Dealer Spotlight – 25 years of the Give-A-Book program!
Posted in Dealer Spotlight, News at 11:03 pm. Comments Off
This month we reached out to Betty Lanke, from Terre Haute, Indiana. This is her 25th anniversary as Create-A-Book dealer. Her passion and mastery of the Give-A-Book program are nothing short of inspiring. If you’ve thought about doing a Give-A-Book program, or want to know how our most profitable dealers sell most of their books, this post is you you.
Betty’s runs a Give-A-Book program every year, which provides personalized children’s books for every kindergartner in the Vigo County school district. And it’s no small endeavor. Together with her amazing sponsors, they are able to provide books for all 18 schools in the district — almost 1500 students every year. We asked her to share her story and advice.
What’s your story, how did you get started?
As soon as I purchased my license, I went to the superintendent of schools whom I knew from networking events. I told him about my goal of giving books to every kindergarten student in the district. He was very skeptical that I could do it, but I didn’t let that deter me. I just went to the banks and the real estate organization and drummed up committed sponsors the very first year. One of our sponsors has been supporting the program for 25 years, and our current additional sponsors have been with us for the last several years.
How did you get sponsors so quickly?
Do you choose a different book each year?
What personalization do you include in the books?
How long does it take you to make so many books?
We make the books and hold a kick-off event in October at one of the schools. These kick-offs are very popular; our sponsors hand out the books, and we receive television and newspaper coverage every year. We make sure to take a class picture, so all the students get their picture in the paper, and I give additional photos to our sponsors.
Can you explain further, what is a kick-off?
What’s your secret for attracting the media?
4 amazing tools to let you create Inexpensive Logos
Posted in Business at 11:33 am. Comments Off
4 amazing tools to let you create Inexpensive Logos
Whether you’ve been a Create-A-Book distributor for years or are just starting out, you probably know that a unique logo that represents your business can help people to recognize your brand. But where do you start? And how much should you spend?
We created this brief introduction and list of resources to help you create a great logo without breaking the bank.
Why Your Logo Matters
The main thing to remember is that your logo is a visual reminder about your business. Logos are so important that there’s even a logo game on Facebook…and you’d be surprised by how many brands you recognize without a single name or clue. One picture says it all. Just think of Nike’s trademark swoosh.
Your Logo Should…
And there is science linking color to memory. If you’re curious, visit “Why Facebook is Blue: The Science of Colors in Marketing” by Leo Widrich. It may inspire your creativity and your logo.
What’s in a Logo?
The best logos are:
Getting Inspired and Getting Started
If you still need a little inspiration, these sites may have just what you’re looking for:
If you have something in mind (or just want to start dabbling), visit one of these logo makers. Most of them are very affordable and can deliver the professional results you need.
Withoomph is really easy to use and might give you the extra “oomph” your logo deserves. We plugged in a few key words, and it gave us several quick choices. They have very reasonable starting prices, too.
GraphicSprings Logo Creator will walk you through each step effortlessly. Start designing your logo for free or hire one of their specialists to help you move from effective to extraordinary.
Logaster also offers free logos, but it depends on the size. But even full-size logos are only $9.99. We used the same key words (“My Own Book” as a company name), and the auto-generator came up with some really nice options.
Hipster Logo Generator has a modern feel and some different options for designing. Depending on your style and needs, this might be the site for you.
Let Us Know How It Works Out
As always, everyone at Create-A-Book wants you to be a success. We hope these tips help you make your logo creation process a productive one. We’d love to hear about your experience, so keep us posted and share your success with us.
We’d love to see these in action, so we’re throwing a contest. Send us a copy of your email(s) and/or Facebook posts for a chance to win a free 10 pack of your choice.
Even if you don’t win the contest you stand to gain additional sales, so either way you win!
Depending on the number of entries, we’ll select 1 or 2 dealers who will win a free 10 pack of their choice.
How to submit entries:
1. EMAILS: send us a screenshot (or copy of the actual email) to email@example.com
2. Facebook posts: take a screenshot of your Facebook post and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Contest details:
- We’ll select a winner on Labor Day, so you have plenty of time.
- Already have your own content and layout, no worries. You’re not required to use the banners & copy provided in our training tips.
How do I take a screenshot?
Setup a successful Back-To-School marketing campaign – in 30 minutes
Posted in Marketing, Training at 8:58 pm. Comments Off
The back to school event is an incredible sales opportunity from July through September, and we’ve made it really easy to setup campaigns using email, social media, your website or all three. In just 30 minutes you can follow our instructions and schedule 2-3 emails,prepare 2-3 Facebook posts and update your website.
We have some amazing banners you can use on your website, email campaigns or Facebook. View them all.
Whether this is your first email to family and friends, or you’ve already built a customer list, email marketing is your bread and butter because it’s how you build repeat business. We’ve taken out the guesswork. Learn How
We couldn’t make it any easier. We’ve listed tips, along with images and content you can choose to create your posts on Facebook or Twitter. Learn How
Web (SO IMPORTANT IF YOU HAVE A WEBSITE):
Update your home page to promote the event. You can do this easily by adding one of our banners and showcasing categories or products about school or education. Make sure banner links to either a category page with the educational products or directly to a single product. If you have a savisites website, we’ve already done this for you. You can switch to Home – Back to School in less than 2 minutes!!!
Want even more tips….
If you’re still looking for more, we’ve also create a page with general marketing tips and best practices for this Back To School Marketing Event. Learn More
Personalized Soccer Book for World Cup fans – how to promote in 15 minutes
Posted in Marketing, News, Products at 11:45 pm. Comments Off
Our personalized book, The Soccer Star, is a top seller right now thanks to the 2014 World Cup!
This post will show you how to promote this product and event within 15 minutes using your email, your website or social media. As always, you don’t have to copy our suggestions exactly. This can either help you get in done quickly or spark your own ideas.
We’ve made banners for you to use on Facebook, emails or your website. You can view and download the banners.
Facebook Wall Post (or social media)
When you post to Facebook to promote your business you should always use an image (proven to get higher engagement) and you should always include a link to the product on your website (or instruct people how to order).
Here’s an example:
Send an email to past customers as well as friends and family. Whether you’re sending to 5 people or 500, we suggest using an email marketing service like Aweber or Mailchimp. These programs make it very easy to send great emails, while offering great tracking tools and ensuring higher deliverability.
Here’s an example of an email we sent in Mailchimp (our dealer newsletter uses Aweber)
Facebook Cover photo:
We have two banners specifically designed and sized for your cover photo. view the banners here
We have two banners you can add to your website. The easiest would be a home page banner that links to the product. You can view the banners here
Today we added
New Dealer Back-Office, Knowledge Base, Forums and more…
Posted in Business, Training at 11:29 pm. Comments Off
We’ve improved our marketing, training and communication platforms this year to help your business grow.
New Dealer Back-Office
Your login credentials for the new dealer login are the same. If you’ve forgotten your login you can follow the “forgot password” at the login screen. Send an email to email@example.com if you’re still unable to login.
New Knowledge Base, Forums and Support Tickets
Last month we began rolling out access to our new interactive knowledge base. This platform now serves as a community forum where you can post comments and questions to existing topics, as well as create your own forum topics. This is also where you can create and track support tickets.
You should have received an email invitation with a link to verify your email address and create a password. If you did not receive this email, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll resend it.
Distributor Spotlight – Feb 2012
Posted in Business, Dealer Spotlight, Training at 9:18 am. Comments Off
Our Dealer Spotlight for February is shining bright on Karen and Heather, of Made 4 Me! To limit their “spotlight” to a single month is a bit of an understatement. Since their first week, the duo has been calling non-stop with great questions and ideas, and their ingenuity keeps their business growing. It’s a safe bet to assume this power pair will inspire a few new chapters in our training manual this year!
How did you get involved with Create-A-Book and what you do you enjoy most?
For most people, the biggest challenge is creating a plan and sticking to it, what’s your secret?
Yes you did! What tips do you have on making the most of the holiday season?
Starting early is SOOO important. We can’t stress that enough! The biggest mistake we see distributors make is waiting until December to send their first Holiday announcement. You can still get sales, but you’re joining the game in the 7th inning.
What other types of marketing are you doing?
We also believe in giving back and have donated our product to a number of charities. Not only can we feel good about helping out worthwhile causes, we can let a new segment of people know about us!
Social media is very powerful, yet so underused. And the charities … what an amazing idea!
What do you feel is the most important aspect of your business?
I’m starting to think we should let you do a Social Media 101 conference call later this year. You’re both doing an amazing job with it! So what are your Create-A-Book goals for 2012?
And finally, any advice for someone just getting starting with Create-A-Book?
The only thing I’d add to that is “stick to the plan,” but that is so engrained in your DNA’s that it goes without saying! Thank you both for taking the time to share your insights and ideas. We’re grateful to have you on the team, and we can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with next.
Distributor Spotlight – Jan 2012
Posted in Business, Dealer Spotlight, Training at 5:29 am. Comments Off
In our December newsletter, we gave kudos to a team that sold 1400 orders in 2 weeks and there was an overwhelming request from dealers to learn more. So we’ve chosen the Yolanda Meador, Gladys Sanders and Nita Arrington team as our newest “Dealer of the Month” spotlight!
We had a fantastic interview with Yolanda and team over the phone, but before we get to the exciting stuff, like how their promotion’s total orders have now exceeded 2,200, I want to first tell you about a situation I experienced a few days later that proves just how committed Yolanda and her team are to the advice they shared with us.
A customer contacted Create-A-Book to find out how to redeem the promotional voucher she purchased during the holidays. Her computer had crashed, and she was desperately trying to find out if it was too late to receive the book in time for her for her niece’s birthday…in two days! We helped her track down which dealer was responsible, which turned out to be Yolanda. I immediately contacted Yolanda, who then immediately reached out to the customer and offered to overnight her order. Yolanda didn’t have to do this, but she describes below how she’s learned great customer service is the cornerstone to building a business with repeat customers. The customer was thrilled and we were proud to see her “walk the walk” she described just a few days earlier.
So how did you get involved with Create-A-Book?
Your son must have enjoyed all the personalized books
Have you been working Create-A-Book since 1998 or have you taken breaks?
You definitely took it to a whole new level this Christmas!
For the readers out there, can you explain what you mean by 2,200 orders?
That’s incredible! Who came up with the idea to run a promotion on a daily deal website?
Are you creating any routines/systems to keep up with the orders?
So you’re setting aside two days a week to work the business?
That’s interesting, I didn’t think about customers placing orders for future deliveries.
There’s a lot of debate on the long-term benefits to these daily deals, do you think you’ll repeat this promotion?
Are you seeing orders where the customer spends more the coupons value on your website?
It sounds like you’ve learned a lot, is it ok if we share these specific details about the promotion?
What type of marketing will you do for new and repeat customers throughout the year?
But back to your question, aside from the daily deal promotion we did a marketing campaign on Facebook and that worked. What I’d like to see for the future is maybe having different sales opportunities for our Facebook customers. So if you “like” us then you’ll know about the savings. We’re also looking at doing one of the big shows in town. It’s an event that yields around 20,000 women. It’s totally different for us, but we’ve always wanted to do it and now that we’ve got some momentum we’d like to grow it even more. Also, Nita is about to go through our customer database and start looking for things like birthdays so we’re able to segment our customers and know when to send reminders and coupons.
That’s very smart. We’re actually planning to add a feature to the [SaviSites] websites that will let customers save profiles for their family members and friends. How are you getting the additional information from customers? For example, if they ordered a Christmas book, how are you finding out their birthdays?
Are you using an email marketing service handle these newsletters?
What’s the most important aspect of your business, now that you’re growing and putting systems in place?
What has been your biggest challenge?
Actually, you might want to call him back! We’ve many helped dealers work out logistics for large volume orders. One dealer brought us a deal with Juicy Juice and we helped produce 20,000 books, and we helped another dealer produce 100,000 books for a promotion with Huggies diapers. If nothing else, we can help you find dealers interested in making books, so call us and we’ll brainstorm with you.
And finally, any advice for someone just getting starting with Create-A-Book?
Congratulations once again to Yolanda Meador, Gladys Sanders and Nita Arrington for thinking outside the box on how to use current trends to promote and build your business. And thank you for taking the time to share your experiences so that others may learn from you and follow in your footsteps. Keep up the great work; and we look forward to hearing about your local big event!
If you’d like to learn more from Yolanda, Nita and Gladys, you can visit their website or post a comment on their Facebook page.