April is National Home Inventory Month: Find out more
10 Jun 2021

Marketing Minute – Copywriting Tips

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary GillenMary Gillen

How to Handle Long Headlines

If you have a long headline, you can make it easier for the reader to understand your message by setting 50% of the words in a larger font.

EXAMPLES:

  • The Secret of HOW TO BE THINNER
  • ORGANIC FOOD: Now Is The Time To Buy It
  • 17 Marketing Ideas To GROW YOUR BUSINESS

In the body of your copy, you will often have links to sources, other articles, your website, etc. You don’t want too many words in your links, so…

Keep your links short

The easiest way to keep your links short is to delete unnecessary words

TOO MANY WORDS:

Click on these links to find out about Acme Associates’ hours, to get directions to Acme Associates’ office, or to see the Acme Associates contact list.

EASIER TO COMPREHEND:

Visit Acme Associates
Hours
Directions
Contact List

These two tips will draw more attention to your articles and also encourage people to click on your links.

27 May 2021

Inventory 101

CurriculumOne of the courses required to achieve your Certified Inventory Specialist designation is Inventory 101. The purpose of this course is to help inventory professionals learn about the various inventory categories so you are prepared to speak knowledgeably with others in the “counting industry.” This knowledge will also enable you to know whether to consider a job opportunity or to decline.

Personal property inventory is fairly new compared to retail and manufacturing, so you will most likely be contacted to inventory a retail store. Especially at year-end, numerous convenience store owners or managers will be calling to find someone to count their bubble gum, candy bars, and other consumables in their store. Small manufacturers and sheet metal shops might call on you to count their “pieces and parts” at year-end.

Knowing the key words and types of items other industries inventory will help you know what opportunities to accept and which ones to pass on or refer if you know of someone who specializes in that industry. These calls give you an opportunity to ask if they have an inventory of their equipment, furniture, electronics, etc. Give a quick explanation of why it is important to have this inventory, and you might secure a personal property inventory client!

17 May 2021

Folsom, CA Inventory Professional Achieves Appraisal Examiner Certification

The National Inventory Certification Association congratulates member Cynthia Breazeale for achieving the designation of Certified Appraisal Examiner.

Cynthia BreazealeThe National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) is pleased to announce that Cynthia Breazeale, owner of Trusted Inventory, has recently earned the designation of Certified Appraisal Examiner (CAE). 

The growth of the personal property inventory industry has created an opportunity for contents inventory professionals to serve as Appraisal Examiners. The purpose of a CAE designation is to establish recognition for this specialized service. This certification provides the education and the credentials needed to properly assist appraisers. 

This enables appraisal firms to locate and subcontract certified, qualified examiners to assist with the collection of descriptions and photos of items to be appraised. The appraisers are then able to create an accurate Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) compliant certified report from this information provided by the inventory professional. Additionally, the home inventory professional is able to grow their businesses through additional revenue opportunities.

When completing an inventory service for residential and commercial clients, the inventory professional is often asked if they know the value of items, or if they can refer an appraiser. The CAE designation signifies that these contents inventory professionals have the knowledge required to collect and then submit the necessary information for an appraiser to assign value. This allows for a two-way referral opportunity between these two industries.

To help ensure that the inventory service provider is prepared to serve the appraisal industry, the NICA Education Committee, consisting of NICA members, an established property appraiser, and the Association Directors, determined the requirements to achieve an Appraiser Examiner Certification. 

Only those who have earned their Certified Inventory Expert (CIE) or Certified Inventory Specialist (CIS) designation are eligible to apply for this additional level. The inventory professional is also required to successfully complete the Customer Service and Appraisal Examiner courses, plus an elective chosen from the NICA curriculum. The Appraisal Examiner course was co-written by a property appraiser to ensure the integrity and provide hands-on processes for accurate collection of information.

Based in Folsom, California, Trusted Inventory offers residential and business asset inventory services throughout Northern California. For more information about Trusted Inventory, visit https://www.trustedinventory.com

12 May 2021

Marketing Minute – Creative Marketing Tactics

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary GillenMary Gillen

Often, we can get into a “marketing rut.” When you feel a need to do something new and/or different, consider one or more of these unique strategies that can help people remember you and your company.

Voice Mail Tip of the Day

Make the most of voice mail by posting a better-than-standard answering message. Include a “tip of the day” on your message, which can prove to be entertaining and educational to callers, as well as a credibility builder for you.

The Luck of the Draw

Next time you’re the Spotlight Speaker at a networking function, make sure everyone walks away with the possibility of being a winner. One marketer we know gives away “scratch-to-win” $1 lottery tickets to all attendees at the end of her presentation with the message “Wishing you the best of luck in your business.” This surprise gift pleases everyone and draws attention to this marketer’s creativity.

Attract Twitter Attention with Quotations

Want to gain more recognition on Twitter? Schedule and post famous quotations throughout the day. Folks on Twitter love to re-tweet quotations. Find over 27,000 quotations online from over 3,100 authors at The Quotations Page.

Marketing with License Plates

Many state motor vehicle departments in the US offer customers the option to purchase personalized license plates. A math tutor in Herndon, VA, bought personalized tags that read “MATH TUTR”. No matter where she goes, she receives countless inquiries about her tutoring services from folks who read her license plates. Her “license plate marketing program” sends her a steady supply of students.

What would YOUR license plate say?

21 Apr 2021

Marketing Minute – Copywriting

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary GillenMary Gillen

When writing copy for your newsletter, blog, advertising content, or any other information, there are key elements to consider. The following information will help you write content that your prospects, referral sources, and cllients will want to read.

Keep the Copy Short

People skim and scan Web pages for information. Don’t be afraid to cut the copy down so folks can easily find what they need.
TOO LONG:                  How do I check out when I am done shopping at Acme.com?
EASY TO SCAN:           How do I check out?

Four Questions That Need to Be Answered in Copy That Sells

  1. Who might purchase your product or service?
  2. Why do they want it?
  3. What are the reasons a prospect might not buy your product or service?
  4. What are the reasons you can use to persuade the prospect to buy and close the sale?
14 Apr 2021

Changes to the Blogging Course – One is now Three

Change is GoodAs stated in last month’s newsletter, Member Tricia Hoekwater and Associate Member Mary Gillen co-authored a very thorough and in-depth course about blogging for the personal property inventory industry. It was scheduled to launch this month.

HOWEVER, once it was completed, we realized that it was just too in-depth for one course. The details and information when “digging deep” into marketing strategy and how to develop a blogsite are needed, but cramming all of this into one course would not be in your best interest. It was the epitome of “too much information!”

Therefore, we decided it would be best to break it down into three courses instead of cutting out a lot of great information. By doing this, it also allowed for additional information to be added, making these individual 3 courses even better!.

Dividing, editing, and adding information, obviously, delayed the projected timeline of having the Blogging course available in March. We are working on this now, and the first course – Introduction to Blogging – should be available very soon.

Blogging can seem overwhelming and intimidating, so the basics and details are included to give you a great start with a solid foundation of knowledge. It’s easy to put blogging on the back burner. Like any new undertaking, it takes a commitment, willingness to learn, and a plan that can be executed and followed. Starting a blog and keeping it alive is a noteworthy achievement. We are confident this course gives the information to do just that! The modules in Introduction to Blogging are:

Module 1 – Building the Foundation

  • Introduction to Blogging
  • What is a Blog
  • Why Blog
  • Start Right
  • Pros and Cons

Module 2 – Creating Content for Your Blog

  • Generating Content Ideas
  • Types of Content
  • Content Formats
  • Developing Fresh Content
  • Images

Module 3 – Naming and Branding Your Blog

  • Naming Your Blog
  • Branding Your Blog
  • Promoting Your Blog
  • Resources
01 Apr 2021

April is National Home Inventory Month

National Home Inventory MonthNICA’s mission is “To provide awareness and education.” Establishing April as the awareness month to focus on the need for a home inventory supports this initiative. Along with our Association, many personal property inventory professionals inform others about this industry on a regular basis. The various means by our members and others continue to raise awareness of the life events that require or benefit from having this information prepared and kept up to date.

With the country finally opening up after a long year of tough times due to Covid, this is perfect timing to promote your home inventory services. Remember to contact your prospects and referral sources, let them know what precautions you are currently taking, and that (when you’re ready), you are once again providing your services to homeowners, renters, and small businesses.

We welcome all home inventory professionals to participate in National Home Inventory Month. NICA members benefit from additional resources, which can be accessed upon logging in with your member credentials.

17 Mar 2021

Marketing Minute – How to Build Traffic to Your Website

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary GillenMary Gillen

Are you wanting to build more traffic to your Web site? Yep – that’s a silly question; who wouldn’t want more traffic?

One easy way is to post comments on blogs where you will attract your prospects’ attention. How do you find these blogs? Follow these steps:

1) Go to Google > http://google.com
2) Search for “top [niche] blogs” – replacing the word [niche] with your niche marketing term.
Examples: “top home inventory blogs” or “top estate planning blogs” or “top homeowners insurance blogs”
3) Gather the URLs of 30 or so of these blogs that accept comments AND allow you to include a link to your Website. Leave an appropriate comment that aligns with the blog information and include the link to your website with your comment.

10 Mar 2021

Folsom, California Inventory Professional Achieves Industry Designation

The National Inventory Certification Association congratulates member Cynthia Breazeale for achieving the Certified Inventory Specialist designation.

Cynthia BreazealePRESS RELEASE – The National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) is pleased to announce that Cynthia Breazeale, owner of Trusted Inventory, has recently earned the designation of Certified Inventory Specialist (CIS). Achieving this designation confirms she has gained knowledge and experience to provide professional residential and small business contents inventory services.

To earn the CIS designation, Ms. Breazeale successfully completed industry-specific courses developed by NICA, agreed to conduct business according to the asset industry Code of Ethics, and accumulated the required number of Continuing Education Units. She then passed the Certification Exam, which is the final step in achieving this designation.

There is a growing awareness of the necessity and benefits of having a prepared photographic and written record of one’s personal property. This knowledge and the ever-increasing busy lifestyles of homeowners and business owners alike create a growing demand for a professional inventory service provider. 

Having an industry certification is not required for the contents inventory industry. However, choosing to invest in continuing education shows a desire to learn and excel as an inventory professional. Earning these credentials informs clients that Ms. Breazeale has gone the extra mile to ensure that she provides quality inventory services for homeowners, renters, and business owners. 

The key reason for entering this industry is summed up nicely by her: “The emotional toll resulting from tragic events eclipses the ability for a person to recall the sum total of the contents of their home or business. As a result, the insurance settlement process is slowed significantly and often falls far short of replacing hard-earned possessions.” 

Based in Folsom, California, Trusted Inventory provides residential and business asset inventory services in northern California. For more information, visit https://trustedinventory.com

03 Mar 2021

New Course – How to Build a Successful Blog

E-learningMany members have stated that they want to start a blog, but just don’t know how to create one, where to find content, etc.

We listened! We reached out to Associate Member Mary Gillen and Member Tricia Hoekwater. Both have written courses before and we’ve always received positive comments about the content and thoroughness of information.

They once again came through with an exceptional course – far exceeded expectations! Once you’ve completed How to Build a Successful Blog for Inventory Professionals, you’ll be ready to tackle the project of starting and maintaining your Home Inventory Blog!

Following is an outline to see what you can expect. The course should be available before the next newsletter is distributed. Look for it mid-March!

Module 1 includes the whys and hows of setting up a blog:

  • What is a Blog
  • Blogging vs. Traditional Websites
  • Why Blog
  • Benefits of Blogging
  • Develop A Successful Blogger Mindset
  • Pros and Cons of Blogging
  • Content Marketing and Content Marketing Strategy for the Inventory Professional
  • Naming & Branding Your Blog
  • All the steps required to set up your professional blog

Module 2 provides tips on Generating Content Ideas:

  • Identify Relevant Topics and Key Takeaways for Your Readers
  • Focus and Harness Your Train of Thought
  • Content Research
  • Questions Straight From Your Target Audience
  • Identify Your Inventory Niche Communities to Generate New Ideas
  • The Most Effective Types of Blog Content
  • Repurposing Content
  • Content Promotion Strategies

Module 3 shares tips and tools for successful Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Brief Intro to SEO
  • Understanding Search Engines
  • Keyword Research
  • Basic Site Setup For SEO
  • The Best SEO Plugin For WordPress
  • Optimizing Your Page Titles
  • Optimizing Your Meta Descriptions

Just as important as creating a successful blog, it is also necessary to know when to take a break. The Conclusion shares information on how to take productive breaks.