As the founder of Rembrandt Communications®, LLC, www.rembrandtwrites.com, Melanie is one of the country's top, public-relations consultants, an SEO copywriter and a published writer with over 20 years of extensive experience and an excellent track-record for success.
She specializes in helping entrepreneurs get the attention and credibility they need via targeted public-relations and SEO copywriting efforts (including Web site copy that sells, newsletters, eReports, social media, blogs, SEO press releases, e-mail auto responders, direct marketing, and more!).
Melanie offers tips and insights via her blogs and monthly newsletter, "Rembrandt Writes Insights®." And she provides in-depth training presentations to various businesses and organizations nationwide.
Melanie is also the author of "Secrets of Becoming a Publicist," published by American Writers & Artists, Inc., "Simple Publicity," published by 1WinPress, StartupNation's "7 Steps to Successful Public Relations," and the host of the SmallBiz America Radio Channel, "PR and SEO Quick Tips with Melanie Rembrandt."
A magna cum laude graduate of the prestigious UCLA School of Theater,Film and Television, Melanie is the official small-business PR expert for StartupNation and Pink Magazine Online. She’s open to your questions, comments and suggestions at email@example.com and @rembrandtwrites on Twitter.
And you can also sign-up to receive her e-newsletter and reports packed with great information at: http://www.startupnation.com/steps/77/steps-successful-public-relations.htm.
Since many small businesses are having trouble in today’s economic climate, I thought you might like to hear some marketing tips from successful small-business-owner, Mike Shevelev.
Mike is the president of Trisys, a software company that delivers call accounting and call recording solutions to address compliance, call-center performance, security, and remote workforce supervision.
Since the company has been in business since 1984 and has over 30,000 facilities using their products, I got the inside scoop from Mike on his success. Here’s what he had to say:
Tell us why you started the business.
We started as small businesses became increasingly concerned about telephony costs as a percentage of cost of business and looked for ways to manage phone time for various types of employees and professionals. As the technology became available within phone systems, we saw an opportunity to provide a management software solution to take advantage of it.
It looks like you found a need and filled that niche. What kind of marketing and PR techniques have you used to get the word out about your business and why?
Primarily, we relied upon word-of-mouth, based on superior customer-service, for our startup marketing strategy. Now, our vertical markets span school systems and leading universities, insurance and banking, hospitals and government agencies, hotels and assisted living facilities, non-profits, and retail.
We found that taking new customers by the hand, no matter what type of vertical they reside in, and supporting them heavily during the first few weeks, really made a difference in how they felt about us and how willing they were to recommend us.
What PR and marketing tactics have worked the best for you and why?We asked each new customer, once they had been with us for six months, how happy they were with the products and if they could recommend another company that might have use for our software. We also asked if we could use their name as a reference. This personal approach has worked well for us since the beginning.
Since then, we have hired a professional, public relations company to help with exposure and company recognition. We know that we don’t have the time, the energy, the focus, or the knowledge to deal with the media in the right way.
We need to spend our time selling and supporting our product line and developing new products rather than promoting our company in a broad sense. Sometimes the best marketing strategy is to let others do what they do best.
That’s a good point, Mike. Well, if you had to start all over again with your marketing and PR tactics, what would you do differently and why?
If we had to start over again, we would have made more of an effort to document the stories of how our product line is used by our customer base, and we would have kept better track of the recommendations we’ve received. It would have been effective to put those up on our Website, both for credibility and as an idea “spur” for prospective clients.
What advice do you have for other businesses just starting out?
Our advice to anybody starting out is to hold your customers’ hands and never let go. They are your life’s blood and their satisfaction is the key to your success.
Thanks for your insights Mike! It sounds like part of your success has come from filling a needed product-niche, providing excellent service, using testimonials to your advantage, and hiring the right team-members to help you reach your goals.
If you’d like to find out more about Mike and his company, visit www.trisys.com.
And if you have questions about boosting sales, awareness and credibility with PR and SEO copywriting, please write to me here or at www.rembrandtwrites.com.