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Taking Care of Business
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Old November 6th, 2007, 01:21 PM   #16
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we get about 4 or 5 phone books... which is the best one to put an ad in?
In my experience, the best one is whichever is biggest and / or most widely circulated.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 02:00 PM   #17
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Bob, I see you live in Illinois, I agree with the "networking" idea.

If you can get to Chicago check the event calander for the Chicago convention center. Make a demo and a flier that you can pass out at trade shows and Expos. There you'll be able to meet with sales and marketing reps from various companies and get your company name out there. Plus if you meet them in person 1st it makes it much easier on the call backs to try and get business.

Most take place on the weekends so on your free time you can try and get your business going.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 02:17 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Bert Smyth View Post
You know, I'd heard that, and that was my plan, but now there are two different Yellow Pages, the "Yellow Pages" and "Dex", plus a couple of mini phone book yellow pages. So come phone book time of year, we get about 4 or 5 phone books, anyone run into ths problem or have suggestions on which is the best one to put an ad in?
At least in my area, I ran an ad in one book, it was a credit card ad, and then I had a text link in the major book. I got 0 from it. The lesson I learned? There are specific places for my prospects, which at this point are weddings, and the phone book isn't a biggy around here. At least in my experience. I would ask the phone people to provide you with some stats, or call may be a photographer in your area that is in the phone book and see how valuable the phone book has been for them. Just some ideas to save you that all important marketing dollar.

I know I've burned up a bunch on misguided marketing.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 03:55 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Mark Bournes View Post
Bob, I see you live in Illinois, I agree with the "networking" idea.

If you can get to Chicago check the event calander for the Chicago convention center. Make a demo and a flier that you can pass out at trade shows and Expos. There you'll be able to meet with sales and marketing reps from various companies and get your company name out there. Plus if you meet them in person 1st it makes it much easier on the call backs to try and get business.

Most take place on the weekends so on your free time you can try and get your business going.
Actually the majority of conventions and seminars in Chicago take palce Monday thru Friday with very few taking place on weekends-except some of the consumer type shows. IE, golf shows, auto show, that type of thing.
As for going to the shows and expos and passing out your materials good luck with that. I do a lot of AV work in Chicago and I gotta tell you, first there is no convention center per say. If you mean McCormick place do not go there to pass out pituriture when there is an event there. The police in Chicago not to mention the union guys get very upset with people that do that. Second there are so many hotels in downtown and the surrounding burbs that run conventions and seminars it would be impossible to cover them all not to mention that most have in house AV departments that work with 2 maybe 3 very very large AV houses and they also get upset with folks that infringe on their territory. Lastly as a former member of the Chcago Convention and tourism bureau it is a somewhat close knit group that has a hard time taking new people in. I joined in hopes of picking up some smaller AV and shooting jobs which I did do a few but generally the conventions have this stuff planned out about a year in advance, so rather than fight it, I hooked up as a contractor with one of the largest AV houses in town.
Now having said all of that, it is not impossible to get work of that type in the greater Chicagoland area as a small company but I believe it would actually be a smarter move to either sub out to a larger AV house as a tech or go from 1 small company to another promoting yourself. Of course there is the local Chamber of Commerce or other business networking groups that can also be helpful.
Not being negative but I've been there done that and for the most part it really doesn't work that way in Chicago.
Don

Last edited by Don Bloom; November 6th, 2007 at 03:58 PM. Reason: forgot to add
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Old November 7th, 2007, 03:21 PM   #20
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There was a travel expo there a few years back, it was at the navy pier. Lots of Hotels selling vacations and so on to customers. I just took business cards and told the other hotels reps to take a look at the Hotel Derek Booth, for which I had done the video of their hotel. I wasn't infringing on anyone's territory, and I was never hasseled by anyone. So I was refering from experience when I made the suggestion.

I don't doubt what Don is saying, each place has it's own rules. But who's to stop you from going to whatever show it is and talking to the marketing/sales reps? Then afterwards you hand them a card, and call them a week later.

Nothing ventured nothing gained. Look this is just a suggestion. Just like the Yellow pages ad, it works for some and not for others, you don't know unless you try.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 04:59 PM   #21
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Oh OK, the expos. Yeah those you can pretty much get away with but even those you got to be a bit careful. Most of the places in Chicago run closed shops and they can be real ornery about 'outsiders' coming in to 'solicit'.
However even though I'm old, I can still run pretty fast! ;-)

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Old November 7th, 2007, 05:30 PM   #22
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Yeah, the expos are a good way to get your name out there and get your foot in the door with some businesses. Like I said use them to meet and greet and then when you do your call backs you can then send more information.

If you're just starting out my other bit of advice is to build a website, and put your demo on it. When you hand out your business cards you can just refer them to your website for your demo instead of handing out dvd's.

I use yahoo small business, $11.95 a month. A small price to pay for trying to promote your business.

Good luck.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 11:16 AM   #23
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Civic Marketing Strategy

My current and most successful marketing strategy to date includes videotaping, editing and streaming highlight videos of important local events for high-profile non-profit organizations and membership associations.

Ordinarily, these organizations couldn't afford or simply do not want to afford the luxury of having their events professionally videotaped and edited by a video production company. Understanding this delimna, we step in to fill the void by offering to videotape these events in exchange for sponsorship recognition. So, the win/win is that we provide a service that benefits the non-profit and our company is exposed to their particular target audience. When the video is complete, the non-profit can link to our website (LocalWebcastNetwork.com) directly from their website, emails or e-newsletters and can distribute a DVD version of the video to VIPs, donors and sponsors. (Our short commercial is at the beginning of every video we donate so every time the videos are watched, we get incredible exposure!) Finally, the organization is free to use the raw footage to produce PSAs, event promo spots, fundraising videos, etc.

The Win/Win/Win comes from the fact that we include other sponsors involved with the event in the finished video presentation. This showcases their involvement in local community activities and gives them the ability to share these videos with their customers and prospects. Giving the sponsors extra exposure also helps the non-profit secure their support for the following year. Plus, it opens more doors for us because these sponsors really appreciate the service we provide.

The overall impact of this civic marketing strategy works extremely well in helping us to generate new business leads, in strengthening our relationships with current customers and in converting several of our existing leads into customers.

How can you use this strategy to your advantage?

Think about the organizations that need support in your area. Could they benefit if you videotaped, edited and streamed their events? Would you benefit by having your commercial or logo animation put on the front of these videos for all to see? Are there other sponsors that support these events that would appreciate the added exposure you would provide for them? Would it benefit your business to build solid relationships with these other sponsors? Would sharing these videos with your customers and prospects help to strengthen these relationships?

If the answer to these questions is a resounding "Yes! Yes! Yes!," you need to get on the bandwagon. Regardless of whether you do this a few times a year or a few times a month, if you do it properly, you'll experience the Win/Win/Win results I described above.

This is definitely not your traditional marketing program but it has worked for us in a big way. A recent event we covered resulted in a $30,000 marketing video for a multinational company. Another event this year resulted in a $28,000 training video for a national retirement home community.

Good luck!

Kris Simmons
http://www.mindyourvideobusiness.com
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