Boost Your Brand with Summer Sales and Networking Events

Colourful hanging sales tags with optional transparent shadow

Sales are a great way to attract new customers and if you’ve got a local storefront or office building, what better way to let people know about your products or services than to host a sale as part of a local event! Here are some ideas to consider.

  • “Beat the Heat” Sale – Similar to a “beat the clock” sale, start your prices low and raise them back to normal as the day progresses or gets hotter. You could also do a one-day only “beat the heat” sale on a particularly hot weekend this summer and simply discount all products or services.
  • Memorial Day or 4th of July Sale – Discount items of your choosing on either of these major shopping weekends. Use patriotic coupon codes like REDWHITEBLUE or AMERICA. Local businesses, get in the spirit with special discounts on your services, throw in a free miniature American flag with every purchase over $50, have your staff wear red, white or blue etc.
  • “Christmas in July” Sale – This is a fun one! You can put all of your Christmas items or cold-weather clothing on sale to move old inventory. If you’re in the service industry, advertise a special price for your standard services, but only if scheduled or completed on July 25 (or the day of your Christmas in July sale).
  • Host an Event – If you’ve got a local storefront or office but don’t have a major advertising budget, host an event to let people know about your products and services. If you’re part of your local Chamber of Commerce or Business Coalition, offer your parking lot or storefront for the next business mixer, or contact the local blood bank to find out about hosting a blood drive. These are great ways to get potential customers in your doors and it doesn’t cost much on your end. Simply provide snacks, set up a display table etc. You may even be able to find another local business who’s willing to donate food or raffle items. At the end of the day, the money spent is well worth the networking opportunities!
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Shabby Chic Wedding – DIY Ideas

8/23/2014 was my big day! My mother and I spent months shopping antique stores, running back and forth to Michael’s, and scouting the perfect venue but our hard work finally paid off!  My goal was “Shabby Chic” and I think we nailed it.

A big thanks goes to The Booking House in Manheim, PA for being the PERFECT event space with their beautiful staircase, exposed beams, gorgeous chandelier and original brick walls.  We were one of the first weddings to take place here and they could not have been more helpful!

Tons of people asked about our decor, where we found things or how we made them so this blog is dedicated to all of the other brides who are looking for the perfect Shabby Chic wedding, but may be on a budget. Without further to do…

DIY Burlap Pennants

DIY Burlap Pennants

Burlap is a must-have for any shabby chic theme. We purchased our burlap from a local craft store and used a regular fabric marker to achieve this look.  We sewed the top of the pennants over, creating a simple way to string them together with twine.  We found attaching a safety pin to the end of the twine made it easier to get through each pennant.   I found something like this at Michael’s for almost $40 – our version cost less than $10.

DIY Ring Bearer Pillows

DIY Ring Bearer Pillows

Close Up

Close Up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the same burlap we used for our Mr. & Mrs. sign, I made two little ring bearer pillows.  My mom sews often so she had some lace leftover from other projects I was able to use for trim.  If you don’t have lace on hand you can purchase some from a local fabric store for less than $5.  I wove some twin into the top of the pillows and secured with a knot so that we could tie our rings onto the pillows with a simple bow. I purchased the stuffing for the pillows at a local fabric store for less than $5. You can find these kind of pillows on Etsy for upwards of $20 or DIY for less than $10.

We wanted to use Ball jars for the centerpieces at our reception but I wanted them to be vintage – not the new ones you can find at any old craft store.  This took some time, hunting them down at local antique shops, but eventually we collected 16 blue Ball jars.  Over the course of 3-4 months we spent about $100 on all of the jars but they were well worth it!  We used some of the jars to hold our favors which were also DIY. We wanted to do something sweet that would look pretty so we purchased jumbo pretzel sticks from Costco and bulk chocolate wafers from Wilbur Chocolates in Lititz, PA.  With pink and white pearl sprinkles the pretzel sticks were a huge hit!

Antique Blue Ball Jar with Chocolate Covered Pretzel Stick Favors

Antique Blue Ball Jar with Chocolate Covered Pretzel Stick Favors

In addition to the mason jars we purchased some antique glass to accompany our centerpieces.  These little bottles and vases were inexpensive and we found most of them at local antique shops.  Instead of having our florist create lavish arrangements for each table, we saved a ton of money by working with a local Amish lady who sells cut flowers by the five-gallon bucket.  We had her fill two five-gallon buckets with flowers of my choice and then we simply divided them among our tables to achieve a beautiful, country yet shabby chic look. You’ll also notice the hat box in this photo – this was an antique yard sale find that we used for all of our cards at the reception.  It only cost my sister 50 cents!

Antique Vases and Bottles Added a Splash of Color and Character at Each Table

Antique Vases and Bottles Added a Splash of Color and Character at Each Table

Another way we saved money was by creating our own programs, invitations and menus. You can spend countless dollars on stationary from websites like Minted, Zazzle or Etsy but at the end of the day no one is going to say, “Wow, my favorite part of that wedding was the programs!” Luckily, I have a background in graphic design so this part was fun for me, but as long as you have an eye for detail and a good sense of style you can achieve the same look.  Pictured below are our programs and menus.  I had the programs printed at Staples and I purchased ivory, sparkly card stock from Walmart for the menus which I printed on my own.

Programs for the Wedding Ceremony

Programs for the Wedding Ceremony

Menus for Each Table at the Reception

Menus for Each Table at the Reception

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saving money on our decor and stationary allowed us to book the honeymoon of our dreams and pay for our first choice photographer.  We were able to achieve the shabby chic look we wanted by making smart purchases and taking our time to find the vintage items we really wanted like the blue mason jars. Here are some additional photos from the big day!

Bridal Party at The Booking House

Bridal Party at The Booking House

Mr. & Mrs. Kyle Kline

Mr. & Mrs. Kyle Kline

Web Design Highlight: Keep’em in Stitches

In April, Keep’em in Stitches website went live! It took weeks of photos, pricing and design to achieve the look we wanted, but it was well worth it.  Here are some of my favorite photos from the website and be sure to visit www.keepeminstitchesknitting.com to see the end results!

We used GoDaddy to host the site and all of the graphics, photos and content were created by HighleyDesigned.  Keep’em in Stitches owner, Jean Risser, is my aunt so it’s been lots of fun growing closer with her as we work on developing her business strategy and long term marketing plans.

Keep’em in Stitches was recently invited to join the online initiative, Shop Lancaster, so we are very excited about the added exposure the business will receive.  Stay tuned for more information on where to buy Keep’em in Stitches adorable handmade products and accessories.

 

Homepage Graphic

Homepage Graphic

Delicate Baby Headbands

Delicate Baby Headbands

Criss-Cross Applesauce

Criss-Cross Applesauce

 

 

 

Ways to Create Meaningful Social Media Content

What makes great content for your company’s Facebook page or other social media channels? One of the best ways to engage your audience is to show them your personality!  Customers want to work with a local business they can relate to and feel good about doing business with.

One of the easiest ways to create content that shows more than just the professional side of your business is to feature “behind the scenes” photos.  Regardless of your industry, people love to see what your company is like behind the façade of your organized website or beautiful store front.  They want to see what kind of employees work for you, what your company does to support the community, and what goes into creating your product or service.

When I worked for the iconic American hat company, Bollman Hats, we used Instagram to feature behind the scenes photos from the hat-making process.  Customers loved seeing how the stylish hats we manufactured went from raw wool to finished product.  Our photos showed hats going through the various phases of manufacturing and customers could see the dedicated employees who molded, felted and blocked each hat.  Making a connection like this shows customers that your company is not just a brand, a familiar face or a radio jingle, but a group of hard working individuals that they can relate to.

Another way to create meaningful social media content is to participate in local community events.  Businesses are often asked to sponsor local charity events, school organizations, golf outings, etc.  When your company agrees to sponsor one of these events you are often given the chance to advertise on the event website, create a take-away or flier to be given to event participants or better yet – sign up a team of your employees to directly participate in the event or volunteer at the event.  If you’re able to participate at the event the photo opportunities are countless.  Snap a shot of one of your carpenters helping a toddler at a children’s charity event or your business owner crossing the finish line at a charity run.  These photos are great for social media, website content and more.  They also encourage engagement from your fans and followers because people love to “like” a photo that features someone they know or an event they also attended.

ReBath & More recently sponsored and participated in The Junior League of Lancaster County’s Annual Run 4 Luck.  We were featured on the event website and were able to print fliers that went into every goodie bag – and there were over 800!  We took tons of photos during the event and were sure to wear our ReBath tee-shirts for the day.  The photos from this event made for one of our most liked Facebook posts in the month of March and the exposure we received was fantastic for business.

Not only did we feel great about sponsoring a worthy cause, but by doing so our customers are able to feel good about supporting our business and that’s the key to creating meaningful content. 

PicMonkey Collage

Run 4 Luck Flier

Flier for Goodie Bags – Front

Run 4 Luck Flier 2

Flier for Goodie Bags – Back