Thursday, July 14, 2011

Are You Thinking of Selling Your Business?

green for sale signImage by Diana Parkhouse via Flickr LOS ANGELES — Are you the owner of a small or medium-size business in the creative of media industry who dreams of “getting out” and retiring, writing a memoir, or simply getting away from it all? Thinking about selling your business? In today’s economic climate, selling your media or creative business can be a complicated and daunting experience.

The skills and knowledge you acquired by running a successful business are not necessarily the same skills you will need to sell it.

There are 10 things to consider. And our friend, Stuart Gross, presents all the pros and cons in his article featured in his article at Post Magazine. Food for thought!

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

World of Shooters - A Website Directory Review by Patty Mooney

Now that the Yellow Pages are going the way of telephone booths, telegrams and Victrolas, one turns to the Internet to search out anything and everything. This includes services and Patty Mooney Interviews Director Sam RaimiImage by cleopatra69 via Flickrproducts. As a San Diego video production services company that hires out camera crews, camera operators, producers, teleprompters, and editors, to name a few, we have listed ourselves on various online directories hoping to capture the right eyeballs that will enlist our assistance with their video production. I would say that more than 90% of our business comes from our presence online.

On one of my recent forays into the crashing waves of the Internet, I came upon a new venue for camera operators and Directors of Photography that seems promising. It's called World of Shooters and proposes to match up video shooters with potential clients. There is an annual cost to sign up but they promise not to extract any percentages from sales like other sites do. They've divided up shooters by the types of rigs they work with, as follows: Panasonic P2, Sony tapeless, Red, DSLR and Tape/Media.

It's a very uncluttered site with straight-forward goals. In this age where there is now an infinite spectrum of video cameras - and people who wield them - this promises to be an oasis for the thirsty, and discerning, client to find just the shooter they are looking for.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Get More Customers By Putting Out a Candy Dish - by Pamela Wilson

If you've ever worked in an office environment, you know there's one shortcut to becoming popular among your colleagues. Position a candy dish on the corner of your desk, and keep it filled with goodies. It's a great way to guarantee you'll get chatted up by all sorts of people who otherwise might not have stopped by to say hello.

Content Marketing is Like a Candy Dish:

No matter what your business sells, there's a way to create marketing materials that are useful for the target market you want to reach. This is what content marketing is all about: packaging information your market will find valuable, then offering it to them as a way to market your business.

Keeping a "candy dish" with content available will help you attract, inform and retain customers to your physical location or website.

Let's look at some examples:

- A natural lawn care company could put together a guide to lawn care challenges through the seasons, and what to do about them.

- A writer could present an e-book about common grammatical errors and how to spot them.

- A life coach could write a special report about how to create space for life-changing new habits.

- A pizza shop could create a "busy night meal plan" that shows how you can call for pizza, and while you wait for delivery, make a quick salad that will complete the meal and feed your family fast. (Of course I know nothing about that...) Candy DishImage by hodge via Flickr

The key is to think about your customers, what their lives are like, and what challenges they're dealing with. Then create content that they'll value so much they'll want to save it. Give it to them at no charge.

They'll associate your company with the value you've provided, they'll thank you for the problem you've solved, and they'll think of your business the next time they need your kind of product or service.

Free Design 101 e-course! Visit Pamela Wilson's Big Brand System and start growing your business with great design and marketing.

Article by Pamela Wilson
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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Leslie Nielsen, Farting and Eye-Popping Comedian, RIP

Leslie Nielsen in October 2008Image via Wikipedia In his blog, my friend, Mike Kurtz, shares a personal story about the late, great comedian, Leslie Nielsen. I think you will enjoy it.

Many people only remember him as a comedy actor but he started in TV back in the late 1940's as a very serious leading man. One of his famous films from the 1950's is a science fiction move called the "Forbidden Planet". He played a leading role as a crew member of space ship on a rescue mission. The movie is also famous for creating "Robbie the Robot."

To read the rest of Mike's story and check out a video outtake of Leslie, click on Mike's blog:

DP Mike's Blog

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Carpet Cleaners With An Attitude - by Patty Kay Mooney

After hosting our umpteenth annual Halloween costume party, our carpets were sorely in need of some attention. So we called up a local carpet cleaning company called One Source Carpet & Tile Care, and Shaun arrived with an assistant and some heavy-duty equipment. They proceeded to make short work of the white Berber carpeting in our living room where just a few days earlier, revelers had danced to the music of a very good band called "Stone the Giant."

There was this nasty stain that we'd been dueling with for a decade, ever since the year we had first installed the carpet, when someone had spilled soy sauce next to the sofa. The question of why anyone would bring soy sauce into somebody's white-Berber-carpeted living room has nagged us to this day. (No one ever "fessed up.") We have had other carpet cleaners attempt to dispel the "damned spot" but this time, with the help of Shaun, it seems to be gone.

Shaun also cleaned the grout in our tiled kitchen which is the stage for dozens of parties and gatherings every year. Everybody knows that the kitchen is today's version of the hearth of yore and people plus food will naturally put wear and tear on a kitchen floor. The tiled floor now looks so good that maybe it's time to celebrate with a party!

What we appreciated about the One Source crew was their attitude. They arrived on time, and they performed their work with a smile. Shaun said that he really enjoys cleaning carpets, and it shows in his results. This made me realize that it is a good idea to always hire or work with people who have good attitudes. Life is so short; why waste your time with people who aren't enjoying what they do in life?

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Ali & Roberto Furnish Their Love Nest - An Extra Video

Mark Schulze, Director of Photography, and Patty Mooney, Producer, interviewed Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez, the newest Bachelorette couple, about how they furnished their new apartment, for this piece now appearing on Extra:

Extra TV - Ali & Roberto's Love Nest
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ten Powerful Marketing Tips For Small Business - by Ann Marie Rubertone

Choosing Postcards from IrelandImage by cleopatra69 via Flickr 1. Print your best small ad on a postcard and mail it to prospects in your targeted market. People read postcards when the message is brief. A small ad on a postcard can drive a high volume of traffic to your web site and generate a flood of sales leads for a very small cost.

2. No single marketing effort works all the time for every business, so rotate several marketing tactics and vary your approach. Your customers tune out after awhile if you toot only one note. Not only that, YOU get bored. Marketing can be fun, so take advantage of the thousands of opportunities available for communicating your value to customers. But don't be arbitrary about your selection of a variety of marketing ploys. Plan carefully. Get feedback from customers and adapt your efforts accordingly.

3. Use buddy marketing to promote your business. For example, if you send out brochures, you could include a leaflet and/or business card of another business, which had agreed to do the same for you. This gives you the chance to reach a whole new pool of potential customers.

4. Answer Your Phone Differently. Try announcing a special offer when you answer the phone. For example you could say, "Good morning, this is Ann Marie with Check It Out; ask me about my special marketing offer." The caller is compelled to ask about the offer. Sure, many companies have recorded messages that play when you're tied up in a queue, but who do you know that has a live message? I certainly haven't heard of anyone. Make sure your offer is aggressive and increase your caller's urgency by including a not-so-distant expiration date.

5. Stick It! Use stickers, stamps and handwritten notes on all of your direct mail efforts and day-to-day business mail. Remember, when you put a sticker or handwritten message on the outside of an envelope, it has the impact of a miniature billboard. People read it first; however, the message should be short and concise so it can be read in less than 10 seconds.

6. Send A Second Offer To Your Customers Immediately After They've Purchased
Your customer just purchased a sweater from your clothing shop. Send a handwritten note to your customer thanking them for their business and informing them that upon their return with "this note" they may take advantage of a private offer, such as 20% off their next purchase. To create urgency, remember to include an expiration date.

7. Newsletters - Did you know it costs six times more to make a sale to a new customer than to an existing one? You can use newsletters to focus your marketing on past customers. Keep costs down by sacrificing frequency and high production values. If printed newsletters are too expensive, consider an e-mail newsletter sent to people who subscribe at your Web site.

8. Seminars/ open house - Hosting an event is a great way to gain face time with key customers and prospects as well as get your company name circulating. With the right programming, you'll be rewarded with a nice turnout and media coverage. If it's a seminar, limit the attendance and charge a fee. A fee gives the impression of value. Free often connotes, whether intended or not, that attendees will have to endure a sales pitch.

9. Bartering - This is an excellent tool to promote your business and get others to use your product and services. You can trade your product for advertising space or for another company's product or service. This is especially helpful when two companies on limited budgets can exchange their services.

10. Mail Outs - Enclose your brochure, ad, flyer etc. in all your outgoing mail. It doesn't cost any additional postage and you'll be surprised at who could use what you're offering.

Tips provided by Ann Marie Rubertone
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