Business Cards - Stunning and Memorable

Business card design

As the saying goes, you have only one chance to make a first impression. In the online world, that first impression is made when a visitor comes to your business website for the first time.

But what happens when you meet people in person and you want to make a great impression so they’ll buy your product or service? Are you going to show them your website on your tablet or smartphone?

Definitely not. Instead, you need to present them with a stunning and memorable business card.

Yes – stunning and memorable. Don’t hand them a boring white business card on thin paper. Here are some ideas to help you design the best business card possible so people don’t throw it in the closest trash bin.

What Information Does Your Card Need?

You may think this is obvious – your business name, of course. But don’t forget to include your own name and your position in the business, such as owner, CEO, founder, etc.

In addition –
  • Your website url as businessname.com – without http:.
  • Your email address – yourname@businessname.com. In other words, don’t use something generic like admin@businessname.com.
  • Your active social media names. If you don’t use social media, then there’s no need to sign up just to have it on your business card.
  • Your business logo. If you don’t have a logo yet, why not get one made now so you can coordinate it with both your website and your business card.
You’re probably wondering about your physical address and phone number. If you have a physical office/store, then that information should appear. But if your business is exclusively online, then there’s probably no need for address and phone.

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Don’t put so much information on your card that you have to choose a very small font. Remember, people have to read the text easily, so choose a font that is simple and large enough to be read without squinting.

What About Color?

The most important thing about using color is to choose colors that coordinate with your website. You want your business card to be a reflection of your website. The design of your card should bring to mind your website – or vice versa.

Attractive business card

Should You Use an Image on Your Card?

People respond to visuals more readily than to text, so you might want to consider using an image. You’ve got the whole back of your card for an image. Consider the following possibilities.
  • A picture of yourself.
  • Your logo.
  • A photo of your producct.
Take advantage of the back of your card – it’s prime real estate.

Is the Card Stock You Choose Really Important?

A resounding yes! If the paper is thin, the business card just doesn’t seem professional. And even if the person keeps your card, the thin paper will probably get torn in his wallet.

When you take your design to be printed, you’ll be presented with several possibilities. Choose one that feels substantial in your hands – one that you’ll be proud to share with people you meet. If you use an online service for printing, you can’t choose it by feel, so pick one of the thicker papers offered.

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Author: Kate Benzin

Why and How Persistence Will Make You Succeed!

Inspirational: Persistence Will Make You Succeed

One of the most famous basketball players of all time and famous all over the world, Michael Jordan was cut from the basketball team in high school. Can you believe that the coach said he wasn't any good?

Well, Jordan might have believed that he wasn't good at that moment, but he didn't accept that he couldn't get good if he kept at it. And keep at it is exactly what he did. He persisted and ended up being one of the best basketball players ever.

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J.K. Rowling

The ninth best-selling fiction author of all time didn't just sit down and write the best-selling Harry Potter series right from the start. No. She had only three chapters of the first Harry Potter novel written when her marriage ended in divorce, and she ended up jobless and homeless with a young child.

Even though she had to go on welfare, she persisted in writing Harry Potter. She submitted the novel and was rejected by 12 major publishers. Still she didn't give up. She persisted and finally connected with a small publisher that believed in her.

Only 1,000 copies of her first book were published. At this point, though, she has sold more than 400 million copies of her Harry Potter books. Persistence.

Elvis Presley

"You ain't goin' nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin' a truck." These were the words that manager of the Grand Ole Opry Jimmy Denny said when he fired Elvis after seeing just one performance.

Fortunately, Elvis didn't accept that judgment. Instead, he believed in himself and persisted until he became rock & roll's first big star – and eventually, simply the 'King.'
 
Elvis Presley - how to succeed
   

Sylvester Stallone

When he was just an impoverished young man, Stallone had a scenario that he'd written. Fifty producers turned him down, and each one told him that he didn't have any talent to be a director or a writer.

That scenario was the script for the blockbuster movie Rocky. You see, Stallone persisted over and over. Looking at his position in Hollywood now, no one would believe that he'd been rejected fifty times.

Everyone Can Be Persistent

"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." – Albert Einstein
As you can see with just these four examples, rejection doesn't necessarily mean that you're not competent. Successful people probably encountered rejection more often than most people.

If Jordan, Rowling, Elvis, and Stallone had accepted the judgment of 'experts' who said they weren't talented, the world would have lost out on some spectacular basketball games, novels, music, and movies.

And you can be an online superhero. Be persistent!

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Author: Kate Benzin

Positive Psychology: Go From Failure To Online Superhero

mindfulness

You don't need to take a course in psychology to figure out how to go from being a failure to becoming a superhero. Positive psychology explains that if you are happy, you are likely to be productive and innovative.

Those are great characteristics that will help you become a successful online entrepreneur. And if you develop those qualities, the benefits are likely to extend into your personal life as well. So how do you magically become a happy online entrepreneur?

According to the Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania, positive psychology is the 'study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive.' Then you take advantage of those strengths.

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 And here are some practices that can help you go from failure to superhero.

Practice Thankfulness

After an online visitor makes a purchase on your site, don't forget them. Engage with them, and show them that you appreciate their business. Send them emails that help them get to like, know, and trust you – emails that don't sell or promote anything.

Your clients will see the human side of you and might even begin to consider you a friend. As a result, they will remember and recommend you when a question about a problem that your product solves comes up in a Facebook group or a forum.

Move Your Body

Spending quite a bit of time at your computer is something that is usually part of being an online entrepreneur. But you'll find that your brain will become refreshed if you get up and move away from your pc for a while.

Don't just get up and go sit down somewhere else. Take a short walk or take 10 minutes to throw a ball for your dog. You might be surprised when you return to your computer that the solution you couldn't seem to find before appears very quickly. You just needed a change for a short while.

stay positive - move your body
  

Seek Advice from Others

Another way for solutions to appear 'magically' is to talk the issue over with someone. You don't have to find someone who has knowledge of your business. Sometimes just explaining what led up to the problem you're having reveals a solution.

Take Days Off

When you run your own business, you may end up working longer hours than when you had a 'regular' job. That kind of adherence to a work schedule can ultimately end in burn-out.

But you probably still push yourself to continue running your business because your family depends on you. Or you may give up the business and go back to working a 'regular' job, which you hate.

Burn-out is not inevitable. Take some days off to regenerate your emotions. Go away if possible, and don't take work with you. Even a long week end in a relaxing environment can allow you to return to work with a fresh attitude.

Congratulate Yourself

Take a few moments each day to recognize what you've accomplished – even if it's just a small accomplishment. You deserve to congratulate yourself.

Your business may be coasting along in an acceptable way – making enough money but not really satisfying you as a professional. If that's the case, consider using some of these tips to see if you can become happier, both with your business and your life in general. You might end up with increasing sales.

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Author: Kate Benzin

The Whole Town Will Talk About Your Business

Make your business the talk of the town

If your SimpleSite represents your business and you have a lot of customers in your local area, then you want everyone in your town talking about your site.

And if you haven't yet taken your business online, now is the time to do that. Build a stunning business site at SimpleSite – get started now. Just click the green button.


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Once you've got your site, it won't be difficult to become famous in your town, but of course, you want your fame to be a positive reflection of your reputation. So check out the following activities.

Make Friends with Local Reporters

Local business publications, whether online or physical, have a difficult time making enough money to stay in business. One of the activities that helps them stay solvent is to tell stories about local businesses.

Make friends with local journalist

So you can be exactly what they need. Invite the editor or reporter to lunch to get a relationship started. If they can't make it, drop by the work place with a box of donuts. Ask them how you can help them with quotes or news stories. Volunteer to be an unpaid guest contributor. Develop the relationship as you would a friendship.
 

Don't Be Shy – Nominate Yourself for an Award!

Local publications love to highlight local businesses that receive awards or end up on special lists, such as the Top 25 Companies in your state.

Do some online research to find awards or lists that might be a good fit for your company. Then be brazen and nominate yourself! You have to be a candidate to end up a winner.

And if you end up gaining some recognition – even just honorable mention – you can bet that you'll be featured in an upcoming local story.

Attend Networking Events

You know who your target audience is. Look for events that will be attended by that audience. So if you have a travel business, there's no need for you to attend networking events geared to fitness business. That would be wasted time.

On the other hand, when you attend an event that is attended by travel agents, tour operators, tour directors, and anyone else in the travel business, your time will be well spent.

Schmooz at Lunch with Other Local Business Owners

Many people in your local area can prove to be great connections. And as more people become your friends, the number of people who know about your business will expand exponentially.

Mingle with other entrepreneurs
 
The result will be that your circle of potential customers will expand as well.

Engage with Your Customers

Those potential customers can be your best sales people. Treat them like royalty, and they will refer their friends, some of whom will also become customers.

The key is to communicate with your customers after they've purchased from you.
  • Follow up to find out whether they're happy with their purchase.
  • Send a handwritten thank you.
  • Send them tips on the use of your product that goes beyond the basics.
  • Send a birthday card.
  • Entertain them.
  • Educate them.
  • Serve them.
Treating your customers as friends encourages their loyalty and increases referrals.
As a result, your business will grow and become more famous than your competitors. The whole town will be talking about you.

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Author: Kate Benzin

7 Things You're Doing Wrong on Social Media

Failures of social media for business

You're on social media, right? Maybe Facebook or Twitter. And you probably enjoy it. In fact, when you open Facebook, you spend (waste?) an hour or two before you know it.

The problem is that you don't see actual benefits for your business. And you don't know what you're doing wrong.
   
"Sometimes, the best way to learn something is by doing it wrong and looking at what you did." – Neil Gaiman, bestselling author

Are you making any of the following common mistakes that hold you back?

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You Don't Respond to Followers

If you're a celebrity with hundreds of thousands of followers, you can't respond every time a follower comments.

But if you're an online entrepreneur, social media is part of your customer service. You need to engage with each follower whether he praises or complains. Otherwise, your reputation is likely to suffer.

You're Always Promoting

Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? It's very simple. Your time should be 80% engagement and only 20% promotion.

It's true that your followers are interested in your product and probably want to know about special offers, but social media is supposed to be social. Spend 80% of your time educating and entertaining your followers.

Then when your promotions come along, they'll be more likely to check them out.

You Try to Be Everything to Everyone

Don't try to like something you're not

Don't confuse your followers with different version of your personality. Don't try to act young if you're not. Don't use slang that you wouldn't normally use in everyday life.

Your social media text should reflect your true personality.

You Try to Use Too Many Social Media Platforms

You might have read how important it is to be on several social media platforms. That's not necessarily true.

Start out with just one or two platforms. Each platform has its own etiquette and rules that you need to learn. Don't publish the same message on each platform. Instead, revise your messages to fit each platform.

You Use a Photo of Your Dog as Your Profile Picture

You've got a great dog, and you want everyone to see him. But that's not the purpose of your business social media accounts.

You can put your dog on a post once in a while. But not as your profile photo. After all, you're engaging with your followers and want your personality – not your dog – to win them over.

Don't be shy. Put a recent, smiling picture of yourself as your profile photo. If that makes you uncomfortable, then you could use your logo instead.

You're Not Consistent Across Platforms

Yes, your posts need to be different on each platform so that they're appropriate for each one, but your accounts on each platform should be consistent.

Use the same fonts and a similar color scheme for the headers. This includes your website as well as the social platforms that you use.

You Resent the Time You Spend on Social Media

If you're bored or irritated when you're on social media, that negative attitude will restrict your creativity. In addition, your attitude will come through to your followers and turn them off.

You can easily turn around any of these mistakes and turn your social media into a valuable asset. The result could be a boost in sales.

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Author: Kate Benzin