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This post is one in a series of tips designed to guide small business owners through the challenges of today’s startup environment and is sponsored by Canon MAXIFY the printer lineup designed to help small business owners increase productivity so that they can focus on everything else that matters. For more information about the Canon MAXIFY printer lineup visitCanon MAXIFY?
This time last year, I was ready to throw in the towel. Why am I doing this?, I thought. I didn’t need the stress of working all these hours for results that simply aren’t good enough for me. The challenges of building a brand, generating revenue, finding profitable customers, hiring and managing a team and figuring out ways to multiply myself using automation and technology were becoming overwhelming and holding me back.
Thank goodness for my community of small business friends and ?family?. Without your mentoring and good advice, I would never have overcome my slump and come out on the other side with success and a thriving business that I love.
A Thriving Business — It’s Yours to Make
It was right around this time last year that I connected with the team from Canon who asked me to participate in the launch of the new MAXIFY printer which was designed and developed using extensive input from small business owners, like us.
Canon dug deep into our challenges, our needs and our wants. They developed a printer that encompassed not just the features we wanted, but the spirit of entrepreneurship in their message of “Yours to Make”; a message that really resonated with me. Go figure, a big global brand actually KNEW what I was dealing with?!
This whole thing couldn’t have come at a better time since my existing printer (God rest its soul) had also decided to throw in the towel and simply didn’t work anymore. As if on queue, MAXIFY showed up at my door.
I’ve been using it for about a year now and I can tell you that I’ve been pleasantly surprised. The print speed on this baby is amazing. I’d compare it more to a laser than an inkjet. And the colors are so vibrant, I couldn’t believe it was printed in-house. I say this as a marketing person who can get a little picky when it comes to print. My other favorite feature is the cloud print. Even in an office full of computers, I print off my mobile devices and this is really handy. Pair these with 100% US-based support and you could say that the MAXIFY printer played a fairly significant role in my productivity comeback.
Build a Business You Love – With a Little Help From Your Friends (at Canon)
Well, Canon is doing it AGAIN! This time, we’re taking it up a notch and adding mentoring and a spirit of collaboration to the mix.
Between July and December of 2015, Canon is taking their Yours to Make? message a step further by creating a space where you can share your challenges and get actionable advice from a team of mentors:
Seriously — this is a DIYMarketers dream! Canon is offering this ridiculous brain trust of small business experts they are calling MAXIFY Mentors, and putting them at your disposal. Here’s how you can take advantage of the opportunity and ?Make it Yours?.
A Contest Where Your Biggest Challenge Can Make You a WINNER!
Contest Period: Contest begins on July 15, 2015 and concludes on August 31, 2015
- Must be a small business owner, 21 or older
- Must reside within the 48 contiguous states (Void elsewhere and where prohibited by law)
- Must be part of a small business with 1-9 employees
- Must be a small business that’s at most 5 years old
How to Enter the Contest:
- You will need an active Facebook or Twitter Account to participate
- To enter post a particularly difficult challenge you face as a small business owner using the hashtag #MAXIFYCONTEST and tag one of the MAXIFY MENTORS mentioned above
- Multiple entries are permitted however only one (1) Contest Entry per person will be eligible to become a Finalist; posts may include photos that illustrate the challenge being described
How the judges will evaluate the winners:
- On or about September 1, 2015, each Influencer will select 2 winners from the overall entry pool. The Grand Prize Winner will be selected by Barbara Corcoran, the Brand Ambassador, from the 8 winners selected by the supporting MAXIFY MENTORS.
- Valid entries will be judged on the basis of challenge severity (75%) and on the creativity of how the challenge is described through their social post (25%)
Entrants that meet the above criteria will be considered for one of eight (8) total prize offerings:
- Seven (7) runners-up will receive a MAXIFY small business pack featuring a MAXIFY printer MB5320, a $250 Gift Card to use on Canon Direct, an iPad mini, a free 1-year subscription to LegalZoom, a free 1-year subscription to LifeLock, an Intuit Mobile Credit Card Reader
- One (1) grand prize winner will receive the small business prize pack AND meet with the brand ambassador in a 1:1 consultation to discuss their business model, while receiving insights and advice on how they can improve themselves moving forward. The meeting will be videotaped and produced into a YouTube short that describes the Grand Prize Winner?s small business!
Here’s what to do next:
- Run over to Twitter and create a Twitter List Called Canon MAXIFY Mentors?
- Follow each of the MAXIFY Mentors and put them on the list
- Visit this Twitter stream DAILY Between July 15 – August 31
- Post your challenges with #MAXIFYCONTEST and feel free to ask questions, talk to the mentors. I promise, they will talk back.
- Visit each of the MAXIFY Mentors? Facebook Pages
- FOLLOW or LIKE their page.
- Barbara Corcoran: https://www.facebook.com/TheBarbaraCorcoran?fref=ts
- Brett Relander: https://www.facebook.com/brettd.relander.5?fref=ts
- Rhonda Abrams : https://www.facebook.com/RhondaAbramsSmallBusiness
- Tim Berry: https://www.facebook.com/timberry.page?fref=ts
- Ivana Taylor: https://www.facebook.com/DIYMarketers?fref=ts
- Post a challenge with the #MAXIFYCONTEST hashtag
Take 5 Daily- Tips That Make it Easy to Participate in the Contest
Participating in the contest doesn’t have to take a ton of time or effort. You can do it in less than five minutes a day:
- I recommend using HootSuite as your dashboard?. It’s free and allows you to create tabs around specific interests.
- Create a HootSuite TAB for #MAXIFYCONTEST
- Add your streams. I added my Canon list (these are all of the participants and MAXIFY Mentors? Tweets.
- Then I added a search for #MAXIFYCONTEST — this allows me to track all of the Twitter Conversations.
- Finally I searched for each MAXIFY Mentor?s Facebook Page and added it as a stream.
- Now I can see the entire #MAXIFYcontest and conversation in one place!
3 Sneaky Tips for Savvy Marketers
This isn’t just another contest, this is FREE consulting that you’re getting. Not only that, it’s amazing networking.
- Take advantage of the conversation and engagement in this wonderful space and use it to learn, grow your business and build networking relationships.
- Use this opportunity to feature YOUR expertise and experience. Feel free to give advice in those areas where you have experience.
- Grow your social media presence! If you’ve been wanting to add social media to your marketing mix, this is the perfect opportunity to do just that. Don’t be shy, share your gifts and watch your social media engagement grow. You might even get some new customers out of the experience.
A Happy and Profitable Ending Brought to You By the Power of Mentors, Collaboration and Canon MAXIFY
When I think about it, if it weren?t for A little help from my friends? I could have easily given up on my business and my dream. As I reflect on how I got out of my funk, I realized that it was my ability to be open about the challenges I was facing and share them with my small business community of friends, influencers and experts. Their guidance, advice and even the occasional whack-on-the-side-of-the-head helped me get over myself and get back to work.
Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity for collaboration, camaraderie and support. You are not alone!
Participate in the contest. Connect and engage with all of us and build a business that you love and one that loves you back!
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If you are a U.S.-based small business owner (1-9 employees) and have faced a unique business challenge, let us know!
Leave a comment and share your business challenge on this post using the hashtag #MAXIFYCONTEST and tag any of our mentors (@DIYMarketers. @RhondaAbrams, @BarbaraCorcoran, @BrettRelander) in order to qualify for our contest.
We’ll also be rewarding select small business owners with a prize pack including the Canon MAXIFY MB5320 printer as well as other essentials to help you run your business more efficiently. So don’t forget to leave a link to your website or social media pages that way we can see how well you’re marketing your business and get in touch!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Open only to residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia, 21 and older. Entrant must be a small business owner where the business is five (5) years old or less and has no more than nine (9) employees. Void outside 48 contiguous U.S. and D.C., and where prohibited or restricted by law. To enter, post on Facebook or Twitter about a particularly difficult challenge you face as a small business owner using the hashtag #MAXIFYCONTEST and tag @brettrelander, @DIYMarketers,@Timberry@RhondaAbrams, or @BarbaraCorcoran. The Contest Period starts at 3:00 PM ET on July 15, 2015 and ends at 11:59 PM ET on August 31 Multiple entries are permitted during the Contest Period, however only one (1) Contest Entry per person will be eligible to become a Finalist (as defined in the Official Rules) There will be one (1) Grand Prize Winner and seven (7) Runners-up. See Official Rules for prize details. By entering, you represent and warrant that you own all right and title in the post content and any photo, and the post content and any photo do not violate the intellectual property rights or publicity rights of a third party. By entering, you release Sponsor, Facebook and Twitter from any liability associated with participating in the Contest and/or accepting any prize. Each Winner and Runners Up grants Sponsor the right to use his/her name and likeness for promotional purposes. Sponsor: Canon U.S.A., Inc., One Canon Park, Melville, NY 11747. Please visit the following link: http://shop.usa.canon.com/estore/marketing/maxify-resources/mentors-program-contest-terms.pdf for the full Official Rules.