Tips & Tricks

Stuck on You: If it’s important enough to put a label on it, that label better stay stuck! 5 reasons why Brother’s TZe label tape is the best man for the job.

If it’s important enough to put a label on it, that label better stay stuck under any circumstances: You don’t want to find scratched-out fuzz where your “Hazardous Material” label used to be and the lid on the floor. That’ll never happen if you start smart, and stick with professional quality TZe technical tape from Brother.

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Top 4 reasons to buy Brother Genuine Ink and Toner

52108_Blog_Images_04-ENImitation, they say, is the best form of flattery, but most of the time, the copy is a lower quality substitute for the real thing. Sometimes it makes sense to go for the copy—try getting Banksy to spray-paint your living room—but for most things, we’re better off with the original. In 2015, Brother Printers and All-in-Ones nabbed PCMag’s Reader’s Choice Award, for the seventh year in a row. We got the highest scores in “overall satisfaction”, “satisfaction with reliability”, and “likelihood to recommend.”

 

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How to use Pinterest for your business in 5 easy steps!

15_BROTHER_ICONS_V2_MProvide your customers the content they need through this growing social media platform

There’s so much white noise out there. So how do you pierce it, to get your business’ message to consumers who crave it?

The answer? Quick, snackable bites of visual content. With an estimated 2.6 billion images being shared daily, these hot items are grabbing more of our fragmented attention every second. And one of the best channels to get them to your people is Pinterest.

With this blog, we’ll help get you started using this highly engaging tool for your customers.

15_BROTHER_ICONS_V2_11. Create a space for dreaming

Just five years old, Pinterest is a strong and still growing platform for creating, curating and sharing visual content. Ahalogy, a marketing firm specialized in teaching brands how to leverage Pinterest, calls it, “a space for dreaming and discovery.” It attracts aspirational users planning specific types of projects—from decorating a nursery to building a treehouse.

Pinterest is still largely dominated by female users (78% in Canada). But men are quickly catching up. The most active users, or “Pinners,” visit the site at least once a day. Popular categories include: Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Fashion, Beauty, Home, DIY & Crafts, Family, Pets, Weddings, Travel, Automotive, Technology and Finance.

15_BROTHER_ICONS_V2_22. Driving engagement

You can use Pinterest as an individual to share your passion for home brew or gardening, but if you want to drive engagement with your business and attract more customers, you need a business account. Business accounts get added functionality from Rich Pins, which offer specific embedded information for apps, places, articles, products, recipes, movies and more—as well as analytics, to help you understand how your content is doing.

 

15_BROTHER_ICONS_V2_33. Create content that sticks

Bob Gilbreath, Co-Founder and CEO at Ahalogy, is a well-respected thought leader on Pinterest. He stresses the importance of learning by doing when you first get started.

“With Pinterest you must jump in and start getting real-world feedback to understand what works and what doesn’t,” he says. “As with any serious marketing effort, you first need to set your Pinterest business strategy.” Gilbraith recommends creating a few Pinboards with quality content you think will resonate with your target audience. Then watch, measure and learn from how they’re using it.

“Double down on the content that seems to stick,” Gilbreath adds. “But keep in mind that Pinterest users are all about long-term planning. So, converting casual users to customers can take longer than on other social media platforms.”

15_BROTHER_ICONS_V2_44. Be a great storyteller

If you’re a retailer, think about how and why your customers use your products. Adam Kmiec, Senior Director, Mobile, Social, Content & Performance Marketing at Walgreens, is both a sought after speaker and an outspoken digital marketing strategist.

“We were one of the very early Pinterest adopters,” says Kmiec. “Being on the platform since the beginning has helped us understand what works, what doesn’t and how to make sure we’re always putting our customers first.”

Kmiec says he develops content as if he’s making a film—with a compelling narrative and the right story for his customers. “Pinterest is all about providing helpful tutorials and step-by-step guides that inspire our customers and provide them with the tools they need to take action.”

“Our Pinboards aren’t about selling products—although of course they can lead to that,” he adds. “They’re a reflection of the aesthetic our audience wants, how it makes them feel, and how they can achieve that aesthetic with our help.”

15_BROTHER_ICONS_V2_55. Develop your pictorial vocabulary

The look and feel of your pins matters more than with other social media content. Colour densities, quality of photography, choice of fonts, and even the orientation of your image files, can contribute to how well your Pins fare in terms of extending their reach through sharing, or “Repins.”

Brendan Lowry, Marketing Director at Curalate, likens Pinterest to learning a new language. “Whatever business you’re in today, you need to realize that consumers are now speaking with pictures, not words,” says Brendan. “Test the Pins you post and study the analytics to learn which images fare better with your specific audiences.”

 

15_BROTHER_ICONS_V2_6Putting a pin in it

Learning how to use more—and better performing—visuals online is a critical tool for driving higher rates of engagement. Whether you sell scarves or wedding photography, hardware or healthy food, Pinterest is an important platform for visual content and worth investing your time and effort. Providing your followers with actionable, well-made, visually appealing Pins about content that matters to them will ensure you’re there to reap the rewards for cultivating their path from discovery to purchase—to customer-for-life!

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Want your Brother laser machine to last? Replace your drum unit!

Did you know that regularly replacing your Brother laser machine’s drum unit can extend its life, improve print quality, and put off the purchase of a new machine for years and years?

Check out our handy new guide to learn everything you need to know about Brother drum units, your new favourite thing in the world!

So, what’s a Brother drum unit anyway?

Drum_unitBrother laser machines have two gizmos—or consumables—that need occasional replacing: the toner cartridge and the drum. The toner cartridge contains powder (or toner) used for creating words and images on paper. The drum, or “organic photo conductor” is the heart of the machine: it takes the toner and gets it onto the page. (Colour laser machines have two additional replaceable gizmos, the belt and waste toner pack, but we won’t worry about those for now.)

Is the Brother drum a member of the percussion group of musical instruments (also known as a membranophone)?

You’re banging on the wrong drum. (But you’re our kind of cheeky.)

How do I know when to replace a drum?

Drums get worn out with use. It’s a fact of life. How do you know when to replace them? Simple. Most Brother printers will display a “Replace Drum Soon” message giving you ample time to buy a new one. When a drum unit reaches the end of its life, the message will change to, “Drum Life End.” You won’t be able to continue printing until it’s been replaced and reset. One big advantage with Brother machines is that the drum and toner are separate. So you can replace only the gizmo you need to.

How do I change it?

The instructions on resetting a drum vary from one model to the next, but you can find the reset instructions for your machine on our Solutions website. Just look up your model and check out the FAQs for “Replace Drum.”

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Where do I get a drum?

Good question! You can buy them directly off our site or from your favourite office supplies store. Or get in touch with our highly trained, Montreal-based Canadian Consumer Sales & Satisfaction agents at Brother.ca/support. They’re always ready to help.

For best performance, use only Genuine Brother drums and toner cartridges. Printing with a third-party drum or toner can reduce not only the print quality, but also the quality and life of the printer itself. You can also lose warranty coverage for problems caused by third-party drums or toner cartridges.

Our environmental commitment

Brother is deeply committed to the environment. We offer printers with highly compact bodies, and all-in-ones that print, fax, copy and scan. (The only thing they won’t do is make your coffee!) When creating new products, we always consider our environment and aim to reduce power consumption and save paper. Our laser all-in-ones offer several eco-conscious features like energy conservation mode, duplex (2-sided) printing, and Toner Saving Mode.

So, when you get that “Replace drum soon” message, don’t panic. It’s easy to buy and install a new one. And you’ll keep your machine in tip-top shape for years to come—while saving money and the environment!


 

 

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5 surprisingly simple sales skills to grow your small business

15_BROTHER_ICONS_MSelling is among the hardest, most satisfying, most depressing, most lucrative, and most grinding jobs on the planet. Everyone knows it takes persistence, sweat, drive and ambition. But not every small business owner or entrepreneur believes they can do sales. Many avoid it as much as possible, treating it as a painful task, like getting a cavity filled.

That attitude is potentially killing your business. The good news is, you can change it and realize that you—yes, even you—can sell anything to anyone by cultivating these five simple skills.

 

15_BROTHER_ICONS_11. Listen 

“A lot of people think sales is about talking, but it’s really about listening,” says Dawn Williams, President and Sales Recruiter at Sirius Personnel. “The most successful sales people I’ve ever recruited are also the best listeners.” Nabil Sfeir, a corporate account manager at Insight, concurs. “You have to pay attention, especially if you’re on the phone with a potential client,” says Sfeir. “People can tell if you’re multitasking—and that’s a deal breaker. Everybody wants to feel like they’re number one.”

 

15_BROTHER_ICONS_22. Empathy

Mollie Garza, Business Development Director at LiveIntent Inc., is as popular with her clients as she is with her colleagues and friends, because she takes the time to get to know everyone equally. So when it’s time to make a deal, she’s learned enough about her clients to be able to offer them custom-made solutions to their problems. “You have to truly understand who your clients are and what problems you’re solving for them on a continual basis,” says Garza. “If you do your job right, you’ll keep your clients safe from the competition, help them grow their revenues and be someone they turn to for knowledge and advice.”

 

15_BROTHER_ICONS_33. Finding real solutions

“Offer solutions to your clients, not products or features,” Nabil says. “And if you discover that your company isn’t the best fit, say so.” Chris Carlin, Senior Marketing & Social Media Manager at The Upper Deck Company, is always impressed with vendors who don’t try to be a one-size-fits-all solution. “If your services aren’t compatible with a brand, recommend someone whose are,” says Carlin. “Not only does this make you a trusted partner, but it can also open the door to future business.”

 

15_BROTHER_ICONS_44. Passion

Oscar Gardner, Sales Director for iMedia Communications, Inc., believes passion drives a sales person to greatness above all else. “Most sales people have the basic skillset for sales,” says Gardner. “But you need a genuine passion for your business to truly succeed. How can you get someone excited about your business if you’re not excited yourself?”

 

15_BROTHER_ICONS_55. Follow up

“Having organized sales habits has always been a core part of my approach,” says Will Richards, President and Founder of Financial Research Solutions. “And the number one most important habit you can develop is to mark down in your calendar the exact date and time of your next call with a prospective client,” adds Richards. Scheduling follow-ups helps you keep track of where you are in the sales process and proves to your customers that you have the reliability to be there when they’re ready—and not expect them to be ready when you are.

Every entrepreneur has faced the chilling prospect of having expended an enormous amount of time, energy and money on building a business only to discover that, without a coherent sales strategy, prospects don’t start magically appearing at your door. If you run a business, or hope to, you need to get comfortable with sales—but you don’t need to change who you are. Just develop these five simple skills to win you your clients’ trust. Do that, and success will follow.

 

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Top 10 tips on mastering work/life balance – from Brother Canada employees

Work Life BalanceSo, modern life can be pretty wild.

Between work and raising kids, not to mention commuting, errands, exercise, dates with your spouse, sleeping—and all the rest—balance is a tough, well… balancing act. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 58 percent of Canadians report “overload” as a result of work and personal pressures.

So, to help you get your Zen on, we asked five of our employees for two of their top balancing tips.

 

1. Get to bed
“I go to bed early, so I can wake up early, work out and get to work early.”

2. Keep it loose
“I also create downtime in my schedule to enjoy my life outside of work. As much as possible, I see friends, go shopping and go out for dinners. And I’m working on the ability to say no. I’m not there yet, but it’s on my to-do list for this year!”

– Amélie, Communications & Community Specialist

3. Make the time
“I believe making time is the key to balancing everything in life. I set aside a specific amount of time to help my kids with their homework and reserve some “me time” to play guitar and relax every evening.”

4. Hang with the family
“Each weekend includes a family movie night where we can all sit together and laugh without thinking about whatever else is going on in our lives.”

– Robert, Team Manager, Consumer Sales & Satisfaction

5. Know your values
“I love working out, enjoying nature, connecting with friends and living in the moment. When I spend time with my kids, it’s all about them; everything else is on hold.”

6. Accept reality
“I also accept that I can’t do it all, and I’m not afraid to make mistakes and ask for help.”

– Anne, B2C and E-Commerce Specialist

7. Split your work up
“Because I have to leave at 5 p.m. to pick up my kids, sometimes working at night is a necessity. It lets me unplug from the job and be present for them when they need me. But I try to make that more the exception than the rule.”

8. Take your vacations!
“Regular time off is also important for me. Sometimes I take vacations with my family, and sometimes without!”

– Kathryn, Product Marketing Manager

9. Unplug
“I do my best to unplug. I spend time with my family and avoid looking at email as much as I can. This helps me fully dedicate myself to my home life.”

10. Work on your passions
“I strongly believe in having passions outside of work. Whether it’s reading a book, going to the gym or taking a yoga class on the weekend, I’m always doing something to enrich my body, mind and soul. And I always try to plan some “me time” every week to just do whatever I feel like.”

– Christa, HR Generalist

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