Why Reviews Are So Important

If you’ve ever shopped on Amazon, consider whether you look at the product reviews or not. I know I do. Other consumers’ input is helpful in understanding whether a given product will work the way we want it to.

We live in a society that is quickly becoming review-focused. Many diners review restaurants (and these days, any other type of business) on Yelp. We’re using these reviews to determine where we spend our money.

So as a business, it behooves you to take advantage of reviews and encourage your customers to give them.

How to Get Reviews

Start with the customers or contacts you have a good relationship with. Ask them to visit your Yelp or Amazon page and leave a review. You want honesty, but don’t be afraid of a few negative reviews. They show visitors to the site that the reviews aren’t rigged by the company. And the more reviews you get, the less important those few negative ones become.

Make it easy for customers. Send an email after they make a purchase with a link to your Yelp or Amazon page so all they have to do is click and type. Put a sign in your store at the cash register reminding them to leave a review, and have your staff invite customers to go online to leave reviews.

Our Reviews

We’re always thrilled when someone reviews our book. It shows that we’re on the right track with our content, and that people appreciate what we’re doing. Here’s a great review we recently got:

“Visual Marketing – 99 Proven Ways for Small Businesses to Market with Images and Designs is a THE book for savvy business owners. This valuable reference is full of smart, creative and innovative ways to promote their businesses. Whether it’s on the web, in print or in-person, Visual Marketing provides fabulous ideas, illustrations, tips and the story behind each strategy. It’s one of the FIRST books I enthusiastically recommend to my business clients.”
— Teri Scheinzeit, The Savvy Business Coach

Reviews can be a marketing tool, just like social media or press releases. Use them to your benefit, and you’ll see an increase in customers coming through your door.

Photo Credit: Yelp.com via Compfight cc

Getting the Most Out of Amazon as a Book Marketing Tool

If you’re an author, you know how important being on Amazon is. It’s like the Google of books. The site is basically a major search engine, and will help anyone searching for a book on a topic you’ve written about find your book.

All that being said, competition is still fierce on Amazon, just as it is on Google. You’ve got to use every available tool to ensure that readers find your book…and not some other author’s. [Read more…]

Visual Marketing Contributor Tries His Hand at a Children’s Book

One of our book contributors, Robert Pizzo, whose unique email marketing designs were featured in the book, recently announced that his first children’s book, The Amazing Animal Alphabet of Twenty-Six Tongue Twisters will be published September of 2013.

The book features a silly tongue twister for each letter of the alphabet, accompanied by Pizzo’s iconic art:


When asked where his inspiration came from, Pizzo said it was close to home:

“As the father of three daughters, I had always enjoyed reading to my kids. We ended up acquiring quite a collection of books and I guess it’s in the genes that my girls always enjoyed the ones that had more of a graphically designed look to them. A few years ago I had this idea for an animal alphabet book loosely based on a little sentence game I would play with my kids while riding in the car. Though I had illustrated many book covers I had always wanted to see what it was like to illustrate an entire book.”
Pizzo says creating a book wasn’t that much different than his average illustration assignment, “only much, MUCH longer!”
He looked to authors like Dr. Seuss, who have mastered the simplicity of words in children’s books, and put more focus on the illustrations. “First, I took a jumble of seemingly random words beginning with the same letter and turned them into a complete sentence. The more unlikely and absurd the better! Once I had that I thought,  ‘OK, now, how can I illustrate that?’ You ought to see the gigantic stack of sketches and Post-It doodles this process generated.”
Pizzo says he would consider writing more children’s books in the future, depending on how well this one does.  “I have a couple of other book dummies and ideas in a folder on my computer, so who knows?”