer something of value beyond your sales message, such as information or humor, in your marketing. When you are thinking of increasing your brand visibility, try being creative.
Go for more fun and useful marketing solutions such as promotional items (fun shaped pens, stress balls, scented pencils, colorful water bottles).
Try launching a fun and entertaining sweepstakes.
Setup an engaging website or Facebook page that commands attention and incites action.
Don’t just hand out a business card. Hand out one with some personality! Die-cut your cards into a cool shape, or add a memorable quote on the back.
Send thank you cards with your branding that your clients or customers will appreciate and identify with you. Sometimes they even save these and tack them up on their bulletin board!
It’s the small extra touches that will make you memorable!
What small touches have you implemented to
set you apart from the crowd?
You invest an incredible amount of time and energy into your business! If you’re not having fun, it’s definitely work.
Check out this year’s April 1st product offering from Google!
Every year Google delivers some hilarious prank… this year it hit our Gmail pages when we logged out. We were presented with a powerful new “Development” that allowed users to use their computer camera to make motions to generate actions in Gmail!
A fresh image means your company appears active and engaged. You never want your target clients or even your current clients to think you are not actively engaged in pursuing your service or product. You want your target market to see you as a fresh and motivated company, you want them to see you as active and engaged… up-to-date and aware of trends and the market in general. Appearing as a professional or expert in the field is only good if your knowledge is perceived as current.
Here are some quick tips for keeping
your company’s image fresh:
Update your website content at least on a weekly basis.
Post company news.
Add products or update current products.
Write articles and post them on your website or other sites.
Keep your social media updated.
Post company news.
Answer all questions and reply to comments.
Post company specials with expiration dates regularly.
Post pictures or other media regularly (products, portfolio, events).
Keep printed materials up to date.
Avoid using labels to cover up outdated contact information.
Be sure to replace materials if they are past the special offer expiration date.
Make changes to your materials when you reprint. Add products, specials, etc.
Attend networking events.
Make appearances at local events.
Donate door prizes to get your company mentioned. Change up the prizes.
Distribute printed materials that change at least once per month.
Stay in touch.
Email current specials to your clients at least monthly.
Send thank you cards to your clients.
Call your best clients and ask for feedback.
Of course Creative Impact can help in many ways.
Below are just a few…
Creative Impact can provide you with a content management system or your very own blog to easily make updates to your website, or we can do it for you.
We can assist in management of your social media or assist in creating a strategy to do it yourself.
Talk to Creative about planning ahead for your printing needs… if you plan ahead, we can print and ship your materials when the time comes to update.
Design changes to printed materials, websites, social media, email templates, and other items are easily done and Creative Impact would be happy to help.
Door prizes and other items to give away at events can range from gift cards to mugs to gift sets. Creative can personalize a great promotional item for you.
We can even help setup branded email templates, print personalized thank you cards or setup online feedback surveys.
If you are looking for a strategy to help keep your company fresh…
ask us today for a free consultation!
Does your Facebook Fan Page impress? Did you know you can customize how it looks to make it act as a “mini landing page website”? Facebook allows you to create an FBML tab, customize it graphically, and then set it up as the first page a visitor will see. With this capability, we can design and create to brand our page to our heart’s content.
With the new update to Facebook and changes to Fan Pages, it will be even more important to have a clean and up to date Fan Page. Administrators may now login to Facebook as their Fan Pages and make comments all under their Fan Page name. This means better branding control for Fan Pages, more exposure for Fan Pages and of course, more fans.
Your Facebook can act as your landing page… your capture page for leads. It has quite a few items that can be highly customized. The profile image can be customized with high-powered graphics to take up the whole sidebar and giving a much stronger branding presence. The first page the visitors land on can be heavily customized with images, video, buttons, links, etc. This is the welcome page. It is also possible to have additional tabs that are similar to having multiple pages on a website. These can also be individually customized.