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ISM Article

The ART of SELF Promotion

2 Oct, 2006 By: Alicia Ellis imageSource

The ART of SELF Promotion

Competition is tough and finding ways to differentiate
yourself from the competition is often key to succeeding in today’s office
technology market. Your prospect has heard it all, “We offer the best
product...software...document management...customer relationship
management....and service.” Sometimes your competition is solid and offer
matching or similar products and services. So how do you introduce and showcase
your business, never wanting to build your marketing and sales strategies on
price alone?  What are you doing to maximize exposure?  Think of it this way,
the real beauty of your company is within, and it’s up to you to artfully
showcase your company, your brand!

Build your brand and image by using tools that are often
forgotten in day to day business operations, but are critical and useful if done
properly. Utilize resources and content within your organization to help achieve
goals.  The information is at your fingertips and ready to be placed on a
pedestal for viewing. Paint a picture about your company and its gallery of
saleable features that makes your corporate portrait a priceless asset. I am
talking about the Art of Self-Promotion - a part of marketing that is often
over-looked yet a necessity for any dealership.  The following serve as a check
list of  ideas that not only promote and enhance your company’s message and
image, but can be used to increase revenue, drive sales, and boost morale
without putting a strain on your marketing budget:

1. Write Articles

What does your company do best and how has your company
successfully implemented its offerings? Does it have the best salespeople with
great techniques and proven success? Does it have a special customer service
program that drives service? Or, was your company selected to provide product
and service to a unique client? For example, do you hold all of Disney World’s
copiers and solutions? Did you provide short term copiers to a movie crew
filming in your area? These examples make for great press releases or
interesting articles for most B2B industry publications.

It’s not about giving away your trade secrets, it’s about
sharing your accomplishments with existing and potential customers and peers,
increasing exposure and being perceived as an expert in your field.

2. Issue Press Releases

Speaking from experience, press releases are a surefire way
to draw attention to your company. Releases should be only a few paragraphs long
and should answer the five W’s (who, what, when, where and why). Press Releases
should be issued for promotions, mergers and acquisitions, charitable endeavors
and awards won, and should be sent to local newspapers, industry publications
and association newsletters. Be sure to include hi-resolution (300 dpi) images.
The easier you make it on their editor, the easier it will be to get into a

3. Garner Industry Recognition

Recognition from industry associations and B2B publications
is one of the best ways to prove success to both potential and existing
customers. An example of this is imageSource magazine’s Perfect Image Awards (PIAs).
The perks are outstanding as winners in all categories receive recognition in
the magazine,and the Dealer of the Year is featured on the cover of this
nationally recognized, Folio award winning magazine. Winners can utilize article
reprints as sales and marketing tools, leveraging the awards as an industry
acknowledgement of excellence,building name recognition.

4. Customer Surveys

Customer feedback and comments are some of the least used,
but are some of the most important bits of information that you could possibly
hope for. Once you’ve established a customer, e-mail a quick survey or call them
and ask about their experiences with your company. Ask if you can quote the
information they provided in any forthcoming article, press release, any
collaterals, and your website.

5. Co-op / Network Marketing

Develop relationships with vertical companies who provide
product to the same type of customers you do. You refer them and they return the
favor. Make friends with an office supply store so when customers come in
looking for a high-end copier,you’ll be their first referral.

6. Customer Training / Meet & Greets

Holding demonstrations, seminars, open houses and training
days for both existing and potential customers is a great way to keep customers
and grow business. The events give you the opportunity to network with potential
clients,to show off your systems and expertise,and to solidify your

7. Community / Cause Marketing

Become an integral part of the community by participating
in community events, fundraisers and sponsorships. Local papers often run event
listings, so find opportunities to help the community and your business. Call
your local schools and chamber of commerce and town recreation departments. You
CAN get your name out there.

8. Custom Publishing

Custom magazines make YOU the editor of your own
publication, tailored to fit your audience by combining informative editorial,
marketing material, advertising specials and announcements just for your
customers. Utilize the many services and assets of trusted marketing and
publishing companies like Imaging Network,the publishers of  imageSource that
have the expertise to advise, assist and provide the specific services that will
help market your company for maximum results. Be seen and remembered as you look
to continually grow your business with ideas that work.

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