NEWS: Marketing Consultancy with Global Experience Touches Down in Bristol, Connecticut

Journey Communications is proud to announce its recent expansion into Connecticut, with Bristol serving as the consultancy’s new local headquarters. The company, which offers marketing services to small and medium-sized businesses, brings an exciting repertoire of lead generation and brand awareness solutions from Los Angeles, California to the Constitution State.

Clients look to Journey to help them tell their brand story and attract more clients through the use of both digital and traditional marketing platforms. The consultancy offers a range of strategy, advertising, marketing, social media, and public relations integrations designed specifically for locally owned and independent businesses. The most popular services that Journey offers are business planning, marketing strategy, social media strategy, content creation, media relations, digital advertising, and influencer communications. The company’s current clients are located in Connecticut as well as New York City, Los Angeles, and Sydney Australia, and vary in industry from health, wellness, and beauty to food and beverage, hospitality, home improvement, real estate, technology, and financial services.

Journey owner, Chelsea O’Donnell, is a Bristol, Connecticut native and often comes back to the city to see family while on business trips to New York. Through word of mouth and recommendations, she found that her personal visits were becoming increasingly peppered with meetings from local business owners looking for advice and assistance with their marketing, social media, and brand positioning.  O’Donnell was inspired by the demand and decided that extending her services to her home state of Connecticut could offer local businesses the opportunity to increase their visibility and potential reach.

“Finding new customers can be difficult, and while online marketing and social media provide small business owners with an infinite number of tools to get their brands in front of people, knowing how to use those tools effectively can be overwhelming,” says O’Donnell. “Our job at Journey is to take our knowledge of these amazing platforms and build a brand story to help our customers reach the people who are looking for the products and services that they provide.”

According to O’Donnell, small businesses are the engine room of the local economy, yet so many don't have the resources to grow the way that they want to. One particular pain point lies in the areas of marketing and social media management. Many small business owners are aware of the new client acquisition tools at their fingertips, but with sales, operations, and staffing nipping at their heels, very few have time to manage a Facebook account, send out regular email newsletters, and keep their website up to date with compelling content. That’s why Journey works directly with small and medium-sized companies to create and implement a marketing plan to attract and retain clients, freeing the business owner up to concentrate on other critical business operations.  

“When a client comes to us for the first time, we start with their business goals in order to get a better understanding of their needs and what we are expected to deliver,” says O’Donnell. “Once we go through the initial discovery session, we develop a plan and execution that gets our clients results on time and on budget. As a small business owner, you can't do it all, and you shouldn't have to. Journey has the resources you need to get your business moving, growing, and performing the way you expect it to.”

Journey Communications is currently accepting new clients in the Central Connecticut area. For more information on the company and its services, visit journeycomm.com or call 646-589-2267. The company can also be found on Facebook or LinkedIn.

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About Journey Communications

Journey Communications provides smart, strategic marketing solutions for busy small business owners who are looking to attract more clients and build their brands. With clients in the health, wellness, beauty, food and beverage, hospitality, home improvement, real estate, technology, and financial services industries, Journey helps businesses get noticed through traditional and digital marketing, social media, public relations, events, and integrated creative campaigns.

A Day by Day Guide to Promoting Your Local Business for Small Business Saturday

Did you know that Saturday, November 26th is Small Business Saturday? Created by American Express, Small Business Saturday is a national event designed to drive holiday shopping traffic to local, independent shops, restaurants, and cafes. We love the idea of giving small businesses a platform to shout from the rooftops, so we've created a day by day tip guide to help you take advantage of this national event on a local level. Let's get started!

Monday 11/14

The first thing you need to do is create a reason for people to shop with you on Small Business Saturday. Whether it's a discount, a "buy one get one", or a free gift, it's a good idea to "reward" shoppers for choosing to buy from your business instead of a big, old chain store. Keep your offer simple and don't pepper it with too many confusing rules. Got it? Great! 

Tuesday 11/15

Once you have decided on an offer, special or discount, it's time to think about marketing. The first thing you'll want to do is update your website with the promo - your website is your digital storefront and it's where people will go to get more information about your offer. Make sure you include all the details of the promotion, as well as a signup where people can subscribe to your newsletter or social media channels.

Wednesday 11/16

Once you have your website updated, it's time to start sending people to it! Today you should create between six and ten social media posts that you can use for your Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter accounts. People need to hear a message multiple times before it sinks in, especially with all the news and media pulsating through our brains every day. Saying the same thing 10 times can get a bit boring, so mix it up with different photos, videos, and graphics. We love Canva for simple design tools and if you need a content calendar template to get your social posts organized, just ask us! Don't forget to include a link to your website in each post. 

Thursday 11/17

Social media can be very powerful if you use it right. Be sure to tag your business location in all your Facebook and Instagram posts and if you're using Instagram or Twitter, it's a good idea to create a set of relevant hashtags so local people can find your business. We're in Pasadena, so some examples of local hashtags include: #shopsmall #shopsmallpasadena #pasadena #oldtownpasadena #onlyinoldpas and #pasadenacharm

Friday 11/18

We're just a week and a day away from Small Business Saturday (see what we did there?)! Here is your to-do for the day. First, don't forget to drop your social media post! Then it's time to get your in-store signage up and rolling! Shop Small has some cute customizable and downloadable options via their website, or you can create your own! Our favorite free design tool is Canva which is super easy to use and has tons of templates for the designed challenged! Let's see what you come up with and don't hesitate to ask if you need a hand.

Monday 11/21

Now that all your promo materials are ready, it's time to find some new customers! One of our favorite ways to find new shoppers is to connect with other local businesses with a similar clientele for a cross promotion! You can find a list of local Small Business Saturday participants on the Shop Small website. Pick a few businesses that you think might be compatible with yours and reach out to say hello! Working with partners is a great way to tap into each other's networks. Need help connecting? Just let us know! By the way, don't forget to post to your promo to social media today!

Tuesday 11/22

Let's talk newsletters! If you have an email database, now is a great time to let them know about your Small Business Saturday promotion! Use simple content and an engaging image with a direct link back to your website. Often times business owners cram their newsletters with heaps of content, but you don't need to go crazy. Just be clear on what you're offering and how your customers can get it. Trust us, they will appreciate the simplicity of the message, especially with the holiday and Black Friday marketing rush! Need help designing an email newsletter? We love MailChimp, which is FREE to use and send to up to 2,000 recipients!

Wednesday 11/23

We know you're all prepping for Thanksgiving so we'll keep today's tip super simple. Your event on Saturday will likely attract new customers, so think about a few ways to get them to come back again and again. Ask people if they would like to subscribe to your newsletter or follow you on social media. Create incentive cards with a discount that they can use on their next visit. Introduce a raffle on the day and get people to drop their business cards for a chance to win a prize. However you decide to do it, make sure you have a strategy to transform a new face from a one-hit wonder into a regular customer. 

Thursday 11/24

Just two days until Small Business Saturday - let's get to work! Just kidding! It's Thanksgiving so drop a social media post and go get your turkey on. Have a wonderful day everyone, lots of love from all of us at Team Journey!

Friday 11/25

Can you believe that Small Business Saturday is tomorrow? Let's get prepared! It's always a good idea to make your business stand out with some signage, balloons, streamers, a laser light show - whatever floats your boat. Also, it's a great time to send out a last minute social media post or newsletter follow-up to remind people to shop small at your business tomorrow. It's a busy time, but people are in the mood to spend - so join the pandemonium and have some fun.

Saturday 11/26

Happy Small Business Saturday everyone! We hope you've put our tips to good use and are gearing up for a great day. Don't forget to hand out those incentives, and be sure to encourage customers to sign up for your email newsletter or follow you on social media. Good luck and have an amazing day!

Create a Successful Holiday Marketing Strategy in Six Steps

It may seem too soon to start talking about the holidays, but if you’re a small business owner who depends on the festive season to give you a big boost, it’s never too early to begin your marketing planning.

Executing a big holiday sale, event, or promotion may seem daunting, but with these six simple steps and a few tools, you’ll be well ahead of the game and ready for success. Now, let’s make those cash registers ring!

Step 1

Have a goal. When doing any kind of promotional exercise, you should have a specific target in mind. You might want to sell $50,000 worth of a product or secure 100 new signups for your email newsletter. Whatever you’re trying to do, it’s important to have something to measure your success by.

Step 2

Decide on a very clear value proposition. Many business owners over complicate their offer with sparkles and flashing lights when a simple 20% off will do just fine. Be clear on what you’re offering and what your customers will receive in exchange for their business.  Be sure you’re answering the question, “why is this offer better than anything else out there?”

Step 3

Now it’s time to develop the copy for the place where people will go to learn more, which is most likely your website. You’ll want to write some catchy and engaging text that gives people all the information they’ll need to know, including offer dates and any exclusions. Make sure all your links and buttons work and that your shopping cart is ready for orders (if applicable).

Step 4

Now that you have a place for people to land, what tools will you use to get the word out? Write down a quick list of everything you need to develop content for. Let’s say you’re doing a Black Friday sale. People will be able to take advantage of this sale on your website, but how will you get them there? Think about these options:

Advertorials

Adwords

Affiliate marketing

Blogging

Competitions / contests

Direct mail

Editorial

Email marketing

Events

Gifts and giveaways

Influencer marketing

Merchandise

Mobile / SMS

Online advertising

Point of sale materials

Print ads

Public speaking

Radio

Search / SEO

Shop front signage

Social media ads

Social media content

Sponsorships

Stunts

Telemarketing

Testimonials

TV

Your own website

Step 5

Once you’ve decided what tools you want to use, you’ll want to create a content calendar. This is a great way to collect all the images, copy, links and hashtags you’ll need to promote your sale. A content calendar will help you to get organized and ensure that you’re promoting your news regularly and well before the big day. As we all know, one Instagram post or one email newsletter isn’t going to do the trick, but a calendar will help you develop all of your promotional messaging in one place, and from there you can pull it out and drop it into your social media, email, or other advertising avenues. Need a template? We'll send you one.

Step 6

Once you have your content ready, think about who can help you get the word out. Can you partner with other local businesses? Maybe put some flyers in the neighborhood shops? Can you work with a few social media influencers that cover your industry? Are there events coming up in your area that target your demographic? Remember, any event, sale, or promotion is an opportunity to introduce your brand to new potential customers so take some time investigating options outside of your comfort zone.

A Few Last Words

Organizing a big promotion doesn’t have to be terrifying or frantic. Heck, you could wing it, but a properly devised strategy will help you to organize your messaging, make the best use of the platforms available to you, and give you a much better chance to make more sales and get yourself in front of more potential buyers for the long term. So, what are you waiting for?

Need some helping creating a launch strategy for the holiday season? Feel free to get in touch.