Top 5 Effective Communication Tips for Leaders

It’s impossible to become a great leader without being a great communicator.

When you are talking to employees, effective communication is the key.

But what does this indeed mean? How does one effectively communicate?

Here are the top five tips to help you improve your communication so that everyone is informed.

Top 5 Effective Communication Tips for Leaders

1. Listen.

Communication is about listening more than talking. The best communicators are great listeners and astute in their observations.

To be effective at communication, you must listen to what is being said verbally and through body language.

Focus on what the person is genuinely saying rather than what you think they will say.

Try to reiterate it in your own words to make sure you heard them. Listen for emotions behind their communication; then ask more questions about that topic.

Feel free to say, “You sound like you feel strongly about this. Tell me more.”

2. Delegate effectively.

When giving directions, make sure you cover the who, what, when, where, why, and how. These are critical to ensuring your orders are understood and that you provide all the necessary steps.

Let employees know their part of the project is vital and part of a larger project (if it is). That way, they know that their deadlines mean something.

3. Read between the lines.

Great communicators watch for non-verbal signs and what is left unsaid. Astute leaders know that there is far more to be gained by surrendering the floor than by filibustering.

Being the leader doesn’t mean you need to do all the talking. Getting insights from your employees and coworkers is instrumental in effective communication.

We are often taught to talk more effectively. Still, in reality, we need to listen and watch more effectively to ensure everyone is on the same page.

4. Know Your subject matter.

When you do speak, make sure you have all the necessary information at hand. Be the expert. Otherwise, you will lose your audience quickly.

The “fake it till you make it” standard is gone.

Today, people want accurate and genuine information and can spot a fake quickly.

5. Show empathy.

When you genuinely know your audience, they will listen more closely. Show compassion so that they know you can relate to them.

Show that you care about your audience, and they will listen and follow your lead.

Finally, practice transparency and authenticity when communicating with your team members to build trust.

No matter where you are in your leadership journey, these steps will help you to become a more effective communicator.

Our printing firm would like to offer a hand to you when reaching out to your employees or customers.

We want to team up with you to provide great handouts and marketing materials.

Check us out today!

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Top 7 Effective Offline Strategies for Your Business

There are many fantastic ideas for advertising your business. Still, remember you need online and offline advertising for effectiveness.

Don’t discount the original ways of marketing just because they aren’t new and a part of social media.

Top 7 Effective Offline Strategies for Your Business

1. Distribute business cards.

Your business card says a lot about you. Don’t forget that you can change it as much as you like. For example, you can print vertical instead of horizontal.

You can use different types of paper to grab people’s attention. And you can add embossing or debossing to further show your originality and style.

2. Use flyers.

If you have a big event, a grand opening, a new product, or a new employee, show off your news with fun flyers. Use graphics and photos to influence the audience further.

3. Publish a book.

To show your expertise, write a book to share your knowledge. For example, you can create an e-book and offer a free download in exchange for an email.

Your book doesn’t have to be long, just provide some great advice.

4. Offer coupons and sales.

By offering coupons, loyalty programs, special discounts, and more, you’re making clients feel privileged while boosting leads and sales.

You can send a special offer through a flyer, postcard, or brochure.

5. Get involved.

You can get your name out by involving the community through organizations or outreaches.

This is beneficial because other business owners will recognize you, and you can make great connections. Then you can cross-promote with each other.

6. Seek speaking opportunities.

A speaking engagement puts you in front of a highly targeted and interested audience already primed and ready to pay attention to what you have to say.

This gets your name out and promotes your business to other prominent people in town. Then when they have questions, they will remember you and go to you for advice and service.

7. Join trade shows.

This is a great way to get your name out and boost traffic to your store. Make sure you have attractive marketing materials at your booth to lure people in and make them remember you.

This is a perfect opportunity to tell people what your business offers and let them know how professional you are.

If you’re afraid your business can’t spring for a booth, go to those vendor trade shows. Even if you’re nervous that your product won’t shine compared with others, get to the trade show. No matter what sort of excuses spring up: Be. At. Trade. Shows.

These tips should help you reach more people, become more confident at promoting your business, and attract more people to your business.

In addition, when you need items printed, we’re here. We offer a quick turnaround and professional services.

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5 Ways to Recover From Burnout

It happens to the best of us—burnout.

We dedicate ourselves to our jobs, work long hours and take on extra responsibilities, and sometimes we do too much. As a result, we can get down in the dumps and find it hard to keep going.

Burnout is not an interchangeable word with everyday stress, and it’s not exclusively exhaustion or overload. It’s all three of the above components together.

Of course, it’s best to prevent burnout, but sometimes it’s impossible. So, what are some ways to recover from it?

5 Ways to Recover From Burnout

1. Evaluate Your Feelings

How stressed have you been? Have you been enjoying work? Do you have the resources you need to get the job done? These will help you determine what you need going forward.

Burnout is more likely to happen when you have too many job demands and few resources.

2. Delegate

Take a look at what you are doing. Are there things you can delegate to others? Do you need to be the one to do them? This can help lighten the load by asking others to take on the part of your load.

Sometimes we think we need to do it all. But often, we can delegate.

3. Self-reflection and Empathy

You need to give yourself a break. Don’t keep pushing yourself when you feel the need for a break. Instead, stop for a few minutes each day and reflect on how things are truly going.

Studies indicate that actively cultivating self-compassion and empathy can mitigate the impact of burnout.

4. Use a Gratitude Journal

Use this to record what you are thankful for and what is important to you.

First, get in touch with what is truly important to you, then prioritize it in your daily life. This helps keep things in perspective. Keep this as a daily habit.

If you notice that your values or goals are shifting, that’s okay – you can devise a plan to help you address this shift proactively.

5. Create a plan

Develop a plan on how to prevent burnout in the first place.

  • Take time daily to exercise—even a short walk in the morning can help.
  • Talk with a friend regularly. This helps keep you grounded and connected to what’s truly important. Try to cut down on screen time at night; try reading a hardcopy book so your eyes have a break.
  • Create a relaxation method for winding down at night, rather than just hopping into bed and hoping to go to sleep with all the things running through your mind.

There are a lot of stressors in today’s business life, and at our printing firm, we want to help lighten your marketing load. We offer free consultations to help you come up with great marketing ideas.

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5 Do’s and 3 Don’ts of Print Marketing

We all know how much the internet is used today, but some people forget that print marketing still works wonders.

The Do’s of Print Marketing

1. Do update your logo.

Make sure your logo is updated and reflects your image appropriately. You want to ensure the logo looks up-to-date, attractive, and professional.

Unless you employ a graphic artist, it’s best to hire one to help with this part of your image since it will be used on everything, from online to print.

2. Do communicate your identity.

Have a corporate identity in all you do. This broad term encompasses your brand’s values, purpose, and design elements.

Set your business apart from the competition with a consistent corporate identity in your letterhead, business cards, envelopes, brochures, rack cards, and more.

3. Do use both online and offline marketing together.

This is a tried-and-true strategy. However, when you isolate your marketing to only using one of these, people won’t respond as positively, and you won’t get the desired results.

It’s critical to have digital elements, such as a website and social media accounts, but print collateral is equally essential.

Try adding a technical aspect, such as a QR code or a link to your website. Then, offer a coupon or special deal when they go to that online location.

4. Do write a compelling headline.

No matter what you are writing, the headline gets read most. So make sure it’s an attention-grabber.

5. Do know your target market.

Reach prospective clients through appealing colors, images, and text.

The Don’ts of Print Marketing

1. Don’t use outdated materials to save money.

You will gain more respect from the public if your marketing materials are fresh.

2. Don’t forget to have a call to action.

If you don’t ask your customer to take the next step, they might not. So you need to be diligent in asking them to visit your website, call you, email you, or do whatever you want them to do next.

3. Don’t forget the 4 P’s of marketing. 

Product, price, pace, and promotion are essential to any marketing effort. Make sure your include mention to all four in your marketing efforts. These are considered to be the pillars of a strong marketing program.

These are some simple tips to keep your marketing healthy and robust.

We want to help you when you require the printed word. We work with your marketing team to create up-to-date, attractive marketing materials to keep your customers noticing you.

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Customer Service Excellence for Team Members

Excellent customer service is an essential aspect of your most valuable asset: your customers.

Customer service is so vital that it can be a powerful competitive advantage. 70% of Americans have spent more money on better service, according to Forbes. 

Excellent customer service is not solely for the customer service representatives. Instead, everyone on the team should practice exceptional customer service because every job ultimately affects the customer. 

Below is a list of concrete ways your team members can exceed your customer’s expectations. 

Customer Service Excellence: Hire Smart

Certain personalities and strengths are better suited for customer service jobs. Hiring the right people will set the company and employees up for success. 

When hiring, look for people who excel in the following traits. 

  • Problem-solving. Give the interviewee a scenario and ask how they would proceed.
  • Communication. Ask the interviewee to explain a complex topic.
  • Listening. Tell the interviewee a little bit about yourself and the company. Check to see how much they retained.
  • Time management. Ask them about a time in their life when they were very busy and how they got through it.
  • Empathetic. Ask the interviewee about a time they saw someone hurting and how they reacted.
  • Attentive. Gauge how attentive they are at the interview.
  • Patient. Ask them to wait a little bit before or during the interview.
  • Curious. Ask them if they have any questions for you about the company. Gauge their natural curiosity.

Hiring the right people gets you off on the right foot. After hiring customer service-oriented people, training will further define their natural skills. 

Customer Service Excellence: Training

Training creates more knowledgeable and skilled team members. 

The more trained and knowledgeable your team members are, the happier your customers will be. Happier customers are more likely to create word-of-mouth advertising, which is the most effective form of advertising: 5 times more powerful than paid ads. 

Training and development can take on various forms. 

  • Hire a trainer. Find a professional who excels in teaching customer service skills. Pay them to come to talk to your team members.
  • Do it yourself. Research ways your company can improve customer service. Ask your customers what they’d like to see. Share your findings with your team members at a meeting.
  • Online courses. Direct, or if it’s in the budget, subsidize your employees to take online courses to help them improve their customer service.
  • Mentor-mentee programs. Pair a more experienced staff member with a less experienced one. Have them get together to share information and tactics that have helped them.

Whichever route you choose, you’ll see the benefits pay off in higher customer satisfaction and improved customer relationships.  

Customer Service Excellence: Customer Relationships

Encourage employees to develop positive customer relationships. 

Keep it natural. Try asking customers questions about themselves. Some just want to get in and out. But others enjoy talking and will appreciate the opportunity. If you remember the customers’ names and the stories they tell, they’ll be happier and more loyal. 

Further, increase customer relationships by sending customers birthday gifts or cards. Companies that prioritize emotional connections with customers do better in the long run, outperforming their competitors in sales by 85%. 

Customer Service Excellence: Let Customers Help Themselves

71% of consumers reported wanting to solve customer service issues independently. 

Counterintuitively, some of the best customer services you can provide are the gifts of not needing customer service. By providing efficient, straightforward methods for customers to solve their own issues, the customers leave happy. 

There are a couple of ways to accomplish this. 

  • Q&A page with answers to the most commonly asked questions.
  • Information. By providing relevant information in a convenient place, such as a brochure, you can proactively prevent frustrated customers by providing all the information they need beforehand. 

Customer service is one way your business can stand above the rest. If you do it well, profits will increase. 

We know customer service can be tricky because of the wide range of inquiries and emotions. However, we’re here to help you with our excellent printing services. For example, we’ve got you if you need promotional products for a birthday gift, birthday cards, or informative brochures!

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How to Keep Up With Direct Mail Trends

Illustration of business stock chart with arrow on target, 3d rendering.

As we march through 2022, many businesses are left wondering if direct mail marketing is still a trend, if it is worth it, and if their business is missing out by not implementing this form of marketing.

Despite the many new marketing avenues available, direct marketing remains a multi-million-dollar industry, with companies spending $38.5 million of total advertising revenue in the United States on direct mail campaigns. 

With an average response rate of 4.9 percent, direct marketing is still alive and is a beneficial marketing tool all businesses should take advantage of.

Continue reading to learn more ways to help you and your business keep up to date with current direct mail trends: 

Watch What Is Coming in the Mail

One way to see what other businesses are doing is to keep an eye on what is coming through your mailbox.

Whether a letter, postcard, magazine, etc., there is much to learn about increasing brand awareness by watching and taking note of which advertisers are trying to get your attention. 

Ask Your Customers

Take time to learn from your customers and what drives them to different businesses.

What types of ads caught their attention? How do they hear about most local companies? What direct mail marketing items, such as ads, coupons, specials, and more, are likely to get them into a store or to hire a local business?

Check With Other Business Owners

Ask other business owners with similar products or services what works for them and which direct mail campaign strategies have proven to drive results.

Most business owners are willing to share their plans, while others might be tougher when sharing information with a competitor. Access to knowledge other business owners possess is vital in developing long-lasting positive relationships with other business owners, so you can share ideas and work together to learn more about direct mail marketing. 

Direct mail marketing campaigns are on the rise as more businesses start implementing various tools to help directly reach consumers. Everything from postcards to catalogs and coupons to letters can target consumers drawing attention to your brand.

Understanding the latest direct mail marketing trends can help keep your business on top of the latest advertising strategies, helping you stay competitive in your target market. 

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Augmented Reality and the Evolution of Print

In a world full of new technology, augmented reality is used frequently. As a result, it’s now a great way to market your business.

Augmented Reality Explained

Augmented Reality (AR) is the layering of digital content like video, 3D, or 3D animation over real-world environments to create an engaging and interactive consumer experience.

It makes your print more interactive by encouraging people to download apps, use QR codes, and more. As a result, print has grown and is used in a new way.

Bringing People Closer to Products

WebAR, which they call AR and print, is now being used to bring people closer to their products and allow them to interact with them.

It will enable people to access the best of both worlds: Engaging and immersive experiences that are easy to access. WebAR is popular now and is an excellent accompaniment to tried-and-true print.

Both are needed in today’s market. Traditional print is tactile and is a great way to interact with customers because they are taking more time to look at their mail these days.

However, WebAR is a great way to further interact with customers because it is online and provides a more effortless and cost-effective way to promote your business.

As of February 2017, Pokémon Go became the first AR-centric app to reach 650 million downloads and can be credited with starting the mobile AR app movement.

We all remember people going crazy for this new game, which introduced us to a new type of reality.

Promote Effectively and Professionally

AR solves the dilemma of whether to invest in print or digital by providing marketers the ability to make the most of both worlds by seamlessly integrating their print and digital together, working in unison on the same marketing goal.

You no longer have to choose the best way to market your business. Instead, WebAR and print work closely together to promote effectively and professionally.

You can easily add immersive, interactive content to your magazine ads, postcards, brochures, and more.

Enhance Direct Mail

Now people can take your marketing product and scan it with their phones to find more information. Again, it’s a no-brainer, and it furthers your marketing efforts.

This allows them to answer their questions, make a purchase, and even promote it on social media.

You can even use tracking tags to see how far your marketing has gone. In fact, direct mail campaigns that were enhanced by AR delivered an increase in response rates from 2-3% to a massive 35%, so it makes sense to use AR.

In addition, AR solutions have finally become cost-effective and executable without intensive training or complex design software, allowing savvy marketers to take advantage of this unique advertising enhancement right now.

Whether you use a postcard, a brochure, a catalog, or other direct mail options, we can help you get the most out of your marketing efforts.

Check us out today!

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5 Essential Skills for Professionals

To be successful, you need dedication, determination, and hard work. You also need some up-to-date skills. Below are the Top 5 skills for professionals.

5 Essential Skills for Professionals

1. Soft skills

According to LinkedIn data analysis, in 2019, companies looked most for these soft skills: creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and time management.

Soft skills, such as communication and management skills, are the traits that make you good at almost any job. Hard skills, in the meantime, are more teachable and measurable.

In a Linkedin report, 57% of senior leaders today value soft over hard skills.

2. Creativity

So many things have changed—think cell phones instead of pay phones, internet instead of card catalogs.

It takes a creative person to think outside the box. Sure, some things are great, but how much better could life be if we tried a new way?

Businesses are always looking for fresh thinkers to do things in a new way.

3. Communication

Communication ability is another top-rated skill that businesses require. This is key for getting along with coworkers, directing employees, and improving in all areas.

Communication makes a business tick, and if you have this skill naturally, you are ahead of the game. There are books, classes, and self-help resources to help you improve in this area. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve this skill.

Communication includes written, verbal, and nonverbal skills. With everyone using email as an effective form of communication, it pays to have this skill in your back pocket.

4. Public speaking

Public speaking is another skill that professionals need.

This requires poise, confidence, organization, and a clear speaking voice. It’s a skill that many people shy away from, but it is of utmost importance.

Any time you meet with others, you are involved with public speaking; sometimes, it may be to a group.

5. Teamwork

Teamwork is necessary in today’s business world. Even if you are an entrepreneur, you need collaboration, and you will inevitably need others to help you or work for you.

Therefore, you will need to work side by side with others at some time.

For great teamwork, you will need conflict management, conflict resolution, negotiation, relationship building, team building, and team management.

So many skills make one successful, and at our printing firm, you know we strive to work hard to keep you looking good.

Contact us today with your printing and marketing questions, and we will work as a team to keep you successful.

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10 Tips to Increase Productivity as a Busy Entrepreneur

Productivity is a critical factor in being successful.

Although it would be nice to have our goals reached by relaxing at home all day, there is a rewarding feeling of achievement knowing that effort was put in for a great outcome.

This is easier said than done; being productive daily takes self-control and discipline. There are so many factors that go into running a business. Incorporating organization into your day and staying productive can assist and guide you as a busy entrepreneur. Here are a few ways you can do that!

10 Tips To Boost Productivity

1. Prioritize.

Looking over a long to-do list can be stressful.

Instead of becoming overwhelmed, try organizing your to-do list into priorities. Determine which task is the most crucial to complete and stick with that one. Taking it one step at a time changes your perspective and helps you take a realistic approach to overcoming that stubborn list!

2. Communicate.

Communication is essential in all areas of life- especially in the workplace.

Many problems arise from a lack of communication, and this can waste time and resources in many different instances. You can avoid conflict down the road by ensuring you communicate with everybody involved.

3. Delegate.

Going along the lines of communication, being able to delegate is a valuable skill.

Look over what you need to accomplish. Is there anything that you can pass on to someone that is qualified? This may require you to look at your team and detect their strengths and skills.

In the end, this will save you time and help you communicate with your team- keeping everybody involved and connected.

4. Develop a routine.

You may have heard this tip before, but that’s because it’s important!

Structure throughout your day will help you stay on track and accomplish what needs to be done. Forming habits that will improve your overall health, like clean eating, exercise, and sleep, can translate to your work performance and mood.

5. Practice time management.

Your workday hours are limited, so you probably want to take advantage of each second you get.

A study from Stanford University found that productivity per hour declines when a person works over 50 hours a week. At 70 hours per week, the amount of work completed is the same as for someone that worked only 55 hours.

This data shows that the more time you spend working doesn’t always result in more work being accomplished. Managing your time is vital so that the quality of your work can be done in a reasonable amount of time.

6. Reflect.

Looking back on the past can be beneficial to improving your business.

Try recognizing what went well and what needs improvement. You’ll be able to analyze which factors created success and build off those things. By reflecting on past projects, you can learn and take feedback to prepare for the future. Remember to not dwell on the past and let it bring you down. Learn and move on!

7. Plan ahead.

While it’s important to reflect, it’s also great to think ahead.

Organize what you need to accomplish and set goals for yourself and your business. Yes, focusing on what you have in front of you is essential, but make sure you’re working towards something. Planning is convenient and will prepare you for your next steps, whatever they may be.

8. Set your boundaries.

You may be stressed at times and doubt yourself, but remember you’re in control!

You know what you can and can’t handle, so don’t be afraid to listen to yourself. Taking on too many responsibilities can be detrimental to your work performance. Learn to say no when necessary, and don’t burn yourself out.

9. Follow the 80/20 rule.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 80/20 Rule (also known as Pareto’s Principle), it simply states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

In perspective, the most productive 20% of your day produces 80% of your work. This concept shows that you can accomplish more with less effort by concentrating on things that will produce the most significant results.

10. Motivate yourself!

Think back to why you started your business.

What were you hoping to accomplish, and have you done that yet? Sometimes, all you need to get motivated is a little reminder of why you do what you do!

These things will help you combat your struggles as a busy entrepreneur and increase your productivity. Remember to prioritize your time and use your resources to ensure that you can reach all of your goals for your business.

We want to see you succeed and help you with your needs regarding professional printing.

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7 Advertising Basics for Small Business Owners

With many advertising options, billboards, websites, direct mail, etc., it can prove challenging to advertise effectively. Still, there are guides to lead you down the right promotional path for small businesses.

Let’s take a look.

7 Advertising Basics for Small Business Owners

1. Budget

When you think about advertising, of course, you need a budget. And most small businesses don’t have large ones.

This is probably best used in ways that maximize your return, rather than throwing it all in on one large ad on TV.

Leave that for the big businesses that have large budgets.

2. Website

A professionally-designed site can cost thousands of dollars, so try online templates. These work well to foster name recognition and promote your products and/or services.

In addition, you can add pictures, logos, and illustrations that look professional for a fraction of the cost.

3. SEO Marketing

Promote your website.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a practice that aligns your business with Google’s ranking algorithm.

Get Google to advertise it with the right tools. For example, add relevant (industry- and location-based) keywords to specific places on your website.

4. Paid search marketing

Google AdWords and Bing Ads can bring in traffic to the website and help your business feature prominently when people search for relevant phrases.

For $20 or $30 a day, you can get your name in front of the right people searching for what you have to offer.

5. Social Media

There’s also Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to get the word out. These are relatively easy to use if you know what to say.

It’s possible to hire a writer on a freelance basis who can write these for you. Or, if you have a marketing team, enlist someone to write these regularly.

This is a great way to get in front of people daily, or at least regularly.

6. Traditional Print Advertising

Use flyers, postcards, and brochures for marketing your business effectively. It’s inexpensive, and it works.

Provide coupons on the handouts to informally track effectiveness.

You can use oversize postcards to get a better reaction since they tend not to get lost in the shuffle.

7. Combine Print and Online Efforts

Print and online advertising complement one another.

For example, on your printed pieces, be sure to have a call to action that involves visiting your website. Then give them a coupon or discount when they visit.

Likewise, when they visit your website, try to capture their physical address so you can send them direct mail. This is very effective.

You can do many things to promote your small business. However, traditional direct marketing is still in high demand.

Check us out today to learn more!

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