How To Stand Out on The Crowded Internet

 Disclosure:  The following is sponsored content in partnership with Staples for their Staples Business Advantage program (which is so much more than you think it is!)

 Every day, more and more businesses are using social media, SEO and digital advertising to get exposure for their products and services.  The problem is that the Internet is as crowded as a New York City subway during rush hour.  Every type of business imaginable is trying to get exposure via digital mediums but what about traditional marketing and offline exposure?

@@ If you want to stand out in the oversaturated online space, you need to humanize your business and get “belly-to-belly” @@

In network marketing, or the direct sales industry, there is a term called being belly-to-belly. This refers to the idea that relationships and sales are made in person. People respond to information very differently in person than they do when they see it online. As marketers and business owners, we cannot forget about this. You have to get out and be willing to pound the pavement. You have to be willing to hustle. I can sell more books after a speaking engagement in an hour, than I do a whole week selling online. The power of the human connection is unmatched.

What have you done to connect with your community, clients, and customers outside of social media or digital advertising? While building things like Facebook groups is great, how about having an actual event so you can get in front of them and make that in-person connection?

Here are some more ideas that you can use to create buzz for your business outside of just using Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

●Attract your audience with standing banners at vendor events or experiential marketing.

●Create an experience in your brick-and-mortar store with floor stickers.

●Create a series of pop-up shops in the top 5 cities where your customers are and deck them out with your brand’s graphics.

●Sponsor an event and have your logo on signage like a step-and-repeat or banner.

●Design 4x6 cards like a mini brochure, instead of a traditional business card.

●Send out a direct mail campaign and bypass all the email inbox clutter right to your prospects’ physical mailboxes.

Now I know you’re probably thinking, “Emmelie, how the heck can I get all of this done?” I'm glad that you asked, because I've been there. I know what it's like to be Googling all over the Internet trying to get quotes, uploading design files with errors, and having to go to different sites for different print jobs. It’s exhausting! That's why I'm so excited about my partnership with the Staples Business Advantage program. While working with them to get my own materials printed, I learned that Staples is so much more than just office supplies. Staples’ Print & Marketing Services offers a vast assortment of products, from custom print & corporate identity, to marketing collateral, signage, customer forms and promotional products. They’re the ‘brand manager’ you've always wanted and thought you couldn't afford.

Not only do they provide you with everything that you need to market your business offline, they also provide you with an account manager to make sure that the process is effortless. I got a new standing banner, 4x6 cards to include with my Make Yourself Marketable bundle, and custom notepads. Plus, being a member of Staples Business Advantage program comes with a multitude of benefits beyond Print & Marketing services - including customized prices, over 500,000 products, free delivery and access to workspace design and technology experts!

There are opportunities beyond the computer screen that business owners are overlooking. Marketing teams are gathered around conference tables trying to brainstorm the next “innovative” campaign to break through all the noise. Remember, brand awareness is important, but relationships, branding and memorable materials sell products.

Real sales and real opportunities are found in the people that we can interact with right outside of our doors. But how exactly do we do that? How do we become our own brand managers and take our companies to the next level?  How do we leave an impression beyond 140 characters and a double tap on a screen?

How do you plan to dominate the online and offline space this summer? Check out Staples’ memberships and keep up with other projects on the #StaplesPrint hashtag. Let me know below and connect with Staples on Facebook and Twitter.