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Quiz: Is It Time for a Rebrand?

Brands grow and change over time, morphing from the humble beginnings of an early stage startup to a full-fledged business. You’re proud of your success story, but how well are you sharing it with others?

From subtle changes in your core offerings to complete shifts in products and leadership, a rebrand will let your customers and network know who you are today as opposed to who you were before.

If you’re unsure whether or not your brand could use a refresh, fear not! We have put together a quick quiz to help you think about the different aspects of your business to assess whether a rebrand would be beneficial.

1. Do you have a clear target audience
You may have known who your customers were when you launched, but now it’s just….everyone?

a. Yes
b. No

2. Is your brand consistent across all channels
Think about whether or not someone who looks at your website will have the exact same impression as someone who is holding your business card.

a. Yes
b. No

3. Has your brand changed over time
This can mean a shift in product offerings, culture or even leadership.

a. Yes
b. No

4. Does your brand look attractive to potential recruits
Consider how you’re attracting top talent to keep your business growing.

a. Yes
b. No

5. Have you updated your marketing materials
Take a look at all of your marketing materials, starting with your logo.

a. Yes
b. No

6. Is your website working for you
Ask yourself whether your website is an asset or a liability.

a. Yes
b. No

Answer Key:

Mostly A’s
Congratulations! Your brand is in great shape, demonstrating all of your core values and offerings to the appropriate target audiences. Have you thought about how to expand your reach even further? Check out a few suggestions on how to boost your email marketing campaigns or launch a social media ad campaign.

Mostly B’s
You already know what we’re going to say. You might have spent $10,000 on a website eight years ago, and now you’re afraid to touch it. Maybe you have your 18-year-old niece making “graphics” for social media that aren’t quite aligned with your messaging. No matter what your reasoning, it’s never too late to refresh your image. Stay tuned to the Fetch blog for our series on how to make your brand work for you.

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A Business Owner’s Guide to Instagramming Events

Instagram is the place to be for business owners, but it can be hard to find your niche among the pics of avocado toast and expertly-posed babies. The easiest thing way to get started is to be your own paparazzi at community and networking events. Don’t worry, you don’t have to invest in a selfie stick. Just snap a few photos, and follow these steps for optimizing your post.

Tag the Event Host
If you’re at an event to connect with others in your community or field, chances are the event host is trying to do the same. Find out if they’re on Instagram, and be sure to tag them in your post. Extra points if you pay them a compliment in your caption. This will not only show them you’re active on Instagram, it will put the ball in their court to either comment on your post or repost to their followers. Either way, you’ve already drawn eyes to your Insta presence.

Know Your Hashtags
Ever wonder how someone with 100 followers can get 200 likes on Instagram? It’s all because of hashtags. They act as the ultimate search function, connecting users to what they want to see on the platform. For example, if you are located in Humboldt Park, using #HumboldtPark lets others who are connected to the area find your content. When you’re at an event, find out if the host has created a specific hashtag for the occasion, (e.g. #gala2018), and use it in your posts from the event. Not only will your photos appear when other attendees search the hashtag, you’ll also be able to find and connect with your fellow event goers.

Geotag Yourself
When you create an Instagram post, you have the option to add your location. The main reason to use this feature is to connect with others who are at the event. Instagram offers a search feature to see who else has checked in at the venue. Simply click on the location, and you’ll have a list of attendees who have also used the function. You can also look at their event photos to see if there are other hashtags you should use.

Businesses continue to find great success in locating and connecting with their audiences on Instagram. As you’re optimizing your IG presence, be sure to utilize Instagram for Business to track your results.

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What Small Businesses Should Know About the Facebook Algorithm Changes

Facebook announced last week a plan to overhaul users’ newsfeeds to weed out business and celebrity posts in favor of more meaningful engagements from friends and family. This has caused some serious waves in the social media world, as Facebook has been making it increasingly difficult for businesses to reach their audiences organically. Since the big brands have large budgets for highly-targeted, paid social media ad campaigns, this means it’s the small businesses that will suffer.

We’re still waiting on more details, but here’s what small businesses need to know right now:

Get Reacquainted with Your Followers

Think quality over quantity, because this new change means fans who don’t regularly engage with your content will probably never see it. Facebook’s news feed algorithm is designed to show you what it thinks you want to see. If someone is visiting your page (by actively navigating to the page), as well as sharing and liking posts, that will earn you a space in their newsfeed. If a fan liked your page awhile ago, and doesn’t appear to be that interested, the algorithm will note this and show little to none of your content.

Focus on Engagement

One of the first things a business can do is encourage fans and followers to add their pages to Facebook’s see first feature. After that, it’s time to really focus on engagement. Videos and Facebook Live continues to yield great results, as does colorful imagery that inspires comments and shares. Think of Facebook as more of a way to have a conversation with your target audience instead of just talking at them.

Commit to an Ad Spend

After this change, reaching your target audience organically is going to become virtually impossible. Decide what your goals are for Facebook – website clicks, lead form completions, etc. – and put together an advertising plan. Start by creating a schedule of boosted posts and keeping a close watch on the results. Is one type of content seeing more shares than another? Create more of those types of posts and go from there.

If you’re interested in more information about Facebook advertisements, check out our blog on how to get started.

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Simple Ways to Keep Your Clients for the Long Haul

Every business owner knows how important it is to bring in new clients, but don’t forget your bread and butter lies with retaining the clients you already have. Keep your current roster happy and thriving, and you’ll have a solid business in place so you can go out and win more. Here are a few of our recommendations to improving your client retention.

 

Understand where they want to go and how you can get them there

To ensure a satisfied client and deliver great results, you need to know what keeps them up at night. In PR, media placements are great, but they mean nothing if they don’t help your client hit their goals. Get to know their industry and competitors. Learn how to move the needle so you can help grow their business. Connecting your activity and results to your client’s bottom line goes a long way in extending your relationship.

 

Celebrate the wins and embrace the suck

Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. When something great happens for your client, let it be known and enjoy it! Of course, while it’s fun to dazzle with your amazing work, every business campaign will experience pitfalls and it’s important to inform your client when that happens. When bad things happen, get in front of them, Identify the problem and how it’s going to be fixed.

 

Be their business therapist

Business ownership is a lonely island. Having another professional to bounce ideas off of is as valuable as the service or product you are providing your client. Remember you’re essentially handling your clients’ livelihoods. By becoming a valuable partner in their business, it can go a long way toward retention.

If you are looking for a simple solution for managing, organizing and tracking your clients, consider investing in a customer relationship management system.

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Eight Lessons from Eight Years in Business

*A note from Fetch PR partner Lina Khalil

 

Fetch has gone through a ton of changes since Erryn and I started the business in 2009, growing leaps and bounds in clients, staff and even square footage. To celebrate our eighth year in business, the whole team came together for cake and wine and to reflect on the lessons we’ve learned. Here are a few of our favorites.

 

1. Put all the cards on the table.

One of the best ways to keep your team passionate about the company’s goals is to be transparent about where you’ve been, where you are currently, where you would like to go and how each individual plays a role in getting there. When employers put all the cards on the table, their team feels more connected and committed to reaching the company’s goals.

 

2. Be real about your struggle.

Being able to identify where you struggle personally while also being able to have success in those situations provides individual development that will help you grow as a company. Obviously, you want to stay true to who you are, but you can’t always be the same person in every professional situation and rely on just your natural skill set if you want to progress. You need to understand your strengths but not fall back on them constantly to the point where they become a weakness.

 

3. Bootstrapping isn’t cute.

Money isn’t everything, but when you’re running a business, it can feel like the only thing that matters. We like to ask ourselves two questions when it comes to making business decisions: Can we afford to do it? Can we afford NOT to do it? Always remember that any financial venture is an investment in your business. If an opportunity to improve your business may stretch you financially, consider how long it would take you to reach your goals without making that investment. Compare this to the short-term financial strains that you may incur by going after it. We have found that nine times out of 10 that making the investment has paid larger dividends.

 

4. Don’t sell yourself short.

Go after your ideal candidate as soon as possible, even if you’re not currently in the position to hire them. Make your intentions known and start the conversation early with them. Most business owners feel undeserving when it comes to attracting top talent. However, if you passionately sell your vision to them, they may reciprocate by telling you their must-haves in order to make the move. This will put you the best position to secure your rock star candidate and accelerate the growth of your company.

 

5. Wear less hats.

At some point every business owner wears multiple hats. While this approach allows you to launch your company and get off the ground with minimal investment, it was never meant to sustain a company long term. It is important to understand your revenue-generating activities which will help you analyze the value of your time. This will allow you to pinpoint processes that you are currently handling and outsource to a third-party who can do it more efficiently and for less money than what your time is worth.

 

6. Take your blinders off.

In our personal lives, we all know self-care is important – meaning, you have to take care of yourself first in order to help others. This is no different than running a business. While keeping your clients happy is the number one priority, neglecting your own business can stagnate your growth. To ensure your business doesn’t plateau, set aside time each quarter to look at your business as a whole. This will allow you identify areas of opportunity, promote innovation and boost creativity within your business.

 

7. Sh!t happens.

Ultimately, we can’t control when bad things happen, but that doesn’t mean we should sit around waiting for them to happen. While these negative experiences allow opportunities to learn and grow, it’s equally important to recognize the good moments and enjoy the heck out of those times.

 

8. Boy bye.

A relationship with a client is oddly similar to a relationship with a significant other. Sometimes, when the relationship with a client goes south, you automatically try to mend the broken pieces but realize that it can only hold together for so long. When it gets to that point, it’s time to let the client go in order to keep your company intact.

 

We hope these lessons that we learned throughout our eight years in business can serve you well in your enterprise endeavors. Here’s to another eight (plus)!

Check out one of our highlights from this past year

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Must-Have Apps to Improve Your Workflow

With the abundance of productivity apps available, smartphones have essentially become our personal assistants. However, the surplus of apps has made it difficult for us to determine which ones are worth our phone’s storage. To help you narrow it down, here are a few of our favorite apps to improve daily workflow.

 

Evernote

For those who struggle with organizing their daily tasks, meetings and reminders, try Evernote. This app makes taking notes, making to-do lists and collecting your thoughts quick and easy. A unique feature of Evernote is the ability to scan and save documents with your camera as picture or document files. Evernote will even help organize everything so you don’t have to.

 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great tool for making connections, applying for jobs and professionally branding your company or yourself. The mobile LinkedIn app makes it easier to perform the same web features on the go. Networking, engaging and messaging is now as simple as clicking a button. Stay up to date with the latest business and industry news, while networking with like-minded professionals.

 

Elevate

If you are looking to improve your analytical and communication skills at work, try downloading Elevate. Getting started is simple with a two to four minute quiz to create your personalized training program. With over 40 games developed by educational experts, you can track and analyze your performance. Each game is intended to test and improve your listening, reading, writing and speaking skills.

 

VSCO

VSCO is a photo-sharing app that has a more artistic-feel than Instagram. The app gives you features where you can edit or use filters, save them and choose which pictures to post. Unlike Instagram, the VSCO app does not have the ability to like,comment or see who is following you, giving you more freedom to post without judgement.

 

Trello

If you are struggling with collaborating efficiently and effectivity with coworkers, friends or classmates, download the Trello app. Trello makes it simple to organize projects, delegate tasks, and create deadlines. Create productive discussions with your team through attachments and constructive comments. Trello is a great tool not only in the office, but at home!

Whether you plan on installing the apps listed above or other apps, we recommend looking at ratings and reviews to ensure it’s worth downloading. Looking to take your business productivity to the next level? Consider adding a CRM system.

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What You Should Know About Customer Relationship Management Systems

If you a own a business, you have probably heard of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). We can all agree that customers are necessary for any successful business, so it’s important to have a system in place that can help manage, organize and track those customers to anticipate their needs. Generally speaking, this is what a CRM system provides. Here is a more in-depth guide to CRM and how to find the right system for your company.

How do you know you need a CRM system?

Think of a CRM system as a modern-day Rolodex, but with many more capabilities. These platforms help you manage your relationships with customers and clients through one location. If you’re working within a lead nurturing environment to hit sales goals and increase revenue, a CRM is an invaluable tool for you.

 

What does CRM provide?

A CRM system is primarily an extremely enhanced contact list. It tracks current and potential customers’ contact info, purchasing history, previous interactions, current stage in sales pipeline and much more. Sales teams can utilize this data by delivering information that is pertinent to each customer, rather than duplicating previous efforts and wasting time to close a sale.

Depending on the type of CRM you choose, most systems can integrate or provide software that enables customer-facing activity. Which means you can monitor quotes, invoices and customer service questions all in one place.

In addition to managing external activities, CRM systems can also provide project and task management tools within your company. Managers can delegate assignments to specific employees or teams and monitor the progress for each task to ensure each job is carried out.

 

How to find the right CRM system for your business

There is a lot to consider when looking to integrate a CRM into your business. Not all CRM systems are the same, so you will need do some research prior to making any rash decisions. Here are a few things you should think about when selecting the right CRM:

  • Budget – There are different factors CRM vendors take into consideration when charging their clients, such as number of users and features needed. Most vendors charge on a per-user, per-month basis. If you’re not sure a certain product is in your budget or worth the money, most vendors allow a free trial or you can use a free version of a CRM system with limited capabilities.
  • Goals – You should identify what you want to get out of using a CRM. The most obvious goal is to increase profitability, but you should also seek other aspects of your business you want to refine such as, increased productivity, improved reporting or internal task management.
  • Implementation – This is a vital component when introducing new software into a business. You will either need to bring in a consultant or delegate someone within the company to take charge of implementing the system. Time will need to be set aside for training employees, establishing procedure and importing existing data.

CRM is the basis of your sales and marketing. It can save you time, increase productivity and close sales. If you’re looking to establish a marketing plan, here’s how to get started.

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5 Ways to Increase Newsletter Click-Throughs

Sending out weekly or monthly newsletters is a great way to inform clients, customers and stakeholders of what’s new and exciting within your company. The only problem? The possibility of creating dull content that gets marked to the spam folder of someone’s inbox. Here are a few recommendations on how to spice up your content marketing to make for an enticing and effective read.

1. Make Your Emails Mobile-Friendly

These days, more emails are opened on mobile devices than on desktops as busy professionals check for mail while on-the-go. While your emails may look great on the desktop version, they may translate in an unappealing fashion on your viewers’ mobile email accounts if not formatted properly. For successful email marketing campaigns, make certain that the formats you use translate to a mobile-friendly design, including extra white space around links for those with clumsy thumbs (Orbit Media recommends that a mobile call to action should be at least 45 x 60 pixels). Increased accessibility will enable your viewers to pay attention to your email that it deserves.

2. Invite Readers to Engage on Social Media

Including social media buttons (clickable icons of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) in your email campaigns can dramatically affect click-through rates. According to a GetResponse study, emails that listed social sharing buttons received 158 percent more clicks than emails without them. By allowing your viewers to share content with friends on their social platforms, increased visibility also becomes an advantage as sharing power increases.

3. Use Triggered Email Campaigns

A triggered email is an email that is automatically sent to your inbox after completing a direct action. This can include welcome emails after signing up for a subscription, confirmation emails after agreeing to receive alerts, and transactional emails after completing a purchase. These types of messages are so effective because they take action when the user is already active online. As a result, they tend to get unusually high click-through rates with up to 406% more engagement. Only 18 percent of marketers use triggered email campaigns – ignoring a huge opportunity for customer engagement.

4. Don’t Annoy Your Customers

Over-mailing can be deadly. Once companies begin sending out too many check-ins, newsletters, and email campaigns, their engagement rates drop. To avoid an annoying email presence, limit yourself to emailing no more than once a week. You can also offer your customers an opt-out option to certain types of emails that they receive from you.  This allows your viewers to receive emails at a frequency that works for them, as only the biggest fans will want tons of emails from your company bogging down their inbox every time they log in.

5. Include a Strong Call to Action

Everyone knows a CTA is a core of the newsletter, but not everyone knows the strategy that’s involved. Here’s a couple pointers:

Calls to action typically perform better if you phrase them exactly the same way your subscriber would. For example, “Get my ebook” will do better than “Get your ebook.” In fact, this type of phrasing resulted in a 90% increase in click through rate, according to Content Verve. Another way to boost a call to action is to create a “curiosity gap,” or a cliffhanger. Just make sure you don’t end up bribing your readers with clickbait by exaggerating the truth to the point of distrust. If unsure of where to place your CTA, try the bottom right corner. This is a natural stopping point to the eyes when reading from left to right, as it offers more information at the end of their viewing pattern.

Even if your click-through rate remains lower than you would like it to be, don’t give up hope! CTA aren’t the end-all of content marketing. What’s most important is to continue to build your relationship with your viewers by offering brand awareness, information, and resources. For more tips on expanding your email marketing skills, check out our blog post here.

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Fetch PR: An Award-Winning Public Relations Firm

We were very honored to receive a Trumpet at the 58th Annual Golden Trumpet Awards! The ceremony, sponsored by the Publicity Club of Chicago, honors prominent individual achievement of public relations and communications in the Midwest. The award was for our product launch campaign for Zacks Advantage’s new robo-advisor product. Click here to learn more about the campaign.

We had a great time celebrating and meeting fellow PR professionals at the awards ceremony last week. Here are some photos from the event.