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The Top 3 Tools to Create Your Marketing Presentation

The Top 3 Tools to Create Your Marketing Presentation - Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit: Pexels

You are a small business owner. As such, you are constantly in search for new opportunities because you want to grow your business.

Now, let us say that you found a potential customer and they are now asking you to send your company’s presentation. Many times this is one of the first things your future customer will ask for and many times this is the first thing they will see from you. Thus, this presentation is critical for your business. How do you create it then? How do you create this PowerPoint deck that is most of the times exported to a PDF file first and then send? In this article I will share 3 tools that can help you make your slides look visually better and what’s more, I will also show you a very easy way how you can turn your slide deck into content that you can later use to market yourself and your company for free.

The first tool that you definitely want to know about is related to colors. Many times, before you start creating your company’s presentation, you just have a website. More interestingly, not all of us are graphic designers and are in the design business. So how can you know then what colors you can use for your slides in order to achieve a great and visually appealing result? The answer turns out to be quite simple – you can just grab your logo or create a screenshot of your website and then upload it to Pictaculous.The Top 3 Tools to Create Your Marketing Presentation - Duct Tape Marketing

Pictaculous is a very simple and free web service that you can upload a random photo to and based on the colors in that photo, the site generates a color palette. Once you have the palette, no more you have to wonder what colors you have to use for your presentation deck – you just copy the color’s code and use it in PowerPoint, thus guaranteeing that your slideshow will look professionally designed and visually appealing.

The second tool I believe can be of great help to you comes into play when you want to say why someone should choose your company or what makes you different. On those slides you are probably going to name a few things that you can either just put as bullet points or as some form of text. That, however, is not visually appealing and engaging and that’s why I want to give you a hint here – use icons. Yes, not photos, not high quality imagery, but icons. Where can you find such for free, you may be asking? The answer is – on many places. However, the one I would recommend you use is called Flaticon. Now, why Flaticon and not another repository for icons? The Top 3 Tools to Create Your Marketing Presentation - Duct Tape MarketingSimple! You already used Pictaculous and now you know what colors you can use for your slides. What Flaticon allows you to do is to color your icon before downloading it – something that not that many of the other similar websites do.

With the help of this tool you can now design your company’s presentation and mark some of the key points, features of your product or just advantages over the competition in a very visual way. Before you jump and start downloading though, there is an additional note that I have to make – the copyright of those icons. Yes, I said they are free, but if you are using them without paying the subscription service the site offers, then you have to do one additional step – give attribution. How do you do that? The answer is that Flaticon made it quite simple for you and I leave you to check how you do it by yourself. I promise, when you click here, you will be amazed at how much it takes to give the appropriate attribution. And one last thing, even though you can customize and use those incredible icons for free by giving attribution, my recommendation to you, especially for your company’s presentation purposes, are to invest a few dollars and purchase for example a one-time monthly plan in order to download the icons you liked. As of the moment of writing this article, a monthly plan costs less than 10$ and for less than 10$ you are attribution free for one of the most important documents for your company.

The third tool I want to quickly introduce you to is for everyone who creates his slideshow in PowerPoint and once The Top 3 Tools to Create Your Marketing Presentation - Duct Tape Marketingready not only sends it to various potential customers, but also tries to figure out how to market the business even more. Welcome to the free PowerPoint add-in SocialShare. What this tool can allow you to do are two major things:

  1. Create a gallery of photos on Facebook that are actually… your slides
  2. Create a whole video from your slides that you can share in your Facebook profile

Once you create any of those or both of them, you can either save both the photos and the video locally and then redistribute them on other social media platforms thus achieving a completely free social media campaign for your business with almost zero effort. However, do not forget the critical part of the equation here – those slides, your company presentation. A presentation that is visually attractive and worthy of sharing. Not one that is only full of bullet points.

Three tools – a tool that can generate the proper colors, a tool that gives you incredible icons and a tool that can help you reach and engage even better with future potential customers. All of these tools are free to help you create a stunning slideshow. Once you create a slideshow; send it to any potential customer in order to familiarize and make him want to start working with you. I seriously believe that if you spend 30 minutes after reading this article “playing” with the above mentioned you might end up creating or redesigning your current company deck to a new level – a level that you as a small business owner should be striving to!

Good luck!

Boris_HristovBoris Hristov is the Founder and CEO of Presentation Design and Training Agency 356labs. He has delivered sessions in 20+ countries and has not just once been rated as the top speaker of the event. Boris has numerous years of experience as a trainer and has trained companies like Microsoft and HP in topics like presentation skills and presentation design. The fastest way you can reach him is on Twitter where he writes under @BorisHristov.

5 7 Activities That Don’t Scale but Will Win You Customers

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Photo Credit:www.launchsolid.com

Starting a business is hard work and early on you will need to hustle to find your first customers. There is no need to stress right away about what marketing channels will scale because you won’t know which options work best. And even when you do find out what will scale, it’s often the activities that don’t scale that will continue to provide the best ROI.

1. Attend an Industry Conference

For example, if your business is building websites for construction companies, you need to find out the most popular conferences. A quick Google search shows these conferences would be a good bet to attend: Construction Super Conference or the International Conference on Transportation. For your first few conferences, going as an attendee is recommended so you can scope them out and determine if it makes sense for you to come back as a vendor (and possibly rent a booth). Spend time walking the aisles, and I love hanging out by the lunch area, if you sit down at the right table and strike up a good conversation you can make a critical connection.

2. Organize a Q&A with Industry Experts

Create a list of 6-10 questions and reach out to industry experts to see if they want to participate. Package up the responses in a PDF, include bios and photos and make sure to give everyone a copy. Blog about the responses and encourage participants to get the word out. Since you are appealing to the vanity of the experts, it’s very easy to drum up interest, don’t be afraid to ask!

3. Sponsor Relevant Meetup Events

Meetup events all over the world are going on and they are often just a handful of people. If you target relevant Meetup groups and offer to sponsor their next event, you will find a lot of takers. Sometimes money to buy pizza is all you need to do and the organizer will add a special offer on their Meetup page and if you’re lucky and/or persuasive they will announce it at the event.

4. Solicit Individual and Personalized Feedback on Your Product or Service

Early on it’s a struggle to get even 5 or 10 people on board as customers. When you do get the first few customers reach out to each one of them with a personal email and thank them for trying you out. Ask for pointed feedback and if you can get them to spare 10 to 15 minutes on the phone that is fantastic as they will provide helpful insight about your product.

5. Attend Local Meetings/Events

Leverage your hometown or nearest big city to attend marketing groups and meetings. Chamber of Commerce meetings or local business groups are a great place to start. It’s not that you will necessarily find your ideal customer in your backyard, but once you start talking about your new company, your networking may uncover other opportunities. In addition, the people you meet may know other people that will help propel your business forward.

6. Target Tangentially Related Companies for Joint Marketing Efforts

If you own a stock photo site, it would make sense to contact web development companies as they often need stock photos when they are creating new websites. You could create a co-branded landing page that provides a discount to the web development companies if they want to have access to a special offer on your site. You could send their special offer to your email list (and vice versa) if you want to do additional joint marketing.

7. Create Handwritten Letters as a Relationship Builder

The old school approach can win you big points. If you take time to customize handwritten letter like this example here, you have a great shot at making a beneficial introduction. Do your homework and understand what the person likes and dislikes before writing the letter and make sure to send it to their place of business.

11.16 headshotChad Fisher is a co-founder of Content Runner, a marketplace for connecting users and freelance writers for the creation of unique written content. Friends of Duct Tape Marketing can create a free account and receive a $30 credit to try out the writers on Content Runner, click here to learn more!

4 The Expanding Potential of Digital Books

I’ve seen the future of interactive business books and it is Nancy Duarte’s Resonate for the iPad.

I’m a big fan of the presentation work of Nancy Duarte and I’ve had Duarte on my podcast to talk about her books Slide:ology and Resonate.

This week Duarte’s team launched Resonate as a Multi-Touch book built in Apple’s iBooks Author tool. Calling it a book in the traditional sense doesn’t do it justice. It’s more like attending a workshop rich in images, stories, video, lectures, and even quizzes, all perfectly displayed on the iPad’s stunning screen.

The book is available through the iTunes store and may be the best teaching tool on the subject of creating presentations that resonate ever created. (I guess you can tell I kind of like it.)

10 Great Presentations Start With Resonance

Marketing podcast with Nancy Duarte (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes

I’ve been thinking and talking a lot of late about the topic of making great presentations because I think the ability to help people understand your ideas and come to your point of view is probably the most important business skill you can develop.

My guest for this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing is Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte Design and author of slide:ology – The art and science of creating great presentations and resonate – Present visual stories that transform audiences, two of the best books I’ve encountered on creating presentations.

According to Duarte, presentations are the most persuasive medium available for conveying ideas and yet it is also one of most reviled because people do it so poorly.

Duarte’s entire approach is centered around getting people to think more like designers – a term that comes from the Latin root to designate – by arranging images and words in a hierarchy to strike balance and harmony and amplify a message in ways that words alone cannot.

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19 The Telephone Doesn't Use Any Gas

Technology and data speed advances have made the use of web meeting technology a no brainer for even the smallest of businesses. In the fast paced world we live in, the ability to get a group of folks together online is such a powerful way to conduct business.

As more and more folks use this technology (and with $4/gl gas) it even starts to make sense for the local business to conduct meetings across town. Think about how many times you have jumped in the car, driven 30 minutes to make a 10 minute presentation, chit chatted for another 20 minutes, jumped back in the car for another 30 minutes and, let’s see – invested 90 minutes in that 10 minute presentation. As you utilize web and other tools such as web collaboration tools and teach your customers to use them as well, your effectiveness and efficiency will soar.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you never venture out and grab some face time, I’m just suggesting you can be smart about employing technology to help you get more done with the same 24 hours everyone has in a day.

Here are some great ways to use webinar or webcast technology

One to one seminar – When you create a webinar or sales presentation using a web technology you can invite someone who calls in to jump online and walk through the archived presentation on the spot.

Peer to peer seminar – Get two or three happy clients to agree to be panel members for a discussion about the problems in their business or industry and gently explain how your business or product is addressing this for them. The key here is transparency. Don’t let your guests sell. Make it a thoughtful, meaningful discussion among peers that you just happened to host.

Live with you – If you’ve got a workshop or seminar you are currently presenting, take it to a teleseminar. Invite clients and prospects to attend via the phone. Create an ongoing series and watch attendance climb.

Interview an expert – You would be surprised at the quality of guests from around the world you can convince to present to your clients and prospects. It’s a win for all involved. You get great content and the presenter may get added exposure for a book or other project with little time investment on their part.

Co-branded panel – Gather up a couple related businesses and put on a panel discussion on a hot topic. Everyone on the panel invites guests and everyone gets exposure.

Sponsored show – Go out and find a sponsor who would like exposure to your audience and allow them to promote in and around your teleseminars. For instance, if you are a CPA with a series of tax savings presentations for small businesses maybe a company that sell tax software would sponsor your sessions. There are lots of businesses out there that want to jump into this kind of marketing but don’t want to do it themselves. Give them the opportunity to help you.

Q and A time – Set a time each week, say Friday at 2 pm and advertise an open line to get your burning questions answered about a topic. Maybe it’s interior design trends, best software tips and trick for business or anything of interest related to your business. You promote the free time, hang out on the line and answer questions when they come in.

Another powerful benefit of systematically presenting information in events of this nature is that you can and should record the events and interviews you conduct and archive them on your website or turn them into an audio CD to distribute through other forms of marketing.

There are many choices for web meetings these days. Let me know what tools you have found and what ones you like and don’t like.

13 Public speaking a competitive marketing skill

Every small business owner can benefit from becoming a better speaker. It doesn’t really matter if your ambitions are to sell across the desk or present across the globe, getting your message heard and acted upon is essential small business stuff.

In fact, I think that forcing yourself to get in front of an audience and deliver a talk of some sort is one of the best ways to develop competitive marketing skills. When you have to get your thoughts down into a concise 30 minute talk and then go out and get instance, sometimes too truthful, feedback it develops character and poise along with an improved message.

The first time you get up in front of a crowd and realize that nobody will die if you aren’t very polished is the point at which you might just get hooked on doing it again and again.

In a recent episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, my guest is Tom Antion. Tom knows a thing or two about speaking and about teaching people how to be more effective speakers. If you want to make speaking a primary revenue source, Tom’s your man for that as well.

Listen as he describes some of the keys to being a better presenter.