(This is a re-post of our January 2018 newsletter sent by e-mail. Subscribe to our newsletter here.)
Greetings and Happy New Year!
With the beginning of another year, I always think about scheduling…what’s coming up, what’s needed to make it happen. So that’s part of this newsletter.
Facebook – Kinda Cool, Kinda Meh
And Facebook…it’s not as good as we’d like. That’s also included.
I wrote a post about logo design. See the link below.
2018 Scheduling and Reminders
Get Reminders for Your Events
As you’re planning for this year, remember to send me your event dates if we don’t already have them. I’ll add them to the calendar and contact you at least one month before to make sure your print and promo materials arrive on time. If you’re planning a big event or a new campaign, I can contact you even earlier.
Early is better, of course. I wrote a blog post in 2013 that includes a table of suggested planning times for typical promotional projects.
Planning Case Study
Around October 1, 2017, we got a call about new panels for a trade show display needed by November 21. Seven weeks seems like a lot of time, but we needed every bit of it. It’s a textbook case study for early scheduling.
First, these were panels for the back of the display, not the typical panels for the front, so we had to research what was needed. My vendor gave me part numbers, but when I looked at the specs, I found the size was wrong for the display. They had to take extra time to research again and finally came up with the right parts.
Second, the design had to be created. My client created the artwork, and it took some extra time; they had the software needed, but they were not experienced in designing for large format printing. And there’s always the time for reviews, changes and approvals.
Third, we ordered the panels, and they arrived a week early. My client did the right thing: they put it together to make sure it worked. And they discovered they were missing pins needed to hold the panels on the back. After a quick call to my vendor, they express shipped the pins, and it all came together.
Every one of these steps took days or weeks, and it was a success because of early planning. Projects can be rushed, of course, but that usually means higher costs.
A Little Less Facebook
Facebook and other social media are pretty amazing, but for small business it can be a mix. So Pacesetter Media is going back to newsletters as a primary way to communicate with our friends, customers and associates.
Facebook the Good
I think most businesses should have at least a minimal presence on Facebook. People search for businesses on Facebook, and Google sometimes shows business pages in search results. For some businesses, lots of Facebook interaction is fitting.
Facebook is like a big community fair or an industry trade show. If you go there to smoke and joke, that’s what you get. If you go there for business, that’s what you get. Despite what I’m about to say, Facebook can help your business.
Facebook the Bad
Facebook doesn’t show posts to your entire audience. They want you pay them to advertise, so they’re going to limit your reach when you use the free service.
You can spend lots of time building a following and then lose control when Facebook limits your reach. It’s up to them, and if they change their terms next week, who knows what they’ll do?
You can test their paid ads with a low commitment; it’s really a good, low-cost way to reach people and test advertising ideas, so it’s not all bad. But when you want stay in touch with your customers, the free Facebook is hit and miss.
Back to the “Old Fashioned” Way
An e-mail newsletter is still the most cost effective way to reach your customers in mass. Postal mailings, phone calls and face-to-face visits are more personal, but they take more time and cost more.
Maintaining Your Own List
A mailing service like MailChimp is the best way to manage your e-mail list. You can regularly export your list and keep a back up on your computer. Whenever needed, you can move it to another service.
A blog is another option, but a blog is passive. It doesn’t send anything to recipients. You have much better reach and control with a newsletter.
One quick warning about mailing lists: I always suggest using a newsletter service. There are several laws and best practices you should comply with, and a service makes it easy. For a small list up to 2000 subscribers, there are free options.
Logos Should Have Big Text
Pacesetter Media did a blog post about logo design…usually the text should be big compared to the graphics.
Pacesetter Media – Solving Promotion Problems
When you need help with scheduling, Facebook or logos, give us a call.
Here’s to a great 2018.