“Collegiate Sales & Jimmy Kimmel Fame” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 7 (feat. Brayden Jessen of Zome Design)

Building sales in the licensed collegiate or school markets isn’t easy, but Brayden Jessen, of Zome Design in Spokane, WA is going to help you do just that. He knows the importance of capitalizing on the moment and what it takes to market collegiate apparel. Brayden is most famous for his “Gonzaga Exists” T-shirt design that ended up on local news stations AND Jimmy Kimmel Live (see the video below). Find out how he made that possible, on this episode of Success Stories.

Zome Design’s “Gonzaga Exists” design makes the local news

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How to Build Your Brand on Social Media in 5 Steps

Since we’re all in the branding business, you know how vital brand recognition can be to your shop. Getting really clear on your shop’s identity, values and uniqueness allows creation of a brand that defines your company—and in turn, a brand your clients identify with (and love).

“Regardless of the social media platform, your brand should be recognizable and authentic to its values.”

Brooke Banta, co-founder of Bea + Elle

“Establishing your brand online is an important aspect of your company’s success,” says Brooke Banta, co-founder of branding agency Bea + Elle. “Regardless of the social media platform, your brand should be recognizable and authentic to its values.”

Generating that level of recognition takes time and work. Start building your brand on social media today in 5 steps.

1. COVER YOUR BASICS

Before creating your social media accounts, you need to have all your brand ducks in a row. For starters, do you have an established and consistent logo, fonts, color palette, phraseology and voice?

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How to Fix These 6 Common Customer Complaints

Want some not-so-fun customer service news? The average American tells 15 people when they’ve had a poor customer service experience—and 56% of buyers have stopped doing business with a company because they’ve experienced poor customer service, Microsoft reports.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft

But here’s the good news: 67% of customer churn is preventable if your shop resolves customers issues the first time they occur.

“Your customer service team can make or break your success with each customer,” says Zach Ellsworth, general manager at Stahls’. “If you’re receiving complaints often, it’s time to dig in and take improvement seriously.”

To quote the great Bill Gates, “your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” The customer complaints your shop racks up the most often are your best resource for understanding how your business can perform better.

We asked the experts to break down six common customer complaints decorators get—and how to fix them for good.

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“Sell Trust, Not Decorations” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 6 (feat. Traci Miller of Color 3 Embroidery)

One thing that contract apparel decorators sell most is Trust, with a capital “T”.  Sure, you can focus on the embroidery, screenprinting, heat transfer or other methods of embellishing a garment, but seasoned contract professionals know that sales for them are not transactional.  Everything is about the relationship.

As a 25 year decorating veteran, Traci Miller, of Color3 Embroidery, knows this all too well. Listen as she shares advice on how to establish strong business relationships and how to sell trust instead of decorations.

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Why Finding Your Niche, Might Make You Rich

Does your decorating shop stand out from competitors? Really think about it—there are thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of screen printers and embroiderers, many offering the same blanks and services as you. Don’t worry, we’ve got a smart way to separate yourself from the pack: Become a rockstar decorator, within your special niche.

While this isn’t something you can do overnight, when you position your shop as a “go-to decorator” for something specific, you’ll score repeat customers and watch your profits rise.

We talked to three successful decorators who’ve established themselves as experts in lucrative niches. (And, we’ve got insider secrets to fast-track your success!)

The Bling Brigade

Photos courtesy of Sparkle Plenty

“In this niche, if you’ve done the initial job well, you’re in for repeat orders—it’s that simple.”

Lee Romano Sequeira, Co-owner of Sparkle-Plenty.com

Husband-and-wife team Andrew Sequeira and Lee Romano Sequeira call their business a “big, sparkly niche.” For two decades, the Sparkle-Plenty.com co-owners have focused on offering custom rhinestone, stud and crystal transfers. “We use Swarovski crystal, the ‘Waterford’ of sparkle,” Andrew says. “It’s a decorating niche, since most shops focus on embroidery and ink. We offer something different for a specific market: women.”

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5 Essential Ways to Create Customers for Life

Every employee of Eastlake, OH-based wholesale printer Blue Moon Promotional Inc. is involved in providing their customers with exemplary customer service and CEO, Pierre John Jamnicky, makes sure of that. “Every person knows what we’re after and is dedicated to making it happen,” Jamnicky says. “Yes, some are more into it than others, as is the case with all employees, but the reality is we’re all on the same page.”

Any business owner will tell you that, while bringing in new customers is certainly important, retaining your existing customer base is the real key to surviving in any industry. It’s the loyal customer who returns to you time and time again or refers you to other clients because of your ability to meet their product or service needs

But, don’t take our word for it—let’s break down the numbers showing how important returning customers can be:

You have a 60% to 70% chance of selling a product to a returning customer as opposed to a 5% to 20% chance of selling to a new one.

( Matt Mansfield, smallbiztrends.com )
  • Your returning customers will provide you with 65% of your company’s sales.
  • The average business will lose about 15% of these returning customers each year.

Since it’s so important to cultivate a close-knit relationship with your returning buyers to run a successful business, let’s look at exactly how you can keep these customers coming back for more.

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5 Proven Content Marketing Strategies You Can’t Ignore

Is a video worth 1,000 decorated-apparel orders? Jonathan Ornelas, owner of Success Print Shop, thinks so. On the regular, he shoots short videos of his screen-printing process and posts them to Facebook and Instagram to connect with customers and prospects.

“We show how we decorate t-shirts, and that we’re experts,” Ornelas says. “Our customers can also see that we love what we do and have a lot of fun.” For example, he plays his team’s favorite music in his videos, like Vistas’ song “Like an American.” 

“These days, the most human company wins,”

– Marshall Atkinson, Owner of Atkinson Consulting

As a result of the pandemic, 7 in 10 (69%) CMOs asked their staff to get more active online to promote their company and what it offers. And it makes total sense: Half of U.S. consumers say they’ve spent more time taking in online content this year, according to Media Frenzy Global. Buyers are also looking to brands for inspiration. That means many companies are making their messaging and content strategy their highest brand-related priority. Are you?

The most important component of your shop’s messaging is to be human first, according to Marshall Atkinson, a decorated-apparel business coach. “These days, the most human company wins,” he says. “Are you showing your vulnerability? Emotions? Victories? Defeats? People respond to other people, so inject some personality into your marketing. We all like smiling faces.”

The great news is that It’s not too late to kick your content strategy into high gear for 2020. Here are five ways to dive right in.

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“If You Stand For Something, They Will Come” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 5 (feat. Roger Burnett of Social Good Promotions)

Promotional marketing companies have always tried to connect customers with the best products for their needs, but do those products always make the world a better place?

One company has found success with targeting the marketing needs of clients and aligning them with products that offer a deeper and more meaningful story.

Social Good Promotions works diligently to use promotional marketing products in a way that serves a greater purpose other than just simply being a canvas for a logo. They deeply believe in being socially responsible and try to give back in some way.

On this episode of Success Stories, we’ll discuss this with Roger Burnett and discover how his passion for improving the world, providing value, and always surprising and delighting his clients has moved him to the forefront of the promotional marketing space.

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Does Your Customer Experience Need a Big Makeover?

Whether you call this our “new normal” or “next normal,” things definitely aren’t the same as they were back in January. Your business is different, and your customer also has different concerns and needs now.

The question isn’t what needs to change. It’s what do you change first?”

Marshall Atkinson, Owner of Atkinson Consulting

“It’s time to revamp what’s not working—back in Q1, you could live with it because you were busy,” says Marshall Atkinson, decorated-apparel expert and owner of Atkinson Consulting. “But now, the river has receded with the drought and exposed the flaws in your system. The question isn’t what needs to change. It’s what do you change first?”

Now is the time to take a closer look at how customers are experiencing your business during consultations, while shopping online or browsing social media. Here are five expert-recommended ways you can start adjusting and improving your customers’ overall experience with your company.

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The Tech Behind Columbia Sportswear

When it comes to outerwear, Columbia needs no introduction. Their products have been loved by people of all ages for decades, especially those that can’t get enough of the outdoorsy lifestyle.

What you may not know about them, though, is how much technology there is under the hood of some of your favorite Columbia hats, jackets, pullovers and shirts. When you look at the continuous evolution of their products, adding in features like Omni-Wick™, Omni-Shade™, and Themerator™ insulation, you can see how the core of this company has always been about innovation, problem solving, and striving for perfection. These kinds of technology give Columbia a quality that’s unmatched by most comparable products, especially in the outerwear space.

“It’s perfect. Now make it better.”

Gert Boyle, Founder of Columbia Sportswear

For bigger corporate clients, the brand name itself is enough of a selling point to get them to buy these premium branded products. But, when you’re trying to upsell to clients with smaller budgets, being able to point out and explain what these features do, can get them to spend a little more than they may have planned to. And really, who doesn’t want to make more money?

Let’s take a closer look at some of the technology you’ll find built into your favorite Columbia styles.

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