Tag Archives: assess your goals

Which Do You Choose – Directory or Web-Based Advertising

Photo by Ian Britton and licensed under Creative Commons

It’s a new year and you have a limited marketing budget earmarked until the end of the financial year. You know that you want to promote your company to the widest audience possible and you are determined to spend wisely.

You have a number of choices – which way do you go?

Phone Directory Advertising

The traditional way of bringing in new customers was to pay to advertise in the local phone book. These are delivered free to the local area that they cover, although it is possible to order them for another area. You are listed alongside similar companies, which makes it easy for a potential customer to locate you but if you are not among the first five letters of the alphabet, then you may be at the end of a very long list. The directories last a whole year, which makes them very out of date by the time they are being replaced. Most directory companies are now offering online search services alongside their paper directories and this has more advantages in that the directory cannot get lost and that they may turn up in a search engine. If the companies are household names then this service may well offer more value for money.

In this blogger’s humble opinion, paper directories are on the way out like the Oxford English Dictionary and directory companies are more likely to focus their efforts on their websites.

Local Directory Websites

A number of companies have sprung up which use a national name offering a local service. The local website is usually a local franchise and so the service can vary with the franchisee. Some of them work on recommendations, which can help businesses build a good reputation, but most of them are still paid advertising. They are completely web-based and if well-promoted in their local area, may bring in some good results. It would be wise to ask around whether any in your network have had experience of using these companies and what kind of results they have had with them. It is also worth checking that they rank well in the search engines.

These kinds of websites include:

www.thebestof.co.uk

www.01527.com (or your local STD number)

www.upmystreet.com

Local Directory Franchises

There has been some anecdotal evidence that using local directories can bring good results. Unlike  a phone directory, the local directory contains a mish-mash of advertisers which is delivered through your door, either monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly. Advertising is usually cheaper than in the phone directories and is linked to the size of the ad and the frequency it appears. The directory is usually an A5 size, and is easily kept to hand. I have known some to come with magnets attached to put on the fridge!

These local directories can be effective as long as they are reaching your targeted audience. Look at distribution rates and frequency of delivery. They also sometimes offer networked events for advertisers which can offer further opportunities for company promotion. The advertising offered is at reasonable rates which can allow even small businesses a chance to advertise.

These are just three ways in which you can spend your advertising budget. Which you choose can depend on your business and the money you have to spend. Whichever way you decide to spend your cash, it is worth researching the different options. The most important thing to look at is value for money. The cheapest option will not necessarily be the best for your business, so look into it all thoroughly before committing your cash.

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Assessing Your Writing Goals

Photo by Agirregabiria

You’ve written down some goals in a notebook, but then what did you do? Close the book and go do the washing up? Have you taken any steps towards realising those goals? Or have they lain forgotten in the hustle and bustle of daily life?

It is not enough to write your writing goals down. It’s a good start. You’ve given the matter some thought. Now you need to think it through a bit more.

Go back to where you’ve written your goals. Rewrite out the first goal again. Now, underneath it write out two or three actions that you need to take in order to make that goal happen.

For example, you might have a goal to have a piece of your own writing printed in a magazine. In order to achieve this, you might:

Write in to an Editor on a Letters’ Page for a local or national magazine

Decide to write two queries a week to magazines that you read and are interested in

Decide to buy a book on querying magazines and read it through, acting on two pieces of advice.

You will notice that my ideas for acting on your goal are quite specific. Breaking it down into small steps will help you have an incentive to act towards achieving your goal.

The initial goal was vague, just a possibility. The ideas for achieving that goal make it more likely that you will achieve your goal and gives you not just one, but three different ways of making your goal happen.

Give yourself a time frame where you will come back to your goal and assess where you need to take it next. Queries to magazines take time to compose and many are rejected. In order to increase your chances of being accepted, then you will need to keep sending them out.

Now, go. Write!

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