I recently returned from the largest education and promotional products trade show in our industry, put together by PPAI and SAGE in Las Vegas. #PPAIexpo I go every year in January first to attend the classes to learn new details and helpful information to use on a daily basis in my business. Taking these classes count toward maintaining my CAS certification (more on this on my "About Lana" page. Secondly, we are able to tour the floor and see TONS of products our suppliers have to offer. There is always a "New Product Pavilion" area as well, to see new products coming out. This is a great opportunity to put products together with ideas and programs that my clients may have in mind or are working on. It never fails I end up with a couple of boxes full of samples to ship back. (My daughter looks forward to going through these to see what she can convince me to let her have.)
This year was extremely difficult for me due to back problems. Right after Christmas I hurt my back and just before I left it was feeling "better" and I had meds from the Doc so I thought I would be good to go. Well, needless to say, it gave me problems after I got there. It slowed me down but I am wasn't going to miss the PPAI Expo. The Expo is my kick-start of the year, my motivation to strive for more. I was glad I didn't miss it or I wouldn't have been able to hear Johnny Earle speak at our general session. Johnny Earle, better known as Johnny Cupcakes, is not just a business owner, he's a marketing innovator. This is a guy that, at a young age, knew he was going to be in business for himself that by the age of 16 he had 16 "businesses"! While his friends did the typical teenager stuff J.C. was always coming up with different ways to make a buck. He started selling creative tee shirts from his car at the age of 19 and now is the owner of a multi-million dollar tee shirt business. It's not just a tee shirt he sells though, it's an experience. For a guy that is 10 years+ younger than I am I was amazed at his drive and the way his mind works. For him, it seemed creativity is just a natural talent that he tapped into incredibly early in life. For his accomplishment, regardless of age, I am going to pay attention. I wanted to share a couple of the little "tidbits" that J.C. shared with us regarding his success. There are several so I will just list them out.
1. Update your website yearly. (Seems simple but a lot of people don't do this.)
2. Offer Incentives to build brand loyalty. (That's where I come in.)
3. Get out from behind the desk. Enough said.
4. Handwrite cards and notes to your customers and call them personally after a sale.
5. Create an experience, be creative. What is popular? (Again, this is where I can help.)
Give them a reason to choose you over someone else. Where feelings matter & price doesn't.
6. Focus on what works. And if it ain't broke, don't fix it but every once in a while, fixin' needed.
7. Adapt DAILY! Things change and things happen so you must be adaptable.
8. Be loyal to your customers and they will be loyal to you.
These may seem like basics but when you hear Johnny Cupcakes story and his creativity it's changes your perspective. Take a look at his site and you will see why he called his business Johnny "Cupcakes". And no, there are no bakery items in his store. People line up because of his marketing genius-ness. http://johnnycupcakes.com After you visit his site, come back here and comment with your thoughts. Was this info helpful? Thanks for taking a couple of minutes, I hope you enjoyed the info.
Lana Bento, CAS
Certified Advertising Specialist as designated by PPAI,