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Increase Your Reach
Infuse Your Marketing With Technology

April 2004

Welcome to the one year anniversary edition of this newsletter. I am going to mark the occasion by revisiting some of the most popular articles of the past year since many of you are new here - in fact, the subscriber list has QUADRUPLED since the beginning and the 300th subscriber signed up just yesterday!!! For those of you with, or considering an email newsletter, I wrote an honest assessment of what having a newsletter means and whether it's worth the work that goes into it. Plus, I'll share my latest online communication experiment, an RSS feed, and a beginners guide to what RSS is. And of course, I have some new happy clients and a few developments to mention.

Best of "Increase Your Reach"
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In case you've never visited the archive, I'd like to share with you some of the most popular articles of this newsletter's first year.

Make Mine to Grow
Postcard Marketing Your Small Business
How to Write a Newsletter, Without Being a Writer
Create a Brand that Sticks

Enjoy! And feel free to request or suggest subjects you want to hear more about, too.

Virtual Professionals Survey Report is Available
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For those of you who missed it, last summer, I conducted an extensive interview of 70 virtual professionals, and wrote a number of articles based on the findings. Now, the entire study has been compiled into a single report complete with charts and graphs, available for download in PDF. The 12 page report covers three areas: demographics, benefits and hazards, and current technology in the virtual business world. Check it out!

Virtual Professionals in 2003

RSS - A Beginners Guide to a New Online Publishing Format
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A few months ago, I quietly put an RSS feed into operation for this newsletter, so I could test it out. What is RSS? In a nutshell, it is a new format for publishing information, where the reader has all of the control over when, how and where they read your content. In other words, an alternative way for people who really care what you have to say to receive information from you without it getting buried in a deluge of spam. And from a business owners perspective, even if you don't publish information in RSS, it is awfully handy for wading through the information one might want to read.

My beginners guide explains some of the basics and offers perspective for both the information seeker and the publisher on what RSS is so you can stay informed on the lastest development in online communications.

Read the RSS Beginners Guide

What's Cookin' at SOHO It Goes!
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We have new happy clients to tell you about. First, the postcard design project for Kingsway Community is completed, and off to the printer (click here for the case study). The interface design for the TerraSAR Satellite web site was delivered and the site should be released shortly by the team in Germany. We've completed a batch of small marketing design projects for Weichert Realtors, and picked up a number of new SOHO clients, including a local law firm, and a photographer in NYC. And we're providing some new web development services to the NYS Dispute Resolution Association, one of our longest continual clients.

In my free time (haha!), I've recently become the Vice Chair of the Solo Entrepreneurs Council of the Albany Chamber, and was also invited to participate in the Tech Valley Portal Planning Committee, which is made up of industry sector leaders throughout the region. I'm representing the marketing and Internet communications side of things, and I would like to think, representing the interests of microbusinesses in the regional planning process. It is already sizing up to be an interesting year!

Publishing a Newsletter - a Reality Check!
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Having a newsletter has soft benefits, like the fact that past colleagues, contacts and clients who would probably slip away from lack of communication, get a visit from me once a month, and send me referrals a result of that. I get calls from people I worked with years ago, for new work, because I stay in touch and remind them that I'm still going strong. Using a newsletter in growing business is a slow process - you stay in front of people, show your expertise, and when they need you, they think of you - but that could be many months later. Of course, there are a number of people on my list who may never be clients, who are instead using the info in the newsletter to build their own businesses. And that's okay - I subscribe to newsletters for the same reason.

The other intangible perk of doing this is that I have a built in audience for testing ideas, gathering information and so on. I've done surveys like the one above, which lead to published articles, which lead to exposure, which lead to work. And I also write to small groups of subscribers for feedback on various ideas I have, so it is like having a built in focus group for my business.

So is time spent worth it? I still believe it is. My challenge has always been that I respect my subscribers and keep my self promotion to a minimal, while offering up lots of free information. Some marketers might say that its not worth it to do that way, but I prefer the "slow growing relationship" road. And there are certainly moments I think "Oh man, what am I going to write about?" and "when will I find the time to do it?" But I have yet to discover a better avenue to remaining in touch with clients and prospects and sharing my area of expertise with so many people at once. So onward I go! I look forward to hearing feedback and, of course, how I can help you market with technology.

Sincerely,

Eileen "Turtle" Parzek


Official Mumbo Jumbo
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2004 All Rights Reserved - This newsletter is intended to be read and passed around by entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations interested in electronic communication, design and technology. Please don't reproduce this document or its contents without full credit to Eileen Parzek, SOHO It Goes!

   
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