Content Marketing, Destructive Marketing, Marketing Tips, Uncategorized

Feeling Stuck? How to Boost Your Creativity

person who is stuck on a problemCertain professions require creativity – think graphic design, floral arranging, and composing, to name a few. And when an author struggles, a specific phrase describes the response—writer’s block. But entrepreneurs and managers can get stuck, too. Owning and operating a small business or department requires tons of creative moxie. If you solve problems for a living, you are bound to run into a creative obstacle at one time or another. So, what can you do if you find yourself struggling to come up with innovative ideas? Since we’ve been in advertising, printing and promotional products for over 40 years, we’ve learned a few tricks to get your creative juices flowing.

Pick one or try all four:relax

  1. Take a break. We know, you don’t have time to do this – conversely you don’t have time NOT to do this. “Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets,” writes Tim Kreider, in The New York Times.

So, give yourself permission to let it go. Take a walk, listen to some relaxing music or chat with a friend about anything but work.  We guarantee that taking a break will lead to more creative energy in the long run than if you continued to dig in despite the block.

  1. hobbySearch for inspiration. Are you trying to come up with a new product or service or an out-of-the-box solution to a personnel problem? Don’t operate in a vacuum. Turn to experts in the field for ideas. Spend a few minutes on Pinterest, watch a Ted Talk, listen to a podcast, or look for the answers from experts in the field. With so many resources available in books, research papers, blog posts, magazine articles and videos, you’ll run out of time long before you exhaust available material.

In Creative Block: Advice and Projects from 50 Successful Artists, author and blogger Danielle Krysa writes, It is when I find myself playing more than trying that I find my way out of a block.”

  1. Shift your perspective. Approach the problem from a new angle. Identify the source of the issue, set goals, brainstorm possibilities, and assess alternatives. Give yourself permission to try something new, even if you might fall flat on your face. In an article in Forbes, Robert Tucker points out that experience can be a two-edged sword when it comes to creativity: brainstorm

“Years of experience in an industry, profession or job can give us invaluable experience. But they can also be a block. ‘It’s always been done that way’ or ‘we already tried that are often a sign that you and your team need to shift perspective to move beyond habitual thinking blocks in to imagine alternate possibilities.”

One simple thing we do is drive to work via a different route than the norm. You’d be surprised at the new things and people you see that make your brain function in a different way, giving you the creative edge you need.

  1. creativeDownload an Idea:  Apps to boost creativity are available at the tip of your fingers. A few free ones include: Unstuck, Brainsparker or Simplemind.

 


On Target Promotions

Need creative ideas for using print, promotional and digital marketing to develop and maintain great relationships with prospects and current clients? We’ve got them! On Target Promotions, is a national promotional products and printing company with a creative edge. We add impact and value to your programs. An agency without associated agency fees, we provide innovative and cutting-edge products and service solutions through our Inland Empire offices. We help clients use marketing materials and promotional products and other media to design and secure quality marketing programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our clients in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us today to start your project.

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Business Ideas, Marketing Tips, Promotional Products Inland Empire, Uncategorized

Business Marketing: How to Handle Negative Reviews

Entrepreneur angry and furious with laptop

“Although your customers won’t love you if you give bad service, your competitors will.”

~Kate Zabriskie

For all the good the Internet has done for small business, most entrepreneurs eventually discover the seedy side of social media: negative reviews. In fact, the more customers you have or the more people you deal with, the more likely you are to earn a harsh review.

Who knows why the most prolific social media posters are the ones who have a bone to pick? But, since they are, what can you do when the vocal minority rush to review sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor or Angie’s List to complain?
your feedback emoji

How can you and your team handle negative reviews?

      1. Customer ComplaintsOwn it – Most of us have heard the adage, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” This schoolyard refrain may have subtly encouraged Americans to turn a blind eye to bad publicity. But, in the world of social media, acknowledgement is crucial to nipping negativity in the bud. Customers do not expect the companies they deal with to do everything right 100 percent of the time. But those same customers evaluate the way complaints are handled. Stay abreast of every review your customers submit by including reputation management in your electronic advertising strategy.

2. Reply. The best way to combat negative reviews is to quietly respond to concerns. For instance, if someone posts a negative review on Yelp, try to contact them on the phone or via email. In many cases, negative posts spring from miscommunication. So, if you clear up the misunderstanding privately, the reviewer may volunteer to change or remove the associated post.Positive feedback and negative feedback

3. Respond. If you are unable to keep the discussion private, respond on the network the review appeared. Unfortunately, news of bad customer service is said to reach more than twice as many years as praise for a good service experience. Fortunately, most readers know better than to treat every review with equal weight. That is probably because it’s common knowledge that some people are unbalanced. So, if negative reviews are the exception instead of the rule, potential customers will Businessman rejected vectorlikely consider the source as well as the way you publicly replied.

      1. Redirect. Instead of directing potential customers to Yelp, post testimonials on your own website, under a heading called “Customer Reviews.” Using this strategy, you will be able to capture Internet traffic resulting from searches which include your business name + the word “reviews.” Another plus about this method; you won’t have to include negative comments on your own website.

5. Bury. Nature abhors a vacuum. So, don’t give your detractors the upper hand. The easiest way to get negative reviews to show up less often is to let your good news accentuate the positive. The more positive information available online about your company, the less likely negative reviews will appear, when they run a search. Want to run an accurate keyword search? Sign out of Google If you generally surf the web with Chrome then use Firefox or Safari to check your company’s SEO. Keep the results pure by never clicking on a listing during your searches.

Customer Happy Feedback Business Quality Checklist

OnTarget Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us to start your project today.