Next-Level Marketing With Business Cards

Merely walking around with a few business cards in your pocket isn’t going to get you the number of leads you necessarily want. It will more likely be worth it to your business to take a thousand cards and strategically placing them – in the right place or with the right people.

Here follows a number of easy tips to improve this section of your marketing mix. Keep in mind that these may be adjusted to suit your target demographic better or even to work WITH your product or service. A crucial part is to know your business and your target market and to keep thinking beyond the obvious.

Simple Tips for Effective Business Card Marketing

1. Get permission to leave your business cards at local restaurants’ welcome desks. In some cases – you might have to pay for this.

2. Locate local businesses that have products or services related to yours and place your calling cards at their counters.

3. Bulletin boards on college campuses or community centres are a greats spot to pin up these handy little numbers, and it’s usually free.

4. Produce your own viral image or video and feature your business card in it.

5. Leave them in post boxes or local houses’ doors.

6. Hand them out on various local campuses by a few students, for a little remuneration.

7. Negotiate with hotels to place your cards in their guests’ rooms.

8. Make use of a mailing list comprised of your target audience and send one along with other forms of direct mail.

9. Take advantage of areas with much traffic and pay people to hand them out on your behalf.

10. Ask your friends and family to keep a few business cards with them, in case they can give them to a prospective client.

11. Network and swap business cards with local business owners.

12. Offer a finder’s fee to people that hand out cards for you that results in a deal.

13. When doing the handing out – give more than one. Having copies makes it possible for recipients to dish your contact details out to other interested parties.

14. Consider a print design that look like miniature greeting cards.

15. Offer discounts via promotional codes attached to cards.

16. Form your own ‘street team’ to do hand-outs to people together with promotional items or hampers.

17. Leave a bunch of business cards in areas where people queue in your place of business. Some of the most likely individuals to be tempted take a business card are those who are currently using your products or services and wish to see what else you have to offer.

18. Use one as a notepad, when you are making a note for someone else.

19. Ask cab companies or drivers to keep a stack somewhere visible or reachable in their vehicles.

20. Attach your cards to your invoices and estimates etc that you send out.

21. Ask community groups that hand out welcome packs to new members to include your cards.

22. Find out if any of your local estate agents have a list of recommended or local services that they give to clients and ask to be added to the list, as well as giving them enough stock to hand out to their clients.

23. Use a digital version and upload it to design galleries, for example, CardObserver.

24. Upload your digital business card to online classifieds, such as Gumtree or the like.

25. Print standard or personal business cards for all your employees. As an added extra -it can improve employee confidence and team spirit.

26. Place a one in all your product shipping parcels.

27. Go to, network and hand out your calling cards at local or community events.

28. Negotiate with shopping centres and get permission to leave your cards on vehicle windows. Make sure to find out beforehand that it’s not illegal in your city.

29. Join forces with estate agents and get them to give new/ prospective homeowners your card.

30. Make sure you partner with a reputable and efficient printing company to print your business cards.

I hope these quick tips have inspired you and that you’re ready to start your marketing campaign.

A List of Clothing Fashion Don’ts

There are plenty fashion rules that have circulated for centuries, and these days, the old rules will not cut it. Today, you need to forget about the old rules of not wearing white after labor day and saving all of your shimmer for the evening. If you want to learn how to dress your body well and look better everyday, try to avoid the following brand new fashion don'ts.

Do not think function over fashion. If your excuse for not wearing your body better is simply that you are dressing for the weather or you just want to be "comfortable," it is probably time for a change. Do not just by oversized clothing that is frumpy and totally not figure flattering because you want to be "comfortable." If you take your time and try things on you will find that well fitted clothing that is appropriate for your body type actually is quite comfortable. If you get the proper size and the proper style, you can look good, be shielded from the weather, and feel comfortable.

Do not use size numbers alone to determine whether or not your clothes will fit you. Every boutique, department store, and clothing shop is going to have sizes on their outfits. Your size will not be the same in all stores, so get over it. Sometimes, even though you might feel bad about it, the appropriate size for your body will mean looking for a higher number in some stores than in others. It is much better to buy a larger size and look good than to wear something that does not really fit you, and will make you look bigger. If your outfits are busting at the seams, you will look larger than you are.

The final do not is this: do not think that your appearance does not matter. You might say that you do not care what other people think. The reality is, however, that if you have certain career goals in mind and you do not look the part, you will not get the part. Everyone, even if they try to deny it, wants the respect of others, especially at work. Dress to look the best that you can look in appropriate clothing for your profession. Do not make excuses or sell yourself short of the opportunity to look put together to potential clients and potential employers.

The clothing that you put on your body says a lot about who you are. Let it match who you are inside. Let the world know that you respect yourself enough to dress well.

PayPal IPN – Creating Listener Code to Process IPN Messages

You have finally decided IPN is the solution to your website application. You do not want to pay someone else to do it. It can not be that hard, can it? Where can you get some practical advice from people who have been there, done that. This article will answer these questions and help you decide if you are able to write that code. If you find it too complicated there are a few commercial products out there that will handle everything for you so do not lose heart if you find yourself stuck.

PayPal IPN

Instant Payment Notification is better known as PayPal IPN and is PayPal's interface for handling real time confirmation of purchases. A typical use for IPN is where you want to use the software to download.

PayPal provide 3 different types of account. Personal, Premier and Business. You will need Premier or Business to use IPN.

Listener

PayPal IPN messages are not synchronized with actions on your website. You detect IPN messages from PayPal with a piece of code known as a listener.

You specify the URL of your listener in your PayPal account's profile but you can override this for specific transactions when you setup a button or API operation. You can also temporarily turn off the sending of IPN messages, useful if your site is down for maintenance. They are still generated and stored until you switch sending back on again.

You must perform a number of checks on the IPN message received from PayPal.

  • Check the email address to make sure it is yours
  • Check that you have not already processed the transaction identified by the transaction ID
  • Make sure that the transaction's payment status is "completed"
  • Verify that the payment amount actually matches what you intend to charge

PayPal Sandbox

When you are developing your website you really do not want to be trying to get it working by experimenting on a real money system. Any early bugs in the system could leave security holes but even if you write perfect code it is best not to do your testing using real money.

PayPal provides what they call a sandbox, almost identical to the live PayPal system. You can setup fake customers with fake money and make as many test purchases as you want. The perfect system to fully test your web application.

There is a Sandbox Forum on the developer network. It's a great place for advice.

Testing your Listener

The Sandbox has an excellent IPN Simulator (under Test Tools) which lets you choose the transaction type, fill in all the parameter values ​​and send a test IPN to a specified address.

IPN History

PayPal provides an IPN history page under the My Account tab. Click on History to see it. It includes everything you want to know about each IPN message including the following Status values.

  • Sent: indicates that PayPal sent the message to your IPN listener
  • Failed: indicates that PayPal did not receive an acknowledgment to the message
  • Queued: indicates that PayPal is ready to send the message
  • Retrying: indicates that message was resent between 1 and 15 times and PayPal continues to be resend the message
  • Disabled: indicating that the message will not be resent because the merchant's account has been disabled

Conclusion

The best place to search for information is the PayPal Integration Center which has guides, code and links for everything to do with integrating your website with PayPal.

The one place you MUST visit is the PayPal IPN Forum on the developer website. As well as a constantly changing list of discussion topics about IPN, there are some good sticky posts about troubleshooting tips, IPN variables, template code etc.

PayPal IPN is a difficult subject but the combination of an excellent testing environment in the form of the sandbox and the good quality advice provided through the forums should make it possible for you to get your website application up and running.

How Much Car Insurance Do You Need?

The amount of car insurance you require will depend on several factors. The value of your car, whether your vehicle is financed or you own it, the age and type of car you own, and the state you will in will factor in determining how much insurance you need. Another reason you may require more insurance is if your car has enhancements added that were not put on when the car was manufactured.

If your vehicle is new and in top condition, full coverage insurance is the best bet if you own it outright. This will cover the cost of providing the money to purchase another car in the same condition should you be in an accident that totals your car. Most finance companies require you to carry full coverage insurance. They like to make sure they will get the amount they lent for the purchase of a car back should it be totaled in an accident. If you own an older car, liability coverage is the best way to go. This insurance will prevent you from being sued in the event of an accident that is your fault and there are injuries that need to be compensated. It is a good idea to carry more than is recommended because, in the event of an accident with injuries to the other person, the minimum may not cover all of their injuries and, if not, they will rarely come after you to collect the reminder . There are only 4 states at the present that do not require any type of insurance.

If you have had anything added to your vehicle, such as stereo systems or expensive wheels, you should add insurance to cover these add-ons in case of theft. Comprehensive insurance is usually required by finance companies and covers a variety of damages such as wind damage, falling objects, fire, flood, etc. If you are an antique car buff, you will want to insure your car to cover the replacement value. Using your car for business may require that you carry more insurance than you typically would. Basically, the price and the amount of coverage that you carry will be governed by the insurance requirements for the state you stay in and whether you want or feel you need extra insurance above what is required for your vehicle type. It is best to find out what requirements your state has and what you expect to be compensated for in the event of an accident.

According to car crash statistics there were 6,420,000 auto accidents in the US in 2005 with a financial cost of 230 billion dollars. Nationally, a vehicle theft occurs every 27 seconds.