Sunday, December 28, 2008

5 tips you can do today to get new customers that doesn't cost much

Auer Agency | Charlotte, NC | 704.236.0568 |
1. Change your voicemail. Don't use the same ole line, "Please leave your name and number after the tone." Duh! We all know that.  Direct people to your blog or new information or product on your website. I download trendy music for people to listen to instead of the normal ring. It gets their attention and sometimes they are mad when I do answer because they were rocking out to Bon Jovi.
2. Change your email signature. When I am doing rebranding for a company, this is the first thing we change because it's instant and easy. And you use it everyday this is more important than a business card. I suggest you create your own email signature that is different than contact info. Use your logo, use your tagline, make it memorable!
3.  Sign up for facebook, mySpace, twitter and all the other types of blog spots available. It's free. It takes a few minutes to set-up. It's kind of cool to get an email from an old friend. But the most important part, is that you are getting your name and company info out there in different ways than just your own self-promoting website. When people Google you, Google thinks you are important and will list you or what your company does on top of searches. It may take a while for you to see the results, but it's worth it.
4. Ok this is a huge secret. Hire someone to blog for you. Who has time for all that blogging? Large companies hire their own Social networking person. They like to know what people are saying about them as well as getting the word on the "street" first with a new product launch. It doesn't cost that much and it works right into that budget you had set for advertising.
5.  Please carry business cards with you. I don't know how many times I've met someone on a  girl's night out and they don't have a card. Aren't we all trying to get business in one way or another? I stash an envelope of them in my car, I keep 5 in my wallet. And hand them out to clients. They are your best source for leads. And ask for theirs too.
Bonus: And since we are talking about that, change your business card. I even put a catchy phrase on the back of mine, last year's was "Make '08 Great". This time I just used a cool graphic and incorporated it on the front, back and even on the side of my envelope. And take it to another level, and list organizations that you are a member of or non-profits you support. The business card is your first impression, make it memorable. Even if you think it doesn't matter that you are a Hot Rod Camaro club member, it gives people something to talk about.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Should I keep paying for marketing?

Dear Mariellen, I run a small embroidery business in Charlotte and business has slowed down considerably from last year. I am looking at ways to reduce my spending and I am considering eliminating my marketing efforts in 2009. Am I making the right decision? Amy K., Charlotte Dear Amy, My initial reaction is "NO!" "You can't stop marketing!" But my calm and rational self says... "let's think about this..." I understand your need to cut expenses and find ways to keep your business going during a little economic slump. However, what you really want is more customers and better return on investment. First consider how you get the majority of your business. Do people come to you because they are repeat customers, referrals, etc. or do they find you on the web or in the phone book? You see, this is not the time to spend money on marketing that does not work... I will agree with that. But this is DEFINITELY the time to spend money on marketing that works. If placing in ad in a coupon flier, works well, then do more of that. Consider lower-cost, higher return marketing efforts such as wearing clothing with your logo embroidered on it and joining networking groups and the Chamber. If you never hear anything from people seeing your yellow page ad, that is something to consider losing, or if you spend a lot of money on radio advertising but only see some return, use that money on something more effective. If you would like to talk about your marketing strategies, please contact me at 704.236.0568 or go to my website at Mariellen Auer Agency, Marketing Charlotte
Auer Agency Charlotte, NC 704.236.0568

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Marketing Tips: Branding your business

Dear Mariellen, I own a professional services company in Charlotte and we have been a business for three years. We have done OK until now, but never really made significant profits. This is the year that we really need to break through. I am willing to invest in my business what I can--it is my passion, but I need to make a wise decision. I have been talk I need to "brand," but there is no immediate return on investment from what I can tell with this. Can you tell me the benefit of working to brand my business? or Do I really need to "brand" my business? Ellen M. CT Dear Ellen, A good branding strategy is an important aspect of success in business because it will bring your business to the mind of consumers when they need your product or services. However, "branding" seems so illusive, and hard for a small business to grasp onto. So often, small businesses initially reject the idea of branding, thinking it is something for large businesses, but in today's competitive world it is even more important to have a brand and a brand strategy. Branding your small business gives it name recognition and provide potential consumers with an instant understanding of the services you provide. It is what will allow you to grow your client base, and project a positive image. Your branding should include your website, logo, business cards, letterhead, etc. and all have a consistent theme, colors, and graphics. Branding itself gives your customers a confidence in your professionalism--it will show how you are unique, and stand out from your competition. Best of all, your customers will recognize and understand your services. And just as branding is important--how you brand is important as well. You will want to work with a professional marketing company that understands your business your clients and your products/services. No matter what your budget, you can develop a branding strategy for your small business that is consistent and professional. It is important, and something you should start today. Mariellen Auer Auer Agency Charlotte, NC
Auer Agency Charlotte, NC 704.236.0568

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Auer Agency inspires Matthews fitness team

NEWS RELEASE November 15, 2008 When the Matthews location for Lifestyle Family Fitness got ready to compete in a company-wide fitness challenge, they needed a motivational identity. The Auer AgencyTM created their logo and, perhaps taking motivation themselves from the Presidential campaign, came up with the name: Matthews Mavericks. For good measure, they threw in an inspirational tagline, “There’s only room at the top for ONE.” The Matthews team was ready to WIN. Are you looking for a "motivational identity" for your corporate team? A logo and theme can be just the thing that your group can rally around. Be a winner: contact Mariellen at the Auer Agency to get started today!
Auer Agency Charlotte, NC 704.236.0568

Friday, November 14, 2008

M5 Restaurant: Charlotte, North Carolina

We are pleased to announce that M5, an upscale Charlotte restaurant, called with another project! The Auer Agency loves it when satisfied customers come back for a second (and third and fourth) helping of creativity. M5 wanted to remind customers it was time to order Holiday gift certificates. So, inspired by the changing seasons, the Auer creatives came up with an attention-grabbing poster. The M5 foodies loved it. M5 Modern Mediterranean restaurant blends the flavors and timeless elegance of the Mediterranean with contemporary urban chic. Under the direction of nationally-renowned Executive Chef Tom Condron, the M5 menu embraces a field-to-table philosophy, serving only the freshest seasonal ingredients - so check them out!
Auer Agency Charlotte, NC 704.236.0568

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Auer Agency Trademark

NEWS RELEASE November 13, 2008 The United States Patent and Trademark office believes the name, Auer Agency TM, and its three orange circles is as distinctive and memorable as the CBS eye, the once-bitten apple and the Nike swoosh. So when you see the name or the circles look for the itty bitty TM. Just like the innovative solutions we provide for our clients, we’re unique, too.
Auer Agency Charlotte, NC 704.236.0568

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Design Custom Team Shirts

Dear Mariellen, I see from your site that you do design of sports jerseys for big teams and I am organizing my company's softball teams. We are actually a large company and have several teams that play eachother each week through the summer. We would like to have a logo design for each of the 12 team's uniforms. Is this a project that your firm could handle? We aren't a pro team--just a rec league, but we would love to have a snazzy look for each of the department teams. We would need them mid-spring. Beth P., CO Dear Beth, What a fun project! Team jerseys are one of my favorite things to do, and with the new technologies available in both the production and printing, we can now do more for less--even for a single team--like a high school or college team--and especially company teams! I recently finished a shirt design for Hale Razors softball shirt. I designed and printed softball shirts for the Larry Hale Insurance team. The shirts were high performance shirts like under armor (100% polyester) and I designed a little mascot devil I named Lil’Hale Razor. They played at the Worlds Softball tournament in Disney a couple of weeks ago. And it was great to be part of such an accomplishment for this wonderful team. We can design and print your shirts with the numbers too--which will also save you money. Most of the time the numbers are the hardest and most expensive because it’s different than just printing a t-shirt with the same design front and back--but we have a special new process that makes this a snap! So yes! Absolutely, we would love to work with you! I look forward to hearing more about your company and teams and look forward to getting started! Mariellen Auer Agency Sports Marketing and Design Auer Agency Charlotte, NC 704.236.0568

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hale Razors

The Larry Hale Insurance Company’s softball team wanted their uniforms to raise a little hell on the diamond at the World Softball Tournament held at Disney in Florida. So, they contacted the sports apparel expert, the Auer Agency. The creative team at Auer designed a devilishly clever mascot and then printed their shirts using an innovative process called sublimation. The process allows the designers to use more colors and gives them more freedom controlling the application of the colors. Sublimation is a home-run when compared to screen printing. Auer scores again! Do you have a company or community team in need of a team look? Auer Agency will work with you to create a logo and get your jerseys printed and ready for game-day.
Auer Agency Charlotte, NC 704.236.0568

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

TNBA Gets New Logo!

PRESS RELEASE June 4, 2008 Auer Agency Redesigns TNBA’s Logo and Helps them Rename and Expand the Organization. When The National Business Association appointed Mariellen Auer vice president of the local chapter, little did they know what a fortuitous decision it was. Not only did Mariellen help them redesign their logo, but she also guided the organization in a name change that better describes their mission. The National Business Association 4 Sports has sharpened its focus on sports related businesses. Auer also helped launch a second Charlotte area chapter. Expansion isn’t over yet. Auer and the group are looking to add chapters in Pittsburgh, Tampa, Atlanta and Kansas City to go with the two in Charlotte and one in New York. Oh, and Mariellen came up with a new tagline for the organization: Putting on a New Game Face. The tagline will be displayed on the new brochure her agency, Auer Agency, designed and produced for TNBA4S.
Auer Agency Charlotte, NC 704.236.0568

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Auer Agency Cooks Up a Delicious Design

PRESS RELEASE April 27, 2008 A group of friends pooled their money to buy a used fire rescue step van (it looks like a FedEx delivery truck) to enjoy their passions - sports and tailgating. They decided they wanted to “pimp the ride” with fun graphics and design shirts to wear as they traveled to college and professional sporting events. Through a referral, they found the Auer Agency. Now they have an awesome logo for their van, shirts and hoodies to wear…and even a brochure. The Auer Agency is also helping them find a body shop that can customize the interior of the van and make it truly tailgate-worthy.
Auer Agency Charlotte, NC 704.236.0568