Businesspeople Reading Pamphlet

Do’s & Don’ts of a Good Newsletter

For your business to be successful, it is extremely important to keep yourself on top of your client’s mind. A carefully crafted, well-timed and well-targeted newsletter can make your job easier. However, there is always a big debate on whether newsletters are effective or not. Newsletters work, no doubt; but only if they are done professionally. A newsletter put together shoddily, with no serious thought into its content or design, can backfire, doing more harm than good.
Image courtesy: Corbis
A good newsletter can secure the loyalty of existing customers and keep them updated about the full range of products and services you offer. It can also generate interest in new customers, besides reaching out to investors and other businesses, helping you build a wide and fruitful business network. Newsletters also make it easier for your existing customers to pass referrals to their friends who are likely to be interested in the products and services you offer.

Whether it is an online newsletter or a printed one, you should always follow a formula to keep them interesting for the target audience. Is there really any “news” to pass on to your customers via the newsletter? Unlike a brochure, which is intended to spread general info regarding a company, a newsletter is about news – something new and exciting that has happened in your business. You can even carry industry-specific information that could be of use to your readers.

Of course, a newsletter does give you the chance to sneak in an ad; but the idea is to do this without losing your audience and by talking about something they care about. Some important points to be remembered while creating a newsletter are:
  • Always send your newsletter to a well-thought out target customer group.
  • Get it done perfectly and professionally. Give it an expert touch. A professionally designed newsletter can instantly appeal to the reader’s aesthetic sense.
  • Keep them short, comprehensive and interesting.
  • Give your customer respect; build integrity.
The content of your newsletter should be eye catching, simple and to the point. Write short pieces that are informative and relevant for the customer. You do not have to be on a sales pitch all the time.
When done professionally, newsletters can convey your message and generate an impact for your business and achieve customer interest.

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Shooting in the rain: tips for monsoon photography

Pic: Sivaram. V

Photography is a growing craze these days. With photo sharing becoming a big trend in social networking sites like Facebook and Flickr, many people have taken to photography as a serious hobby. Mounting ‘likes’ and inspiring comments on photographs on Facebook are reason enough to push more people into taking up this art. Monsoons are a favourite season for many professional photographers as the colours, ambience and feel that this weather creates is out of the ordinary. The rains also inspire budding photographers to experiment with the camera. However, getting the perfect monsoon picture is an art in itself. Here are a few tips and tricks to polish your rainy-day frames.

· The dark grey pre-rain clouds are a treat to the eye. So while shooting just before the rains set in, try to cover 75% of the frame with clouds and fill your frames with shapes.
· To enable a better shooting experience in the monsoon, you should always wear clothes that make you comfortable.
· Carry essentials like cotton handkerchiefs or plastic covers to protect your camera and gear and make sure that you keep your gadgets dry. Avoid carrying more-than-required equipment along when you travel around to shoot in the rains.
· Monsoon is the best time to capture a rainbow. Try to get an uncluttered background; this helps emphasise the colours of the rainbow.
· If you happen to be at the seaside, shoot the waves, fishing nets and fishermen in action. Avoid using flash while shooting in the rains.
· Capturing reflections becomes easier after a downpour.
· Everything looks fresh once the rain stops. So capture landscapes and explore the nature to unlock a variety of eye-catching visuals.
· Rain by itself can make a great subject. Experiment with different shutter speeds and capture the downpour.
People often want to capture pictures that tell stories. But telling a story through your photographs isn’t an easy process. The reason that drives you to capture a particular moment is the story that you intend to convey. Your entire emphasis should be on that part to effectively capture what you truly anticipate.

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Social Media for the Uninitiated – I

“What is social media?” It is a question we often come across from friends, associates and mostly, prospective clients. The minute we mention names like Facebook and Twitter, most faces light up in recognition. However, even then, a majority of people do not understand what our scope of work is, or in the case of potential clients, they wonder how a page on Facebook or an account on Twitter can help their business.

We don’t blame them since the media (print and electronic, that is) has just about started talking about social media and the impact it has been making. For most people (read businesses), an account on Facebook is for youngsters who have nothing better to do. Having been in this business for over a year, and having made a difference to our clients’ businesses, it’s time we delved into the ‘whats’, ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of social media, once again. (No, we don’t get tired of doing this!)

Let’s start with something simple. Traditional businesses believe in keeping things under wraps. They like it quiet, and they love keeping ‘secrets’. But the ‘secret’ ingredient of Gen Y marketing is to SHARE. Share information, knowledge, news, tips, whatever there is to share and that will bring you one step closer to your client. Getting under the skin of your brand is just not enough. Look beyond selling; think bonding. And the best way to bond with your client is to get on to the same platform as him—reach him via social media. The mantra is to ‘Become Accessible!’ Clients love brands which are accessible.

According to the leading business daily, The Economic Times, Indian consumers use social media to convey grievances.

So if you are not on the network, how do you address these grievances? The complaints will largely remain unattended, and you will soon find your business going out to other companies (which are most likely to be social media savvy)!

It is high time businesses took social media seriously. Your online presence does not begin and end with a website. If you are a small business, how do you let people know you exist? If you are a large one, how do you convey that you are within reach? Start networking!

However, social media is not just about getting a page ready and inviting people to become fans or followers. Social media is 24/7. You have to be active round the clock and constantly stay in touch with your fan base. Answer questions, give people titbits to chew on, keep interactions alive, bond with your “fans”—do anything to stay top-of-the-mind. Clichéd but true; THINK OUT OF THE BOX!

We will leave you with this interesting video on the revolution called Social Media. 

Tell us what you think! Meanwhile, keep checking this space, because there is a lot more gyaan on Social Media coming up right here!

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