Monday, February 27, 2012

Best Marketing Tips

At a recent BOB, we asked our members to share tips, ideas and strategies for marketing.

"A millionaire once told me--To be a success you need to talk to 15 people per day.  Track how many people you talk to each day."
Laura Jasurda, Rodan and Fields

"Take advantage of being feature on Groupon.  Exposure to 700,000 people in SE Michigan and no out of pocket cost."
Jason T. Ryan, Groupon

"Run a Testimonial Ad in the local paper.  People always like to know what your customers think."
Russ Burns, All Saints Cemetery

"Advertise in the local paper."
Jill Dixon, Heather Pines

"Track where your leads come from.  Give and get referrals."
Lenny Dicks, MAACO

"Join local networking groups and form relationships."
Jason T. Ryan, Vision Fuel Media

"Get referrals from your existing customers, on their business letterhead.  If necessary, offer them a sample letter to show them what you're looking for."
Don Souden, Coffee Break Service

"Develop strategic referral partnerships."
Larry Ribits, Keaton Publishing

"Follow up! The fortune is in the follow up.  Read No More Cold Calling by Joanne Black."
Nick Shone, Legal Sheild

"Attend ribbon cuttings, grand openings and open houses."
Ginny Hechinger, Costco

"Pass out promotional items with your company name, logo, slogan or branding."
Fritz and David Jackson, Ideas for You

From the Chamber we add the following tips:

  • Know who your target audience is and where to find them
  • Partner with other chamber members who have a similar customer base to give referrals back and forth
  • Ask questions of the advertising representatives for newspapers, mailers, radio and TV--advertising may be more affordable than you realize.
  • Running 1 ad isn't going to do much--be consistent.  Build your marketing plan so it sustains consistent and multi-platform (Social Media, Print advertising etc.) based.
  • Consider participating in service clubs and volunteer organizations.  You'll build friendships and camaraderie, but you're also building your personal and company brand.  People do business with people they know, like and trust.
  • Show up.  Attending a Business Over Breakfast is an easy way to meet new people and grow existing relationships.
  • Sit with somebody new at lunch.  If you always talk to the same people, you will get the same information.  Reach out and meet someone new.
  • Sponsoring an event like Women in Business, allows you the opportunity for a table display and presentation time in front of the group.
  • Co-brand with excellence. Sponsoring an event like Concerts in the Park or Taste of Clarkston, gets your name in front of a lot of local eyeballs--while being aligned with well-loved, smooth running events.
  • Put your flyer in Advertising Advantage, the Chamber's direct mailing to 1000 area business.  ($150 per month)
  • Take advantage of Independence Township library business resources and databases.
  • Remember that excellent customer service at every touchpoint is fabulous marketing that will keep you in front of return customers and clients!
We've told you a few of ours, now share with us some of your best marketing tips, ideas and secrets!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tips for Saving Money

At a recent BOB, we asked attendees to share with us their ideas, tips and secrets.

"Pay yourself first.  Set aside 10-20% in savings and don't touch it!"
--Laura Jasurda, Rodan and Fields

"Review every contract and vendor annually."
--Donna Bullard, Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union

" Don't print unless absolutely necessary.  You'd be surprised how this small thing adds up."
--Holly Sayles, Genisys Credit Union

"Switch to CFL light bulbs."
--Joanne Kent, Batteries Plus

"Take advantage of FREE interns through Michigan Works, Oakland University, Baker College and more!"
--Jason T. Ryan, Vision Fuel Media and Groupon

"Create a budget and stick to it."
--Carol Peters, LaFontaine Automotive Group

"Take advantage of discount savings through your company."
--Liza Shone, Legal Shield

"Track your spending.  Manage your facilities maintenance and equipment carefully."
--Russ Burns, All Saints Cemetery

From the Chamber's side, I know of a few more tips that you want to keep in mind.

  • Be a member.  Members save money on most event registrations.  
  • Check with your tax advisor.  Chamber membership dues may be a business deduction
  • Utilize early bird sign ups.  You'll save $5 on BOBs and Mixer registrations and $25-$50 on Golf, Business Bootcamps and EXPO registrations.
  • Get and use your free Office Depot discount card.
  • Price our your health insurance options utilizing
  • Participate in Advertising Advantage and reach 1,000 area businesses for just $150
  • Use Chamber members--and check the chamber's website directory at to see if they offer a chamber member to member discount.
  • Check out Chamber programs with Comcast Business Services
  • Sign up for a year's advertising on the Chamber page with the Clarkston News and get a FREE Advertising Advantage
These are just a few of the ideas and tips our members shared with us.  Do you know of other good ways to save money? Tell us!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Networking tips from the Ultimate Networker--NPR interview

This morning, like most mornings, I turn on the radio and listen to NPR while I have my coffee, check emails and start the debate about when I NEED to get my running shoes on and still have time for a shower before heading to work.

Today's broadcast included an interview with Reid Hoffman is the co-founder and executive chairman of the professional networking website LinkedIn.

Don't sit with the same people at lunch all the time.  (Good point!  That's why we do reserve seating at our mixers.  So you have the opportunity to meet new people and connect.)

Get out of your comfort zone and connect with another department, another business, another vendor, supplier or customer.  (Not everyone you meet at a mixer is your ideal customer, client or referral partner--but they are someone who could have valuable experiences, ideas and knowledge that can help you.)

Find out what's going on in their lives.  What are they look for right now? What do they see as a trend, challenge, opportunity or obstacle?  (How often do we get stuck looking through our own microscope?  So familiar with our own jobs, territories, responsibilities and routines, that we miss the chance to put together a bigger picture.)

Be curious about other people's jobs, experiences, ideas.

The entire interview had more great tips from the ultimate networker--you can check it out here:

About that time, the clock dinged and I could procrastinate no longer.  Time to hit the treadmill.  The 3 miles went quickly as I thought about the interview and considered how it applies to me--my job--and the Chamber.

There is a wealth of information and opportunity in our community.  The Chamber helps businesses get connected and stay connected. But how can we do it better?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Send all the Right Messages

Networking doesn't suck.  Desperation does.
--Shawne Duperon, Top 20 Networking Nuggets

This month, Clarkston Area Chamber is offering a business bootcamp that can help you get your elevator speech (and more) into shape.  Don't dread networking for another day!

Send all the Right Messages

Elevator Speeches and more
Communication is about what you say and how you say it.
2 hour interactive boot camp/workshop 

Does your Business Elevator Speech make a great 1st impression?

What “messages” are you really sending to prospects and customers when Networking, Selling or providing Service?  

Attend this fun and interactive boot camp and make sure that your ELEVATOR SPEECH is Sending All the Right Messages!

Bring some friends and make the most of this great opportunity
Space is limited

February 29
7:45 AM registration check in
8:00-10:00 AM  Presentation

 Colombiere Conference Center
9075 Big Lake Rd.
Clarkston, MI 48346
Coffee & continental breakfast provided
REGISTRATION$49 Chamber member early bird rate
$89/per person non-members and at the door registrations

Ron DeLorme
Manage Max Performance Improvement

Program Goals:
· Focus on YOUR Elevator Speech and YOUR needs
· To provide useful information and give YOU time to refine your Elevator Speech!
· Help YOU be more effective, and feel more comfortable, when giving YOUR Elevator Speech.
· Help YOU build a Support Group that can help each other in the future!
· Help YOU build your business!
Program Activities:   
· Review a helpful Verbal and Non-verbal Dos and Don’ts, then, apply simple rules and guidelines that will improve your Elevator Speech immediately!
· Bring your best “Elevator Speech” and find out what a “friendly coach” really thinks about YOUR Business Elevator Speech and delivery!
· See how you score on an Elevator Speech Checklist!
· Tweak your delivery and Elevator Speech so that everything is more Clear, more Positive and more Powerful!  And these improvements may lead to greater Customer Loyalty, more Customer Referrals and more business!
· Ensure that, in the future, you are sending only the RIGHT Verbal and Non-Verbal MESSAGES!
· Create your own Business Excellence Support Team (BEST) – they will help you excel in the future!
· Have fun!  Learn new skills!  Make new friends!  Find new customers!

This event is co-hosted by 5 Chambers of Commerce in North Oakland County:
Clarkston, Orion, Auburn Hills, Ortonville and Oxford.