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You’ll quickly learn that if you use background images in powerpoint, when you go to print to PDF, the background image gets a white border around it. It took me a while to figure out how to get the PPTX to properly display the background, so I thought I’d share it.
Step 1: Your preview will look like this:
Step 2: Go into the PDF printer properties and set the “Adobe PDF Page Size” to “Slide 7.5 x 10″ as shown here:
Step 3: Your preview will now look correct as such:
Last week was a busy one but awesome nonetheless. Monday myself and the team attended the Princeton Chamber of Commerce Culinary Trade Show at the Westin Hotel at Princeton. It was a great introduction to many of local businesses in Princeton. At the event we were able to have great face time with other businesses in the Princeton area. You never know who you will meet at those types of events. Oh and the food was awesome too as there was a spotlight on local Princeton restaurants. I took many opportunities, to visit many of the booths with sample dishes…delicious.
Congratulations again go out to the winners of our Wine Raffle, Debra Richlin from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Copley Szostak from Present Company, Barbara Aldrich from Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. and Scott N. Schneider from Firmenich.
Wednesday, I met up with Jay MacLean from the MacLean Agency. Jay and I had a great conversation about our respective businesses. I find it therapeutic to talk to fellow business colleagues and owners about the challenges, hurdles, and successes faced daily. The MacLean Agency is a family owned business with a 44 year history of doing business in the arenas of Insurance and Financial services in the Princeton area. There is something to say about longevity. I wanted to thank Jay for giving me some great insight and I look forward to continuing to our conversations in the future.
In LW Wii Bowling news, the battle of two titans…Christine (No Pin Left Behind) Robinson vs. Derrick (All Strikes) Larane produced two miraculous unheard of ties. Yes two ties!!!
David Spira and Tracy Severino were on a selling Local Wisdom spree last week. By weeks-end, there were total of 5 sales meetings completed. I love the sales energy coming out of the shop. If you have a website or online interactive need or know someone who does please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 609.269.2320. Have a referral for us? Check out our referral program.
Till next week.
Well last week was my first full week back from paternity leave. My wife gave birth to our first daughter, Elena Aminah Larane. She continues to melt our hearts each day. But I am now back and reinvigorated to continue to spread the Local Wisdom, We love making websites, gospel to the masses.
This past week was awesome! Some of the highlights included attending two great networking events, and hosting another in our new office. Midweek myself, Tracy, David, and Tim went to the Princeton Chamber of Commerce Business Before Business Breakfast. We met and spoke with fellow members of the Princeton business community. We also sat through a fantastic presentation by Professor Graham Jones, Co-Founder and Director of a company named Lane4. The presentation centered around the role of leaders in creating conditions where their employee can thrive. I thought it was a great presentation that spoke to the current state of our economy and the pressures we as managers, place on our employees to be successful. To get the best of out your employees, Graham stated you must balance these pressures by acknowledging and rewarding the small wins and milestones along the way. Keeping your employees motivated and self assured that there managers value their effort goes a long way.
Later in the week, I attended a networking event sponsored by the African American Chamber of Commerce of NJ. This event was held at Deltas Restaurant in New Brunswick. I met with fellow African American business owners and executives representing both New Jersey and Philadelphia. Stephen A. Smith formerly of ESPN and now FOX News Network gave an inspiring talk about empowering the African American Business Community through networking and forging business relationships. Afterwards, I was able to speak to Stephen A. for a bit. On a side note I did not realize how tall he actually was.
On Thursday evening, Local Wisdom hosted a NJ Mobile Meetup meeting at our freshly moved into Princeton Junction office. Special thanks to Stephen Itak of Victory Selections for sponsoring with delicious wine, and the crew at Sun Bank for providing the pizza. The event went very well. David Spira and the Local Wisdom team would like to thank the guest speaker, Ken Kay (Angel Investor) and everyone else who came to the event.
Otherwise we continue on a track of busyness with curations and project with ELS, Perdue Pharma, and the Global Marketing Group of Johnson & Johnson. Till next week!!!
I’m pleased to announce the Local Wisdom Referral Program (Sorry, no fancy acronym).
The Referral Program is pretty simple:
Tell people about Local Wisdom. For every qualified lead you give us, we will give you $100. A qualified lead is an opportunity that generates a Sales Discovery Meeting. A Sales Discovery Meeting is a chance for us to meet with the potential client to learn about their needs.
If we are able to close the deal you will receive a 2% commission of the of the total project budget. This commission will be given to the referrer upon receipt of final payment from the project.
As an added bonus, you will also receive our eternal love and gratitude.
If you have any questions, or would like to submit a lead you can contact me at email@example.com.
Peter Shankman, the founder of Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and The Geek Factory, gave the people at the NJ Business Marketing Association a great talk on how he thinks about and uses social media to make his businesses successful. Thank you Peter, thank you BMA and thank you fellow Lwer Derrick, Christine, and David for attending with me.
Here’s what I took away from the talk
Grow your personal brand
Peter was big on the individual. Businesses don’t do business with people. People do business with people. Your business is a reflection of the people that run it. He wants everyone to develop their personal brand through social concepts like texting (twitter, facebook, linkedin, etc.), phone calling, and (yes) snail mailing notes. A quick side note on snail mailing notes. Last month we were hiring for project managers the people who are standing out in my head are the ones to followed up with a personal hand written note. Its all about doing something different to capture the minds of people. So go forth and start building your personal brand, its going to define you in the future.
Plan for backup??!!?
Peter made a great point stating that he was always told to “have a backup plan”. Why? Why not concentrate on a the plan for success? It’s better than concentrating on the plan for failure. My take is that when you have to plan for failure, what you are planning is costly thus increasing its risk. In Peter’s world (and ours) big things evolve from small things. Start small, start fast, and start now.
Information is free
The world as we knew it was broadcasted to us from only a few sources. Print, radio, and television were all broadcasted from a few to many. The internet is making information free and creating a many to many relationship. Breaking news doesn’t come from CNN anymore, it comes from twitter. In this world we are creating views of the world at the exact moment it happens and sharing that view with people all over the world.
Ask your customers, how they want to get information
There is so much information out there and so many ways to take it in. We listen to podcasts on the commute into work, we read blogs with the morning coffee, we check facebook status when we come home and sit down. We have developed routines of digesting information. So how do you get your information to your customers? Ask them. Talk to your customers often and ask them how they would like to get your information.
Peter says the Social Media is having other people do public relations for you. Here are is 4 fours of social media:
Again thank you Peter for the great talk.
Many people watch for just the commercials, and most like me love the game and can’t wait until next season! At the party I attended, it was like Mystery Science Theater 3000 with everyone spitting out the opinion quickly and often :) I would say we had more thumbs down then up, and very few that I can remember today. Godaddy (the use of females tearing off dress shirts), Doritos (funny ones, especially the Doritos ninja), Hyundai (people carrying the car), Etrade (Talking babies still work), Jay Leno, Letterman and Oprah (have no clue what it was for, but was awesome to see).
But by far the best commercial was definitely the Google one, very clever, very simple, and pulls on your heart strings. I only remember seeing it once, and it was so memorable. If you can think of a better commercial let me know in the comments, but I think they ended up with the best bang for the buck commercial by far:
Just today we were talking in the office about how the story of our company impacts people when we are introducing them to our Local Wisdom.
It’s a classic hard work and determination story and if you want to hear more, you’ll have to call me.
Here is a recap of the eight axioms Michael Margolis covers in his recent article in Storytelling Magazine on Brand Storytelling.
I’m a huge fan of Mint.com and very much dislike Intuit in general due to their lack of innovation and overall crappy software suite. Unfortunately now, they are making 1 smart move and that’s purchasing mint.com. Read the email I just received below… I’m still in shock…. At least it says that they’ll be keeping the CEO on board and mint.com will stay free… for the moment…. I’ve really got to get started on some of my ideas and sell out like these guys. I hope that the CEO staying on board will bring Intuit’s products up to date because they really do suck… Too bad this wasn’t an April’s fools joke… I’m really sad now :(
Ready for the next Evolution
Thank you for being a part of what’s becoming a revolution in active Mint.com and Intuit are coming together to take personal finance to the next level. Mint.com has entered into an agreement to be purchased by . Once the acquisition closes, Mint.com will have the opportunity to spread that revolution to more people, more quickly, together with one of the world’s strongest software brands. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of 2009.. I’m excited to say that
What’s not going to change
Mint.com will stay the way you like it: free, easy-to-use and constantly improving.
What will change
As outlined in today’s press release and my blog post, after the acquisition closes, the Mint.com team will contribute to improving the financial lives of tens of millions of consumers and small businesses. I’ll personally be taking on the role of GM of Intuit’s responsible for online, desktop and mobile consumer personal finance offerings. Joining Intuit enables us to bring our vision of helping consumers understand and do more with their money to millions of Intuit customers. This is a compelling combination of our innovative product, technology, and industry leading user interface design with one of the most trusted brands in software.
I look forward to executing on that vision — for you.
Thanks for your support,
Founder and CEO
Working with people is like a drop of milk in black coffee. There’s essentially no real telling where and how the milk will spread. This is chaos theory.
At the same time, our approach in the work we do is based on getting brilliant minds together to focus on an outcome and make it happen. Yes, we work in groups quite a bit. It can be difficult at times to keep things moving towards a creative end, but when done properly it saves a lot of time, money, and you get a great product that everyone loves.
The PsycBlog has a great post entitled How Groups Form, Conform, Then Warp Our Decision-Making, Productivity and Creativity and goes over some very good points on working in and facilitating groups over several subject areas:
Also, here is some supplemental reading: 10 Rules That Govern Groups
These days, the tech-savvy small business is using search engine optimization to steer customers to its home page. But once those online visitors land, how do you get them to buy? Sure, you can pay a lot for site analytics that give you insights into those potential customers’ shopping habits. But small-business owners now have a variety of simple yet effective tools to tempt visitors into opening their wallets.
Here are the three best ways to convert Web traffic into sales:
1. Install a click-to-call feature. Body By Brooklyn Inc., a spa in Brooklyn, N.Y., had trouble getting people to reserve appointments online, so it turned to Karma Martell, chief executive of KarmaCom Inc., a New York interactive marketing company, for help. Ms. Martell suggested that the spa offer a more direct way to get customers to book spa times quickly and easily via a click-to-call widget on its Web site. Here’s how it works: Customers click the link. A box pops up. They insert a phone number and press a button. A short while later, customers receive a phone call, with the spa staff on the line. “It’s a fabulous way to get instant conversions,” Ms. Martell says. Mira Goldin, the spa’s owner, says she has a 5% to 10% conversion rate on the $250-a-year feature. The spa can also program its hours of operation so that the widget disappears when there’s no one available. Other click-to-call widgets are offered by Jajah, TringMe and Flaphone.
Using personal involvement to close a lead from the Web is smart, says Justin Kitch, chief growth officer for Intuit Inc.’s Small Business Group. “A little light human touch can have a big wow factor,” he says, “because the customer is not expecting it.”
2. Chat with customers online. In late April, home improvement e-tailer Improvement Direct Inc., of Chico, Calif., used a chat feature on its site to converse directly with customers about its products and services. The response was overwhelming. “We got flooded,” says Brandon Proctor, vice president of marketing. “We couldn’t believe how many chats we were getting.” In July alone, the company had more than 300 chats daily and converted them into sales at a rate of 9%. Although it had eight staffers answering the chats, the company was forced to temporarily shut the feature last month because of its popularity, Mr. Proctor says. The company is set to relaunch the chat feature, using Bold Software LLC’s BoldChat program, in the next week or two with more staffers. Cost: $15 to $200 per month, depending on the package.
Mike Gallagher, a golf club specialist, uses a chat widget to turn prospects into customers.
For a free chat program, you can try Meebo Inc.’s chat program, just like Mike Gallagher, a golf club specialist and club fitter for TopGolf golf shop in Wood Dale, Ill. He also runs FittingBlog.com, where he installed Meebo’s chat widget a month ago. He chats with about five to 10 prospects daily and the number of fittings has risen nearly 20% in the past month. It’s “a way to better interact with our customers and have more of a one-to-one relationship with them,” says Mr. Gallagher, adding that the technology reassures customers who’re spending hundreds of dollars for a golf club fitting.
3. Offer a try-before-you-buy program. For the past three years, Brendan Quirk, owner of Competitive Cyclist, has seen a 60% conversion rate from its nationwide demo program, in which customers can try out a $4,500 bike before buying it. The Little Rock, Ark., high-end bike e-tailer has a fleet of about 175 bikes that it ships to anyone in the continental U.S. for a fee of $300. Customers try one for a week and have 14 days to buy the bike; if they do, they’ll get a $300 credit towards the purchase. The company sends out 600 bikes a year. Mr. Quirk says he’s taking out the No. 1 hurdle that’s preventing customers from taking the big leap: buyer’s regret.
Source: Wall Street Journal