Tag Archives: interviews for entrepreneurs

14 Feb

5 Ways Promotional Items Can Help Grow Your Business

picture of brand name phone

This is the third in a series of posts I’ve created about entrepreneurs. The people in these interviews are not only local business owners but have the truest entrepreneurial spirits I’ve seen. Whether they work for themselves or for someone else, each offers a t least one strong habit, thought or suggestion to help develop a successful business. Their passion is seen in their work and how they operate in the world.

I am slowly finding out that entrepreneurs don’t always advertise all of their businesses. Often, they drop hints about other things they are working on or mention hobbies or interests that also (happen to) generate income. Sometimes it’s a mention of a meeting in their schedule, a change in income or a shift in habits. Such is the case with the next woman I am introducing.

As a creative soul, this entrepreneur makes it happen!

I am always looking for small promotional items to offer prospective clients, so I was fortunate to recently sit next to Amy Dorr, Sales Associate for Identify Advertising. Identify is a company that offers promotional marketing materials. As a small business owner, finding someone in the industry not only saves me time but also makes the process of buying products so much easier. Have you ever ordered products and then couldn’t use them because you ordered the wrong thing, made a mistake on the order or can’t return it? Then you know what I am talking. I can recommend NOT doing that!

Tip for new business owners: When priced correctly and within your budget, promotional materials are a great item to offer employees, managers, teams and potential customers.

What does Identify Advertising offer?

Identify Advertising is an E-catalogue and webstore which strives to be a “one stop source”, offering a variety of promotional product solutions for small, medium and large size businesses.

Quality of Product, Quality of Service

“Imagine/inspire/impress”, is their slogan that emphasizes quality and service.

“Right order, right price and right delivery: We source the branded products you need for events, promotions, campaigns and employee engagement and get it fast, just the way you need it. From trendy gadgets to classic awards and keepsakes, we produce the products you want at a quality you’ll be happy with”.


Adding a special touch

As a sales person, Amy who is well versed in the product lines, offers personalized suggestions for any client looking for products. She also offers product research which can include: quantity of items, color and style options, bulk pricing options and logo design. She helps each client from the beginning of the order to delivery, saving them time, money and hassle.

Tip: Did you know that you can buy promotional products for 3 different groups: employees, customers and prospective customers?

People love free stuff!

So why buy promotional products for your business?

Here are 5 ways promotional items can help your business:

  • To have gifts to offer employees.
  • To offer something that is different and unique to customers.
  • To help make spending cost effective.
  • To have something that is free and of value to offer clients and new prospects.
  • To help promote your brand by keeping your company top-of-mind.

Research shows that people buy from people that they know, like and trust (I didn’t make that saying up, it’s a common marketing phrase). But it’s important. With so many choices for consumers, businesses have to find ways to continually remind customers they are there, and their product or service is the one they should buy first.

We are so inundated with consumerism in our culture, I think we take this aspect of business building for granted. If you look around your home or office, you’ll probably find some item sitting there staring at you – I have a Chase Bank pen on my kitchen counter, right next to my favorite Starbucks coffee cup. My question to you is, why aren’t your products sitting on the counter top? I find my favorite Etain pens are actually in my bag and on my desk, along with my favorite business postcard. It’s taken a while but with a little practice (and a small budget increase), you can make this form of branding and advertising an easy habit!

Amy used one popular product as an example. A credit card holder. Sounds simple right? But it actually has multiple uses.

Some types of promotional products are often purchased for events such as trade shows and industry fairs.  Companies buy badges, carrying cases, shirts, sweat shirts, jackets, back-packs, key chains and pens so while their employees are working at the trade show, they can display the brand with the tools they need. It shows a uniformity amongst the employees, identifies the company’s brand visually, and attracts customers.

Companies use promotional items for other events such as:

Open Houses (people love free stuff to take walk away with)

Holiday parties (an extra special way to support employees)

Partnerships, such as a paid sponsorship (for example: fun run)

Give-aways in the office (another way to keep morale up!)

For a list of other examples and product categories, click here.


Amy suggested a promotional products companies like to buy:

  1. A great gift for School Open Houses is a cool multi-color highlighter.
  2. Need a cool gift for a gift bag or give-away? Try a flashlight.

Products are priced from as low as .50 cents to over $100.00 depending on the item and quantity.

In addition to her work with Identify, and in true entrepreneurial spirit, Amy is also a seamstress. Turning her hobby into work means that Amy assists a small mom/pop shop with seamstress services while also managing her family.

And if that’s not enough, she spends some of what’s left with her free time running her own shop on Etsy, called Baby Dear.

To see the items she sells, click here .

As a Business Coach, I am in a unique position to get to learn about people and their businesses. It has been such a pleasure getting to know Amy. She has taught me to never judge a book by its cover, but rather, open it up, read for a while and get an understanding about who the person is before you look to see what they are offering.

At the end of the day, for entrepreneurs, how they spend their time, inside and outside “the office” is often directly related to who they are and what they are about as a person.

If you like this post, please leave a comment below or visit the links posted in this article.

To reach Amy directly:




Thanks for reading!


18 Jul

Do You Need a Digital Marketing Agency to Help Your Online Coaching Businesses?

I recently had an opportunity to interview Matt Adams, the founder of Online Growth Guru, a digital marketing agency that helps businesses set-up, manage and grow their online presence for profitable results.  

Karen(K): What is a digital marketing group?

Matt(M): This is a group which offers services and expertise to other businesses to help with elements of website development, social media management and SEO, which means making sure your website shows up when potential customers type your services in to Google or other search engines.

These services are often used by businesses to grow their brand through platforms reliant upon the internet. Often by investing in a long-term strategy on the web allows businesses to create an inbound sales process that works on autopilot. But it does take time and hard work to get to that point.

K: Why is it important to invest in this aspect of the business? 

M: Investing in digital marketing and making slow but steady progress towards online growth is super important.

When done correctly, and with the right strategies, your website can become a lead generation machine. That means your business development efforts can be reduced as more leads come via a website.

However, it does take time and if you don’t want to learn it yourself, you will almost definitely need to invest. I spent hours learning during my first business, which got me to where I am today.

K: How much should they invest in a 3rd party company like yours to help them?

M: When using a 3rd party marketing company, charges can vary. They may be offered in the form of hourly rates. They may also be offered in the form of task-based improvements.

It’s difficult to say how much you should spend as it really depends on your goals. The important thing to say is that some business owners, who want immediate success, use Pay Per Click, which means they pay every time someone visits their site. However, this is a short-term fix for a long-term problem.

Therefore, focus should be put on mixing up marketing techniques, that include content writing, email collecting and promotion of the website to 3rd parties. Technical & strategic SEO is also key from the very beginning

To make this decision, define your goals, speak to various experts to see what they think and then work towards a plan that allows you to gain returns asap, while working towards the long-term objectives of the business.

In general, look at it as ongoing monthly cost/investment as opposed to a costly project-based task.

K: How does a new coach or consultant start this process of using a company like yours?

M: To begin using a digital marketing agency, it’s important to be prepared for a long-term journey rather than immediate success.

Many consultants say they can get you to the top of Google quickly, that’s generally because there are lots of sneaky ways to manipulate the algorithm of search engines.

What’s important is that your digital marketer talks about the opportunities in terms of quick wins as well as long term goals.

For example, you might be able to write pages that target long-term searches e.g. ‘How to hire a coach’ and be on the front page quite quickly – a great quick win.

But a long-term goal could be to reach the front page of the search term ‘business coach’ – which is a real competitive keyword. But with the right strategies in place, it’s achievable.

Another important asset of a digital marketer is that they talk in your language. Many technical experts try there hardest to talk in technical language that the average business person doesn’t understand.

However, when digital strategies are explained with a business person in mind, they can make absolute sense.

Many of our clients trust me because I explain things in a way which make sense to them. The technical stuff is then just left to me.

K: How do they know companies like yours are real and can help them?

M: A company like Online Growth Guru can help coaches to understand the importance of digital marketing and the business aspects to SEO.

You should get a feeling that the company you hire is trying to understand your industry, target markets and products or services. That way you know they’re genuine.

They should help you line up the business strategy with the digital strategy so that you don’t invest thousands of pounds before receiving any return on investment usually in the form of traffic or leads – which is often the mistake made by business owners. Thinking they need the perfect $10,000 website before making one sale – it’s the biggest misconception in the industry.

“I say: Build something simple, generate traffic, then improve in small bites every day. And this is what your marketer should be telling you, too.”

~Matt Adams, the founder of Online Growth Guru

If you really want to know whether they are real, take time to listen to what they say and attempt to understand the logic behind what they are doing. And don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially in the early days.

K: Thanks Matt for your time and expertise. In conclusion, if you’re looking for a way to grow your business and build a solid marketing platform, a good digital marketing agency can not only save you valuable time and energy but provide you in a clear direction in the digital world of online business.

Find out More:

You can learn more about Online Growth Guru and their services on their website here.

Or email Matt directly at: matt@ogguru.com.


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