Category Archives: Events

Best Sources for Lead Generation

The following are some of the best and inexpensive sources of lead generation. A lead is more than just a name and an email, it’s seeking out someone who is actively interested in the the product or service you have to offer. Focusing in on some of these methods will help you capture more sales-ready opportunities for your sales team to turn into new business and eventually increased revenues.

1. Your Website:  Perhaps the easiest way to get leads is through your own website, it’s not too time consuming and there’s no need to constantly update it as long as it has all the essentials.

  • Always, always make sure you have a visible contact number or email on your site.
  • If you’re capturing leads through a newsletter subscription then make sure you have sign-up forms on every page of your site.
  • With forms, it’s almost always best to ask for as little information up front from the customer as possible. Too many requests can often deter the customer and cause them to bounce right away. If you’re unsure about what information to collect, try a split test (1) requesting name and email only and (2) requesting name, email, phone, industry, company, job title, insight into their marketing goals, etc – see which one works best for you and garners the most sign-ups.
  • Adding photos or testimonials to your site is always a plus as it helps to add a greater sense of authenticity and credibility.

2. Networking Events:

  • Make sure you’ve perfected your elevator pitch! The last thing you want to do is ramble on for 10 minutes about how important your company is and how greatly it would benefit this person you’re speaking with. Have something ready that’s quick, concise and to the point.
  • Use names, one of the greatest compliments you can give someone is remembering and addressing them by their name. It’s a sign of respect and it’ll gain you respect in return.
  • If you can’t solve all the challenges and obstacles of what this person is looking for, let them know you’d be happy to make a connection to someone who will.
  • Networking events are great for building a sense of authenticity into your brand. Knowing the business owner or the voice on the other end of a future phone call helps put the customer at ease and makes them more comfortable.
  • Don’t go to networking events immediately seeking out the people who you think could use your service. Help those that may not be able to help you and get to know the ones you’ve met in the past, even better.
  • Map out a follow up process!

3. Social Media Engagement: Using social media for lead generation can be fun and easy but extremely time-consuming.

  • It’s important to do the necessary market research to figure out where the majority of your audience spends their time. You don’t want to be wasting precious hours on LinkedIn if most of your customers are hanging out on Twitter all day.
  • Creating a blog is a great way to get conversations started and keep them going (it’s also a great way to get traffic back to your site where they could potentially see those newsletter sign-up forms!).
  • The power of promotion is huge! Any content you’re creating whether it’s on your blog, an infographic, or video, etc it is incredibly important to promote 100% of them through your social media channels. And don’t limit it to promoting just once. Hootsuite is great for setting up scheduled posts, you can set up a 2 week old blog post to go out a few times next month.
  • Social media makes it so easy for us to take our “offline skills” and put them to use to develop and foster complex relationships online. Throughout your conversations always be genuine, always be of help and make sure all responses are prompt and thorough.

4. Trade Shows:

  • Prior to a trade show it’s a good idea to send an email or invite to pre-registered attendees or those who attended the previous year.
  • Instead of wasting time and money and handing out swag bags filled with logo pens and other trinkets to the masses, take a minute to just engage and converse with all those passing by. If you do plan to spend money on promotional items, do something out of the ordinary! USB drives and magnets are too generic, you’ll just blend in with the other 500 brands out there.
  • If your industry is data driven, make sure those important factors are advertised at your booth. For example, being a video marketing company like Chicago Pet Video, we want our audience to know important facts; 42% of business executives have made a purchasing decision based on an online video and 60% of execs will watch a video, before they ever read the text on the screen. These are facts that will help generate interest in how we can better help consumers with their potential needs.
  • Once you’ve generated a list (or collected information) of visitors, don’t wait weeks to follow-up. Create a meaningful follow-up piece of content that you can send in an email, something that’s targeted toward them rather than just using a typical sales pitch template.

5. Referrals From Current Clients: Referrals can be the easiest and most powerful way to expand your business as long as they’re done correctly.

  • Referrals are a great head start for your sales team but it’s still important to build the relationship and work through the sales cycle from start to finish just as you would any other situation.
  • If you over-deliver, have great customer service and offer a product that already WOWs your current customers, it’s possible that they’re already out there selling for you. They will be some of the most genuine and hardest working sales-staff you’ll ever have.
  • It doesn’t hurt to create a mutually beneficial arrangement where you give the referrer some kind of valuable reward, it lets them know they’re appreciated. When deciding on a reward make sure it’s significant. Determine the value of a sales lead and how much it typically costs you to convert a new customer and base your referral reward around this.
  • Add a “refer a friend” link to emails, websites and newsletters. Make it as easy as possible for people to tell their friends about your product or service.
  • Just remember if you’re taking care of your current customers, making them feel special and delivering amazing results, your outlook for getting referrals is going to be good. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask!

If you lead, the rest will follow.

What sources of lead generation do you use most with your product or service? Have you eliminated any specific sources or focused more heavily on some versus others? Tell us your story!

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A Lovely Day for Peaches

Congratulations to Chicago Pet Fashion Star contest winner, Peaches! This lovely lady had just enough ‘Diva’ in her to be declared the winner and win a free photo shoot with Swarovski this past Saturday afternoon modeling a “Signature” piece. You may also be happy to know that this beautiful 12 year old girl is available for adoption. Here’s a tid-bit of information from her foster mom:

As you may have guessed I love the Pekingese breed. Ever since my first foster dog – a sickly little black Pekingese named “little man” – I have been in love. I foster dogs for any rescue willing to pull a Peke from a shelter in my area. Most often through Peke N Chin Midwest, based in MN. However, sometimes they don’t have space or have too many older dogs and can’t take one that I’m interested in rescuing. That is what happened with Peaches. So I was on my own with this rescue.

Being well networked with other rescues and people who volunteer or transport dogs for rescues, I was able to find someone to not only get her out but transport her to me in Chicago from a shelter in Springfield, Illinois.

She had been given up by her owner at 12 years of age. At her age and with her cataract, the shelter would not have been able to easily find her a new owner and would have had to euthanize her.

 So she came to my home. I quickly realized that she was a feisty little girl. She does not like other dogs and will bark and chase my cats, but also very sweet loving and cuddly with me and my children.

 It’s more difficult to adopt out a black dog especially an older one with cataracts and some socialization issues. She will always be safe and loved in my home, but I would love to see her in home with no other pets and where she could spend all day with her owner being loved,
petted and spoiled.

Well I think it’s safe to say, we’re obsessed with her… and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be either, especially with a face like this: 

Interested in taking Peaches home and making her a part of your family? Please contact or for an online application visit Alive Rescue has agreed to do the paperwork and necessary safety checks while her adoption fee of $150 will go to back to Alive Rescue.

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“Chicago Pet Fashion Star” Contest

The annual Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival presented by Mastercard, the country’s only shopping festival of its kind, will return this weekend, August 24th and extend through September 6th for a can’t miss celebration. This coming weekend’s highlights include the “Pamper Your Pooch” portion of the festival. Lots of great events to look forward to, check it out:

Argent Restaurant & Raw Bar Doggie Brunch660 N. State St.

Saturday from 10:30AM – 3PM, savor a seasonal brunch on Argent’s outdoor patio with $5 mimosas and a chef’s selection of dog treats and a doggie bag for your pooch. RSVP at 312-202-6050.

Complimentary Photo Session: Priceless Lounge, The Shops at North Bridege: 520 N. Michigan Ave.

Saturday from 1:00pm-4pm, Chicago Pet Photo awaits for you and your pet to strike a pose. Pets are welcome in their fashion best or can dress up with items from on-site fashion trunk. The session is complimentary but prints are available for purchase! Swarovski will also be on-hand to answer any questions and provide smaller pieces of accessories for pets to model in their fashion photo.

One lucky Facebook Contest Winner will also have their photo shoot wearing a luxury signature Swarovski piece. Submissions for entry can be posted online to Chicago Pet Photo & Video’s Facebook page. Andrea Fischetti, Chicago Pet Video owner, “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to drape your fashionable pet in the luxurious crystals they were always meant to wear and receive the pictures to show for it!” It will surely be a memorable afternoon with fashion, photos, luxury jewelry, and lots of FUN!

Pet-Friendly Overnight Stays: The Magnificent Mile District

Gourmet treats, plush dog beds, pet massages and more… Book an overnight getaway with your pet on Saturday night at one of our many pet-friendly hotels.

Mercury Chicago’s Skyline Cruiseline’s Canine CruiseRiverwalk at SE corner of Wacker Drive & Michigan

On Sunday at 10:00am, enjoy the cool breeze in your hair (and fur!) with a 90-minute River and Lake cruise with yourpooch. Tickets go on sale day-of at box office.

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Pup Fest 2012

Chicago Pet Photo & Video had a blast supporting our Rescue friends at Pup Fest 2012. What is PupFest you ask? It’s a special ‘fest within a fest’ or a component of the popular West Fest. Attendees were able to bring their pups and for a small donation receive doggy tattoos, participate in an agility course, as well as other goodies, AND receive a complimentary sitting in the portrait studio hosted by us at Chicago Pet Photo.

Although the weather was almost too hot to bear, the dogs had so much fun splashing in the water and many owners opted to also participate in the dog wash (for an additional small fee). The clean freshly-bathed pups looked adorable posing for their pictures. Our team had an interesting time staying busy while using treats and fun sounds to get their attention.

Unfortunately our lovely Murray didn’t get to make it out to this event, he’s still recovering from a mild paw injury (a small abrasion received while playing got a little infection) 😦 However he enjoyed the goodies his owners Alex and Andrea brought home for him. Check out some of the lovely faces we captured below:

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West Town Pup Crawl

A few weeks ago myself along with some other pups had a great Tuesday evening out while attending the West Town Pup Crawl at Mahoney’s Pub & Grille hosted by Chicago Canine Concierge. The week’s featured rescue who received a portion of the event’s proceeds was Chicago Pit Stop Rescue and my family’s own Chicago Pet Video, was the featured business.

There were awesome $4 drink specials and $3 appetizers (for our owners) – BUT because of those notorious begging faces we pups tend to show, a few of those appetizers slipped our way pretty easily – and I must say the food was excellent.

Clutch, Aberdeen Tap, and Matchbox were some other awesome bars that participated in the pup crawl – and they all had awesome pet friendly patios for us to hang out in.  I thought the weather was perfect although some of my smaller friends admitted they got a bit chilly after the sun went down.

Winks & Wags,

– Murray

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Pets Are Like Family Mother’s Day

Chicago Pet Video enjoyed themselves at a fabulous Mother’s Day fundraiser event with Pets Are Like Family on Sunday, May 13th hosted at Trader Todd’s. Signature champagne cocktails, beer and soda and a full buffet of vegetarian and vegan appetizers were served all afternoon. There were quite a few activities taking place throughout the event, Krisers did the nail trimming, Kirby Pet Sitting did some manicures and Fetch Pet Care brought a ton of stuff they collected for the Pet Pantry while us at Chicago Pet Video, supplied ‘souvenir mother’s day photos’ for the families and their lovely pets.

Great prizes were raffled off and some awesome ‘swag bags’ were given to the first 25 guests and their pets. Overall the afternoon went really well – the moms were feelin’ the love on their special day. Pets Are Like Family is a social service organization helping Chicago pet parents have loving, responsible relationships with their pets by providing education, resources, counseling and referral services to keep pets with their families and avoid pet relinquishment.

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Perry to the Rescue

On Sunday, May 6th the Perry to the Rescue event was held at Chicago Party Animals. An awesome fundraiser was hosted for Annie’s Little Angel’s Small Breed Dog and Cat Rescue to help them continue the awesome work that they do. Over the course of the afternoon dogs received massages and nail clippings, while a Perry Dog clothing raffle took place as well as complimentary food and drinks for the guests. The dogs seemed to enjoy the opportunity to come relax, get a massage, and then get their photos taken.  A nice spoiling, spa day for them, definitely a real treat!

“The most important part of the Perry Dog mission is to raise money for animal welfare rescue groups. We want to give back for all that Perry, a rescued dog himself, has given to usas pet owners,” said Julia Morel, co-founder of Perry Dog, canine clothing line and pet parent of Perry.  Julia’s Chihuahua, Perry, was the initial inspiration behind the creation of the brand, who was in attendance of the paw-tay.

The dogs spent an afternoon of running around and playing games on the main floor. Admission was just $10.00 per dog and was open to all well behaved dogs 30 lbs and under. Those that did not have a dog were welcome to come and support the shelter for free.

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Pets Are Like Family

The last weekend in April, Chicago Pet Video sponsored Pets Are Like Family’s, Pet Care 101, the 1st event in a series of monthly community workshops for pet owners. The day was incredibly informational thanks to numerous pet professionals and all the attendees who were buzzing with questions for the panel of experts. Topics such as pet safety and laws, dog behavior and training, veterinary tips, cat behavior as well as the feline overpopulation of Chicago were all touched on.

A child’s play area with attendants was set up in the back of the room so that parents were able to stay focused on the speakers and conversation at hand. At the end of the night people had a wonderful opportunity to talk and interact with the experts and others one on one.

Pets Are Like Family will continue to present these monthly community workshops on Chicago’s northwest side in order to help prospective, new and ongoing pet parents get the information and assistance they need to be loving, responsible pet guardians. So for those of you thinking about getting a pet, or perhaps you just got one and are interested in learning more about them, these work shops will continue to be extremely informative and beneficial to creating the perfect, relationship with you, your family and your new loved one. The next Pet Care 101 workshop is Saturday, June 16th at 10am – check in on their site for location confirmation.

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Pups & Pinot

Saturday, April 14th we had the opportunity to donate our photography services to the Pups & Pinot event. It was for a great cause benefiting the Lucida Puppy Fund, a fund that helps to pay for veterinary costs for puppies under six months old available for adoption. For only $30 per person we enjoyed endless appetizers, a lia sophia necklace or pair of earrings, wine and countless puppy kisses!

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Barking For Brews

Last Sunday, April 22nd Chicago Pet Video offered our services at a Revolution Brewing event in Logan Square. “Barking For Brews” was a wonderful beer-tasting benefit hosted by Midwest Rescue of Illinois. Over 50 people ordered tickets in advance and we had many others that showed up throughout the night as well.  One ticket for $40.00 included two hours of unlimited beer (5 microbrews) plus appetizers (including pulled pork, sweet potato cakes and applewood smoked wings). All proceeds went to helping and providing a positive and safe environment for dogs in need.

Chicago Pet Video’s, Andrew and Brianne, MC’ed the event while showing pictures and telling stories about two pitbulls who have been adopted and placed in loving homes, Henney and Reggie, as well as two other pitbulls who are still looking for homes, Leo and Tank.

There was a 50/50 raffle that got up to nearly $400, along with some great raffle prizes that included a manicure, a JC Penney gift card, gift card for Pupparazzi dog spa, a doggy gift basket and a one hour video session with Chicago Pet Video. Overall, fun event, great turnout and all for a good cause!

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