Marketing for Educators

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As the child of two educators who both ran successful side businesses, I know how important it is to leverage your skills and strengths on your terms and schedule.

You may not know that I seriously started pursuing my teaching certificate. After graduating with a journalism degree and a business minor and working in the journalism field for several years, I started the process of obtaining my post-Bach certification in elementary education.

Before I completed my student teaching, I was offered the job of my dreams combining my journalism degree and education classwork at an education-related non-profit. I love what I do.

I also love helping educators supplement their income with side businesses. After years of consulting one on one, I developed an ecourse to be able to reach more educators who want to grow their business.

This course will give educators (and anyone else interested in marketing a side business!) the confidence to apply their current skills and convert classroom teaching experience (which is really selling when it comes down to it) into growing a business.

Most marketing information and courses are aimed at people who have a different skill set than educators and more time on their hands. Everything in this ecourse can be done after school hours or on the weekends, which is exactly when you will be working to grow your business any way!

Over five lessons you will learn the basics of marketing your product or service including homework assignments to move you along in the process.

You can check out the ecourse here. If you’d like to register to take the course, email me at aurora@jacreativegroup.com for a $5 off code!

New York City Musts

NYC Katz's Delicatessen

I loved NYC before Sex & the City and well before Gossip Girl. My love for the city started in middle school. I was exceptionally lucky to visit my father’s dear friend and surrogate uncle there once or twice a year. I did all of my school clothes shopping in the city and even spent the 1999 New Years Eve in Times Square with my family and best friend. New York is a city like no other. If you visit, I highly recommend the following:

Some of my most favorite places to eat are:

  • Russ and Daughters (179 E Houston St  New York, NY 10002) THE place to get bagels and lox.
    Russ & Daughters NYC Russ & Daughters
  • Gray’s Papaya for a hot dog (2090 Broadway New York) There are TONS of locations and all of them are good.
    Gray's Papaya
  • Another NYC institution is the famous Katz’s Delicatessen on East Houston Street.

    Katz's Delicatessen pastrami

  • One of my most favorite places to eat in the entire city is Union Square Cafe. It where I first had tuna tartare and beef carpaccio. Amazing!
  • The Jordan Lobster Farms (1 Pettit Pl, Island Park, NY 11558) in Island Park is really good
    Jordan Lobster Farm
    Jordan Lobster Farm Menu

There are often other places I love like Prosperity Dumplings (now closed) and Izakaya Ten (also now closed), but like lots of great things in NYC change happens. I always like finding new places every time we visit.

Places to see/visit

  • The High Line (West 29th Street near 10th Ave)  This is getting more and more built up and it’s amazing. I had some of the best street popsicles I’ve ever had there.
    NYC The High Line
  • Museum of Natural History (81st Street and Central Park West)
  • The NYC Public Library. I’m a sucker for Old Winnie the Pooh and the originals are there!
    NYC Public Library Winnie the Pooh Originals NYC Public Library Winnie the Pooh
  • No trip to NYC is complete without a walk through Times Square (it’s super overwhelming regardless of time or day)
  • The Post Office by Penn Station is a great place to sit and people watch for a bit.
  • The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is a lot of fun and worth the price of admission. (J and I trade museums. I like art and history and he likes military and history so it works out = )
  • Of course the Shopping in SOHO is amazing.
If you’re looking for a day trip, I cannot recommend Fire Island enough. It was pretty heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy, but they’ve done a lot of rebuilding. It’s one of my favorite places in the continental United States. While there the fish tacos at Castaway are really good. There’s a pasta place Dinner at Michael’s Ristorante & Pizzeria which has delicious Spaghetti Militare.
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Have fun!

Marketing A New Product: Suggestions For Success

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Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question,what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

There are many ways of marketing new products and inventions, depending on the industries you intend to serve. However, whatever market you are targeting, there are some basics to keep in mind.

Market research
As soon as you have an idea, begin researching the potential market. The intent is to find out how your idea works and what competition is already there. Don’t create anything on assumption. There has to be a genuine desire for a product if it is going to succeed. You should have a unique solution or improvement for already established need.

Get your house in order
Next, make sure your product has the legal protection it needs. Contact the patent office, make sure your trademark name is unique and create a robust intellectual property plan. It’s also essential that you make sure your product works. It doesn’t have to be perfect – particularly if you are releasing software. But, it will need to be bug-free and well-tested before you reveal it to the general public. Launching a poor-quality product dooms you from the start.

Find some help
As your product approaches completion, it’s time to get some help. Consider hiring a local marketing firm or submit an idea to new product specialists who have experience in launching an invention. Make sure you check for previous campaigns that the company has created, and also ask for examples of successes. In an ideal world, you should also choose a firm with experience launching similar products. They will already understand the market, which should help you save a lot of time in the planning stage.

Create a strong foundation
There will be some marketing tasks that you should do yourself. Tap into the power of communities and join – or create – forums or groups of like-minded people. It’s the ideal place for discussing your ideas – and those of others. Start networking in your local business community, too. All the while, you should be talking about your product and finding out who is interested. The idea here is to find early adopters or people willing to try out your new invention. It will give you a solid basis from which to move forward beyond your launch.

Contact industry influencers
Finally, make sure you seek out and contact influential people in your industry. You can find them on blogs, social media, and in specific channels like Linkedin. Don’t dive in with a sales pitch. Instead, get to know the person before sending a free sample or test product. Consider a contract requiring the person to post their review in exchange for keeping the product. 

Five tips to help you rise above your competition

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Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question,
what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article
written specifically for our readers.

Keeping up with competition is crucial to a successful business. Competition encourages companies to offer the best possible service and continue to improve. However, competition isn’t just about getting more customers. You also want to attract the best employees, have a higher market share and have the best image in your field. Overall, you want people to think of your company before any others when thinking of your sector. Here are five tips to help you rise above your competition.

  1. Reach Out To New Markets Increasing your target demographics can boost your business reach. Make sure you are doing this strategically. For example, if you run a women’s fashion store, you can beat out competing stores by also offering children’s clothing. When thinking of which store to go to, mothers will be much more likely to choose yours. But if your target demographic isn’t mothers, offering children’s clothing may alienate your customer base. It’s all about finding out what competing stores don’t do that makes sense for your business. Find gaps in the market and be the first to fill them.
  2. Get The Best Employees You will want the best employees in the field. Excellent employees will drive your business to be the best that it can be. The highest salaries and/or best benefits will often attract the most valuable employees. You can use the Croner salary benchmarking survey to find out what other businesses in your field are offering. You may have to pay more in salary or benefits, but the trade-off is usually more dedicated employees. 
  3. Offer Better Service Customer service is huge for retaining a customer base. Delivering high-quality customer service should always be a high priority for your company. Excellent service can include fair return policies, customer loyalty rewards, and friendly customer service reps. If customers from your competing business are unhappy with the service there, they’ll turn to you instead. Keeping customers happy will keep them coming to you over the competitors.
  4. Build On Your Strengths To be the best in your sector, you have to clarify what you offer that competitors don’t. For many businesses, this means offering the lowest prices. Supermarkets often offer price-matching and compare their prices with competitors in advertisements. You don’t have to be the cheapest in the field. You can focus on having the highest-quality products, or offering the best customer service. Figure out what areas you beat competitors in, and build on those strengths.
  5. Utilize Marketing Marketing your organization is crucial to beating the competition. For example, being the cheapest taxi service in town means nothing if no one knows about it. Get your name out there and develop your reputation. There are many ways to market and advertise your business. Look into modern marketing techniques. Marketing can quickly help you get ahead of competing companies.

Brand Identity Tips

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Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question,what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

Every business, no matter how small, has a selling point. It’s what makes it unique and helps it stand out amongst its competitors. Although some businesses are better at presenting their brand to the world, don’t let that put you off.  Having a strong identity can be a great way of promoting yourself and spreading the word about your product and building that reputation doesn’t have to be difficult.

Find your identity
Finding your identity is a great place to start. Think about what you’re selling and what you are trying to present to the world. Think about why you started your business. Does your product or service fulfill a need? Is your product or service a solution to a problem? What’s one word that describes your business best? For example, if you believe the best way to describe your brand is “quirky’” go with it and try to convey it through your actions and how you speak to potential clients and customers. You can do so on your social media or through a digital marketing campaign. Either way, always keep your brand in mind.

Ignore the competition
Although it’s perfectly normal to be inspired by other brands, try not to rely too heavily on mimicking what others are doing. Part of finding your own identity is embracing it and turning it into a selling point. Focus on building your own brand and don’t be afraid to be original.

Brand Consistency
Once you have built up your brand, you’ll want to shift your attention to brand consistencyHaving a strong brand is one thing, but maintaining it and being consistent is the next challenge. You want people to recognize you and your brand. Consumers are attracted to consistency because they like things that feel familiar. 

Rebranding
Changing your image can often be beneficial, but when it comes to rebranding it’s not an easy task. Although sometimes it might be necessary to reinvent yourself, it’s important that you do so while taking extra care. Make sure that your brand remains recognizable and your rebrand doesn’t undo all the hard work you out into branding in the first place. 

If you don’t feel your brand is strong enough, don’t worry as it can be improved. Keep pushing your image forward and reinforcing the ideas that you want to convey and you’ll do great. Don’t worry if it takes your business a while to take off the ground. It takes time but the effort you put it will be worth the final results.

Property Management considerations

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Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question,
what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article
written specifically for our readers.

Becoming a landlord is an option many people take to earn extra income. The process of buying and renting a property can be daunting. Below are four tips to help make the process a bit easier.

  1. Be Protected As a potential landlord, it’s important that you have protection at all times. You might consider acquiring a real estate license prior to purchasing a property to use as a rental. You’ll gain valuable knowledge and insight and be able to view your specific market with more details than the average resident. Make sure you have insurance that covers renters and are abiding by all local laws and regulations. 
  2. Stick To Easily Managed Properties The easiest way to keep a tenant happy is to ensure the property is in good condition. Choosing new build projects like those at https://www.hicommon.com/havemeyer/ will make management easier than with an older property. Your initial investment may be more, but your maintenance costs should be less. 
  3. Seek out support Make sure you are recruiting team members who are as dedicated as you are, be those property managers, handy people or painters. Consider outsourcing certain tasks that aren’t your area of expertise. 
  4. Find The Right Tenants If you’ve acquired your real estate license, you may be able to act as an agent for the transaction. It may also be in your best interest to let another agent in your organization act as the realtor in this situation. Your goal is to find a tenant who will make payments on time and respect the property and call you when maintenance is needed before a small problem turns into a costly issue. For further information on sourcing the right tenant, visit https://www.clark.com/becoming-landlord-how-find-good-tenant