How to start a successful business

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If you’re like many businesses trying to sell your product or services in today’s extremely competitive market, you already know the importance of getting the word out. You’ve got several choices on how you can best do this. And since this is literally our full-time job, we have plenty of answers to help you out.

One of our loyal readers recently submitted a question that we think many of you are wondering about yourselves.

WeCanHelpQ: I’m interested in turning my hobby into a full-time business. Where do I even begin to get the word out so I can make some money?

A: That’s awesome. Congratulations! In today’s technology-driven world there are many options for you to market your business. But before we think about how, you need to think about who.

Who are you selling to? Knowing your audience is an essential part of knowing how you’re going to market.

For example, if you’re trying to sell to a specific demographic, consider how they get their information. Do they pick up the daily paper every morning? Turn to social media? Listen to talk radio or go directly to the Internet to look something up? Once you figure out who you’re selling to, figuring out how you’re going to reach them is easy.

Let’s say you’re a physical therapist here in the Hill Country and you’re seeking to expand the number of patients you treat.

  1. Look at your current clientele. What do they come to you most for? Sports injuries? Accident rehabilitation? Age- or health-related wear and tear? And how far do they travel to get to you?
  1. How did your customers come to know you? Were you referred by other patients or doctors?
  1. Think about why you would come to you. What makes your company stand out against others offering similar services?

Getting your name and information out to general doctors’ offices and even fellow physical therapists is essential for referrals. Other doctors may not be able to help, but if you’re available they most likely will tell their prospective patient to come to you. It’s considerate to do the same for them. Customer referrals are extremely strong as well. If you have someone exceptionally pleased with your service, ask them if you can use them in marketing campaigns.

But just like strong referrals can push your business forward, so can your company branding—an attractive, clean logo can do wonders for you. Put that thing everywhere: business cards, letterheads, pens and notepads you pass out, on your store sign up front, on staff shirts, EVERYWHERE. Not sure where to start with that? We can help you. Give us a shout.

If you have a question on how to get people knocking at your business door, email us at denise at rudkin productions dot com.

Behind the Scenes of “A Rudkin Christmas Story”

Do you love our new “A Rudkin Christmas Story” Facebook cover and posts?
We are pretty obsessed with it ourselves and have been excited to use the frozen flagpole scene from the movie, A Christmas Story as our Christmas theme inspiration for quite a while!

Do you wonder how something so awesome was created?
Well, here is a run down of how we built this amazing graphic.

First, we came up with a theme. A Christmas Story is a group favorite and we always loved the idea of someone in our office getting their tongue stuck to a frozen pole… so the theme was a no brainer.

Second, since we live in the Texas Hill Country, a frozen pole isn’t exactly easy to come by, so we created our own. We found a nice stock background image of a school to fit our theme and we layered on a frozen flagpole. Boom! We have our setting.

Next, we needed the crew! But shooting everyone in the Rudkin gang at the same time is never an easy task since we are all over Texas and we are all busy little bees! Our solution to this is to photograph each person individually… this is actually one of my favorite parts of the project. Shooting each person individually so they can fit into one overall theme is quite humorous!

You can see each of our individual shots on the image below. Can you imagine what we look like to a passer-by? Posing in awkward positions, making strange faces and wearing all of our winter garb on a balmy 75-degree day? HA! Amusing to say the least!

RP_Individual

You may notice that Meg and Monica’s photos have different backgrounds, this is because they were not at the Rudkin office at the time of the photo shoot, so their husbands graciously stepped in and worked their photography magic to capture their wives’ best-panicked face.

Once we had everyone’s individual photos shot, we needed to clip the bodies out of their individual backgrounds allowing us to compile them all into one photo. This process is very detailed and quite interesting – so interesting we are working on a step-by-step process to share with you in our next post!

Finally, each person’s clipped out image is compiled on top of the background setting image we previously created, slowly the overall image you see here is built! Putting us all together in one image is similar to assembling a puzzle; you add one layer at a time until the overall image layout is just perfect!

As a final touch, we added an overall tinting layer to the graphic in order to make it appear like we are in a snowy, frozen region and better work with our theme of A Christmas Story.

RP_Final

What do you think of the end result? Pretty cool Christmas card, eh?

Rudkin’s talented graphic artists are ready to help you make your creative campaign a reality! As you can see, nothing is out of the realm of possibilities! Call us today for a quote on your next project!

Merry Christmas, y’all!

#Hashtag Trend: How Your Brand Can Benefit From The Internet’s New Symbol of ‘Cool’

by Ivonne Vega

hashtags

Image source:  http://www.wix.com/blog/2013/10/what-are-hashtags-and-how-to-use-them-on-social-media/ 

By now the use of the “#” symbol is as ubiquitous as the flurry of store signage along the freeway calling our attention on where to spend our money. Depending on the user, the hashtag can reach beyond its original purpose of pooling together like images and content to now dictating the current trending topics, or in a more flippant instance provide a sarcastic/funny call out in a tweet or post. Hashtags are now akin to a cursor directing us where to spend our attention as we browse online. They signal out what will be on everyone’s lips around the water cooler. How does the #hashtag trend relate to a company doing marketing for their brand? Well, “marketing,” as Seth Godin said “is a contest for people’s attention.”

No other social media forum can attest to this better than Twitter. Since 2009, Twitter has adopted to placing hyper linked hashtags in front of topics and filtrating the most popular ones to its homepage. They devised a way to find out where everyone’s attention was focused on. Now users of Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are also taking penchant to them and conversations online are centering on these popular topics. This is where your company can come in to develop, track and engage the hashtags in that social space to capture the attention of your target audience.

However, just like driving, the use of hashtags must be used with precaution and measure to maximize a positive viral effect and minimize disastrous results. Think of a drivers manual you absolutely must crack open before you can even put the key in the ignition as we look at some of the best practices for the uses of hashtags.

10 Do’s and Don’ts of Hashtags in Your Social Media Strategy

Source: http://media.about.com/od/toolsfornewsmedia/fl/How-to-Use-Hashtags-in-Your-Social-Media-Strategy.htm

1. Don’t Forget The Hashtags

The first rule of hashtags is to add them. To everything. You probably already know that Twitter, Facebook and Google+ all support hashtags but did you know Instagram, Flickr, YouTube, Tumblr and even Kickstarter, among others, also support hashtags? Add your hashtag to every post, without exception, or you’re missing an opportunity to generate buzz and grow your audience.

2. Strategize Your Hashtags

Hashtags have become a part of our daily vocabulary, so much so that you’ll find hashtags used in everything from TV commercials to everyday conversations friends are having in person without even being on the computer. What you typically find on social media sites are people who just want to add their opinion or a witty remark using hashtags or, worse, a company that is missing out on an opportunity because it chose random hashtags that have no strategy behind them. You need a hashtag that’s more significant than #NotCoolMan, unless you also own an air conditioning repair service.

3. Use Short Hashtags

How often have you seen #HashtagsThatAreSoLongTheyShouldBeBanned? Use short hashtags that are easy to read and actually have a chance of being retweeted. The longer your hashtags, the harder they are to read and the more real estate they take up in your post’s character limits. You’re not trying to be funny just to get a quick laugh, you want to use a hashtag that will be seen, is short enough to make retweeting easy and could end up trending.

4. Don’t Use the Same Hashtags

If you use the same hashtags over and over again, you’re not going to gain as much traction as you would if you varied up your hashtags. It’s easy for a media company to slap #news at the end of a post. That hashtag will get lost in a timeline full of #news hashtags but it also dilutes the power of hashtags by not capitalizing on what the post is truly covering.

5. Don’t Use More Than Two Hashtags Per Post

Statistics show that posts with more than two hashtags perform worse than those with only one or two. As this infographic shows , tweets with one or two hashtags have 21% higher engagement than those posts that are loaded with hashtags.

6. Break Out Your Hashtags on the Weekends

Surveys show hashtags are hot on the weekends, with engagement rates for brands being 17% higher on Saturdays and Sundays. However, most companies are missing out because they take the weekends off. If you can’t have someone manning your social media accounts on the weekends, use a scheduler like TweetDeck or HootSuite to plan your weekend posts with hashtags ahead of time.

7. Take Advantage of Trending Hashtags

You know #AmericanIdol is going to be a trending hashtag on the nights the show airs. Take advantage of the trending hashtags. If your website has an interview with one of the contestants on your YouTube channel, promote it and tag that update with #AmericanIdol. Keep an eye on what is trending now to see if you can get your content in front of the millions of eyes watching for that hashtag too.

8. Interact with Other Users Using Hashtags

Want to expose your social media accounts to potential followers and fans? Join the conversation. Interact with other users using your hashtags and dive right in when you can contribute to a trending hashtag. Social media isn’t a one-sided platform. You will develop a more loyal, long-lasting following if you interact with your audience.

9. Ask for Retweets not RTs

You want your followers to retweet you so your hashtag gets passed around. Just ask … but do it properly. Stats show asking for retweets by spelling out the word “retweet” pull in retweets that are 23 times higher than the average. And posts that ask for an RT only perform 10 times higher.

10. Track Your Hashtags

You spent a lot of time coming up with the right hashtags so how do you know if your strategy is working or if you need to tweak it? Track your hashtags to see their peaks and plummets. This will help you see what types of hashtags are working for you and which ones should be #retired.

(Bonus) #AlwaysCheckYourHashtags

As some brands can attest to, jumping in too quickly on a trending hashtag without checking out what it’s referencing to can land you in some hot water. Using a hashtag representing say, a divisive political debacle or pressing social cause, to plug your brand can adversely create bad publicity for you whether it’s done knowingly or unknowingly. The kind of bad publicity where you have to continuously apologize to everyone, other media outlets pick up on your error and virally spread it, and you write a note on your desk in big, fat, red letters saying “#AlwaysCheckYourHashtags.” So, do a little research and map out where your tentative hashtag is coming from and use your sound judgment if it can get you to where you want to go to: at the forefront of your audience’s attention.

 

 

Job Opening: Advertising Account Executive


RUDKIN PRODUCTIONS in Boerne is seeking an immediate Account Executive. Work a 4-day workweek – 8am to 6 pm (M-Th). The ideal candidate must be highly organized, detailed oriented and able to manage deadline-driven projects. Extensive previous print production knowledge a MUST! Outgoing and good communication skills. Work closely with clients and agency staff to coordinate the details of the day-to-day running of campaigns as well as taking on the administrative andorganizational work to ensure that projects are completed on time and in budget. Need to be able to meet multiple deadlines and prioritization of tasks; has hands-on experience conducting media research, vendor coordination, processing of ads, public relations and developing media plans; create and set budgets for creative projects as well as  web & social; can manage the creative development and production processes as well as write light copy and light PR. Reviews all creative and media work prior to submitting to client. This person will be responsible for independently managing his or her own accounts and previous agency experience is required. Please do not apply if you have not worked in an advertising agency as an Account Executive or Account Coordinator. Only previous Advertising Agency AE’s will be considered for this position.

Qualifications

• BA/BS degree in marketing, advertising, communications or related field
• Minimum of 3+ years experience in an ADVERTISING AGENCY in related job – MUST!!!
• Previous extensive print production – MUST!
• Previous experience as primary liaison with clients
• Attention to detail and ability to juggle multiple, conflicting deadlines
• Extensive research & vendor relationships
• Knowledge of web, social and interactive mediums
• Light Copywriting & PR
• Experience in ad placement & light media buying
• Ability to go cold call and work on new business
• Creativity and the ability to develop strong relationships with clients
•A proactive and highly organized approach with an ability to work with a broad range of people from creatives to clients
• Ability to work under pressure and assimilate large quantities of information with attention to detail
• Excellent communication, interpersonal and team skills

Send resume: rudkin@gvtc.com

What is Advertising?


Brand Image Rudkin Productions

Think you have a great product? Unfortunately, no one’s going to know about it unless you advertise.

Advertising, if done correctly, can do wonders for your product sales, and you know what that means: more revenue and more success for your business. But be warned: it is not a panacea.

Below you will find a list of what advertising can and can’t do for your business.

What Advertising Can Do For Your Business

  • Remind customers and inform prospective customers about the benefits of your product or service
  • Establish and maintain your distinct identity
  • Enhance your reputation
  • Encourage existing customers to buy more of your product/service
  • Attract new customers and replace lost ones
  • Slowly build sales to boost your bottom line
  • Promote your business to customers, investors, and others

What Advertising Cannot Do For Your Business

  • Create an instant customer base
  • Cause an immediate, sharp increase in sales
  • Solve cash flow or profit problems
  • Substitute for poor or indifferent customer service
  • Sell useless or unwanted products or services

Call is at 830-249-1744 to get started on your advertising campaign!

Until next time,

RP Team